Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MST3K: Episode 610 - The Violent Years

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

Episode 610: The Violent Years

First aired: Comedy Central on 8 October 1994
Availability: iTunes, Amazon DVD, Shout Factory (Volume 22), Best Brains (Volume 22)

Ed Wood's most successful film isn't an Ed Wood film.
When is an Ed Wood movie not an Ed Wood movie?

When Ed Wood wrote the screenplay, but didn't actually make The Violent Years. He didn't direct it. He didn't produce it. He just wrote it.

How else can you tell it's not really an Ed Wood film? It made money. At least, that's the word on the Internet, although I can't find any actual figures to back that up.

The Ed Wood connection is the only thing outstanding -- is that the right word? -- about this film. Well, not the only thing.

There is the fact that October 1955 Playmate of the Month Jean Moorehead (as Jean Moorhead) starred in this, her first film since her Playboy issue. She later appeared in The Amazing Colossal Man in a small role, plus a few other films.

Miss Moorehead is the star of the film, the leader of a gang of girls who rob, rape, and pillage all throughout the film. Let me explain.

"Squeal like a piggie!"
Four high school girls are robbing gas stations, which the police think is bad but at least they haven't killed or raped anyone, so the girls rob a couple at Lovers Lane and rape the guy, then it turns out the dad of the leader of the gang works with the newspapers and mentions to his daughter that the police are setting a trap for the girls, only he doesn't know it's his daughter involved, so they go to the fence they've been using for stolen stuff and she talks them into trashing a school, so the girls have a pajama party featuring dudes and alcohol, setting the scene for us to find out she's just rebelling against her parent for the lack of attention they give her, so after the party, they go trash a school, but security shows up, a couple of the gang are killed, and Miss October kills a security guard, which upsets Miss Fence, who Miss October kills, but then she accidentally kills her classmate as she's running from the police, who capture Miss October and put her on trial, where she's convicted and sentenced to life, which turns out to be only a short while because she dies while giving birth in prison. The end.
Bad girls. Can you spot Miss October?Don't move! For what seemed like 15 minutes.
The movie has the usual bad acting you see in an MST3K film, but it's not as bad as most films M&tB tackle. That's not to say it's good, because it's not. It's just not as bad as in most MST3K films.

The film isn't quite as bad overall as other MST3K films. Again, not to say it's a good film. Despite the Ed Wood involvement, the story holds together. Not a lot of crazy plot holes, at least.

The riffing, though, is good. M&tB have a lot of fun with this one. Almost too much fun. Even the rape is fun!

See? Too much fun.

Sparks fly!
And, the short film that accompanies it is fun. Young Man's Fancy tells how electricity will help a young girl land a boy, especially if her big brother brings him home from college and you have a totally-electric kitchen. Watch the sparks fly!

Um, wait. Not electrical sparks. That would sort of defeat the purpose of a promotional film by Edison Electric. No, the sparks that fly are the sparks of love College Boy feels for High School Girl after she whips up supper in her electric kitchen.

What didn't I like? My iTunes copy of the episode. This is another one of those where the iTunes version has 10-minute markers, not markers that correspond to breaks. I hate that. If I want to go back and look at a particular segment, I want the markers at the segments. Arrggghhh!

Despite this drawback, I liked this episode. Lots of fun and lots of laughs.

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