12/13/06

310 Fugitive Alien

(1986, SciFi/Television color)

He tried to kill me with a forklift! Ole!

Rating: ****

In a nutshell:

Star Wolf Ken rebels against his evil home world and joins the crew of an Earth ship.

Summary:

If you can't kill the one you love, then kill the one you're with.Alien power rangers with curly blond wigs over their helmets (called Star Wolves) fly their modified X-wing fighters over earth, zapping everyone they see. They land their fighters and jump around a lot, zapping earthlings all the while. A small child (named Ken) runs out to one of the fey, murderous aliens (also named Ken) with a toy gun and asks if he wants to play. Child Ken’s mother (probably not named Ken) runs up behind him and begs Alien Ken not kill her son. Alien Ken’s buddy (possibly also named Ken) shows up and orders him to shoot them both. When Alien Ken refuses, Alien Ken’s Buddy tries to shoot them himself. When Alien Ken tries to stop his buddy, some confusing editing happens and the buddy ends up dead. Child Ken and his mother run away never to be seen in this film again, leaving us to refer to Alien Ken solely as Ken.

The palest member of the Blue Man Group looks down on this spectacle from above and orders the other Star Wolves to kill Ken as a traitor. Ken hotwires a fighter and heads into space, but he’s forced to bail out for some reason. A passing earth ship rescues him, and they get into a fistfight. Though Ken’s supposed to be ten times as strong as a human being, he can’t take a punch, and quickly gets subdued by Captain Joe and his pilot Rocky (definitely not named Ken). Meanwhile, the Star Wolves catch up with them. Ken gets loose and knocks out Rocky to take over the pilot chair, then loses the Raiders with some fancy flying. Captain Joe knocks him out with a single punch after they escape.

Back on earth, Ken escapes from the infirmary and tries to hijack Captain Joe’s Earth ship, the Bacchus 3. Having just learned of the deaths of his wife and daughter at the hands of the Star Wolves, Captain Joe catches Ken and figures out who he is. They exchange punches, cigars, and a bottle of whiskey. Captain Joe laughs like a crazy person and offers Ken a position on his crew.

Pilot Rocky, however, also has his suspicions about Ken’s origins and is less forgiving about them. He tries to run over Ken with a forklift, but, though Ken is vulnerable to the punches of the ancient, drunken Captain Joe, he is completely impervious to forklifts. Captain Joe makes Rocky apologize, and all is well again.

Meanwhile, the palest member of the Blue Man Group summons Ken’s bewigged assassin ex-girlfriend and charges her to bring back Ken’s head. She sets off on her quest to kill Ken.

Star Force sends Captain Joe and his pink-suited crew to a planet of alien Japanese people who dress like Arabs, to rescue them from a planet of alien Japanese people who dress like Nazis. Ken gets arrested in a drunken brawl and is sentenced to death by the greedy alien Arabs. Fortunately, Captain Joe has equipped him with miniature nuclear bombs instead of lapel pins, powerful enough to slightly singe the door locks. On Captain Joe’s orders, he rescues an alien Nazi officer and escapes.

Momentarily separated from his rescued officer cohort, Ken comes face to face with his assassin ex-girlfriend, who tries to kill him, but cannot because her love for him is too strong. He begs her to kill him, and they get into an argument about it, until alien Arabs find them and drop a dead tree on her. He kills them, joins up with the alien Nazi, and heads back to the Bacchus 3, mourning the death of his ex-girlfriend. Good thing there’s a cute female officer on Captain Joe’s crew. To be continued in Star Force: Fugitive Alien II.

Introduction:

No doubt the ladder he's leaning against also has its 'wonderful' qualities.Joel dresses as a farmer and dresses Tom and Crow as chickens. He spouts agricultural jargon with a Midwestern drawl. Quoth Tom, “Help us!”

Host Segment One:

Gypsy shows up dressed as a cow. Joel cuts off Tom’s head and lets his body run around. Then he tips Gypsy. Quoth Frank, “Ee-ai-ee-ai-I-don’t-think-so.” The Mads demonstrate their invention, the eye, ear, nose, and throat dropper, which squirts medicine into every facial orifice at once. Joel has invented the xylophone beach chair, which is exactly what it sounds like. Dr. Forrester brings out Jack Perkins from A&E’s Biography to tell them about the movie. He goes on and on and on…

Host Segment Two:

Joel and the ‘Bots have a hat party, sporting various helmets with silly wigs over them. Joel does a spot-on impersonation of TV’s Frank, angering him. Jack Perkins comes back to smooth things over, and gets cattle-prodded repeatedly for his trouble.

Host Segment Three:

Joel dresses Tom and Crow in pink vinyl jumpsuits, then dons a mustache and stuffs his cheeks to make them puffy. He drinks and laughs like Captain Joe while dispensing psychotic advice to the ‘Bots.

Host Segment Four:

Confused by the plot, Tom and Crow turn to Joel for help. Joel explains it to them using Sid Field’s screenplay model. This confuses Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank, so Jack Perkins explains it to them in his amiable, rambling style. The Mads fell him with a rail-splitter and sledgehammer.

Host Segment Five:

Joel explains the myriad uses of his jumpsuit buttons. They read a letter in response to the “cool thing” contest from Episode 208, Lost Continent, guessing that the “cool thing” they saw was world peace. Joel reveals that the cool thing was, in fact, Mexican stoplight candy. In Deep 13, the Mads cut off Jack Perkins’ head and replace it with the head of Vivian Vance.

Stinger:

The drunken Captain Joe laughs himself into a fit, then screams, “You’re stuck here!”

Thoughts:

HA HA HA HA HA!  YOU'RE STUCK HERE!Hey, I’ve got a great script for a Fugitive Alien teaser trailer. It goes like this:

[Cue the movie trailer voice.] In a world where the bad guys wear blond wigs and fly Star Wars rejects. Where the good guys wear pink Elvis jumpsuits and fly Battlestar Galactica rejects. Where character development is handled by Dune-style inner monologues and Soap Opera-style narration. Where violent editing and monochromatic slow-motion flashbacks unfold the plot. Where alien worlds on the brink of war are portrayed with ethnic insensitivity that would put classic Star Trek to shame. In a world like this, only one man can save us. That man is Ken. That is, the main character Ken, not any of the numerous other Kens in the film.

[Cue montage of dramatic footage, accompanied by a choir of castrati singing the following:] This is the song, written for the train chase / This is the chase, Rocky and Ken / He tried to kill me with a forklift / Ole! [Show the title of the film in a fancy font, then fade to black.]

Well, there you go. If that doesn’t persuade you to see this film, nothing will. Expect to see this trailer soon, in theaters everywhere.

Farmer Joel removing Tom’s head and then tipping Gypsy is funny, as are the numerous parodies of the film’s bizarre characters, but the real treat is watching Mike Nelson as Jack Perkins. He wanders through almost every sketch, amiably rambling about the “wonderful” aspects of … well, whatever they’re talking about at the time, going on to introduce guest stars who may or may not be on later, depending on whether or not he actually gets around to finishing their introductions. The combination of Mike’s soft voice and his huge sincere smile, with the ridiculous things he’s saying make him the highlight of the host segments.

The action never stops in the film segments. The movie’s a montage of scenes edited together from a Japanese TV series, but this time they split it into two movies instead of one. This is the first movie, and while it ends abruptly, it makes a little more sense storywise than, say, Time of the Apes. My favorite line is when the assassin ex-girlfriend says, “I can’t kill the one I love,” and Tom replies, “Then kill the one you’re with.” My other favorite line is when the Wolf Raiders in their stupid wigged helmets jump around, Crow exclaims, “Earth is being taken over by Judy Garland impersonators.” Of course, it’s also quite amusing when Crow refers to the evil alien fighters as “a fleet of drapery hooks.” The forklift song ranks among the very best of all MST3K songs, along with “Clown in the Sky,” “A Patrick Swayze Christmas,” and “Sing the Praises of Pants.” The episode ranks among the very best of MST3K, and is worth multiple viewings.