The MST3K "Black Friday" Special: Your Top 100 Episodes. PLUS: The Long-Awaited Turkey Day Surprise!
Dear MST3K Revival League,
First, I hope you had a wonderful Turkey Day, and – if you got a chance to join us – that you enjoyed this year's MST3K Turkey Day Marathon! I'm still recovering from yesterday's big meal, so I'll try to keep this update short. There are just two things I promised I'd talk about today.
First, like I said on Monday, this year's Turkey Day Marathon lineup was a little bit different, because it was actually chosen by you, when you voted for your "Top 10 MST3K Episodes."
In case you weren't able to join us yesterday, Jonah and I counted-down the TOP 6 EPISODES, based on your votes, which were:
1. Manos: The Hands of Fate
2. Space Mutiny
3. Final Sacrifice
5. Pod People
Now for a little confession: Our lineup actually wasn't in the exactorder of the vote, because I wanted to keep up our Thanksgiving tradition of alternating between "Joel" and "Mike" episodes. But, those were the Top 6 Episodes – I was really pleased to see that your Top 6 naturally included three from each of us. It just seems right, you know?
Anyway, I didn't want to ruin yesterday's lineup by announcing the voting results ahead of time, but now that this year's Turkey Day Marathon is behind us, I wanted to go ahead and share the complete list, so you can see where the Revival League ranked your favorite episodes.
Here's how it all turned out:
THE REVIVAL LEAGUE'S DEFINITIVE
TOP 100 EPISODES OF MST3K
1. Manos: The Hands of Fate - (424)
2. Space Mutiny - (820)
3. Mitchell - (512)
4. The Final Sacrifice - (910)
5. Pod People - (303)
6. Puma Man - (903)
7. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians - (321)
8. Werewolf - (904)
9. Cave Dwellers - (301)
10. Time Chasers - (821)
11. Overdrawn At The Memory Bank - (822)
12. I Accuse My Parents - (507)
13. Eegah! - (506)
14. Gamera - (302)
15. Prince of Space - (816)
16. Hobgoblins - (907)
17. Laserblast - (706)
18. Soultaker - (1001)
19. Godzilla vs. Megalon - (212)
20. Jack Frost - (813)
21. Santa Claus - (521)
22. Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders - (1003)
23. The Brain That Wouldn't Die - (513)
24. The Touch of Satan - (908)
25. Teenagers From Outer Space - (404)
26. The Day the Earth Froze - (422)
27. Warrior of the Lost World - (501)
28. The Giant Spider Invasion - (810)
29. Catalina Caper - (204)
30. Fugitive Alien - (310)
31. Master Ninja I - (322)
32. Time of the Apes - (306)
33. Gamera vs. Guiron - (312)
34. Final Justice - (1008)
35. Boggy Creek II - (1006)
36. Riding with Death - (814)
37. The Sidehackers - (202)
38. Outlaw (Of Gor) - (519)
39. Future War - (1004)
40. Monster A-Go-Go - (421)
41. "Parts": The Clonus Horror - (811)
42. The Killer Shrews - (407)
43. The Giant Gila Monster - (402)
44. Deathstalker and the Warriors From Hell - (703)
45. Red Zone Cuba - (619)
46. The Girl in Gold Boots - (1002)
47. Alien From L.A. - (516)
48. Hercules Against The Moon Men - (410)
49. Diabolik - (1013)
50. Horror Of Party Beach - (817)
51. The Amazing Colossal Man - (309)
52. Danger! Death Ray - (620)
53. The Creeping Terror - (606)
54. Daddy-O + Alphabet Antics - (307)
55. The Incredibly Strange Creatures… - (812)
56. Lost Continent - (208)
57. Attack Of The Eye Creatures - (418)
58. Squirm - (1012)
59. Star Force: Fugitive Alien II - (318)
60. Zombie Nightmare - (604)
61. Hercules Unchained - (408)
62. Quest of the Delta Knights - (913)
63. The Beast of Yucca Flats - (621)
64. The Screaming Skull - (912)
65. The Magic Sword - (411)
66. The Mole People - (803)
67. Operation Double 007 - (508)
68. Wild, Wild World of Batwoman - (515)
69. The Beginning of the End - (517)
70. Magic Voyage of Sinbad - (505)
71. Agent for H.A.R.M. - (815)
72. Girls Town - (601)
73. Devil Doll - (818)
74. Hamlet - (1009)
75. Night of the Blood Beast - (701)
76. The Beatniks - (415)
77. Secret Agent Super Dragon - (504)
78. The Starfighters - (612)
79. Bride of the Monster - (423)
80. It Conquered The World - (311)
81. Rocketship X-M - (201)
82. The Crawling Eye - (101)
83. Moon Zero Two - (111)
84. Godzilla Vs. The Sea Monster - (213)
85. Gamera Vs. Zigra - (316)
86. Robot Holocaust - (110)
87. The Incredible Melting Man - (704)
88. Escape 2000 - (705)
89. Gamera Vs. Gaos - (308)
90. Gamera Vs. Barugon - (304)
91. Tormented - (414)
92. Samson vs. The Vampire Women - (624)
93. Angels' Revenge - (622)
94. Horrors of Spider Island - (1011)
95. Invasion of the Neptune Men - (819)
96. Devil Fish - (911)
97. Master Ninja II - (324)
98. The Deadly Mantis - (804)
99. San Francisco International - (614)
100. Wild Rebels - (207)
So, there you go! Your official Top 100 List, based on thousands of ballots from backers.
Now, I've got to tell you, I also had a little bit of an ulterior motive when I asked you to vote on your Top 100 Episodes. Now that we're in post-production, it’s really not that long until you'll finally see 14 new episodes, and I've been thinking a lot about how hard it can be to compete with nostalgia. One of the things I'll be really curious about, once you have seen the new episodes, is where you'll decide they rank against this list, taken from the first 11 years of the show.
There's no way for me to guess how these new episodes will live up to how you remember your favorites, but what I can tell you is, I'm feeling pretty good about all of them. And, since we're working with a whole new team, and new writers, and so much time has passed, I'm trying to set a realistic goal for us. So, I think we'd be doing pretty great – and on par with the original run – if about half of our new episodes end up somewhere in the Top 100. That's kind of my goal. If we can do that, I think we'll be doing pretty good. But once the episodes come out, you'll tell us what you think, and that'll help me figure if we got off to the right start this time.
Now, let's get to today's other big announcement.
Your "Black Friday" Bonus Reward!
On Monday, I also promised that – since we didn't have any new episodes ready to show you on Turkey Day – I'd send a special treat on Friday to make it up to you.
And you know, I know it's a treat some of you have been wanting for a long time – maybe even since we first ran this advertisement in The St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch on Turkey Day of 1988, when our very first episode, Invaders From the Deep, premiered on KTMA:
So yeah, some of you already guessed it, but let's make it official:
I'm happy to tell you that we finally found master tapes for two of the three "lost KTMA episodes" of MST3K: Invaders from the Deep, and Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars.
I actually thought we had discovered copies of these episodes at one point during the Kickstarter last year, and I was really excited that I'd be able to finally share them with you… and then it turned out that we hadn't found them, and it was a real bummer. But then, earlier this year, a few final boxes turned up. And there they were: the very first episodes of MST3K ever made.
So yeah: If your Kickstarter rewards include any of the "Classic MST3K Bonus Episodes", the two "lost episodes" are now waiting for you – a special "Happy Turkey Day" present from all of us at MST3K. (Just remember, though, these are really old episodes, so I hope you can look at them like a "first draft" of what the show would turn into.)
Just log into your VHX account, and you'll see them in your collection of Classic Episodes. You can stream and download them, whatever you want.
I don't want to give you more reading for today, so I'll just say that I really loved getting a chance to see these early episodes again. You can see Josh and Trace and me just wading into “movie riffing” and starting to play with all the elements and dynamics of the show and the set pieces. Obviously, it’s pretty slow. We didn’t pre-watch any of the films or even attempt to write any jokes; it’s just us, starting out, “blue skying” it.
(Naturally, if I could have known that, almost 30 years later, there would be a group of about 50,000 folks looking at these as a sort of “historical document,” I probably would have tried to find ways to put more time into them. But, as they say, it is what it is.)
Also, I have to tell you: This week was the first time that I’ve watched these in a long time. Seeing them now, I’m so proud we took the leap of faith and tried it. The cast and crew are suiting up in the gear and giving it a whack, and even this early on – as primitive as it is – you can sort of feel where this is all going.
Anyway, I took some notes when I watched them, and I'd like to share those with you. But I thought maybe I'd wait until next week, and give you this weekend to watch them first.
If you do watch, I hope you'll let me and your fellow Revival Leaguers know what you think in the comments. I'll be really interested to hear your take.
Anyway, that's all for today.
I hope you each had a wonderful Turkey Day, and that you know how grateful I am for everything you've done to help Bring Back MST3K.
Cheers & Thanks,