Friday, August 23, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Thirty-five - MST3K: Pod People, "'Chief?' 'McCloud?'"

Finally, for the first time in what seems like years, regular episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are showing back up on the stream. Don't get me wrong, I love MST3K:The Movie and its lambasting of cult scifi classic, This Island Earth, but you can only watch so many times in short order before it becomes stale.

This episode, Pod People, looks to be a cheap European horror flick that is miles away from Argento and more closer to Alf or Mac & Me. Set in "The Deep Woods" that conveniently become impossible to leave, thanks to a never seen avalanche, the Pod People (which neither come from pods nor are much in the way of people) set themselves upon several groups of folks out living the country life: some rough poachers, a family living in a fortress, and a group of musicians on vacation.

It seems that a meteor has crashed in the woods and laid some eggs. Don't ask why, just go with it. Anyways, one of the eggs hatches and gets its first contact with man at the end of a closed fist, which sends it on a rampage of killing. Another of the eggs is found and taken home by young Tommy, one of the fortress folk, who has a penchant for animals. He hatches the egg and teaches Trumpy (who looks like a cross between an Ewok and the Elephant Man) the power of kindness.

As the first alien's bodycount rises, it becomes harder and harder for Tommy to hide Trumpy, who grows from six inches to a full meter overnight. There's whimsy as Trumpy shows off his preternatural powers of telekinesis and mystery as Trumpy instantly becomes the suspect of murder when the first, unnamed alien infiltrates the fortress and kills young backup singers in the shower.

Eventually, everything comes to a head when Trumpy and Tommy try to escape to the woods but are confronted by the evil alien... who is then shot down like a dog while Trumpy and Tommy have their Yearling/White Fang moment of separation.

To me, the idea of a child in an Alf costume wandering the forests of Spain is at times comforting. For the most part, though, this is a tough movie to swallow... even with Joel and the bots riffing it. Honestly, the jokes only start picking up towards the second act when Trumpy has grown and the boys start giving him an internal monologue. My favorite scene has Trumpy going down the line of pets that Tommy keeps in cages calling everything some variation of "potatoe."

Seriously, it slays me.

I think the plot point that bothers me the most is the inexplicable Big Dipper constellation that shows up on all of the victims. It isn't explained in anyway other than through implication that the aliens come from its general direction. Why they mark their kills with it (and how they would even KNOW that constellation seeing as how they just GOT to Earth) is beyond me... and everyone, really.

The inbetweener skits are meh, but that's a problem with much of Joel's run as host for the show. He was a bit too laid back (and possibly high) to really bring the laughs... but it's still an okay episode, just not one of the best.

I can't wait till next time I review a Mystie epi as I think that I'll be doing Soultaker with Joe Estevez!

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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