The Ultimate MST3K Thread, Part 2

I don’t want to overtax the hamsters, so I will not be appending the original- started in 2005, most recently updated in 2011. MST3K came back, and I will be reviewing the new Netflix episodes for you. More general discussion is welcome, but we already have a solid thread for that over here.

I will be watching Reptilicus on Saturday, to put up the first new review. Host Segment descriptions, movie descriptions, and selected choice riffs from the episode.

In the meantime, did you know that as a part of the Kickstarter stuff, Joel located and released one of the lost KTMA episodes? K02. Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars, was made available to backers through Vimeo! I haven’t checked it out yet, but I am always pleased to see something thought lost found again.

I can’t wait for you to watch Cry Wilderness.

I have seen them all at least once, so… I know the pain. :slight_smile:

[Mr. Burns] Excellent. [/Mr. Burns]

Ah, I missed that you have already seen them. Good luck on the re-watch and I will enjoy the reviews as I did back in 2005-2011 times.

I’m going to include some general thoughts about the reboot as I do these reviews, and a lot of them will be in this post.

Film : Reptilicus (1961)
Episode : 198 (counting the MST3K Movie)
Secret Number : 016 (hidden in Jonah’s ship in the credits)

Film Synopsis : Danish miners drill into a preserved giant reptile frozen beneath the ground. Thanks to top University scholars, predictable mistakes ensue allowing the specimen to thaw, and regenerate into a giant spongy puppet (or “dinosaur”). While the puppet smashes its way through anything the military can throw at it, we’re supposed to care about some gruff military asshole who falls in love with one of the two nearly indistinguishable blonde women in the movie. I think it’s Not-Ellie Mae.

Series and Episode Thoughts : Whoa, it’s back! Nearly twenty years, and it’s back! Let’s start with the good stuff - the set design, the music, the model work. MST3K has returned and has been upgraded. The production is pretty slick. Jonah Ray (as Jonah Heston) is an amiable guy, more in the tradition of Joel than Mike. The new theme and opening is great. I also like the little vestigial commercial bumps where Max talks about the movie. The new cast is more or less fantastic.

I do have a couple of criticisms. I am mildly annoyed by Tom Servo’s new voice. (Not really worthy of mailing him a banner, but…) His vocal range is too similar to Jonah’s - his default Tom voice is okay, but when either of them start talking as one of the movie characters, it’s impossible, but for the Netflix subtitles, to tell which one of them it is. (That’s another great thing! Netflix subtitles!)

Also, the slickness of the production undercuts the old home-made vibe a little. They no longer do the Shadowramma process in the theater, they actually record the riffs in a sound booth. The theater silhouettes are recorded separately, so they can include the … sigh… animations of Tom flying around that they will overuse extensively in future episodes.

And the recording process seems to have changed in a couple of important ways - I don’t feel like the Mads and Jonah are really going back and forth. I’m sure Patton and Felicia have tough schedules to work around, but it just doesn’t have quite the same flow. I don’t know if it’s the sets (which look great) or the camera angle, but honestly, it feels like the sets are green-screened most of the time.

The riffs are a little bit feast or famine in this one - long quiet stretches, followed by a flurry of riffs that don’t allowed time for previous jokes to land. Their pacing improves considerably with the next few episodes, though.

Important Stuff : This episode gives us the extended opening sequence with a bit of Jonah’s backstory. Guest-starring Wil Wheaton and Erin Grey.

Host Segment 1 : Jonah has been on the SOL for two months, he’s made some updates to Gypsy and Tom Servo, but Crow is perfect just the way he is.

Invention Exchange : Jonah has a bubble fan. The Mads have nothing.

Host Segment 2 : Every Country Has a Monster - the best musical number on the series to date. Written by Paul and Storm.

HS 3 : Crow grows extra Servos by cloning material in Servo’s arm.

HS 4 : Letters! We won’t see too many letters segments in the reboot.

HS 5 : Gypsy smashes model Copenhagen. Max and Kinga nod to the fact they are appearing on Netflix.

Memorable Riffs :

The new crew does a lot of singing riffs, and seems to go out of their way to have at least one classic riff callback per episode. And in this episode, they do both at the same time. There’s also a nod to the Church of the Subgenius that made me laugh, but I didn’t get it fully copied down.

The Gang (singing) : “Wonderful, wonderful Super Dragon.” [Secret Agent Super Dragon callback - ‘Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen…’]

Gypsy : “Now you’re *Mister *Filing Cabinet!”

Tom : “Even Denmark has an Andy Griffith.”

Crow : “Did that lightning knock the film out of focus?”

Crow : “Brigadier General Military-Industrial Complex, this is Miss Doctor Woman.”

Jonah : “Fire in an aquarium? Well, that’ll sort itself out.”

Tom (?): “Diarrhea is like a storm, raging inside you…” [Classic repeated riff]

Crow : “There’s your problem, he’s in a different movie. You’re never going to hit him.”

Kickstarter Backers : The list for this episode goes from A to ‘Barbie’, alphabetical by first name.

Stinger : Danish doof Dirch Passer goofs on the electric eel tank.

Was gonna go back and selectively bold some text to improve readability, but I missed the window. Damn.


We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese!

**Film : ** Cry Wilderness
Episode : 199 (counting the MST3K Movie)
Secret Number : 014

Film Synopsis : Magic Bigfoot warns precocious child about danger to his father, a park ranger, then proceeds to cause said danger with his very presence. Featuring stock footage, a hilariously villainous ‘big game hunter’, and two young raccoons who do NOT want to be in this movie.

Series and Episode Thoughts : Now they’re starting to fire on all cylinders, and what better way to open up than with a spiritual cousin to Pod People? This episode gives us our first use of the ‘bubble splice’ technique of the new show, so they can glue together two different takes and speed production and it’s… fine.

Important Stuff : We establish that Jonah has to act out the opening each time, because Kinga’s liquid video technology is terrible at recording. And we get a visit from Pearl, Brain Guy, and Bobo! What the hell happened to Bobo’s mask - as improved as every other aspect of this production is, it looks like they could not afford to spend an extra few bucks to get a decent Bobo head. After the visit, Kinga laments that it’s hard to connect this season to last season, and she should have rebooted - meta!

HS 1 : Crow finally gets to use his netting for its intended purpose.

Invention Exchange : Jonah presents the Turkey Theremin; Kinga presents the Carvel Clock.

HS 2 : The Bots appears as raccoons wrecking cereal boxes as Jonah looks on and laughs - then they start to escalate the hijinks.

HS 3 : Woodcut models help Jonah explain the implausible world where this film got made.

HS 4 : Pearl and the gang visit; we learn Synthia (who does look eerily like a young Pearl) is a clone she left to assist Kinga.

HS 5 : Max sings a few more verses of the bleak song at the end of the movie - the Bots try to trick him into sending up the keys to Jonah’s backjack spaceship.

Memorable Riffs :

(at the title)
Crow : “Well, if you insist…”
All (whining) : “Wiiiildernessss!”

Jonah (as Bigfoot) : “I’ve shouted at three different Boy’s Schools, is this the right Paul?”

Jonah : “This is like Ice Road Truckers, but less staged.”

Crow : “You can’t spell ‘Dad’ without ADD…”

Tom : “Rob Riggle’s little brother is right, let the kid stay!”

Tom : “Hey, gold struck him, it’s a switcheroo!”

Tom (as the father) : “Son, it might be the brain injury talking, but I submarine lightbulb.”

Good running gags with the stock footage animals talking to Paul, and the repeated ‘Bang!’ riff. Nice riff callbacks with “Rowsdower!” and “You look at them, I’m bitter.”

Kickstarter Backers : Takes us up to ‘Carrie’, alphabetical by first name.

Stinger : The big game hunter chews the scenery, and some pile of miscellaneous meat.

Going to try to do about one of these a week!

**Film : ** The Time Travelers
Episode : 200 (counting the MST3K Movie)
Secret Number : 016

Film Synopsis : Three scientists and a janitor are thrust into a post-apocalyptic future after their experiment makes a better time-door than a time-window. Freaky future humanity has really odd taste in androids and is planning to abandon Earth, but their plan goes up in smoke and they’re forced to use a reconstructed time portal to escape with our protagonists, even further into the future.

Series and Episode Thoughts : There are a few series of riffs that feel rushed, but the pacing is better. I am enjoying Kinga’s refrain, “the nightmare-fueled world of …” This episode has an appropriate amount of screen interaction gags, I believe. Crow and Tom retain their fascination for human female flesh, and it’s pretty funny.

Important Stuff : In the closing host segment, Kinga acknowledges the show’s 200th episode.

HS 1 : Jonah and the Bots play ‘Never Did I Ever’. The Bots win.

Invention Exchange : Crow invents Edible Silica Packets; Kinga and Max present Afterlife Alert.

HS 2 : Gypsy conducts a time portal safety drill. Crow seems on-board, right up until he goes Hitler-hunting on his dinosaur.

**HS 3 : ** Jonah presents some new Bots … who are just decoys to let Tom and Crow work out their frustrations.

HS 4 : A visit from Dr. Varno and Larry, from the movie - played by the new head writer, and Joel.

HS 5 : Crow and Tom interact with their frozen past selves, timelines out of synch. Tom, predictably, kisses himself, while Crow beats himself up.

Memorable Riffs :

Gypsy : “Rip Torn IS Dr. Strange!”

Jonah : “The beats are too sick! You gotta bring in the drop!”

Jonah : “I refuse to believe the future is in SD.”

Tom : “When did this change from a movie to a training video for a job that doesn’t exist?”

FutureLady : “What do you think of our Lumichord?”
Crow (as Danny) : “It Stinks!” - Classic Riff. Though they missed a golden opportunity for an “I thought you were Dale!” a few minutes later.

Jonah : “I WILL kill him!” - Classic Riff.

Crow : “Wait, did the movie just lap itself?”

Kickstarter Backers : Up to Dan Peterson.

Stinger : Danny the Janitor enjoys a Lumichord performance.

I totally forgot Return of MST3K was on Netflix and came across it by accident. By chance, I watched the 1st three eps, as outlined here. Thanks for pointing out the Joel Hodgson cameos. I couldn’t tell when he actually appeared. Who’s Ardy?

I like the new show, and didn’t expect it to reproduce the old cast, so the new voices for the robots don’t bother me. They’re still just as caustic and irreverent as ever. Tom Servo can now fly up to parts of the screen for interactive purposes, like the way he helped straighten out the Time Traveler colony ship. Jonah has the same spirit as his predecessors, and if anything he’s more enthusiastic about his role. I liked the diagrams and standups he used, especially for the Reptilicus rap, as well as the map that explained how the cast managed to jump from scene to scene so quickly.

Good to see Patton Oswalt as Max, TV’s son of TV’s Frank, even if he does somehow manage to guest star in every show possible. I thought the new Evil Dr. Forrester was kind of weak, but I’m willing to cut her some slack. Mary Jo Pehl has some big stiletto boots to fill.

According to TV Tropes, he’s Mike Nelson.

There is a tour planned for this summer so I will report back with my review in a few weeks.

Ardy is played by Joel Hodgson - if he has a secret identity, we haven’t been treated to it yet. :slight_smile: Ardy is the maintenance guy who says ‘Movie in the hole!’

My bad. I remembered it was one of the previous riffers, anyway.

What are bubble edits? Anyone have a clip?

The new MST is said to be working on a pretty tight shootingschedule that doesn’t allow for as many re-shoots as it used to. Using the excuse of Kinga’s ‘liquid video’ technology as a fig leaf, sometimes you will see a stream of rising bubbles momentarily obscure the screen … where they hide a splice from two different takes. It only happens during the host segments, as far as I recall.

Not aware of any clips of this on YouTube yet, but if you have Netflix…

I do have it and I must be the densest person as I did not notice these edits.

Huh. Whatever it takes to get it on TV.

Have we heard anything about a renewal for another season next year?

Nothing official, as far as I am aware, though Netflix does seem to be doing several promos involving Crow and Tom…