Keith Palmer (krpalmer) wrote,
Keith Palmer
krpalmer

"I looked up 'anticlimax,' and it said 'see Aztec Mummy!'"

When I got my copy of the new "fifteenth" Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD set in the mail (just before noticing other boxes on prominent display in the "new releases" section of a big audiovisual store), I saw that its back cover copy made a big deal about "laughter as the best investment in hard times." As amusing as that was, I did wonder a little about it "dating" the package and collection, which brought to mind comments seen here and there about "period references" embedded in the show itself... but in any case, I was most interested in what was inside the box.

I can suppose that, as nice as it is to watch an episode without dwelling to some extent on jotting down "riffs" to try and sweeten a general description of it, I can wish that episode would have been from later in the series than "The Robot versus the Aztec Mummy." In waiting through the spaces between less polished riffs, my mind did start wandering... even so, it was somehow intriguing to wonder anew about just how many stories had been squeezed together under the umbrella of one framing narrative, just as it was sort of amusing to see the blithe links between somehow unrelated developments that get Commando Cody to the Moon in the first chapter of the serial that preceded the movie. I found myself reflecting on my brave belief that for me the appeal of Mystery Science Theater involves working with the inherent absurdity of a movie, not taking it on from a position of opposed superiority, however amusingly that point is made at length... it does get a bit more abstract when you're just observing inherent absurdity yourself as a viewer.

In any case, I can get a sense of just how disposable this dubbed Mexican movie was anyway by the trailer for it included on the DVD, where it's the bottom half of a double bill with a vampire movie. Even so, I can somehow imagine midnight showing audiences getting frustrated waiting for the robot and throwing popcorn at the screen when it did appear. The extra feature I was particularly interested in, though, was the selection of "host segments" (if cut down from a previously released videotape) from the formative season of Mystery Science Theater, on a UHF station in Minnesota. Joel's hair starts out long and gets shorter, but even that doesn't quite distract from the fixed, staring eyes and barely working "beak" of Crow (although it's amusing to learn in one segment just what his name is supposed to stand for...)
Tags: mst3k
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