Friday, April 27, 2012

MST3K: Episode 503 - Swamp Diamonds

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

Episode 503: Swamp Diamonds

First aired: Comedy Central on 31 July 1993
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon DVD (Volume 10), Amazon DVD (Volume 10.2), Rhino (Volume 10/out of print), Rhino (Volume 10.2/out of print), Best Brains (Volume 10.2)

A Roger Corman film.
This episode was released twice. Or once. Or something.

Remember back when we covered Episode 212: Godzilla vs. Megalon and Episode 402: The Giant Gila Monster? Sure you do.

We mentioned that Episode 212: Godzilla vs. Megalon was released in the Volume 10 four-pack, but there were rights issues with that movie, so they re-released the four-pack as Volume 10.2 with Episode 402: The Giant Gila Monster taking its place.

The other three episodes on that DVD four-pack? They were on the Volume 10.2 release, too. So, those three were released twice in 16 months. This is one of those episodes.

Cat fight!
It's a Roger Corman film, which means it's short. And still contains padding. Simple plot, simple characters, simply bad film. When it was released, it went by the name Swamp Women, but it also went by Swamp Diamonds, which is much better.

It does star Mike Connors and Beverly Garland, so it's not all bad. Still, despite that, it's bad. I mean, it's a Roger Corman film.

A police woman goes undercover in prison to break out members of a gang that stole and hid a bunch of diamonds so they can lead her to the stash. They break out and kill a couple of civilians as they make their way to the hidden gems. But, it's to recover diamonds, so it's all okay. Mike Connors kills an alligator and Beverly Garland gets speared in a tree, but kills a rattlesnake before she falls dead. The diamonds are recovered and the lady cop gets to keep Mike Connors. The end.

Back in the 1950s, when this movie was made, Mike Connors went by the name Touch Connors. J&tB wondered what other names he considered before "Touch":
Dr. Forrester reaches for a snack.
  • Thrust
  • Jab
  • Fudge
  • Crunch
  • Blast
  • Smidge
  • Shout
  • Batch
  • Scrod
  • Flake
  • Wink
  • Sploot
  • Pinch
  • Probe
  • Wing
  • Snake
  • Grunt
  • Flink
  • Pat
  • Hal
  • Snack
  • Slap
He eventually became "Mike" and then Joe Mannix. Why the name change? Well, he was born Krekor Ohanian, but since they don't like two actors to have the same name, he changed it.
What to do on a date.What not to do on a date.
Oh, this episode was also highlighted by the short film, What To Do On A Date. The short was released three times. It was, of course, part of Volume 10 and Volume 10.2, but it was originally on the Shorts Volume 2 disc that was included in Mystery Science Theater Collection: Volume 3.

Not a Weber grill, but an Andrew Lloyd Weber Grill.
It's a fun short, and J&tB have lots of fun with it. In fact, it inspires the Host Segment arc of Tom asking Gypsy out on a date. It doesn't go well.

Oh, and the Invention Exchange, while not great, is still good. I'd like to see more stuff fuel the Andrew Lloyd Weber Grill. And U-View, showing what you'd be doing if you weren't watching TV, was funny.

This episode is fun. Not great, but good. Really, really good.

A bad Roger Corman film, but thankfully short. A short film that just begs to be riffed, and the crew obliges. Fun Host Segments with an episode-long story arc.

What's not to like? All in all, this was a fun episode.

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