Keith Palmer (krpalmer) wrote,
Keith Palmer

MST3K: Kitten With A Whip

In the process of filling in one-episode gaps in my list of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes commented on, I've now managed to include posts on half the episodes in the show's run on cable. Not connected to that at all, I've crossed back from the eighth to the sixth season, and after spending an extended period in the "Sci-Fi Channel" era of the series something about the change seemed refreshing to me as things started off with Mike greasing up Crow so he could be folded up and shot down "the Umbilicus" on a (brief) expedition to Deep 13 (although Tom Servo thought that "was because we liked him so much!")... and that doesn't even begin to get to the episode "Kitten With A Whip" itself. ("Puppy with a nunchuck." "Dik-dik with brass knuckles." "Yak with a Kentucky long rifle." "Hamster who writes a strong letter to the Times.")

I do have to suppose that the movie has some bearing on my cultural illiteracy; while I know it's significant that it stars Ann-Margret, I've never managed to see anything else she's been in. (As well, a small point is made of one of the secondary characters later appearing in "The Six Million Dollar Man," which I'm not especially familiar with either...) In any case, though, in this movie after some jazzy opening credits ("This is where the Pink Panther comes in."), she first appears fleeing through the night in the appropriate garb of a nightgown. Eluding capture, she finds a house with newspapers scattered across the front lawn ("Convenient home delivery of Ann-Margret.") and manages to get in. In the morning, the candidate for a senatorial nomination David Stratton finds Jody, and her sob story is sufficient for him to buy her a new dress and drop her off at the bus station. However, just as he's about to tell this story to a friend the news just happens to have a piece on about the juvenile delinquent Jody Dvorak, who broke out after stabbing a matron...

David heads home to discover that Jody has re-established herself, secure in her readiness to have it all reflect badly on him. He's stuck having to keep trying to hide her from his nosy friends ("It's probably the Senate Ethics Committee dropping by unannounced... again."), until she brings her friends over. Somewhere in between the classic "juvenile delinquent" and the "hippy" eras, they're about the preppiest and most clean-cut bunch of threatening youths ever ("You know, these guys are about as intimidating as Chad and Jerry."), but David's attempts to escape keep fizzling out until, in the process of an impending brawl, the "intellectual" one has his arm hacked open by the "thug" with the candidate's confiscated straight razor ("Oh, great, we just can't have nice arms.") and winds up, in his own immortal words, "dying in a rush."

The group heads for a doctor in Mexico, David driving through the barbed wire, and Jody starting to lose friends and alienate people. David is still stuck running into his friends and having to hang out in sleazy nightclubs, until at last he gets pummelled trying to save Jody from her former friends. Jody drives him back for the border with her former friends in pursuit ("I don't know how we got this car, but let's get him!"), until at last everyone drives off the side of a cliff... Waking up in a hospital, David hears that Jody provided a cover story for him just before she expired. ("Oh, and we went in and cleaned your house and you were elected Senator and the dying girl cast the deciding vote.")

I do sort of find myself sliding in between wondering if this movie is one of the "better" ones featured on Mystery Science Theater and thinking that this doesn't really say anything, but the "riffing," while not perhaps packed with standout lines, doesn't seem to be trying to say the movie is "worse than it is" or anything. The "host segments" are likewise pretty entertaining without needing to be "spectacular."
Tags: mst3k, mst3k episode
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