Mystery Science Theater 3000: Red Zone Cuba

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Red Zone Cuba
Also known as Night Train to Mundo Fine, Coleman Francis's Red Zone Cuba is a magnum opus of filmmaking peculiarity and ineptitude, notorious for its lack of coherence and tendency to bounce its characters from scenario to scenario without any context or explanation. Seemingly, the plot about escaped convict Griffin (Francis) and two other men joining a group of government-sponsored mercenaries intent on invading Cuba would have something to do with politics, juxtaposing American opportunism with the Bay of Pigs invasion. But nothing here really gels in a didactic or narrative sense, leaving only the bizarre cinematography and perplexing editing to make us wonder if this was some surrealistic attempt to mirror the pretentious new wave shit coming from France at the time. This is why it makes such exceptional fodder for Mike Nelson and his gang of snarky robots in the usual Mystery Science Theater 3000 capacity. Mocking John Carradine and making the occasional snide remark about Cuba, they're at their funniest when criticising the nonsensical aspects and periphery action, such as a comment about a mistreated dog resultantly being barren. Unfortunately, since the film featured is comprised almost entirely of male cast members, the jokes are limited to that of the puerile homophobic variety, wherein hilarity stems from the possibility that these ex-cons might be cornholing each other. More successful in sustaining viewer interest is the preliminary short film about maintaining a good physical appearance, which features valuable lessons about posture and cleanliness. At one point – while the narrator notes that people make decisions based on aesthetics – a little girl picks a doll to play with, which leads Crow to exclaim, "I want this one because it's whiter." It's fantastic when they manage to find the core vulgarity of the text they mock. No supplements are included, given that this is just a single episode of a long running series. (Shout! Factory)