Episode Reviews - And Other Science Facts

When I set out to create a tape trading page, I wanted to provide people with information as to the quality of the tape, and the interesting factor of the episode. The little blurbs of "B+" and "3.5" just simply weren't enough. I tried to add little tidbits at the bottom of the page, but, they kept increasing in size and to keep the page neater, I added this section for more indepth reviews.

Season 5
Season 5, the last season in MST3K's long contract with Comedy Central. This season brought the last Joel episode, and the very first Mike episode. Tumoltuous times for the series, yes, but Mike settled in well to bring us 5 more excellent seasons to MST3K.
512 - Mitchell
MITCHELL! Whose a big puffy guy? MITCHELL! That Mitchell is one big.... Shut your mouth! Just talking 'bout Mitchell.
Yes, one of the many lame Shaft ripoff's of the 70's. This episode stars Joe Don Baker as a drunken cop who gets to spy on Ernest Borgnine and Martin Basalm. Ernest you see, is part of an internationl drug ring invloving a bunch of italians you know. Joe Don's real passion is in hunting down Jon Saxton, who killed O.J. Simpson when he broke into his house and was stealing his Star Trek Commemorative plates. Joe Don figures everything out, much to the caringe of his boss, who was obviously in league with the bad guys, and as a result, the last frame of the film is of Joe Don bringing in Linda Evan's yet again for hookering to him. Must see to appriciate. Oh, and I have seen Mitchell unmistied, and trust me, you don't want to.
This episode, of course, is the one where Joel escapes. The host segments, minus the prologue, all revolve around the escape. The daktari stool is great, although I had to ask my mother what the heck it was supposed to mean. Joel escaping contains one of the cheapest effects BBI ever did, rather than bluescreen in real transmission snow, they simply threw confetti in front of Joel during his final transmission in the hexfield. Joel was dying of laughter and could barely contain himself.
Rating: (RHINO) (B)
Season 7
If nothing more, Season 7 served as a transition. At the time BBI didn't know it, but that is what it ended up being. A somewhat gentle transition between Dr. F and Frank, to Mrs. F, who, while annoying in this season, developed a much more likeable character for the Scifi Era. This season, as we all know, was only 6 episodes long (plus 701T), and was CC's lame attempt to placeate BBI and Viewers for one more year. It didn't work, CC lost the series, and Scifi immediatly picked it up, so nyah nyah!
705 - Escape 2000

Leave the Bronx! Move to beatiful homes in New Mexico! is this movies bold proclamation. One might think that the Santa Fe' realtors association made this film, but no, it is a dubbed Itallian movie. I have a soft spot for these films... they're always so funny! I mean, what could be better than Itallians playing New York gang members, or Floridians. (911 - Devilfish)
The plot is vaguely this:
Guys in radiation suits with flame throwers force people to Leave The Bronx! They tell them, and the general public new homes are waiting in New Mexico, but they lie. Really they are becoming the crispy chicken meal at KFC.
The man behind this? A NYC developer who wants to bulldoze The Bronx! and rebuild, to make it a beautiful area without crime. Problem is, criminals are against this, so they move into the sewer and start killing the radiation suit guys. It works pretty well, owing to the impossible accuracy of the gang members and the amazing stupidity of the Silver suited guys.
Eventually, to get their way, they kidnap the NYC Developer / Corperate Head with the help of some scary guy and Kenny! From Gamera! The whole plan gets messed up when a double crossing Developer kills the corperate head so he can become the new VP (Isn't it always that way?) and then the whole movie goes up in flames. Everyone dies but "Trash", the head gang member. We never do see what happens to the Bronx though.
If you like movies with exploding models, falling ladder scenes, exploding panel vans and guys dying in slow motion, then this movie is for YOU! If not, the riffing is so great, so outstanding, it makes up for the horrible movie.
The host segments are ok, although I'm not sure why BBI decided to dedicate the 2 opening sketches to torching the SOL, but the effect is really nice. After watching all of this, I finally figured out why people initially hated Mrs. F. Her character was super grating, like the most evil mother-in-law anyone could ever have.
The final segment where Servo drops from a helicopter is really funny, and the effect is quite nifty! If not for Mrs. F. and the bizarre food sketch, this would have made my top 10 of all time list.
Rating: (4.5) (A) (SP)
Season 8
Another season of new beginnings, new characters, and the same old bad movies. This season marked the beginning of MST3K's happy affiliation with the Scifi channel. 13 episodes were ordered for this season, but Scifi liked them so much they picked up the "Back 9" option in the contract, and made it a 22 episode season. This season marked the introduction of Brain Guy (No, that's Observer), Professor Bobo, and the re-introduction of Pearl. It also marked the beginning of Bill Corbett providing the voice of Crow. Now enjoy, and bask in the goofiness.
801 - Revenge Of The Creature
In this alarmingly boring sequel to "The Creature From The Black Lagoon" the creature is captured, and brought to the San Diego Zoo. There, they call him the Gill Man, and put him in a small tank where he is locked to the floor, after a brief mistake where he escaped and tried to kill people. Maybe he succeeded, I don't remember. Anyway, he breaks lose again, and steals a woman. The cops, headed up by Don Knotts (I'm kidding of course) try and save the woman. We are continually brought back to the annoying radio announcer as he explains scenes that were too graphic to show (Or to expensive to film, you decide.) In the end, something happens but no one cares.
This episode was the first produced for the Scifi Channel, and has many first's in it as well. The first episode with Bobo, the first episode with Bill as Crow, the first episode in Deep Ape, the first episode on the newly redesigned Satellite Of Love, and of course, one can not forget the reintroduction of Pearl. We are brought back to the SOL, where Crow had been living for the past 500 years, because the edge of the universe was all boring and stuff. It is now the year 2525, and sadly, you cannot pick your son, pick your daughter too from the bottom of a long glass tube. But, man is dead and apes rule the world. Bobo sends Mike the movie, as it is ape law. Other than the goofy expresso skit, the host segments are really cool. Bill's performance as Crow in the Prologue and Segment 1 is rather wooden but other than that, he does a superb job. This show also introduces the Nanites and gives you the most information you will ever get on them.
Just on another note, this movie was originally filmed in 3D, and as a result, contains about 800 stupid 3D type gags. As the episode was done in 2D, the film was converted to a 2D field as well, leaving us with 100's of useless gags that just look dumb because they weren't shown in 3D. Thankfully, BBI did not go on the cheap and exploit any of these.
Rating: (5) (C+) (SP)
810 - The Giant Spider Invasion
This story tells the tale of Claudia Christian (well that's who she looks like!) and her abusive husband. Ok, see if you can follow the story:
A black hole forms in their backyard, and all their cattle die. Hubby finds some big rocks in the field and discovers they have diamonds in them. Of course, they never notice the spiders that appear to be living in them each time they crack a rock open. It turns out that a GIANT! spider comes out of the black hole and is setting out to destroy their town. Alan Hale Jr., playing the same role he did in 106, is the very hick like town sheriff. Problem is, much like in Gilligan's Isle, he never actually accomplishes anything. An angry drunken mob of Packers fans attempts to shoot the spider to death, but it all ends well when a passing helicopter seals up the black hole with a reverse action bomb (Don't ask) and then the spider explodes, spewing Beef Stew on everyone.
The running chain of host segments is that Pearl and Brain Guy are taken over by Pods on the Camping Planet. The pods want to rule the world and are using Pearl and Brain Guy to do so, as the Pods don't have legs or arms. You have to fall asleep to be taken over by them, so M&TB are trying to stay awake. The Pods manage to take over Gypsy, who sings a lovely lullabye, and eventually the bots are taken over as well. In the end, Bobo destroys the mother pod, which looks a lot like Kevin Murphy in a hefty bag, but who am I to judge.
Oh, and this movie was filmed on location in... WISCONSIN!!! AHHHHH!!!
Rating: (5) (B (SP)
819 - Invasion Of The Neptune Men
I get the feeling BBI hated this film. The whole, Mike leaving the theater, Servo suffering a massive movie meltdown, the riffs, it's quite obvious they didn't like it. I love Segment 2. "Noh Theater," heh heh heh, "Gotta mess with em' everyonce and a while." The costumes on the bots were great in that sketch too. It was really cool to see Krankor again, "Hehhhh Hehhhhh Hehhhhh Hehhhhhhhhhhhh."
Anyway, the movie. Some aliens from Neptune, at least I think it's Neptune, that point was never really clarified, come and try to kill some little kids in little pants who have the endurance of Richard Simmons. They're not very good at it, and Space Chief, or was it Prince of Space in a new stupid costume? comes and save the kids. Once again, Japan shows to us, that children rule their country by officials listening to their every word and giving the kids level 5 security clearance. In the end, everything blows up, including a Hitler building, and the alien's Thomas The Tank Engine like space ship. It's like a Godzilla film with out the Godzilla.
Rating: (5) (A) (SP)

821 - Time Chasers
A complete and utter Back To The Future ripoff. A geeky guy with serious hockey hair takes his ultra cool Commodore 64 and his Cessna single engine prop place and turns it into a time machine. Excuse me, "Time Transport." And he doesn't have to go 88 mph neither! Well, he invites over the gencorp, a local evil research firm, and the newspaper so he can show them... THE FUTURE!!!!
They go through a cheap effect, and appear, IN THE FUTURE! The future consits of a mall with big windows and the Radisson Hotel. I'm serious. Of all the things they could do in the future, they go to the mall, eat lunch, and come back! CHEEESEEE!!! Well, anyway, they go back to the present and the gen corp guy promises to bring back non other than the evil head of gen corp himself, so they can strike a research and development deal. Evil head comes, and dispite his evil slicked back hair, geeky guy signs over his information for the grant. Evil guy ruins the future and the geeky guy, who is no longer geeky cause he stopped wearing glasses and is now dating the newspaper lady, must go back in time to fix it. They all end up in 1777 and now there are 2 geeky guys, and an unlimited number of newspaper reporters, mechanics, and evil gen corp John Saxton guys. The geek convinces the American rebels that Saxton is a British spy, (We were stupid back then,) and so they kill him and a bunch of duplicate people, so we are left with a geeky guy and a reporter. They go back to before evil head saw the time transport and remove the time transport components. (A Commodore 64.) When gen corp arrives, they pull a double whammy and tell him they have and idea for new commercials. Fat oily guy gets fired and the credits run for 3 hours.
This episode is most definitly in the top 5 of all time MST eps. The Lost In Space prologue is absolutly fantastic and I want to know where they got that Servo head. Mike backing the SOL into the widowmaker was funny, and the "chat" with Pearl was great. When Crow floated over, I was on the floor laughing.
The whole plot line of Crow going back in time to tell Mike to stop temping was just wonderfully done, and all I can say is, "Dude."
The final segment is great, with a rehash of the prologue, on with Servo and Crow doing Gilligan's Island. Servo makes an excellent Skipper.
The "Eddie" thing was odd, but overall it was all great. This is also one of the few episodes where the credits run forever, so, unable to come up with riffs, BBI had to do something different to pass the time. The result - "Observer Witness News." Basically, Brain Guy uses his "omnipitant" powers to half screen the movie and do his news report. When I first saw it happen, I thought Scifi was doing something and I was ready to kill them, but, low and behold, it was Brain Guy, and it was great.
2 of my favorite lines, both from host segments:
"When do you stop being dumb Mike?!?
"Robot from the future, there's another robot from the future here to see you."
Rating: (5) (A+) (SP) (Personally Recommended!)
Season 9
Season 9, yes, the season of the British Wonders. These classic, horrible films will never be forgotten. Also, this season marked the beginning of Castle Forrester, and featured MST's second guest star ever, the famous Leonard Maltin. Mr. 2.5 stars himself. Enjoy.
905 - The Deadly Bees
Basically the plot of this film follows the same plot of every James Bond movie ever made. Hot woman, double crossing traitors, car chases, yknow. The only difference, the movie is about bees. I'll just leave my review at that.
Rating: (5) (A-) (SP)
Season 10
Season 10, a season of mostly newer bad films. The last season, production began in November, yet 1001, guest spotting both Joel and Frank, did not air till April. In fact, it was announced even before the first episode of season 10 that the show was cancelled. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the post mortum wonders of some of the best eps ever.
1001 - Soultaker
The movie is not the feature of the ep, but I will describe it. Ok, some 30 something teenagers go to "Summerfest" which, amoung other things, features an Amish band and about 8000 lame balloons. Joe Estevez, not Charlie Sheen, and Martin Z'Dar are the evil doers. Joe makes the 30 something teens car crash and he goes about stealing their souls. He tries, but quite frankly he's kinda wimpy and doesn't succeed. Eventually Martin Z'Dar sucks Joe's soul into a rubber O ring and the movie ends. Not! Natilie must be saved and she gets saved through her ex boyfriends remarkable soul putting backing talents. Then the movie ends. Not! She leaves the hospital with her former ex boyfriend (ie. boyfriend) and they ride off in Christine while Servo and Crow think of horrible scenarios over the closing credits.
The host segments were naturally the focus here, what with Joel AND Frank returning. It was kinda weird to see Frank in Castle Forrestor, and let me tell you, Joel has put on a few pounds since 1993. Anyway, the ships wildly malfunctioning and Joel comes to fix it, but he can't take Mike and the bots back with him, cause the Satellite Of Love made a man outa him, and maybe, just maybe if your lucky, it'll make a man outa you. Ends with Frank stealing Bobo's soul (Franks not in Second Banana Heaven anymore, it was way to political) and Bobo and Frank playing ring toss with Bobo's soul.
The only problem with my copy is I was fiddling with the TV, and accidentally switched to the history channel before the show started. I caught it about 30 seconds in, and as a result, I am missing the first half of the theme song.
Rating: (5) (B) (SP)
1003 - Merlins Shop Of Mystical Wonders
This episode has one of the weirdest movies to ever grace MST's silver screen. In it, Ernest Borgine tells 2 completely unrelated stories to a small child. The stories are only held together by Merlin, from the title, and the Creepy Monkey Toy. Merlin runs around, a guy gets old and dies in the lamest bald cap ever. We're talking lamer than Mike's Amazing Colossal Man bald cap. Then a little kid get and loses an evil monkey, virtuallly 4000 times.
Lame host segments, best riffing in a long time. Mike seems somewhat agitated in the prologue, and the feeling echoes through the rest of the episode. The theater scenes do not give this impression, as they are filmed on a different day, I'm imagning Mike had been in an argument with someone. Other than "I love bags!" this episode is overall quite boring and predictable. You knew well before the book segment was half done how it would end, and Mike as a baby isn't even remotely funny. Of course, some predictable things never get old, such as Crow falling! Other than Crow falling, and "I love bags" the only funny moment in the segments is Servo as dictator, which, again, is nearly ruined by however Mike was feeling. Bobo with ants in his pants, oh my, you must see to appriciate. Top notch 100% riffing though.
Rating: (5) (B+) (SP)

1004 - Future War
The film begins by giving us brief flashes of movie and then bringing us back to the credits. This repeats for a full 15 minutes and then we have commercial sign.
When the movie finally starts, we find Jean Claude GoshDarn (The B Movie version of Jean Claude VanDamme) being hit by a nun in a station wagon. You see, Jean Claude just came down from space and fought Robert Z'Dar and some forced perpective dinosaurs, so he was tired and sleeping in the road. Anyway, the nun, who was formally a street hooker and drug dealer, tales Jean Claude back to her halfway house, which is run by a couple'a sumo wrestlers. They nurse him back to health while he learns English, but then a "giant" forced perspective dinosaur finds him and tries to eat him.
Enter, Joe Don Baker, well, not really, but he's a cop with all the same mannerisms. Jean Claude saves his butt and the poofy haired Joe Donish cop shows his appriciation by arresting him. While being questioned in a parking garage closet Jean Claude become F, B, I, property as the producers best friends don trench coats and sunglasses and interrogate him. The remove his tracker beacon, and Robert Z'Dar comes back to kill him. He's dead and so are the dinos.
Not! While the nun is taking her final vows Z'Dar comes back and Jean Claudes shirt flies off as he fights him. He finally dies and Jean Claude and the nun become counselors.
Be sure to enjoy the endlessly inappropriate, constantly reused stock soud effects and the hilarious shirt flying off thing. I guarantee you'll love the newscaster bit in which a red haired guy and his cameraman (who is actually holding a cardboard box with a lens taped to it) do their newscast.
All in all, the movie follows a tradition of making bad B rated ripoff's of good movies. In this case, Jurassic Park.
This is a classic episode in all respects. Grade 'A' 100%. The host segments are more kid oriented, but are hysterical. Tom's lefs are great, "Come on you big stupidy legs!" And, "I thought you didn't have legs!?!?" Gyosy - "I just made it today, I should make another." Great.
The final host segment with Mike spoofing Robert Z'Dar by having a big prosthetic chin is great too. Don't miss the theater end credits when Mike shows us forced perspective. All in all, a great episode.
Rating: (5) (A) (SP)
1011 - The Horrors Of Spider Island
Ok, there is no horror and almost no spiders in this horrible 1960's black and white flick. Some dancers and their manager, Gary are going to Singapore when they crash on an island. They discover Henry David Thoureau is living there, well, deading there is more appropriate, cause giant radioactive spiders killed him. Anyway, Gary dies from a spider as well, actually, he becomes a giant spider himself. Well, more of a shirtless Dick Contino with a hairy face, but let not these inconsitancies spoil this wonderful film. Gary is forgotten for a real long time when some guys come to the island with supplies and discover the girls. Typical 60's teen dancing movie type stuff follows for about an hour. Well, Gary comes back, kills a few more people, before everyone is rescued.

It's a really dumb horrible dubbed film. I want to hurt it. The riffing is pretty good, and it is all worth it for Mike and the bots imitating the movie by crashing the SOL. What? SOL crashing? Yes, thats right. Repeat to yourself its just a show, I should really just relax. I love that tag line. The plotline of moving the castle, while being the stupidest thing in the world, was somehow funny, although segment 5 took it a little to far. "I found these balloons." - Enough said.
Rating: (5) (B-) (SP)
Fan Productions
Fan Productions, I like em'. I'm presently scrounging together parts, actors, and sets to film my own. If you are filming one, or preparing to film one, these movies are must. Even if your just a regular old MSTIE (if there is such a thing), you need these films. Why? Cause they're cool!
S01 - Star Trek V
The first of the Ryan K. Johnson films, this one stars William Shatner, and your basic Star Trek cast. You know, Nemoy, Scottie, That Doctor Guy, and a bunch of Clingons. The plot is as follows:
A mean guy steals a planet. The enterprise goes to rescue the planet, but the mean guy pulled a double whammy and was actually in league with the planet to take Shatner's ship. He wants to take it to the center of the galaxy (oooooooohhhh) so he can meet god (aaaahhhhhhhhhh.) He tries, and succeeds, but not after Kirk rescues his fat butt a couple a times. (No, I don't know why.) Well, god's not that nice and they kill him, but not after the mean guy has an epiphany and repents, but he dies anyway, so we are left wondering why he repents at all. Theres a bunch of Klingons, but they aren't that important, so I chose not to mention them.
Please don't reveal the super atomic ultra mega secret plot twist in Star Trek V.
The show. This Ryan K. Johnson guy is soooo cool. They made a full length production, it's the whole movie as far as I can tell, nothing cut. The host segments are rather short, and not very well done, in that they aren't very funny, but you do get to see the way they chose to do the set and such. The riffing is very well done, and the show in general can be compared to a KTMA, except that it was scripted, so therefore the riffs are way better.
It was filmed on a Hi8 camcorder and my copy is a 1nd generation copy of the master. Oh, and the "S01" thing, as the episode number. The "S" stands for "Seattle" where it was made, which was also the first word of the production company name they used in episode 1. The "01" stands for, of couse, episode, "01." There you have it.
Rating: (3.5) (B) (SP)
F01 - Little Red Riding Hood
This is the first of the the "Mystery Fandom Theater" films. Not Ryan K. Johnson, these are done by Mike Hagen and his little group. A Full length production, complete with a remarkable mockup of both the SOL, and Deep 13. The chemistry between Frank and Dr. F. is outstanding, as is the chemistry of M&TB.
The movie, however, is, completely horrible. Dubbed mexican film. Brought to you by the same guy who brought us Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, and let me tell you, this movie is far worse.
Mostly, it follows the plotline of the little red riding hood fairy tales, only it has to include a Mexican wrestling scene. And, of course, it is endlessly drug out, has really bad singing, acting, and lots of guys with the big big head. The riffing is top notch, and the host segments are mediocre. It's also neat that for commercial breaks, these guys found a bunch of horrible old commercials... "Oh, what a horrible shave!" Be sure to look for the "Dummy's" books in some of the segments.
Rating: (3.5) (A) (SP)
Other Stuff
This section is for books, magazines, and other MST tapes, like the specials.
Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese
While I would like to say it was a superb book, it was not. The book was just mediocre. There were some very, very funny moments, yes, but they were far and in between vast gaps of boringness. I guess I expected it to be on par with the ACE:G, which is still hilarious even on my 8 millionth reading of it, but I must realize the ACE:G was a collaborative effort, not a book written by Mike alone. You need to get the book irregardless though. It is a piece of MST history, and there are some classic moments.
Rating: (C)

Season KTMA - 4 Reviews