Greetings from the edge!
Gird your loins and prepare for cinematic battle with Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, the 1985 swords and stock footage extravaganza featuring the season’s 1st runner up for most suspiciously child-obsessed Yeti/Bigfoot. Battles, spells, grown women drugging, and seducing twelve year-old boys! What more could you want?
We kick off this episode with Max gaining control of a hidden A.I. snake/turret in Shinga’s moon 14 base, a little foreshadowing for later in the season, I think. For once, I think the invention exchange has a product we could all use: Verbal Smoke Bombs, to end any conversation no matter how awkward. Simply use one of the provided conversation enders and swiftly leave while your companions are confused and distracted. Shinga and Max propose monetizing clocks by selling the rights to name the hours of the day. has this not happened already?
A little movie trivia: when finished, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom was only 58 minutes long. So a further 20 minutes was added to the film from Roger Corman’s other fantasy movies, including giant swaths of Deathstalker, because nothing is more appropriate to add to your kids film than gladiator battles and wizard death footage from a sex and blood drenched Conan knock-off.
I have to say that Bo Svenson as Kor and Vidal Peterson as Simon give enjoyable, cheesy performances. They know exactly what kind of movie they’re in and help make this film fun even without Jonah and the bots inserting a little snazzy riffing into the mix.
In fact, if you’re interested in a direct comparison of the new and old crews of the Satellite of Love, you can check out Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett from the classic MST3K doing their Rifftrax commentary for Wizards of the Lost Kingdom. I’d love to hear about what you think of the differences between the two crews in the comments.
After the disappointment of Yongary, I can’t tell you what a treat Wizards of the Lost Kigdom has been. In fact, I think this has to be my new favorite episode of the season, knocking Reptilicus from its top spot. The movie is fun, the crew’s jokes are on point, and who doesn’t love a musical number comparing necromancy to puberty?
The effects are ridiculous, the monsters are straight from your local drugstore’s Halloween discount bin, and the laughs are cheap… and I don’t care. This one should tickle the fancy of anyone who likes bad movies, cheesy fantasy, or good riffing.
Favorite riff of the episode: after Simon has just killed a phantom warrior, Crow quips, “C’mon lick it, first kill, lick the sword, lick it!” … I may have issues.
Come back next week for episode 12, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II! More Lost, More Wizards! Can it live up to the amusing mediocrity of its predecessor? I can’t promise you another suspiciously predator-ish Yeti, but I can promise you David Carradine as “The Dark One.”
And always, remember, “Keep circulating the tapes!”