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.

The KTMA episodes are graded on the same scale as the Season 1-10 eps. While I have seen some people who are more lax on KTMA's, I find it easier to understand if they are graded in the same fashion. Plus, many of the KTMA's contain absolutly hilarious riffing and host segments.

K05 - Gamera
Considered to be the worst show in MST's rich history, Joel sits in the theater alone. Thankfully, they picked a halway decent movie to do it with. I found myself both watching the movie and laughing to Joel's occasional comments. Servo appears in the host segments, but doesn't join Joel in the theater. Crow is frozen as a Christmas tree, go figure.
This has to be the worst quality episode I own. Bad audio, bad picture. The color is nearly gone completely (Thankfully the movie is Black And White, which Joel and Servo thoughtfully dedicated a sketch to.) Its pretty painfull to watch and requires a lot of squinting.
I really would like a new copy of this episode.
Rating: (2.0) (B) (SP)
K13 - SST Deathflight
As the "SST Deathflight Theme" states, in what was the very first prologue sketch ever: "SST Deathflight, take a bunch of actors, has been actors, put em in a TV film, put em in a firey crash, see Robert Reed and Burgess Merideth. Hey ain't that the dad from the Brady Bunch? Yes he is, in a FIREY DEATH SCENE HAHA! Mike Miller too."
That right there sums up the whole movie. Its great, in what is one of the most recognizable cast in an MST film ever: Excellent riffing, great segments, and 2 songs, in one ep! The SST Deathflight theme, and the Banana Boat Song! I have a very good copy of this episode. Complete, no dropouts, all good. There is a total of 2 odd looking color blurbs that appear, at max, for 10 seconds, but the picture can still be seen behind them. The only bad thing about the whole episode is that the prologue sketch appears to be about 8th generation, but the rest of the ep is of 3rd gen quality. My reasoning is that whoever first recorded it didn't catch the pre-theme bit, and got in a later trade and just tacked it on.
Rating: (3.5) (A) (SP)
K18 - The Million Eyes Of Su-Muru
This movie, has no plot. It stars Frankie Avalon, and a couple old guys, and about 50 girls in mid-driffs. While the blatent nudity added to the movie, it failed to save it. There are hundreds of scenes of girls dancing, and flaunting their stomachs. As a result, it is non-stop theater, "Oh wow"-ing, and continuous Joshisms. The host segments are classic. Joel and the bots singing the theme unplugged is great, I only wish they sung the whole thing, rather than just the end.
My tape has various problems, the most evident is, a very annoying noise that can only be described as "farting" that occurs over the opening theme, and opening segment. It dissapears once we enter the theater however. It is, the most annoying noise in the world. My tape drops out quite frequently, for up to 5 seconds at a time, but overall, except for the theme and segment 1, is fairly watchable. I am looking for a better copy, but only if yours does not have the "farting" noise.
Rating: (2.5) (C+) (SP)
Season 1
Season 1, the season of new beginnings. New bots, new sets, same old bad movies. Season 1 seemed to have more interactive theater sessions, Joel stood up more, Gypsy came in the theater, and in one episode, they all stood up and danced! The theater was dramatically more animated than it later became. I seemed to have enjoyed season 1 far more than your average person. I always really enjoyed Josh's Servo and his character of Dr. Erhardt, but sadly they left after the 1st season. Sniff. So if my Season 1 eps are rated better than most people in episode quality, it probably has something do with Josh.

101 - The Crawling Eye
Yes folks, a movie about a giant eyeball. This is one of the most painfull movies in MST's history. The audio track snaps, crackles, and pops (Which Joel and The Bots point out quite often) the video contains not so special special effects, and the storyline overall leaves much to be desired.
The 1st host segment give you the most information you ever get about Deep 13. The Gypsy uncoiling segment is classic, and contains the one and only time Joel removes Gypsy's eye, which she doesn't like very much. In this episode, they were obviously still figuring out chromakey on their new computers, Crows net is almost completly absent, and there is an odd gap in between both Tom and Joel and their theater seats.
My copy is not wonderful, but I have to remind myself that the original is at least 10 years old, so I give it a little credit.
If anyone has a really good copy to trade, I would like it a lot!
Rating: (2.5) (B+) (SP)
106 - The Crawling Hand
Not to much to be explained about this film. I liked the host segments a lot. Alan Hale Jr. rounds out (literally) the cast.
Season 2
When the show began to get more popular. In Season 2, Frank came, Kevin became the voice of Servo, and The Comedy Channel merged with HA! to form Comedy Central. This opened up vast new markets to MST.
202 - Sidehackers
This is one of the best episodes of Season 2. The movie is exceptionally strange, but I love the biker/70's road movies they occasionally got to do. Nothing happens for the entire two hours, it is, as described in the ACEG, a bunch of scenes scotch-taped together to form a film. Basically, some 'Sidehackers,' which are people that cling to... well, motorcycle platform things that.... ummm, sidecars, meet some other guy who wants to finance their sidehacking adventures. But, bad things happen, people die, then more people die, and then the movie ends. It's clear that the idea behind the movie was the sidehacking, but they ran out of motorcycle racing footage ten minutes in and had to come up with the rest of the movie. Regretfully, the plot-pivotal murder scene was cut from the episode due to it being graphic, and it's absence subtracts from the film as a whole. Then again, being as the movie had no plot to begin with, there wasn't much to subtract from. The frolicking-through-the-meadow montage at the beginning of the film, well, if it isn't a highlight in the entire history of film, then I don't know what is.
Both the Director of Photography and the film's Editor decided they would show off a little too much of their skills. The photography, overall, is very good, but a three minute scene with a person's face reflected in the rear view mirror of a motorcycle is excessive, to say the least. The editor... well, the bizarre things they did with aspect ratios at the beginning of of the movie... let's just say I had never seen it before, and I haven't seen it since.
The segments, like the riffing, are top notch, not just for an early episode like this one, but for the entire series. Then again, the movie made it easy. Both of the songs are really nice, 'Only Love Pads The Film' shows off Joel's singing talents, although he's having trouble containing himself by the end. The segment in which Mike appears as J.C. is fantastic. It's one of Mike's better guest roles, he plays the part of J.C. perfectly, and the wig he's wearing plays the part of J.C.'s hair equally well. A definite 'A' episode, one that you could show to even relative new-comers.
Rating: (5) (A) (DVD)
203 - Jungle Goddess, with short: The Phantom Creeps: Part 1
This short, one of the goofier ones, opens with Bela Lugosi, who is playing against character as an evil scientist. Anyway, he has big ugly beard which he shaves off in the middle of the short for some unnamed reason. Anyway, he as evil spiders that explode when they touch coasters. This amazing power involves a lame string puppet and cheap stop motion animation.
Then suddenly, he decides to ditch that idea for an even stupider effect involving a belt that makes him blurry.
Shift again, (this is a long short) he's escaping because his friend turned him in for having a big stupid monster and evil spiders. Bela picks up Torgo on the side of the road cause Torgo looks like him. For no reason whatsoever, their car crashes and Torgo dies.
So Bela's wife won't be able to identify Torgo's body as not being Bela, he puts an exploding spider in her plane. It all goes down in flames. Look for the weird blonde lady and try not to hate.
The Movie! 2 guys who will remind you of the odd couple fly around looking for a woman in this epic. They land in the jungle and Bob convieniently shoots one of the natives. Bob is sentenced to hang by the Jungle Goddess, who is the woman they were looking for. Apparently, she has been lost 6 years, and has been able to convince the natives all that time that she is a god, and not just a dumb blonde from LA.
She and Mike get mushy faced as they all (Bob included) plan to escape in their model airplane. Bob is jealous, so he tries to beat up Mike. Bob conviently shoots another native. Before the movie is out, Bob manages to kill 3 people, 2 lions, and a coconut (Don't ask), before getting killed himself.
Mike and the Jungle Goddess escape and to quote Mary Jo Pehl, "And all Greta (Jungle Goddess) can think about is a new hat."
This movie is DUULLLLL!!! Another Robert Lippert, so at least he tried. There is endless stock footage, model airplanes, rear projection, and sets cheaper than those on Gilligan's Isle in this movie. Every host segment minus the invention is genius though.
The universe hide and go seek was goofy and childish but funny. The second segment, right out of the short and into your living room. An infomercial for the Phantom Creep. I know exactly what infomercials their making fun of, so I loved it. If you haven't seen those great ones with those British people and John, who is supposed to be an "average" consumer, you probably wouldn't like it. Segment 3 is classic BBI produced humor that is a must for all. My only regret is that the kinda over did it. Segment 4 is a must if only as one of the few times Jim appears on camera as a person. Interestingly, Mike, going against character, plays "Mike" from the film along with Jim in this segment. Segment 5 is hysterical, and this is where the "Art / Crow" thing came from. The riffing is overall weak, but the segments are great.
Oh, and this episode is the very first time they used the "lame mirror box gag."
Rating: (4) (B) (SP)
204 - Catalina Caper
This movie is quite odd. Supposedly, it was supposed to be a comedy, but the only even remotely comediec part is the endless pratfalls of the Gilligan looking guy, which get old quite fast. A great episode until segment 4, which is rather weak. The riffing drops off rather sharply after this point as well. Thankfully, segment 5 is really quite cute. Very, very good riffing for a Season 2. It surprised me that there weren't more Gilligan's Island jokes. There were endless opportunities for them and I even found myself adding them in from time to time. This, to the best of my knowledge, is one of 2 Warner Brothers films BBI ever did. (The other being 112.) The "Creepy Girl" song is great, and shows off Kevin's full musical abilities. Watch the end credits to the show closely, you won't be dissapointed.
Rating: (RHINO) (B+)
Season 4
Say what you will, but I like Mary Jo, who joined the staff in Season 4. Her style of writing, and her riffs are evident through out all successive films after season 4. When I saw 908 (Which she didn't write for, because she was in L.A. filming 909 with Leonard Maltin) I noticed a substancial drop in riffing. I didn't know what it was at the time, but it was obvious something was missing from the riffing, and when I saw the end credits, with her name absent, it all made sense.
Oh, and one other thing, ""Manos" the, uh, Hands Of Fate."
403 - City Limits
This movie is so bizarre, even after watching it, I still don't know what was going on. In some post apocolyptic future, a bad of teenage rebels known as the Clippers run around, aided by James Earl Jones. They are out to stop some rival organization run by a bunch of guys doing the safety dance and Robby Benson. They succeed, with the aid of their motorcycles, a '57 Caddy, and a bunch of exploding remote controlled airplanes. I know, post apocolyptic future... where do they get gasoline?... I dunno, maybe their hog's run on the script, because god knows they weren't reading it. It really doesn't make any sense at all, and I'm not quite sure why they didn't like this other, rival organization either.
As for the skits, good stuff... especially the prologue where Joel gets 9000 ping pong balls dropped on his head. Sight gags... sigh. The whole movie is worth it for Joel and the bots rapping over the end credits of the movie.
Rating: (3) (B)
424 - "Manos" The Hands Of Fate
Great episode considering what they had to work with. There are just so many things wrong with this film. The pointless alchoholic smoochers that randomly appear throughout the film. Mr. Warren? What was that about?!?!? Torgo's, um, knees. Hey everybody! Got a low budget film? Stick pillows in someone's pant legs and BAM! you've got a monster! What the heck?!?! The sound? What was this, recorded on a record that someone tied to an ATV and took on a thrill ride?!?!? If anyone sees Hal Warren, please hurt him for me.
Loved Segment 2 with Gypsy as a southern redneck cop. Jim did a great job with that. Frank apologizing for the film was really lame. It looked, and sounded like he was reading a cue card. Trace's apology for the film was far better, and I loved the, "And don't tell Frank, or else I might have to kill him." That always makes me laugh. And what was with Trace's hair in that segment? Were they going for a mohawk look?
Anyway, bad movie, great riffing, ok host segments, great credit song (heh heh.)
!WARNING!: NOT FOR A NEWBIE, this film will kill you, you must have built up your resistance to bad films before you see this!
Rating: (RHINO) (B)

Season 5 - 10, And Other Reviews

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