#46. The Day the Earth Froze

46. The Day the Earth Froze (1959) - Season 4, episode 422

"Kids come running for the great taste of Sampo!"

Plot:  A witch steals the sun from the small fishing village of Kalevala, and Finnish hero Lemminkainen has to build a horse, construct a Sampo, sail across the sea, retrieve the sun, and defeat Father Wind. Based on a true story.
Famous for:  Being the first of an endlessly weird string of Russian-Finnish mythology movies.

My favorite riff:  I don't really have a favorite riff from this movie, it's all so goofy and weird that I just love the whole thing. However, if you put a gun to my head, and I had to pick one...

[The bag containing the North Wind starts moaning in pain - "D'ohhhhhhhhhhhhh"]
Joel:  It's a bag of Homer Simpson?

Comments:  The Day the Earth Froze is the first Russian-Finnish movie that they ever featured on MST3k, and man oh man, it is a masterpiece. It's a weird masterpiece, of course. But compared to some of the other movies they have featured on this show, it's practically Citizen Kane. I mean, it's weird, but the production values are actually very high. And all goofiness aside, it's actually a pretty good movie.

If you have never seen a Russian-Finnish fairy tale before, let me describe them this way: They will all be set in the snow. There will usually be a dancing bear, or bears. There will often be magic. They will always be based on some random Scandinavian folk tale you have never heard of before. The production values will be incredible. Oh yeah, and at some point during the movie, the main character will either fly and/or be attacked by a mushroom and/or ride a giant seahorse and fight Neptune. 

There's really no way to describe a Russian-Finnish fairy tale. Except to say "Wow, that was beautiful. But what the fuck did I just watch?"

Sampo. When only brand name will do.

This is one of those writeups you can tell I am struggling with, because I don't know how to describe this movie to people who have never seen it before. It's just goofy and pretty and weird. Although I WILL say this: If you ever wanted to introduce somebody to Mystery Science Theater for the first time, and you wanted to show them how random and goofy and funny it can be, The Day the Earth Froze would be an excellent first episode. It's one of those movies that just has a little bit of everything. It's also an especially SMART episode. The riffs in this one are particularly well done.

"Guys, I wonder what her Myers-Briggs test was like."

Trivia:  "The Day the Earth Froze" was originally released in 1959 under the title "Sampo." And as weird as it is to say this, it's apparently a fairly accurate retelling of the Finnish national epic, "Kalevala." Oh, and in case you were wondering what a "Sampo" is, it's simply a magic mill that ensures unending riches for its owner. And again, that's all pretty accurate to Finnish mythology. A Sampo was actually a thing.

Oh yeah, and I should also point out that as bizarre as this movie is, there are even WEIRDER Russian-Finnish fairy tales that will show up later on the countdown. They featured a bunch of these weird-ass foreign fairy tales over the years on Mystery Science Theater. The Day the Earth Froze was actually one of the more normal ones.

Witch: Forge a Sampo! Or you'll never see the face of your pretty sister again!
Crow: Can we see the other parts?

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