Monday, May 7, 2012

MST3K: Episode 509 - The Girl in Lovers Lane

I'm watching all of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes in order. More about that here and here.

Episode 509: The Girl in Lovers Lane

First aired: Comedy Central on 18 September 1993
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon (Volume 15), Shout Factory (Volume 15), Best Brains (Volume 15)

Rhymes with "train."
This is another one of those Joel episodes that I never saw until I got the DVD. It's a good episode, though. I hate that it took over a decade and a half for me to see it.

It's a good episode featuring a bad movie. Some people really hated the film. I didn't like it, but I wouldn't go so far as to say I hated it.

Okay, maybe I will.

A 20-something teen escapes some hoodlums and hops a train, meets a drifter named Bix Dugan or Big Stupid or something, gets rolled by a hooker, helps save Big Stupid from a murder charge, then goes home, and everybody lives happily ever after except the murdered girl. The end.

So, what's there to do in this town? Okay, besides her?
They didn't really need to kill of the girl. They could have had Jack Elam slap her around a bit, which still isn't nice, but at least it's not death.

Plus, with her dying, there's now only three girls left, and two of them are hookers. Which is a pretty impressive ratio, actually.

Jack Elam, as you may have figured by now, is the bad guy. Probably because of his eye. That look pretty much made him a bad guy in westerns for years, until he teamed up with James Garner in Support Your Local Sheriff. That was one of his first comedy western roles. But honestly, he was pretty good in whatever he did.

For instance, in The Girl in Lover's Lane, his character is supposed to be really creepy. And, he is. The killing of the waitress wasn't what sealed the deal. Jack Elam did that regardless of whether or not the character killed anyone.
Jack Elam really gives Joyce Meadows the creeps."Why do all the hookers dress like Joan Blondell?
The actress that portrayed the waitress, Joyce Meadows, had a small film and TV career, and was a likable enough character in this film. You didn't want to see anything bad happen to her. So, the filmmakers killed her off.

Big Stupid charms the nice waitress lady.
I suppose they did that so they could do an Ox-Bow Incident kind of thing at the end. Only, Big Stupid wasn't lynched. Just the nice girl died.

Not a pleasant movie. But lots of opportunities for riffing. Like the name of the lead character, Bix Dugan. J&tB heard "Big Stupid" and called him that throughout the film. It fit. And he was supposed to be the smart one. And he was. Which tells you a lot about the other characters.

The riffing was good, though. And the Invention Exchange was fun. I really liked the special baseball promotions that the Mads came up with. On Slide Whistle and Bat Night, I want a bat. The Don Martin/Doc Marten shoes were funny, too. No, I don't want any of those. But, yeah, that was funny.

The question, "Why do all the hookers dress like Joan Blondell?" made me laugh out loud. Because, well, in her later career, that's exactly how Joan Blondell dressed. Not like a hooker, mind you, but like the hookers in this film.

Funny episode featuring a bad, bad movie. The funny helped wash the film off.



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