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

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The biggest problem I have with it is that it falls into the "any opinion or reaction I have must somehow express a greater aesthetic" camp for which I have unending disdain and contempt. There are six paragraphs before MST3K is even mentioned. Fuck that. Like something or don't, and have the balls to ignore the increasingly-common taboo against disliking something simply because it isn't your thing or you think it's crap.

Tep (ktepi), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 16:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"he died as he lived: with jelly on his face."

jess (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 16:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

You're a wise man, Mr. Piumaman.

(...when -- you want -- the flavor of bacon -- in a dip.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 16:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

why? oh, you know, conversation.

The thing I like abt Fujiwara's thing (and yes I do realize what a humorless piece of writing it is [but bits make me laugh out loud so eh]) is that it's about giving a shit, about not letting something slide. He thinks the whole enterprise was deeply, offensively unfunny, and that seemed like a rare and valuable enough er perspective w/r/t ile & mst.

I have a strong affection for cranks and fuddy-duddies.

g--ff c-nn-n (gcannon), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 16:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

If I stopped to rail about everything I found unfunny (or unmoving, I guess would be the word for dramas), I wouldn't have time to watch anything. The world is a big place. Entertainment media offer enormous amounts of things, especially if you speak English. I don't have time to stop to stomp the roses, and no patience for those who revel in it.

Now, railing about MST3K in its own style -- responding to it and heckling it -- that could be clever enough to be worth the time.

Tep (ktepi), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 16:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

(For instance -- his complaint about 'why didn't they get the really big trashy movies to rip down' falls flat when you realize the economics of what the Brains had the rights and access to in their various TV deals...

And when they *did* do that, as happened with the Little Golden Statuette thingummybob, it actually undercut a lot of the claims MST3K could make to somehow being a subversive force battling against whiteelephantHollywoodbullshit because the special arguably ended up being essentially more hype for the Oscars and the Hollywood machine.

IIRC, the central reason for Fujiwara's groaning and moaning about MST3K was due to the lack of respect they were giving to these oddly wonderful artifacts suitable for voyeuristic delectation. (Fujiwara once wrote up a list of the best movies of 1953 and included *Robot Monster* as his tenth best -- and seriously, the only reason I can imagine ANYONE doing that is to prove some banal point about hegemony and the canon blah blah blah FIGHT THE POWER!!! etc. As bad movies go, there are so many better ones, like *Monster A Go-Go* for starters) This is baloney on many levels. "MST3K involves people making fun of bad movies" is a good shorthand description of the show, but only that: most of the time, Best Brains aren't "making fun" of the movies (most of the riffs' humor are totally incidental to the badness of the film), nor are most of the films they riff on aren't really *bad.* A good chunk are, most are just utterly indifferent, and few are pretty good for what they are (say, the Lassie or Godzilla movies.), and a movie's badness is no guarantee of an episode's goodness. (I think *Monster A Go-Go* is probably the worst thing I've ever seen and most of the time BB was just struggling to say something, anything about it.) Most of the time I attribute BB's claims to a movie being bad as just a bunch of hyperbole for comedy's sake. (On the other hand, if *I* had to watch most movies with the kind of attentiveness *they* did in creating MST3K, I think most films would probably come up short, anyway.)

And ANYWAY, I knew a lot of hardcore MSTies who argued the 'essence' of the show wasn't the riffing but the relationship between Joel/Mike, the 'bots and the Mads.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 17:05 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"The Girl With Golden Boots" was a horrible movie, though. And DON'T GET ME STARTED on "Manos"!

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 17:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Woman: What about us?
Servo: I give not a crap for thee.

luna (luna.c), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 18:05 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

And ANYWAY, I knew a lot of hardcore MSTies who argued the 'essence' of the show wasn't the riffing but the relationship between Joel/Mike, the 'bots and the Mads.

Well, yes. This is why I stopped watching during the Sci-Fi years.

Chris P (Chris P), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 18:08 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Servo: "Objection! The use of the term 'nipple' is imprecise, incorrect, and misleading -- though, I admit, mildly provocative..."

luna (luna.c), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 18:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Acting is easy when you can read your lines!

Chris P (Chris P), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 18:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"he died as he lived: with jelly on his face."

"He died as he lived: Loving his work."

Chris P (Chris P), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 18:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Y'all started this by making me think about it and these lines have been in my head all weekend. However, I won't keep posting them, but will leave you with this last one, which I actually say all the time:

"That's 40 pounds of butt in 30-pound butt capacity pants!" - Mike

luna (luna.c), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 18:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Oh lord, that episode.

"That may not really be Chinese."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 19:16 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Dill is a GOOD spice! I will NOT have it MALIGNED!"

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 19:55 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Adolf Hitler, Knight Rider."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 19:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The best episode is still Riding with Death. "Well, I'll be right Ben." Guarantee, you say that to me, I die laughing.

Ally (mlescaut), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 20:06 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"It is I! TURKEY VOLUME GUESSING MAN!"

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 20:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Just to clarify

Tep: I don't think it's the same at all (effort of making a film vs effort of making comments while watching films). It's just that renting B-movies with friends was already a popular pastime with people I knew before I ever knew of this show. MST3K seemed less fun than doing it in 'real time' with your own friends if that's what you want to do. I didn't think it added much to the experience or to the movies. And I guess I just didn't think they were that much funnier anyway (e.g. the "dead elf" line Ned quoted).

sundar subramanian (sundar), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 20:28 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Jailbait for Gamera!" still cracks me up.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 20:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

MITCHELL!

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 20:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

mitchell roxx u r all john saxon

jess (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 20:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

While I'd agree that the host segments for the Sci-Fi era weren't up to Dr. F & Frank quality, they did some incredible shows for those three years. Riding With Death holds up incredibly well, as does Pumaman and Time Chasers. Not only are the movies of high MST3K quality, the riffs are up there as well. Plus add in Final Sacrifice's Canadian jabs, Touch of Satan's 70's riffs and walnut jokes and the wonderful dance sequence in Mole People ... great moments all of them.

And their parody of Behind the Music with "The Band That Played California Lady" in Track of the Moon Beast is one of their best skits.

zaxxon25 (zaxxon25), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 20:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

MST3K seemed less fun than doing it in 'real time' with your own friends if that's what you want to do.

I think that's a fair thing to say. I remember when us AOL MSTies would get together and riff on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or A Star Is Born, what would happen *was* more hilarious than the average episode. But one might argue that by watching Best Brains riff on, say, The Incredible Melting Man, the pleasures we might get personally or collectively riffing on the movie would not only get partially replaced by the pleasure of THEM doing it, but also by the pleasures of indulging in the shared culture of MSTiedom -- learning and trading BB's lines, say, much like we're doing here.

An aside: I suppose someone like Fujiwara might say YOU SEE YOU SEE YOU'RE GIVING UP THE FRUITS OF YOUR OWN CRITICAL ACTIVITY FOR THAT OF OTHERS though I'm not sure how different this is from, say, trading lines of Horace or Milton, or using something Benjamin or Aristotle once said for your own nerfarious purposes. Or how it prevents us from "playing the home game," if you will.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 21:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Mike: "This is how much pure cocaine you would need to watch this picture."

This lays me out... also another thing my friends and I say - "this is how much pure cocaine I would need to __________"

luna (luna.c), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 21:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

And of course, as Nicole and I once tormented N. with...

Slab Bulkhead
Fridge Largemeat
Punt Speedchunk
Butch Deadlift
Bold Bigflank
Splint Chesthair
Flint Ironstag
Bolt Vanderhuge
Thick McRunfast
Blast Hardcheese
Buff Drinklots
Trunk Slamchest
Fist Rockbone
Stump Beefknob
Smash Lampjaw
Punch Rockgroin
Buck Plankchest
Stump Chunkman
Dirk Hardpec
Rip Steakface
Slate Slabrock
Crud Bonemeal
Brick Hardmeat
Whip Slagcheek
Punch Side-iron
Gristle McThornbody
Slate Fistcrunch
Buff Hardback
Bob Johnson (no, wait...)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 21:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

This is a VERY funny show sometimes, but I don't like it when they choose a reasonably good movie and then spent 45 minutes struggling to find something to make fun of.

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 21:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Which ones were reasonably good, though? Out of how many? Certainly some were more generic than just plain awful, as Mike D. noted, but in those genres were plenty of examples of stupidity to trash.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 21:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Rutherford B. Hayes was born humbly to his own son, Rutherford B. Hayes Jr., in Delaware (while it was still Ohio) sometime after the French Revolution. Rejecting a career as a professional speller, he was admitted to the bar in 1815, though he did not drink lustfully from it. Serving heroically in the Civil War, Hayes admitted later that it was in the army he first tasted human flesh. In 1876, Hayes beat Bill Tilden in a three-set quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows which caused the Electrical College to declare him President of the United States.

Here are a few highlights of the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes: In 1877, Reconstruction ended, and Jacques Derrida was named Secretary of Linguistics, and the era of Deconstruction began and continues to this day. Thomas Edison invented the pornograph, beginning the Age of Pornography. President Hayes then passed the Hayes Act, started the Hayes Office, won fame as an American lyric tenor, and became Archibishop of New York in 1919.

After he retired, he founded the original ZZ Top with James Garfield and Chester Allen Arthur; shocked the world with a publicity stunt when, on a bet, he made a tent out of the underwear of William Howard Taft and lived inside for a full year; and later, Hayes retired from the stage and did a series of memorable character parts in Hollywood. Who can forget the time he was slapped by Jacqueline Bisset in the 1971 Universal movie, Airport ? And then, after inventing ringworm, Hayes died. His last words were: "I have only one life to live -- let me live it as a blond!"

THE END.

Oh, and his blood type was AB.

THE END.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 21:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've already ceded the Godzilla movies and The Painted Hills; Space Travellers is OK, if static; maybe the Hercules ones and the Russo-Finnish ones because they've got built-in camp value; This Island Earth of course; Bride of the Monster and It Conquered the World have some bravura performances; I actually find The Deadly Bees pretty suspenseful (well, *I* was faked out) and the Hamlet they chose is hardly the best version but I get teary in the end.

Not many *good* films, but it's not impossible to riff on a good movie: M Sampo once said that La Jetée and The Wizard of Oz would be pretty prime experiences. But in general good movies are too engaging -- too distracting -- to use for MSTing.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 21:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

My only regret is that Hollywood never made a movie where Joe Don Baker and John Phillip Law got to lez it up.

Nicole (Nicole), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 23:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

That image is enough for me to consider gouging out my brain and squashing it flat. Well done.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 27 May 2003 23:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Cheating is bad.

Richard Basehart is good.

Would anyone like some soup?

zaxxon25 (zaxxon25), Wednesday, 28 May 2003 17:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
A new revive just because of my new favorite exchange dredged up from my memory banks, from The Sidehackers:

ROMMEL'S BUDDY (extolling the married life): "Listen, have you ever seen me so happy?"

JOEL (grouchily deadpan): "Yeah, but you didn't know I was watching."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 26 September 2003 00:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Does this come on TV anymore? (Reruns, obv.)

NA (Nick A.), Friday, 26 September 2003 11:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I was going to try to start a Joel vs Mike FITE but then I remembered the audience and realized it would go nowhere.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 26 September 2003 12:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Why? Too many old-schoolers? I would probably take Mike's side, if just to make things interesting.

NA (Nick A.), Friday, 26 September 2003 12:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Too many people think that the fight is stupid (which is also my opinion).

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 26 September 2003 12:21 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

sidehackin is the thing to do, and it doesn't hurt to have a low IQ..

daria g (daria g), Friday, 26 September 2003 15:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Too many people think that the fight is stupid (which is also my opinion).

Yes. People who are kneejerk anti-Mike really annoy me.

Nicolars (Nicole), Friday, 26 September 2003 15:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

My roommate and I recently watched "The Sword And The Dragon" again, and while it's not nearly as good a Finnish epic movie (or episode, in general) as the Sampo movie (whose name completely eludes me right now) it DOES have one of the best skits they ever did, "A Joke: A Film by August Strindberg". Which would be impossible to recreate in text so I won't even bother trying.

Chris P (Chris P), Friday, 26 September 2003 15:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

it's not nearly as good a Finnish epic movie

I actually think it's the best one in terms of sheer budget-on-screen spectacle -- over the top and overacted at points but beats the fuck out of just about every sort of 'epic fantasy' movie after it (in the non-sci fi trappings sense) until recent days.

the Sampo movie

THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE

"Oh yah, I remember that day..." < / Minnesota grandma twang >

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 26 September 2003 15:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Oh yes yes yes. And yes "TS&TD" has really insanely high production values (what, did they just find some hideously deformed guy to play the windblowing imp, or is that actually a phenomenal makeup job?) but the plot is so arbitrary and pointless. "TDTEF" invests its plot with a bit more motivation and reason.

Chris P (Chris P), Friday, 26 September 2003 15:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Does this come on TV anymore? (Reruns, obv.)

Yes, Sci-Fi Channel episodes are still rerun on Saturday mornings for the time being. Catch them while you can!

"TDTEF" invests its plot with a bit more motivation and reason.

The minor fact that it's based on the Finnish national epic the Kalevala doesn't hurt (and believe it or not, that whole joke about the sampo is straight from the source tales in a way -- nobody really DOES know what a sampo is!).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 26 September 2003 15:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Is this the program with the garish puppets on a spaceship?

David. (Cozen), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

That's "Thunderbolts".

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I think this is the thing I was thinking of. Was there a movie of this or something? You all seem to be talking like it was a show. And in the opening scene a hole blows open in the bottom of the spaceship and one of the robots sits in it and plugs it? What a rubbish film.

David. (Cozen), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It was a show, there was also a movie. You are deluded re: its quality, but I love you. Go here: http://www.mst3kinfo.com -- and learn wisdom.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:32 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I don't believe I've ever imagined the possibility of someone who'd seen the movie without knowing about the tv show. Hunh.

The movie is about as funny as an average episode, but was designed to be seen in the theaters (which is to say, to be seen with a big group of people). The two times I saw it in the theater, it worked very well. (But yeah, the sketches from the movie aren't all that classic, and the single-camera approach of the TV show just works soooo much better... still, it was nice to see them have a modest budget for once.)

Chris P (Chris P), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I saw the movie. Did they cut bits of "this island earth"? It seemed like they did.

jel -- (jel), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


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