6 Degrees of MSTification

So I’ve been wanting to learn how to create network graphs. I’ve been intrigued by the potential of a “6 Degrees of Separation” exercise using only MST3K titles, so that became the basis for my learning. You can see the fruits of the efforts so far here:

This is still a work in progress, as not all films are included yet. Also, I suspect there are some tranches of films which will not connect to the whole (such as the Japanese and Russo-Finnish blocks of movies).

At the moment the most highly connected films are Gamera, Red Zone Cuba, and The Crawling Hand. The first two have high degrees of connectivity due to heavy reuse of actors between multiple pictures by the same creators. The last one is more genuinely connected to multiple diverse films across the board.

Anyway, let me know what you think, and if you want to help out I can explain how to do so. Hope you enjoy!


Incidentally, the three most connected actors at the moment are Bruno VeSota, Jonathan Haze, and Ed Nelson. They may not be headliners, but they’re in a lot of MST3K stuff.

Once I get better at this graph thing I’m hoping to find a way to show the minimal path between any two actors or films, which are their degrees of separation.


Cool! I’ll have to come back to this, and maybe break out the old Schaum’s Outline to Graph Theory. Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm, I guess?

Once the graph is more populated, there could be a possibility for a Quinn Martin safari ride type thing.

I love it, but have to run for the moment. Wait…OK, now I see how to manipulate the graph on a desktop. It’s already got a lot of stuff there: kudos!

There could be something with Maila Surjäniemi aka Vampira for the Finnish connection, but not sure.


The Dijkstra path algo does seem to be the one to use, but I’m not sure the tool I’m using has it yet. It does have A* pathing, which should work in a pinch. And maybe someone has added a Dijkstra plugin I can load.

I’m using Gephi to build this.



In all sincerity: this is absolutely fascinating.





That is amazing! I love the little Black Scorpion/Hollow Mountain island:


I am really digging “MSTification”. I have no productive thoughts on the subject- just love this word.


This is great :+1:

Just spent 10 minutes clicking around it, but will have to dig deeper later tonight.


This really needs to be redone on a motel room wall with push pins and string.


Ha ha, yes! I’ve always wanted my own “murder board”. :female_detective:


Seriously though, this is amazing. Well done.


Is there any way to attach URLs to nodes? Having them link out to IMDB (or wherever) would be quite cool.


Dear God, yes. With full ashtrays everywhere and Charlie Day manically explaining it.



That’s a good question, I’ll look into it. Maybe someone has added support for that. Or heck, since it’s Javascript, I might could add it myself on the web side. The trick will be if the map generator side supports it. But it’s a great idea!

EDIT: Oo, matron!



Will we finally learn the true Merritt Stone connection!?


Freshly updated the graph with the Hercules films and some of their connectors. Due to massive overlap between Hercules and Hercules Unchained, those two nodes are now the largest. Like a pair of swollen, oiled, bronzed pecs.

Some interesting first and second degree connections, too. And it’s interesting that Hercules Against The Moon Men didn’t show up at all in the connection pool, but then it’s actually a Maciste film (Maciste e la regina di Samar). I’m going to work on integrating it next if it has any connections.

Something else I’ve learned while scanning these lists - there was a period in America when Westerns were being made like crazy, and an equal period in Italy when Hercules/Maciste/Goliath/Atlas/Giant Of Marathon pictures were being churned out.


As mentioned above, this is [adverb] fascinating stuff. Great work!

Since I know nothing about the software, how difficult would it be to link existing graphs to each other? I was thinking about the possibilities of having a similar graph for RiffTrax titles (though that would be a MASSIVE undertaking … a group project perhaps?) while watching Future War and realizing how close that would put Robert “Head Like A Dorm Fridge” Z’dar to Santa’s Summer House.


Pretty easy to incorporate the dataset of one graph into another. The graph just uses two tables, nodes and edges, and they are dead-simple tabular lists. You could import the MST3K dataset into a larger riffing set very easily. I’ve already encountered a lot of overlap in my searches so the two graphs would connect a lot. I would recommend adding an additional “source” column which contains the identity of the show the movie is from (MST3K, Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic, etc). For a few movies you would have multiple values there.

If anyone wants the dataset I’m happy to provide it. It’s still in progress at this point, but could be fun for folks to play with. I’m trying to code some additional features into the interface as well.


Did you download the IMDB data or do it yourself?