MST3K Vs. Hypnosis: Invasion USA

Technically, I’m giving away a huge spoiler for the movie “Invasion USA” by including it in this blog, but let’s face it–the fact that it popped up on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” should tell you everything you need to know about whether this movie is the kind of tautly-plotted thriller that deserves to be watched without any details of its brilliant ending getting wrecked by people like me. Yes, this movie involves hypnosis. No, it’s probably not going to turn you on.

But it is present. The film starts with a group of people in a bar arguing about whether the government should have the right to commandeer civilian resources in peacetime, just in case we need to build up a huge army to keep the Commies good and intimidated. Only one person is in favor of it, and just as he’s being sort of vaguely mocked for his super-patriotism (which is odd, because he’s the only person in the movie with a foreign accent…it’s implied that he’s from the Eastern Bloc and escaped to the States…) The Commies attack!

The rest of the movie is a long, slow, joyless march to the death of all the main characters and the defeat of America, and all because we wouldn’t give up our freedoms to the United States Army! Don’t you see? If we don’t give up all our freedoms and turn America into a totalitarian state, the Russians will do it instead! Wouldn’t you much rather be oppressed by good old American men with guns instead of Russkies?

And in the end, of course, it turns out that Vaguely Foreign-Sounding Guy is a hypnotist, and the cast never actually left the bar. The whole thing was a hypnotically induced fantasy designed to shock them into understanding how serious the Communist threat could be, if they were imaginary hallucinations of a paranoid disordered mind and had no weaknesses. Therefore, um…profit?

It’s a lousy movie, but it’s well riffed and contains “A Date With Your Family”, one of the top three shorts MST3K ever produced. (“Father feigns eating, draws Junior out, then disowns him!”) Try some, won’t you?

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