Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Mitchell

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Mitchell. He's the chubby blue line.

Jun 16, 2001 (Updated Jun 17, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Action Factor:
  • Special Effects:
  • Suspense:

Pros:My god, it's funny...

Cons:Joel's last appearance as host

The Bottom Line: One of the highlight episodes of MST3K.


Plot Details: This opinion reveals everything about the movie's plot.

" We did a real number on Joe Don Baker in this show, and personally I don't regret a minute of it. Not a single drunk joke, nor glutton joke, nor grotesque slobbering pig of a backwardsass redneck joke would I alter to cushion the blow. As a result, the rumor mill tells us, Joe Don Baker himself hates us, and wishes us all dead, and if he met any one of us and knew who we were, he would probably take a swing, miss by a mile, spill his drink all over his rented arm candy escort, and fall backwards into the hors d'oeuvre table. Well, bring him on, I say, we're ready for him. "
Kevin Murphy
Associate producer, Writer, Tom Servo



There are certain films that will always touch you. There are certain films that seem to hit that chord, challenge your beliefs, uplift your soul and make you feel that you are a part of the universe. This is not one of those films. If you want to feel like that, go rent The Spitfire Grill. If you just want to laugh and have a great time, go pick up a copy of Mystery Science Theater 3000's Mitchell.

For those who don't know, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is a show where two mad scientists shoot a guy into space and force him to watch really bad movies with the robots he built to keep him company.

The Movie
The original Mitchell is actually a rejected TV pilot starring Joe Don Baker as the most repulsive hero ever to grace the TV screen. Joe Don Baker has a history of playing repulsive types, so this is right up his alley. Mitchell is the police detective nobody likes. He's surly, mean, yells at children, and spends most of his free time drinking beer and looking at porn. Plus, he has his own theme song, which consists of the artist singing, "My my my my Mitchell" over and over again. Needless to say, it's pretty easy from the first five minutes to understand why this one was never picked up by the networks.

The plot is pretty much incomprehensible. It has taken me repeated viewings to have any idea at all what was going on. All I know is a Johnny Mathis lookalike robs a house and the owner (John Saxon)comes upon him and shoots him. Mitchell is driven over in what looks like to be a drunken stupor to investigate.

Somehow this all changes to Mitchell chasing around another guy who's trafficking heroin and sleeping with Linda Evans. She plays the hooker hired by the drug kingpin to corrupt Mitchell. I have to say that it was literally the ickiest "love scene" I have ever scene. It literally made me want to gouge my eyes out when in the middle of the magic, Mitchell deftly grabbed a new beer from his sixpack with his toes. Now that's romance...

Anyway, Mitchell has dinner with the kingpin, he does a lot of driving around and shoots people now and then. He roughs up an old lady. And he has a few verbal spars with Merlin Olson. (For such a bad movie, there's quite a few well know people in it...) Basically, it's painful. In fact, the best part of the movie is watching Mitchell get beat on by thugs. Unfortunately, they don't hurt him very badly.

Eventually, the movie finally does end. Though we never do find out about poor Johnny Mathis and what he had to do with any of this. And at least we can thank our lucky stars that this never became an actual series. Plus, we can think the guys at MST3K for giving it the treatment it so fully deserves! Only they could turn such a horrible exercise in pain to one of the top five funniest episodes ever.

The MST3K Episode
Mitchell is actually a pivotal Mystery Science Theater episode, as well as being one of my top five favorites. This is the episode where the original host, Joel Hodgson, leaves the show and Mike Nelson takes over his duties for the next 5 years of the series. Joel ended up going on to pet projects, a travelling performance show and a guest appearance on the now defunct "Freaks and Geeks". Luckily, Joel went out on the show on an extremely high note. This last starring episode is funny as hell.

Basically, Mike has been hired to help the Mads, Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank to clean out their laboratory for an IRS audit. Instead of paying him, they decide to kill Mike instead. Unfortunately, Joel's robot Gypsy misunderstands everything and believes the mads are planning to kill Joel. So she devises a plan to get Joel off the Satellite of Love and out of harms way. The mads need a new guy in space and guess who's the new subject?

Overall, the hosts segments are all plot driven to explain Joel's departure for the show. They're funny, but it's bittersweet knowing my favorite host is about to leave. Fortunately, Mike ends up being more than adequate for the task of filling the new host's shoes.

The only disappointment I can see at all is from the invention exchange. This was always Joel's personal section that he was in charge of. In fact, after his departure from the show, the invention exchange was completely cut out after just a few episodes. I was hoping that Joel would end on a better note for the inventions, but instead he came up with the almost incomprehensible "Daktari Stool". The mads didn't even have one, as they were too busy getting rid of the IRS.

Despite that one point, though, this is a top notch episode an will always be one of my most well loved shows. And though it was sad to see Joel leave the show, I'm glad that he managed to make what would normally be a sad moment so much fun. The writing was excellent, the movie was perfect for ripping apart and the quotes come fast and furious. This a great introduction to the show, but it's also a must see for any fan of MST3K.


Quotes
Tom Servo: Any movie with "wocka-chicka-wocka" (music) in it is ok by me!

Tom: Who's the puffy guy that's a big blurry sex machine? Joel and Crow: Mitchell! Tom: That Mitchell is one bad... Crow: Shut your mouth!

John Saxon: Hey! Joel as Johnny Mathis: What? (Saxon shoots Johnny Mathis) Joel: Oh!

Crow during Mitchell's love scene: Why would anyone want to do that with Mitchell, Joel?

Crow a little later on: My my my my God NO!!!!!!

Tom as Linda Evans: My Mitchell, he's boozy but loveable, I think I'll keep him!

Joel talking to Mitchell: This is the point in the movie where you just turn the gun on yourself. All: Do it... Do it... Do it...

Crow as Mitchell is getting beat up: Is it wrong for me to want to see this?

Joel: Mitchell. Even his name says, "Is that a beer?" (This was originally going to be my title for this review, but somebody else beat me to it...)


Recommend this product? Yes


Viewing Format: VHS
Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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