Tuesday, August 26, 2014

813 - Jack Frost

First Broadcast - 5 pm Saturday, July 15th 1997
#1 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Best in Show
Movie Pain: Low - spacy and wild.
Riffing: Absolute perfection
Skits: Solid, good humor - especially Bobo & Brain Guy

I remember the first time I saw this I was slacked jawed in awe over the sheer brilliance of it all. When Kevin quotes from the Bible after several roosters crow… “Peter must be walking around denying everyone this morning”, not only did I laugh till it hurt, but I thought to myself, “Who else comes up with this kind of material, who on TV writes comedy this sharp and clever?” In a world of sitcoms that take the easy shots, MST3K cut deeper, weaved their quips deftly with masterful phrasing that simply amazed me. These guys could do a funny poop joke sure, but more often than not wrote comedy that was aimed straight for the brainpan. It was smart.  

The film itself is a strange, imaginative acid trip. Chock full of witches who live in dancing houses, mushroom elves, bearded thugs, mean stepmothers and a strong guy who turns into a bear and scares small children. This Frosty fairy-tale has been known to baffle some fans, but it’s my kind of weird. In addition, the leading lady, Nastenka, "Ms. Jackson if you're Nasty", is a doe eyed sweetie you can't help but want to take in your arms and snuggle. She truly is –to quote Tom- Adowable.

So I have a movie that’s a kick, and the fun from it is amplified by strong riffing: "Every time I meet a man, he's either gay or a bear" – Mike. (Which of course is a cute twist on the old trope, “Every man I meet is either gay or married.”) Material such as this is what elevates Frost to the top of the charts. In my opinion, it’s the best episode from the best comedy series ever aired on TV.

Host Segments
Intro: Mike Nelson is the Lord of the Dance. Segment 1: Pearl is away and has left Observer and Bobo alone. The two fight about who's in charge and body odor. Segment 2: Yakov Smirnoff, played by prop-master Patrick Brantseg, is brought in to explain the film. Segment 3: Crow is turned into a bear, while Bobo and Brain guy bash Pearl. Segment 4: Earl Torgeson, a butcher in Sanford, Maine, who specializes in old-world sausages, gives us the scoop on the movie. End: Servo makes an attempt at wide eye'd adorableness, and Bobo & Brain Guy argue about ape films. Mike and Pearl offer their 2 cents. Stinger: Ugly Stepsister wants a man, now!

"She makes Olivia Hussey look like Thelma Ritter." - Crow
Notable Riffs
* "I didn't know there were any land mines left in Narnia." - Servo
* "I enjoy watching people's mental illness." - Mike.
* "I'm bacon!" - Mike (as pig-sleigh)
* "Is this true love or just a kidnapping?" - Servo
* "Jack Frost opened fire on a stand of willows today." - Mike
* "Mmm. Liver on a stick." - Crow
* "I have terminal enchantment right now." - Crow
* "Quick, give him Dutch Elm disease!" - Crow
* "I thought Jerry Garcia was Father Mushroom?" - Crow
* "I’m going to hunt for your cousin Corn Smut, instead." - Crow as Ivan to Mushroom Fairy
* "She's imprinting on the geese." - Servo
* "So the first plot point involves knitting socks? I think we're in for quite a ride guys." - Mike
* "The world's thrown into chaos, earthquakes, fires, but that's fine, you knit your sock." - Servo
* "You know, Mike, I don't think I like evil Russo-Finnish grandmas." - Crow
* "It's the "Seven Dwarfs": Filthy, Rotting, Lousey, Skankey, Scabby, Septic and... Doc." - Crow
* "This is a test of the emergency broadcast chicken." - Crow
* "How long will you go on watering it?" - "I mean, how dumb are you?" - Ivan/Crow
* "Nastenka, will you marry me?" - "Um, I'm nine!" - Ivan/Servo
* "With Retsin... Again, with Retsin... Retsin!" - Crow
* "You are a Queen." - In that you look like Freddie Mercury." - Mean Stepmother/Crow
* "So he lives in a sort of Christian-Pagan Funhouse." - Crow
* "Mom, I married a Beefeater." - Servo as Nastinka
* "False alarm, it's only Bjork." - Mike
* "A movie that dares to ask the question... Will he find the Dwarf?!" - Crow

Riffs Explained
Hildegard Von Bingen, unplugged" - Mike
At a time when women were not afforded much in the way of a voice, Hildegard Von Bingen (1098-1179) stood out as the exception. She is known primarily as was a writer of ethereal music, which was inspired by visions. 

Stuff & Nonsense
Jack Frost incorporates several traditional folk tales in its script. Father Frost is a popular Russian hero and the witch "Baba Yaga" appears in many different Slavic stories. In one, Nastenka's Stepmother is actually Baba Yaga's sister. And it is she who sends Nastia to the witch to be eaten. Unlike the movie, the cat helps the girl escape.

The name, Nastenka means "Resurrected" in old Greek. (Not "Stump water" as Servo suggests. Ha Ha)

Available on DVD: Volume 18

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