Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MST3K: Episode 815 - Agent for H.A.R.M.

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

Episode 815: Agent for H.A.R.M.

First aired: Sci-Fi Channel on 2 August 1997
Availability: MST3KVideos.com fan copy

No harm, no foul? Well, foul.
I've used the phrase "a forgettable film" to describe some of the movies I've seen.

Oh, I'm not just talking about movies I've seen as part of MST3K that have been covered here, but in everyday life. I've seen movies that I've described to others as "forgettable."

This is one of those. I've forgotten most of it.

The riffing was pretty good. Or, let me say, it seemed pretty good at the time. But right now, I'm having a hard time remembering much about it.

Mark Richman cops a feel.
So, not only is the movie forgettable, its forgettability is contagious.

And that's a little aggravating to me. Usually, when I go to do these little write-ups of the episode of MST3K, I can remember all about it. But now, I'm going to have to look at parts of it again in order to remind me about it.

Since I seem to recall enjoying the episode, that might not be a bad thing. But, it does indicate one things: it's forgettable.

The star of the movie isn't really forgettable. Mark Richman has been in about 8,000 TV shows and movies in his career. Okay, maybe just hundreds of appearances.

Mike is on trial.
Richman has played the villain a lot -- most of the time, in fact -- but in real life is supposed to be a super-nice guy. He's been married to the same woman since 1953 -- a rarity in Hollywood. But, he's not really a James Bond or Napoleon Solo type. He does play a good villain, though. Or an everyday kind of hero.

You've seen in him stuff, you know his face, and you'd likely agree that he's a good actor. But, usually, he's a villain.

In this film, though, he's the hero: a secret agent with a lot of sci-fi kind of gadgets. Not his best role.

A scientist escapes from behind the Iron Curtain with a spore gun that turns people into jelly, so Agent For H.A.R.M. Mark Richman is sent to help crack the case, which he does by flirting with the scientist's niece whose not really his niece but a Commie agent, but Agent For H.A.R.M. Mark Richman figures it all out, kills a few bad guys along the way, and kisses the girl before he turns her over to the authorities. Or something. The end.

Our Hero at work.
Totally forgettable movie. I read somewhere that this was originally going to be a TV movie pilot for a TV show, but then they decided to release it to the theaters instead. Whether that's because they couldn't get a sponsor for the show, or if the producers were really evil and wanted people in the 1960s to pay good money to see a bad film, I don't know. Either way, it never made it to series and never spawned a sequel.

The host segments were pretty good. Mike is put on trial for the destruction of three planets. Which is kinda unfair, because it was the bomb-worshippers that blew up the Planet of the Apes, although Mike did help a little, and it was the Nanites that blew up Observer's planet, although it was Mike gave the order -- though he didn't intend them to go to that extreme to carry it out. Planet Campsite, though? Yeah, that's kinda on Mike. Although, destroying the planet wasn't what he had in mind.

Anyway, Mike's on trial. Kinda like that episode of Lost in Space where a bunch of aliens put the Robinsons on trial, although Dr. Smith is the only one convicted. And, yes, it just a coincidence that Mark Richman would have been great as Dr. Smith's smarter, eviler brother.

Anyway, Bobo is every white-suited southern lawyer you've ever seen in his defense of Mike, and, of course, Mike is convicted and sentenced to death. Being a likeable fellow, the sentence is commuted to community service.

Totally forgettable movie, but some good riffing. Funny host segments.

Despite the fact that the movie didn't stay with me, it's an overall good episode.



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