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Twenty Five Mystery Science Theater 3000 Films That Changed My Life In No Way Whatsoever Paperback – August 15, 2016
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If you are looking for his personal insights on why the movies were chosen, behind the scenes info on the making of the episodes, etc, you won't find much there.
The 25 movies chosen serve as springboards to essays that touch upon parts of his past, the state of the world and pop culture at the time the films were made, and plenty of references to other films, both good and bad. Most chapters end with "Federal Bureau of Incoherence Obscure Reference Task Force" notes that elaborate a little on some of the pop culture references made in each chapter. These footnotes are also heavy on the snark.
I know some MSTies may object to Frank's political vitriol you see on his social media feeds, and there are definitely some political jabs here and there, but I found the jabs in the book serve the humor, as opposed to his sometimes "nastier" raw takes on political news in "Twitter"-realtime.
He touches on his past drug/alcohol abuse and recovery, his parents, overviews on the genres of some of the featured films themselves (giving me a few film titles I'll look up) as well as piling on Joe Don Baker's "Mitchell" and a short defense of Ed Wood that again proves Frank has a sweet side that generally balances out the negativity that fits him "like a black unitard". A few "F-bombs" and other naughty words with a side of blasphemy!
I found 5 or 6 goofs that would have benefited from another editing/proofreading pass ("UHS" instead of "UHF" tv station, and Mystery Science Theater "300").
I'd love to read more from Frank, and recommend this to MST3K fans.
Conniff supplies readers with some coveted behind-the-scenes MST3K material, nostalgic reminiscing, philosophical diatribes, and many of the chapters even manage to remain film-centric to the core. Particularly touching is how Conniff uses the chapter on Bride of the Monster to launch into a passionate defense of Ed Wood. In short, this book is not necessarily just about films, and as a whole it’s hard to pin down a specific thing that the book is about, but this is ultimately because Frank Conniff isn’t the type of person that’s easy to pin down, and thank Sampo for that.
Actually, he riffs on them in a hilarious series of non-reviews, each with its own F.B.I. (Federal Bureau of Incoherence) tag at the end. Worth it? Yes. Definitely.
And now we wait for the sequel.
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Why am I required to write so any words? I'm not a literature critic. Jeez