Misfit Monday: How to Watch Misfit Movies

Mike and the two robots (lower right) settle in for a really bad one!

A couple weeks ago, a post by my IRL friend Jim Winter reminded me of something I used to love, and had mostly forgotten: Mystery Science Theater 3000. I was first introduced to it when I was in college, by Jim and my mutual friend, Rob. It ran on Comedy Central and later the Sci-Fi Channel for several years in the late 80s and early 90s, and is now available on Netflix!

For the uninitiated, MST3k (as it’s affectionately known by fans) has a simple premise: mad scientists have kidnapped a janitor so they can monitor his brainwaves while they force him to watch really, really bad movies. His only companions are two robots, and the three of them survive by making snarky commentary throughout the whole show. Hilarity ensues!

"The last thing a sausage sees..." - robot Tom Servo while watching - LOL!

When Jim’s post reminded me of the show, I checked to see if it was available on Netflix. It is! I knew my daughter and her boyfriend would love it, so one night, we settled in to watch one they’d picked. The movie in this one was Final Justice, starring Joe Don Baker. I’d never heard of either. But wow…. this was a level of badness I’d thought had gone out with the 60s, or at least the 70s! My daughter kept commenting, “I can’t believe how bad this is!” Final Justice has it all: cheesy dialogue, implausible situations, re-used segments of footage, multiple boat chases, and of course, the ditzy female sidekick. I especially liked how the main character’s cheesy cowboy-sheriff outfit never got torn or dirty throughout all of this, until one scene near the end, where he washed up on the beach after a boat chase, and a friendly island family washed -and ironed! – it for him. The commentary was great, watching was great fun, and I got a wonderful family night out of it. (Amazingly, my daughter does not mind hanging out with me, and neither did her boyfriend.) I expect this is family fun that will be repeated!

Did you ever watch MST3k? Have you ever rediscovered something you’d forgotten you loved? I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment, and share!

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12 Responses to \

  1. Not movies, or TV shows, but people in old pictures and events in those same pix. My daughter and I spend a fair bit of time together, along with her hubby and kids. It’s a gift to be included in their busy lives.

  2. Never forgot MST3k! And did you know they live on? Mike Nelson & co head up rifftrax.com – you buy the rifftrax mp3s and sync ’em to your video and get the commentary along with the movie dialogue–it’s like watching movies with a houseful of hilarity!

  3. I haven’t seen MST3K, but I know what it’s like to dip back into oldies/goodies. 😉 I watched some old Matlock and Murder She Wrote with my mom a while back… Pretty crazy to see how much technology and other modern influences change the plot and style. But, the shows still rock!

  4. Louise, sounds like a great time! And you are so right about it being a “gift” – that my teen daughter still wants to hang out with me!

    Athena – LOL I’m not surprised that you’re an MST3K fan! My daughter told me about the site you’re talking about – it’s how they get around licensing restrictions. I guess some of the movie studios didn’t care for being in the show, LOL! I’ll have to check that out!

    August – I remember Murder She Wrote! I used to watch it with my mom too. 🙂 They wouldn’t have had cell phones or the Internet, which is hard to imagine now! But you’re right, they were still good.

  5. When my kids were in elementary school/middle school, we’d watch a televison show, Briscoe County, on tv Friday nights. It was cheesily delicious. Thanks for the reminder of those good old days.

  6. We used to watch that cheesy time sucker. LOL OMG, what a crack up it could be – and sooo bad. Most recently, the oldy that was reliving in my head was “Bonanza”. My daughter thought I was crazy to be singing the tune. She’s not old enough yet to introduce her to the show. Or what about a little “Tales From the Crypt” with Elvira? 😀

    Glad you had a great time with your daughter and her boyfriend. I hope my kids are as accepting of me when they get to be that age.

  7. I loooved MST3k! I think I discovered when I was in grad school. It gave me some great laughs:). I never saw Final Justice, but as awful as it sounds, it would be fun to watch with my kids!

  8. LOL Debra – that’s great! Somehow, I’ll bet you are cool enough that they won’t mind you, even when they’re 16. 🙂

  9. We’ve never watched MST3k, but love TCM old movies. It really is amazing how far acting has come. We keep hearing our drama coach telling us what good and bad acting is whenever we see those old, old movies. Naturally, they are breaking all her rules.

  10. CD, what amazed me about this movie was that it wasn’t that old! It was amazingly bad – the acting, the story, the settings and props… you name it. Thanks for stopping by!