Thursday, October 4, 2012

MST3K: Episode 1011 - Horrors of Spider Island

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

Episode 1011: Horrors of Spider Island

First aired: Sci-Fi Channel on 25 July 1999
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon DVD (Volume 11)

The movie is the horror.
On 28 June 1914, in Sarajevo, Gavrilo Princip stepped toward a stalled car containing the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. Princip drew a Fabrique Nationale model 1910 semi-automatic pistol, serial number 19074, and twice pulled the trigger. The archduke was struck in the neck and the duchess was stuck in the abdomen. Both died within an hour.

Gavrilo Princip was part of a movement to free Bosnia from control of Austria-Hungary, with the intention of it becoming part of a Yugoslavia state. Princip died in prison less than four years later and 217 days before the creation of Yugoslavia.

The not-so-itsy, bitsy spider.
As a result of Princip's actions, the world was subjected to many horrors. Among the worst of the horrors: Horrors of Spider Island, a joint West German-Yugoslav film production.

Oh, yes, there was also the whole World War I thing, followed by the Treaty of Versailles which blamed Germany for the war and demanded reparations, which helped collapse the German economy, leading to the rise of the National Socialist party led by Adolf Hitler, and then the whole World War II thing.

Throw that in with the filming of Horrors of Spider Island and you can see just how much damage arose from the assassination.

Nightclub manager Gary, who looks like the fake Arab from How To Marry A Millionaire except for not having an eyepatch, hires a bunch of dance girls to travel to Singapore, but the plane crashes in the Pacific, so they row, row, row the raft to shore and set up camp, but find a dead scientist in mid-cheer stuck in a giant spider web, but they find a hammer and Gary figures out it's for mining uranium or something, which might explain the giant spiders, except there's only one spider and it bites Gary and he runs off, but the girls don't know what happened to Gary, but he kills a couple along the way along with one of the two fellows in a boat that showed up to resupply the professor, but since he's dead, they'll stick around with all the hot German-Yugoslavian chicks until the big boat comes back, but not before they all grab torches and hunt Gary down and drive him into quicksand and Gary dies. The end.

Chick fight!
Although I saw this episode several times -- it aired 11 times from 1999 to 2004 -- I never saw the original film. And, no, I'm not interested in seeing it. But, from what I read, it was targeted to adults-only crowds. Of course, in 1962, that could mean it contains underwear and not boobies. If you really want to find out, you can watch Horrors of Spider Island online.

The important thing is, they teased boobies, which is enough to drive M&tB crazy. And that's always fun.

This is the episode that has the Host Segments about Pearl moving the castle. Seems she didn't want to pay for the monkey license, so she up and moved the castle. She ended up moving back for some equally silly reason. Bobo is happy. Observer isn't.

He's a maniac...
Oh, and this is also the one where Observer does his Jennifer Beals Flashdance routine. The less said, the better. The less viewed, the more better. Or something.

The movie is almost but not quite watchable. Lots of silly plot holes, like why everyone in Gary's troupe survived the plane crash uninjured, but no one else, pilots, stewardesses, etc., did.

Why does a puppet spider turn Gary into a were-spider or whatever the hell he is, but Gary's biting the others don't turn them? And is it the uranium that made the spider grow all big and everything? And, if so, why didn't they warn Merritt Stone?

Lots of plot holes, lots of fun riffing, and some really silly Host Segments.

This isn't the best episode that MST3K ever did, but it's a very, very good one.

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