To the editors:
After reading Jonathan Rosenbaum’s review of the “atrocious” film treatment of what may be the funniest TV show ever from a “gut laugh” standpoint, I felt compelled to go back and watch all my Mystery Sci- ence Theater 3000 videotapes, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s right [April 19]! I can’t imagine what I was thinking of, laughing all that time! Think I’ll spend the rest of my life in a packing crate in an alley!
But seriously, Rosenbaum has the right and responsibility as a paid critic to review any movie any way he sees fit, but Jesus S. Smith, why was his review so riddled with inaccuracies? Gypsy watches the movies with Mike and the other ‘bots? “Furry friends”? Oblique references to the camp value of Showgirls? Whaa?
Everyone talks back to the movies they watch at home, but the four to six writers who did it for MST3K on TV, as well as on film, do it much better than you or I ever could. That’s why the fucking show works so well. That’s why the writers won a Peabody Award in 1993 and were nominated for three Emmys. Not that these honors are such a paradigm of accomplishment, but if you’re going to summarily trash a film’s writing team, you might wanna mention what they’ve done.
Moreover, I’m dumbfounded by his insistence that This Island Earth is even remotely passable as a SF “classic.” This is a bad movie. The monster wears pants, the villains all look like Criswell, and you can see the fucking seams in the walls! Oh well. To each his own, I guess. But Rosenbaum’s blatant disregard for the facts (and MSTies are nothing if not precise) leads me to believe that he has, in fact, never seen the show. ‘Cause why else would he suggest that the only movies they ever “do” are b/w sci-fi or horror films? (JR, I’ll clue youse in: San Francisco International, Angel’s Revenge, Mitchell, I Accuse My Parents. Check ’em out. I’ll be happy to send you the tapes.) And finally: the reason, see, that they haven’t done Schindler’s List is because, see, it’s a good movie! Why, even you thought so!
PS: Just out of curiosity, why is it that some movies in the capsule section never get a review of any kind (i.e., Rob Roy, Restoration, Jumanji, and, most noticeably, Braveheart)? No skin off my nose, but doesn’t a critic owe it to his audience to at least provide a review to the Oscar winner for this year?