Saturday, February 29, 2020

Un-riffed MSTie Movies

Although I'm having to rebuild my local video library, I'm still adding new content to my library. Well, not all is new.

Yes, I've added most of the recent Oscar winners -- Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, etc. -- so some is actually new, or at least within-the-last-year new. Some, though, isn't new by any stretch of the imagination. Unless "new" means something I didn't have before. And that's the definition I'm using.

Just as I'm trying to include all of the "best" movies in my collection, I'm also collecting some of the worst. And, no, winning an Oscar doesn't mean something is the best, not really. You can look at all the Oscar winners and easily come to that conclusion. But, still, it's one of the criteria I'm using.

But, the worst? How do you judge the worst movies? One criterion is it being riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000. I could easily add The Film Crew, RiffTrax, and Cinematic Titanic as other criteria. Golden Turkey Award winners. Golden Raspberry Award winners. Rotten Tomatoes. There are plenty of ways to select movies as the worst.

Right now, I'm focusing on the MST3K movies. And, I'm making progress.

There were 13 episodes each in Seasons 1 and 2 on Comedy Channel, and Seasons 9 and 10 pm Sci-Fi Channel. There were 24 each in Seasons 3, 4, 5, and 6 (Comedy Central). There were 22 in Season 8 (Sci-Fi Channel). There were 14 in Season 11 (on Netflix). Season 7 (Comedy Central) had seven episodes, but the first two episodes were the same movie, just different host segments (a Turkey Day special and a regular episode with the same movie), making it six movies total. There were 6 in Season 12 (Netflix). There was also a movie. Add to that the 21 episodes of the KTMA season, but take away the nine that were re-done in Season 3, and you have a total of 12 for that season. Oh, and the pilot/promo. That's another movie.

All that math means 210 movies to cover 220 episodes/pilots/movies.

Here's where I stand:


Pilot: The Green Slime
Ep. 3: Star Force: Fugitive Alien II (This is the only actual episode of MST3K I don't have. I do have the original film, and the Season 3 version, but not the KTMA version)
Ep. 4: Gamera vs. Barugon
Ep. 5: Gamera (I have "Gammera, the Giant Monster")
Ep. 6: Gamera vs. Gaos ("Gamera vs. Gayos")
Ep. 7: Gamera vs. Zigra
Ep. 8: Gamera vs. Guiron ("Attack of the Monsters")
Ep. 9: Phase IV
Ep. 11: Humanoid Woman ("To The Stars By Hard Ways"; this is actually a decent film, though slow at times.)
Ep. 12: Fugitive Alien
Ep. 14: Mighty Jack
Ep. 17: Time of the Apes
Ep. 19: Hangar 18
Ep. 21: The "Legend of Dinosaurs" ("Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds")

I am missing these movies that were riffed by the KTMA crew:
Ep. 1: Invaders from the Deep
Ep. 2: Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars
Ep. 10: Cosmic Princess
Ep. 13: SST: Death Flight
Ep. 15: Superdome
Ep. 16: City on Fire
Ep. 18: The Million Eyes of Sumuru
Ep. 20: The Last Chase

Season 1

(Note that I list the episodes in original air date order, not in the production order, as most lists show).
Ep. 01. The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy
Ep. 02. The Crawling Eye ("The Tollenberg Terror")
Ep. 03. The Mad Monster
Ep. 04. The Corpse Vanishes
Ep. 05. The Crawling Hand
Ep. 06. Robot Monster
Ep. 08. Project Moon Base
Ep. 09. Robot Holocaust
Ep. 10. Moon Zero Two
Ep. 11. Untamed Youth
Ep. 12. The Black Scorpion
Ep. 13. Women of the Prehistoric Planet

I am missing:
Ep. 07. The Slime People

Season 2

Ep. 1: Rocketship X-M
Ep. 2: The Sidehackers
Ep. 4: Catalina Caper
Ep. 6: Ring of Terror
Ep. 9: The Hellcats
Ep. 10: King Dinosaur
Ep. 11: First Spaceship on Venus
Ep. 12: Godzilla vs. Megalon
Ep. 13: Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster

I am missing:
Ep. 3: Jungle Goddess
Ep. 5: Rocket Attack U.S.A.
Ep. 7: Wild Rebels
Ep. 8: Lost Continent

Season 3

Ep. 1: Cave Dwellers ("The Blade Master")
Ep. 2: Gamera ("Gammera, the Giant Monster")
Ep. 3: Pod People ("Extra Terrestrial Visitors")
Ep. 4: Gamera vs. Barugon
Ep. 5: Stranded in Space ("The Stranger")
Ep. 6: Time of the Apes
Ep. 8: Gamera vs. Gaos
Ep. 9: The Amazing Colossal Man
Ep. 10: Fugitive Alien
Ep. 12: Gamera vs. Guiron ("Attack of the Monsters")
Ep. 14: Mighty Jack
Ep. 15: Teenage Cave Man
Ep. 16: Gamera vs. Zigra
Ep. 18: Star Force: Fugitive Alien II
Ep. 19: War of the Colossal Beast
Ep. 20: The Unearthly
Ep. 21: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Ep. 23: The Castle of Fu Manchu

I'm missing:
Ep. 7: Daddy-O
Ep. 11: It Conquered the World
Ep. 13: Earth vs. the Spider
Ep. 17: The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent
Ep. 22: Master Ninja I
Ep. 24: Master Ninja II

Season 4

Ep. 1: Space Travelers ("Marooned")
Ep. 2: The Giant Gila Monster
Ep. 3: City Limits
Ep. 4: Teenagers from Outer Space
Ep. 5: Being from Another Planet ("Time Walker")
Ep. 6: Attack of the Giant Leeches
Ep. 7: The Killer Shrews
Ep. 8: Hercules Unchained
Ep. 9: Indestructible Man
Ep. 10: Hercules Against the Moon Men
Ep. 11: The Magic Sword
Ep. 12: Hercules and the Captive Women
Ep. 13: Manhunt in Space
Ep. 14: Tormented
Ep. 15: The Beatniks
Ep. 16: Fire Maidens of Outer Space
Ep. 17: Crash of Moons
Ep. 18: Attack of the The Eye Creatures
Ep. 19: The Rebel Set
Ep. 20: The Human Duplicators
Ep. 21: Monster a Go-Go
Ep. 23: Bride of the Monster
Ep. 24: Manos: The Hands of Fate

The only movie I'm missing is:
Ep. 22: The Day the Earth Froze

Season 5

Ep. 1: Warrior of the Lost World
Ep. 2: Hercules
Ep. 3: Swamp Diamonds ("Swamp Women")
Ep. 6: Eegah
Ep. 7: I Accuse My Parents
Ep. 8: Operation Double 007 ("O.K. Connery")
Ep. 9: The Girl in Lovers Lane
Ep. 10: The Painted Hills
Ep. 12: Mitchell
Ep. 13: The Brain That Wouldn't Die
Ep. 15: The Wild Wild World of Batwoman
Ep. 16: Alien from L.A.
Ep. 17: Beginning of the End
Ep. 18: The Atomic Brain ("Monstrosity")
Ep. 20: Radar Secret Service
Ep. 21: Santa Claus
Ep. 24: 12 to the Moon

I am still missing:
Ep. 4: Secret Agent Super Dragon
Ep. 5: The Magic Voyage of Sinbad
Ep. 11: Gunslinger
Ep. 14: Teen-Age Strangler
Ep. 19: Outlaw
Ep. 22: Teen-Age Crime Wave
Ep. 23: Village of the Giants

Season 6

The episodes are in original air date order, not in the production order, as most lists show.
Ep. 1: Girls Town
Ep. 2: Invasion U.S.A.
Ep. 4: Colossus and the Headhunters
Ep. 5: The Skydivers
Ep. 6: Bloodlust!
Ep. 7: The Creeping Terror
Ep. 8: Code Name: Diamond Head
Ep. 9: The Violent Years
Ep. 16: Racket Girls
Ep. 18: High School Big Shot
Ep. 19: Red Zone Cuba
Ep. 20: Danger!! Death Ray
Ep. 21: The Beast of Yucca Flats
Ep. 23: The Amazing Transparent Man
Ep. 24: Samson vs. the Vampire Women

I am missing:
Ep. 3: The Dead Talk Back
Ep. 10: Last of the Wild Horses
Ep. 11: The Starfighters
Ep. 12: The Sinister Urge
Ep. 13: San Francisco International
Ep. 14: Kitten with a Whip
Ep. 15: Zombie Nightmare
Ep. 17: The Sword and the Dragon
Ep. 22: Angels Revenge

Season 7

I'm including the movie at the start of the season, rather than release date, as it seems to fall in the timeline between Frank's departure (end of Season 6) and before Pearl's arrival (Season 7).

Movie: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie ("This Island Earth")
Ep. 1,2: Night of the Blood Beast (Thanksgiving episode, and standard episode with traditional host segments.)
Ep. 3: The Brute Man
Ep. 4: Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell
Ep. 5: The Incredible Melting Man
Ep. 7: Laserblast

I am missing:
Ep. 6: Escape 2000

Season 8

Ep. 1: Revenge of the Creature
Ep. 2: The Leech Woman
Ep. 3: The Mole People
Ep. 4: The Deadly Mantis
Ep. 6: The Undead
Ep. 7: Terror from the Year 5000
Ep. 9: I Was a Teenage Werewolf
Ep. 10: The Giant Spider Invasion
Ep. 11: Parts: The Clonus Horror
Ep. 12: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies
Ep. 13: Jack Frost ("Father Frost")
Ep. 16: Prince of Space
Ep. 17: The Horror of Party Beach
Ep. 19: Invasion of the Neptune Men
Ep. 20: Space Mutiny
Ep. 22: Overdrawn at the Memory Bank

I am missing:
Ep. 5: The Thing That Couldn't Die
Ep. 8: The She-Creature
Ep. 14: Riding with Death
Ep. 15: Agent for H.A.R.M.
Ep. 18: Devil Doll
Ep. 21: Time Chasers

Season 9

Ep. 2: The Phantom Planet
Ep. 3: The Pumaman
Ep. 5: The Deadly Bees
Ep. 6: The Space Children
Ep. 7: Hobgoblins
Ep. 9: Gorgo
Ep. 10: The Final Sacrifice
Ep. 12: The Screaming Skull
Ep. 13: Quest of the Delta Knights

I am missing:
Ep. 1: The Projected Man
Ep. 4: Werewolf
Ep. 8: The Touch of Satan
Ep. 11: Devil Fish

Season 10

Ep. 1: Soultaker
Ep. 2: Girl in Gold Boots
Ep. 4: Future War
Ep. 5: Blood Waters of Dr. Z ("Zaat")
Ep. 7: Track of the Moon Beast
Ep. 10: It Lives By Night ("The Bat People")
Ep. 11: Horrors of Spider Island
Ep. 12: Squirm
Ep. 13: Diabolik ("Danger: Diabolik")

I am missing these movies:
Ep. 3: Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders
Ep. 6: Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues
Ep. 8: Final Justice
Ep. 9: Hamlet

Season 11

Ep. 2: Cry Wilderness

I'm missing all but that one movie:
Ep. 1: Reptilicus
Ep. 3: The Time Travelers
Ep. 4: Avalanche
Ep. 5: The Beast of Hollow Mountain
Ep. 6: Starcrash
Ep. 7: The Land That Time Forgot
Ep. 8: The Loves of Hercules
Ep. 9: Yongary, Monster from the Deep
Ep. 10: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom
Ep. 11: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II
Ep. 12: Carnival Magic
Ep. 13: The Christmas That Almost Wasn't
Ep. 14: At the Earth's Core

Season 12

I'm missing all of the movies:
Ep. 1: Mac and Me
Ep. 2: Atlantic Rim
Ep. 3: Lords of the Deep
Ep. 4: The Day Time Ended
Ep. 5: Killer Fish
Ep. 6: Ator, the Fighting Eagle

That's 2/3 of the total movies they riffed, missing 70 of the 210 different films.

I'm still building my library as I rebuild my library. Maybe I'll live long enough to watch them all.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Movie Library Rebuild

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had done a stupid and had accidentally deleted nearly my entire movie library.

Briefly, here's what happened.

My video library -- movies and TV shows -- was all imported into iTunes. Most were iTunes purchases, but I had also ripped DVDs and placed the files into iTunes. This allowed me to watch my content from an Apple TV device.

I decided to move my content into Plex, since that would expand the available devices for my content. That meant "ripping" iTunes video content (much like one does DVDs) and placing the resultant MP4 files into directories Plex would read.

After I copied all my DVD rips, I screwed up and accidentally deleted my iTunes purchases from my local library, meaning I had only a couple of hundred movies instead of over 1,500.

Even more simply put: tried to move my files, accidentally deleted most of them.

That wasn't fun. And I've been spending many off-hours rebuilding the library.

It's been slow going, but I am making progress. I did make a few changes along the way. Plex allows me to separate movies into different libraries. For example, I've created a separate library for short films. In iTunes, all videos were either Movies, TV Shows, or Home Movies. In Plex, I can arrange them however I like. So, I moved all my short films -- Disney, Pixar, Warner Bros. (Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, etc), Buster Keaton shorts, Christmas specials (Rudolph, Peanuts, etc), and so on -- into a separate library.

That move alone dropped the number of "movies" I had to a much lower number. Currently, I now have 561 short films. I didn't have that many before, because all of the Looney Tunes -- including 112 Bugs Bunny, 53 Daffy Duck, etc -- were under "TV Shows" although they were simply short film collections. Now, they are listed as short films, and categorized by character. Buster Keaton shorts are all together. Georges Méliès short films are all together. And so on.

I've also been able to import Amazon-only purchases into my library. I actually has a utility that would help with that for some time, but never used it until recently. It does an okay job. I still have to do a process on those movies after I download them, but it's not much worse than doing an iTunes movie. And, I've now got them all in my library.

That leaves me with 1,292 movies. That's full-length movies. There are still 166 that need to be imported from iTunes. That means that, as of now, I have 1,458 movies, or will once I've imported the rest of the iTunes purchases.

That number will change soon, though. Once of the tasks I've taken on is getting the un-riffed version of the movies that Mystery Science Theater 3000 took on. And, I've made some progress there. More about that another time.

So, I'm making progress. And, when I'm done, I hope I live long enough to watch them all.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Washington's Birthday (2020)

George Washington
Today is Washington's Birthday. Well, it's not, but it is. It's the federal holiday "Washington's Birthday." Some people call it "Presidents Day" because some people are stupid. There is no federal holiday called "Presidents Day." Never has been.

When George Washington was born, the date was February 11, 1731. You see, the United Kingdom of Great Britain was using the Julian Calendar back then. There is an issue with leap years with the Julian Calendar, so the calendar was always slowly getting more and more inaccurate. Also, in England and the colonies, New Year's Day was on March 25. Go figure.

Anyway, in 1750, the U.K. changed to the Gregorian Calendar and fixed things. New Year's Day was now in January. The calendar dates were adjusted 11 days, which meant that, retroactively, George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. But that was only the first time people screwed around with his birthday.

The federal government did try to do right by Washington in 1879 when they added a fifth national holiday. Washington's Birthday, February 22nd, was added to the list of New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day as national holidays. Other holidays were added later, until we have the ten we have today.

In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act went into effect, moving many of the holidays to Mondays instead of the proper or traditional day. Washington's Birthday was one of those. And, just like the government, they made it so it would never be right. The holiday falls on the third Monday in February, which means it can be as early as the 15th, and as late as the 21st. It will never be on the 22nd, which is when it actually is.

Some states used to celebrate Lincoln's Birthday on February 12th. Around half the states have state holidays honoring both Lincoln and Washington today. And, states can do that. Still, the federal holiday is, and has always been Washington's Birthday.

If your state celebrates more than just George Washington today, fine. Honor Lincoln and the other presidents that your state recognizes. But, there is a reason the federal holiday is simply Washington's Birthday. Don't forget to honor the man without whom we might very well not have this great nation.

George Washington. February 22, 1732 - December 14, 1799. First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Space Junk

Suddenly, some people are all concerned about satellites orbiting earth.

The Night Sky Will Never Be Same...
Thousands of Artificial Lights Streak Through Dark...
Musk, Bezos Junk Up Atmosphere...

What these people don't seem to realize is that there have been artificial satellites and large space junk orbiting Earth since October 1957. By the time Sputnik 1 decayed and reentered the atmosphere, other satellites were orbiting. We've not been without stuff in space for over 52 years.

With the number of satellites that are being launched by Amazon, SpaceX, and other companies, it's suddenly a problem? The people complaining haven't seen the night sky in years. I can go out and look up into the night sky and see things. I still like to do that. But people who don't are suddenly getting their panties in a wad over some companies putting up satellites that will provide Internet access over the entire country.

Don't get me wrong. Space junk is a problem. And the increased number of satellites will increase space junk. But space junk in the form of more Internet access. Have you seen what's on the Internet. I'd stay clear of that thing if I were you.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Maybe She Has The Right Idea

Everybody on the right is getting their panties in a wad about Nancy Pelosi ripping up her copy of Trump's State of the Union address. Well, not everybody. I'm not.

You see, I think this should become a trend.

Think about it. Somebody stands up in Congress and gives some papers to the Speaker of the House. The person reads it, then the Speaker of the House rips it up.

Imagine if that was a bill.
"Madame Speaker, I present to you my proposal that the government get involved with the regulation of the color of vacuum cleaner bags. We cannot allow this plethora of colors of vacuum cleaner bags to continue to cause confusion among the American consumer when having to choose between beige, taupe, off-white, and light grey. My proposal would allow for the creation of the Department of Vacuum Cleaner Bags with oversight authority on all such items manufactured in or imported into the United States and offered for sale to consumers.

I also present my accompanying proposal that covers industrial vacuum cleaner bags and ensures they conform with the standards set forth by the E.P.A. and the United Nations Climate Neutral Strategy.

I also present my accompanying proposal to increase funding to the United Nations specifically for its Climate Neutral Strategy."
Tell me, would you be upset if the Speaker then ripped it to shreds?

It should be the duty of the Speaker of the House to rip up everything handed to her (or him, once things right themselves). If that means a presidential speech or two gets ripped up in the process, that's the price we have to pay.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Iowa Stubborn

With apologies to no one (although the late Meredith Willson might not care for this)...

Oh, there's nothing to say
About the Iowa way to caucus,
When we caucus
Which we can’t get right at all.

There's an Iowa kind of special
Chip and software attitude.
We've never been without.
That we recall.

We can be down
As your falling poll numbers in the backrooms
If you ask to get the vote results on time.
And we're so by God stubborn
We won't admit that there's a problem
For a week or more.
Want the results? You can kiss our ass.

But what the heck, we'll tell ya,
What we think we want to tell ya
You can throw a fit
But really keep it to yourself.
You really shoulda give Iowa a pass.

But we'll give you a kick
And a smack to go with it
If your polls should happen to crash.

So, what the heck, you're welcome,
Glad to have you with us.
Even though you may not ever want to come again.

You really ought to give Iowa
Hawkeye Iowa

Ought to give Iowa a pass!