A Guy Named Joel: Launching Cinematic Titanic
November 09, 2007
Repeat to Yourself: It’s Just a Show
By Pablo Hidalgo About 20 years ago, the Satellite of Love began circling high overhead. Within the confines of this orbital station, everyman Joel Robinson was subjected to watching terrible movies, with only his wisecracking robot sidekicks — Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot — to help him by delivering well-timed hilarious commentary. Quickly following its 1988 debut on a local Twin Cities television station KTMA, Mystery Science Theater 3000 became a cult hit, moving to the Comedy Channel, then Comedy Central, and then eventually the Sci-Fi Network.
From 1988 to 1993, comedian and series creator Joel Hodgson played the main role of Joel, before handing over the reigns to Mike Nelson, who hosted through to the show’s end in 1999. “End,” though, is really used figuratively here, because even though the show is off the air, an active fan-base continues to celebrate all things MST3K, by buying the latest DVD releases or circulating videotapes of hard-to-find episodes. Riffing on bad movies has become a pastime for many MST3K fans who keep the spirit alive. At Industrial Light & Magic, there’s a monthly tradition of bad movie screenings called “Flecks” that has been going on for years, and has since spread to other effects and animation studios.
Hodgson has spent the past decade behind-the-scenes developing a variety of entertainment projects, but he will soon be returning to the silhouetted spotlight when he and the original cast of MST3K debut an all-new video project, Cinematic Titanic (visit the website here). In preparation for this new venture, Hodgson visited the offices of Lucasfilm, and StarWars.com was granted an exclusive interview.
Full interview on starwars.com.
Do you hear that?
It’s a million fans online making that whoop whoop whoop sound.
The site Cinematic Titanic just went live last week (thanks for the heads up, Tim!) and already the response from fans has been enormous. The project will reunite Joel, Josh Weinstein, Frank Conniff, Trace Beaulieu and Mary Jo Pehl riffing on a film that will make “Manos the Hands of Fate” look like “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” in a car wreck with “Eegah!” with notes of peach.
The first release will be on December 10th after the live show on 12/7/07.
My birthday is in December, you know?