Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MST3K: Episode 318 - Star Force: Fugitive Alien II

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

Episode 318: Star Force: Fugitive Alien II

First aired: Comedy Central on 16 November 1991

Attack of the Killer Sequel
This movie can be summed up in three words: Sandy Frank.

Okay, that's only two words, but I think I made my point.

This movie is also the last of the nine movies that were riffed on KTMA and Comedy Central. The KTMA episode featuring this movie doesn't exist in the wild; there are reports that Jim Mallon has the KTMA version in his vault, but no fan copy is known to exist. The other 8 can be found -- I have copies, after all -- but not this one.

This one is a sequel to the movie done in Episode 310: Fugitive Alien. And, like that episode, this episode hasn't been released on video. Only fan copies exist. I'm not sure why that's the case; seven other Sandy Frank films have been released -- including the five Gamera films that received MST3K treatment -- but not the two Fugitive Alien-based episodes. Perhaps they'll make an appearance in a future release. Perhaps not.

Blue meanie
As we mentioned before, it would be unfair to call the movie a rip-off of Star Wars. The Fugitive Alien films were cobbled together from episodes of the Fugitive Alien TV show from Japan. And that TV series was based on Edmond Hamilton's Starwolf novels

This is another episode I never watched until I obtained a fan copy as part of this "watch 'em all" project. I missed a good one.

Not that the movie is good or anything. It's not. It's a jumble of mess, and that's being kind. The plot is really hard to follow, so let's give that a shot.

Those wacky Japanese and their wacky spelling!
The plucky crew of the Bacchus 3, with a rescued colonel on board, try to deliver said colonel to his home world. They run into a black hole, an exploding star, some meteorites, and a mutiny along the way. The colonel's people have a weapon that's going to destroy the universe or something, so they destroy it and get the colonel killed in the process. Then they kill the bad guy from Ken's home planet that Ken's not really from. This may or not be the same bad guy from the first movie. Then Ken, the hero, goes home to the planet he's not really from. Or something. The end.

Want more? Glad to oblige. Here's an actual bit of dialogue from the film:
Rocky: "It won't be easy getting into this place."
Ken: "How will we do it?"
Rocky: "Easy!"
How can you not love to hate a film like that?

The last we see of Sandy Frank
This would be the last of the Sandy Frank films to get the MST3K treatment. J&tB seemed to really hate him. Or his films. Or both.

Sandy Frank brought some really bad foreign films to the American audiences. He didn't write the scripts and he did act in them. He put some people to work, and he made some money along the way. What's not to love.

Without the efforts of one Sundel "Sandy" Frank, we may never have seen the shows he distributed such as Name That Tune, Face The Music, and The Dating Game, as well as these MST3K efforts:
  • Gamera
  • Gamera vs Barugon
  • Time of the Apes
  • Gamera vs Gaos
  • Fugitive Alien
  • Gamera vs Guiron
  • Mighty Jack
  • Gamera vs Zigra
  • Star Force: Fugitive Alien II
  • Humanoid Woman
  • The "Legend of Dinosaurs"
That's what not to love. But, you can love hating them. And you can love what Joel & the Bots did to them.

Sandy Frank. Distributing really bad movies so others can point and laugh.

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