Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Mystery Science Theater 3000: Laserblast" (1996/1978)--3/5, 1/5

"Mystery Science Theater 3000" is the brilliant show that lets you do two things at once. Each installment is an episode and a movie. Granted, they're not movies you'd ever want to see without Mike (or Joel) and the robots. And some would say many of them are still not worth watching.

Usually, the worse the movie on MST3K, the better the banter. "This Island Earth," the film viewed in the MST3K movie, proved too watchable. The commentary came across as slightly distracting.

"Laserblast" is typical of the most inept, pathetic movies served up by the show. Filmed by a one-time director, it has about ten minutes of actual laserblasting by its detestable main character. Also typical of terrible lost films, "Laserblast" is filled with shots of people getting into and out of cars, hanging out aimlessly, and generally not concerning themselves with the plot. One of the robots comments that the entire film seems to consist of second-unit footage.

This may connect to why the worst movies make the best shows. Competent genre movies are more tightly edited, leaving less room for the peanut gallery.

Is the episode funny? Sporadically, especially when the guys get into a groove. Their mockery of the cop who looks exactly like Hank Williams Jr. has its own arc. At first, he's real excited about Getting Ready For Some Football! Later, he's disappointed that people aren't ready for some football. They also have some fun with the overt transgressions of the filmmakers, pointing out the crew's reflection, the camera mount on an external shot of a van, and the misspelling of Roddy McDowall's name in the credits.

"Laserblast." I just like typing that.


Jana said...

We watched Johnny Guitar at film group and had some MST moments commenting on it. It was quite an enjoyable evening.

Amanda H. said...

Hey, I found your blog when I was doing a Bing search for pics from "Laserblast", which I'm watching right now. It's one of my favorite MST3k episodes :D