MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 LIVE: NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER

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So another MSTK3K live show came into town. Naturally I went down to the Miller High Life Theater in downtown Milwaukee to watch. This one was a martial arts film from the eighties starring a young Jean Claude Van Damm. So it starts out at a karate dojo where some evil guy and his henchmen from New York have come to L.A. to take over the karate business. Why they’re doing that is unclear but it must be important.

Evil guys out to take over karate.

First off is they have to have Van Damme beat up the owner and break his leg. As an added bonus he then humiliates the young son.

Van Damme easily putting the teen in his place.

So the father packs up the family, loads the station wagon and heads to Seattle. There they settle into a home where the teen can continue to train in martial arts. He has the garage all set up with a ball hanging from the ceiling and a poster of Bruce Lee. He also makes friends with R.J. a guy who can dribble a basketball while riding a bike and break dance.

R.J. a break dancing Micheal Jackson wannabe.

But things aren’t all that perfect in the suburbs of Seattle. There is a gang of thirtysomething bullies that are always picking on R.J. Lead by a very hefty bully with a healthy appetite, they terrorize our friends and the father who now bartends.

Chunk from the Goonies all grown up.

There is some bright spots in our heroes life. A hot chick he knows has also apparently moved to Seattle. He goes to her birthday party but finds that the girl’s brother is friends with the local bullies. One of the bullies is in love with the hot chick and with the evil fat guy proceed to throw cake, punch and toss him around like a like boy. He goes running home. Now so far there is nothing but retreating and surrendering in this film. But stay with it.

Ghost of Bruce Lee and one of his goofy teaching moments.

He gets home and his father is all pissed off that he was involved in a fight. He goes nuts and throws out the karate magazines and horror of horrors tears the Bruce Lee poster. This gets the teen to run away to R.J.’s place. There he sets up a new training place. Lo and behold the ghost Bruce Lee shows up. An Asian guy that looks nothing like him gives the kid sound sage advice through beatings on the head and goofy analogies with glasses of water and soda.

Example of the intense hardcore training he undertakes.

Well what follows is endless montage of training to an eighties synth beat. Apparently this works for he later able to save his father from a gang of hooligans lead by fat bully. His father begins to understand that maybe fighting has a place after all. Well then comes the big fighting event. The evil guy comes to town with Van Damme to beat up the locals.

Van Damme intimidating the competition with his confidence.

Naturally he kicks every ones butt. He brutally beats them all and even the referee. While beating on the hot chick’s brother the girl tries to hit him with a stool.

Grabbing the hot chick’s hair.

Well this motivates our hero who jumps into the ring. He proceeds to give Van Damme a major beating that is rightfully deserved.

Hero to the rescue.

Naturally he wins and ends with the crowd lifting him up.

Wow was this a fun movie to riff on. The laughs were loud and plentiful. I don’t remember seeing this but they churned out so much crap back in the home video boom that even I couldn’t keep up with it. I loved this movie. It was quintessential eighties action movie. This one was if you took The Karate Kid and Rocky IV. Put it in a blender and dumped it over Van Damme’s head. This was also Joel Hodgson’s final live tour so they gave him a fond farewell at the end.

So here is the trailer to the show.

The trailer to the film

Finally the big fight final.

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 LIVE: THE BRAIN

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So it is the thirtieth anniversary of MST3K. How time flies. The show is still going strong and has a new cast. They also have decided to go around the country and put on live performances. I was lucky enough to see one this Friday at the Riverside in Milwaukee.

The stage.

So Joel Hodgson the creator joined the new captive Jonah Ray and the two robots Crow and Tom Servo. The movie they picked is this Canadian disaster known as The Brain. A 1988 horror film that is so dumb you have to see it to believe it. So basically there is this TV show called Independent Thinking. Sort of a Scientology type show but in reality is controlled by a giant brain from space. The brain is using the show to mentally control the audience. Soon the show will go nationwide.

Evil TV show. Another Oprah atrocity.


Evil Brain.

So enter our hero the Canadian Emilio Estevez. A genius but mischievous lad who likes to play pranks. Like flushing sodium down the toilet so the school’s plumbing will explode. So naturally the principal calls the parents who have the brilliant idea of turning him over to the doctor that runs the alien show. After all anyone on TV must know what they are doing. So he gets to go there and gets strapped to the mind machine. Only he is one of the few that are immune to the aliens mental mind control. Of course the side effects are hallucinating giant tentacles trying to grab you. He manages to crash his car during one of these hallucinations.

Crashes car which explodes several times.

Also the Brain gets angry at this kid getting away and decides to eat the hot doctor chick in the show’s employ. In fact the Brain loves to eat people and grows a face with shape teeth to help accomplish this.

Yum. Hot blonde chick doctor on the menu.


Brain munches down people like pretzels.

Well a lot of stuff happens. He runs around being chased by the creepy henchman with an ax. Has his girlfriend turned by her stupidly watching the TV show. Luckily it all comes to end with our hero managing to throw sodium down the Brain’s throat and watching him explode.

I definitely recommend the live experience if you have the opportunity. I hope they have more in the future.