Wednesday, June 06, 2012

MST3K: Season One, Episode Three!

This time around, the featured movie is "Mad Monster"! In the opening of the show, the Mads are in Deep 13 (as usual), with Larry complaining to Dr. Forrester about when he became a mad scientist, as opposed to just a regular scientist. Forrester then tells his story. They then call Joel and the bots for the invention exchange!

This time, Joel's got a purse for women who are tired of getting their purse snatched! It looks like an ordinary handbag, but when it's opened, it burst into flames -- hell in a handbag! The Mads have come up with an acetylene powered "thunder lizard" (i.e., Godzilla), which advances on plastic army men with actual flames coming out of his mouth!

Next, it's movie sign, and another installment of "Radar Men From the Moon" (which Larry mistakenly refers to as "Rocket Men on the Moon"). Gags told during this include Crow pointing it out stars the same people as last time, Joel and the bots trying to move out of the way of the opening titles at the bottom of the screen, lots of gag references to what the alien weapons might be called (one time it's a "cheese pistol"), Tom complaining about what they didn't show in the last chapter that shows how Commando Cody escaped death, Joel quoting "You'll believe a man can fly," a Ron and Nancy joke when someone says the word "ray-gun" (since, of course, it sounds like "Reagan"), Crow jokes about the mouthpiece on the helmets looking like Groucho's mustache, a joke about Caesar's Palace, Joel jokes about the overacting, during a fight scene Joel tries to tell Commando Cody (who's wearing his helmet) to headbutt his opponent, and Crow pointing out the various obvious Earth items in the lab of the moon aliens.

After the chapter, back in the control room, Tom Servo meets a blender, and he starts flirting with it! Joel then shows up and turns the blender on to finish making his smoothie, and he drinks it -- which of course gets Tom angry at him! Joel finally tells Tom it's a blender, not a girl robot.

madmonster_posterNext, the movie starts! During the first segment, gag topics include the usual making fun of the credits (this time because of the odd angle the credits are presented in), Wile E. Coyote, Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, V-8 Juice, Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges, "Rock-a-Bye Baby," Fred Travelena, Abraham Lincoln, Isaac Asimov, Amish farmers, the Quaker Oats man, Cornelius from "Planet of the Apes," and baldness cures... and that's just in the first two or three minutes of the movie! From there, gags are made based on The Wizard of Oz (a common gag source for MST3K, this time based on the flying monkeys), William S. Burroughs, Gale Gordon (Lucy's boss on the second Lucy show), Col. Potter from M*A*S*H, Republicans, the Pentagon, A Christmas Carol, Of Mice and Men, Judy Garland, The Munsters, Fred Gwynne, Alan Brady from "The Dick Van Dyke Show," Flowers for Algernon, "Planet of the Apes" again, Frosty the Snowman (the TV special), Chuck Wagon Dog Food, Gilligan's Island (another show they liked to make references to a lot), Shirley Temple, Fantastic Voyage, The Beverly Hillbillies (singing a modified version of the theme song, very funny), Whistler's Mother, another Wizard of Oz gag (told you it was a common gag source), Hee Haw, another Gilligan's Island joke, and Ed Sullivan.

madmonster_still3At the second break, the Bots ask Joel if the werewolf in the movie is eating his victims or just mauling them. Joel points out that back then, most violence was implied. Crow asks about the weight gain of werewolves after eating people! Tom asks if the werewolf's human form is a vegetarian, what happens? After a while, the questions get more and more bizarre (like if an animal's been turned into a human being).

madmonster_still1In the second act of the film, gag references include Johnny Cash, Harvey Fierstein, Blondie (or rather, Dagwood), The Far Side, Bayer Aspirin, the Addams Family, the SPCA, Lorenzo Lamas, Cheech & Chong (although you wouldn't know it unless you got the reference), Andy Griffith, Sid Vicious, Green Eggs & Ham and other Dr. Seuss books, Rawhide, James Cagney, Jaws, Ring Around the Roses, Victor Mature, Paula Abdul, another Beverly Hillbillies reference, Tom Waits, and Doonesbury.

In the third break, Joel's swapped the heads of Crow and Tom around! Tom is turned back on first, and isn't happy about it -- and then Crow is reactivated, and makes a reference to "The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant". The two bots argue between each other, Joel trying to calm them down. Suddenly, Tom and Crow start thinking alike, speaking at the same time, making Joel regret this experiment! So Joel turns them off, presumably to swap heads back.

madmonster_still2Third act of the film, and the gags are based on Mel Blanc, Hoyt Axton, wrestling, Art Linkletter and Niagara Adjustable Beds, the Smothers Brothers, Let's Make a Deal, Mystery Date, Frosted Mini-Wheats, "stop, drop and roll" and "duck and cover," and Gone With the Wind.

madmonster_still4After the movie, everybody needs to say a good thing and bad thing to get their RAM chips, but the bots start off making jokes about if when the werewolf dies, do you call a coroner or a veterinarian, and other jokes like that. When Joel threatens not to give them their chips, Gypsy appears, and suddenly, Tom and Crow start to try to earn their chips but then start arguing. They get into some metaphysical discussions about why Joel built Gypsy, and things get odder from there! Finally, Joel asks the Mads what they think, but the Mads are sad because the scientist in the movie died, and Dr. Forrester pushes the button.

So far as the movie itself, it wasn't as bad as last episode's movie, but still, it's not great! Joel and the Bots are in better form now, getting more of a flow of gags than the first two episodes (although by the end of the film, the gags from them are getting fewer and further between). I especially enjoyed the parody version of the Beverly Hillbillies theme! A good running gag during the movie was when a character would just be sitting around silently, Joel would yell out, "Line! Line!"

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