Mystery Science Theater 3000: C/D, S/D.

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As so many of us are such pynchon junkies, here's a great mst3k & pynchon link.

i is brit and loving the mst3k. it can grate if you're not in the right mood, but fuck that for a game of toy soldiers. I also liked the film (riffing on This Island Earth -- fave bit is when the alien is explaining about the fate of his planet "a-huh, yeah, yup... got ya... a-huh"

Alan Trewartha, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

In point of fact, Mike wasn't merely a "hired writer": as early as the second season, he was the Head Writer. Since MST3K was always a group effort, I think it's difficult to pinpoint one person who was responsible for any particular characteristic of the show. (Two obvious exceptions, of course, are the whole Gizmonics Institute business and the idea for the Invention Exchange.) So he may share some responsibility with Joel H. for creating the rather paternal relationship between Joel R. & the 'bots -- a relationship which, for obvious reasons, would be altered once Mike replaced Joel R. the SOL.

Michael Daddino, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

The funniest episode of MST3K I've ever seen is a Gammora movie that we watched on KTMA backstage during a high school show choir competition. I can't remember the name of the movie, but the bad monster was a giant gumball machine and the episode contained one of my favorite riffs ever (7-YEAR-OLD GIRL: I love you, Gamora! CROW: Keep your shirt on, honey.). Most of the others I've seen have come from the Sci-Fi years, but "Manos" is definitely classic. I will also put in a vote for "Overdrawn At The Memory Bank" if only because it's fun to watch Raul Julia in something embarrassing, plus "Squirm" and "The Final Sacrifice".

Dan Perry, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I loved Overdrawn At The Memory Bank as a child. I believe I still have a video on it somewhere doubling up with Max Headroom.

Pete, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Ah, the AOL MSTie days. Got my first stalker out of that bunch.

Anyway, I adored the show. Was a staunch Mike defender in the Mike v. Joel days, now I'm not so sure. Favorite bit (of all time): "Are You Happy In Your Work?"

Colin Meeder, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

What the fuck are you doing here, Colin? :)

Michael Daddino, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Dan -- you saw a KTMA on the air? I envy and worship you, my liege.

Colin -- yeah, I remember you were torgotback@aol.com, but the stalking? No, not that.

The boards also attracted a number of true mental cases, most unforgettably KeijiKJ. He was similar to Gondola Blob in that he indulged in casebook net.kook behavior: delusions of professionalism, snottily dismissive of any random thing, threw around the word "clique" a lot. I've even heard stories that he scared the bejesus out of BB members during the first con. I personally had a thoroughly pointless argument with him about the population of the cities in California.

Concerning Mike, I'll say this: there are quite a few times during the Sci-Fi-era when he seemed to be sending out his performance via Fed Ex. Sad, because it was clear after CC he was capable of much better. But you know, a lot of the Sci-Fi-era episodes that initially seemed kinda minor and kinda eh to me now strike me as being thoroughly solid.

Michael Daddino, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

That was my first exposure to MST3K. I had no idea that it was going to become so huge; I only thought that snarky Minnesotans would find it funny!

Dan Perry, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Well, you're lucky and we hate you. There. ;-)

I'm waiting on Mike's next collection of essays and novel myself. The Megacheese collection was a scream.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Michael: With you and Dave R. here, it was simply a matter of time.

Stalking resulted from an unfortunate IRL encounter with a nice enough person. I thought it was a lovely afternoon, she thought it was TRUE LOVE FOREVER. Eek. The story resolved harmlessly enough -- she found TRUE LOVE FOREVER again with another MSTie, and this time it was returned.

Colin Meeder, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

What the hell do I have to do with anything, Mr. Meeder? I've never seen you before in my life! (Weren't you supposed to get me a job?)

MST3K was never that big a part of my life - I watched it sporadically, and I always seemed to be in the wrong state of mind to truly enjoy it. I'll side with the Joel phreex, though, just because bald is sexy. (I'm getting sexier by the minute.)

David Raposa, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

DR: I'll side with the Joel phreex, though, just because bald is sexy. (I'm getting sexier by the minute.)

But wasn't Mike balder than Joel? I'm confused. No matter. I'm balder than both, and I agree with David.

Brian MacDonald, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I'm watching Rocketship X-M right now and it looks as if Joel is balder than Mike. I agree wholeheartedly that BALD(ING) = SEXXXY (my real and imaginary boyfriends are testament to this) but Joel really isn't bald enough to be sexy-bald.

Michael Daddino, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

grr, watch it daddino.

ethan, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Le huh?

Michael Daddino, Monday, 14 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Let me second Ned's Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese rec. Even if you don't like or are not familiar with MST3K it is an extrodinarily funny take on a lot of overblown movies of the 80s and 90s.

Nicole, Tuesday, 15 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Had you gotten that job I mentioned, David, you'd have been laid off about five months ago. So I did you a favor by being a hopeless slacker.

I think that my slight preference for Joel has something to do with a sense that the guy's a bit . . . off, where Mike is merely charming and funny.

Colin Meeder, Tuesday, 15 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Merely? I wouldn't go that far, though he certainly projects more immediate affability. But every so often he comes out with something or takes on a role that makes you a bit nervous. Thus, when he wigged out about his old temp job in one episode, and in Time Chasers where he played his drunk angry brother or cousin, I forget which. Sure, it's a role, but he inhabited them rather well. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 15 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Sampo once remarked that in interview, one can sense that there's something very dark and private about Mike just percolating below the surface, and that's colored my impression of him ever since. One thing to remember: "I suffer from excruciating headaches that dozens of neurologists have tried unsuccessfully to treat. I think I might be possessed."

Michael Daddino, Tuesday, 15 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I appreciate the fact that both Mike and Bridget are very private about their home life, but from the sound of it from some of Bridget's comments it's a very happy family, lots of singing and nuttiness and fun with their kids. A good reminder that the show was, after all, just a performance.

But yes, Mike has the angst in there somewhere. He just tempers it very beautifully -- thus his legendary turn as Morrissey.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 15 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Fair enough -- Mike probably *is* a churning cauldren of angst. But I think he (and his rage) are probrably more based in reality, where Joel strikes me as more otherworldly. Which I prefer (slightly, only ever so slightly) in humor.

Colin Meeder, Thursday, 17 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
Oh, about time for a revival (thanks in part to a recent link from Mike D.). Actually, there were a number of episodes I didn't have, mostly from the sixth season, but my Seattle trip has given me the chance to dub a lot of those from Brian's collection, yay me. Plus I finally have Daddy-O and Fugitive Alien, that took long enough!

To add to the book recommendations -- Mike N.'s general essay book Mind Over Matters is another fine read (the TV essay alone is some kinda genius, the mock 19th century novel even more so), while I very much liked Kevin Murphy's A Year at the Movies. Chris Piuma mentioned he felt it was fairly Joe Queenan-like and therefore not as distinct as it could be, but I think it was handled very well and worked as both microstudy of the moviegoing experience and general reflection. Certainly any of the ILF/film-going hounds on this board should consider reading/borrowing a copy, at least. Then there's Mike's new novel Death Rat, which I really need to order next month...

And praise to all the other castmembers doing things and the continual rolling out of more DVDs, though apparently Rhino says they've exhausted what they have the rights to right now and are looking into securing more, hopefully...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 25 May 2003 15:08 (11 years ago) Permalink

...although a quick check of the SatNews link sez there's some sort of further DVD thing coming out later this year, hm! Good thing to know. Also, anyone in Minneapolis can go to a writing workshop taught by Mary Jo Pehl next month, which I think would be great (I'm an unabashed fan of hers but she seems to really grate for a lot of MSTies...).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 25 May 2003 15:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

is this ever shown in the UK?

mark s (mark s), Sunday, 25 May 2003 15:12 (11 years ago) Permalink

It may still be on the Sci-Fi Channel UK, but your best bet is to go on S0ulS33k and download entire episodes (which are about 700MB a pop, FWIW).

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Sunday, 25 May 2003 15:16 (11 years ago) Permalink

I've never come across it here, Mark - but I have never had the Sci-Fi Channel.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 25 May 2003 15:21 (11 years ago) Permalink

It was certainly on (late night) on the Sci-Fi channel a couple of years ago.

N. (nickdastoor), Sunday, 25 May 2003 15:24 (11 years ago) Permalink

Michael, I kiss you! I had no idea there were mst3k episodes on soulseek.

Nicole (Nicole), Sunday, 25 May 2003 15:34 (11 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that sounds great, rah Mike! Nicole, I might be able to help with dubbing too though I still need a second VCR, but also please drop me a line about another possible source...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 25 May 2003 15:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

FYI, Best Brains Inc. has its own little shop with some non-Rhino treasures. I highly recommend "Mr. B's Lost Shorts" which has the hands-down best short, "Mr. B Natural" - you know, the one with the ridiculously perky, questionably-gendered Neverland shill for Conn brass instruments.

"Bad touch."
"Does this mean I like guys now?"
"I feel ill."
"Spanking time!"

http://www.mst3kinfo.com/satnews/catalog/Basement.htm

Ernest P. (ernestp), Sunday, 25 May 2003 15:58 (11 years ago) Permalink

It is a thing of beauty, that particular short. And chilling horror. Yeah, there are two short comps that are on DVD, but neither contain that gem. It's possible this thing Rhino is promising is some sort of basement-clearing compilation of all the various video oddities that have surfaced from Best Brains -- the second Poopie tape (the first is a DVD bonus with Manos, the scrapbook, more shorts like that, etc. But we'll see, I guess! (My other irrational hope is a full-on special edition of the movie...)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 25 May 2003 16:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

Michael, I kiss you! I had no idea there were mst3k episodes on soulseek.

Keep in mind that the fidelity on these files is sometimes suprisingly good considering the size, and sometimes fairly bad, but even the worst files usually have more than enough detail for a person to get what's going on.

I'm hoping the DVD is a Santa Claus vs. The Martians/Santa Claus double fun pak. It is going to come out late 2003, after all.

Later I may want to say something about MST3K in light of Mark's venting on Zappa, but right now I want to go to Central Park and maybe the Malevich exhibit before it starts raining (again).

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Sunday, 25 May 2003 16:33 (11 years ago) Permalink

I SERIOUSLY NEED TO BUY SIDEHACKERS. I HAVE NOT SEEN IT SINCE HIGH SCHOOL

goooch....goooch....

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 25 May 2003 19:29 (11 years ago) Permalink

the tuba is like a fat jolly king! knew your father I did!

This show got me through middle school.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 25 May 2003 19:31 (11 years ago) Permalink

Live fast, die young, leave a fat, bloated, ugly corpse.

luna (luna.c), Sunday, 25 May 2003 19:38 (11 years ago) Permalink

"That squares my breasts!"

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Sunday, 25 May 2003 20:40 (11 years ago) Permalink

I've only seen about four episodes of MST3K, but "Mr. B Natural" has got to be one of the funniest shorts ever! "We're white, we're white, we're really, really white..." I obv need to get a-downloadin on this show.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Sunday, 25 May 2003 23:19 (11 years ago) Permalink

It is good to see the newer folks here who have the love. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 26 May 2003 00:08 (11 years ago) Permalink

I've only seen a couple but I didn't get the point. Why not just rent the original B-movies and come up with your own sarcastic comments?

sundar subramanian (sundar), Monday, 26 May 2003 00:32 (11 years ago) Permalink

Well...that is the point, kinda. The AOL MSTies used to monkey-pile together in a chat room, and riff like mad to cable TV movies or rented VHS tapes. I remember Congo and A Star Is Born being particularly good for that.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Monday, 26 May 2003 00:48 (11 years ago) Permalink

I have no TV. I have no VCR. But I do have about 40 tapes of MST3K, well over 100 episodes, mostly Seasons 2-7, with a few 1s and KTMAs.

Chris P (Chris P), Monday, 26 May 2003 00:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

I'll admit mst3ks were like bad movies with training wheels for me (and yeah, I love watching b-movies with friends now), but the best episodes still leave me crying.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 26 May 2003 01:09 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hard core MST3K-ites with lots of bandwidth should check out the Digital Archive Project which is where I'm getting most of my episodes from.

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Monday, 26 May 2003 06:09 (11 years ago) Permalink

blimey chris, that site's enough to make a young man run out and get broadband and a huge eff-off new harddrive...

(current space on home PC C-Drive abt 700meg, it are old and small)

CarsmileSteve (CarsmileSteve), Monday, 26 May 2003 10:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

did I mention that I saw them live w/Joel at the Uptown Theater, one of the TWO PERFORMANCES EVER w/him? well I did < /gloat>

"Santa Claus, you're coming with us!"
"You're coming to town."

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 26 May 2003 14:15 (11 years ago) Permalink

Well, I do have broadband and a sum total of 150GB of storage over a couple of drives. My consumption rate of DVD-R blanks is pretty scary.

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Monday, 26 May 2003 23:57 (11 years ago) Permalink

I've only seen a couple but I didn't get the point. Why not just rent the original B-movies and come up with your own sarcastic comments?

Because I'm not funny. And neither are you.

NA. (Nick A.), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 15:31 (11 years ago) Permalink

"nipple nipple tweak tweak AWAY!"

nickalicious (nickalicious), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 15:39 (11 years ago) Permalink

sundar OTM. funny at times, but c'mon snapping along to a movie is way up there on the annoyometer.

g--ff c-nn-n (gcannon), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 15:44 (11 years ago) Permalink

And to explain the 'point' a bit more to the unbelievers Sundar and Gff, or at least note the method -- the Best Brains put in a lot of effort and practice over time to make what seemed like a casual delivery of comments done on the spot be just that rather than the intensively scripted effort it really was. When they're firing on four cylinders at their best, it's a marvel.

Fave all time moment ever, from any episode -- this snippet from Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, delivered and timed JUST RIGHT:

MARTIAN: "What soft, and round, and you put it on the end of a stick --"

SERVO: "An elf?"

MARTIAN: "-- and green?"

SERVO: "Oh, a DEAD elf."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 15:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

omg

gbx, Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:43 (4 months ago) Permalink

oh god they're going to watch cheesy old nature docs aren't they

gbx, Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:44 (4 months ago) Permalink

if they are on my tv I will be watching

Eric: I know this is Rifftrax news but it seemed important so I hope you'll grant me a pass :)

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:47 (4 months ago) Permalink

oh god they're going to watch cheesy old nature docs aren't they

― gbx, Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:44 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Oh, I hope so. This is pure gold:

http://www.rifftrax.com/shorts/tale-moose-baby

bi-polar uncle (its OK-he's dead) (Phil D.), Thursday, 20 March 2014 01:54 (4 months ago) Permalink

man i want the puppets back tho

reddening, Thursday, 20 March 2014 02:35 (4 months ago) Permalink

No worries. I'm probably the only MSTie that doesn't have any use for Rifftrax.

Eric H., Thursday, 20 March 2014 03:39 (4 months ago) Permalink

part of yr charm

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 20 March 2014 03:46 (4 months ago) Permalink

Nah, I'm with you, Eric!

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 20 March 2014 05:06 (4 months ago) Permalink

I have never heard RiffTrax.

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 23 March 2014 13:16 (4 months ago) Permalink

The one for "Cool As Ice" is a riot.

▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 23 March 2014 16:36 (4 months ago) Permalink

I wonder if my lesser interest in RiffTrax has partly to do with it existing in the full-on Internet era (though I boned up on MST through Usenet of course). MST really was digging up forgotten blunders and making something of them, whereas, even if Rifftrax had tried to go for obscure movies, they wouldn't be by the time they got to them. Everybody knows everything, there are no secret junk movies now, and of course discovering the 'secret' was part of the appeal of MST even at the level of knowing that the show existed and was worth watching. Plus the internet made everybody a snarky talk-back critic, and very few people were very good at it.

There's just something crasser and more obvious about the whole procedure now, and I'm not sure it can be salvaged except through a return to its basic form: watching bad movies with a group of friends or quality strangers. There was a group of people in Columbus that organized something like this for years with a backyard, a projector and a sheet (the "Hillbilly Drive-In") and the times that I went it was great, great fun. Watching other people do it - and do it well - is still very appealing to me in MST3k reruns but I haven't seen any other form where it worked.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 23 March 2014 16:45 (4 months ago) Permalink

the Rifftrax concept seems odd, in that not all the movies they make fun are bad. Why Wrath of Khan? or Starship Troopers? or Jaws? (not to mention Casablanca and the Wizard of Oz)

I got the glares, the mutterings, the snarls (President Keyes), Sunday, 23 March 2014 17:55 (4 months ago) Permalink

The main draw behind Rifftrax is that it's riffing big budget mainstream movies, quality of the movie nothing to do w the quality of the riff. Also they are only doing the riffs as stand-alone audio files, which changes things entirely, so better to riff movies that everyone already owns on DVD if only for syncing purposes.

▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 23 March 2014 18:09 (4 months ago) Permalink

quality of the movie nothing to do w the quality of the riff.

I guess I'd have to watch some of these to be convinced of this point

I got the glares, the mutterings, the snarls (President Keyes), Sunday, 23 March 2014 18:16 (4 months ago) Permalink

surely starship troopers is a film immune to mockery

°ㅇ๐ْ ° (gr8080), Sunday, 23 March 2014 19:09 (4 months ago) Permalink

It is worth trying out Rifftrax on something like Indiana Jones & The Crystal Skull, where Mike cannot hide his disdain for everything about the movie.
Also their Twilight riff is A+.

It's a different beast to MST3K, and not for everyone. But I have gotten a kick out of quite a few of them, and I always go to the theater 'live' events when I can.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 23 March 2014 19:23 (4 months ago) Permalink

For instance, the Lord of the Rings movie got lots of acclaim, plenty of Oscar nods, etc. and yet, it is full of really silly stuff. Plus w the big budget CGI and all the serious faced EPIC drama stuff, it practically cries for someone to take the piss out of it. It makes it so much more fun, too!

▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:15 (4 months ago) Permalink

otm

I went to the riff of The Night of The Living Dead not really sure how well it would work, and even Mike said beforehand 'I'll be honest, I love this movie'...but holy shit I had no idea how much time is spent during the first half of the movie just hammering pieces of wood. It was fun to see it from a different angle than my normal fangirl reverence

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:19 (4 months ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

Never thought I would have a new favorite ep but I just saw Future War for the first time this week, and it might edge out Space Mutiny.

Vinnie, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 17:14 (3 months ago) Permalink

"FUTURE WAX!"

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 17:17 (3 months ago) Permalink

Haha yes. And the callback to Werewolf nearly made me spit my drink.

Vinnie, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 17:19 (3 months ago) Permalink

You people are all nuts.

Cronk's Not Cronk (Eric H.), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 17:32 (3 months ago) Permalink

"Flag on the moon. How did it get there?"

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 27 April 2014 19:20 (2 months ago) Permalink

i thought the whole reason mst3k hadn't been resurrected was right issues with jim mallon? anyway given that rifftrax (and that other thing hodgson does I can't remember the name of as well) exists i'm not sure how integral puppet shadowrama really is to the whole thing.

rushomancy, Sunday, 27 April 2014 20:22 (2 months ago) Permalink

with rifftrax my only complaint is that some of the jokes, which feel natural when they're coming from a naive fictional character like crow or servo, instead feel hokey or strained when coming from one of the guys. they tried to recapture some of the puppet-feeling with disembaudio, like in the riff for "the room" where he kept doing bits while the sex scenes were happening, but it wasn't very successful.

reddening, Monday, 28 April 2014 04:30 (2 months ago) Permalink

BTW they updated the Wired story with even more stuff!

http://www.wired.com/2014/04/mystery-science-theater-3000/

Ned Raggett, Monday, 28 April 2014 12:59 (2 months ago) Permalink

Also they are only doing the riffs as stand-alone audio files, which changes things entirely,

Oh man that is a dealbreaker. I always thought having silhouettes in the frame was a necessary for the show even though they're just dumb silhouettes or whatever. Just like what reddening is saying how it imparted puppet feeling.

Anyway I am hell of nostalgic for this show it is so classic. They used to record it a few miles from my house in Hopkins. I watched it as a little kid and it changed my life and made me a bigger nerd for which I am actually thankful. But I'll be damned if I can remember any jokes now except for stuff from the Gamara movies. Those are forever my favorites.

It'd be rad if they resurrected the show I'd totes watch.

davey, Monday, 28 April 2014 13:03 (2 months ago) Permalink

anyway given that rifftrax (and that other thing hodgson does I can't remember the name of as well) exists i'm not sure how integral puppet shadowrama really is to the whole thing.

Cinematic Titantic no longer exists (final show at end of 2013.) Maybe that has something to do with the timing of this.

I got the glares, the mutterings, the snarls (President Keyes), Monday, 28 April 2014 13:36 (2 months ago) Permalink

he kept doing bits while the sex scenes were happening, but it wasn't very successful

I mentioned this on the The Room thread, but jesus, those parts of the riff were awful

Vinnie, Monday, 28 April 2014 15:24 (2 months ago) Permalink


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