Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MST3K: Episode 511 - Gunslinger

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

Episode 511: Gunslinger

First aired: Comedy Central on 9 October 1993
Availability: iTunes, Amazon (Solo DVD), Amazon (Volume 6), Rhino (Volume 6/out of print), Shout (Solo DVD), Best Brains

It's "Gunslinger," not "The Gunslinger."
Roger Corman. Those two words should bring fear to all who hear them.

Yeah, I know. He's supposed to be some great filmmaker, but I don't buy it.

Sure, he makes movies under budget, but he doesn't make good movies under budget. He had seven films that he either directed or produced that were selected by the MST3K crew. So, yeah, he makes movies. Bad movies.

Maybe not Ed Wood bad, but certainly not Orson Welles good.

Death at a funeral.
This is one that I didn't see until I bought the DVD. The multi-pack it came in, Volume 6, is no longer available from Rhino, but this episode has been re-released as a Solo DVD by Shout. The other episodes on Volume 6 are available electronically, from iTunes and Amazon Instant Video, so I suspect it's not a rights issue with the movies so much as an expiration of Rhino's contract with MST3K that caused Volume 6 to go out of print. They simply sold all they made and can't make any more.

As a result of the re-issue, I had to get this one multiple times in order to have a full library. I have both the Volume 6 multi-pack and the Solo DVD, plus the iTunes. Oh, and both VHS releases: the solo, plus the 3-pack that contained it. Oh! but what it takes to have a collection!
Joel blows up Tom Servo's head.Dr. Forrester blows up Frank's head.
On the VHS release, the movie was called "The Gunslinger" on the box. But, the movie's title is actually "Gunslinger," and the DVD reflects that.

Back to the movie. The bad movie. The wicked bad naughty movie.

Dance hall girls.
Beverly Garland is married to town marshal William Schallert who gets shot dead in front of her before the movie gets started good, then, at his funeral, kills one of the killers and puts on his star so she can get the rest of his killers and whoever hired them. Turns out the town's Miss Kitty and future 50-Foot Woman, Allison Hayes, was behind the whole thing so she could get a lot of money by selling to the railroad if it came through town instead of Rock Ridge or something, and, as insurance, hires John Ireland, to come to town to kill Beverly Garland, but he falls in love with her, so he kills Allison Hayes instead, but Beverly Garland kills John Ireland anyway, and lives happily ever after. Or something. The end.

Couple of sub-plots.
  • The wormy bartender loves 50-Foot Woman, but she's all hot for John Ireland, who won't turn town an offer from a skirt.
  • John Ireland was in the War with the town mayor and blames him for the loss at the Battle of Lookout Mountain, partly because he got the details all wrong. It was important battle in that it did help turn the tide of the war by opening up supply lines for Federal troops.
  • Beverly Garland keeps throwing the same town drunk in jail, sort of like what Andy did to Otis. I think that's the comedy relief, but it's hard to tell.
Naturally, there are a couple of cat-fights, since it's a Roger Corman movie.
It wouldn't be a Roger Corman film without a catfight...... or two. Beverly Garland's town marshal isn't afraid of a scrap.
The movie, while not ice-picks-in-the-eyeballs bad, it's still bad, but the episode is enjoyable because the riffing is good.

The host segments are good, too. Joel played "Kaboom" with Tom Servo serving as the balloon. His head, anyway. The Bots play Pony Express, then discuss what it's like to be dead. Oh, and Joel discusses the 1970s.

Fun episode.

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