Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Day Part 9- It Conquered the World (with Snow Thrills)

As we all recover from our food coma, here's another Turkey Day installment- It Conquered the World! I like this episode, so much so that I've talked about it before, running the classic Peter Graves monologue through the Bad Translator. You know the one I'm talking about; it goes a little something like...

He learned almost too late that Man is a feeling creature and, because of it, the greatest in the universe. He learned too late for himself that men have to find their own way, make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And when men seek such perfection, they find only death, fire, loss, disillusionment, the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to the toil and misery, but it can't be given, it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from Man himself.

Powerful stuff. But, before we get to that, let's start off with the short. The Sport Parade: Snow Thrills showcases all kinds of winter shenanigans, from ice skating to skiing (though the film insists on the German pronunciation) to... uh... skinny dipping. The riffing gets really dark and a bit saucy. It's fun, but for some reason, I never remember to include it when I compile a list of the best shorts they've done. The sketch they do about it is good fun though.

Now comes Roger Corman's It Conquered The World. Lee Van Cleef is a scientist who's protesting the launch of a satellite for some reason that's never adequately explained, something about pissing off aliens. His buddy, Peter Graves, is the lead scientist for the project. Flash forward two months later, and the satellite mysteriously disappears, reappears, and then crashes. Peter is concerned, but Lee is smug. Why so smug? Because Lee is in communication with the giant Venusian space pickle that hijacked the satellite so it could come to Earth.

Lee thinks that Space Pickle is there to help humanity, but Peter and Lee's wife Beverly Garland (rrroooawwr!) aren't so sure. Space Pickle sends out mind control devices to convert various humans so it can conquer a small town in the southwest. (Think globally, act locally, after all.) Peter Graves shoots his mind controlled wife, Beverly Garland dies trying to kill the Space Pickle. Peter and Lee join up with a roving military unit and face the Space Pickle.

In the end, Lee sacrifices himself to save the world. Why? Well... He learned almost too late that Man is a feeling creature and, because of it, the greatest in the universe. He learned too late for himself that men have to find their own way, make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And when men seek such perfection, they find only death, fire, loss, disillusionment, the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to the toil and misery, but it can't be given, it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from Man himself.

The riffing is great in this one, but Corman films tend to bring out the best in the crew. The middle sketch wherein Joel and the Bots have dinner and make a series of sarcastic jabs at each other is hilarious; they channel their inner Lockhorns quite well. Of course, even with the short film preceding It Conquered the World, they still need to pad out the episode thanks to Corman's habit of not making very long movies. (Say what you will about his films, you have to grant that the man is a concise filmmaker.) Which is why Peter Grave's speech is repeated twice, word for word in the last sketch. You know the one.

He learned almost too late that Man is a feeling creature and, because of it, the greatest in the universe. He learned too late for himself that men have to find their own way, make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And when men seek such perfection, they find only death, fire, loss, disillusionment, the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to the toil and misery, but it can't be given, it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from Man himself.

All told, the speech is repeated three times throughout the episode, with the first line also composing the episode's stinger. It's a fun episode.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day Part 8- Hercules Against the Moon Men!

Now it's time for a favorite episode of mine, Hercules Against the Moon Men. MST3K watched more than a few Italian sword & sandal films, and this is quite possibly the "best" of them.

Before I begin with the plot synopsis, I'm going to break with tradition and talk about one of the opening invention exchange sketches. For their invention, Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank have "Deep Hurting" featuring "Sand Storm". Bear that in mind, because it'll be important later.

Anyway, on to the main event! In this corner, Hercules!

Against the Moon Men!

In the kingdom of Samar, the people are forced to sacrifice their children to the Mountain of Death, which is hq for the Moon Men. Well, actually Moon Man, as we only ever see one of them. Anyway, the people of Samar petition Queen Samara to stand up to the Moon Men, because now they have a fighting chance, for coming to their aid is the great hero Hercules (who looks a lot like Machiste, but never mind that now).

But the Samara doesn't want to fight, as she and the Moon Men are in cahoots! Cahoots, I say! In return for her cooperation, she's been given the power to bewitch any man into thralldom and also the power to have a completely different hairstyle in every scene she's in (the reason why she needs so many different hairstyles is never adequately explained).

Anyway, Herc shows up and meets Old Adviser Guy, who is quickly bumped off. Luckily, his hot daughter Agar is there to help Herc. Meanwhile, Queen Samara is trying to sabotage the romance between her half-sister Phyllis and royal second-cousin (or something) Derek. Waitasec, Phyllis and Derek? That doesn't sound very Greek epic to me! Ah, well. Queen Samara tries to kill Derek because he's a part of the Resistance, and Phyllis is given to the Moon Men who need her as a sacrifice to revive their queen.

Anyway, Samara captures Derek and Agar. Hercules will save them! But, what's this? Hercules has been bewitched by Samara! Blast! Derek and Agar are sent to the dungeon. While Samara and Hercules are alone in the bedchambers, she reveals the full details of the evil scheme. Hercules chuckles; he wasn't bewitched at all! Now it's clobbering time, and he clobbers with gusto as Samara makes her getaway to join the Moon Men.

The Samar Army (Samarmy?) joins with the Resistance, and along with Hercules, make short work of the Queen's Royal guard. Now, it's off to fight the Moon Men. NOW, the Deep Hurting can commence.

What follows is a long, painful walking sequence, worthy of Roger Corman himself. The Moon Men have summoned up a Sandstorm (Saaaandstorm!), and what should have been a quick, brisk walk to the Mountain of Death turns into a 10-minute or so sequence. This sequence is compared with the infamous Rock Climbing bits from the Season 2 episode, Lost Continent. Many argue that the latter is more painful, as there's lots of Rock Climbing in that movie to pad out the film. That may be so, but at least all the characters were wearing pants.

Anyway, Herc shows up at the Mountain of Death, lifts some rock monsters over his head, lifts the Moon Man over his head, and all the bad guys wind up dead. The people of Samar are free, Derek and Phyllis become the new rules, and Herc and Agar ride off into the sunset.

This movie is bad (and the Sandstorm bit is awful), but otherwise, I'd enjoy this movie even without the riffing; Alan Steele plays the big muscle bound hero with aplomb and seems to enjoy himself. The riffing is great, however. The sketches are fun, and interspersed with the Mads taunts of "Deep Hurting! DEEEP HURTING!". And finally, there's the Pants Song (not to be confused with "Hike Up Your Pants" from Daddy-O), an ode to the garment that all men should wear at all times, especially the author of rival blog Nick's Nonsense (ya hear that, Nick? Put some damn pants on!)

All in all, Hercules Against the Moon Men is the best of the Hercules films, in my opinion, and certainly an all around great episode of MST3K in general.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Turkey Day Part 7- The Killer Shrews (with Junior Rodeo Daredevils)

And now we come to The Killer Shrews, with it's accompanying short Junior Rodeo Daredevils. I have a fondness for this episode, so much so that I named a super-villain after it in my smash hit story Can't Fake Gravity. Anyway, let's look at the episode.

First, we have the rodeo short. Some old guy catches two hooligans messing around on his property, so he catches them and forces them to organize a Junior Rodeo. What follows is a combination of two questionable activities- child endangerment and animal exploitation. It's a recipe for hilarity. The riffing on this is great, and I'd easily put it in the top ten shorts they've done.

Next comes the film and oh boy does it hurt. Hunky sea captain Roscoe P. Coltrane arrives on an island populated by a German scientist, his hot daughter, and a band of incompetent assistants. The scientist's project? Do something with shrews to combat overpopulation. As a result, the shrews have grown to enormous size and possess a venomous bite; the reason for this mutation is never adequately explained.

"Don't ask me, folks; I'm just a shrew."

People stand around and drink. And drink. And drink. Martinis, wine, vodka- you name it, it's drunk. I briefly toyed with the idea of making a Killer Shrews drinking game where you take a shot every time you see a character take a drink, but then quickly realized that would result in severe alcohol poisoning, even if I just used a Diet Coke.

Anyway, asides from the drinking, the cast gets eaten by the shrews until Roscoe, German guy, and Hot Daughter escape to the beach in trash cans and make a break for the boat.

That's a very sparse plot synopsis, but it's really hard to tell what the hell's going on in this film. The sound is awful, and half the characters speak with accents or just plain mumble. When the Sheriff of Hazzard County is the most erudite person in your film, there's a problem.

The sketches are great fun, particularly the final sketch, as it's representative of the "cow town puppet show" dynamic MST3K had going on, particularly in the early days- the bots, dressed as shrews, gibber incoherently as dying scientist Joel reads a fan letter. It's a hoot.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turkey Day Part 6- Fugitive Alien

And now we continue our Turkey Day event with something from Japan, Fugitive Alien. A Japanese TV series edited together into a movie, Fugitive Alien is a great big mess.

The "film" opens with Wolf Raiders from the kabuki planet Valnastar attacking Earth, with all of the clown white that entails. The Wolf Raiders are armed with ray guns and helmets adorned with blond wigs, the functionality of which is never adequately explained. One of the Raiders, Ken (who is twice as strong as other Raiders and ten times as strong as any human), is about to open fire on a young boy when he learns that the lad is also named Ken. This triggers an attack of conscience in Ken (the Raider, not the boy). He gets into a fight with his best friend (who's also his girlfriend's brother), resulting in Ken killing his compatriot. (Get used to this scene; it shows up A LOT in this movie.) Branded a traitor, Ken is on the run. He escapes, and falls in with the crew of Bacchus 3, Earth Space Command's oldest ship.

Let's take a look at the crew. There's Tammy, perky young science officer. There's Rocky, the pilot- loyal and courageous, but also proud and slow to trust. There are two other guys who just generally mill about. Holding this motley crew together is Captain Joe, the cigar-chomping, hard-drinking, two-fisted veteran.

"Do you like gladiator movies, Ken?"

Joe, well aware of Ken's shady past, blackmails Ken into serving with the Bacchus 3.

Meanwhile, Evil Clown Emperor sends Ken's girlfriend, Rita, to kill Ken.

While preparing for their next mission, Joe drinks and mourns his family who died in the Wolf Raider attack, Tammy gets all swoony over Ken, and Rocky tries to kill Ken with a forklift (ole'!). The misfit crew then embarks on their mission, involving two warring planets and a superweapon, or something.

Ken gets arrested on the first planet, breaks out an officer from the other planet, and reunites with Rita, who finds she can't kill the man she loves. She quickly gets killed by an errant shot from some soldiers. Military officer in tow, Ken mourns his love and heads off to complete the mission. Our film ends, but Captain Joe and company will return in Star Force: Fugitive Alien 2!

Ow. That was painful. At least there's a lot of fun segments and jokes in this episode. There's the song Joel and the Bots make up ("He tried to kill me with a forklift! Ole'!"), there's the sketch where Joel acts like Captain Joe, and then there's Jack Perkins. Mike Nelson portrays A&E's Jack Perkins during several bits of the episode, and it's hysterical. This bit was so successful, Mike would reprise this impersonation several times throughout the course of the series, most notably as the host of the Mystery Science Theater Hour (basically, an episode cut in half and shown on weekday afternoons on Comedy Central).

This movie is odd and off-putting, which probably explains why it's such a good episode.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Turkey Day Part 5- Daddy-O (with Alphabet Antics)

Turkey-Day continues with Daddy-O and it's accompanying short, Alphabet Antics.

Alphabet Antics is a series of little vignettes that give words for each letter of the alphabet and a rhyming couplet. The producers for this were obviously struggling; the example for "Q" is "pelican". This is a prime example of an MST3K short; the riffing gets very dark at times.

On to Daddy-O. Crooner/ stunt driver Phil meets a drag racing chick, investigates the death of his best friend Sonny, and keeps his pants cinched to just under his ribcage. During the course, he busts up a drug-smuggling ring headed up by a big doughy guy and a guy with really thick glasses. A short synopsis, but there's not a lot going on in this film.

This is a good episode, but not quite up to the level of previous Season 3 episodes. The sketches are fun, the riffing is good, and then of course, there's the fact that the show's end credits get interrupted several times, cutting back to the Mad Scientists in Deep 13. It's HILARIOUS.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Turkey Day Part 4- Pod People

And now we come to one of my favorite episodes of not just Mystery Science Theater 3000, but of anything EVER- Pod People. Strap in, because this movie is all over the place.

Some poachers are out in the woods poaching when a meteor crashes to earth. One of the poachers investigates and discovers a rookery of sorts for alien eggs. He decides to start smashing eggs like a teenager on Mischief Night. However the mama alien shows up and kills him.

Meanwhile, young Tommy, friend to animals, finds said cave and the last remaining egg. He takes the egg home to raise.

Meanwhile, a terrible pop group is laying track for their latest single. Their music is so awful, it makes me long for the mellow, feel good sound of the Insane Clown Posse. Anyway, they wrap up and leave to go camping in the woods.

Meanwhile, the two alive poachers are still poaching.

Meanwhile, the egg hatches and Tommy names the little alien baby Trumpy. Trumpy quickly grows to be as large as Tommy.

Meanwhile, terrible pop group is in the words. Problems arise when lead singer Rick's girlfriend Shari is mean to Rick's other girlfriend Laura. Laura runs off in a huff. She runs into the poachers, who make her run more, then runs into Trumpy's mom, who makes her run off of a cliff. Terrible pop group finds Laura and rushes to the nearest location- Tommy's house.

Meanwhile, the poachers- ARGHH! I can't take this anymore! Just sitting here trying to write a plot synopsis is causing a sharp, needle-like pain in my right arm. Short version, 75% of the cast gets killed, Trumpy's mom gets killed in turn, and a sad Tommy sends Trumpy away.

This movie's never sure what film it wants to be. It vacillates from horror to charming family fare and back again. It doesn't help that the monsters look absolutely ridiculous. Take a gander.

AHH! Hideous! ... And I suppose the aliens are bad too.

At least Ro-Man the Ro-Man was large. These things look barely able to throttle a sick cat, let alone all the people in this movie.

Anyway, this movie brings gets the cast firing on all cylinders. The sketches are all good (and oddly enough, all but the very first have some sort of musical element) and the riffing is sublime. Seriously. My buddies and I still regularly quote the jokes in this movie to each other. I think it's even surpassed The Simpsons in how much it gets referenced.

And then there's the stinger. Starting in Season 2, MST3K would have a clip of the movie at the end of the show's credits; said clip would usually be the most ridiculous or weird scene. The stinger of this episode, to me, embodies everything a stinger should be- short, sweet, and summing up the theme of the film. In Pod People, the stinger features Rick, holding up the A-OK sign and proclaiming "It Stinks!" A truer statement of the film simply cannot be provided. "It Stinks" became one of the shows running gags, and was used multiple times in this episode and many thereafter. Hell, I myself have used it many times, usually with the picture of Joel. I remember when I was writing my review for S*** My Dad Says and was looking for a picture of Shatner. I found one of Bill making the A-OK sign and new what joke to make. It's like God himself reached into the internet and said, "Do it. Make the Pod People reference." And I did.

Pod People is easily, EASILY one of the greatest episodes of the series. And if you think it's not that good, well then there's only one way to describe your opinion....


Turkey Day Part 3- Cave Dwellers

Turkey Day (or is that Turkey Month?) continues with a beloved episode from Season 3- Cave Dwellers. It's the second in a series of Conan knock-offs (The Barbarian, not O'Brien), and the only one of the series given the MST3K treatment.

First, there's the credit sequence, as it actually contains scenes of an entirely different movie. Many of the films from Season 3, such as Pod People and Stranded in Space, have something similar going on (all three as well as a few others, were all reedited and released by a company called Film Ventures International, so at least they were consistent). Anyway, onto the actual plot. Boring old wise man Akronus has invented something called the Geometric Nucleus; it's function is never adequately explained, but it's one of those "must never fall into the wrong hands" type of item. However, it's about to, as evil warlord Zor invades the old guy's castle. You can tell he's evil, because he has a long droopy mustache.

Old Guy sends his hot daughter Mila to find Ator- warrior, philosopher, and large-muscled individual, who is currently training with his mute Asian man-servant Thong. Mila arrives, tells them about Zor, and soon Ator, Mila, and Speed-O are off to set things right. On the way, they fight cavemen, ghosts, samurai, and a giant snake puppet.

Eventually, the three finally make it to the castle. Mila and Banana Hammock use the castle's secret entrance while Ator takes on Zor's troops with nothing more than his swords. Oh, and a hang glider and some grenades.

"I'd explain, but it's very confusing."

Ator kills Zor and, taking the Nucleus, gives a stoic goodbye to Mila and Loincloth. Thankfully, the film ends.

This is regarded as a stand-out episode, and with good reason- the riffing is hilarious. The movie's quite absurd, and it gives Joel and the Bots plenty to work with. The host segments are more witty than funny, though the last sketch is quite good. All in all, Season 3 of MST3K hit the ground running with this episode.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Turkey Day Part 2- Godzilla vs. Megalon

Our Turkey Day event continues with a look at Season 2's Godzilla vs. Megalon. Now that we're in Season 2, the series is starting to hit it's familiar beats, and this is probably one of the strongest episodes of that season.

Anyway, in Godzilla vs. Megalon (not to be confused with Godzilla vs. Megatron, my crossover fan-fiction script wherein the Decepticons invade Monster Island), the ancient civilization of Seatopia, angry about undersea nuclear tests, decides to destroy the surface world. Their plot begins when they target an inventor named Goro, his kid brother Roxanne (or son, the movie's not terribly clear on this), and Goro's *ahem* "bachelor friend" Rex Dart, Eskimo Spy.

Why? Because Goro has invented a robot named Jet Jaguar. Seatopia needs said robot to guide their monstrous servant Megalon to destroy Japan. After some destruction, Goro regains control of Jet Jaguar. In a shocking twist, JJ has achieved sentience, grows to tremendous size, and goes off to fight Megalon. However, Seatopia has also sent Gigan to back-up Megalon. After getting Ricky Morton'd for a time, all seems hopeless for Jet Jaguar, but Godzilla (finally!) shows up. The two lay the smackdown on the monsters and save Japan. Seatopia retreats, Godzilla leaves, and Jet Jaguar returns to normal size to hang with his new family. There's a message about undersea testing in there somewhere.

As far as MST3K episodes go, this one is really strong. The riffing (especially during the monster tag team match) is excellent, and the sketches are almost all top notch. The invention exchange (a staple from Seasons 1-6, wherein Joel or Mike show products and then the Mad Scientists show theirs) is notable; it's a thing about DIY Halloween costumes. One of said costumes is to adjust a milk carton, but it on your head, and go as a missing child. Costume companies ACTUALLY MAKE THIS NOW. The first host sketch is a little weak (more cute than funny) but the rest are good. Even one of the fan letters read at the end (another staple of the Comedy Central years is that fans would send in fan mail, and they'd read them on air at the end of an episode) is hysterical.

And then there's the Orville Redenbacher sketch. Most of the sketches are drawn from the fact that the gang is watching a giant monster movie. Not so sketch 3. It's odd, mean-spirited, dark, and absolutely hilarious.

Overall, Godzilla vs. Megalon is ridiculous good fun. Even the monsters enjoy it!

"We like it very much!"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Turkey Day Part 1- Robot Monster

Let us start the Turkey Day festivities with Robot Monster and it's two accompanying Commando Cody shorts. This is a Season 1 episode, and S1 is always a little weird to watch. Tom Servo's voice is different, for starters (Josh Weinstein was Servo in the first season, and Kevin Murphy was Servo for the rest of the series' run). Moreover, MST3K was only about a year removed from their public access days, so they were still sorta finding their place. This is one of the standout episodes from those early attempts.

Before we get to the main event, we get a double shot of installments from the film serial "Radar Men from the Moon"- Flight to Destruction and Murder Car (lease or buy your 2011 Murder Car today). Fun sidenote- this is the film serial that Kathy Bates' character refers to in Misery; I can see why she was crazy.

Anyway, moon men have begun to infiltrate Earth, using their moon ray to cause havoc. Unfortunately, they run out of start-up capital. Now, many small businesses would try to increase revenue via sales or loans; the moon men, however, decide to have their Earth criminal lackeys try to obtain funds via kidnapping and payroll heists, making the Moon's business model only slightly less evil than modern bank practices (zing!). Commando Cody, a poor man's Rocketeer, continually foils these shenanigans.

Now, onto the main event. A young boy is playing in a cave while on a picnic with his mother and two sisters. While exploring, he comes across two archaelogists. Mom and older sister Alice chide young Johnny and take him back for a nap. However, Johnny plays possum and goes to the cave again. He quickly falls down. When he wakes up, things have taken a turn for the worse. ("You lay down for five minutes....")

Apparently, Johnny is one of the last survivors on Earth. The one archaeologist from the cave is actually Johnny's father and a prominent scientist. With his wife Johnny's Mom, hot daughter and scientist Alice, rugged assistant Roy (the other guy from the cave), and Johnny and younger daughter Carla, they are the last vestiges of the human race. What happened? Well, I'll tell you.

The planet Ro-Man, populated by Ro-Mans (or Ro-Men, the film flips back and forth on this) send their top agent, Ro-Man, to wipe out humanity. Ro-Man has many tools at his disposal, including a death ray to kill everybody, a view screen to communicate with the Ro-Man leader Great Guidance and intercept Earth transmissions, and a bubble machine, the presence of which is never adequately explained. This is Ro-Man, by the way.

Behold, the Destroyer of Worlds?!?

Yeah. Terrifying. Anyway, why hasn't he managed to kill off the last six people on Earth? Well, apparently, the Professor came up with a universal antibiotic vaccination that coincidentally also immunizes against death rays (so, don't listen to Jenny McCarthy or Michelle Bachmann, parents, not if you want your children to survive the inevitable alien apocalypse).  Great Guidance informs Ro-Man that he can, you know, just beat them to death, as their bunker isn't far from the cave that doubles as Ro-Man HQ.

The family tries to negotiate with Ro-Man, but to no avail. Ro-Man still wants to kill MOST of the family. I say most, because Ro-Man develops feelings for comely Alice; you could say he's looking for Ro-Mance (ba-dum-tsh). Ro-Man kills Roy and young Carla and kidnaps Alice. He tries to rape Alice, but the remaining family comes to the rescue, and then Great Guidance says "screw it" and just blows the whole planet up. Dinosaurs show up, for some reason, and the human race dies. Or do they?!?

Johnny wakes up! It was all a dream. His father, the Professor, is actually the archaeologist he just met, and Johnny would like to fix him up with his single mother. And you thought this film had terrible writing. Well, it does, just not in the way you initially expected. The group retires to have more of their picnic lunch, when suddenly, a host of Ro-Mans emerge from the cave. Is it an actual invasion? More Freudian imaginings from the mind of SEVERELY DISTURBED Johnny? I don't care, the film's over.

I watched this the other day, and later, at work, I suffered a mild fever and muscle aches and fatigue. I blame the movie. The actual riffing of the film is very good (though not quite as polished as it would become in later seasons) and their are at least two really fun sketches, including one where Joel hits Tom Servo with a chair. Overall, Robot Monster is good just because it's SO ludicrous. Enjoy it with your hu-man sense of hu-mor.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Turn Down Your Lights (Where Applicable)

I've made a few references to it in previous blog posts, but never really went into great detail about one of my favorite shows of all time- Mystery Science Theater 3000. For those not familiar with it, here's the basic premise (and if you want more info, google it)- a guy, stranded in space, is forced to watch bad movies and makes humorous jokes with the aid of two robot sidekicks. That's the gist of it, and over ten years, two networks (Comedy Central and Sci-Fi Channel), and numerous cast changes, it pretty much stayed the same.

 I first found MST3K in 1990 or so (I believe The Amazing Colossal Man was my first episode) and I was hooked. It warped my fragile little middle school mind. Many people say, "Oh, this or that had such an influence on me" but in my case it's true. I'll often make bizarre, absurd comments at things I see that I think are funny, even if everyone else thinks they're obscure or off-putting (which is most of the time).

This funny just had such a quirky, sarcastic, endearing sense of humor. Whether it be during the theater segments where the riffed on the movie or the host segments where they put on skits often (but not always) inspired by the film, this show would make you laugh.

So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, back in it's Comedy Central days, MST3K would engage in a Thanksgiving Day marathon. Since it's November and Thanksgiving is coming up, I decided to continue this honorable tradition and watch a selection of episodes throughout the month and list my thoughts on both the film itself and the actual episode built around it. As an added bonus, I will list any unusual effects the film might have on me.

Now, some of you might be saying, "You're mad!"

"He's mad!"

Perhaps you're right. But, I like the hell out of the show, and it's my blog, so get ready for some turkeys. Up first will be Robot Monster. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The most horrific thing....

Well, I fell somewhat short of my 31 post challenge, but that's okay. I'm going to try something similar starting tomorrow for November. Anyway, to conclude Helloween, here's something truly horrifying, something that will scar your soul.... MORE JERRY LEWIS COVERS!!!

 "Hmm... Fiery death or Jerry Lewis... Which is less gruesome?"

 I don't think we've had a cover yet with that disgusting little troll of a child yet. That's Jerry's nephew, Renfrew. Initially, he's a little hellion who causes problems, but eventually his role on the cover is reduced to saying something obvious to a humorous setup, hereby known as the Jay Leno Method of "Comedy".

 Ha-ha-haa! Jerry got poked in the pooper! That's funny right? ... Kill me.

 Maybe it shows what a curmudgeonly old man I've become, but my first reaction on seeing this cover was, "Now THAT'S funny!" Seriously, look at all the business going on there. Dogs, a boothill, sharks, and Colonel Klink! Even the name "Camp Wack-a-boy" is worth a chuckle, thanks to modern connotations!

 I'm rooting for the Joker on this one.

 You know you're comic is bad when you're stealing ideas from Jimmy Olsen.

 I know that no one's accused the people of Metropolis of being brain surgeons, but this stretches my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point.

 Ha! Another villain mistakes Jerry for the hero! And it's STILL funny (not really). Also, check out Barry Allen- he looks as pissed as Captain America did during the Superpro team-up.

 I know, but that IS apparently Wonder Woman. The 60's and 70's were a period where bad things happened to the Amazon Princess, including teaming up with Jerry and being written by Denny O'Neill.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More Jimmy Olsen!

Since it's that time I've year, I figured I'd devote one of my Helloween posts to a youngster who's always in some kind of costume and causing assorted hijinx- Jimmy Olsen! And for those playing the Jimmy Olsen drinking game, get a bottle ready. Here we go!

 I'm generally opposed to war, but in this case I'll make an exception.

 Take three shots. Also, I love how nonchalant Jimmy is, no matter what's happening. Three doppelgangers show up to kill him, and he's all "Fantastic!"

 Superman, they only thing you're saving Jimmy from is getting laid. I didn't know that cock-blocking was a superpower. Also, take a shot.

 Yes, they did this story before. At least the last time, Superman and his son tried saving people instead of just goofing around.

 The question no one dared to ask, because it's kind of stupid. Also, I count cutting indestructible hair as a superpower, so take a shot.

 Jack Kirby was definitely a brilliant comic talent, but he also had some really, REALLY stupid ideas. Like here, where Superman and company meet Don Rickles and his "evil" twin.

 There's hyperbole, and then there's flat-out deceit. Unless this issue is the one with the first appearance of Darkseid (and I'm too lazy to check), I'm guessing this blurb is the latter.

 Is that the best YOU can come up with for a cover, Superman creative team?

All this time, The Question's secret identity was not Vic Sage, but Liberace!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Can you stand the excitement!

Here we go with some more Exciting Comics!

 Black Terror didn't actually realize a crime was taking place; he'd been watching Santa With Muscles and got so enraged that he punched the first guy he saw.

 Again with the "Keep Out" signs! That's like an engraved invitation to crime-fighters!

 It's good to know that there are exit signs at the U.S. Mint.

 I love how Terror's first reaction is to punch the guy instead of putting out the rapidly spreading fire.

 Before she married Fred, Wilma Flinstone did some work she's not proud of.

 "Even if I don't kill him, I'm sure to WING him!"
"Dangit, Fred, we've talked about this...."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finally, more excitement!

 I'm really starting to wonder if artists back then even knew what Asian people looked like.

 Um... Aren't ambulances non-combatant vehicles? Those are actually rules.

 I'd like to point out that the Black Terror can't fly, so catching the bomb isn't going to do a helluva lot.

 You're shooting them WHILE you're crushing them with a steam roller? Talk about adding injury to injury.

 ... Why would the Germans write "Anti-Tank Barrier" in English?

 Poison candy? So the Nazis are the ones who ruined Halloween for everybody!

 Look at how many arrows are in the target by Kid Terror over there. It's a good thing those Ren-Faire carnies are such lousy shots, because it looks like BT took his sweet time.

"Black Terror, thank God! Those hoodlums tricked us with promises of pictures of naked... I mean, hooch. They told us there was booze up here."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Scratch that Witch!

And now, our look at Sabrina the Teen-Age Witch concludes.

 Trust me, I've heard worse solutions to the "I need dates" problem....

 Why do witches even need a car? They have brooms!

 Oh please! Like you need a love charm to attract cats. A dead fish will have the same effect!

 Just like a woman to make a man do all the work, amiright fellas? (Ladies, all hate mail yadda yadda....)

 ... I initially misread Sabrina's shirt as "Boob Power".

 Why is she holding Ron Jeremy's pants?

 A truly inspiring cover about inclusiveness and difference. Which is why Archie Comics waited until 2010 to introduce a gay character.

Remember, in the Archie Universe, the only way to get thin people and overweight people to mingle is via the dark arts.