19 November 2006

MST3K (513)

513 - The Brain That Wouldn't Die - For the time, this is a surprisingly gory and messed-up movie. The part at the end when the pinheaded Frankenstein bites a piece of the doctor's neck out and spits it on the ground reminded me more of '70s zombie movies. This is a weird hybrid horror flick. It has the tired mad scientist schtick popular in the 1950s mixed with the sleaziness, cannibalism and mutilation of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Interesting. It also explores the same theme -- unethical body part transplantation -- as Eyes Without a Face, which was made in the same year. I wonder if there were some major breakthroughs in transplant surgery that year? Horror movies tend to use the fears of the day (hence, the torture-horror theme we're in right now).

We've suddenly got a new host, theme song, and door sequence. This is a huge change in the middle of a season. I also note that there was no mention of the J-word in this episode, though the "none of these are for me" comment about the letters was close. This was a wise choice. Given the fanbase at the time, not poking the Joel-shaped wound with a stick was a good plan. The episode, in general, was also really benign and relaxed. The bots love Mike. Dr. F's punishment for Mike not answering the Mads' call immediately was to make him go first in the invention exchange, which Mike doesn't mind. His invention is nice and practical, too. Jan in the Pan, when she visits after the movie, is a really nice gal who's happy now. Everything is nice. I can almost feel the writers tiptoeing through this transition.

The riffing was a little reserved as well. I didn't find myself laughing at all during this show. I'm not exactly sure why. I think the riff frequency was a little lighter than normal. Mike seems to have less to say that the two bots, but that may be my imagination. It could be that I just need to get (re-)used to Mike's style of riffing. Crow and Servo were humming along, the same as ever.

The bots pre-train Mike for this experiment by making him watch Night of the Lepus and The Beast of Yucca Flats. I wonder if they're remember this when they get to episode 621 next year? Poor Mike has to watch that movie twice?

Speaking of Mike, given the wealth of post-MST3K riffing he's been doing, I've put together the sequel for this little project.

"I'm a doctor. I'd like to lop your head off." (6/10)

film d. Joseph Green (1960)
mst d. Trace Beaulieu (30 Oct 1993)