The 'New Year' has arrived and therefore it is time for me to begin my tertiary sojourn, and re-view the Mystery Science Theater 3000 library (approximately 166 episodes) that I have accumulated through these many years.
Sadly (for me) I do not possess any of the elusive 25 (including the 1/2 hour pilot pitch) 'KTMA' episodes from the series' Minnesota birthplace, and am sorely lacking episodes from the first season.
However, I do have 3 from that first season and this is where I (obviously) will begin.
For the uninitiated, the show theme music (mostly) explains it all.
In the not to distant future,
Next Sunday, A.D.
There was a guy named Joel,
Not too different from you or me.
He worked at 'Gizmonics Institute',
Just another face in a red jumpsuit.
He did a good job cleaning up the place,
But his bosses didn't like him,
So they shot him into space.
"We'll send him cheesy movies."
"The worst we can find." (La,la,la)
"He'll have to sit and watch them all,
and we'll monitor his mind." (La,la,la)
Now keep in mind Joel can't control,
When the movies begin or end.
Because he used those special parts,
To make his robot friends.
(Robot Roll Call)
If you're wondering how he eats and breathes,
And other science facts.
Just repeat to yourself "It's just a show."
"I should really just relax."
For 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'.
A little more overview, the basic premise involves one Joel Robinson (Joel Hodgson
) whose last name Robinson is what I believe to be an 'homage' to the space-stranded family in the 1960's TV series 'Lost in Space', is unwillingly sent into space by his employers at 'Gizmonics Institute', Dr. Clayton Forrester (Trace Beaulieu
) and his assistant Dr. Laurence Erhardt (Josh Weinstein
) to be the test subject of a 'world domination experiment' performed by 'DEEP 13', a secretive division of Gizmonics Institute. The idea is to send the test subject the worst movies (primarily, but not limited to Sci-Fi genre) ever made until his will and spirit are broken. Once achieved, the 'Mad's' (as the doctor's are known) will unleash the worst movie ever on the unsuspecting Earth population, turning everyone into mindless zombies, and therefore 'world control'.
Stranded on a spaceship that looks oddly like a giant dog bone which Joel christens the 'Satellite of Love' (reference to the song by Lou Reed), he creates some companionship for himself in the form of four robots. Tom Servo (voiced by Weinstein
), Crow (voiced by Beaulieu
, Gypsy (voiced by Weinstein
) and Cambot,
who records the experiments.
When it is 'Movie Sign', Joel is forced to enter the ship's auditorium (frequently accompanied by Tom and Crow) under threat of physical harm, to watch the really bad films.
The trio 'riff' (mock, insult or make funny remarks) the films to keep their sanity.
Let the experiments begin!
Title: 'The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy' (1958) plus short 'Commando Cody and the Radar Men from the Moon' (Ch.1)
Original Air Date: approx.12/89 (The Comedy Channel)
Studio: American International Television
Starring: Ramon Gay, Rosita Arenas, Crox Alvarado
Directed By: Rafael Portillo
Theatrical Running Time: 64 Minutes
Tagline: "See the Relentless Machine Battle the Gruesome Corpse."
Synopsis: Battle between good (who possess an ancient Aztec bracelet and breastplate that bears hieroglyphicss detailing where great wealth is hidden) and evil (who have learned about it and build a robot to defeat the centuries old mummy that is defending the hiding place of the ancient riches).
Invention Exchange: 'The Airbag Helmet', 'The 'Chalkman'', 'DEEP 13's new security system'.
Host 1: Demon dogs attack the SOL. Tom goes EVA to rid the ship of the dogs, with disastrous results (for Tom).
Host 2: Joel and the 'bots meet 'Enoch', King of the Demon Dogs. Enoch makes his demands and Gypsy eats him.
Host 3: Crow disguises himself as 'Enoch' to rid the ship of the dogs, with disastrous results (for Crow).
End segment: Joel gets rid of the dogs by releasing a 'Giant Ball' into space, for them to chase.
Stinger: (Sorry, tape ran out and I can't find reference material on this.)
Items of Note:
No opening Host segment after theme music (before first commercial break).
Sets look very primitive (bridge of the SOL, to say the least).
No buttons or lights on the bridge of the SOL. (Joel just 'slaps' the table top to gain entrance to the auditorium)
In one scene Joel's silhouette is seen holding something between the index and second fingers on his left hand as he gestures at the screen. Is that a 'cigarette'?
Gypsy has no 'eye lens'.
Demon dogs were constructed from 'Masters of the Universe' toys called 'Battle Bones' and painted red and black with construction paper ears attached to them.
Demon dog appears in auditorium at end of movie.
"Keep trading the discs (and tapes)"
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