The Big Picture: Mystery Science Theater 3000

wammnebu

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Sep 25, 2010
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Has anyone one else who watched the show noticed that crow never is? He rarely faces the screen
 

Grand_Marquis

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Feb 9, 2009
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It gave me my favorite one-liner ever: "Not a joke, but an incredible simulation!" (from "Giant Spider" FYI). Also, in case anyone is curious, every episode not available on DVD can be found at the Digital Archive Project, assuming there was ever a physical copy made for it. So ALL IS NOT LOST!
 

Poisoned Al

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Feb 16, 2008
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For me, MST3K is one of the few times it's perfectly fine to use torrent sites. If you can't buy it legitimately, I'm not going to try too hard to hand money over to some prick who owns the "rights" to the craptaculer movies they rip into.

YAAAA HAAAA FIDDLE DE DE.......
 

Grand_Marquis

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Shjade said:
MST3K had some good jokes, but I could never watch it. Why? Because you had to sit through a crap movie to hear the jokes, which were not constantly great and not in enough quantity to drown out the crap movie.

I get the appeal, but no thanks to the show.
One thing people always forget to mention when they recommend MST3k is that you have to actually like bad movies in the first place to really appreciate it. I can't imagine them myself, but I understand that there are a lot of people out there who actually don't like the idea of seeing a bad movie, no matter the reason. Those people are going to have trouble liking MST3k. Eh, no biggie.
 

rddj623

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Sep 28, 2009
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Such a fantastic show! Funny and let you in on some hilariously bad movies that would likely have gone by the wayside otherwise. I'm glad other people remember it fondly as I do. I'm glad you cleared up the reason behind the lack of dvd's by season. I had always wondered without really thinking it through all the way. Guess it'll have to wait until they become public domain at some point.
 

MisterShine

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Mar 9, 2010
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Everyone that reads this and enjoys MST3K, check out Rifftrax. They're still hilarious.

YOU MUST GET THE TWILIGHT ONE.

I have never been so close to death as during some of the jokes in that movie.
 

SpinFusor

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Jun 28, 2004
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This is Joe Don Baker, and I approve of this video. Mitchell.... hearts pounding. Mitchell... veins clogging. Mitchell!

MST3K is hands down my favorite tv show. Still watch it all the time (Don't tell my boss I'm scrolling up cinemas while I work ^^).
 

kajinking

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Aug 12, 2009
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God I loved this show. Does anyone know if they did any godzilla movies and where I could watch them?
 

VonBrewskie

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Apr 9, 2009
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Friend Bob! I don't have time to check through all the comments, so I don't know if this has been mentioned. There are a ton of episodes on Netflix! I have ten in my queue right now! My favorite episode is still missing though: A Touch of Satan. "This is where the fish live." Hilarious. Great MST3K reference bruthah!
 

Callate

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Dec 5, 2008
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A nice bit of tribute, there. Watching MST3K was an enjoyable social activity when I was in college; I think a lot of my friends could agree to some common ground with the show's sense of humor.
 

Crapster

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Aug 6, 2009
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MST3K is a fantastic show. I feel like it's one a rare example of a show that actually got better as time went on. Most of the episodes in their last season are pure gold!

This is probably unwise to post, but Mike is a million times funnier than Joel. Joel's episodes tend to be pretty boring, really...
 

ChristovR

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May 15, 2010
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Ghengis John said:
Hey Bob, which episode would you suggest newcomers begin on? I think I'd have to go with Hobgoblins.
I started a friend off with Manos: The Hands of Fate, and Santa Clause Conquers the Martians. Those ones seemed to work out well as now she often asks to watch more ever since.
 

dragomort

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Feb 15, 2011
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RedheadedKate said:
It wasn't shitting on other people's art, as much as it was "let's not take art so seriously for a little while and try to get some laughs." With Rifftrax, the guys have done Best Picture winners because sometimes, some people find silliness fun.

You didn't like it, and that's cool, but just because I don't like the taste of Indian food doesn't mean I have no respect for people who do.

P.S. Fraggle Rock was awesome!
Absolutely. I think they had a sci-fi interview when they first went over where they had people attack them on it all as well, but they've given wonderful responses every time out (when they aren't taken off guard by it at any rate).

And if you prefer to eat Indian food on xmas day, I can only shrug my shoulders and say Namaste..... Personally I prefer turkey, gravy and salad, but let's never forget that all cultures are valid :D
 

bluenephilim

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Nov 13, 2009
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Yes! I so totally agree on this one ( not to say I usually disagree though =) )

I have spent years trying to make friends and family understand why I love these shows ( of which I have managed go get hold of quite a few ). All they see is bad movies and some jerks talking over the soundtrack the whole movie. I've also bought a few rifftrax but it's not the same when the movie isn't really bad to start with. :)

Hard to pick a favourite but Prince of Space, Terror from the year 5000 and Hobgoblins are definitely among the top.
 

Live4Lotus

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Dec 5, 2009
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For those who don't know, the you can get the majority of the episodes through a combination of DVD purchases and downloads from the Digital Archive Project. Also, many episodes are available through Netflix Streaming, and most of the DVDs are available on disk through netflix. I have 149 episodes at the moment, plus the movie...150 episodes isn't nearly enough, but it is a lot better than settling for a handful of DVDs, most out of print and only available on ebay.
 

ewhac

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Warning: Wall-O-Text ahead.

ChristovR said:
I started a friend off with Manos: The Hands of Fate, and Santa Clause Conquers the Martians. Those ones seemed to work out well as now she often asks to watch more ever since.
Oooo. I'm glad it worked out well, but I still think Manos doesn't really work as an introduction. I've actually been thinking about this today a little bit (read: far too much), and I think I can explain why. (I'm speaking to the established fan base here.)

If you consider nearly all the films screened in the Mystery Science Theater before Manos, they were all bad of course, but they all had a certain quality of bad. Consider Bert I. Gordon's works, for example. The stories were goofy and the effects weak. But even so, there was a certain level of professionalism in the films. The cinematography was competent (if simplistic), the lighting was [em]occasionally[/em] moody, and the acting, if wooden, was earnest. People were genuinely trying, and it showed.

The same can also be said of many of Roger Corman's works. Teenage Caveman, though ludicrous, shows us a young Robert Vaughn who can really deliver the work; and Viking Women and The Sea Serpent, while even more ludicrous, had some actual worthy moments.

Likewise, the Japanese monster movies enjoyed a certain minimum level of competence and craft. Despite the use of models, you really could get the idea that Godzilla was smashing up Tokyo, and people were actually upset about it. Even the Fugitive Alien films had many of the elements that define Japanese cinematography of that period (dramatic zooms being an obvious example).

And so, with nearly four seasons worth of bad movies under their belt, you started to get a sense of what you could expect in a bad movie. Even the much derided Ed Wood Jr. managed to achieve (for brief moments, anyway) a basic level of filmcraft: At least one person who could act. Competent cinematography and lighting -- you could see everything, and it would be in focus. At least one interesting or engaging moment. At least one interesting idea in the story. You started to get comfortable with this model of what constituted a Bad Movie.

...And then... Manos.

Manos fits none of the models. Just when you think you've grokked the Bad Movie, Manos comes out of nowhere (Waco, TX) and establishes an entirely new class of Bad Movie -- a class you thought could not possibly exist. A class that leaves you sitting agape at the screen, unable to formulate any question more complex than "How?" or "Why?" It's not that Manos breaks the rules. Manos was completely oblivious that there [em]were[/em] any rules.

The film stock is dreadful -- there is more grain in this film than an Iowa wheat farm. The cinematography would embarrass Zapruder. If anything is in focus, or indeed in frame, it's almost certainly a total accident. The audio is abominable. Apparently they couldn't afford synced sound, so they recorded the audio dubs after the fact, and it is [em]obvious[/em] this is what happened. The story is merely uninteresting where it is not almost maliciously tedious, and the "twist" at the end is not so much clever as it is a handful of fertilizer to the face.

With the possible exception of one, none of the performers in the film can be said to be an actor, or even clinically alive. Nobody moves or speaks with any urgency or sense of internal purpose. They seem like automata, jerking into motion just long enough to speak their line for that moment, then grinding to a halt. The one exception I might grant is to John Reynolds (Torgo), if for no other reason than he seemed to put some thought and effort into the character -- crazed, delusional, psychotic thought, to be sure, but he put some work in to it.

Manos, tragically, does not stand alone in its class (Attack of the The Eye Creatures is in there), but it stands at its apex (or nadir). And this is why I feel Manos should not be viewed too early in the MST3K collection. Yes, Manos is bad. But until you've had an introduction and grounding in the subtle art of the Bad Movie, it is impossible to know and appreciate just [em]how[/em] bad it truly is.
 

JohnTomorrow

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Jan 11, 2010
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I remember catching MST3K: The Movie on late at night as a kid. I watched it, found it hilarious, then promptly forgot about it.

Then about five years later, one of my friends told me about this 'awesome TV show where a guy and some robots take the piss out of old movies' and a lightblub clicked in my head.

I've since downloaded about four seasons worth of episodes, all of them scattered about the series. I also own the movie on DVD and have two DVD packs.

If someone ever released the entire thing as a box set, i'd happily kill myself, because my life would be meaningless when my collection is complete. And by kill myself, i mean watch MST3K until i either died of laughter or starvation.

Truely epic video Bob. Thanks so much for bringing this awesome series to the eyes of the new generation.