10 Awesome MST3K Episodes to Watch on Halloween

By James Daniels in Daily Lists, TV
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 8:02 am
MST Lugosi.jpg
Obviously, any time of the year is a good time to watch the coolest, smartest, and funniest comedy series in the history of nerd-dom. But if you're like me (and I know I am!), the urge to experience the Satellite of Love crew tear a heinous piece of celluloid to veritable shreds is at its peak during All Hallows Eve. During MST3K's 10 year run Joel, Mike, and the 'Bots have sunk their teeth into some truly foul excuses for horror films, mostly of the alien invader, creature-feature, giant something-or-other, and mad scientist varieties, so there's countless options for anyone wanting a Halloween MST marathon.

So here are 10 films that, with the SOL bunch's help, will provide hours of fun and the perfect cinematic complement to any Halloween party. The episodes on this list are drawn from a variety of horror subgenres, but a general sense of classic, atmospheric, spookiness is what I was looking for -- with a generous helping of old-fashioned MST3K-grade cheese, of course. Note: This is a reference, not a ranking -- the order is more or less arbitrary. Enjoy, Roboteers! And have a Happy Halloween, Blessed Samhain, Wicked Mischief Night, Splendid Guy Fawkes Day and Feliz Dia De Los Muertos!

10) Revenge of the Creature
This cheesy and totally unnecessary follow-up to the B-movie horror classic Creature from the Black Lagoon is best known as the inaugural episode of Season 8, and the beginning of MST's Sci-Fi Channel era. Still, the Gillman is one of Hollywood's most recognizable monsters for a reason, and the special-effects make-up is a cut above most MST3K fare. Enjoy this clip of the great scientific minds of Revenge of the Creature at work, and watch for the very first on-camera appearance of none other than Clint Eastwood!

9) Manos: The Hands of Fate
I'm really not sure if Manos really counts as a horror movie, but then, I'm not really sure if Manos counts as a movie, period. But it's generally considered the most popular MST3K episode ever made for a reason, and somehow always gives me the Halloween vibe: Maybe it's the spooky jazz soundtrack, the zombie-esque "brides," the Master's awesome "Hands" cloak, or even Torgo's terrifyingly large thighs. But thinking about it, it was probably my homemade Torgo costume from Halloween '96 (sorry--I don't have pics).

8) The Thing That Couldn't Die
Not to be confused with the similarly titled The Brain That Wouldn't Die. A creepy (though admittedly kinda hot) country girl with ESP finds a treasure chest while divining for water containing the immortal head of a colonial-era Satanist doomed to live forever separated from his body. Said head begins hypnotizing the cast in an attempt to become reunited with his missing body, like you do. Notable for scenes of Tom and Crow cheering for possible lesbian sex.

7) Ring of Terror
A college prank goes awry for the world's oldest medical students in season two's Ring of Terror, a shockingly ineffective cheap-o spook story. The beginning is actually the best part: A graveyard keeper named Rigor "RJ" Dobson and his cat Puma (pronounced "Peeuuma") provide an introduction that's much more entertaining than anything else in the film (and provides the basis for a longtime running gag on the show).

6) The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living sand Became Mixed-Up Zombies
Ray Dennis Steckler -- a name that will live in infamy alongside Arch Hall Sr., Coleman Francis, and the great Hal Warren -- tried marketing this unholy mess under a slew of titles, including The Incredibly Mixed-Up Zombie, Diabolical Dr. Voodoo and The Teenage Psycho Meets Bloody Mary, but a turd by any other name -- well, you get the point. Utterly lacking in zombies (or budget, or coherence, or reason...), the film's kinda fun if you can appreciate batshit insanity, and has some creepy imagery that lends itself well to Halloween viewing, particularly in the character of Ortega, an unpleasant gent who looks like he has a dime store Hobo mask melted to his face. He's the evil Gypsy's (and mistress of the titular, ahem, "zombies") henchman, and is sort of the "Torgo" of the SciFi-era.

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