Saturday, January 16, 2010

MST3K - Season 8 Overview



Season 8 was a time of wonder and whimsy, when Mystery Science Theater 3000 returned from the grave to give us more laughs on a new network. Now on the Sci-fi Channel (renamed the SyFy Channel?) our favorite movie mocking show was ready and raring to go. But there were a few changes in store for us old timers.

First off the host segments now had an overarching story. Mike (Michael J. Nelson), Tom Servo (Kevin Murphy) and Crow (now played by Bill Corbett) return to the Satellite of Love sometime in the distant future. After coming to grips that Crow is different, they find that they are still going to be subjected to watching bad movies, but instead of dealing with Dr. Forrester (Trace Beaulieu), they were now subjected to the whims of his mother Pearl Forrester (Mary Jo Pehl)! Pearl had undergone a transformation of sorts, going from the abrasive whiny old woman into a younger aggressive and frazzled woman. She starts chasing Mike and the bots around the universe subjecting them to bad movies and picking up henchmen along the way. First Professor Bobo (Kevin Murphy) who is an ape evolved from men. And later the Observer aka Brain Guy (Bill Corbett) a hooded being who holds his brain in a pan and insists he has no body.

The host segments take aim at all kinds of silly sci-fi clich├ęs and conventions like time travel, dimensional doorways, pod people, parasitic aliens and space children. These add a new dimension to the show, but at the same time make it difficult to watch out of order, because you feel like you’re missing something. Rumor has it that the cast and crew at Best Brains weren’t too jazzed about the situation and struggled to write new material for the segments.

As for the movies, we get a bit of a mixed bag. Sci-fi Channel actually put restrictions’ on the type of films the show could tackle and were very strict about that rule for a while. They only wanted science fiction, horror and the occasional fantasy film. No short films were allowed. It even seems that they wanted to use back catalog Universal films for a bulk of the season. The result is lack of variety in the beginning of the season with nine episodes composed of nothing but black and white science fiction and horror. There are some great episodes in there, but some fans found it to be too much (I was one of them). But the second half of the season was a goldmine of classic episodes, and it makes this perhaps the strongest season of the new era of the show.

The following is a list of all the episodes in Season 10 and my ratings:
  • 801 – Revenge of the Creature
  • 802 – Leech Woman
  • 803 – The Mole People
  • 804 – The Deadly Mantis
  • 805 – The Thing that Wouldn’t Die
  • 806 – The Undead
  • 807 – Terror from the Year 5000!
  • 808 – The She Creature
  • 809 – I Was a Teenage Werewolf
  • 810 – Giant Spider Invasion
  • 811 – parts: the clonus horror
  • 812 – The Incredibly Strange Creatures who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies
  • 813 – Jack Frost
  • 814 – Riding with Death
  • 815 – Agent for H.A.R.M.
  • 816 – Prince of Space
  • 817 – Horrors of Party Beach
  • 818 – Devil Doll
  • 819 – Invasion of the Neptune Men
  • 820 – Space Mutiny
  • 821 – Time Chasers
  • 822 – Overdrawn at the Memory Bank

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