MST3K Vs Hypnosis: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

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There was almost bound to be at least one episode of the new MST3K that featured some hypnosis; after all, Mystery Science Theater 3000 lives and breathes cheesy old science-fiction and fantasy movies, and SFF has used hypnosis as a means to compel women to do sexual things (or at least to hint at same, depending on the vagaries of censors from era to era) almost as long as there’s been science fiction and fantasy. So it’s unsurprising that one of the episodes that came in Season 11, “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom”, had a hypnosis sub-plot.

For those of you who haven’t seen “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom”, let me congratulate you and express my envy–no, wait. Let me explain. The movie is…well, basically it’s “Star Wars” in Fantasyland, but without any of the wit, skill, and production values, but that describes about 90% of the sci-fi/fantasy movies released between 1977 and 1985, so let’s try to get a little more specific. The movie is about a fantasy kingdom with a good king who rules wisely and well, which is pretty much fitted as standard, and his two wizardly advisors, who come with color-coded special effects to remind you who’s the good one and who’s the cartoonishly evil one.

The evil one seduces the queen, kills the king, and takes over the kingdom, and the good one entrusts the ultimate magical artifact that will decide the fate of the entire land to his bumbling apprentice, who drops it within literally ten seconds and is teleported to the ass end of nowhere. He has to team up with Swordsman Han Solo and No-Budget Chewbacca and learn how to not constantly fuck up his every attempt at magic, while getting back to the castle before the evil advisor can find the magic ring he stupidly dropped and consolidate his literal and figurative power.

But of course, you’re asking, “Where does the mind control come in?” Well, despite having rolled high on his Seduce check in regards to the wicked queen, the evil advisor is already thinking she’s not going to be the easiest person in the world to share power with. So there’s a subplot where he’s continually leching over the princess, who is the apprentice’s love interest because Syd Fields. When the princess shoots him out of the saddle pretty much cold, he decides to resort to hypnosis to win her over. The hypnosis scenes are brief, and to be honest pretty squicky despite showing some nice technique, because it’s just impossible not to notice that she’s about half his age and he’s giving off a vibe that’s really skeevy even for the bad guy in a fantasy movie.

But it is really the only memorable thing about the movie, and I’m sure that there’s probably someone right now reading this going, “OH! That was the movie I saw when I was thirteen that make me realize I had a hypnosis fetish, I never new the title until now!” So on that level, it’s probably worth discussing. And Jonah and the bots do a pretty good job making fun of what is ultimately a very punishing movie, so it’s worth checking out.

(Not as punishing as the sequel, though. If you want to know how bad “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom 2” is, watch the first one and imagine someone looking at it and saying, “Man. I wish we had the budget to pull that off.”)

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