Sunday, May 2, 2010

MST3K - Season 9 Overview

Season 9 falls in the middle of the three seasons that the show spent on the Sci-fi channel. It's a fairly solid representation of the show during these final years, with a good mix of episodes. If you have a favorite genre of film it's represented here. This was the Season where the endless chase format of the host segments was discontinued. Pearl and her crew stay in Castle Forrester and Mike is back in orbit over the castle. This made things a bit easier for Best Brains in handling the host segments and brought back the feel of the Comedy Central years. But I found I missed the crazy storyline they came up with in Season 8. But for those of you who enjoy the host segments there are some good ones in this season, with my favorite being Previously on the Satellite of Love for the show 905 - The Deadly Bees.
This season was also the one where short films made a come back into the show's format. For some reason in Season 8, Sci-fi channel did not want Best Brains to use short films in their show. Both shorts featured in this season are hilarious and worth seeking out. Century 21 Calling can be found on the episode 906 - The Space Children, or as an extra on the disc Killer Shrews on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Volume 7. Robot Rumpus featuring Gumby can be found on show 912 - The Screaming Skull. It's available on DAP.

There are a few episodes that are now considered classics in this season and I'll tell you my favorites.
MST3K didn't tackle the superhero genre often, but if this episode is any proof, they really should have. Everything about this film is inept and it makes for some very funny riffing. But the moments when our hero is "flying" combined with the childish soundtrack is comedy gold by itself. With Mike and bots on hand it makes it an instant classic.
What a bizarre little movie this is. From the random rules about transformation, to the odd accents (especially for residents of Flagstaff, Arizona), to the consistently changing look of the werewolf to the fact that no one can say Warwelf, or Wurwalf, or whatever it's called consistently makes this episode "Absolootilee Faceenating" and funny too.
A huge slice of 80's sleaze and cheese. You want a movie with puppets driving a golf cart? This is the movie for you. The movie strives for comedy and horror, but fails spectacularly at both. Watch for the fight scene involving gardening tools and the fantasy scenes involving the friend in his little red shorts. The host segments are right on target as well.
Zap Rowsdower. Really there isn't much else you need to say. This low budget Canadian adventure story has the wimpiest main character in a MST3K film. While I find the beginning to be on the slow side, once Rowsdower appears Mike and bots really get going unleashing riffing on the film and Canada in general. The host segments featuring "hockey hair" are hilarious.
In a way this is the weakest season of the Sci-fi years all told. But that just means that there are quite a few average episodes in the mix. And as fans of the show will tell you, even an average episode of Mystery Science Theater is ten times funnier than most other comedies on television.

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