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Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Weekend Discussion Thread: MSTed Mysteries

Our pal “Yeti of Great Danger” suggests:

Mystery Science Theater Mysteries, things/people/events from MST’ed movies that were never explained and made no sense, even for a bad B movie. Some of these things may have been explained later in interviews, etc., but if someone was watching the movie for the first time with no background, what’s a total mystery?

Mine is who is that woman in the photo on Rowsdower’s dashboard? Girlfriend, wife, ex? Dead sister? Is he stalking someone?

Mine would have to be: “In The Touch of Satan,” why show us where the fish lives and not tell us more about the fish? Is he a great white? A nice tasty red snapper? The world wants to know!

Your turn.

126 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: MSTed Mysteries”

  1. jay says:

    Chicken of Tomorrow –

    Is the Chicken of Tomorrow now the Chicken of Yesterday? Did the aforementioned Chicken actually arrive in 1963? Was the Texaco corporation behind the Kennedy assassination? Is the Chicken of Today one of a series of clones produced with alien technology discovered in a UFO near Roswell, New Mexico? Was Colonel Sanders a space alien? Somehow IT ALL TIES TOGETHER!!


  2. littleaimishboy says:

    What did Buffalo Bill actually say when he mumbled something that sounded like “New England journalists”?

    “Y’look like yew’re enj-oy’n’ this”


  3. GareChicago says:

    littleaimishboy: “Y’look like yew’re enj-oy’n’ this”

    That.. makes total sense. I mean, for real, I’ve wondered about this for years, but yes, this fits both his character and his goofy-as-hell speech pattern.

    Thank you Sir! I think we can say that this mystery is solved!!



  4. GareChicago says:

    Speaking of Riding With Death (and Death doesn’t pony up for gas):

    Has anyone ever really determined what the heck Denby’s plan was supposed to be? Something about deuterium, and sabotage, I get all of that.. but – then what? He already proved he could blow up a military test jet, as seen in the stock footage of a pilot ejecting.. so why put it into the radio of a race car? Also, why did the race car have a radio?? So what was his plan?



  5. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    Speaking of Riding With Death (and Death doesn’t pony up for gas):

    Has anyone ever really determined what the heck Denby’s plan was supposed to be? Something about deuterium, and sabotage, I get all of that.. but – then what? He already proved he could blow up a military test jet, as seen in the stock footage of a pilot ejecting.. so why put it into the radio of a race car? Also, why did the race car have a radio?? So what was his plan?


    I wish we could figure this out. The answer is out there somewhere, but it’s so… elusive….


  6. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    speaking of Riding With Death, just where the HECK is Abby and how can she see all that stuff happening?

    Crow: “Is she in Heaven, Mike?”


  7. Our_Singing_Star_Ms_Kitty_Reed says:

    Why does Kitty Reed tell Jimmy she “never had a mother, at least one that I can remember” and then moments later tell him “my folks split up a year or two ago?”



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

    Why does Kitty Reed tell Jimmy she “never had a mother, at least one that I can remember” and then moments later tell him “my folks split up a year or two ago?”


    Why does a woman with direct ties to ORGANIZED CRIME lie about her past. That is indeed a poser…

    On another note, who was that woman in Jimmy’s house at the start of the film, of whom Joel said “Mom is hot!” She turned out not to be Mom, of course, but who was she?


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

    Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves:
    Oh here’s one. In Prince of Space, we are repeatedly informed that “your weapons are useless against me”.Yet, unless we are expected to attribute it to our hero’s prancing-about behavior, we have no explanation for why this might be.

    So is this in fact true? Does he have some power that *literally* renders Krankor’s weapons ineffective?Is he from some Japanese equivalent of the Planet Krypton and therefore our sun’s rays make him invulnerable?Is it his stylish costume?

    Or is he merely talking smack?

    He said they were useless. He didn’t say that being struck by them was a pleasant experience. A water gun would be “useless” in an attempt to harm me but that doesn’t mean I won’t take (literal) steps to avoid getting sprayed by an active sprinkler.


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

    mando3b: As a teacher of Russian literature, I approve of this comment. Mando3b

    Well, no offense, but Chekhov’s Rule is such BULL. Maybe the gun’s a decoration on the wall (and it isn’t randomly loaded). Maybe it’s being worn by a law enforcement officer who does not in fact kill people every day. Maybe it was found in a corpse’s hand. All sorts of possibilities…


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

    (having perused all of the questions)

    All right. I’ll get this off my chest right now:

    Jesus H. Christ on a Hand-Carved Mahogany Surfboard, Some of You People Are Such Complete and Utter IMBECILES.

    I’m not specifying which ones, though.


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

    Who exactly were the Mole People?
    Was it the underground creatures who dug up dirt? Was it their overlords, the people of Ishtar? Was it the scientists who discovered them?

    It was a monster movie. “The Mole People” were the title characters. Thus “The Mole People” were, obviously, the “monsters.” The “monsters” were the underground creatures.

    Now let’s get this straight.Santa can afford to live in a custom high altitude lair filled with all kinds of gadgets, right?So why didn’t he just slip Lupita’s dad a few thousand pesos so he could buy Lupita a nice doll and, I don’t know, maybe get the guy a steady job?

    Well, if he did that for one family, he’d be expected to do it all the other families, wouldn’t he? Santa’s deal is toys, that’s all, nothing else.

    Why was there no Monster in Monster a Go-Go.what were they chasing after anyway?

    The movie didn’t say that there was NEVER a monster. There was a monster until the monster disappeared. AFTER THAT, “There was no monster.” Which was demonstrably the case.

    Murdock Hauser:
    The story of a lonely woman who was strangled to death by a mysterious man at the start of “Beast of Yucca Flats.” Who was she, and what was her purpose in the movie?

    She was “actress” Mary Torres and this was her only film. She served the purpose of theoretically titilating the audience.

    What in the world was Natalie’s native language?

    Actress Adrianna Miles’s first role was as “German National” in 1992’s Nemesis. She is allegedly fluent in English, German, Italian, French, and Czech (which doesn’t mean that she can speak any of them without an accent). Buys your ticket and takes your chance. ;-)

    George Orwell:
    why does Buzz kill the guy who’s giving him a fortune in drugs?

    So he doesn’t have to share said fortune with said guy.

    Mr. B Natural – Possibly the greatest mystery in all of MST3K.How is Mr. B Natural, so obviously a finely figured female in a day when artificial enhancement was not a thing, become a MR.?

    Mr. B. Natural is a supernatural being who was possibly active in the Garden of Eden, implying a lifetime of six thousand years or more. That makes any effort at “logical” explanations pointless.

    However, see also:

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:
    What was the guy at the studio in “The Pod People” trying to accomplish by wearing that “I’m a Virgin” T-shirt?

    Uh, to for whatever reason indicate to people that he was at that time a virgin? Is any other explanation really necessary?

    People are odd. They do odd things. Because they’re odd. A film in which everything that the characters do makes sense is a film that is depending far too much on suspension of disbelief.

    Besides, it’d be a great icebreaker. Some women would specifically be interested in a virgin because (1) as his first time, she’d theoretically be remembered for the rest of his life and (2) there’d a guarantee of no STDs.


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

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:
    I’ve never understood why Michael insisted on staying at the first house that he saw out in the middle of nowhere.

    Michael was a jerk.

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:
    He didn’t even ask for directions to his intended destination, or any other sort of assistance before deciding to settle in.

    Michael was a jerk.

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:
    Where did he get the idea that he could just invite himself to stay, even after Torgo told him that he was just the caretaker, that he didn’t have permission from the homeowner, and given what he knew of the owner he was unlikely to get said permission.

    Michael was a jerk.

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:

    Michael was a jerk.

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:
    If the car had somehow failed, even if the headlights were broken I might understand it. Even then he should have been more deferential to the man that he was imposing on. He just pulls up in late afternoon with his wife, brat AND mutt and demands to stay, and then makes a man with a partial disability help with the luggage.

    Michael was a jerk.


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

    In Angel’s Revenge why was Trish so eager to castrate and kill people when she had the least personal motivation to be involved?

    Well, when else was she going to have the chance to do it? You only go around once. Grab for the gusto.

    What was her home life like?

    I think a more pertinent question might be what was her SCHOOL life like…

    Why did Col. Glen Manning disobey orders and get himself nuked trying to save someone who was likely already dead?

    Because the pilot might not have been dead. Manning risked his life to save another’s because that’s apparently just the kind of guy he was. And he paid dearly for it.

    And the false sighting of the colossal man: what had the witness seen that he mistook for a 50 ft. tall man?

    I think the witness was believed to have been seeing things. When you see things you are by definition not necessarily seeing something that is in fact there.

    Phase 4: How did the celestial alignment make ants smart?

    It’s cosmic stuff. We wouldn’t understand.

    Can any one think of any reason (good or bad) to bring, let alone detonate an atom bomb on the King Dinosaur mission?


    Why did using the Laserblast laser blaster turn people in to indestructible homicidal Ziggy Stardust lizard people?

    Because it was designed to be used by Turtle Aliens. Use of it by humans caused unanticipated side-effects.


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

    Mr. Krasker:
    What about Operation Double 007? As is the case with so many Bond ripoffs, they seemed to throw a bunch of cool-seeming-but-not-well-developed ideas into a blender with no regard for coherency.

    That means that it met the requirements of its genre admirably. So what’s the problem? ;-)

    Mr. Krasker:
    Why did they need Vegas showgirls to steal an atomic nucleus?

    Well, no one said that anyone needed Vegas showgirls to do it. Why did the villain need to staff his yacht entirely with beautiful women? He didn’t. He just did, that’s all. In the Sixties, it was all about style.

    Mr. Krasker:
    Why were they making radioactive rugs?

    The rug factory was where the villains were secretly constructing their ultimate weapon. THAT’S why the factory was radioactive.

    Mr. Krasker:
    Was a plastic surgeon /hypnotist REALLY the only person who could achieve whatever the goal of the movie was?

    Since you forthrightly admit that you don’t know what the goal of the movie was, I see no basis for any presumption that a plastic surgeon/hypnotist wasn’t the only person who could achieve said goal.


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

    Mr. Krasker:
    In Laserblast, why was Ron Howard in a light plane shooting at Eddie Deezen and his friend?

    I thought that the people in the plane thought they were shooting at Billy in the hippie’s car.

    Luther Strickland:
    Who was the Samurai kabuki theatre guy and other soldiers encountered by Ator and Dong, or Thong

    IIRC Mila asked Ator that very question mere minutes after that encounter. And he answered it. At length. I don’t happen to have a transcript handy, though.

    Gold Any Ranger:
    Ator’s glider. How long did it take him to build it? Because it seemed like he just had it ready, since he doesn’t have it one scene and then is in the air in the next. Surely, killing enough animals, skinning them, tanning the hides, building the frame and putting it all together would have taken a while. Several hours, if not days. If he had built it before hand, given how far they had travelled, where was he keeping it?

    A sword-and-sorcery film features a nuclear device and you’re hung up (no pun intended) on hang-gliders…
    Maybe he found a cache of hidden supplies near the castle. After Akronus(sp?) was the one who taught him “the power of flight” in the first place, and he’d have needed to HAVE hang-gliders to do that, right?

    which tribe was Cherokee Jack from ? The Eastern Band, United Keetoowah or Cherokee Nation ? And which clan ? The Bird, because he was a pilot ? or Wolf (controversial) ?

    The Tribe of People Prone to Receive Odd Nicknames.

    A.K.A. Humanity.

    Who originally funded Gizmonic Institute and what was its mission?

    Considering that the employees were expected to exchange inventions whenever they met, I’m guessing it was a technological research center or something of that sort and its mission was to advance the cause of SCIENCE!

    My first guess is that it was founded by Bob Honcho, but that’s all it is, a guess.

    Actually, these are the kind of things that can only be answered by the Brains themselves…if even by them.

    Matthew Mikell:
    What happened to the Chicken WOMEN of Krankor?

    Krankor didn’t happen to have any in his crew. That’s why we didn’t see any. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Ray Dunakin:
    In the movie “Sidehackers”, what the Hector Elizondo happened to the sidehacking?? There was a few minutes of it at the very beginning of the movie, and that’s the last we see or hear of it.

    That’s really all they were obliged to show us. The title promised us sidehacking and the filmmakers delivered.

    In Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason was VERY late in arriving in Manhattan and he didn’t do all that much once he got there, but he DID get there.

    Ray Dunakin:
    Why did Vorelli hate Hugo so much? They never explained that, or even hinted at a reason.

    Where did it say that Vorelli “hated” Hugo? Does Nelson Muntz “hate” the kids that he bullies? No. Bullies single out and pick on the weak. Vorelli is a bully who berates and mistreats the helpless Hugo because he can.

    Also, on some level, Vorelli can admit to himself that he has done a monstrous thing to Hugo, and it’s easier to resent Hugo than to resent himself. One sees that sort of thing all over. :-|

    Of course, the big ones: How did Joel eat? … breathe? and … well, other science facts?

    I’m fairly certain that Dr. Forrester violated any number of the laws of physics just by getting the Satellite into orbit in the first place. It’s science fiction. It works however the writers want it to work.

    How many invention exchanges featured devices that struck anyone as particularly plausible?

    Ray Bradbury wrote stories about spaceships but he never explained how they worked. Are we going to hold the Brains to a higher standard than Ray Bradbury? Oh, I Don’t Think So.

    Speaking of geography, the locale of “Red Zone Cuba” has always baffled me: Where the hell are Coleman and the boys when the film starts? Where do they wind up when they are (seemingly) teleported off of Cuba? All journeys in that movie seem to take five minutes, like a quick jaunt down the block.

    Did you WANT to see every minute of every journey? Would that have made it a better movie? No. It would only have made it a LONGER movie. Just like we don’t want to see every minute of the detectives on “Law & Order” driving from one part of New York to the next. We accept that they did indeed drive to each location because, hey, there they are. ;-)

    The movie started with the trio within driving distance of The Bay of Pigs Training Camp. Then they flew to Cuba. Then they flew AWAY from Cuba and back to somewhere in the USA.


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

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    (having perused all of the questions)

    All right. I’ll get this off my chest right now:

    Jesus H. Christ on a Hand-Carved Mahogany Surfboard, Some of You People Are Such Complete and Utter IMBECILES.

    I’m not specifying which ones, though.

    BTW, I realize now that it was wrong — incredibly stupid and wrong — for me to have said that. My apologies for saying that. :-|


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

    Lupe Vallejo:
    I’ve mentioned this one before, from Angel’s Revenge, which one voted with a live bullet cartridge to crush Sticks under the car? (my guess was Trish)

    Was it necessarily a vote? Wasn’t one of them at least nominally the leader of the unit?

    Sitting Duck:
    I mentioned this in the Prince of Space discussion, but underwear is a relatively recent development in Japan.

    Did you mention this part? ‘Cause it’s at least as out there as Prince of Space. IMHO.
    (seriously, people, check the link, because I doubt anyone will be able to imagine it for themselves)

    Terry the Sensitive Knight:
    “Being From Another Planet” what exactly was the alien’s mission?
    To get stranded in the desert, kill King Tut, and then sleep for 3000 years?

    The Egyptians mummified the comatose alien 3000 years ago. It wasn’t the alien’s idea.

    Terry the Sensitive Knight:
    And how did the crystal burn the oily guy but Ben takes the alien’s hand and is okay? (other than getting teleported away so he can be anal probed)

    Didn’t it burn the oily guy AFTER the alien and Ben teleported away? The alien was no longer there to exercise control over the crystal.

    who said, watch out for snakes.

    Roxie’s dad. He sounded much the same when he said “Run, kids! Run!”


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

    Arthur B: The KTMA version [of Time of the Apes] of the episode actually includes the explanation, but it’s long and boring and makes little sense anyway.

    And you’ll be happy to give it to us. ;-)

    Also, just how harmless is a kitchen?

    That’s a “Bride of the Monster” reference, right? I heard Lugosi say “kitten” quite clearly.

    To paraphrase The Fonz:
    “I like Mike. My bike likes Mike.”
    ’nuff said.

    Is that supposed to be why Mikey stole the bike? Because Bikee likee Mikey? Crikey.


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

    Scott Strong:
    Space Mutiny. How was Lt. Lamont able to return to work so soon after being shot and killed?

    As a Space Vampire, she had extraordinary healing abilities.

    Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves:
    Umm… Space Mutiny’s Bellerians.Who were they?Apart from the interpretive dance interludes, they advanced the plot in exactly what way?

    They were priestesses of a fictional religion who practiced “magic.” There is no evidence that they advanced the plot or were indeed intended to do so.

    Mr. Krasker:
    Why the heck DID the engineer wander out of the engine room, only to announce that he needed to get back to the engine room?

    He was enjoying his post-lunch-break afternoon walk before returning to work.

    Ray Dunakin:
    In Space Mutiny, what’s the deal with the Boris Karloff look-alike? If he’s one of Kalgan’s men, why is he divulging all this dirt to Chunk Beefchest and the mandrill lady? And if he’s not on Kalgan’s side, why has he kept all this stuff a secret up till now?

    He Just Didn’t Care.

    Ray Dunakin:
    Of course, the biggest question in Space Mutiny is why Kalgan is trying to get the “countermeasures” from mandrill lady, when his chief co-conspirator already knows all the countermeasures?

    Well, no one said that Kalgan KNEW that.

    And why doesn’t anybody on the bridge seem to know what Kalgon is up to? Doesn’t he have to report to them?

    That doesn’t mean that he IS reporting to them.

    I think the Enforcers are supposed to be the equivalent of the cops to the Southern Sun’s community. Kalgan’s just one more rogue cop who doesn’t play by the rules.

    Johnny’s nonchalance:
    What puzzled me was where the “Southern Sun” was in relation to the rest of the universe. The narration says they are a colony ship that has been travelling for generations in space and someone mentions impulse drive engines so they can’t be moving very fast.

    Impulse engines are slow on Star Trek. Not necessarily elsewhere in the multiverse.

    Johnny’s nonchalance:
    Yet they seem to have frequent visitors- heroin chic rhythmic gymnasts, screechy jocks, doomed professors.

    The fact that Lea knew the Professor indicates that he USED to live on the Southern Sun. Maybe he and however many other people flew ahead as scouts or researchers OSLT.

    mando3b: Yeah, after I posted my comment, I thought about the name Southern Sun: I mean, they’re in space! There’s no north or south in space! So “Southern” in relation to what?

    I guess the shipbuilders just thought it sounded good. I mean, who were they trying to impress?


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

    Ray Dunakin:
    In both “Zombie Nightmare” and “Future War”, why does nobody even think of calling 911 when somebody’s been hit by a car?

    Who says they didn’t think of it?

    Ray Dunakin:
    And in Zombie Nightmare, why do the first random guys who happen onto the scene buy right into the whole voodoo thing?

    Perhaps they know something about the community that we don’t. Since they live there and we don’t.

    Ray Dunakin:
    And where DID she get all those candles, anyway??

    Candles are readily available in any number of stores. They’re not difficult to acquire.


  22. bartcow says:

    (peruses most the 16 most recent posts)

    Honey, are you feeling OK?


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

    Shrug. Just had answers and felt like sharing them. Thanks, though. :-)

    Hopefully someone will read the seven-part Space Mutiny review and see how much better it is at answering their questions than I am. And then expound upon it at length. ;-)


  24. Thanos6 says:

    THE FINAL SACRIFICE. Why does Satoris break into the McGreggor residence to steal the map? If he needs it to find the idol, he eventually finds the idol anyway without the map. If he wants to make sure no one else can use the map, his ritual later in the film torches it from a distance.


  25. What is that game the two guys in the shotgun shack in Wild Rebels are playing? Some sorta combo of checkers,chess and yahtzee.
    That little kid in Godzilla vs Megalon – How do you get a voice like that? Why can’t everyone sound like that?
    What is the name of the band in Pod People?
    Why do Wolf Raiders have hair in their helmets?
    How does Gamera create his flame power? Servo and Crow’s Gamera diagram thingy explained a lot but not this.
    The Martians in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians – Is that excrement smeared on their faces?
    Why did the Beatniks, who were in L.A., have to drive two hours to find gas water?
    How did Eegah keep his prehistoric good looks for all those years?
    Why is Jane Koberly wearing a bathing suit in her mugshot shown on TV in Teen-age Crime wave?
    Taking out an empty third grade classroom in The Violent Years? I don’t get it.
    Red Zone Cuba – Why toss gramps down the well and off the blind woman? Were the frog legs that bad?
    Flag on the moon. Well, how did it get there?
    Whose hand was it that almost saved Bart Fargo’s watch from a watery death?
    The Jim Backus Militia Compound? What were their intended goals?
    Laserblast and Diabolik – Why eat your food in a pool of water?
    Riding with Death – Why doesn’t Sam just become invisible all the time and eliminate the time wasting involved with pumping Buffalo for info?
    Why would the driver of their own personal fire truck have a position indicator? This one bugs me to no end.
    Why does Eat have a bunch of pool sticks but no pool table?
    Why did Joel totally screw up the new show?


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