Monday, July 23, 2012

MST3K: Episode 706 - Laserblast

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

Episode 706: Laserblast

First aired: Comedy Central on 18 May 1996
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon DVD (20th Anniversary/Volume 13), Shout Factory (20th Anniversary/Volume 13), Best Brains (20th Anniversary/Volume 13)

Their final film.
This is the end.

After one season on a TV station in Minneapolis, seven seasons on Comedy Central (and it's predecessor, The Comedy Channel), and a feature film, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was canceled.

Everyone saw it coming.

The Best Brains crew was preoccupied with the movie and not so focused on the TV show during 1995. Comedy Central went through a change in leadership and only ordered six episodes for Season Seven rather than 24, as they had done for the previous four seasons, or even 13 has they had for Seasons One and Two. Things didn't look good, and, sure enough, the show was canceled by the network, even though it was the most-watched show on the network. The network went a route that didn't include MST3K, and, a year later, we got South Park and The Daily Show.

Dr. Forrester loses funding.
Call it the dumbing down of TV, if you can imagine such a thing.

Okay, some of you may think those shows are great. Go ahead. Think that. You'll come to your senses one day.

Anyway, back to this episode. It's the end of MST3K. And, they did the ending right.

Dr. Forrester had his funding cut so he disconnects the Satellite of Love. That's actually fun to see, because for most of Season Six, Dr. Forrester had been such a Milquetoast due to his overbearing mother. However, in Episode 705: Escape 2000, he asserted himself a little and put his mother "in a home."

In this episode, he's fully back to his old, evil self by simply cutting the SOL loose. No, he's not a nice guy, but that is so much like the character from the previous seasons.

Mike & the Bots drift away from the earth and arrive at the edge of the universe, where they are transformed into energy and all is revealed to them.
The "2001" ending of MST3K after Comedy Central cancels the show.
Dr. Forrester, meanwhile, experiences his own revelation. In a great parody of the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Forrester sees someone eating at a table. The man turns around and is revealed to be Dr. Forrester. He continues his meal and knocks over his glass. As he reaches for the broken glass, he sees an old man in a bed. The old man in the bed is Dr. Forrester (played by Trace Beaulieu's father, Jack Beaulieu), who looks up and sees the great monolith. He points at it, and it's revealed to be the Worst Movie Ever Made. He then is transformed into a baby. Pearl Forrester cherishes the opportunity to get it right this time, while we hear Dr. Forrester proclaim, "Oh, poopie!"

Space turtles.
A great ending.

Okay, it's better than getting hit in the head with a golf ball and waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette or winding up in a snow globe.

I liked it.

Oh, wait a second. There was a movie being watched.

Yes, Dr. Forrester did set the Satellite of Love adrift, but fed M&tB one more movie anyway.

In it, a space fellow is running from a space ship full of turtles who shoot and kill him, then leave his body and laser weapon behind, all the while Billy is abandoned by his mom, run off by his girlfriends father, harassed by geeks, and ticketed by Hank Williams, Jr., but then he finds the laser weapon and starts shooting stuff, but the laser cannon starts affecting Billy's body, so he goes to see Dr. Roddy McDowall, then kills him later before going on a murderous rampage, so the space turtles come back and kill Billy. The end.

Roddy McDowall wonders why he did this film.
How bad is this movie? Laserblast is a very bad film. And, if that description wasn't enough to convince you, try this: they misspelled Roddy McDowall's name in the credits. Yes, they screwed up the name of the biggest star in the film.

The movie was really bad. Really, really bad. A wicked, naughty, bad film.

Of course, M&tB did a good job with the riffing. This is the kind of bad movie that brings out the best in MST3K.

But, the highlight was the plot involving the ending of the series.

Well, what could possibly top that?

The Sci-Fi Channel picking up the series and bringing it back the next year, of course.

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