Cinematic Titanic Going Down Shortly!

I should, in the next week, have my copy of the first Cinematic Titanic movie: The Oozing Skull.

If you don’t know about CT, it’s the combined efforts of Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu and J. Elvis Weinstein, along with Mary Jo Pehl and Frank Conniff. These guys were the heart and soul of Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Well, maybe the soul, brain, bladder, bowels and heart, respectively.)

MST3K was a show that ran for about 10 years on the Comedy Channel, Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel, which featured a campy stranded-in-space-by-evil-scientists framework which provided an excuse to watch bad movies while making funny comments. The original episodes are nearly 20 years old and have that “not-so-fresh” feeling these days.

Though there are classics. The Boy–who was not born when the show first went on the air–enjoys the DVDs, even though they are rife with baby boomer era references, as well as a broad range of humor from the juvenille to the sophisticated, sometimes combining both.

“Meanwhile, deep in the impenetrable void, John Paul Sartre was a-movin’ and a-grovin’.”
–Crow T. Robot, “Catalina Caper”

The whole series had a “let’s put on a show” vibe of amateur-ness which was at odds with the incredible talents on display. Trace and Joel (and Joel’s brother, not credited but I think behind the scenes on a lot of the trickier props) put the “prop” in “propularity”. Or maybe the “larity”. Joel’s stand-up persona carried to this format was gentle, but with an edge, and an edge that you could let your kids watch.

“Memo to myself: pack more lifesaving serum in the future.”
–Crow T. Robot, “Stranded In Space”

I saw my first episode when my dad was in the hospital, and I wouldn’t have thought anything could make me laugh, yet there I was. Having the show return in the form of Cinematic Titanic is like having an old friend get out of jail. Or an asylum. You know what I mean.

“It’s not so much the heat as it is the apocalypse.”
–Warrior of the Lost World