As janitor Joel Robinson and his band of assembled robot friends Tom Servo, Cambot, Crow T. Robot, and Gypsy; make their way deep into space aboard the The Satellite of Love. Will Joel impress Dr. Forrester with his leaf blowing bagpipe? Will Dr. Forrester’s serum for perspiration get them the noble prize? Probably not. Regardless, Dr. Forrester gives Joel a new gut wrenching toilet bowl of a movie called The Crawling Eye! Will Joel’s new movie be the biggest stink pot he’s ever seen? Tune in to find out!
Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a television comedy show created by Joel Hodgson. Hodgson also served as the first initial host and star of the show. Co-starring voice acting of Kevin Murphy as Tom Servo and Trace Beaulieu as Crow T. Robot. The show started on a local television channel called KTMA in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Later moving to Comedy Central and running for nearly seven seasons until 1996. The show would go on to other channels like The Sci-Fi Channel and has even been revived on Netflix. MST3K has been said to be one of the best one hundred television shows in all television history and has gained an insane cult following through the years.
The premise of the show is complete and utter hilarity. Joel is on this ship called The Satellited of Love or more commonly referred to as the SOL. He’s been banished there by his boss merely because they didn’t like him. There he works on the ship and they send him terrible sci-fi/horror films to watch so they can monitor his brain. As Joel travels through space, he invents robots that keep him company and participate in the hijinks of watching these terrible films.
Each show would start with about five minutes where Joel and his robots presenting an invention or idea to his boss via video chat. Then the camera would pan through a corridor of gates and doors to reveal the movie theater. Each movie is presented with a silhouette of theater seats and Joel, Tom Servo and Crow sitting on the far left. The movie would play normally but Joel and his gang would interject comments and dialogue throughout the film. Adding a comical touch to these rather terrible movies. Often, they would pause the film and have intermissions for commercial brakes and small commentary regarding the picture.
The Crawling Eye
The very first episode featured 1958’s The Crawling Eye aka The Trollenberg Terror, a British sci-fi/horror movie directed by Quentin Lawrence. It stars Forrest Tucker, Laurence Payne, Jennifer Jayne, Janet Munro and Warren Mitchell. The film was aired as a “Saturday Serial” program. The film gained notoriety for it’s appearance on MST3K and was even a song by the horror punk band The Misfits.
The story follows Alan Brooks, a United Nations troubleshooter sent to Switzerland to investigate a set of accidents at a hotel found near Mount Trollenberg. A popular destination for mountain climbing and skiing. People are being killed in strange ways and it’s up to Mr. Brooks to discover if these deaths correlate with other deaths in the Andes mountains. On the way he meets with Anne and Sarah as they’re headed to the same hotel as they’re both a part of a traveling psychic show. It’s revealed that Anne has a psychic connection with something up in the mountains. This something feels her presence as well and starts making it’s way down the mountainside. The settlement goes into emergency mode as this thing travels through a thick fog gets closer and closer. It turns out the fog conceals alien like creatures that are giant eyeballs with tentacles!
I love It All!
This is kind of a two for one deal right now because I love Mystery Science Theater 3000 and have always wanted to pay that show the respect it deserves. Plus I love The Crawling Eye as a movie. Yea, it may be a hilarious crap fest with a very boring Forest Tucker. But it’s a fun movie that captivates the essence of Silver Age horror. MST3K was how I first experienced this film and it’s through laughing at their commentary that made me respect and love these films. There are movies that are so bad that they’re good and The Crawling Eye is a perfect example of it. Although it is a 50’s schlocky kind of movie, there’s a part of me that appreciates it. I actually own the movie and love watching it with my kids. It’s always a fun time to see the terrible effects, boring dialogue and disastrous acting. But it’s not a film that takes itself too seriously and adding the Mystery Science Theater 3000 touch to it makes it all the more better.
I grew up watching this show on Comedy Central because of my father. I remember a young little me sitting there up close to the television. Joel, Servo or Crow would make some joke with whatever was on the screen and we would laugh our asses off. They were never too crazy with the commentary, just adding soft spoken comments that would break the awkward tension of a bad movie.
I always enjoyed the calmness of Joel and thought hanging out with Servo and Crow would have been amazing. I love how Servo was a gumball machine and Crow was the goofier of the two. The show itself makes absolutely no sense at all. We have this guy on a spaceship and he’s forced to watch bad movies every single day so some scientist can monitor his mind. The data they get from Joel is never brought up or used. The entire point is to make a show where they watch bad films and make fun of them. How many people dream of being able to do something like this? I can watch terrible movies all day long, I doubt people will care about me being making fun of them? It’s hard enough getting people to read my blog! If I could even come up with material at all then that would be surprising. MST3K did something so stupid yet so very brilliant. They could take any terrible movie like The Mole People, Robot Monster or The Crawling Eye and add a certain comedic style to it. Making it a little easier to digest. I still love watching past episodes and it’s great to know the show is still striving on today. That’s why we honor Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Crawling Eye for day eighteen on Horror Movie Marathon.