Mystery Science Theater 3000 returned for a kickstarted new season (disclaimer: I contributed to the kickstarter and am listed in one of the episodes) to wonderful fanfare and a whole new cast. And then it exited in Live Tour form to make even more money So of course I went, the first night was Eegah, which you can read here. The second night was a secret movie! WoooOOOoooOOooO!! Just in case this comes into play in a further season, please do not click\look below if you don’t want to be spoiled on the super secret movie! Everyone else, click away for the review!
Okay, the super secret movie was Argoman the Fantastic Superman! It’s an Italian super hero movie made during the time Italy was pumping out hundreds of films non-stop in dozens of genres. Not only is it a super hero film, but it takes influences from the Eurospy genre (basically James Bond ripoffs, though some films do predate James Bond) and is a biteoff of another Italian super hero, Superargo! You might recall that Superargo got his own spotlight in the new season of MST3K as one of his two featuers was done.
Argoman is ridiculous because he’s basically a thief James Bond superhero with magic telekinesis and strength powers that go away for six hours after he has sex. Yes, that is an actual plot point! As you might imagine, this film has a lot of gross stuff about women going on that even factors into the plot, as the main villainess is a woman who is out to conquer the world. Also she sleeps with the hero early in the film when he uses his telekinesis to snatch her off a hovercraft and then makes a sex bet with her that we later find out she went along with to both have sex and get his fabulous jewels, which are actual jewels and not hit junk. And he has an Indian servant who is just a guy in brown face and seems to be in love with him. See what I mean with this movie being ridiculous???
A film so crazy (even one that was obviously not meant to be super serious) is ripe with a million jokes, they were flying out so fast you couldn’t even keep up from the laughing that threatened to drown out the next jokes. Argoman running around in his Gimp Cyclops costume punching dudes and killing evil duplicates of world leaders without repercussions nor the fuddy-duddy Inspector character suspecting his real identity when he’s literally holding the costume in one scene is incredibly awesomely hilarious. It is a film I always meant to get around to reviewing (with about a dozen other Italian super hero movies), so I’m glad I got an excuse to talk about it. The sketches were a great bag of laughs, including a segment that poked fun at a crazy scene where the hero had his girlfriend of the day walk around in her underwear to distract a guard so he could sneak into a van.
Joel hosts a Q&A before the show and does the intermission and closing announcements, as well as some work on some of the host segments. The main cast is Jonah Ray as Jonah Heston, Hampton Yount as Crow, Tim Rider as Tom Servo (Baron Vaughn had a baby so was understandably busy, though he was in the audience for this performance as he lives in the Bay Area!), and Rebecca Hanson as Gypsy. As mentioned last time, Felicia Day and Patton Oswald (Kinga Forrester and Max) are too busy to go on a tour, so they’ve filmed video segments that the cast interacts with (and immediately break the fourth wall with by referring to them as such!) Rebecca Hanson and Grant Baciocco play Pearl Forrester’s clone Synthia and Terry the Bonehead, and are essentially the host segment foils. And even though this movie doesn’t have a “Watch out for snakes!” line, they still break in to the the “Watch out for snakes!” celebration a few times (including once where a character wears what appears to be a snake dress!)
Argoman the Fantastic Superman getting riffed was awesome, the show ruled and even though my seats for this night were a bit further back, it was still a good vantage point. Hopefully this leads to more ridiculous Italian super-hero movies in future episodes (if the show gets renewed…or even kickstartered again!), as there are a whole bunch of likely contenders still waiting for their moment in the sun.