Keith Palmer (krpalmer) wrote,
Keith Palmer

MST3K 405: Being From Another Planet

My trek through the fifth episode of each season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has made it into the fourth season and "Being From Another Planet." ("Being from another planet, I didn't have a lot to do with this film.") Just like "Stranded in Space," this movie happens to have another set of Film Ventures International credit sequences tacked on at the beginning and end, and just perhaps too its own new title tossed into the opening also gives a secret away at the start... not that it seems to matter all that much.

Things open in the dark, identified by a title as "Tutankhamen's tomb." ("Oh, this is his summer tomb that no one talks about too much.") After passing by some mummies in rough shape, a boxlike sarcophagus apparently ignored since the tomb was opened is taken to a California university. ("Guests of King Tut stay at the California Institute of the Sciences.") Ben Murphy (although a 1980s kind of Ben Murphy, as opposed to the 1970s kind of Ben Murphy in "Riding With Death") plays professor Doug McCadden, in charge of investigating the mummy whose hieroglyphic name translates as "Noble Traveler." He's also romantically involved with one of his students, although this doesn't seem to matter that much to anyone. In any case, another one of his students X-rays the mummy at far too high a setting, and then just happens when looking at the freshly developed films alone to notice something interesting near the head. Sneaking back to the sarcophagus, he manages to jimmy open a drawer with five spherical gemstones in it. ("That is so lame; he's rifling the mummy for change!") To cover up for this, he blasts the mummy's head with another high dose of X-rays to make another picture.

As might perhaps be expected, when Doug the professor tries to present the mummy to the world the sarcophagus is empty. There's also some dangerous fungus around that turns a student's hand into a burnt, gooey mess. ("It's a honey-glazed hand!") While Doug the professor is trying to figure this out, the student who took the gems, frustrated in his attempt to pawn them, is just sort of giving them away so that they eventually get passed on to girlfriends. Unfortunately, the awakened mummy, usually represented by green-tinted point-of-view shots (with Crow and Tom Servo terrified by them), is going around killing people to get the gems back. ("Well, there's no emotional attachment to me. I can die!") A costume party vaguely Egyptian-themed what with the stolen mummy and also vaguely unpleasant ("They're spending eight thousand dollars a year for this?" "It's not a tuituion, it's a cover charge.") gets disrupted, and Doug the professor's girlfriend is chased by the mummy, behaving in best "horror movie victim" fashion ("Oh, don't worry, Susie, there's not enough money in the budget to have you killed!") if realising at last that the mummy is after the glowing gem she's wearing... but not quite able to take it off until she dives off a ladder. ("Oh, she missed the pool and that will affect her score!") Nevertheless, she survives the fall and Doug the professor manages to get his hands on the last gem and head to the mummy's lair just as it terrorizes but doesn't kill a young woman in the shower. ("Uh, could you turn down the fan? I'm sensitive to moisture.") Finally, with a campus administrator ready to blame the disappearance of the mummy on Doug the professor, a final confrontation takes place where Doug is shot in the arm to try and protect the mummy. The mummy puts the last gem in place, and a startling transformation takes place. ("Turns out the mummy's a lame styrofoam-headed alien!") The injured Doug is beamed up along with the being from another planet, and the administrator turns his hand into burnt goo grabbing for a remaining gem. During the end credits, Tom Servo proclaims this movie the worst they'd seen yet; in some ways, given what's coming in the series, there's a sort of strange innocence to that.

While watching this episode, I was thinking that it could be a sort of "Halloween" one given the costume party and the bots taking a blindfolded Joel into a "haunted house"; then, I managed to see that I'd already seen someone else make that exact same point. Another entertaining "host segment" was the "invention exchange," in which Dr. Forrester plans to inflict "Tragic Moments" figures on the world, including "Sparky Last Romp," "He Raises A Hand In Anger," "World's Deadest Grandma," and "Who's That With Mom." Another moment introduces the "holoclowns" who stuck around into the beginning of the next episode.
Tags: mst3k, mst3k episode
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