Thursday, February 2, 2012

MST3K: Episode 209 - The Hellcats

I'm watching all of the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 from the beginning. More about that can be found here and here.

Episode 209: The Hellcats

First aired: The Comedy Channel on 8 December 1990
Availability: Amazon DVD, Rhino (out of print),

Joel's Sign Language Translator
This episode is hard to find. It came out on VHS back in early 2001, and on DVD in mid-2002. But, it's currently out of print. I'm fortunate enough to own the DVD. If you can call owning a copy of The Hellcats "lucky."

The episode opens with everyone suffering from a cold: Joel, Servo, Crow, and even Magic Voice. Joel does the invention he's been holding for a couple of episodes. It's a sign language translator.

Opens with a funeral of a biker. Joel & the Bots make jokes about the way the bikers are dressed, including making references to Yasser Arafat and Sonny Bono-style clothing, but missed a Carrot Top reference.

Funeral for a friend
In the KTMA season, Servo typed a letter to a relative using his feet. That was the basis for showing flashbacks. In this episode, he types a diary entry, but doesn't tell how he manages to type. Servo's flashbacks are from Episode 106: The Crawling Hand, and the Shatner dialogue skit.

Crow writes a diary entry, and has a flashback to Episode 201: Rocketship X-M, where Joel asks if it's funny or not funny when certain items float.

Joel's letter kicks off a flashback to Episode 203: Jungle Goddess. It's the skit where he explains the binoculars effect used in movies, and offers other effects.

"Oh, I hate to shoot a butt like that!"
"I'll do it!"
The riffing was fun. The movie actually had a plot of sorts, though it's not the kind of movie I'd care to watch. Not unless J&tB are there to make it more interesting.

The plot involved the death of an undercover detective who had infiltrated a biker gang that was running drugs for an organized crime boss that looks like Jonathan Winters.

The dead cop's girlfriend and brother decide to infiltrate the biker gang to get revenge. What could possible go wrong?

It's a good episode, insofar as the riffing goes. The skits, though, were pretty much flashbacks, which didn't do a lot for me. Sure, they were funny, but they were reruns. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide said that they did a flashbacks show because a staff meeting out of town caused a short work week. But, according to Mike Nelson, it took just as long to write and shoot the intros as it normally took to write and shoot regular sketches.

Things don't always go as planned, do they?

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