Friday, January 5, 2007

"Watch out for snakes"*

My favorite TV show is Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST 3K). It was on Comedy Central and then Sci-Fi through the 1990's. The premise: a humble janitor (Joel) is shot into space by his bosses (Larry and Clayton Forrestor), who happen to be evil scientists. Their wicked experiment is to force him to watch really bad movies while they monitor his reaction. To help him get through the movie he creates two robots (Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo). The majority of the show is watching Joel and the bots making fun of really bad movies (usually science fiction, but there are also a good dose of motorcycle-gang movies and teenagers-gone-bad movies). It was on for 10 seasons. During that time, Larry was replaced by Frank, Joel was replaced by Mike, Frank and Clayton were replaced by Pearl. Each robot also changed voices once during the tenure of the show.

Many people I know just don't get this show. But, I love it; no matter how sad or upset I am, it has never failed to make me laugh. Unfortunately, the show is no longer on the air, though several episodes are available on DVD. If you have not seen the show, I recommend viewing an episode twice before making a final judgement. They always get funnier the more you watch them. If you have seen this show (and if anyone is indeed reading this blog) - I would love to know what your favorite episodes are.

A few of my favorite episodes (that are available on DVD)

Space Mutiny
One of the best. The movie, an incredibly lame Star-Wars rip-off, features bad 80's "space" fashion, the lamest chase scene ever, and a really large basement. Oh and the plot is confusing, though after watching it about 6 times, I think I can finally follow the story.

Giant Spider Invasion
Features one of the most disgusting characters in a MST3K movie: Dan. And there is a weird subplot with Dan's back-brace, which never gets resolved. Oh, and there is at least one giant spider.

The Legend of Boggy Creek II - The Legend Continues
A professor at the University of Arkansas along with his "best" students search for a bigfoot-like monster in the swamps of Arkansas. Along the way they meet Crenshaw, the sweatiest man to ever grace the MST3K screen, and as a bonus, he is only wearing overalls, with one strap hanging loose.

* The title of the post comes from another MST3K episode, Eegah, in which at one point a disembodied voice, clearly not belonging to any of the characters, yells "Watch out for snakes". It is hilarious.

1 comment:

fillyjonk said...

I remember many wasted summer days in the early 90s watching this with my brother.

There was some kind of "teenagers gone bad" movie that had a farm setting (at least partially). One of the comments made when one of the actors was shown driving a combine was "I'm just goin' to the store." (or maybe it was "But I'm just goin' to the store.")

For years, that was an in-joke - anytime any of us were driving out somewhere in the country and we saw a combine (or any other large piece of agricultural equipment), we HAD to say that line.

Did you know there's a charted pattern out there for the MST3K guys: