Keith Palmer (krpalmer) wrote,
Keith Palmer

MST3K 601: Girls Town

Continuing my speedy trek past the first episodes of each season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I've reached the sixth season. While obviously not an accomplishment comparable to watching all the episodes, it's an episode not quite yet watched in the still-continuing project that helped inspire me to start, and I've entered the "Mike era" of the show. The change in hosts was, so I've heard, the catalyst for infamous flame wars in the MST3K fandom. With the passage of time, though, those people left fortunately got used to the history of the show. It may help that the evolutionary process of the show continued through Mike's years; he's not the only change left...

As for the movie itself, "Girls Town" is a change of pace as far as first episodes go, although the series had already taken on a whole string of what might be lumped in with it as "juvenile delinquent" movies. In some ways, too, the movie's actually pretty enjoyable, and the riffing doesn't try to force interpretations of it as worthless, providing instead just that extra touch of watchability. The movie's cast is something of a compilation of those notable from previous Mystery Science Theater experiments (blonde bombshell Mamie Van Doren, who appeared in the first season's "Untamed Youth," as the main character, and Dick Contino, who starred in "Daddy-O," in a bit part) and from the world at large (a young Paul Anka, playing a singer we're probably supposed to see as rather like himself, and Mel Torme as the villian, who's riffed on as looking "like a youthful Jabba the Hutt.") Mix in tough but understanding nuns at the eponymous Catholic school for troubled girls Mamie Van Doren is sent to, the girls at the school who have their own nasty role in teaching Mamie important life lessons (before, it's true, being nasty to the villian), and the direct connection of our heroes in the Satellite of Love to the mad scientists down in Deep 13 via "the Umbilicus," and you wind up with a pretty good episode.
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