I was reading an article this morning on Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes that everyone should see, and while I agree whole-heartedly with the list (see Related Link), that’s only because I’ve actually seen those episodes (with the exception of Cave Dwellers).
Omitted were some of the more “legendary” experiments bestowed as methods of torture upon Joel Robinson (and later Mike Nelson) and the ‘Bots.
For your consideration, here are four additions to Kevin Sullivan’s list, based on my own personal viewing habits. I’m sure it’s not everyone’s essentials, but they are certainly mine. I have a much longer list, but not ones I would consider Earth-shattering and necessary, just ones I really like. Because opinions.
Just send ’em the article, Allison.
The Final Sacrifice
This is one of those episodes you’ve likely heard of from other die-hard MSTies (if you haven’t already seen it for yourself). It’s the “touching” story of the relationship between red sweater-clad Troy MacGregor and the drunken mullet himself, Zap Rowsdower, whose name is so ridiculous, you’d swear people make it up. He’s the Canadian Mitchell (which is probably an insult to Joe Don Baker, but since my place in Hell has been reserved for at least a decade, I’m not in the position to care) – drunken and slovenly. There’s illegal uses of consonants in first names, Larry Zonka look-a-likes, a Canadian Villain named Garth Vader, a map for a lost city that the villains want, the airborne virus known as Hockey Hair (and its by-product, Prospector’s Disease), and a whole lot of beautiful Canadian scenery to ruin. Oh, I didn’t mention this movie takes place in Canada? Because it does – the wilderness of Alberta served as the backdrop for this film.
I should note that I picked up the reception desk phone when I thought up the comparison of Joe Don Baker’s slovenly Mitchell to The Final Sacrifice’s Zap Rowsdower (the idea for this list came to me while I was covering lunch breaks on our main phone line at work – nice to know I have inspirational moments in unconventional places and at weird times), and it was a minor miracle I didn’t burst out laughing on the phone.
One of my personal favorites, this is one of the other movies you’ve likely heard MSTies talk about in hushed circles. Film in Vermont on an incredibly low-budget by a 20-year-old director (whose production company logo features a dog, which I’m sure has something to do with Edgewood Pictures). The film is the “story” of Castleton State College professor Nick Miller, who has invented a time travel device using a computer, eight floppy disks, and his plane. He’s a crop-dusting genius (watch the movie, you’ll understand) who wants to pitch his idea to an invention company, run by nefarious businessman J.K. Roberts (aptly referred to in the commentary as “Bob Evil”), located in the Skyway of the mall or a branch library (not really, but there’s really no other way to describe his office’s garish design). Roberts, in turn, wants to use the method to really screw up time. There’s also bad fashion, a reference to MacGyver (which would insult Mac himself), and K-Cars. Vermont is truly a “city on the go” in this wunderkind of amateur acting, directing, and general good taste.
If the film’s bizarre plot and general ugliness don’t make you laugh, the riffing will leave you cleaning up after your spittakes, it’s just that funny.
If you forget everything else about Space Mutiny – a film about an entire population of people aboard a generation ship being held hostage by a man with the last name Kalgan (not to be confused with Calgon – Take Me Away!), and the shuttle pilot with huge muscles (and an obnoxious scream in his voice) who arrives in time to save the day – you’ll never forget the many names Mike and The ‘Bots give to the film’s star, Reb Brown (whose character’s real name is David Ryder, but that’s not important…or at least not as important as all of his nicknames).
Richard Kiel as a caveman, Arch Hall Jr. as a “cyst with teeth and hair,” his real-life daddy Arch Hall Sr. as a scientist (who seems uncomfortably close to his on-screen daughter), in a touching story about cultural differences. I guess…that’s what I’m assuming this movie is about. I just can’t get past Arch Hall Jr.’s face (“Sorry about the face!”). Oh, and Arch Hall Sr. and his – ahem – daughter are held hostage by a caveman named Eegah. Throw in a recorded warning to “Watch out for snakes!” (where?!), and this movie is just well…ok, it’s not on the level of Manos: The Hands of Fate, but it’s still pretty bizarre.
And there’s four more to supplement Kevin Sullivan’s short list? Which poses the question, fellow MSTies, what was left out of both lists that deserves inclusion? Feel free to sound off!
Author: Kevin Sullivan, Published May 18, 2015 on UpRoxx