201-"Rocketship X-M" (1950)-Episode is best known for the introduction of two
new characters, Frank Coniff as Dr. F's bumbling assistant and Kevin Murphy as
Servo's new voice. Lloyd Bridges ("Sahara", "Seahunt"), Noah Berry, Jr. ("Of
Mice And Men", "The Rockford files") and Hugh O'Brian ("Wyatt Earp", "Twins")
are three of five astronauts that travel to Mars, only to perish on the way back
in this ultra-boring Bert I. Gordon sleeper.  The other two, Osa Massen (Lloyd's
love interest, briefly) and John Emery (a pretentious scientist).  Thrown off
course by something, the craft comes to land on the Red Planet, and the visitors
discover a desert world inhabited by matte paintings and extras from "It's About
Time".  Despite having nothing but rocks to throw, the cavemen manage to kill
Berry and Emery and severly wound O'Brian, while sustaining no casualties
themselves from their heavily-armed foes.  Rocket blasts off and lovebirds,
Lloyd and Osa find out that there isn't enough fuel to fire the retros, meaning
the ship will disentegrate.  Horribly dull film is made a bit easier by decent
riffing (which is a marked improvement over Season One-probably due to new
writers and the absence of Josh Weinstein).  Sketches include "The reporters Of
Rocketship X-M" and "What Are Your Dreams".  A good C+ effort.

202-"The Side Hackers" (aka-"Five The Hard Way") (1969)-This movie doesn't know
if it wants to be a motorcycle adventure, a buddy picture or a violent revenge
yarn.  Ultimately it attempts to be all three and fails on each count.  Ross
Hagen, playing "Rommell" (he also produced), looks like a cross between Michael
J. Pollard and Chad Everett and acts like an amatuer Tommy Kirk.  He owns a
motorcycle shop with Richard Merrifield (their scenes together are the best
played in film) and on the side, they participate in sidehacking.  This "sport",
which seems totally unneccesary, has a platform attached to a motorcycle where a
passenger rides for balance during the race.  The track announcer says, at one
point that sidehacking is "a new and exciting sport filled with thrills and
spills, the likes you've never seen before." Or would ever want to see again, I
might add. After the initial racing sequence, we're treated to an embarrassing
display of Rommell and his girl (Diane McBain) rolling about the ground in slow
motion.  These scenes are meant to make us feel empathy for McBain who gets
knocked off later.  Film then takes a weird turn as Rommell meets demented J.C.
(Michael Pataki) and his gang of reprobates.  These guys end up beating him to a
pulp and killing her (this scene is cut out of the MST3K version), which sends
him on a wild vengance spree.  Great skits ("The Sidehacking Song", Sidehacking
Termanology and "Love Pads The Film") along with decent MiSTing, give this one a
B-.

203-"Jungle Goddess" (1948)-This Robert L. Lippert production stars George
Reeves ("Gone With The Wind", TV's "The Adventures Of Superman") and Ralph Byrd
("Dick Tracy", "Radar Secret Service") as two charter pilots who find a missing
blonde heiress (Wanda McKay-voted Worst Actress) in the jungle.  It's difficult
to say WHAT jungle, because the tribe she now leads consists of both Africans
and ASIANS.  Of course Reeves and McKay fall in love and escape, while the
unstable Bryd is killed by a spear.  Armida, who played McKay's stupid female
companion, Manamana, was award Worst Supporting Actress honors by
rec.arts.tv.mst3k.  "Phantom Creeps" (part one), a chapter play starring Bela
Lugosi, starts this one off.  Riffing is average, at best, and the only skit
worth mentioning is the closing, "My White Goddess" send up.  Overall a D+.

204-"Catalina Caper" (aka-"Never Steal Anything Wet") (1967)-Episode has
achieved some sort of cult following, due to the fact that it hasn't been seen
in over five years.  Interesting (but stupid) movie has Tommy Kirk ("Old
Yeller") and Brian Cutler ("Peroxide Boy") searching the lovely island of
Catalina for swingin' chicks, but finding mystery and mayhem instead. Supporting
cast includes the femmy Casey Adams ("The Indestructible Man"), bumbling Jim
Begg ("Village Of The Giants") and embarrassing, pratfalling idiot, Robert
Donner.  Several once-big musical names also show up-reluctantly.  Little
Richard ("Scuba Party"), at one time, a giant in early rock and roll, Mary Wells
("Never Steal Anything Wet"), who had a number one hit with "My Guy", and the
Cascades ("New World"), a San Diego group that once went to number two with
"Rhythm Of The Rain", all show up, sing, and then disappear.  Kirk falls in love
with "The Creepy Girl" (Ulla Stromstedt), who, in turn, dumps beefy boytoy, Lyle
Waggoner, who is in the employ of a bald, sort of Greek-type villian, Lakopolus
(Lee Deane). Riffing tends to rely way too much on insulting white people, which
gets old fast.  Good skits, though ("Creepy Girl Song", The Sixties and
explaining the film) and the novelty of this show add up to a B grade.

205-"Rocket Attack, U.S.A" (1960) Bad acting, bad sets, bad plot, bad premise,
bad sound and bad cinematography add up to a profoundly bad film.  Simply one of
the worst on MST3k, so far.  Plothole has an American spy, John McKay, flying to
Russia (in a piper cub, no less!) to check up on their missle program.  There he
meets beautiful agent, Monica Davis and the two fall in love.  Later, while
trying to plant an explosive on a completely unguarded rocket, they're both
killed.  Scene then shifts to New York, where we're treated to unconnected shots
of Harry Truman, Art Mertrano and a goofy disk jockey before the bomb falls,
nuking them all.  Weird, pro-military claptrap with absolutely no redeeming film
value other than to make fun of.  Joel and Co. do a good job on it and the
sketchwork (The Charlie McCarthy Hearings and the Civil Defense Quiz) are great.
Also part two of "The Phantom Creeps" appears. I give this one a B.
206-"Ring Of Terror" (1962)-Terrible acting and silly premise mark this 1962
film (date of release, but obviously filmed several years earlier) directed by
Clark Paylow.  And "pay low" is what the producers must have done.  It "stars"
no names such as George Mather, Esther Furst, Austin Green and Joseph Conway, as
fortyish med school students being hazed by an unnamed and unlikable fraternity.
Mather plays cool-as-a-cucumber pupil, Bill Moffett, who's only fear happens to
be of corpses (hey, I'm not crazy about them, either).  As part of his hazing,
he is required to remove a ring from them and bring it back.  He almost
succeeds, but a stray cat and a loose shirt lead to his demise. A vomitfest all
the way around.  Part three of "The Phantom Creeps" appears AFTER the main
feature (the only time that has ever happened), while nice quips and good skits
(The Old School, The Vacuum Autopsy, and the "If Chauffeurs Ruled The World"
song) make this a pretty good B+ effort.

207-"Wild Rebels" (1967)-Another in a silly series of juvenile motorcycle gang
films of the mid-1960's, "Wild Rebels", which, like it's lame title, lacks any
imagination and is about as interesting as one of Al Gore's speeches.  Rod
(Steve Aliamo-described in Variety as "a new radio personality"-as if he had
chance of ever becoming famous) is an ace stock car driver who becomes a police
informant and volunteers his services to drive the getaway car for a group of
idiots.  Leader "Banjo" (Willie Pastrano-a former boxing champion), the
weapons-loving moron, "Jeeler" (John Vella), gun-moll, "Linda" (Bobbie Byers)
and the appropriately-named, "Fats" (Jeff Gillen) make the gang in "The Side
Hackers" look menacing by comparision. Rod "sings" one of his recordings, "You
Don't Know Like I Know" (which, when last heard, was bubbling under the
Billboard Top 1000 for September, 1967), makes out with Linda, beats up Jeeler
and drives while they hold up a bank, but he's found out and is forced to drive
to a remote location, where they plan to knock him off.  Unfortunately for them,
the cops close in, and much like "Tormented" (see #414), the film ends in a
lighthouse.  Riffing okay, but skits aren't too memorable (other than the "Wild
Rebels" cereal one) and only reason to see this one is because it hasn't been
aired in several years, and BBI has lost the rights to it.  I give it a C-.

208-"Lost Continent" (1951)-Another dull Robert L. Lippert film made worse by
interminable rock-climbing sequence and long, boring speeches and declarations
by each of the characters.  Stars Caesar Romero ("Batman"), Hugh Beaumont
("Leave It To Beaver"), Sid Melton ("The Danny Thomas Show") and a few other
no-names as a scientific expedition sent to find a lost rocket.  Set is the same
one used in "Jungle Goddess" (see #203), and the plot is similiar, right down to
the daffy native girl (in this case, played by another actress with one name
(Acquanetta).  Film overlaps itself with boredom, but MiSTing is hilarious, and
sketch involving Mike Nelson as the evil Hugh Beaumont is great.  "Look At The
Cool Thing" is stupid, though, and overall grade is a C.

209-"The Hellcats" (1968)-I have never presumed that I am a good high-wire
walker, so I would never attempt to walk a tightrope.  Why then, does Ross Hagen
assume that he's a good actor, and continue to make films?  I guess the same
thing could be said of Chris Rock, David Spade and Pauly Shore, though. In
another attempt to make violent, illiterate drug-addicted bikers look good,
Hagen plays some kind of an Air Force officer who is sent to infiltrate a co-ed
biker gang (many reviews say a "female biker gang", but watch the film and
you'll notice more guys than women) after his brother is killed.  Joining him is
Dee Duffy, as his brother's fiance, Linda.  Hagen gets into fights, drinks,
smokes, gets dragged around on the back of a three-wheeler and tries to appear
cool (he's about as hip as Walter Brennan).  The gang is smuggling drugs for the
"syndicate" and when Hagen sniffs too close, "Mr. Adrian" (director Bob Slatzer)
and his sport coat-wearing thugs try to eliminate him.  But, like a unwanted
relative or the A.I.D.S. virus, Hagen keeps coming back, and ultimately, the
teen gang overcomes the baddies, and Hagen rides off in his sports car.  Decent
riffing but diary skits are kind of lame.  A D episode, at best.

210-"King Dinosaur" (1955)-Robert L. Lippert and Bert I. Gordon (the worst duo
since Loeb and Leopold) team up in this horrible sci-fi film that preports to
tell us that when a new planet (Nova) is discovered in the Solor system, two men
and two women with no flight experience are sent to explore it.  What about the
other planets?!  Why does this planet's surface resemble a forest in California?
And why does it have the same kind of animals as we do on Earth, except bigger?
In other words, why was this cheap piece of trash ever made?  Bill Bryant's
character is rude, violent and sexist, Douglas Henderson is non-descript, Wanda
Curtis is awful and Patricia Gallagher is whining and annoying.  In fact, the
only likable character is Joey the Lemur.  In the end, after meeting some stock
footage from "One Million B.C", the foursome detonates an atomic bomb, as if
that was the answer to everything.  Nauseating and mind-numbingly stupid film.
Show starts out with "X Marks The Spot", the first information short (as opposed
to the chapter plays) to be shown on MST3K, and it is hilariously riffed, as is
the main feature.  That, with Crow's "Am I Qualified?" speech, make this one a
B.

211-"First Spaceship On Venus" (1962)-Those late-comers to "Mystery Science
Theater 3000" will probably have seen this film, but it is similiar to "12 To
The Moon" (see #524), with its international cast and silly space antics.  This
time, our politically corrected astronauts journey to Venus, where they discover
a world of steel bugs, chocolate ooze and nuclear desolation.  Several are left
on the surface to die as the others leave them behind.  Supposed anti-nuclear
message is lost in the boredom and ham-fisting thespianism.  Film also has an
annoying robot that makes Tweeky seem tolerable.  MiSTing is okay, as is the
Klack recipe sketch.  The gorilla visit is pretty stupid, though.  A "C" grade.

212-"Godzilla vs. Megalon" (aka-"Gojira Tai Megaro") (1976)-The first of only
two Godzilla films to appear on the show, this is an all-time classic.  Monster
Island is shaken up due to underground nuclear testing, but that's nothing
compared to the Seatopians (led by a goofball in a toga), who've had just about
enough, and send Megalon (a creature with drill-like arms) to destroy Tokyo as
retribution.  Two stupid inventors and their irritating tag-a-long, who build a
robot (Jet Jaguar) that looks like a cross between Jack Nicholson and Ultraman,
send him to find the G-man to stop Megalon.  Once in Japan, Godzilla and Jet
(who has now grown ten-fold) team up to take on Megalon and his pal, Gigan, a
flying cockroach.  Beaten soundly at first, the two "good" guys come back to
rout their foes, sending them back to their underground lair.  Hilarious riffing
and primo skits (Orville Redenbacher, Rex Dart and the re-vamped Jet Jaguar
song) make this a rare, but deserving A+ episode.

213-"Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster" (aka-"Nankai No Kai Ketto", "Ebirah, Terror
Of The Deep", "Big Duel In The North") (1966)-Second Godzilla film on MST3K
suffers fgrom the "sophomore jinx".  While flimsy plot, "G" and Mothra sign a
non-aggression pact, four stupid guys stumble upon a South Sea Island where
military types hold the population in slavery and Godzilla and the Sea Monster
(Ebirah) engage in a lackluster duel, is quipped nicely, the fun seems to be
missing from this one.  The "Godzilla Genealogy Bop" and Mike Nelson as Mothra,
though, are hilarious, in this B- installment.

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