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Episode guide: 519- Outlaw (of Gor)

Movie: (1987) A hero returns to the primitive planet Gor, and is soon caught up in palace intrigue involving an evil sorcerer.

First shown: 12/11/93
Opening: M&tB are roughhousing, and it doesn’t go well for Tom
Invention exchange: The Mads present their “really real” time machine, while M&tB show off their Fabio kit
Host segment 1: The bots find Mike’s theater scrapbook, and the photos all have something in common
Host segment 2: M&tB sing: “Tubular Boobular Joy”
Host segment 3: M&tB read relevant passages from “Palance on Palance”
End: Cambot puts together a compilation of buffalo shots!, while the Mads dance through the years
Stinger: “Get out of here, you disGUSting WOORRRRRM!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (217 votes, average: 4.70 out of 5)

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• I love-love-LOVE this episode. Great riffing, great segments, seriously wacky but very watchable movie. It’s also a great gateway episode for newbies. For a while it was my all-time favorite Mike episode.
• This episode was the one that was submitted to the Peabody Award people, and won them the award.
• This episode was released as a part of Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection Vol. XXX.
• It’s hard to imagine Joel “roughhousing” with the bots the way Mike does here. Maybe that’s the point.
• Slightly irritating thing in the Mads’ invention exchange: the little signs say “60’s” and “50’s” and “40’s.” Those apostrophes are grammatically incorrect.
• Remember when Fabio mattered? Neither do I. Best line: “Even Janis Ian kneels at his altar.”
• Gypsy singing “I sing whenever I sing…” is the first of a boatload of callbacks in this episode. Others include: o/` “Harry Alan Towerrrrrs!” o/` (Fu Manchu), “Mah-mah-mah-mah-Mitchell (Mitchell), “They’re on the ‘Moon Zero Two’ set!” “Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah), a reference to the Warrior of the Lost World set, “Sampo…Sampo…” and “Want some?” “Thanks Daddy O.”
• Note that when Dr. F is in his caveman outfit, his Deep 13 patch is attached to his skin.
• Servo says, in a stupid voice, “Can we listen to Z-Rock?” I assume this is a local Minneapolis reference?
• Anybody ever play that Cabot drinking game? Did you live through it?
• I’ve eaten at the Perkins on 494.
• Non-spaghetti-ball bumpers: pan to beaker, pan to notebook, close up on film canister, focus on blackboard as what looks like beach ball goes by.
• The debut showing of this episode took place during one of those theme weekends Comedy Central used to have. This one was called “Radio Active TV” and they got radio DJs from around the country to do little bumper bits. For this episode, the DJs were Dave Rickards and Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph from a station in San Diego. (In a past go-round, I noted that, “astonishingly for an industry where a run of a year or two on any one station is amazing, those two are STILL doing the morning show there 15 years later.” Since I posted that, they were abruptly — or, more accurately, typically, since all radio firings are abrupt — fired. Fans complained, the station held firm. They were out of work for a few months, then they got hired at a competing station in San Diego, where, amazingly, they STILL are.) For some reason, also present in the bits was actor Marc Price, who played Skippy in the ’80s sitcom “Family Ties.” His presence was never explained. And, for some reason, Rickards and Randolph were under the impression that the movie being watched was the Howard Hughes classic film, “Outlaw.” It made them seem pretty clueless.
• Segment 1 is probably the least funny, but even that one is very clever. Mike does look good in a sailor suit.
• First Firesign Theatre reference in a while: “Don’t crush that dwarf! Hand me the pliers!” Maybe Joel was the main Firesign guy?
• Everybody gets to do their Palance impressions to death. Hope their throats were okay at the end of the day.
• Segment 2 was an instant classic, also sung on the live show at the first convention in 1994. The first time I heard the phrase “hung like a horsical” I did a beer spit-take.
• What song are Crow and Tom singing during the scene where the slavers are chasing the slaves around? They don’t seem to know the words.
• M&tB suspect that’s Italy at the end. Actually, despite a mostly Italian film crew, a lot of this was shot in South Africa. That could be Johannesburg.
• The USA Network movie sketch, hard on the heels of the womany movie sketch a couple of episodes ago, means another great credit sequence.
• This ep marks the third mention of Chris Lemmon in three episodes! Somebody really didn’t like him!
• Terrific editing of the buffalo shot compendium. Cambot gets the credit but I assume it was really Brad Keeley.
• Somebody named Kristin Land choreographed the dance number at the end. Great stuff.
• “Kathy Lee had her baby.” They’re referring to the birth of KLG’s second child, Cassidy Erin, who’s now an aspiring actress in her 20s.
• Cast and crew roundup: Producer Avi Lerner was the executive producer of “Alien From L.A.” Producer/screenwriter Harry Alan Towers, of course, also produced “Castle of Fu Manchu” and “Million Eyes of Su-Muru.” Makeup lady Debbi Nichol also worked on “Space Mutiny,” as did art director Geoffrey Hill. In front of the camera Russel Savadier was also in “Alien from L.A.” and, of course, Jack Palance was also in “Angels’ Revenge.”
• CreditsWatch: Crist Ballast takes over hair and makeup for the next three episodes. Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. “Tubular Boobular Joy” written and arranged by Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy.
• Fave riff: “You see, freedom is–what the–P-P-PLEASURE???!!!” Honorable mention: “I brought the wrong bowl.” Also: “Please invent the battery!”

163 Replies to “Episode guide: 519- Outlaw (of Gor)”

  1. JeremyR says:

    Comet TV is showing this and the original this month.

    I was kinda hoping they would be the ones to get rights to the new MST3K, since they pretty much show all the MST3K movies.

       1 likes

  2. Johnny at the fair says:

    Pretty good episode, through the GOR franchise has a really creepy bondage, fanbase and the special feature on the DVD is cringe inducing. GOR fans supposedly hate this episode.

       0 likes

  3. DirtyTerry says:

    This was a first date for me and my girlfriend of four years. She’s still, “Cabot” in my contacts!

       3 likes

  4. Douglas Glassman says:

    For people who want to get a taste of what the Gor novels are about but who (like me) would likely be creeped out by them, check out the ingenious and brief Houseplants of Gor: http://www.rdrop.com/~wyvern/data/houseplants.html

       0 likes

  5. Bat Masterson says:

    Aw c’mon you guys, Watney isn’t that bad…. Okay, yes he is. This is one of my favorite episodes. A watchable movie with first-class riffing from Mike and the ‘bots. Excellent host segments as well. I honestly cannot stand Cabot, he seems like such a smug jerk to me, so I can’t really root for him against the Xenos, even though he is supposed to be the hero. Maybe it was him stealing the fruit. He was supposed to be some great liberator and he just steals somebody’s merchandise, a merchant who was doing no harm and probably needed the money from selling the fruit. Watney and Laura were certainly very annoying as well, while I believe Talana(sp?) and Xenos were both solid characters. Yeah, and I have read a couple of the author’s books,they are, ah, interesting to say the least.

    Fave Riffs:

    “What does this clown have against dirt?” Mike

    “Any chance Barney Rubble there goes through the windshield?” Mike

    “Don’t want to be pleasured by the slave girl…What was I thinking?” Crow

    “Cabot, no one would see if you killed him right now.” “They’d probably give you free drinks at the Pullman.” Mike/Crow

       4 likes

  6. Sitting Duck says:

    During HS #3, each of the entries they read starts with, “Missed call.” I’m not familiar with Hollywood filmmaking practices, so could someone enlighten me as to what this means?

       0 likes

  7. thequietman says:

    Basically, it means Palance didn’t show up to the set at the time he was told to be there.

       2 likes

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

    Well, really, since he was pulled out of his life and world without permission and given no immediate hope of return, Watney had his own sort of thing going on. When you think about it (“So don’t think about it.”), Watney’s probably more like what an “Earthman” suddenly shifted to Gor or Barsoom or wherever would “really” be like. Humanity isn’t a species of great warriors, it’s a species of mostly hapless shnooks interspersed with warriors (and “Wars don’t make one great,” anyway [thanks, Yoda]).

    >>>“Cabot, no one would see if you killed him right now.” “They’d probably give you free drinks at the Pullman.” Mike/Crow

    They kind of mixed scenarios there, since if no one knew that Cabot killed him, no one would know there was a “reason” to give him free drinks.

       1 likes

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

    Douglas Glassman:
    For people who want to get a taste of what the Gor novels are about but who (like me) would likely be creeped out by them, check out the ingenious and brief Houseplants of Gor: http://www.rdrop.com/~wyvern/data/houseplants.html

    Of course, the larger issue is when people unfamiliar with SF/F (is “mundanes” still in common use?) come across his books and get the idea that THAT’s what the genre’s all about. :-|

       2 likes

  10. crowschmo says:

    #138: Maybe he dubbed over his OWN voice because the sound was sh*tty the first time around? What do they call that? Overdubbing?

    When they showed this and the original Gor on Comet, I TRIED to watch the first one, but I didn’t last long. I just couldn’t sit through it. Didn’t even attempt to sit through the unriffed Outlaw. :-P

       0 likes

  11. bad wolf says:

    Having recently read the first 3 Gor novels I would say their reputation for salaciousness is vastly overstated. Although I have heard they get more carried away later, they start off as decent sword-and-planet ERB type novels with a tendency towards non-PC philosophizing. The world-building seems more influenced by classical Greek culture than the celtic mishmash popular after Tolkein. (The “Houseplants” quoted above is like the “the other contains orcs” that shows up whenever Ayn Rand is mentioned–pretty tired stuff.) The movies are super generic 80’s fantasy, and while you wouldn’t expect them to have much special effects (eg, giant riding falcons feature in the books) they take out pretty much anything interesting out and put in the comedic midget, comedic Watney, and the Elder who looks just like Marlenus (I can never tell them apart). The second book does have an evil queen named Lara and a slave revolt, so close enough, I guess.

    Outlaw and the first movie Gor are currently available on Amazon Prime and Youtube. Gor has Oliver Reed instead of Palance, more screen time for Rebecca Ferratti, and not much more. Anyway, the genre is in my wheelhouse but the movie is so generic that I can barely remember it right after watching it. Maybe it could have used some 80’s casual nudity.

    It is strange but all the 80’s fantasy films MST covered are middle-sequels: Gor 2, Ator 2 and Deathstalker 3. Shame they haven’t gone back and done something with one of the others, but hope springs eternal. Other fantasy experiments could include the sword-and-sandal Hercules films, maybe the Finnish trilogy, the Magic Sword, Viking Women, and even post-apocalyptics like Robot Holocaust.

       1 likes

  12. Cornjob says:

    Good point. They weren’t porno books.

       1 likes

  13. bad wolf says:

    Cornjob:
    Good point. They weren’t porno books.

    @cornjob–kind of a shame their reputation is so toxic today; it’s otherwise a good time for fantasy worlds for getting optioned and turned into movies/tv. Anyway I wish I had read them as a kid, I think they would be very addictive at a certain age.

       1 likes

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