Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVII
Surely you mock
The soon-to-be released DVD set of the 17th volume of four two-hour episodes of late ‘80s-mid 90s show Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST 3k) contains three of the better efforts in this cult show that has the host and his “robot friends” mock horrible movies. Much of the fun derives from the jibes referring to everything from classic literature and art to politics and pop culture.
“The Crawling Eye” is a particularly special treat because it is the first episode of MST 3K that aired nationally following a run on a local Minneapolis television station. The Comedy Channel, later to become Comedy Central, was the first cable home of show creator and original host Joel Hodgson and his puppets.
This episode provided more background on the show, including the reason that the mad scientists who tortured Joel by sending him bad movies in an effort to get him to crack retreated to their underground lair known as “Deep 13.”
“Eye” was a classically bad black-and-white 1950s horror movie in which the alien invaders looked vaguely like the small seaweed covered Sigmund the sea monster in the kids’ show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. Having F Troop star Forrest Tucker as the lead was a source of many of the jokes, including a rendition of that sitcom’s theme.
“The Beatniks” was from the same era as “Eye” but was an example of the bad dramas that MST 3K showed in addition to horror and sci-fi films. This one had a member of a gang of common street thugs having an accidental murder threaten his day-old singing career.
The plot holes and bad acting provided good fodder for the jokes. Seeing one of the widely popular General Hospital shorts was also entertaining.
“The Beatniks” is notable as well because it was a popular part of MST 3K’s annual Turkey Day Thanksgiving marathon. The extras on this disc included the satirical introduction and other segments that were produced for this presentation.
“The Final Sacrifice” was a Canadian film that prompted more jokes at the expense of our neighbor to the north than a full season of the modern sitcom How I Met Your Mother. There is even a reference to Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney, who had a great cameo in the video for “Let’s Go the Mall.”
“The Blood Waters of Dr. Z” rounds out the set; other than having the creature dressed in a low-budget creature from the black lagoon costume and the hero ride around rural Florida on the running board of a jeep, this one was not particularly special.
I invite other Misties to share their thoughts regarding these episodes as e-mail to email@example.com.
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Review by John Stahl
John Stahl is a freelance legal writer who is also a fan of classic and cult television programs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVII
* The Crawling Eye Special Introduction By Joel Hodgson
* Mystery Science Theater Hours Wraps On The Beatniks
* Brand-New Interview With star of The Final Sacrifice Bruce J. Mitchell
* The Main Event: Crow Vs. Crow At Dragon Con 09
* Blood Waters Of Dr. Z Photo Gallery
* Original Trailers & Promos
* And More!
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