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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 1104- Avalanche

Movie: (1978) Vacationers at a winter resort struggle to survive after an avalanche hits.

Opening: Crow and Tom are working on their “Mad Bots” script
Invention exchange: Ardy in Moon 14 has some concerns; J&tB have the mouth vacuum; the Mads have the Don La Font-aine 3000
Segment 1: Crow and Tom are impressed with Rock Hudson’s romantic moves. Jonah tries to talk them down
Segment 2: As J&tB play Marco Polo, Neville La Roy visits and he and Kinga sing “Our Love Is on Wings (You Can’t See)”
Segment 3: J&TB decry deliberately stupid hybrid B-movies
Closing: Night club singer Gypsy sings a wintry medly
Stinger: Collateral avalanche damage
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (74 votes, average: 4.35 out of 5)

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• Several new things in this ep: Joel as Ardy in Moon 14 (other than saying “movie in the hole!”) and the first mention of Kingachrome.
• Movie thoughts: Did Rock and Mia just assume there would be chemistry and not even try to create it? Also interesting and vaguely related: J&tB carefully avoided any riffs on Rock’s, um, lifestyle.
• Jonah’s invention triggered my gag reflex.
• Steve Franken in two out of the first four movies? What are the odds?
• In the theater, Crow and Tom control drones which carefully block the naughty bits of a naked lady, similar to the umbrella bit in episode 403- CITY LIMITS.
• Also in the theater J&tB produce cymbals.
• As the helicopter flies in, they do a M*A*S*H-style description of the movie, one that is taken WORD FOR WORD from the synopsis in the IMDB. I know because I also stole MY synopsis, above, from there, but I rewrote mine a little.
• Neil Patrick Harris pops up out of the blue in a sort of “Dr. Horrible” reunion with Felicia Day. The lyrics by Joel, Elliott Kalan and Robert Lopez. The music is by Robert Lopez, arranged and produced by Stephen Oremus.
• Interesting “Simpsons” reference: “Feels like I’m wearing’ nothin’ at all! Nothin’s at all!” How many Simpsons references were on MST3K, even though “The Simpsons” referenced MST3K several times?
• The credits do not say who wrote Gypsy’s song, so I am guessing it was another great song from Paul and Storm.
• What sort of musical instrument in Jonah playing during Gypsy’s song?
• The TripAdvisor bit is very funny.
• Callback: “We want to hear California Lady!” (Track of the Moon Beast).
• Phrases from the legacy show: “Commercial sign,” “He died as he lived…” and “You look at it, I’m bitter.”
• Cast and crew round-up: As noted, Steve Franken was also in “The Time Travelers.” Stuntman Freddie Hice also did stunts for “Alien from LA.” Behind the camera, producer Paul Rapp was assistant director on “High School Big Shot.” Producer Roger Corman’s other riffed films include “Gunslinger,” “It Conquered the World,” “The Undead,” “Viking Women,” “Teenage Cave Man,” “Swamp Diamonds” and “The Sword and the Dragon.” Editor Larry Bock also edited “Final Justice,” in which he also had a cameo as a drunk. Production designer Sharon Compton was an actress in “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II.” Special effects artist Roger George also did special effects on “The Human Duplicators” and “The Amazing Transparent Man.” Script supervisor Sandy King also supervised the script for “The Incredible Melting Man.”
• Fave riff: “1978, you have so many crimes to answer for.” Honorable mention: “o/` Rock rock rock rock rock ’n’ roll search team. o/`”

134 Replies to “Episode guide: 1104- Avalanche”

  1. Speedy B. says:

    To me, this is the first truly great MST3K episode of the new series- not that the first three were bad but I feel like this one just clicked with me. The riffs are mostly solid (“Is it up to code?”) and the movie itself is in that sweet spot of being stupid (this is easily in the bottom rungs of the “Mother Nature is the antagonist”-type pictures) but never unwatchable or boring.

       7 likes

  2. Dan in WI says:

    For a show that had nearly 200 episodes in its original run it really is kind of amazing how few 70’s disaster movies were used. After all it was a fad that churned out quite a few movies in its time. By my count (and your mileage may vary depending on just how you split certain hairs) this is the complete list done so far:
    City on Fire
    SST Death Flight
    Space Travelers (okay this was from 1969 but sometimes you get a film just a tad ahead of its time)
    Giant Spider Invasion
    Squirm
    Danzilla previously theorized in this thread that they over looked Roger Corman’s name in order to make nice with him to use more films in the future. Without actually looking it up, I seriously doubt Corman actually has the rights to the movies he worked on. Wasn’t he usually just a director for hire? Whether they are nice to him or not is immaterial to using his material.
    Also somebody put Danzilla’s list of monster hybrid movie titles into Ward E.
    I really liked the Don La Font-aine 3000. There were some cute ideas in that invention. Did anyone else think Max’s “I wanna do one” was mildly dirty riff?
    I’ve never had a Hot Chocolate Beer, but a friend of mine once home brewed a batch of chocolate beer (without the hot) and it was quite good.
    Others have touched on it but the titular Avalanche isn’t even the real disaster of this film. The real disaster is the complete after the fact incompetence of the various Keystone EMT accidents. That really was an interesting choice to add to the film. It takes away any gravity that avalanche had and replaces it with Bull Shannon style forehead slapping stupidity. In short this film doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be: a straight up 70’s disaster film or Zucker brothers flic.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Rock Hudson’s credit appears over a mountain establishing shot. Crow “Are they call that rock Hudson or am I misunderstanding movies and the way words work?”
    We are deep into the movie and still no avalanche. Crow “Ya know not that I’m complaining but by this point Gene Hackman was already halfway through the Poseidon.”
    Nick asks Caroline for a hug. Jonah “I don’t want to seem too forward but I like you and I think you like me so don’t you think it’s time we gently pat each other on the head?”
    A guy is up on a power pole near a transformer. Crow “How close do I have to be to the router to get the Wi-Fi?”
    The fire department and EMT’s begin to deploy from their site nowhere near the avalanche. Tom “So now we are seeing collateral damage from the idea of an avalanche?” Crow “What’s next? Someone cutting their finger on the newspaper reading about it?”
    McDade covers up Florence to shield her from a blast. Jonah “Great, I can cross power slamming an elderly lady off my bucket list.”
    The ambulance carrying Florence goes off the bridge. Jonah “Wait there’s a chance that Florence could survive that fall.” Gypsy “Unfortunately there’s so much alcohol in her body she’s basically a human explosive.” Crow “Yup. There she goes.” Tom “Even the fire smells like gin.”
    Caroline is dangling over the burning wreckage of Florence. Tom “Caroline. Can you check on mother?”
    Reflecting on Florence: Crow “She died as she lived. Completely lit up.”

       4 likes

  3. Cornjob says:

    I’m not sure I can think of a more poorly done 70’s disaster movie. Poorly acted, badly constructed, the avalanche footage looked lame, and most of the damage was done by incompetent rescue drivers. I thought Mia Farrow looked nice since she wasn’t sporting her Rosemary’s Baby buzzcut that made her look like a concentration camp survivor. Rock Hudson was one of the most unpleasant characters in an MST movie this side of Joe Don Baker. Robert Forster and the amusing drunken incendiary Mom were about the only good things in the movie, and they weren’t enough. Possibly the best episode of the season.

       2 likes

  4. Dan in WI:
    For a show that had nearly 200 episodes in its original run it really is kind of amazing how few 70’s disaster movies were used. After all it was a fad that churned out quite a few movies in its time.
    Space Travelers (okay this was from 1969 but sometimes you get a film just a tad ahead of its time)

    We are deep into the movie and still no avalanche. Crow “Ya know not that I’m complaining but by this point Gene Hackman was already halfway through the Poseidon.”
    The fire department and EMT’s begin to deploy from their site nowhere near the avalanche. Tom “So now we are seeing collateral damage from the idea of an avalanche?” Crow “What’s next? Someone cutting their finger on the newspaper reading about it?”

    Again, posting the periodic reminder, that in the 70’s, disaster movies weren’t about THE disaster, they were about the hard work of all our gripping subplot-actors, how the disasters had shaken up their own soap-opera concerns, and Who Would Survive, as a bureaucratically unprepared rescue team tried and occasionally failed to save them.

    Usually, with “Towering Inferno” or “When Time Ran Out”, you have the fire or volcano-lava still going on as the characters spend the entire second hour of the movie crossing the bridge or going down in the fraying rescue-elevator one by one, or with “Marooned”, no actual disaster happening onscreen and the whole movie about the rescue.
    And sometimes, like with “Earthquake” or “Poseidon Adventure”, you have a quick hit-and-run disaster that take five minutes of screen time total, and leaves the entire second half of the movie to rescue attempts, crossing dangerous wreckage, or trying to make that big swim to safety like Shelley Winters. In Earthquake, for example, the big Sensurround quake takes place for about five to ten minutes total in the middle of the film, and we’re left to wonder whether George Kennedy can help Charlton Heston rescue his bitter ex-wife, or whether Richard Roundtree will ride his Evel-Knievel stunt-cycle in on time to rescue Victoria Principal from creepy Marjoe Gortner.

    With Avalanche, you’ve basically got the second hit-and-run kind of disaster, where five minutes of quick stock footage and in-studio stunt work can create Nature’s Fury on a Corman New-World budget–And yes, perhaps less time for Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow to work out theirHeston & Ava Gardner subplot-relationship issues than they might have had in an Airport movie where the crash or splash happened near the beginning.

       2 likes

  5. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    • Interesting “Simpsons” reference: “Feels like I’m wearing’ nothin’ at all! Nothin’s at all!” How many Simpsons references were on MST3K, even though “The Simpsons” referenced MST3K several times?

    Sometimes they did “Theeeeeee Siiiimmmmpsooooonssss” whenever there was a shot of clouds.
    Also, Joel’s “A bag of Homer Simpson?” regarding one of the Four Winds in TDTEF.

    But yeah, they actually didn’t reference The Simpsons too much, which is odd considering the show was in its prime during the 90s

    • Neil Patrick Harris pops up out of the blue in a sort of “Dr. Horrible” reunion with Felicia Day. The lyrics by Joel, Elliott Kalan and Robert Lopez. The music is by Robert Lopez, arranged and produced by Stephen Oremus.

    I mentioned this to my friend when we saw this one, but the original run of MST3K didn’t have any celebrity guests(that I can recall), all the “celebrities”(i.e. Lisa Loeb) were impersonated by the BB crew

    It’s interesting to see some actual celebs on the show, and reading through the comments I feel like the only one who actually enjoyed the duet, although it DOES go on a bit too long. I love NPH so whatever

       0 likes

  6. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    Stoneman: I also find that Kinga just does not come off as that menacing or evil. Her voice does not have the qualities that made Gloria-from-Sinister-Urge, for example, sound so hard and scary. Her emotional demeanor is also kind of soft. It reminds me of when Joel pretended to be The Master from “Manos”, and the bots just couldn’t buy it because Joel looks and acts just too…nice.

    I kinda like the idea that Kinga WANTS to be evil to carry on her family’s legacy, but is just too damn nice in spite of it all.

       3 likes

  7. MonkeyPretzel says:

    Terry the Sensitive Knight:

    • Neil Patrick Harris pops up out of the blue in a sort of “Dr. Horrible” reunion with Felicia Day. The lyrics by Joel, Elliott Kalan and Robert Lopez. The music is by Robert Lopez, arranged and produced by Stephen Oremus.

    I mentioned this to my friend when we saw this one, but the original run of MST3K didn’t have any celebrity guests(that I can recall), all the “celebrities”(i.e. Lisa Loeb) were impersonated by the BB crew

    It’s interesting to see some actual celebs on the show, and reading through the comments I feel like the only one who actually enjoyed the duet, although it DOES go on a bit too long. I love NPH so whatever

    Two celebrity guests, both during the Sci-Fi era: Robert Smith, the Minnesota Vikings (whose training compound was literally down the street from Best Brains) running back who was Pearl’s Lawgiver Daze gift in The Mole People episode, and Leonard Maltin in Gorgo.

    They weren’t necessary then, and I hope we don’t have any in Season 12. Considering how much talent the reboot has that hasn’t been seen on camera, or hasn’t been on camera without helmets and full makeup, they don’t need celebrities to come in for cameos shot in front of a green screen.

       2 likes

  8. Terry the Sensitive Knight:
    • Interesting “Simpsons” reference: “Feels like I’m wearing’ nothin’ at all! Nothin’s at all!” How many Simpsons references were on MST3K, even though “The Simpsons” referenced MST3K several times?

    Sometimes they did “Theeeeeee Siiiimmmmpsooooonssss” whenever there was a shot of clouds.
    Also, Joel’s “A bag of Homer Simpson?” regarding one of the Four Winds in TDTEF.

    And the Mr. Burns “Simpson, ehhh?” every time a character was unfortunately named.

    And the black doctor from (“Being From Another Planet”?) who prompts at least more than one “Bad news, Mr. Simpson, you’ve got 12 hours to live.”

    And I’ll have to go back and look at City Limits, to see what the goofy screenwriter-cameo character did in the coonskin cap that prompted “Look, Smithers, I’m Davy Crockett!”

    And when the new Batwoman recruit tries her initiation smoothie, and Crow riffs a Flaming-Moe “It’s like a party in my mouth, and everyone’s invited!”, darn, I know even that Simpsons line was referencing another then-well-known 80’s commercial, and I’m senior-momenting on which (was it for Listerine or Crystal Pepsi?)

       1 likes

  9. MonkeyPretzel says:

    Terry the Sensitive Knight: I kinda like the idea that Kinga WANTS to be evil to carry on her family’s legacy, but is just too damn nice in spite of it all.

    Joel’s idea for Kinga, before Trace and Frank dropped out of the reboot (according to Joel), was that she was a reluctant mad-scientist-in-training, and Pearl, Clayton, and Frank were trying to get her to embrace the family experiment. When that fell through, the secondary story of her wanting to “blow up the brand” and make MST3K so central to pop culture that Disney would buy her out for a bazillion dollars was whipped up. You can tell that the first story is still there throughout the appearances by Pearl, Brain Guy, and Bobo, and the wedding subplot, but the secondary story wasn’t integrated very well into the plot line Joel had already planned and laid out, so sometimes Kinga doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about her experiment and expresses doubt and the next scene or dialogue line she’s ruthless and evil.

       2 likes

  10. Johnny Drama says:

    I just thought Kinga was moody

       0 likes

  11. As others have stated, this is the best episode yet in the new season (and I really like the previous episodes) and the first 5/5 of the season for me. This episode is great! 70s disaster movies are always fun and the healthy cast of recognizable actors is wonderful, I especially love that Robert Forster is in this. The movie is definitely stalling before it gets to the disaster portion, but Jonah and the Bots do a great job riffing on this one, their rhythm is falling into place. The visual gag with the Bots controlling the drones in the theater, covering the onscreen nudity, is maybe the best in theater screen gag they do all season.

    Ardy mentions “borderline supernatural encounters” in the basement. WTF??

    The Invention Exchange is good, the Mads’ Don La Font-aine 3000 is clever. “OK WE GET IT!”

    Host Segment #1 is an ok skit, the Bots look cute in their little Rock Hudson outfits.
    HS#2 is, uhhhh…. look, they’re both great singers, they do a great job, but the song isn’t very funny.
    HS#3 is a ton of fun. “Cari-BOO! (cause it’s a ghost).” Also, Beet Wave has my attention.

    RIFFS:

    Crow: “Somewhere in these mountains Roman Polanski is hiding from extradition.”

    Gypsy: “By the sound of the music, the check-in process is gonna be brutal.”

    Jonah: “She packed light, just a basket of kittens.”

    Jonah: “When Barbara Bushs attack!”

    Crow: “Diarrhea is like a storm raging inside you.”

    Crow: “Feels like I’m wearing nothing at all! Nothing at all! Nothing at all!”

    Jonah: “Suck iiiiit.”

    Jonah: “1978 you have so many crimes to answer for.”

    Servo: “We wanna hear California Lady!”

    about those gross looking Baked Alaskas:
    Crow: “Oh gross, here comes another one!

    Crow: “This is why going outside sucks and is frankly overrated.” ——-couldn’t agree more, Crow!

    Servo: “WhoaYouGotNakedLikeSuperQuick!”

    Crow: “I’m going to cut you. Seriously.”

    Servo: “Who will feed my cat?!”

    Jonah: “I regret my choices!”

    Jonah: “My scapula!”

    Servo: “Take it easy, Tom Waits.”

    Crow: “Next stop, Flavor Country.”

    Jonah: “That’s a missed opportunity for a Wilhelm Scream.”
    Crow: “I can still do it. He’s falling in slow motion.”
    Jonah: “Go for it!”
    Crow: “Thanks, I will. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrhhhh!”

    Crow: “This is my stop!”

    Crow: “Dear Trip Advisor: Found cheerleader in my salad, waitstaff refused to help, 1 out of 5 stars!”


    The closing bit with Gypsy singing reminds me of Gypsy’s one woman show, Gypsy Rose Me. Nice to know Gyps is still performing.

    This is a great episode, the first classic of Season 12.
    I give it 5 out of 5 avalanches.

       2 likes

  12. lurkinggrue says:

    I may be giving the Brain too much credit but it seems to me that Kinga’s squishy schoolgirl/not-sufficiently-mad persona couldn’t possibly be in a better episode.
    IIRC it was after SST Deathflight that the Mad Scientists’ League wrote to Clay and Lar that they weren’t sufficiently mad or scientific, but only mildly peeved researchers. And that letter was received at the beginning of City on Fire. Avalanche is the first disaster film since that time.

       1 likes

  13. Terry the Sensitive Knight: I kinda like the idea that Kinga WANTS to be evil to carry on her family’s legacy, but is just too damn nice in spite of it all.

    I’m going to try to hold that thought in my head during my re-watch of Season 11. I’m one who thinks that Kinga just comes off as a petulant brat, but maybe if I can imagine that Felicia is playing a character who is really sweet but trying to seem evil maybe I’ll enjoy it more.

    Sort of like when I watch “Network.” I’m not sure if Faye Dunaway is a lousy actress, or a great actress perfectly playing the role of an emotionless zombie. It’s better if I think the latter. Or Anna Gunn in “Breaking Bad.” Is she a great actress intentionally portraying Skyler White as a selfish bitch, or a lousy one who doesn’t understand how unlikeable her character comes off?

       2 likes

  14. Kenneth Morgan says:

    The Original EricJ: Again, posting the periodic reminder, that in the 70’s, disaster movies weren’t about THE disaster, they were about the hard work of all our gripping subplot-actors, how the disasters had shaken up their own soap-opera concerns, and Who Would Survive, as a bureaucratically unprepared rescue team tried and occasionally failed to save them.

    Usually, with “Towering Inferno” or “When Time Ran Out”, you have the fire or volcano-lava still going on as the characters spend the entire second hour of the movie crossing the bridge or going down in the fraying rescue-elevator one by one, or with “Marooned”, no actual disaster happening onscreen and the whole movie about the rescue.
    And sometimes, like with “Earthquake” or “Poseidon Adventure”, you have a quick hit-and-run disaster that take five minutes of screen time total, and leaves the entire second half of the movie to rescue attempts, crossing dangerous wreckage, or trying to make that big swim to safety like Shelley Winters.In Earthquake, for example, the big Sensurround quake takes place for about five to ten minutes total in the middle of the film, and we’re left to wonder whether George Kennedy can help Charlton Heston rescue his bitter ex-wife, or whether Richard Roundtree will ride his Evel-Knievel stunt-cycle in on time to rescue Victoria Principal from creepy Marjoe Gortner.

    With Avalanche, you’ve basically got the second hit-and-run kind of disaster, where five minutes of quick stock footage and in-studio stunt work can create Nature’s Fury on a Corman New-World budget–And yes, perhaps less time for Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow to work out theirHeston & Ava Gardner subplot-relationship issues than they might have had in an Airport movie where the crash or splash happened near the beginning.

    I’d say those are valid points.

    I’d like to recommend a very good book, “Disaster Movies” by Glenn Kay and Michael Rose. It’s a very entertaining rundown of various disaster movies, though I don’t always agree with their conclusions. It also has a very funny, and very accurate, foreward by Mike.

       1 likes

  15. jklope4 says:

    Others have said it before, but I just want to chime in to say that this was also the episode where everything clicked for me. Cry Wilderness was excellent, but I’ve found that this is the first episode I pull up when I want to watch something from season 11.

       1 likes

  16. Cornjob says:

    This movie is not up to code.

       2 likes

  17. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    yelling_into_the_void:
    NPH is wearing his wedding ring during the song.

    Mike wore his wedding ring in many episodes. Apparently, the Brains don’t consider ACTING! to necessarily require the adjustment of details like that.

    “Would you mind removing your wedding ring for this scene?”
    “Now that you mention it, yes, I would.”
    (shrug) “Not a problem.”

    Most people don’t notice details like that (I certainly didn’t (I saw someone else’s comments about Mike’s ring) and most of those few don’t think it’s very important. After all, it’s a TV show, not a comic book. ;-)

    Although NPH doesn’t play the role of Dr. Horrible here, raising the topic of that character in turn raises the question of how many OTHER mad scientists are active in the MST3Kiverse. It’s not a question that really insists on an answer, but it IS a question. :-)

    We know that mad sciencedom is prominent enough for the Evilos, a mad science version of Webelos, to exist, anyway. And that it’s possible to take courses in super-villainy. Dr. Forrester’s Wikipedia entry (some of which I wrote myself) offers a few more details on such things:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Clayton_Forrester_(Mystery_Science_Theater_3000)

    Considering that both Forrester and Erhardt worked for Gizmonic Institute (where exchanging crazy invention ideas is a regular activity), it may be that Gizmonic is a mad science corporation of some kind (even Joel, a “mere” janitor, was for all intent and purpose a mad scientist). And, again, I am relaxed, it’s just that that’s no barrier to me thinking about things like this. ;-)

       1 likes

  18. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    The Original EricJ: And the Mr. Burns “Simpson, ehhh?” every time a character was unfortunately named.

    oh yeah! that was Mike Simpson and his theater-owning dad from “Earth vs the Spider”

    The Original EricJ: And when the new Batwoman recruit tries her initiation smoothie, and Crow riffs a Flaming-Moe “It’s like a party in my mouth, and everyone’s invited!”, darn, I know even that Simpsons line was referencing another then-well-known 80’s commercial, and I’m senior-momenting on which (was it for Listerine or Crystal Pepsi?)

    yeah, I didn’t consider that a Simpsons reference either, since they too were referencing something else with that line BUT the riff is made with a rather Moe-esque voice

       0 likes

  19. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    touches no one's life, then leaves: We know that mad sciencedom is prominent enough for the Evilos, a mad science version of Webelos, to exist, anyway. And that it’s possible to take courses in super-villainy. Dr. Forrester’s Wikipedia entry (some of which I wrote myself) offers a few more details on such things:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Clayton_Forrester_(Mystery_Science_Theater_3000)

    good point, and let’s not forget that Pearl was also trying to be accredited by the Mad Scientist Institute in season 9(or was it 10?)
    “Now THIS is mad! Decidedly mad! Can he… pony?”

       1 likes

  20. docskippy says:

    Cornjob:
    I’m not sure I can think of a more poorly done 70’s disaster movie. Poorly acted, badly constructed, the avalanche footage looked lame, and most of the damage was done by incompetent rescue drivers. I thought Mia Farrow looked nice since she wasn’t sporting her Rosemary’s Baby buzzcut that made her look like a concentration camp survivor. Rock Hudson was one of the most unpleasant characters in an MST movie this side of Joe Don Baker. Robert Forster and the amusing drunken incendiary Mom were about the only good things in the movie, and they weren’t enough. Possibly the best episode of the season.

    I’ve heard Meteor (I think that’s its title), the one with Sean Connery I believe, is pretty terrible.

       0 likes

  21. docskippy: I’ve heard Meteor (I think that’s its title), the one with Sean Connery I believe, is pretty terrible.

    Meteor was American International’s Big A-Picture Breakout attempt at a 70’s Disaster Movie, just as this was Roger Corman’s New World Pictures attempt at one. And yeah, it’s pretty cheesy, but hey, it’s got a stock-footage ski-resort avalanche in the plot too.

       0 likes

  22. Cornjob says:

    I havn’t seen Meteor in decades but I don’t remember it being this bad.

       1 likes

  23. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Terry the Sensitive Knight: good point, and let’s not forget that Pearl

    I actually try to forget Pearl whenever feasible but your point is well taken. ;-)

    If someone closely studied the list of characters who have visited or contacted the Satellite of Love over the seasons, any number of things about the larger MST3Kiverse might be deduced. Again, that would be “someone.” ;-)

       1 likes

  24. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Gripe/comment left over from The Time Travelers:

    At least three times, a character, when faced with a seemingly overwhelming dilemma, insists that “There must be a way!”

    And that’s…not actually true at all. It wasn’t even true every time in the movie.

    I mean, why must there be a way? Why should anyone think that? Do they really think that God, Time, or Whatever set up the odds in their favor? Did someone tell these people that life is supposed to be fair or something?

    That kind of thing just irks me now and then, that’s all.

       1 likes

  25. “Avalanche” is unique in the MST universe, as far as I know, for having a known cast. Peter Graves became famous later, and Tor Johnson isn’t really the kind of fame I mean.

    What I want to know is how do name actors end up in a dumpster fire like this? I doubt that there’s any established performer who dreams of capping their career by being in a Roger Corman movie, so what could have caused Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow to even audition for the roles, much less accept them? Were they in such dire financial straits that it was “Avalanche” or laxative commercials?

    Mia Farrow was in sort of a slow period; her best known work came later, so I can imagine that it might have seemed like not such a bad opportunity. Co-star with Rock Hudson! Rock Hudson, on the other hand, was just coming off of “Macmillan and Wife” and got other good roles after, so it’s hard to believe he was desperate for work. Robert Forster was busy then and still busy now. Jeanette Nolan had plenty of good roles behind her, was busy in 1978, and continued to work for decades afterward. Ditto Steve Franken.

       0 likes

  26. Sitting Duck says:

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:
    “Avalanche” is unique in the MST universe, as far as I know, for having a known cast.

    Space Travelers had Gregory Peck and Gene Hackman. The Magic Sword had Basil Rathbone and Gary Lockwood.

       0 likes

  27. Cornjob:
    I havn’t seen Meteor in decades but I don’t remember it being this bad.

    I saw it a few months ago. It’s much worse than this, IMHO.

    Disaster movies work best when they are like horror movies – they try to introduce characters and give them some development, then inflict disaster on them. Meteor really didn’t do that, it was more just random destruction, with only a little bit of it occurring to characters you actually knew

    Beyond that, Brian Keith made like the least convincing Russian ever.

       1 likes

  28. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:
    “Avalanche” is unique in the MST universe, as far as I know, for having a known cast.

    “City on Fire” was a really, REALLY sad addition to several famous actors’ resumés — Ava Gardner, Henry Fonda, James Franciscus, Shelley Winters. No coincidence that it was another late ’70s disaster film!

       2 likes

  29. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    On the offchance that someone didn’t “get” it (it’s easy to lose track of plot points in some films), the plane that caused the avalanche was carrying the guy that Rock basically harassed into traveling to the resort, so the avalanche was doubly Rock’s fault, not just because he hadn’t taken precautions but because he brought in the factor that started the avalanche in the first place. Tsk.

    Having identified McDade as Danny from The Time Travelers, the Brains missed at least two callback riffs: The riff “Time-alanche!” has an obvious tie-in to time travel, and IIRC orange juice was mentioned in both films but there was no tie-them-together. I guess they felt that just acknowledging the connection was enough. Probably right.

    I honestly hadn’t paid enough attention to the “Sharknado”-style films to recognize them as a genuine growing threat, I mean, genre. Shows what I know. :-|

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  30. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    On a marginally separate note regarding the larger MST3Kiverse, we know that flubber (a fictional substance from Disney’s The Absent-Minded Professor and Son of Flubber) exists there, because Joel once cleaned up a spill of it at Deep 13, which, as may not often be recalled, is part of the Gizmonic Institute itself. Deep 13 was IIRC declared to be radioactive as a result, explaining why it was abandoned for Dr. F and Dr. E to lay claim to it (clearly, Gizmonic needed better security guards back then; or, to perhaps give the docs more credit than they might seem to merit, maybe Gizmonic security is all-robot all-the-time and they simply reprogrammed them and maybe such robots are from other films/shows too).

    What other fictional substances might exist in the MST3Kivese? I suspect that the Mads may have mentioned a few now and then but nothing comes to mind. It could be kind of like a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen scenario for inanimate objects. ;-)

    And while the clear implication would be that Deep 12 is also part of Gizmonic, no, I wouldn’t venture to guess what the deal was with the two neighbors who moved in there. Just a show and all.

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  31. Sitting Duck: Space Travelers had Gregory Peck and Gene Hackman. The Magic Sword had Basil Rathbone and Gary Lockwood.

    True, but Marooned was at least expected to be good when it was made.

    I haven’t seen Marooned or its derivatives since it first came out, and I thought it was great. But I was only six years old and a space nut. (My parents were less impressed.) It seems like an outlier on MST’s target list. Many of the comments on it are that it’s too good for MST, just sort of a bore.

    But going into it, it had a well accomplished director, and a story based on a novel by Martin Caidin. And a budget. And a respected production company. So I can imagine Gene Hackman rationally concluding that it would be better than whatever alternatives he had.

    But Rock Hudson in Avalanche? It’s a me-too entry in a genre that had already been worn out. More importantly, it has Roger Corman. OK, he’s not directing, but he’s been making schlock his whole life, and he controls the budget. Did they think he had had been tapped by the holy spirit of film quality?

    I don’t have any answers, but I bet there’s an interesting story behind it. A while back there was a WDT about which movie would you like to see the “the making of” movie. I’ve just added one to my list. Bryan Cranston as Roger Corman in the con of his life. George Clooney as Rock Hudson.

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  32. Jeremy Zharkov: I saw it a few months ago. It’s much worse than this, IMHO.

    Beyond that, Brian Keith made like the least convincing Russian ever.

    Wow, I have to see that. I remember (and remember liking) the made-for-TV multi-night event “World War III” with Brian Keith as the Soviet Party Secretary General, where I thought he came off as a pretty good Russian. And who was the American President? Whose career, as it turns out, was not totally killed by a stinky 1978 disaster movie? Rock Hudson!

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  33. Yeti of Great Danger: “City on Fire” was a really, REALLY sad addition to several famous actors’ resumés — Ava Gardner, Henry Fonda, James Franciscus, Shelley Winters.No coincidence that it was another late ’70s disaster film!

    Thanks, Yeti. Another one for my bucket list.

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  34. touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    Gripe/comment left over from The Time Travelers:

    At least three times, a character, when faced with a seemingly overwhelming dilemma, insists that “There must be a way!”

    And that’s…not actually true at all. It wasn’t even true every time in the movie.

    I mean, why must there be a way? Why should anyone think that? Do they really think that God, Time, or Whatever set up the odds in their favor? Did someone tell these people that life is supposed to be fair or something?

    “There must be a way” – Gaius Terentius Varro
    “There must be a way” – George Donner
    “There must be a way” – John Hummer
    “There must be a way” – George A. Custer
    “There must be a way” – Sir John Franklin
    “There must be a way” – Friedrich Paulus

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