Movie sign with Mystery Science Theater 3000

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I watched it on Comedy Central back in the day, and followed it to its new home on the Sci-Fi Channel in the late 1990s.

Heck, I even watched the Mystery Science Theater Hour, which broke episodes up into two-part, 60-minute shows, and I made a trek to an out of town theater to see MST3K: the Movie (1996), which never received a wide release, because the distributor decided to spend its money promoting Barb Wire instead. Yeah.

But, for those uninformed, perhaps I should explain the show: A man (either Joel or Mike depending on the season) is trapped in outer space with his two robot buddies (Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot). The trio is forced to watch bad movies — and they make jokes during the process.

I savored the absurd, random humor, the silly genre films, and let’s be honest, the robot puppets were a draw as well. I spent many hours of my youth, and now of my adult years, watching and re-watching episodes. My collection of episodes on VHS, some taped off TV, traveled with me to college, and then to my post-college life.

Watching shows taped on TV in years past is always a fun walk down memory lane. Remember the collect calling craze of the late 1990s? Commercials with the likes of Carrot Top telling us which service to use are forever stored on my MST3K VHS collection.

Some may chide me for hanging on to such an outdated medium, but due to the nature of MST3K (which had to obtain the rights of the films they lampooned) not every episode is available for (legal) home viewing.

But then — enter Netflix.

Once I realized I could watch a great quantity of MST3K episodes via Netflix’s Watch Instant service, I was in heaven. I even noted this landmark event with the Internet equivalent of the town crier, Twitter, observing thus: “Episodes of MST3K are now available on Netflix Watch Instant. Clearing my schedule for the next month.”

If my teenage self could see me being able to watch a number of MST3K episodes on demand, without having to fast forward through collect calling commercials featuring Mr. T., he would scream with jealousy. But, after his bout of scream therapy, I would tell Teen Daniel to go and actually talk to a few girls (and to leave the MST3K baseball cap at home for a change).

But where to start when it comes to choosing your own MST3K adventure? I use the website Instant Watcher to find my titles, as Netflix’s search feature leaves something to be desired.

Here are a few favorites, in no particular order:

The Wild World of Batwoman: Buxom avengers in short-shorts and mini-skirts do battle with the vile Rat Fink. This film is pure exploitation cheese.

Eegah!: A giant caveman that time forgot terrorizes teens in dune buggies with stupid haircuts. Watch out for snakes!

Horrors of Spider Island: A plane full of leggy dancing girls, along with their sleazebag manager, crash land on an island full of spider puppets. Better still, the film is hilariously dubbed in English, and full of catfights.

Cave Dwellers: A shirtless Conan wannabe (the barbarian, not the comedian) fights his way across a land filled with swords, sorcery, and terrible fake mustaches.

Pod People: What happens when you throw together an animal obsessed child, a pop singer and his groupies, a group of egg poachers, and a few aliens? I have no idea, but it is called Pod People.

Final Sacrifice: One of my all-time favorites from the Sci-Fi Channel years. It is a tale of high adventure in the wild, uncharted forests of Canada. Lost cities, killer cults, hockey hair, and more. This episode introduced MST3K fans to the likes of denim encased Canadian adventurer, Zap Rowsdower.

By watching MST3K over and over, I developed a love of running gags, obscure pop-culture references, and a quick wit of my own—which I put to use as a writer, especially when I write for Lost Highway’s B-Movie Reviews.

So queue a few episodes, invite some friends over, and partake in the absurd hilarity that is Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Daniel J. Hogan is the Geek half of Ginger and the Geek. You can follow him on Twitter, @danieljhogan

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8 Responses to “Movie sign with Mystery Science Theater 3000”
  1. Lindsey says:

    I’ve got the Wild Wild World of Batwoman on VHS! My GOD it’s a mess!
    I Accuse My Parents is also a FANTASTIC episode.
    As for The Movie: I spent the better part of an entire summer watching it repeatedly. “Then I ram my ovipositor down your throat, and lay my eggs in your chest! But I’m *not* an alien!”
    I have nothing but respect and awe for your obsession. :)

  2. mvl says:

    My faves are Werewolf (Warwilf), Riding With Death (Being Ben Murphy) and Space Mutiny (Brick Lunkchest).

    Time Chasers (Big and Pink) is also freaking hilarious.

    • I love-love-love Riding with Death and Space Mutiny. “Hi, I’m Ben Murphy!”

      • If MST3K were a food, I’d be 700 pound happy man wearing assorted muumuu’s and have to be fork lifted off the couch.

        My top 5 favorite episodes but I love every episodes like an estranged child.

        1. Final Sacrifice – Rowsdooower! Never has Canada been so funny…well maybe except for curling. “I wonder if there’s beer on the sun!” more denim in that movie than should be allowed by Canadian law.

        2. Legend of Boggy Creek 2. Despite I’ve been mispronouncing it “Boogie Creek” all these years I still find the redneck jokes hilarious. If you get the chance be sure to check out the original Boggy Creek as it’s actually a pretty creepy pseudo-documentary. Boggy Creek 2 on the other hand is creepy mainly due to the tiny man shirts and a scrawny cracker boy who refuses to wear a shirt.

        3. Hobgoblins – If Gremlins was made a coke smoking high school drop out. The rake fight scene is often compared to the climatic light saber dual in Phantom Menace only better!

        4. Pod People – Alf terrorizes a small boy when his TV show is canceled killing dozens of teenagers and forest rangers. “Trumpy, you can do stupid stuff!” I still quote the heck out of this episode “Huzzzaaaahhh!!” usually when it’s not appropriate to say “Huzzaaaah!”

        5. Manos: The Hands of Fate – roughly translated in “Hands: the hands of fate.” The only episode I had to take a shower after watching, but still couldn’t scrub the shame away. “Time to hit the stain!” Probably the best movie ever made by a Texas fertilizer salesman.

        And in case ye’all didn’t know there’s a 24hrs MST3K channel on justin.tv. So you too can now be as unproductive as me.

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  1. […] One of the perks of Netflix Watch Instant is I can take a chance on something, without the risk of wasting a few days waiting for a DVD to arrive. I can browse, try something for a few minutes, and if I don’t enjoy the flick, I just hit stop and find something else (which usually ends up being an episode of MST3K). […]



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