Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MST3K: Episode 608 - Code Name: Diamond Head

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

Episode 608: Code Name: Diamond Head

First aired: Comedy Central on 1 October 1994
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon DVD (Volume 23), Shout Factory (Volume 23), Best Brains (Volume 23)

Even the title makes no sense.
If I ever want to punish someone for being bad, I think I'll make them watch this movie. Not the episode, but the actual movie.

But then, the episode isn't much better. This is one where the riffing didn't work.

Not that there weren't some good parts to it, but the riffing wasn't enough to overcome the film.

Part of the problem might be that the problem with the film is the script. The actors are all competent actors. The production of the film is, well, not bad. Quinn Martin was no beginner at making TV shows. There are no Ed Wood-bad or Coleman Francis-bad bits to this movie. Except the quality of the script.

It's a mess.

The plot is ... well, I'm not sure what the plot is. I think it's, um... Um...

Our hero.
An evil spy (Code Name: Tree, for some reason) comes to Hawaii to steal nerve gas from the Marines and the transparent aluminum scientist from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, but Johnny Paul (Code Name: Diamond Head), a decade after battling The Invaders, sprays some pants on and pretends to be a gambler so he can get close to the priest or colonel or whatever Code Name: Tree is disguised as at the time, so, with the help of Hawaii Five-O's Zulu As Kono (Code Name: Zulu) and Elaan of Troyius (Code Name: Tso-Tsing), Code Name: Diamond Head battles Code Name: Tree and his helper, Victor Newman (Code Name: Ernest Graeber), and recovers the missing nerve gas -- I think he did anyway -- and Code Name: Diamond Head winds up with Code Name: Tso-Tsing on Code Name: The Boat. Code Name: The End.

It was painful. Makes the roots of your hair hurt, that's how painful.

Now, the good news. This is the episode that includes the short, A Day At The Fair.
It's fair season.It's calf season.
The short had previously been released as part of the Shorts Volume 2 which was part of the out-of-print Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Volume 3. That's good news, actually. Why? I'll tell you why. It means that just because an episode has its short film released separately doesn't mean the full episode won't be released.

Because of rights issues, some episodes haven't been released. But, they'll sometimes take the short films from those episodes and package them together as a Shorts collection, or as a bonus material on a DVD. That's an indicator that the full episode won't be coming any time soon. This short was released as part of a VHS tape in 1999 and a DVD in 2003. It took nearly nine years after that for the episode to be released. But nine years isn't forever.
Zulu as Zulu.France Nuyen as Tso-Tsing
Anyway, about the short. It's a good one. J/M&tB always had lots of fun with the Encyclopedia Britannica films. Or, at least, we always had lots of fun watching them make fun them. This is no exception.
Ian McShane as TreeEric Braeden as Ernest Graeber
The Host Segments featured Mike in lots of different characters. Magic Voice (Mary Jo Pehl) interrupts Crow and Servo every time they complain about Mike and shows them what it would be like if someone who's an expert in the area of Mike's shortcomings were on the SoL instead.

Quinn Martin did a lot of TV shows -- The Fugitive, The Invaders, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, and others -- some more successful than others. This one, thankfully, died a quick death. Although, it did seem to go on and on.



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