Mystery Science Theater 3000: Squirm (1999)

‘Spring Fever’ short is alternately boring and really annoying.  Mocked well later, though.

Movie is cheezy 50’s horror updated for the super 70’s: color, better cr@ppy acting/fx, even dumber “monster”…riffing: not bad.

Highlights:
Sprites for every occasion
incoherent hick ramblings
Tom Servobelle

Inspirational Quote: “Well then there’s sex, that’s another minute.”

Grade: C

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Alien From L.A. (1993)

Kathy Ireland whines with the best of them in this really bad modern “fantasy” flick.

Very pretentious, so it makes a great choice.  Unfortunately the riffing is only ok (and usually obvious), but with material this easy to rip that’s enough to make it a decent watch, AND you get the “Hey!  I thought of that too!” achievement feeling.

Highlights:
gut-vending and Kathy Ireland game host segments
intermittent Australian-ness
persistent whine jokes

Inspirational Quote: “Cuz I’m turned on by squeaky toys!”

Grade: C+

Hollow (2013)

Another L.F. Dibley classic: ‘The British Blair Witch Ripoff Project’.

It gets somewhat scary with about 25 minutes left, to be fair. And the ending is made clear. UNTIL then, to save you the time, here’s what you learn in just over an hour that means anything: brunette woman is going to marry man, other man is jealous and seems a bit freaky/obsessed with brunette woman, they find a creepy tree of legend.

Question: Is this gonna come out every fourteen years with a new title in a new country? Sort of like the Olympics…I’m guessing France for 2027.

And now, for my own amusement, since they (mostly) wasted MY time, let me rip something:

“I’m afraid there’s been a mistake…

The people that have been acting for you are impostors. They are not in fact affiliated with the real police of East Anglia, but actors wanted by the ‘Blair Witch Project’ preservation society. Anybody who doesn’t believe me can look it up in the film registry.

Now then, the first prize is this beautiful silver Pointing Out The Bleedin’ Obvious For Your Protection cup, which has been won by me.

Next we come to the Fairfax Atkinson Trophy for outstanding achievement in the field of trashing ‘Blair Witch’ ripoffs. Well, there’s been noone else this just-begun year who’s reached the required standard set by me, so it goes in my sack.” – ‘The Puppy MPFC Ripoff Project’

Inspirational Exchange:

*Man* “What time is it?”
*Blonde Woman, in apparent silent response* “It’s time for a shot of my crotch.”

Grade: D

2/26/13: Inspirational Exchange Rip: “I have dispatched 25 minutes of somewhat scary footage to save the movie! They will be playing NOW!”
“Were they as surrounded by cr@p as this? Actually it was more like 15.” Grade: D-

Mystery Science Theater 3000: It Conquered The World (1991)

Back when Roger Corman gave a d@mn.  I think.

I actually sort of LIKE this movie…the fx are HORRIBLE and the acting isn’t all that good, but it’s an interesting story.  Good riffing on the really horrible parts, too.

‘Snow Thrills’ short is only mediocre, although it does provide a good quote.

Highlights:
short-mocking sketch
sudden realizations
movie-mocking sketch
MPFC Cycling Tour reference
ending…ending…ending…

Inspirational Quote: “Yeah, well you’re full of skit.”

Grade: B-

Deep Puppy Thoughts (Part 31)

I’m not watching the Oscars, but I’m sure that with James Lipton doing play-by-play, they are absolutely scrumtrelescent. (Using the official Wiktionary spelling).

Personally I think it’s even more scrumtrulescent to spell it with a second “u”.

And it’s cool how if you type in “scrumtrulecent” in Wikipedia it redirects to James Lipton.

That is ABSOLUTELY SCRUM-tru-LES-cent.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Tormented (1992)

Yet another exciting Bert I. Gordon messterpiece.  Very dark this time.

It tries, like early Roger Corman, to be dramatic and meaningful.  And it’s not really HORRIBLE, it’s just not very good…and the pretension allows for very effective mockery.

Joel and the bots rip very (and tastelessly) well into every supposed “dramatic” moment.

Highlights:
great invention exchange (Aunt Catherine wheel/drinking jacket)
SOL family shenanigans
consistent riffing
wishful lighthouse plummets
headshots
Pagan Earth Ceremony (every Tuesday)

Inspirational Quote: “Look Tom, I got a friend at the DA’s office, if I don’t show up they open my lunchbox.”

Grade: B+

The Dead Want Women (2012)

At BEST, that’s totally imprecise and only somewhat accurate.  And totally sexist. 

I mean, what about the heterosexual female and homosexual male ones?  Not to mention the asexual ones, the lesbian/heterosexual male ones with headaches, or the ones that aren’t just mostly dead.

But here’s the deal…the “setup” (idea one) features nice costumes/scenery/most of the budget and tolerable acting and lasts until about the 15 minute mark, then the ultra-soft-core porn (necessary to add “NUDITY” to advertising) part turns into cr@ppy “horror” plot point (idea two) which eventually leads us to the actual movie (idea three, at around 25:30).

Actual movie lasts about 45 minutes and sucks.  FX are sad, acting is poor, dialogue is really bad.

Only misogynists and people that want to see Eric Roberts embarass himself will enjoy it.

Nice fireplace, though…too bad they didn’t just show that for 1:14:05.

Inspirational Quote: “I’m a big fat cowboy!”

Grade: F

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Final Sacrifice (1998)

Canadian modern fantasy/adventure stupidity.  Good riffing, especially for a post-Frank/Trace  episode.  I actually like Canada, for the record.  And this is trying…but that only makes it funnier to rip because it SUCKS so much.

Highlights:
rampant Csonka references
rampant Canada jokes
Royal Canadian Mounted Servo
inept BDSM brigade
feral Red Green guy

Inspirational Quote: “You know it’s Spring when the executioners start gettin in the house.”

Grade: B

Kill ‘Em All (2013)

Pointless setup featuring 3-second fast forwards to boredom into

…Johnny Cage…

combination ‘Saw’/mostly ‘Mortal Kombat’ ripoff, which is just as pointless.

…Raiden…

And it’s not any good.  Well, if you like one-on-one fight choreography, it’s tolerable.

…Liu Kang…

About halfway through it switches from filming in a vacant room to filming in a

…Sonya…

vacant warehouse for the second level.  Haikiba!

…Sindel…

Thank goodness it’s the first 2013 streaming movie choice I came across or I might NEVER have watched it.

…Scorpion…

With all that being said, I can’t bring myself to truly hate it.  Maybe because it’s so un-ambitious that it can’t really fail (??!!).  Sort of like watching a human video game, except video games are much more fun when you’re PLAYING, not WATCHING.

…Sub-Zero…eh, I prefer ‘Killer Instinct’…Cinder…

It adds a retroactive plot and a Dr. Evil/Bond-ish villain at the end, if you care.

Grade: D-

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Amazing Transparent Man (1995)

Man gets busted out of jail by yet another short-sighted/far-reaching villain. 

Really good short riffing, mediocre movie riffing. 

Suggestion: Watch the short and the llama bit, skip the rest.

Highlights:
Mikey and the scared Crow-llama
The Days Of Our Years – give or take a score
charades

Inspirational Quote: “It all sucked.”

Grade: B-

2/28/13: Not sure of the composite here…let’s see…short around an A, rest a low D.  Grade: C

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Space Travelers (1992)

I don’t understand this choice at all.

The movie isn’t great, but it’s certainly not horrible.  Nowhere NEAR as bad as the typical MST movie, anyway.  You almost want to watch it, at times…but you can’t, because three annoying voices keep interrupting it with unfunny comments.

If this was the ONLY episode of MST3K, it might be worth watching.  But it isn’t, and it isn’t.

Grade: F

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

A cute little movie.  It’s witty; somewhat gruesome yet also somewhat charming/sweet.

It’s not really my thing, for the most part…so I’d stop there.

But I can certainly understand how it could also be described as touching and even somewhat magical by fans.

This has such a wide audience because everyone from the most shallowly angsty to the most wistfully romantic can (potentially) feel all these things.

Like all Disney movies, the songs are annoying in their Basil Exposition qualities for adults, but the gruesomeness does mostly offset the traditional sappiness.

Like good Disney movies, this is simple and cute enough for children but smart enough for adults.

How so many people that like this can hate EVERY OTHER Disney movie is beyond me, since this IS a slight (goth/creepy/macabre/odd…take your pick) alteration on stock-Disney to create a modern-day ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’.

The message any non-idiot can take from this, if you pay any attention at all: insisting on gloom all the time is just as absurd as insisting on smiles all the time.  I mean, Skellington himself marvels at the stupidity of his minions in their failure to understand how anything worthwhile can NOT be negative.

The yearning for escape from enforced drudgery into freedom/happiness is pretty obvious, too.  But Sally points out that while that is a noble goal, to force one’s gloominess upon others (as Jack attempts) is just as wrong as to force one’s cheeriness upon others.

Or, as Jack simplifies for anyone that hasn’t gotten it yet: Leave gloom to the gloomy and cheer to the cheery.  If they want to mix, fine…if they don’t…fine.  It’s called free will.

For scumbags that enjoy this: It’s cuz only in fantasy can your fcked up dreams come true.  And, like it or not, your life is longer than 1:16:08.

For non-scumbags that enjoy this: If anyone tries to tell you the ending isn’t truly romantic (and honestly hopeful)…don’t listen.  Hope you read this, you know who…I hope.

Inspirational Quote: “How could I…be so blind?”

Grade: B

7/15/13: Dae Update – Hope unchanged, but moving on.  WAIT…yes.  WAIT…maybe…yes.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Extremely simplified version of the book, ending changed to happy. 

Is it good?  Sorta.  Is it anywhere near as good as the book?  No WAY.  The exchanges are much dumber and a lot is left out.  And if the dialogue seems very cheezy at times NOW, it’s gonna be downright pitiful soon enough.

But it’s a good way to bring the book to the masses.

In the spirit of that comment, I believe the necessity for this is summed up best by (then)star Sam Neill in another movie, talking to someone in a padded cell:

Man: “What about people that don’t read?”
Neill: *With a hopeless, lost, slightly insane expression* “There’s a movie.”

Saddest moment: Chilling slow-motion close-up of a Barbasol can.

The “movie” inside the movie should be ready for MSTing in 20-30 years or so.  I imagine it will be as sad as your typical 50’s prop flick.

Most Noble/Cool Character: Ian *BLEEPIN* Malcolm…YEAH!

Inspirational Quote: “Gee, the lack of humility…before nature that’s being displayed here, ummm…staggers me.”

Grade: C+

Evolutionary Decision – By Puppy

Being the master of my own will, I choose to become, with great reluctance and taste bud pain, a pescetarian.

Oh well…bacon, I shall love you forever from afar.

Bear with me, people…I’m evolving slowly, but surely.

Not judging, just saying.

-Puppy >.< Yip!

2/18/13: Well…ok, very occasional meat.  I’m working on it! 😛

Open Mic Night At Gulu Gulu (Rips: M.J. Nelson, R. Christgau)

This isn’t for ALL the Gulu Gulu performers, just…well…the dull, untalented, cr@ppy ones.

CLARIFICATION:  When I say “the dull, untalented, cr@ppy ones” I’m referring to Das But or anyone (gag) similar to him ONLY.  Thank you.

Two reviews of every said performance past, present, and future:

“At this point, the man/woman attempted an “arty” sort of poem/story/song/miscellaneous.”

“Typical hyperromantic exoticism is one answer, and everybody would know they’re full of sh1t is the other.”

-Puppy >.< Yip!