Thursday, March 22, 2012

MST3K: Episode 404 - Teenagers from Outer Space

I'm watching all of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes in order. More about that here and here.

Episode 404: Teenagers from Outer Space

First aired: Comedy Central on 27 June 1992
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon (Volume 6), Rhino (Volume 6/out of print)

It's as bad as it sounds.
This one may be a little hard to find on DVD. But you can stream it from iTunes and from Amazon Instant Video. I don't know why the DVD is no longer in production, other than Rhino losing the contract to distribute MST3K episodes.

You see, the 4-pack contains three episodes and a collection of shorts. There wouldn't be any rights issues with the shorts, so you'd think it was one of the movies that caused the 4-pack to get pulled. But all three of the episodes are available for streaming, and one has been re-released as a stand-alone DVD episode (though not this one). So, I'm thinking it was just Rhino shutting down MST3K production, nothing more. Perhaps the other two episodes (including this one) will be re-released as solo discs soon.

King Moody without Bernie Kopell? Just not the same.
I have the Volume 6 DVD as well as the iTunes download. The iTunes version is another one of those lazy ones with the chapter markers every 10 minutes rather than at actual breaks in the show. I hate it when they do that.

I had never seen this movie before seeing the MST3K treatment. I don't know if the TV stations I watched didn't air it, or if I just missed every airing of Teenagers from Outer Space. Either way, I never saw it before Joel & the Bots gave it the treatment.

Though I never saw the stand-alone movie -- though it's currently available from several streaming services for free -- I have seen this episode before I began this "watch 'em all" project. This one's a hoot.
Better than Slim Fast!The lobster gets a death scene.
The Host Segments were pretty funny. Joel's behavior modification routine, in an attempt to stop the Bots from mentioning NBC Mystery Movie every time a flashlight appeared, gave me a chuckle, because I, too, always think of NBC Mystery Movie when I see a flashlight scene similar to that show's opening.
Frank calls for help while Dr. Forrester tries to resuscitate Resusci-Annie.Dr. Forrester on a date.
Dr. Forrester's ventriloquist routine with Resusci-Anne is funny. Having Frank call 911 while drinking a glass of water just caps it perfectly. The "Reel to Real" segment, where J&tB compared and contrasted Reel Life to Real Life was cute.

Our hero
The riffing is funny. Even my granddaughter laughed at parts of it -- before she realized that she's not supposed to like things old people like me like.

I really enjoyed this one. Simple plot. Silly plot. Bad acting. Bad special effects. Begged to be riffed ... and was.

A crew of people, led by Starker from Get Smart, arrive from some far-off planet come to earth to wear duct tape and let lobsters loose. They turn people and critters into skeletons and act all pushy. One lisping alien who's actually the son of the leader of the planet (who looks like one of the Smith Brothers) doesn't want to do it, so he takes up with some chick and a guy named Gramps. They foil the plot and kill all the aliens. The dog dies. The end.

J&tB get real. Or reel.
When I sat down to watch this movie, the title made me think it was another episode. I'm not sure which one, but it was a different plot. And, it might not have been a movie that got the MST3K treatment. But, I was thinking it was some movie that had teenagers in it, and there was a space theme. But not this one. Perhaps if it was a movie that got riffed by J&tB (or M&tB) I'll remember confusing it with this one and set things straight. In my mind, anyway.

One thing I've mentioned before, and must mention again. Though my MST3K experience was mostly Mike episodes before this project, I've really grown to love the Joel episodes. Part of it is because they're new to me -- most of them, anyway. The other part is ... they're just plain good episodes.

I'm wondering how I'll feel when Mike takes over during Season Five.

1 comment:

  1. I don't really know why, but my absolute favorite line in all of MST3K is:


    Wish more people had seen this episode so they'd know what I'm talking about when I use this line.

    Right now, it's just my brother.


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