April Fool’s Day on the Internet is THE WORST, so I’m already expecting the news that Mystery Science Theater 3000 will return to television on April 1st, sort of, to be #FAKE. For the sake of me learning where NatGeo is located on my channel guide, though, I hope it’s not. Comedy Central and SyFy never show MST3K repeats anymore, which is a shame for the tens of thousands of shut-ins who grew up studying every Mike, Joel, Tom, and Crow riff. And it’s even more depressing for the next generation, who aren’t able to wake up early on the weekends to watch The Prince of Space for the 47th time.
Luckily, many old episodes are available on Netflix Instant. Here are eight (not including DVD-only titles) for newcomers to check out, and for long-time fans to continue to quote incessantly.
After finding a map that belonged to his murdered father, Troy MacGreggor (Christian Malcolm) searches for the truth behind the crime and discovers that Zap Rowsdower (Bruce J. Mitchell), a man helping him escape members of an ancient cult, may be connected to the killing. MST3K‘s Mike Nelson and his robots serve up clever quips as the cult’s leader, Satoris (Shane Marceau), carries out his plans for world domination.
Line you’ll never stop quoting: “If you hit a Rowsdower, you get to keep it.”
While sulking in the California desert, misfit teenager Billy Duncan (Kim Milford) stumbles on a powerful alien laser weapon, which he uses to wreak havoc on all who have wronged him. The venerable critic Leonard Maltin gave this space oddity a two-and-a-half star review, a fact that gets quite a drubbing by the crew at MST3K in this fan-favorite episode. Watch for Roddy McDowall in a brief cameo as Dr. Mellon.
Line you’ll never stop quoting: “I’m sorry I called you fat.”
3. Pod People
Joel and his robot pals Crow and Tom Servo improve the entertainment value of yet another bad movie, this time wisecracking their way through the sci-fi turkey Pod People, a title that offers no clue to the plot. Is it about lost hunters, a potato-shaped alien named Trumpy, or maybe a tone-deaf music trio? The filmmakers don’t seem to know; maybe Joel and the ‘bots can find out.
Line you’ll never stop quoting: “It’s called evil, kid.”
4. Devil Fish
With heaps of side-splitting sarcasm, Mike, Servo and Crow skewer this ridiculous monster movie, which follows Dr. Stella Dickens as she strives to capture a genetically engineered shark-octopus hybrid that’s terrorizing South Florida beaches.
Line you’ll never stop quoting: “I tried to weld mine.”
An alien with a taste for human children abducts two boys, spurring Gamera the giant flying turtle into action as the MST3K guys laugh on. The conflict pits Gamera against a knife-nosed monster; meanwhile, Joel invents a collapsible Porta-Potty.
Line you’ll never stop quoting: “Hello…thank you.”
A horrible car crash leaves four teens comatose, separating their souls from their still-living bodies. When the mysterious Soultaker (Joe Estevez) comes to claim them, the teens try to rejoin their spirits with their flesh. Meanwhile, chaos erupts on the space station after a series of malfunctions leave Gypsy out of order and Mike attempts to assume command, but Joel arrives to repair the damage.
Line you’ll never stop quoting: “We are planning to rock.”
The MST3K gang savage a ripe Roger Corman production in which a pilot crashes near a remote base, drawing the eye of an ill-behaved alien.
Line you’ll never stop quoting: “Steve?!?”
While digging in an Arizona quarry, archaeologist Tommy (Jules Desjarlais) gets scratched by a werewolf skeleton and soon begins exhibiting the telltale signs of lycanthropy. Later on, his colleague, Yuri (Jorge Rivero), seizes upon a revenge plan using Tommy’s blood. The crew of the MST3K has a howling good time with this 1996 schlockfest. On-ship antics include a funny spoof of Inside the Actors’ Studio.
Line you’ll never stop quoting: “Your voice will change inexplicably every 7 years or, so…”