Sunday, April 17, 2011

Movie Sunday: Mystery Science Theater 3000

Image from here

I know what you're thinking.  "MST3K is not a movie, it's a TV show," you say.*

"Aha!" I respond. "There was a movie! It was released between seasons six and seven." And, I don't even remember what it was about. Okay, it was This Island Earth, but I take your point. I doubt anyone saw the movie that didn't watch the show.

But I don't care. I'm a MSTie still, a dozen years after the show's run has ended. And I haven't watched any movies this week that are worth writing about. Take The Social Network, for instance. I'm not sure why everyone thought this was such a great movie. It was like critics thought if they were effusive enough, Zuckerberg might drop a billion on them. I mean it was fine, but I didn't find anything particularly outstanding about it. Maybe it's because I spend every day with computer geniuses, but I think it's more likely that it's just an average movie.

I got a new office at work a couple of weeks ago, with walls and a desk and a door and a bookshelf all of my own. I haven't had an office with walls and a desk, etc., in about four years, so this is kind of a big deal for me. I started bringing in a book a day, and the occasional piece of personabilia to make the place feel more like me.

One of the first things I brought in was a Mystery Science Theater coffee mug. It doesn't have any text -- it's emblazoned with a scene from the show featuring Joel and the bots. I put whiteboard markers in it and stuck it on my round conversation table, where it acts as a sort of litmus test of visitors. Those who know what it is are in the club. Those who -- like our purchasing agent -- pick it up and look quizzical, are not.**

If you're not a fan of MST3K, then you've undoubtedly stopped reading by now. If you are, go back and watch a couple of old episodes.  It's still a really enjoyable experience, and many of them will stream from Netflix. Some of my favorite episodes are The Crawling Hand, Prince of Space, and Time Chasers. And you should definitely save Space Mutiny. It features the fieriest golf cart crash ever, as well as a lack of continuity that is astounding.  Maybe you could even watch the movie.

* You know who you are. And so do I.

** He never had a chance. He's twenty-three and a purchasing agent. And he wears a goatee with no mustache, so he might be an Amish kid on rumspringa.


  1. I have no idea what you're talking about. Am I excused by being European, or do I fail the litmus test? I love Star Trek (original series), if that's any recommendation.

  2. It is hilarious that you post this today, as I have planned for this very evening an MST3K-watching party at my house.

    I'm not even kidding. I even have real people - several of them - coming over to watch with me. Crazy, right?

    My parents were/are big MSTies, and we used to watch the series as a family when I was a kid. Have you seen any of the Rifftrax stuff? You should check it out, if you're hankering for new-ish stuff from the MST guys.

  3. loved MST -- of course -- and have pity for those who weren't around when it aired. A new 'Dr Who' airing this weekend. Totally agree with the assessment of Social Network.

  4. I have a feeling that anyone who spends as much time on the internet as bloggers do was/is probably a huge MST3K fan. It was what I watched when I was up "studying" in high school and junior high. I miss it. I know they're all on Netflix now, and of course I have the movie (they just released on DVD like a few years ago and it was very exciting- remember that?) and yeah. I love that you love it.

  5. Oh, and I'm also with you on Social Network. I didn't get it.