Sunday, March 18, 2018

MST3K Favorites on Netflix (as of March 2018)

Last year Netflix started showing classic episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. They spanned the Comedy Central and Sci-fi Channel years. These offerings were a good way for new viewers to catch some excellent riffing. I posted a top ten list of my favorites from that list here.

Recently Netflix went in and scrambled their offerings a bit. Some episodes stayed, some were removed and some new ones were added. Here is a quick viewing guide for the new line up. I've also included links to the episode reviews on my blog where applicable.

(Warning some of those reviews are very old and need a bit of updating. Reader beware.)

"Old reviews without images... can we handle it?"

  • Time of the Apes
    • One of my favorite episodes from Season Three. Someone took a Japanese series inspired by Planet of the Apes, edited it with a chainsaw down to an hour and a half and dubbed it. By itself it would be hilarious. With Joel and the bots it is gold.
  • Fugitive Alien
    • This may sound familiar. One of my favorite episodes from Season Three. Someone took a Japanese series inspired by Star Wars, edited it with a chainsaw down to an hour and a half and dubbed it. By itself it would be hilarious. With Joel and the bots it is gold.
  • The Robot vs the Aztec Mummy
    • A offering from the first season, and to be honest not a great one. The movie is 83% flashback to other movies. It moves slower than molasses in January and is too painful for Joel and the bots to really get a handle on.
  • Devil Fish
    • Wonderfully bad Italian production made in Florida about a mutated shark/octopus monster. This comes from Season nine of the series and is one of the better episodes of the season. Mike and the bots have a lot of fun with this one. Perfect summer viewing.
  • First Spaceship on Venus
    • A movie that almost works. It has an intriguing premise, an international cast, some solid effects for the era, but it is a bit ponderous all the way through. This season two offering came when the cast was feeling a bit burnt out. It shows in the riffing. Could have been better.
  • Gorgo
    • Giant monster terrorizes a city, but done in England with London being the target. The movie is typical for the type (slow to start but fun once the destruction begins). This comes from season nine and should be a winner, but I always find this one average viewing. Leonard Maltin's cameo in the host segments is a hoot though.
  • Racket Girls
    • Essentially an exploitation flick about female wrestling. Strange and kind of seedy film directed by the producer of Glen or Glenda, so you kind of know what you're getting into. This season six episode has Mike and the Bots at the top of their game here, and while the movie can slog the boys are on fire. Fun, if odd episode.
  • The Girl in Lovers Lane
    • Ah, Big Stupid. This melodrama is about drifters coming to a small town and interacting with the town folk. This season five episode is more infamous for the ending of the film and Joel and the bots reaction to the ending than the riffing itself. Solid fun.
  • The Touch of Satan
    • What happens when you combine Love Story and The Exorcist. Um... well nothing good. This 1970s horror/romance hybrid is hilariously bad and Mike and the bots have a great time and make this one of my favorites from Season Nine.
  • City Limits
    • It is 80s. It is post apocalyptic. It isn't as good as Warrior of the Lost World, so that tells you quite a bit there. This movie is a ton of fun because of the cast including James Earl Jones, Kim Catrall and Robbie Benson to name a few. The riffing is middle of the road though. Joel and bots tackled this on in Season four.
  • The Beginning of the End
    • Ever wonder what it would be like to see Peter Graves battle giant grasshoppers? Me neither, but now we have a movie for it. Mike and the bots have a good time with this movie and the Chicago location in Season Five. A real fun one.
  • The Girl in Gold Boots
    • This is the movie Showgirls ripped off. Ok, probably not intentionally, but they have the same plot. This 1960s flick tries so hard and yet fails so wonderfully. Mike and the bots knock the riffing out of the park for one of the best episodes of Season ten.
  • Catalina Caper
    • Another summer viewing film. This one tries to be fun beach movie with a wacky caper... and it stinks. MST3K never tackled a lot of comedies and this episode is why. Not a great riff, but has some memorable moments for season two.
  • Eegah
    • Girl meets caveman. Caveman falls for girl. Boyfriend sings a couple annoying songs. Caveman paws at girl. Everything ends in a hail of bullets. This 1960s relic is so odd and uncomfortable, but it makes a great episode. A favorite from season five.
  • Future War
    • Every time I watch this one, I want to love it. 1990s, cheesy dinosaurs, bad martial arts, hilarious terminator rip offs. But the riffing just never comes together in this one. Average episode from season 10.
  • Hercules Against the Moon Men
    • A personsal favorite for nostalgia reasons (first episode I ever saw), but still a lot of fun for fans of the 1960s Hercules films. Goofy story, endless sandstorm sequence and Joel and the bots make this a season four winner.
  • Horrors of Spider Island
    • This wretched little movie is about a group of models stranded on a tropical island with a hairy killer who is some kind of spider/wolfman thing. Endlessly stupid and exploitative. Mike and the bots seem really lethargic in this one making a below average outing.
  • Jack Frost
    • One of my favorite winter themed episodes. A mishmash of Russian fairy tale tropes mixed together with a huge helping of whimsy. Slap in some poor dubbing and you have one of the funniest episodes of season Eight. 
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate
    • Infamous. Do I need to say anything else? Declared one of the worst films of all time by many sources, Joel and the bots tackle this beast head on... and barely survive. Some very funny riffing for this movie make it a fan favorite from season four.
  • Space Mutiny
    • Another favorite from season eight. This 1980s science fiction adventure is low on budget, but rich with bad acting, hilarious dialogue and the BEST car chase ever put to film. If you've never seen this episode, check it out now!

"They are all so funny, I can't stop laughing!"


  1. Good to know. I've seen several of these without the MST3K buffer. Gorgo I saw as a kid in the theater with a friend -- for an 8-year-old it was OK. It probably wouldn't be for 8-y.o.'s today who are used to modern fx. Eegah is bizarre: it's all fun and games until a caveman crashes your pool party. Horrors of Spider Island indeed. I'm glad such historically bad films are preserved, enhanced, and available.

    1. Yeah, I'm glad I've seen (and can appreciate) these films. Not just for the effort that went into them, but also for the laughs they ended up providing over the years.

  2. There's a channel on Roku called Pluto TV that has several channels on it, one being the MST3K channel. They show these all the time which I can appreciate when I'm in the mood.

    There's another channel called Shockwerks & another called American Horror that shows older horror, slasher, and sometime they'll show some SF type stuff like CHUD, etc. These are without the MST3K treatment. As you might imagine, some are pretty interesting, some are horrible and made on a shoestring, and a cheap shoestring at that. But at least I has allowed me to see some of these films I was curious about like Tombs of the Blind Dead, Maniac, and some others. I don't think I'd want to watch a continual diet of that type thing, but ever now in then they can be interesting.

    1. Yeah those types of straight to VHS films from the 80s and 90s can be a lot of fun. Not great movies, but sometimes you run into some good ones, and most of the time they are just so cheesy that they are entertaining. Wow, CHUD, I haven't thought about that movie in a long time. I had a friend back in junior high who was obsessed with that movie... well any horror movie really.