Monday, February 21, 2011

MST3K: Showcasing the worst.

Have you ever had to sit through a movie that goes down way below watchable tag? Something for which awful is an understatement? I am not talking about duds like Drona or Sanctum... what I mean are things that are much, much worse. Movies in which not even one scene, one shot or one dialog makes sense. Worst lot of actors, bad direction and pathetic in every department.  I had watched a Tamil movie some years back with one of my friend, something called Veerasami. It was a one man show, directed, written, acted, edited, composed and God knows what else by veteran Tamil actor T Rajendar, or T R as he is popular. The three hour movie is such an experiance, we were laughing our hearts out, scene by scene. There were only few scenes when we did not laugh and that were the comedy scenes. But after the movie, we felt very light hearted. It seemed a worthy effort.
I relived this experiance recently when I watched an episode of MST3K on youtube. MST3K or Mystery Science Theatre 3000, is a very popular comedy TV series of 90s which made fun of B grade sci fi and horror movies. Many movies from 50's to 90's that would have been fallen to oblivion got a new lease of life through this series. Most of the movies featured are regulars in the worst movie lists. The format is like this: A poor janitor is tricked and send to outer space by two evil scientists, (in later episodes it is an evil woman who does this.) as a plan to dominate the world. In a space ship, he is made to watch the worst movies ever made. The plan is to unleash the worst movie that makes him insane to the mankind and make them zombies. To escape from getting insane, the janitor Joel, (Mike in later episodes) makes some robots which can converse with him. All this story is told in the title song.  In each episode Joel and robots are made to watch one bad movie. After the title song and a funny introduction, the movie is started. Below the screen Joel and robot are visible as silhouettes. While the movie is being played, they makes a funny running commentry on the movie.     

The episode that I watched featured this movie called Hobgoblins, touted as one of the worst movies ever made in history. The creatures are puppet like aliens ("palm sized big foot" in Mike's words!) who can cause anyone's wildest fantasies come true, but the hitch is that the fantasies turns disastrous killing the person. The creatures hiding in a film vault of an abandoned studio, is released by the new security guard. They follows him and get to his friends, who incidentally are the most weird people on earth. Lots of things happens, which makes the plight of audience no less bad. But the running commentry of Mike and Bots keeps you glued..!

There is a scene where an army returned guy gives the security guard a lesson on combat with garden shovels! The fight goes on and on and Mike quips, " Wow, I think I can watch this thing forever."

Check these scenes out for a sample of what's ahead if you feel like watching it: