Monday, May 14, 2012

RECOMMENDED: Mystery Science Theater 3000

Ever end up cracking jokes with your friends because the movie you're watching is just too awful? I think many people who have watched a lot of films, have come across some really bad stuff, especially if you're interested in old sci-fi and horror, and what else can you do but turn it off or entertain yourself by making fun of the bucket of poopy you have been confronted with? Maybe you'd turn it off, but life isn't so easy for Joel or Mike.

Joel was the first victim of an evil scientist, he got sent into space and was forced to watch terrible movies. Troubled by his fate, Joel builds robots to keep him company and prevent him from going completely insane. Later on in, about five seasons on, the same fate befalls Mike, who gets pestered by Pearl and her two minions Brain Guy and Bobo (one of the most annoying chimps ever!) To make their punishment less agonizing, both guys end up riffing on the movies with their robot pals Tom Servo and Crow (there's also the derpy Gypsy and the very quiet but important Cambot).

At first, I mostly just enjoyed watching them tear down the movies, but gradually I came to like Mike (I haven't watched any of Joel's episodes yet) and the robots and enjoy their little segments in between the movie scenes, maybe even more so than the riffing. The jokes in the segments aren't always particularly funny, it's a little hokey and it's all got a very home-made feel about it, but that's exactly why it's so enjoyable. The banter between the robots and Mike is silly and endearing, you come to regard them as the go-to friends for when you're in the mood for a bad Star Wars wannabe film and it feels friendly and familiar every time you see them sat at the front in the ever recognizable sillouhette.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 ended in 1999 but both formations have continued to take the mickey out of bad movies. Cinematic Titanic consists of most of the earlier cast, they seem to stick to the more traditional riffing of trashy horror flicks and you can also go see them live. Rifftrax is made up of Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy (the Crow and Tom Servo I'm familiar with) and besides a vast library of shorts, such as public service announcements, they also riff on more familiar movies such as Twilight and Transformers. So, always wanted to watch Twilight, but felt like you couldn't live with the embarrasment? Try downloading the Rifftrax version and play it along with the movie, guaranteed fun (and astonishment at just how bad the movie really is)!

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is really worth checking out if you have a big interest in movies, especially bad ones! Or if you love adorable robots! You know what it's like to watch a bad movie and be in stitches with your friends about it and you know you want more - check out Mystery Science Theater 3000!

DVD's are available from Shout! Factory and you can also download episodes to rent or buy on iTunes, Xbox Live and PSN. I'd recommend the third-rate Gremlins rip-off 'Hobgoblins' to start you off, or perhaps 'The Final Sacrifice', a cult-based 'thriller' that's guaranteed to have you cheering on the mighty beer-swilling Canuck RRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOWSDOOOOOWERRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! 

Mystery Science Theater 3000:
Cinematic Titanic:            

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