Friday, November 1, 2013

Another Halloween Laid To Rest…. Really, another theme month?

Well, I warned you this was coming, so you can't say I'm pulling a fast one.

That's right. Hot on the heels of our third successful Halloween, and the first beta run of Summer Reading, I'm pushing my luck for one last theme run before the year is out.

Plus, if I pass this up, I won't get another chance for five more years.

For those who don't know it (no shame, if you don't) this November marks a particular anniversary that, as far as this blog goes, is relevant. Thanksgiving, 25 years ago, marked the first official debut of the series Mystery Science Theater 3000 on public access channel KTMA.

For those not familiar with the show...well, let me have a moment here before I go on.

OK, but in all seriousness. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (hereafter shorthanded to MST3k) was the brainchild of comedian Joel Hodgson. The premise was simple - Joel played a well meaning janitor at the scientifically minded Gizmonic Institute. Unfortunately, he wasn't particularly well liked by Dr. Clayton Forrester, an up and coming mad scientist who promptly launched Joel into space.
Yes, the backstory is pretty silly. Point is, it's mainly just there to set the show up. Each week, in his experiments to pain, Forrester would send Joel (and the robots Joel had built to keep him company a la Silent Running) a terrible movie. Joel and the bots would watch and riff the movies, many low budget, campy, or just outright terrible by design.

Again, this wasn't something you watched for the plot, the real hook was the jokes that came with riffing the movies. Once the show hit its stride in season 3, it resulted in some comedy gold. The show ran for 10 seasons off and on, spanning three networks and a spin-off movie, before it was finally laid to rest.

In its wake it has left a legacy including, but not limited to: an entire generation of comedy writers crediting it as an influence, an increased love/awareness of cinematic cheeze, and two spinoffs by the alumni of the show. Suffice it to say, its influence has been quite big for a low budget cult comedy.

So, given that I already did a panel earlier this year at a con celebrating the anniversary, why not carry it over to here as well?

Now that we're in the appointed month, I can roll out the full plan of what to expect:
-As with last month, other side reviews will still be run as circumstances allow for them.
-For 25 years, I'll be reviewing 25 of the movies featured on the show in their uncut, unriffed forms (in the interests of consistency, when the show reviewed foreign language titles, such as the Japanese kaiju movies, I have tracked down the dub they used on the series. I considered otherwise, and have even tracked down the original version of The Day the Earth Froze that I may watch at another point for the Hell of it, but again, for this, I stuck with the dubs for consistency.)
-Following this, there will be a few informal writeups regarding the series itself
-Culminating the month with a review of the show's above-mentioned spinoff movie.

Suffice it to say, this isn't going to be quite as analytical as the October writeups were. This is a bit more of a 'for fun' project.
Just letting you know what's to come.

and remember:
It's just a show, I should really just relax.

Till next Friday!

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