Twenty Five Mystery Science Theater 3000 Films That Changed My Life In No Way Whatsoever is a collection retrospective essays of Frank Conniff’s time on MST3K as the person who selected which films would be suitable for the show to riff on. Naturally, there are a lot of anecdotes about MST3K in the book, as well as some fun facts about the various films chosen to be part of this book.
However, this book is, at its heart, a comedic book. It’s irreverent, sarcastic, witty, and fun. There’s not a whole lot of behind the scenes info on MST3K, or much insight as to why these films were chosen to be on the show. There is, however, a lot of fun information about Frank himself. Many of the essays bridge off into tangents about some facet of Frank’s life (whether his past or present) and how those experiences affected him. The movies themselves may not have had any impact on Frank’s life – although, that’s debatable as you will see when you read the book – but this book is full of things that did have an impact on his life. He talks about his parents, his past with addiction, etc. and it’s things like this that make this book stand out.
It could easily have just been a list of movies with some factoids about them and a bit of behind the scenes information and fans would have eaten it up. But this is better than that. It’s something deeply personal from Frank and allows the reader to spend some time in his brain – which is, really, a lot of fun.
If you like MST3K, you should give this book a shot. It’s not the best-written book, but, again, it’s really just a series of essays somewhat related to various movies featured in MST3K. If you look at it with that mindset, you’ll enjoy it.
(3.5 out of 5 wands)