Monday, April 9, 2012

MST3K: Episode 416 - Fire Maidens of Outer Space

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

Episode 416: Fire Maidens of Outer Space

First aired: Comedy Central on 26 November 1992

Yes, they're hot. Get it?
The problem with MST3K, for me anyway, is that sometimes, when I watch an episode for the very first time, I end up following the movie more than listening to the riffing. There's a balance, and it's got to be maintained.

If I'm familiar with the movie, it's easy to listen to the riffing, because I know what's going on during the movie. Or, if the movie has a real simple plot, it's easy because I don't have to expend any valuable brain energy to follow the movie.

However, when an episode comes along where I haven't seen the movie before -- either as a theatrical release, a TV showing, on home video, or on a previous viewing of MST3K -- I sometimes have to try to follow the movie, and, as a result, miss some of the riffs. During subsequent viewings, I can follow the riffs, and enjoy the episode more.

Check out this invention!
I could be wrong, but I really think that's why some episodes are better the second time around.

Now, while I'm going through this project of watching all the episodes of MST3K in order, if I run across a new-to-me movie, I may need to watch it twice to appreciate it. And it takes twice as long to watch a movie twice. Sometimes, even longer.

This one is one of the most famous episodes in the history of MST3K, but it's also one I had never seen. Though I wouldn't call it one of my all-time favorites, it was good. Next time I watch it -- and I will watch it again -- I expect I'll enjoy it even more.

Fire Maidens looking hot.
What made this episode so famous? Well, it wasn't the movie. It's the tired old recycled plot of astronauts discovering a planet inhabited by Amazons. Or Atlantians, in this case.

Scientists launch a German V2 rocket to the 13th moon of Jupiter, which was discovered in 1974. The astronauts rescue the daughter of the moon's leader from an ogre or something. The population of the moon consists of one old dude and 16 horny women, who capture the astronauts for snu-snu, and then dance around to Alexander Borodin's Polovtsian Dances. The ogre-thingy breaks into the Atlantis compound and the astronauts kill it. The Amazon/Atlantians decide to let the men leave if they promise to send more men for snu-snu. The end.

See? Nothing great about this one. Well, okay, the riffing was funny. The highlight, though was Timmy, who began as Crow's shadow.
Timmy attacks Cambot.Timmy attacks Servo.Joel battles Timmy.
Timmy was actually the black version of Crow used in the theater because it makes a better silhouette or something. In the storyline, he's evil and attacks Cambot early on, then Tom Servo during the movie. Joel battles him and tosses Timmy into the airlock, Alien style. Then, Timmy shows up in Deep 13, and attacks Frank, Alien style.

Oh, and the Mads' Invention Exchange offering, a large checkbook for carrying around those large checks you see in giveaways, is funny. That's F-U-N with a capital E. Funny.

Good episode. I hope we see Timmy again. But (SPOILER) we won't.

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