MST3K 11×10: A Wizard Did It. A Very Bad One

“The most charismatic character is a hat.”

The movie: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom. Wizards, because if they claimed there were any actors in this kingdom they could be sued for deceptive advertising

This is the sort of movie that I might call “endearing” if it had any heart to it. As it is, it just felt weird watching it.

Starting the show with a solo Mad in front of the camera was a bit of a shock, but it went well enough. I suspect we’re going to see more development of Max’s crush before the end of the season.

After so, so many unimaginative tropes had already made their appearance, the huge yeti thing showed up and I groaned about a Cute Animal Friend. KJ: “I don’t think that ‘cute animal friend’ would be the words for what that is.” Me: “I don’t think that ‘acting’ would be the word for what they’re doing.” Chewbacca, Cute Animal Friend, whatever, it just didn’t need to be there in any scene. Don’t put CAFs in your stories. Just don’t.

Cor, or whatever his name is, seems less like a conqueror than a self-help guru who can pick up a sword without cutting himself open.

The host segment song wasn’t the greatest lyrically, but I enjoyed it for the interaction and content. And tampering in God’s domain is one of my favorite callbacks.

Letters! I had just been wondering if there would be any more this season.

I feel like I should recognize the music in the bit where Bad Guy calls Princess In Distress “delicate”. It’s annoying that I can’t think of where I’ve heard something like it.

Again pushing to keep the casual viewer around, the Mads as good as announce that next time will be the sequel.

Push the button: “Maybe this is the menu and we have to click on the movie we want.” “I really hope whatever they’re panning to is worth it.” The riffing just nails this movie, all the way through, hilariously so. One of the highlights of the season.

Next time: Can they keep up the momentum with Wizards II: Wizardly Boogaloo?

MST3K 11×09: Yongarrection

“Yongary is the kind of monster you get at the 99¢ store.”

The movie: Yongary, an import from Korea

Felicia Day seems to be settling in as Kinga. The Hitler coffee is goofy and well-played, while the tiny desks of rage are just one of those cute little ideas that the previous seasons had in abundance.

The movie itself is fun and the riffing is even more fun, all the way through. It doesn’t, in my opinion, rise to the level of being killer material, but the movie gives a lot to work with and J&tB deliver A-grade lines. Part of it is the line delivery. In nearly every episode, there will be lines that, well, the delivery seems off to me in one way or another. That never happened in this episode.

The bit about sending the newlywed up in a rocket is ridiculous on several obvious levels. Even if South Korea couldn’t rely on its allies for data and had to fly its own rocket over the Middle East, just send another astronaut (Koreanaut?) to run the instruments and have the data ready for the groom when he’s good and ready. And ultimately, the rocket doesn’t matter, because the only bearing the flight has on the Yongary plot is that the guy lands and tells them “Yep, that earthquake is a-comin’ this way!” which they already knew.

I liked Crow in the astronaut music segment. And nice bubble-blur in the nightclub segment to make it easier for Crow to take a bite out of the model.

So, uh, that’s the dark side of the Moon we’re seeing in the commercial break segments? Kinga had the title carved into the far half of the Moon? Wow.

Hah, a River Kwai reference about a week after I read the book for the first time. And whoa, self-riff with Crow scoring off of Tom!

I agree with J&tB that the bleeding was too much. Reptilicus killed its monster unconvincingly and got away with it just fine without having to get gory. But they did get a nice closing segment, with a relatively serious song, out of it.

Push the button: “Before the Internet, it took so much more effort just to tell people not very much.” Agreed — nowadays, any old schmuck can start a WordPress account and babble at the world what he thinks about cheesy TV shows.

This is one of the season’s best. The host segments aren’t stellar, but they’re enjoyable enough, and the riffing is a breeze.

Next week: Wizards, or possibly wizzards given the SFX budget of your average MSTed movie.

MST3K 11×08: Herculean Contact

“Thesaurus: The Movie.”

The movie: The Loves of Hercules, all three of them, except for all the others

OK: Another nice invention exchange.

Jonah’s new robot is distinctive-looking, by which I mean it looks unique and it looks like it wasn’t designed by the same person who built Crow and Tom. That’s one of the more fun segments in a while. Jonah must’ve been so excited about J. Sniffles or whatever that he underestimated the bots’ severe sibling rivalry issues (see: Time Travelers).

It stinks: Nothing particularly bad that I noticed. It just never puts together a string of killer riffs or anything. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad episode, just not A+ material.

Saaay . . .: I get it now. With a host segment before the theme, Joel prevents Netflix from doing their annoying “skip the theme song” thing when you’re marathoning a show.

Cantaloupe Lady is very unimpressive, and the movie doesn’t get much better. Eight-odd minutes into the episode, I was already jotting a note that the movie feels as cleverly plotted and acted as if some ten-year-old got hold of the family digital camera.

Queen Fainty: I must still undergo . . . The Great Trial! KJ: Why? Me: Why anything this movie?

At least the people-trees were a neat visual, even if some of them looked to be made of cardboard.

Something that’s happening more often this season is that J&tB just flat-out critique plot holes and bad sets and the like. From experience, I can say that that isn’t bad per se, but you have to limit it and keep it funny. Even just give the line a humorous delivery.

Push the button: Not one of the “great” episodes, but still enjoyable. Probably the sort of episode one puts on when it’s a lazy day and one wants to kick back and watch an episode one hasn’t seen in a while.

Next up: Yongary, whoever that is.

MST3K 11×07: The Saurs Awaken

“This is what every Star Wars movie looks like before the CGI gets put in.”

The movie: The Land That Time Forgot, full of dinosaurs, which time abruptly remembers when a submarine comes to visit

OK: Uh, well, there are only so many ways to say “it was funny.” I’m glad they backed off on the modern brand-name–dropping, compared to the western a couple of episodes ago. Speaking of which: whoa, burn on Comcast! I’ve never had their Internet or other service, but their customer service seems to be universally despised.

The robosquid jazzes up an otherwise standard “re-enact the movie” sketch.

It stinks: The dinosaur cafe thing was full of jokes, no question. But it might have been better to either trim it a bit or divide it between two host segments.

Saaay . . .: Continuing to have some fun with the idea of Moon 13 not being the most competent operation in the world in the Solar System, Arby tells us that some of this movie leaked. It’s partly a device to tell us what the movie will be about, and possibly partly to explain unusually deep cuts they made to fit it into Joel’s preferred 90ish-minute runtime. I hope they made deep cuts, because I was confused as anyone as to who was supposed to be in control of the sub after a while.

I only now noticed the spotlight as Jonah makes his way toward the umbilicus during the opening theme. Speaking of which, the “reenactment” conceit is starting to feel more natural now.

I’m not sure whether this or King Dinosaur is worse in its wanton slaughter of ancient reptiles. I’d have to watch K.D. again to be sure, which honestly doesn’t sound like a good idea. How does that one always get left off the list when people talk about the worst MST3K movies?

Push the button: Not spectacular, but solid and funny.

Next up: Hercules gets it on, again.

MST3K 11×06: Crash Gordon

“I feel like I’m watching a community theater production of Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Movie: Starcrash, an aptly named Star Wars copycat about crashed ships that itself crashes and burns

OK: The riffing isn’t as spectacular as it’s been at times, but it’s consistently sharp and on point. The movie is entertainingly, incoherently bad, especially whenever some element is clearly ripped off from Star Wars. And how about that Beach Boys parody?

It stinks: Noticing the riffs being out-of-sync agaiiin . . .

Say . . .: The movie could have been okay, rip-off factor aside, with decent acting and a plot that didn’t depend on deus ex machinae and Acton reading ahead in the script. And with a police robot that stayed menacing instead of becoming all folksy American South for no good reason. Yeesh.

Joel talks in an interview about having the chance to have a plot of his own this season. I wonder if the brief blackout during the “Send them the movie” spiel is connected to the ghostiness that Joel/Arby complained about in a previous episode. At any rate, it looks like Max has a genuine thing for Kinga.

The bots get in quite a bit of visual humor in the theater this episode.

A curious number of Fugitive Alien elements in the first five minutes or so, right up to a spaceship hiding in an alien canyon. Speaking of incompetence shared with other bad stories, the protagonists find a “crashed” spaceship that plowed up an awfully short furrow by a body of water.

Push the button: The cameo I was hoping for never happened, but still another good solid episode. And hey, Jerry Seinfeld.

Next time: We check in with Littlefoot and the gang, worn out after like fifty sequels.