RogerBW's Blog

Mystery Science Theater 3000 season 11 05 October 2017

After an eighteen-year gap, bad film is mocked once more.

Chances are you already know whether or not you like this sort of thing; I know quite a few people who don't. But for me it usually works, and I backed the Kickstarter project to get this season made.

Joel Hodgson, who came up with the idea originally, has deliberately kept to the spirit of the earlier seasons rather than slavishly imitating them; there's little here that's exactly the same as the old show, but neither is anything gratuitously changed.

Reptilicus

A Danish giant monster film from 1961. This is solid rubbish and the team does a good job, though they trimmed the nightclub scene that's one of the more famous sequences.

Cry Wilderness

Bigfoot kidvid from 1987; sluggish at times (and I assume trimmed to get it even this lively), but the team managed to keep things moving.

The Time Travelers

1964 SF fraught with Portent… but bizarrely, without the ending where the events of the film start all over again, which one would have thought would be good raw material.

Avalanche

1978 disaster film with Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow, which goes out of its way to find lethal things to happen to minor cast members even once the major event has passed. The snark worked rather well, though the host segments felt lacking.

The Beast of Hollow Mountain

1956 Western/horror without much of the monster (hey, those things are expensive), bonus annoying kid and hopeless ethnic comic relief. Good raw material, well treated.

Starcrash

1978 SF with Caroline Munro. One of the greats of terrible film, and it gives the team a lot to work with.

The Land that Time Forgot

1975 prehistoric fantasy in WWI, with Doug McClure. The host segments didn't feel particularly connected to the film, but it's mostly self-mocking anyway.

The Loves of Hercules

1960 sword-and-sandal with Jayne Mansfield (in a double role!) and then-husband Mickey Hargitay. I wouldn't expect a bodybuilder to act much, but Mansfield really couldn't either – admittedly this was a few years after the height of her fame. A good solid episode.

Yongary

1967 South Korean monster film, with a sudden wrench into gloom at the end. With bonus astronaut action padding! This is another solid one.

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

1985 fantasy where the protagonist is an annoying incompetent kid. The team did a great job with this; it really needed it, with a fifteen-minute prologue borrowed from a different film and a script that can't even work out whether the hero is the son of the murdered king or of the murdered chief wizard. Bo Svenson is the biggest name here.

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom 2

1989 fantasy with nothing in common with the earlier film except for Roger Corman, but bonus collect-the-plot-tokens quest (and David Carradine as a reluctant hero). Lots of imported stock footage, again, and more good riffing.

Carnival Magic

1981 fantasy, one of Al Adamson's very late films, aimed at children; but a super-intelligent talking chimp doesn't do much to hide the themes of alcoholism, sexual abuse and domestic violence. This is another one that's nearly self-parodying, but the crew does a good job.

The Christmas that Almost Wasn't

1966 kidvid which undoes any tension if you've read the title. This is a tough one to get through; the team do their best, but there's just not much to work with here.

At the Earth's Core

1976 loosely Burroughsian adventure, with Doug McClure and Caroline Munro. Great dire stuff, and the blatantly cheap and sloppy effects are thrown into temporal perspective when one realises that this came out only a year before Star Wars.

Some of the episodes are definitely better than others, but this is good solid stuff, and I hope this team will be able to continue.

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