Janus, January, and Mystery Science Theater 3000

You may be wondering how Janus, January and Mystery Science Theater 3000 are connected. And what or who is Janus, anyway? Join me, please, on this fascinating journey.


In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of doorways, passageways, journeys, and new beginnings. He had two faces, one that looked into the past, and one that looked into the future. In terms of a doorway, he watched over either side of the door. The month of January is derived from the god Janus, as January marks the beginning of the new year.

Bryant Holiday

Bryant Haliday was an American actor of no particular consequence and has largely been lost to history. His brief sojourn as a film actor was confined to horror movies, of which he had an abiding interest, produced by Richard Gordon. Two of these films were Devil Doll and The Projected Man–films that would also have been lost to history, because they were absolutely awful, had they not been mercilessly lambasted by the crew of the Satellite of Love: namely, Michael J. Nelson, Crow T. Robot, and Tom Servo of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Janus Films

However, Bryant Haliday did co-found Janus Films, a film distribution company which was largely responsible for introducing the work of such great directors as Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa to the West.

Devil Doll

Bryant Haliday “starred” in the movie Devil Doll as The Great Vorelli, an evil ventriloquist and hypnotist. The movie also “starred” William Sylvester, who played a minor role as Heywood Floyd in 2001: A Space Odyssey

Devil Doll Riffed by MST3K

In the 8th season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Michael Nelson and the bots decided to riff Devil Doll, and now the circle of life is complete!

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