Thursday, July 12, 2012

MST3K: Season One, Episode Four!

The experiment this time around is "Women of the Prehistoric Planet," and as usual, after the opening theme song, we start Joel, Tom and Crow relaxing on a couch in the Satellite of Love, where Joel introduces himself and the bots. The entire area is redecorated as if it's a talk show area. Crow's made some brownies (replacing the milk with Tang!), and then we go to the first commercial.

After the commercial, Joel's finishing off the brownies, and asks Crow where the brownie fixings came from. Crow quickly changes the subject, and then the Mads call from Deep 13. The Mads have developed a new chain of restaurants with low overhead because they don't cook the food -- and then Larry sings the restaurant's theme song. The place is called "Clay and Lar's Flesh Barn," and Dr. Forrester even shows a mock-up of the restaurant (adapted from an old KFC model that you used to be able to get for your model train sets).

On the Satellite, Joel shows them a toilet paper dispenser he made out of an empty 2-liter soda bottle, which the Mads aren't impressed with. When Joel complains they could've made tiddlywinks evil, they thank him! Dr. Forrester tells him what the movie is this time, and then we have movie sign!

The closest there is to a woman of the prehistoric planet, and she's not from there!
As the movie begins, Joel's still going on about his invention, but when the movie title comes up, he jokes that his sister saw this in junior high school, when all the boys had to go to the gym! From there, joke references include the usual mocking of the credits and the names therein, "You are here" (Joel says this as he stands and points at a star in a spacescape), a variety of astronomy references, Lady Remington electric razors, Gallagher, Star Wars (with a variation on, "That's no moon, that's a space station!"), Erector Sets, Pop-A-Matic, popcorn poppers, Elvis, incubators, guitars, Nancy Reagan, Jerry Lewis, Archie Bunker, Ray Stevens, John F. Kennedy, "My dad can beat up your dad," Annette Funicello, Pigs in Space, Universal Pictures, Lucky Charms cereal, Star Trek, Snoopy, Gilligan's Island (told you last time they like to use this -- mostly when people are walking through a jungle or someplace, they'll call out, "Skipper!" "Gilligan!" "Mary Ann!" "Ginger!" and so on), PEZ, and Charlie Brown. There's also a LOT of Joel interacting with the video, pressing switches, grabbing zippers and so forth. There's also one bit where a spaceship is preparing to crash on a planet, and as it cuts between the "special effects" and stock footage taken from a plane flying over the forest, Joel and the bots all chorus, "Fakey" and "Real," depending on what's what.

During the first break from the film, we get a parody of "This is Your Life," with Joel as the subject! When Crow comes in, he goes on about a big satellite that they're going to collide with, and this puts an end to the parody! We look outside the Satellite of Love and there is a satellite out there! Joel puts on what looks like a set of football shoulder pads with handles stuck on them to reach out and pull in the satellite. The satellite is determined to be a doomsday device, which Joel manages to activate. He guesses it'll go off in an hour, but the satellite tells him they have an hour and 30 minutes! And then, it's commercial sign!

WARNING: This scene appears nowhere in this movie! The chimp does, though!
After the commercial, we're back to the movie. This time, after Joel insisting they need to disarm the satellite, they start the usual jokes, with references to the Green Hornet, the Pink Panther movies, Batman, James Bond, Don Ho and "Tiny Bubbles," the Smothers Brothers (in an obscure way), Dean Martin, an old Danny Kaye movie whose name escapes me at the moment, BMW, Ernest Hemingway, Spin and Marty, Anne of Green Gables, and Kung Fu before the leave the theater to get back to that doomsday device.

So, Joel starts working on the doomsday satellite, and Crow's found an instruction manual -- but it's about a thousand pages long! Apparently, this was made by Isaac Asimov. There's a lot of jokes about the manual being translated into English (badly) from Korean as Joel goes to work! At one point, just before movie sign, the satellite spits whipped cream into Joel's face.

Back in the theater, joke references are made to Quincy M.E., Alive, the Flintstones, Tang, Clarence Birdseye, Denny's, Eddie Money, the DeFranco Family, Funny Face soft drinks, Ovaltine, the Archies' song "Bang-Shang-A-Lang", Gilligan's Island (yes, again), Cap'n Crunch, Shazam!, Annette Funicello again, Archie and the gang, and Peter Pan.

Back to the disarming of the doomsday satellite, Tom and Joel are arguing about what to do next, or rather, which color wire to cut. They get into philosophical discussions (rather, the bots do), but finally Joel just decides to pick a wire at random -- and then realizes he's only gotten through the first layer of the disarming! An access code is needed, and the bots offer up a few ideas, but they take too long, there's a flash of light, and then Joel and the Bots turn into Isaac Asimovs, complete with black hornrimmed glasses and sideburns! They all start arguing, but then suddenly stop and realize what happened. A few more Asimov jokes are made, but then it's commercial sign!

This scene does appear in the movie.
After the commercial, we're back at the movie! References include Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Little Debbie snack cakes, evolution, Zamfir, Peter and the Wolf, Lancelot Link Secret Chimp, National Enquirer, the Monkees, Bruce Lee, It's About Time, Sonny Bono, The Three Little Pigs, Cliff Robertson, Billy Idol, stock footage, Jumble puzzles, Dairy Queen, E.T., Tarzan, and Love Connection. There's also the first use of the gag, "I can see my house from here!" by Joel (twice), who also points out that the title of the movie makes pretty much no sense!

Then, the movie over, it's time to finish disarming the satellite of doom! Joel realizes that the Asimov sideburns are phony and come right off. They decide that the satellite really isn't a threat, and decide to read some letters. Letters are from James S. Colstrom, John M. Crittenden, and Kenneth and Sara Plotkin. These letters seem to be referring to episodes that were either aired in Minneapolis only, or perhaps I don't have a complete first season to go through! The Mads, by the way, don't do a whole heck of a lot in conclusion, although Larry does try to play a song before he's interrupted.

This is the first time since doing these review/indexes of MST3K that I realized that I had actually seen the movie before, although it's been a long, long time ago -- and I must've blocked the memory of it out of my brain, because this is a slow, boring, terrible movie! The only good thing about it is some of the music -- lifted from the soundtrack of "Creature From the Black Lagoon."

This episode definitely has more of the feel of MST3K than the previous ones, although I have to admit that a little over halfway, Joel and the bots seem to start running out of steam, and there are fewer jokes the closer we get to the end of the film. But we're getting very, very close to the show I started watching kind of late in the run!

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