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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: 1206- Ator, the Fighting Eagle

Movie: (1982) After his village is destroyed by the Spider King’s forces, a warrior seeks vengeance.

Opening: Synthia has delivered the song to Dr. Erhardt.

Invention exchange: J&tB have come up with the Swiss army cheese wheel. The Mads have created the Totino’s Pizza Roll Popper.

Segment 1: J&tB re-enact Griba’s fighting lessons.

Segment 2: Kiog the bear visits and ends up on Moon 13

Close: J&tB are in Deep 13 and are loaded onto a transport to Earth to begin a live tour. Jonah leaves the last movie capsule with Kinga, instructing her to put it in place. When she does, the entire containment vessel descends into a tunnel leading to … a riffing theater, with “Mr. B Natural” playing.

Stinger: Griba’s rule #2: surprise.

Thoughts:
• Josh makes his second appearance this season.
• J&tB sing a verse of a parody of a song from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The authors of the song are not named in the credits.
• The eight bars of “There’s a cut on my hand” was written by Elliott Kalan and Patton Oswalt.
• Kinga breaks the fourth wall with a classic “monologuing” speech.
• The tour bus is called “Deep Hurting.”
• The song “Your Show Stinks,” sung during the credits, was written by Paul & Storm, a song that includes a reference to a “hamdinger.”
• What was the point of MWaverly retrieving his backpack? Will we ever know, or am I missing something?
• Callbacks: How much Keefe is in this movie? (CAVE DWELLERS)
• Cast and crew roundup: director Joe D’Amato also directed “Cave Dwellers.” Gregory Snegoff, who provided the (uncredited) voice for Miles O’ Keeffe in the English language version of this movie, also did so in “Cave Dwellers.” Carolyn De Fonseca, who voiced Indun, also did voices in “Secret Agent Super Dragon,” “The Loves of Hercules” and “Hercules Against the Moon Men.”
In front of the camera: Miles O’Keeffe also portrayed Ator in “Cave Dwellers.” Nello Pazzafini was also in “Danger!! Death Ray” and “Secret Agent Super Dragon.” Bruno Biolotta was also in “Warrior of the Lost World.”
• Fave riff: “Very hard to ignore that man outside being killed by an elephant.” Honorable mentions: “Sir, this is plastic, and I don’t think — okay, see you in a bit,” “And remember, the winner gets to experience unanesthetized childbirth” and “Slippers for cats.”

67 Replies to “Episode guide: 1206- Ator, the Fighting Eagle”

  1. nomad
    Ignored
    says:

    Let’s hope this isn’t the FINAL episode… I’d be fine if Joel wants to produce 6 of these every year for Thanksgiving from now until the end of time. Or maybe he’ll find another way to do another season… have they been filming the live shows? They’ve riffed on enough movies with the new crew live that they could do another season just from those!

    But, if worse comes to worse, Joel could always do another Kickstarter to produce another batch of episodes, so I’m certain we’ll see more episodes at some point. (Hopefully he has KTMA ep. 3 sitting in his back pocket to offer as a reward!)

       6 likes

  2. Kenneth Morgan
    Ignored
    says:

    I thought the movie wasn’t as good as the Ator sequel (alias “Cave Dwellers”). The set-up is overly familiar, Ator just seems not very bright, and they kill off the far more interesting second female lead. The spiders were too creepy for me, and it looked like the print they used was, in spots, not in the best of shape. And what happened to the cute bear?
    Still, they did a good job with the riffing, I thought. The host segments worked OK, and I wasn’t expecting the final twist (well, not in that specific way, anyway).
    I thought it was a good finish for the abbreviated season. I just hope it won’t double as another series finale; I’m eagerly awaiting Season 13.

       3 likes

  3. Kenneth Morgan
    Ignored
    says:

    nomad:
    Let’s hope this isn’t the FINAL episode… I’d be fine if Joel wants to produce 6 of these every year for Thanksgiving from now until the end of time. Or maybe he’ll find another way to do another season… have they been filming the live shows? They’ve riffed on enough movies with the new crew live that they could do another season just from those!

    But, if worse comes to worse, Joel could always do another Kickstarter to produce another batch of episodes, so I’m certain we’ll see more episodes at some point. (Hopefully he has KTMA ep. 3 sitting in his back pocket to offer as a reward!)

    Didn’t see your reply before I put up my post, but I agree with your idea. What TV Tropes calls “British Brevity” would be fine with me, as long as the show continues with quality episodes, which I think we’ve gotten.

       1 likes

  4. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    Ator, the Fighting Eagle passes the Bechdel Test. Two of the Amazon guards comment to each other about the commotion caused by Kiog.

    The host segment parody of Griba training Ator brings to mind the prologue of Alien from L.A., when Crow went full on R. Lee Ermey.

    Love the Kiog puppet, as well as St. Phibes’ reaction to the claim that he would be killed if put in the same habitat as the Killer Shrews.

    Favorite riffs

    Ator the Fighting Eagle vs. B-Tor the Brawling Bear.
    And C-Tor the Cuddly Caribou?

    “There is no longer any doubt.”
    We look ridiculous.

    The Feudal Highway Safety Commission reminds you to place your newborn in a rear-facing safety saddle.

    Oh yeah. Brother and sister. She got me on a technicality.

    “Ator, you don’t know how really happy you make me.”
    You’re saving me a dowry.

    “He is the offspring of another couple.”
    Probably of some buff lady and a bird god? Or something? I don’t know. You tell me.

    This is going to make the wedding invitations kind of complicated.

    I can see why Ator was worried about offending these prudes.

    If you think this is bad, you should see the improv group that opens for funerals here.

    The natural enemy of the black bear is the wedding raiding Mongol.

    “Don’t kill the girl. Take her with us!”
    I need a receptionist!

    They died as they lived. Covered in yak hair.

    Who would have thought getting married to your sister would cause such a commotion?

    Doesn’t a training montage require more upbeat music? This sounds more like a mob hit’s about to go down.

    Ator, no! You’re still stupid and clumsy and bound to get wet.

    And now Ator must endure the Dance of the Dozen Debbies.

    I’m the only blonde, and the only one with boots. No contest.

    “Have you lost your tongue?”
    No, it’s still in my mouth.

    “They’re trying to get away!”
    Like all the men in my life.

    This is how a lot of Tinder meet-ups go. Lot of awkward silences, staring up at the ceiling. I’ve been told.

    Even though he’s an owl now, it’s really weird that you still live with your ex.

    Just throw some Tootsie Rolls in their bags and they’ll be off to the next house.

    If Ator keeps this up, he’s just asking for another groin kick.

    “The son of Toran lives.”
    Or it’s going to rain tomorrow. I don’t know how to work this thing.

    They keep telling that poor guy there’s a piñata hanging there.

    What better for a workshop of blind laborers than a gaping pit in the middle of the floor?

    Let’s sneak in while they’re blaring the soundtrack.

       8 likes

  5. Keith Palmer
    Ignored
    says:

    Through an unfortunate combination of suspicions I can’t bring myself to take chances on Rifftrax, so for all that I did notice them taking on “Ator, the Fighting Eagle” before it wound up the last squeeze of “the Gauntlet” this was still the first time I’d seen that particular movie… except that the “This is the part we like to call, she had to ask” flashback of “Cave Dwellers” had pretty much showed me everything about the first Ator movie years ago. Anyway, without being able to compare it to Rifftrax (and having been too busy to watch much of the original series itself lately) the Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival has generally appealed to me. However, I did have the odd feeling that where the first revival season had ended in such a way as to require continuation (and then been amused by how quick the cliffhanger got brushed off anyway), if things do stop with Kinga Forrester and Max stuck in their own “mystery science theater” and Jonah and his robot friends headed back to Earth I’d be willing to accept that.

       4 likes

  6. majorjoe23
    Ignored
    says:

    Birth/death dates:
    I didn’t include O’Keeffe and D’amato, due to them already being in the system from Cave Dwellers.
    Actor Dakar, born on an unspecified date in 1920, died Sept. 14, 2004
    Actor Laura Gemser, born Oct. 5, 1950
    Actor Edmund Purdom, born Dec. 19, 1924, died Jan. 1, 2009
    Actor Nello Pazzafini, born May 15, 1934, died Nov. 27, 1997
    Writer Michele Soavi, born July 3, 1957

    MST3K connections
    Director Joe D’Amato, born also directed Actor 2 – L’invincible Orion, which was riffed as Cave Dwellers
    Actor Miles O’Keeffe also portrayed Ator in Dave Dwellers
    Actor Nello Pazzafini was also in Danger!! Death Ray and Secret Agent Super Dragon
    Actor Bruno Biolotta was also in Warrior of the Lost World
    Actress Carolyn De Fonseca, who voiced Indun, also did voices in Secret Agent Super Dragon, The Loves of Hercules and Hercules Against the Moon Men

    Other dates:
    Oct. 11, 1982, released in Italy
    March 11, 1983, released in the US.

    Interesting things of note:
    Actor Gregory Snegoff dubbed Ator’s voice in this at Cave Dwellers. In 1982-83 he voiced Ator, Thor and Yor, as well as appearing in the film Monsignor. That’s quite the rhyming scheme for one year.

       5 likes

  7. majorjoe23
    Ignored
    says:

    I remember when Wizard of the Lost Kingdom was announced for season 11 that there was speculation the Rifftrax release was quickly pulled (within a week of release) due to MST3K. The fact that this didn’t happen to Rifftrax’s release of Ator makes me think there was some other factor at play with Wizard of the Lost Kingdom.

       5 likes

  8. mst3kme
    Ignored
    says:

    Keith Palmer:

    I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to try Rifftrax. You might enjoy it. :-)

    Try it for free on the Pluto TV app and/or the Twitch.tv website.

    Keith Palmer:
    Through an unfortunate combination of suspicions I can’t bring myself to take chances on Rifftrax, so for all that I did notice them taking on “Ator, the Fighting Eagle” before it wound up the last squeeze of “the Gauntlet” this was still the first time I’d seen that particular movie… except that the “This is the part we like to call, she had to ask” flashback of “Cave Dwellers” had pretty much showed me everything about the first Ator movie years ago. Anyway, without being able to compare it to Rifftrax (and having been too busy to watch much of the original series itself lately) the Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival has generally appealed to me. However, I did have the odd feeling that where the first revival season had ended in such a way as to require continuation (and then been amused by how quick the cliffhanger got brushed off anyway), if things do stop with Kinga Forrester and Max stuck in their own “mystery science theater” and Jonah and his robot friends headed back to Earth I’d be willing to accept that.

       3 likes

  9. Dan in WI
    Ignored
    says:

    Here we go. The end of another season. The cold opening seems to start off strong. We get another appearance of Dr. Erhart tying up the break into Gizmonics storyline. We also get a reference to the secret plan of Jonah and the Bot’s teased. Though they do seem like they are breaking. It’s nothing like during Hercules and the Moon Men but they aren’t exactly chipper. I’m anxious to see what happens.
    The invention exchange was a bit uninspired. The Swiss Army Cheese Wheel left me uninspired but the Mads pull it out with the snack cannon. As if we’d be so lucky to have food given away at a sporting event.
    While Jonah quickly stamped down Tom’s attempt to call back the “how much Keefe is in this movie” riff, I have to say, this just doesn’t feel right without the totally unrelated footage under the title card from FVI.
    The first host segment is very reminiscent of one of the Cave Dweller segments. How fitting.
    The second host segment was okay. Kiog attaching Tom Servo was cut. He probably should have done the same to Max.
    I have to say the wrap up in the post movie segment falls firmly in the good but not great category. Sending the cast off in chains to the tour bus is a cute why to tie to the live show. But years from now will we remember that is what was going on?
    Kinga’s rant of power is probably the highlight of the wrap up. She hits a lot of high points. I know my life has been filled out with so much noise and visual clash that I can’t tell the good from the crap anymore.
    And finally, Jonah’s trap is revealed. He trapped Kinga and Max in a theater with Mr. B Natural. Of course, if figures Max would enjoy it. I do wish they would have let them actually riff the short.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Crow during the title cards “Finally I can yell fire in a crowded theater.” (BTW when was Crow ever in a crowded theater?
    During the breast-feeding scene: Crow “We shouldn’t be watching this.” Jonah “You mean the movie?” Crow “Yes.”

       1 likes

  10. thequietman
    Ignored
    says:

    Hi–SHEEBA!

    And so we come to the end of the final, final (for now?) season of MST3k. I’m glad the show has been able to continue, but the seams are still showing a bit. Others have elaborated on this better than I could, so I won’t rehash their opinions here. However, I’m still of the opinion that Patton Oswalt has been the show’s secret weapon. I find myself looking at him far more in the Moon 13 segments when it’s just Max and Kinga, and his performance really does make me think of our beloved Frank.

    For the season finale, the movie was just fine but a bit too run-of-the-mill in my view. The swords n’ sandals movies have always been a hard sell, unless they are just way out there like “Outlaw of Gor”. I wonder if this movie had been placed earlier, contributing to a build-up to the utter insanity of ‘The Day Time Ended’, the impact might have been better.

    Even if the show isn’t able to continue, at least I can say I finally had the chance to contribute to the first draft of this site’s incredible episode guide!

    Fave riffs:
    Gomez Addams IS Ghengis Khan!

    “This time he shall die!”
    By death!

    Quick! Settle on a god to pray to for protection!

    My name is Ator Montoya. You mussed my hair. Prepare to die.

    Rule number two: I’m a sadistic jerk!

    Nothing says romance like ranged weaponry.

    I feel like I’ve just binge watched paint drying!

    [one-eyed waiter delivers bowl]
    Here’s your eyeball soup, doesn’t get any fresher!

    Lots of nice, natural sunlight coming into that UNDERGROUND CHAMBER!

    This is the gold they got when they told Miles the camera wasn’t running.

    Nothing like the confidence of a white guy who hasn’t accomplished anything!

       3 likes

  11. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    majorjoe23:
    Actor Gregory Snegoff dubbed Ator’s voice in this at Cave Dwellers.In 1982-83 he voiced Ator, Thor and Yor, as well as appearing in the film Monsignor. That’s quite the rhyming scheme for one year.

    He can also be used to get rid of that embarrassing sneg.

       8 likes

  12. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    “Very hard to ignore that man outside being killed by an elephant.”

    “I’m going to have to get a new place, with all those goats and elephants outside.”

    Kenneth Morgan:
    I thought the movie wasn’t as good as the Ator sequel (alias “Cave Dwellers”).The set-up is overly familiar, Ator just seems not very bright, and they kill off the far more interesting second female lead.

    Think it actually worked BETTER as a prequel to the already familiar Cave Dwellers–As it’s just too hard to believe that this naive longhaired dweeb with the hots for his sister would become THE Ator, guardian of pre-historic plutonium, inventor of the Soloflex, and hang-gliding inventor of the wheel.

    It’s actually not a bad riffing, and would have been good in S11, just that the show’s irons are clearly more in the fire of spending time on the ship wrapping up The Season Arc–Will Josh hear the lyrics to Idiot Control Now? Will Jonah escape and fan-shoutout Mr. B. Natural?

    (Although anyone who was sick of hearing about Universal Studios rides in the last episode will now be watching the tavern scene near the end, and–like John Cleese in Monty Python’s cheese-shop sketch–saying “Now, I’m going to let you do one more riff, and if you say ‘Corn pops’, I’m going to shoot you through the head.”)

       3 likes

  13. Sean McDonnell
    Ignored
    says:

    I think Grant mentioned at one point that there was a scene cut with M Waverly on Moon 13, presumably left behind just after Kinga and Max get trapped.

       1 likes

  14. Megalon
    Ignored
    says:

    I hope I’m wrong, because I really wanted the reboot to succeed, but I think this is the end of the line. I don’t see another Netflix season happening any time soon.

       3 likes

  15. Johnny Drama
    Ignored
    says:

    Initial thoughts: not bad, but nothing that Rifftrax didn’t already bring to the table with this movie already. It does make sense to cap the series off with Ator, if this truly is the end (again).
    I watched this a few months back when it was first released. While the riffing itself is ok, the ending segment was disturbing. I’ve never seen the show talk down to it’s audience in such a way before. Weird.

       5 likes

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

    nomad:
    Let’s hope this isn’t the FINAL episode… I’d be fine if Joel wants to produce 6 of these every year for Thanksgiving from now until the end of time.

    But Time’s already Ended. There was that Day, remember…?

       4 likes

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

    “• Kinga breaks the fourth wall with a classic “monologging” speech.”

    What fourth wall? Jonah directly addresses the audience all the time…

    …With no obvious resentment over the audience knowing that he’s trapped in space yet not trying to do anything about it, despite him being in grief and despair over being separated from his life and loved ones. IMHO the writers shouldn’t bring that up and then be all “it’s just a show,” it’s simply not jake.

    Sure, Joel’s and Mike’s minds snapped like twigs now and then but For The Most Part they were able to keep their spirits up. Joel didn’t even seem to particularly MIND being trapped in space because he was at peace with himself, he’d achieved a state of clear, he just rolled with it, baby, which explains why he looked so relaxed all the time, life was just a big “sure, whatever” to him. I’m not sure he mentioned missing his loved ones even once.

    And now someone will cite multiple examples of him doing just that. As well they should. As well they should. ;-)

       6 likes

  18. mando3b
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: What fourth wall? Jonah directly addresses the audience all the time…

    …With no obvious resentment over the audience knowing that he’s trapped in space yet not trying to do anything about it, despite him being in grief and despair over being separated from his life and loved ones. IMHO the writers shouldn’t bring that up and then be all “it’s just a show,” it’s simply not jake.

    You know, I had been thinking the same thing from the start of S11: Jonah has absolutely no reaction to his predicament. He’s just there, interacting affably with these goofy little robots. I remember thinking how strange the opening of S11 was: first we see him flying around in space as his bosses watch him remotely, he falls into Kinga’s clutches–and then there he is, on the bridge, like he’s lived there already for years. I mean, aren’t his bosses even looking for him? One of the things I really liked about the Mike years was that HE was really cheesed about the whole situation and regularly fought back (however ineffectually . . . ).

       14 likes

  19. mando3b
    Ignored
    says:

    I liked this episode well enough: it was fun seeing the first Ator movie (and finally getting the context of the scenes in that long flashback in Cave Dwellers), although IMO it does not compare well to the Ator episode from Season 3 which is a classic. The close was kind of fun–another far better host sequence as compared to S11. It is definitely more with … Time Ended and Killer Fish than with the barely watchable three films that opened S12. But it is also not very memorable, although I reserve the right to change my opinion after viewing it a second time.
    As for my hopes for the reboot . . . I confess that I feel torn. I am firmly in the “any MST is good MST” camp, and I think that this season showed a real improvement over S11. Why not expect the new cast to just get even better with a S13? On the other hand, It was not encouraging that the first three movies they riffed this season were well nigh unwatchable under any conditions. (Guys, let’s have some goofy fun with these things! And stop giving cynical cash-grab rip-offs attention they don’t deserve.) And the new Crow and Servo still have no personalities: I mean, it would be a mistake to try to duplicate the outsized personalities of Kevin Servo and Bill and (esp.) Trace Crow, but right now, for me, they are still little more than animate furnishings on the new SOL. In the end, I love the fact that Joel resurrected the show after all this time, they all get a gold star in the grade book for a good effort, I’ll gladly watch S13 if there is one, but I also wouldn’t be put on suicide watch if Netflix just pulled the plug.

       3 likes

  20. MonkeyPretzel
    Ignored
    says:

    I recently found out from someone who met an on-camera cast member at an event that yes, Season 12 was supposed to premiere before the 2017 Live Tour started, but was moved up to Thanksgiving at Joel’s request. This necessitated a literal last minute rewrite of some of Season 12 before filming to attempt to sync up plot points between the tour and the show, including writing the host segment to introduce Donna St. Phibes. (The cast member didn’t seem very happy with Joel’s blasé, No Big Deal attitude about how his decision affected everyone else.) Kinda makes you wonder what was cut to fit that in.

       5 likes

  21. IR5
    Ignored
    says:

    This movie and riffing did it’s best to make up for lack of Thong, the Maiden shield daughter, the Bill Maher guy, John Saxon guy, et al.
    Side by side vs. Rifftrax they both have pluses and minuses. Not an ideal series ending episode, but, what is?

       1 likes

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

    If they watch the show (remember, Kinga’s after RATINGS, and who’d be easier to broadcast the show to than additional fictional characters?), Jonah’s bosses know exactly where he is, just like everyone else on Earth does. And They Just Don’t Care.

    mando3b: You know, I had been thinking the same thing from the start of S11: Jonah has absolutely no reaction to his predicament. He’s just there, interacting affably with these goofy little robots. I remember thinking how strange the opening of S11 was: first we see him flying around in space as his bosses watch him remotely, he falls into Kinga’s clutches–and then there he is, on the bridge, like he’s lived there already for years. I mean, aren’t his bosses even looking for him? One of the things I really liked about the Mike years was that HE was really cheesed about the whole situation and regularly fought back (however ineffectually . . . ).

    IIRC the most emotional Mike ever got about missing his home and loved ones was an occasional sigh, though (as in “Santa Claus” when singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”) and, as noted, I don’t think it ever came up with Joel at all. Crow mentions Jonah screaming about his grief in the night and IMHO that just plain ramps it up too far. Not that anyone asked, of course.

       2 likes

  23. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    “• Kinga breaks the fourth wall with a classic “monologging” speech.”

    I didn’t see it as “talking down” to the audience, rather as The Big Season Plot trying to set up Kinga “winning”, and gloating about it, before getting Mr. B. Comeuppance.
    And, okay, thank you, we get it, but could we have two or three LESS minutes of Felicia Day relishing the chance to run away with a big, fat, juicy climactic opportunity for Mean-Girl Comedy in character?

    …With no obvious resentment over the audience knowing that he’s trapped in space yet not trying to do anything about it, despite him being in grief and despair over being separated from his life and loved ones. IMHO the writers shouldn’t bring that up and then be all “it’s just a show,” it’s simply not jake.

    Sure, Joel’s and Mike’s minds snapped like twigs now and then but For The Most Part they were able to keep their spirits up. Joel didn’t even seem to particularly MIND being trapped in space because he was at peace with himself, he’d achieved a state of clear, he just rolled with it, baby, which explains why he looked so relaxed all the time, life was just a big “sure, whatever” to him. I’m not sure he mentioned missing his loved ones even once.

    Yes, Jonah’s a little TOO easygoing, even when he’s filling in for Joel’s offhanded punchlines to the onboard movie-parodying host-segments. (But at least he knows how to do them, to Producer/Writer Joel’s specifications.)

    In the CC era, it was right there on the front: Dr. F wanted to conquer the world, but had to break J&tB first, and although “Saaand-stooorm” in Hercules & the Moon Men, and came close, the joke was that riffing on the movie was their defense against frustration. Even if playing Hap-py King wasn’t enough of a defense against “Monster a-Go-Go”, or improvised Joel monologues about Fu Manchu weren’t enough of a defense against “Castle of”, they’d try darnit, because they were the Satellite of Love! (Crow with jester-stick: “Yeah!”)

       0 likes

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

    MonkeyPretzel:
    (The cast member didn’t seem very happy with Joel’s blasé, No Big Deal attitude about how his decision affected everyone else.)

    Which only proves that it wasn’t even acting, Joel really does go through life all “sure, whatever.”

    Upon reflection, that’s probably why, as his fictional self (Robinson, not Hodgson), he (AFAIK) never mentioned his loved ones or made any attempt to escape the SOL: That might have required extra ACTING! on his part and Joel-the-comedian Just Didn’t Care enough to take that trouble. After all, it was HIS show, who was going to gripe about it?

    In contrast, Mike-the-comedian built an at least partially fictional biography for Mike-the-character. Viewers LEARNED about Mike. About Joel? Not so much.

       7 likes

  25. Johnny Drama
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t want to learn about anyone. Do a funny sketch, then get in the theater.

       3 likes

  26. Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves
    Ignored
    says:

    I rewatched this again over the weekend, and I laughed a lot. Which, ultimately, is how I judge these.

    Sure, I could get all analytical and cross-generationally comparative, quibbling about how contrived versus organic the show is, who’s exploiting what to make a buck, yadda yadda yadda.

    But at the end of the day, at least as far as MST3K, it comes down to laughter, and if it passes that test then I’m in.

    Looking forward to the live show in J’ville, FL December 1st; hoping for a Season 13. If it doesn’t materialize, I’ll be disappointed– but frankly, my memory is such that every time I rewatch an old episode its like a new experience, anyhow. ;)

       6 likes

  27. Cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    I certainly hope we get more episodes. I’ve been a fan since season 4 was current, and I’m enjoying the new incarnation immensely. I’m hoping they get to use Warlords of Atlantis.

    This episode was good if not spectacular. As for the movie I think this is a case of the sequel being better than the original. In Cave Dwellers Ator is very much the master of his own destiny in addition to being a surgeon/fitness equipment designer/aeronautical engineer/philosopher/barbarian swordsman. In Ator: The Fighting Eagle the titular character kind of bobs along like a cork in a stream, being led about doing what he’s told and being manipulated without giving much of anything much thought.

    The other thing that really seemed off about the movie is the whole step sister-wife thing. Aside from the creepy quasi incest that contributed nothing to the movie except ickiness, the off screen nature of her relationship with Ator combined with her totally passive role reduced her character to a redundant McGuffin. With all the prophesies and evil priests wanting to kill him, Ator didn’t need any additional motivation. And the blonde warrior woman seemed like a much better match for Ator in addition to being a character with enough screen time to allow the audience to have some emotional investment. From a viewer’s perspective I think it would have been more satisfying for the sister-wife to have died in the spider temple, which would have given Ator a revenge boost to his motivation, and freed up the blonde warrior princess to help Ator through his grief as they go off on adventures fighting evil and stuff. Maybe it’s just me, but if the audience is hoping the damsel in distress doesn’t make it, something has gone awry with your narrative.

       10 likes

  28. Lawgiver
    Ignored
    says:

    Johnny Drama:
    I don’t want to learn about anyone. Do a funny sketch, then get in the theater.

    Funny how we all have different things we like/dislike about the show (and obviously the same thing applies to all of life). For me the show wouldn’t be the show without the host segments. I definitely enjoy the riffing, but it’s the host segments that keep me coming back – seeing how these characters interact with each other and how they respond to situations.

    And I have a question for the site administrators, now that we’re done with this season, do we finally get to start over again? I started a rewatch a few months (several months?) back to get ready for the next watch-through, and then it was postponed :D

       5 likes

  29. mando3b
    Ignored
    says:

    Lawgiver: I definitely enjoy the riffing, but it’s the host segments that keep me coming back – seeing how these characters interact with each other and how they respond to situations.

    Absolutely agree! What makes MST3K stand out for me is the goofy backstory and the fact that two of the riffers are robot puppets. Host segments would never make or break an episode for me–the good ones are an added bonus, and the less-than-good ones can just be fast-forwarded past or muted–but I just love the fact that they’re there. (And with original songs, too! That’s more than we had any right to expect!) This is why the fictional integrity (such as it is) does matter to me: if you got a goofy backstory, do something with it; and if you have out-of-left-field characters, give ’em something funny to do during the host segments in the context of the backstory. This is also the reason why I am relatively indifferent to Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic, and all the other spin-offs: comics riffing movies is fun, but riffing movies with wacky robots in a whiskey-tango-foxtrot fictional scenario is something kinda special.

       12 likes

  30. michaelkz
    Ignored
    says:

    mando3b: Absolutely agree! What makes MST3K stand out for me is the goofy backstory and the fact that two of the riffers are robot puppets. Host segments would never make or break an episode for me–the good ones are an added bonus, and the less-than-good ones can just be fast-forwarded past or muted–but I just love the fact that they’re there. (And with original songs, too! That’s more than we had any right to expect!) This is why the fictional integrity (such as it is) does matter to me: if you got a goofy backstory, do something with it; and if you have out-of-left-field characters, give ’em something funny to do during the host segments in the context of the backstory. This is also the reason why I am relatively indifferent to Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic, and all the other spin-offs: comics riffing movies is fun, but riffing movies with wacky robots in a whiskey-tango-foxtrot fictional scenario is something kinda special.

    Agreed.

       3 likes

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

    Regarding “meanness”: Did Mike and the Bots ever obsess over trivial continuity errors (“Somebody’s been four-wheelin'”? Who cares?)? Did Mike ever tell the Bots “Pick out someone to hate” as Joel did during the “Manos” credits? Did Mike ever TEAR OFF CROW’S ARM? Oh, I don’t think so…

       11 likes

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

    Oh, and there was also the NBC Mystery Movie electroshock. And other examples I’m not recalling at the moment.

    Which suggests an alternate explanation for Joel’s lack of emotional reaction to his plight:

    HE’S A FRICKIN’ SOCIOPATH.

       7 likes

  33. littleaimishboy
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    Regarding “meanness”: Did Mike and the Bots ever obsess over trivial continuity errors (“Somebody’s been four-wheelin’”? Who cares?)? Did Mike ever tell the Bots “Pick out someone to hate” as Joel did during the “Manos” credits? Did Mike ever TEAR OFF CROW’S ARM? Oh, I don’t think so…

    Yes but but but but . . . JOEL did those things in a gentle nurturing fuzzy slippers kind of way.

       6 likes

  34. Johnny Drama
    Ignored
    says:

    Mike probably wrote all those bits ;)

       1 likes

  35. mando3b
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    Regarding “meanness”: Did Mike and the Bots ever obsess over trivial continuity errors (“Somebody’s been four-wheelin’”? Who cares?)? Did Mike ever tell the Bots “Pick out someone to hate” as Joel did during the “Manos” credits? Did Mike ever TEAR OFF CROW’S ARM? Oh, I don’t think so…

    My favorite will always be him going “Ewwww!” whenever the feckless Arch Hall, Jr. appears on-screen in Eegah. Of course, that sorta thing’s gonna happen sometimes when the whole freakin’ point of the show is to ridicule “cheesy movies, the worst we can find”, innit?

       2 likes

  36. mando3b
    Ignored
    says:

    littleaimishboy: Yes but but but but . . . JOEL did those things in a gentle nurturing fuzzy slippers kind of way.

    Joel at his best is Mr. Rogers. Joel not at his best is an ironic hipster pretending to be Mr. Rogers and mugging for the camera as he does so.

       3 likes

  37. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    Regarding “meanness”: Did Mike and the Bots ever obsess over trivial continuity errors (“Somebody’s been four-wheelin’”? Who cares?)? Did Mike ever tell the Bots “Pick out someone to hate” as Joel did during the “Manos” credits? Did Mike ever TEAR OFF CROW’S ARM? Oh, I don’t think so…

    Oh, but Joel didn’t write the show…Mike was HEAD WRITER back then! Everything came out of his unappreciated creativity! I finally realized that after being told that enough times! :)

    (Except that he apparently only wrote the genius riffs and didn’t write the host-segments where Joel acted like a fly-hammering bully who wanted to work out body-shaming and aggression issues against the movie…)

       2 likes

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

    Laura Gemser? Any riffs about her being one of the 1-M Emanuelles but not one of the 2-M Emmanuelles?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuelle

    majorjoe23:
    Actor Dakar, born on an unspecified date in 1920, died Sept. 14, 2004

    “You know, when you come right down to it, I think I’d like to be know as just… Dakar. One of the good ones. Because if you can’t find peace within, I don’t think there’s any…”

    Yes, one name, like a rock star or a pope…

    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0197468/?ref_=tt_cl_t4

       1 likes

  39. Johnny Drama
    Ignored
    says:

    Is that stud coming?

       0 likes

  40. Kenneth Morgan
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    Laura Gemser? Any riffs about her being one of the 1-M Emanuelles but not one of the 2-M Emmanuelles?

    How about this?

    CROW: Hey, she was in those Emanuelle movies!
    SERVO: Yeah, the ones with one “m” in her name.
    JONAH: Wait, how do you guys know that?
    SERVO: Um…uh…Gypsy told us!
    GYPSY: (off-screen) Did not!
    CROW: Did too! Like you told us about Adam West in “Young Lady Chatterly II”!
    JONAH: Adam West was in what?
    SERVO: Um, how about we just watch the movie?

       3 likes

  41. Danzilla "Cornjob" McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology
    Ignored
    says:

    “Season finales are easy. Nothing surprising ever happens!”

    Yeeeeaaaah.

    And so, another season of MST3K comes to an close. The Gauntlet has been run (and survived), and once again, MSTies are confronted with the very real possibility that they have just watched the last episode of the series. That feeling never gets old, does it?

    When I first found out that Season 12 would be tacking the first Ator movie, I was ecstatic. Cave Dwellers is one of my all time most beloved episodes, and going back to see where the epic saga of the shinny beefcake began was exciting, to say the least! Of course, Rifftrax had already supplied a pretty great riff of this flick, but seeing Ator return to MST – and getting an excuse to hear all new jokes – was still a special occasion. And in my opinion, they nailed it. At the end of the day, I find this episode (tied with Mac & Me) to be the most consistently funny of the season. Strange how The Gauntlet ended up being bookended by my favorite S12 episodes. It’s hysterical all the way, and a great note to end the season on. And speaking of endings… boy howdy, does this episode ever have a doozy of a climax. More on that in a bit, though.

    Some thoughts:

    -The episode begins with Larry finally getting “Idiot Control Now”, and taking off to planet Mearth. The thought of J. Elvis flying through space with his mouth open is kind of priceless. Farewell, Larry. We hardly knew ye.

    -After the theme song, Jonah tell the Bots that, if their plan is a success, “no one will ever have to watch a bad movie ever again.” It remains to be seen just how true this statement ends up being (both within the show’s universe and in real life), but there’s something rather… definitive about it, especially considering the currently murky future of the series.

    -The cheese wheel is a cute idea, and a fun prop, to boot! Also, this might be a dumb question, but is Totino’s an actual sponsor for MST3K? Those damn pizza rolls are everywhere: in the live show last year, in the comics, and now as the Totino’s Pizza Rolls Mortar invention. Is it just a joke, or possibly a series of references that Totino’s is in on? What’s the deal?

    -The movie riffing starts out, appropriately, with Tom asking, “How much Keefe is in this movie?” It simply had to happen. Jonah’s response is “Oh hush.”

    -WOW, I feel bad for the mother of that megalithic infant. Ouch!

    -The “advancing horde on horseback” shots in Cave Dwellers were apparently stock footage from this film. Huh.

    -Anyone else involuntarily go “saaaay” when the horse kidnapping the sister turned around to reveal her obviously modern underwear? Not trying to be creepy, it’s just symptomatic of having seen Cave Dwellers so many times.

    -Segment 1 feels like something the classic series would’ve come up with. It’s a little unsettling how accurate Jonah’s wig is to the real deal.

    -The “Shroud of Turin” shoutout was first made by Tom back in Cave Dwellers. Nice to see it repeated here, although I’m sure it’s a coincidence rather than an intentional callback.

    -Speaking of callbacks, there’s only one in this episode: “Hi-Sheeba!” Well played. Aside from the “How much Keefe” line, most of the callbacks appear in this episode’s final segment and credits.

    -Segment 2’s Kiog puppet is another winner! The little guy has a lot of character. Max’s cut-off song obviously brings Frank and Nummy Muffin Cocobutter to mind. Also, Kinga mentions in this segment that she hired Dr. St. Phibes as the creature handler for the live tour. They really did a lot of setup for the live show this season, which I can only imagine confused a lot of more casual viewers who didn’t realize that the tour had already happened by the time the season hit Netflix. More on that in a minute…

    -Did they really think they could get away with using a name like “the Shield of Mordor” without anyone noticing? Could you imagine being a Tolkien fan in the 1980’s and hearing that name in this film?

    -Okay, so… the ending. *cracks knuckles* Its obvious this season was supposed to air before 2018’s live show. Apparently a lot of changes occurred behind the scenes to make pushing the date back to November work better for the show, but it’s still weird to see so much of this episode’s finale dedicated to setting up an event that had already happened. Still, tying the actual series to the tour is a really cool idea, and seeing things occur in the “canonical” order would’ve been fascinating.

    -That said, as someone who saw the 2018 live show, it’s interesting to get context for certain things that happen in those shows, including Dr. St. Phibes, the introduction of Travel Cambot and the “Deep Hurting” spacecraft, and just why Kinga and Max don’t appear in the tour. One thing hinted at in this ending that didn’t go anywhere during the tour was a bit of flirtation going on between Jonah and St. Phibes. Maybe this is something that will be explored in a future season?

    -The “Deep Hurting” is definitely a cool ship, and J&TB deliver a classic “it stinks!” once inside. Two references for the price on one!

    -And then there’s Kinga’s speech. Maybe it’s the creepy music box tune in the background, but as silly as I’m sure it was intended to be, it was actually quite affecting. I’ve seen several commenters with the opinion that the speech was talking down to and insulting viewers, but I didn’t get any such impression. If this ends up being Kinga’s final Mad moment in the series, it’s an appropriately “evil” sendoff.

    -Finally, there’s the theater at the end of the tunnel, AKA: this season’s “Reptilicus Metalicus” cliffhanger. Upon my first viewing, this entire chain of events left me baffled (I’m assuming it was from the fatigue of having just watched all six Gauntlet episodes in a row), but upon a second viewing (and taking into account the events of the live tour), it made perfect sense. It’s obvious that Jonah found out about the existence of the Moon 13 theater from the plans Crow and Tom stole a few episodes back, and that this is where Kinga and Max were during the tour, explaining why they couldn’t be contacted. Just what this theater is doing there, who made it, how long it’s been there, or why it’s apparently been playing Mr. B. Natural on a loop for God knows how long are all mysteries. The somewhat frustrating thing is, these are all questions I’d love to have answers to, but I’d be fooling myself if I honestly expected to get any. Chances are, if a new season is to be produced, these mysteries will be written off like Jonah’s survival was in this season. This new iteration of the show has thrown so many teases and mysteries at us: the enigma of Moon 13, the weird presence of multiples of the bots on the SOL, the random “other guy with the bots” glitch, Ardy’s “paranormal manifestations” in Moon 14, and, of course, the eternal question of how the bots got back on a new SOL. At the end of the day, it is only just a show, but sometimes it’s nice to reward longtime audience members with answers. Just sayin’…

    -The episode – and the season – ends with the Deep Hurting heading to Earth, set to another new song: “Your Show Stinks”. Once again, there’s an odd feeling of finality to this ending, almost like it’s acknowledging the possibility that this could, once again, be the end. However, I’m choosing to be optimistic. After all, this season was originally supposed to set up the live show, so it was put together with the expectation that there would be, in one way or another, more MST3K. Either way, it’s a catchy song! Also, be sure to listen for Jonah mentioning a “cold Hamdinger”!

    -My name is in the credits of this episode! I feel pretty lucky to have gotten my name in two episodes of the show, both of which (the other being Avalanche) are two of my top favorites of the new era. 20 revival episodes in, and I’m still a happy MSTie.

    -Favorite Riff: “I have twice the headbands of most men!” Honorable Mentions: “This is before they invented Ewoks.”; “Dog ponies!”

    So… whither Season 13?

       2 likes

  42. yelling_into_the_void
    Ignored
    says:

    So this is the first episode of season 12 I watched.

    If you turn the captions on, there’s an unrecorded rif shortly after Sunya is kidnapped.

       0 likes

  43. nomad
    Ignored
    says:

    nomad:
    Let’s hope this isn’t the FINAL episode… I’d be fine if Joel wants to produce 6 of these every year for Thanksgiving from now until the end of time. Or maybe he’ll find another way to do another season… have they been filming the live shows? They’ve riffed on enough movies with the new crew live that they could do another season just from those!

    But, if worse comes to worse, Joel could always do another Kickstarter to produce another batch of episodes, so I’m certain we’ll see more episodes at some point. (Hopefully he has KTMA ep. 3 sitting in his back pocket to offer as a reward!)

    I hate being the FIRST! to comment every time, and I hate that I was right about it being the last (…at least for now)

    Interesting coincidence though that this would come back around in the episode guide right after Joel’s announcement about the Netflix cancellation. Actually, it seems carefully orchestrated.

       1 likes

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

    Kenneth Morgan: How about this?

    CROW: Hey, she was in those Emanuelle movies!
    SERVO: Yeah, the ones with one “m” in her name.
    JONAH: Wait, how do you guys know that?
    SERVO: Um…uh…Gypsy told us!
    GYPSY: (off-screen) Did not!
    CROW: Did too!Like you told us about Adam West in “Young Lady Chatterly II”!
    JONAH: Adam West was in what?
    SERVO: Um, how about we just watch the movie?

    Since making the post to which you responded, I’ve watched the episode and none of those riffs were used. It may not have been your intention to imply that they were, of course. ;-)

    If Roon “doesn’t use names,” how did J&tB (or, for that matter, Ator) know what it was? Both they and he used it several times but I don’t remember a point in the film during which she revealed it. Of course, me not remembering something isn’t nearly as significant as it might be…

       1 likes

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

    A few early notes:

    I’m glad they didn’t get all bent out of shape about the brief “incest” theme; Joel probably would’ve insisted on at least three “Eeewwwww!”s, despite the fact that the audience knows very well, from the start, that Ator and Sunya aren’t really siblings. However, IMHO it was a bit tacky for the riffs to emphasize, during their very death throes, that Ator’s parents weren’t his birth parents; they raised him and loved him from shortly after his birth, they were his parents in every way that mattered. But whatever.

    Bemusing fact (per Wikipedia): In the USA, consensual adult incest is illegal (and punishable by both fines and prison time) in every state except for Rhode Island. Oh, It’s True…
    (I mean, per Wikipedia…)

    Per modern sensibilities, some viewers might think it a tad odd that Ator didn’t at least wait until AFTER he (theoretically) inseminated Roon before escaping*. I mean, sure, “True Love Waits”** and all, but come on, she was willing, he was able, and opportunity knocks but once, right? ;-) Then again, per modern sensibilities and reasonable theories/presumptions about “barbarian times,” it sort of strains belief that Sunya retained her virginity into young adulthood. Sure, we can roll with it, but still.

    Kioga is the name of a jungle adventure-hero from both pulp novels and film. Coincidence? Yes, one would think.

    Griba mentions “the City of the Winds, which was governed by the notorious Seven Siamese Sisters.” Siam (presently known as Thailand) is a real place which did not receive the designation “Siam” until the 15th century at earliest, lonnnnnng after any reasonable parameters of “barbarian times.” ENNH. Five demerits. ;-)

    ===

    *Anyone else remember that bit in “Robot Holocaust” re the guy who was rescued from the Amazons? “He has mated with all of us who are ready to conceive and will now be destroyed.” Upon reflection, some guys wouldn’t think that a half-bad deal…

    **in contrast to the variant “True Love Can Wait, Meaningless Sex Now“…

       2 likes

  46. Megalon
    Ignored
    says:

    Compared to the totally zany and ridiculous Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, Ator is pretty ho-hum. A bad movie for sure, but not really in a delightful, so-bad-it’s-good way. It’s just forgettable, which is not really what you want in a series finale.

    And speaking of series finales — since we’ve reached the end of the line, here are my rankings for the whole reboot:

    1. Mac and Me (A+)
    2. Starcrash (A)
    3. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (A)
    4. Carnival Magic (A)
    5. Cry Wilderness (A-)
    6. Lords of the Deep (A-)
    7. The Day Time Ended (B+)
    8. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II (B)
    9. Killer Fish (B-)
    10. The Beast of Hollow Mountain (B-)
    11. The Time Travelers (B-)
    12. Avalanche (C+)
    13. Reptilicus (C+)
    14. Yongary (C-)
    15. The Loves of Hercules (C-)
    16. Ator (C-)
    17. The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t (D+)
    18. At the Earth’s Core (D-)
    19. The Land That Time Forgot (F)
    20. Atlantic Rim (F)

       0 likes

  47. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    Bemusing fact (per Wikipedia): In the USA, consensual adult incest is illegal (and punishable by both fines and prison time) in every state except for Rhode Island. Oh, It’s True…

    But I thought Innsmouth was located in Massachusetts.

       4 likes

  48. goalieboy82
    Ignored
    says:

    i wonder if there is going to be a season 13 now.

       0 likes

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

    Sitting Duck: But I thought Innsmouth was located in Massachusetts.

    And thus you are in fact bemused, like I said. ;-)

       2 likes

  50. Kenneth Morgan
    Ignored
    says:

    And, thus, The Great Drought, Phase II has begun. I’m still optimistic that we’ll get a Season 13 at some point. And I’m sure I’m not the only one figuring out how to get things up and running again after the Mads’ imprisonment/the guys departure. (Hey, with all the chaos going on in the other franchises, I need something optimistic to hold on to.)

    By the way, I repeat, what happened to the cute little bear?

       0 likes

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