Monday, November 14, 2005


Friday night saw MST3K-a-go-go in my living room, with 'Warrior of the Lost World' and 'Teenagers from Outer Space'.

'Warrior of the Lost World' was made in 1985, and featured the guy from the TV show 'Paperchase' and the bald chick from 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture'. It was made in Italy (trying to pass for somewhere in California, with all the success of Michael Jackson trying to insist that his deathly pallor is a medical condition) and had the sort of amorphous plotting that made Ed Wood his fortune.

The Paperchase guy had apparently been told to be like Marlon Brando in 'The Wild Ones' for this role, which he took to mean wear a leather jacket, grow some stubble, ride a motorcycle and mumble incoherently. The motorcycle was a high-tech talking machine named 'Einstein', I guess because it was supposed to have the same IQ as Albert Einstein, which seems about right, given that in 1985 Albert had been dead for thirty years. It had the sort of delightful voice and engaging user interface that made everyone cheer when it got crushed by a monstertruck.

The bald chick from Star Trek gave the impression that she knew she had squandered her big break, and was regarding this film as her penance. Perhaps she thought she could do the filmic equivalent of saying three Hail Marys and then get offered a role by Lasse Hallstrom. Or maybe she just thought, "I'm doing a film with Donald Pleasance. From here things can only get better." Either way, it was a grim business.

To truly appreciate the awfulness of this film, one need only compare it to 'Teenagers From Outer Space'. The latter was low-budget 1950s matinee-fodder, and even so it had better costumes, a more coherent plot, nicer sets and a hero who could enuciate. Plus a giant killer space lobster! I had a soft spot for this film even before the MST3K boys riffed it up.


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