Tuesday, January 17, 2012

MST3K: Episode 112 - Untamed Youth

Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes. I'm watching 'em. More about that here and here.

Episode 112: Untamed Youth

First aired: The Comedy Channel on 27 January 1990
Availability: MST3KVideos.com

This is another episode that's never been commercially available. The copy of the recording I have is not as good as that of other unavailable episodes. The recording starts late (just barely, but you get tape effects and miss the first snippet of the opening song). The recording is also a little darker than, say, the previous episode, Episode 111 - Moon Zero Two.

Dr. Erhardt demonstrates the Tongue Puppet
The Invention Exchange has to have one of the strangest inventions: the Tongue Puppets. The idea is wonderful in that it makes fun of companies' ability to take two separate things and put them together in a way that produces something really really bad.

This film is the first Season One show that's neither sci-fi nor horror. And, it contains scenes of rock legend Eddie Cochran. C'mon, kids. You know who Eddie Cochran is, right? Summertime Blues? Yeah, that Eddie Cochran. He plays one of the characters in the film, and even gets to sing a song. One song. Mamie Van Doren gets to sing four songs. Of course, it is Mamie Van Doren.

Eddie Cochran gets (but doesn't sing) the summertime blues
Okay, you kids do know who Mamie Van Doren is, right? Unlike Eddie Cochran (who was killed in a car crash in 1960), Mamie Van Doren is still with us. She's more tech-savvy than most people her age (she was born in 1931), and has a Website, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and such. And she looks pretty good for 81. Heck, she looks good for 41.

The film is a return to black & white after two color films in a row. Like the recent b&w films, it has a blueish tint. There is an actor in the film named "Keith Richards," but it's not guy from the Rolling Stones. I checked.

"Check out the lever action."
"Nice fulcrum."
Speaking of the Rolling Stones, the Bill Wyman riff was hilarious. You do get that one, right? If you need it explained, here goes. Let's see if I can get this right. Bill Wyman (yes, the Rolling Stones bass player, that Bill Wyman) was married to a much younger girl around the time this episode first aired. And Bill's son was dating Bill's wife's mother. Yes, you read that right.

And, one other Rolling Stone reference. One of the songs Van Doren sings is ... "Rolling Stone."

The plot of the film -- yes, it has one -- involves teens being arrested on bogus charges, and made to work on a farm as sentence by a corrupt judge and corrupt farm owner and a corrupt ... okay, all the adults are corrupt and the teens (including 26-year-old Mamie Van Doren) are all innocent. But untamed.

Gypsy makes her first appearance in the theater
Gypsy is featured in two host segments this week, the most screen time she's had. She even make an appearance in the theater.

They do a slightly different take on the whole "Richard Basehart" gag, but that's working out to be a running gag.

I've seen competing information regarding who plays Gypsy during this time. Some references say Josh Weinstein did her voice, as he did in the KTMA season. Others say Jim Mallon took it over for Season One. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle for her early Season One appearances, but the closing credits are clear that this is Jim Mallon handling the role for this episode.

I didn't mention it before, but this is the second episode in a row where they do a Falwty Towers riff referencing Manuel: "He's from Barcelona." I also enjoyed the Claude Raines reference in the movie opening.

Overall, a fun movie and riffing experience.

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