Project Moonbase
Posted in Reviews
First watch, 2 bells (9:16 pm)

Stop me if I'm going too fast. Actually, I don't think anyone even reads these, but here goes another review in the series.

I just finished watching Project Moonbase. Since it was so short, there were two more Commando Cody episodes first.

In the continuing episodes, Commando Cody falls off the cliff but activates his rocket pack just in time to fly back to his lab. He then returns to the Cafe where the henchmen hang out in hopes to find someone else that knows of them. He follows a lead to a car repair shop, where he finds their camouflaged truck. The bad guys, once again, appear on cue and start another fistfight. Commando Cody gets the lunch money beat out of him (as usual), but for some reason when the henchmen get away with their truck they neglect to just bust a cap in Cody and finish it. Anyway, they get away, put their atomic ray gun turret in back, and head out to make trouble. Cody follows them and has his assistant in a plane with some bombs to drop on their truck when he finds them. They shoot at Cody, but can't hit him. When the assistant arrives, Cody does another wing-top landing on his plane and climbs in the passenger seat and starts dropping bombs. He doesn't hit the truck, but, feeling threatened, they open up the back and try to blast him with their atomic ray gun. The first shot misses, so Cody and his assistant don't instantly die. By the time they're set up for a second shot, Cody and his assistant bail out of the plane just before it's blown to atomic-ray-guy-blowing pieces. The bad guys get away again.

Commando Cody then mounts another expedition to the moon, where he attempts to steal some Lunarium so us humans can build our own ray guns with it. He takes out a Moon Man Sentry, disrobes him (back in his rocket), and forces him to eat dinner while Cody wears the sentry's disguise and sneaks in for the steal. Since the Lunarium is so heavy, his assistant comes wearing the jet backpack/helmet that Cody normally wears. They sneak in, steal a crate of the mineral, but can't carry it very far, so they steal a Moon Man vehicle to drive it back to the rocket. Unfortunately they are pursued by the previous owner (I think they have LoJack on the moon already) and his might atomic ray gun. Cody is chased behind an outcropping with certainly no hope for survival!

Oh, did I mention that when they fly to the moon, there are clouds in space? How about when Cody flies on the Moon? Yeah, there are clouds there, too.

Anyway, on to Project Moonbase, a show co-written by Robert Heinlein. Now, I don't want to tip anything off to you, but this movie was filmed in 10 days. Okay, yeah, it sucked.

Supposedly this was going to be the pilot for a new TV series, but the director added some stuff without consulting Heinlein and released it as a movie instead, which upset Heinlein. NO! *gasp* Hollywood never does that. Doh!

Well, Project Moonbase is about how in the not-too-distant 1970s we have a space station, and are launching ships to visit the moon. An enemy agent impersonating a scientist sneaks on board with the intent to destroy the space station, but he never gets the chance. Instead, he screws up the flight trajectory and they end up having to do an emergency landing on the dark side of the moon. Since they have no line-of-sight, they can't radio for help, so the hero talks the impostor out on a moonwalk to plant a relay beacon on a nearby hill. The impostor falls to his death—don't ask me how, he just does. Our hero makes it back with almost no air left and rides the trapeze lift back in to the safe belly of the rocket.

Since this is the first moon landing (it was pre-1969, shut up), the Powers That Be decide to make it a moon base. Also, since it would be inappropriate for a man and a woman to live together on the moon, they are married and promoted. That was the end of the movie. It sucked. I can't help but wonder which parts weren't Heinlein's…

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The Slime People
Posted in Reviews
Afternoon watch, 7 bells (3:33 pm)

Here we go again, another review of MST3K season one. This time it's The Slime People.

But once again, it's another Commando Cody episode first! In my last review, I wasn't paying enough attention, the bad guys actually got away with the payroll money, and brought it back to their Moon Man Master. Commando Cody and his sidekick scientist track the evil henchmen by the airport, the plane they rented to drop an atomic bomb into an extinct volcano (to create more havoc) was done under assumed names (duh), but one of the airport people bummed some matches from one of the henchmen and forgot to return them. They were from a cafe the henchmen frequent near their hideout. Commando Cody and sidekick arrive at the cafe just before the henchmen do for some nice lunch, and another fistfight ensues. Cody loses, again. His sidekick scientist is kidnapped. That seems to happen a lot in this show…

Commando Cody's sidekick waits for the right moment, then jumps out of the moving car the evil henchmen are driving and runs off into the desert scrub before they can catch them. Instead of pursuing him the short distance to his hiding spot, they give up and call for a replacement car, because they were seen getting away in the one they're driving. They drive up into the mountains and park the "hot" car. Meanwhile, sidekick gets to a gas station and calls Cody and tells him what happened. Commando Cody dons his rocket suit, tweaks the nipples (you just have to see it) and flies off to catch the bad guys. Which he does fairly quickly. Then a gunfight starts up, with Commando Cody shooting the gun out of one of the henchmen's hand—ouch! They run up to a cliff, one of the guys hides in a crack of rock, while the other "surrenders" to Cody. He stupidly falls for it, the hidden henchman throws a big rock at Cody and knocks him off the cliff! Yikes! That's where the episode ends.

On to the show. The Slime People was filmed 90% in bad fog. You could hardly see what was happening most of the time. Basically, a pilot of a small plane is trying to land in LA, they tell him to divert, he flies through some rough air, and lands at the airstrip anyway. Nobody is around. An old scientist and his two beautiful daughters show up in a car a few minutes later and tell him that underground slime people have invaded LA and set up a barrier around the city. They are lowering the temperature to the dew point perpetually which is the only way they can survive above ground. For some reason.

They run across a couple more people, a TV station reporter (I think, it wasn't quite clear), and a goat farmer who didn't believe in the Slime People. Well, don't you know, those are always the guys that get et up. And he was killed by the Slime People shortly after being found. They try to break through the barrier to get out (and let help get in), but can't. The scientist tries to break it down with "chemicals", and a harrowing trip to the wall commences. Slime People are everywhere, but our heroes manage to get away with the knowledge that "chemicals" don't work on the wall. The scientist then realizes that sodium chloride will, because the pilot's plane dropped real low when he "passed through" the barrier. So they round up all the salt they can and take it back to the barrier, but it's not enough. They find the Slime People's machine that is sustaining the barrier and destroy it, while fighting off tons of Slime People. When the barrier comes down, the temperature returns to normal, and the Slime People choke and die.

The Slime People were not slimy. That was the biggest twist to the movie. I sure didn't see that one coming.

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Robot Monster
Posted in Reviews
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:57 am)

Last night I watched Robot Monster and today I will continue my review of MST3K Season 1 episodes.

But first, this time there were two episodes of Commando Cody and the Radar Men from the Moon. What a gem. In the next episodes, we see that the Radar Men and their henchmen are running low on cash. They try to rob banks, but aren't successful. They try to rob a payroll, and fail at that, too. They try to kidnap Commando Cody at his lab, but he isn't there, so they take the woman that is (after a long fistfight with the scientist-guy that is there—man those 50's scientists really knew how to fight). The evil henchmen drive off with her just as Commando Cody arrives, but suspecting nothing, he goes into the lab and finds the beat-up scientist and he tells Cody what happened. Cody puts two and two together and dons his rocket suit to chase the bad guys. The police call and let him know the henchmen took the woman on a small plane, and Cody chases them down. The bad guy bails out of the plane when he realizes he can't outrun a rocket backpack with a plane and leaves the woman in the plane to crash to the ground. Commando Cody lands on top of the plane, climbs in, tries to steer it, but fails (the henchman threw out the steering wheel—yes wheel in a previous scene). He then puts the other parachute (quick thinking, Cody) on the woman and they both escape from the doomed plane. I don't know what the Radar Men will do for money, especially since they won't sell their moon diamonds unless it's a last resort. Tune in next time, I guess.

On to the movie. Well, movie is stretching it. I'm more on the side of the evil Dr. Forrester in that it's torture. Robot Monster starts slow and never speeds up, but it does get weird. A boy and girl (brother and sister) are playing in some desert canyon and run across some archaeologists poking around in a cave. Two women come to claim the kids for a picnic lunch and a nap. The boy wakes up and runs back to the archaeologists, but they're gone. Some weird lights flash, and suddenly we're in a different story, where the boy is the son of the archaeologist, his mom married to him (the archaeologist, not her son), and the assistant madly in love with the other woman. It's also the future where the entire human race has been destroyed except for eight people (but we only see five at first, that kept confusing me).

Humanity was destroyed by Ro-Man, which was supposed to be scary but looked like a fat guy in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet on his head. I'm not sure where the robot part came from. Ro-Man may have had a robotic pancreas or something, I suppose. Anyway, Ro-Man is in trouble from his superiors for not having cleansed the Earth of all humanity. The last few people left are immune to Ro-Man's death ray thanks to the miracle serum created by the archaeologist (it cured the common cold, too, pretty good for an archaeologist!). Two people we never meet launch a rocket to reach some space platform that hasn't been destroyed yet, but Ro-Man sees the launch and destroys both the rocket and the space platform. Apparently the Ro-Men could have used the space platform themselves, which is why they left it heretofore unmolested. The last couple of humans (including the kids sister who wasn't around at first for some reason) try to understand why Ro-Man wants to kill them. The assistant and other girl (who is now the archaeologist's oldest daughter somehow) run off to "be alone" in the bushes for a while. They come back and ask to be married (hehe, suspicious), they immediately have a ceremony. For some reason, they leave the safety of the compound for a honeymoon, the little girl walks out a ways with them. Ro-Man finds her and strangles her to death. Her parents bury her. Ro-Man finds the newlyweds, too (they weren't paying much attention to their surroundsings, hehe), beats up the assistant, and takes the girl hostage. For some strange reason, Ro-Man won't kill her. He calls back to his supreme commander, who orders him to. Ro-Man has a falling out, wants to be more like us awesome humans. They rescue the girl, and then this weird, second movie is over.

We are now back at the cave where the archaeologists were in the beginning. Somehow this was all a dream the boy had, and he now has a bump on his forehead to prove it. Nobody is related anymore, and they all leave with humanity intact.

Then Ro-Man comes out of the cave, three times, as a stinger for the ending!

I saved the best part for last, though. Ro-Man has an awesome bubble machine in his cave. The beginning credits mention a "billion bubble machine." We have no idea what its purpose is, other than to spit bubbles out at an alarming rate.

One of the funnier observations made by Joel and the bots was the fact that Ro-Man killed all humanity, leaving the cities perfectly intact so the other Ro-Men could use them, yet he lived in a filthy cave…

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Open Letter to Jim Butcher
Posted in Advice, Books
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:02 am)

I just finished reading Grave Peril, book three of The Dresden Files.

It's spelled dais, not dias.

That word must have appeared 20 times in this book, and every instance was spelled wrong. This third book is the first one I've run across of yours that had spelling errors, and this wasn't the only one. Get a better editor, or get a better spellchecker dude.

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