Movie: (1964) A naive Senate candidate finds a reform school escapee hiding in his home.
First shown: 11/23/94
Opening: Mike and Tom prepare Crow for a secret mission
Intro: Crow’s mission to Deep 13 ends in failure
Host segment 1: Mike gives Crow and Tom bionic noises
Host segment 2: A kitten with a whip visits on the Hexfield
Host segment 3: Mike hazes himself, much to the Bots horror
End: On the SOL, Mike opens up a Dr. F. piñata and reads a letter, Dr. F. has a Frank piñata
Stinger: “I’ll be a celebrity! And so will you!”
• In his introduction on the Shout DVD, Mike acknowledges that this episode is not a fan favorite. I’m sure we’ll find some folks who adore it, and I like it okay, but he’s right, it’s not a standout. The movie is dumb, the characters are dumber, but it is a competent Hollywood product, featuring several recognizable Hollywood stars, a rarity for MST3K. The riffing is somewhere between good and great most of the time. Plus the host segments have several notable moments.
• This episode can be found on the Mystery Science Theater Collection, Vol. XXV.
• This episode was the kickoff ep of the 1994 Turkey Day marathon, the one hosted by Adam West.
• The biggest problem with the movie, of course, is that the Senator character is so crushingly stupid, and blows, like, four opportunities to extricate himself from this situation, only to be saved by random chance and the good intentions of strangers, when, let’s face it, he doesn’t really deserve it. But as dopey as the plot may be, it does become a bit engrossing at points. Even Mike appears to get into the poor guy’s predicament at one point when he hollers “Just go, you idiot!” at him.
• The opening segment, with Crow being launched down the umbilicus into Deep 13, only to be met by Dr. F. (or somebody wearing Dr. F’s coat) caused much excitement on the internet. “The Squab is in the hole” was a phrase that was repeated often.
• Who knew Mike smells like rain?
• Callback: “The Crawling Eye!” “Uh-uh, no way…” (Sinister Urge)
• Segment 1 is a slight bit of fluff without a real payoff, but it’s one of those segments that works because the performers are so comfortable with each other.
• Segment 2, well, give Kevin credit for valiantly diving into the role. Again, not much of payoff. Who is working Kevin’s tail?
• The riff “Typical road trip with a headliner,” is a reference to the stand-up comedy road trips many of the cast and writers lived through in their younger days. Four or five comedians would pile into a car and drive from comedy club to comedy club in the upper Midwest, and according to all the reports, whoever the headliner was among the group tended to be a prima donna.
• Segment 3 is hilarious, especially the bots’ reaction. And, I have to admit, I’d completely forgotten it.
• This is another one of those movies from that era of ’50s-’60s sophistication that depict middle-aged couples cheerfully taking in the show at a strip club (another place you see it is TISCWSLABMUZ). I do not think this happened much in real life.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: datebook, beaker, bulletin board, movie canister (a rare four-fer!).
• I definitely hear Bridget among the kids’ voices at the end. Not sure about any others.
• Oh, and I love that the guy who resolves all the plots is named Sgt. Enders.
• Cast and crew roundup: cinematographer Joseph Biroc also worked on “The Amazing Colossal Man” and “SST: Death Flight.” Art director Alexander Golitzen worked on “This Island Earth,” “Revenge of the Creature,” “Leech Woman,” “Mole People,” “Deadly Mantis” and “The Thing That Couldn’t Die.” Set designer John McCarthy also worked on “Radar Men from the Moon” and “San Francisco International. Joseph Gershenson was head of the music department at Universal Studios, so you’ll see his name on many credits as composer or arranger.
In front of the camera, Ann Doran was also in “Painted Hills.” Patrick Whyte was in “The Mole People.” Leo Gordon was also in “Attack of the Giant Leeches.” Gary Lockwood was also in “Magic Sword.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon
• Fave riff: “Hey! Bingo-balls! Siddown!”