Thursday, March 8, 2012

MST3K: Episode 319 - War of the Colossal Beast

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

Episode 319: War of the Colossal Beast

First aired: Comedy Central on 16 November 1991
Availability (episode):
Availability (short): Rhino (Volume 6 out of print), Amazon (Volume 6)

The short
The movie
This is one of those where I had seen the movie way before I ever saw the MST3K treatment. It's also a sequel to another MSTied movie: Episode 309: The Amazing Colossal Man.

The difference for me is that I actually saw the MST3K episode when it aired on TV. Or part of it, anyway. Maybe the last half of it. Anyway, I had seen the ending of the MST3K episode; I don't think I saw the entire episode until this whole "watch 'em all" project.

This one has never been available commercially. I have a fan copy. Otherwise, I never would get to see this episode -- other than the part I caught during one of its 12 airings back in the 1990s.

This episode could almost be considered a double-feature. The short in this episode may be so much more popular than the movie. Mr. B Natural has taken on a life of its own. In fact, the "stinger" for this episode features a clip of Mr. B Natural himself. Or herself.

Let me explain.

The C. G. Conn Company made the film to promote their musical instruments in schools. The lead character, Mr. B Natural, is a sprite -- or lepreCONN (get it?) -- played by Betty Luster. Mr. B Natural helps the character "Buzz" harness the spirit of music inside him.
"Mr." B NaturalHe's got legs. He knows how to use them. I'll say she does!
Mr. B Natural was an interesting character, to be sure. And, he had the best legs I've ever seen on a guy. And boobs.

"He's 60-foot tall!"
Now, keep in mind that this was around the time that Mary Martin did her Tony Award-winning performance as Peter Pan. So, there was a precedent -- and a pretty big one, at that -- for such casting. I wonder if Mrs. Prentis (her married name) every was aware of the attention her role garnered by its appearance on MST3K. She retired from acting and dancing after this role, and died last May.

Now, on the to movie.

As we said, this is the sequel to the movie shown in Episode 309: The Amazing Colossal Man. In the first film, the hero, Colonel Glenn Manning, who grew to 60-foot tall after an atomic explosion, died after falling off Boulder (Hoover) Dam.

Color me dead!
In this, the second movie, it turns out he didn't die in the first movie after all. He must have been only mostly dead. Because he's discovered stealing bread from Mexican bread trucks. So, Glenn's sister -- ignore the fact that his fiancee from the first movie said that Glenn had no other family -- shows up to try to help calm him down. She fails. Glenn grabs a power line and dies. In color. And it's a black-and-white film. The End.

The Host Segments have some genuinely funny moments. I loved the debate between Crow and Servo over whether or not Mr. B Natural was a man or a woman. Crow went with woman, because of the boobs.

J&tB got another visit from Glenn Manning, played by MST3K Head Writer Michael J. Nelson. He lamented the fact that the actor playing Glenn in this movie isn't the actor playing Glenn in the first movie. But, for some reason, they never mentioned the retcon of Glenn having family.

Funny stuff. Great riffs. Bad movie. Wonderfully weird short. Another MST3K classic.


  1. Mr. B Natural - the most disturbing casting choice since having a woman play Peter Pan.

    At least there's an excuse with Peter Pan:

    1. I'm reminded of one of my favorite SCTV sketches: John Candy playing Divine, who's appearing as Mary Martin's Peter Pan.

      Yes, a man playing a man playing a woman playing a woman playing a man.


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