Monday, November 8, 2010
Ryan Watches A Motion Picture #75: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Night of the Blood Beast (1958, MST3K Version in 1995)
I've probably made reference to MST3k in other reviews and explained its basic concept, but now that I finally come to review one of their many, many episodes I'll give your lovely heart a refresher.
Dr. Forrester is an evil crazy-go-mad scientist who has decided that he wants to rule the world. But to do that, he is certain that he must break the will of earth's populace. The most obvious way to do this is to force them to watch the most incompetent, most embarrassing, most boring films ever made by their own feeble human hands. Naturally, this procedure should be tested first in a controlled environment. So Dr. Forrester kidnaps his laboratory janitor, Joel, and jettisons him into the seclusion of his secret space station, the Satellite of Love. He sends Joel awful movies and monitors the man's brain - but what's this? He manages to stay sane somehow! The key to Joel's survival is that he makes fun of the cinematic shit he's sent with the help of two robot friends he constructed from satellite parts. In the series, you get to watch the awful films Dr. Forrester sends with Joel and the bots riffing and cracking jokes all the while. Its like watching a terrible movie with some hilarious friends, the sort that makes any movie experience ten times better.
There's tons of episodes, and each one is an entire film minus the 15 or 20 minutes trimmed for the sake of the MST3k sketches that pepper the show. Some episodes are a great success, some are not, since some films just are so terrible that the MST crew can't win. Night of the Blood Beast, though, is fantastic. It comes from season 7 of the series and is probably one of the best episodes I've seen. Night of the Blood Beast is a Roger Corman wonder, filled with lots of dull walking scenes, awful dialogue, sci fi pontification, and rubbery alien monsters. The boys are in great riffing form, and I ended up laughing out loud, or LOLing if you will, more than once. I tend not to LOL when watching comedies, and usually just smirk and chuckle ever so slightly. This is due to the terrible burden I carry, the alien shrimps gestating within me. I identified with the astronaut in Night of the Blood Beast completely.
So: Wicked-awesome. This one features Mike instead of Joel, who is, I think, my favourite of the two Forrester victims.