Tuesday, April 17, 2012

MST3K: Episode 421 - Monster A-Go Go

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

Episode 421: Monster A-Go Go

First aired: Comedy Central on 9 January 1993
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon DVD (Volume 8), Rhino (Volume 8/out of print), Best Brains (Volume 8)

Wake me up before you go go.
There have been some bad movies made. Really bad movies. But few as bad as Monster A-Go Go.

How bad is this movie? Here's a spoiler. And, no, it won't ruin it by telling you this: There is no monster.

How do I know that? The narrator told us. And, yes, this is after we saw the monster kill people. Not flashes of "something" that was on a killing spree, but we saw the actual monster. But there is no monster.

Confused? Imagine how confused the people that came up with this movie were.

The monster. But there was no monster.
Actually, the people that came up with this movie ... didn't come up with this movie.

Let me 'splain.

Writer/Director/Producer Bill Rebane ran out of money and couldn't finisht he film. Herschell Gordon Lewis made a film called Moonshine Mountain, and wanted a second film to offer theaters a horror double-feature. He bought Rebane's unfinished film, threw some scenes and dialog together, and Monster A-Go Go was the result. So, that's part of why the movie has no continuity.

What's the movie about?

The "A-Go Go"?
An astronaut disappears when his capsule returns to earth and is turned into a giant, radiation-scarred monster who roams the countryside killing people. Half-way through the film, all the roles are played by different actors. At the end, there is no monster and the astronaut was recovered safely the whole time. The end.

No, really. That's the film. I'm not making any of this up.

And, as bad as the movie is, the riffing is great. There are laughs galore. But, the first time I saw this one, I didn't laugh quite as much. I made the mistake of actually watching the movie, instead of letting J&tB watch it for me.

Oh, how bad and cheap is the film? Well, there's a scene where the phone rings. You know the phone rings because you hear a guy off-stage do a phone ring noise, and then a character picks up the phone and starts talking:

[Direct link]

As funny as the movie is, the Host Segments are hilarious. My favorite is the one where Gypsy tells Crow that she just doesn't get him. Crow isn't sure what Gypsy is talking about, but he ends up listing some of the things that would make Crow sort of hard to get if he was real. Then, she tells Tom the same thing, to which Mr. Servo replies, "Nobody get's me. I'm the wind, baby."

The Mads rule the Invention Exchange again, this time with Johnny Longtorso, an action figure, sold separately. Really. Sold separately. Every bit of him. Eyes. Ears. Arms. Legs. Feet. Everything. Sold separately. Marketing genius, I tell ya!
Johnny Longtorso debuts.Joel is driven to drink.
This episode also features Joel drinking in the theater. This wasn't a goof. Or, if it was, they left it in. But Joel reaches down, you hear the pop-top can opening, and see the silhouette of Joel taking a sip. Crow and Servo comment on it. Joel make some lame excuse about medicine, takes another sip, and then they get back to the film. Was it a scripted gag? Or was it that they just didn't care?

"Circus on Ice"
Oh, and the short. The awful, awful short.

It's a circus. On ice.

Sound like fun? It's not.

Well, that's not true. Not true at all. It is lots of fun.

Not the circus on ice, but the riffing by Joel & the Bots. That's fun. Lots of fun. More fun than a freezer full of clowns.

We do get to see the lady ice skater all dressed up like a fawn and get shot by a hunter and die. What's not to love?

This episode clicked. It had a bad, bad movie. It had a bad, bad short. It had a fun, fun Invention Exchange. It had some fun, fun Host Segments.

So, while there was no monster, there was funny a go-go.

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