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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 807- Terror from the Year 5000

Movie: (1958) A scientist builds a time machine, allowing a scary woman from the future to appear.

First shown: 3/15/97
Opening: Tom “comfort rates” everything
Intro: The Observers make Pearl and Bobo fight, but the M&TB aren’t getting the message
Host segment 1: The Observers offer their superior food
Host segment 2: Mike sends Crow back in time, but soon regrets it
Host segment 3: The Observers croon “When I Held Your Brain in My Arms”
End: Mike sets Crow up with a blind date from the year 5000, while Pearl declares her humanity
Stinger: Observers
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (206 votes, average: 4.26 out of 5)
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Get Kevin’s take here.
• This ranks up there as one of the most incompetent movies they’ve ever done and, as you know, that’s saying something. An amateur cast playing unlikeable characters, a glacial pace to a plot that makes zero sense. Laughable special effects and a story with no payoff. Bleah. The segments are all pretty good, especially the song, but I think the riffing is a bit sub-par this time. There are still plenty of great riffs, but they seem a little thinner than usual. All in all a fair-to-good outing.
• This episode has not yet been released on DVD.
• This was the seventh new show in seven weeks. I remember the incredible feeling of being overwhelmed with new MST3K episodes with barely enough time to assimilate it all (a little like getting 14 new episodes at once). I was almost happy to have the two-week break that followed this show, just so I could catch my breath (figuratively speaking).
• Daleism: As the nurse/alien takes off her gloves, moist guy says “Your hands!” and of course the riff is: “I thought you were Dale!”
• For those who want a full list of the colors of Mike, Ward E has it.
• Mike once again channels “The Frugal Gourmet” Jeff Smith. Last time was in episode 608- CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD.
• Then-current riff: “I’m Jaye Davidson.” Davidson was still being talked about for his performance in “The Crying Game” five years earlier. “Suddenly Susan” then a popular sitcom starring Brooke Shields.
• Obscure references: The short-lived 1995 series “The Single Guy,” Mrs. Pynchon, a character in the TV series “Lou Grant.” Also: Servo sings the jingle for the long-defunct Northwest Orient airlines. Also: Nice obscure Beatles reference: “He’s a clean old man.” Classical music fans probably enjoyed the reference to the Brodski Quartet, a British classical string ensemble.
• Several Jimmy Carter references in this one, since the handyman vaguely resembles him. Of course, Carter’s administration was decades ago now. To a lot of this show’s young fans, they may as well be making Chester A. Arthur references.
• Kevin breaks out his great Flash Bazbo impression. The character was a creation of Chris Guest back when he was making records (and I do mean records, not CDs) for National Lampoon. “Hellooo?…Hellooo?”
• That’s Beez as the sparkly “Terror.” Not sure how I feel about uglying her up (if such a thing is even possible).
• “When I Held Your Brain in My Arms” was an immediate hit and the channel was nice enough to put the entire song on their web site. It was the first song since Trace bid farewell to Frank, and it really brightens up an otherwise rugged episode. Note that Mike lip synchs to Kevin’s vocals but Bill lip synchs himself.
• Annoying commercial: The special message from America Online boss Steve Case. To refresh your memory, AOL went to a flat-rate, unlimited-use pricing structure and, naturally, usage skyrocketed. Problem was: AOL’s system wasn’t ready to handle the jump in usage. For a couple of months, connecting (for you kids, we used to have to connect to the internet via telephone lines … and we liked it that way! We liked it just fine! Now get off my lawn!) was hit-and-miss at best and busy signals were the order of the day. Anyway, in this commercial Case strolls through what is ostensibly an AOL customer service call center and apologizes for failing to remember the first day of Business 101, when they explained that when you cut the price of something, there’s more demand for it.
• This is another movie in which all the sets seem to have filth covering the walls. Weird.
• For non-Trekkies, Pearl’s little speech about the nature of humanity is the sort of thing Captain Kirk would spout about once every third or fourth episode, usually after refusing to take part in some staged fight.
• The Observers steal the stinger again. What would you have picked? I think I would have gone with a shot of Angelo enjoying his magazines in his shack.
• Cast and crew roundup: No need to go through the Arkoff/Nicholson litany again. Producer/director/scriptwriter Robert J. Gurney Jr. (the guy you can blame for this mess) also wrote the script (i.e. ripped off somebody else’s script) for “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.” Production coordinator Mark Hanna also worked on “Gunslinger” and “The Undead” and wrote the script for “The Amazing Colossal Man.” In front of the camera, Ward Costello was also in “Code Name: Diamond Head.” Frederic Downs was also in “The Hellcats,” “The Skydivers” and “Red Zone Cuba.”
• CreditsWatch: Jim gets the produced and directed by credit. Kevin is associate producer. As noted last time, Lane Stiller and Steve Zocklein were interns for only two episodes, the last one and this one.
• Fave riff: Of all the plot holes to fill, they choose the scuba gear plot hole!” Honorable mention: “Do you have cartoon music playing in your head, too?” and “They are implying: POOM!”

This Date in MSTory

BORN ON THIS DATE
1901: Hugo L. Stanger, who played the janitor in the movie in episode 405- BEING FROM ANOTHER PLANET.
1915: Wanda McKay, who played Greta Vanderhorn in the movie in episode 203- JUNGLE GODDESS.
1915: Ellen Attenbury a.k.a. Ellen Hardies, who had a small role in the movie in episode 618- HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT.
1916: John Daheim, who played a soldier in the movie in episode 309- THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN.
1920: Paul Frees, who was the director, screenwriter and lyricist for the movie in episode 415- THE BEATNIKS. Frees was best known as a voice artist and also did voice work on several MSTed movies: He provided the voice of Glenn Manning in episode 319- WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST, the voice of a helicopter pilot in episode 517-BEGINNING OF THE END and the voice of evil war lord Kalin in 617- THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON.
1921: Gower Champion, who directed the short ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON, seen in episode 701- NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST.
1922: Vance Skarstedt, screenwriter for the movie in episode 108- THE SLIME PEOPLE.
1933: Sen. Diane Feinstein, mentioned in a host segment in episode 1004- FUTURE WAR.*
1949: Lindsay Wagner, who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 305- STRANDED IN SPACE.
1949: Meryl Streep, who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 206- RING OF TERROR.*

DIED ON THIS DATE
1955: Wyllis Cooper (age 56), who wrote the original story for the season two serial THE PHANTOM CREEPS.
1964: Christopher Rhodes (age 50), who played McCartin in the movie in episode 909- GORGO.
1969: Judy Garland (age 47), who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 206- RING OF TERROR.
1976: Alan Reynolds (age 67), who played a lieutenant in the movie in episode 517- BEGINNING OF THE END.
1988: Ross Ford (age 65), who played Major Bill Moore in 109- PROJECT MOON BASE.
1988: Stuart Randall (age 78), who played Captain John Lauder in the movie in episode 409- THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN.
2002: Ann Landers, (age 83), who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 311- IT CONQUERED THE WORLD.
2008: George Carlin (age 71), who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 411- THE MAGIC SWORD.
2015: James Horner (age 61), whose music was heard in the movie in episode 703- DEATHSTALKER AND THE WARRIORS FROM HELL.
2016: Douglas M. Lakcey (age 83), who composed music heard in the movie in episode 815- AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.

EPISODE PREMIERE ON THIS DATE
1991: Episode 304- GAMERA VS. BARUGON first shown.

EVENT ON THIS DATE
1960: The movie in episode 524- 12 TO THE MOON is reviewed in Variety.


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.

Weekend Discussion Thread – Episode Guide, First Draft: 1109- Yongary Monster From the Deep

Movie: (1967) Earthquakes in Korea turn out to be the work of Yongary, a prehistoric fire-breathing reptile who’s headed for Seoul.

Opening: J&tB are having their weekly dream journal meeting
Invention exchange: J&tB demonstrate their tiny desks; The Mads have Hitler Coffee
Segment 1: J&tB discuss astronauts and the music they like
Segment 2: Tom explains his monster-themed club, Yongary Nights
Segment 3: J&tB discuss what monster they’d like to be friends with
Closing: J&tB and The Mads sing “Push Past the Hurting”
Stinger: Monster a-go-go
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (27 votes, average: 4.30 out of 5)
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• Skeleton Crew songs: “I Wish I Was in Old Canada,” “United Servo Academy,” “To Earth” and “Creepy Girl.”

• Capsule!
• J&tB are very musical in the theater this time. Lots of singing.
• Callbacks: “I’m huge!”
• The song they sing at the end is another great ditty by Paul & Storm.
• Fave riff: “IM UPSIDE DOWWWWWWWN!” Honorable mention: “Everyone grab one thing. Doesn’t matter what the thing is! Just take it!” “Welcome back to Speaking Spectacles. I’m your host, Glasses McFancyHair.”

Thoughts?

What Did You Think?

An open thread for reports on tonight’s RiffTrax Live.

For me, the good news was that the show was consistently hilarious, one of their best.
The bad news was that the crowd in my theater in the suburbs of Scranton, was pretty paltry, maybe 50 souls. But they seemed to be enjoying it.

So, stop that rhythmic ball handling and give your report!

Episode guide: 806- The Undead

Movie: (1956) A “psychical researcher” hypnotizes a prostitute, causing her to regress to a previous life as a woman accused of witchcraft.

First shown: 3/8/97
Opening: Trying to fill in the viewers, Mike seethes about past injustices
Intro: The Observers test everybody and Servo tests well
Host segment 1: Servo becomes an Observer–then the spoons go missing
Host segment 2: The witch from the movie appears, but she’s going through some changes
Host segment 3: Mike plays his Digger Smolken album
End: Crow is an imp, Tom and Mike lash out at Leonard Maltin, and Bobo makes a brain sammich
Stinger: Observers
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (206 votes, average: 4.37 out of 5)
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• My memory of this one was that it was all drab and smeary, kind of like the walls in the psychicical researcher’s office, but this was one of those episodes that was a lot wackier than I remembered. To start with, it’s Corman, and that means funny. And it’s the first non-Universal movie since the season started. Plus you got Billy Barty, the always-fun Bruno VeSota, Digger Smolken and the STAY! chorus. What’s not to love? Well, maybe the last host segment…
• Bill’s take on the episode is here.
• This episode is included in Shout Factory’s “MST3K: Volume XXXIV.”
References.
• It’s in this episode that Bill breaks out and begins to become the Observer we know. He has some nice moments in this one.
• Why did Corman think audiences would go for this hokey tale of psychic regression? Well, it was, briefly, all the rage. In the mid-1950s, a book called “The Search for Bridey Murphy” became a best seller. It supposedly was based on a true story about a woman who regressed to former lives via hypnosis. In 1956, a movie based on that book, with the same title, was released, and did pretty well, well enough to get Corman working on a ripoff. But by the time he was able to get it filmed, the craze had peaked, and a new fad was hot: zombies. So they changed the title from “The Trance of Diana Love” to “The Undead,” even though there’s nothing particularly undead in the movie.
• When Livia and her imp change into bats, they may look familiar to you. Corman used them a year earlier in “It Conquered the World.”
• Daleism: As Quintus hypnotizes the girl, he says: “Do you see my hand?” Mike adds: “Do you think I’m Dale?”
• LOTR references: Rivendell, Strider, Mordor, Mithril.
• Bridget is lots of fun as the witch unable to control her shape-shifting.
• A rare riff retread: “This guy is Satan … from hell” is a riff originally done in “Santa Claus.”
• Callback: “You’re stuck here!” (Fugitive Alien)
• The old “spoons dropping from the sleeve” bit was probably most famously done in the 1930 Marx Brothers movie “Animal Crackers.”
• The “Servo as Observer” bit goes on a bit, I have to say. This long segment, plus the long segment at the end, are obviously drawn out because the movie is so short. A short might have served them better.
• That’s Kevin singing on the Digger Smolken album, of course.
• I wonder if Leonard Maltin saw the bit at the end before he agreed to be a guest star a year later.
• The final bit—the lengthy brain sandwich-making scene—sparked fierce debate among internet fans. Some loved it, others saw it as long, labored, pointless and emblematic of a growing problem they were having with the revived series. It really is a tour de force for Kevin. On the other hand, it’s definitely a long walk for a little joke.
• One other note: Kevin, his hands — or paws — probably slippery with mayoNAISE — drops the tape and it rolls a little way away and he has to run after it. They keep rolling.
• The Observers steal the stinger again. What would be your nomination? Mine is: “STAY!”
• Executive producers Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson also worked on “The Amazing Colossal Man,” “It Conquered the World,” “Earth Vs. the Spider,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Viking Women and the Sea Serpent,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “Night of the Blood Beast,” “Terror from the Year 5000,” “The She-Creature,” “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” and “The Screaming Skull. Producer/director Roger Corman also worked on “It Conquered the World,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Viking Women and the Sea Serpent,” “Swamp Diamonds,” “Gunslinger,” “Night of the Blood Beast,” “Attack of the Giant Leeches” and “High School Big Shot.” Assistant director Lou Place directed “Daddy-O,” appeared in “Swamp Diamonds,” was a production manager on “It Conquered the World” (he probably wrangled those bats), and “Agent for H.A.R.M.” Screenwriter Charles B. Griffith also worked on “It Conquered the World” and “Gunslinger.” Screenwriter Mark Hanna also worked on “The Amazing Colossal Man” and “Gunslinger and was production coordinator for “Terror from the Year 5000.” Cinematographer William Sickner also worked on “The Phantom Creeps.” Prop Master: Karl Brainard also worked on “It Conquered the World,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Night of the Blood Beast” and “The She-Creature.” Choreographer Chris Miller also worked on “Gunslinger” (and appeared in it as well). Score composer Ronald Stein also worked on “It Conquered the World,” “Gunslinger,” “The She-Creature,” “Attack of the the Eye Creatures and “The Girl in Lovers Lane.” In front of the camera, Allison Hayes was also in “Gunslinger,” “The Crawling Hand” and “The Unearthly.” Bruno VeSota was also on “Daddy-O,” “Attack of the Giant Leeches,” “Gunslinger” and “The Wild, Wild World of Batwoman.” Richard Devon was also in “Viking Women and the Sea Serpent.” Aaron Saxon was also in “Gunslinger.” Richard Miller was also in was also in “It Conquered the World” and “Gunslinger.” Paul Blaisdell also appeared in “”It Conquered the World,” “The She-Creature” (for which he also did special effects), “The Amazing Colossal Man,” “Earth Vs. the Spider” and “Teenage Caveman.”
• CreditsWatch: Jim gets the producer credit and Kevin gets the director credit. A guy named John Sims joins the crew for six episodes. His credit is “SFX/foley.” For some reason, interns Elliot Cobb and Mytch Parks, who worked the first five episodes of season 8, did not work this one and the next one. In their place are Lane Stiller and Steve Zocklein. They worked this episode and the next one, then Cobb and Parks returned for two more episodes. Hm.
• Fave riff: “You have one litter of toads and people won’t drop it.” Honorable mention: “I have never known more about what isn’t going on in a movie” and “This is one tough spelling bee.”