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Sampo & Erhardt

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Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Joel’s Final Update for 2015

If you are a contributor, you just got Joel’s final update for 2015. If not, it’s here.

Among the news: He has chosen all the movies for the season, but he won’t reveal them before the episodes air. Aw. He’s looking for office and studio space. Read the whole thing.

Happy new year!

28 Replies to “Joel’s Final Update for 2015”

  1. dakotaboy says:

    Thank you, Joel!

    Board of Directors sound off: who will the next head writer be?

       0 likes

  2. KidFlash says:

    dakotaboy:
    Thank you, Joel!

    Board of Directors sound off: who will the next head writer be?

    If I had to guess, it’s either Patton Oswalt or one of the writers not yet announced.

       0 likes

  3. Captain Cab says:

    Good update, he sounds enthusiastic. I really hope one of the movies will be the other Master Ninja episodes they were going to do but passed on years ago, that would be amazing. The big question: who will the new head writer be?

       1 likes

  4. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Mary Jo or Paul

    for continuity’s sake

    MJ can be magic voice again

       0 likes

  5. tamlin says:

    I would imagine he’s still feeling some pressure, though I’m assuming he hasn’t been contacted by anyone for distribution rights since there’s going to be guaranteed content. With that in mind, I think we have a good chance of seeing some classics like Plan 9. Maybe use it for hype factor on the last episode. Maybe even something subtle, a different film from the collection of whoever is making some old episodes impossible to release, to hint that they’ve overcome that barrier.

       0 likes

  6. Thad says:

    @Tamlin: Joel’s said, more than once, that he doesn’t want to do movies that are already famous for being bad, and that’s why they never did Plan 9 on the original series. I don’t expect that to change.

       6 likes

  7. Mike "ex-genius" Kelley says:

    Right, he’s pretty clearly stated the kind of movies he wants are those that are “surprises” to people, as if anything can surprise the savvy internet folks nowadays. But, in general, I think he means it won’t be movies that the title means anything to the vast majority of folks (think movies like “Prince of Space” or “Operation Double 007” — and I don’t mean the movies themselves per se, but the titles. Almost anyone prior to MST3K would have to at least look those up having never seen or heard of them before).

    He also said in the first update that none of the movies he had in mind were in the public domain (hence the money needed to clear rights). So that will eliminate a ton of movies as well.

    And, finally, we also won’t see any movies that have been done by CT or RT — good thing there are a TON of bad movies out there that don’t fall into any of those categories.

       5 likes

  8. RedZoneTuba says:

    Does anybody know how they will determine where to send the Kickstarter campaign merchandise? I looked at my profile and it doesn’t look like they keep a mailing address on file. Will there be a separate e-mailing to get shipping addresses?

       0 likes

  9. Herandar says:

    Joel also said early on that all the experiments are going to be widescreen and broadcast in HD, so I don’t think they will be riffing anything made for TV in the last century.

       0 likes

  10. Ralph C says:

    RedZoneTuba:
    Does anybody know how they will determine where to send the Kickstarter campaign merchandise?I looked at my profile and it doesn’t look like they keep a mailing address on file.Will there be a separate e-mailing to get shipping addresses?

    I believe they will email you once everything is ready to be shipped. I remember it being said a form will be emailed asking for shirt size and stuff. They’ll probably ask for a shipping address, too.

       2 likes

  11. mthead says:

    I think we should start a pool on what movies we will see. Participants could submit a single list of 14 movies per e-mail. Each valid entry will be accompanied by a $5 cash entry that we mail to Sampo and the one with the most right answers wins(2nd and 3rd place, etc).
    I believe with the younger cast and a seeming trend toward appealing to a new audience, we will see newer movies. I am thinking straight to video masterpieces in the same vein as Zombie Nightmare, although it will be hard not to double up on RT’s vast library.

       0 likes

  12. Thad says:

    @mthead: Well, it sounds like Joel’s the guy picking the movies and has had a specific set of them in mind since before choosing the new cast, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong, either; he did say he planned on including some newer movies.

    The show’s certainly had good luck with ’90’s movies in the past, with Final Sacrifice, Werewolf, Merlin’s Shop, etc.

    As for a pool, well, I’ll leave that to people who are better-versed in obscure cheesy movies than I am; I honestly have no idea what movies they might pick, and I prefer it that way. A big part of the appeal of MST3K was the thrill of discovery, that feeling of “My God, where did they FIND this thing?”

       7 likes

  13. GarthVader says:

    For the first time in ages, we will tune in, not knowing what we are about to see. Can’t wait!

    Seeing as we have 2 extra episodes on top of the new series, I hope he’s picked a Thanksgiving-themed movie for new content in next year’s Turkey Day Marathon, plus a Christmas one to finish of the year with some Swayzetide cheer.

       4 likes

  14. new cornjob says:

    it’s gonna be a good year! i’m not a betting man, and anyways those kinds of lists are unguessable… although it may still be easier to get stuff from say seventies-on-back, there’s a good new twenty-or-so years of newer bad movies to do. (i have a secret love for early-ninties scifi cinema; back when it wasn’t so easy to churn out spfx stuff more than twice a year it seemed… so i do wonder if anything like “freejack” or “lawnmower man” could get in there.)

       0 likes

  15. EricJ says:

    Thad:
    As for a pool, well, I’ll leave that to people who are better-versed in obscure cheesy movies than I am; I honestly have no idea what movies they might pick, and I prefer it that way.A big part of the appeal of MST3K was the thrill of discovery, that feeling of “My God, where did they FIND this thing?”

    This :) : I’d seen Rhino try to market Wild World of Batwoman on VHS during the ’90 Burton-Batman craze before MST3K got to it, but it just never quite hit home until we had to stare at the whole thing in disbelief in the S5 episode.

    Only problem is, Joel’s still stuck in his CT mode that he thinks he has to find “widescreen HD (and probably color)” movies to show the New Generation, which means 60’s on up.
    Which is okay, but 60’s/70’s were a less fun kind of bad (think CT’s Doomsday Machine or Crown Sidehackers/Hellcats entries) than Roger Corman or Bert I. Gordon were, and anything that limits the playing field is a point against.
    This Island Earth and the Russo-Finnish fairytales proved you could do silly on a big color widescreen budget, but how many of those are there?

    But after almost a decade of RT’s “We’re doing Sharknado and The Room, folks, hyuck-ewww!“, it’ll be great to be able to stare at an unknown quantity in disbelief again.
    Even those who praise RT’s Ice Cream Bunny, Balloonland and I Believe in Santa Claus, was it really the “genius riffing”, or was it the completely inexplicable movie experience? (I’ve been in goofy audiences for completely inexplicable sci-fi movies, and I know my answer…)

       0 likes

  16. GarthVader says:

    new cornjob:
    it’s gonna be a good year! i’m not a betting man, and anyways those kinds of lists are unguessable… although it may still be easier to get stuff from say seventies-on-back, there’s a good new twenty-or-so years of newer bad movies to do. (i have a secret love for early-ninties scifi cinema; back when it wasn’t so easy to churn out spfx stuff more than twice a year it seemed… so i do wonder if anything like “freejack” or “lawnmower man” could get in there.)

    I’d like to see a good spread of film types – cheesy sci-fi, a monster movie, a teens-out-of-control moral outrage one, as well as some newer stuff.

    For the first category, ‘Starcrash’ is primo riff material – a toobular boobular heroine, her frankly creepy sidekick, a clunky robot and a pre-Knightrider David Hasselhoff.

       3 likes

  17. GornCaptain says:

    Herandar:
    Joel also said early on that all the experiments are going to be widescreen and broadcast in HD, so I don’t think they will be riffing anything made for TV in the last century.

    Some old tv shows and most older tv movies were shot on film, and can be remastered in HD if they haven’t already. An SD image can always be upscaled. The image in the theater can always be pillarboxed on the sides, or cambot can run something in the empty space. ;)

    They’re going to have to come up with something for any older 1.33.1 aspect ratio films they do anyway.

       1 likes

  18. SoCalChevy says:

    EricJ: This :I’d seen Rhino try to market Wild World of Batwoman on VHS during the ’90 Burton-Batman craze before MST3K got to it, but it just never quite hit home until we had to stare at the whole thing in disbelief in the S5 episode.

    Only problem is, Joel’s still stuck in his CT mode that he thinks he has to find “widescreen HD (and probably color)” movies to show the New Generation, which means 60’s on up.
    Which is okay, but 60’s/70’s were a less fun kind of bad (think CT’s Doomsday Machine or Crown Sidehackers/Hellcats entries) than Roger Corman or Bert I. Gordon were, and anything that limits the playing field is a point against.
    This Island Earth and the Russo-Finnish fairytales proved you could do silly on a big color widescreen budget, but how many of those are there?

    But after almost a decade of RT’s “We’re doing Sharknado and The Room, folks, hyuck-ewww!“, it’ll be great to be able to stare at an unknown quantity in disbelief again.
    Even those who praise RT’s Ice Cream Bunny, Balloonland and I Believe in Santa Claus, was it really the “genius riffing”, or was it the completely inexplicable movie experience?(I’ve been in goofy audiences for completely inexplicable sci-fi movies, and I know my answer…)

    I’m part of the younger generation and I would love to see more Teenagers From Outer Space type black and white films.

       3 likes

  19. Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy says:

    If I were betting, I would put a million dollars on The Green Slime making an appearance in the season.

    While I am normally a betting man, I seem to have spent my foreseeable disposable income on a certain Kickstarter campaign.

    Between MST3K, SHERLOCK, The X-Files, and Twin Peaks, I am overdosing on anticipation. I can’t remember any single television year in my life, with so many things I love, in the pike at the same time.

    Now, if we can simply avoid World War III in 2016 so I can see all of this goodness play out.

       6 likes

  20. Thad says:

    EricJ: Only problem is, Joel’s still stuck in his CT mode that he thinks he has to find “widescreen HD (and probably color)” movies to show the New Generation, which means 60’s on up.
    Which is okay, but 60’s/70’s were a less fun kind of bad (think CT’s Doomsday Machine or Crown Sidehackers/Hellcats entries) than Roger Corman or Bert I. Gordon were, and anything that limits the playing field is a point against.
    This Island Earth and the Russo-Finnish fairytales proved you could do silly on a big color widescreen budget, but how many of those are there?

    I don’t know, but I’m willing to bet it’s dozens or hundreds. The wider ratios were widely used by the major studios starting in 1953, and I’m sure This Island Earth isn’t the only classic monster movie to come out of that period. And since you mention the Russo-Finnish trilogy, if you include dubbed foreign movies then the number increases.

    That said, I agree with your point that it would be sad to lose the old cheap black-and-white 4:3 1950’s stuff, and I sure hope there’s some of that in there somewhere.

    Even those who praise RT’s Ice Cream Bunny, Balloonland and I Believe in Santa Claus, was it really the “genius riffing”, or was it the completely inexplicable movie experience?(I’ve been in goofy audiences for completely inexplicable sci-fi movies, and I know my answer…)

    But the same could be said for a lot of MST3K episodes — Manos is the one that leaps immediately to mind. IMO the riffing in that one isn’t particularly strong; the reason it sticks in your head is that you’ve never seen anything like it.

    GornCaptain: Some old tv shows and most older tv movies were shot on film, and can be remastered in HD if they haven’t already.

    Yeah, but who’s going to pay the cost of remastering the Master Ninja series in HD?

    I’m sure there are a lot of HD-remastered TV shows and TV movies (in fact I’m quite enjoying watching old X-Files in glorious HD and widescreen), but it seems to me that the kind of properties that have enough money behind them for a remaster are probably not the same kind of properties that are a good fit for MST3K.

    Then again, if anybody’s got a selection of niche-audience shows and movies that it’s willing to put money into restoring, it’s Shout.

    An SD image can always be upscaled. The image in the theater can always be pillarboxed on the sides, or cambot can run something in the empty space.

    They’re going to have to come up with something for any older 1.33.1 aspect ratio films they do anyway.

    I think that’s a lot more likely. Like I said, I don’t think the show will give up the old 1.33:1 films entirely, and pillarboxing seems likely there.

    Besides, the 1.85:1 films they’ll be doing are wider than a 16:9 TV anyway; that means either letterboxing or making the theater seats big enough to cover a letterbox-sized piece of the screen. If they do end up letterboxing the 1.85:1 movies, then I think it’ll be pretty easy for the audience to adjust to columnboxing the 1.33:1 ones. Hell, I bet Joel could work some fun sight gags into the edges of the screen in a column-boxed movie.

    At any rate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some upscaled SD movies in there. (And probably eventually shorts; I think Joel said he doesn’t have any plans to use any in the upcoming season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they came back in a later season.) Upscaled SD TV shows and TV movies seem maybe a little more unlikely, but not impossible.

    And of course whatever movies they pick for season 11 don’t necessarily reflect what we’ll see in 12, 13, etc…but of course that’s getting way ahead of ourselves.

       3 likes

  21. inturnaround says:

    My pick for head writer is Elliott Kalan, the head writer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and host of the bad movie podcast The Flop House. He stepped down from The Daily Show at the end of Jon’s tenure, so he’s between jobs, and he’s shown interest in the job before on social media. (N.B. this is not based on any insider knowledge, but I know he’d be a great fit)

       5 likes

  22. I don’t care who the head writer is. I’m just glad there will clearly not be a “season dump”. I think that’s the worst thing to happen to television. There’s no build-up from episode-to-episode. No opportunity to discuss the last one and think about the next. It just becomes one giant *thing*. Everyone watches “Daredevil” all at once, talks about it for a bit, then discards it for next month’s series dump. Compared to old-fashioned “Game of Thrones” that keeps people talking for months.

    That’s what I like. That’s what I want. And, apparently, that’s what I’ll get.

    I’m good.

       0 likes

  23. Manny Sanguillen says:

    My head writer, or at least one of my writers would be Norm MacDonald.

       0 likes

  24. Droppo says:

    EricJ: This :I’d seen Rhino try to market Wild World of Batwoman on VHS during the ’90 Burton-Batman craze before MST3K got to it, but it just never quite hit home until we had to stare at the whole thing in disbelief in the S5 episode.

    Only problem is, Joel’s still stuck in his CT mode that he thinks he has to find “widescreen HD (and probably color)” movies to show the New Generation, which means 60’s on up.
    Which is okay, but 60’s/70’s were a less fun kind of bad (think CT’s Doomsday Machine or Crown Sidehackers/Hellcats entries) than Roger Corman or Bert I. Gordon were, and anything that limits the playing field is a point against.
    This Island Earth and the Russo-Finnish fairytales proved you could do silly on a big color widescreen budget, but how many of those are there?

    But after almost a decade of RT’s “We’re doing Sharknado and The Room, folks, hyuck-ewww!“, it’ll be great to be able to stare at an unknown quantity in disbelief again.
    Even those who praise RT’s Ice Cream Bunny, Balloonland and I Believe in Santa Claus, was it really the “genius riffing”, or was it the completely inexplicable movie experience?(I’ve been in goofy audiences for completely inexplicable sci-fi movies, and I know my answer…)

    Your continual insistence that you know what’s inside Joel’s head, coupled with the implication that you know better, is genuinely disturbing.

       10 likes

  25. Bill Haverchuck says:

    inturnaround:
    My pick for head writer is Elliott Kalan, the head writer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and host of the bad movie podcast The Flop House. He stepped down from The Daily Show at the end of Jon’s tenure, so he’s between jobs, and he’s shown interest in the job before on social media. (N.B. this is not based on any insider knowledge, but I know he’d be a great fit)

    YES!! Elliott obviously knows & loves MST3K & has a ridiculous amount of knowledge about pop culture & art, both past & present; he would make a great head writer for the new season.

       2 likes

  26. Thad says:

    Philip R. Frey aka “Rhindle the Red”:
    I don’t care who the head writer is.I’m just glad there will clearly not be a “season dump”.I think that’s the worst thing to happen to television.There’s no build-up from episode-to-episode.No opportunity to discuss the last one and think about the next.It just becomes one giant *thing*.Everyone watches “Daredevil” all at once, talks about it for a bit, then discards it for next month’s series dump.Compared to old-fashioned “Game of Thrones” that keeps people talking for months.

    That’s what I like.That’s what I want.And, apparently, that’s what I’ll get.

    I’m good.

    I don’t like binge-watching either (I’m still working my way through Daredevil), but I’m not opposed to giving people that option. We’re already in an age where turning on your TV on a certain night at a certain time to watch a show because that’s when it’s on is an outdated and archaic notion; all Netflix has done is take that one step further.

    I don’t see any harm in letting customers watch a show at their own pace. I’m also not sure I agree with your premise that Daredevil showed up, got a few days of buzz, and went away; I think it got quite a lot of attention, and still is, with season 2 coming up. Neither do I believe that Game of Thrones would get less attention if it were released a full season at a time — after all, the books get plenty of attention even though readers are given the option of reading an entire book in one sitting or pacing it out over several weeks.

    All that said, MST3K is a different kind of show and I do think pacing out its episodes is to its benefit. Joel demonstrated very well over the course of the Kickstarter that it’s important to leave the fans wanting more, and to parcel things out to maximize their interest and enjoyment.

    Course, if the show does end up at Netflix, and does end up getting an entire season dumped out at once, I’m okay with that too. I won’t be watching all of them in a row, but if other fans want to, that’s up to them. How other people choose to watch television is none of my business.

       4 likes

  27. new cornjob says:

    absolutely all for any writers or heads coming from the daily show/colbert report and other cc shows – i bet they’d love to take a break from “serious stuff” and get back to some “serious fun” instead. ex-writers from k&p and chappelle show too, and all the other great stuff that’s been on cc the past few decades… appropriate; help more cc talent escape!

    while spelunking on youtube last night, i came across “stowaway to the moon” – now that blew my mind; i remember seeing that when it first aired way back when, but didn’t remember that one till coming across it just then! i hadn’t rewatched it yet, but that seems like a prime gem for the plucking, in the spirit of “marooned” and others like it. (for that matter, “salvage-1”, anyone?) needless to say, if they keep open to the “master ninja”/”mitchell” tv-movie grade stuff… seems like an endless amount of material. modern-perspective riffin’ on seventies tv movies would be just so prime. (and, oh please, please god pleeeease… i hope they decide to try to do “goin’ coconuts.”)

    there’s tons of possible riff-fodder just via the youtube suggestion list anymore once you start searching for that shlocky stuff… quite handy; even if not for future mst3k, it’s great just for personal enjoyment. host some of your own bad-movie riff parties!

    i started my night on yt searching up old svengoolie clips – original sven and “son of,” and there’s some really great, gutbustingly hilarious clips of old shows/best ofs, some really great highlight/interview reels with RK (there’s a good old “PM Magazine”-style show or two that has a lot of great behind-the-scenes of how talented RK and his team really are). and the old original sven stuff is hilarious – a bit “racier” in all senses of the word, but never mean-spirited! i was lucky enough to grow up a little bit with “son of,” but had never seen much of anything of the original sven… that guy truly was a ground-breaking character.

       1 likes

  28. schippers says:

    Joel is free to take any of the following suggestions for riffing fodder (not that he needs any, I’m sure):

    * The Last Shark (it’s basically Jaws, but with James Franciscus and the godly Vic Morrow)

    * The Visitor (space God vs. evil little girl who is harboring the spirit of space Satan. Features John Huston. completely insane – must be seen to be believed)

    * 2019: After the Fall of New York (Mad Max crossed with Escape From New York. features Michael Sopkiw, who starred in Devil Fish)

    * The Pit (evil kid and his evil teddy bear drop town bullies in a pit filled with carnivorous monsters)

    I’m pretty sure these movies would be pretty easy to adapt for MST purposes, as they contain very little T&A (a brief topless scene in The Pit) and editable swearing. Now, getting the rights, THAT might be a taller glass of water to drink…

       0 likes

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