Pennsauken, New Jersey–Joseph R. Crowthers, husband, father and MST3K fan who had a rare chance to contribute to a small element of the show, died here Feb. 13. He was 63.
Crowthers was an 18-year veteran of the Pennsauken police department and loved to play ice hockey, which led to him getting jobs maintaining ice hockey arenas, first at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and later as the general manager at the University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Arena. Joe was a lifetime member of the Highland Fire Co. of the Pennsauken Fire Department.
Joe built his home, countless pieces of furniture, go carts and many other things–including the Crow and Tom Servo robots featured in this video, which was an extra on the single-disc version of “The Giant Gila Monster,” which Rhino replaced “Godzilla vs Megalon” with after being threatened with litigation from Toho, aka Vol. 10.2.
Online he was known as “JoeCrow,” and he ran his own bot building web site. Our condolences to his family.
Thanks to Bookworm for the heads up.
BORN ON THIS DATE
1909: Dwight V. Babcock, who wrote the original story that became the movie in episode 702- THE BRUTE MAN.
1915: Fred Freiberger, screenwriter for the movie in episode 517- BEGINNING OF THE END and producer and screenwriter (using the pen name Charles Woodgrove) of the TV series “Space: 1999,” two episodes of which were incorporated into K10- COSMIC PRINCESS.
1924: Lee Marvin, who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 319- WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST.
1928: Mike Sammes, one of the singers of the theme song from the TV series “Stingray” featured in episode K01- INVADERS FROM THE DEEP.
1931: Alla Larionova, who played Luberia in the movie “Sadko” in the movie in episode 505- THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.
1939: Vladimir Fyodorov, who played Turanchoks in the movie in episode K11- HUMANOID WOMAN.*
1950: Aus Greidanus, who played a cultist in the movie in episode 910- THE FINAL SACRIFICE.*
DIED ON THIS DATE
1979: Norman Ollstead (age 43), who played Lew’s roomate in the movie in episode 206- RING OF TERROR.
1983: Wally Veevers (age 65), special effects assistant for the movie in episode 111- MOON ZERO TWO.
1986: Adolfo Celi (age 63), who played Thair Beta in the movie “Operation Kid Brother,” seen in episode 508- OPERATION DOUBLE 007, and Ralph Valmont in the movie in episode 1013- DIABOLIK.
1995: John Howard (age 81), who played Bill Travis in the movie in episode 520- RADAR SECRET SERVICE.
EPISODE PREMIERE ON THIS DATE
1989: episode K13- SST: DEATH FLIGHT first shown.
EVENT ON THIS DATE
1952: Filming is completed on the Edison short A YOUNG MAN’S FANCY, seen in episode 610- THE VIOLENT YEARS.
This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2017 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.
Middlebury, Vermont–Actor Warren Frost, perhaps best remembered as Doc Hayward on the classic TV series “Twin Peaks,” or as the father of George’s fiancee Susan on “Seinfeld,” died at his home here after a lengthy illness. He was 91.
MSTies might remember his small role as a switchboard operator in the movie in episode 319- WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST.
The Hollywood Reporter has the story.
Thanks to Timmy for the heads up.
Alert regular Timmy suggests:
I was thinking, what MSTed movie would make a good Saturday morning cartoon? I think that the Starfighters (on the lines of the old Beetle Bailey cartoon show from the 1960s*) and Mighty Jack (on the lines of any anime show). So what is yours, then?
* Look it up.
Well, I’d go with “Moon Zero Two” since it already has a cartoon theme song.
What’s your pick?
Have a WDT idea? Send it to email@example.com!
Some news from the business side…
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
RETURNS WITH FIRST-EVER
CONSUMER PRODUCTS PROGRAM
STRATEGIC LICENSING PARTNERS ANNOUNCED
AS THE SHOW HEADS TO NETFLIX
Los Angeles, CA – February 16, 2017 – The popular entertainment brand and cult-hit comedy series MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (MST3K) has announced its first consumer products program, which is gearing up for release as the new season heads to Netflix for its much anticipated premiere.
“MST3K is enjoying a new iteration on Netflix for both new audiences and longtime fans alike,” says MST3K creator Joel Hodgson. “We’re really looking forward to partnering with creative companies who are fans of the show and can capture the zeitgeist of the series with new products and ideas.”
Bob Emmer, COO of Shout Factory, adds, ”We’re eagerly pursuing licensing opportunities across all categories, with the goal of delivering fun and innovative merchandise that’s true to the show MSTies know and love.”
The licensing program is helmed by Elie Dekel, of Dekel Brands. Strategic partners for licensing and merchandising on board thus far include:
· Dark Horse (serialized comics, graphic novels, coffee-table book and gift items)
· FUNKO (vinyl figures, and FUNKO-POP figures)
· Changes (t-shirts, tops, sweatshirts)
· Insight Editions (Ultimate Episode Guide, trivia books, journals)
· Great Eastern (buttons, patches, stickers, pins, gifts and novelties)
· Just Funky (gifts, beverage/barware, key chains, auto accessories, table-top gifts)
· Zen Monkey Studios (t-shirts, sweatshirts)
Products will be rolling out spring of 2017 throughout the 4th quarter, with new products and licensees to be announced over the course of the year. MST3K and its licensees will be working with specialty retailers to deliver the new merchandise to retailers and ecommerce stores.
Beloved by a legion of fans worldwide and ranked by top media culture critics as one of the best cult television shows of all time, MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 will highlight brand extension opportunities across all licensing categories, including apparel, digital gaming, publishing, toys, home goods and accessories.
Short: (1955) A minister urges railroad workers to stop selfishly getting injured on the job.
Movie: (1959) A mad scientist makes an escaped convict invisible so he can steal radioactive material, but he would rather rob banks instead.
First shown: 3/18/95
Opening: Crow is Tom’s science project
Intro: At Auntie McFrank’s bed and breakfast, Dr. F. demands that M&TB provide some “local color” — and soon regrets it
Host segment 1: Crow learns about “gentle pressure,” but doesn’t practice it
Host segment 2: Frank misses out on “Squanto”
Host segment 3: Mike gets caught playing Rick Wakeman
End: Answering the film’s question, transparent letter, in Deep 13 Frank is still Auntie McFrank
Stinger: Petting the invisible guinea pig
• In terms of the host segments, this episode feels like the opposite of last week, where the segments were kind of blah. These are mostly inspired. The short is a classic, with very good riffing. The riffing feels like it falls off a bit during the main feature, but it definitely has its moments.
• This episode is not yet available on DVD.
• We begin with a hilarious opening, one that feels very season-fivey, then move on to the legendary B&B segment, as Dr. F asks M&tB for help and very quickly wishes he hadn’t. Trace and Frank are hilarious. And watch Mike: He never blinks.
• Dr. F does not mention the short in his introduction. Not sure he’s ever done that before.
• I loved the “Plan 9” reference. The shot is remarkably similar.
• Callback: “Flag on the Moon.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: Bulletin board, beaker, book, film canister.
• “Gentle pressure” became an immediate catchphrase.
• Interesting commercials on my copy (from the debut): a commercial for their “Little Gold Statue special” and one for “Duckman” on USA.
• Annoying commercial: The “Etiem!” commercial in which the couple, lost in a foreign country, follows a little boy who seems to be saying “etiem!” Turns out he’s taking them to an ATM–they’re saved. Cute the first time, annoying after several viewings. Also: there was one of CC’s “Just say No-J” spots. Good times, good times…
• Segment 3 is random, but very funny.
• Then current reference: the now-largely forgotten movie Squanto, A Warrior’s Tale.
• Although this probably wasn’t his favorite movie, the movie’s director, Edgar G. Ulmer, is well respected in some circles.
• Cast and crew roundup: special effects guy Roger George also worked on “The Human Duplicators.” Special effects guy Howard A. Anderson also worked in “Women of the Prehistoric Planet,” “King Dinosaur,” “12 to the Moon” and “It Lives By Night.” Makeup guy Jack Pierce also worked on “The Brute Man.” Assistant director Leonard Shapiro also worked on “Project Moon Base” and “Bloodlust.” Set designer Louise Caldwell also worked on “Giant Gila Monster” and “Killer Shrews.” Sound guy Earl Snyder also worked on “Giant Gila Monster,” “Killer Shrews” and “The Crawling Hand.”
In front of the camera: James Griffith was also in “Manhunt in Space.” Edward Erwin was also in “Ring of Terror.” Jonathan Ledford was also in “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.”
• Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Additional contributing writers: Ben Bakken, Bill Corbett and Drew Jansen.
• Fave riff from the short: “Get out of my head, Reverend!!!” Honorable mention: “Obey the toaster!”
• Fave riff: “Here. These’ll blow your mind.” Honorable mention: “Doc, that’s not his wrist!”
From our pals at the AV Club…
Joel, Jonah, Baron, and Hampton are stopping by The A.V. Club offices to join us for an interview on Facebook Live. The stream begins at 11:30 a.m. Eastern/10:30 Central.
Mystery Science Theater 3000:Vol. XXXVIII
Four DVD Box Set Features Previously Unreleased Episodes
Invasion USA, Colossus and The Headhunters, High School
Big Shot and Track of The Moon Beast
Available on DVD March 28th, 2017 from Shout! Factory
Riffer extraordinaire Mike Nelson hosts all four episodes in the 38th collection of episodes from the beloved comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000, but the true theme for this set is diversity. Proving to the world that no single genre is immune to cheesy movies and that our hilarious heroes aboard the Satellite of Love are equal opportunity critics, Shout! Factory presents an incredible melting pot of cinema’s multicultural genres, including the worst in Cold War drama, Sword and Sandals, Juvenile Delinquents, and Monster movies.
Available March 28th, 2017 from Shout! Factory, Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXVIII includes previously unreleased episodes Invasion USA, Colossus and The Headhunters, High School Big Shot and Track of The Moon Beast, as well as a plethora of bonus features including the featurette Zugsmith Confidential , Tracking A Moon Beast with actress Leigh Drake, Mike, by Joel interview, the original feature film of High School Big Shot, four mini-posters by artist Steve Vance and more!
In addition, the first 1,500 fans who order directly from ShoutFactory.com will receive an exclusive bonus disc, MST3K: Play MSTie For Me Triple Decker, which gathers 39 of the finest MST3K musical moments into one eminently singable package.
In Invasion USA, a tapestry of Cold War-era American archetypes discuss the perils of Communism before witnessing the invasion of America by an unnamed but Soviet-flavored army; Colossus and The Headhunters is a 1960 Italian flick that clearly found the swords and the sandals at an Italian movie thrift store. We have a hero, we have a damsel in distress, and we have plenty of bad guys. Atypical of this genre, however, there are no monsters, unless you count the filmmakers and cast; High School Big Shot follows a beleaguered young man who gets involved in a crime for a payoff that he thinks will cure the troubles with his alcoholic father and cheating girlfriend; and Track of The Moon Beast brings us a sad tale of a mineralogist’s nightly transformation into a killer reptile following an unfortunate meteor shower. Alas, even make up effects by legend Rick Baker cannot redeem this film.
Volume XXXVIII Bonus Features
· Zugsmith Confidential featurette
· High School Big Shot (original feature film)
· Mike, By Joel interview
· Tracking a Moon Beast with Actress Leigh Drake
· Theatrical Trailers
During the Angels Revenge episode guide comments, Bad Wolf asked:
Did we already do a Weekend Discussion about episodes we’d like to see go to series? This would definitely be one for me.
Oh I want to see a weekly Batwoman series. Everybody does.
Roy Forge Smith, a veteran production designer who worked on the classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and two seasons of “Ghost Whisperer,” has died. He was 87. His friend and collaborator John Gray said Smith died February 6 but gave no other details.
Longtime MSTies might recall his production designer credit in the movie in episode K20- THE LAST CHASE.
More info here.
Thanks to Timmy for the heads up.