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Episode guide: 619- Red Zone Cuba (with short: ‘Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance’)

619s

Short: (1949) Helpful advice to make you a better public speaker.
Movie: (1966) An escaped convict and his two pals take part in the Bay of Pigs invasion, then return home with a plan to get rich.

First shown: 12/17/94
Opening: Tom pumps out tonight’s lotto numbers
Intro: Frank owes the mob $50 large, but they stomp Dr. F. instead; meanwhile M&tB hit the casino
Host segment 1: Frank exhorts the nearly-dead Dr. F.
Host segment 2: Mike is Carol Channing; Dr. F. gets “hope you die” wishes
Host segment 3: Dr. F. lives, dies and lives again, but the mob says otherwise
End: M&tB sing a happy, upbeat song, Dr. F. is feeling better
Stinger: Blind lady playing piano
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (244 votes, average: 4.55 out of 5)

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• I maintain that this is easily the worst movie MST3K ever did, and is in the running for worst movie EVER MADE (and, yes, I’ve seen “The Apple”). And for that reason, I LOVE this episode. The badness really drives M&tB at great riffing heights. And that doesn’t even count the wonderful, hilarious short. And host segments are a lot of fun too.
• Rhino released this on DVD as a single
References.
• That’s a neat trick shooting the balls out of Tom. I love the way Kevin grunts as he sends each one skyward.
• Slightly unusual: many of the segments take place in Deep 13 rather than on the SOL.
• That’s Mary Jo as the increasingly rare Magic Voice.
• Slam on Denny Dillon outta nowhere! Also Amanda Bearse.
• Carradine was in a HUGE number of movies, but keep in mind that many of them are movies like this.
• Segment 1 is lots of fun. The sight of Frank and mummy Dr. F doing the knee test is worth the price of admission.
• Callback: “Petey Plane!” (Skydivers) “This nose wheel feels mushy,” (San Francisco International), the “Starfighters” music, “I’m dyin’ in a rush!” (Kitten with a Whip). Also, Crow’s: “Hey Posture Pals was the definitive last word on posture!” and “The master says you can’t stay here.” (Manos)
• “I’m a dreamer, Montreal” is a line from the Marx Brothers’ “Animal Crackers.”
• I’m pretty sure that’s Trace as the voice of Jimmy Carter on the phone. I think that’s a guest appearance I may have missed previously.
• Mike again displays his unexplained and preternatural ability to just become somebody, in this case Carol Channing.
• Mike does the knee test in the theater. It doesn’t seem to help.
• I was humming the “happy upbeat song” for days after I first saw this.
• Nice Harpo gookie by Frank at the end.
• Cast and crew round up: Also working on “The Hellcats:” producer Anthony Cardoza. In front of the camera: Tom Hanson, Nick Raymond and Frederic Downs. Also working on “The Skydivers:” producer Anthony Cardoza (also actor), director/screenplay writer Coleman Francis (also actor), score composer John Bath. In front of the camera: Frederic Downs. Also working on “The Beast of Yucca Flats:” producer Anthony Cardoza (also actor), director/screenplay writer Coleman Francis (also actor). In front of the camera: John Morrison and George Prince. Coleman also appears briefly as a delivery man in “This Island Earth.” Nick Raymond also appeared in “The Sinister Urge.” Frederic Downs also appeared in “Terror from the Year 5000.” John Carradine also appeared in “The Unearthly.”
• CreditsWatch: Frank gets a new credit this week and for the rest of the season: script consultant. Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. The music for the “The Bouncy Upbeat Song” was written by Mike. Frank wrote the lyics.
• Fave riff from the short: “Make sure your part is gouged into your skull.” Honorable mention: “Now you’re ready to rub out Sonny Corleone.”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Ho, guys. Step back and think. Are we all gonna fit in here?” Honorable mention: “Why is Phil Silvers rounding up corpses?

205 Replies to “Episode guide: 619- Red Zone Cuba (with short: ‘Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance’)”

  1. Bob says:

    The overall rating here on this episode surprises me a bit. At the time of this writing it’s at 4.58. Now I agree with Sampo that this is close to one of the worst movies ever done on MST3K, including Hobgoblins, and like Hobgoblins, the movie is so dreadful it has little amusement value and did not generate what I feel is a “top-notch” episode. It’s good, but not great.

    Unlike Manos, I don’t feel the jokes completely overcame the movie in a way that would make this a fan favorite, at least not for me.

       0 likes

  2. Sampo: “That’s a neat trick shooting the balls out of Tom. I love the way Kevin grunts as he sends each one skyward.”

    To me, the real neat trick is how many of them Mike is able to catch.

       3 likes

  3. Miqel says:

    Five stars! Classic top ten short & Unforgettable riffing on one of the slowest, bleakest and most incoherent movies ever!

    Ahh … what can one say about Coleman Francis? Only 3 films .. but what a legacy!
    Bleak, grainy, uncomfortable, itchy, gritty, chaotic & chock full o’ COFFEE.

    Though they are classic examples of bad film, I actually LIKE Coleman’s films, they don’t hurt me as bad as Hobgoblins, or World of Batwoman. It’s like they are BAD but in a very INTERESTING way. Like a surreal feverish dream bordering on a nightmare but too incoherent to be really scary.

    RZC and Skydivers are my favorites, I can’t seem to get into Beast of Yucca Flats.
    I have not seen the un-edited full version of Red Zone Cuba but I’d like to see the stuff they cut out and experince what the slow pace of the movie is like with no riffing.

    I wouldn’t argue that Coleman was a genius or anything, but he seems to have had some kind of nebulous blurry equivalent of an artistic vision, in the sense he was making the films he wanted to.
    With a larger budget I think the result would have been pretty much the same.

    IT ALWAYS MAKES ME LAUGH when Mike sings about “Drink night Train, go to the Basketball Game, throw up under the bleachers ..” Because back the the late 1980s when I was in high-school we had quite a few drunken adventures hiding under the bleachers during events, never drank Night Train though … but I have found empty bottles of it along the train tracks!

       6 likes

  4. The Bolem says:

    Perhaps most intriquing is afterward, when we see Mike reloading the lotto balls into Tom…implying that he carries all 500 or so of them around in him at all times. There were dozens of Servo clones around the SOL, so maybe some of them have specialized functions…

    Right, right, it’s just a show.

       1 likes

  5. bigdaddy320 says:

    Everytime I watch this ep I like it more and more. It’s one of those that I couldn’t stand at first. There really isn’t a lot that I could add to what has already been said.

       0 likes

  6. Cornjob says:

    I AM BEOWOL-er, Spartic-er, I mean, I’m Cherokee Jac-, wait no… My name is Cornjob: Master of Darkness.

       0 likes

  7. Sitting Duck says:

    pearliemae #95:

    for that matter he could have killed her beforehand.

    OH GAWD!!!!! Surely even Coleman Francis couldn’t be that sick.

       0 likes

  8. R.A. Roth says:

    #99: I agree. Beast of Yucca Flats is a 10/10 on the dreary meter. Absolutely bereft of any discernible action, BOYF made me pine for the pithy dialogue and crisply direction action sequences of RZC, and by action sequences I mean gray people in vaguely military-esque gear climbing up be-roped bunny hills and tossing each other around. Hi-Cuba!

    Randy

       0 likes

  9. The Bolem says:

    As for individual lines that don’t make sense, maybe I’ve just avoided paying attention all the dozens of times I’ve seen it, but I still have no idea what “Drainpipe…dug up some dirt.” means.

    I’m not sure to make of old, withered characters saying things like, “Funny, seems like a thousand years ago”, when talking about Griffin’s exploits either, but it adds…something to the feel. Something positive. Ambiguity? Epic?

    Despite my elaborate theory to explain Shasteen’s reappearance, I seriously don’t care about explaining any of Red Zone Cuba. I just sit back and bask in the confusion. All the way to Hell…

       3 likes

  10. Castlevania Pork Roast says:

    This is very trivial, but at the end of the short Servo turns to Mike and says “Eagle” after his little (muppet?)impression. This is edited/glitched out of my DVD of this episode. Now I know this is so not important, it’s like a split second of the show, but it has haunted my soul for a few years now. That is all.

       1 likes

  11. KSK says:

    One thing I’ve enjoyed in this ep is the jab at Les Steckel, thrown during the training sequence which involved a lot of jumping off of dirt mounds.

    Crow: “Les Steckel opens training camp!”

    To get this one, you have to be an NFL nerd.

    Steckel was the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings for one inglorious season. He replaced the retiring Bud Grant, a Minnesota legend who coached the Vikings from 1967 to 1983.

    The team went a horrendous 3-13 in ’84, their worst single-season record since 1962. Grant returned in ’85 to right the ship; they went 7-9 in ’85, then he turned the team over to Jerry Burns, who had some success in the late ’80s-early ’90s.

    Steckel was a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam, and he was in the Reserves throughout his coaching career. His coaching style emphasizes discipline above all else; that works up through college, but in the NFL, most strict disciplinarian coaches fail. Motivating the pros takes a different approach.

    He’s not a bad guy, but that one season in Minnesota made him a running gag, and a prime example of guys who should not be NFL head coaches.

    Wow, this got WAY longer than planned.

       6 likes

  12. adoptadog says:

    For all those who find RZC better than Beast of Yucca Flats, I have to agree. Beast is just too dreary and flat, even for me. (Though there are some wonderful riffs in Beast.)

    Sitting Duck, #108, watch the first few minutes of Beast of Yucca Flats…there’s a strong suggestion of necrophilia which is TRULY disturbing.

       0 likes

  13. Castlevania Pork Roast says:

    I one wrote “GET REAL BEARD” on a comment card and put it in the comment box at my old job. Yes I was bored.

       6 likes

  14. Thanos6 says:

    “Step back and think, are we all gonna fit in here?” made my dad laugh for five minutes straight. I have never seen him laugh that hard in my life, before or since, and even just saying the line now will still bring chuckles from him.

       8 likes

  15. Daltysmilth says:

    So many great lines… it’s hard to choose from.

    But my favorite part overall is when they throw Cliff Weissmeyer down the well, and Crow (as cliff) screams for far longer than it likely would have taken for Cliff to fall down to the bottom. And as if that wasn’t funny enough, when you see Coleman and the other guy put the top on the well, Crow muffles the scream while still continuing it.

    Other great ones:

    Cook: I know it sounds crazy…
    Crow: (as Cook) …but would you choke me again?

    Mike: Okay, what subplots still need resolving?
    Tom: Well, there’s the tungsten, the guy in the well…
    Crow: They’ve gotta do something about Cuba…

    Army Guy: We must not get caught on the beach!
    Crow: (Effeminate voice) Especially with *my* thighs!

    Tom: (Over a shot of soldiers rolling Craps) Yahtzee!

    Mike: (Over a shot of what looks like a suburban backyard) It was nice of Mrs. Mimbauch to let them film in her backyard.

       4 likes

  16. ray the whimsical lampshade says:

    The Bolem: i think that was Griffin recounting how he escaped from jail.

    Also there was a call back to Manos, when the first got to Chastain’s ranch: “The master says you can’t stay here.”

       1 likes

  17. ray the whimsical lampshade says:

    Did they even need to go to Cuba??

       0 likes

  18. Cornjob says:

    Re: The necrophelia in Yucca Flats and possibly in Red Zone Cuba: “That Coleman Francis is one sick… Shut your mouth! Just talkin’ about Coleman. And we’re nauseous”.

       0 likes

  19. The Bolem says:

    @ray the whimsical lampshade:

    And that “MANOS” line led the first people I introduced to RZC to dub Mrs. Shasteen “Lady Torgo”, but I’m not sure anyone else calls her that, so I’m sorry if my referring to her as such caused confusion. I have this image in my head of them stumbling toward each other across a field of dead grass and gray earth, Torgo’s theme music segueing into a romantic crecendo…

    …but then her husband Justeen had to come back via that shady back-door deal and ruin Torgo’s chances. Ah well, at least that way she didn’t go blind…

       0 likes

  20. The Bolem says:

    Another random thought:

    If such a thing as an MST3K pinball machine ever came into existence, acquiring the penny and busted cigarette should be key to winning a free game. Whether you’d actually score them in gameplay or just match them at the end instead of numbers, it should play John Carradine’s last line, followed by Servo’s quip: “…but it turns out that’s all you need in Hell, so-” “-PLAY AGAIN!”

    If you didn’t match, you’d hear Dr. F. from the Tank-Tops I.E. in Catalina Caper: “Nope, sorry, I can’t give you the bear.”

    Of course, just winning an extra ball should trigger the end of Giant Spider Invasion: “Brain-Guy, send ’em the movie; AGAIN!” “Movie sign!? NOOOOoooooo…”

    Maybe I only thought of this because I played the X-Files pinball machine once in Paris. When you drained, Skinner said, “You’re out of line, Agent Mulder”, which seemed pretty funny at the time. “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Pinball Experience” would make 10X more sense than, say, the pinball version of “Twister”, which I never bothered to play.

       1 likes

  21. The Bolem says:

    Yeah I know, this thread essentially ends when we start on “Danger: Death Ray!” tomorrow, so no one’s going to read this…

    …on the other hand, “Maybe…won’t BE over…”

       0 likes

  22. RockyJones says:

    I hate to break everyone’s heart, and shatter a beloved misconception…but…

    If you’ll pay close attention to the opening credits, you’ll find that it’s NOT John Carradine singing “Night Train To Mundo Fine”.

    Sorry….

       0 likes

  23. NormalView82 says:

    I just watched this ep for the first time (purchases the VHS at a thrift store for $1) and it is easily on my top ten list.

    I love the accents on Coleman’s drifter buddies and “I’m Cherokee Jack” is a perfect example of my favorite MSTing humor. i.e. running a joke into the ground.

    I’m still very confused though: they never show how they get to Cuba and back or why when they escape from prison in “Cuba” they are suddenly near a diner that sells frogs legs. Did I miss something or did Mr. Francis invent the idea of teleportation?

       0 likes

  24. When people say that black and white cinematography is so much better than colour – as if the simple fact of it being black and white is enough – then I wish I could hold this movie up in front of their faces and watch them cry. It’s the muddiest, drabbest-looking film I can recall on MST3K. Manos was done on an even lower budget, but it has a hallucinatory quality (“every frame of this movie looks like someone’s last known photo”), whereas Red Zone Cuba’s tonal palette consists of black, white, and a kind of muddy grey.

    It’s another one of those films where the director / producer etc must have roped in other people, some locations, props, uniforms etc, and went to a lot more trouble than someone making a home movie, but it has less artistic worth than a home movie because there’s no emotion or feeling at all.

    And yet the plot is intriguing and very ambitious. It goes from drifters to the Bay of Pigs and I can’t remember the rest of it. It feels like the burned husk of a real big epic novel. A really talented person could turn the basic storyline into something of weighty significance. Most bad films have trivial subject matter but this at least attempted something of significance. And failed utterly.

       3 likes

  25. Egbert Souse says:

    Frank bringing nuts and hard boiled eggs to a broken Dr. F is a reference to the Laurel & Hardy comedy County Hospital, where Laurel does just that.

       1 likes

  26. snowdog says:

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I agree with Sampo 100% that this may well be worst movie ever MSTed. It isn’t just incompetently made, it’s somehow aggressively bad, as if Coleman Francis just hates you personally and wants to make you suffer in darkness. That quality shows in all three of his MSTed films, but he nails it here.

    It’s also an exception –along with Manos–to my rule that intolerably bad movies make for hard-to-sit-through episodes. Again, I’m glad this one appears in season 6 rather than season 2 where it would have been more than the Brains could handle. Instead they manage to turn it into a blast with great riffing and a fun short.

    5 stars

       7 likes

  27. Tod Stiles Albino-lover says:

    This is easily in my top five of favorite movies of all time, sans the riffing. And you might guffaw at that, but this is the gritty dirty boring stupid movie we all deserve. Brutal, amateur, and unrealistic. But you can feel and hear the actual grinding poverty of all involved. The bad life decisions, the drinking, the valium.

    Also that damn song kicks arse.

       7 likes

  28. Sitting Duck says:

    Regarding uncredited performances, who provided the enforcer’s silhouette?

    Callback(?): I feel party responsible (Beginning of the End).

    Regarding the riff, “US Air needs to update,” I’m surprised they didn’t use their preferred punching bag airline Northwest.

    I’m also surprised there were no callback riffs about rock climbing.

    You’d think Castro wouldn’t bother with letting executionees see a priest before they’re shot.

    Where’d Cook go during the scene at the frog leg place?

    Favorite riffs:

    “She looks frightened and excessively formal.”
    And yet startling erotic.

    I will not make the knee test! (Love how indignant Mike sounds when he says this)

    There’ll be no tire changing in my county, mister.

    “His name is Griffin, and the reward is $5000.”
    He’s over there!

    Mom, they’re landing in our yard!

    I think you’re suppose to strangle me ’til I’m dead.

    Hai-Cuba!

    Castro doesn’t stand a chance.

    It’s the Shining Path Fantasy Camp.

    We do more before noon than most people do before ten.

    I had to follow the stinky guy.

    You and your swank restaurant and your chi-chi frog legs.

    The legendary singing Buick!

    I’ll bet they’re going to pistol-whip Thomas the Tank Engine.

    I hope that’s a gun he pulled out.

    I want to hurt this movie, but I can never hurt it the way it hurt me. (So true)

    Wanna buy candy to send kids like us to Cuba?

    Thanks for not killing me. Right neighborly of you.

    Even when it’s bright, it’s dark in this movie.

    Woodstock 3 draws a slim crowd.

       3 likes

  29. Yipe Striper says:

    This movie, as rendered by MST… is quite possibly the perfect storm. the worse the movie gets the better the episode gets.

    the SOL stuff is good and joey “skinny legs” tagliono was perfect in a shadow role.

       2 likes

  30. Dan in WI says:

    Crow said it best: “Aside from the fact that I’ll never again experience joy in my life, I don’t think Red Zone Cuba had any kind of negative effect on me.”

    In recent weeks we’ve had a rash of those long walk for a short joke host segments. The lotto opening is an example of a perfect length segment for the joke involved. Now I was expecting to go to Deep 13 and see the Mads (well Frank at least) waist deep in losing tickets. Oh well.

    So Frank feels “partly responsible, kind of, sort of” for Clayton getting beaten by the mob. Sometimes a conscious is hard to shake. This is another example of Frank at his best. The delivery is pitch perfect. Later on when Clayton can’t decide if he’s alive or dead I love how Frank rolls his eyes each time Clayton comes back to life.

    I vote Crow as looking best in his tuxedo of the three. This is another perfectly timed bit. It really only takes Magic Voice calling one Bingo number to deliver the punch line.

    So where exactly did the idea of Mike as Carroll Channing come from. I get the Mike makes an ugly woman so let’s take advantage of it thing. But since Channing had nothing to do with this weeks experiment how did they choose her to be the latest Mike ugly woman?

    It always gets me how Plan 9 is reputed to be the worst movie ever. While goofy and out there, Plan 9 still has a plot and all the scenes of the film advance said plot. Hell the same can even be said of Manos. But your average Coleman Francis movie… You know how we say some of the Brain’s host segments are a long walk to a short punch line? Red Zone Cuba is the same sort of principle. There is a lot of unrelated filler thrown into a tungsten prospecting movie. Either that or it has the world’s most awkward tungsten prospecting epilogue tacked onto a Bay of Pigs film. This film has all the continuity of a couple television episodes loosely edited together into a movie. (I’m looking at you Fugitive Alien or Master Ninja.) But sometimes I wish Red Zone Cuba had even that much clarity. There are also so many scenes thrown in which don’t even contribute to the current part of the movie… err I mean television episode… err no I guess I do mean movie (like the countless pointless (non)reaction shots and the failed attempt to put up the convertible roof just to name two.) that there is no way this can be called a movie. It is really just an uninteresting series of vignettes. The Brains once sang of Sandy Frank “We want to stick it to Sandy Frank and sit on his chest and gob on his face and make him cry.” Well step aside Sandy Frank, this should have been sung about Coleman Francis. So I don’t want to ever hear again that Plan 9 is the worst movie of all time. Truth is, even this stinkburger probably doesn’t deserve that title. The worst movie of all time is likely something the Brains rejected because they knew even they couldn’t work with it. But it is the worst movie I’ve ever personally been exposed to.
    Time to step down and put away my soapbox.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Short:
    Mike “There I said it. I’d say it again if I had to.”

    After a shot of hair combing: Crow “Make sure your part is gouged into your skull.”

    Narrator: “Next we have the he-man athletic type.” Crow “Grandpa??????”

    Movie:
    Crow “Well this film wastes no precious time on the plot.”

    Tom “Once we get past the character development this film is bound to pick up.”

    Coleman “I always wanted money” Mike “But I settled for looks.”

    Crow “Coleman hogged all the best lines for himself.”

    Tom “The Cubans in this movie sound like the grown ups from Peanuts.”

    Crow “I want to hurt this movie but I can never hurt it the way it hurt me.”

       2 likes

  31. cityofvoltz says:

    please update your fav short quote to say

    “Make sure your part is gouged into your skull.”

    not gouged into your school- don’t worry yours is funny too;)

       3 likes

  32. Tom Carberry says:

    Filmed in 1961 and released in 1966, Night Train to Mundo Fine (translates to Night Train to the End of the World) treats us to John Carradine singing the title track. Another installment of the Coleman Francis pain parade.

    Favorite lines:

    John Carradine—was he always a hundred years old?
    John really fills out a pair of overalls doesn’t he?
    John makes Keith Richards look dewy.
    Coleman Francis is Curley Howard in The Fugitive.
    Well this film wastes no precious screen time with a plot.
    This film dares you to watch it.
    So, Castro lives above a hardware store.
    “Bay of Pigs”. That’s what they say when I go swimming.
    My name is Death, I’ll be your waiter.
    Why is Phil Silvers rounding up corpses?

    Final Thought: Carradine “singing”—well I can’t sing either. I give this one 2 out of 5 stars.

       1 likes

  33. revlillo says:

    A couple of things that I noticed this time around that I didn’t notice before: I love crow’s evil little laugh when Tom shoots out the number 69 during the Lotto sequence. Mike seems almost Joel-like when he’s singing the Happy Upbeat Song — it almost reminded me of the little dance that Joel did during the Sandy Frank fight song.

    Could that be a weekend discussion topic: Things that you never noticed before.

       0 likes

  34. robot rump! says:

    damn, those frog legs looks good.

       1 likes

  35. robot rump! says:

    and no. i will NOT do the knee test.

       0 likes

  36. robot rump! says:

    i heard Castro walked out of the theater while watching this movie too.

       2 likes

  37. torgo367 says:

    Get….real….beard. This episode is certainly a favorite. I’ll admit it’s one of the worst films ever made, but I must say that THE CREEPING TERROR is still the most poorly made film I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t even follow a narrative structure. Having 95% of the dialogue told through narration doesn’t really help either, especially not when it fails to provide exposition most of the time. Anyway, there are some all time classic riffs to be had in RED ZONE CUBA. Anytime Mike speaks in his Coleman Francis voice is gold.

    I sensed there was mail.
    Huzzah! It’s gone!

       2 likes

  38. Of no account says:

    It’s hard to say whether this is a worse movie than Manos. They’re both equally badly made, badly edited, badly acted, etc… The one thing that makes Manos worse for me is in the end, you kind of get the idea that evil wins. While in RZC, the bad guys (all main characters!) are all killed or captured (an iffy victory for good).
    Anyway, a hilarious episode.

       1 likes

  39. Sampo says:

    Thanks for the catch, cityofvoltz. That was either some bizarre spellcheck error or just a brain fart.

       3 likes

  40. ToolAssist says:

    Although my choices for favorite episodes are a little unusual, I still love some pretty common “best episodes.” This is one of them. The movie has some of the funniest riffing they’ve ever done, and the segments are pretty good. Only downside is the short, which is a little dull, but Dr. F and Frank doing the knee test makes it worth it.

    Fave riffs (all from the movie)
    “Damn tire changers!!!!” – Crow
    “Maybe play some freeze tag?” – Mike
    “Do we have to sit so close? I mean, we’ve got the whole cell.” – Tom
    “Okay, Coleman, we got Cheetos, but we’re not opening them until later! Understood?” – Tom

    I also really like the series of documentary-style riffs Crow does near the end when Griffin is running, like “A wild Curly can run for 500 miles when threatened!” and stuff like “When Curly dies, he provides food for other Curlys.”

    I revisit this one often.

       2 likes

  41. Droppo says:

    Hi-Cuba!

    I love this episode. One of the best of Season 6.

    Mike (about Carradine’s singing voice): “To be blessed with an instrument like that!”

    I’m a fan of any host segment involving Frank. He’s my all-time favorite Mad and his comedic chemistry with Trace is as good as it gets.

       4 likes

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

    (?)

    I’m not sure I understand folks’ inability to tell what’s happening in the movie.

    Griffin escapes prison and joins up with Cook and Landis.

    There’s that scene with the cop.

    The trio* get Cherokee Jack to fly them to the Bay of Pigs training camp.

    They’re there for a while. They meet Chastain.

    They and Chastain participate in the invasion but are captured and put in prison.

    They’re there for a while.

    The trio escape, grab a plane, and fly back to the USA. I mean come on, there’s a plane, and then they’re clearly not in Cuba any more. It’s not a tough blank to fill.

    They rob the diner.

    Via an admittedly circuitous route (car, train, walking, plus the ring-selling segment), they travel to Mrs. Chastain’s house.

    They convince her to help them mine tungsten.

    Cops or feds or whoever pursue them. Chastain is with them.
    Okay, I admit THAT segment came out of nowhere.

    The cops or feds or whoever close in and shoot Griffin and arrest Cook and Landis, while the Chastains are reunited.

    ===

    *Now that I think about it, they’re kind of like the GHOSTLY Trio: Fatso (Griffin), Fusso (Cook), and Lazo (Landis), although Landis isn’t much lazier than the other two.

       3 likes

  43. robot rump! says:

    i still like this movie better than “Thirteen Days.”

       0 likes

  44. Mitchell "Rowsdower" Beardsley says:

    For the many people who claim to ‘love’ this episode. I would humbly ask – compared to what other episodes?

    This is very clearly one of the bottom 5 episodes of the entire series, sadly.

    This is bad. Not so bad it’s good, due to the movie, just plain bad.

       2 likes

  45. JC says:

    My mom still busts out laughing whenever someone sings “Ev-ry-bo-dy’s ha-ving fun and smoking…”

       0 likes

  46. Normal_View82 says:

    This is definitely my “anytime is a good time episode”. I can pop it in the VCR (yes, I got the VHS version at Goodwill years back and have yet to spring for the SHOUT! Factory DVD re-release)and guarantee a good laugh no matter what. It has seriously grown on me and joined the ranks of my most beloved episodes.

    I just love Coleman and his gang of “Rascals”. What with their wacky hijinks like strangling each other while reclining in bed, dumping old men down wells and don’t get me started on their ability to lure guards to their death with a simple, “Sick man, thirsty, needs water”. Oh, for fun.

       4 likes

  47. CatraDhtem says:

    Since it first came up in this episode, was it ever explained anywhere what Frank’s new role as “script consultant” consisted of?

       2 likes

  48. ToolAssist says:

    #144 It should be obvious that “I love it” means they think the episode is above the regular quality of MST3K. Not too hard to explain.

    Well, why do you dislike it?

       4 likes

  49. pondoscp says:

    Ah,Red Zone Cuba. The first time I watched this episode, I dispised it. Oh, the pain, the torture, the plodding. But then one day, something happened. I popped it in again, and wow, I have rarely laughed harder at an episode. The reason this episode stands above many others is the movie itself. Much like why Manos is such a classic episode, it’s because the movie is a hidious train wreck. But at the second glance, it becomes a beautiful train wreck. It glorious how bad this movie is. I laugh so hard I tear up watching ths one now. If your threshold for pain is low, then Dr. F would have succeeded in taking over the world with this movie if you were the test subject. My advice: put on your Carol Channing outfit! This is Deep Hurting Round 2!

    Between this one and Beast Of Yucca Flats, season 6 comes to a very satisfying conclusion. Angels’ Revenge is basically the episode where they find out they’re cancelled, and in Samson Frank is assumed into Second-Banana heaven. The End. For me, anyways. After this wonderful final full season on CC, the show only holds a very few episodes that I enjoy. But, to each their own. That’s what makes the MST community so fun and diverse, we all have different tastes. Me, I love me some Frank episodes, and this one is among the finest. You see, Dr. F, you should have given Frank his money back after you bought all those Unhappy Meals, or this never would have happened. Now, you’ve never given up on anything in your life, don’t give up on me now! Easily holds a place in my top 25.

       3 likes

  50. schippers says:

    Hey everyone, check out #122, from four years ago.

    So I want to know: who sung the damn song, then?

    I feel as though I need to see this episode again. I’ve only ever seen it once, and it didn’t grab me the way “Skydivers” has. I think I like the latter movie so much because of Tony Cardoza and his awesome line delivery. Is there much Tony Cardoza in Red Zone Cuba? I just can’t remember, although I see from IMDB he had the coveted double role that included Fidel Castro!

    Is there a book about Coleman, much like the fantastic “Nightmare of Ecstasy” is about Ed Wood? If so, I would love to read that book.

       2 likes

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