That assignment was apparently so top secret, it became a lost project!
In 1996, Best Brains (the production company behind Mystery Science Theater 3000) intended to publish a CD-ROM containing two shorts. Due to setbacks with Voyager, the company producing the CD-ROM, the project was ultimately cancelled, with the shorts becoming “lost.”
Thankfully, one of them was found!
“Assignment: Venezuela” was filmed between the show’s sixth and seventh season (hence, Trace Beaulieu still in the role of Crow). This one is a short very much in the vein of Progress Island USA, selling the idea of industry and living overseas. The only difference is that this is less “commercial” and more narrative, as it applies the concept about marketing the place, and adds in a man whose company is situated in Venezuela, and the letters he writes to his family back home as he prepares for their move to a new country. However, it is still commercial, as we are hearing all the upsides and facts about Venezuela living.
The short, from 1956, was produced by Creole Petroleum Corporation. It was shot on location in Lake Maracaibo, Maracaibo, and Caracas Venezuela. Creole Petroleum Corporation wasformed in 1920, and existed until January 1,1976, when it’s Venezuelan assets were nationalized along with other foreign oil firms.
I wonder if our husband/father/Creole employee still had a job with them…
He’s probably not a real employee. 😄
Either way, go on and click play to hear all about the amazingness of moving to Venezuela while Mike and the ‘bots riff it up!
According to the MST3K Wiki:
A rough cut of Assignment: Venezuela was screened for a live audience at ConventioCon ExpoFest-A-Rama 2: Electric Boogaloo. It has since become available to view online, and was included as a special feature on the Shout! Factory DVD of The Killer Shrews.
And yes, ConventioCon ExpoFest-A-Rama was an official MST3K convention, held in 1996 (the first was held in 1994).
The 90s were awesome, folks.
And there you have it, an obscure part of riffing glory. It’s nice to see that something like this didn’t stay lost. It’s a really rough cut, but the key element of making you laugh till it hurts is ever present.
One more day until Rifftrax Live and The Five Doctors, folks!