Also, possibly, a Random Movie(s) Review
So. It’s fairly known by some people that I enjoy Mystery Science Theater 3000, but it’s not something I’ve ever talked about here. Thus, I’ve decided to do so!
The premise is that a guy works for an evil scientist, evil scientist hates him, tosses him into space, and tortures him by forcing him to watch bad movies. Guy makes robots from random things so that he’ll have friends; he and robot friends make fun of the terrible movies while they play.
When I was younger I just watched them whenever they came around television I happened to be watching, but with YouTube being a thing (and especially when YouTube started allowing movie-length uploads), I got into the show even more.
Because of the time I started watching, for a long time I only watched Mike’s videos (season 6-on/SciFi channel stuff), but more recently I’ve been going over Joel’s episodes (season 1-5) through YouTube. (Here is a handy YouTube playlist of most of the show.) The first couple of Joel episodes I watched, I found to be much less engaging than Mike’s. For example, there’s an almost reoccurring joke of the three main characters (Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo) just shouting “shut up”.
Until last week, I would just grab a video at random and watch it; however, starting this week, I decided to run through the entire Joel-seasons part of the series. Obviously, he’s important (he CREATED the robots, after all!), so it’s only right that I do so.
As of this posting, I am halfway through season 2 (208 – Lost Continent, which wooooah here’s some TERRIBLE example of white people acting as and insulting non-white people), and I’ve been very pleased with a lot of what I’ve seen so far (Lost Continent does not fit in that category). I believe out of what I’ve seen of Mike and Joel’s seasons, I’ve possibly discovered the WORST movies they’ve seen (202 – Sidehackers, ugh … 205 – Rocket Attack U.S.A., Mike’s 816 – Prince of Space is up there, too), one I just can’t get a hang of (202 – Jungle Goddess, it’s terribly insulting against native African culture, yet at the same time, willing to make fun of entitled white males… how to handle it?), some that the commentary make beyond loveable (424 – Manos: The Hands of Fate … I go around saying “Manos! THE HANDS OF FATE” every now and again…), and a few I genuinely enjoy, even without the commentary (112 – Untamed Youth and 201 – Rocket Ship X-M).
There are movies/television shows and actors that come around again. The completely understandable Bela Lugosi, who is fantastic in his awfulness.
A few episodes of the short-lived show Master, also known as Master Ninja 1 (which has Demi Moore) and 2, which are probably inspired by the Karate Kid movies? Maybe? Probably not.
You also have the completely understandable Japanese monster/robot/whatever movies, Godzilla and Gamera and the Green Slime and so many others.
Not that western cinema can’t throw down. Good GOOGLY the amount of terrible scifi out there. I thought Mike’s seasons were bad… nope. Space Mutiny is brilliant when compared with The Robot vs The Aztec Mummy. Poor Joel.
Each show is somewhere around an hour and a half long. Obviously, not all movies are that long, so some of the shorter films have shorts to begin the show. (Here is a playlist of the shorts!) Some of these are television show episodes, but the best ones are cultural shorts like A Date With Your Family, Body Care and Grooming, my possible favorite Why Study Industrial Arts. They are fantastic looks into the lifestyle and beliefs of middle-class America in a bygone time. Thanks to these, I’ve had more of a reason over the years to laugh at people who tell me how much better the world used to be. Nope, I wouldn’t trade today for then!
Up until this month, MST3K was one of two entertainment options I watched when I needed some calm relaxation time. (The second being Dragon Ball Z Abridged, which is over 6 hours long at this point and GREAT for a lazy Sunday.) I would pull YouTube up on my PS3 and just spend a day jumping around Mike’s episodes. I’m so glad that I finally took the chance to work my way through the ENTIRE series (eventually … like I said, I’m still only in season 2).
I still find that I prefer Mike. Perhaps I’m just influenced by the slightly better film quality, but I do think that I prefer Mike’s delivery and energy to Joel’s more dry style, which (don’t get me wrong) I like … it’s just harder to appreciate when you only have the silhouette of the back of his head!
I used to just like this show, enjoy it, but I’m now an actual fan.
All of this means I should probably invest in a RiffTrax or two.