Mystery Science Theater 3000 season 12's movies are an ecclectic mix of bad, interesting and bizarre. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of MST3K, and in honor of the momentous occasion, Netflix is releasing the 12th season of the show on Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This honors both the day on which the show first premiered in 1988 and the legendary Turkey Day Marathons, for which the show was famous for in the 1990s, when it aired on Comedy Central.
While paying tribute to the show's long history, season 12 also looks to the future of the franchise. To that end, season 12 is the first in Mystery Science Theater 3000 history to be designed with binge-viewing in mind. All six episodes of the season are being released in one long marathon, which has been dubbed The Gauntlet.
With a Mystery Science Theater 3000 new trailer having revealed the six films making up the new season, fans are wondering what to expect from this year's Turkey Day Marathon.What follows is a quick rundown of the films that will be featured as part of The Gauntlet.
Mac and Me (1988) In MST3K Season 12
A young wheelchair-bound boy named Eric befriends a lost alien creature. Dubbing his new pal Mac (short for Mysterious Alien Creature), Eric takes his new friend to engage in typical friendly activities, such as impromptu musical numbers and running from the FBI. Thankfully, Eric's friends and family are on hand to help him in his quest to return Mac to his family.
Perhaps the closest Mystery Science Theater 3000 has come to tackling a Hollywood blockbuster in its long history, Mac and Me was an infamously awful flop. Half of the reason for this is because it was an obvious rip-off of E.T - The Extra-Terrestrial. The other half is because of Mac and Me's lengthy in-film commercials for both McDonald's and Coca-Cola.
Atlantic Rim (2013) In MST3K Season 12
As one might guess from the title, Atlantic Rim is a blatant rip-off of Pacific Rim. Produced on a fraction of the budget of Guillermo del Toro's film (and an even greater fraction of its charm) what Atlantic Rim lacks in convincing CGI of giant robots and monsters, it more than makes-up in shots of people staring at screens and describing things to the audience. This marks the first time that Mystery Science Theater 3000 has tackled a film by noted "mock-buster" producers The Asylum - the same studio responsible for the Sharknado franchise.
Lords of the Deep (1989) In MST3K Season 12
One of many underwater science-fiction films produced in the wake of The Abyss, Lords of the Deep tells the familiar story of a group of undersea miners who discover that the ocean floor isn't as uninhabited as mankind thought. Produced by notorious B-movie director Roger Corman (who has had more than a few of his movies shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000), the script was co-written by Howard R. Cohen, whose credits include Deathstalker III (which was featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000 season 7) as well as several episodes of the Care Bears cartoon. The most prominent actor is Priscilla Barnes, best known for replacing Suzanne Somers on Three's Company.
The Day Time Ended (1979) In MST3K Season 12
The last film of noted cowboy actor Jim Davis, The Day Time Ended has little to recommend it. The plot centers upon a family whose high-tech, solar-powered home in the desert is buzzed by aliens, who then send the family back to prehistoric times. Why? Good question. This, like most of the events of the movie, is never explained. Based on the trailer, this could be the most utterly insane Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode since Cry Wilderness.
Killer Fish (1979) In MST3K Season 12
Filmed to capitalize on the popularity of Piranha while offering a twist on the classic heist film formula, Killer Fish centers upon a gang of jewel thieves who must recover a sunken treasure from deadly, piranha-infested waters. Naturally, treachery abounds, as the thieves turn on one another and try to use the environment against one another. This Mystery Science Theater 3000 season 12 film is mostly notable for starring The Six Million Dollar Man, himself, Lee Majors, and also features Karen Black and Margot Hemmingway.
Ator The Fighting Eagle (1982) In MST3K Season 12
One of the many sword-and-sorcery films made to capitalize on the popularity of Conan the Barbarian, Ator The Fighting Eagle proved successful enough to spawn a number of sequels. The second film in the franchise, Ator The Blade Master (aka Cave Dwellers), was the premiere episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 season 3 and it's considered one of the best episodes of the entire series. This movie details how Ator goes from simple farm boy to warrior sage, as he embarks on a quest to save his betrothed from being sacrificed to a giant spider by a group of cultists. Rerun endlessly in the early days of broadcast cable, this should prove a fitting capstone to Mystery Science Theater 3000's latest season.