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DA Review: False Advertising of the Prehistoric Planet!

Welcome to the White Male Future, starring BIG Wendell Corey and SEXY Irene Tsu! Wendell’s mind-numbing crew goes on a rescue mission to save the slightly less mind-numbing crew of a downed spaceship. Once they get there, they face super-imposed iguanas, easily-avoidable pools of boiling liquid, and a stuffed spider on a string. Surprisingly, it’s not John Agar’s usually-endless streams of dialogue that offend the senses, but it’s the endless fondling and mugging by comic reliever Paul Gilbert. Anyway, Irene Tsu gets lost and abducted by the dreamy Tang, yes, I said Tang. The two fall in love and Tang gets shot but doesn’t die and the planet ends up being Earth and they’re Adam and Eve and I want to pants the hell out of this sand-blastingly boring movie.

Now, on to the particulars…

You know, John Agar is fairly tolerable in this, certainly moreso than in The Mole People. In fact, John’s a breath of fresh air, compared to the rest of the cast. The most loathesome is, of course, Paul Gilbert. I don’t even know the name of the character he plays and, honestly, I don’t care enough to look it up. He continually cracks bad jokes, sexually harrasses the female crewmembers, talks way longer than should be allowed, and he serves no real purpose, other than to try to trick our befuddled, cinema-going parents into chuckling at his lame antics. He makes Eddie Deezen look like Stephen Fry. Then there are the other male cast members, the majority being thick ol’ white men. I’m sure the more prominant ones have names but, again, I don’t care.

In contrast to all that, Irene Tsu is a lo-fi delight and Wendell Corey is a hoot as Admiral King. The man sounds intoxicated 85% of the time and is just wonderful. Ms. Tsu (who recorded a short intro for the Rhino DVD) is a pleasant sight amongst the large, moist slabs of men, even if her acting isn’t outstanding. The other female crewmembers are likeable, even though all they do is stay in the ship, monitor the radio, dance, and get molested by Paul Gilbert.

The movie itself is (literally) mind-numbingly uninteresting, and tries hard to be more complex than it is. The whole “time dilation” thing gets old fast, and the “twist” ending feels like Planet Of The Apes as interpreted by Mrs. Shwitzer’s 3rd grade class. And the special effects… Their guns don’t so much fire lasers, as they cause smoke bombs to go off. The iguana “monster” spontaneously combusts, as does the string-powered spider toy. Surely they could’ve come up with something a little more interesting. It’s a relief when they shoot Tang with a normal gun. Poor guy.

And I don’t know about you, but I’d feel pretty crappy if my dad left me almost alone on a primitive world, even if I did have my own boy-toy to pass the time. Especially since I’d be dead by the time he got back, what with the whole time thing… BAAAHHH! By the end, I felt like my brain was being slowly stirred into mushed banana.

According to the Internet Movie Database, if you like this movie, you’ll also like Star Wars: Episode I. I believe it.

It’s perfectly reasonable to expect a new TV show to take a while to figure out what it’s supposed to be and how it’s supposed to be it. MST3K seriously suffered from this problem. Frankly, the KTMA era and season one both seem to suck. (For the most part. Both, of course, do have their moments.) Now, keep in mind that this is the only full, properly-presented season one episode that I’ve seen. Everything else has been through online-only sources, such as YouTube or Google Video, which aren’t really ideal. But we can discuss the problems of this era another time. On to the episode…

To the point, this is a dull episode. The host segments are often cringeworthy. Joel is so far off the track, he’s almost unrecognizable with his caterpillar eyebrows and tie-dye undershirt. Larry Erhardt is practically intolerable. He just sits there tittering away like a mutant Larry Mondello but, hey, maybe that’s what he was going for. He makes up for it here with his Flesh Barn jingle, which is a damn good invention. Joel’s invention is awful, and the Mads beautifully let him know it. Josh isn’t terribly good as Tom either, and his and Joel’s performances really weigh down the episode. Unlike Josh, however, Joel was given the time to improve. (And I get the feeling that his Servo would’ve grown on me.) Oh, and speaking of being weighed down…

As if the movie wasn’t dull enough, the riffing almost matches it. Trace gets in a fair amount of good lines as Crow (who is in his likable childlike phase, here) and Joel occasionally hits the mark. Largely, though, the riffs are flat and unfunny. Thank the Lord that they got better at it. I mean, this is the sort of material I expect from a poor fan-MSTing. And, seriously, someone needed to glue Joel’s heinder to the chair – the man just won’t stay in his theater seat. Very distracting, and it only worked around half of the time, if that.

Do NOT start here, if you’re new to the show. Unless, of course, your sense of humor is ridiculously low-maintenance. Then, by all means. As for me, I’m going to have to give this a…

D

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