20 November 2006

MST3K (514)

514 - Teen-Age Strangler (w/ Is This Love?) - Homemade, small town films like this are the best. Yep, the acting, directing, lighting, cinematography, soundtrack and story are all terrible. It doesn't matter. This is one of those movies, as mentioned in the ACEG, that culls "talent" from the local population. I'm envious. I would love to get a small town on board to make a horror movie (though, clearly, the title Coven is already taken). Ben Parker lived the dream.

Mike's first short. I can't say I detect much difference between this and the recent and final short with Joel. Making fun of these ancient social protocol training films will probably go on about the same no matter who's in the middle seat.

Now that we've got the obligatory introductory episode out of the way, it's on to the real stuff. When it comes to host segments, the real stuff is a mixed bag in this episode. The first host segment has aged terribly. Of the list of celebrity couples they mentioned, I struggled to remember 1) who they were 2) if they were a couple back in 1993 or if the joke was that they'd already broken up. Yick. Guys, leave the People magazine references in the supermarket checkout where they belong.

The remaining host segments finally reveal the real Mike that I'm used to from later seasons. In the second host segment, he "raps" with the bots, who are on the verge of a gang war. Though not a particularly funny segment, it neatly establishes that Mike has a big brother-type relationship with Crow and Tom, different from Joel's paternal role. In the third, Mike gets to use those comedic acting chops that he'd previously flexed only inside of the hexfield viewscreen. He's hilarious as Mikey, the impossibly wimpy kid from the movie. In the final host segment, Mike sings his first song as host. As the writer or co-writer of just about every song in the show prior to this, it's nice to see him finally get a chance to perform his own work.

"If I could just smell a few cushions, I'd be happy." (7/10)

film d. Ben Parker (1965)
short d. Paul H. Landis (1957)
mst d. Kevin Murphy (7 Nov 1993)