Image C+ Sound C+ Extras B-
2.1 "The Crawling Eye" (1989), 5.15 "The Beatniks" (1992), 10.10 "The Final Sacrifice" (1998), 11.5 "Blood Waters of Dr. Z" (1999)
by Alex Jackson I know it's loony, but I watched "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (or "MST3K") mostly for the movies. Oh, I liked the jokes. There were some episodes I laughed so hard at I had to turn off the television because I couldn't breathe. But I saw the riffing as a bonus, a way to make a good thing better. I didn't really watch the show just because it was funny, and its ironic appreciation of "bad movies" didn't strike me as all that different from the sincere appreciation I had for the likes of Plan 9 from Outer Space as a child. In fact, I don't think it's all that different from the deeper appreciation I have for those movies today. Mocking them doesn't necessarily detract from them. Their sensually visceral aspect always shines through. You can easily tell if something is any good regardless of who is talking over it. Besides, there's something amiably homey and relaxed about the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" approach. If you like a film, you should be able to enjoy it on your sofa. You should be able to converse about it in the moment. And you should even be able to laugh at it. If you can only love something with reverence, I'm not sure that's love.