Movie: (1948) A cowboy finds himself in the middle of a range war between a powerful rancher and his neighbors.
First shown: 10/15/94
Opening: Mike programs Crow and Tom with regional speech patterns
Intro: Dr. F.. sends a matter transference device to the SOL during an ion storm. It’s “Mirror, Mirror” time!
Host segment 1: The Mirror-Mads sing “Joey the Lemur.” In our universe, Crow and Mike struggle with Mirror-Servo
Host segment 2: Mike and Crow plot strategy, while Mirror-Gypsy and Mirror-Servo do likewise
Host segment 3: Mike and Crow consult The Alternate Universe Manual. In the mirror universe, Mirror-Crow attacks Mirror-Mike while Tom and Gypsy plot strategy
End: M&tB figure out what happened, the Mirror-Mads stop by while a letter is read, the Mads are enjoying their new agony booth
Stinger: Wheelchair Dad laughs
• Of course, this is one of those episodes where the host segments WAY overpower the movie segments. Internet MSTies went completely insane for about three days after this episode, which parodies the well-remembered “Mirror, Mirror” episode of the original “Star Trek.” It always amazes me when the host segments completely take over (the “Dark Timmy” segments and the “Joel escapes” segments are other good examples). The segments amount to, maybe, 15 minutes of a two-hour time slot. The Brains have to write lean and tight. It’s a tough assignment, but when they pull it off, as I think they did here, it’s an amazing thing to watch. For what it’s worth, the riffing is actually pretty good, but nobody really noticed.
• This episode is included in Shout’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXIII.”
• The whole “Mirror, Mirror” thing overwhelmed the opening segment, which coincidentally dovetailed with a whole conversation we’d coincidentally been having about “coke/pop/soda” and other regional speech patterns on the RATM newsgroup. But some people did notice and were amused.
• The mirror Mads’ delight in “the eight of Chris Lemmon,” a reference to an invention exchange in episode 517- The Beginning of the End. I may have asked this before, but I’ve always wondered happened to cause Chris Lemmon’s career to tank. He just fell off the radar.
• The mirror Mads enter the theater from the left and sit in seats on the left (or sinister) side of the theater.
• The riffing by Dr. F. and Frank was a marvelous change of pace, and I guess you could think of it as a bit of a preview of Cinematic Titanic.
• As I have noted more than once, Mary Beth Hughes was hot-hot-HOT!
• And while we’re on the subject, both the female leads in this movie kept reminding me of Jessie the cowgirl from the “Toy Story” movies.
• Of course, the mirror Mads’ fun friend Joey the lemur harkens back to a wacky segment in episode 210- King Dinosaur. It’s clearly a good-natured dig at Joel.
• Mirror Tom is in full Shatner mode as he enters the theater until he looks up and says, “Oh, hey a cowboy movie!” Then he’s back to normal.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: beaker, date book, bulletin board.
• Crow’s line, “He’s Black Crowes lead singer thin,” surprised me. Maybe they didn’t think people would know who Chris Robinson is?
• Nice to see Gypsy all dolled up as mirror Gypsy.
• Callbacks: Old Timer Billy Slater (Junior Rodeo Daredevils); “Shut up, Iris.” (The Beatniks).
• Cast and crew roundup: I won’t do the Lippert litany again. Special effects guy Ray Mercer also worked on “Lost Continent,” “Radar Secret Service,” “I Accuse My Parents,” “The Sinister Urge” and “The Beast of Yucca Flats. Costume designer Alfred Berke also worked on “Lost Continent. I’m not going to do the whole Albert Glasser litany again. In front of the camera, Mary Beth Hughes was also the star of “I Accuse My Parents.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Andrea DuCane is back for a three-episode stint doing hair and makeup.
• Fave riff: “I’m so sick of gingham I could scream!” Honorable mention: “It’s a plot device. It’s very flimsy, so be careful.”