One of the highlights of 2022 for me was the return of Mystery Science Theater in its new home at the Gizmoplex. I will of course be providing a more detailed analysis in an MST3K Journal for Season 13 in the upcoming year. However, a few brief thoughts. Beyond Atlantis proved to be a pleasant surprise. The Shape of Things to Come was a bit of a disappointment. The folks at Daiei want us to suffer the way they suffered. And the one thing worse than mediocre child actors is mediocre child actors in an indy production.
Speaking of MST3K, for the first time since 2019 (when Greg Cannom of The Incredible Melting Man shared the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Award), a person with an MST3K movie credit won an Oscar. And not just any award, but the big one itself. As it turns out, earlier in his career CODA producer Patrick Wachsberger had been a producer for Starcrash.
Another serendipitous event earlier this year was my discovering Tubi. There are some who sneer at the Free with Ads model for streaming platforms. And I’ll concede that it can be annoying when the ads crop up at points which don’t work as natural breaks in the narrative. But the massive selection of premium streaming services is overwhelming, and my entertainment budget can only stretch so far.
Obviously, the Gizmoplex gets top priority. To receive mostly full anime coverage means paying for subscriptions to Crunchyroll and Hidive (especially once the former began to severely curtail their Free with Ads offerings). After that, I’m only feeling like paying one more subscription for more general content. In that regard, studio specific services like Disney+ and Paramount+ hold little appeal.
Free with Ads platforms like Tubi, Crackle, and Freevee increase the offerings without lightening my wallet in the process. The fact that they’re a prime source for fun schlock is just a bonus. And if I have to sit through some ads as a price, well it’s a model I managed to live with most of my life, so I think I can still handle it for a while longer.
Finally, I thought I’d give a shoutout for this podcast I came across a couple of weeks ago. It’s The Magnus Archives, a horror anthologoid series with the framework of the new head archivist at the Magnus Institute (a paranormal research organization) going through the poorly organized statements that have accumulated.
I refer to it as an anthologoid because, although each story more or less stands on its own, background characters or names mentioned in passing can pop up in other statements (though it’s not always obvious on a first listen). It’s also very creepy, and I advise against listening to it late in the evening (especially “A Sturdy Lock”).