Friday, May 18, 2012

MST3K: Episode 517 - Beginning of the End

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

Episode 517: Beginning of the End

First aired: Comedy Central on 25 November 1993
Availability: iTunes, Amazon DVD (Rhino/out of print), Amazon DVD (Shout Factory), Rhino (Solo DVD/out of print), Shout (Solo DVD), Best Brains

Everything before this was the Prelude to the End.
This is another film that I saw before I saw MST3K. Beginning of the End was one of those Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon movies that the TV stations showed because they had air time to fill.

I didn't remember much about it, but I remembered enough that it was familiar when I saw it on MST3K.

And, I didn't see it on MST3K when MST3K aired on Comedy Central. I saw it after I got the DVD, and that's when I was certain I had seen it before.

A whole town disappears without warning, only it turns out that there was a warning that nobody paid attention to, such as an unpopulated area being torn all to hell, so the military comes in and takes control, but this hot chick lady reporter gets on the story and runs into scientist Peter Graves who is using radiation to grow large crops and gets the hots for him, so they go off and discover giant grasshoppers are growing big from eating huge wheat and stuff and tearing Illinois mountain towns all to shreds and are heading to Chicago, so the military plans to nuke the town (yay!) but Peter Graves figures out how to lure the grasshoppers into Lake Michigan where they all drown and everyone is saved except for the dead people. The end.

Giant grasshoppers attack a post card of Chicago.
Since it's another movie with giant critters, you know it's another movie by the Notorious B.I.G. Yes, it's a Bert I. Gordon film. That's always fun, and this movie is no exception.

Bert I. Gordon films aren't great films. They're not good films. But, they are watchable films. And the riffing by M&tB just makes it better.

One thing that caught my attention was something that happened during the opening credits of the movie. The text has a hazy appearance and the transition from one screen of text to another is the wavy kind that's often used to represent flashbacks. During this part, Mike called Crow "Honey" when the multiple wavy transitions make the robot sick.

It's the Crow of Diamonds!
While I've seen this episode before I began this project, I didn't remember Mike referring to any of the Bots as "Honey." When I started watching all the episodes, I noticed Joel called them "Honey" a lot, and figured that was one of the differences between Joel's and Mike's relationships with the Bots. Now, I'm not sure they had that difference laid out. Mike's definitely the caregiver in this exchange, along the line of Joel. I don't think they kept that up as the show went on.

The Invention Exchange is a little on the lame side once again. Dr. Forrester invents a Re-comfy Bike. Mike & the Bots decide to spruce up playing cards. The only thing good about it is Crows offering: the Crow of Diamonds.

Later in the episode, but before the movie ends, Mike does something Joel didn't do. Mike calls the Mads, who were totally not expecting it. He won't be doing that again for a while.
The Mads weren't ready for Mike's call. Neither was Mike.The Mads decide to prove they are not just men, but manly men.
Tom Servo had a line that hit me hard. The characters found a car that was pretty messed up, particularly the top. Servo yelled, "Miss Mansfield!" If you recall, Jayne Mansfield was killed in a crash that took the top of the car, and the top of her head (not her whole head, as early reports said) off. I remember reading that story in the newspaper (that erroneously reported she was decapitated). I knew who she was, and she was the first celebrity I remember who died a sudden, violent death.

Anyway, this was a fun movie and a fun episode. And Mary Jo got another role, this time as a trailer trash woman who calls the wrong number.

Fun episode. I'm sorry I missed it when it first aired, but happy I own the DVD now.



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