@90 min. each
Rated: Not Rated
$14.99 each (DVD)
Available March 20
While I’m typically not a fan of combining separate releases in one review, these two MST3K releases not only came out on the same day, but also they have an identical theme/key component in both: dancing. It’s a laughable, scary (in a laughable way), and very entertaining tag-team from Shout! Factory’s line of fan-favorite MST3K episodes.
First up …
Grade: 3.5 stars (out of 4)
In 1966, in a horrifyingly awful attempt to cash in on the Batman craze — the Adam West/Burt Ward TV series and movie came out the same year — The Wild World of Bat Woman was released. This movie seriously gives Plan 9 from Outer Space a run for its money; it’s that bad. So, it should come as no surprise that the Satellite of Love crew runs amok all over it with great hilarity.
The alleged plot involves a league of women led by Bat Woman. Their training involves wearing bikinis and dancing in classic beach-party style. They also have a chant they recite pledging themselves to the service of Bat Woman. It’s all very ludicrous. Add to this the Zorro-looking villain, whose plan — assisted by a mad scientist and his Igor-like sidekick — revolves around exposing the world to a pill that makes people dance uncontrollably. Uh, yeah. They even have a confab with Bat Woman at their lair – over glasses of chocolate milk. Crow sums it up best when he cries out, “Mike, I demand that you kill me now!” To which Servo immediately adds, “Me, too!”
Mike Nelson and his robot pals let ‘er rip, and it is understandable why this is a fan favorite episode. Complementing the movie is the opening short film, “Cheating,” about a high school boy whose a student council representative and who is caught cheating. His monotone, badly dialogued fellow reps decide his fate, as he ponders the errors of his ways. The MST3K heckling of this also leads to one of the funnier lines later in Bat Woman.
This episode is an excellent example of what brought Mystery Science Theater 3000 such a rabid fan following throughout the ’90s and into today.
Which brings us to …
Grade: 3 stars (out of 4)
For this episode, the MST3K gang take one of their rare ventures away from sci-fi, horror, and fantasy movies with this straight-up crime drama about a young woman trying to make it big as a go-go dancer. With lots of fleshy dancing and not remotely adept acting abounding, it’s open season for Mike Nelson and the robots.
The music adds to the needling, and justifiably so. As one of the main characters, Critter, whips so-called charm and wisdom around in between his songs, the misled go-go damsel comes to terms with fame and her conniving, drug-dealing boyfriend — who, of course, rescued her from her dismal existence at a roadside diner in the middle of nowhere working for her abusive and alcoholic father. To its credit, Wild World of Bat Woman makes this movie look like Oscar gold.
The yuks are aplenty and this is a solid MST3K episode. Even though it’s not quite as well-done or funny as the episode for Bat Woman, it’s well worth the investment to add it to your collection and watch repeatedly.
Ray Sidman is a former associate editor and longtime reviewer for Comics Buyer’s Guide. Read his reviews in CBG each month. You can read more Ray’s Reviews here.
(Images (c)2012 Shout! Factory)