To be honest, this show is the entire reason I'm on an Internet movie forum at all. I've always enjoyed watching movies, but I didn't start actually thinking
about them much until MST3K showed me just how much fun
can be had in casting a critical eye on crap cinema, and in finding the little occasional bits that work nonetheless.
I never got to see the show during its initial run (grew up without cable,) so I never got into any of the Joel-Mike furor. I love 'em both, but I do think I like Joel better - while Mike has more personality in the theater, I love Joel's sleepy good-naturedness and the weird little homespun fatherly chats
he had with the 'Bots from time to time. How you can be that tongue-in-cheek and still so convincingly sincere at the same time is a mystery to me. As far as the Mads, I do enjoy Dr. Forrester and Frank (never liked Erhardt,) but I honestly think I prefer Pearl and company. Mostly because creating the intersection of "mid-state Minnesota trailer-trash" and "mad scientist" was a stroke of God-damn genius
and she pulls it off so well. (But Bobo and Brain Guy are great too.)
Favorite episodes? God, there's too many to choose from. Time of the Apes
never fails to make me laugh until I choke; there is nothing not funny about gorilla stormtroopers and ape generals tooling around in a '70s sedan. I only wish I could find the original miniseries it was cut down from, just to see whether it was any good in that incarnation (it had
to at least be more coherent.) The Day the Earth Froze
has one of the best shorts and more Scandihuvian jokes per minute than any other episode I know. The Wild World of Batwoman
is absolutely, imbecilically nucking futs from start to finish, and Mike and the 'Bots handle it with aplomb. Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell,
in my opinion, surpasses even Cave Dwellers
for godawful fantasy cheese, because at least Miles O'Keefe looked
the part of a sword-and-sandal hero. Space Mutiny,
as has been mentioned, is absolute gold. Puma Man
is incredible, absolutely incredible - I don't think there have been any ballsier filmmakers in history than the Italians of the '70s, in terms of what they would put up on screen and expect to get away with. Kevin Murphy called Werewolf
"a gift from God," and he wasn't joking - if space aliens tried to make a werewolf movie based on intercepted fragments of other werewolf movies cast exclusively with brain-probed abductees from former Soviet satellite nations, this is what would result. (Also featuring the only instance I've ever seen of a live-action
Hanna-Barbera-style wraparound background, during the werewolf driving rampage!)
Still, if I had to pick an absolute favorite, it'd be Jack Frost.
The riffing is aces, a lovely balance of snark and silliness without getting too , the host segments are great, and it's also one of the few episodes where the movie itself is honestly pretty good - I understand that Morozko
in its original form is something of a legit classic, and it's not hard to see why. The riffing just fits so well into it that it feels less like mocking
the movie and more like turning it into an episode of Fractured Fairy Tales.
And that sulky brat sister is hilarious. I love her.