Thursday, August 16, 2012

MST3K: Episode 817 - The Horror of Party Beach

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

Episode 817: The Horror of Party Beach

First aired: Sci-Fi Channel on 6 September 1997
Availability: MST3KVideos.com fan copy

Oh, the horror!
Remember Episode 812: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies?

Sure you do.

Oh, I understand that you'd like to forget it, but you can't. You can never unsee that movie.

Well, anyway, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies billed itself as "The First Monster Musical." So what?

So, The Horror of Party Beach billed itself as "The First Horror Monster Musical."

The horror wasn't always at the beach.
Either one of them is lying, or the addition of the word "horror" in this film's advertising makes all the difference.

The truth of the matter is, both were lying. Neither is a musical. Oh, sure, there are some songs, but in a musical, the leads sing as part of the narrative. Think The Music Man. Now that is a musical!

This movie? Not so much. The characters listen to the radio and watch a band perform, but it's no more a musical than American Graffiti is a musical. Or Animal House.

Come to think of it, it would be much better to watch Animal House or American Graffiti again that it would be to see The Horror of Party Beach. With or without robot friends.

Maybe the horror was all the bad dancing.
But, I did watch The Horror of Party Beach. At least, I watched the MST3K version, which is, at least, tolerable.

A bunch of boat people dump barrels of some kind of toxic food coloring or something over the side of the boat which makes a bunch of pirate skeletons turn into fish-monster that looks like it has a mouth full of hot dogs, all the while some dude and his tramp girlfriend go dancing on the beach, but a bunch of bikers show up and she flirts and he gets all pissed, and there's a fight, and the girl swims off and gets eaten by the Oscar Meyer-mouthed fish monster, who now have the taste for human blood, or at least, scantily-clad chick blood, so they invade a slumber party and eat a bunch of girls (and not in a good way), which upsets the authorities so much that, within weeks, they decide to sprinkle sodium on the fish-monsters which makes them burn up, and all the slumber parties are safe from fish-monsters forever more. The end.

Observer and Callipygeas bond. Pearl and Flavia, not so much.
Yes, it's about as lame as it sounds. The riffing is pretty good, though. The MST3K crew was back up so speed by this time -- there was some getting used to Bill, but that really didn't take long at all -- so that a fair episode was really as good as any from the Joel or early Mike years. Better than some.

I'm not doing a good job of conveying that, while I can't say that with the cast change, MST3K didn't miss a beat, it wasn't long before they were chugging along as if it was as it ever was.

The Host Segments of the season-long arc of Pearl chasing Mike & the Bots all across the universe has landed Pearl, Bobo, and Observer in ancient Rome. I don't recall how long this lasts. Something about an ongoing storyline in the Host Segments just never set right with me.

Beach fight!
I always liked the self-contained episodes where you really didn't have to watch them in order to get what was going on.

Sure, the way it was done the first year on Sci-Fi was fine if you watched them in the order they aired, but it wasn't the way things had been done in the past, and added a complication that, with episodes being released on video without any kind of order, it doesn't work well.

Still, I'm enjoying the interaction between Pearl and Flavia. Since most of Season Eight hasn't been released on video, until I got the fan copies of the 13 unreleased episodes from that season, I hadn't seen those in a decade or more.

I'm enjoying them. This episode does contribute to that. It's good.



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