Greetings from the edge!
In this episode of MST3K, the crew of the satellite of love are mocking the mid-60’s mess that is The Time Travelers, feculent little piece of sci-fi so cliche that I’d swear it was scrapped straight from the bottom of some failed screenwriter’s discard bin. Just sponge off the whiskey sick and tears of despair and you’re ready to film!
Our players hit their marks with mirth and chicanery as we journey through the far future as envisioned by a fourteen year old with severe head trauma. I enjoyed this episode more than Cry Wilderness as this film gives a veritable unlimited supply of riffing fodder for Jonah and the bots.
The problem the writers of MST3K have always had is that not all bad movies are entertainingly bad. Some are just so lifelessly drab they give little for the writers to work with and force them to basically create their own little movie within a movie. Sometimes this leads to brilliance, sometimes to mediocrity. In The Time Travelers, however, the zingers fly fast and furious in a future filled with mutants, speed suits, and enough hair-sprayed coiffures to satisfy a Texas beauty pageant!
This week’s Invention Exchange features edible silica packets ( with an inedible packet in every box! ) and After-Life Ensure, to help your loved ones navigate their confusing and sometimes arbitrary journey through the afterlife.
My favorite highlight of The Time Travelers is our tour of the android assembly plant, who in this film resemble the most terrifying sex dolls ever conceived. Hopefully they will not spontaneously appear to you the next time you’re trying to get sexy………so here’s a picture just so you won’t forget.
I would also feel remiss if I didn’t mention that most of the special effects in The Time Travelers are, in fact, basic stage magic as performed by Mandrake’s junior prestidigitation class for dummies. I don’t know if, as a jaded inhabitant of the 21st century, I should be praising them for using practical effects or just weeping inconsolably at how proud they are of the circle to square magic trick.
The original segments of this episode are fun, but so far they haven’t managed to surpass the monsters of all nations rap from Reptilicus.
We do get a fun cameo with Joel Hodgson & Elliott Kalan, series creator and head writer respectively, as Larry and Doctor Varno, interstellar swingers constantly in search of the next party, who invite our stalwart crew to join their galactic pub crawl.
The Time Travelers outshines Cry Wilderness in both energy and snark, in this viewer’s opinion, making for a far more entertaining sit and continuing the new series journey in style. If you enjoy a good riffing, bad sci-fi, and don’t have a pathological fear of ambulatory marital aids, I highly recommend you give it a try.
Join me next time when we’ll take a look at episode 4 Avalanche, a 70’s disaster film with Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow……pray for me folks.
And always remember “Keep circulating the tapes”!