Movie: "MST3K XXXI: The Turkey Day Collection"
Directed by: Various
Writing credits: Michael Nelson, Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, et al
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Plot: Jungle Goddess
Two pilots set off into the jungle to rescue a missing heiress, only to find her leading a tribe of natives.
The Painted Hills
Prospector Jonathan discovers gold and brings in a partner, Lin, to help him mine it. Lin soon turns on Jonathan, and it falls on Jonathan's dog, Shep (played by Lassie), to avenge his death.
The Screaming Skull
A man marries a wealthy heiress with a history of mental illness and tries to drive her to suicide using a carefully-placed skull.
Downed power lines electrify the ground and somehow call a host of flesh-eating worms to the surface in the rural Georgian town.
Review: Every new release of MST3K is good news to me, but the special limited edition Turkey Day box set is especially great. Certainly there are turkeys on the front of the nice embossed metal box, but Shout Factory has gone to great lengths to bring home the authentic Turkey Day experience: the box set includes all the intros and bumps from MST3K's Turkey Day celebrations from years past!
Now you too can experience Deep Hurting the likes of which you could only ever find in those 30-hours marathons from years past. Prior to the Sci Fi channel years, of course; they were probably a little worried that the movie lineup in a Turkey Day celebration would be indistinguishable from their daily programming. Unfortunately, the bumps and intros aren't remastered to the same degree as the episodes themselves, but you can hardly blame Shout Factory for not having to foresight to warn Comedy Central to preserve the tapes of their commercial leadins/leadouts.
As with past releases, you'll get the DVDs and mini-posters featuring Crow and Servo posing for those dramatic shots so emblematic of the terrible movies featured within. Interviews with the stars of some of these turkeys help round things out as well. You'll find out more about the filming of Squirm than you ever cared to know.
And Squirm has to be my favorite of this bunch. For one, it comes closer than most of these movies ever comes to being a decent film, before getting clotheslined by all the strange Southern stuff.
Squirm was always an odd one because it felt less like a movie about killer worms and more like a movie about the director's seething hatred for the American South. Geri's sister is an idiot, her mother spends the entire movie going insane, and everyone she knows seems to be competing for the title of Most Southern Person Ever. And there's an awful lot of Mick trudging through empty swamplands. Some of this is likely a result of trying to distract the viewer from realizing that worms really aren't that scary (until the end of the film where our heroes have to avoid a worm tsunami in their own home), but it seems like the director was out to convince people not to visit even a worm-free Georgia.
My only real complaint is that they missed out on a golden opportunity by not having "Riding with Death" as one of the Turkey Day titles. Turkeys are so central to the plot of that 70s corn fest that it spawned its own turkey-themed superhero in the form of Crow's "Turkey Volume Guessing Man!" Would've been a slam dunk.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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