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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Weekend Discussion Thread: The MSTed Movie that Should Be Preserved

In last week’s WDT, we asked which MSTed movie you would want eradicated from the earth.
That prompted “Green Switch” to opine:

The flip side of this question – which MST3K film would you want the Library of Congress to deem “culturally significant” and worthy of preservation in the National Film Registry – might be just as interesting, actually.

And prompted “John Hanna” (if that IS your real name) to suggest:

This should be next week’s discussion thread.

And so it shall be!

And I am going to select “I Accuse My Parents,” largely for the closing title card, which essentially says: “Look at all the awful stuff going on at home, while our boys are dying in the mud.”

What’s your pick?

72 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: The MSTed Movie that Should Be Preserved”

  1. ck says:

    #27, RedZoneTuba

    Don’t forget the mass 2017-2018 exodus of educated young professionals to the UK (thereby redressing the foolish British Brexit vote by fallout from the foolish American Brexit vote) and to Ireland. Irish exodus aided by your grandparents allowing you Irish citizenship rule. I missed by one generation (great grandparents) but can still spend 6 months a year in UK and 6 in Canada (eh!) with occasional trips across to Trumpland for medicare—until that’s “privatized”. Anyway, climate change will probably effect Canada less, and the UK eventually in a deep freeze when the Gulf Stream gives out.

       2 likes

  2. Jay says:

    The Grim Specter of Food:
    The Chicken of Tomorrow is a genuinely important film. It was promoting the advances in poultry breeding that led to the chicken now consumed throughout America. As a document chronicling the advent of factory farming and the changes in agriculture over the 20th century, it deserves to be preserved.

    The Chicken of Yesterday was an anorexic pullet named “Twiggy” that wouldn’t make a decent bowl of soup!

       1 likes

  3. bootblacking says:

    RIP

    the Master

       7 likes

  4. Ro-man says:

    The Grim Specter of Food:
    The Chicken of Tomorrow is a genuinely important film. It was promoting the advances in poultry breeding that led to the chicken now consumed throughout America. As a document chronicling the advent of factory farming and the changes in agriculture over the 20th century, it deserves to be preserved.

    Not to mention that it is an important historical time capsule as a tribute to the value of lubrication using quality petroleum products!

       2 likes

  5. Ro-man says:

    On reflection, I think that I can honestly say that every MST’d movie should be preserved. For no matter how poor the attempt, how inept and unskilled, each one represented the creative energies of many, many people. Sure, many of them really stunk, but certainly there were moments of inspiration in each one of them: actors struggling to make the best of a difficult role or an awful script, and–perhaps–achieving that one shining moment; technicians doing their best with sub-par equipment and less-than-ideal conditions; a storyteller just trying to tell a story the best way he can.

    Surely those efforts are worthy to be preserved? Surely in these days of cynicism and division we can find the good, the noble, amidst the bad? In fact, every year I become more and more convinced that the wisest and best is to focus our attention on the good and the beautiful. Indeed, who are we to stand in judgement over the outpouring of the scared muse?

    With the exception, of course, of HOBGOBLINS: Not. One. Redeeming. Element. Period.

       5 likes

  6. dfgfd says:

    If we’re asking what’s the *best* movie that ever happened to get itself MSTed, I would argue for Phase IV by the great Saul Bass (runners-up being maybe Diabolik, Kitten with a Whip, Marooned, The Black Scorpion, or The Crawling Eye). If the question is really the opposite, as in what’s the most quintessential chunk of mockable cheese, then by all means Robot Monster or Manos.

       2 likes

  7. Bat Masterson says:

    I nominate The Final Sacrifice. It is actually a fun little film on its own, one I believe to be more entertaining than Hollywood blockbusters with many times the budget. Plus, the film introduced the majority of people to Zap Rowsdower and Troy. I also would like to nominate Catalina Caper, it isn’t any worse than the Gidget films and also gave us Creepy Girl.

       2 likes

  8. ISenseDanger says:

    Ro-man:
    On reflection, I think that I can honestly say that every MST’d movie should be preserved.For no matter how poor the attempt, how inept and unskilled, each one represented the creative energies of many, many people.Sure, many of them really stunk, but certainly there were moments of inspiration in each one of them: actors struggling to make the best of a difficult role or an awful script, and–perhaps–achieving that one shining moment; technicians doing their best with sub-par equipment and less-than-ideal conditions; a storyteller just trying to tell a story the best way he can.

    Surely those efforts are worthy to be preserved?Surely in these days of cynicism and division we can find the good, the noble, amidst the bad?In fact, every year I become more and more convinced that the wisest and best is to focus our attention on the good and the beautiful.Indeed, who are we to stand in judgement over the outpouring of the scared muse?

    With the exception, of course, of HOBGOBLINS:Not.One.Redeeming.Element.Period.

    Mmmm….I defy you to watch Ring of Terror and say that. The cinematic equivalent of reading through the Sewer Easement files at City Hall.

       4 likes

  9. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    ck:
    #27, RedZoneTuba

    Don’t forget the mass 2017-2018 exodus of educated young professionals to the UK (thereby redressing the foolish British Brexit vote by fallout from the foolish American Brexit vote) and to Ireland. Irish exodus aided by your grandparents allowing you Irish citizenship rule. I missed by one generation (great grandparents) but can still spend 6 months a year in UK and 6 in Canada (eh!) with occasional trips across to Trumpland for medicare—until that’s “privatized”. Anyway, climate change will probably effect Canada less, and the UK eventually in a deep freeze when the Gulf Stream gives out.

    are you ready for some Laserblast?

    sounds like someone’s living where jokey-smokey is legal.

    Laserblast should be preserved because of the sign for another movie that deserves preservation, Star Wars. Overdrawn qualifies by having scenes from a better movie in their movie, Casablanca.

       1 likes

  10. TroyThomas says:

    Of course, the argument could be made that the MST process preserves these films by its very nature. Thanks to the show, I’ve now seen The Pumaman more times than Vertigo (Pumaman: three; Vertigo: once). Especially now, I think it’s important to not be completely cynical about even something as trivial as a silly, forgotten monster movie. These people just wanted to make a movie and they did. They didn’t do it well, but that’s what the show is for: it makes these things palatable, and by doing that, people continue to keep watching these movies for generations when they surely would’ve fallen by the wayside otherwise. I think that’s commendable.

       3 likes

  11. Cam says:

    Operation Double 007, otherwise Connery clan descendants in the far future simply will not believe that such a shameless name-associated stunt like that could ever have been given the go ahead.

    It also has some stunning scenes and the infamous sale on monkey brains.

       2 likes

  12. Joseph Klemm says:

    I definitely agree with the choices of Marooned, This Island Earth, and A Case of Spring Fever (one of the earliest examples of the “life without a certain object” educational short, with it even predating It’s a Wonderful Life).

    One additional film to add to the list: Radar Men from the Moon, as it is not only a great example of the later years of film serials, but you can definitely see its influence on Stephen King (who most likely used one of its cliffhangers for the inspiration of the “cockadoodie car” scene in Misery) and George Lucas (who named one of the main Clone Troopers after Commando Cody).

       2 likes

  13. Cornjob says:

    Phase 4 with the ending restored.

       3 likes

  14. new cornjob says:

    with or without the mst treatment – “bride of the monster”, and “manos”… gives us one of the best ed-woods, along with our favorite “roadkill” of a small home movie that perfectly depects ordinary life and fashion of that period; bridges real-life with the surreality of all things “manos” lol… ;)

    plus (if you make it the mst epis), you get the complete “hired!” two-parter… sales-pretending-to-be-educational film… to add onto that, i’d also add the mst “mr.b”+”war of the colossal beast”, to add as elementary-school-focused educ.film with a more middle-of-the-road drive-in flick of the time… but if you were entering the flicks bare of the mst treatment, i think “bride” and “manos” would suit well, just to cover the bases of the intention of entering “so-bad-they’re-worthy” kind of movies for posterity. they may not be the only ones, but they are definitely very noticable fenceposts along that side of the road!

       1 likes

  15. D’ahh, cripes, man. Only one? Sorry, I just can’t. I’ll try and hold the lists to ten each, full-length movies and shorts.

    The Features:
    1. King Dinosaur
    2. Mighty Jack
    3. Gamera Vs. Guiron
    4. Manos
    5. Bride Of The Monster
    6. Red Zone Cuba
    7. Attack Of The Giant Leeches
    8. The Thing That Couldn’t Die
    9. Night Of The Blood Beast
    10. Blood Waters Of Dr. Z

    The Shorts:
    1. X Marks The Spot
    2. General Hospital
    3. Hired
    4. The Phantom Creeps
    5. Chicken Of Tomorrow
    6. Out Of This World
    7. Circus On Ice
    8. Here Comes The Circus
    9. Design For Dreaming
    10. Last Clear Chance (for Fantastic Savings)

       1 likes

  16. Kansas:
    Monster a Go Go is important for educating film makers on how not to end a movie.

    Y’know, I’ve often said that Monster A Go-Go (the MSTied version) would be ideal teaching material for film-school professors, the least of which reason is that the riffing in that one is practically a film class lecture in and of itself.

    There’s a lot of that in Fire Maidens Of Outer Space, also.

    “Pad, pad, pad the film!
    Pad, pad, pad the film!
    Pad, pad, pad, pad,
    pad, pad, pad, pad,
    pad, pad, pad the film!”

    – Joel & the Bots

       2 likes

  17. robot rump!:
    ‘Robot Monster.’ universally recognized as one of if not the worst ever made.

    Y’ever see a late ’80s (?) “mockumentary” narrated by John Candy called It Came From Hollywood? Along with an entire segment devoted solely to Ed Wood, they also spent a lot of time shredding Robot Monster.

       2 likes

  18. Son of Peanut:
    Overdrawn at the Memory Bank. Everytime PBS does a pledge drive, we could pull out this abomination and say, “No! You owe us money!”

    That’s not one of my all-time faves — it’s been a couple of years since I watched it — but I distinctly remember it being full of cheesy, shopworn dystopian sci-fi tropes and amazingly cheap production values; in fact, that one scene where the computer is spitting out credit slips looks for all the world like something from a kids’ show.

    And don’t even get me started on the lamely-played Casablanca-inspired plot thread. As a long-time Bogart fan, I took those scenes as a personal insult.

       1 likes

  19. ISenseDanger:
    Obviously, The Crawling Eye. The Crawling Eye is a nicely-done Fifties sci-fi movie of tremendous historical interest, having both opened and provided the coda for the national run of one of the greatest cult television series of all time, Mystery Science Theater 3000…

    Y’know, I’m not normally a tearing-up or misty-eyed kind of guy, but the end of the final host segment, where Mike’n’the Bots settle onto the couch in their usual positions to watch the late-night Creature Feature on TV which turns out to be The Crawling Eye, and Crow(?) remarks “hey, haven’t we seen this before?” had to be the sweetest, most poignant moment of the whole series, even more than “Who Will I Kill?” or “Clowns In The Sky”. Just a perfectly wonderful moment.

       2 likes

  20. doug:
    Agent of H.A.R.M. just to show the world that beating the communist menace was simple if you wore a yellow cardigan…

    …and if you took a moment to call up the International Archery Federation.

       2 likes

  21. Pikapika says:

    There can be only one?

    Then, obviously, Girl’s Town. Because Mel Torme plus nuns with baseball bats equals awesome.

       0 likes

  22. new cornjob says:

    Pikapika: Then, obviously, Girl’s Town. Because Mel Torme plus nuns with baseball bats equals awesome.

    being a midwesterner videogame player, i love seeing movies that feature iconic things like the l.a. canals – usually they feature them as drag-racing strips or something, like the GTA’s. i’d love for there to be a novelty easter-egg racing level in GTA5 where ya gotta dress up like mel torme and drive a jalopy no-hands, heh!

       0 likes

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