Thursday, August 14, 2014

318 - Star Force: Fugitive Alien 2

First Broadcast - 10 am Saturday, Nov 16 1991
Excellence Level: Silver
Movie Pain: High - It's as if it were written by chicken after its head was cut off
Riffing: Lightweight and silly
Skits: M'eh... though the Capt. Joe figure is hilarious

"What the heck is going on!" cries a frustrated Crow. Brother, we hear ya. More of the same from the crew of "Fugitive Alien". A meandering plot blended with several contradictions -First they don't trust Col. Yrulen, then they do, then they don't.... and on and on it goes and where it leads nobody, not even the screenwriters, seem to know.

Decent riffing keeps it afloat. J&TB's are in a chipper mood, just goofin' on a goofy experiment. But it's not a completely lackadaisical effort as they zero in on the story and its characters. From typos on the ships console, to Captain Joe's drinking problem.

The humor offers puns: "Yrulen?" - "Yup, were #1" - Crow; Pop references: -"Is she really going out with him?"- Joel, from a Joe Jackson song; Quality thwacks at the dialog: "Yeah, like the sarcasm wars of 1999" - Crow. But the funniest for me was the repetative stuff..."Rocky!" - "Again" - Joe/Crow.

The work is lightweight and because of that it doesn't translate into a timeless classic. Sometimes I’m in the mood for their silliness and this fits the bill. At other times I find the quips a bit weightless and it puts me to sleep. So I’ll split the difference and give this the silver.

Host Segments
Intro: The bots are embroiled in a deep discussion about puppets. Invention: After a puppet quiz on the SOL, the Mads show off their giant noses while Joel presents the big head. Segment 1: Joel tries to revive a dying Tom, while Crow does his "Rescue 911" Shatner voice. Segment 2: My favorite from this episode: The lovable "Captain Joe" action figure. Complete with intervention! Segment 3: A musical review based on the tunes from the movie. End: The Bots offer up movie suggestions for the Mads. Frank sings Tom T. Hall and hits the button with his nose. Stinger: Ken lets Captain Joe know that he's got it all fixed and working again

Notable Riffs
"Come on, this is your mother now. Try her out!" - Servo as Capt. Joe
"For the walking sequence, special director Roger Corman." - Crow
"I just love the whole incoherent "Mighty Jack" quality of this film." - Servo
"You can't destroy me -- I quit!" - Crow as Lord Halkon
"You don't necessarily have to get swallowed up in a black hole..." "but it helps!" - Ken/Servo
"Oh-Ho! My chicks dead, hey!" - Joel
"Ken's a loner? How long before your Ken is fixed?" - Crow
"Does the name Rita mean anything to you?" - "Uh, it's a Beatles song" - Tammy/Joel as Ken
"When my time comes, I want to go out in glory" - "I wanna be torn apart by animals" - Tammy/Joel
"Bite me? Is that official?" - Joel
"Now it looks like Lawrence of Arabia, except for the pink, shiny pleather suits" - Joel
"Faster Pussy-Ken, Kill, Kill!" - Joel
"A girl? You switch hitter you" - Joel
"Allright go" - "Like you've never go'd before!" - Cap. Joe/Servo
"I could talk to that guy till I'm blue in the face" - Joel
"That red spot hasn't moved an inch" - "But it's healing nicely" - Tammy/Servo
"Ash Wednesday - Caesar style" - Joel
"Looks like Captain Joe's in the bucket" - Joel, as ship crashes through buildings

Skit Riffs
"Existential void where prohibited." - Crow

Riff Explained 
Five Neat Guys?
This is in reference to a skit on SCTV. The "5 Neat Guys" were a couple of clean cut squares who recorded such hits as "Pimples & Pockmarks" and "I've Got A Hickey on My Shoulder". There's another SCTV related riff, "Take off Hoser", which comes from the "Bob and Doug Show".

"Plan B, Merce Cunningham!" - Joel
Said when our heroes run & fall to the sand at the same time. Merce is a dancer and choreographer who often collaborated with composer John Cage.

Stuff and Nonsense
* In Japan this was titled, "Sutäurufu" (or "Star Wolf"). Tammy is actually Himi, Rocky is Ryú and Captain Joe means Drunken Chipmunk (oh, okay. I made that last one up)

* Here's a link to website dedicated to the actor who played Captain Joe... Jo Shishido. A few things I learned while visiting was that he actually had plastic surgery to obtain those full cheeks of his (hoping to gain a hard edged look) and that he once hosted a cooking show.

Available on DVD: Volume 24

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