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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. Dan in WI says:

    #95 Travis H> You sure know how to show the wife a good time during such an important occasion!


  2. emc2 says:

    One of my favorites.

    Among the riffs that haven’t been mentioned already:
    -An actor conveys chilliness.
    -Not a very effective cemetery.

    Because of this movie I refer to the ‘Krispy Kreme’ donut chain as ‘Twist n’ Creme.’

    The interviews on the DVD are outstanding. Frank Dietz, who knows it was bad and obviously has a good laugh at the whole experience, and Jon Mikl Thor, who comes off as a clueless egomaniac. (IMHO)


  3. robot rump! says:

    i hope Tony’s mom got a discount on the dead son re-animation. i mean vodoo lady did kind of piggy back her own personal revenge related murder and dismemberment into the deal


  4. Of no account says:

    One of my favorite MST3K’s of all time. Who doesn’t love Adam West? Especially as a villain! I’m pretty sure this one has the best soundtrack of any MST3K movie. At least, the only one I’d be willing to actually own (I don’t, but I’d consider it…).
    It’s been a few years since I watched this one, though. May need to remedy that tonight.


  5. sol-survivor says:

    I probably wasn’t paying attention the first couple times I watched this, because I didn’t connect the dots between Adam and Jim’s father and Molly and who the second zombie was. Once I did it actually sorta kinda made sense. Sorta kinda.

    My nephew is going to school to become a police officer. Hopefully he’ll be a lot more competent than the average MSTed movie cop. :-D


  6. schippers says:


    Er, wait, wrong Thor movie.


  7. MSTie says:

    My favorite riff about this Canadian movie is when the zombie’s mumbling and Mike or one of the ‘bots says, “She must be from Newfoundland.” I think I have that quote right. Goofy, dumb, fun movie — but one that would have been unbearable without the riffing.


  8. snowdog says:

    This is one of my faves. From the ridiculously over-acting Tina Turner voodoo priestess, to the ridiculously cheesy Adam West, there is a lot to riff here. But the movie is more goofy than incompetent, so it’s not entirely unwatchable.

    The Mad’s voodoo segment has a fun Poopie moment when Frank gets so into the dance that he misses his line.

    I think this might be the first of the truly classic Mike eps.

    Five stars


  9. snowdog says:

    …oh, and it’s hilarious that Jon Mikl Thor takes himself so seriously when one need only Google his name to find pictures like this one!


  10. Cheapskate Crow says:

    This ep was not one of my favorites, I didn’t really like the host segments at all but loved Frank’s voodoo dancing. There was some good riffing here and this movie reminded me that Pantera had albums before they were good, what a makeover they did to themselves (in a good way). This movie was hard to get through, and why did the guy who became the main zombie just stop in the middle of the road when the car was coming? Why didn’t he look?

    Other favorite lines besides what other have posted:

    “So Canada has a South too.”

    “He had more expressions when he wore a mask.”

    And where the Brains went for all the bonus points with:
    “A Francis Ford Coppola production of a Kenneth Branagh film of Garrick Utley in Ally Sheedy’s Frankenstein.”


  11. MikeH says:

    “Office temps cut loose!!”

    Just had to throw that out, one of my fave riffs.


  12. Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    @109 Gah! My eyes!

    Watched this episode again…this movie kinda sucks! Bad acting, dollar-store zombies, Hobgoblins-like dumb plot and the soundtrack sounds like some dude’s car radio turned up next door. The entire script could be described by the phrase “incantations and screaming.” The riffing was pretty good, tho… Poor, poor Adam West!


  13. Stefanie says:

    I don’t care for this episode much, but I do like we get a chance to see Adam West show some acting skills outside of “Batman”. He did a good job of being such a jerk.


  14. YourNewBestFriend says:

    This, and Final Sacrifice–desert island MST. Watch it over and over and…

    If you want to go another direction, Zombie Nightmare, Rock and Roll Nightmare, and Intercessor. I love Zombie Nightmare. I’ll fistfight anybody who says I don’t.

    BTW, John Mikl Thor doesn’t actually play the zombie: it’s Peewee Piemonte (imdb it).


  15. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    First off. . . . THE ACE OF SPADES! THE ACE OF SPADES!!

    Okay, now that that is done. . . I LOVE Zombie Nightmare, this is a Top 10 Mike episode for me, a classic and one of Season 6’s BEST episodes. The movie works for me on multiple levels, it’s from the 80s, it’s a cheesy horror film with ‘zombie’ in the title, Adam West stars, and lots of heavy metal! This is the kind of cheap VHS flick I would have rented back in the mid-90s, thanks to MST I never had to (and knew better not to). The riffing is superb, the Opening Segment with the Secret Service Bots (“FOOT!” HEAD!!”) is great, and the Host Segments…well, they’re okay. HS#1 sets up a series of jokes to come in later eps (on its own, it’s not much…), HS#2 is kind of a flop (does make for a great DVD screen, though..), and HS#3 is a winner, even if it is more awkward than anything..

    -Would make a GREAT double feature with #405 BEING FROM ANOTHER PLANET.

    -And if you like Zombie Nightmare. . . .you got to check out Jon Mikl Thor’s ROCK N’ ROLL NIGHTMARE! Worse movie, but maybe more fun..


    Servo: “Mariners, opening day.”

    Mike: “Unchain me!”

    Servo: “I’m HUSKY!”

    Servo: “Ever since dad got murdered, everything has been great!”

    Crow: “I like the ‘ting’ sound. hehe..”

    Crow: “It’s a sensible rave.”

    Servo: “When office temps cut loose.”

    Mike: “Nice use of his area.”

    Crow: “There’s a deeead hunk in the middle of the roAD!”

    Mike: “Hank Peters, Italian grocer.”

    Crow: “It’s the Kids in the Hall!” (driving scene, resembles opening of their show)

    Mike: “Taste my steel. . . please..”

    Servo: “So many female tennis players wish they were THAT guy.”

    Crow: “John Cage on the soundtrack.” –Cage was an experimental musician, refers to the PING, CLANG heard during first zombie chase scene

    Servo: “George Romero’s ‘Casey at the Bat.’

    Crow: “She did one too many Redi-Whip hits.”

    Crow: “Hey, you smashed my sandwich!”

    Crow: “This scene was cut from ‘The Program.’ —-semi-obscure reference to a football movie from the early 90s that drew controversy because high school players were imitating a scene in which they laid along the yellow line in the middle of a busy road. As you can imagine, people got hurt, some killed, and the scene was cut from the movie. Check out youtube or the HK laserdisc if you wanna see it.

    Mike (zombie voice): “Start spreading. . news.”

    Mike: “Rick Baker, you’ve done it again.” —-Baker had nothing to do with this film.

    Mike: “Paperwork is really mounting here, sir.”

    A CLASSIC MST episode,
    a crummy zombie movie,


    I stake my semi-professional reputation on it.


  16. Alex says:

    The only problem I really have with this episode are the host segments are too short. Other than that, good riffing and I really LOVE Crow’s failed Batman play. xD


  17. jjk says:

    This movie reminds me of everything I hated about the 80’s. Not the movie itself, but the bad music, bad hair and bad clothes.


  18. Sitting Duck says:

    On a whim, I went and Googled Jean C. Buvalier (the author of the book Frank consults in the final host segment). While that turned up nothing, it did point me to Jean-Claude Duvalier, President of Haiti 1971-1986 and whose father François claimed to be a voodoo hougan and dressed like Baron Samedi while he was president.


  19. This Guy says:

    Another great Poopie moment with M&tB’s voodoo doll: “Ew, he’s leaking! Out of his area!” “That’s perfect.”


  20. JohnnyRyde says:

    I’d watched this one a few times before reading on-line that the Voodoo Priestess is supposed to be the teenager who was attacked in the opening sequence (and Adam West and the guy’s dad are supposed to be the two guys who attack her). I never would have figured that out without help. What’s odd to me is that the little kid only seems to age about 10-15 years, while everyone else flashes forward about 30 years.

    Fun, fun episode though.


  21. Depressing Aunt says:

    I admired the Big Heroic Dad who gets killed immediately. I admired the medical examiner’s attempt to point out that being in your 40s doesn’t make you old (but who would see the wisdom of any remark made in that voice). I admired how that poor waitress was so prim that she couldn’t refer to male sex organs very frankly, describing them as “ones”.

    I so loved Dr. F’s silent sheepish expression as he realizes that he has wet his pants–even funnier with that makeup!


  22. Kali says:

    RE: 82 and 85
    The “Bub was right” gag.

    The reference was, of course, refers to “My Three Sons,” but the real gag is related to this article Spy Magazine did years ago explaining the “curious” disappearances of the kids. Based, somewhat, on the types of roles Fred MacMurray usually got before he became a Disney fixture.

    The Brains must have seen this before they did the episode (after all, Crow is doing gunshot noises when he makes the joke).

    Absolutely classic…


  23. Kali says:

    Advice to Doctor Forrester. Never give your pawns something they can use against you! Isn’t that number one on the list of things a Mad Scientist should never do?


  24. Jason says:

    Sampo’s Theorem: I really don’t like this one. I think it’s the pure, overpowering 80s-ness of the movie. I have a hard time with Hobgoblins, too, but I still enjoy that one. Maybe because the hair metal aspects are relegated to secondary characters, and don’t suck to listen to.


  25. trickymutha says:

    This is another highly entertaining episode- disturbing batch scene, Adam West, the little dickweed with the Nik Kershaw hair- I could go on and on. And, of course ACE OF SPADES. My GF nearly had a …. well, you know- when she heard the opening song.
    The only problem I have with this episode, and I have it with some SHOUT! and Rhino (Bloodlust, Catalina Caper) where I have to turn the volume to 11 :) in order to hear the movie. That makes J or M &TB pretty darn loud.


  26. Jbagels says:

    I don’t remember much about this movie except it was from the 80s and Adam West was in it. Ace of Spades is in it? Great song, I’ll have to go back and watch this. Come to think of it, Zombie Nightmare is a pretty good name for a band.


  27. Nick-0 says:

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this yet. But I think the reason they cut the scene where the evil kid gets offed by Thor’s character in the parking lot of the Tasty Creme, is because it was a rape scene. Cut most likely for the same reason as a similar scene from Sidehackers

    Also for those interested in more Thor, he was also in a movie called Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare. Another spectacular bit of ’80’s horror cheese from Canada.


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

    This movie’s sort of a proto-“I Know What You Did Last Summer” so of course it has innocent young women getting killed, it’s for all intent and purpose a slasher film (except the killer uses a blunt instrument instead of a bladed one, making it a, well, SMASHER film, I guess).

    The slasher film genre was on the rise in the 1980s and that may have been a major factor in making “Zombie Nightmare,” which in many respects is, in terms of (for lack of a better word) “plot,” a slasher film that zigged where most slasher films zag: Although the back-from-the-dead-for-vengeance motif is textbook slasher material, this film focuses more on the “slasher” himself and his backstory than on the line-up-to-be-killed teenagers (who, collectively, really come in THIRD in significance after the zombie and the cop), then reveals the police chief as MORE of a villain than the “slasher” and his “sponsor,” the vengeful witch figure (itself a minor slasher sub-theme; see, among others, “Pumpkinhead”). Probably some low-budget slasher films have featured teenagers who were even WORSE at evading death than this exit-ignoring window-hiding-behinding bunch, so it doesn’t really lose many points on that score. No Final Girl, though.

    Really, if I felt like it, I could go on for quite a while about how “Zombie Nightmare” conforms to some slasher film cliches while subverting others (but I don’t feel like that). If it had been WELL-MADE, the film could well have set off a sort of variant branch of the slasher film (OSLT) and be considered as pivotal to the genre as John Carpenter’s “Halloween,” which (per many sources) got the slasher film ball rolling in the first place. It just…wasn’t, that’s all.

    Odd moment when the grocer, while talking to Tony’s mom, refers to Molly the Voodoo Lady as “that old witch,” when the opening flashback sequence makes it clear that Molly is YOUNGER than Tony’s mom who is in turn obviously younger than the GROCER. Molly obviously had a hard life in the intervening however-many years and thus didn’t age well. AT ALL.


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

    On an entirely separate note, Molly’s full name, Molly Mokembe, sounds sort of like a variation on Mokèlé-mbèmbé, the name for a dinosaur species supposedly found in the Congo River basin. This is almost surely a…totally meaningless coincidence.


  30. UberNeuman says:

    “Hey! The Case is closed!”

    “Long live the Case!”


  31. alansmeet says:

    They also had me at Motorhead Ace of Spades. Quite the Pavlovian response: Motorhead makes anything 38% better. Scientific fact.


  32. Thomas K. Dye says:

    Some more info. A year ago I got rather obsessed with this episode and watched it over and over again (it was the cheesy rock, mostly — “Rebirth” by Thor is pretty fun). I went and made some additional discoveries:

    The Pantera who sings “Midnite Man” on the soundtrack is NOT the same Pantera that did “Cowboys from Hell.” THIS Pantera was a female singer protege of Jon Mikl Thor’s. “Midnite Man,” is, you guessed it, the song in the bar sung by “Deathmask featuring Olivia Newton-John.” (Listen carefully and you can hear her sing “Midnight Man.”)

    Also, despite what people tell you, the Twist & Creme is alive and well. From Mapquest Satellite view: (Because it’s in Montreal, you have to Google “Twist et Creme.”)


  33. Kali says:

    MIKE: “Paperwork’s really mounting here, sir!”

    Does anyone know why Molly speaks perfect English as a young girl, but develops a strong Haitian (or whatever it was) accent after she becomes an adult? And it’s kind of a stretch that an attack would lead her to abandon traditional values in favor of voodoo. There’s no indication when she was younger that she was headed in that direction…

    Sure be nice if the “filmmakers” did a better job linking the early scenes with the later. We’re not even sure which of the punks in the beginning grew up to be Adam West (or “Ted McGinley” for that matter).

    And what happened to Tony’s mom? She complains a little bit then disappears. She doesn’t even protest when Molly’s plan gets her son killed for a second time and pulled into hell.

    Anyway, Molly’s plan is kind of stupid, when you stop to think about it. The zombie is taking his own revenge and she has to hope there will be enough energy in him to fulfill her revenge afterwards? No wonder Adam kills the zombie in ten seconds. Lucky for the plot, hell’s right under that fake cemetery…

    And, of course, we have even greater reason to hate Jimbo since Shawn Levy now specializes in making his own crap movies (and why haven’t most of these appeared on Rifftrax? Come on guys, just remember it’s the psycho directing and you’ve got built-in riffs!)

    Oh, according to the DVD commentary, that’s not Thor playing the zombie at the end, and that’s why he looks different. You think the Brains figured that out when they first saw the film?

    Still, Zombie Nightmare remains one of Mike’s classics (even if the real nightmare is how Adam’s out-acting everyone in the cast without really trying) and there isn’t a dull moment in the episode. Good show, all around.


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

    She lost her American accent.

    133: And it’s kind of a stretch that an attack would lead her to abandon traditional values in favor of voodoo

    Over ten years elapsed between the opening sequence and the rest of the movie. I’m sure she had a FEW other life-altering experiences during that time. ;-)


  35. Professor Gunther says:

    This has become one of my absolute favourites. It just has the right vibe for me, and I love Mike and the bots doing Nice Voodoo on people. :-)

    One of my favourite moments comes near the beginning. The thugs are rounding the corner, and one of them is explaining Lady Macbeth’s attempts to “assuage her guilt.” Mike’s nerdy voice is PERFECT. I can listen to that bit again and again and again.


  36. Matches4Mikey says:

    @ #130 UberNeuman: Hey! HEY! Hey! HEY!!!

    The hubby and I saw this on the big screen this past spring in Tucson, with many seasoned MSTies as well as some folks who had never even heard of it before, nor had any inkling of the brilliance of one Jon Mikl-Thor (a legend in his own mind). I would say easily a good time was had by all. While I received a good laugh from my resounding “YEEEEAAAHHHH!!!!!” to Jim’s brilliant bon mot of “Oh yeah? Well, I wouldn’t come back to this dump if I was 41!” the star of the show was easily our duck-voiced medical examiner (and I’d stake my semi-professional reputation on it). Encourage your local independent theater to host screenings of your favorite MST3K titles. You won’t regret it.


  37. snowdog says:

    I came down with a Haitian accent in the Summer of 1998. It didn’t last long enough to get the hang of the Voodoo, though.


  38. Professor Gunther says:

    Another favourite line: “I’m too dreamy to think about groceries.”

    Gawd, I LOVE this episode!


  39. Kali says:

    Servo (as Molly): Oh, is your Batmobile in the shop?
    Crow (as Adam): Shut up!

    Best. Batjoke. Ever.


  40. Alex says:

    I had the last half-hour of this on a tape. So neat to see it. I remember when Adam West introduced this for the Turkey Day Marathon. He had a great sense of humour about it.

    “This is Tim Burton’s last night on Earth.”

    “I call Burt Ward. I know he’s not busy.”


    “She’s hiding behind a window!”

    “So hell is right there, huh?”

    “What would you do if I sang out a tune…”

    “I’ll bet my semi-professional repuation on it.”

    “He’s taking the Nestea Plunge.” That was because of a commerical where people dive into water that is tea or something. I can’t quite remember.

    ACE OF SPADES! It also had an early version of Pantera on the soundtrack if I’m not mistaken.



  41. Professor Gunther says:

    My vote for the stinger: “This is a really big garage.”


  42. big61al says:

    @132 With so many real places featured on the episodes I always wondered what buildings were still around. I would love to visit these places. We need someone to compile all the place that are still there. I was shocked by the bonus video on the Manos disc. I could not believe that the house where that was filmed was still standing. What mistie would not love to have a tasty treat where they filmed Zombie Nightmare?:eek:


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

    Not really on topic except that this movie is, as noted, sort of a slasher film, but there are so many cheaply made slasher film knockoffs that an MST3K equivalent could probably sustain a lengthy run riffing JUST those (it could even include a toteboard of slasher film cliches at the end, not unlike the like/dislike feature at the end of the early Joel episodes). I doubt the owners to the rights of those movies are exactly swimmin’ in dough, so it probably wouldn’t cost much to get the rights to use those. Maybe if some Best Brain or another gets bored with his or her current project(s) they can tackle something like THAT. :-)

    Speaking of slasher films and voodoo, the Child’s Play franchise never really did much with the fact that Charles Earl Ray aka Chuckie, who started out as a “regular” serial killer (e.g. not a voiceless killing machine or a nightmare demon OSLT), had learned MAGIC from an old voodoo guy, did it? What was the story THERE, huh? What were they, in prison together and the guy taught Chuckie magic just to while away the time (young white guy and old black guy in prison together, there’s ANOTHER cliche right there)? Seriously, the voodoo guy (as seen in the first Child’s Play) was angry that Chuckie had “misused” his teachings but, really, what did he THINK Chuckie was gonna do with that sort of knowledge? What exactly are the useful and HARMLESS applications of being able to transfer one’s soul into someone else’s body? Really makes you think, don’t it?

    Paging Dr. Vorelli, paging Dr. The Great Vorelli…


  44. Sitting Duck says:

    Re #71: A big “D’oh!” on my part with my previous reply to that post. For some reason my brain read it as you actually were on the scene, hence the first two questions. But, assuming you’re still around, I am curious to hear if it was ever explained what had been going on.


  45. 1 adam 12 says:

    I’m sure nobody remembers, but I’ve made it very clear over the years that this my favorite episode of the entire series. I could recite almost all of the riffs from memory, and Sampo used probably the best one as his favorite, but there are a few other great ones I’d remind everyone of. When Tony puts on a hooded jacket, there are two in sequence: “An actor conveys chilliness,” and “Bodybuilder by day, Trappist monk by night.” Also, when the highschoolers are coming out of a commercial break, “(musically) blahblahblahblahblah ST. ELMO’S FIRE!” Brilliant all throughout.


  46. jjb3k says:

    “Just once, I’d like to see a zombie with a little more get-up-and-go.”

    This is one of my favorites, #2 on my personal top 25. Nothing like a big dumb ’80s movie to get the Brains’ creativity a-flowin’.

    Regardless of whether “HEAD!” was intentional or accidental, it still makes me laugh like a lunatic every time. Mike’s little flailing feet are hilarious too.

    For years, I couldn’t identify what Mike and the bots are singing when Movie Sign hits. Then I started listening to NPR again and it hit me – it’s the “All Things Considered” theme song.

    I’m not a big metal fan, but I do dig “Ace of Spades”, and its inclusion in this movie makes for a lovely little bit of riffing. I still can’t hear the song without adding “So he’s mad because he’s losing, but that’s the way he likes it?” Actually, all the credits riffs in this episode are pretty darn great. “I don’t think fingerprints are labeled like this.”

    So, in the vague 1960s, these two teenage idiots murder the huge guy in broad daylight with multiple witnesses, and they’re never brought to justice? Whatever you say, movie.

    “This is either America 10 years ago or Canada today.”

    Bare-nippled Tony’s grocery run is just a nonstop barrage of great riffs. “Hank Peters, Italian grocer.” “Oh yuck, did you see where he pulled it from?” “An actor conveys chilliness.” “Bow down to my nipples!” “Oh great, now they’re closed!” And then the double-whammy of “I think we hit a moose!” and “C’MON, TURN THE TAPE OVER!”

    Then along comes sheep-voiced Molly Mokembe, another great character for the Brains to latch onto. Crow’s “I don’t WANNA feel again the worm!” always makes me laugh.

    “ESPN at 3 AM.” Another riff I get a lot of use out of in real life. :)

    I wish the Brains hadn’t needed to cut out all the zombie killings. I really wanted to see that scraggly-haired pasta-throwing feeb get his head ripped off.

    Ah, Adam West. Yes, the Batman jokes are obvious, but they’re still funny. “He just pretended it was Tim Burton” still makes me giggle, as does the ridiculous notion that Adam West would be angry at Burton for not casting him in the first Batman movie. And all the guys clearly love doing that voice. “Hello, 1-900-SPANK ME?”

    I try to follow this movie’s plot, but I always get lost at about the three-quarter mark. So did zombie Tony die, or what? That other zombie that shows up, is that Tony’s dad? The movie’s fairly vague on all this.

    “Wow, so Hell is right there!”
    “That’s why you should always call before you dig.”

    And to wrap up, I love the bots’ letters to Adam West. “I’m sending you all my allowance, please don’t buy booze with it.” :D


  47. schippers says:


    “What exactly are the useful and HARMLESS applications of being able to transfer one’s soul into someone else’s body?”

    Well, how about being John Malkovich?


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

    #146: these two teenage idiots murder the huge guy in broad daylight with multiple witnesses, and they’re never brought to justice?

    I’m bemused that some commentators find this so incredibly improbable. Maybe the two teenage idiots’ parents were really really RICH (how else did one of them become not just a corrupt police chief but a laughably TRANSPARENTLY corrupt police chief? There’s not much in this world that Rich Daddy Money can’t buy). Maybe the fact that they murdered a man who stood up for the rights of a teenage black girl factored into it. Tragically, miscarriages of justice happen.

    Admittedly, it was the MOVIE’S job to explain what the deal was there, not mine, but it’s not hard to fill in blanks like that.


  49. Matt D says:

    I said this in one weekend discussion of the best movie-opening credit sequences, but this one is my favorite in that regard. The riffs on the metal bands is great, and the entire first section of movie was amazing. The jokes just at the baseball field (Boy-“That’s the best hit ever”, Mike-“That’s because you’re five”, Mariners jokes) were amazing. Everything up until the guy gets killed after safely thwarting the robbery attempt was phenomenal. The movie falls a bit after that, but it is still strong, especially once we see Mr. West.
    Love this ep.


  50. Cornjob says:

    Fantastic episode. My father used to work for California State Highway Maintenance and he explained to me the importance of calling before digging if there’s a sign so as to avoid explosions, electrocutions, and utility disruption. So the joke about breaking open a doorway to Hell cracks me up every time. Then that get’s followed with the “not a very effective cemetery”, and “They need heavier dirt” riffs.

    The whole scene where the police not only can’t subdue their suspect but don’t seem to know how is hysterical. “Anybody bring a gun or some handcuffs?”

    And of course: ACE OF SPADES!!


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