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Episode Guide: 1112- Carnival Magic

Movie: (1981) A clairvoyant magician and his talking chimp become a carnival sensation.

Opening: Tom is giving a TOM Talk
Invention exchange: Kinga announces her wedding; J&tB have Yeasta Pets; The Mads have Flavor Sweat
Segment 1: Carnival barker Tom presents “Markov & Alexander.”
Segment 2: Highway patrol Tom & Crow exchange cop-code radio calls
Segment 3: PT Mindslap and the Great Space Circus Show visit, but Kinga and Max chase him off
Closing: Kinga and Max narrate the disturbing carnival parade
Stinger: Sad cop sitting on his car gets towed away.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (64 votes, average: 4.06 out of 5)

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• The first time I saw this, having heard horrible things about it for years, I felt it really lived up to its billing. I wrote: “Just … whew!”
I noted that it reminds me very much of “Carnival of Souls” and I still think so. Both have that “locals hired to act for the first time in their lives” air to them. But I didn’t LOATHE it like some people do, and no way is it the worst movie MST3K ever did. It actually has a stinky charm, like bad meat or good cheese, as the saying goes.
• Clearly the big news for this episode is the appearance of Mark Hamill — he even sings! If you’d told me in 1998 that I would be typing that, I’d have said you were crazy.
• The credits say “The Great Space Circus Show” lyrics were written by Joel, Elliott Kalan and Robert Lopez, and it was arranged and performed by Stephen Oremus.
• “Who’s the guy on the bridge for a moment in segment 3?” many people, including me, asked. The character is actually in the credits as as Matt Claude Van Damme. He’s played by associate producer and writer Matt McGinnis. In the comments, somebody said McGinnis said on Twitter “it’ll be revealed but it’s hush hush, like Gypsy’s payload.” FYI, he’s also a Skeleton Crew cameraman in a later episode.
• One of my problems with the re-launch, especially early on, was the chemistry between Kinga and Max, which I felt was a little awkward. But I have to say they have a nice chemistry in the opening.
• Following last week’s appearance by murdered actress Lana Clarkson, let’s also note that the director of this week’s movie, Al Adamson, was murdered in 1995.
• Cast and crew roundup: Just one: producer Elvin Feltner also produced “Teen-Age Strangler,” another movie with a “locals hired to act for the first time in their lives” air.
• Classic riff: “Put your shoes on, honey, we’re almost at Grandma’s.”
• Callbacks: “Watch Out for Snakes!” (Eegah).
• Fave riff: “Two words: cattle prod.” Honorable mention: “Polov!” “Did he just pitch them a ‘Planet of the Apes’ sequel?”

127 Replies to “Episode Guide: 1112- Carnival Magic”

  1. Oh dear. I wouldn’t have possibly imagined the episodes could get any worse and then this comes along to prove me wrong.

    Perhaps most of you are doing your reviews here in hindsight — which, in hindsight () would have been a good thing for me
    to do. Because this one, like the ones before it, puts things into MUCH better perspective. I’m guessing that on a rewatch
    of the entire season (which I doubt I’ll ever do) I’d think the two Wizards episodes were, by and large, not that awful. At
    least the movies themselves were such you could easily make fun of them with or without Jonah.

    But this film? There is no joy to it at all. Oh, it’s an awful, awful film, but that’s what MST3K does best, right? And
    yet Jonah and company don’t make this watchable, not in the least.

    The absolute nadir of the season (SO FAR — now I’m beginning to shudder, except that with only two episodes left it can’t get
    much worse. Right?) was when Jonah delivered the fan service “Watch out for snakes”. It was delivered with so little
    conviction and enthusiasm (or perhaps just not understanding the whole reason behind it) I just thought “Well, that explains it”.

    This version of MST3K is like your kids when they reenact Frozen and think it’s SO wonderful and you clench your teeth and just
    want it to be over. Yep, kids, this is MST3K. Yep, you have bots, and you have mads, and you are SO clever with your…
    I just can’t watch anymore.

    1 out of 10.

       11 likes

  2. gf120581 says:

    Oh God, this movie…if I had to pick one, this would be the worst movie they did this season. Much like “Cry Wilderness,” it’s a supposed “family film” that goes into seriously dark and twisted territory and has a plot that makes no sense whatsoever, but “Wilderness” didn’t have the level of sleaziness that this film did. I’d describe this film as what would happen if a hardcore pornographer decided to make a family film. It just feels wrong. If it’s not the content, it’s the grainy washed out 70s porn-style cinematography. Watch this and you feel like taking a shower afterwards.

    But is it funny? Hell yes. And it introduces Al Adamson, a director who should have been on the show long ago. I’m hoping for “Dracula vs. Frankenstein” down the road.

    Random thoughts:

    – As if the presence of Phil Spector’s victim in “Wizards 2” wasn’t disturbing enough, there’s also Adamson’s ultimate fate: Murdered by his live-in contractor and found entombed under his whirlpool. And much like Ed Wood, he was apparently a really decent guy who definitely did not deserve his fate. (Unlike Wood, he made a killing during his career at the drive-ins and also had a successful real estate career.)

    – The busty magician’s assistant/potential love interest is Adamnson’s wife and frequent star Regina Carroll in her final film role. Sadly she later died of breast cancer.

    – It’s hard to make a talking chimp unpleasant and creepy, but did they pull it off, in no small part to having him mumble everything under his breath while sounding like a three pack a day smoker.

    – This movie had an overabundance of hairy, greasy men with aversions to buttoning or wearing a shirt.

    – Yes, your family film needs a graphic and disturbingly realistic domestic abuse scene. Thank you.

    – Anyone have any idea where that doctor’s accent came from?

    – Was Adamson expecting “The Girl in the Car” to be a big scene stealing, star-making role?

    – No character generated more unpleasantness that the teenage daughter character. Not the character herself (she was actually the most likable character in the movie), but her relationships to everyone else, whether it be her dad who forced her to dress like a prepubescent boy as some revenge scheme against her mother or the boyfriend who seems like he’s twice her age. The latter, every scene that focused on it I half expected Chris Hansen to step out and ask the guy to take a seat, just take a seat right over there.

    – Mark Hamill wins the honors for best guest appearance this scene. Helps that he did a variation on his Joker voice.

    – The “Carnival Magic Cinematic Universe” is one of the all-time great closing credit gags. Just wonderful.

    – Who is the mysterious Matt Claude Van Damme?

    Favorite riffs:

    “Hey, did you guys realize this takes place at a carnival?”
    “Oh, I thought it took place at a Sad Factory.”

    “Yes…must kill top official.”
    “No, all I said was, your name is Gus.”
    “Sorry…my bad.”

    “Guys, let’s not jump to any conclusions. She may be a girl in a car but is she THE Girl in THE Car?”

    “He’s like McGyver if McGyver just had to pick up some keys.”

    “So, Jonah, he’s endangered the lives of two people just now.”
    “Yeah, but he’s an ape, so it’s cute.”

    “Again, Alex isn’t funny or cute, just terrifyingly clear in his desire to cause harm.”

    “Did anyone recognize you?”
    “One person called me Amy Adams and I didn’t correct him.”

    “Now that Alex has been given a second chance at life, I hope he does something meaningful with it and doesn’t go back to the carnival…Ah, he went back to the carnival.”

    “Yes, the weak point of so many labs, an unlocked screen door.”

    “You’re just making that up. None of those movies are real.”
    “I don’t even think ‘Carnival Magic’ was real and we just watched it.”
    “That’s a good point. Did we really watch a movie just now?”

       20 likes

  3. Volcanosaurus Rex says:

    First, this burning question: What is the deal with the clip of the guy on the SOL, in the purple jumpsuit, during the final parade sketch? Who is that??!?

    Anyway… I kept expecting this movie to be like a cross between Devil Doll and TISCWSLABMUZ. It wasn’t until after the car chase scene, where no one was hurt, that I realized neither Alex nor Markov were supposed to be evil/possessed. This seems like an entirely pointless movie—was there supposed to be a message in this collection of behind-the-scenes carnival footage?

    Also, that scientist character is both terrible and inexplicable. Who does he think he is, showing up and just demanding that they give Alex to him? And how does he go from “Alex won’t be harmed” to “vivisection”? Even the Mads aren’t that bad :-D

    I loved the host segments in this episode. Servo’s Tom Talk fits really well with the movie, and Max is hilarious during the invention exchange. The radio lingo sketch was also great (“I did, you slowbrain!”), and of course Mark Hamill’s appearance was a highlight. He did a great job being a cheerful, nonsensical yet sinister ringmaster, and I hope he shows up again in the future. However, that line in the song about “though our problems with your show are increasingly stark” doesn’t seem to make sense… did I hear it incorrectly?

    Favorite riffs:

    Is it just me, or is this scene supposed to feel like a hopeful autopsy?

    Sorry, just took a clownaven…

    Hmm… what’s ‘science’?

    At the shot of a woman watching Markov’s show with her mouth open and a vacant stare, someone just says, “Der…?” I love it!

    To the carniemobile!

    Law & Order, Carnival Crimes Unit… dun dun

       10 likes

  4. Danzilla "Cornjob" McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology says:

    In an interview last year promoting the new season of MST3K at Comic Con 2016, Joel, Jonah, Baron, and Hampton alluded to a movie that they all referred to as the “dark night of the soul” for the new season. They didn’t say what movie, of course, but it’s pretty obvious now that THIS… THIS was the movie they were talking about.

    This is one of THOSE movies. A lot of people have called this the “Manos” of the season, and while it’s not THAT bad, it’s in the right ballpark. I have to admit, I know nothing of the backstory surrounding this odd, somewhat disturbing little movie, so I can’t wait to learn a bit more from you guys!

    As for the episode, I also have to admit, the first time I saw it, the movie got the better of me, and I didn’t enjoy it that much. My second viewing was the complete opposite reaction. I LOVED IT! It’s a standout episode of the season, and a prime example of what MST3K does best: find a greasy, weird, forgotten old movie and give it both a new audience and a set of hysterical riffs. Not everyone will love it, but for me, it’s a new classic MST3K episode.

    Some thoughts:

    -The TED Talks opening is a classic bit of MST3K parody, and being a fan of a good TED Talk, I laughed quite a bit! Nice X-Files joke, too!

    -The intro is a continuation of the Kinga/Jonah marriage plot begun in the last episode. I love how once Kinga mentions turning off Jonah’s oxygen, J&TB’s just go on with the invention exchange without batting an eyelid. This plot will, of course, carry through the remainder of the season…

    -Kinga’s line about about being a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her, is a nearly direct quote from the British romantic comedy Notting Hill, staring Julia Roberts as a Hollywood superstar and Hugh Grant as a lowly British bookshop owner. A pretty funny and sweet little chick flick, actually…

    -I’m going to sound like a dope, but what’s the repeated “Sweet freedom” line a reference to?

    -Callbacks: “Good? He’s the best!” (Pod People); “Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah!)

    -Classic MST3K Bits: “Put your shoes on honey, we’re almost at grandmas.”

    -Star Wars References: “This movie has more exposition than The Phantom Menace”; “Well, Master Yoda says there is no try!”

    -The music in Segment 1 is the Disco Cannon Invention Exchange tune from a few episodes back. It’s a fun little segment, but, like so many segments this season, feels too short. I like Crow’s shortened ape face, though! Thank goodness for that 3D printer.

    -This episode has THREE very welcome Back to the Future references in it: “Police cars don’t work on grass! Unless you’ve got power!”, “Roads? Where we’re going no one cared enough to build roads.”, and a Doc Brown impression when the old Mark Twain-eaque doctor shows up.

    -Wouldn’t it be great if a “King Kong” was an actual police thing? As a big Kong fan, I’d endorse that!

    -The riffers straight up reference the fact that the film, lost for years, was found and “given a second life” on the show. Does that count as a Manos reference?

    -The Iron Butterfly is a cool name! Is sounds familiar… is it a reference to something?

    -Segment 2 is another one of those Season 11 segments that feels like it could have come straight from the classic series. The brevity actually works for the comedy, and it’s pretty funny and the right kind of goofy.

    -Someone does robot noises as Markov dramatically rises in his trailer. I damn near did a spit take.

    -What the sam scratch was going on with the whole “Gus can bend the bar” thing?! Whatever the deal is, it gives us a lovely and hysterical collection of Gus jokes for the rest of the episode.

    -The jokes about the movie being set in a carnival are reminiscent of similar jokes made in TISCWSLABMUZ.

    -Wow, Segment 3… where to begin with all the awesomeness?! Mark Hamill as Phineus Tiberius Mindslap, proprietor and ringmaster of the Great Space Circus Show, takes the cake as the best celebrity cameo of the season. The man is such a treasure and a powerhouse of talent, and you can tell he had fun with this. He’s essentially doing a more theatrical, less evil version of his iconic Joker voice, and it works brilliantly. The segment is wonderful. Let’s hope that we have indeed not heard the last of P.T. Mindslap!

    -“NOT THA MAMA! NOT THA MAMA!” is another classic Dinosaurs reference.

    -Wow, this movie starts getting dark at a certain point. Alex nearly killing himself is disturbing stuff. Thankfully Jonah saves the day by invoking the power of Gus once again.

    -The Carnival Magic Cinematic Universe bit during the credits is amazing. It’s a pretty accurate look at how a movie or two can balloon into insanely complex franchises that are still generating revenue with each installment. Also, I’m willing to bet “More Carnival Magic” never became a thing?

    -Whoa, whoa whoa whoa… WHOA. What is up with the red jumpsuited dude whose transmission briefly gets picked up during the final segment?! It’s obviously there to allude to a larger mystery. Did Kinga have more, less fortunate test subjects between Mike and Jonah? Is this guy locked up in another Satellite of Love somewhere? The credits cite Matt McGinnis, co-producer and writer on the new season, as “Matt Claude Van Damme”. Is this just in case Jonah can’t come back for Season 12?

    -Ashly Holtgraver, the lovely and now grown letter writer whose fan mail was read back in Fire Maidens of Outer Space when she was a child, and who sang that touching rendition of the MST3K theme to conclude the 2015 Turkey Day Marathon, wrote for this episode! How awesome is that?!

    -End Credits Music: Disco Cannon Music; Segment 2 Cop Conversation Banjo Music; The Great Space Circus Show Theme (Instrumental)

    -Favorite Riff: “Actually I was about to commit seppuku, but that can wait…”

    -Honorable Mentions: “And the crowd goes mild.”; “Mad Max: Furry Road.”; “Truly Andy Serkis’ best work.”

       16 likes

  5. gf120581 says:

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology: Also, I’m willing to bet “More Carnival Magic” never became a thing?

    Yes, you can bank on that. I understand this was one of Al Adamson’s last films before he retired (he was planning to make a comeback, but the whole “murdered by his contractor” thing got in the way).

       7 likes

  6. gf120581 says:

    Volcanosaurus Rex: Anyway… I kept expecting this movie to be like a cross between Devil Doll and TISCWSLABMUZ. It wasn’t until after the car chase scene, where no one was hurt, that I realized neither Alex nor Markov were supposed to be evil/possessed. This seems like an entirely pointless movie—was there supposed to be a message in this collection of behind-the-scenes carnival footage?

    That’s another trait this movie shares with “Cry Wilderness”; you have absolutely no idea who the target audience for this movie was for. Not only are both movies completely bat**** insane, but they completely get the tone wrong for family films. Especially in the treatment of their cute little animals that are supposed to be the big selling point for the kids. “Wilderness” has raccoons getting strangled, while “Magic” has the chimp threatened with vivisection.

       5 likes

  7. jay says:

    Kate, the bosomy, worn out, semi-older woman of the “circus” was easily my favorite character. She was completely real in her portrayal and that is saying something in a flick starring a talking chimpanzee.

       16 likes

  8. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology:

    -The Iron Butterfly is a cool name!Is sounds familiar… is it a reference to something?

    Only thing I can think of is the ’60s hard rock band Iron Butterfly, famous for their album and song “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” which made no sense but was pretty much the sound of 1968.

    OK, Carnival Magic. I expected to hate this episode after all I’d heard about it but I actually like it a lot. It seems to be a pathetic mash-up of TISCWSLABMUZ, Devil Doll, and Manos, in that it has the inherent sleaziness of a cheap carnival, a talking animal/thing that’s supposed to be scary or funny but isn’t, and a director who must have said, “Hey! I’ve got this location I use for a while and a bunch of friends and family I can cast for free, so surely I can make a hit movie.”

    Favorite part: Mark Hamill’s cameo, which made me realize how bad the other celebrity cameos earlier in the season were. Least favorite part: the wedding story arc. (But speaking of which, did anyone else read that Patton Oswalt recently got engaged? I’m glad he didn’t get over his wife’s death in two seconds like Hercules.)

       5 likes

  9. jay says:

    Yeti of Great Danger: Only thing I can think of is the ’60s hard rock band Iron Butterfly, famous for their album and song “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” which made no sense but was pretty much the sound of 1968.

    “Inagoddadavida” was supposed to be “In the garden of Eden”, but the lead singer of Iron Butterfly had imbibed too much red wine before the show. Thus goes the legend anyway.

       8 likes

  10. tibber says:

    Came here to ask about the mystery man in the last segment, see it’s already been covered. I really would like to see where they go with this.

    Probably the most interesting thing about the episode, too. This movie…who was it made for? I can’t see kids or adults being entertained by it and Jonah and the Bots just seemed utterly…defeated, for the most part.

       3 likes

  11. tibber says:

    Also, Carnival of Souls is actually really good as long as no one is talking.

       13 likes

  12. IR5 says:

    I found this episode to be entertaining and funny. That’s the objective and goal of the show. Like the “classic” MST, this one will sit well with repeated viewings.

       12 likes

  13. majorjoe23 says:

    If anyone is wondering why this film has such an odd tone, it’s because director Al Adamson primarily did horror films. He directed the film from the first Cinematic Titanic release, The Oozing Skull (originally called Brian of Blood) and Dynamite Brothers, which CT riffed as East Meets Watts.

    Adamson was murdered in 1995. His wife, Regina Carol, who co-starred in Carnival Magic (and also Brain of Blood), died of cancer in 1992. Carnival Magic was her last movie. Between this and Wizards of the Lost Kingdom 2, there are a lot of tragedies piled into these two movies.

    With the deaths and the fact that The film was lost for some time, I get kind of a “Manos” vibe from the film.

    Births/deaths

    Director Al Adamson, born July 25, 1929, died June 21, 1995
    Producer Elvin Feltner, born Aug. 29, 1929, died May 31, 2013
    Actor Don Stewart, born Nov. 14, 1935, died Jan. 9, 2006
    Actor Regina Carol, born May 2, 1943, died Nov. 4, 1992
    Actor Jennifer Houlton, born April 20, 1962
    Writer/actor Mark Weston, born Feb. 13, 1931
    Cinematographer Darrell Cathcart, born July 14, 1935, died Oct. 21, 2007

    Connections
    Producer Elvin Feltner also produced Teen-Age Strangler

    For those wondering about he guy in the purple jump suit, it’s Matt McGinnis, whose character is listed in the credits as Matt Claude Van Damme. He was an associate producer and writer on the new season.

    Not really connected to anything, but the poster for this film really interests me. It reminds me of Yellow Submarine:

    https://www.cinematerial.com/media/posters/md/9h/9hhspisl.jpg?v=1456775490

       8 likes

  14. majorjoe23 says:

    Mike “ex-genius” Kelley:
    I just can’t watch anymore.

    So does this mean we won’t get your EricJ: The Next Generation comments on the final two films of the season? You’re so close, you can do it!

       27 likes

  15. Sampo says:

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology: -The Iron Butterfly is a cool name! Is sounds familiar… is it a reference to something?

    …millennials…

       14 likes

  16. Danzilla "Cornjob" McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology says:

    Sampo: …millennials…

    I know, unforgivable brain fart. Yeti of Great Danger set me straight. I’m familiar with the band, but man if I didn’t completely float a mental air biscuit… :/

       7 likes

  17. When I first saw this, I thought Markov was Avocado Guy from Robot Holocaust. I had to check IMDB to know for sure it wasn’t him.

       2 likes

  18. Anthony says:

    At this point, part of me thinks Mike Kelley’s just really leaning into his “you darn millennials” thing with his first posts, like “you want a villain? I’ll show you a villain!”. I can’t imagine *anyone* having this much a dislike for any of these episodes, even if you think this season is sacrilege or whatever. Anyway.

    I love this episode quite a bit, and I didn’t love it nearly as much on my first pass, which I think says a lot about the power of episode rewatches, ESPECIALLY w/r/t MST3K. That’s one of the things that draws us to this show, right? The endless rewatchability, catching references we didn’t understand when we were 17 but now know about when we were 30, finding certain lines much funnier because our senses of humor change over the years, or just wanting to come back to something familiar and smile at Joel goofing on Bela Lugosi’s Bride of the Monster overacting or Kevin screaming “END! ENNNNNNND!” at the end of Wild World of Batwoman or what have you. And sometimes, when you watch an episode you didn’t think much of the first time around, something clicks that didn’t that first time, and you find yourself elevating an episode to a status it didn’t have before.

    Yeah, this movie. I had watched Track of the Moon Beast for the first time a few weeks before Season 11 dropped, and this one made me think a lot of that movie – a grimy 70s low-budget production where, to paraphrase Sampo, a bunch of folks in a small town got together and made one of those moving pictures you hear so much about. Finding out that Alex the Chimp originally wasn’t supposed to talk but had lines dubbed in after the fact makes a lot of sense (and answers why the fact that *Markov has an animal that talks* isn’t more a part of his act), and the slapdash manner of changing a very integral part of the movie (such as it is) also explains the haphazard way this movie was assembled and shoved down our throats. I mean, you can really only get *so* bothered by bad acting or incompetent directing when we’re talking such a low-budget movie, but having to actually EXPERIENCE it is still depressing nevertheless. Fortunately, the riffing here is as good as it gets in this season (and I happen to say that as a compliment), which is why I enjoy the episode so much. The segments were good fun, too – the CB bit had a very “get in, tell the joke, and get out” CC-era feel, and Hamill’s cameo is my favorite of the season (man, Hamill does well in creepy roles). This one’s in my top 4-5 of the season, easily.

    Favorite riff: “I don’t even think Carnival Magic was real, and we JUST watched it.”

       20 likes

  19. gf120581: Much like “Cry Wilderness,” it’s a supposed “family film” that goes into seriously dark and twisted territory and has a plot that makes no sense whatsoever, but “Wilderness” didn’t have the level of sleaziness that this film did.I’d describe this film as what would happen if a hardcore pornographer decided to make a family film.It just feels wrong.If it’s not the content, it’s the grainy washed out 70s porn-style cinematography.Watch this and you feel like taking a shower afterwards.
    But is it funny?Hell yes.And it introduces Al Adamson, a director who should have been on the show long ago.I’m hoping for “Dracula vs. Frankenstein” down the road.

    I’d only seen random bits of DvF on random TV stations back in the day, so I don’t know most of the bad-movie backstory about Adamson’s career, but would I be correct in guessing that he was a carny who decided to get into films?
    The movie is supposed to make us sentimental for the dying filthy colorfully-low-rent traveling carnival that openly bragged about the “tradition” of scamming its customers, in the line where the carnival owner sighs “And then the theme parks moved in”…Yes, it was a sad day in American culture, when the low-rent American carnival was replaced by the professional, sanitary, visually appealing, safety-maintained corporate theme park with high-tech attractions that demanded clean employees–Took away that good hometown sense of danger.
    I think Adamson is pretty well subjective on that opinion.

    – It’s hard to make a talking chimp unpleasant and creepy, but did they pull it off, in no small part to having him mumble everything under his breath while sounding like a three pack a day smoker.

    Segment 1 is one of the great cathartic movie-parody segs of the entire S11. Period. :)
    They nail one of the biggest complaints about the movie perfectly on the first swing: Even for a greasy amateur producer, what was even remotely the POINT of having a “talking chimp” who grumbles monosyllabically and never says anything particularly funny or outrageous? That’s like getting Mister Ed to do the morning farm report.
    And besides, don’t chimps have high, hooting voices?)

    The answer, of course, is when you start to realize that Alex ISN’T supposed to be the main character of the movie.
    The movie is really, you see, about Markov as a sort of Patrick Swayze-like Coolest Wandering Guru In the World, and how he changes the lives of everyone he runs into, like the PR guy and the girl….Oh, and he happens to have a talking chimp, which just proves how all east-of-the-sun and west-of-the-moon he is.

    – The “Carnival Magic Cinematic Universe” is one of the all-time great closing credit gags.Just wonderful.

    “You’re just making that up.None of those movies are real.”
    “I don’t even think ‘Carnival Magic’ was real and we just watched it.”
    “That’s a good point.Did we really watch a movie just now?”

    It does have that fever-dream quality that only Manos, Hobgoblins and Monster a-Go-Go possessed, yes.

    And keep in mind, the end-credits “Universe” routine was written almost a full year BEFORE Universal’s Dark Universe and Paramount’s Hasbro Universe suddenly went supernova on the launchpads this past May and June with The Mummy and Transformers 5, and put the complaint fresh and forefront in our minds this week.
    The guys thought they were parodying Disney/Marvel (“The side-story spinoff with David at the PR company didn’t work out…”), but Universal and Paramount had exactly those universes in mind when they set out with their busted dreams. Even now, Paramount is debating the post-Transformers fate of a solo spinoff movie for Bumblebee (yes), just as soon as they finish deciding whether we should care that it was a hit in China.

    gf120581: That’s another trait this movie shares with “Cry Wilderness”; you have absolutely no idea who the target audience for this movie was for.Not only are both movies completely bat**** insane, but they completely get the tone wrong for family films.Especially in the treatment of their cute little animals that are supposed to be the big selling point for the kids.“Wilderness” has raccoons getting strangled, while “Magic” has the chimp threatened with vivisection.

    tibber:
    Probably the most interesting thing about the episode, too. This movie…who was it made for? I can’t see kids or adults being entertained by it and Jonah and the Bots just seemed utterly…defeated, for the most part.

    Have to remember, in the 70’s (and that includes 70’s directors who come out of retirement in the 80’s), there almost WERE no kids films, and those that didn’t come from Disney were weekly Saturday-afternoon matinees from traveling itinerant B-producers who thought they could break into a more reliable alternate market when exploitation markets dried up.
    As a result, they tended to attract horror and porn producers who wanted to diversify their sales into the more respectable theaters, and Barry Mahon could break from drive-in porn to do the “Santa & the Ice Cream Bunny” fairytales, or K. Gordon Murray could break into Mexican Santa Claus and fairytales…Hey, they don’t have to be big-budget either, just do something about a flying talking invisible sheepdog, how hard could it be?
    Even the humble Asylum took a break from Megasharks vs. Spider-Dinos to give us our share of talking-dog comedies, and it was 90’s Roger & Susan Corman who gave us all those Invisible Mom epics.

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology:
    -What the sam scratch was going on with the whole “Gus can bend the bar” thing?!Whatever the deal is, it gives us a lovely and hysterical collection of Gus jokes for the rest of the episode.

    When “Gus” tries bending the bar over his knee at first, and the guys make a “crunch!” sound effect, I was cracking up over a missing imaginary riff of:
    – “Didn’t work? Try the other knee…Heheh, love doing that one.”

    (When we hear “Gus can bend the bar”, I confess the urge to have riffed “Duh, yeah-yeah…Gus-gus bend bar for Cinderelly!”, but no. That would be bringing down the level of conversation.) :)

    majorjoe23: So does this mean we won’t get your EricJ: The Next Generation comments on the final two films of the season? You’re so close, you can do it!

    Hey, even I’M kicking his Vaudeville-Martyr act!….Quit trying to link us together into some kind of Generations, like Kirk and Picard on that whatever-planet with the iron bridge!

       7 likes

  20. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology: I know, unforgivable brain fart.Yeti of Great Danger set me straight.I’m familiar with the band, but man if I didn’t completely float a mental air biscuit… :/

    I’m not high, but my dog is, and so am I. ;-)

       5 likes

  21. Sampo
    Clearly the big news is the appearance of Mark Hamill — he even sings! If you’d told me two years ago that I would be typing that, I’d have said you were crazy.

    After the Joker-Trump recordings (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MV5iq9uf78 ) I’ll believe anything about Hamill. The guy is a NUT, in only the bestest way. :)

    It’s nice that we’re finally free of George Lucas, in the days when we used to think Hamill had the same sense of humor as Luke Skywalker did.

    Anthony:
    At this point, part of me thinks Mike Kelley’s just really leaning into his “you darn millennials” thing with his first posts, like “you want a villain? I’ll show you a villain!”. I can’t imagine *anyone* having this much a dislike for any of these episodes, even if you think this season is sacrilege or whatever. Anyway.

    Yes, I’ve often been tempted by that black void of the pit (just wait till we get into the Space Mutiny discussions…You want long-stewing frustrated vindictiveness unleashed?–Muahahhaaa! Beware your worst nightmare!), but even if you’re the Unpopular Minority-Opinion Guy in the Room, it’s helpful to keep on the point, keep on the facts, and give them a little sellable panache before you lose your hijacked audience.
    Only trolls want a Name Brand, but it’s a name brand that causes the Ignore button. It’s about the message, not the messenger, and sadly, Mike just went for the fame. Poor sap.

    Finding out that Alex the Chimp originally wasn’t supposed to talk but had lines dubbed in after the fact makes a lot of sense (and answers why the fact that *Markov has an animal that talks* isn’t more a part of his act), and the slapdash manner of changing a very integral part of the movie (such as it is) also explains the haphazard way this movie was assembled and shoved down our throats.

    Er, yes. That is a valid point.
    Where did you hear/read that, btw?–As, okay, the last-minute tinkering WOULD clear up a heck of a lot of this movie’s mysteries, particularly about the “Whose movie is this anyway?” tonal/story confusion, and Alex’s short, un-lip-synched Popeye-grumbles and lack of publicity.

    In the CC-era, the mere sight of a chimp would bring in TCC callbacks of Lancelot Link refs (“Hello, Mata” “Oh, Laaaaance!”), and…even those talking chimps had more naturally convincing chimp voices, but then, that was the idea going in.

       5 likes

  22. majorjoe23 says:

    The Original EricJ: I’d only seen random bits of DvF on random TV stations back in the day, so I don’t know most of the bad-movie backstory about Adamson’s career, but would I be correct in guessing that he was a carny who decided to get into films?
    The movie is supposed to make us sentimental for the dying filthy colorfully-low-rent traveling carnival that openly bragged about the “tradition” of scamming its customers, in the line where the carnival owner sighs “And then the theme parks moved in”…Yes, it was a sad day in American culture, when the low-rent American carnival was replaced by the professional, sanitary, visually appealing, safety-maintained corporate theme park with high-tech attractions that demanded clean employees–Took away that good hometown sense of danger.
    I think Adamson is pretty well subjective on that opinion.

    Segment 1 is one of the great cathartic movie-parody segs of the entire S11.Period.:)
    They nail one of the biggest complaints about the movie perfectly on the first swing:Even for a greasy amateur producer, what was even remotely the POINT of having a “talking chimp” who grumbles monosyllabically and never says anything particularly funny or outrageous?That’s like getting Mister Ed to do the morning farm report.
    And besides, don’t chimps have high, hooting voices?)

    The answer, of course, is when you start to realize that Alex ISN’T supposed to be the main character of the movie.
    The movie is really, you see, about Markov as a sort of Patrick Swayze-like Coolest Wandering Guru In the World, and how he changes the lives of everyone he runs into, like the PR guy and the girl….Oh, and he happens to have a talking chimp, which just proves how all east-of-the-sun and west-of-the-moon he is.

    It does have that fever-dream quality that only Manos, Hobgoblins and Monster a-Go-Go possessed, yes.

    And keep in mind, the end-credits “Universe” routine was written almost a full year BEFORE Universal’s Dark Universe and Paramount’s Hasbro Universe suddenly went supernova on the launchpads this past May and June with The Mummy and Transformers 5, and put the complaint fresh and forefront in our minds this week.
    The guys thought they were parodying Disney/Marvel (“The side-story spinoff with David at the PR company didn’t work out…”), but Universal and Paramount had exactly those universes in mind when they set out with their busted dreams.Even now, Paramount is debating the post-Transformers fate of a solo spinoff movie for Bumblebee (yes), just as soon as they finish deciding whether we should care that it was a hit in China.

    Have to remember, in the 70’s (and that includes 70’s directors who come out of retirement in the 80’s), there almost WERE no kids films, and those that didn’t come from Disney were weekly Saturday-afternoon matinees from traveling itinerant B-producers who thought they could break into a more reliable alternate market when exploitation markets dried up.
    As a result, they tended to attract horror and porn producers who wanted to diversify their sales into the more respectable theaters, and Barry Mahon could break from drive-in porn to do the “Santa & the Ice Cream Bunny” fairytales, or K. Gordon Murray could break into Mexican Santa Claus and fairytales…Hey, they don’t have to be big-budget either, just do something about a flying talking invisible sheepdog, how hard could it be?
    Even the humble Asylum took a break from Megasharks vs. Spider-Dinos to give us our share of talking-dog comedies, and it was 90’s Roger & Susan Corman who gave us all those Invisible Mom epics.

    When “Gus” tries bending the bar over his knee at first, and the guys make a “crunch!” sound effect, I was cracking up over a missing imaginary riff of:
    – “Didn’t work?Try the other knee…Heheh, love doing that one.”

    (When we hear “Gus can bend the bar”, I confess the urge to have riffed “Duh, yeah-yeah…Gus-gus bend bar for Cinderelly!”, but no.That would be bringing down the level of conversation.):)

    Hey, even I’M kicking his Vaudeville-Martyr act!….Quit trying to link us together into some kind of Generations, like Kirk and Picard on that whatever-planet with the iron bridge!

    Let’s not go that far, I was thinking more like Janice Lester/Wesley Crusher.

       3 likes

  23. Sitting Duck says:

    Carnival Magic fails the Bechdel Test. The only conversation between two females occurs when Kate and Kim talk about Alex.

    Up to this point, my least favorite episode this season had been Cry Wilderness. This mostly had to do with how I found Paul to be an intolerable little dickweed. Yongary gave it a run for its money with Korean Kenny and the protracted death scene of its title kaiju. However, it was Carnival Magic that set a new standard for repulsiveness. Part of this likely has to do with how some of my least favorite episodes of MST3K’s original run featured Sordid Crime films. Said movies tend to consist of loathsome people being loathsome. There are a couple of exceptions (the earnestness of I Accuse My Parents and the Seventies camp of Mitchell make them more palatable), but by and large they’re the sort of episodes I’m not inclined to rewatch. IMO Carnival Magic is the closest this season has gotten to the tone of a Sordid Crime film, made worse by the failed attempts of in-film comic relief.

    I seem to recall there being a promo for a T.E.D. Talk during one of the Fathom Events trailers shown before a Rifftrax Live show I attended (can’t recall which one). My initial impression was that they come off as gassy as the prologue host segment makes them out to be.

    Mark Hamill as a singing interstellar carnie was a welcome relief of goofiness to break the relentless despair of the film.

    Much as I disliked the movie, the choice of stinger was pitch perfect.

    gf120581:
    – Anyone have any idea where that doctor’s accent came from?

    And why was his ADR so noticably shoddy?

    Volcanosaurus Rex:
    First, this burning question: What is the deal with the clip of the guy on the SOL, in the purple jumpsuit, during the final parade sketch? Who is that??!?

    My guess is that we got a brief peek into a parallel universe SoL, though not the one from Last of the Wild Horses.

    And how does he go from “Alex won’t be harmed” to “vivisection”?

    Possibly he’s a member of the Harry Harlow Fan Club.

    jay: “Inagoddadavida” was supposed to be “In the garden of Eden”, but the lead singer of Iron Butterfly had imbibed too much red wine before the show. Thus goes the legend anyway.

    As good an explanation as any.

       4 likes

  24. Kenneth Morgan says:

    I agree that this movie is not exactly the “family movie” that it’s apparently trying to be, or that it appears to be. I mean, the chimp tries to commit suicide? I mean, that makes shooting Old Yeller look tame, by comparison.

    Great riffing, especially the self-referential bit about the movie’s ultimate fate. Oh, and when Season 12 is approved, they have to immediately arrange for Mark Hamill to show up again.

       5 likes

  25. Johnny Drama says:

    tibber:
    Also, Carnival of Souls is actually really good as long as no one is talking.

    Thank you for that. Now, on to the episode at hand:
    Oh, this one. Finally, Al Adamson makes his way to MST3K. If Cinematic Titanic was still going, this would have been right up their alley. Yet, the episode itself has a distinct Sci-Fi era feel to it. That’s based primarily on the movie itself, it being more in line with the later Sci-Fi choices.
    Wow, the movie is just terrible. The riffing is fun, but the movie makes it a little too painful for me. But wait until next week! This season’s Christmas episode is easily my least favorite of the bunch. That’s not saying I dislike either of these episodes, it’s just something has to rank at the bottom.
    I can see why they put this one so late into the run. If you’ve stuck with it this far, you’re ready for a classic MST3K assault. They didn’t want to scare anyone off early on. For those worried the movie choices were too colorful and lively, look no further. Brutal, yet ultimately necessary.

       6 likes

  26. Stoneman says:

    For me, this movie captures that there was a certain malaise at the end of the 1970s/very early 80s.

    I really liked this episode, the host segments (“Shannon Dough-erty”; wow…) and the movie riffing, lots of good riffs of all types that have been touched on by you all already…one I especially liked was when the camera is slowly panning into Markov’s face as he prepares to bend the rod, and Jonah, Tom and Servo start vocalizing like the crazy choir in “The Omen” letting us know the devil is up to his tricks (“Sanctus!”; “Domine!” etc). It was also very funny that my wife and I both thought outloud that the first audience guy to try and bend the rod looked like my wife’s first husband. (Nobody’s perfect- I love her despite such a faux pas!)

    Iron Butterfly…”In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”…I owned that album. Great cover jacket. Of course, known for the title track stoner workout, but the other side has five songs, two of which I still gladly include on playlists. I feel that they were going for a heavy pop/rock sound like Vanilla Fudge, and while not a great band, they wasn’t bad either!

    Mark Hamill’s appearance was excellent. Without the benefit of knowing beforehand it was him, my wife, having not seen this one, could not figure out who it was, and was pleasantly surprised when I finally told her.

    I look ahead to next week’s episode with a little trepidation- I tried watching it back in April, but couldn’t even make it half way through. Hopefully it will click (at least a little) more next Saturday.

       10 likes

  27. Droppo says:

    Carnival Magic is BY FAR my favorite of the new season and ranks among my all-time favorite MST3K episodes.

    Everything about it cracks me up: the earnestness (and hairpiece) of Markov, every time J&TB point out how mundane Alex’s speech and talents are, Bud….I cannot praise this episode enough.

    Two of my all-time favorite MST3K riffs are now:
    “They never found the talking chimp who did it”
    and
    Bud: “Wow, he can talk!”
    Crow: “Well, kind of.”

    A masterpiece.

       8 likes

  28. Droppo says:

    Mike “ex-genius” Kelley:
    Oh dear.I wouldn’t have possibly imagined the episodes could get any worse and then this comes along to prove me wrong.

    Perhaps most of you are doing your reviews here in hindsight — which, in hindsight () would have been a good thing for me
    to do.Because this one, like the ones before it, puts things into MUCH better perspective.I’m guessing that on a rewatch
    of the entire season (which I doubt I’ll ever do) I’d think the two Wizards episodes were, by and large, not that awful.At
    least the movies themselves were such you could easily make fun of them with or without Jonah.

    But this film?There is no joy to it at all.Oh, it’s an awful, awful film, but that’s what MST3K does best, right?And
    yet Jonah and company don’t make this watchable, not in the least.

    The absolute nadir of the season (SO FAR — now I’m beginning to shudder, except that with only two episodes left it can’t get
    much worse.Right?) was when Jonah delivered the fan service “Watch out for snakes”.It was delivered with so little
    conviction and enthusiasm (or perhaps just not understanding the whole reason behind it) I just thought “Well, that explains it”.

    This version of MST3K is like your kids when they reenact Frozen and think it’s SO wonderful and you clench your teeth and just
    want it to be over.Yep, kids, this is MST3K.Yep, you have bots, and you have mads, and you are SO clever with your…
    I just can’t watch anymore.

    1 out of 10.

    So cool to enjoy the show with like-minded fans!

    Wait a minute…

    In all seriousness, sorry you’re not enjoying the new season. I would take your own advice and not watch at this point. No sense suffering through a product you don’t like, particularly given that so many fans (like me) come to the MST3K fan site to celebrate the episodes.

       18 likes

  29. gf120581 says:

    Johnny Drama: I can see why they put this one so late into the run. If you’ve stuck with it this far, you’re ready for a classic MST3K assault. They didn’t want to scare anyone off early on. For those worried the movie choices were too colorful and lively, look no further. Brutal, yet ultimately necessary.
      (Quote)

    Yes, they timed this episode well by having it late in the season. This is the type of episode you show to folks familiar to the series, not to newbies seeing what all the fuss is about.

    Al Adamson’s filmography is full of flicks like this. I mentioned “Dracula vs. Frankenstein” as a potential future experiment, but another one might be “Horror of the Blood Monsters,” which is..interesting, to say the least. To make a long story short, this is what happened; Adamson got his hands on a Filipino B&W film called “Tagani,” which is about…wait for it…VAMPIRE CAVEMEN!!! Riveting. Adamson promptly filmed new footage in color with U.S. actors (including a clearly tired and cranky John Carradine) playing astronauts going to a new planet full of vampires to find out if said planet is responsible for a vampire outbreak on Earth (which is depicted by some folks with fake fangs attacking random people in an alleyway). He then tinted the B&W “Tagani” footage various colors, depicted it in-film as being because of the “chromatic radiation” of the planet and had the gall to call it a new film process called “Spectrum X.” He then released it to theaters and people actually paid money to see it. Really.

       7 likes

  30. Second best episode of the season and a top 10 of all time. I believe that wizards 2 is a far worse movie from every angle but carnival magic is a treasure because it’s a trainwreck in all new ways. The new crew thrives on train wrecks like this. I love that this was kind of a lost movie and it has no idea what it wants to be.

    The purple suit guy tease is interesting.. Looking forward to seeing where that goes in future seasons.

       9 likes

  31. Lisa H. says:

    I liked Mark Hamill the best of the celebrity cameos. It felt less like the point was only “hey, look who it is, it’s Mark Hamill!!!” than with Wil Wheaton and especially (IMO) with NPH.

    Sitting Duck:
    Carnival Magic fails the Bechdel Test. The only conversation between two females occurs when Kate and Kim talk about Alex.

    Does Alex really count as talking about a man, though?

    jay: “Inagoddadavida” was supposed to be “In the garden of Eden”, but the lead singer of Iron Butterfly had imbibed too much red wine before the show.Thus goes the legend anyway.

    “Wait a minute, this sounds like rock and/or roll!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSCUhqsy4Nk

    majorjoe23:

    Not really connected to anything, but the poster for this film really interests me. It reminds me of Yellow Submarine:

    Wow. That is… that is something.

       3 likes

  32. Gizsonic Screwdriver says:

    Justin Corwin:
    Second best episode of the season and a top 10 of all time. I believe that wizards 2 is a far worse movie from every angle but carnival magic is a treasure because it’s a trainwreck in all new ways.The new crew thrives on train wrecks like this. I love that this was kind of a lost movie and it has no idea what it wants to be.

    The purple suit guy tease is interesting..Looking forward to seeing where that goes in future seasons.

    The actor Matt McGinnis who’s character was named Matt Claude Van Damm (a Joke on Joel’s part), told me on Twitter it’ll be revealed but it’s hush hush, like Gypsy’s payload. He’s also a Skeleton Crew cameraman in a later episode.

    Oh and your wordpress keeps forgetting me and when I go to login makes me keep resetting my password. Can you guys please fix all your issues with your system?

       4 likes

  33. Sitting Duck says:

    Kenneth Morgan:
    Oh, and when Season 12 is approved, they have to immediately arrange for Mark Hamill to show up again.

    Or at least use a movie he’s appeared in. I would recommend the 1991 live action adaptation of The Guyver. As a bonus, it also features Jimmie Walker in a less than DY-NO-MITE!!!!! role as one of the Zoanoids.

    Lisa H.:
    Does Alex really count as talking about a man, though?

    In one of my clarifications of the potential ambiguities of the Bechdel Test, I note that the definitions of male and female would apply to any male or female, regardless of age or species.

       2 likes

  34. Cornjob says:

    This and Cry Wilderness remind me of Cinematic Titanic’s version of Santa Clause Conquers the Martians when Frank says, “And don’t call it a movie, we know better.” Did this thing ever play in a real theater? Did anyone see it who wasn’t bribed or threatened? Manos, Monster-A-Go-Go, and Yucca Flats more closely resemble real movies than this.

    The riffers made good work out of Carnival Magic, but the presence of wild animals being held captive in this dingy 3rd rate attraction is depressing. And what an awful carnival. It looks like you could get dysentery just from looking at it. I think I’d rather spend the night trapped in Pirate’s World with an angry clown ghost and a pack rabid beavers than spend the afternoon in this carnival. The Carnival of Souls probably gets better Yelp reviews.

    And to top it all off there’s the nauseating emotional incest between the carnival owner and his daughter. Ick.

    And when the scientist gets a hold of an earth shattering discovery and within 24 hours decides to vivisect it? No point in talking to the talking chimp I guess.

    Mark Hamil was certainly a treat and by far my favorite celebrity guest spot. And how freaking cool.

       9 likes

  35. Cornjob says:

    BTW Slayer did a great cover of Inna Gadda Da Vida.

       4 likes

  36. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    Oh and your wordpress keeps forgetting me and when I go to login makes me keep resetting my password. Can you guys please fix all your issues with your system?

    And for another tortuous week, the Ignore button does not work. I click it to ignore someone and then when I revisit the page (even in the same browsing session, with cookies enabled and nothing blocked) he is unignored again. I think it might have something to do with the way the site handles page caches. I also really miss the numbering of comments. Thank you.

    About Carnival Magic, this does seem to be a love it or hate it episode with little in between. I fall closer to the love side, but appreciate everyone’s comments explaining reasonably why they don’t like it. Do most of us agree that this is a “graduate level” MST episode? I would never show this to noobs; they would run away screaming and never come back to the riffing.

       6 likes

  37. My favorite Season 11 episode. The skits with the bots in this one were like having the old bots back.

       5 likes

  38. gf120581 says:

    Cornjob: Did this thing ever play in a real theater? Did anyone see it who wasn’t bribed or threatened?

    It did, but barely. The film was also lost for decades until a print was discovered in 2009. It’s like the celluloid version of an ancient evil artifact unearthed in a horror movie or an Indiana Jones knockoff.

    Cornjob: And what an awful carnival. It looks like you could get dysentery just from looking at it.

    As I mentioned above, the movie’s aesthetic screams “70s porn.” It greatly adds to the general sleaziness of everything.

    Cornjob: And to top it all off there’s the nauseating emotional incest between the carnival owner and his daughter. Ick.

    Yes, that was especially disturbing. Forcing her to dress and act like a prepubescent boy because otherwise she’d turn into her mother and leave him? Even Freud would go, “You sick motherf__ker.”

    Yeti of Great Danger: Do most of us agree that this is a “graduate level” MST episode? I would never show this to noobs; they would run screaming away and never come back to the riffing.

    Without a doubt. This is on the level with the likes of “Monster A-Go-Go” or the Coleman Francis troika. You don’t show this one to someone unless they’re well versed in what the show offers.

       8 likes

  39. Murdock Hauser says:

    Mike “ex-genius” Kelley:
    I just can’t watch anymore.

    Then don’t.

       26 likes

  40. Gizsonic Screwdriver says:

    Yeti of Great Danger: And for another tortuous week, the Ignore button does not work.I click it to ignore someone and then when I revisit the page (even in the same browsing session, with cookies enabled and nothing blocked) he is unignored again.I think it might have something to do with the way the site handles page caches.I also really miss the numbering of comments.Thank you.

    Well as much as I support WordPress, its what you get sometimes for an open platform, it will falter. It just burns me to know end when this happens. :(

    BTW, if you guys think I spoiled anything let me know, but I think it’s safe to say I didn’t break anything but do comment.

       2 likes

  41. EricJ says:

    Good God, somehow EricJ has become even more insufferable to us since the Satellite News commenters found their new whipping boy. (I’m thinking he wouldn’t be ragging on Mr. Ex-Genius so hard if his name wasn’t “Mike”.)

       12 likes

  42. majorjoe23: So does this mean we won’t get your EricJ: The Next Generation comments on the final two films of the season? You’re so close, you can do it!

    Definitely was a possibility, except this morning we watched the Christmas one and (spoiler alert) actually enjoyed it. So, no, you will still have to put up with me (or just x me out with the liberal “I don’t want to see things that disagree with me” feature on this site).

       4 likes

  43. Oh, and I should comment on the one person who actually had something of merit to discuss (rather than those of you who just complain you don’t like hearing negative things about this show): why should I come here when this is a place for others to rejoice? IOW, if I don’t like it, why don’t I just shut up and leave?

    The answer is I paid well over $100 (not as much as some, but more than others) and feel like I have a right to express my opinion. There are obviously at least a few who agree with me or I wouldn’t have any likes at all on my posts, but if the majority here really don’t want to hear anything other than glowing fanboy comments about The Return then perhaps I *will* stay away (although having watched the next and liked it I think I will make one last positive post — after that you’ll all have your safe spaces here and can pretend that this reboot is the greatest thing that ever happened to MST3K).

       9 likes

  44. EricJ:

    (…How can you be John Malkovich? HOW??)

    Good God, somehow EricJ has become even more insufferable to us since the Satellite News commenters found their new whipping boy. (I’m thinking he wouldn’t be ragging on Mr. Ex-Genius so hard if his name wasn’t “Mike”.)

    And no, I didn’t hire Mr. Ex-Genius as a Machiavellian plot to deliberately make me look better–

    Mike “ex-genius” Kelley: So, no, you will still have to put up with me (or just x me out with the liberal “I don’t want to see things that disagree with me” feature on this site).

    –And even if I had, I’d be realizing I’d created a Frankenstein at this point. Good thing I hadn’t, and he’s on his own for this one.
    Still, y’know, point is, it’s like Mike Nelson’s brother Eddie: Things could always be a lot WORSE.

       1 likes

  45. majorjoe23 says:

    Mike “ex-genius” Kelley: Definitely was a possibility, except this morning we watched the Christmas one and (spoiler alert) actually enjoyed it.So, no, you will still have to put up with me (or just x me out with the liberal “I don’t want to see things that disagree with me” feature on this site).

    Ah, cool, you’re bringing politics into this now too. You seem like a lovely person.

       13 likes

  46. Doryna says:

    According to IMDB, this was filmed around the North Carolina/South Carolina border, in Shelby, NC and Gaffney, SC. I’ve been to that region a couple of times; suddenly, aspects of this movie make more sense.

    For the record, the other most famous movie to be filmed in Shelby is The Hunger Games. Yet, Carnival Magic was somehow far more dystopian.

       8 likes

  47. Denver Brown says:

    This is one of those movies that they should of ripped to shreds, or at least should have been really tormented by, but alas at the end they’re just smiling as if they’re not really kidnapped and trapped in space being forced to watch the worst movies ever made. I hope in the next season they’re not so nice to their villainous captors and the movies they are supposedly being tortured by.

       7 likes

  48. Son of Gorgo says:

    This was a depressing movie, the subject was depressing, the actors all looked depressed, the color was washed out and depressing. This is on the bottom of my list for this season, right under the Hercules movie.

       4 likes

  49. Gizsonic Screwdriver says:

    EricJ:
    Good God, somehow EricJ has become even more insufferable to us since the Satellite News commenters found their new whipping boy. (I’m thinking he wouldn’t be ragging on Mr. Ex-Genius so hard if his name wasn’t “Mike”.)

    Run that by me again? I was out a bit this week. Is he now the Original EricJ? He has more comebacks from R.I.P. than Tupac.

       4 likes

  50. Cornjob says:

    Another nasty element of the story is that anything with the ability to think and use language like a human being; is a human being in the ways that matter the most, regardless of their physical form. This point is made very poignantly in H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness” when the narrator empathizes with animal/vegetable “radiats” from another world that met a terrible end in Antarctica, declaring, “They were men. Men of a different age and order. But men.”

    The implication being that all the indignities and abuse that drove the chimp to attempt suicide were being inflicted on a human consciousness. And how the heck did Alex become capable of speech? Did Markov over train him? If so, that was a uniquely great cruelty. A talking chimp is too human to be just one of the chimps, but not human enough to be a part of human society. In Greek Mythology this was the tragedy of humans that got turned in to animals. They became too human and not human enough. And had no place in either community.

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