Wednesday, February 1, 2012

MST3K: Episode 208 - Lost Continent

I'm going through all of the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 from start to finish. More about that can be found here and here.

Episode 208: Lost Continent

First aired: The Comedy Channel on 24 November 1990
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon DVD (Volume 18), Shout Factory (Volume 18), Best Brains (Volume 18)

An exercise in futility
This movie features rock climbing. And more rock climbing. Oh, and rock climbing.

Joel is wearing a different color (light blue-green) jumpsuit. I haven't seen that color outfit before. Just how many does he have? When the Mads sent him into space, did they pack a bunch of jumpsuits for him? Or did Mr. & Mrs. Howell teach him how to pack?

I loved the Mads' invention during the Invention Exchange. I've actually seen something like that. I don't know if it was exactly that, but I saw somebody going down the sidewalk in Columbus one day with something that looked a lot like that. Maybe they were inspired by this episode of MST3K. Or, maybe they were as serious as the Mads.

"You taste like Bud Abbott"
Though rock climbing was featured, the movie also recycles several snippets from another Robert Lippert film, Rocketship X-M, which was riffed earlier in the season. And, Joel & the Bots recycled some of the same riffs, but did them in the tired, I've done this before kind of voices.

Early on, they either flubbed a riff, or made it a little naughty. Early in the movie, Hillary Brooke's character kissed Cesar Romero's character. Crow said, "You taste like Bud Abbott."

Although Brooke also appeared with Abbott and Costello in Africa Screams, I don't remember Brooke and Abbott sharing a kiss.

Brooke played Lou Costello's love interest on The Abbott and Costello Show. So, Crow either got the characters mixed up, or implied she was running around on Costello with Abbott.

The MST3K crew really doesn't like Sid Melton. In The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, they explicitly said they didn't like him. They kept referring to him as the guy (Charlie Halper) from The Danny Thomas Show, which is correct. I remember him better as Alf Monroe from Green Acres.
Sid Melton: target of abuseMike Nelson as Hugh Beaumont
Sid Melton died last year. He was one of the last three living regulars of Green Acres, along with Mary Jane Canfield (Ralph Monroe) and Frank Cady (Sam Drucker).

They liked Hugh Beaumont. Everybody liked Hugh Beaumont. He's in the punchline of the only dirty Leave It To Beaver joke I know.

The man in the foreground fades away when the man in the background disappears into the fog
The movie contains a scene where they assist Melton with rock climbing by grabbing him by the seat of his pants. In the background, Hugh Beaumont nearly loses it laughing at that.

The rock climbing scenes took over 15 minutes. I timed it. There was a Host Segment about 9½ minutes into it, so, as long as it seemed to us, just think what the actual movie-goers had to endure.

One scene in the movie featured a rock climber falling to his death. The scene of him falling was shot from above. He had slipped, and another character was trying to hold on to him. When the poor guy fell, he disappeared into the fog, at the same time the other character disappeared into the rock.

The "into the fog" effect was accomplished by fading one scene with the falling person into the other scene of the fog without the person. Only, they forgot about the other guy on the cliff. So, when they faded from one to another, the other guy just faded out.

It's attention to detail like this that made Robert Lippert films fodder for Joel & the Bots.

As bad as the movie is, it has a little bit of charm. The Joke, Beaver's Dad, and Alf Monroe all in one movie can't be all bad. Okay, it can be all bad. But in a good way.

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