Red Zone Cuba (Mystery Science Theater 3000)
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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!"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The little know actor, Petey the Plane, once again makes his famous appearance in yet another Coleman Francis film. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Kimdkus
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 morePublished on July 13, 2011 by Jonnathan Ritland
One of the funniest MST3K movies yet. And that is high praise, considering how many good ones have been made. Read morePublished on March 20, 2011 by Daniel23
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 morePublished on September 7, 2010 by Mr. Know-It-All
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 morePublished on August 30, 2009 by Michael Valdivielso
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 morePublished on May 19, 2008 by Cherokee Jack
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 morePublished on March 25, 2008 by Tardis4242
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