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Living every pop-culture enthusiast's dream of talking back at the
industry's bottom-of-the-barrel refuse, at least those samples they could
get their fingers on, the marooned janitor Joel Robinson (Joel Hodgson)
his bots Tom Servo (first Josh Weinstein, then Kevin Murphy) and Crow T.
Robot (Trace Beaulieu, later Bill Corbett) have, at least in the minds of
their countless fans, been elevated to an almost Christ-like status of
brilliantly witty, film-savvy martyrs. Forced to watch atrociously bad
after atrociously bad movie, which they survive only through the use of
their own biting and above all highly educated and sophisticated wit, they
are identification figures for all of us suffering wannabe critics. From
lowbrow to the esoteric, no opportunity for a cutting remark is missed by
these lovable rascals, who practically invented this new way of reviewing
film. It's the dissatisfied moviegoer's commentary track, an option that
should, in my opinion, be included on the DVD releases of pretty much all
major blockbusters released today. After all, wouldn't we Mysties just
for an MST3K treatment of the Bay/Bruckheimer movies or Lucas' prequel
trilogy? I'd like to think so.
Now for the development of the series: The KTMA years were still pretty sketchy and mostly unscripted, but did nevertheless successfully create the foundation of the show, firmly establishing its format. Though many of its episodes were forgettable, there were some true standout moments. One of these was their treatment of Sandy Frank's `Fugitive Alien' series, which would be repeated and perfected in MST3K's third season. The official first season was still not quite up to the quality we're so used to now, but it provided the show with some of its most memorable host segments and catch phrases, namely Servo's romantic infatuation with the ship's water cooler and `Hi-Keeba!'
Season two to six represents the shows golden years, wonderfully covering many of the `Gamera' and `Godzilla' films, other Sandy Frank abominations like `Time of the Apes', many ambitious Bert I. Gordon and Roger Corman misfires, the Italian `Hercules' series and, of course, Hal Warren's classic `Manos: The Hands of Fate', still the most infamous of all MST3K movies (the wonderful Torgo became a memorable recurring character throughout the show).
In the middle of the fifth season Joel Hodgson left the show and was replaced by the equally great Mike Nelson, who served as head writer all through the series. With the change of the host also came a change of the shows tone. Joel was an exceedingly amiable, pleasant fellow - a great balance to the scathingly sardonic Crow and pompous, overeducated Servo. Mike was still likable, but generally favored a much darker brand of humor. Thus, by the end of the 8th season, the show had become far less jovial in their treatment of the films, some comments being downright spiteful (for instance, the Canada song in `The Final Sacrifice').
As for the villainous mad scientists, Dr. Forrester (again, Trace Beaulieu) and his assistant TV's Frank (Frank Coniff) were later replaced by Dr. Forrester's mother (the positively Dawn Frenchian Mary Jo Pehl) and her assistants, Professor Bobo (again, Kevin Murphy) and Observer (again, Bill Corbett). Needless to say, it was not really a worthy replacement, and the quality of the host segments decreased considerably. Nevertheless, MST3K still produced some incredibly funny episodes, on par with (if not superior to) the best of their early work. `Puma Man', `Space Mutiny', `Overdrawn at the Memory Bank' and `Prince of Space' are unarguable classic episodes I would not want to live without.
All in all, an absolutely amazing show of quite consistent quality.
Simple concept, brilliantly executed. Three little shadows aiming poisonous barbs at unintentionally hilarious films, most of them 1950s-era sci-fi and horror turkeys. "I Accuse My Parents," "The Giant Gila Monster," "The Girl In Lovers' Lane," "Teenage Strangler," the list of my personal favorites could go on and on. The shows with Joel Hodgson were especially well-done, and one hopes that we will hear again from this very funny fellow. For unclear reasons, only the recent shows from the sci-fi channel run (the shows from the comedy channel run were far superior) are being re-run. One wishes that one of the myriad of cable and/or satellite channels would re-run the classic shows we know and love. Also, a nice set of DVD releases (unlike the cheap, single show DVDs which have been produced) would be welcomed.
I feel that I am at a loss of words to describe how much I truly adore this show. It is pure genius and pure delight. I remember my first ever encounter with MST3K: It was five years ago and the featured movie of the episode was Hobgoblins. I had heard about the show but had never really had an interest in seeing it. I came across it channel surfing and decided to watch it for awhile. At that moment, I was forever hooked. Since then, I have seen every Sci-Fi era episode and roughly half of the show's Comedy Central days. I have been exposed to some of the worst movies in history, and I have loved every minute of it. When I found out that the show was ending its run of original episodes in 1999, I was devastated. Fortunately, Sci-Fi has kept re-runs of MST3K going every Saturday. My only complaint is that its not on enough. Rhino has made the wise decision to release select episodes of MST3K from the Comedy Central era on video and DVD, making the show readily available to a new generation of fans. Hopefully, someday every episode of the show's prestigious run will be released for human consumption, or at least it will go into wide syndication like many beloved TV classics. Until then, tune into the Sci-Fi channel every Saturday morning and witness a true work of genius in progress.
This show was made back in the late 80's and ended I think in the late 90's. Considered to be a, if not, one of the greatest cult classics of all time. It's mostly about a guy called Joel Robinson getting sent into space for some reason aboard the satellite of love. He then makes some robot friends Crow, Tom Servo, Cambot, and Gypsy for company and to help him get though really bad movies. Something about Dr. Forester and TV's Frank trying to take over the world with really bad movies and Joel and the bots are the test subjects in it. They've cover a lot of bad movies like the Gamera Trilogy, as well as "Manos, Hands of Fate" which is considered the wost movie ever made. Some of the jokes are a bit dated but you can understand the subtext to them pretty quickly. Later in the series Joel left and this guy Mike Nelson took his place. Joel did make a cameo but Joel was thought of as better than Mike. Since Mike at times tries too hard with the jokes. All in all it was a good movie and most of the cast members now do something called the Cinematic Titanic which I haven't looked up yet but will. Sometimes I wonder if they can still do another MST3K one day even though bad movies now have nudity, bad language, and graphic violence in them now. Reviewers now I think get a lot of inspiration from the MST3K episodes and really liked it. Anyway look at some of the MST3K work when you can, it's a surefire classic.
Despite all of the good films we've seen in our life time every once in
a while there comes that really bad apple that we unintentionally
picked and bit into. It's happened to all of us and it's the last thing
we want to happen because we came into the film with our expectations
at a certain level only to have them dashed like rocks. It's like that
feeling of thinking you found gold only to find out it's fools gold and
your going to get nothing. The part about this that hurts the most is
just the money you spent to see it, just thinking about that still
hurts me. But this show provided the self defense method against this.
This is one of my favorite TV shows of all time, it was practically a phenomenon that not just made everyone laugh their heads off but also taught them all participation that it actually formed some groups to do this, or whenever a bad film was unintentionally brought I and my friends would make some sarcastic commentary.
It is such a simple yet brilliant concept on simply just guys watching a film and making a lot of sarcastic and comical comments. That's pretty much it and that's all we really needed because what their doing is something that we all probably did at some point whenever we've see a bad TV episode or movie, passing on a bit of commentary just to pass the time of the awful film or just simply to keep our own sanity.
I even like the whole plot of the show which is ridiculous and nonsensical in itself which is the charm of this show. Why the hell the bad guys would benefit from sending random people out to space and drive them insane with bad films is anyone's guess, may'be out of boredom.
Anyway, I love the theme song it's one of my favorite theme songs of all time. It's just one you can't help but both laugh and dance to at the same time. And of course I really like all of the characters from the good guys to the bad guys both are just really hilarious and all have distinctive persona's and have great lines. I really love the supporting characters in both factions like for the villains there's Bobo whom is practically one of the residents from the film "Planet of the Apes" and some alien monk that has no brain except when he carries it and employs psychic powers that half the time work.
And of course the highlight is seeing the movies itself and the insult fest. Most of these movies (well may'be not all some are guilty pleasure or really weren't that bad, but to each his own)are the kind of film that might have caught the corner of your eye at your local video store but didn't rent (probably for good reason). Or just never good released on VHS, DVD, and Blu Ray (thank god) and have been rotting away in the bowels of movie hell.
Just seeing some of these films alone I can't help but think what in the hell was the director and writers thinking, either they were people that thought they could write and directs but couldn't do either, came into it with the best intentions though as a saying goes the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, or might have been on something.
Seeing each of the MST3K crew employ their verbal humor is just delicious and really makes watching the film actually enjoyable let alone bearable. In a way it's a bit of the principle of so bad it's good and it's true.
There are several favorites I have but I'll just say a few of them.
Puma Man: This one's my favorite, there is just not one dull moment. The film is pretty much a bad Superman rip off. Crow: "Puma Man you fly like a moron." indeed he does Crow.
Warrior of the Wasteland: My second favorite which is this Mad Max wannabe. My favorite part was the segment where the MST3K felt really sad for the destruction of the Death Machine.
Jack Frost: My third favorite since this is based on a Russian Fairy Tale though the film hardly has anything to almost nothing to do with it. The story is interesting though in a bad but good nonsensical way, I'll just say this this film is no "Frozen".
Santa Claws: Forth, this is a very bizarre and almost disturbing version of Santa. Where Santa is an alien and he is going against an emissary of the Devil, I'm not kidding.
Space Mutany: Fifth, this is pretty much a lame space opera down to probably the worst vehicular chase (and slowest) I've ever seen. With vehicles that look like golf carts or floor buffers. There is just so many great lines in this episode my favorite was when the MST3K crew came up with up to 40 ridiculous names for the protagonist whom is as dull as a brick along with his acting.
Well, I don't have any more to say, for the films watch at your own risk. But for the MST3K crew it is the greatest movie watching experience you'll every have, who'd of thought mockery can become an art form or in this case a way of life.
Rating: 4 stars
This stuff cracks me up every time I watch it. I've been watching for about
5 years now and I still choke on Oreos when I'm watching.
Lots of comments flipped out there that are vague or obtuse and you just laugh at the sarcastic wit that comes at you a mile a minute.
I still have a fondness for the "Joel" shows but Mike has a take no these movies that's just as funny. And the robots, in the SOL theater or deck are great too. I REALLY miss Dr. Forester!!
Not much else for me to say about this series except that it is my
favorite show. Anyone who has stayed up way past midnight watching and
heckling bad (REALLY bad) movies with friends will appreciate the humor of
Admittedly, MST3K isn't for everyone (alas, one man's idea of genius is another man's utter crap), but if you give it a try (and have a warped sense of humor) you just might like it.
I see I'm not alone in my belief that this was one of the most innovative and hilarious shows on television. I'm interested in buying the first season or few, if you have any information on where I can find this please e-mail me.
I love MST3K. True, once in a while you'll get a bad episode (hey, you try making fun of bad old movies) but for the most part they're hilarious. It's an acquired humor for sure but I think it's one of the best things on TV. If there's one bad thing about the show, it's the often uninspired host segments. No offense guys but keep to the movies!
There is nothing I can possibly say about this show that hasn't already been
said. It is, quite simply, a masterpiece of television shows. Amazing how
something made a bunch of general unknowns manages to be funnier than nearly
all those big name sitcoms on TV; thus, it's kinda like those little known
indie flicks that pop up out of nowhere & manage to be better than most of
today's more popular films (1 such indie flick is "Cube," which was just
Words simply cannot even begin to describe the incalculable brilliance of this beautiful show. The writing is just so unbelievably funny. In fact, the only shows that even come close to this are "The Drew Carey Show," "South Park," "The Simpsons," (of course) & "Celebrity DeathMatch."
If you want to know the plot of the whole series, then go to mst3kinfo.com & look up The Almost But Not Quite Complete History of MST3K. It's quite long, but it's definitely worth it. I haven't seen every episode, but all the ones I have seen are superb. I don't have a favorite yet, but I will some day.
However, it's incomprehensibly sad that this never got better exposure & hype; if that happened it could've been a cultural icon as big as "The Simpsons." Sadly, it will forever be known to the general public as "that show with the guy & the robots making fun of the bad movies." But to fans, it will live on forever as an enduring classic. In my opinion, this & "Celebrity DeathMatch" are the Greatest Television Shows of All Time. Until I post again, I live you with the the words that closed out this beautiful work of television art:
"Is that Stud coming?"
ROCK ON, "MST3K!"
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