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Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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And check out the official web site of Joel Hodgson.

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This Date in MSTory

BORN TODAY
1888: Daniel Hall, art director for the movie in episode 320- THE UNEARTHLY.
1912: George J. Morgan, executive producer of the movie in episode 812- THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED UP ZOMBIES.
1914: Sue Dwiggins, writer and producer of the movie “Monstrosity,” seen in episode 518- THE ATOMIC BRAIN, and original screenplay writer for the movie in episode 409- THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN.
1918: Herschel Burke Gilbert, musical score composer for the movie in episode 109- PROJECT MOON BASE.
1923: Joe Lanza, choreographer for the movie in episode 112- UNTAMED YOUTH.
1942: Richard Delvy, music arranger and composer of the title song for the movie in MST3K pilot, THE GREEN SLIME.
1955: Chris Balton, assistant cameraman for the movie in episode 1012- SQUIRM.*

DIED TODAY
1959: Robert Pritchard (age 65), who did the sound for the movie THIS ISLAND EARTH, riffed in MST3K: THE MOVIE.
1974: Pat Somerset (age 77), editor the movie in episode 202- THE SIDEHACKERS.
1992: Jimmy Lennon Sr. (age 79), who played the ring announcer in the movie in episode 616- RACKET GIRLS.
1996: Alexander D’arcy (age 87), who played the monster Gary in the movie in episode 1011- HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND.
1998: Aram Katcher (age 76), who played the factory window washer spy in the movie in episode 602- INVASION U.S.A.

EVENTS
1946: Marie Windsor, who played Josie in the movie in episode 503- SWAMP DIAMONDS, married Ted Steele.
1959: Rance Howard, who appeared in the movie in episode 523- VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS along with his son Ronny Howard, celebrates the birth of his other son, future actor Clint Howard.
1967: The movie “Operation Kid Brother,” seen in episode 508- OPERATION DOUBLE 007 is released in Italy, its country of origin.


This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce This Date in MSTory items in any form without express written permission from the authors.
* = According to the IMBD this person is alive. If you can supply evidence that he or she has died, and when, please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a birthday, the IMDB indicates that the person has died, but the IMDB does not have a full death date (probably just a month and year or just the year he or she died). If you can give us the exact date (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a death date, the IMDB does not have this person’s full birthday. If you can provide it (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.

Weekend Discussion Thread: Most Questionable Fashion Choice

Alert reader Dan writes:

Have you done a thread about the most questionable fashion choices in riffed movies?
I’ve been watching the Fugitive Alien films so I’d have to go with the helmet/wig combo worn by the Star Wolves. Can anyone explain the point of them? Is Halkon(?) so touchy about being bald he makes everybody else wear a rug?

My pick: Batwoman’s outfit. I think they were going for slinky and instead they got “trailer park Halloween party.”

What’s your pick?

New Short from RiffTrax…

AllStarsPoster

Stream or download it here.

Episode guide: 213- Godzilla Vs. The Sea Monster

Movie: (1966): Searching for his brother who was lost at sea, a guy and his pals wash up on an island, guarded by crab-shrimp monster Ebirah, where some sort of evil paramilitary group has built an installation, unaware that Godzilla is asleep in a cave nearby. The brother turns out to be on an island nearby worshiping Mothra. Got all that?

First shown: 2/2/91
Opening: Joel reads “The Velveteen Rabbit” and does all the voices
Invention exchange: Joel shows off his mind-controlled guitar, while the mads have doggie chew toy guitars.
Host segment 1: J&tB sing “The Godzilla Genealogy Bop”
Host segment 2: Joel succumbs to space madness and begins building very bad models
Host segment 3: Despite Joel’s warning, Crow and Tom spoof the Mothra twins, only to meet Mothra on the Hexfield!
End: J&tB discuss famous sayings actors didn’t actually say and look through some “Cool Thing contest ” entries; the Mads consider a corporate re-think
Stinger: Everyone bows down before Mothra
[ratings]

• There’s no avoiding comparing this week’s episode to last week’s, since they’re both Godzilla movies. This one isn’t quite the classic last week’s outing was, but it’s still lots of fun. The plot is a little more confusing, but I chalk that up to the editing by Film Ventures International. All the host segments are worth at least a few laughs, and the riffing is solid throughout.
• This episode is not yet commercially available (and seems unlikely to ever be).
• What’s the name if this movie? It was “Gojira — Ebira — Mosura: Nankai No Dai Ketto,” in the original Japanese (translation: “Godzilla — Ebirah — Mothra: The Great South Seas Duel”). But it had other names in various incarnations, including “Ebirah, Horror Of The Deep” (also “Ebirah, Terror Of The Deep” ) when it was released in England, “Big Duel In The North” (also “Big Duel In The North Sea”), “Ritorno Di Godzilla” (“The Return Of Godzilla”) when it was released in Italy and, for some reason, “Frankenstein Und Dis Ungehauer Aus Dem Meer” (“Frankenstein and the Monsters from the Sea”) when it was released in Germany. Frankenstein?
• For the first time since Joel admonished Crow a few episodes back, he again goes for the Lloyd Bridges “By this time my lungs were aching for air” riff.
• For some reason J&tB wait for the FVI credits to be over before entering the theater. Was this something contractual, I wonder?
• This is our first FVI title. For those who don’t know, Film Ventures International was a company that obtained the rights to films after the copyright expired, and then re-edited and re-marketed the film (sometimes under a different name, sometimes not). We’ll get more FVI titles next season. By the way, the clips used during the opening credits are from “Son of Godzilla.”
• Callbacks: “Rock climbing!” (Lost Continent) “You and your friends the only creeps in this joint.” (Wild Rebels) “Linda!” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet?)
• Just for the record, what Joel is reading in the opening segment is nothing even remotely like the real “Velveteen Rabbit.”
• As the characters sneak into the installation, it’s another classic case of a bad guy’s building with hallways that have structures that stick out from the walls, making sneaking around easier. Only in the movies.
• Local reference: Somebody mentions Trip Shakespeare, a Minnesota-based band some BBI staffers knew.
• Joel actually sort of acts during segment two. Not that Joel isn’t performing all the time on the show, but let’s face it, Joel Robinson the character is not that far removed from Joel Hodgson the guy. But in this scene he has to actually act like he’s kind of crazy. He does a good job, I think!
• Then-current reference: Bhopal. Kind of a dark riff.
• I thought the “Karl Malden’s nose!” line of the “Godzilla Genealogy Bop” was just a non sequitur, but this time I noticed a little random throw-away riff where they observe that Godzilla has a nose a lot like Karl’s, which I guess is where that line came from.
• Incidentally, the “Godzilla Genealogy Bop” is one of those songs some fans forget, but it’s quite a lot of fun.
• That’s Mike as the voice of Mothra, of course, in segment 3.
• It seems like they wanted to have the Mothra prop blink, but couldn’t come up with a mechanism, so they sort of shaded the light that was shining on his eyes. Didn’t really work.
• Another then-current reference: “Cocooning,” was one of those short-lived buzzwords that arose when the 200-channel cable universe arrived and just about every movie you could think of was on VHS, so people supposedly stopped going out and just stayed home taking in entertainment in their “cocoon.” Wikipedia says it was coined by none other than Faith Popcorn, who was later parodied by the Brains.
• NOT-current reference, as Crow points out: “Thicke of the Night,” a talk show hosted by actor Alan Thicke (father of recent pop star Robin Thicke).
• Trivia: The script for this movie was actually written for King Kong, but Godzilla was substituted when rights to Kong weren’t available. What about Frankenstein?
• Cast and crew roundup: As noted in the previous episode, several of the cast of “Godzilla vs. Megalon” also worked on this. I won’t repeat all those. Special effects guys Eiji Tsuburaya and Teisho Arikawa also worked on “Mighty Jack.” Akira Watanabe worked on “The Green Slime.” The guy who wrote the score (clearly for the FVI version), Karl Michael Demer, also did the music for other FVI titles, including “Cave Dwellers,” “Pod People,” “Master Ninja I” and “Master Ninja II.” In front of the camera, Eisei Amamoto is also “Mighty Jack” and Wataru Omae was also in “Time of the Apes.”
• CreditsWatch: The whole “creative pit boss” thing is gone. “Villians” is still misspelled. Makeup lady Faye Burkholder must have tossed out some riffs that got used, because she was added to the list of writers for the first time since the KTMA era. Burkholder also gets a co-writing credit with Kevin on the “Geneaology Bop.” Mole person Sylvia was intern Robert Czech and mole person Jerry was intern Nathan Molstad. And the “Squeeky” Toy Orchestra (the people providing all the additional squeaky-toy noises during the Mads’ invention exchange) were Mike, Jef Maynard and Alex Carr.
• Favorite riff: “It’s the Mothra Graham Dance Troupe.” Honorable mention: “What a party! That last shot I saw crabs!”

Bad Movie Thursday in Scranton

For folks in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Scranton Cultural Center will host Bad Movie Thursdays with MST3K — hosted by yours truly — Thursday at 7 p.m. (Cocktails start at 6.) The month’s offering is episode 512- MITCHELL.
More info here. If you live in the area, or are visiting, join us, won’t we?

Reminder: ‘Other Space’ Streaming Now on Yahoo

Here’s the trailer!

Weekend Discussion Thread: Your Embarrassing Crush on a MSTed Movie Actor

Alert reader Amy has a great one:

Just a few days ago, I was minding my own business watching Overdrawn at the Memory Bank when the scene came on with Apollonia reprimanding Fingal for spending – what, several days? – “making love” with Felicia. Raul Julia turns on the smolder in that scene, and suddenly I found myself sitting up and thinking, “Why, HELLO, Mr. Julia. How YOU doin’?” I was sort of both amused and disgusted with myself. I mean, it IS a young Raul Julia we’re talking about here, but, on the other hand, it’s Raul Julia in Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, so…

So my question is, what’s your most embarrassing crush on an actor/actress in an MST movie? I feel like Raul Julia isn’t TOO embarrassing, actually, so I’ll also submit the floppy-haired indeterminately European Paul from “Werewolf.” I should know better, I really should, but the heart (or whatever it is) wants what the heart wants.

No question: Mary Beth Hughes, especially in “Last of the Wild Horses.” She can saddle me up anytime.

How about you? Oh, and keep it PG-13, okay?

New Streaming Title from RiffTrax…

2HeadedTransplant

Download or stream it here.

A Late Vol. 32 Review

Our pal Bruce Westbrook is, well, our pal, so it may come as no surprise that he says nice things about us, and about me, in this slightly belated review of Vol. 32. But he also makes some very interesting points about the rest of the set. Check it out.

Vol. XXXIII Episodes Are …

307- DADDY-O with short: ALPHABET ANTICS
313- EARTH VS. THE SPIDER with short: USING YOUR VOICE
522- TEEN-AGE CRIME WAVE
815- AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.

More info when we get it.