Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Short List of MST3K's Best Shorts

If you're unfamiliar with the beauty and brilliance of Mystery Science Theater 3000...well, I feel sorry for you. But you're not a lost cause! I'm bringing a little bit of MST3K to you today.

If you really don't know what Mystery Science Theater 3000 is, it's a wildly popular cult TV show that aired on cable from 1988-1999. Basically, the show scrapes the bottom of the cinematic barrel and comes up with the worst movies ever created (usually sci-fi or horror, but not always), and then one human (Joel or Mike) and two robots, Crow and Tom Servo, sit in a "movie theater" as shadows in front of the screen and mercilessly make fun of the feature. It's genius. I only wish the DVDs weren't so expensive, otherwise I'd own all of them. The appeal of the show is that everyone does this when watching crappy movies. However, no one does it better than the MST3K gang.

Often, they'd attach a short film to the beginning of the feature, and since most of these shorts (and the actual films) were produced in the 50s, they were real doozies. That's what I'm focusing on in this post, through the glory of YouTube. None of them run longer than about ten minutes. I realize that might seem long, but they'll whiz by. Please watch them. You won't be sorry.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, some of the best MST3K shorts, in no particular order:

"Cheating" - A film noir about the perils of cheating in elementary school.

"A Date With Your Family" - How to make the most out of your family time in the 50s. Cater to the father, of course, especially you gals. Sara, you'll love this one, but this isn't even the most offensive to women. Just wait.

"Body Care and Grooming" - Here it is, Sara: a feminist's nightmare. Take it in, especially during the first few minutes. It makes me want to vomit, but luckily the guys are so funny that it dispels my homicidal tendencies.

"A Case of Spring Fever" - "People read slowly back then." Ah, this is one of my absolute favorites. Have you ever wished for a world without springs? Well, this guy does. Observe the ramifications. It's like It's a Wonderful Life, but with springs, and featuring Coily the Spring Sprite.

"Mr. B Natural" - I'll leave you with this riveting two-parter. Let Mr. B Natural help you pick the right instrument to suit your musical needs. "B" horrified as Mr. B prances HER (yes, Mr. B is played by a woman - how sexist could people be? Either make the character a man or call her Ms. B!) way into cinematic hell.

I hope you had fun watching these. Even as I was writing this and had the videos on in the background, I couldn't help chuckling every few seconds or so. I'd love to get your thoughts and opinions on them. Which one is the best? What are you favorite parts or lines?

Also, if anyone out there was ever forced to watch these in school during that era, please let me know. I would give anything to hear about it.

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