Map blogger. Science fiction and fantasy critic and writer. Snake whisperer.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet

The trailer for the next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (“The Gauntlet”) dropped yesterday, and now we know which movies they’ll be mocking. Some titles seem awfully familiar, and immediately draw attention. And by “attention” I mean “cold sweats, tremors and screaming.”

I don’t know anything about Atlantic Rim (2013), but by the title it sounds like a cheapo mockbuster ripoff of Pacific Rim, and lo and behold, that’s exactly what it is.

Mac and Me (1988), an E.T. ripoff, is considered one of the worst movies ever made, which is enough to make it MST3K-worthy. It’s mainly known thanks to Paul Rudd, who uses a clip from this movie whenever he appears on a Conan O’Brien talk show: instead of showing a clip from whatever movie he’s there to promote, he shows the same damn clip from Mac and Me. Every damn time.

The final movie of this season, Ator, the Fighting Eagle (1982), should strike fear into the hearts of longtime MST3K fans: a Conan ripoff, it’s the prequel to Cave Dwellers, which opened MST3K’s third season. Like its sequel, Ator was directed by the Ed Wood of Italy, Joe D’Amato.

Remember, kids: as Howard Waldrop says, “Nothing, nothing nothing is worse than a bad Italian movie, except a bad Italian SF movie.”

The next season of MST3K, all of six episodes long, will be released on Netflix on November 22.


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1 Comment

  1. So we’re now halfway through “The Gauntlet,” and it’s weird how many familiar names keep turning up in these substandard movies.

    What, for example, is Graham Greene doing camping it up as an order-barking admiral in Atlantic Rim? Why is Three’s Company alumna Priscilla Barnes the lead in the Corman-produced Lords of the Deep?

    Because it was a gig, that’s why. As Shatner said, “Work is work.”

    But the biggest surprise was Alan Silvestri. He won an Oscar for scoring Forrest Gump and has composed a number of scores for the Marvel movies, including The Avengers, which apart from the 1967 Spider-man song is the only Marvel theme most people recognize.

    And he did the (surprisingly good) score for Mac and Me, one of the worst movies ever made.

    B-movies don’t exist in a separate universe, is what I’m saying.

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