How did Mystery Science Theater choose those awful movies?

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

In 11 years, Mystery Science Theater tackled 197 episodes and one feature-length movie's worth of the worst of the worst in genre film. That's a whole lot of sandwich, Dagwood. Still, for every bad movie they did take on, how many more exist? Here's a better question—how did they choose the films they did lampoon?

Here's the thing—just because a movie is bad doesn't mean it's bad in a funny way, and not all funny bad movies are funny all the way through with room for an in-between to tell jokes and sneak in a sketch or three.

Which brings us to Frank Coniff or, as most people know him, Dr. Forrester's evil yet affable assistant, TV's Frank. He was left with the unenviable position of researching all the potential films. How did they get the gig? According to Frank, "I think I was given the job because everybody else was busy with other stuff."

For anyone who has ever attempted to MST their way through a few bad films with a couple of fellow fans, it should come as no surprise that Frank would only get one truly worthwhile flick for every TWENTY he watched.

Probably of greatest interest is that Frank absolutely could not under any circumstances skim through a movie. During the one time he did, they discovered part way through production that there was a violent rape scene toward the end of the movie and had to find a clever way to cut around it without taking away too much of the narrative cohesion of the film.

And now you know. Push the button, Frank!

(via Neatorama)