When I was a young guy, Mystery Science Theatre 3000 pretty much ruled my life. Before my passion for horror or filmmaking or anything, it was MST3K that gave me an education in bad cinema and cheesy comedy. Looking bad on it, it’s still hilarious. The writing is great, the characters have a lot of chemistry, Clayton Forrester is a hilarious villain, the robots look great and the props are cheesy. Hell, I even love Tom Servo’s singing voice. But hey, not ALL of the movies they featured were that bad. These are my 10 favorite movies to appear on the show.
10. King Of The Rocket Men
OK so I’m cheating a little here, as this is more of a serial than an actual movie, but for a whole season MST3K used to open with this short before moving to it’s main bad movie. And to be fair, this is a pretty cool serial, with a cool superhero (well, kinda) and pretty inventive special effects sequences. Some of it didn’t make a lick of sense, but it’s very entertaining. And what a fun costume!
9. Robot Monster
What can I say, this movie is bad, but I love it, it’s hilarious. I already spoke about this is in a previous post, so I’m not going to go into detail. I can only say that I wish I had the Ro-Man’s costume.
8. Godzilla Vs. Megalon
Even though this poster makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE, this is one of the most ludicrous of the Godzilla film series, and that’s saying a lot. The monster with chrystler buildings for hands that burps red eggs is a true triumph of cheesyness, and Jet Jaguar? Well, what can I say about Jet Jaguar that hasn’t been said before.
7. Parts: The Clonus Horror This is a movie that definintely suffers from being in MST3K, since the movie has nudity and explilcit violence that was cut from the show. Still, the movie is a damn good scifi-horror film that was recently released thanks to the guys from Mondo Macabro, and comes highly recommended.
6. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
A quasi-feminist horror/sci fi hybrid from the 50’s has some truly surreal moments, even though it’s got some of the lowest budgets in the history of the movies to be featured in the show. With guys with deformed arms, a sexist doctor looking for the perfect body for his old wife, and a female head which shares a psychic power with a giant made out of spare parts (I have no idea), there is no way that this movie couldn’t be entertaining.
I love Gamera as much as I love Godzilla, but I can’t say I’m a fan of the old series. After all, they’re all cheesy kids movies who couldn’t appeal intelectually to anyone older than 12. Still, the first Gamera movie is still pretty damn good, has a lot of kaiju action and the monster itself is pretty cool. Still, the series didn’t get as good until Gamera: Guardian of the Universe came out in the 90’s.
4. Revenge Of The Creature
I was actually shocked when I found out this movie was in the series. I mean, this is a 30’s MGM musical compared to some of the no-budget monstrosities the show has shown. This movie continues the adventures of the Gill Man, trying to terrorize people and falling in love, this time with a blonde. The first half of the plot takes place in a marine park, pre-dating Jaws 3D by about 20 years. Man, Jaws 3D should have been on this show, that movie sucks.
3. This Island Earth
I’m breaking the rule a bit for this one, since it was on the MST3K motion picture that came to theaters for like, 2 days in the mid 90’s. Even if the jokes the guys make are hilarious, the movie isn’t that bad, as far as 50’s sci fi flicks go. And I really like the Metaluna mutant’s design.
This is one of the best eco-horrors of the late 70’s, featuring mutated earthworms killing people. The special effects are pretty creepy and gory and the acting is damn good. It almost sours the fact that Jeff Lieberman was really angry that his movie got parodied in the show. Get a sense of humor, dude.
1. Danger: Diabolik One of the best of the spy movies from the 1960’s, and directed by the master Mario Bava, this movie has it all: pretty girls, amazing sets, kick-ass action sequences and one of the most badass anti-heroes in the history of cinema. I fucking love this movie.
But it’s not all fun and games; after all, this movie is KNOWN for bad movies. And for me, these 5 almost made me want to shoot myself when I saw them without the MST3K riffing. I am convinced there is no way anyone can stay sane watching them in their normal way.
5. The Final Sacrifice
This Canadian backyard production was quite a woozy, with some amateur production values and villains that are as threatening as a recently-born kitty cat. The only good thing about this flick is ‘professional adventurer’ Rorsdower.
Watch out for snakes! One of the most popular films in the series is quite a migraine when you watch it without the riffing. Jaws from the James Bond films goes around trying to get a girl and fighting Arch Hall Jr. and his cheesy, bad rockabilly music.
3. Beginning Of The End
The wooden acting of Peter Graves fights badly-rendered giant locusts. What more can I say?
2. Monster A Go-Go.
A half-produced film that was hijacked by Herschell Gordon Lewis and turned into some cheesy sci-fi horror hybrid has some headache-inducing voice over and some of the worst audio in the history of cinema. It drags at a snails-like pace and nothing really happens with the exception of a ‘monster’ walking around and people reacting. Awful.
1. Manos: The Hands Of Fate
Oh boy… this movie. If you don’t turn this off before the first 15 minutes, you’re a brave soul like me. You might get some hilarity from the soundtrack and the infamous Torgo character, there is truly nothing there to recommend. The only movie you’ll see made by a fertilizer salesman.