Firstly, we have Circus on Ice. It’s basically an extended advertisement/ National Geographic like documentary about this circus… on ice. It’s not actually a circus, it’s an ice show, but what makes this really disturbing is that all the animals are played by people, and while it would have been worse if they used actual animals, the act of grazing, having the people lead by a dude with a whip is super weird. There’s an elongated scene where a doe has been shot in the gut, and there’s an elongated dance of this animal/person dying, and it’s disturbing. The main sin of this short is that it’s boring. There’re no tricks, or impressive stunts, or even a consistent plot to keep people engaged. It’s just boring, and it’s time to move onto…
Monster A Go-Go is a 1965 sci-fi movie that is an incomprehensible mess of a movie. According to Wikipedia, the original director, Bill Rebane, ran out of money while shooting the movie in 1961. Eventually, Herschell Gordon Lewis, the godfather of gore himself, finished the movie a few years later. The movie didn’t release until 1965, so that means that the cast that was in the beginning of the movie, disappears later. This explains why this movie is the way it is.
Now, Monster A Go-Go is almost impossible to review. The overarching plot is that there is a man who went into space and came back a monster who kills. That’s the plot. The meat around these bones is very slim, and not very sustaining. This movie likes to play protagonist tag to a frustrating degree. It doesn’t help that I don’t remember a single character in this movie, because everyone is here for such a short amount of time. There’s also a narrator which doesn’t help make sense of anything. The narrator tries to tie up some loose ends, but it doesn’t work. The worst thing about the movie is the ending, which tells us, after an entire movie of seeing the monster, that there is no monster, which even the mst3k crew had to boo it. It’s such a tedious movie and would not recommend watching it without the riffing.
Oh, and there is one Go-Go dance scene. This movie doesn’t fit the name. It’s not even worth watching for fun.
The riffing, as usual, saves an otherwise terrible experience, and its savage! The circus is full of different jokes about how boring the show is. I especially like the stories that they come up with for the animal’s dancing, and the comments on how weird this situation is! Servo even does a wonderfully dark song.
Here’s some good riffs from the short.
Servo: [singing] These two girls, they make quite a pair. They both come from your worst night-mare. They will haunt your soul forever, and now, when you see pink, you’re gonna think, “We’re doomed”. They are agents of Satan…
Crow: Yes, it’s sexist male fantasies on ice!
Servo: Yes, it’s dehumanized, objectified circus on ice!
Crow: Oh, Mom, I don’t wanna… [gulps] I don’t like the Circus on Ice anymore! I wanna go home!
Servo: Shut up and watch the deer get slaughtered! It’s fun!
Joel: Oh, and she skates over her own intestines.
Servo: Vomit sprays out in a beautiful Technicolor dream.
Monster A Go-Go is also masterful in its riffing. Again, commenting on how inane this whole movie is, and how it’s able to loose you faster than a race. The best moment for me is when the narrator warns of a dangerous situation ahead, and it’s just a man walking a field. It’s a scene that lasts about 4 minutes, and the crew on the ship fill that time up well. There’s even a great bit where Joel takes a few moments to drink and discuss a can of soda he snuck into the theater, as this boring scene of “Great Danger” is happening. Great stuff.
Here’s some great bits.
Joel: You know, guys, I got a feeling this is gonna be a tough one.
Crow: Oh, it might not be too bad…
Servo: No, I think Joel’s right, this one has “stinkburger” written all over it.
Crow: C’mon, you can’t tell just from the credits!
Joel: No, no, it’s a feeling I have. My gut instincts tell me that this is gonna hurt real bad.
Crow: Joel, it’s not healthy to have such a negative attitude right out of the gate.
Servo: It’s just common sense, Crow. There’s a feeling of incompetence already in the air here.
Joel: Yeah, we might as well face up to it…
Crow: Well, I refuse to give in so soon! I’m gonna riff away like it’s nobody’s business! …I-I can’t think of anything now, but…
Narrator: The long wait began!
Joel: And you’re going to see EVERY minute of it!
Servo: This is a test. Had this been an actual movie, you would have been “entertained”.
Joel: You know, four movies went into the making of this film.
The Host Segments
The host segments begin with some cheese… as in Crow and Servo creating a Micro-Cheesery. Like a brewery, but cheesier. There’s not much more to say with this one, the humor is in the visual of a Cheesery in the SOL set.
The invent exchange has a theme this week and is also a bit of a contest. The theme is action figures, and if Joel and the Bots win, they get to watch “Local Hero”, and if Forrester and Frank with, they get to watch Monster A Go-Go. TV’s Frank is the judge. Forrester’s idea is an action figure which is itself sold separately, as is you sell the leg separately, and the other leg, and the arm, etc. What’s funny about this is that while this is satire, the Marvel Legends toy line does this! Well, they at least sell another full toy with it, but it’s still there, and almost forces you to either be ok with one and one sixth toy, or to buy the other 5 toys just so you don’t have a random leg hanging around. Joel and the Bots have different toys in mind, like more complete toys, and on. Servo’s toy is the Action Oxford, which is basically a toy of a Shakespeare era writer. Crow has the Woodscrew Tapeworm, which looks like a Ken doll that has a long piece of film coming out of his mouth, which is meant to represent the tape worm, and is all sorts of disturbing. Finally, Gypsy has the American Track sensation, Wilma Rudolph, meant to inspire people of America. TV’s Frank declares Forrester the winner.
Gypsy doesn’t get Crow, and she doesn’t know why. Crow tries to help by naming things that he doesn’t get about himself. He tries and tries, until she realizes that it Servo that she doesn’t get! When she confronts Servo about not getting this, he tells her that, “I don’t care, I’m like the wind, baby!”
Joel and Servo, in the next bit, play a game of keep away from Crow. Finally Crow gets the ball, but only for them to play keep away with another ball. Crow decides to get to the theater early.
The next bit, and my favorite conceptually, is an explanation of the Pina Colada song. It is confusing that these two people in the song are so unhappy, who decide to cheat on each other, and when they find out that they are trying to cheat on each other, with each other, they’re fine with it? It doesn’t make sense, but Joel’s reasoning is that things don’t have to make sense. They then spend a couple seconds on if the song “Timothy” is about cannibalism or not.
Finally, feeling bad for the bots for dealing with this movie, Joel crowns Happy King Servo and knights Sir Giggles von Laffsalot Crow. It doesn’t make them feel better, until Joel tells them to name something positive out of the movie, like the fact that you can’t hear any of the dialogue in the movie, or that no one in the movie went on to do anything else (Herschell Gordon Lewis would beg to differ)!
Monster A Go-Go is one of the better episodes of the show. The frustration of the nonsensical plot, and the jokes that come out of that is fun to watch. Everyone is on point in this show, and it’s great!