Support Us

Satellite News is not financially supported by Best Brains or any other entity. It is a labor of love, paid for out of our own pockets. If you value this site, we would be delighted if you showed it by making an occasional donation of any amount. Thanks.

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.

Social Media


Episode guide: 517- Beginning of the End

Movie: (1957) A swarm of giant grasshoppers, inadvertently created by a radioactive experiment, heads for Chicago.

First shown: 11/25/93
Opening: During a group sing, M&tB get a wrong number
Invention exchange: The Mads present the re-comfy bike, M&tB show off their new playing cards
Host segment 1: Mike calls the Mads and catches them off guard
Host segment 2: Crow unveils his latest screenplay: “Just Plain Peter: The U of M Years”
Host segment 3: Tom’s standup routine is heavy on grasshopper jokes
End: The bots post-card, Bert I. Gordon special effects, Mads are boxing
Stinger: “Alright, men. Into the woods!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.32 out of 5)

Loading...

• This one’s a bit of a change of pace, literally: Bert I. Gordon slows things down and grinds out the filler thoughout a drab, monster-free first half — but that just leaves plenty of room for the riffs. Once the grasshoppers and Peter Graves arrive, things really pick up. The host segments are fun, especially Crow’s newest screenplay.
References.
• Mary Jo is VERY good at playing those trailer trash gals. Maybe a little TOO good. That’s Paul yelling in the background.
• The playing cards bit, which I think even they realized was a little wifty, would be parodied in season six.
• Some grasshoppers were harmed in the making of this movie: According to reports, the grasshopper wranglers started with 200 of the little guys. During the filming, they began to cannibalize one another, and by the time the last shots were done, only a dozen were left.
• When we started doing the Mike episodes, somebody in the comments said it was the beginning of an era when the Mads became more effeminate, and yeah, I guess there was a bit of an upswing of that kind of comedy. Segment one is a good example.
• Rhino really screwed the pooch on the packaging for this one: Joel’s picture is on the package and he is touted as the star. On the menus, you can hear Arch Hall Jr. croon “Vicky.” Bleah.
• Tom begins to sing a few bars of George Michael’s “Faith” before Mike and Crow threaten him.
• Callbacks: What would Mitchell do? “…sing whenever I sing…” (Giant Gila Monster) Trumpy! (Pod People)
• In the theater somebody who is not Mike coughs. I think it’s Kevin.
• Cast and crew roundup: I’m not going to recite the whole Bert I. Gordon litany. Screenwriter Fred Freiberger was the producer for the “Space: 1999” episodes that appeared in “Cosmic Princess. Cinematographer Jack Marta also worked on “Earth Vs. The Spider” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” Editor Aaron Stell also worked on “The Giant Gila Monster” and “Killer Shrews.” Flora Gordon also helped with special effects on “Amazing Colossal Man,” “Earth Vs. The Spider,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “Magic Sword” and “Village of the Giants. Special effects guy Dean Duncan Parkin was an actor in “War of the Colossal Beast. Production manager James Harris also worked on “Amazing Colossal Man.” Art director Walter Keller also worked on “Earth Vs. The Spider” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” Sound guy Dick Tyler Sr. also worked on “Radar Men from the Moon.” Our old pal score composer Albert Glasser did music for too many movies to name.
In front of the camera, I’m not going to recite the Peter Graves litany again. Morris Ankrum was also in “Rocketship XM.” James Seay was also in “Amazing Colossal Man.” Hank Patterson was also in “Amazing Colossal Man” and “Earth vs. the Spider. John Close was also in “The Slime People” and “The Deadly Mantis.” Rayford Barnes was in “Mitchell.” Don C. Harvey was also in “Revenge of the Creature.” Larry J. Blake was also in “Teen-Age Crime Wave.” Eileen Janssen was also in “The Space Children.” Patricia Dean was also in “The Girl in Lovers Lane.” Peggie Castle was also in “Invasion U.S.A.” Pierre Watkin was also in “Radar Secret Service.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. This was Stephanie Hynes last episode as an intern. There’s a special item at the end: “Shot entirely in Minneapolis, home of the University of Minnesota.”
• Fave riff: “Look, we’ll move to the loop to Schaumburg!” Honorable mention: “Yeah, terrible. Martinis?”

162 Replies to “Episode guide: 517- Beginning of the End”

  1. Cornjob says:

    The Bechdel test may be a meaningless metric in most ways and useless for determining the worth of a movie, but it has become something of a cultural artifact. I see no harm in mentioning it. The results can be a little interesting sometimes. Now let’s try not to “back and forth” like our moderator asked. There’s giant bugs going on here guys.

       4 likes

  2. Sitting Duck says:

    @ jjk and Shrike: Just so you know, I never intended to crush your sanity by posting Bechdel Test results every week. Honest! Of course, if you would prefer that I deliberately crush your sanity, I suppose I could arrange that. If that’s what you want. I’m afraid I’ll have to subcontract to a couple of Insects from Shaggai. Hope that’s okay with you.

       3 likes

  3. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    jjk:
    As far as “adversarial” what you mean is anyone who doesn’t agree with you or Sitting Duck.

    No.

    That is not what I meant.

    Please do not ever presume to tell me what I meant.

    Thank you.

    Upon reflection, I realize that you and Shrike are, in effect, being insulting/hostile/etc just for the purpose of being insulting/hostile/etc. Such behavior is entirely alien to my way of thinking, so it’s no wonder I was confused. Sorry about that. I’m slightly less confused now. Please, carry on.

       3 likes

  4. jjk says:

    To Siting Duck

    Sitting Duck:
    @ jjk and Shrike: Just so you know, I never intended to crush your sanity by posting Bechdel Test results every week. Honest! Of course, if you would prefer that I deliberately crush your sanity, I suppose I could arrange that. If that’s what you want. I’m afraid I’ll have to subcontract to a couple of Insects from Shaggai. Hope that’s okay with you.

    Wow, invoking the Insects from Shaggai. Isn’t it time you moved out of your mother’s basement?

       1 likes

  5. jjk says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: No.

    That is not what I meant.

    Please do not ever presume to tell me what I meant.

    Thank you.

    Upon reflection, I realize that you and Shrike are, in effect, being insulting/hostile/etc just for the purpose of being insulting/hostile/etc. Such behavior is entirely alien to my way of thinking, so it’s no wonder I was confused. Sorry about that. I’m slightly less confused now. Please, carry on.

    Then don’t presume to tell me what comment I can post. Unfortunately your’e even more confused than ever.

       4 likes

  6. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Okay by me.

    On another note, did anyone else know that Chicago is also where the TV series “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” (the *real* one, with Darren McGavin) was set? Did you? Did you? Well, now you do. ;-)

    Based on Darren McGavin’s age, Kolchak would’ve been thirty-five in 1957, and AFAIK every indication is that he was a reporter for his entire adult life. The Case of the Giant Grasshoppers probably wouldn’t have overly interested him, though. Not much in the way cover-ups to uncover.

    “Dateline, Chicago, a name that covers a lot of ground, and ground that goes by a lot of names: The Windy City. Hog Butcher of the World. The City by the Lake, the City on the Make, the City of Bullets, but bullets didn’t do anyone much good that Friday in 1957, when Egypt’s Eighth Plague made an encore performance. “They will cover the face of the ground,” quotes a reasonably reliable source,” They will fill your houses.” This time, though, EACH and every ONE of them could fill a house…”

       0 likes

  7. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Anyone think it’s worth the trouble of pointing out that I didn’t tell, I asked? Nah, me neither.

       0 likes

  8. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #154: Oh, I don’t know. Ma Shubb Niggurath doesn’t seem to mind, and it’s so convenient to the Outer Darkness. Why not try moving out here? I think you might like it.

       1 likes

  9. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Having nothing to say about the film right now — it’s giant bugs, what’s to say? — I offer this item that, unfortunately, I didn’t recall back in June, when it would’ve been relevant (so I’m admitting upfront that it’s irrelevant and, thus, ridiculous nonsense, so there’s that, anyway): A site describing how to make one’s very own Mitchell action figures. Be bemused at your convenience. Or don’t. It’s up to you, I can’t make all of your decisions for you.

    http://www.oocities.org/theyellowthing/page4.html

       0 likes

  10. Shrike says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: No.

    That is not what I meant.

    Please do not ever presume to tell me what I meant.

    Thank you.

    Upon reflection, I realize that you and Shrike are, in effect, being insulting/hostile/etc just for the purpose of being insulting/hostile/etc. Such behavior is entirely alien to my way of thinking, so it’s no wonder I was confused. Sorry about that. I’m slightly less confused now. Please, carry on.

    And you’re being a sanctimonious twat just for the sake of being a sanctimonious twat. And I’m presuming to tell you that you are being precisely that. Please do not ever presume to tell me to not ever presume to tell you what you meant.
    And please, carry on being a condescending, sanctimonious twat while others continue with their alien thinking about ridiculous, meaningless “tests”.

       0 likes

  11. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Uh, I apologized for not recognizing your mindset earlier. I’m not sure what else you want.

       1 likes

  12. Cornjob says:

    The Insects from Skoobai Doobai are even worse than the Insects from Shaggai.

    That said, would the parties involved please stop arguing or take it outside. We’re getting off topic and Sampo has better things to do than come down here and tell the kids to stop fighting.

       0 likes

Comments are closed.