Monday, June 4, 2012

MST3K: Episode 602 - Invasion USA

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

Episode 602: Invasion USA

First aired: Comedy Central on 23 July 1994
Availability: MST3KVideos.com Fan Copy

Not the city in Japan.
Remember the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?

Well, I sure do. That used to be the main adversary of the United States, the enemy that wanted to bring our country to our knees. Sort of like what Democrats want to do today.

Anyway, back in the 1950s, people were all worried about the USSR trying to take over the USA.

This episode features a movie where that happens.

Then, again, I suppose the title, Invasion USA, sort of gave that away, huh? Movie titles that tell you the plot do help make it easier to decide if you want to watch the film or not. Me, I didn't have a choice. I chose to watch all the MST3K episodes, and this was one of them. So, I did have a choice. And I chose to not change my choice to another choice. Or something.

Invasion!
But, the title, while it gives you the big picture, doesn't tell you all the details of the film. That's what I'm gonna do.

A bunch of folks are in a bar and complaining about the news and the government and such when a guy with a funny accent swirls his drink while telling the others that Americans want it all without sacrificing anything, which makes them all sit quietly and think, until the TV announcer who looks a lot like William Schallert tells viewers that the enemy has invaded Alaska, which throws everybody in a tizzy, but then, over the next couple of days, the enemy A-bombs a bunch of places and takes over the country and one by one, all the people in the bar die at the hands of the enemy, but then they're all back in the bar, having had the same vision because the guy with the funny accent was a hypnotist, so they decide to help out the government and they all live happily ever after, except for the one guy who lost the girl to the other guy. The end.

Lois Lane and Lois Lane.
The idea of the turning everything over to the government so that the communists don't take control and make you turn everything over to the government? Lost on those people.

Of course, government taking over everything seems to be lost on people today, so I guess it's excusable.

No, it's not. Not in the least.

Anyway, there's an interesting thing about the actors in this film. Both Lois Lanes are in it. Yes, both Phyllis Coates and Noel Neill have roles in this movie. In the same scene, in fact. Both have lines as travel agents, helping customers who are trying to travel home at the outbreak of the invasion. At least, those that still have homes. A-bombs and such, you know.

This fact about the two Lois Lanes isn't lost on M&tB. Crow knows way too much about the careers of the two actresses, and the Lois Lane role.
"A Date With Your Family"The date doesn't go well.
The short film, "A Date With Your Family," inspires M&tB to have their own date with the family. It goes great! Just kidding. They stomach it for as long as they can then get back to normal.
Mike's robot doesn't turn out as plan.Crow chooses a mother.
Although the episode has never been released on DVD, the short has. The out-of-print Volume 2 contained the short.

"Now that's a walk-on!"
"Why?" you might ask.

No, really. Go ahead. Ask.

I'm glad you asked. You see, even though they can't always secure the rights to distribute the movies used in the episodes, often the short films are public domain or otherwise easy to secure the rights. Many of the short subjects can be found on the Shorts DVDs that were included in some of the multi-packs.

This movie hasn't been released on video. My copy is a fan copy I obtained from MST3KVideos.com. I hope they eventually release this episode. I mean, it's not like Columbia Pictures is making any money on it today. They could lease it cheap to Best Brains for distribution and get some return on this turkey.

The episode? I like it. A good short, complete with narration by Hugh Beaumont, a fun, 50s-era Red Scare flick, some funny Host Segments, and top-notch riffing makes this one a winner.



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