28 September 2006

MST3K (406)

406 - Attack of the Giant Leeches (w/ Undersea Kingdom, Chapter One: Beneath the Ocean Floor) - This is one of those pleasant surprise episodes. The movie was much better than I was expecting. It has the title and the look of any generic, '50s mutant monster picture. Yeah, the leeches do look a little ridiculous. Maybe a lot ridiculous. But that scene where the leeches drag their victims into the cave and start sucking on their necks... it was strangely horrifying (for what it was). The leech-wounded corpses floating in front of the underwater camera were not something I was expecting in '50s horror, either.

The riffing was nicely laugh-worthy. In a reverse of the typical MST episode, I think the riffing got stronger as the movie progressed. "I don't remember Liz being dead with giant hickies on her face." The same could be said for the host segments, which range from a welcome Superman II reference ("You will bow down before me, son of Jor-El") to another excellent song ("A Danger to Ourselves and Others").

See, this is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. Everybody's enjoying their coffee in the "Dreams" host segment just fine. There's sugar and cream and everything. There was also the potential for danger. Gypsy and Crow would be OK with their appropriately-colored coffee cups; it's Joel and Servo you have to worry about. Should Joel grab the wrong, red cup... eww! Bot backwash! Then again, maybe accidentally drinking from a robot's coffee cup gave Joel magically psychic powers. He dreams that Crow and Servo end up living in a duplex together. Though he didn't see the fact that they would also be living with the guy who dressed as one of the Holo-Clowns, that's pretty accurate.

The serial was the only weak part of this episode. I don't know why they're trying this again after both previous dalliances with serials fell flat on their faces. This particular episode wasn't so bad because the first half of it did not take place in the realm of villains in silly costumes. At the Navy base, we get to laugh at "Crash" as he first wrestles like an ape and then swings like a monkey to rescue an annoying kid. As soon as the episode gets to Atlantis, however, it's obvious it's going into tedious, incomprehensible Commando Cody territory.

"Then folks started payin' for their groceries with old cars. Nothin' you could do about it." (8/10)

film d. Bernard L. Kowalski (1958)
short d. B. Reeves Eason & Joseph Kane (1936)
mst d. Jim Mallon (18 Jul 1992)