Monday, June 25, 2012

MST3K: Episode 617 - The Sword and the Dragon

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

Episode 617: The Sword and the Dragon

First aired: Comedy Central on 3 December 1994

Ilya Muromets
Remember Episode 422: The Day the Earth Froze? And remember Episode 505: The Magic Voyage of Sinbad?

Both films by Aleksandr Ptushko that were heavily re-edited and dubbed for American audiences. And, they weren't improved by the edits. The general feeling is that the films were actually good films and the American edits severely dumbed-down the films.

Not having seen the originals, I can't say how much the edits affected the films, but the versions shown on MST3K were pretty bad.

The original film, Ilya Muromets, was a medieval Russian tale. The Americanized version, The Sword And The Dragon, was pretty much the same story, although a few details changed, and about 12 minutes of running time were removed.

Ilya Muromets and his friends.
Mike & the Bots seems to think the film was Finnish, and, naturally, that led to a tie-in with Ingmar Bergman, who's from Sweden, which isn't Finland. More about that in a moment. Let's talk about this Russian masterpiece.

The giant, Invincor grows old and turns into a mountain, but gives his sword to followers, who give it to Ilya Muromets who can't walk, but is healed when someone gives him water or something, so he goes on a quest to rescue his girlfriend from Tugars, defeating a wind demon along the way, rescues his girlfriend, knocks her up, then heads out to fight more Tugars, but, while he's gone, she gets captured again and her son is carried off and raised by Tugars, all the while Ilya Muromets is betrayed and imprisoned, but is finally cleared and goes off to fight the Tugars, only he ends up fighting his son, but they discover who each other is, so they team up and finally defeat the Tugars, so Ilya Muromets retires from fighting Tugars and leaves his son to carry on his legacy. The end.
It's a joke...... by Ingmar Bergman
The highlight of the show is the 4:22 Joke By Ingmar Bergman Host Segment. It's about 30 seconds long in real life, but, in Ingmar Bergman's world, it takes a bit longer. A really lame joke done to perfection.

We also get to see Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank visited by their neighbors in Deep 12, a couple of girls. It doesn't go well.

A funny episode with some classic bits and a well-riffed film.

Oh, I have a fan copy, but am excited about the commercial release coming in July. I've already ordered it, and can't wait to get the official release.

Okay, I'm an MST3K nerd.

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