As their September brunch theme, GGB Reno welcomed all fans of hilariously bad movies at our Mystery Science Theater 3000 brunch, celebrating all robots, hosts, villains, and everything the not-too-distant future has to offer!
Lindsay volunteered to go first with the memorable opening line, “I’ll start ‘cause I’m easy.” Easy as in, she immediately admitted to not watching MST3K, which started the brunch off with the exact kind of laughs appropriate for an MST3K brunch! She was very happy to be able to come to any brunch since she’s usually so busy on the weekends, and we are always happy for her to join us.
Clara immediately followed, and by contrast, was a major contender for our chapter’s biggest MST3K fan. She’s been watching the show for 20 years, since college (as she, like many of us, had no cable in high school). She even made a “pilgrimage” of sorts to Fouke, Arkansas, home of the Beast of Boggy Creek, as seen in the MST3K episode “Boggy Creek 2: and the Legend Continues.” Check out her t-shirt!! She used to buy the DVDs and would fall asleep to them regularly. She would LOVE to do a cosplay of the Master for Manos, Hands of Fate!
Danielle also admitted that she wasn’t a huge fan of MST3K, however she has memories of her dad watching it, and wondering what he was watching “with people’s heads in the way.” Her husband, however, is a huge “MST3K nerd” (he even wanted to come to brunch!). As a result she has been to many RiffTrax showings. She does enjoy watching (and laughing at) bad movies, some of her favorites being the wonderfully cheesy Demolition Man and KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.
Officer Julie came from a family that preferred to sit quietly through movies, so MST3K was a real eye-opener for them, as it was the first time they learned to comment through movies to make them more fun. She has extremely fond memories of laughing along to episodes with her mom and sisters. After all, as she states, “The sarcasm runs strong in my family.” Like many of the other attendees, she expressed how she remembers laughing at the episode with family far more than the actual content of the episodes themselves. She loves RiffTrax as well, with Starship Troopers being her favorite.
Officer Vanessa, on the other hand, grew up in a family that LOVED watching and laughing at bad movies, particularly old ones, like Universal Monster movies, B- sci-fi movies from the 50s and 60s, and old Ray Harryhausen movies like Jason and the Argonauts. When they discovered MST3K back in the early 90s, they fell in love because it was so similar to what they had all grown up doing! She has a Christmas tradition of gifting someone a bad movie, and watching it that night with family and friends and laughing to the point of tears.
Jan also grew up watching old monster movies and even old Japanese serials, and laughing gleefully at them with her family. She also grew up with Svengoolie, a Chicago-based TV host much like Elvira, who showed silly horror movies and had interstitial gag skits. She thinks the best bad movies she’s seen recently are some of the Japanese sci-fi and horror shlock films such as Dead Sushi and The Calamari Wrestler, both of which, being Vanessa’s mom, she enjoyed during their traditional Christmas night screening! She also loves The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, a loving homage to old 50s era black and white B-monster movies.
Janet is also in the running for our biggest MST3K fan. Her older brother first introduced her to the show, and she remembers laughing a lot even when she didn’t quite get the jokes. Her affinity for it grew over time, watching more in college and eventually she catching many episodes on YouTube. Her favorites include Manos Hands of Fate and Invasion of the Neptune Men. She LOVES RiffTrax as well, and has seen multiple shows including 300 and Twilight.
We all agreed that all versions of the show are fantastic, no matter who is hosting (opinions were mixed on the whole Joel/Mike/Jonah debate, with the general consensus that they are all great in their own ways). We also conceded that there are also movies out there so utterly awful that no matter how hard you try, they will NEVER be funny or remotely enjoyable. Suggestions of these types of movies included Snow White and the Huntsman, The Rum Diaries, Eyes Wide Shut, Lady in the Water, The Shadow, many of the direct to video sequels, and, in general, bad comedies. By the end of the event, we had laughed as much as we would have expected to watching an episode of our cherished show!
Up next month, our annual October Cosplay brunch!