03 September 2006

MST3K (314)

314 - Mighty Jack - (aka Maitei Jyakku: "Episode 1" + Maitei Jyakku: "Episode 13") This movie is the result of a transcontinental game of editor telephone. Mighty Jack started life as a thirteen episode TV series in Japan. Presumably, these thirteen hours of TV all made sense together. Sandy Frank bought the American rights, threw out the middle eleven episodes and called it a feature film. Not only did eleven hours of plot development get tossed, but, as Sandy is wont, he had the film dubbed as poorly as possible. That alone made for a jumbled mess, but MJ wasn't finished there. Next, BBI bought the broadcast rights from Sandy for their little puppet show. In order to squeeze in the host segments, even more footage was cut out. Less than 90 minutes remained of what used to be a 650-minute story. It's a wonder anyone can watch the result and not have their head explode.

The confusion takes its toll. I don't think the guys really knew what to do with this movie, even though this is their second stab at it. The riffing is barely there this week and I sensed a lot of missed opportunities. It's an improvement over K14, but not by much.

The host segments, on the other hand, were universally excellent. "Got five seconds to live… must get personal finances in order…" The "Joel is Dead" prologue host segment was genuinely disturbing and very amusing at the same time. This is, by far, my favorite prologue of the series. Usually, these intro segments consist of throwaway bits with the guys dressed in bathrobes. This one, with the drama and the goo and the cries of despair, I will remember. Also genuinely disturbing: Dr. F's sexy legs and Frank's response to those legs (the deadpan: "I want children.").

The remaining host segments played to the guys' strengths. There was a commercial parody MCed by the mighty-voiced Servo ("Mighty Jack Dog Food"), an MJ movie scene parody, and another installment in the "Joel Gone Goofy" series. All three of these types of segments never fail. Crazy Joel playing with the aquarium was my favorite, if only for the weird look it gave the show. Seeing the bridge through water with toys suspended in it was neat.

"Meanwhile, back on the Greasy Bastard." (6/10)

film d. Kazuko Mitsoti (1968)
mst d. Jim Mallon (21 Sep 1991)