19 September 2006

MST3K (323)

323 - The Castle of Fu Manchu - I'm trying to decide which was worse: Mad Monster or this 97 minutes of agony? MM, at least, had the germ of a good idea in it (werewolves vs Nazis). In this one, the evil-bad guy wants to turn the entire ocean into ice. Wha? I don't care what kind of supplies you have stashed in a castle basement, the rapid mass-extinctions from such an event are eventually gonna bother you, too. Why don't you try to extinguish the sun, while you're at it?

Who is this Fu Manchu guy, anyway? Based solely on the cereal premium seen in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, I thought he was supposed to have long fingernails? All right, Internet, you greatest collection of information the world has ever seen, show me what gives. Searching... Okay, so he's a party animal. He enjoys tasty vittles at reasonable prices. And he discovered a cool-looking fish. Hmm. Here, I thought he was a piece of outdated sinophobia best left to the dust bins of pop culture.

Petrie: "Thank you, Curt. It's very kind of you to come." Joel: "Well, I didn't mean to but the new seat covers and all..." See what you did, The Castle of Fu Manchu? You made Joel make the bluest joke ever seen on MST3K! Our innocent, precious Joel has been corrupted. Jess Franco has that sleazy effect, I suppose. Normally, I'm all for sleazy effects, but, based on this and the last Franco movie I saw, I'm never watching anything from this guy again.

The guys began by giving the riffing the old college try, but they ran out of steam halfway through. The host segments were similarly lacking in umph. The Mads' invention is based on a reference to a show cancelled 24 years before I existed, and, I'm loathe to say, even Frank couldn't save it. The remaining host segments all lament how crappy the movie is, which gets old. All in all, just a hair better than the official MST3K low point.

"Er, right, sir. I'll put 'im in the dumpster." (5/10)

film d. Jess Franco (1969)
mst d. Jim Mallon (18 Jan 1992)