Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Space Classics: Reviewing Incognito Cinema Warriors' 2nd DVD

Somewhere in the internet, I had a blog in MySpace. It's still barely active, thanks to my tweets and Facebook posts. It's about time I featured the best of that old blog, including some pre-Whedonopolis stuff. Enjoy!

From August 28, 2008:

When a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 decided to make his own version of the show, and promote it on the internet, he wasn't sure if anyone would buy it. After all, there have been some attempts to recreate the magic that is MST3K, but could someone actually succeed?
Well, Rikk Wolf, zombie hunter, has his answer...

These guys are good--fast-paced, funny riffing throughout. Now, fellahs, would you please stop making my job look easy!--Mike Nelson

This is not to say that Incognito Cinema Warriors has become the official heir apparent to the MST3K tradition. After all, Mike is still going strong with Rifftrax, while Joel Hodgson and his minions from MST3K have their own growing franchise in Cinematic Titanic. All that Rikk has proved is that he's the only "civilian" who is worthy.


So, with that in mind, let's celebrate the return of ICW (and about $@*^%! time) with Rikk's riffs on the racy and scary Italian horror film, Lady Frankenstein. For those who missed the first DVD, the idea is that Rikk is a zombie hunting soldier who's trapped in an abandoned movie house while swarms of zombies surround the place. Rikk is joined by TopsyBot 5000, which serves popcorn, and Johnny Cylon, who will deny to the death that Twiki from Buck Rogers is his grandfather. The two bots work at the theater for Dr. Harrison Blackwood, who presents movies so bad he takes precuations to keep customers from leaving. In this case, he forces Rikk and the bots to see his bad movies, or they'll be zombie chow.

Since the first DVD, Bride of the Gorilla, Rikk and his friends have cleaned up the joint, although they think they're mascots from cleaner commericals. Then, a dumpy looking non-zombie named Darrell enters the theater, looking for a place to crash. Rikk agrees, because he has his own problems, namely the next movie.
Just like before, he gets a trailer of "coming attractions", usually the next movie to be riffed. However, they've changed the seating arrangement to avoid from being too-MST-like. Rikk, TopsyBot and Cylon now sit in a balcony.

As Lady Frankenstein starts, one of the bots asks, "are we going to see a guy with bolts in his neck make us an offer we can't refuse?" Not really, but they do see once-prominent actor Joseph Cotton as Baron Frankenstein, a grave-robbing mad scientist who's trying to bring the dead back to life. His daughter, Tania, has just come back from medical school ("C'mere, you little mother's lie'). Since she's a surgeon, she wants to help in the experiments, although he's not too sure. ("Crimes against nature is boys' stuff') The Baron's assistant, Dr. Charles Marshall, doesn't mind.
After the town hangs a guy who looks like Patrick Swayze, the Baron works on using his parts to bring another man back to life. Against all odds, and despite a slightly damaged brain, he succeeds. The result looks creepier than tha cheesiest alien ("Jesus, look at the huge Martian coconut"). Not only that, the creature squeezes the Baron to death, much to the dismay of Tania.
Back in the theater, Darrell is so bad as a roommate, Rikk would prefer the Creature. Let's not talk about hygiene habits.

OK, so what about the dead mad scientist? Tania vows to carry on her father's work, with sexy results. The Creature, meanwhile, is out and about ("My creator has a first name, it's F-R-A-N-K....E-N..."), and sees two people having sex, one more naked than the other. The movie plays spoilsport, and blocks out the nudity in this and other scenes. It's quite a contrast to the start of "City Limits" on MST3K, where Joel used an umbrella to block out the brief nudity in the credits. Anyway, the creature grabs the nude woman, shakes her to death, and dumps her in the river. ("Smile, you're on Candid Camera, snuff film edition"). The undead prude does the same to one of the Baron's grave-robbing friends. This has attracted the attention of Captain Harris, played by Mickey Hargitay, the former Mr. Jayne Mansfield. He usually acts smug, suspecting people of doing blasphemous things.
Well, this movie certainly shows them, but not completely. Later in the film, Tania has married Charles, but wants to put his brain into a sexier body...Thomas, a simple-minded servant. To do that, we see something even worse than Ben Stiller was accused of doing when he made Tropic Thunder: she seduces Thomas while Charles watches, and Charles smothers Thomas with a pillow. This inspires an incredible riff from Rikk that I'd rather not repeat. You just have to hear it for yourself. They do make snide remarks about the cinematography ("Did someone release mustard gas?"), and speculate about Thomas' last words ("It was still worth it").

So, while Tania is Making Mr. Right (in more ways than one), the creature is still killing people if they're not having sex, while the townsfolk carry torches, looking to burn someone they don't like. We do get the ending where the mad scientist is punished for tampering in Hugh Hefner's, I mean God's, domain, but again it's with sexy results.

Even Rikk and his pals would agree that Lady Frankenstein is a movie with so much sex and violence (especially sex), MST wouldn't touch it, but ICWXP would. They're hard-core heavy metal, ECW in its original form, the grindhouse version of MST3000, and I salute them for that. This DVD is recommended for MST fans 17 and older.

As for the future, we'll get another Eurotrashy horror movie with Hargitay, and eventually The Hideous Sun Demon. We're also supposed to get a new character on the show. Let's just hope that episode three comes a lot sooner than episode two.

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