Monday, August 6, 2012

MST3K: Episode 809 - I Was a Teenage Werewolf

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

Episode 809: I Was a Teenage Werewolf

First aired: Sci-Fi Channel on 19 April 1997
Availability: fan copy

Don't cry, don't raise your eye, it's only teenage werewolf.
This is the last in a string of nine consecutive episodes that have never been released on home video. It's the longest stretch of the series, excluding, of course, the entire KTMA season, which neither has nor will be released.

This string of unreleased episodes happened because, after the show moved to the Sci-Fi Channel, the network provided lots of episodes they owned, or, at least, to which they had the rights.

That means these movies were not and are not in the public domain, like so many movies used in episodes during the Comedy Channel/Comedy Central years. And, when Best Brains goes to release episodes, it's easy to pick one with a public domain film. Getting rights to movies that others own can be difficult and, more importantly, expensive.

Teen Wolf
Think about that for a minute.

Somebody owns the rights to and thinks they have a gold mine in their rights to Revenge of the Creature, The Leech Woman, The Mole People, The Deadly Mantis, The Thing That Couldn't Die, The Undead, Terror from the Year 5000, The She-Creature, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, and other pieces of ... cinematic history.

I can't imagine the rights owner can make more money by not allowing the MST3K episodes to be released. But then, I don't understand the movie business.

Apparently, neither do many people that make movies. Of course, that's the whole raison d'etre for MST3K.

Before he road the Highway to Heaven, before he had a Little House on the Prairie, before he and his family had that Bonanza near Lake Tahoe, Michael Landon opened the doors for Michael J. Fox, Jason Bateman, and Tyler Posey by being the original Teenage Werewolf.
The detective from Venus.The evil airplane psychologist.
Little Joe gets angry and throws milk, so they send him to the head of the Time Tunnel project who apparently is the psychologist at the local airplane plant and is evil, so he hypnotizes Little Joe to revert to a werewolf, which he does and goes around killing people, so the Venusian fry-cook from The Twilight Zone investigates, but can't figure it out, but when Little Joe tries to kill a girl in the gym, he gets interrupted and everyone figures out who he is, and after a while he dies, but not before he kills the Time Tunnel airplane psychologist, and everybody who doesn't die lives happily ever after. The end.

The riffing is great, they don't over-do it on Bonanza references, and, in fact, under-do the Lost In Space riffs (Guy Williams is in the movie), and omit any Zorro riffs (Guy Williams, again).

Funny Host Segments include lots of Alien references (Alien: Resurrection would be released later that year).

This episode is one of my faves from Season Eight.

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