Last year was the first year where I participated in Listmas on this here blog (though I’ve been Listmas-ing for much longer over on Virtual Bastion, in case you want to pay us a visit…). Since listing things is a surprisingly fun pastime, I decided that I’d do it again this year. To start things off, I felt like listing my favorite episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a super fun series (recently revived on Netflix) where a guy and two robots watch and make fun of cruddy movies. It’s a seriously fun time, and I’d highly recommend it if it sounds like your cup of tea. Without further ado, my favorite episodes from the series…more or less (there were a lot to go through, so I may have missed a few…).
10: Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues
Sequel to The Legend of Boggy Creek, this movie follows Dr. Lockhart and two of his students as they seek out a Bigfoot-like creature that’s been terrorizing a small town in Arkansas. In the process, they meet a rather creepy man living by himself who happens to possess a young Bigfoot, the reason for the adult creature’s recent violent behavior.
9: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
This is a pretty fun little Christmas movie, where Santa Claus is captured by Martians because they want to celebrate Christmas on their planet. This is one of those cheesy, bad movies that would almost be fun to watch even without Joel and the bots…almost.
8: Secret Agent, Super Dragon
A spy movie that takes place in Amsterdam, this movie is not only quite funny, but it features a catchy little song played by Joel and his robot pals. It’s just a shame the only lyrics are “Secret Agent, Super Dragon”….
7: The Day Time Ended
This particular episode comes from the MST3K reboot, in which a family visits their relatives in the desert, encounter aliens, and some really confusing and bizarre stuff happens at the end. Who knows, this one could have been kind of deep, if I had any idea what was going on….
6: The Screaming Skull
Though the point of MST3K is to make bad movies funny, the Screaming Skull would actually not be that bad to watch even without the added commentary. In this movie, newly married Jenni is terrorized by the vision of a skull, but is it a mere hallucination or something more? It is also paired with a fun Gumby short!
5: I Accuse My Parents
I Accuse My Parents, paired with a short from the 1940’s called The Truck Farmer, is about a teenager named Jimmy, who ends up getting involved with criminals. The movie was supposed to teach a lesson about juvenile delinquency and how it can result from neglectful parenting.
4: Mac and Me
Another episode from the reboot, Mac and Me is a shameless ET ripoff…but without being, you know, good…or popular. A boy named Eric, who recently moved to California with his mom and brother, ends up encountering a young alien who got split up from its family. This movie is really funny, and the aliens…so creepy! I know they’re supposed to be peaceful aliens, but they’re going to seriously haunt my nightmares!
3: Manos: The Hands of Fate
Manos is an infamous episode of MST3K featuring one of the worst movies ever made (and they said Plan 9 from Outer Space was bad…). In this movie, a family gets lost and decides, clearly against their better judgement, to spend the night at a house owned by the “Master” and looked after by an extremely creepy satyr-like man named Torgo. This movie is painfully bad in all the best ways (kind of). Any MST3K fan worth his or her salt would be greatly remiss not to suffer through this one at least once. (To date, I’ve seen it three times, and it never stops being uncomfortable to watch.) Additionally, Torgo himself was such a creepy character, in fact, that he makes appearances throughout the show multiple times, along with his own eerie theme song from the movie!
2: Pod People
Pod People starts off promising with an intro that doesn’t even relate to the main movie whatsoever. In this movie, a little boy by the name of Tommy discovers and hatches a mysterious egg. The creature inside turns out to be a bizarre alien with a trunk that he names Trumpy. Not only is the movie made hilarious by Trumpy and his ability to do “stupid things”, but this is also the movie that spawned MST3K’s attempt to mimic the song in the movie, whose lyrics were difficult to understand. Instead of “hear the engines roar now”, we ended up with such gems as “idiot control now” (which was even referenced in the reboot).
1: Time Chasers
Starring a dorky, big-chinned “hero” by the name of Nick Miller, Time Chasers is easily the funniest episode to date (and the show spans 12 seasons so far!). Using his small airplane, Nick and his partner Lisa discover that the company GenCorp is going to ruin the future and sets out to stop them. If you’re new to MST3K and are looking for a good first episode, look no further than Time Chasers!