Wednesday, February 29, 2012

MST3K: Episode 313 - Earth vs the Spider

I'm watching all the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in order. More about this here. It began here.

Episode 313: Earth vs the Spider

First aired: Comedy Central on 21 September 1991

"My money's on the spider."
This is one of the episodes that has never been released commercially. This is also one of those films that I have seen before I ever heard of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I cannot say with certainty, but it seems like one of those Saturday afternoon Creaturefest features.

Most of my hazy memories around most of these old sci-fi or horror films seem to include watching them during daylight hours. WTOC in Savannah used to show horror or sci-fi movies on Saturday night, but memories of this film seem to predate that. While I did watch a lot of films on Channel 11's All Knightmare Movie, I think I first saw this one much earlier. That means I probably saw Earth vs the Spider on one of those Saturday afternoon creature feature shows.

I'm not certain if I saw this MST3K episode when it was airing on Comedy Central, but now I'm wondering if I had. You see, during Season One, Drs. Forrester and Erhardt would always reply to one of Joel's observations of how evil or horrible they or their ideas were with "Thank you!" That ended when Dr. Erhardt left.

I'm not sure that I saw any Dr. Erhardt episodes during the run of MST3K, because we never got The Comedy Channel, and because not many reruns of Season One shows occurred during the Comedy Central run. I would have missed the "Thank you" responses.

When I began collecting and watching episodes of MST3K, the "Thank you" catchphrase seemed familiar, even if the rest of the episode didn't. Now, I'm wondering if it's because of this episode, which aired 12 times on Comedy Central. Of course, maybe the "Thank you" catchphrase was used in other episodes. I'll be watching out for that.
"Rose Kennedy!""Dr. Erhardt! No! So that's what happened to him!"
Whether or not I had seen this episode 20 years ago, it seemed fresh and funny. That is, there's a lot of stuff that I feel certain I would have remembered had I seen it before. Such as? Well, from the short, "Speech: Using Your Voice," the advice to "use plenty of lip and tongue action" is one I'd have remembered. And now, so will you.
This isn't the time or place for that!"Did the earth move for you?"
Also, I feel certain I'd have remembered the discussion of toys we used to have but aren't made any more because some careless kids messed it up for everybody. Creeple Peeple, Creepy Crawlers, Thingmaker, all those classics where kids play with fun and dangerous things.

Hank Paterson, a great American.
Oh, and I think I'd have remembered J&tB dressing up as a rock band, "Spy-Dorr," and their visit from the space janitor from Ziffelodian. That's because Hank Patterson played the janitor in the movie.

I've always loved Hank Patterson's character, Fred Ziffel, from Green Acres, and, as a result, have enjoyed Patterson in everything I've seen him in.

The movie was fun and goofy, like any giant critter film should be. And J&tB did a great job of adding to the fun with their riffs.

This is a great episode, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

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