1906: Dick Moder, assistant director for the “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger” TV series, episodes of which were seen in MST episodes 413- MANHUNT IN SPACE and 417- CRASH OF MOONS.
1909: Noel Cravat, who played Robal in the season one serial RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON.
1910: David Mcmahon, who played a general in the movie in episode 311- IT CONQUERED THE WORLD and Capt. Frank Carver in the movie in episode 804- THE DEADLY MANTIS.
1919: Marie Windsor, who played Josie in the movie in episode 503- SWAMP DIAMONDS.
1920: Anthony Baird, who played a soldier in the movie in episode 818- DEVIL DOLL.
1931: Richard Devon, who played Stark, King of the Grimolts, in the movie in episode 317- VIKING WOMEN AND THE SEA SERPENT and Satan in the movie in episode 806- THE UNDEAD.
1936: Alan Fennell, screenwriter for the episodes of the TV series “Stingray,” seen in episode K01- INVADERS FROM THE DEEP.
1940: Donna Mills, who played Lainie in the movie in episode K15- SUPERDOME.*
1945: Zienia Merton, who played Sandra Benes in the movie in episode K10- COSMIC PRINCESS.*
1949: Boris Shcherbakov, who played Kolotin in the movie in episode K11- HUMANOID WOMAN.*
1954: Henry Hall (age 78), who played the country doctor in the movie in episode 103- THE MAD MONSTER.
1974: Reed Hadley (age 63), who played Riley in the movie in episode 611- LAST OF THE WILD HORSES.
1986: Maurice Askew (age 70), who did the sound for the TV series “Stingray,” seen in episode K01- INVADERS FROM THE DEEP.
2001: Alan Fennell (age 65), on his birthday.
2011: Susan Gordon (age 62), who played Sandy Hubbard in the movie in episode 414- TORMENTED.
1988: episode K05- GAMERA first shown.
1993: episode 519- OUTLAW OF GOR first shown.
1969: The movie “Marooned,” seen in episode 401- SPACE TRAVELERS, is released.
This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2013 All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce This Date in MSTory items in any form without express written permission from the authors.
* = According to the IMBD this person is alive. If you can supply evidence that he or she has died, and when, please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a birthday, the IMDB indicates that the person has died, but the IMDB does not have a full death date (probably just a month and year or just the year he or she died). If you can give us the exact date (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a death date, the IMDB does not have this person’s full birthday. If you can provide it (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.
A few unrelated things:
First–If you live in Northeastern Pa., Thursday is Bad Movie Thursday with MST3K at the Scranton Cultural Center. The movie, natch, is “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.” We start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Reviews for Santa’s Village of Madness and Ghosthouse just popped up on dvdcorner.net.
He died in August, so it’s a bit late for a full obit, but RIP to Larry Pennell, who played Major Thomas in episode 906- SPACE CHILDREN and may be best remembered as Dash Riprock on “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
Yahoo.TV did one of those dumb slideshow articles: “Bots We Want to Partner Up With.” Guess who’s in the second slot?
With the holiday season upon us, the question is this: What MST3K/RiffTrax/Cinematic Titanic-related items are you hoping to get as a gift, and what are you thinking of giving as a gift? Feel free to link to sites selling the item, but be prepared for your post to be delayed (the system doesn’t like posts with too many links in them).
An open thread for your comments on tonight’s RiffTrax Live show. My quick overview: They pulled it off, and did it with style.
Update: Just a few thoughts:
I pretty much have the MST3K version of SCCTM memorized, having seen it probably more than any than any other episode. So I didn’t need to review it before seeing this. I DID, however, rewatch the Cinematic Titanic version (and I have to say that, on this viewing I didn’t like it quite as much as last time; though it’s very funny, I miss the live audience that makes the later shows so much fun). So I was ready to take note of any place where they borrowed riffs, and I think I can say for certain that they didn’t. But, in several places they DID do new riffs that were based on the same observation about the movie that previous riffers have noted. (Example: In the MST3K version, they observed that the Torg theme music was “the ‘Jeopardy’ theme in a minor key.” Last night they called it “Alex Trebek’s funeral music” and actually sang about four bars of how it would sound. Same observation, different variant of a joke, and, frankly, a funnier one.) But, frankly, on the third go-round, that’s almost unavoidable. Some of this movie’s crushing stupidity HAS to be mentioned, even if others have mentioned it before, using different words.
A few of the commenters have openly compared it to the MST3K version, and seem offended somehow that certain riffs from that version were missing, because they simply HAVE to be there. That, of course, is the inevitable downside of redoing a movie. It was the same when they redid “Manos.” For some of us, a certain moment of the movie will just cry out for somebody to say the riff that was done at the moment, and if you let that mindset take hold, then you are just going to be continuously disappointed for the entire show. I admit there were a few spots where I heard the MST3K riff in my head, but after a few minutes I let go of that and really just let myself laugh, which I did, a lot.
For the commenters asking about Bill: What happened was he flubbed a couple of lines. In one case, it was a REALLY long riff, maybe too long, because I think he just ran out of breath before he got to the end. Later, still stinging from that goof, he flubbed another line and, in his shame, dropped to his hands and knees and tried to slink off the stage, before being pulled back by Mike and Kevin. We love ya, Bill.
One bit I particularly liked was that SOMEBODY finally made the connection between the names Torg and Torgo. Of course, Manos came after SCCTM for MST3K, but I was amazed CT didn’t do it. (And by the way, in “Robot Holocaust” there’s an evil character named “Tork.” Somebody should do a linguistics paper on why that phoneme has such connotations of evil for script writers.) Yes, it was a big ol’ pander (which is maybe why CT avoided it). but I like those. I also liked the “Mr. B” callback during the short, which was really unavoidable.
One completely new observation I have to admit I had never noticed before, despite seeing this movie umpteen times, was the whole “C’mon, Betty! Wait, Betty!” thing. It set up a great running gag.
Oh, and can I just say that, seeing this on the big screen for the first time, WOW this is one weird mama-jama of a movie?
Fave riff from the short: “And…release the kraken.”
Fave riff from the movie: “Have a holly jolly ass-whoopin’!”
Short: (1962) A couple of clean-cut kids tour the phone company exhibit at the Seattle’s World’s Fair.
Movie: (1958) The children of rocket technicians come under the control of a mind-controlling blob.
First shown: 6/13/98
Opening: Tom has a kissing booth
Intro: Pearl attempts to take over the worked through officing
Host segment 1: Mike’s the kid from the short! Bonk!
Host segment 2: M&tB have a model rocket; but Pearl has a space program
Host segment 3: Crow lashes out with Jackie Coogan fashions
End: The peace loving blob visits; Pearl’s space program has a problem
Stinger: Dead Professor
• There’s much more good news than bad with this one — a short, some funny segments, great riffing, TV sitcom stars galore — that I can forgive the drab little movie at the center of it all, and a foulup by the Brains.
• Paul’s observations are here.
• The opening is light and fun. Mike’s delivery of the line “A kissing booth? WHAT FOR?” is hilarious.
• That’s Patrick as “Lacks” the phone guy.
• The officing sketch goes on a little long, but you can tell Mary Jo is into it. She’s written about “officing” experiences in some of her short stories, so she knows whereof she parodies.
• This was the first short of the Sci-Fi era. There was much rejoicing among fans.
• Short producer Jerry Fairbanks made other shorts for Ma Bell, including ‘Once Upon a Honeymoon.’ Fairbanks was nominated for two Oscars and won one.
• Sharon Lawrence was born in 1961, so that is definitely not her in the short. But wow, it sure looks just like her.
• Naughty riff: Singer: “You’re seeing it all…” Crow: “…at the Annie Sprinkle show…”
• I like how Tom leans over to tell us one more thing as Mike carries him out at the end of the short.
• Segment 1 is one of those “here’s a bit that’s not funny” bits. Again, a little wry for my tastes, but any segment where somebody gets hit by that big clown hammer is okay by me.
• It may not be quite as bad as not recognizing the Battlestar Galactica spaceships in “Space Mutiny,” but a lot of fans were stunned that the Brains failed to recognize Raymond Bailey, who played Milburn Drysdale on TV’s “Beverly Hillbillies.” Were they too busy coming up with bald jokes (there had to have been dozens) to notice?
• Segment 2 is just really, really funny. Mary Jo really channels Trace in this one and it works brilliantly.
• Nerdy reference that was obscure then and is about to enter the general public’s consciousness: Smaug.
• Second reference this season to St. Blaise, patron saint of ailments of the throat.
• Segment 3 is very reminiscent of seasons 2 or 3, and actually it works pretty well.
• Then current reference: Let’s get in line for Beanie Babies.
• Cast and crew roundup: Producer William Alland also did “Revenge of the Creature,” “The Mole People,” “The Deadly Mantis” and “This Island Earth.” Director Jack Arnold also did “Revenge of the Creature” and “This Island Earth.” Scriptwriter Bernard C. Schoenfeld also worked on “The Magic Sword.” Cinematographer Ernest Laszlo also worked on “Tormented.” Process photography guy Farciot Edouart also did “Village of the Giants,” as did makeup guy Wally Westmore and sound recorder Charles Grenzbach.
In front of the camera, Peggy Webber was also in “The Screaming Skull,” Johnny Crawford was also in “Village of the Giants.” Russell Johnson was also in “This Island Earth. Vera Marshe was also in “Tormented.” Eilene Janssen was also in “Beginning of the End.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. Dan Breyer begins a three-episode stint as both intern and grip (they must have really liked him). Additional music written and performed by Michael J. Nelson.
• Fave riff from the short: “How do animals learn? Well, as long as they learn to taste good…”
• Fave riff from feature: “Hang on. Niels Bohr’s using the toaster.” Honorable mention: “Go find out what he put on his job application under ‘Do you drink a lot?’”
Don’t miss it!
Oh, and — folks in the eastern half of the country: let’s keep the spoilers to a minimum until the west coasters have had a chance to see it. Thanks.
Don’t know who the enthused group of singers is, but this is fun!
For those of you looking for that perfect gift for that MSTie on your shopping list, we would of course like to direct you to Shout!Factory
, to the MSTie Mall at mst3k.com
, to the items available at RiffTrax.com
, and to any of the items featured in the right-hand column of this page, including quite a few of the Cinematic Titanic DVDs. There’s also the fine folks at Cheezyflix
And of course, we have our Satellite News-branded products and our catchphrase t-shirts.
And, this weekend we posted the 2014 version of our annual “Shorts” calendar.
Our pal Bruce Westbrook has posted his review
Dvdcorner.net has a review of the MST3K: 25th Anniversary Set (oh and it also has one for the RiffTrax DVD “May The Shorts Be With You.”
Also, Eric Asperschlager of DVDVerdict.com is on the case.
UPDATE: Ian Jane at Rockshockpop.com has an extensive review.