Recap: MST3K 12.5, “Killer Fish”

The Gauntlet is heading into the home stretch, and the fifth movie is a strange heist movie with hungry fish involved. The 1400 double-crosses at the end, though, are worth it.

Before we get to “Killer Fish”, let’s look how fans have reacted to changes to the show.
The episodes are slightly shorter, and only two host segments rather than three in the old days. Some missed Max’s “Moon 13 station ID’s” that sometimes gave info on the new base (helping old and new fans) and praised Kinga a bit too much (that’s what unrequited love does).

While many fans are glad to see the show return, some wish the show was just like back in the ’90s. Creator Joel Hodgson wanted to experiment a bit more, even with the format to make it fit better with the “Netflix and chill” philosophy. After all, people tend to binge more than one episode at a time whether it’s Stranger Things, Ozark or Daredevil. It’s natural MST makes itself a must-binge show, even if it’s a way to spoof the idea. It wouldn’t have been out of the question to have new episodes air every week, like Handmaid’s Tale. Maybe that can happen in the future, but MSTies can agree it’s glad to see the show return.
Also, sometimes it’s a good idea to cut even bad scenes from worse movies. Rifftrax still has the best approach by riffing bad movies and not cutting anything.

OK, back to “Killer Fish”…
it’s unusual seeing Lee Majors, between the Six Million Dollar Man and The Fall Guy, in a heist movie, and he’s not bad as one of the guys after some emeralds in the bottom of a reservoir in Brazil. Thing is, a rich guy named Diller  loaded the waterway with piranhas to keep his fellow crooks from getting the jewels…until he does.
Throw in Margaux Hemingway as a model, Marisa Berenson and Karen Black as accomplices, and Dan Pastorini (yes, the Houston QB) as a bodyguard, and you have a very 70s movie.
The cast is forced into a boat after a dam burst, and it soon turns into a scene from The Shallows. Thankfully, the ending’s better with everyone double-crossing each other, making it tough to figure out who got the jewels.

While the movie’s a dud, Jonah and his crew come up with a way to liven things up. They have a tropical song performed in the theater, and it’s not bad. That’s a long way from the early days when Joel and the bots pretend to roast hot dogs on a volcano in “Black Scorpion” Look here (with Crow somehow turning into Crow-rhana):

 

Riff time:

The emeralds are tossed into the waterway where the killer fish are
and it lands next to the sunken foot of Reptilicus

Ann the photographer: “I’ll get help”
Fire the Director

Diller tries to paddle away with the emeralds in his rubber boat, which is about to be dinner for the killer fish
Deus ex piranhica!

As for Kinga, she does find “Idiot Control Now” in liquid form, and learns from Synthia she can be the “player” by drinking it and opening her mouth to let the music out.
Clever, but it’s kind of been done before by The Pixies in this video.
Well, she thinks it’ll get her big bucks, and can literally taste victory. She even mentions the MST Live Tour that just ended. This might suggest the events took place in early October.
So, it may look  like Jonah and his bots will be ground into powder by seeing all six movies in The Gauntlet, but he may have a trick up his yellow sleeve.
Next up, the prequel to an old MST episode, with comparisons who how Rifftrax did it.

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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