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Reviews from the Edge: MST3K Avalanche


Greetings from the edge!

Buckle up MSTies, we’re in for a bumpy ride. This week, Jonah and the Bots are buried under the smothering mediocrity of  Avalanche, the 1978 Mia Farrow, Rock Hudson disaster movie where man’s hubris threatens to destroy a ski resort. Way to keep the stakes high, 70’s!

New World Pictures

The crew are working triple time to defrost this frozen turkey of a disaster flick, and I promise their efforts won’t leave you cold ( puns are the illness and I am patient zero ). I can’t imagine trying to get through this boondoggle of forced exposition, failed romantic tension, and 70’s earth tones without our valiant band of riffing rascals. I admit I was dreading this episode, but our merry band of misfits have managed to pull comedy from the jaws of cinematic somnambulism yet again.

In this week’s Invention Exchange we have the self-powered mouth cleaner, a vacuum that sucks as hard as you do and a program that translates your phrases into movie fonts. We also learn about Kingachrome, Kinga Forester’s liquid television medium that is low definition, leaks everywhere, and may attract the restless spirits of the unquiet dead, but at least it takes a giant storage tank to hold a single movie… so a lateral move from betamax at best, I’d say.


We also get a romantic musical duet with Neil Patrick Harris & Felicia Day about long distance dating in the internet age, with a sad refrain from Patton Oswalt lamenting Kinga’s ignorance of his unrequited feelings for her.

Finally at the 54 minute mark, the avalanche in Avalanche gets going and, well, it’s all down here from there. I’m sorry, I’m weak and unable to overcome my pun-y propensities. Seriously though, I have to give respect to whoever managed to work a Dune joke into a 70’s snow-based disaster flick. Well played, sir and/or mam.


I know last week I made fun of the amateur magic tricks that passed for special effects in The Time Travelers, but the mixture of white styrofoam, screen overlays, and aggressively thrown handfuls of potato flakes are making me nostalgic for a couple of artfully placed mirrors and a fake, latex android head.

I do appreciate the crew of the Satellite of Love taking the opportunity to speak out against one of the leading scourges of modern Z grade movies, the Hybrid or Combo Beast, the phenomenon of combining an animal with a natural disaster to create an intentionally bad film. When we all know that only the unintentionally hilarious films are truly art. Remember folks, only you can stop the next Lavalantula or Meteorsaurus!


Avalanche keeps the snowball rolling in this revival season of MST3K with standout performances from Jonah and the Bots, Felicia Day, and Patton Oswalt. I was pleasantly surprised at how many chuckles I got out of this disaster movie retread, when frankly I was dreading the wooden stylings of Rock Hudson & the “Don’t turn your back on me because I might snap and go for your throat” look that Mia Farrow always seems to have in her eyes. If the crew can make me laugh at this, I can foresee good things to come.

Join me next time when we’ll take a look at episode 5 with The Beast of Hollow Mountain, a 1956 weird western that is to The Valley of Gwangi what Transmorphers is to Transformers. Set your sights low, folks.

And always remember, “Keep circulating the tapes!”

About Author


Justin T. Williams hails from the Great state of Texas. His life has been a series of strange adventures that makes for intriguing writing but difficult laundry. Justin is known to his friends as a lifetime fan of comics, movies, and classic pulps. He lurks far from the sun, indulging in his favorite pastimes of writing and hoarding random bits of interesting but useless knowledge.

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