Alert regular “Sitting Duck” observes:
All too often, the films shown on MST3K rely quite a bit on padding to get up to feature length. Frequently the padding has no perceivable relevance to the plot. So which occasions of non sequitur padding do you find particularly egregious? My top pick is the scene with Ike the Security Guard in The Wild, Wild World of Batwoman. A very close second would be the Fish Argument Theater from Gamera Vs. Zigra.
Gonna have to go with The endless traveling scenes in King Dinosaur. Completely useless to the plot.
What’s your pick?
Keep sending WDT ideas!
BORN ON THIS DATE
1891: Everett Glass, who played Timmek in the movie WORLD WITHOUT END, riffed in MST3K’s first live show.
1894: Hans Peters, art director for the movie in episode 601- GIRLS TOWN.
1904: Jack Greenhalgh, cinematographer for the movies in episodes 103- THE MAD MONSTER, 107- ROBOT MONSTER and 208- LOST CONTINENT.
1912: Charles Duncan, who did the special effects for the movies in episodes 108- THE SLIME PEOPLE and 902- THE PHANTOM PLANET.
1916: Tom Cound, who played Captain Hawkins in the movie in episode 804- THE DEADLY MANTIS.
1918: Shôichi Hirose, who played the Red Bamboo thug in the movie in episode 213- GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER.* (If indeed he is still alive, he turns 98 today!)
1933: Bert Convy, who played Tim Vernon in the movie in episode K13- SST: DEATH FLIGHT.
DIED ON THIS DATE
1970: Leith Stevens (age 60), who did the musical score for WORLD WITHOUT END, riffed in MST3K’s first live show and whose uncredited music was featured in episode 104- WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET.
1978: Charles Horvath (age 57), who played Mike in the movie in episode 805- THE THING THAT COULDN’T DIE.
1994: Hans J. Salter (age 98), who composed some of the movie music in episodes 104- WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET, 702- THE BRUTE MAN and 803- THE MOLE PEOPLE, as well as for THIS ISLAND EARTH, seen in MST3K: THE MOVIE.
EPISODE PREMIERE ON THIS DATE
1994: Episode 602- INVASION U.S.A. (with the short A DATE WITH YOUR FAMILY) first shown.
This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2016 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.
Movie: (1957) A swarm of giant grasshoppers, inadvertently created by a radioactive experiment, heads for Chicago.
First shown: 11/25/93
Opening: During a group sing, M&tB get a wrong number
Invention exchange: The Mads present the re-comfy bike, M&tB show off their new playing cards
Host segment 1: Mike calls the Mads and catches them off guard
Host segment 2: Crow unveils his latest screenplay: “Just Plain Peter: The U of M Years”
Host segment 3: Tom’s standup routine is heavy on grasshopper jokes
End: The bots post-card, Bert I. Gordon special effects, Mads are boxing
Stinger: “Alright, men. Into the woods!”
• This one’s a bit of a change of pace, literally: Bert I. Gordon slows things down and grinds out the filler thoughout a drab, monster-free first half — but that just leaves plenty of room for the riffs. Once the grasshoppers and Peter Graves arrive, things really pick up. The host segments are fun, especially Crow’s newest screenplay.
• Mary Jo is VERY good at playing those trailer trash gals. Maybe a little TOO good. That’s Paul yelling in the background.
• The playing cards bit, which I think even they realized was a little wifty, would be parodied in season six.
• Some grasshoppers were harmed in the making of this movie: According to reports, the grasshopper wranglers started with 200 of the little guys. During the filming, they began to cannibalize one another, and by the time the last shots were done, only a dozen were left.
• When we started doing the Mike episodes, somebody in the comments said it was the beginning of an era when the Mads became more effeminate, and yeah, I guess there was a bit of an upswing of that kind of comedy. Segment one is a good example.
• Rhino really screwed the pooch on the packaging for this one: Joel’s picture is on the package and he is touted as the star. On the menus, you can hear Arch Hall Jr. croon “Vicky.” Bleah.
• Tom begins to sing a few bars of George Michael’s “Faith” before Mike and Crow threaten him.
• Callbacks: What would Mitchell do? “…sing whenever I sing…” (Giant Gila Monster) Trumpy! (Pod People)
• In the theater somebody who is not Mike coughs. I think it’s Kevin.
• Cast and crew roundup: I’m not going to recite the whole Bert I. Gordon litany. Screenwriter Fred Freiberger was the producer for the “Space: 1999” episodes that appeared in “Cosmic Princess. Cinematographer Jack Marta also worked on “Earth Vs. The Spider” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” Editor Aaron Stell also worked on “The Giant Gila Monster” and “Killer Shrews.” Flora Gordon also helped with special effects on “Amazing Colossal Man,” “Earth Vs. The Spider,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “Magic Sword” and “Village of the Giants. Special effects guy Dean Duncan Parkin was an actor in “War of the Colossal Beast. Production manager James Harris also worked on “Amazing Colossal Man.” Art director Walter Keller also worked on “Earth Vs. The Spider” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” Sound guy Dick Tyler Sr. also worked on “Radar Men from the Moon.” Our old pal score composer Albert Glasser did music for too many movies to name.
In front of the camera, I’m not going to recite the Peter Graves litany again. Morris Ankrum was also in “Rocketship XM.” James Seay was also in “Amazing Colossal Man.” Hank Patterson was also in “Amazing Colossal Man” and “Earth vs. the Spider. John Close was also in “The Slime People” and “The Deadly Mantis.” Rayford Barnes was in “Mitchell.” Don C. Harvey was also in “Revenge of the Creature.” Larry J. Blake was also in “Teen-Age Crime Wave.” Eileen Janssen was also in “The Space Children.” Patricia Dean was also in “The Girl in Lovers Lane.” Peggie Castle was also in “Invasion U.S.A.” Pierre Watkin was also in “Radar Secret Service.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. This was Stephanie Hynes last episode as an intern. There’s a special item at the end: “Shot entirely in Minneapolis, home of the University of Minnesota.”
• Fave riff: “Look, we’ll move to the loop to Schaumburg!” Honorable mention: “Yeah, terrible. Martinis?”
Alert regular Paul notes:
The recent RiffTrax Live: MST3k Reunion show marked the 20th live show broadcast in theaters. Which shows are your favorite?
Along with the MST3k Reunion show, I hold the December 2009 Holidays Shorts show among the best! It’s also composed solely of shorts, which helped maintain attention spans. Also, they improved on their first show from that year by eliminating mid-show musical numbers! Oh, and who could forget…”I NEED YOU TONIGHT!”
I think I’ll go with “Birdemic.” I remember stumbling out of that one with a bad case of “laugh stomach.”
Also, keep those WDT suggestions coming!
Here’s the rundown for those attending San Diego Comic-Con 2016.
Saturday, July 23rd
Noon-3 p.m.: Photo opportunity at the Shout! Factory booth (#4118) with Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
4-4:30 p.m.: MST3K Event at Camp Conival presented by Nerdist and Geek & Sundry. Join Nerdist and Geek & Sundry for Camp Conival: a trip back in time to classic pop culture summer camp! Swing by the Conival Main Stage on the second concourse at Petco Park for a special Q&A with Joel Hodgson, Felicia Day, Jonah Ray, Baron Vaughn and Hampton Yount. Camp Conival does not require an event badge and is open to the public.
5:15-6:15 p.m.: Signing at the Shout! Factory Booth (#4118) with the cast of next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000! Series creator Joel Hodgson, Jonah Ray, Felicia Day, Baron Vaughn and Hampton Yount will be in attendance.
(This is a ticketed event. A limited number of tickets will be distributed starting Saturday morning at the Shout! Factory booth.)
8:30 p.m.: Mystery Science Theater 3000 is Back! Panel in Room 24ABC. Joel Hodgson (creator, MST3K), Felicia Day (Geek & Sundry), Baron Vaughn (Grace and Frankie), Hampton Yount (Ridiculousness) and others discuss the show’s record-breaking crowdfunding campaign, and reveal behind-the-scenes info on Season 11.
Movie: (1987) An airheaded Valley Girl follows her explorer father to the center of the Earth.
First shown: 11/20/93
Opening: Boot camp at Fort Satellite O’ Love
Invention exchange: Dr. F demonstrates the vend-a-gut, M&tB have invented fridge udders (teats!)
Host segment 1: M&tB discuss that supermodel. What’s her name?
Host segment 2: M&tB sing: “My Wild Irish Ireland”
Host segment 3: M&tB introduce the “guess Kathy’s emotions” game
End: Nothing more to say about the movie, Mike reads a letter, in Deep 13, Frank still is dropping quarters
• This is a wonderful episode. Great riffs, great segments and a real departure of a movie. Dull surprise!
• This episode is on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. XXVI.
• References. http://www.annotatedmst.com/episodes/alienfromla/index.htm
• Speaking of “Mike won me over” moments (as we were last week), I had a good friend for whom Mike’s deranged “Hello, Joker!” greeting did the trick.
• Let me just say it: Teats! For several days after this episode, online MSTiedom was full of people saying “teats” just because they could.
• The desk on the bridge magically vanishes so they can do the “fridge tipping” gag.
• Mike does a little Joel-esque climbing around on the movie in the theater.
• This week’s non-spaghetti ball bumpers: pan across the lab to a beaker, pan down to the notebook, pan from globe to blackboard as roll of toilet paper flies by.
• I love the first segment, where the bots assume the personality of that out-of-it relative surely everybody has. Sounds just like my mother-in-law (God rest her soul). By the way, I think they were thinking of Paulina Porizkova.
• The bots are still wearing their outfits as they enter the theater after segment 2.
• Obscure reference not mentioned on the references page: Ballet Trockadero.
• I don’t really get why they keep saying Kathy has “big bones” Is it because she’s tall (Kathy’s 5’10”)? Usually “big bones” is a euphemism for “overweight,” which Kathy is not.
• The classic Dull Surprise sketch immediately launched a catchphrase.
• Mike reacts harshly to mention of “Captain Ron” and finds it necessary to lay down the law … justifiably, in my view.
• Callbacks: It’s Klandinctu! (Crash of the Moons) He’s the best! (Pod People). This to me is good TV. (Jack Perkins).
• Crow is very “helpful” (i.e. blathering inane factoids) quite a few times in the theater — causing Tom tell him to shut up repeatedly.
• As if there weren’t already enough classic bits in this episode, the “femmy movies” bit at the end is great fun. Nice way to distract from a long credit sequence, but several times they mention something called a “video store,” whatever that is.
• Cast and crew round up: Not a big one this week. Executive producer Avi Lerner also worked on “Outlaw.” Production designer Pamela Warner was an assistant art director on “Being from Another Planet.” In front of the camera, Russel Savadier is also in “Outlaw.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. “My Wild Irish Ireland” written and arranged by: Kevin Murphy, Michael J. Nelson and David Sussman.
• Fave riff: “This whole room smells like my eyes!” Honorable mention: “Hey Count Chocula, clear the shot.”
Over at the annotated YouTube site, they have added 523- VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS
As always, post additions or corrections THERE, not here.
And they don’t seem to be mentioning “MST3K Monday” anymore but over at the RiffTrax site, they have added 811- PARTS; THE CLONUS HORROR.
Thanks to Paul for the heads ups.
Frank, Trace, and Carolina Hidalgo of Sirius Radio have premiered a new podcast, “Movie Sign with the Mads.” Give it a listen, won’t you?