15 March 2007

MST3K (814)

814 - Riding with Death - (aka Gemini Man: "Smithereens" + Gemini Man: "Buffalo Bill Rides Again") It's been years since we've had a "movie" that was really just two episodes of a failed TV series stitched together. These are great. It's an easy way to watch some bad '70s TV that you would've otherwise never encountered. I'd've watched this show had I been alive then. It's all about the mellow experiences of a doofus secret agent who occasionally, when the budget allows, turns invisible to win fistfights. Sounds just as good as the most recent invisible man show.

Strange that, like the last TV-episodes-to-movie episode, there's a reference to Colossus: The Forbin Project in this one. Back then, Joel picked it as his favorite movie. In this episode, footage from Colossus is edited into the movie itself. With all this fuss, I really need to Netflix that one.

And, like the Master Ninjas, I really enjoyed this episode. The riffing was consistently funny and even the host segments were interesting. The Pearl bits, when the "storyline" comes into play, I'm sad to say were useless. All of the bits on the SOL with Mike and the bots were gold, though. Servo as a trucker, Crow as superhero TVGM, the utterly hilarious cut-out of Abby from the movie watching them: it's like a return to free-form, goofy host segments of yore. Good deal. I hope this trend continues.

This episode marked Jim Mallon's last credit as Gypsy. She didn't even appear in this episode, so it appears he retired early. Not a big loss. While Trace was an expert puppeteer with excellent comedic timing -- making the Crow change a hard jolt -- Jim's Gypsy is just a falsetto-voiced purple flapping jaw. I've read that very few people even picked up on the fact that Patrick Brantseg assumed the role in 815. Anyway, this makes it official: every single robot has had a voice change now.

"Man, I could just hear the filth on his glasses." (8/10)

film d. Alan J. Levi & Don McDougall (1976)
mst d. Kevin Murphy (19 Jul 1997)