How 'MST3K' Picked Movies to Mock

Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a wonderful show with a great premise: a guy and his two robot buddies watched awful movies and made fun of them. And it went on for ten years! But not just any bad movie would do. They had to be available, full of joke opportunities, containing enough pauses to insert the jokes, and be watchable in their own way. It wasn't easy finding those films.  

Frank Conniff, who joined the show as a writer late in the first season and then joined the cast as TV’s Frank in the second season was given the job to select these movies. During his tenure (through the sixth season) they made fun of movies like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Teenagers from Outer Space, and most memorably Manos: The Hands of Fate. “I think I was given the job because everybody else was busy with other stuff.” Conniff recalls. The job was particularly difficult because for every one movie that made the show, he had to watch approximately twenty duds. He couldn’t skim either. During the second season of MST3K they got the rights to a film that they had only skimmed a part of. When they sat down to write the show, they discovered that there was a violent rape scene towards the end. The movie, Sidehackers, stayed in, and the cast just had to explain to the audience why the female lead suddenly disappeared.

You might think that watching movies all day would be a pretty good job, but to me it sounds like surfing through hundreds of awful links every day to find the ones worth sharing, except far more time-consuming. Read more about the process of movie-sifting at Splitsider. Link -via mental_floss


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