OCTOBER 11, 2007
Here’s a unique choice for an October extra... a movie I have seen both a dozen times, and never. As the movie choice for one of my all time favorite MST3k episodes, Track of the Moon Beast is one I am quite familiar with (moreso than any other October Extra thus far!), yet I had never seen it without Mike and the bots talking over it. Nor have I ever seen the bottom right corner of the film.
The great thing about this movie is how funny it is even without them. It’s such a goofy, yet earnest movie, I laughed just as often watching it “for the first time” today, though sometimes the memorable quips were popping in my head (“Let’s just EAT!”) and adding to the enjoyment.
As a monster movie, it certainly fails to be very exciting. The main guy, Paul, is just as boring as a monster as he is as a human, and his co-stars are no help either. However, Johnny Longbow is something of a national treasure. Joyously playing a stereotypical American Indian (complete with a vast supply of legends to tell, an ability to make arrowheads out of anything, etc), this guy is a hoot, and keeps the film from being unwatchable. His stew recipe is quite unique (corn AND potatoes?) and his silly legends are also a riot.
It’s a shame he doesn’t spend more time with Paul, because their first scene together makes Brokeback Mountain look pretty straight. Johnny and his students play a really odd prank on Paul, and then walks over to him and puts his arm around him as he explains the prank to his students. He then tells Paul that he is saddled with the students, to which Paul replies “Just like you were saddled with me.” Johnny pauses and says, a bit too cryptically perhaps, “Not quite.”
Also Paul has no shirt on.
Like just about all MST3k movies, the movie was edited down a bit for air, though not as much as This Island Earth or Time Chasers. Most significant was that they cut the entire opening prologue which sets up the meteor a bit. So that was nice to see, I feel I have finally gotten the full Track of the Moon Beast experience that those bastards at Best Brains have denied me these past 8 years. Strangely, a part I always THOUGHT was the result of an edit (a scene that begins with a character replying “Whatever” to someone or something we haven’t been privy to) was actually intact – it was always just a really bad edit in the film itself.