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BORN ON THIS DATE
1895: Kenneth Harlan, who played Keenan in the movie in episode 105- THE CORPSE VANISHES.
1899: Nat Levine, producer of the season four serial UNDERSEA KINGDOM.
1901: John Bleifer, who played Jule in the movie WORLD WITHOUT END, riffed in MST3K’s first live show.
1909: Vivian Vance, who was mentioned by Jack Perkins in episode 310- FUGITIVE ALIEN and was mentioned in a host segment in episode 301- CAVE DWELLERS.
1910: Audrey Granville, musical score associate for the movie in episode 402- THE GIANT GILA MONSTER.
1918: Kenneth Rive, producer of the movie in episode 818- DEVIL DOLL.
1926: James Best, who played Thorne Sherman in the movie in episode 407- THE KILLER SHREWS.
1945: Suzanna Leigh, who played Vicki Robbins in the movie in episode 905- THE DEADLY BEES.
DIED ON THIS DATE
1925: William Jennings Bryan (age 65), who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 306- TIME OF THE APES.
1960: Cedric Gibbons (age 67), supervising art director for the movie in episode 510- THE PAINTED HILLS.
1992: Mary Wells (age 49), who sang the movie theme song “Never Steal Anything Wet,” which was the working title for the movie in episode 204- CATALINA CAPER.
1992: Archie Dalzell (age 80), cinematographer for the movie in episode 104- WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET and camera operator for the movie in episode 520- RADAR SECRET SERVICE.
2002: Tony Anholt (age 61), who played first officer Tony Verdeschi in the episode of the TV show “Space: 1999” in the movie in episode K10- COSMIC PRINCESS.
2005: Alexander Golitzen (age 97), art director for the movies in episodes 615- KITTEN WITH A WHIP, 801- REVENGE OF THE CREATURE, 802- THE LEECH WOMAN, 803- THE MOLE PEOPLE, 804- THE DEADLY MANTIS, 805- THE THING THAT COULDN’T DIE, plus THIS ISLAND EARTH seen in MST3K: THE MOVIE.
2011: Sakyo Komatsu (age 80), screenwriter for the movie in episode 306- TIME OF THE APES.
BORN ON THIS DATE
1907: Ichiro Sugai, who played Dr. Matstushita in the movie in episode 304- GAMERA VS. BARUGON.
1908: DeWitt Bodeen, screenwriter for the movie in episode 524- 12 TO THE MOON.
1913: Richard Dixon, production manager for the movie in episode 104- WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET.
1920: Jean Engstrom, who played Peg Gamble in the movie in episode 906- THE SPACE CHILDREN.
1928: Mimmo Palmara, who protrayed Polinices in the movie in episode 408- HERCULES UNCHAINED. He also played Iphitus in the movie in episode 502- HERCULES and Astor, the grand visir, in the movie in episode 412- HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN.
1928: Richard Shannon, who played Lt. Col. Manley in the movie in episode 906- THE SPACE CHILDREN.
1934: Don Ellis, who composed the musical score for the movie in episode 111- MOON ZERO TWO.
1954: Lynne Frederick, who played Kendra in the movie in episode K09- PHASE IV.
1960: John Scherer, co-producer of the movie in episode 1001- SOULTAKER.*
DIED ON THIS DATE
1968: Alexander Engel (age 66), who played the ghost in the movie in episode 1009- HAMLET.
1984: Akihiko Hirata (age 56), who played eye-patched Commander Yamamoto in episode 213- GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER and had a role in 310- FUGITIVE ALIEN.
2005: Alf Joint (age 68), who played the Overseer in the movie in episode K10- COSMIC PRINCESS.
2007: Lloyd Nelson (age 80), who played Heathcliff in the movie in episode 515- THE WILD, WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN.
2008: Mikhail Pugovkin (age 85), who played Razumets in the movie “Ilya Muromets,” seen in episode 617- THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON.
2009: Tony Brandt (age 79), first assistant director for the movie in episode 501- WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD.
EPISODE PREMIERES ON THIS DATE
1992: Episode 407- THE KILLER SHREWS (with the short JUNIOR RODEO DAREDEVILS) first shown.
1998: Episode 910- THE FINAL SACRIFICE first shown.
1999: Episode 1011- HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND first shown.
EVENTS ON THIS DATE
1951: The movie in episode 208- LOST CONTINENT is reviewed in Variety.
2004: Robert Sorrells, who played Dan in the movie in episode 614- SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL, shoots two men and kills one of them at a bar in Simi Valley, Calif. He is quickly arrested.
The big news: Season 11 will be carried on Netflix.
The panel revealed never-before-seen concept art and a sneak peak at the evolved version of the show’s-iconic “door sequence.” We’ll post video when we can.
Bill Corbett joins Season 11 to write and will have a guest appearance as his character “Brain Guy.”
Kevin Murphy will make a guest appearance in Season 11 as his character “Professor Bobo.”
Mary Jo Pehl will join Season 11 to write and for a guest appearance as her character “Pearl Forrester.”
All too often, the films shown on MST3K rely quite a bit on padding to get up to feature length. Frequently the padding has no perceivable relevance to the plot. So which occasions of non sequitur padding do you find particularly egregious? My top pick is the scene with Ike the Security Guard in The Wild, Wild World of Batwoman. A very close second would be the Fish Argument Theater from Gamera Vs. Zigra.
Gonna have to go with The endless traveling scenes in King Dinosaur. Completely useless to the plot.
Movie: (1957) A swarm of giant grasshoppers, inadvertently created by a radioactive experiment, heads for Chicago.
First shown: 11/25/93 Opening: During a group sing, M&tB get a wrong number Invention exchange: The Mads present the re-comfy bike, M&tB show off their new playing cards Host segment 1: Mike calls the Mads and catches them off guard Host segment 2: Crow unveils his latest screenplay: “Just Plain Peter: The U of M Years” Host segment 3: Tom’s standup routine is heavy on grasshopper jokes End: The bots post-card, Bert I. Gordon special effects, Mads are boxing Stinger: “Alright, men. Into the woods!” (221 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)
• This one’s a bit of a change of pace, literally: Bert I. Gordon slows things down and grinds out the filler thoughout a drab, monster-free first half — but that just leaves plenty of room for the riffs. Once the grasshoppers and Peter Graves arrive, things really pick up. The host segments are fun, especially Crow’s newest screenplay.
• Mary Jo is VERY good at playing those trailer trash gals. Maybe a little TOO good. That’s Paul yelling in the background.
• The playing cards bit, which I think even they realized was a little wifty, would be parodied in season six.
• Some grasshoppers were harmed in the making of this movie: According to reports, the grasshopper wranglers started with 200 of the little guys. During the filming, they began to cannibalize one another, and by the time the last shots were done, only a dozen were left.
• When we started doing the Mike episodes, somebody in the comments said it was the beginning of an era when the Mads became more effeminate, and yeah, I guess there was a bit of an upswing of that kind of comedy. Segment one is a good example.
• Rhino really screwed the pooch on the packaging for this one: Joel’s picture is on the package and he is touted as the star. On the menus, you can hear Arch Hall Jr. croon “Vicky.” Bleah.
• Tom begins to sing a few bars of George Michael’s “Faith” before Mike and Crow threaten him.
• Callbacks: What would Mitchell do? “…sing whenever I sing…” (Giant Gila Monster) Trumpy! (Pod People)
• In the theater somebody who is not Mike coughs. I think it’s Kevin.
• Cast and crew roundup: I’m not going to recite the whole Bert I. Gordon litany. Screenwriter Fred Freiberger was the producer for the “Space: 1999” episodes that appeared in “Cosmic Princess. Cinematographer Jack Marta also worked on “Earth Vs. The Spider” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” Editor Aaron Stell also worked on “The Giant Gila Monster” and “Killer Shrews.” Flora Gordon also helped with special effects on “Amazing Colossal Man,” “Earth Vs. The Spider,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “Magic Sword” and “Village of the Giants. Special effects guy Dean Duncan Parkin was an actor in “War of the Colossal Beast. Production manager James Harris also worked on “Amazing Colossal Man.” Art director Walter Keller also worked on “Earth Vs. The Spider” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” Sound guy Dick Tyler Sr. also worked on “Radar Men from the Moon.” Our old pal score composer Albert Glasser did music for too many movies to name.
In front of the camera, I’m not going to recite the Peter Graves litany again. Morris Ankrum was also in “Rocketship XM.” James Seay was also in “Amazing Colossal Man.” Hank Patterson was also in “Amazing Colossal Man” and “Earth vs. the Spider. John Close was also in “The Slime People” and “The Deadly Mantis.” Rayford Barnes was in “Mitchell.” Don C. Harvey was also in “Revenge of the Creature.” Larry J. Blake was also in “Teen-Age Crime Wave.” Eileen Janssen was also in “The Space Children.” Patricia Dean was also in “The Girl in Lovers Lane.” Peggie Castle was also in “Invasion U.S.A.” Pierre Watkin was also in “Radar Secret Service.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. This was Stephanie Hynes last episode as an intern. There’s a special item at the end: “Shot entirely in Minneapolis, home of the University of Minnesota.”
• Fave riff: “Look, we’ll move to the loop to Schaumburg!” Honorable mention: “Yeah, terrible. Martinis?”
The recent RiffTrax Live: MST3k Reunion show marked the 20th live show broadcast in theaters. Which shows are your favorite?
Along with the MST3k Reunion show, I hold the December 2009 Holidays Shorts show among the best! It’s also composed solely of shorts, which helped maintain attention spans. Also, they improved on their first show from that year by eliminating mid-show musical numbers! Oh, and who could forget…”I NEED YOU TONIGHT!”
I think I’ll go with “Birdemic.” I remember stumbling out of that one with a bad case of “laugh stomach.”
Here’s the rundown for those attending San Diego Comic-Con 2016.
Saturday, July 23rd
Noon-3 p.m.: Photo opportunity at the Shout! Factory booth (#4118) with Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
4-4:30 p.m.: MST3K Event at Camp Conival presented by Nerdist and Geek & Sundry. Join Nerdist and Geek & Sundry for Camp Conival: a trip back in time to classic pop culture summer camp! Swing by the Conival Main Stage on the second concourse at Petco Park for a special Q&A with Joel Hodgson, Felicia Day, Jonah Ray, Baron Vaughn and Hampton Yount. Camp Conival does not require an event badge and is open to the public.
5:15-6:15 p.m.: Signing at the Shout! Factory Booth (#4118) with the cast of next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000! Series creator Joel Hodgson, Jonah Ray, Felicia Day, Baron Vaughn and Hampton Yount will be in attendance.
(This is a ticketed event. A limited number of tickets will be distributed starting Saturday morning at the Shout! Factory booth.)
8:30 p.m.: Mystery Science Theater 3000 is Back! Panel in Room 24ABC. Joel Hodgson (creator, MST3K), Felicia Day (Geek & Sundry), Baron Vaughn (Grace and Frankie), Hampton Yount (Ridiculousness) and others discuss the show’s record-breaking crowdfunding campaign, and reveal behind-the-scenes info on Season 11.
Movie: (1987) An airheaded Valley Girl follows her explorer father to the center of the Earth.
First shown: 11/20/93 Opening: Boot camp at Fort Satellite O’ Love Invention exchange: Dr. F demonstrates the vend-a-gut, M&tB have invented fridge udders (teats!) Host segment 1: M&tB discuss that supermodel. What’s her name? Host segment 2: M&tB sing: “My Wild Irish Ireland” Host segment 3: M&tB introduce the “guess Kathy’s emotions” game End: Nothing more to say about the movie, Mike reads a letter, in Deep 13, Frank still is dropping quarters Stinger: “Yuck!” (181 votes, average: 4.39 out of 5)
• This is a wonderful episode. Great riffs, great segments and a real departure of a movie. Dull surprise!
• This episode is on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. XXVI.
• References. http://www.annotatedmst.com/episodes/alienfromla/index.htm
• Speaking of “Mike won me over” moments (as we were last week), I had a good friend for whom Mike’s deranged “Hello, Joker!” greeting did the trick.
• Let me just say it: Teats! For several days after this episode, online MSTiedom was full of people saying “teats” just because they could.
• The desk on the bridge magically vanishes so they can do the “fridge tipping” gag.
• Mike does a little Joel-esque climbing around on the movie in the theater.
• This week’s non-spaghetti ball bumpers: pan across the lab to a beaker, pan down to the notebook, pan from globe to blackboard as roll of toilet paper flies by.
• I love the first segment, where the bots assume the personality of that out-of-it relative surely everybody has. Sounds just like my mother-in-law (God rest her soul). By the way, I think they were thinking of Paulina Porizkova.
• The bots are still wearing their outfits as they enter the theater after segment 2.
• Obscure reference not mentioned on the references page: Ballet Trockadero.
• I don’t really get why they keep saying Kathy has “big bones” Is it because she’s tall (Kathy’s 5’10”)? Usually “big bones” is a euphemism for “overweight,” which Kathy is not.
• The classic Dull Surprise sketch immediately launched a catchphrase.
• Mike reacts harshly to mention of “Captain Ron” and finds it necessary to lay down the law … justifiably, in my view.
• Callbacks: It’s Klandinctu! (Crash of the Moons) He’s the best! (Pod People). This to me is good TV. (Jack Perkins).
• Crow is very “helpful” (i.e. blathering inane factoids) quite a few times in the theater — causing Tom tell him to shut up repeatedly.
• As if there weren’t already enough classic bits in this episode, the “femmy movies” bit at the end is great fun. Nice way to distract from a long credit sequence, but several times they mention something called a “video store,” whatever that is.
• Cast and crew round up: Not a big one this week. Executive producer Avi Lerner also worked on “Outlaw.” Production designer Pamela Warner was an assistant art director on “Being from Another Planet.” In front of the camera, Russel Savadier is also in “Outlaw.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. “My Wild Irish Ireland” written and arranged by: Kevin Murphy, Michael J. Nelson and David Sussman.
• Fave riff: “This whole room smells like my eyes!” Honorable mention: “Hey Count Chocula, clear the shot.”
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