Michael J. Nelson and his team are giving two legendary horrible science-fiction films more screentime than they would’ve ever had otherwise.
Nelson — along with his former “Mystery Science Theater 3000” cast mates Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett — are returning “Manos: The Hands of Fate” and “Plan 9 From Outer Space” to theaters in January. And no worries, it will come with all the fun and snark that the team from RiffTrax (what was formed after MST3K was cancelled) can muster.
“I’m really excited because it’s not every day you get a chance to see the worst movie ever made, and then a week later, see a movie even worse than that,” Nelson said in a release. “Truly, you owe it to yourself to see these classics of the genre.”
Both presentations are encores of screenings already conducted over the past few years. “Manos,” which returns to theaters Jan. 24, was originally shown last August. It was first roasted by the MST3K crew in a 1993 episode of the popular MST3K series. “Plan 9” will come back to theaters the following week, on Jan. 31, after being the first Rifftrax production to hit theaters in 2009. That was the first time the people behind RiffTrax had a chance to make fun of the film.
“Manos” is considered by many to be one of the worst movies ever made. Released in 1966 by writer and director Harold P. Warren, the film features a couple discovering an underground cult in the middle of California led by a figure named The Master. However, it’s probably The Master’s sidekick, Torgo, that is best remembered by cult film fans. Nearly none of the cast ever appeared in any other film.
“Plan 9” was written and directed by Edward D. Wood Jr. in 1959, this film is about how aliens create zombies and vampires to stop humans from creating the ultimate weapon. That film was made for $60,000, mostly from funds raised through a Baptist church.
Nelson, who spent the entire 1990s filming 122 episodes of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” told Airlock Alpha in an exclusive interview in 2010 that he can’t imagine himself doing anything else except riffing on movies.
“It’s something I really enjoy,” Nelson said at the time. “Sometimes I get the question, ‘Do you ever get sick of it?’ No, not really. It’s a pretty fun gig to have, and to keep getting a chance to get better at it and also to bring on new writers with new perspective and keep looking for different ways to do things.
“The material is endless, so obviously, I still love it.”
The films will be shown in select theaters through NCM Fathom Events through its digital broadcast network of theaters. For more information on how to buy tickets, or to find out where these two films are playing close to you, visit FathomEvents.com.