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BORN ON THIS DATE
1894: Warren Newcombe, who did the special effects in the movie in episode 510- THE PAINTED HILLS.
1898: Joseph Justman, executive producer of the movie in episode 602- INVASION U.S.A.
1903: Millard McGowan, who played a chamber guard in the season four serial UNDERSEA KINGDOM.
1906: Rudy Robles, who played Nugara in the movie in episode 203- JUNGLE GODDESS.
1908: John C. Higgins, screenwriter for the movie in episode 112- UNTAMED YOUTH.
1912: Marjorie Corso, costumer for the movies in episodes 313- EARTH VS. THE SPIDER, 315- TEENAGE CAVEMAN, 414- TORMENTED, 607- BLOODLUST and 808- THE SHE-CREATURE.
1913: John Sturtevant, set decorator for the movie in episode 602- INVASION U.S.A.
1928: Lidia Alfonsi, who played The Sybil in the movie in episode 502- HERCULES.*
1929: Joachim Hasler, cinematographer for the movie in episode 211- FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS.**
1941: Ann-Margret, who played Jody Dvorak in the movie in episode 615- KITTEN WITH A WHIP.*
1950: Jay Leno, who was parodied by Crow in a host segment in episode 510- THE PAINTED HILLS.*
1960: Enid Williams, member of the band Girlschool, which had two songs featured in the movie in episode 604- ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE.*
DIED ON THIS DATE
1978: Russell Metty (age 71), cinematographer for the movie in episode 805- THE THING THAT COULDN’T DIE.
1978: Arch Hall Sr. (age 69) a.k.a. Nicholas Merriwether a.k.a. William Watters, producer/director and original story writer of the movie in episode 506- EEGAH, in which he also played Robert I. Miller.
1991: Steve Broidy (age 85), associate producer of the movie in episode 205- ROCKET ATTACK U.S.A.
1997: Steve Conte (age 77), who appeared in the movie in episode 515- THE WILD, WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN.
2002: John Wilkinson, (age 83), sound re-recording mixer for the movie in episode 405- BEING FROM ANOTHER PLANET.
First shown: 11/24/88 Movie: (episodes originally aired 1967; compilation released 1981) A submarine pilot and his cohorts battle an evil aquatic civilization. Opening: Joel introduces the movie briefly and then it’s movie sign Host segment 1: Joel shows off his airbag helmet Host segment 2: Joel shows off his vacuum-flowers and discovers they are sick Host segment 3: Gypsy has caught the mysterious illness End: The flowers and bots are recovering; Joel shows off his electric bagpipes (12 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
• On Nov. 25, 2016, 28 years and one day after this show aired on KTMA-TV in the Twin Cities, Joel Hodgson announced that the master tapes for this and episode K02- REVENGE OF THE MYSTERONS had been found, and he made them available to backers of the relaunch kickstarter. There was much rejoicing -— well, some.
• When this episode and episode K02 were released to Kickstarter backers, Joel offered thoughts about them on the Kickstarter site.
• This is the first of many “movies” the show would riff that is actually an edited-together compilation of episodes from a TV series. In this case, the show was a “Supermarionation” series from British producers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson called “Stingray.” The episodes cobbled together are episode 4: “Hostages Of The Deep,” episode 27: “Deep Heat,” episode 6: “The Big Gun” and episode 11: “Emergency Marineville.”
• The opening contains none of the dour “people of Earth” stuff we saw in the pilot. Instead, Joel is all business. He refers to “the station,” introduces the movie and gets out.
• Joel calls Gerry and Sylvia “Gene” and Sylvia.
• Joel arrives in the theater after the movie’s opening credits rolled. He seems to be climbing over the little monitor on the floor and the wires. It takes some effort to climb past it all. Ever the polite Midwesterner, he says “Excuse me” to the row of empty seats.
• Joel’s first real riff: “Lettuce man!”
• Listen carefully as the first missile battle begins: Joel slurps up the last of some beverage through a straw.
• Joel, and, later, Crow come and go several times in the theater, other than when it’s time for a host segment. The first time Joel leaves there is quite a bit mic noise. They were still figuring it out.
• I do like PLACE COMMERCIAL HERE. Do that!
• Joel again seems to be stepping delicately over things as he re-enters the theater.
• We get the first use of “pull my finger,” which then it becomes a running gag.
• There’s a point where the mic picks up the sound paper shuffling, I think Joel is straightening his script.
• The airbag helmet, a prop from Joel’s standup act, would be reused in episode 102- THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY.
• Okay, where’s Trace??? That is clearly Josh doing Crow. Trace wasn’t there for the FIRST SHOW?? Joel expresses similar surprise in his comments.
• Joel wanders out of the theater and leaves a confused Crow behind. We’re used to expecting a host segment to come next when the riffers leave, so it’s disorienting to have nothing come of it. Joel just wanders back in.
• Then-current reference: Crow says a character looks like a “governor of Massachusetts” and it took me a minute to realize they were talking about Michael Dukakis.
• At one point, Joel irritatedly says “cut it out!” to Crow. It’s unclear what’s happening, but it’s presumably Josh causing trouble.
• Crow then wanders out a couple of times (to get some WD-40, to check on Gypsy).
• Segment 2 is essentially a redo of segment 4 in the pilot, even to the extent that Joel mentions an unseen Beeper.
• Note that in segment 3, Gypsy is a he.
• At one point Joel asks at what point a puppet stops being a puppet and becomes a costume. This issue was further addressed in a host segment in episode 318 – STAR FORCE: FUGITIVE ALIEN II.
• Note that the electric bagpipes, a prop from Joel’s standup act, would be used again in episode 101- THE CRAWLING EYE.
• Note that nobody has thought of calling the main SOL set as the “bridge.” Joel calls it “the main part of the show.” Huh?
• One last comment: that IS a brass band version of the Beatles “Yellow Submarine” during the movie’s closing credits, right? How did Lord Lew Grade get the rights to THAT?
• Cast and crew roundup: Many of the same people worked on “Revenge of the Mysterons,” including director Desmond Saunders, cinematograher John Read, editors Harry McDonald and David Lane, special effects guy Derek Meddings, puppetry supervisor Christine Glanville, assistant director Bob Bell and score composer Barry Gray (who also worked on “Cosmic Princess”).
Performers who also appeared in “Revenge of the Mysterons include Lois Maxwell, who also appeared in “Operation Double 007” and Robert “you been hittin’ the BOOZE agin!” Easton, who also appeared in “Giant Spider Invasion” and “Touch of Satan.” This may not be a complete list and may be amended later.
• Fave riff (not much to pick from): “Are they sweating or is that sap?” Honorable mention: “I’d be tired too if I had a diving board on my head.”
BORN ON THIS DATE
1918: Bruce Schoengarth, editor of the movie in episode 107- ROBOT MONSTER and sound effects editor for the movie in episode 313- EARTH VS. THE SPIDER.
1922: Betty Luster, who played the title character in the short MR. B NATURAL, seen in episode 319- WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST.
1931: Robert Donner, who played Fingers O’Toole in the movie in episode 204- CATALINA CAPER and the morgue attendant in the movie in episode 815- AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.
1951: Ace Frehley, guitarist for the band Kiss, mentioned in a host segment in episode 313- EARTH VS. THE SPIDER.*
1961: Moana Pozzi, who played Juana in the movie in episode 705- ESCAPE 2000.
DIED ON THIS DATE
1977: Stanley Adams (age 62), who played Harry March in the movie in episode 618- HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT.
1979: Edward R. Robinson (age 85), set designer for the movie in episode 702- THE BRUTE MAN.
1980: Mario Bava (age 65), cinematographer for the movies in episodes 408- HERCULES UNCHAINED and 502- HERCULES, as well as the director for the movie in episode 1013- DIABOLIK.
1983: Murray Deatley aka De Atley (age 66), director of photography for the movie in episode 415- THE BEATNIKS.
1994: Lynne Frederick (age 39), who played Kendra in the movie in episode K09- PHASE IV.
1996: Adam Roarke (age 58), who played Harris in the movie in episode 104- WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET.
2001: Milton Kleinberg (age 79), editor of the short ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON, seen in episode 701- NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST.
2002: Robert L. Joseph (age 79), screenwriter for the movie in episode K13- SST: DEATH FLIGHT.
2008: Peter Mamakos (age 89), who played Borman in the movie in episode 204- CATALINA CAPER.
EVENT ON THIS DATE
2011: The body of Yvette Vickers (age 82), who played Liz Walker in the movie in episode 406- ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, is found. She may have been dead for more than a year.
Opening: Space trucker and rebellious Renaissance man Jonah Heston is returning to Gizmonic Institute with a load of meteors, when he receives a phony distress call from Moon Base 13 on the dark side of the moon. Jettisoning his load, he lands and is immediately captured and brought to the underground lair of Kinga Forrester, daughter of Clayton Forrester, granddaughter of Pearl Forrester. With her is her chief henchman, who calls himself TV’s Son of TV’s Frank, but whom everyone calls Max. Kinga announces that she is restarting her family’s greatest experiment, Mystery Science Theater 3000. Intro: Jonah introduces Tom and Crow and demonstrates Gypsy’s new voice and flying rig. Also Tom can FLYYYY … but only in theater. Crow wants an improvement. Kinga introducers herself, Max does as well. Jonah shows off his invention: a bubble fan. Kinga introduces the movie. Segment 1: Jonah & the bots “Every Country Has a Monster.” Segment 2: Tom Servo clones himself Segment 3: Jonah reads letters. Closing: Jonah creates a tiny Copenhagen for Gypsy to destroy; Kinga is not impressed.
Skeleton Crew songs: “Wild Rebels,” [Can somebody tell me what song the second song is?] “Livin’ In Deep 13” and “Canada Song.”
• The new door sequence, as near as I can tell is:
1—Workshop (aka “the fab lab”)
• For the record, MSTies had to wait 6,424 days since the debut of episode 1003- MERLIN’S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS.
• The new lyrics to the theme song (please correct if I have something wrong:
Har Mar Superstar: In the not-too-distant future, Next Sunday A.D.
There was a guy named Jonah, Not too different from you or me
He worked at Gizmonic Institute, Just another mug in a yellow jump suit
A distress call came in for him at half past noon
That’s when an evil woman trapped him on the dark side of the moon.
[Kinga] I’ll send him cheesy movies, the worst I can find
He’ll have to sit and watch them all and I’ll monitor his mind
Now keep in mind that Jonah can’t control when the movies begin or end
So he’ll have to keep his sanity with the help of his robot friends
Cambot, Gypsy, Tom Servo Crowwww
[Har Mar Superstar] If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes and other science facts
Just repeat to yourself: “It’s just a show, I should really just relax”
for Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Other thoughts and observations
• That’s Erin Gray and Will Wheaton as the Gizmocrats.
• The little device that taps into Jonah’s ship plays a little mechanical version of the old theme song, and Jonah says it “sounds familiar.”
• There’s a pyramid in Jonah’s payload…hmmm…
• oel plays “Ardy,” the “movie in the hole” guy.
• My observation is that the riffing begins slowly but eventually picks up steam.
• Callbacks: “I’m squishy” (Young Man’s Fancy), Killer Shrews were mentioned.
• At one point there’s a bit of a drum beat in theater when Jonah does a riff on “Monster Mash.” A bit of a departure…
• There is much excitement about the “Hamilton”-esque monster song, but my question is: No mention of England and Gorgo?
• Isn’t it nice to have Rebecca (the new voice of Gypsy) there for harmonizing purposes?
• Gypsy brings something — a cooler maybe? — into the theater and then makes a riff!! Later she removes it. We’ve been told that it is “the payload.” Nobody involved with the show will say what it is…
• Fave riff: “How about Reporticus Shutupicus?” Honorable mention: “It’s just a sign that says ‘Made you look’!”
Short: (1956) An American oil executive struggles to assimilate after he is transferred to South America.
(181 votes, average: 4.66 out of 5)
• You can watch this one here.
• The short was originally intended to be one of two that were to be included on a planned MST3K CD-ROM (back when CD-ROMs were a big thing; recall “Monty Python’s Complete Waste of Time”). The project fell through when the bottom fell out of the CD-ROM market and the company that was going to produce the product, Voyager Co., got radically downsized.
• For the record, the second short, never seen by anyone outside of BBI as far as we know, riffed on an industrial film called “Mylar, What’s It To You?” You can watch the unMSTed original here. Although the short we’re discussing today is generally thought of as MST3K’s “lost” short, that description is literally true of the “Mylar” short. The master somehow got misplaced at the BBI studio. In the Sci-Fi era, following the release of this short, a concerted effort was made to find the tape but it never turned up. It appears to be lost to the ages.
• This short was shown to the public for the very first time on Friday, Aug. 30, 1996, in a large hall of the Minneapolis Convention Center, at the second MST3K convention. If I remember correctly, it was Paul Chaplin who introduced the short. He coyly teased the audience a bit, saying that the short existed, but then saying he wasn’t supposed to show it … and then finally giving in and off they went.
• For several years, the only publicly available version of that short was video footage recorded by convention attendees. The angles to the screen were not great, and the sound was terrible (the acoustics in the large hall were atrocious, and several of the riffs were obscured by laughter and/or applause in reaction the previous riffs), but MSTies will take what they can get. These videos, along with videos of the “MST3K: The Movie” outtakes that were also shown that night, soon found their way onto bootleg “MST3K: The Movie” DVDs that were selling on E-bay for $100 and more.
• It was eventually released on a VHS shorts collection from BBI and later that collection was an extra on a Rhino set.
• The short was an incredible treat for fans, who had not had any new MST3K for months, and did not expect to get any more for a long time. I can remember, as the short ended and the lights came up, seeing more than one fan around me wiping tears of laughter from his or her eyes. One was a friend who, a line from Season Two, muttered, “Wow, blindsided by a short!”
• Crow channels “Apocalypse Now” with the riff “Never get outta the boat. Absolutely goddam right.”
• Tom Servo and then Crow BOTH invoke country music personality Minnie Pearl with a boistrous “HOWWWDEE!”
• The whole “narrow-wide” thing really had folks roaring. It was one of those running gags that just gets funnier and funnier. “Well, if it isn’t Mr. Big Lake!”
• However, it was the riff “Bag-o in car-o!” that really brought the house down. It was a little like RiffTrax’s now-infamous “Rudolph, I need you tonight,” moment during one of their live shows. People just fell out and on the amateur videos, you can’t even hear the next two or three riffs, much less figure out what they’re saying. It was one of those memorable moments of being a MSTie, when you’re in a large group and the funny just gets funnier because there’s more of you to enjoy it.
• Fave riff: “I saw a nude midget circus.”
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