Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a popular cult television program in television history. It's a story about men kidnapped by crazy scientists who are forced to watch bad movies by a group of wisecracking robots who mock the films as they see them. All of the films featured on the program are real and absolutely terrible.
'Merlins Shop of Mystical Wonders' (1996)
The poster and the title of this Ernest Borgnine-narrated film make a casual observer think it is a fun, whimsical fantasy film for children. However, anyone who has seen it will immediately recognize that it is, in reality, a fantasy horror film dividing into two sections: one about a man who uses Merlins magic book and the other about a vengeful monkey toy.
During the sketching sessions, Mike and the bots poke fun with this disturbing bait-and-switch, with the horrifying collection of Ernest Borgnines children's stories making a popular highlight among fans.
'Robot Monster' (1953)
This film was featured in the first season of the show, and was simply the perfect fit for one of the first topics. Perhaps it's the power of a man in a gorilla suit with an antenna-ridden fishbowl on his head that emits soap bubbles named Ro-Man.
The good old mock-buster, which MST3K has helped bring to the public eye, are often overlooked. Perhaps one of the most well-known ones featured on the program was Hobgoblins.
This remake of George Grybaudt focuses on alien beings that cause trouble by attempting to fulfill people's core desires and then use the fantasy against a person and murder them. Despite the film's attempt to make horror and humor a priority, the monsters aren't very scary and the romantic comedy is unfunny.
'The Creeping Terror' (1964)
Another hilarious science fiction schlock-fest about a creature that randomly eats people to collect for its unseen alien masters. Made under less than legal circumstances, this catastrophe of horror contains poor sound mixing, excessive narration overuse, subplots that are quickly established but just as quickly abandoned, and a slow-moving titular monster that appears to have been built out of a garage.
As Mike and the bots laugh along with his poor design and the fact that he has to wait until his victims are close enough to him before he can actually eat them, said creature loses any real threat.
'Mac and Me' (1988)
This makes Hobgoblins appear to be the most original film ever made. A youngster who starts with E befriends a lost alien and has to hide it from the authorities while reuniting with his family.
Mac and Me has a dance sequence in a McDonald's, while E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial has one of the most moving film scores in history. At least Paul Rudd has gotten some mileage out of this garbage-fest.
Mitchell is a documentary about an anti-social, rule-breaking cop who is both interested in getting an R rating and who appears to have been produced for late-night television.
Joel and the bots have some of their finest riffs with this one, mercilessly mocking the lead actor's performance, randomly shouting the film title at spontaneous moments like theyre in a trailer, and being collectively shocked by the film's love scene.
'Jack Frost' (1965)
Jack Frost is a film that tries to combine many aspects of Russian folklore, from Baba Yaga to Ivan the fool, but is completely unaware of this context (Crows' knowledge of Russian culture is limited to Rocky IV), thus to them and the viewing audience, it becomes a complete mind-screw.
It's a strange marriage of unconvincing makeup, horrifying performances, and confusing story beats. Yet, most people agree that the film was made for a funny time.
'Bride of the Monster' (1955)
None of the world's great filmmakers are more well-known than Ed Wood. His films are well-known for being poorly received even when they were made, yet they have a strange charm that is difficult to resist.
'Santa Claus' (1959)
Santa Claus is a Mexican kids film about Santa Claus (who else?) preventing a devil-like imp from harming the world's children.
Santa has a castle in outer space packed with a united nations worth of kids, has Merlin of all people as his magical assistant, and fights demons. All that should be fantastic, but the cheap aesthetic and poor English dubbing erode it tremendously.
'Manos: The Hands of Fate' (1966)
This is a film that even the madmen apologized to Joel and the bots for it. It contains an avalanche of poorly-dubbed lines, a nonsensical and self-repeating script, and cinematography that makes every frame, as Joel puts it, look like some other person's last known photograph.
A family who find themselves lost in a valley lodge discovers a mysterious and sinister cult with beautiful women, a mean dog, and a limping, large knee-bearing man (or satyr) named Torgo. The episode was so popular that Torgo became a recurring character in several shows sketches.