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Sampo & Erhardt

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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: 604- Zombie Nightmare

Movie: (1986) A voodoo queen resurrects a dead teen, who then seeks revenge on his killers.

First shown: 11/24/94
Opening: Crow and Tom are Secret Service agents protecting Mike
Intro: The Mads are into voodoo, so they send a voodoo kit to the SOL
Host segment 1: Crow is reading when Tom runs him down!
Host segment 2: Mike, Crow and Tom enjoy a hot tub
Host segment 3: Crow abandoned his “Batman” screenplay, but neglected to tell Tom and Mike
End: Letters for Adam West, Frank has turned Dr. F. into a zombie
Stinger: Incantation and screaming
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (259 votes, average: 4.71 out of 5)


• It’s hard not to like this episode. The movie is big and bold and insane, the riffing is fantastic and the segments have a goofy, happy-go-lucky quality that I like.
• This episode appears on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XV.
• This episode was held from TV while it made the rounds of many college campuses, during the fall of ’94, as part of Comedy Central’s “Fresh Cheese” tour. It was finally shown on Turkey Day ’94.
• I saw it in the University of Pennsylvania’s cavernous Irvine Auditorium. The sound was terrible and the place was about half full. One of the school’s modern and luxurious (at least at that time) screening rooms might have been a better venue. Anybody else see the college tour?
• This ep marks the change from green to the solid blue jumpsuit we saw Mike wear for much of this season.
• Do you think that “Head!” thing was planned? After so many accidental beheadings of Tom, it nice to think they did this one on purpose.
• This week it’s the “umbilicus.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: bulletin board, beaker, book
• Segment 1 is related to the movie — he runs Crow over just like the kids just ran over the guy. But it’s also the beginning of a running gag for season six, in which Tom repeatedly — and cheerfully — smashes Crow in various ways. Unfortunately, this episode, where the running gag begins, wasn’t shown in order, so some of the humor of the running gag was a drained away.
• Tom imitates a Jamaican guy attempting to lure tourists to his jet ski/parasail business. I understand that the cast vacationed together in Jamaica at least once. Maybe that’s where this came from.
• The song Tom is singing at the beginning of segment 2 is “Walkin’ in Memphis,” by Marc Cohn.
• Callbacks: “I’d never touch you, Terry. You’re dirt!” (Teenage Crime Wave)
• Second “Governor and JJ” reference in a few weeks.
• The original film was MUCH gorier. Tia Carrera’s character’s death, to give one example, is far more gruesome than we see here.
• Also, the attempted rape of the Twist N Creme waitress by Jimbo is much more explicit and brutal in the original (the original is on YouTube). There is a huge edit, shades of “Sidehackers,” from the point where Jimbo grabs her and the next scene, where she is wrapped in a blanket telling the cops what happened. That scene also includes the gruesome, explicit and completely deserved onscreen impalement death of that jerk Jimbo. The edit kind of robs us of that cinematic justice.
• I exchanged emails with a representative for Jon Mikl Thor, and he revealed three interesting bits of info.
1. The soundtrack list includes bands called The Things and Knighthawk. They are just Thor in disguise (dull surprise!). 2. A band called Battalion does a song called “Out For The Kill.” That New York City-based band did exist, and even had their own comic book. (Thor co-produced their first album.) Sadly, Thor told us the guitar player of Battalion committed suicide by leaping off a 35-story building in New York City just before their album was to be released, and they were to embark on a U.S. tour. This turn of events ended the band, the release of the album and the tour. 3. A band called Deathmask, reportedly one of the first speed-metal bands, did a song called “I’m Dangerous.” Thor invested a lot of time, money and effort into the band. He helped get them a record deal and then co-produced the record. But, for reasons that are not remembered, the band refused to tour (which is sort of required to back up an album). Without the effort from the band to get out there to promote and tour, Deathmask then faded into obscurity.
• No cast and crew roundup this time: Nobody involved with this worked on any other MSTed movies.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. This is the final episode for the credit: Video Provided by: Fournelle Video Production Services, St. Paul, MN. The second of two episodes where Sarah E. Wisner helped out with Post Production Coordination with Ellen McDonough Thomas,
• Fave riff: “C’mon, turn the tape over!!” Honorable mention: “They’re missing the forest for the trees with this whole sleazy chicks thing.”

203 Replies to “Episode guide: 604- Zombie Nightmare”

  1. GizmonicTemp says:

    Man, I love this episode! Also, this is another movie that was bursting with stars, even though it didn’t know it. Of course there’s Adam West, but Tia was new. Also, the guy who played psychotic Jim directed “Night as the Museum” and is directing its sequel. Sweet!

    Sampo – I don’t think the head thing was planned. It was just improvers improving.


  2. Kenneth Morgan says:

    My favorite riff from this one is just after Adam West kicks the suspect in the face: “He just pretended the guy was Tim Burton.”

    Of course, Adam West would later host one of the Turkey Day marathons and go on to a recurring role on (ugh!) “Family Guy”.

    This ep is also the one where, if memory serves, we learn that Mike has authority over what movies the ‘bots can watch (like not allowing “Young Lady Chatterly II”). Interesting…


  3. jason says:

    this is a great episode. it was on of those cheesy horror films that went straight to videotape that you would fine in allot of rental places. This episode took place when tia had her 15 minites of fame. My favorite riff dyslexia strikes the scoreboard. I love it when the one woman running and mike says don’t use The Exit. Who could forgot the police examiner’s weird voice. What makes this one so funny was the over the top acting.


  4. DarrenG says:

    I originally saw this one on the college tour. I was long out of college, but heard an ad for it being at Kansas State University. For some reason the way it was publicized it made it sound like Mike was actually going to be there so there was some disappointment when my wife and I got there. It was fun however to see it with an audience. It was screened in one of the campus theaters and I recall it being pretty good sound and fair picture. I am not at home while posting this so I can’t go back to my copy of it to get the exact quote, but the riff I remember most from it was while one of the voodo ceremonies was going on they made a comment about the Missouri Synod Lutherans. This is one of those riffs that probably was lost on many but for those of us who got it, it was priceless. I will have to go home tonight and pop this one in and get the exact phrasing.


  5. Professor Gunther says:

    I watched this one for the first time only a week ago, so I can’t remember many details, but it is of course a freaking great episode. My only complaint is that we don’t get to see our villain (the kid with the Farrah Fawcet hair) get beat to a pulp. It’s good to know, however, that evil teens always signal! :wink:


  6. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    I can only give this one a 4. I HATE the subject movie. Unwatchable, cheap, mean-spririted, noisy and stupid. It grates on me.

    But the riffing is TOP NOTCH. So many good lines… my fave is Sampo’s number 2… Uncle Charlie discovers the truth about Steve. But there are so many others ( watched it again last night but didn’t take notes, can’t recall anything else ).

    Mad Scientist Zombie Dance. Good stuff.

    Loved the hot tub bit, REALLY loved Mike’s Robin costume ( in a way that almost makes me feel uncomfortable :)

    Question about the movie itself: I am lead to believe that a popular pillar of the community is knifed, in broad daylight, in front of witnesses, by known thugs, in a built up neighborhood, and no action is taken ? Apparently they didn’t do time, probably didn’t even stand trial, in fact they grow up to be pillars of the community themselves. I don’t get that.

    Also I assume they cut a lot out of the actual zombie-vengeance-killing scenes. Has anyone seen this uncut ?

    This film was apparently filmed in Montreal ( St. Anne de Belleville, Dollard Des Ormeaux ). We vist there often, next time I will seek out the Twst and Creme etc.


  7. Kristopher says:

    I saw this on the Fresh Cheese tour at the University of Georgia. The auditorium was packed. It was the first time I had watched the show with others and I had so much fun. After the movie, Mike and the guys came running through the crowd down the aisle like rock stars (or Price is Right contestants) to answer questions and sign autographs. This was the last episode I saw before joining the military. For the next 4 years, I didn’t get to see a new episode. I subsisted on the vhs tapes I had recorded.

    Favorite riff- “This is the United States 10 years ago… or Canada today.”

    Favorite line- “You will eat your ice cream and you will like it!” (I use this line on my daughter now.)


  8. GizmonicTemp says:

    Medium #6 – I didn’t even think about the “pillar of the community” thing until you mentioned it. But, yeah. Strange. But I disagree that there was no action taken. There was very clearly a time progression and reveal of Jon Mikl’s nipples. I didn’t say it was the RIGHT action, but it was an action.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that this episode introduced me to Motorhead, for which I am eternally grateful.

    The ace of SPADES! The ace of SPADES!


  9. happy says:

    I like this movie and even have the NON Mst3k version of it. I wish it would come out on DVD, and it is on my ShoutFactory wish list in an upcoming set. Adam West, John Mikl Thor ( I met him in person, he looks nothing like he did then, short hair , blond and a goatee) Motorhead, other metal tracks, zombies…it is a cult film & I thought it was a decent credible effort at the very least..


  10. Nate says:

    Definitely one of my favorite episodes.

    (It doesn’t hurt that the kid with the Farrah Fawcet hair is kinda cute.)


  11. R. Totale says:

    “Hank Peters, Italian grocer”. Something about the way Mike says that always cracks me up.
    Also the medical examiner guy is hilarious.


  12. Bobbled Dopple says:

    Easily my favorite episode of a disappointing season.

    Favorite riff: “I think I’ll call Burt Ward, I know HE’s not busy.”


  13. Jon-Mikl Thor was a star.


  14. Crocket says:

    In regard to #6’s comment about seeking the actual twist and creme don’t bother. A couple of years ago on the MST3K Discussion Board someone who lived in the area where this was filmed posted some pictures of what the various locations looked like now(Like Hank Peters’ grocery store)but sadly he couldn’t post any pictures of the Twist and Creme because it was no longer there. Bummer I guess.


  15. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    GizmonicTemp : just read your write up ( very nice ) but don’t forget the other half of the plot twist… Adam West / Tom Churchman is only one half of the flashback rape team, the other half grows up to be the father of man-girl Jim Psycho.


  16. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    Church-Man ! nana-nana-nana-nana nana-nana-nana-nana Church-Man !


  17. “So Hell is RIGHT THERE!”

    “That’s why you should always call before digging.”

    Yep, fun episode. Accidentally gave it four stars instead of five. Oh well…


  18. Jimmy says:

    This is my absolute favorite episode. I’ve seen it so much I could probably quote the riffs verbatim, but I still laugh. The riffing is razor sharp and I’m a big Friday the 13th/Halloween/80’s slasher fan, so this episode just rocks.

    “Pride of the Zombies.”
    “Ever since dad got murdered, things have been great!”
    “What is this, Deathmask featuring Olivia Newton John?”
    “An actor conveys chilliness.”
    “Oh so the zombie settled down, got a job…”

    Oh I could go on and on…


  19. GizmonicTemp says:

    Medium #15 – Like father, like son. Think about it, won’t you? Man, just too many things to keep track of!!

    happy #9 – I, too, am making offerings to the ShoutFactory shrine for this one, especially because the best version I can find still has muddy sound.

    “So many female tennis players wish they were that guy.”


  20. John Seavey says:

    This one’s a fave of mine as well–I saw it on the Fresh Cheese tour at the University of Minnesota (I’m pretty sure that the cast did not visit for this one; I know that they also had a Free Cheese tour, where they showed “Outlaw”, and I think that was the one where the cast visited. But let’s face it, it’s been a while and I might have the two mixed up.)

    So very many great riffs in this one.

    “I don’t WANNA feel again the worm!”
    “As a coconut, sir, I’m deeply offended.” “ESPN at 3 AM.”
    “She’s hiding…behind…a WINDOW!”
    “I like the ‘ting’ sound.”
    “Hey, he’s flashing back without us!”
    “Bodybuilder by day, Trappist monk by night!”

    But the absolute pride of place has to go to the scene where the evil voodoo priestess traps the ‘hero’ in the building with the zombie by ‘magically’ closing the door. I worked at a business that had an automatic door (Starbase Omega, the laser-tag arena at the Mall of America), and it was a good two weeks before we finally stopped saying to everyone who operated it, “Gee, that’s a really trivial use of your dark powers.”

    Ah, good memories. :)


  21. H says:

    I enjoy this one. Movie’s good, lots to work with. Host segments are good. And it created one of the best Poopie! moments.

    “Oh, he’s leaking out of his area!”


  22. ck says:

    Great riff: “So many women tennis players wish they were that guy.” (although it’s shortly followed by the jockey shorts hot pool scene :roll: ). And exactly why couldn’t the girl outrun the drunken zombie to an exit?

    But the voodoo priestess scenes are REALLY
    dreary. It’s difficult to make out even 10
    percent of what she’s saying. I’d really like
    the dvds to do what the Movie issue (This Isdland Earth) did, have subtitles of both the movie and riffing dialogues.


  23. MikeK says:

    This a great episode and a great example of my theory that:

    the newer the bad movie = the funnier the bad movie


  24. Nick says:

    Gizmonic Temp;

    I love that women tennis player quote. That and the, “He’s wearing Jocky For Her!” line. Too good. :grin:


  25. Spector says:

    One of my favorites. Such a truly cheesy movie mined so well for riffing gold. Some lines just make me burst out laughing whenever I think of them, most of which have already been mentioned.

    I always laugh out loud when the weird coroner says “I’d stake my semi-professional reputation on it”.

    Other favs: “Cover the nipples, son, the neighbors are complaining”.

    “Here you go, Joe Weider’s protein blast”.

    In Harry Carey voice: “Zombies look good this year”.

    Crow, when Tia Carriere’s name is shown in the credits: “We may have to pay attention!”


  26. skenderberg says:

    I like the Voodoo priestess. She sounds like a cartoon sheep.


  27. Jedi Master says:

    I also saw this on the college tour, at the University of Miami. It wasn’t even a videotape if I recall, but a reel-to-reel film shown on a crappy old projector. There was a lot of trouble getting the sound to work right, and the first 1/2 of the film was like listening to the TV in a bar it was so quiet. Then someone got SOMETHING to connect and it was suddenly loud enough that people’s laughter wasn’t covering up everything.
    I remember the “Danny Bonaduce on any given morning” riff sequence getting big laughs. :smile:
    If there was a tour with Outlaw, I never heard of it.


  28. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    GizmonicT #19 ( et al ? ) : indeed, my DAP ‘tape’ of this one is in pretty poor shape too ( visually, the sound is pretty good ). It must be the curse of Zombie.


  29. Rowsdower42 says:

    I absolutely adore this episode.

    “Ooh, Motorhead! I have their new collection of Cole Porter tunes!”
    “And Deathmask! They played my parents’ anniversary party!”

    “Hey! The case is over! Hey!”
    “Hey! Hey… hey! Hey! Hey!”

    “A cudgel springs to mind. Truncheon.”

    “A little too a lot of cars.”


  30. Kris says:

    Great episode. One of the quirky things about it that always amused me was a bit about 35 minutes in. The guys get up to leave the theater, only to realize they weren’t allowed to do so yet. Oops. It’s a pretty clear mess-up on their part, sure, but they went ahead and left it in, and darn it, I kind of like that the casual feel of the show still existed by Season 6.


  31. Graboidz says:

    Jon Mikl Thor made another great riff-worthy flick in the 80’s called “Rock n’ Roll Nightmare”. Thor and his hair metal band travel to some run down farm in the middle of winter and have to face down some sock puppet demons after unintentionally opening the gates of hell with their music. Great stuff!!

    His band “Thor” wasn’t too bad either…if you are into the whole “hair metal” sound. Thor is to Hair Metal 80’s what Arch Hall Jr. was to Surfer Rock in the 60’s.


  32. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    Yeah!!! Rock-n-Roll Nightmare!!! I have not had a chance to check out this episode, but it will become a very high priority!!! Batman! Thor! Lemmy! Wow! CAN’T STOP TYPING EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  33. J.K. Robertson says:

    I saw this originally on the MST College tour as well, I saw the screening at the University of Cincinnati. It was a lot of fun seeing the show with a big group of people. I’ll always remember the riff that got one of the biggest responses from the crowd was when the group of teens has arrived on scene at one of their haunts and they are yelling, screaming and basically carrying on and Mike has the line “Mentos! The Freshmaker!” For some reason the room went nuts for that line…

    I can’t think of Motorhead the same way after seeing this episode. Whenever I hear “Ace of Spades” I am duty bound to recite all of the correct riffs as they occur during the song. This makes it awfully hard to concentrate when I play the song in “Rock Band 2”


  34. ghlbtsk says:

    Now I’m not a violent person, but I want to beat the fertilizer out of that Jim creep. Even more than Watney Smith from Outlaw. So obnoxious.

    Everytime I watch this ep (not often) I forget that we don’t see him pulverized and I always end up yelling at the TV for revengeance.


  35. The Professor says:

    Wow. It seems i be the only one who isn’t a fan of this one. :shock:

    I don’t know what it is. A goofy 80’s slasher flick “starring” Adam West and Thor with a soundtrack featuring Motorhead sounds like perfect MST3K fodder for me but this one disappoints. For some reason, i just felt the jokes weren’t there. Plus the fact that the movie is heavily edited (making us miss the death of the one character who had it coming the most) hurts it even more. I’ve only seen it once, though, so maybe it’s a episode that’ll grow on me…


  36. Gulliver says:

    Favorite exchange:
    (As the dead rise from their graves)
    Mike: “This isn’t a very effective cemetery!”
    Crow: “They need heavier dirt.”

    I met Jon Mikl Thor once! I was in the costume contest at the 1983 FORBIDDEN PLANET sci-fi con in NYC, and Thor was the Master of Ceremonies. Backstage he entertained us by blowing up a hot-water bottle until it burst. It’s a silly thing for a grown man to do, but I had to admit I couldn’t have done it.


  37. alansmeet says:

    Zombie Nightmare, you had me at MOTORHEAD.


  38. Rowsdower42 says:


    I’m pretty sure they do that on purpose – it’s in response to the song playing while that spaghetti-throwing guy is driving to the Twist’n’Creme. It keeps saying, “C’mon let’s go! Let’s go!” So they say, fine, let’s go.


  39. John M. Hanna says:

    Great episode, but the close-up of the skinny guy in his underpants…UGH!!


  40. Zee says:

    Everyone’s covered my favorite bits from this episode so I’ll just throw in two personal anecdotes:

    A) For a “Heroes & Villains” costume party a friend of mine went as Batman & Robin. I recreated Mike’s Robin Outfit from this episode, except with green briefs in place of boxers. Horrifying.

    B) I met Adam West at a horror convention in New Jersey and had him sign my VHS copy of “Zombie Nightmare”. It cost $60 but it was worth it to see the look on his face when I thrust this turdburger under his nose for him to sign…


  41. Bat Masterson says:

    I saw Thor in concert three years ago. :evil:


  42. Katana says:

    This past Halloween, I dressed up as Dr. F and handed out DVDs with this episode on it. I hadn’t seen it in a while and when I watched it – after handing them out, of course – I was laughing like crazy. Oh the horror I had unleashed! Not to mention the scene with the hot tub and the guy in his underwear and ugh! I’m surprised I didn’t get maimed come Monday.

    This movie makes little sense to me. I would think that the whole point of giving your kid to a creepy voodoo priestess to revive would be so that you could, you know, love them and stuff again. But no, when he’s awake he’s a zombie that smashes people with a bat. Why the heck would you do that?

    Ah well. Good episode.


  43. Andrew says:

    I was also at the Irvine auditorium showing at Penn in 1994, my introduction to MST3K. And a GOOD intro, but the actual movie didn’t take itself seriously enough to be seriously riffed. Was the introductory baseball game supposed to be a flashback to the 1950s or something? Because everyone in it had 80s haircuts…


  44. Catalina says:

    My first Mike episode about 3 summers ago after I held out on watching his episodes for almost 2 years. I have very fond memories of this one than, and it’s still one of his best. It’s also a really good episode to introduce your friends to MST. Mike’s affable, charming hosting, the fun breezy host segs, and the cheesy, hilarious in it’s own right movie. Fun times with this one. :cool:

    “Hello, 1-900-spank me?”


  45. Catalina says:

    Oh and fun fact, besides Tia Carrera being in this pre-stardom, Farrah Fawcett hair dude is Sean Levy who went on to direct some crappy movie of his own like “Cheaper by the Dozen,” it’s cruddy sequel, and the Steve Martin version of “The Pink Panther.” He’s also good friends with Ashton Kutcher and Ron Howard.


  46. FarmboyinJapan says:

    I bought a new Ipod Touch while I was back in the States for Christmas….and the very first thing I put on it was this episode. Just watched it on my commute home from work last night coincidentaly.

    Favorite part of the episode has got the be the riffing on the opening musical number.

    Mikes’s delivery of ‘Oh DESK MASK they played at my parent’s anniversary party!’ and the way Crow says ‘Why must they scream so?’ get a laugh out of me every time.

    Also, I love it when the two deliquents are scheming, and Mike says ‘And so, the doctor found Lady MacBeth wandering the halls.’ What a wonderful, if slightly underrated riff.

    And since I will be moving to a new apartment sometime within the next couple months, I will make sure to follow Crows’s advice to the young police officer and make sure to ‘unify my design concept.’


  47. happy says:

    It has a good following…I would like to see it come on DVD to replace my New World VHS of it. Some bad movies Im really into – not many from the 1980s but this one does. I find something really enjoyable about it , but not the tennis scene..I think this was the debut of Mike’s Blue jumpsuit


  48. Nicolletta says:

    Ah…Zombie Nightmare. I may have to watch this again this weekend.

    o/` When a car hits a guy and his body goes fly that’s a dead guy….o/`

    Jon-Mikl Thor, the man who pulled off the amazing feat of simultaneously looking like David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen. He likes the *ting* sound. Bow down to his nipples!

    Shawn Levy, the snot-nosed spaghetti-throwing psychopath with Farrah Fawcett hair, who would go on direct “The Pink Panther” remake and “Night at the Museum”. There’s a bit about Levy right now on–he has been put in charge of turning 9-year-old Alec Greven’s book “How to Talk to Girls” into a feature film. You’ll have it, and you’ll love it!

    Tia Carrere, who go on to co-star in “Wayne’s World”, then fall off the face of the earth.

    I don’t wanna feel again the worm!


  49. big61al says:

    I hate to admit this but I can’t seem to remember anything from this episode at all. I think I may have seen this episode once almost 5 years ago. I really need to dig this out and watch it again based on the positive comments here.


  50. Stickboy says:

    I think I watched this one too many times. This was back when it was one the few I had on tape and my cycle time was real short. It has some great riffs, but the badness of the movie was overpowering, and the shrill, static noise of the voodoo lady’s voice was a stab in the ear. A lot of scenes were recorded badly, now that I think back.

    But some great riffs still stick out.
    “A little too a lot of cars,” and “She’s hiding behind a WINDOW!” have already been mentioned. As well as “Turn the tape over!”
    “Should I put my sports bra on in case we get chased?” helps to underscore what horror movies really think of women, something the Brains always pointed out and seemed legitimately repulsed by.
    “I think we hit a moose.” Just Mike’s delivery of this line is enough to get me laughing.
    “I think they’re missing the forest for the trees on the whole sleazy chick thing.”

    Anyone else think they were indeed a little too hard on Adam West? The high school boys reference was a bit too much.


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