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Red Zone Cuba (Mystery Science Theater 3000) (1988)

Joel Hodgson , Michael J. Nelson , Coleman Francis  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

Price: $46.89 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy, Coleman Francis
  • Directors: Coleman Francis
  • Writers: Joel Hodgson, Coleman Francis, Mike Gandolfi
  • Producers: Coleman Francis, Anthony Cardoza, Charles Harter
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Rhino Theatrical
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 2002
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062XFL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,801 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Red Zone Cuba (Mystery Science Theater 3000)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

If Coleman Francis had never existed, he would have been invented by the writers of MST3K just for the perverse enjoyment of ridiculing him. Here the director of the jaw-droppingly inept The Beast of Yucca Flats tries his hand at a jailbreak film, which takes a surreal veer into an American invasion of Cuba apparently hampered by military budget cuts ("Once all seven of them are in place, the invasion really begins") before ending up in an American tungsten mine. Why? Who knows, but the bots have a ball skewering the film with some of their funniest comments ("I want to hurt this movie but I can never hurt it the way it hurt me") and Mike Nelson becomes so disturbed he turns into Carol Channing. Believe it or not, costar John Carradine rasps out the theme song "Night Train to Mundo Fine" (which was the film's original title). --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She's been blind since her husband was killed in the war December 16, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Some important people in Hollywood obviously lost some bets; that is the only way I can possibly rationalize the fact that someone let Coleman Francis write, direct, and star in this incredibly lousy movie. Francis lumbers through this movie like a zombie-a very lazy zombie. His penchant for close-ups is probably explained by a desire to show as little of the set as possible. He doesn't even bother about making smooth transitions between scenes; he just cuts each one off and jumps immediately to the next one. Of course, bad movies make for great Mystery Science Theater 3000 experiments, and this is no exception. While Mike and the Bots add a lot of humor to the viewing of Red Zone Cuba, even they are powerless to mute its incredibly boring and bewildering effects on the viewer. When the best part of the movie is John Carradine's singing, you are in trouble. Carradine also apparently lost a large bet; unlike everyone else in this movie, he at least has at least a semblance of a reputation in the industry, and his "guest appearance" is totally unimportant and generally unexplainable.
Here's what might be the plot if Red Zone Cuba had one. Coleman Francis' character has apparently broken out of prison, and he ends up tagging along with two of the most uninteresting characters you would ever meet. When you are on the outs, running from the law, and in need of money very badly, where do you go? Why, to a secret training camp where a handful of men are planning to invade Cuba and take up where the Bay of Pigs invasion failed, of course.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Here is yet another example of an excellent non-science fiction MST3K episode.
Here's the deal:
After an opening credit sequence featuring John Carradine belching out the theme song, Coleman Francis stars as Griffin, an escaped felon who teams up with two illegal tire-changers named Cook and Landis. After they bond over beans and coffee, the trio decide to join up with the local army to invade Cuba. They hire a rather uncharismatic fellow named Cherokee Jack ("I'm Cherokee Jack") to fly them to the military base. After the absolute worst training session in history, which consisted of wrestling, climbing a rope and jumping off a cliff, the impressive force leave for Cuba. The riveting beach landing scene is a close second to Saving Private Ryan's as far as intensity goes (uhhh...not really). As the invasion force of 8 guys gets picked off one by one by the Cubans, led by a faux-Castro in the worst fake beard of all time, Griffin, Cook and Landis are captured along with their injured "friend" Sergeant Justine (Chastain, actually). They have to spend time in a little shack with "Viva Cuba" scrawled on the wall (so you know it's really Cuba), and all the while watch their fellow soldiers get paint thrown in their faces. After an ingenius plan to strangle the guard that gives them a bowl full of water, the guys escape and fly in a plane back to good ole US of A, leaving Justine behind. When they get back home, they track down Justine's wife, who rather naively gives them directions to and offers to help them with the plunder of the family's tungsten mine. Cook and Landis are captured by the cops, Griffin and Mrs. Justine are shot, and Justine himself makes a triumphant return, only to find his dead wife in the back of a pick-up truck. A dark, dark movie, is this one.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNDO FINE!!!!!!! April 18, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Oh, man. This is a painful one. Production values worse than Manos. Plot less coherent than The Hellcats. Coleman Francis. And theme song sung by John "Oh, to be blessed with such an instrument" Carradine! I personally love this movie, as it is THE worst example of film production I have ever seen, but it isn't for everyone....you have to work up to this one....if you can watch Manos and Hobgoblins back to back, you are ready to try this one. Do not use sharp implements after viewing.
Interestingly enough, I recently had the opportunity to speak to Mike Nelson. I asked him which were his most and least favorite episodes were. He said this was, by far, his least favorite because "It's basically watching three guys in a room talking for an hour." He is, of course, correct. This is why you must be prepared for the stench that is Red Zone Cuba.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coleman Francis: Comedian of the Century October 27, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I would have loved to see _Red Zone Cuba_ straight up, no sillouette. The "invasion" scenes rival some of the better work of Monty Python. And the Castro look-alike! "I'm Cherokee Jack!" The movie alone would have you paralyzed with laughter.
But then you get M&TB to sit in front of it and you are in for some kind of treat. It was no problem for them to get good riffs out of this one: the riffs came gently and easily, amplifying Francis' spectacle to the nth degree. I was reluctant to laugh as much as I had the need to for fear of missing another comment. This is one of my favorites to be sure. Thank you Coleman Francis, and thank you MST3K!
P.S.- Is it just me or in Red Zone Cuba has Mike not yet found his niche yet in the SOL host segments? Instead of the Mike of the Sci-Fi years whom we could always expect a focused personality from, late S5 Mike is kinda foggy-headed and aimlessly goofy. But then again, replacing Joel had to take some guts, and if Mike hadn't yet found his place in the show I can understand that. But "it's just a show, I should really just relax!"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Such pain
Coleman Francis who also did Beast of Yucca Flats and Skydivers brings us Red Zone Cuba, which shows what happens when the U.S. tries to invade Cuba. Read more
Published on July 13, 2011 by Jonnathan Ritland
5.0 out of 5 stars One of MST3K's Best !
One of the funniest MST3K movies yet. And that is high praise, considering how many good ones have been made. Read more
Published on March 20, 2011 by Daniel23
1.0 out of 5 stars Plan Nine's Creepy Little Brother
Plan Nine From Outer Space is generally credited (?) with being the worst film ever. It is, in a way. It is horrible in a way that makes us say "Oh, that's just awful. Read more
Published on September 7, 2010 by Mr. Know-It-All
5.0 out of 5 stars Griffin ran all the way to hell...
Yes, this is a bad movie. John Carradine guest stars with such greats as Coleman Francis, Tony Cordoza and Harold Saunders. What? You don't know who those people are? Read more
Published on August 30, 2009 by Michael Valdivielso
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven Who Blundered
After all these years, it's now apparent why the Bay of Pigs operation failed. It was attempted with a force of seven...And after watching this, it's no wonder. Read more
Published on May 19, 2008 by Hank Kimble, Extension Agent/TV Critic
2.0 out of 5 stars Too painful to watch, and I ADORE MST3K
I've only encountered two MST 3K's in which the movie itself was so boring and painful to my eyes (literally) that I had to toss them (Hamlet is the other). Read more
Published on March 25, 2008 by Tardis4242
5.0 out of 5 stars Water....Sick Man...
The film is titled Red Zone Cuba but actually the working title was Night Train To Mundo Fine, Both titles make little sense as you attempt to follow the plot. Read more
Published on February 23, 2008 by Sal Paradise
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER COLEMAN FRANCIS MASTERPIECE
Coleman Francis stars in a film about criminals and Cuba and the tension is thick throughout. Alfred Hitchcock type camera angles and sparse dialog make the viewer's imagination... Read more
Published on September 25, 2007 by T. GROMEK
5.0 out of 5 stars Savour the badness
This is one of my favorite MST3K efforts. Coleman Francis (director/actor) and Mystery Science Theater were made for each other. Read more
Published on September 17, 2007 by T.M. Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A Guilty Pleasure
This is one of those movies you kind of feel bad about laughing at, but you just can't help it. Its so unintentionally funny! I love it! Read more
Published on July 5, 2007 by theboombody
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