Recap: MST3K 12.6, “Ator The Fighting Eagle”

Is it victory for Kinga thanks to the nightmare-fueled world she’s given Jonah, Crow and Servo with the six-movie Gauntlet?

It may seem that way for a while, but the final movie, “Ator the Fighting Eagle” features sharp riffing, and a big surprise for her at the end.

This also marks the second time the show borrowed a movie from Rifftrax. It had “Ator” for some time, and its version is still available. As with nearly all the movies for the past two seasons, MST took a few chunks out of “Ator” and tightened the action. It’s still about a warrior with great hair who battles a priest who worships a spider god to rescue his half-sister who he was about to marry.
Yes, you read that right.

He could have decided to hook up with a blonde warrior named Roon who fights with him, but the screenwriters had other ideas. They also added a cute cub as Ator’s pet.

The weird part is Ator’s relationship with Griba, who was a former Spider Priest but decided to observe Ator growing up from afar, then train him to fulfill his destiny. Griba only shows up to Ator when he has to, whether it’s revealing his destiny or showing his real motive. He’s described by Jonah as “caveman Salvador Dali”

Some of the scenes were featured in the sequel, “Cave Dwellers“, which started the third season of MST3K. In that movie, Ator tries to keep bad guys from getting what seems to be nuclear power, and invents hang gliding to do it.

Again, you read that right.

As for the host segments, Synthia and Dr. Erhardt meet at his ship to test out their musical drink where “Idiot Control Now” comes out of them like they were human speakers.

They also prepare for the live tour, which means the Gauntlet took place in early October. Whether the original plan was to have season 12 start before the tour is unclear, but the decision to delay it until the 30th anniversary was still a good one.

So, let’s look at some riffs, and compare them to how Rifftrax responded. One thing is certain: MST didn’t harp on the fact that Ator was about to marry his adoptive sister. There were plenty of other things to notice.

Dakkar appears for the first time as the Spider Priest
MST: Forrest Whitaker is Mr. T in Ziggy Stardust
RT:  Bring on the dancing lady spiders

The town is killed by Dakkar’s men
MST: Literal Burning Man
RT:  This is the reddest wedding I’ve seen…..

Amazons fight for the right to bear Ator’s child…before she kills him
MST:  Mean Girls 2: Ragnarok
RT: If this is how The Bachelor worked, I’d totally watch The Bachelor

Ator fights the spider god, which apparently came from Earth vs the Spider
MST: Fighting this thing feels like hacking apart a sofa

RT:  Richmond University sees this and thinks, “it’s our mascot, right there”

There’s also riffs on RuPaul, Annie, Legends of the Hidden Temple and Zack Snyder.

Now that the Gauntlet is done, Jonah’s OK, and he, the bots, Synthia and Donna (who seems to take a shine to him) head to the Deep Hurting to riff movies across the country.

Kinga is still convinced Jonah’s into her just because he almost married her (even if it wasn’t his idea). She’s also declaring victory, deciding she’s traumatized the people who stuck with the eight-hour ordeal.

As she puts it, “I’m in your head, folks, and you’re never gonna get rid of me. Every time you see a movie with a cheap set, I’ll be there.
Every gaping plot hole or monster costume with a zipper, I’ll be there”

Of course, if that were true, she would have been at least six when the Eye Creatures showed up.

This is a mistake because Kinga’s supposed to just torment Jonah and the bots, not us, with lousy movies. We’re just here along for the ride, and she needs the viewers to buy the swag the show has (despite her low opinion of them).

Again, Felicia Day can express the mean crazy emotions very well, but there’s got to be more to Kinga. Synthia and Donna are quite able to steal the show from under her (especially thanks to the live tour). If Kinga decides this mean crazy act isn’t working, and says she’s just doing this for the cash and to get back at the two cable channels that cancelled MST, it would be better for her. She should also stop calling the terrible movies “nightmare-fueled worlds”. Dr. Forrester was more creative in his intros.
Max is fine, though, just as resilient as his dad.

It may be a moot point, though, As soon as she puts the tube from Ator in the new shelf Jonah made, Kinga and Max discover they’re being sent to a warehouse….which is a replica of the theater where Jonah and the bots suffer through the movies,

Thus, Kinga and Max will spend some quality time with Mr. B Natural.

Somewhere, Observer, Professor Bobo and maybe even Pearl Forrester are laughing and applauding at this.

Still, does this mean Jonah will be punished with even worse movies, and would he even notice?

Season 12 was still a fine return with excellent riffing against some bad movies. Still, Netflix should consider allowing longer seasons (maybe weekly episodes), or at least a guarantee of six shows every six months. One thing about Hollywood: it’ll never run out of terrible movies, and it’s safe to say Jonah and his robot friends will be seeing a lot of them for some time to come.

At least, finally, Max and Kinga also know how it feels…and one of them will give riffing a try.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008