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MST3K: The Shorts
October 24, 2007 12:38 PM   Subscribe

During its run, Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffed on over 50 short films. Almost all of them are now on YouTube or Google Video. See the list (shamelessly cribbed from here) inside for links.

Alphabetical list with episode information shamelessly cribbed from here, then chopped and channeled. (It was actually missing a couple.)

A
Alphabet Antics: 308, Gamera vs. Gaos
Appreciating Our Parents: 320, The Unearthly
Aquatic Wizards: 315, Teenage Caveman
Are You Ready for Marriage? (in sequence here and here): 616, Racket Girls
Assignment Venezuela: Never aired

B
Body Care & Grooming: 510, The Painted Hills

C
Case of Spring Fever, A: 1012, Squirm
Catching Trouble: 315, Teenage Caveman
Century 21 Calling: 906, The Space Children
Cheating: 515, The Wild Wild World of Batwoman
Chicken of Tomorrow, The: 702, The Brute Man
Circus on Ice: 421, Monster a Go-Go
Commando Cody (Part 1): 102, The Robot vs the Aztec Mummy (link goes to episode)
Commando Cody (Part 2): 103, The Mad Monster (link goes to episode)
Commando Cody (Part 3): 105, The Corpse Vanishes (not online, unMST'd version here)
Commando Cody (Parts 4 and 5 in sequence here, here and here): 107, Robot Monster
Commando Cody (Part 6): 108, Slime People (not online, unMST'd version here)
Commando Cody (Parts 7 and 8): 109, Project Moonbase (not online, unMST'd versions here and here)
Commando Cody (Part 9): 110, Robot Holocaust (link goes to episode)

D
Date with Your Family, A: 602, Invasion U.S.A. (1952)
Day at the Fair, A: 608, Codename: Diamondhead
Days of Our Years, The: 623, The Amazing Transparent Man
Design for Dreaming: 524, 12 to the Moon

G
General Hospital (Parts 1, 2 and 3 in sequence here and here): 413, Manhunt in Space; 415, The Beatniks; and 417, Crash of the Moons

H
Here Comes the Circus: 422, The Day the Earth Froze
Hired! (Parts 1 and 2): 423, Bride of the Monster and 424 Manos the Hands of Fate
Home Economics Story, The: 317, Viking Women and the Sea Serpent (not online, unMST'd version here)

J
Johnny at the Fair: 419, The Rebel Set
Junior Rodeo Daredevils: 407, The Killer Shrews
Juvenile Delinquency?, What About: 518, The Atomic Brain

K
Keeping Clean and Neat: 613, The Sinister Urge

L
Last Clear Chance: 520, Radar Secret Service

M
Mr. B Natural: 319, War of the Colossal Beast
Money Talks: 621, The Beast of Yucca Flats

O
Once Upon a Honeymoon: 701, Night of the Blood Beast
Out of This World: 618, High School Big Shot

P
Phantom Creeps, The (Part 1 in sequence here, here and here): 203, Jungle Goddess
Phantom Creeps, The (Part 2 in sequence here, here and here): 205, Rocket Attack U.S.A.
Phantom Creeps, The (Part 3): 206, Ring of Terror (not online)
Posture Pals: 320, The Unearthly
Progress Island U.S.A. (Part 1, Part 2): 621, The Beast of Yucca Flats

R
Robot Rumpus: 912, The Screaming Skull

S
Selling Wizard (in sequenc here and here): 603, The Dead Talk Back
Snow Thrills: 311, It Conquered the World
Speech: Platform Balance & Posture: 619, Red Zone Cuba
Speech: Using Your Voice: 313, Earth vs the Spider

U
Uncle Jim's Farm: 607, Bloodlust!
Undersea Kingdom, Chapter 1: 406, Attack of the Giant Leeches (link goes to episode)
Undersea Kingdom, Chapter 2: 409, The Indestructible Man (not online, unMST'd version here)

W
Why Study Industrial Arts?: 609, The Skydivers

X
X Marks the Spot: 210, King Dinosaur

Y
Young Man's Fancy: 610, The Violent Years
posted by cog_nate (148 comments total) 322 users marked this as a favorite

 
It is at this time that I would like to say:

I KISS YOU
posted by cavalier at 12:42 PM on October 24, 2007


I fucking love "A Case of Spring Fever"

NO SPRINGS!
posted by eyeballkid at 12:43 PM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yeah, you're not gonna get any favorites for this or anything.
posted by item at 12:44 PM on October 24, 2007


This show always seemed like a cop-out to me. I mean, that's why you watch bad movies with friends, right? To make teh funnies.

This would be like paying extra on a pay-per-view so you could hear some guy's voice say, "get some eyes ref!" or stuff like that. It's like renting people to watch a show with.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:44 PM on October 24, 2007


No, it's like watching the world series versus going to play ball yourself.

I like paying ball, but geez, it's great when you watch talented professionals do it.
posted by GuyZero at 12:49 PM on October 24, 2007


er, playing ball.

I have never paid a ball. Honest, officer.
posted by GuyZero at 12:50 PM on October 24, 2007


I love MST3K - thanks so much for this!
posted by TochterAusElysium at 12:51 PM on October 24, 2007


Bah. My friends & I were funnier than these guys. And we couldn't ask for another take.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:52 PM on October 24, 2007


OMG that spring short was funny.
great, now i have to watch all of these.
posted by jcruelty at 12:55 PM on October 24, 2007


I own your ass fat boy.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:57 PM on October 24, 2007


"A Date With Your Family" was the first MST3k bit I ever saw; now I just hope I don't start telling my roommates to move their flowers to our sideboard or how to seat each other.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 1:04 PM on October 24, 2007


Watch out for snakes!
posted by drezdn at 1:05 PM on October 24, 2007


Mister B Natural was inspired band propaganda.
posted by drezdn at 1:06 PM on October 24, 2007


I find your list lacking.

Zap Rowsdower.

If not for the genesis of my name, then at least for the genius that is the Canada Song.
posted by zap rowsdower at 1:08 PM on October 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, I've always loved the fact that, in the background of the Troops video, the robot in question was Tom Servo.
posted by quin at 1:09 PM on October 24, 2007


This is clearly one of the best MeFi posts ever. Thank you.
posted by COD at 1:12 PM on October 24, 2007


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:13 PM on October 24, 2007


I.....I....I think I love you.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:14 PM on October 24, 2007


This is fucking great! Thank you!

...countdown to morality police emailing copyright holders in 3, 2...
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:14 PM on October 24, 2007


whoops... the shorts. i apologize for the lacking comment.
posted by zap rowsdower at 1:14 PM on October 24, 2007


stinkycheese, I can see your point. I still haven't watched the Robot Monster episode -- and probably never will -- specifically because I have such great memories of watching and riffing on the movie with a good friend. That being said, the jokes I made probably weren't a tenth as funny as what's in the episode. Also, I watch some of the episodes and was... hell, still am in awe at how not only could the Best Brains folks sit through each movie several times, but still had the mental wherewithal to make jokes about it. Finally, I think I read somewhere that they averaged something like six jokes a minute, for a ~90 minute (runtime) show, for ~13 episodes per season, for 11 seasons. It just blows my mind.

/MSTie beardo
posted by cog_nate at 1:21 PM on October 24, 2007


Posting MST3K shorts? Oh, you better believe that’s a favoritin’
posted by Smedleyman at 1:28 PM on October 24, 2007


3000 thank yous, cog_nate.

On a related note, the funniest book I have ever read.
posted by Kibbutz at 1:28 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I apply the lessons I learned in "Speech: Using Your Voice" to my commenting here on Metafilter: you must be heard, you must be understood, and you must be pleasing. And you must have a wire rack.

Cog_nate, you rock!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:38 PM on October 24, 2007


oh my god hell yes
posted by the dief at 1:39 PM on October 24, 2007


Bah. My friends & I were funnier than these guys.

And everyone tells me I'm so pretty.
posted by splice at 1:40 PM on October 24, 2007 [5 favorites]


FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

posted by phrontist at 1:41 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've watched MST3K FWIW and just felt sad doing so. It seemed so wrong, so deeply incorrect to have these jokes and silhouettes overtop these great (and yes, I know, they're not great in the 'usual' sense) old movies.

And, like I said, I didn't even find the jokes funny. Sometimes these sorts of things are more enjoyable (IMHO) without six jokes a minute, you know? Sometimes the movie would be 10X funnier if the commentary track just shut up for a second.

To be honest, I was totally appalled by the premise and still am. Do people sit around and silently watch these? Do they shush each other and rewind if someone talks over a joke? I imagine people were aghast at laugh tracks the first time they heard them, but MST3K is way, way worse than that.

To me, it's actually sucking the fun out of the movie. I've been with people and one of these movies comes on, and they just start reeling off memorized jokes and lines. It's like Monty Python, only worse.

Do you guys like those shows on MTV where they hire hack comedians to make fun of things from five years ago too? To me, it's the same phenomenon. It's people in your TV performing the functions that really ought to be performed by actual live people in the room with you.

And the fact that what it's replacing is basically (and I say this with myself in mind, and no disrespect meant) losers sitting around watching crappy movies, making jokes, makes it so much worse. You can't even find another person to watch B-movies with? Jesus.

Bah, I'm sorry I can't join the love-in. Maybe if I worked at a research base in Antarctica I'd surrender and watch MST3K, but not before.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:43 PM on October 24, 2007


stinkycheese writes "And the fact that what it's replacing is basically (and I say this with myself in mind, and no disrespect meant) losers sitting around watching crappy movies, making jokes, makes it so much worse. You can't even find another person to watch B-movies with? Jesus. "

A good friend and I who used to do just that loved MST3K, because it was exactly what we were doing, but they came up with some great lines. It's like realizing that someone out there loves the same, strange shit you do and also finds it funny. So, I guess we were losers, but we had a great time finding others out there like us. And I really miss the show, though it was probably best it didn't go on for too long. There's a limit to how many times you can watch each MST3K episode, and we still liked doing it the traditional way and making up our own jokes.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:48 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


stinkycheese, not all of us are endowed with the amazing improvisational comedy skills that giants of the field like you and Michael Scott are. Some of us, meanwhile, derive enjoyment from seeing comedy performed.

Seriously, it's like "READING BOOKS? YOU OUGHTA JUST WRITE YOUR OWN BOOKS WHICH IS BETTER 'CAUSE IT'S YOU DOING IT" and that's just really, really sad and lame. It's one thing to be critical of those that vanish up the ass of whatever's entertaining them. It's entirely another to be against people enjoying being entertained by the work of others.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:48 PM on October 24, 2007 [12 favorites]


stinkycheese writes "Do you guys like those shows on MTV where they hire hack comedians to make fun of things from five years ago too? To me, it's the same phenomenon."

Oh, btw, no, and no it's not.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:49 PM on October 24, 2007


Why aren't the original shows being shown on cable tv somewhere? They can't be that expensive can they?

Rosdower? (one of my faves)

There is a scene in Manos hands of Fate where they do a clumsy close up of Torgo and the guys riff - " I have my answer... I have my answer" which is a quote by Michael Caine from Woody Allen's Hannah and her Sisters. I bet maybe 20 Woody Allen fans got the reference. One of the funniest things I have ever seen.

God I miss this show. great post.
posted by vronsky at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


stinkycheese: um. There is no way a Joe Don Baker movie can be called 'great', let alone any of the other flaming turds they did. I hope you're trolling.
posted by cellphone at 1:51 PM on October 24, 2007


You guys are all wrong to like this, and you should yield to stinkycheese's superior logic and so on, and flagellate yourself and your friends for liking this!

*goes to the ballet with stinkycheese*

*not that there's anything wrong with the ballet*

*it's just a convenient symbol for the putting on of cultural airs*

*not that we don't all do that from time to time*

*but 3 comments to say you don't like it?*

*but maybe it's a slow day at work for Mr. Cheese*
posted by Mister_A at 1:53 PM on October 24, 2007


cog_nate, you replace um, whoever that last poster was that I raised up as my god.
posted by nax at 1:55 PM on October 24, 2007


Why aren't the original shows being shown on cable tv somewhere? They can't be that expensive can they?

Once they got on comedy central, they stopped using public-domain films and started using films that were still in copyright- and usually fairly cheap at the time. I believe that the reason why more episodes aren't out on DVD and they aren't getting rerun airtime is a combination of their length (how many stations are willing to give a canceled niche show from a decade ago two consecutive hours?/do you have any idea how many DVDs you need for a season of a show that runs 2 hours?) and the expense of re-acquiring all those copyright fees.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:56 PM on October 24, 2007


vronsky writes "Why aren't the original shows being shown on cable tv somewhere? They can't be that expensive can they? "

I'm not sure ... I really, really wish they'd show some reruns. However, Rhino did release them on DVD. According to Amazon, they aren't cheap ...
posted by krinklyfig at 2:00 PM on October 24, 2007


Well, here's another day lost to scrolling up cinemas.
posted by oats at 2:01 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nice work! Great post!
posted by KokuRyu at 2:02 PM on October 24, 2007


Awesome. The shorts were often the best part of the show.
posted by notmydesk at 2:03 PM on October 24, 2007


Stinkycheese tried to kill this post with a forklift!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:04 PM on October 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


it's like "READING BOOKS? YOU OUGHTA JUST WRITE YOUR OWN BOOKS WHICH IS BETTER 'CAUSE IT'S YOU DOING IT"?

No, it's more like, "READING BOOKS WHILE SOMEONE READS OVER YOU SHOULDER MAKING WISECRACKS ABOUT EVERY OTHER SENTENCE".

I came of age, movie-wise, with MST3K and am not any worse off for it. I always though they missed with about 4/5ths of their gags, but when they hit they hit gold. Kind of the 'Family Guy' approach. What I did appreciate was the show opening my eyes to a lot of interesting and entertaining weird movies, with or without the shtick, and at a time and place in my life when it wasn't always possible to go out and rent the unmolested versions.

I understand why some people ('purists', as they'd like their professors to think of them as) were annoyed by the show. A lot of those movies were better left alone. MST3K's gags, though, made it possible to sit through an otherwise gruelingly dull film to get to the part that contained 15 minutes of pure unadulterated insanity. At least until I discovered good drugs, that is.

I haven't seen even part of an episode in years and don't plan to any time soon.
posted by item at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2007


Once they got on comedy central, they stopped using public-domain films and started using films that were still in copyright- and usually fairly cheap at the time. I believe that the reason why more episodes aren't out on DVD and they aren't getting rerun airtime is a combination of their length (how many stations are willing to give a canceled niche show from a decade ago two consecutive hours?/do you have any idea how many DVDs you need for a season of a show that runs 2 hours?) and the expense of re-acquiring all those copyright fees.

An example of this was/is "Catalina Caper." If I'm remembering correctly, this took forever to come out on DVD because of the copyrights, etc., I still have the VHS of it. *cry*
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:08 PM on October 24, 2007


Vronsky, Krinklyfig: it all comes down to rights issues. Stations can't re-air them and Rhino can't release them on DVD unless they get permission from the rightsholders of the movies, which they had originally but have since expired. The crazy-expensive DVD sets on Amazon are ones that had to go out of print because the rights were for a limited time. The in-print ones are quite reasonable.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:09 PM on October 24, 2007


On lack of preview, there you go. KevinSkomsvold, I have them all (roughly) on off-air VHS, so I'm an extra helping of sad.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:10 PM on October 24, 2007


Look at my crotch, look at my crotch, look, look, look at my crotch! Loooooooook at my crotch!
posted by Lucinda at 2:12 PM on October 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


No, it's more like, "READING BOOKS WHILE SOMEONE READS OVER YOU SHOULDER MAKING WISECRACKS ABOUT EVERY OTHER SENTENCE".

Not really, no. His talking about him and his friends making fun of movies indicates that his issue isn't with the talking over movies but with who's doing it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:12 PM on October 24, 2007


On lack of preview, there you go. KevinSkomsvold, I have them all (roughly) on off-air VHS, so I'm an extra helping of sad.

Ha! You and me both. My KTMA tapes are almost dead but everything else is holding up well. My daughter loves them.

Lucinda, I've been trying to remember what short that was from. Which one is it?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:18 PM on October 24, 2007


Ah, college memories!

I was a huge fan back in the Comedy Central days (luckily I managed to tape about 30-or-so episodes before it got cancelled). When it moved to the Sci-Fi Channel, I gave it a go for a couple seasons, but I soon lost interest.

Though the writing was sharper in the Mike years, I prefer the Joel episodes. I think the mother/child dynamic between Joel and the bots was funnier and more engaging than Mike's role as a kind of mischievous older brother to the bots. I also prefer the goony, ramshackle aspect of the show in its formative years to the slick sets and more polished special effects of the later episodes, when the budget was much bigger. In my opinion, when it became a "professional show" it lost a good deal of the charm that made it special.

Until they square away the rights to all of those older episodes, this is the only way to see them, so this is a very cool post.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:19 PM on October 24, 2007


It's fun to have an idea.
posted by Snyder at 2:22 PM on October 24, 2007


item writes "No, it's more like, 'READING BOOKS WHILE SOMEONE READS OVER YOU SHOULDER MAKING WISECRACKS ABOUT EVERY OTHER SENTENCE'. "

Make that, reading really bad books, so bad they're funny and impossible to take at face value.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:27 PM on October 24, 2007


Good post, and feel free to go to google video and search for mst3k with a duration greater than 20 minutes for full eps.

Google video is actively removing the ones that violate copyright, so don't feel too bad.

A lot of the source stuff they worked with was public domain, and the creators of MST3K don't mind their work being shared. (But please go buy some riff trax.)

This thread is the first time in my life I have ever seen anyone hate on MST3K. There is nothing good about the vast majority of movies they did, they are simply terrible and unwatchable. It's a unique talent to take something like that and make it real entertainment.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:29 PM on October 24, 2007


This thread has 62 favourites as I write. So I'm sure cog_nate can handle my three (oops, four) comments in this thread, thanks. Believe me, I erased more poison than I posted.

I tried to think of something nice to say about the show while I walked home, and let me say this: the theme song, as played by Man or Astro Man, is pretty swinging.

Also, Pope Guilty, let's not fall out over this. I love you in the political threads, man.

That said, I'm not telling people to write their books. I'm not even telling people to write their own jokes. I'm just saying it's really not for me, and here's why.
posted by stinkycheese at 2:30 PM on October 24, 2007


KevinSkomsvold > I'm 99.9% sure it's from "The Home Economics Story".
posted by Lucinda at 2:32 PM on October 24, 2007


People and Robots Who've Had to Watch Hobgoblins Crisis Hotline! Hello?

Paint my muscle car prune color, please.
posted by Venadium at 2:47 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I started watching the Mike years. I've grabbed DVDs from the Joel years and find them to be just as funny. I don't have a side in the whole Mike v. Joel thing. I think both eras produced some classics. (But then the MST3K movie is one of my favorite "episodes"-- which makes me some kind of anomaly as far as MST3K fandom goes from what I understand)

I just wish the list price for the 14 DVDs that Rhino has released thus far wasn't $60. I would buy every one if it was more reasonable. ($40? maybe?)

I'm just saying it's really not for me, and here's why.

Yeah. Most people got that the first time. And the second time. And the third time. And now the fourth time. I'm pretty sure they, like me, don't care. This isn't the only post on MetaFilter you're allowed to comment on, btw.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:47 PM on October 24, 2007


Cog_Nate, if I believed in a god, you would be it.
posted by perilous at 2:47 PM on October 24, 2007


Last year I cataloged the first four MST3K seasons on MetaFilter, but I don't think anybody here noticed. That was a year ago so I don't know how many Youtube links have expired.

And about a month after that I found this webpage which linked all the seasons on Youtube, but it may be outdated now too.
posted by dgaicun at 2:52 PM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Most people got that...blah blah snort weeze...'m pretty sure they, like me, don't care. This isn't the only post on MetaFilter you're allowed to comment on, btw.

Oh please. If you don't care, then kindly STFU. Otherwise, you're just yelling down the opposition.
posted by stinkycheese at 2:56 PM on October 24, 2007


It's like this thread was made for me and Zap Rowsdower.

My favorite shorts are Posture Pals, Mr. B Natural, Snow Thrills, and Why Study Industrial Arts. But really, all of them are winners.

From Snow Thrills: "she-whoring". Still makes me laugh.
posted by TheClonusHorror at 2:59 PM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Until they square away the rights to all of those older episodes, this is the only way to see them

This is only true because usenet died and took alt.binaries.multimedia.mst3k with it. Also, the people running the MST3K DAP were all killed in a tragic gardening accident.

Poor, poor Weighted Companion Cube.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:01 PM on October 24, 2007


Ok I see a lot of those links are broken. DreadPirate46's last MST3K Youtube link collection was in April 2007. So here's season 1-6 and here's season 7-10 from April Youtube. Some, but not all, epidsodes are broken.
posted by dgaicun at 3:03 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Do people sit around and silently watch these?"

No, they get drunk, sit around and laugh their asses off at them. At least that's what some of us used to do, back in the day.

"Sister, that dress is headed for trouble and it's taking you with it!"
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:07 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love the internet. And cog_nate. Thanks much!
posted by zardoz at 3:07 PM on October 24, 2007


Dammit, it looks like almost all are broken. When I search on Youtube I can still find at least some episodes though. Someone else needs to collect them. I'll do a little more searching and see if I can find anywhere that catalogs them.
posted by dgaicun at 3:14 PM on October 24, 2007


SEASON ONE: 1989-1990

101- THE CRAWLING EYE
102- THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY
103- MAD MONSTER (1/9)
104- WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET
105- THE CORPSE VANISHES
106- THE CRAWLING HAND
107- ROBOT MONSTER (1/9)
108- THE SLIME PEOPLE
109- PROJECT MOONBASE
110- ROBOT HOLOCAUST
111- MOON ZERO TWO (1/10)
112- UNTAMED YOUTH
113- THE BLACK SCORPION (1/10)
posted by dgaicun at 3:26 PM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I have, or at one point had, several dozen episodes of season one and season two I recorded during successive turkey day marathons. One was confirmed lost when a friend recorded over it.
posted by absalom at 3:31 PM on October 24, 2007


SEASON TWO: 1990-1991

201- ROCKETSHIP X-M
202- THE SIDEHACKERS (1/10)
203- JUNGLE GODDESS (1/10)
204- CATALINA CAPER (1/10)
205- ROCKET ATTACK USA (1/10)
206- THE RING OF TERROR
207- WILD REBELS (1/10)
208- LOST CONTINENT (1/10)
209- THE HELLCATS
210- KING DINOSAUR (1/10)
211- FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS
212- GODZILLA VS. MEGALON
213- GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER
posted by dgaicun at 3:35 PM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


KEEP CIRCULATING THE TAPES.
posted by churl at 3:42 PM on October 24, 2007


What?! No "Escape from L.A."?!!?

Kathy Ireland (overdub by MST3K when her glasses get knocked off and she appears to be sniffing a door in the underground alien civilizations): "This door smells brown!"
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:46 PM on October 24, 2007


301- CAVE DWELLERS
302- GAMERA
303- POD PEOPLE (1/10)
304- GAMERA VS. BARUGON
305- STRANDED IN SPACE (1/10)
306- TIME OF THE APES
307- DADDY-O
308- GAMERA VS. GAOS
309- THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN
310- FUGITIVE ALIEN
311- IT CONQUERED THE WORLD (1/11)
312- GAMERA VS. GUIRON
313- EARTH VS. THE SPIDER (1/10)
314- MIGHTY JACK
315- TEENAGE CAVEMAN (1/10)
316- GAMERA VS. ZIGRA
317- VIKING WOMEN VS. THE SEA SERPENT
318- STAR FORCE-FUGITIVE ALIEN II
319- WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST (1/11)
320- THE UNEARTHLY (1/10)
321- SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS (1/10)
322- MASTER NINJA I (1/10)
323- THE CASTLE OF FU-MANCHU (1/11)
324- MASTER NINJA II

Ok three seasons is good for now. Someone else can feel free to takeover.
posted by dgaicun at 3:49 PM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


When I was in high school a friend of mine decided to start up an official science fiction club that basically became an excuse for us to spend our lunchtimes using our sponsor teacher's projector setup to watch MS3K DVDs. Since we only had about 25 minutes, we watched a lot of the shorts. Ah, memories. A Day at the Fair still makes me giggle.

I'm a little surprised that it took us this long to get to the Mike vs. Joel debate though. The same friend I mentioned above would always refer to Mike disdainfully as "the new guy", despite the show having been off the air for several years at this point
posted by kosher_jenny at 4:00 PM on October 24, 2007


"It doesn't happen much anymore, but immediately after Mike took over in the fall of 1993, and continuing for about a year, the Great Joel vs Mike Flamewar roared out of control everywhere in MSTie cyberspace. The enduring legacy of that time is that bringing up the issue in public forums is something of a taboo."
posted by churl at 4:06 PM on October 24, 2007


Aw whut the hell:


SEASON FOUR: 1992-1993

401- SPACE TRAVELERS (1/10)
402- THE GIANT GILA MONSTER
403- CITY LIMITS (1/10)
404- TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE (1/10)
405- BEING FROM ANOTHER PLANET
406- ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES
407- THE KILLER SHREWS
408- HERCULES UNCHAINED
409- THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN
410- HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN (1/10)
411- THE MAGIC SWORD (1/1)
412- HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1/10)
413- MANHUNT IN SPACE (1/10)
414- TORMENTED
415- THE BEATNIKS (1/10)
416- FIRE MAIDENS OF OUTER SPACE
417- CRASH OF THE MOONS (1/10)
418- ATTACK OF THE THE EYE CREATURES (1/10)
419- THE REBEL SET (1/10)
420- THE HUMAN DUPLICATORS (1/10)
421- MONSTER A-GO-GO (1/10)
422- THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE (1/10)
423- BRIDE OF THE MONSTER
424- MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE (1/10)
posted by dgaicun at 4:15 PM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


WOOO HOOO!!!

A great FPP, IMO.
posted by BobFrapples at 4:55 PM on October 24, 2007


Sweet jumping laser space Jesus on a pogo stick!

Well done cog_nate.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 5:04 PM on October 24, 2007


Wow, thanks for the post and the subsequent linkage.
posted by Staggering Jack at 5:06 PM on October 24, 2007


I just want to say that A Day at the Fair is set in my gorgeous, exciting, home town of Indianapolis.

Thank you, ever so much, for this post.
posted by ztdavis at 5:13 PM on October 24, 2007


*pumps fist*
posted by Kwine at 5:23 PM on October 24, 2007


LOVE THIS. Thank you. My husband and I loved MST3K. He loved it so much that he named our cat Mitchell.

The poor Siamese has to live with the curse of being linked with Joe Don Baker as a sloppy drunk.
posted by dasheekeejones at 5:53 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I always wished they did one episode of porn. I can only imagine Joel standing up and doing the tickle on someone.
posted by dasheekeejones at 5:54 PM on October 24, 2007


I first saw Mr. B Natural in high school. It was extra funny to me because at the time I was playing a Conn trombone in marching band.

The best part there was the host segment later in that episode where Tom and Crow have a debate about whether or not Mr. B Natural is really a "Mr."
posted by sparkletone at 6:00 PM on October 24, 2007


PS: Favoritest. Show. Ever.
posted by sparkletone at 6:02 PM on October 24, 2007


MST-GASM!!!!!!!!!
Although I have many of the DVDs...

This.
Is.
The.
Shit.

Bodycare!!!! and Grooming!!!! They're cops!!!!
posted by The Deej at 6:13 PM on October 24, 2007


And the gods compel me to say:

A Date with Your Family... the Woody Allen Story!
posted by The Deej at 6:22 PM on October 24, 2007


Wow! Over halfway to toppling the (previously, seemingly) unassailable post from stavrosthewonderchicken.
posted by tellurian at 6:23 PM on October 24, 2007


Trumpy, you can do stupid things! Great post, I watch MST3K as I go to sleep at night, so yeah , mmm good.
posted by nola at 6:27 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Doh, a day too late cog_nate. You'll have to wait a month for your 15 min of podcast fame.
posted by itchylick at 6:55 PM on October 24, 2007


stinkycheese: Do you guys like those shows on MTV where they hire hack comedians to make fun of things from five years ago too? To me, it's the same phenomenon.

Krinklyfig: Oh, btw, no, and no it's not.

Krinklyfig is correct, but it's important to note -why- he's correct.

MST3K doesn't make fun of things just because they're old. There is a moral justification to the riffing; these are bad things. But it's worth noting that there's a difference to the tenor of the jokes depending on the movie.

Extremely bad movies of all stripes, the bottom-of-the-list stuff, the "graduate level" MST episodes like Manos, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Red Zone Cuba and Monster-A-Go-Go, those are approached with a sense of wonder that they could even get made.

So-so bad movies that failed most likely because of the budget tend to not have quite so much pure bile directed towards them. There's sometimes some of that in the ultrabads as well, a recognition that there are people who, once, cared about this movie enough to make it. It doesn't change what it became, but it's recognized.

And then there are the movies that should know better. The movies where a conscious choice was made, somewhere in development, to pander, to dumb it down, or to be willfully stupid in order to ape some trend. This actually is the major source of appeal to Rifftrax, actually, something the show rarely had because the people who made the decision to be stupid also tend to have surprisingly thin skins about it and would never willingly expose their works to a concentrated Emperor's Clothes search session.
posted by JHarris at 7:39 PM on October 24, 2007


You know you can download every single episode bundled by seasons through BitTorrent, yes? :) Search for "mst3k" on any of the popular trackers (demonoid, seedpeer, etc. isohunt is a good resource as well).

I'm not sure how complete the collection is out there right now, I downloaded all of them a year ago while they were still up and being seeded. Most are pretty good quality, although some are obviously transfered from VHS and a little worse for wear. Not that the video quality is a serious factor.
posted by cj_ at 7:50 PM on October 24, 2007


WATCH OUT FOR SNAKES
posted by Avenger at 7:55 PM on October 24, 2007


Any hope for Ator and the Cave Dwellers (Episode 301)?
posted by mokolabs at 7:56 PM on October 24, 2007


Any hope for Ator and the Cave Dwellers (Episode 301)?

There is no hope for that movie. Ever.

Cave Dwellers is one of the very, very few movies that was so utterly wrong that even the riffing couldn't save it. I'm not sure what it was exactly: the cannibal cavemen, the Samurai, John Saxon, the hang-glider, the "prehistoric villagers" with sunglasses, Miles O'Keefe's bulbous pecs, the "giant snake".....its just a perfect storm of badness.
posted by Avenger at 8:13 PM on October 24, 2007


Joel is to Mike as David Lee Roth is to Sammy Hager. Trust me, this will be a SAT question someday (I like all four but have a preference for the latter in both cases, FWIW.)

*Huge* MST3K fan. Thanks for the post.
posted by Cyrano at 8:50 PM on October 24, 2007


mucho gracias
Now where did I leave that darned bong? Its gotta be around heer somewhere.
posted by dougzilla at 9:18 PM on October 24, 2007


Thank you!!!! The shorts were my favorite part of MST3K, and those shorts collections they have out on video just aren't sufficient!
posted by Mael Oui at 9:23 PM on October 24, 2007


This blueness of this MeFi place kind of reminds me of Prince's bedroom...
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 9:28 PM on October 24, 2007


JHarris: Respectfully, that wasn't why I made the comparison to those MTV shows. It's the social role the TV is playing, if you like, that I find objectionable; the TV is supplying what ought, in my opinion, quite naturally occur.

Your TV doesn't jerk you off when you're horny and it doesn't serve up a sandwich when you're hungry. Why is it supplying witticisms and droll commentary when you're watching a movie?

The fact that the comedic remarks might be of a better calibre than your own seems to me to miss the point. You wouldn't hire a comedian to say funny things behind your head when you're out on a date, would you? That would probably seem a little...strange. A little disingenuous, a bit sad.

That was kind of my initial reaction to finding out about MST3K, I thought, "but how does that work? It's doing what you're supposed to do, so what do you do?" You're supposed to comment on the media. You're the spectator. That's your power, your role if you will.

With a show like MST3K, you're happily dropping that role and letting the media comment on itself, and IMO that's really f'd up. And hence my comparison to those MTV Best Of Whatever shows they seem to endlessly crank out, shows I find almost hypnotic they're so alienating and false and forced.

It's kind of interesting from a theoretical standpoint, that the media is commenting on other media in this way. But, unlike Beavis And Butthead, where you might see 10 seconds of a video for the most part, here there's a sort of pretense that you are watcing the movie itself, that in fact this is a version of that film.

I find it crazy (and please note that I'm not actually saying you can't do this) that, upon seeing an original print of, say, Robot Monster for instance, a person's inclination would be to remember jokes from MST3K or something otherwise relevant to that show, something that has nothing whatsoever to do with the original film.

Now I realise that film, being a subjective experience, is always going to be different for different viewers, and that your own life experiences throughout and surrounding your viewing of a film (drive-in movie, rainy day, necking during, etc.) is going to affect your experience of same. But this is not that beast.

MST3K is different b/c it's mass marketed, and everybody is receiving the same material; it is, among other things, a product for sale (or, at least, in theory. I see here it's not currently available). It's selling you an experience, the experience of watching this or that movie 'with' these characters. Like you're privileged, a fly on the wall while the jokes go down.

But you can't interact. You can't say, "what do you guys want for pizza?", or, "shut up, the doorbell's ringing", or whatever. There's no give-and-take here beyond that between the characters - whereas personally, I'm very used to that live interaction thing (and I loathe improv comedy BTW, to me this is just how humans are when drinking beer in front of a movie).

So it's a shut-out of normal TV watching, as though we all had a robot beside us to laugh while we saw a comedian's routine. Why? I'd rather laugh or not laugh on my own, comment or not on my own, get wrapped up or not in what's going on, and maybe even sit silently for one or more gripping sequence(s).

FWIW I used to regularly get together with friends and watch these kinds of movies, from about the mid-80s onwards. And yes, we actually enjoyed them. We'd search high and low for some of these, and sometimes pay a pretty penny to order them through weird zines. Of course it was of premium importance that the versions we watched be as uncut as humanly possible (whereas MST3K cuts the crap out of their movies).

We would indeed roast some as we watched, others (like Romero's Martin, to name one off the top of my head) we'd watch silently, spellbound.

Obviously I'm pretty much in a minority of one here (so lonely...) but, with MST3K, I feel like the movie itself becomes a bit of a chump: the straight man, the uncomfortable guy with his wife in the front row. You're not laughing with the movie, you're laughing at the movie. That sort of vibe.

So much of the humour is basically, "HA HA THIS IS SO BAD, WAH HA HA WHAT A DUMB MOVIE" too. I kind of bristle at that. As dumb as many of these films are, I always watch them with a certain kind of respect that I (again, personally, just speaking for myself!) find lacking in MST3K.

Which brings me to my final point, what makes me so confident in my feeling as to tilt at this particular windmill - the fact that the shows' creators, however they might protest that they love these films (or not, I have no idea whatsoever where they stand on that issue), the simple fact remains that they're putting their graphic onscreen for the whole thing and running jokes overtop the audio.

To me that's the slamdunk that this thing sucks. It's not Elvira running some double-take from the feature a few times for laughs, it's over the whole damn film. Talk to your average MST3K fan and, not surprisingly, they'll have no problem with that. That's the point, right? Often the not-too-subtle reason is that, "those movies suck anyways".

These are a few of the bees up my ass on this topic. Thank you for letting me get these off my bee-stung chest, and for the opportunity to vent here at length, applying some ying-yang balance to this otherwise universally effusive thread. There's no need to take any of this personally. I don't like strawberries either, and most people love strawberries.

/former film student, longtime psychotronic film fan
posted by stinkycheese at 10:32 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is only true because usenet died and took alt.binaries.multimedia.mst3k with it. Also, the people running the MST3K DAP were all killed in a tragic gardening accident.

Not to derail, but I've seen this claim thrown around a few times in the last few weeks and it's simply not true, even though usenet binaries don't come free with any ISP services I know of. For instance, a.b.m.mst3k has had 25GB posted in the last month.
posted by Frankieist at 10:36 PM on October 24, 2007


JHarris: Respectfully, that wasn't why I made the comparison to those MTV shows. It's the social role the TV is playing, if you like, that I find objectionable; the TV is supplying what ought, in my opinion, quite naturally occur.

Your TV doesn't jerk you off when you're horny and it doesn't serve up a sandwich when you're hungry. Why is it supplying witticisms and droll commentary when you're watching a movie?

The fact that the comedic remarks might be of a better calibre than your own seems to me to miss the point. You wouldn't hire a comedian to say funny things behind your head when you're out on a date, would you? That would probably seem a little...strange. A little disingenuous, a bit sad.

That was kind of my initial reaction to finding out about MST3K, I thought, "but how does that work? It's doing what you're supposed to do, so what do you do?" You're supposed to comment on the media. You're the spectator. That's your power, your role if you will.

With a show like MST3K, you're happily dropping that role and letting the media comment on itself, and IMO that's really f'd up. And hence my comparison to those MTV Best Of Whatever shows they seem to endlessly crank out, shows I find almost hypnotic they're so alienating and false and forced.

It's kind of interesting from a theoretical standpoint, that the media is commenting on other media in this way. But, unlike Beavis And Butthead, where you might see 10 seconds of a video for the most part, here there's a sort of pretense that you are watcing the movie itself, that in fact this is a version of that film.

I find it crazy (and please note that I'm not actually saying you can't do this) that, upon seeing an original print of, say, Robot Monster for instance, a person's inclination would be to remember jokes from MST3K or something otherwise relevant to that show, something that has nothing whatsoever to do with the original film.

Now I realise that film, being a subjective experience, is always going to be different for different viewers, and that your own life experiences throughout and surrounding your viewing of a film (drive-in movie, rainy day, necking during, etc.) is going to affect your experience of same. But this is not that beast.

MST3K is different b/c it's mass marketed, and everybody is receiving the same material; it is, among other things, a product for sale (or, at least, in theory. I see here it's not currently available). It's selling you an experience, the experience of watching this or that movie 'with' these characters. Like you're privileged, a fly on the wall while the jokes go down.

But you can't interact. You can't say, "what do you guys want for pizza?", or, "shut up, the doorbell's ringing", or whatever. There's no give-and-take here beyond that between the characters - whereas personally, I'm very used to that live interaction thing (and I loathe improv comedy BTW, to me this is just how humans are when drinking beer in front of a movie).

So it's a shut-out of normal TV watching, as though we all had a robot beside us to laugh while we saw a comedian's routine. Why? I'd rather laugh or not laugh on my own, comment or not on my own, get wrapped up or not in what's going on, and maybe even sit silently for one or more gripping sequence(s).

FWIW I used to regularly get together with friends and watch these kinds of movies, from about the mid-80s onwards. And yes, we actually enjoyed them. We'd search high and low for some of these, and sometimes pay a pretty penny to order them through weird zines. Of course it was of premium importance that the versions we watched be as uncut as humanly possible (whereas MST3K cuts the crap out of their movies).

We would indeed roast some as we watched, others (like Romero's Martin, to name one off the top of my head) we'd watch silently, spellbound.

Obviously I'm pretty much in a minority of one here (so lonely...) but, with MST3K, I feel like the movie itself becomes a bit of a chump: the straight man, the uncomfortable guy with his wife in the front row. You're not laughing with the movie, you're laughing at the movie. That sort of vibe.

So much of the humour is basically, "HA HA THIS IS SO BAD, WAH HA HA WHAT A DUMB MOVIE" too. I kind of bristle at that. As dumb as many of these films are, I always watch them with a certain kind of respect that I (again, personally, just speaking for myself!) find lacking in MST3K.

Which brings me to my final point, what makes me so confident in my feeling as to tilt at this particular windmill - the fact that the shows' creators, however they might protest that they love these films (or not, I have no idea whatsoever where they stand on that issue), the simple fact remains that they're putting their graphic onscreen for the whole thing and running jokes overtop the audio.

To me that's the slamdunk that this thing sucks. It's not Elvira running some double-take from the feature a few times for laughs, it's over the whole damn film. Talk to your average MST3K fan and, not surprisingly, they'll have no problem with that. That's the point, right? Often the not-too-subtle reason is that, "those movies suck anyways".

These are a few of the bees up my ass on this topic. Thank you for letting me get these off my bee-stung chest, and for the opportunity to vent here at length, applying some ying-yang balance to this otherwise universally effusive thread. There's no need to take any of this personally. I don't like strawberries either, and most people love strawberries.

/former film student, longtime psychotronic film fan
posted by stinkycheese


Hmm. And I just thought it was a funny show.
posted by The Deej at 10:40 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Push the button, Frank.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 10:48 PM on October 24, 2007


*rimshot*
posted by stinkycheese at 10:49 PM on October 24, 2007


all i can say is: thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you
posted by sleep_walker at 11:09 PM on October 24, 2007


thank you thank you thank you.

I had the pleasure of showing MST3K to a class I taught, but the displeasure of only one or two of the college age kids having seen any before, nor Pop Up Video. WTF. It should be R, R, R, MSTK, IMO.


That was kind of my initial reaction to finding out about MST3K, I thought, "but how does that work? It's doing what you're supposed to do, so what do you do?" You're supposed to comment on the media. You're the spectator. That's your power, your role if you will.

With a show like MST3K, you're happily dropping that role and letting the media comment on itself, and IMO that's really f'd up. And hence my comparison to those MTV Best Of Whatever shows they seem to endlessly crank out, shows I find almost hypnotic they're so alienating and false and forced.


stinkycheese, it was a found footage class. recontextualizing media only works in media. Of course, MSTK is what Debord might call a minor detournement, but the technology that allowed MTSK has now spread more effectively to the masses, and commentary upon pre-existing texts can now take place quite democratically via their alteration and displacement. Claiming that it's a surrender of agency to enjoy the change of context provided by the removal by one degree of the "original screen" in MST3K is unfair to viewers both with regard to the diversity of cinematic viewing pleasure and the nature of resistant spectatorship. Or perhaps I simply don't believe that attempted kitschification of even contemporary culture is wholly destructive.

It seems odd that this show would invite your complaint, and not others that provide commentary on the imagery presented, for example, news shows, and a plurality of everything else that isn't narrative fiction. Mike and some robots cutting up to old B-movies is much less problematic to me than assurances of verisimilitude embedded in programs depicting the real.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:32 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I came back in here to say that I'm glad to see quotes from 2 of my favorite episodes, Pod People and Eegah
posted by Venadium at 12:36 AM on October 25, 2007


When I was a humorless teenager, I had the same opinion of MST3K as stinkycheese, but that was when I thought television and passive entertainment in general meant something and was worth arguing about. I used to argue with the TV, all alone. Now, when I crash over at a friend's house, he puts old episodes on while I sleep on the sofa. I've woken up laughing and saying "I'm huge!"
posted by eegphalanges at 1:09 AM on October 25, 2007


I'd be a lot more of a fan of the MST3K DAP if they didn't insist on using an arcane version of eDonkey to deliver files and require that it be set up in such a way that is flat-out impossible for some of us based on our internet connection's setup.

I mean holy Eris folks, it's like you don't want people to watch MST3K or you're only doing it to brag about your collection or something.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:24 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty, there are torrent trackers for all the episodes floating around Iratepay Aybay, and those are usually the DAP project recordings.

Concerning accepting the jokes handed to us: stinkycheese, you'd have a point if Joike and the Bots' commentary precluded us from adding our own. It's required when watching MST3K with friends to chime in when a joke opportunity is missed by the Designated Riffers.

In any case, I get the feeling we should be repeating to ourselves that it's just a show, and maybe we should all just relax....
posted by JHarris at 2:02 AM on October 25, 2007


Your TV doesn't jerk you off when you're horny and it doesn't serve up a sandwich when you're hungry.

Give it time.
posted by sparkletone at 2:10 AM on October 25, 2007


With a show like MST3K, you're happily dropping that role and letting the media comment on itself, and IMO that's really f'd up.

Yeah - Like those Commentaries on DVD. What's up with those?

But seriously. Many of the MST flicks are dreck I probably wouldn't bother to watch anyway for longer than 5 minutes, and I've loved me some terrible movies in my time. You might have enjoyed the z-movie genre in all its splendiferous atrociousness, but a lot of those movies were hard to find for a reason.

You just end up sounding like a Political Scientist telling a Daily Show viewer that politics is really a serious business and if you want to make fun of it then you should do so yourself, lest you lose the ability to critically think.

It's professional comedy teased out of something less obviously comic and it gets watched because people like comedy, not because people enjoy bastardising the z-movie experience.

Also, have some of my delicious beans that I prepared earlier on this plate.
posted by Sparx at 3:12 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not to derail, but I've seen this claim thrown around a few times in the last few weeks and it's simply not true

Of course it's true! If it weren't true, and usenet were still around, the MPAA might become curious about it.

So, shhh. Be quiet and still yourself, and later there will be *cake*.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:49 AM on October 25, 2007


later there will be *cake*.

THE CAKE IS A LIE
THE CAKE IS A LIE
THE CAKE IS A LIE
THE CAKE IS A LIE

posted by sparkletone at 7:10 AM on October 25, 2007


What about my fav. episode "prince of space" what season was that from? take us away little shorts...HA
posted by MNDZ at 8:07 AM on October 25, 2007


Sandstorm!
posted by Snyder at 9:06 AM on October 25, 2007


DEEP HURTING
posted by cog_nate at 9:14 AM on October 25, 2007


This is great!!!

But this just might be the springboard for my next AskMe question. How to transfer these movies to DVD? I would buy all the MST3K episodes, but they're not selling ALL of them. Just selected "favorites". What's a fan to do?
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:21 AM on October 25, 2007


I love this, thank you for posting this.

It seems to me that part of what MST3K was about was the same impulse that made the Rocky Horror Picture Show such an enormous cult hit for so long. With Rocky Horror, the movie was so bad that people in the audience started talking back to it, creating (in effect) an alternate script (with room for additional improvs). People started acting out the show in front of the audience, and people kept doing this for decades (does Rocky Horror still go on in theaters? I haven't noticed it in years.)

Mystery Science Theater just applies that same level of comedic derision to all the *other* bad movies out there. And, boy, are there a lot of them.
posted by MythMaker at 9:24 AM on October 25, 2007


Obscure Reference Man.

Clicky.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 9:49 AM on October 25, 2007


Thank God you're here, ObscureReferenceMan!

I recently bought a dual-deck VCR & DVD burner/player for exactly that purpose. It works great, unless you want to edit out the commercials, which isn't easily possible. (And it respects Macrovision, so it's no good for commercial VHS tapes).
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:50 AM on October 25, 2007


Oops, misread your question.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:51 AM on October 25, 2007


What?! No "Escape from L.A."?!!?

If only! But the movie you're actually thinking of is Alien from LA, which is not so crazy old as most of the MST3K films ('88? '89? I remember when it was new, sooooo...), and so is unlikely I would think to resurface in MST form unless someone has a VHS tape recorded from the original broadcast.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:57 AM on October 25, 2007


Alien from LA

Charmin: Wait a minute...is that really your voice?
Servo (irritated): Oh, jeez, I'd slap this movie if I could!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:47 PM on October 25, 2007


I was going to read all 10,000 words of stinkycheese's diatribe, but then I realized analysis of pop culture was something best done by myself and listening to someone else do it was pathetic and sad.

Maybe if stinkycheese had started with an invention exchange or something I would have given him more of a chance.
posted by turaho at 5:28 PM on October 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


I was afraid you were going to run smack dab into my point turaho, but you seemed to have missed it completely after all.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:51 PM on October 25, 2007


And this is the beginning of a beautiful weekend. Thanks much.
posted by carmina at 8:39 AM on October 26, 2007


Cheese, everyone gets your point. The problem is that everyone disagrees, not that we don't get it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:56 AM on October 26, 2007


superbly put together post cog_nate. What a labor of love. wow.

stinkycheese, that was an awesome comment. I really enjoyed what you articulated, had vague discomfort but never thought it through.

Disagreeing about Monty Python though, one of my faves.

Also appreciated the well thought out, intelligent responses in the thread. huh, Whoda thunk, a real contemplation about MYST3K? Metafilter never ceases to amaze.

What amused me about MYST3K was the idea of the animated silhouettes of a man with odd looking robots (Crow T. Robot, Joel Robinson, and Tom Servo), talking intimately together in a movie, like old friends, and voyeuristically observing their relationships from the seat behind them in the theater. Like Javanese shadow puppets with the background being the movie they were watching. But it was a one line joke that didn't hold up for me for more than a few minutes.

Wandered over to Wiki (which has a quite interesting entry) which said, "It features a man and his robot sidekicks who are trapped on a satellite in space and forced to watch a selection of terrible movies, especially (but not limited to) those of the science fiction genre. The premise of the show is that the man and his robots make a running commentary on the film, making fun of its flaws and wisecracking their way through the film in the style of a movie theater peanut gallery."

When I first saw the show, thought that it was successful because people in the late 80's and early 90's were lonely and wished they had friends to riff on silly movies with and this was a charming, workable surrogate, imaginary friends.
posted by nickyskye at 12:00 PM on October 26, 2007


When I first saw the show, thought that it was successful because people in the late 80's and early 90's were lonely and wished they had friends to riff on silly movies with and this was a charming, workable surrogate, imaginary friends.

I was 13 when I first came across the show. I first discovered the show because the hour-long-for-syndication versions of episodes were being played at an obscenely late hour on Saturday nights/Sunday mornings on the NBC affiliate where I grew up.

For me, it was never about surrogateness. They were funny. More often than not, at least. Occasionally, they were incandescently, brilliantly so.

While I'm not a people magnet, I've never been hurting for bad movies and people to mock them with me.

I think the best way I can articulate things is like this: My friends and I sit around cracking jokes about current events, but we also still all watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report.

The fact that I do the same thing with my friends doesn't decrease my desire to watch professionals take a crack at it.
posted by sparkletone at 12:53 PM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


See, the reason I keep responding here, is because people keep mischaracterizing what it is I'm saying. To wit, I didn't hunt down these movies in order to make fun of them. ??

I hunted them down to see them, and sometimes they were more entertaining to watch if you made jokes while you did so. But making jokes was never the point of trying to get ahold of the movies. "I hear this movie's just the best to get drunk and make fun of"? That never happened.

For the record, I think Monty Python are great. It's all the people walking around endlessly quoting Monty Python than I could very happily do without.

And furiousxgeorge, I think turaho did completely miss my point. His post seemed to me to just be going "neener neener neener". No real argument there whatsoever.

Finally, thanks nickyskye.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:47 PM on October 26, 2007


So, you didn't really mean it when you posted this:
I mean, that's why you watch bad movies with friends, right? To make teh funnies.

I'm not trying to play gotcha, but you seem to have misrepresented your original argument.
posted by cog_nate at 6:10 PM on October 26, 2007


See, the reason I keep responding here, is because people keep mischaracterizing what it is I'm saying. To wit, I didn't hunt down these movies in order to make fun of them. ??

I hunted them down to see them, and sometimes they were more entertaining to watch if you made jokes while you did so. But making jokes was never the point of trying to get ahold of the movies. "I hear this movie's just the best to get drunk and make fun of"? That never happened.

For the record, I think Monty Python are great. It's all the people walking around endlessly quoting Monty Python than I could very happily do without.

And furiousxgeorge, I think turaho did completely miss my point. His post seemed to me to just be going "neener neener neener". No real argument there whatsoever.

Finally, thanks nickyskye.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:14 PM on October 26, 2007


See, the reason I keep responding here, is because people keep mischaracterizing what it is I'm saying. To wit, I didn't hunt down these movies in order to make fun of them. ??

I hunted them down to see them, and sometimes they were more entertaining to watch if you made jokes while you did so. But making jokes was never the point of trying to get ahold of the movies. "I hear this movie's just the best to get drunk and make fun of"? That never happened.

For the record, I think Monty Python are great. It's all the people walking around endlessly quoting Monty Python than I could very happily do without.

And furiousxgeorge, I think turaho did completely miss my point. His post seemed to me to just be going "neener neener neener". No real argument there whatsoever.

Finally, thanks nickyskye.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:14 PM on October 26, 2007


Argh!

What I meant to say here was:

You forgot the preceding sentence which put the quote in the context of MST3K.

Yes, I often made jokes while watching these movies. That was not the reason why I watched them; it wasn't the point, shall we say.

The show seems fundamentally lazy to me. Or, should I say, the format of the show. Or the viewers. It's doing for you what, it seems to me, ought naturally to arise. Without help.

If you were sitting around with your buddies, and you were at that point in the evening where farts (for instance) were funny, you wouldn't have some fart ringer come over & fart alot to make you all laugh, and keep you from having to go through the effort of farting yourself, right?
posted by stinkycheese at 6:22 PM on October 26, 2007


Perhaps it might be easier cog_nate to say that you don't always know ahead of time whether a film is bad. Bad in the sense of 'improved by jokes'.

That's the kind of instantaneous, naturally occuring thing I've been trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to communicate here. Like I said, sometimes we'd roast them, sometimes we'd sit quietly & be enraptured.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:31 PM on October 26, 2007


No, I think I really understood your point the first time, especially given your second comment: Bah. My friends & I were funnier than these guys.

I think you're trying to shovel some metaphorical dirt on your original argument.

Regardless, I'll defer to Pope Guilty's excellent summation.

P.S. - Repeat to yourself, "It's just a show. I should really just relax."
posted by cog_nate at 6:36 PM on October 26, 2007


STINKY, WE GET IT, MOVE ALONG.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:23 PM on October 26, 2007


stinkycheese, Well, I'm glad you chose to examine your thoughts about the show and can understand not having an agenda to ridicule a movie before having seen it. Yet having a good laugh when/if the movie were funny/silly. Ridicule was the agenda of MYST3K ie let's sit down to witness a long snigger. It says it in the Wiki entry, "trapped on a satellite in space and forced to watch a selection of terrible movies". And I can see that as part of the fun for some people, but it wasn't a fun agenda for me.

Anyway, it was nice overthinking this plate of beans with you. :)
posted by nickyskye at 8:44 PM on October 26, 2007


Sorry for blowing this for you, everybody. Just remember to leave ol' stinkycheese off the invite list for the MST3K yukathon.

Thank you. No, really.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:02 PM on October 26, 2007


Who the hell was that?
posted by The Deej at 10:02 PM on October 26, 2007


Sorry for blowing this for you, everybody. Just remember to leave ol' stinkycheese off the invite list for the MST3K yukathon.

Thank you. No, really.


Uh, no one invited you here.
posted by Snyder at 3:15 AM on October 27, 2007


Perhaps it might be easier cog_nate to say that you don't always know ahead of time whether a film is bad. Bad in the sense of 'improved by jokes'.

That's the kind of instantaneous, naturally occuring thing I've been trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to communicate here. Like I said, sometimes we'd roast them, sometimes we'd sit quietly & be enraptured.


With MST3K, they already picked bad movies to make fun of. They just weren't pulling random movies off the shelf you know, and I defy anyone to find a worthwhile (as in, an enrapturing) film in the entire series run. "The Undead" or "The Sword and the Dragion" are maybe closest to having something worthwhile, but both are crappy films overall. It's not like they were doing "I Bury the Living" or "The Intruder." "Monster A-Go-Go" actually made me angry, more angry than "Armageddon" and that was with the riffing. I hate to imagine actually watching it unaided. JHarris and others are right, it's not just that they hate low-budget movies, they just dislike shitty ones, especially ones that insult our intelligence, or have none themselves. Or are just fucking weird, like Mr. B Natural. MST3K brings entertainment to the unentertaining. I mean, I like seeking out bad/obscure movies as much as the next fellow (I bought "Star Crash" retitled as "Female Space Invaders" last week,) but some movies are just worthless, and can only be made into something worth seeing with jokes and mockery.
posted by Snyder at 3:34 AM on October 27, 2007


Ok, maybe I was a bit too harsh on many films that were on MST3K, but man, I just really hate "Monster A Go-Go." It's the worst film I've ever seen, and it's hard to imagine one that's even worse.
posted by Snyder at 3:39 AM on October 27, 2007


No, the movies were bad Snyder, you aren't being harsh.

One of my favorite jokes from the new riff trax they do is when Kevin Murphy shows up at the start of one of them and thanks Mike for inviting him to a viewing of one of his favorite movies, "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and he begins to introduce it before Mike steps in and points out they are actually watching Battlefield Earth or Phantom Menace or whatever it was.

These guys really are film buffs, they know good and bad, or they would not be able to disect the bad as well as they do.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:09 PM on October 28, 2007


What To Do On A Date.
posted by sparkletone at 9:13 PM on October 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, I can't believe I missed that one! Thanks, sparkletone.

Kay's worked on the kill floor; she know where to deliver the blow.
posted by cog_nate at 6:22 AM on October 29, 2007


I also forgot Is This Love? (in sequence here, here and here): 514, Teenage Strangler.
posted by cog_nate at 6:10 AM on October 31, 2007


Does anyone else find it slightly ironic that while stinkycheese was droning on and on about his superior riffing skills and wit that his posts were as humorless as a dead kitten on a stick? 'Cause frankly, that's funny.
posted by zylocomotion at 11:39 PM on November 9, 2007


What's so funny about a dead kitten on a stick?
posted by stinkycheese at 12:41 PM on November 10, 2007


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