TV Review | Ed the Sock’s This Movie Sucks! 2.1 – Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter/The Master

Ed the Sock’s This Movie Sucks! (CHCH/CHEK/CJNT: second season premiered Saturday, September 25, 2010, midnight ET/PT) is one of those “if they find it, they find it” shows common to Canadian television.  Viewers and fans have most likely found new information about TMS! from this CHCH press release and, well, me.  Ed the Sock’s website is still “under construction,” while CHCH’s website is occupied with news and the odd full episode of Sportsline.

That’s a shame, since the second-season premiere of This Movie Sucks! is the best of the series.  There are still production problems – Ed the Sock points out that TMS!’ set is disintegrating in the season premiere.  The TMS! set looks slapped-together to begin with, so curtains don’t make a difference.

This Movie Sucks! has by now become a triad of Liana K, Ed the Sock and Ron Sparks.  Andrew Young’s on-screen role has been diminished by now, and he doesn’t even appear on TMS!‘ second-season premiere.  “Naked Dave” Ross, so named since he shows his bare torso off in many different costumes, does.

By now, This Movie Sucks! is comfortable in its riffing.  TMS! does an excellent takedown of Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter.  Fart jokes still exist on this show, but TMS! by and large points out plot holes in Jesse James… Quick Draw McGraw can see.

Naked Dave even dresses up as Jesse James…‘s featured monster.  The monster has a bare torso, so that’s his excuse.

Longtime readers might remember my review of The Master six years ago.  TMS!‘ print of The Master looks exactly like Platinum Disc Corporation’s.  I’m not saying TMS! cribbed the print from a DVD, but it looks washed-out and soft.  CBS Corporation now owns the series, so I have no idea how The Master is public domain.

The Master is awesomely slapdash.  It plays fast and loose with ninja lore, which isn’t surprising for a show starring Lee Van Cleef.  1980s ninja archetype Shô Kosugi is wasted as chief antagonist Okasa.

Hell, in some scenes Kosugi is Van Cleef’s stunt double.  Don’t ask me how that works.  Ask Michael Sloan.  He created the show.  The man had a fetish for ass-kicking older men back then.

Timothy Van Patten, now an accomplished television director, mushmouths his way through lame dialogue as Max Keller.  Van Cleef’s doubles look visibly thinner than the actor himself.  It’s Kung Fu meets The A-Team, right down to the custom-painted van and miscasting of a western star.  NBC would air anything in the early 1980s.

The riffing of The Master is as good as Jesse James…‘ riffing.  Granted, it’s The Master.  Mystery Science Theater 3000 based two episodes around the Master Ninja pseudofeatures this show became.  The Master is a no-brainer to riff.

Also, This Movie Sucks! has Roninja.  Allegedly, this is a ronin whose parents have been killed by the Yakuza Gang.  To that end, the ronin becomes a ninja, fighting crime at night.  Ron Sparks may or may not be Roninja.  Look it up on Wikipedia.

I hope This Movie Sucks! comes into its own this “season.”  The series has pretty much been bashed into shape, much like MST3K was in the pre-Comedy Central days.  I can’t see TMS! “graduate” to a higher budget or Showcase any time soon, but I’ll be happy if the show doesn’t cycle the first six episodes like it has this summer.  There’s only so much one can take of Wild Women of Wongo.

C. Archer
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