23 November 2006

MST3K (517)

517 - Beginning of the End - I'd rather there were Turkey Day marathons still being broadcast on TV. It'd be nice just to be able to flip to a channel throughout the day and have an episode in progress. Forcing an MST3K DVD episode into Thanksgiving Day is hard, especially when you're the only one interested in watching it. It was difficult to hear anything between the din of the family conversing in the other room and the requests for me to "turn it down" (the movie sign siren is not a popular sound effect...). I have a feeling there was some kind of sports-game going on that I preventing people from watching as well. Ah well. I made it. I watched this episode on its 13th birthday, which is also Mystery Science Theater 3000's 18th birthday. Happy Birthday, both!

The episode itself isn't one of my favorites. It's one of those that have a "snooze danger" attached due to the dullness of the film. I don't think the riffs are enough to save it. This is one of the earliest Rhino DVDs ever released, but this is only the second time I've seen the episode. I'm not keen on Crow's "Peter Graves" segment, even though I've been a fan of this series of host segments since Earth vs. Soup. I'm just not familiar enough with Peter Graves to find Crow's imitation funny. It's also a one-note joke that quickly becomes tiresome. I think the final host segment, which features rubber grasshoppers crawling on the fanmail postcards, just demonstrates that the Brains don't know what to do with this bit of the show anymore.

I did like the host segment in which Mike unexpectedly calls the Mads and catches them having a girls' night. And, I was not aware of the fact that grasshoppers and locusts were different animals. Thanks, Servo!

So is Mary Jo the new Mike? Now that Mike's serving fulltime duty as the host, he can't be the go-to guy for hexfield viewscreen appearances. Mary Jo popped up as the infamous Jan in the Pan in 513 and now she's back as some sort of wrong-number-dialing white trash lady. I've got no objections; she's funny. Are HFVS appearances a prerequisite to replacing a departing main character?

Like B.I.G.'s other giant bug epic, the special effects really aren't that bad. Ignoring the grasshoppers crawling on the postcards, the photography of those critters was nice. They often actually looked big, which is more than I can say for The Giant Gila Monster's shooting.

Jeez. So, not only does Chicago pour all kinds of industrial crap into our lake system, now they're drowning giant grasshoppers in it. Thanks a lot, jerks. I can only imagine the mountainous jam of locusts stuck underneath the Bridge at the Straights of Mackinac. And the stench! Gah. They should'a let the nuke solve the problem.

Time for a break. In order to reach TD93 and this episode in time for the real-life Thanksgiving, I got myself way, way ahead of schedule. I'm due for around two weeks off from MST3K. That might be nice. It's a lot of work to watch an episode and post about it every single day.

"Hey, I'm vindicated! How many dead?" (6/10)

film d. Bert I. Gordon (1957)
mst d. Kevin Murphy (25 Nov 1993)

[watched at Brother-in-Law's house using an Xbox]