I only ever saw the This Island Earth one. It seems to have been the only one to get a general release here but it irritated the hell out of me so much that I’ve never ventured to watch another one. It’s like having a loud mouth asshole pal sitting beside you when you’re trying to watch a film. I happen to think that This Island Earth isn’t a bad movie so maybe it was just that selection but if you wanna have humour out of watching a shit film why not just do it yourself? Having someone else heckle the screen seems lazy and unimaginative to me.
This will end in tears…
No, I never got the appeal of Mystery Science Theater 3000 either.
I use to watch bad movies, especially Sci-Fi & dubbed foreign movies with friends and we would make our own jokes. It was fun, but it also seems like that was my near stoner phase.
So you are not alone.
I beg to differ; I thought the bubble-gum machine robot was wonderfully inventive. As for the movie, I thought that was fun too, but I’m not sure how it would pan out over a whole series of such films. How many of these films are there?
Only one film. But the TV show ran for 10 seasons. 11 if you count season 0 at their local TV station.
When it was on, I was still young enough to spend a saturday drinking with the boys, and so we would watch it and drink beer and in the mind-frame it was amusing.
I am not sure that I would be as entertained now, but it has been a long time since I have seen an episode.
I find it amusing for about 10 minutes, and after that it just gets pointless. So no, you’re not alone.
1.) I do do it myself – I have Bad Film Festivals every year. But the MST3K bunch comes up with different jokes.
2.) The MST3K Movie, sadly, isn’t typical – it’s one of the few cases I know of where the movie is actually shorter than the TV show it’s based on (!). What’s more, they cut the mocie, and didnt heckle the whole thing (on TV, they NEVER cut the movie). That bothered me. Also, the movie paradoxically looked TOO GOOD. The cheesy sets and effects add to the experience.
3.) This Island Earth, I have to disagree, is a BAD MOVIE. It can’t be helped or explained away. They took a pretty decent book by Raymond F. Jones and dumbed it down, them jettisoned the rest and made up their own plot. The actions of the aliens make no snse, and some things seem to have been thrown in justr because they looked “science fictiony”. It’s the perfect movie for them to heckle.
Your username is apt!
I was a teenager when it was on the air, and I didn’t like it. I would probably like it even less if I tried to watch it now.
I’m a long, long-time fan of MST3K (and currently Rifftrax), but I have to admit there are some instances, generally when one of the riffers is going on a tirade, that I just tune right out. And sometimes the movie is too boring to keep my interest, even with the jokes. (Oddly enough, Rifftrax actually has the opposite problem; sometimes the movie is too interesting. I tried to watch Bourne Identity with Rifftrax, and found myself tuning out the riffs to focus on the movie, even though I’d seen it before.)
Regarding “Why not heckle it yourself?” there’s a few reasons. One, I’m just not that funny. Two, even if I was that funny, heckling it just to make myself laugh is kinda weak. Humor is primarily meant to entertain others. Three, any heckling I might do is extemporaneous, while MST3K is scripted; the humor is refined, and they get vastly more mileage out of a single movie than I would myself.
I do think This Island Earth was an eh choice for the movie. It wasn’t nearly as good as some of the television show episodes. If you can’t get behind the concept of MST3K, then I won’t suggest you watch another to give it a shot, but my personal favorite is Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. It’s an unquestionably bad movie, but just entertaining enough to keep your attention, and the riffs are classic.
I don’t know if they ever cut movies for length, but they definitely edited them for content. In the MST3k Amazing Colossal Episode guide, they talk about how they were halfway through “Sidehackers”, when an unexpected and brutal rape made an appearance. That definitely didn’t make it to movie sign.
I think Sidehackers is the only one they ever edited – because it has a mood-killing rape and murder scene in it. After that, they admit, they looked at the whole film before they chose it.
Of the films I’ve previously seen that MST3K has done*, the only one I know that has scenes cut out is This Island Earth.
*and I’ve seen a lot of them. My troubled youth was filled with lots of Bad Movie Watching.
I loved the show on Sci-Fi Channel when I was around twelve years old, but I’m not sure if I’d have the patience to sit through an entire MST3K today.
Heck, even back then, when I had absolutely no responsibilities whatosever and could spend my Saturdays doing anything I wanted, I would only infrequently actually finish an episode. Most of the movies they watched were simply too bad to maintain my interest for two hours, even with the jokes.
I still remember that I couldn’t even sit through half an hour of Blood Waters of Dr. Z because the whole thing was so incredibly boring.
This thread is making me want to check out some of my old favorite episodes and see what I think of them now… is the series available on DVD at all? I seem to remember that the rights to the movies prevented DVD release, but I might be wrong about that.
…I’m old. I was 12 when it was still the hot new show on Comedy Central.
Some of it is. Rather than being boxed by season, they’re semi-random collections of episodes. As you thought, it’s because of the varying difficulty of acquiring the rights. They’ll never be able to release the Gamera movies, for example.
When I was a kid in the 70s, channel 9 (WOR in NY) had their Thriller Chiller Theater and Creature Features (or something like those). I watched so many bad Sci-Fi and Horror movies back then that maybe MST3K just had nothing much to offer me. I think that is when I started or at least my older brother started mocking these Killer Bs.
Obviously they edit them somewhat, whether for length or not I don’t know. They walk in and out of the theatre for commercial sign in the middle of scenes, and the films don’t pick up at the moment where they left off.
This Island Earth isn’t a good movie, but it isn’t bad enough for MST3K to make funny. I’ve seen that with other films on the show: they were bad, but not ridiculous, and it was hard to make the show funny.
The show was hit & miss. Good more often then “meh” but the “meh” ones really felt like a couple wasted hours. I still love the show as a whole though.
The movie was “ok” but its lasting contribution is that I still think “I’m fully licensed on Microsoft Flight Simulator!” to myself before I try something way over my head.
No, I still maintain that the only cut was the rape scene in Sidehackers, for obvious reasons.
They use older movies that run relatively short – one hour to ninety minutes. Heck, that’s why they’ve had recourse to all those “shorts”, and still have time for the skits and beginning and end segments. I haven’t seen any scenes missing from movies I’ve previously seen.