The Satellite Transmissions: MST3K KTMA Ep2: Revenge of the Mysterons From Mars

And hello again! Last week I talked about Invaders From The Deep, the first episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which was a movie that featured puppets. This episode, the second episode, also features puppets. Man, it’s going to be great to get to a movie that doesn’t feature puppets. But for now, I guess we have to talk about Revenge of the Mysterons From Mars.

The Movie

I take back every mean thing I said about Invaders of the Deep. I thought that was boring. Compared to Mysterons, that was a Michael Bay film amped up to 1000. Invaders of the Deep had some fun things going for it, even some comical moments, and some unintentional humor. Mysterons? Fucking dry as hell. No humor, no fun, nothing. I literally cannot tell you what happened in the middle part of this.

And much like Invaders, this “film” is four episodes of a TV show from the ’60s called Captain Scarlet. And this is set in space. And the bad guys are Mysterons. And they’re from Mars. But most of the stuff takes place on the Moon. And some bad guys are on the Moon. Oh my god, this movie was dull.

Every characters name matches up to a color, much like Invaders did with water puns and that’s where the fun ends. There’s Captain Scarlet, Captain Blue, Captain Green, Col. White. A woman did pop up but I’ll be damned if I remember her name, it was probably Commander Aqua Marine. Light Teal? Whatever.

Ok, the little of the plot I did pick up was the humans are at constant war with the Mysterons, a race of mysterious beings from Mars, who seem to be able to possess human beings to make them do their bidding. They possess a doctor in the first part of the “film” to blow up some aircraft on the Moon. In the second segment, they possess an entire crew of people who live and work on the Moon and try to stop Scarlet and the color guards. The third segment I can barely recall, I know it involved Scarlet trying to get a crystal before it explodes or something. And the fourth involves the human race trying to reason with the Mysterons and make a peace treaty. The Mysterons say they’ll meet up in a shack in Norway (?!?) to negotiate the peace treaty but when Scarlet gets there, he finds it’s a trap and manages to leave before the shack in Norway explodes. It ends with Col. White throwing his hands up saying “oh well, I guess we’re forever at war with the Mysterons” and things come to an end.

What’s different about this film/series is the puppets actually try to look human instead of caricatures of humans. And at times the puppets need to handle something or turn something so we get a shot of human hands doing it. And you couldn’t see most of the strings in this outing. And that’s all I can really say about this. Thankfully, there’s no more puppet films, at least from the older series. Let’s get to the episode itself, shall we?

The MST3K Episode

So I didn’t realize that both this and the last episode debuted on the same night, November 24th, 1988, which was Thanksgiving. I knew the FIRST episode was on Thanksgiving night, but didn’t know they had a two episode premiere! So all the segments in this episode focus on Thanksgiving, with Joel teaching Crow and Gypsy about Thanksgiving traditions. Servo actually makes an appearance in this episode but disappears after a minute. I’m guessing this is because Josh Weinstein operated both Servo and Gypsy, and this episode featured Gypsy a lot.

In the theater, there was a bit more riffing, but still a lot of quiet moments. Servo comes in about 10 minutes after the movie starts and seems befuddled about everything. Also, he has this weird slightly southern voice that even Servo asks about during the episode. And something I didn’t touch on in the last episode, but in both, Joel openly eats popcorn. In this episode, he gives some to Crow and puts the rest in Servo’s head bubble, which is kinda adorable, I must admit. The only riff I can think of that made me laugh was when Crow said “look out, it’s another awful special effect”.

It should be noted that during these early years, they didn’t “write” their riffs. They would check out the movie, get an idea of it, and then just make stuff up while filming. You can tell this due to the delayed riffs that occur. In later episodes, the riffing would be tighter. For now, it’s something to get used to.

And that’s all I got on this one. Another kind of unremarkable episode, honestly. But before I go, I should note that the next episode KTMA Episode 3, well, doesn’t exist. I mean they made it and it aired, but no recorded version of it is found anywhere. Which is OK, because they movie they watched would get used again later, so it all kinda works out. So next week, we’ll be going to KTMA Episode 4 as we begin a five week stretch of Gamera films! Yay?

-Jason

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