Monday, June 11, 2012

MST3K: Episode 606 - The Creeping Terror

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

Episode 606: The Creeping Terror

First aired: Comedy Central on 17 September 1994
Availability: Amazon DVD (Volume 1), Rhino (Volume 1/out of print)

One of the worst.
Some movies are famous for being bad.

For instance, Plan 9 from Outer Space is famously -- or an infamously -- bad film.

Robot Monster is another famously bad film.

And so is The Creeping Terror.

It being a bad film has nothing to do with it being shot at the Spahn Ranch. Yes, that Spahn Ranch. The location was used in several films and television shows prior to the Manson Family moving in, so it's not really a bad thing that some scenes were filmed there. Doesn't help, though.

This is the film where the monster is a bunch of carpet fragments sewn together. And, it's the one with no dialog. Or very little dialog.

Killer Karpets from Outer Space.
A NASA rocket lands by launching backwards, then turns into an entirely different craft, and so a monster from Dalton, Georgia crawls out and eats up people who are so stupid they don't run away but instead crawl into the creature's mouth, which actually helps clean out the gene pool, but it's considered a bad thing anyway by the deputy who becomes acting sheriff when the real sheriff get's carpeted, so he tells his buddy how much better it is to be married than to be a bachelor, and sets out to prove it by capturing or killing the space carpet, but the Army gets it first, but then a second monster gets loose and is killed but not before a message is sent back to the Carpet Planet, which means there'll be a sequel, but thankfully, not for a million years or so. The end.
Shake shake shake...Aren't you glad you used dials?
We never find out for sure about the carpet monsters. When the one gets blown up by the grenade that the colonel doesn't throw until his entire squad is killed, it looks kinda like a Radio Shack store inside. I suspect that they were created by other, humanoid creatures.

The SOL gets a flag.
Why? Well, the switches and dials and controls in the ship were obviously designed for humanoid use, not slug-carpet use. The only explanation is that the ship was designed by others. Well, that or it's a really bad, poorly-made film.

Oh. Yeah. Never mind about the humanoids.

I touched on the soundtrack earlier, but here's the whole story. Or more of the story. Or a couple of stories, either or neither of which may be true.

One goes that the soundtrack was dropped in a lake and the film had to be dubbed. Since not all the actors were available -- they went back to their jobs as plumbers or were involved in a lawsuit against the director -- so only certain lines could be dubbed, and the rest was covered up by narration.

Another story goes that the film was made without sound as a cost-saving measure, and the decision to dub everything in editing was the plan all along. Again, not all of the actors were available for whatever reason, and narration filled the bill.

What all this means is that this is one of the first silent movies with sound taking the place of the title cards. Or something.

Anyway, it made a bad film worse.

The riffing is good, though. The Host Segments are okay, but nothing spectacular. This is one of those that works. Bad film, good riffing, and not-bad skits. For some reason, it works.



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