Do you like science fiction and horror films? Stuff like "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and Gammera the giant turtle films? Is your idea of fun going to Harvard Square to see "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" just so you can insult the movie without anyone complaining? If so, and if you can get the cable channel Comedy Central, then "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" (MST 3000) is for you.
The creator of this innovative show, Joel Hogdson, plays the host named Joel, a janitor at Gizmotronic Inc., who has become the guinea pig in his bosses' (two mad scientists) latest experiment. Tricked into a new space station and blasted into orbit, Joel must watch lousy sci-fi and horror films (for what reason I don't know, but why argue with two mad scientists?). Fortunately, Joel has made some new friends aboard the station, literally. He's built four robots to watch the movies with him (puppets, actually, but excellent looking for robots). There's Gypsy, whose head resembles a robot brontosaur; Cambot, a camera with legs; Swervo, who appears to have been built from a bubble gum machine bubble and a touch tone phone; and Crow, a robot built from brass parts with a long beak for a mouth.
The show consists of first Joel and the robots receiving a message from the two scientists about the film, and then the "Invention Exchange," in which both sides show off wacky inventions they've created. Then Joel, Crow and Servo watch the film and make silly comments and insults during it. There are two intermissions in which the whole gang does quick skits about something in the film (or something they made up), with one final skit in which the scientists get into the act as well.
This is an excellent show: the comments are hilarious, the skits are a riot, the robot puppets are great, and Joel is to sci-fi films what Elvira is to horror films. The show is on twice, every Saturday at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Comedy Central. You can even send in letters and artwork of the characters to the show. The address is MST 3000 Fan Club, P.O. Box 5325, Hopkins MN 55343. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.