Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MST3K: Episode 207 - Wild Rebels

I have decided to watch all of the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I started with the first show aired, and am slowly working my way through them all. More about that can be found here and here.

Episode 207: Wild Rebels

First aired: The Comedy Channel on 17 November 1990
Availability: Amazon (Volume 9), Rhino (Volume 9/out of print), MST3KVideos.com

Joel chats with Gypsy
This episode is hard to find. Very hard to find. It's never been released as a solo episode, but was part of the Volume 9 multi-pack. Volume 9 is out of print, though one of those four (not this one) is available for sale as a solo episode. You can find the episode at fan sites, as well as from Amazon sellers. See the links above.

This is another episode that I had never seen before I began my task to watch all the episodes. Most of the other commercial releases from Season One and Season Two were shows that I had seen on Netflix or iTunes. Not so with this one. That's because Volume 9 is hard-to-find.

Yes, I own it -- I own all the commercially-released episodes -- but actually had never popped this particular DVD into a player.

The biggest thing about this episode is: Tom Servo gets his old head back. After two episodes looking like Kid of Kid N' Play, he's the lovable bubblehead we want him to be.

Bank robbery. Useless information: it's either 1965 or 1971, based on the calendar.
Gypsy has a larger role than normal. According to The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, they felt bad that the only female character had displayed a limited vocabulary and was performed by a man. They emphasized the story that most of her processing power was running the higher functions of the ship. Which doesn't fit the storyline that Joel built her after he was sent into space. Yes, I know: it's just a show, I should really just relax.

Joel is wearing his teal jumpsuit. And he's got one of those beatnik goatee things going. He looks kinda like Maynard G. Krebs.

This episode's film is a biker movie. After Episode 202: The Side Hackers, I wasn't looking forward to another bike movie. This wasn't quite the same. No rape-murder, at least. Just several plain old murders, which is much, much better.

This celluloid masterpiece stars Steve Alaimo, who was best known as host of the Dick Clark-produced Where the Action Is in the mid-late 1960s.
"Free Bird!"Steve Alaimo's crooning affects Tom Servo.
It also has an actor that appeared in a holiday classic. The biker called "Fats" is played by Jeff Gillen. You may remember him best as Santa Claus in A Christmas Story.
Jeff Gillen as "Fats"Jeff Gillen as "Santa"
Lots to make fun of in this film. The chase scene after the bank robbery involved tires squealing on a dirt road in the swamp. Maybe it was, as Tom Servo said, the Squealing Swamp. Which is better than the Fire Swamp. No ROUSes, at least. Unless you count the characters Banjo and Fats.

There is a scene where -- and I'm not sure if this is the lighting or the coloring of the film, or if it's an actual goof -- the hero's car changes color in the middle of the race.
One colorAnother color
Oh, the plot of the movie? Yes, it had one. A group of bikers decide to knock over a bank, and use a washed-up stock car racer (who sings and plays guitar) as getaway driver, but what they don't know is that he's actually working undercover for the police. Side plot involves the slutty girlfriend of the bikers -- they were taught to share -- falls for the driver/singer. Things go badly.

This episode is an okay one. Not a great one, but not a bad one.

Oh, and this episode didn't have a stinger. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide says it has one (Steve Alaimo dancing in the biker bar), but neither my DVD copy nor my iTunes copy has one.

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