Wednesday, July 25, 2012

MST3K: Episode 801 - Revenge of the Creature

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

Episode 801: Revenge of the Creature

First aired: Sci-Fi Channel on 1 February 1997
Availability: fan copy

It's a sequel!
The Sci-Fi Channel era of MST3K launched in early 1997 with one of the classic horror films, Revenge of the Creature ... if you can call it a classic.

I suppose it is. It's the sequel to Creature from the Black Lagoon which is, without a doubt, one of the most famous horror/sci-fi films of all time. Yeah, it may be a little silly, but it's still a classic. And, I suppose, this sequel is, too.

I remember enjoying both the original and this sequel when I was a child. This film, in particular, made an impression because the Creature escaped south Florida and wound up in Jacksonville. While I didn't live in Jacksonville, we were close enough to watch TV stations out of Jacksonville, if we would just go outside and turn the antenna in that direction. And, sometimes we did.

Professor Bobo is frightened of the humans.
Anyway, as a kid, watching a movie and then hearing them unexpected mentioning a place you knew was a little weird. Sure, since then, it's happened a lot. But this movie was the first time it happened. And you always remember your first time, right?

Let's talk more about the movie in a bit. For now, let's talk about how we're able to see Mike & the Bots be tortured with the movie after having been abandoned by Dr. Forrester, set adrift in space, and turned into pure energy at the edge of the universe.

Turns out that, after 500 years (actually, 538, if my math is correct) Mike, Servo, Gypsy, and Magic Voice are unexpected called back to the Satellite of Love. Crow was already there, having gotten bored with infinity about five minutes into it. But, he's different. Somehow different. Of course, Crow is different because Trace Beaulieu had left the show at the end of Season Seven, when the show was canceled by Comedy Central. He didn't return for the Sci-Fi Channel years, and Bill Corbett took over. Bill had actually been a contributing writer as far back as Episode 622: Angels Revenge, but didn't become a permanent staff member until he took over the role of Crow.

Clint Eastwood can't find his rat.
Anyway, the SoL is orbiting Earth in the year 2525. And, yes, M&tB ask if man is still alive, and if woman could survive. Who do they ask? The apes on the planet below.

Yes, apes rule the earth, damn you all to hell, as Charlton Heston would say. And, Ape Law says that you must send bad movies to any satellites orbiting the earth, so Professor Bobo does just that.

We later find out that this bit of Ape Law is from The Lawgiver, who turns out to be ... Pearl Forrester, who failed to raise new baby Clayton any better than the first time, so she just smothered him with a pillow and had herself frozen.

So, that's how they worked themselves out of the corner they had painted themselves into during the last episode.
Gill looks pretty good for a dead monster.Gill loves Helen, but she doesn't love him.
Now, on to the movie.

After having been killed in the previous film, Gill Man is captured alive and brought to south Florida to be studied a professor, Clete, and a student, Helen, with Clint Eastwood thrown in for comic effect, but Clete and Helen end up studying each other, which Joe doesn't like, but Gill Man solves all Joe's problems by killing him and escaping, but Gill falls for Helen too, and kidnaps her from a restaurant in Jacksonville, but they hunt down Gill and kill him again. The end.

The Lawgiver.
Pretty typical monster movie from the 1950s. It was originally in 3-D, just like its predecessor. And, not really a bad film. Well, not as bad as many other films. But, bad enough to get the MST3K treatment.

The whole way they solved the return of the crew to the SoL and the premise to throw bad movies at them actually kinda works.

It was good to see the whole crew back.

Oh, you may have noticed that this movie was never released on home video. That brings up a few items.

First, it's the beginning of a 9-episode stretch of episodes that have never been commercially available. In fact, it's the longest stretch in the entire series, excluding the KTMA episodes.

Next, since they aren't commercially available, unless you've seen the episode or own a fan copy, you can't get the whole storyline that develops in Season Eight, explaining how the crew came back and how we ended up with Pearl, Professor Bobo, and Brain Guy.

That's all coming. I didn't see them all in order when these episodes originally aired, but will get that opportunity now.

I'm looking forward to it.

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