In the not too distant future, somewhere in time and space...
March 12, 2002 11:24 AM   Subscribe

In the not too distant future, somewhere in time and space... Many alumni performers (sans the 'bots) from the star-crossed tv series Mystery Science Theater 3000 have briefly reunited. Though MST3K is slowly fading away into rerun limbo hell and obscurity, the brains that once made the 'bots possible are still managing to find work. [more]
posted by ZachsMind (8 comments total)
It'll be awhile before it's in stores, but principal photography's already been shot for a CD-Rom game called DarkStar. It looks impressive, but it don't look like it's gonna be very funny.

It appears the comparison between MST3K and DarkStar stops with the cast, but it's a rather impressive comparison. Key players from both projects include Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Forrester) as the First Officer of a spaceship called the Westwick, Frank Conniff (TV's Frank) as the ship's navigator, Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl) as captain of another ship and also the voice of the Westwick Computer, Josh Weinstein (Dr. Erhardt) as yet another captain, and Joel Hodgson (Joel Robinson) gets to play a bad guy. DarkStar does not include Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy or the bots. Other than that it's almost like a grand reunion.

DarkStar is also narrated by Peter Graves, and they hope to get a famous face of some sort to play the lead role, but that's not hammered out quite yet. While MST3K was a blissfully comedic hazing of the worst films ever made, DarkStar is a Mystesque puzzle story which is intended to play like a movie containing many endings. The basic plot of the story is that after the Earth blows up you and three other people are stranded on a spaceship that doesn't work. Someone's dead, and you gotta figure out who killed them, plus there's probably some way of saving the world because there always is in these kindsa stories. Well, there's more to it than that but you get the idea. So this will either be groundbreaking serious scifi drama in the field of CD-Rom entertainment, or it'll end up being a B Movie worthy of being MSTed itself. Only time will tell. Speaking of time, there's no due date yet. It's still in post production, and they haven't cast the lead.

Personally, I wish they'd drag all these guys back into the Best Brains studio and make them do MST3K again. Force them at gunpoint if necessary, but legally it seems the series was more trouble than it was worth, and never had more than a cult following. Damn shame. It was a really fun show.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:28 AM on March 12, 2002

Joel Hodgson's TV Wheel was brilliant. Did anyone else see it?

More importantly, does anyone have a copy of it? Mine was victimized by a VCR some years ago.

Though I loved MST3k from the first moment I saw it (back when there was still Ha!), it fell apart when he left and the idea had probably run its course anyway.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:39 AM on March 12, 2002

From deep in the heart of Texas: "All artists borrow. Real artists steal." -Pablo Picasso (but I think someone else said it first)
posted by ColdChef at 12:18 PM on March 12, 2002

Sounds interesting. Hope they get the funding.
posted by me3dia at 2:51 PM on March 12, 2002

I just watched the MST3ked "Wild Wild World of Batwoman". There is no doubt that I would not have survived the original version. Some of that commentary is great.

That said, the humour in the show not during the movie is some of the worst stuff I've seen.
posted by ODiV at 6:29 PM on March 12, 2002

When Mr. Sinus Theater (see my post above) showed "Nude on the Moon" they let people in for free if they came in the nude. This being Austin, more than a few people did.
posted by ColdChef at 7:37 PM on March 12, 2002

I wish I could afford the trip to Austin. If ever I find my way there again, Mister Sinus is definitely gonna be a stop I'll try to make. Damn them for coming up with that. Actually I wish more people would. Maybe there's a way to legally start a franchise of that here in Dallas? I wonder how that would work...

How much does it cost to get the rights to present Star Trek V before a live audience so three guys can lamblast it? What a wonderful choice! And Top Gun! Brilliant! Mr. Sinus may very well be what Mystery Science never could achieve. I mean cheesy b/w B movies of the 40s & 50s is one thing, but Xanadu? That's pure genius.

Back to MST3K, "Wild Wild World of Batwoman" was fun, but personally I prefer "Manos the Hands of Fate," "Pod People," and "The Brain That Wouldn't Die." I have several episodes on tape and those three are the ones I watch more than the others. "Catalina Caper"s also funny, as was "Puma Man" and "The Amazing Colassal Man." ...Okay so I can't pick a favorite. There were more that sucked though. "Red Zone Cuba" and "Sidehackers" were worse than Vogon poetry: so bad even the bots don't make them viewable without the risk of rupturing internal organs.

I concur that the bumper pieces they did outside the movie theater could have been better, but part of the feel of the overall show was to make the lives of Joel & the Bots a world of B movie feel in and of itself with cheap props and blatant plot devices. The power of the early seasons was in the dialogue and comic timing. MST3K was a parody of itself while also lampooning the movies. The show was actually rather multi-layered.

In fact maybe one of the many reasons why Joel ended up leaving the show was because the quality of the bumpers was improving beyond his desire, and since it was evolving beyond his vision for the show he wanted nothing more to do with it. After Joel left, the overall look of the show improved, which kind of weakened the overall impact of the humor of the show. Under Joel's leadership, MST3K never took itself too seriously. When they actually started doing plots with the bumpers, having Pearl chasing Mike all over creation, well it just started losing something. The focus was no longer on the movie.

Again, a live performance that basically does what MST3K pulled off is the ideal evolution of this idea. Man, I wish I could get in on the ground floor of something like that without getting sued by somebody. I used to be good at both improv and heckling, but that was a long time ago. I've probably lost my edge, but it'd be fun to try.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:23 AM on March 13, 2002

All I can say is that the chick on the right reminds me of the chick in the StarTrek episode where Kirk is "speeded up" when he drinks water from Scalos (I think).
posted by ParisParamus at 5:36 AM on March 13, 2002

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