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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.

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Episode Guide: 1106- Starcrash

Movie: (1978) An outlaw smuggler and her alien companion are recruited by the Emperor of the Galaxy to rescue his son and destroy a secret weapon owned by the evil Count Zarth Arn.

Opening: J&B are playing spin-the-bottle
Invention exchange: Kinga takes the salsa-filled sombrero to the next level with the Band-Eat-O; Jonah has BB-Servo
Segment 1: Crow has a new screenplay: “World War Space”
Segment 2: Jonah becomes Ackton and the bots are impressed
Segment 3: Venture capitalist Freak Masterstroke visits
Closing: J&tB are playing Starcrash and the Torpedo Sketch
Stinger: Acton is pleased
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (63 votes, average: 4.11 out of 5)

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• I liked this one a lot, and I laughed almost continuously. Amazingly, this was the first time I’d ever seen this movie (many of the commenters seemed INTIMATELY familiar with it). It is a painfully obvious observation but … what a dumb and completely incoherent movie.
• Great song in the theater: “A Stranger’s UFO.”
• Callbacks: “Chili peppers burned his gut.” (Sidehackers); crappy effects are powerless against me (Prince of Space ), “Pumaman?”
• A notable comment/question on Twitter: No riffs about Marjoe Gortner? Do they not know who Marjoe was? A good question.
• I guess the big news for this one is Seinfeld’s appearance. Joel really called in some favors with the stunt casting. And this one, while a bit random, works. The performance: GOLD, Jerry! GOLD!
• The many names of the spaceships would be a great Ward E list.
• Patton says: “It’s moon o’clock and 200 degrees below zero.” Is that a KTMA reference?
• Two PG-rated moments for this usually G-rated show: “Well, I DID just save you…” and the use of the term “titty-twister.”
• Jonah removes Tom’s head in the theater when he won’t stop the spaceship names.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director Luigi Cozzi did the story for “Devil Fish.” Caroline Munro was also in “At the Earth’s Core” (later this season). Omero Capanna was also in “The Pumaman.” Behind the camera: Cinematographer Paul Beeson was director of photography for “Moon Zero Two.” Assistant director Goffredo Unger was an actor in “Devil Fish” and “Hercules Against the Moonmen.” Special effects director Germano Natali also did special effects for “Devil Fish.
• Fave riff: “That’s the thing about this movie: it’s not afraid to take its time to aggravate you.” Honorable mention: “That’s not the part I would have started with, but yeah go ahead.”

142 Replies to “Episode Guide: 1106- Starcrash”

  1. Captain Howdy
    Ignored
    says:

    Mr. Krasker: I’ve been a fan since the Joel Comedy Central days, thank you very much.

    I am stunned, I tell you. Stunned. My being one of the first customers to order the Shout presentation of Starcrash puts me completely at the other end of the spectrum. I must confess to also owning the somewhat obscure Starcrash anthology of short stories published several years ago, entitled “Curved Space.”

    It was a hoot! Several clever stories and even the director contributed to the book. Out of print now.

       4 likes

  2. Stoneman
    Ignored
    says:

    Majorjoe23: Regarding the reference in the “Band-Eat-O” invention exchange (“radish? We don’t need no stinking radish”), which I remembered from “Blazing Saddles”, thank you for letting me know the connection to “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. I am learning something new every time!

       4 likes

  3. Joseph Klemm
    Ignored
    says:

    My comments on the episode:

    -Anyone else have a feeling that the BB-Servo Invention Exchange idea was a result of writers knowing that this film was following in the coattails of Star Wars?

    -As already mentioned, the Guardians of the Galaxy joke is hilarious in hindsight once you know that the Hasselhoff’s involvement in the second film.

    -The “Swiss Army Planet” joke in Segment 1 gave me some Phantasm vibes there.

    -One thing that can confuse a lot of people in terms of Jonah’s portrayal of Ackton in Segment 2: was that supposed to be Jonah’s character dressing up as him in hopes of impressing Servo and Crow, or did the real Ackton actually visit the SoL?

    -Like the bit where Servo and Crow dress up as those weird beings at the festival, the final sketch was very similar to the “Trumpy’s Magic Things” sketch in Pod People when it comes to weirding out the Mads.

       3 likes

  4. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    Sitting Duck: Since this particular film had a space wizard with a laser sword, the Star Wars comparisons could be said to have some legitimacy.

    Yeah, but when you had fans comparing Laserblast to Star Wars, just because it was the next thing out of the pipeline a few months later that had spaceships, laser weapons and funny SFX aliens in it…

       1 likes

  5. Steve K
    Ignored
    says:

    The Original EricJ: Yeah, but when you had fans comparing Laserblast to Star Wars, just because it was the next thing out of the pipeline a few months later that had spaceships, laser weapons and funny SFX aliens in it…

    I thought fans were comparing Laserblast to Star Wars because Laserblast had a shot of the main character blowing up a Star Wars billboard. (Not to mention that producer Charles Band is on record as saying he wanted Laserblast to be a “mini-Star Wars”.)

    Seriously, of all the laughable movie comparisons to Star Wars, you had to pick the one the producer deliberately invited?

       9 likes

  6. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    Steve K: I thought fans were comparing Laserblast to Star Wars because Laserblast had a shot of the main character blowing up a Star Wars billboard. (Not to mention that producer Charles Band is on record as saying he wanted Laserblast to be a “mini-Star Wars”.)

    Seriously, of all the laughable movie comparisons to Star Wars, you had to pick the one the producer deliberately invited?

    Okay, then, let’s see, “independently laughable”….Oh, how about ’79 fans comparing the original Ridley Scott “Alien” to Star Wars, because it was the next big original mainstream studio-budget spaceship pic? (Apart from Buck and the theatrical Battlestar Galactica reissue, since those were TV pilots.)
    Uh, “Something is alive on Saturn 3″?…”Message From Space”?

       0 likes

  7. Stoneman
    Ignored
    says:

    OK, my wife really liked “Starcrash”, and wanted to catch up on the first 5 episodes (I have watched every S11 ep twice now, except for the Christmas one, so this was the third time around for 1-5). I was happy to oblige her over this holiday weekend (with temps topping out between 100-105 every day here in The Valley of the Sun, it wasn’t a tough decision). I have no illusions my wife will become a hopelessly devoted follower like me, but it’s a start! Anyway, after watching said episodes, we rated eps 1-6 thusly:

    1. Avalanche (one in this case being the best)

    2. Cry Wilderness

    3. Starcrash

    4. Time Travelers

    5. Beast of Hollow Mountain

    6. Reptilicus

    It was a tough process, with not much difference in overall enjoyment between the eps involved. Oh, and for those who may be wondering, our ratings were almost completely feeling based- not a whole lot of empirical quantification going on here.

       5 likes

  8. Torque the Dorque
    Ignored
    says:

    I very much enjoyed this movie. Prior to this showing, this was a crappy movie that I was forced to endure because of Caroline Munroe. Now I really enjoyed it! The only nitpic is the Bots needed to go after that very lame robot a lot more than they did.

    Reading through the prior coments, some were real head scratchers. I believe that you should watch these films several times over time to appreciate it fully. Sampo has stated several times in the Episode Guide, that he has changed his opinion after watching it again at a later time. I also noted this for myself. Hope this helps to some of you, thanks.

       5 likes

  9. new cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    foist, some post-“beast of hollow mountain” (i got knocked flat the last three days straight by a combination cold/sinus infection – ouch, ugh and double-yuck!)… but these are “production notes” really and not just for the specific ep, so i thought i’d just wrap them into my starcrash note…

    sir “original” cornjob mentioned the smart cup-costuming of crow and servo as the carnival ghosts; i guessed servo had a medium-sized DQ cup, and crow had a traditional KFC (or maybe popeye’s or bojangles) chicken bucket (“buckethead” callout!). once again a great example of creative lemonade-making with the new production!

    also, someone else noted kinga’s smart-looking cap’n’s (& tennille? ;0) cap – agreed, that was some extra-sassy for her! so it’s time to say (heh) – hats off to beez!! going by the twitter feeds, she’s making this season more cos-playable than any before. (not really my thing, but it sure is fun to see others playing with it!) “smart and sassy” seems to be a good motto for this season!

    (so help me, i just read the wiki on “captain and tennille”… actually good trivial-pursuit reading, with a recent bittersweet ending! man, toni… that’s cold!)

    ————————————————————

    crow with legs is the stuff of nightmares. (“iiiiiii likeit!”)

    not to be overtly ogre about it, but have to agree with danzilla (and many others) that caroline is a fine-lookin’ babe… blessed with striking lynda-carter-ish features, she’s just bound to age well (and, i presume, already has!) i have to admit that as far as that, i kinda prefer her “humid-and-heaving” appearance in “at the earth’s core,” but… that’s for another lecherous day. on the other hand, i didn’t see starcrash back in the day, along with most other early “sw-ripoff” flicks of that era… my first real sci-fi fetish-cheezefest would have to be “flash gordon ’80” with the vivacious “princess aura,” ornella muti and her prrring eyes. arrrr!! (must be said, after starcrash and some others of these sw-rips i’ve seen over the years, “flash gordon ’80” comes off as an incredibly polished and competent work in comparison. p.s., high-fives to the others who are also in the i-imagine-extremely-small “saw hanger 18 in the theater” club!)

    we finally get the “we don’t need nooo education” riff that i expected back in “time travellers” – i thought the creepy androids in that one looked like the masks the kids had to wear in “the wall.” (this happened a few times this season; i mentally project a riff to one movie, then find it finally used a couple movies later!)

    “surely ain’t no danger climbin’ in a stranger’s you-eff-oooohh…” i’d say any beach boys song with “GTO” in the lyrics is probably the template sound they used. truly a new catchy classic, and love the idea of some new tunage in-theater! especially when there’s that long a dead-space in dialog to cover up… needs to be filled in and turned into a full-fledged single so we can sing along to it while driving the convertible top-down to the beach! maybe the b-52s could cover it; seems like something they could do; fred could deliver those lines in his signature way, and it’d sound great! (needs to happen, after all the “hamilton” twittering around the idea of getting together a professionally-powered guest-star cover-band, “the SOL heart’s club band” album idea seems to be starting to brew…)

    “spaacce churrrrch!! more like a sppppaaccce cuuulllt!!”…

    i was expecting the giant bot-girl to fire laserblasts out of her – its – umm, well, you knows. did that actually happen in the film, then get cut for the ep? ;0 (mamm – er, memories of “pink panther strikes again,” i guess…) seems like there’s some edits right then; the encounter comes off really short for the film having staged the scene in the first place.

    the crew’s riffing and mental dialog for el during the “snow angel” scene was hysterical! “i can’t believe my robot ears!” cracked me up!

    “freak masterstroke” – i’m waiting to see if/when someone pick that up as their satnews signon, but it’ll take a lotta hubris to back it up! brilliant cameo, in my book (was better than “silicon valley”, imho – though i still haven’t seen all of that one yet; future binge-watch)… congrats, as if he needs it, to jerry for netflix picking up “com-cars-coffee,” btw! wonder if someone had to pull strings for -him- this time, for once?? ;0 “blackmail with doomsday lasers, are we really still doing that??” – hey again, a subtle “pink panther strikes again” ref! (great closing line… “i think we just got freak-masterstroked.”)

    the noise those security-guard robots make reminds me of when i tried to replay some old cassettes after sitting dormant for far too long. (my riff woulda been something like, “aaagghh! sounds like when i tried to play my old tubeway army tape after i let it sit on a shelf for twenty-five years!”)

    “space mountain with the lights on.”… this flick, along with seeing hasselhoff and munro acting together after the big space battle, makes me think that this was the genesis of the idea to make the eighties “buck rogers in the 25th century” series… though someone mentions upstream, first seeing a trailer for “buck rogers” before starcrash in theater? guess there were just a lot of the “same ideas” going around back then for sexily-charged sci. no wonder it took “blade runner” a good fifteen years to catch on… cerebral scifi was just too far ahead of its time.

    so who -is- marjoe gortner? (please don’t make me go back to wiki; i just read the freakin’ “captain and tennille” page!) – well, okay, so i did finally, and – oh, so -that’s- akton! go figure… another human enigma. well -something- had to explain his continuous detachment from reality! (personally, i’ve got my own reasons! ;) not sure i’d ever heard of him or his history before, but looks like another “history rabbit-hole” to explore someday… his filmography looks like a list of prospects for more mst eps!

    i too have been feeling that the host and ending mad segments have been far too short and abrupt – i hope they let the crew have more time to converse back-and-forth interacting/dialoging in s12 and beyond (yeah, i’m calling it!)… but loved the mads at the end of this one being just plain befuddled… befuddlement is just too be-funny! heh-heh-heh… (heavy footsteps; pounding at duct-taped-together door; once again door breaks in; stomp-stomp-stomp; pummel-pummelling “biff! sock! ooo! argh!”)

    overall?? pretty darn good! but as others note, the movie is so cheezeball of its own accord, and so self-consciously so, that it’s a bit too easy to make fun of it… it’s not taking itself seriously by any long shot, so it’s fish-in-a-barrel material for the mst crew. nothing wrong with that though; it’s perhaps the -funnest- ep/movie to watch this season; not at all boring; the crew chews the scenery just as much as the cast does; “hercules”-flavored sexy sci-fi/fantasy’s always good material (and now before posting, i see underwoc also tuned in on the “herculean” vibe too! :) “called it!” ;0). thumbs up!

    and btw, i think this one might be the first “best one” of the new season to introduce young newbs to the show who are otherwise too stuck-up about “that’s an old show that only shows old movies” to try it out (like my wonderful, if all-too-pre-tween-for-her-own-good “disneyfried” niece ;)… especially now that they’re offended that j&b recently made fun of “stranger things.” ;0 it’s not -too- old or slow a movie, so i’m gonna recommend this one to her to try out… “if she’s got the guts for it!” ;)

       3 likes

  10. Anthony
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m of the opinion that this is one of the best episodes of Season 11, if not the best, and one of the few that can truly compete with the finest of the CC/Sci-Fi eras (which, perhaps, puts me in the minority here). Everything, to me, just totally works – the in-theater song (one imagines Joel would have done something like this if he could have pulled it off back in the day), the scene where they’re naming all of the flying capsules for the extremely anti-climactic battle near the end, all the goofing on the outer-space robot with a Southern accent, all the goofing on The Hoff, and everything else in between. Doesn’t hurt, as others have mentioned, that the movie is just total cheese, but then even the old cast generally needed a lot of material to really make things work (unless it’s Monster A-Go-Go or Invasion of the Neptune Men or something, where the fun then comes in how much pain the movie inflicts) The Seinfeld cameo is a bit jarring and doesn’t really work (none of them really work, IMO, other than the ones with Joel, the Sci-Fi Mads, or Hamill), but at least the writers figured out how to write for his particular line-reading cadence, so that was nice. But this was the episode that had me laughing the hardest on first watch, and it’s held up on rewatches, which is all I can ask for.

    Favorite line: “You *know* this maniac?” Honorable mention: “I learned how to kill at Juilliard!”

       3 likes

  11. docskippy
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s worth looking up Christopher Plummer’s thoughts on being in this movie. Go hunt them up for a laugh.

    I quite like Marjoe Gortner. He’s not great in this movie (no one is, really), but he’s much better in, say, Food of the Gods and Earthquake.

    You gotta love Luigi Cozzi. His other “big” sci-fi movie (Contamination) rips off the other legitimately big sci-fi movie of the late 70s (Alien) to equally amusing effect. It’s also worth checking out his version of Hercules, if just for the scene where Hercules tosses a bear into outer space.

       3 likes

  12. Torque the Dorque:
    I believe that you should watch these films several times over time to appreciate it fully.

    Sorry to respectfully disagree with you, but I’m perfectly capable of judging things I’ve only seen once. In the first go-around of MST3K (where I watched all the episodes from Season Four onward as they first premiered) I appreciated them (or not, although most did) just as much if not more the first time I saw them (when the jokes were fresh). Now they are like old friends, to be sure, and I really only laugh occasionally when something happens I’ve forgotten, but I am very positive The Return isn’t nearly as good as the majority of those episodes. Not a single time (“Avalanche” has come the closest — I gave it a 7 out of 10, based on the scale I’ve always used. Classic MST3K does not average less than 7).

    I’ve said it elsewhere, but I’m pretty sure those who love this season are much younger. And that’s okay — youth must be served, and there is a definite different style here than any of the original seasons. In those seasons there was a sense of discovery in the host and the bots which is clearly missing. And missing here on purpose — they usually have their quips out IMMEDIATELY at the point of the joke, rather than reacting to what is being said on the film and taking a beat and a WTF kind of moment we had again and again with Mike and Joel. (Sometimes, in fact, they even telegraph the joke, so it arrives at the same time or even slightly before what it refers to — this old man will NEVER appreciate that).

    I’m still glad we have these, and I’m sure the sensibilities of the millennials will continue even to a season 12. I’m mildly amused, but that’s still okay. As I’ve said in the past, even bad MST3K is better than most good other things.

       3 likes

  13. Johnny Drama
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m almost 43, been a fan since 1991. I think that Season 11 is far and away better than virtually all of Seasons 8-10, and in some cases better than a few episodes from Season 2-7. Not every episode of Season 11 is an instant classic, but they all have a very comfortable, relaxed vibe that sits well with me.
    I am also in the camp that believes the more you watch, the more you appreciate. Every now and then, a classic that I didn’t care for that much will stand out at me, and I’ll like it more than the last time I watched it. I’ve seen every classic episode 20-30 times each.
    Several of my friends that I “force” the show onto have audibly enjoyed Season 11 more as well, and those friends are older than me.
    I don’t mind the “telegraphing” of the jokes in Season 11. For the shadowrama bits to work, this is a necessity. And there’s always been an underlying subtext of MST3K that they’re not really in space, but actors in a studio with puppets. Very meta in that sense. So the performers knowing a joke ahead of time doesn’t bother me. Maybe in the Season 11 universe, the gang actually does watch the movies ahead of time. Which would make sense. Jonah is a Gizmonics worker, who is familiar with the old-school MST3K experiment. Therefore, once he’s abducted, he already knows the premise and what is expected of him. Perhaps in Season 12, we’ll get an explanation that Kinga is subjecting JH&TBs to the experiments ahead of time in an attempt to make the show funnier and therefore get higher ratings. You know, because she’s evil.
    Joel said it best recently on Facebook, in a reply to the show “breaking the rules.” He said something along the lines of, “You’re so strict, try to have fun with it!”
    But the important thing is we are enjoying the new season, and want more. And that even mediocre MST3K is better than most new tv shows.
    I have nothing but respect for other’s opinions, as well.
    PS there is a Battlestar reference in this episode!

       6 likes

  14. underwoc
    Ignored
    says:

    The Original EricJ: And the Flash Gordon ’80 movie we got actually came out of Filmation’s aborted pre-He-Man attempt to do that 70’s Saturday-morning animated version (the one that keeps turning up on Pluto TV) as a feature film.Just one of those things nobody knows.

    As I just recently learned, a lot of the di Laurentiis version of Flash Gordon’s visual look was ripped off from Alejandro Jodorowski’s ill-fated attempt at adapting Dune. And let me just say, that would have been one trippy film…

       1 likes

  15. Johnny,

    You’re still a kid (my daughter’s generation). I’m more Joel, Trace and Frank’s generation. And I do understand younger folks want a different pace. The show just doesn’t do it for me but I’m glad it’s carrying on the tradition for a whole new audience.

       2 likes

  16. Gizsonic Screwdriver
    Ignored
    says:

    Have to remember, in 1978-’80, anything that had spaceships in it was “compared” to Star Wars, since we still couldn’t really grasp why the original was popular.You heard fans point-by-point “comparing” Buck Rogers in the 25th Century or Ice Pirates to Star Wars.
    In Italy, it was “The Adventures of Stella Star”, and it’s imaginable that they thought they had their own new Barbarella.Anyone who’s sat through the Valerian trailer in the last two weeks knows how loopy the funny-talking countries can get about trying to parse American Flash-Gordon mythology.

    If were going after Star Wars rip offs, we need to nail this Alex Raymond for Flash Gordon while we still can.

       0 likes

  17. Gizsonic Screwdriver
    Ignored
    says:

    If I had seen Seinfeld in the good old days on the hexfield it would have been more exciting, but the new show, even though it’s trying to maintain it’s rough around the edges look, is still more high brow. So his appearance wasn’t as exciting.

       1 likes

  18. Cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    My hat’s off to you new cornjob for some nice observations and analysis. I’ve been watching Dr. Who, and it occurred to me that if we were all British here the two of us would probably be known as “Proper Cornjob” and “Other Cornjob”. I’d be fine being either one. There’s a little Cornjob in all of us.

       1 likes

  19. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    Cornjob:
    My hat’s off to you new cornjob for some nice observations and analysis.

    You…..were able to make simple blessed head or tail of even one sentence of it, then? (“Sure, I speak Raymond-Babbitt!”)

    Hats off to you, sir or madam.

       1 likes

  20. Anthony
    Ignored
    says:

    Mike “ex-genius” Kelley: Sorry to respectfully disagree with you, but I’m perfectly capable of judging things I’ve only seen once.In the first go-around of MST3K (where I watched all the episodes from Season Four onward as they first premiered) I appreciated them (or not, although most did) just as much if not more the first time I saw them (when the jokes were fresh).Now they are like old friends, to be sure, and I really only laugh occasionally when something happens I’ve forgotten, but I am very positive The Return isn’t nearly as good as the majority of those episodes.Not a single time (“Avalanche” has come the closest — I gave it a 7 out of 10, based on the scale I’ve always used.Classic MST3K does not average less than 7).

    I’ve said it elsewhere, but I’m pretty sure those who love this season are much younger.And that’s okay — youth must be served, and there is a definite different style here than any of the original seasons.In those seasons there was a sense of discovery in the host and the bots which is clearly missing.And missing here on purpose — they usually have their quips out IMMEDIATELY at the point of the joke, rather than reacting to what is being said on the film and taking a beat and a WTF kind of moment we had again and again with Mike and Joel.(Sometimes, in fact, they even telegraph the joke, so it arrives at the same time or even slightly before what it refers to — this old man will NEVER appreciate that).

    I’m still glad we have these, and I’m sure the sensibilities of the millennials will continue even to a season 12.I’m mildly amused, but that’s still okay.As I’ve said in the past, even bad MST3K is better than most good other things.

    You know, I’ve been stewing on this essentially reasonable comment (the gist of which I’ve seen you make multiple times in the S11 episode discussion threads), and there’s been something that hasn’t been sitting right with me that I can’t quite put my finger on, and I think I figured out what it is – the “sensibilities of the millennials” thing (for the record, I’m 35, so that puts me right at the end of Generation X, i.e. the generation that grew up with this show). Now, I mean, I might be getting this totally wrong, but I kinda feel like your not at all unreasonable opinion that S11 doesn’t compare to the best of the older seasons (I’m assuming you don’t mean ALL of the older seasons, as certainly even S4-7, what I consider the show’s peak, had its share of duds) is being conflated with the idea that the only people that WOULD say S11 compares to the best of the older seasons are those wacky youths with their fidgety spinner doohickeys and their fancy-pants cellular phones and such. I mean, maybe I’m wrong, and please tell me if I am, but I’m sort of getting that attitude out of these sorts of posts. Like, the whole idea about the “sense of discovery” – I get where you’re coming from, I truly do, but that’s the sort of thing that is only a problem *if you want it to be*, and if it is, then I totally understand! But I don’t think the absence of said sense of discovery makes the show *worse*, as much as it makes it different. I know you think it makes it worse, and again, I get that. But different doesn’t always mean worse, in my estimation, and I’m not sure your post is really reflecting that (even if you believe that different doesn’t always mean worse as well) as much as it’s a sort of “well, in MY day” post that says just as much about you as it does about your quibbles with the show. Again, could be wrong!

    Like, look, I certainly have my share of issues with S11 – it would be pretty naïve to think I wouldn’t, no matter how it turned out – but I think a lot of them are the sort that can be sanded away with time, and aren’t endemic built-in problems that will never change and will only serve to push me further away (which, I think, you’re saying here). And, if I can read between the lines here, I think that you want a return to the show that it used to be, which would never have happened even if they got literally everyone that worked on the show in Season 5 to return to the show and put Joel back in as host or whatever. I am perfectly comfortable saying S11, as a whole, isn’t quite up there with the aforementioned peak of the show. I’m also entirely comfortable saying that, with my perhaps slightly inferior viewpoint on the show, that I think a good number of the episodes are easily as funny as some of my favorites of those seasons, and will be returned to just as many times as I return to I Accuse My Parents or Girls Town or some such. Anyway.

       5 likes

  21. I don’t want The Return to change — it is what it is. Most “remakes” or “returns” by and large are failures precisely because they do try and recapture the magic of whatever made them brilliant in the first place and usually fail miserably. By that standard, The Return succeeds remarkably, moreso than perhaps any other such effort.

    But it doesn’t amuse me in the same way as the Original Series and I don’t think it ever will. Again, that’s not a problem that needs to be *solved*, it just is what it is. As you note, you are FAR younger than I am and most of the younger folks here really do like The Return. Love it, in point of fact. I would suspect strongly that I’m in a minority simply because there aren’t too many of us old farts around, those of us who were your age (in our 30’s, the same age as the creators) when the Original Series premiered.

    For us the series was of its times. It wasn’t always great, but even the lesser efforts, TO ME, are better than anything I’ve seen so far in season 11. And that’s mostly because of its sensibilities. Can I get “used” to them? Not sure that’s a litmus test of anything — when I was in high school at an art class that was 98% young females (I the only male — long story and big mistake) they played “The Sound of Music” soundtrack every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That’s what the young girls wanted, and that’s what I hated. And after hearing it about 70 or 80 times (perhaps more) I *did* get used to it. So much so that I find myself singing some of the songs from time to time. And hating myself for it.

    So I will continue to give my own view from a completely different perspective from the rest of you. Again, you are seeing these shows in the prime of your lives, and they will end up being what you love and care for and some day, 30 years from now, someone will make The Return of The Return and you will complain that it doesn’t have the same pace, or the same feeling or whatever, and that younger generation will look on you sadly and not *quite* get it. When I say “Youth must be served” I mean that with all due respect and no rancor whatsoever — it’s true and every generation needs to deal with it.

       5 likes

  22. new cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    heh, sounds fine by me cj! i shouldn’t be “knighting” peeps without official proclamation… ;0 just an old nerdy habit. you are certainly most “proper”… hammer would agree! ;0 we need a third designation for danzilla too, it seems (“yet another cornjob”? ;0)… pros and cons to everything, but i think now that we’re off the “honor system” of free logins, it’s gonna make it tough for anyone to change their names to something else, once they discover (like i did way back when) that their chosen one is already taken.

    speaking of which, “orig eric” – i write lying upside-down off the edge of a couch… good for my back, and i love the rush of blood pounding in my brain. ;0

       1 likes

  23. Captain Howdy
    Ignored
    says:

    Mike "ex-genius" Kelley:
    When I say “Youth must be served” I mean that with all due respect and no rancor whatsoever — it’s true and every generation needs to deal with it.

    It’s… It’s a cookbook!

       10 likes

  24. Lol — serve ’em up!

       2 likes

  25. Cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    “By Sundown I’ll rule the galaxy.”

    “In Space?”

    This reminds me of the riff in Robot Holocaust about how it’s hard to get someone out of the sight of an omnipresent being.

       2 likes

  26. Anthony
    Ignored
    says:

    Mike "ex-genius" Kelley:
    I don’t want The Return to change — it is what it is.Most “remakes” or “returns” by and large are failures precisely because they do try and recapture the magic of whatever made them brilliant in the first place and usually fail miserably.By that standard, The Return succeeds remarkably, moreso than perhaps any other such effort.

    But it doesn’t amuse me in the same way as the Original Series and I don’t think it ever will.Again, that’s not a problem that needs to be *solved*, it just is what it is.As you note, you are FAR younger than I am and most of the younger folks here really do like The Return.Love it, in point of fact.I would suspect strongly that I’m in a minority simply because there aren’t too many of us old farts around, those of us who were your age (in our 30’s, the same age as the creators) when the Original Series premiered.

    For us the series was of its times.It wasn’t always great, but even the lesser efforts, TO ME, are better than anything I’ve seen so far in season 11.And that’s mostly because of its sensibilities.Can I get “used” to them?Not sure that’s a litmus test of anything — when I was in high school at an art class that was 98% young females (I the only male — long story and big mistake) they played “The Sound of Music” soundtrack every day.EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.That’s what the young girls wanted, and that’s what I hated.And after hearing it about 70 or 80 times (perhaps more) I *did* get used to it.So much so that I find myself singing some of the songs from time to time.And hating myself for it.

    So I will continue to give my own view from a completely different perspective from the rest of you.Again, you are seeing these shows in the prime of your lives, and they will end up being what you love and care for and some day, 30 years from now, someone will make The Return of The Return and you will complain that it doesn’t have the same pace, or the same feeling or whatever, and that younger generation will look on you sadly and not *quite* get it.When I say “Youth must be served” I mean that with all due respect and no rancor whatsoever — it’s true and every generation needs to deal with it.

    That’s fair – like I said, the gist of what you’re saying is eminently reasonable. I would like to note that being a (relative) youngster – Lord knows I don’t feel that way when I consider how many of my friends on Twitter are still in their mid-20s – hasn’t stopped me from not only enjoying the CC/Sci-Fi MST3K, but The Three Stooges’ shorts, Duck Soup, Blazing Saddles, His Girl Friday, and so on and so forth. Trust me, I get just as annoyed when younger folks can’t find the humor in *that*. So, yeah, takes all kinds.

    As for your being in a minority w/r/t S11, I’ve read through these threads, and I’m not sure I agree with that, nor with the assertion that the best of S11 doesn’t compete with the worst (or worse) of the original show. But those are minor quibbles. Let’s shake hands and part as friends.

       2 likes

  27. Megalon
    Ignored
    says:

    I just watched this one for the first time last night. I don’t know if I would call it my favorite of the new season so far, but it certainly made me laugh the hardest and the most consistently. The crack about the knock-off Lisa Simpson mask was the biggest laugh of the night. Like Torgo’s first appearance in Manos, it made me laugh so hard that I missed the next 30-60 seconds of riffs.

    Then the cavemen… and the giant stop-motion robot… Wow. This movie was funny all on its own.

       3 likes

  28. Anthony:

    As for your being in a minority w/r/t S11, I’ve read through these threads, and I’m not sure I agree with that, nor with the assertion that the best of S11 doesn’t compete with the worst (or worse) of the original show. But those are minor quibbles. Let’s shake hands and part as friends.

    Absolutely. I really do appreciate and enjoy all the folks here on this site (and on a FB MST3K page). People who love this humor are generally good natured and accepting of all viewpoints.

    I thought “Avalanche” *so far* was the closest to the original series (we’ve seen about three more weeks up to Hercules). And I have enjoyed all of them to some degree. So we’re having fun, if not quite the same amount during the past (but we still have those episodes and can’t lose them).

       3 likes

  29. VikingWoman
    Ignored
    says:

    “Starcrash” is one of my favorites this season. Top three, perhaps, after the first “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom” and “Cry Wilderness.”

    I was just continually baffled by the sheer badness of this movie. When I wasn’t laughing like a maniac (which was mostly in the last half), I was just sitting there completely stunned by the raw nuttiness unfolding in front of me, and still loving every minute of it. Acktin has to be one of the most truly bizarre characters to ever appear in a MSTed movie.

    The host segments are fun (yay for Crow’s screenplays!), but I do wonder why they’re doing more dress-up segments in place of visits-from-a-movie-character segments.

    Favorite riff, in this episode, sure, but also one of my favorites in the entire season: “Excellent read, Nathan. There are no small parts.” Also, I completely lost it at the “red arm” line. And the beautiful spaceship names sequence. And the part where there were, like, three Muppet references within the span of a couple of minutes. Thanks, Mystery Science Theater 3000.

       1 likes

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

    I remember Crow doing a riff about how someone on the screen looks like “Marjoe Gortner!” but I can’t for the life of me remember which film. So, anyway, they USED to know who Marjoe Gortner was.

       1 likes

  31. Charles McClelland
    Ignored
    says:

    Am I weird?
    I am 49 and I love it all! -Every season, from k-01 to S11! If the episode is a little tough to get through, I pretend I’m part of the experiment as well and I cringe through the deep hurting to feel bliss on the other side. I have not had to do this for S11. This season has been beyond my wildest dreams!

       4 likes

  32. Melissa Bachmann
    Ignored
    says:

    Well who knows if anyone will read this but I suspect the main reason this season is liked by younger people is because all the episodes are in color. I know many people who wont even attempt to watch a movie that isn’t in color and yes they are missing out. That being said I love The Return. I was really nervous that this new younger version was going to be really political and I’m so glad they just focus on the jokes. As far as which episodes I like best, it has always been a combination of type of movie plus joke quality, and of course opinion. My favorite movies from this new season are the Wizards of the Lost Kingdom ones because those are one of my favorite types of movies. I liked Starcrash a lot and Beast of Hollow Mountain. I have never been a big fan of any of the giant monster destroys stuff episodes and this season is no exception. Those movies are just boring to me on the whole. I am a firm believer you need to watch them at least twice because sometimes, at least I, get bogged down by the movie and miss the jokes. I look forward to next season and hope they give us some bad action movie episodes, cant wait!

       3 likes

  33. David Caudill
    Ignored
    says:

    For those wondering if the writers knew who Marjoe Gortner was outside of Starcrash, Jonah actually touched on his life a bit when he appeared on the Revival League Podcast. I honestly think they opted against mentioning it for a similar reasons as why their decision not to mention Rock Hudson’s personal life.

       2 likes

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

    (I ended up being a real yakkity smakkity here so, please, feel free to ignore, I won’t mind. The writing was fun in itself.)

    I think it’s fair to guess that the NuBrains aren’t much for “exploitation films” (which is admittedly itself a very subjective term), but then, even the TruBrains rarely referenced films from that era/genre. (They did reference a few, though, particularly The Texas Chain Saw(two words) Massacre (1974) and occasional blaxploitation fare, so don’t start with me, George.)

    (As is typical of me, I’ve only read about, not actually seen, most of the films below, but hey, even Joel can’t have watched EVERYTHING that he referenced…I’m…presuming…).

    I speak in regard to the appearance of Joe “Zarth Arn” Spinnell (1936–1989) (ZARTH: It’s like DARTH only taken to the limit), who made quite a name for himself in the “grindhouse” field in the seventies and eighties, particularly as Frank Zito in Maniac (1980), an infamous slasher film from the video nasty era, noted for, among other things, being one of the earlier efforts of makeup/special effects genius Tom Savini, whose effects were so gory for the times that renowned film critic Gene Siskel walked out of the theater halfway through (ironically, nowadays a shotgun blast to the head would probably be considered too tame for a slasher/horror film, because not many serial killers use anything as prosaic as guns these days)? Of course, kids today with their loud music and their hula hoops and their fax machines probably don’t even know who Tom Savini is or who Gene Siskel was. :-| Then again, to be fair, during the actual 1980s, I didn’t know who either of them were. ;-)

    (Take heed, younger correspondents, and pay attention to the popular culture that’s all around you. In a few decades it’ll be as celebrated/infamous as disco and big 80s hair and the rest, and you’ll be left standing there like a dope (well, okay, that last part might be just me) wondering how you missed it all…)

    Anyway, Maniac is also notable for being one of the earlier slasher films in which the slasher, now dead, inexplicably returns to life at the very end (such a juncture is known in the trade as a Myers Moment; well, actually, no, it isn’t, but I am encouraging it!). Of course, slasher films later became more infamous for featuring killers who were already dead when the film started.

    Spinnell was also known for mob and cop dramas as well as slasher films, including Paradise Alley (1978), The First Deadly Sin (1980), Cruising (1980), The Last Horror Film (1982) (where he played another, different maniac), Night Shift (1982) (starring The Fonz, Beetlejuice, and Diane from Cheers!), Vigilante (1982) (yes, back in the days when protagonists could gun down muggers and drug dealers in cold blood and no one questioned the notion that rape was worse than murder (’cause, see, they’d murder rapists*)), Trackdown: Finding the Goodbar Killer (1983), The Children of Time Square (1986), The Messenger (1986) (with Fred “Warriors of the Lost World” Williamson (whose own resume goes as far back as M*A*S*H[: The Movie] (1970))), and more “mainstream” fare such as The Godfather (1972) & The Godfather: Part II (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), Rocky (1976) & Rocky II (1979), The Pick-Up Artist (1987), Married to the Mob (1988).

    Yes, when you wanted sleaze, Spinnell was your guy, and, seriously, who doesn’t want sleaze every now and then? ;-)

    Anyway, if any of the above made it into the riffs, it eluded me. Of course, I’d never expect anyone who didn’t have Spinnell’s IMDB page right in front of them, as I do, to be familiar with ALL of this stuff, but I was already familiar with much of it and, no kidding, some of it’s of genuine historic significance within its scope and not nearly as obscure as some of the TruBrains’ favorite references. But of course, no Brain can know it all.

    To conclude way out in left field, what kind of an idiot give a film which can be summarized as “Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle” a title like Sorcerer (1977)? That is SO misleading. Oh well.

    ===

    *it’s possible, although certainly not easy, to recover from rape; to recover from murder, not so much

       3 likes

  35. Colossus Prime
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh bad Star Wars knockoff movies, how I love thee. And how I love this episode for it.

    So happy for the return of screen writer Crow, and it felt perfect. Ackton being exposed is a ton of fun, and I really enjoy the madness of the Torpedo Sketch including Kinga and Max questioning “does that count as driving them insane,” and Tom doing his best Don Pardo to reference David Bowie and Tin Machine (they get a bad rap but I like their first album). I have never been a Seinfeld fan, so his appearance did nothing for me. But I know he and Joel are friends and I can at least appreciate him popping up.

    The movie is so enjoyably bad. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the uncut version (they trimmed out a LOT) but it doesn’t change that much. Because every single scene is conflict/resolution, lather, rinse, repeat. It’s like an incompetent Searchers that way. Also so much just doesn’t make any damn sense anyways. Stella exclaiming, “We’re not slaves,” always makes me go cross eyed seeing as she’s in a PRISON LABOR CAMP! It honestly feels as though someone just wrote a bunch of scenes and then added additional scenes to connect them later without readjusting context. And man do I have a thing for Caroline Munro. Always have, always will.

    As I’m sure most of you know, this director went on to do two Hercules movies, which are much better and even more interesting (a lot of really cool production choices were made). And since Shout Factory recently released them on Blu Ray, I really hope we get to see them next season.

    With a movie this bonkers of course the riffing is great. I appreciate them not cutting the super long scene of Stella just wandering out of the prison and into the space ship, allowing J&tB to sing a very fun song.

    Fav riffs:
    Thor: There’ll be no next time!
    Jonah: Next time on “Space Woman: Stella Star!”

    Jonah: Please tell me you’re not another southern robot.
    Tom: Well how-de-doo.
    Jonah: *groans*

    Crow: Alright son, how much is this one going to cost me?

       1 likes

  36. Benjamin Wink
    Ignored
    says:

    Sampo –

    “Behind the camera: Cinematographer Paul Beeson was director of photography for “Moon Zero Two” and “Lost Continent.”

    While true that Paul Beeson was the director of photography for “Moon Zero Two”, he was not the DP for 1951’s “Lost Continent” as featured during the wonderful second season of MST.

    The “Lost Continent” he did work on was 1968’s “The Lost Continent” from Hammer Studios, a film which has not been on MST to date.

       3 likes

  37. Benjamin Wink
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    I remember Crow doing a riff about how someone on the screen looks like “Marjoe Gortner!” but I can’t for the life of me remember which film. So, anyway, they USED to know who Marjoe Gortner was.

    I believe that was in Angels Revenge in reference to Jack Palance’s drug dealing lackey. I do hope that this has not been nagging at you since June when you posted this! :-)

       5 likes

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

    I really should’ve made this comment last week, when we got an actual Greedo riff, but:

    George Lucas is evidently perturbed that anyone would prefer the “Han shot first” scenario, saying that means that “they want Han to be a cold-blooded killer” (or words to that effect).

    Han was a smuggler who worked for slavers and other organized crime figures across the galaxy and hung out in hives of scum and villainy where people might kill you over a careless remark, of course he was a cold-blooded killer. When he had to be.

    Upon reflection, although one can have villainy without scum, can one really have scum without villainy?

    But never mind that, let’s go here:

    It’d be nice if this was but the first of multiple Star Wars ripoffs that was MSTed; I’m sure a few have already been Rifftraxed but that’s not really the identical thing.

    Like Han Solo and Chewbacca, Stella and Akton were also smugglers, although that seemed like more of an informed attribute to me.

    “A barren desert of whiteness.” I can but presume that the NuBrains saw so many riff possibilities there that they ultimately decided not to riff it at all. The TruBrains, in contrast, would probably have near-automatically done a string of Minnesota/Scandihoovian riffs from that single line. Oh yah. Oh well.

    Which reminds me: Recall a classic moment from Pod People, when Crow/Beaulieu goes into a out-of-nowhere tangent about “potaytoes” that lasts several minutes and more often than not cracks viewers up. Can anyone hear in their heads either of the other Crows pulling that off? I Think Not.

    Yes, I’m on about that again. I’m never entirely off about that again…
    ;-)

       1 likes

  39. Trumpys Dad
    Ignored
    says:

    I must disagree with Sampo – last time I was not aware of Marjoe Gortner but had to wikipedia his story. I think the host segment 2 where the bots seem to worship Akton/Jonah and then it turns to disgust and rejection is totally inspired by Marjoe’s past. It is just a subtle take – if you know the background you get it and if you don’t you miss it. You know, not all will but the right people will get it. There is already too many in-your-face humor comedians if you ask me.
    And get off my lawn.

       0 likes

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

    At first glance, I thought the Amazons were clad in nothing but that black border tape stuff. My first thought was, “Well, THERE’S an innovative use of stock footage film…”
    So, the Emperor says that Simon “was my only son.” “Was”? So that’s, uh, changed in the interim, has it? Or is he just presuming that Simon is dead? If so, well, thinking that Stella and Akton can bring him back alive seems unduly optimistic.

    BTW, am I the only one who remembers “Simon’s a computer. Simon has a brain. Either do what Simon says or else go down the drain.” Probably. That wasn’t really Vincent Price’s voice, was it? Or was it?

    Volcanosaurus Rex:
    I have so many questions after this movie—Why does the “Emperor of the First Circle of the Universe” talk like he can’t think more than one word ahead? WTF is the deal with the projected, tentacle-y alien judge?

    Oh, that’s an admittedly out-of-nowhere “homage” to Invaders from Mars (1953). To wit:

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/422916221234023785/

    “Hey, who put the Supreme Intelligences in the microwave?!”

       1 likes

  41. Sampo
    Ignored
    says:

    Benjamin Wink:
    Sampo –

    “Behind the camera: Cinematographer Paul Beeson was director of photography for “Moon Zero Two” and “Lost Continent.”

    While true that Paul Beeson was the director of photography for “Moon Zero Two”, he was not the DP for 1951’s “Lost Continent” as featured during the wonderful second season of MST.

    The “Lost Continent” he did work on was 1968’s “The Lost Continent” from Hammer Studios, a film which has not been on MST to date.

    Oops! Thanks!

       2 likes

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

    Volcanosaurus Rex:
    How do they just torpedo soldiers into the enemy ship without them, and everything else, getting sucked out into the vacuum of space? Sheesh…

    Oh, for heaven’s sake, this sort of thing again?

    It’s SCIENCE!, of course.

    “Why don’t people understand…weird science…”

    underwoc:
    Ah Starcrash…the sword and sandal movie in space

    Oh, it’s more than that and so much less.

    underwoc:
    (though David Hasselhoff is no Steve Reeves)

    He’s not even George Reeves.

    gf120581:
    – Who fires torpedos filled with soldiers?

    The government from Dr. Isaac Asimov’s “The Feeling of Power”?

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology:
    -Classic MST3K Bits: “YOU go for hyperspace, I’m bitter.”

    The “bitter” riff dates back to the Joel era. I’m not sure if it’s “from” anything in particular, though.

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology:
    “C’mon, gurths!”

    “Gurths”? Vas iss Gurths?

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology:
    They also stole the skeleton warriors concept too.

    “Be right there….”…”Be right there…”

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology:
    Luigi has always insisted that these elements were tributes and not ripoffs

    “Imitation is the sincerest form of theft.” — Harlan Ellison. But what does he know? ;-)

    Danzilla “Cornjob” McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology:
    -The Starcrash Action Toy Sets bit had me in stitches

    Mm, went on a little long for my tastes but, as ever, YMMV.

       1 likes

  43. bartcow
    Ignored
    says:

    So unironically in love with this movie. It reminds me of the kind of fractured, ill-conceived stories I would cook up for my action figures in the backyard. And Caroline Munro in leather underwear is a bonus. No one really seems to know why her voice was dubbed, but whatever. Last year for my birthday, I got a print of the original movie poster. Still need to put it up in the living room, but I want to make sure to get a nice, decent frame for it first.

    In case you haven’t guessed, the 80s were my decade, and space/fantasy adventures from that poofy decade are my bread and butter.

    I tracked down the score for this on CD as well. I dig John Barry’s stuff in general.

    GO FOR HYPERSPACE!

       0 likes

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

    davidmello:
    This is also the first time that it will dawn on Kinga and Max that lousy movies won’t drive Jonah and the bots insane, but might drive the Mads out of their minds.
    Just like their dads.

    Oh, come now, Dr. F was insane from the get-go, and Frank only dabbled in insanity now and then. “Speed” drove him outright insane, of course, but he got over that.

    GizmonicTemp:
    Did anyone else think it was odd that “L”‘s voice was a southern-USA accent? Concerning this, I have a theory. First, this movie was Italian. Second, the person who did “L”‘s voice is a professional voice actor, meaning he could’ve sounded like ANYTHING. This leads me to believe that the director wanted an “American” sound and immediately went to the stereotypical. Interesting.

    Well, to an international audience, I’d think that a southern accent is just another WEIRD accent.

    GizmonicTemp:
    Stella…

    Which reminds me: WHERE WERE THE STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE RIFFS?

    Warren:
    Here’s what I thought was a missed riff opportunity, the two metallic sword-wielding robots. In a few shots I thought they appeared to have ‘angry duck faces’.

    “Actually…they’re…uh, Duckbots.”

    Sitting Duck:
    This is as good a place to mention it as any. Is it just me, or do Muppet-based riffs occur more frequently here than they did in the original MST3K?

    They do, it’s true, it’s not just you, no love can cut our knife in two. Occasional Kermit the Frog riffs aside, The Muppets didn’t really take off until well after the TruBrains’ formative years; the NuBrains grew up with them. As I noted on an earlier occasion, that “explains” the relatively high number of Star Wars riffs, too.

    WeatherServo9:
    If you’ve never seen the documentary Marjoe, it’s really worth a watch. After he realized he didn’t want to pretend to be a Christian for money anymore

    Yeah, the hobbyists ruined the field…

    I keep thinking, every time I see it, for just a split second, that Majorjoe23’s name is actually Marjoe Gortner. Go figure.

       1 likes

  45. Terry the Sensitive Knight
    Ignored
    says:

    bad ‘Star Wars’ knockoffs are the best, I loved everything about this episode

    also great to see Crow still writing screenplays!

       1 likes

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

    I’ve spared no expense (literally, it didn’t cost me a dime) to compile this list of 1970s-1980s films that, shall we say, owe a few debts to Star Wars.

    While some of these were, obviously, properties that preceded Star Wars, there seems little doubt that it was the success of Star Wars that lured those franchises back into the fray.

    Not all of these are what I personally would’ve considered Star Wars ripoffs, but similar lists on the internet included them, so what the heck. ;-)

    Clearly YMMV on any and all of these.

    (Also, virtually any film (not just SF but also fantasy) that features a multi-species bar scene ultimately dates back to the Mos Eisley cantina scene (unless said scene was itself an homage to an earlier property, I am not sure), but I didn’t go that far.)

    Any number of 1970s-1980s post-apocalyptic SF films owe a few debts to Star Wars as well, but I’ve mostly stayed out of that sub-genre here.

    But first, two early 1970s films that certainly look like they might have been influenced by Star Wars but in fact were released BEFORE Star Wars:

    Flesh Gordon (1974)
    Dark Star (1975)

    So much for that.

    Quark (TV series) (1977)
    The War in Space (1977)
    War of the Robots (1978)
    Message from Space (1978)
    Jason of Star Command (TV series) (1978)
    Battlestar Galactica (TV series) (1978)
    Os Trapalhões na Guerra dos Planetas (trans: The Bunglers in the War of the Planets), aka Brazilian Star Wars (1978)
    >>>Starcrash (1978)
    Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)
    The Humanoid (1979)
    H.G. Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come (1979)
    Alien (1979) (which of course went on to inspire even more films that Star Wars did)
    Spaced Out (1979)
    Star Odyssey (1979)
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
    The Black Hole (1979)
    Saturn 3 (1980)
    Galaxina (1980)
    Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
    Flash Gordon (1980)
    Hawk the Slayer (1980)
    Inseminoid (1981)
    Outland (1981)
    Galaxy of Terror (1981)
    Dünyay? Kurtaran Adam (trans: The Man Who Saved the World), aka Turkish Star Wars (1982)
    Yor, the Hunter from the Future (1983)
    Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)
    The Creature Wasn’t Nice (1983)
    Krull (1983)
    Space Raiders (1983)
    Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983)
    The Ice Pirates (1984)
    Sayonara Jupiter (1984)
    The Last Starfighter (1984)
    Hyperspace (1984)
    Morons from Outer Space (1985)
    Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985) While there are obviously many, many other animated films with clear Star Wars influences, I tend to view animated films as a separate genre in itself, so I chose just this one representative.
    >>>Robot Holocaust (1986)
    Spaceballs (1987)
    Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity (1987)
    Nightflyers (1987)
    >>>Space Mutiny (1988)

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  47. Terry the Sensitive Knight
    Ignored
    says:

    Sitting Duck: This is as good a place to mention it as any. Is it just me, or do Muppet-based riffs occur more frequently here than they did in the original MST3K?

    I’ve been rewatching the old episodes and I’ve noticed there are a LOT of “Jim Henson’s ____ Babies” riffs

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  48. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m going to be charitable and assume the Spin the Bottle segment went through several takes without a successful landing on Crow and they got frustrated.

    So who came up with the idea of a fireman pole on the bridge of the Count’s flagship?

    Wonder if Plummer hated doing Starcrash as much as he did The Sound of Music?

    This is as good a place to mention it as any. I don’t get the complaints about it being hard to tell who’s making a riff. Occasionally when someone does a funny voice, I’m not 100% sure which riffer is doing it. But by and large, I find Jonah, Baron, and Hampton easy enough to distinguish in the theater.

    Favorite riffs

    Caroline Munro, the store brand Marilyn Monroe.

    In space, no one can hear you scream, it’s so loud!

    “Go for hyperspace!”
    You go for hyperspace. I’m bitter.

    No one escapes from the world’s largest gumball machine!

    “He was my only son.”
    Are you his only dad?

    If the Force has awakened, it’s already back asleep, I tell ya.

    “It’s not very far from here. You can reach it by using the space shuttle.”
    Or we could pull up a little closer, and you can just fall there.

    If something should happen to me, don’t go into my room!

    Let’s laugh and learn with Elle the Bumbling Robot.

    Should we be alarmed that the horses have Crocs on their heads?

    Back to killing humans, I see. That’s great.

    I know it’s the future, but I’m not ready for this love scene.

    Your crappy effects are powerless against me.

    Yeah, just push the button more. That always works.

    Laugh if you want. But it took some Italian special effects guy three weeks to get this shot.

    I never thought a robot shooting lasers at cavemen could be this boring.

    “After you, my dear.”
    In case there’s any danger.

    The company laser tag team-building exercise had a surprisingly high casualty rate. Johnson from HR is dead.

    Don’t take the pole, soldier. It’s not dignified after a battle.

    Space Mountain with the lights on. They never show you how many people get killed on that ride. I took a secret Disney tour.

    “Oh, some dark force, no doubt, will show its face once more.”
    In Starcrash II: The Search for Thor.

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  49. Lisa H.
    Ignored
    says:

    Sitting Duck: This is as good a place to mention it as any. I don’t get the complaints about it being hard to tell who’s making a riff. Occasionally when someone does a funny voice, I’m not 100% sure which riffer is doing it. But by and large, I find Jonah, Baron, and Hampton easy enough to distinguish in the theater.

    Crow was not usually a problem for me but I was still struggling with Jonah and Tom by this point on my first watch through. I guess I must have gotten used to it by season’s end because I’m not really having a problem this time around (although Baron’s voice still kinda isn’t doing it for me as a performance).

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  50. Johnny's nonchalance
    Ignored
    says:

    Lisa H.: Crow was not usually a problem for me but I was still struggling with Jonah and Tom by this point on my first watch through. I guess I must have gotten used to it by season’s end because I’m not really having a problem this time around (although Baron’s voice still kinda isn’t doing it for me as a performance).

    I like this episode very much! But I am inclined to agree about the voice of Tom. Tom bursting into song used to seem organic. Now it just seemed forced. The tortured rendition of Star Crash/Star Church is one example of writers saying Tom sings so we’ll make up something for him to sing. Bleh.

    I saw the live shows where there was a different guy subbing for the voice of Tom. That live performer seemed superior to the S11 iteration.

       2 likes

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