After eighteen years away, the gang at "Mystery Science Theater 3000" is back with fourteen new episodes on Netflix. For those who aren't hip to the show, which originally ran for 10 seasons through the 1990s, the premise is pretty simple: a guy and two robots are forced to watch terrible movies trapped on a satellite, and they make fun of them.
It's the same thing you do with your friends, only probably a lot funnier. The original 197-episode run won a slew of awards and shaped a generation of movie watchers, and now it's back. But while the boys were gone, they missed out on a lot of great terrible cinema, including "classic" bad movies like "Sharknado" and "The Happening."
TooFab is offering, free of charge, a Season 2 episode list for the show. Call it "Mystery Science Theater 3000: While We Were Away." These are some of the worst films of the 21st Century, and we need the help of new host Jonah Ray and his trusty robot sidekicks Tom Servo and Crow to process them.
We'll be skipping the above-mentioned films because "Sharknado" knew what it was doing, and M. Night Shyamalan had a much more egregious offense to deal with in the 21st Century (we'll get to that later). If we allowed creators to appear over and over again, this entire list might well have been Adam Sandler films. We simply had to draw the line somewhere.
Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Technically, 'MST3K' was still in its final season when this movie came out, but they didn't stick around long enough to really sink their teeth into the worst movie of the franchise. From racist caricatures throughout to Jar Jar Binks, what's not to love to hate?
"Meesa wisht my agent had said no to this movie."
"I sense the potential for much whining in this youngling."
Battlefield Earth (2000)
One of the worst films ever made, with John Travolta and Forest Whitaker wasted as ridiculous aliens in this mess of a science fiction film based on an L. Ron Hubbard book. It was blue and titled and ridiculous in every way imaginable.
"That's not a codpiece. I keep a sandwich there in case I get hungry."
"Can somebody find my camera tripod? All these shots are coming out crooked."
Mariah Carey was one of the biggest stars in the world, and so why wouldn't her first feature film be amazing? Oh, because she can't act ... like at all? Yeah, that could be a problem. This movie was so bad, even Mariah Carey didn't want it to come out, citing exhaustion at its original release date.
"Maybe she should sing her lines so we can stand to hear them."
"That's the look of her music career following her film career down the toilet."
Eddie Murphy is very good at mixing quality film entertainment with just terrible movie choices. This may be his worst. This sci-fi/action/comedy was short on action and comedy, and the story is a terrible cliche about a con-man who learns to be better, and wins in the end. By the way, did we mention it made $7 million ... in a wide release!
"I think the three of us might be the largest theater audience this film has had at one time."
"I wonder if it's too late to agree to do 'Holy Man 2.'"
This romantic movie was so bad it created a bad relationship in real life when stars Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck decided to turn their on-screen romance into the real thing. Maybe they didn't realize they had no chemistry on-screen, which translated into the same thing off-screen.
"I think couples are breaking up right now as they're watching this."
"I'm getting more emotion from that houseplant behind you."
From Justin to Kelly (2003)
Yeah, "American Idol" was huge, but it wasn't "let's take two kids who don't act and have them star in a beach romantic comedy movie" huge. Only that's exactly what producers did to the winner and runner-up of the first season. For Justin Guarini, this would turn out to be the highlight of his career. Kelly Clarkson finally managed to overcome it.
"Hey Kelly, can I ride your coat-tails after this, too?"
"Hey, every summer beach romance called, they want their plot back."
All the good will engendered by Jim Carrey's turn as the Grinch was destroyed by this mess of a film starring Mike Meyers as the titular feline. It lacked charm, depth and replaced the fun of the source material with a disturbingly dark and creepy take on the Cat. And that was the end of Dr. Suess adaptations.
"Come stare into the abyss of eternal despair, if you dare, children, said the Cat in the Hat."
"I almost killed you twelve times today. Let's be best friends, what do you say?"
The Room (2003)
Some of the original cast members did a Rifftrax for this (which is an audio recording similar to what 'MST3K' does, but 'The Room' is deserving of the full treatment. The greatest bad movie of the modern era, Tommy Wiseau's "disasterpiece" defies description. Mainly because it's romantic-suicide plot makes very little logical sense.
"I'm not sure English is Tommy's third or fourth language, either."
"Please don't make us look at his naked body, again. We'll do anything!"
Michelle Pfeiffer was beloved as Catwoman in Michael Keaton's Batman era, so when no one was calling for Halle Berry to take on the role she bravely did in this awful film so bad most superhero fans don't acknowledge its existence. That script must have looked way better when she signed on to this steaming turd.
"After mastering wooden acting in two 'X-Men' films, Berry has taken it to a new level."
"Pamela Anderson can rest easy now, because 'Barb Wire' doesn't look so bad anymore."
How to take a beloved cult classic and remake it into a terrible star vehicle: convince Nicolas Cage that it's supposed to be performed like a grade school theater production. If ever there was proof needed that sometimes it really is just about the paycheck, look no further than here.
"And the award for overacting goes to ... The bees! Oh God, no! Not the bees!"
"I insisted on wearing the bear suit so no one would see my face in this movie.
Michael Bay could have made this list so many times, but why not settle for the first in what launched a franchise of 'SPLOSIONS! films from "Transformers" to "TMNT." Sure, the robots look cool, but it's sad that Optimus Prime gave the most human performance in a film that starred actual humans.
"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, this is a terrible movie."
"How do you take the kid from 'Even Stevens' and make him an action star? We're still waiting to find out."
The Love Guru (2008)
It was bad enough he ruined "The Cat in the Hat," but Mike Meyers followed up his "Austin Powers" trilogy with this story of the second most effective guru. At it's best the film was offensive to Indian culture. At it's worst ... was the majority of the movie.
"Do I make you uncomfortable, baby? Do I?"
"Indians aren't offended that Mike Meyers is playing an Indian, they're offended that their culture is represented in this movie at all."
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
This long-awaited fourth outing for Harrison Ford's beloved adventurer introduced what was supposed to be his protege in Shia LaBeouf to carry the franchise in to the next generation, and then it nearly destroyed said franchise with its terrible "twist" ending ... and not-great everything else.
"You know what Indiana Jones needs? Aliens! Maybe a Wookiee could show up next."
"How do you take the kid from 'Even Stevens' and make him an action star? We're still waiting to find out."
The Last Airbender (2010)
One of the most beloved animated adventure series became one of the most unwatchable films of all time under the careful guidance of director M. Night Shyamalan, fresh off of disappointing fans with the terrible "twist" of 'The Happening.' And he would disappoint them again.
"If you close your eyes, you can pretend that the actors are Asian."
"Hey, at least there's no twist. It starts bad, stays bad, and ends bad."
Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)
Another Rifftrax entry, "Birdemic" has the most laughable special effects in cinema history, with literal clip art plastered on the screen. Add terrible acting, and no effort to hide the normalcy of cars driving around in the background and people going on with their live during this apocalyptic event, and you've got something truly special.
"These birds are brought to you by Windows 95."
"Jake, there's something on my lens. Yeah, right there. Can you just swat it off?"
When big budget equals even bigger disappointment. The idea of remaking the 1981 film with modern affects technology was solid enough. Unfortunately, the 3D craze of the era meant a 2D film would get a terrible 3D port to try and make more money. And it still wasn't enough to distract from the terrible acting and dialogue.
"Can we make the beard bigger and bushier. I don't want anyone to know I'm in this."
"The roaring is the most believable line of dialogue yet."
Jack and Jill (2011)
Adam Sandler is the king of terrible movies, so it was double our displeasure when he played twins in this awful comedy. And we use that term very loosely, because there was nothing funny about this.
"What Sandler lacks as an actor, he lacks even more as an actress."
"What pictures does Adam Sandler have on Al Pacino that he agreed to be in this?"
Movie 43 (2012)
What if fourteen directors made fourteen different films starring everyone you knew and they mashed them into a single film. Sounds like it wouldn't work, right? You're absolutely right!
"I can think of 43 things I'd rather be doing than watching this film right now."
"Boy marketing really came up with a catchy title for this one. Was 'Film 71' already taken?"
When you're complete out of ideas so you license a board game and then make a movie that has almost nothing to do with it. This alien attack movie makes "Independence Day" look like high cinema.
"I don't know, man. My six-year old loves Battleship. Let's make that into a movie."
"You sunk my will to live."
After Earth (2013)
Vanity projects are dangerous things. Will Smith is one of the biggest stars in the world, so when he wants to make a movie with his kid, who can say no? Columbia Pictures probably should have. It's a standard sci-fi tale of two adventurers trapped on a hostile planet ... Earth!
"I should have just agreed to be grounded rather than do this film, Dad."
"It's the bear necessities, the simple bear necessities."
Left Behind (2000/2014)
The guys were gone so long they missed out on two terrible adaptations of one of the most popular apocalyptic book series of all times. Kirk Cameron went low-budget in the first of three direct-to-the-garbage-bin adaptations of the series, but ultimately not enough people cared to continue, so Nicolas Cage went high-octane action on the biblically inspired tale. It was not a better choice.
"The Rapture is no joke. It really is Hell on Earth for those left behind."
"The real sinners here are the people who made this movie."
How do you reboot a failed franchise? Make it worse! Fox continued its battle with Marvel by pumping out this awful take on the first family of superheroics by stripping it of both heart and family.
"Can we watch Roger Corman's version instead!"
"Comic books? Never heard of them. I'm sure it doesn't matter."
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Coming off of the best film in the franchise, this entry was so painful even the actors didn't seem to be enjoying themselves anymore. There was no effort to give any of the characters reasonable motivation for their actions, and no effort to write dialogue that a human being would ever actually say.
"How much longer do we have to stand here and pose while you talk? I'm starting to cramp."
I bought the best makeup they had at the dollar store, I don't know why it's peeling off."
Dax Shepard wrote, directed and starred in this film alongside wife Kristen Bell, and they probably should have just kept it to themselves. Proving that no one is clamoring for a remake of a so-so property from 25 years ago, Shepard didn't even bother to come up with a fresh take on it. Instead, he just made a generic buddy cop comedy, minus any good jokes.
"Getting bored already, here's a pretty girl to look at."
"Isn't my wife hot? Are you jealous of her? Here, take another look."
The new season of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" is currently airing in its entirety on Netflix.