MST3K – 25 Years Of Making Terrible Movies Enjoyable

Yesterday, it was 25 years since Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3k as it shall be known for the rest of this article, because it is much quicker to type!) first graced our television screens and it is a shame to say, that even though it has become one of the most beloved cult television shows ever; only a handful of people, in the grand scheme of things, have ever heard of it.

The show changed the way that people watched television forever and made it possible for bad movies to be enjoyable once again.

To explain  the premise of the show to someone that has never heard of it can often seem like a daunting task; but if you are reading this and have never heard of the show (and I implore you after finishing this to go out immediately and watch some, you will thank me. In fact, don’t even finish this article, go now! Go enrich your life with the genius that is MST3K, and then come back; that’s if you can drag yourself away from the show!) I will try and sum it as plainly as possible. The show revolves around a man (Joel Robinson for the first 4 and half seasons and Mike Nelson for the remaining 6 and half) and his robot companions trapped on a satellite, being forced to watch terrible movies in an attempt to find the one film that will break the will of the human race and the evil scientists that have imprisoned him can take over the planet.

MSTK3K mike and joel

Still with me? Now, as Mike or Joel and the bots, are forced to watch the movies, the audience as well are made to join in with the viewing hell, and get to watch them comment on the movie as it is playing. They are shown as silhouette across the bottom of the screen and the audience (as in us) are sat behind them.

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To many this sounds like something terrible and a complete waste of time to watch. Whilst to others, it is a slice of pure heaven.

MST3K-logo

Now even though it has been 25 years since the show started, and it has been off the air for 14, although it was kept alive by people who kept sharing the tapes, a debate still rages on till this day over who was the better host on the show. Joel or Mike. It is something that splits MST3K fans down the middle. I for one am a Mike Nelson fan, but that is just my personal preference.

Fans of MST3K needn’t worry in this day and age though, because it has progressed into other things as well, such as Cinematic Titanic, which features some of the original cast of MST3K and its original creator Joel Robinson and RiffTrax, which likes to riff over modern day movies.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 holds a special place in many peoples hearts even after all of this time and it has become a much loved cult TV show that is so obscurely quotable that it allows you to make friends in an instant if you hear someone even mentioning “ROWSDOWER”. I highly recommend checking it out and if its style isn’t for you, well at least you can say you tried!

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Movember Movie Special – Napoleon Dynamite

kip

The latest offering in the Movember Movie Special is Kip from Napoleon Dynamite. Whilst he isn’t the main character in the 2004 smash hit, he is by far one of the favourite’s with fans of the film. Played by Aaron Ruell, who got his acting debut in the film; Kip is brother of the title character and brings some of the classic moments to the film.

Whether the moustache is necessary for the role is yet to be ascertained, but it certainly brings another dimension to the character. Not many people can pull off the style of facial hair that he has; and it is because not many people want to rock a moustache of this style!

Movember Movie Special – Tremors

Tremors poster

Next up in the Movember movie special list is Tremors. Often forgotten about when it comes to cult movies, this little movie has garnered enough attention to spawn a few sequels and holds a place dear in many film fans hearts.

The character that has brought this movie into the list is Burt Gummer, played by Michael Gross. Every B-Movie has a character that reckons they can save the day single handedly, and this homage to the genre is no different. Burt, alongside his wife Heather, feels that he has enough ammo and firepower, along with supplies to tie them over in the event of a nuclear attack; to survive the onslaught of the graboids. Oh how wrong he is, and yet you want to believe him because he sports such a manly ‘stache.

burt gummer

Few men can pull off such a daring piece of facial hair. It says to the world that they play by their own rules and they are damned if anyone is going to tell them any different. They are certainly one you want on your side in the event of being stuck in such a predicament as the residents of Perfection find themselves in.

Movember Movie Special – Kill Bill Vol. 2

pai mei

Say what you want about Quentin Tarantino, to some he is the saviour of modern cinema and to others he is a just a plagiarist who rehashes others peoples ideas and claims that he allowed to do because he is smarter than the average cinema goer. He will always decide people when his films; but it cannot be denied that he manages to create some damn memorable characters.

In amongst all of the madness that is Kill Bill saga, we are introduced to the character of Pai Mei and he becomes one of the most important characters within the films; even though he is often forgotten about. It is he who teaches Beatrix the skills that allow her to have her revenge on the people that have wronged her in her life. Whilst he may not be as well known as Bill or memorable as Buck (My name is Buck, and I’m here to fuck), if it wasn’t for Pai Mei, Beatrix would still be stuck in that coffin!

Most importantly though, seeing as how these articles are to celebrate Movember, check out his awesome facial hair! How could you not want to be taught martial arts by someone who looks as impressive as Pai Mei. All martial arts instructors should be made to attempt to copy his style at least once in their lives. I know it isn’t the most original of facial hair, because this style has been worn by martial arts masters in cinema for years, but as I mentioned earlier on; Tarantino likes to show audiences how much he has watched over the years and drop bits in every so often in his films.

Movember Movie Special – The Campaign

the-campaign-poster

Now a list of movies about facial hair couldn’t be compiled these days without featuring Zach Galifianakis in it at some point. Zach has become the go to guy in recent years for anyone that wants a slightly wacky character sporting a rather lustrous beard; the two seem to go hand in hand though with cinema viewers – offbeat character = must have beard. However, seeing as how this is Movember, I thought it would be best to show Galifianakis in one of his more recent films where he hasn’t gone “full beard”.

The film in question is 2012s The Campaign, and features both Zach and Will Ferrell. Ferrell spends the majority of the movie clean shaven, representing a true American clean cut style, whilst Galifianakis has moved away from his trade mark beard and sports the moustache seen more prominently in the poster below.

zach galifianakis moustache

Several jokes are made throughout this political comedy towards Zach’s character, Marty Huggins’ facial hair and how he could be a member of Al Qaeda. It just goes to show, how even though it is used for comedy purposes; facial hair still makes some people feel uncomfortable and still has allusions to terrorism attached to it.

The movie itself has some rather funny moments, especially if you don’t mind seeing the dog from The Artist, getting sucker-punched in the face! For such a stellar cast of two comedy heavyweights such as Ferrell and Galifianakis, it does feel like there is something lacking from the overall piece. Maybe Zach should stick to the full beard for all of his movies; only time will tell!

Movember Movie Special – Cast Away

November has, over recent years become more commonly known as, Movember. In which men are  encouraged to grow a moustache and raise money to support cancer. Whilst this is all well and good, people need to remember that facial is for life and not just for November (being a bearded man, this is an issue close to my heart!)

So in support of Movember, I intend to show you all a few of the classic pieces of facial hair in the world of cinema! If you want to get involved with the discussion, feel free to throw your own thoughts and opinions in on twitter; follow the site at @BlogTheDoorsOff

To start off, the best place seemed to be one of the most impressive beards in recent cinema history. This honour belongs to Tom Hanks and his character, Chuck Noland, in Cast Away.

castaway-tom-hanks

Whilst many may think that the most memorable thing about this movie is the fact that it is the longest advert for FedEx known to man or they never realised how upsetting a scene in which a man loses a volleyball could actually be (see the video below); the real star of the show is Hanks and his facial hair.

The reason I personally feel it is so impressive, is because of the drastic change in Nolands character and appearance during the film. Hanks himself put on all of the original weight that we see Chuck carrying at the beginning of the film and it is the complete juxtaposition of how he is presented by the time he escapes from the island that makes his overall look so impressive. During the time it took for Hanks to lose the weight he had put on for the roll, he also grew a majority of the hair himself, so hats off to him for growing his own beard; instead of just using make up (during the time it took for him to do all of this, director Robert Zemeckis went off and made What Lies Beneath, so his time wasn’t completely wasted waiting for Hanks to get skinny and hairy).

To me it a shame to see Chuck completely clean shaven at the end of the film, but that is just my personal opinion.