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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: 811- parts: the clonus horror

Movie: (1979) At a remote facility, clones are being bred to serve as a source of replacement organs for the wealthy and powerful.

First shown: 6/7/97
Opening: Mike has a mustache and the bots like it — sort of
Intro: Three runaway space children awaken the campers
Host segment 1: The campers are forced to play games with the kids
Host segment 2: M&tB help Pearl out by putting on a public TV show
Host segment 3: Pearl, Bobo and Observer have “that” talk with the kids
End: Crow has a nosejob, and Tom has written a poem for the kids
Stinger: “Sure!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (236 votes, average: 4.56 out of 5)
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• This is a (comparatively) thought-provoking idea for a movie, even if it is hamfistedly written, acted and directed. Still, it’s in color, it’s in focus, and its budget was (compared to most other MSTed movies) pretty big, so it’s pretty easy to look at, which helps make it a very watchable episode. The riffing starts slowly, but builds, and by the time of the campfire love scene, they are really clicking. The segments —- featuring a new, brief, story arc with the temperamental and omnipotent space children —- are fun. Not sensational, but there are definitely some laughs there.
• Paul’s take on the episode is here.
• Rhino included this episode in its The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 12.
References.
• In 2005, when DreamWorks released “The Island,” also about a colony that breeds clones to harvest organs for the elite, the makers of “clonus” filed suit, claiming copyright infringement. DreamWorks settled out of court.
• As you enjoy Peter Graves’ performance, remember that he HATED MST3K.
• Just to make a fool of me, the guys completely disregard what I’ve said in the past about them usually showing restraint when a popular TV actor shows up. The presence of Dick Sergeant prompts quite a large number (this time I counted about 10) of “Bewitched” jokes and references. There are plenty of “Biography” references as well.
• I enjoyed Mike’s use of the famous Belloq taunt from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I’ve used it myself a time or two since this episode aired. It does have a certain insouciance.
• Daleism: Shot of man’s hand on podium. Servo: “Hey it’s…oh, I thought it was Dale.”
• For those of you playing along at home, this movie was shot a year after Keenan Wynn did “Laserblast,” so pretty much the same Keenan-ey era.
• Speaking of Keenan, I always feel sorry for the Nobels. This complete stranger shows up on their doorstep and they pretty much do the right thing right down the line, and they get blown up as a reward. Sheesh.
• Nice use of Dorf-style camera trickery during the segments. It works especially well on Paul, for some reason. Mike and Bridget are the other two children, of course.
• As Dr. F learned when he asked M&tB for help with his bed and breakfast, NEVER ask M&tB for help! Pearl learns this in segment 2.
• They would actually do a movie called “The Space Children” next season, but I don’t think they are really making a direct reference to that movie here.
• There’s a residual Adam Duritz riff.
• Best host segment line: “Tanta Bobo has to go see Uncle Reconstructive Urologist.”
• Mary Jo is hilarious in the “facts of life” segment.
• Then-current reference: Tom’s cry of “50 free hours of AOL???” Which was an offer Americans were getting at every turn.
• Cast and crew roundup: special effects guy Steve Karkus also worked on “The Touch of Satan” as did makeup guy Joe Blasco (he also did special effects for “Track of the Moon Beast.”)
In front of the camera, Peter Graves, of course, was in “It Conquered the World,” “Beginning of the End,” “SST: Death Flight” and was a narrator for “Attack of the the Eye Creatures. Keenan Wynn, as noted, was also in “Laserblast.” Lurene Tuttle was also in “Untamed Youth.” Greg Brickman did some stunts in “Hangar 18.”
• CreditsWatch: Beginning with this episode, Jim gets an “executive producer” credit that continues through the end of season 10. Kevin gets the first of several “produced and directed by” credits this season. This is the last week Brad Keeley gets an “audio mix” credit. And this is the last week John Sims gets a “SFX/foley” credit (but he’ll be back).
• Fave riff: “She really WAS on top of old smokey, wasn’t she?” Honorable mention: “Just making sure he hates this…”

This Date in MSTory

BORN ON THIS DATE
1884: Bud Osborne, who played Mac in the movie in episode 423- BRIDE OF THE MONSTER.
1898: Stepan Kayukov, who played Neptune in the movie “Sadko,” seen in episode 505- THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.
1899: Melville De Lay, assistant director for the movies in episodes 103- THE MAD MONSTER and 507- I ACCUSE MY PARENTS.
1919: Paolo Levi, screenwriter for the movie “Operation Kid Brother,” seen in episode 508- OPERATION DOUBLE 007.**
1922: Harry Endo, who played Dr. En-Ping in the movie in episode 608- CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD.
1924: Robert Nichols, who played Joe Wilson in THIS ISLAND EARTH seen in MST3K: THE MOVIE.
1938: Diana Rigg, who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 909- GORGO.
1945: Singer Kim Carnes, who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 308- GAMERA VS. GAOS.*
1964: Hiroyuki Kawase, who played Rokuro Goro in the movie in episode 213- GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER and also appeared in the movie in episode 306- TIME OF THE APES.*

DIED ON THIS DATE
1973: Bruce Lee (age 32), who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 422- THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE.
1974: Leslie Bradley (age 66), who played the symbol-maker in the movie in episode 315- TEENAGE CAVEMAN.
1982: Gian Paolo Rosmino (age 94), who played Esculapius in the movie in episode 502- HERCULES.
1992: Herman King (age 76), produced the movie in episode 909- GORGO with his brothers Frank and Maurice.
2005: James Doohan (age 85), who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 111- MOON ZERO TWO.
2012: Tony Epper (age 73), who played the “terminating hood” in the movie in episode 516- ALIEN FROM L.A.

EVENTS ON THIS DATE
1964: Salome Jens, who played “Future Woman” in the movie in episode 807- TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000, married Ralph Meeker.
2006: The first RiffTrax title, “Road House,” is released.


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.

New Short from RiffTrax…

Download it here.

RIP Harvey Atkin

TORONTO–Canadian film and television actor Harvey Atkin died July 16 following a battle with cancer. He was 74.

Perhaps best remembered by American audiences as put-upon camp leader Morty in 1979’s “Meatballs,” MSTies will recall that he played Jud in the movie in episode K20- THE LAST CHASE.

This site has the story.

Thanks to Tim for the heads up.

Martin Landau, RIP

LOS ANGELES–Versatile Oscar-winning actor Martin Laundau died July 15 at the UCLA Medical Center after a brief hospital stay. He was 89.

Longtime MSTies will remember him as Comm. John Koenig in the movie in episode K10- COSMIC PRINCESS. But many more MSTies may remember him in his Oscar-winning role as Bela Lugosi in 1994’s “Ed Wood.”

Just as a side note: At a public appearance in that period, Trace was asked how the cast felt about the movie and he replied: “We felt like it had been written specifically for us.”

The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

Thanks to Tim (who was first) and Paul for the heads up.

And, yes, we are aware George Romero has passed away. NOT a MSTory person per se, but definitely had a strong influence on riffed movies.