29 August 2006

MST3K (311)

311 - It Conquered the World (w/ The Sport Parade: Snow Thrills) - Happy 15th anniversary, 311!

Narrator: "And shiing is the correct pronunciation, they tell us." Joel: "Yeah, well, you're full of skit." Now that we're past the serial era, shorts are a nice treat before the movie. I love these old timey newsreels and I'll watch 'em with or without the sarcastic silhouettes.

This Corman movie could've been A-OK. It had a pod people thing going, a dash of Cold War paranoia and the interesting first attack of shutting down all technology great and small ("Hey, your carpeting doesn't work."). Character actors Dick Miller, Beverly Garland and Lee Van Cleef sweeten the deal. What does Corman do to ruin it? He creates one of the lamest alien monsters to ever grace the silver screen. Any credibility or good will built by the film is completely destroyed the first time we get a look at the giant cucumber. And maybe a giant cucumber wouldn't have been so bad, but they put the goofiest face on the thing that you can think of. He looks like he's lost from the Sesame Street set.

Anderson: "The days when people made fun of me are over, girl." Crow: "You will bow down before me!" Ah, the reference to General Zod made my day. Solid riffing all around this time. I also loved the "Coffee and Pie" skit. Like many of the great season three host segments, it's a take-off from a scene in the movie. The guys amp it up with some rapid-fire snark and run with it. Servo: "This coffee tastes like it came out of an oil derrick. What'd you strain it through a mummy?"

Boy, you could feel the guys struggling with the lack of length in this movie. Even with a short to help pad out the time, they still needed to drag out the final two host segments. Especially painful was the repeating Peter Graves speech, seen once during the movie, once as JatB immediately re-watch it, once when the Mads re-watch it, once again as a voice-over during the credits and finally, partially, in the stinger. At least the credits during the MST Hour segment were kind enough to forgo this torture for a sixth time. Yeesh.

"I learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature." (7/10)

film d. Roger Corman (1956)
short p. Eugene W. Castle (1938)
mst d. Jim Mallon (24 Aug 1991)