A Helpful Guide of Episodes for First Timers

I don’t know if this has been done yet, but I feel that everyone has a take on this, and we’re all a big happy family who just wants to watch Cheesy movies with the help of some Robot Friends.

The idea of this is real simple, what episodes do you think are good for first time watchers of MST3K? What are some qualities that make those movies good for first time watchers? Does it depend on the age of the viewers?

Anyways, I’ll post this and see if anyone thinks it’s good, and I’ll edit my post to add the lists for episodes that people post below.

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There’s a pretty good list of them over here:

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Obviously, I will start. I have a few for this list for certain: The Day the Earth Froze, Space Mutiny, Danger! Death Ray, and any of the Gamera movies.

The Day the Earth Froze: Because it gives you a good feel of the mid-western regional humor of Joel (and eventually Mike), the movie itself is still pretty good, and that opening short is the stuff of legends (and nightmares).

Space Mutiny and Danger! Death Day: Because of just how cheesy and strange they are for their respective genres. D!DR more because of the toy props and the odd writing choices. Not to mention the repeating jokes for both.

Gamera (any): Who doesn’t love a good Kaiju Movie? Besides the fact that, let’s be honest here, we all are guilty of picking on giant monster movies even without the help of the boys. Also, since Gamera is a friend to children, they’re all family friendly episodes.

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Dammit, I should have checked more thoroughly

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If I were to go with something from a recent season, I would go with Star Crash. Otherwise I agree with Pod People and Space Mutiny. Also, Puma Man, Cave Dwellers, Final Sacrifice, and Danger: Death Ray.

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Even though it was never an official episode and only exists in bootleg form, I have introduced multiple people to MST3K through Assignment: Venezuela. It’s cheesy enough and funny enough for people to get the concept.

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Is it weird that I made a fan of the show back in the day with “Teenage Caveman”?

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Considering Teenage Caveman is ridiculously dull, yes. Also, even though the shorts are funny, I have a lot of trouble watching Catching Trouble. The animal abuse is really awful and I’m kind of surprised they went with that one.

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They probably went with that one JUST so they could do the host segment “Catching Ross” afterwards.

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The easy answer to any question about what to watch first is Space Mutiny. Hard to go wrong.

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I’ve seen great advice that suggests trying to match the first couple to the interests of the newcomer. (Fantasy, Western, SF, '80s cheese)

For myself, I try to steer from truly stinker films, as folks don’t always catch the drift and can be turned off by the crappy movie, and they miss the riffs and ‘the point’.

The Day the Earth Froze
The Gunslinger
Pod People

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I think it’s definitely better to go with weird and baffling than just plain old crappy. I like showing newbies Overdrawn at the Memory Bank too.

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Thinking about it, I think the shorts might be the best way to ease a newbie in.

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I would lure them in with Atlantic Rim and then slap them with Manos

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I imagine that anyone who would be into it would be into it no matter what the experiment was. How many of us hated the show until just the right movie showed up to lure us in?

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Wellllll the castle of fu manchu

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Do a movie that you’d THINK they’d like even without the riffing. Like, my introduction to MST3K came through Kaiju movies- Gamera, Godzilla, etc. So my first episodes were stuff like that.

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During the original Bring Back MST3K campaign (which I posted about daily on my Facebook), I decided to ask my friends what some of their favorite movies or genres were, and I would then suggest an episode based on their answers. I believe that MST3K has covered just about any and every type of film there is and introducing them to MST3K via an episode that caters to their tastes would be the best way to go. I never followed up with them after giving some recommendations, but I still stand by my idea.

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Oh, got another one good for a starter:
The Movie.

I mean, shorter than a normal episode, no commercials, movie is goofy but not THAT bad, less inside references for jokes…

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Agreed with The Movie. It’s an excellent primer for newcomers.

I think those stitched-together “movies” like Master Ninja or Riding With Death would work as well, since they’re really light and fast-paced.

Once they’re interested in more? Something much more Out There like Cave Dwellers, Outlaw or Prince of Space.

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