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Episode guide: 1st Annual Mystery Science Theater 3000 Summer Blockbuster Review

Original airdate: Sept 2, 1997.

Watch on Youtube:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.24 out of 5)

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From the MST3K Wikia:

Introduction: Mike and Crow are awakened in the middle of the night by loud explosions and sound effects. Crow finds Tom Servo in the theater hosting a Summer Blockbuster Review, which he and Crow introduce with a jaunty tune, the “Blockbuster Review Uptown Toodle-oo”.
Act One: Crow and Tom watch, riff, and attempt to sum up the trailer to The Fifth Element. They are wildly confused instead, so they continue on to make fun of an interview with Bruce Willis, some behind-the-scenes info with director Luc Besson, and a clip from the film itself.
Act Two: Mike finds the Bots in the theater just in time to have Tom introduce him as Jonathan Frakes and join them in watching the trailer for The Lost World: Jurassic Park. There follows a montage of Steven Spielberg’s trademark “scenes of people looking” and some riffing on the behind-the-scenes footage.
Act Three: Professor Bobo joins the gang in the theater when Pearl sends him to look for the SOL crew. After he drops all manner of sticky snacks all over the floor, the group watches the trailer for Men in Black, which is constantly disrupted by Bobo’s annoying candy wrappers, questions, and laughter. After making Bobo leave, the crew watches and makes fun of footage of the aliens and special effects from the movie.
Act Four: Observer pops in, joining in the search for the crew. The crew makes fun of the trailer for Contact, only to be interrupted by Pearl herself. Pearl insists on switching to the trailer for Batman & Robin because of the presence of “her fiancé” George Clooney, and when Servo insults George, Pearl tosses him out of the theater and does her own summary of the film. After watching and making fun of a scene from the film and watching the wrongness that is Joel Schumacher, Pearl demands George be put back on. Crow instead shows all of the strange and unappealing men from the other trailers, causing Pearl to chase him and Mike from the theater. A shaken Servo returns to send off the show; Bobo also returns and assaults him with a barrage of movie suggestions. Many of them involve monkeys.

• This hit TV screens about two weeks after the debut of episode 816- PRINCE OF SPACE and a few days before the debut of episode 817- HORROR OF PARTY BEACH.
• This is really the fulfillment of the promise of 1995′s Little Gold Statue special. Everything really clicks.
• They came up with a great little opening song.
• One innovation is the new perspective: In FRONT of the riffers so we can see their faces. It certainly was startling at first!
• And, unlike the Little Gold Statue special, they are actually riffing on the clips this time.
• Even better, Bobo joins them in the theater, then Observer, then Pearl. I’m guessing Patrick ran the puppets and the puppets dialog was dubbed in later. It must have been complicated!
• Kevin as Bobo is great as that really annoying person you hate to sit near in a movie theater.
• “Directed by Rob Lowe” is a somewhat dated riff. I think Lowe has (mostly) been forgiven for some of his personal mis-steps early in his career.
• I will admit I don’t really understand Mike’s horrified reaction to the behind-the-scenes footage with Schumacher and Silverstone. Yes, Schumacher trying to explain “macho” to her is amusing, but I don’t feel his stark horror. Is it simply Schumacher’s presence that is prompting this? Mike’s dialog is still funny, but I don’t quite get what he’s on about. What am I missing?
• Clips shown: “The Fifth Element” (trailer then a clip), “The Lost World (trailer, scenes of people looking, behind the scenes footage), “Men in Black” (trailer, behind the scenes footage), “Contact” (trailer), Batman and Robin (trailer, behind the scenes footage).
• Interviews: Bruce Willis and Luc Besson.
• Fave riff: “And here’s David Cronenberg’s rumpus room…” Honorable mention: “You’re missing Pat Hingle’s towering performance as Commissioner Gordon!”

45 comments to Episode guide: 1st Annual Mystery Science Theater 3000 Summer Blockbuster Review

  • 1
    WeatherServo9 says:

    “This is really the fulfillment of the promise of 1995?s Little Gold Statue special.”

    Indeed.

    I really like that they got everybody in the theater, and also that they showed the riffers from the front. I think I was also startled the first time I saw this, but then immediately thought to myself how cool it was that we actually got to see what the theater looks like. Too bad we couldn’t see the rest of the ship in the series. I’m sure, like all big spaceships, it had a big bottom-heavy basement with lots of railings.

    Also it’s difficult to fathom that that particular Batman movie was even made, let alone viewed by anyone. Wow.

       2 likes

  • 2
    Stefanie says:

    I love this special. You can see the inside of the theater room, that’s mind-blowing!!!

       2 likes

  • 3
    Mela says:

    I still remember everyone’s horrified screaming as Joel Schumacher gave Alicia Silverstone an overly-affectionate hug. I can’t even watch the YouTube links right now (work has no Flash), but that was the first thing that came into my head once I saw this special’s title. That and Bobo’s horrible “Hey, that guy’s cool! And so’s that guy!” riffing.

       1 likes

  • 4
    Zee says:

    It always bothered me in the specials that the doorway in the background looks wrong- it looks like the door as we see it in the doorway sequence, while we SHOULD be seeing it from the other angle.

       1 likes

  • 5
    kismetgirl88 says:

    #4 It show you should relax.
    I love Bobo riffs to Men in Black “What going on” WHat did that man say” Because my mom ALway will come in durring a show and ask what going on during show and what did he say I have stop and explain. Thank god for TVIO.

       3 likes

  • 6
    duckpin says:

    Man, I loved this and the second summer blockbuster review. The riffing of Bruce Willis’ interview was classic.

    (And it’s the editor in me that has to call attention to “first annual” … it’s incorrect! Something can’t be annual if it’s only happened once!)

       1 likes

  • 7
    WeatherServo9 says:

    Whoops, I forgot my favorite line – “Protect your sacroiliac when we review the Men in Black.” I laughed at that for days the first time I saw this.

    @Zee, I never noticed the door not quite being right before. Although it is just a show, and I’m fully relaxed about it.

       2 likes

  • 8
    Creeping Terror says:

    Great special! It would make a better DVD extra some day. (Hint, hint, Shout Factory).

    My thoughts:

    1. Does anyone else think the instrumental music is too loud at the beginning?
    2. Funniest parts: the shot of Mike looking interspliced among all the other Spielbergian looking, Observer’s review for his friends on another planet, headbobs and smiles, and Crow shouting, “So, let’s roll it again!” when talking about the awkward behind the scenes clip from “Batman and Robin.”
    3. Least funny moment: Bobo in the theater. Riffing the trailer would have been funnier.
    4. Does anyone else think that they look cramped sitting in the theatre when the camera is looking at them… especially Mike with his broad Midwestern shoulders.

    All in all, one of the funnier specials.

       1 likes

  • 9
    Nutcase says:

    Bobo’s monolouge at the end really says a lot about his people, doesn’t it? Time of the Apes a good movie? LOL

       1 likes

  • 10
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    The Speilberg “people looking” montage is one of my favorite bits. It perfectly sums up the work of Mr Speilbergo. Anytime I need to explain my distaste for Speilberg, I reference this clip. I mean, I love Jaws, but seriously, the guy is a one trick pony, and that trick hasn’t been effective since the early 80′s.

       3 likes

  • 11
    clhenry89 says:

    The Fifth Element and Batman and Robin are both Rifftrax.

       1 likes

  • 12
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    “You should really just relax” as used on this site =

    “I’m not concerned about what you’re concerned about, ergo you should not be concerned, either” =

    “I am too solipsistic to conceptualize the validity of other people’s concerns if they do not match my own.”

       2 likes

  • 13
    gorto says:

    awesome, very funny. love it when bobo watches the men in black trailer. “why’s he no longer part of the system?” I have relatives who get that sort of excitement from lousy movies too. funny, and sad, for its relativity.

       2 likes

  • 14
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    Yes, this is a great preview of what Rifftrax would eventually do: tackle the big-budget/no-brain Hollywood products. I love that they even riff on EPK (Electronic Press KIt) clips. I’m pretty sure I saw Fifth Element and Batman & Robin in theaters that summer. And they both became funny Rifftrax later. Thanks for posting these, Sampo. Note: at the end of Part 2/3, Servo says, “Won’t you? Thank you,” a reversal of the old Joel chestnut.

       1 likes

  • 15
    Matt D. says:

    I actually saw a double bill of Contact AND Batman and Robin one night that summer. I loved Contact, and yet almost all the happiness I got from that movie-watching experience was crushed when I watched the disaster that was Batman and Robin.

    As for the special, this was the first time I have ever seen it, and it was great, especially the Fifth Element review (Crow- From Columbia Pictures, a sincere apology).

       0 likes

  • 16
    Pixiesnix says:

    Wow, the “staying with Demi” line during the Bruce Willis interview was prophetic.

       2 likes

  • 17
    Timber says:

    The line “Oh my God, they’re docking!” during the B&R trailer had me laughing for days after first seeing this. I may have to pick up the B&R Rifftrax.

       3 likes

  • 18
    jjb3k says:

    I love how the ending credits feature Kevin Murphy essentially talking to himself. It is, as comedy writer Ken Keeler would say, “head-exploding TV”.

    I just think it was so awesome that we finally got to see the front of the theater. It’s one of those geeky things that only the show’s fans care about, purely because we’ve never seen it before and our curiosity has been piqued.

    Shame they only had time for five movies – the summer of 1997, just like any other given year, was bloated with big, loud action movies for the Brains to tear into. I would have liked to see them take on stuff like Volcano, Con Air, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Air Force One, and so on.

       0 likes

  • 19
    Brandon says:

    Hilariously, Servo’s head is transparent when we see them at the front of the theater, and then goes back to being black when we cut to the regular view. I always found that funny.

       1 likes

  • 20
    Brandon says:

    Another thing: When we see the front of the theater, why can’t we see Cambot in the back?

    I know, I know. It’s just a show…

       1 likes

  • 21
    Spector says:

    The forerunner of Rifftrax! Seriously, this was a great treat at the time watching them riff on the trailer for those (at the time) first run movies.

    “From Columbia Pictures…”
    Crow: “A sincere apology”.

    As they watch Arnold Schwarzenegger flying through the air as “Mr Freeze” in “Batman and Robin”, Mike exclaims in his best Schwarzenegger accent “Behold, I bring you tidings of joy”.

    Classic!

       2 likes

  • 22
    Wampa Joe says:

    “We’re so sorry Uncle Alfred!”

    TUSK.

       2 likes

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

    #20:

    Everything we see on the show is through Cambot’s eye(s?), so we can never see Cambot himself unless he looks in a mirror (as he does during the MST3K opening credits). Thus, every time the camera switches from usual rear shots to front shots, Cambot is implicitly quickly moving from the back to the front, because he IS the camera.

    Might’ve been a nice extra touch if, right after a shift from back to front or vice versa, Mike or Tom or Crow had said something to the effect of “Whoa! Watch it, Cambot! Not used to you zipping around overhead like that,” though.

       0 likes

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

    #4:

    The nanites were re-decorating again…

       0 likes

  • 25
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves (#23): “Cambot is implicitly quickly moving from the back to the front, because he IS the camera.”

    The thing is, they’re CUTS, at least apparently. For it to be Cambot moving, he would have to be able to go from a standing start at the front of the theater to a complete stop at the back in less than 1/60 of a second (the amount of time in one video field… and that’s not even subtracting the amount of time the shutter is open). Whoa, indeed.

    The Brains actually did think to explain the two-camera setup in context. I haven’t seen the movie specials in a while, so I don’t remember which one this happens in, but Servo says hello to the cameraman who’s doing the front shots. Calls him by name, but I can’t recall what it was.

       1 likes

  • 26
    Matt D. says:

    The cameraman was LYLE!

       2 likes

  • 27
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Matt D. (#26):

    Thanks. I knew it was a monosyllable, but I couldn’t shake “Chad” out of my mind, even though I knew it was probably wrong.

       0 likes

  • 28
    Wampa Joe says:

    Crow also explicitly references the extra camera at the front of the theater before Servo begins singing the theme song.

       1 likes

  • 29
    starman15317 says:

    I love this one

       1 likes

  • 30

    Bobo + Men In Black = BUYS!

       2 likes

  • 31
    starman15317 says:

    “From Columbia Pictures” “A sincere apology”

       2 likes

  • 32
    Dan in WI says:

    This certainly was different from the Comedy Central Oscar special. Yes it was good to get riffing of the clips. But overall I felt this was a bit fast paced and over saturated. I liked the guests in the theater but that too got a bit busy toward the end. So I guess I’m going to be a dissenting voice here and say while there was some good ideas here it was overdone for the time available.

    Having Bobo in the theater during Men in Black was fun. It was kind of Meta how he was talking in a way they couldn’t get their riffing in. I hate it when that happens.

    Mary Jo did a great job playing the George Clooney love struck role that every girl in my college dorm had. It brought back memories.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Crow “The fifth element. It is maybe a movie about boron?”
    Tom “I don’t know, I only look at that chart periodically.”

    Crow “If you like injecting LSD into your eyeballs then you’ll like this film.”

       1 likes

  • 33
    BIG^!AL says:

    so when can we expect these on a SHOUT FACTORY release?

       5 likes

  • 34
    pondoscp says:

    This may be the best of the specials, and is one of the best entries from season 8. Bobo in the theater is definitely the highlight.

    And there’s a callback to “Contact” in “Devil Doll”

       2 likes

  • 35
    Jason says:

    All three of the Scifi specials need to be released by Shout! quick fast and in a hurry.

    I remember being blown away at being able to see what the theater looked like facing Mike and the bots. I think I still am. And I love how in the Academy of Robots’ Choice Awards special and the second summer blockbuster review they have the safe from the doorway in the background.

       3 likes

  • 36
    crowschmo says:

    Mike really nailed his scene of person looking. Smile

       4 likes

  • 37
    Raketemensch says:

    Just for the record, the “Uptown Toodleoo” joke is a reference to the Grateful Dead song “Mississippi Halfstep Uptown Toodleoo.”

       3 likes

  • 38
    JC says:

    “But my individually-wrapped M&Ms!”

       8 likes

  • 39
    Alex says:

    I remember they had a comment on Fifth Element that hopefully it was ‘less confusing than Dune’. I actually went to see Fifth Element with a friend of mine. It was actually really good and wasn’t to confusing. It was just fun. I have a copy of it and realized a lot of things didn’t quite add up in it, but you don’t even think about it because things are going ahead and your too busy having fun once the slow parts start to get going. Essentially the fun really starts when Chris Tucker shows up with his cannonball hair.

    They also had the Titanic Trailer in front of it. We were like “Don’t tell us the ending.” Come to think of it, I saw Fifth Element, Titanic, The Lost World, and Men In Black in that same theater… which is now closed and a dead empty shell on the north side of Spokane. It sad to drive by that boarded up building and its empty parking lot. It’s depressing. Frown

    I did NOT go to see Batman and Robin. Horray for me! Smile

       5 likes

  • 40
    Sitting Duck says:

    Kevin as Bobo is great as that really annoying person you hate to sit near in a movie theater.

    Except he was like said annoying person, so I didn’t find that sequence amusing at all. Other than that misstep, I found the Special to be a hoot.

       0 likes

  • 41
    Dan in WI says:

    Sitting Duck #40> I believe the intention was for him to be said annoying person making it a fun Meta riff.

       2 likes

  • 42
    thequietman says:

    I take it this was a prime-time special or something like that? This is a revelation because I’d never heard of this until now. It is great how the Brains played around with the theater perspective and having more people turn up in the theater. I think DaninWI has something of a point in that there was a lot crammed into less than 30 minutes. Perhaps they couldn’t get the clearance to do more movies?

    Still, this is great to see!

       0 likes

  • 43

    Hey everybody, let’s give it up for our floor manager Lyle.

    I still agree with my previous statement up at #10 about the “Signuture Spielberg people looking” montage being one of my favorite bits. However in the four years since that post, my dislike of Spielberg has softened quite a bit. I wouldn’t call him a one trick pony, that seems harsh to me now. In all honesty he’s made plenty of films I’ve liked and enjoyed, although there seem to be less and less of them as the years go by (I did just watch The Adventures of TinTin a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it).

    As has been said by others, the riffing of the modern movie trailers and clips really does feel like the birth of Rifftrax.

    Crow: “The perky Bruce Willis.”

    Crow (about The Fifth Element): “If you like injecting LSD into your eyeballs, then you’ll like this film.” ——I like that movie; it’s fun. Cool

    Bobo: “My individually wrapped M&Ms!”

    Mike: “David Cronenberg’s rumpus room.”

    Before Pearl tosses Servo for making fun of her George Clooney, Servo starts to back-pedal and says that he thinks that Clooney should win an Academy Award. This would come to pass in 2006, when Clooney would win Best Supporting Actor for Syriana. In addition, he has been nominated for Best Actor three times, Writing twice, and Directing once. He didn’t really let the total failure and embarrassment of Batman & Robin derail his career, even though it was one of his first major motion pictures (in the three years following B&R he ensured this by starring in Out of Sight, The Thin Red Line, Three Kings, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?).

    Mike (as Arnold as Mr. Freeze): “Behold! I bring you great tidings of joy!”

    Mike: “Head bob, smile. Smile, head bob, head bob, smile.”

    -
    This is a pretty good little special,
    the theater gets a little full with all the guest stars,
    but it’s fun. It’s a breezy watch.

    Other 1997 Summer Movies they didn’t mention: Air Force One, Face/Off, and Con Air, all of which would be in the Top 15 movies of the year, grossing over $100 Million each.
    Also, it wasn’t released in the summer, but you know what else came out in 1997? STARSHIP TROOPERS. Shock It all comes full circle.

       2 likes

  • 44
    Sitting Duck says:

    @ #41: Personally, I find humor that gets meta to be very hit and miss.

       0 likes

  • 45
    WestrnPhlyr says:

    @#39 Alex

    Ahh yes, the old Newport Cinema…a shame as I had seen a number of movies there myself. Ironic considering they built new theaters a mile or so north.

    As for the special, I loved it. I remember seeing this on a videotape my dad made for me and sent over to Japan (I was stationed there in the Air Force and we had no cable available to us at the time). Actually that is how I saw most of season eight. Dad would tape three of the episodes on VHS and send it on over.

       0 likes