Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"He Did a Good Job Cleaning Up the Place..."

And now for the final part of my season 3 overview... some of my favorite host segments.

As I said in the first part of my overview, season 3 produced a lot of good host segments but there are a few I keep coming back to again and again.

One of these is Servo's ballad to Tibby -- which I linked to in the second part of my overview.

From that same episode -- Gamera -- comes Crow and Servo making an impromptu voodoo doll to express their dislike of the little boy from the movie...

From Gamera vs. Barugon comes the 5000 piece fightin' men and monster set...

Both of these episodes also come highly recommended to watch the whole of and not just the host segments.

The same can not be said of ep. 305 -- Stranded in Space. Even with the riffing the movie is dull as dishwater. The third host segment (which unfortunately I can't link to directly) is a delight if you grew up with TV detective characters of the 1970's and early 1980's (and I did). Joel plays a crime kingpin with the bots as his hench...er... bots and orders the execution of a number of famous TV detectives. The bots are a little confused, though, by Joel's use of slang for 'killing'. Go seek it out, it's funny.

Another one from a movie I found dull and also another host segment I can't link to directly is the second host segment from ep. 307 -- Daddy-O. The bots recreate a drag racing scene from the movie in their own inimitable style.

And another one I can't link to directly -- the opening from ep. 309 -- The Amazing Colossal Man. the bots build a cardboard fort in which they hide out and from which they mock Joel.

Then there's "Old Joel Robinson Had a Farm" -- from ep. 310 -- Fugitive Alien.

"Joel Robinson is DEAD!!!".... or maybe not. From ep. 314 Mighty Jack.

Also from the same episode one of my favorite songs... "Slow the Plot Down".

Ep. 315 -- Teenage Caveman is another rather dull flick but the host segments -- pretty much all of them -- are terrific as they feature a running battle between Frank and Dr. Clayton Forrester. Especially great is where they do a parody of the music from the Star Trek original series episode "Amok Time".

And in another one I can't link to directly, ep. 318 -- Star Force: Fugitive Alien II's first host segment has Servo blowing a gasket due to the horrible nature of the movie. Joel rushes to revive him while Crow channel William Shatner from Rescue 911.

Finally there is ep. 323 -- The Castle of Fu Manchu. This episode has a reputation of being bad. As in the film is so bad even the riffing team can barely make it enjoyable. The film has been accused by fans of being incomprehensible, plotless, and having nothing happen.

Now, I disagree with pretty much all of this. The film *does* have a plot... but it's a needlessly convoluted one. And stuff *does* happen it's just that it happens intermittently. Really Castle of Fu Manchu's biggest sin is that it's *boring*. The action sequences are few and far between and when they do show up we don't care about the characters so we don't care about any threats to them. Christopher Lee phones in his performance as Fu... long distance... on a bad connection. Seriously, a man who made a sub-career out of playing villains couldn't intimidate a water bug here. And in the meantime viewers are stuck with characters who repeat information that we've already been told or shown.

As such, the film really isn't the worst one the team has ever had to tackle BUT it is dull and the riffing just isn't fast or funny enough to cover that fact. The guys really probably shouldn't have done this tough of a movie this late in the season when they were likely starting to burn out.

The thing about this one, though, is that it has some of the most fun host segments as they all build upon one another and tell a kind of 'story arc' as Joel and the bots slowly start to fall apart. Could it be that the Mads might actually.....*gasp*.... WIN?! Skip the film segments, watch all the host segments and find out.

And that's all from me for now. Have a Happy Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it).

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