Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MST3K: Episode 821 - Time Chasers

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

Episode 821: Time Chasers

First aired: Sci-Fi Channel on 22 November 1997
Availability: Amazon DVD (Volume 5), Rhino (Volume 5/out of print)

It's all about the chase. Just ask Wile E. Coyote.
Some of the episodes of MST3K I didn't see until I began this project to watch them all. Some, though, I had seen a lot.

This episode is one that I saw a lot.

It aired 10 times during the Sci-Fi Channel years of MST3K. I must have seem them all.

Sure, I also own the out-of-print DVD pack, but I saw this episode a lot of times before I bought that.

Though I can't say that I've seen this episode more than any other episode, I also can't say that I've seen any episode more than this one.

Chin Guy, Bob Evil, Underling, and Toni Tennille Girl.
Now, to be clear, I didn't see this one so much because I loved this episode. I saw it so much because I loved watching MST3K and it aired 10 times, and because my schedule during those years allowed me watch the show.

But, yeah, this is a good episode.

Notice that I didn't say that Time Chasers is a good movie. It's not. It's a bad movie, but it's a watchably bad movie.

They almost have a serviceable plot. They didn't have the budget to back up what they tried. Perhaps if they had scaled it back a little, to something within budget.

Still, I've seen a whole lot worse movies. I've paid good money to see worse movies. I didn't know those movies were going to be that bad, of course.
Crow travels back in time to stop Mike from getting a temp job.Mike's brother Eddie winds up on the Satellite of Love.
What's exactly is wrong with the movie? Let's start with the plot.

Some dude with a chin invents a time machine made from a Cessna and a Commodore computer, so he shows it to a dude from an evil corporation and a reporter that looks like Toni Tennille, who are both duly impressed so much that one falls in love with him -- fortunately for Chin Guy, it's Toni Tennille Girl -- and the other tells his boss who comes to see it for himself, but since he runs an evil corporation, he ends up destroying civilization in 50 years, so Chin Guy goes back to stop himself, but Toni Tennille gets killed and is shocked to find it was her body the police found, or something, and then Bob Evil takes them all back to the Battle of Hubbardton and get the British and American troops after them, and Bob Evil drops his Uzi and the plane drops on him, and everything gets fixed except for the underling from MegaEvilCorp who has a really bad day, so Chin Guy erases his floppy disks with the secret to time travel and then picks up Toni Tennille in the produce aisle and they live happily ever after. The end.

Chin Guy from the past, Toni Tennille Girl from the past, and Chin Guy from the future watch the Battle of Hubbardton unfold.
It's really better than it sounds. Of course, it would have to be. And just because it's a time travel movie doesn't mean it stole anything from Back to the Future because Back to the Future used a DeLorean while Time Chasers used a plane. Plus, Chin Guy's mom didn't try to hit on him like Michael J. Fox's mom did. And, no Chuck Berry songs.

Then again, David Giancola is no Steven Spielberg. Of course, these days, Steven Spielberg is no Steven Spielberg.

I didn't hate this movie. In fact, I actually kinda like it more not that I know that the guy that made the movie didn't get all upset over Mike & the Bots riffing on it. He actually enjoyed them riffing his movie.

Oh, the pain! The pain!
I have said about other films that they might not have been the best movie that MST3K did. I'm not certain that this isn't the best movie MST3K did. It's one of the better ones, flawed as it is.

Maybe it's just that I've seen this episode so much that I kinda got used to it.

Oh, and there's more than just the movie. The Host Segments are pretty fun. Mike and Pearl sitting and chatting is quite a departure. It hints as the same relationship the Wolf and the Sheepdog have in those Warner Bros. cartoons.

There is the silly Lost In Space skit, where Tom turns into The Robot and Crow turns into Dr. Smith. That was kinda silly and kinda funny.

The skits where Crow goes back in time to stop Mike from getting the temp job that landed him on the Satellite of Love, then goes back to undo that, was funny. While I didn't laugh so much at Mike's brother Eddie, I did appreciate that Crow actually cared enough about Mike to try to stop the circumstances that landed him on the SoL, then rescued him from death in the new timeline.

It's an episode I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching.



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