11 December 2006

MST3K (520)

520 - Radar Secret Service (w/ Last Clear Chance) - A terribly boring movie welded to not-great host segments makes for, hopefully, the worst episode of the season. As Kevin Murphy said in the ACEG, the movie is "like an episode of Commando Cody without the action." Worse, I found it impossible to keep anybody straight. All of the main characters are similar-looking white guys wearing gray suits and gray hats who stand around a lot. The two female characters are blondes with upswept hairdos who wear similar dark dresses. Everyone drives big, black cars. Everyone pulls revolvers on everyone else at one point or another. Everyone says the word "radar" a lot. Speaking of that part of the EM spectrum, even the extreme goofiness inherent in watching propaganda promoting radio detection and ranging wasn't worth the pain of the rest of the film.

You can always tell that the guys are really bored with a movie when they insert unrelated conversation into the riffing. In this episode, they kept going back to discussing the characters from Welcome Back, Kotter.

The host segments didn't generate any laughs for me, either. Outside of Crow imitating the engineer from the short ("When will they learn?") and wearing underwear on his head, I didn't find much of interest here. Hypno Helio Static Stasis is no Rock Climbing and certainly no Deep Hurting. Mike poking himself in the eye with lint is OK, I suppose. I'm not a fan of the high school reunion parody, maybe because I just skipped my own ten year reunion and don't have a frame of reference for such things. The Quinn Martin Park segment was another one of those segments aimed at the generation that preceded mine. I didn't recognize most of the character actors in the park, nor am I really sure who Quinn Martin is. It looks like he was a TV producer from before I was born.

The only worthwhile piece of this episode was the short. It's a classic auto safety film with the obligatory deadly ending. Due to its earnest seriousness, it's more entertaining than the similarly themed X Marks the Spot. This also allows for plenty of funny riffing. "Gee, lady, sorry about your boyfriend. So you wanna have a drink? Maybe at the bar car over there?" That poor, kindly police officer. Not thirty seconds after he spends three hours lecturing little Alan about all of the terrible things that can happen on the road, the kids slams into a train. Not a really efficient use of tax payer money, was it?

"It has no time to stop for you corn shucking crackers." (5/10)

film d. Sam Newfield (1950)
short d. Robert Carlisle (1959)
mst d. Kevin Murphy (18 Dec 1993)