Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is on DVD!

In November of 1988 the show Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) premiered on uhf station KTMA in the Minneapolis- St. Paul area of Minnesota. The basic premise is as follows: Joel Hodgeon was stranded on the Satellite of Love, a space station, by the maniacal Dr. Forrester. His reason, to see the affects bad movies would have on a subject over a period of time. To fend off loneliness Joel built his robot pals; Tom Servo, with a gumball machine head, and Crow, whose head resembles a hi-li scoop with squares cut into it.

The show is centered around him and the robots watching movies, making fun of plot holes, bad acting, and cheaply made special effects. While the movie plays you can see a silhouette of Joel and the robots as they sit in their theater. During movie intermissions we see them entertain themselves by re-enacting scenes from the movie. Dr. Forrester also breaks in to torture Joel and subject him to other expirements.

The early seasons sometimes suffer from jokes that only make sense to people from Minnesota. This doesn’t do too much damage since several hundred jokes are made during each film. In the second season MST3K made its premiere on Comedy Central. It found itself in a midnight time slot and the locality jokes became more minimal. Eventually the series moved to the Sci-fi channel and the plot changed dramatically. Over the course of the series the main players slowly left the show and by the last season there were none left.

When I was younger I stayed up on Saturday night and watched every episode. I’ve found they still have the same impact now as they did then. This may be because B-movies never age gracefully. They still suffer from the same flaws viewing after viewing.

If you like to point out all the absurdities to be found in low budget films you should give MST3K a try.

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