would not be complete without real turkeys. I'm not
talking about Thanksgiving movies, if they even exist.
I'm talking about movies so bad they make you wince at
their absurdity. Thankfully, the guys and girls behind
"Mystery Science Theater 3000" made sure that everyone
knew which movies were bad, bad and bad!
"Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition" is now on DVD.
Anyone who loves great movies should have a spot in their heart for bad cinema. They're the yang to the yin, the Vader to the Luke. Without tremendously bad cinema with horrible direction, crummy lighting, acting talent from the neighborhood, cinema -- I mean movies, would not be as fun to watch.
The television show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" was one of those show that I'd watch on a weekend afternoon. I still don't get the concept of quirky a space janitor and makeshift robots watching movies in outer space. But that's part of the reason why the show, once you get used its strange sense-of-humor, is very funny.
It's been 20 years since "MSTK3" was first aired in an era when we didn't have as many TV channels to choose from. The show eventually migrated to cable and became a staple on Sci-Fi Channel for years. Part of the charm of watching horrible movies with the Satellite of Love crew is hearing their funny commentary as a movie plays. Think of this show as early DVD commentary. The guys are smart with references to pop culture and history as their jokes fly.
This boxed set features four rotten turkeys: "First Ship On Venus," "Laserblast," "Werewolf," and "Future War." At press time, I didn't get to watch all of "First Ship On Venus," but I did watch the other three movies.
"Laserblast" (1978) was a quickie flick made to cash in on "Star Wars." I can remember my television screen being saturated with ads for this movie. "Wow! Lasers! Just like in 'Star Wars!'" I'd say. But I remember the commercial showing the goofy lead with droopy eyes scaring me. No, not with his bad and lethargic acting, but that green makeup and scary contacts. Hey, I was young. The movie, if my memory hasn't been laserblasted, actually made some good money by unsuspecting audiences trying to get more lasers and aliens. I didn't see the whole film until recently on this DVD set.
The acting reminds me of really bad audition acting. The story makes no sense, other than the producer probably had this laser gun prop and wanted to use it in something. The best part of the movie involves the stop-motion aliens with hilarious voices and a short cameo by Roddy McDowell.
"Werewolf" opens with some decent cinematography in the desert, then heads downhill at a rapid pace. A group comes across an ancient werewolf skeleton, then get into a fist fight over it for no reason. Richard Lynch tells of the legend of the werewolf and you know what happens. People turn into mad puppet werewolves and attack! What's really funny about this inept movie is how crudely shot, acted and executed it is. Hello! When a werewolf is running at a slow speed, or crawling on the ground, you'd think that the intended victims could out run him. But nooooooo!
"Future War" is a movie that Jean-Claude Van Damme would've made and been proud to be in. The lead (Daniel Bernhardt) comes from the future to battle dinosaurs in the city of Gardena, CA. He looks and does martial arts kicks like Van Damme. He even has the limited acting range of Van Damme with one facial expression through the entire movie. This must be a Van Damme movie! But it's not. There's a overweight bad guy from the future played by an actor named Kazja who can't fight worth anything. There's a beautiful young nun (Travis Brooks Stewart), and phony dinosaurs which have nothing to do with this fine script. Yep, the movie is a piece of crap.
The crew of the Satellite of Love makes watching these movies bearable. One can sense that the crew (humans and puppets) had an appreciation for bad cinema. I guess I have an appreciation for it, too, and "MST3K."
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Shout Factory. All rights reserved.
|DVD Quick Glimpse|