Saturday, January 7, 2012

Laugh out loud bad

Bad movies have never been badder. And riffing on them has never been funnier than when the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K, is on the job.

It seems like only yesterday that I was laughing out loud in front of my TV as the cast of MST3K turned B-movie drek into some of the funniest, memorable scenes ever. But the show is long gone from the airwaves, running from 1988 to 1999.

But it was just yesterday -- well, last week -- that I was once again doing spit-takes and laughing till my jaw hurt courtesy of the MST3K crew. This time, the fun was live and onstage at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pennsylvania.

The creator and original cast have resurrected "the tradition of riffing on the unfathomable, the horribly great, and the just plain 'cheesy' movies of the past."

Titled Cinematic Titanic, the show we saw was a double-header of incredibly bad science fiction flicks:
  • "The Astral Factor," featuring a convicted strangler who can make himself invisible, as do Stephanie Powers' pants throughout the movie.
  • "Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks," with a mad scientist, Neaderthals Ook and Goliath, a hunchback cook, a revenge-obsessed dwarf, and two "dead-sexy biology students."

I thought I'd miss seeing the 'bots -- Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot -- but hearing those same engaging voices and sharp wit was enough to recreate the magic.

Good to see the old irreverent gang again: Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu (Crow, Dr. Forrester), J. Elvis Weinstein (Tom Servo, Dr. Erhardt), Frank Conniff (TV's Frank), and Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester).

"We've got movie sign!"

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