23 March 2007

MST3K (819)

819 - Invasion of the Neptune Men - Just like Mike and the bots, Krankor's visit during the third host segment really did cheer me up. Before he arrived to "take over" the SOL, I was ready to peg this episode as the absolute worst of the season. The movie, like Prince of Space before it, is nigh-unbearable children's sci-fi crap from Japan. What this means is that film is composed of equal parts super-precocious children with improbably high-level government access and adults technobabbling while firing stock footage missiles at UFOs. Both make the movie so tedious, even the obviously kitschy Space Chief cannot raise a smile or any interest in the goings on.

The guys' contribution to the movie wasn't helping at all. It felt like 90% of the riffing consisted of jokes about Japanese culture. I get it. They eat weird seafood and place a lot of importance on schooling. You just covered all of this ground during Prince. Get over it and move on, please. The host segments were similarly sub-par. One of them was essentially a remake of Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First" skit. I've seen more than enough reinterpretations of that overrated bit to last me my entire life. I had no desire to watch another.

Krankor's arrival, though, was like magic. Suddenly, my stoney-faced neutral expression cracked into a smile. Mike and the bots throwing the love at a conquering space dictator because he was saving them from a really, really bad movie was pure funny. I think Bill's acting really helped sell the scene. Krankor just seemed so surprised and touched that people liked him.

After Krankor, both the movie and riffing started to pick up. Suddenly, there's tons of cool shots of UFOs blowing the hell out of buildings. I yelled out loud -- eliciting an odd look from my wife, busy driving the car -- when the Hitler building exploded. What the hell was that? Suddenly, the guys are saying things that make me laugh. Yes, he should be called "Lower-Atmosphere Chief," Crow! And where was that guy's record, anyway?

Thank you, Krankor. Sir, you are a miracle worker.

"The significance of twenty-to-one can't be overstated." (6/10)

film d. Koji Ota (1961)
mst d. Michael J. Nelson (11 Oct 1997)

[watched while traveling an average of 75 mph relative to the surface of the Earth]