Let the experiment begin!
Experiment #K16 ~ CITY ON FIRE (1979)
Original Air Date: March 19, 1989
Studio: Astral Bellevue Pathe
Starring: Barry Newman, Susan Clark, Shelley Winters, Leslie Nielsen, James Franciscus, Ava Gardner, Henry Fonda
Directed By: Alvin Rakoff
Theatrical Running Time: 101 Minutes
Tagline: "What Happened to Them Could Happen to You... In a City Anywhere!"
A disgruntled oil refinery employee single-handedly attempts to torch an entire metropolitan city after being rejected for a job promotion.
The Mads (Dr.'s E & F) receive a letter from the "Mad Scientist's League" stating that they are not "Mad" enough. The League classifies the duo as merely "mildly peeved researchers" and therefore, their grant money may be discontinued.
The Bots trick Joel by using the old 'look through a telescope and get a black eye' gag. "Hey Joel, you look like "Petey" from the "Little Rascals!" Or... "Tareyton smokers would rather FIGHT, than switch!" (a cigarette marketing slogan from the 1960's). Great, time honored material. "What's for dinner? 'Black-Eyed peas'?!"
Joel presents (with the assistance of the Bots) a purse-theft deterrent called "Hell in a Handbag". If a thief attempts to steal one's purse, he could become engulfed in flames erupting from the purse. Crow gets the worst of this presentation, much to Servo's amusement.
Joel leads the Bots in a 'military-marching' exercise drill complete with rhyming chant, leading up to 'movie sign'.
Joel suggests that all the viewers write in and become a member of the "Mystery Science Theater 3000 Fan Club". And here's what you get...! A "Fan Club Certificate" (suitable for framing), a copy of the "Satellite News" newsletter and a "Fan Club Membership Card"!
Items of Note:
~ Josh sneezes (again) in the auditorium.
~ Josh seems to have a real affinity and respect for actor Henry Fonda.
~ Joel, Trace and Josh "step" on each others 'riffs' early in the film, and actually seem to be a bit 'pissed' at one another!
~ Winters and Nielsen! What, is this a "Poseidon Adventure" reunion?!
~ A real
theatrical release. Not a "Made for TV" movie. Incredible!
): "What is that?" (Actor
): "Breakfast!" (Actress
): "I don't eat breakfast." (Joel
) "Can I rub it on you?!"
): "Dr. Denton, report to surgery. Dr. Seuss, report to the drawing room!"
~ (Servo, Crow and Joel
): "I didn't recognize her with her clothes on... and her hair done... and her make-up on!"
): "Say, do you smell gas?" (Crow
) "No." (Servo
) "Okay. Let's WELD!".
): "How come it always sounds like Shelley Winters is eating
~ Pop culture references covering such subjects as 'Yul Brynner', 'Vampira', the 'Clark Bar' and 'Jack LaLanne' as well as 'Stratego', 'Hot Wheels' and 'Life Savers'. This experiment gets a "2 out of 5" rating simply because of the stellar cast, otherwise wasted in an awful film, and a not so great 'riff' session.
2 "Malcontent-ed Pyromaniacs" out of 5.
"Keep Trading the Discs (and Tapes)"
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