It's been 25 years since Mystery Science Theater 3000 first aired and its popularity only continues to grow.
As 2013 comes to a close, we’d like to reminisce about jumpsuits, snarky robots, and a certain Satellite of Love. Mystery Science Theater 3000 celebrated their 25th anniversary this year and fans were treated to a special collector’s edition box set as well as a return of the Turkey Day Marathon, streamed online and hosted by Joel Hodgson himself. Instead of binging on cheap New Year’s champagne, I’d like to ring in 2014 by looking back at some of MST3K‘s best episodes.
Space Mutiny (Episode 820)
Space Mutiny is MST3K at its absolute best. If you need to introduce a friend to MST3K, this is the episode you put on. The enthralling chase scenes with futuristic vehicles that are capable of reaching blazing speeds of five miles an hour will leave you on the edge of your seat. Of course, every action movie needs an action hero: enter Dave Ryder, better known as Big McLargeHuge. The running gag of Mike and the bots shouting out new nicknames for the main protagonist is one of the biggest laugh-getters in MST3K history.
Pod People (Episode 303)
Oh, Trumpy. This dazzling display of “magic” is just one of the memorable scenes from the movie that features an alien and the squeaky-voiced boy that befriends him. Pod People remains a favorite episode from the Joel era.
Manos: The Hands of Fate (Episode 424)
Do you hear that? That’s “Torgo’s Theme,” a haunting melody that stays with you long after you’ve watched this episode.
Time Chasers (Episode 821)
Featuring my favorite opening credits scene (watch the clip!), this episode riffs on a movie whose plot revolves around a time machine that was built using a Commodore 64 and a small airplane. That should be enough information to adequately lower your expectations for the film and enjoy the commentary by the Satellite of Love crew.
Boggy Creek II: And The Legend Continues (Episode 1006)
A low-budget movie that features a Bigfoot-esque monster and takes place in Arkansas? It’s as perfect as it sounds. Mike and the bots deliver a steady stream of hilarious one-liners throughout the episode.
The Final Sacrifice (Episode 910)
This episode introduced the greatest character in MST3K history: Zap Rowsdower. Rowsdower is a Canadian hero who I suspect survives on beer and bacon fat. His scenes are hilariously narrated and make The Final Sacrifice easily one of the most rewatchable MST3K episodes.
Soultaker (Episode 1001)
Soultaker stars Joe Estevez (also known as “Uncle Joe” to Charlie Sheen and Emilio) as, you guessed it, a soul taker. The riffing is fantastic throughout the film but the skits are what make this episode stand out. Most notably, Joel and Mike finally meet each other when Joel temporarily returns to the Satellite of Love. Put away your Team Joel or Team Mike shirts and enjoy seeing both hosts share the screen.
Honorable Mentions: Godzilla vs. Megalon (Episode 212), Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Episode 321), The Killer Shrews (Episode 407), Hercules Against the Moon Men (Episode 410)