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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


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

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Weekend Discussion Thread: Finding the Right CR

Alert regular “Sitting Duck” writes:

In his interview on the Riding with Death DVD, Steven de Souza touches on the issue of, when writing a story, getting the capabilities of those opposing the protagonists just right.

Or in D&D parlance, the Challenge Rating (CR). Too low, and the story becomes a stakes-free cakewalk. Too high, and the protagonist comes across as incompetent, with the resolution often appearing as a deus ex machina.

Many MST3K films struggle to get their CRs in that Goldilocks zone. So which films do you think the CR was either too low or too high?

For too low, I’d go with Danger Death Ray. The goons practically walked right into Bart Fargo’s fists. For too high, I’d go with Devil Doll. English was just so hapless and he needed Vorelli and Hugo’s falling out to resolve the situation for him.

Too high: The evil night club owner in “Daddy-O.” How in the world was Pete Plum supposed to be victorious? Too low: “Batwoman.” She just walks all over Rat Fink.”

Your picks?

This Date in MSTory

BORN ON THIS DATE
1902: Leah Rhodes, wardrobe supervisor for the movie in episode 523- VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS.
1922: Demeter Bitenc, who played Ariel in the movie in episode 605- COLOSSUS AND THE HEADHUNTERS.
1923: Gleb Strizhenov, who played Glan in the movie in episode K11- HUMANOID WOMAN.
1924: Don Knotts, whom Crow impersonated during a host segment in episode 305- STRANDED IN SPACE.
1927: Paul Blaisdell, who designed and wore the monster costumes in episodes 311- IT CONQUERED THE WORLD, 315- TEENAGE CAVEMAN, 808- THE SHE-CREATURE and THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED (riffed by fans in Sci-fi Channel’s “MST3K: The Home Game”). He made props for the movies in episodes 309- THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN and 313- EARTH VS. THE SPIDER and appeared as a corpse in the movie in episode 806- THE UNDEAD.
1942: Patricia Elliott, who played a nurse in THE GREEN SLIME, seen in MST3K’s pilot.
1944: Michel Ray, who played Bud Brewster in the movie in episode 906- THE SPACE CHILDREN.*
1944: Paul Wellstone, who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 304- GAMERA VS. BARUGON.

DIED ON THIS DATE
1967: Basil Rathbone (age 75), who played Lodac in the movie in episode 411- THE MAGIC SWORD.
1975: Gordon Bau (age 68), who did the make-up for the movie in episode 112- UNTAMED YOUTH.
1982: Baynes Barron (age 65), who played Nasor in the season one serial RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON.
1985: Lawrence Woolner (age 73), executive producer for the movie in episode 420- THE HUMAN DUPLICATORS.
1987: William Fritzsche (age 79), color consultant for the movie THIS ISLAND EARTH riffed in MST3K: THE MOVIE.
1988: Mikhail Volpin (age 85), screenwriter for the movie in episode 813- JACK FROST.
2002: Victor Appel (age 94), sound engineer for the movie in episode 611- LAST OF THE WILD HORSES.

EVENTS ON THIS DATE
1942: Phillip Terry, who played Dr. Paul Talbot in the movie in episode 802- THE LEECH WOMAN, married legendary actress Joan Crawford.
1976: The movie in episode 212- GODZILLA VS. MEGALON is released in the U.S.A.
1998: RHINO HOME VIDEO releases episode 622- ANGELS REVENGE and “Shorts Vol. 1” on VHS.


This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce This Date in MSTory items in any form without express written permission from the authors.
* = According to the IMDB this person is alive. If you can supply evidence that he or she has died, and when, please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a birthday, the IMDB indicates that the person has died, but the IMDB does not have a full death date (probably just a month and year or just the year he or she died). If you can give us the exact date (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a death date, the IMDB does not have this person’s full birthday. If you can provide it (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.

RiffTrax Presents a New Movie Riff from Bridget and Mary Jo

Buy it here.

Interesting Report from Blobfest

Alert regular Kenneth has sent us a report from this year’s Blobfest in Phoenixville, Pa.

This past Saturday, Matt McGinnis made an appearance at Blobfest in Phoenixville, PA. [Editor’s note: McGinnis is an associate producer and writer on the relaunch, but most fans may know him as “Matt Claude Van Damme,” the purple-jumpsuited fellow shown briefly in episode 1112- CARNIVAL MAGIC. Blobfest, held every year in Phoenixville, is a celebration of the original “Blob” movie, much of which was shot in and around that small village, especially at the now-lovingly-restored Colonial Theater there.]

He talked about how he got involved with the Relaunch, including a pretty good impression of Joel. When asked about Season 12, he couldn’t say very much beyond that it was now in post and that he thought it turned out very well. He also deflected a question re: the Purple Jumpsuit. One question he did address was about the riffing in Season 11. Specifically, it was about how there were a large number of jokes in the early episodes, with the amount easing back as the season went on. He said the reason for this was simply that the writers were worn out from writing such a large bunch of riffs for the early shows and had to cut back. Regarding the six-episode season, Matt didn’t dismiss the idea that this might mean a shorter wait for a 13th Season, though it was also said that the upcoming comic book and the live tour might make up for the lower number of shows.

After that, Matt sold autographed copies of his “Famous Blobs Throughout History” artwork, as well as “ashcan” preview copies of the first issue of the MST3K comic book. The latter only included the first few pages of the first issue, but there was enough there to show that it looks great and they handled the riffing well.

Later on, Matt was going to host a spook show, including a showing of “Daughter of Horror,” the movie that was supposedly showing at the Colonial in “The Blob.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to that showing, but maybe somebody else can report on it. I did get to see that afternoon’s double feature of “The Blob” and “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” the latter in old-fashioned 3-D. And there was some audience riffing of “The Blob,” like in the scene where one of the “teenagers” tries to warn a bartender about the monster:

BARTENDER: Anyway, we don’t serve kids here.
RIFF: But I’m 35!

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in this.

Thanks Kenneth!

Now Available from RiffTrax…

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