"Mystery Science Theater 3000" Time of the Apes (TV Episode 1991) Poster

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Johnny: Portrait of a Serial Brat
TitusYorick3 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of my favorite episodes from the earlier seasons. As a Sandy Frank production, it doesn't let up on the cheesy dubbing, the horrible editing (since it was originally a Japanese TV series, I feel fine saying that), and it had it's share of poorly done credit stills in the beginning. The one thing I can't understand is this - Why couldn't they have leaned on Johnny any more than they did?

Yes, Johnny, with his little shorts and even shorter attention span. Of all the Sandy Frank kids, from Kenny, Ichi, Akio and all the other Gamera kids, Johnny has got to be by far the most annoying. He's the center of attention in the first movie break where Joel and the Bots analyze why Johnny "doesn't care," which should've led to either a stern lecture or a good old Americana slap in the face by his parents for saying that. Instead, what happens? His parents smile and let him get away with it! And right after a tremor? It's enough to make you wish that a fissure opened up in the earth and swallowed him up on his way to Tarkus Brain Lab 4.

Speaking of Tarkus Brain Lab 4, Johnny's allowed to go wherever he wants and touch whatever he wants? He's allowed to climb inside one of the freezers and no one pulls him out and disciplines him? Talk about script immunity! I would've dragged him out of the freezer and locked him in the waiting room with only back issues of Highlights to read! He doesn't respect anyone, not even the only other human being in a world run by apes! Goto takes him and the others in with his own good graces and what does Johnny do? He immediately makes fun of Goto's name and wolfs down Goto's store of food! Seriously, in a world run by apes, a human would need to work for a long time to store up the amount of food Johnny gulped down practically whole. And the water? Getting clean water in the wilderness, water that's free of germs and bacteria from planet life sounds hard enough. If I was Goto, I would've made Johnny spit out the water and throw him out to the apes (or maybe back between those beds of spikes that almost killed the little brat).

Finally, Johnny shows no respect for the apes. It's perfectly clear that they're the ones in charge of this country, and what does Johnny do? He threatens to kill them while he's tied down to a tree. Then, when he's face to face with His Excellency, he sneers and practically insults the only one who can save his life. And the food again! Johnny's first instinct when he see's food is to run up and eat it all before anyone can have their share. Of course the apes have their own set of rules and customs! Johnny's the stranger in a strange land, and he expects the world to revolve around him?

All in all, still one of my favorite episodes. I just really wish the flying saucer would've zapped Johnny for the good of all life on this planet.
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Sandy Frank, Sandy Frank
hellraiser730 November 2018
This is my eighth favorite episode of the show, and this was the very first episode of the show I ever saw which part of why this episode is special to me. This is a bizarre typical "Planet of the Apes" rip off which has the same concept, only difference that film is good, this film sucks.

Most of the production value isn't on par well ok the ape makeup and costumes are actually pretty good except they can't move their lips, let along look a little too flat. But what makes it odd is the story is really disjointed, some things aren't explained even part of the ending makes no sense as if a page is missing or someone forgot to write one, actually I should say several are. Though there is a reason for this as this wasn't supposed to be a movie but another TV series for Japan which makes it uncannily ironic since "Planet of the Apes" had a TV series near the same time, once again only difference that series is good (and underrated) there's isn't.

This episode is just hilarious from beginning to end as they are riffing on some of the poor dubbing going on in the film as well as a lot of memorable riffs like "Serpentine!" and "Must you scream every observation" seriously there's such a thing as subtlety.

The biggest highlights were one live segment when the have some segments of the film playing on a TV and Tom Servo acts as narrator for an instructional video they've made, which just cracks me up. And the MST gang trying some lame trial recreation on the evolution theory, it's just oddly funny from seeing that Judge Wopner cutout, everyone off cue, but mainly Joel's narration which is utter boredom, yeah that's how I felt in one play production I acted in.

But my absolute favorite was seeing Joel and the Robots sing the Sandy Frank song, it was fraking hilarious when in the song they made fun of the producers' efforts but also simply seeing Joel bust a move which is just comic gold. So, everybody Sandy Frank, Sandy Frank.

Rating: 4 stars
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