- The Magazine
Saturday, Oct. 19, 11 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9
Do you miss Mystery Science Theater 3000? Well, if you don’t, you should — watching bad old films with those two wisecracking robots and their wise-ass human friend was one of the funniest things ever to hit television. If you do, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell may be able to fill at least a bit of the void created when MST3K abandoned the airwaves.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
The shtick is as old as the medium of film — take an old or bad (or both) film and start inserting all the lines that should have been. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell goes beyond the MST3K routine and re-dubs an entire fifties science fiction film, a la Woody Allen’s What’s Up Tiger Lily?
In the original film, Killers from Space, googly-eyed aliens are up to no good, apparently brainwashing a strapping, all-American, pipe-smoking scientist to betray his country to make way for a metaphorical-communist invasion. Re-dubbed as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the story now follows the efforts of googly-eyed aliens brainwashing a strapping, all-American, pipe-smoking scientist to betray his country to make way for the mass homosexualization of the world, via a big homo bomb.
Ah, how times change.
The humor ranges from the sophomoric to the, well, really sophomoric. Fans of old Mel Brooks films will appreciate the name of the government’s head scientist of the Project Manhole effort to rid the world of homos, Dr. Fartin. ("It’s Far-teen! It’s French.") As a result of his effort, Dr. Fartin is turned homosexual by the aliens, much to the frustration of his wife, Mrs. Fartin.
Fans of Thomas Pynchon also get a bone tossed their way, when Dr. Fartin (ya just can’t say that name enough) exclaims, "I have a boner right out of Gravity’s Rainbow."
Not everything works — characters with names such as Nurse Bendover make you wish Mike Myers was on hand to work a little Dixie Normous mojo. Some parts go on and on and on, in particular a bizarre sidetrip into Hitler’s post-alien abduction career as a gay nightclub singer (director Douglas Miles did shoot some additional material to supplement the original film).
The best way to get over the rough spots? Go see it with friends. If you don’t have any robot friends, then human ones will have to do. — SB
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!