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


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 (250 votes, average: 4.56 out of 5)


• 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
• 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. MikeK says:

    This episode is one of the first episodes I bought on home video, VHS to be exact. It’s also one of the first Comedy Central episodes that I saw, as the show was cancelled on there just after I found it, and the cable company add CC to the channel line-up.

    I like everything about this episode, save for one thing, the Deep 13 host segments. I think they’re boring. It’s just Dr. F. in bandages on a gurney and Frank torturing him in a passive/aggressive manner. Seeing Trace’s package outlined by the costume he’s wearing doesn’t help either. :-P


  2. Michael Howe says:

    This is one I put on quite often. Definitely ‘so bad it’s good.’

    I can’t help but wonder what it was about this story that Coleman Francis felt was so compelling to make it a reality.

    Unless he was trying to make us ‘care’ for the anti-hero. If that was the case, he failed miserably. There’s really nothing about Griffin that makes him sympathetic to the audience. He’s either killing/lying/choking/whipping/shooting every other person around him.

    Personally, those two guys were better off ratting him out to the officer in the beginning. Then again…a man of Griffin’s size and speed evaded that search party.

    I still think this is one of Mike’s best. Love his response after the quick cut to the junk yard: “Agh!! I think my neck got broken in that jump cut!”


  3. big61al says:

    Coleman Francis….gosh where does one start? Easily the worst director and this is his worst film done on the show. The man filmed everything so dreary and somehow managed to make it drearier. If there is one person that should have never filmed anything, he is the one.


  4. Kenneth Morgan says:

    A question: is Chastain’s wife alive at the end of the movie or not? It looks like she’s still alive, but maybe I’m just trying to look for some sort of happy ending in this dark, depressing movie.


  5. ParaBear says:

    Until I watched Red Zone Cuba, I was under the impression that all the troops involved in the direct ground invasion, as opposed to pilots, frogmen, ect., were from the Cuban exile community. I had no idea that the Kennedy administration approved(apparently at the very last moment) the use of America’s own unskilled fugitive-hobo population in such a operation.

    But really, this film is like a live action version of the stories found in the absurd, lowbrow, mens ‘true’ adventure magazines that graced the nations barber shops in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Think “Hapless G.I. captured by Hitler’s She Devils!” or Frank Zappas favorite title, “Weasles Ripped My Flesh!”.


  6. Neptune Man says:

    Mother of mercy, is this the end of Curly?
    Ah, Red Zone Cuba, the movie that taught us life is one bleak landscape where one waits drinking coffee for Cherokee Jack. Also, everybody should die shot by a vigilante from a helicopter.


  7. Neptune Man says:

    #149: Do I need to remind you that the stars of he show are the movies? To be fair, there are no Mike episodes, Joel episodes, Frank, Kevin, Mary Jo, Bill, Paul, episodes, just movies that happen to be riffed by them.
    What I have jut said is complete garbage, ignore it, please.


  8. Pemmican says:

    Yowsah, 157 comments as I write this!

    I first watched this one on a portable DVD player during a power outage. It had just enough battery time to watch about 100 minutes of video (with speakers going, no headphones).

    When I got to “Guard, water! We got a sick man here!” I had to pause and sit back back a moment. What was I watching? Was this really filmed? Who is this man, emoting to a wall, asking for water? It was one of the most surreal moments of my life, and I’ve had plenty – most of ’em don’t involve bad movies!

    Dr. Francis, you were underappreciated in your time.


  9. Oh Coleman Francis. . . . .master of confusion and depression. Personally, I love the Coleman Francis troika, I find his directorial decisions to be equally befuddling and hypnotizing. Red Zone Cuba is my least favorite of the three, but only comparatively so. It is still a great episode, one of the best of Season 6. The “Speech” short is classic, the wobbly-knee test is just fantastic, plus I love Frank and Dr. F’s mimicking the move in Host Segment #1. In general, the Host Segments are fun overall, if just for the heavy presence of Frank.

    Sure the movie is painful….and confusing…and a total bummer, but it gives us Cherokee Jack, the “penny and a broken cigarette” line, Castro in need of a new beard, not to mention a good case of whiplash from the choppy editing.

    In regards to #122 (brought up again by #150), I’ve been looking on the internet for info as to John Carradine NOT singing the theme song, and I can’t find any. So unless somebody wants to step up and claim that lovely vocal presence, lets just let Carradine continue collecting the credit. “NIGHT TRAIN!. . . .to the end!!”



    Mike (as little girl with her doll): “I like this one ’cause it’s whiter.”

    Servo: “Plus the polish gets you high.”

    Crow: “Make sure your part is GOUGED into your skull.”

    Crow (about the knee test): “Don’t do this during the speech.”


    Crow (about John Carradine): “Was he always 100 years old?”

    Mike: “How’s that fit you, fancy pants?”

    Crow: “This film dares you to watch it.”

    Mike: “HI-CUBA!”

    Crow: “I am the dark specter of food.”

    Mike: “Got a load of wife for ‘ya.”

    Only in MST discussion groups will you find comparison of Coleman Francis’ Red Zone Cuba to Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend (a total stretch, but I’ve read academic papers and essays with similarly sketchy comparisons) and further discussion about Lucio Fulci’s New York Ripper and City of the Living Dead. (#37, #70, and #77). Well done, sirs. Well done.

    Ran all the way to hell,
    had to give RED ZONE CUBA
    4 out of 5 cigarettes (all broken),

    :cigarette: :cigarette: :cigarette: :cigarette:


  10. Thomas K. Dye says:

    #150: #122 is mistaken. The opening credits read “Sung by John Carradine” at the lower left. You can’t see it in the show because the theater seats are blocking it.

    Fast forward to 1:38.


  11. [the original] Stan McSerr says:

    What is scarey is not that you have usurped my online name but that I 100% agree with you about the movie! I have never stayed awake through the entire movie. :shock:


  12. Depressing Aunt says:

    RZC! This episode actually cheers me up, every time. It makes me feel happy as an elf. I just love Mike’s indignant, “I will not make the knee test!” Before he even knows what the hell it is.

    I love to hear that Hollywood pretty boy say, “I’m Cherokee Jack!” It sounds, to me, as if the fella can barely believe how lucky he is to be called such a name. (Or it’s almost as if the fella can’t act.) It seems like Griffith decides later to wring Cherokee’s neck for being less than forthcoming–I for one am glad dude escaped such a fate.

    I think there’s something kind of contrary in my nature–in all seriousness, I enjoy episodes like this, “Monster A Go-Go”, and “Castle of Fu Manchu.” There there, little movie, at least your Depressing Aunt forgives you for making no sense.


  13. Depressing Aunt says:

    @162 Not Griffith. Griffin. How could I have got that wrong?

    I might as well add…The piece of eggshell stuck to Frank’s hair is a nice touch!


  14. Cornjob says:

    I kinda like the “Night Train to Mundo Fine” song, sort of a stripped down “Midnight Rider”.

    I’d forgotten about the lively discussion of Italian Horror movies we had last time around.

    Did Coleman mean for his movies to be cinematic manifestations of clinical depression with Dadaist editing. It was like Coleman wasn’t just filming in black and white, he was filming a dead grey world that color had abandoned. Kind of like the gloomy Greek Hades. Orson Welles adaptation of Kafka’s “The Trial” with Tony Perkins in the lead was a cheerier movie than Coleman’s work.

    And most David Lynch movies make more sense. God bless Mr. Francis and his numerous mental illnesses that drove him to create his trifecta. All three are surreal masterpieces if you can get underneath the leaden grey gloom, and make for outstanding MST episodes.

    Why the heck did he kill Chastain’s wife at the end?? Why? Oh. never mind.


  15. Creeping-Death says:

    Not sure why everyone says Justine’s wife dies, unless they saw a different version. When Justine is back at his house and they pull up with her in the bed of the truck, she smiles at him in the last scene she’s in.

    This is the movie Kevin Murphy said was the worst movie they made fun of in a later interview. His review of it in the ACEG makes it clear. Does make for a good episode, though.

    [Standing before a crude map, “Lieutenant” Joe addresses his extremely tiny Cuba invasion force.]
    Joe: Men, we’re shoving off right after sundown…
    Crow, Servo [as Men]: You shove off!
    Joe: …and I want to give you some idea of what to expect.
    Mike [as Joe]: There’s 80,000 of them, and seven of us.
    Joe: At 12 o’clock midnight, we hit the beach. At 12:30 a patrol boat makes its nightly run. We have 30 minutes to scale 80 foot cliffs and clear the beach.
    Servo [as Joe]: Ted, you take Havana.


  16. Ableredleader says:

    Coleman Francis also appeared in MST3K: The Movie. I wish that the riffers had spotted that. Coleman was the delivery guy for Cal and Joe’s lab. “Deliver this. Deliver that. I’ll make them all pay!” Coleman had already made Mike and the bots pay, with movies like the one being reviewed.

    I confirmed that it was Coleman Francis in “This Island Earth” by finding it on IMDB. The delivery guy even looks like him.

    We saw this episode before we saw “Manos”, so the first time we saw this episode again after we’d seen “Manos”, I nearly spat my drink out at the call back. We rewound the tape so my wife could hear the “Manos” call back, too. I soon discovered that my wife does a very good imitation of Torgo’s voice…

    My wife and I agree that “Monster-A-Go-Go” is the worst movie made- except for “Birdemic”. At least “Senor Francis” had the microphone handy, which is more than I can say for “Monster-A-Go-Go” a lot of the time.

    “Red Zone Cuba” grew on us. It took a few viewings for us to love it.

    The “Red Zone” part of the title always reminds me of that awesome airport intercom argument from the classic movie, “Airplane”, about “The Red Zone is for loading and unloading” that degenerates into an argument about “Betty” getting an abortion.


  17. Dr. Erickson says:

    Interesting how I again found myself in complete disagreement with ‘Rowsdower’ (144), and I am happy to humbly answer his question: “Compared to every episode I’ve ever seen, which is most of them.” Glad to see there are so many others on whom this episode works its wondrous magic. I’ll confess the short isn’t my favorite and I find the host segments just so-so, but the movie, itself, and the riffing that accompanies it, for me, probably rank in the Mike Top 5. From “Sal Mineo for Viceroy” to “The cast of ‘How to Succeed in Business’ moves in,” it’s just one bull’s-eye after another. (A unique preponderance of subtle riffs, too, that all work beautifully: “Sorry I blew up like that?” “Well, look who’s finally up.” “Throw in the guy?”) And then – as others have noted – there is the movie itself and the darkly compelling enigma that is Coleman Francis. As with the best of Ed Wood, Coleman’s work exerts a strange hold over the viewer at a subconscious level, as though you’re eavesdropping on the disjointed dreams of a mad man. It almost feels wrong! Consciously, of course, you’re just happily astounded that such a singularly bizarre, inept and potentially hilarious (thanks again fellas!) spool of celluloid actually exists.


  18. JCC says:

    I love this episode but I killed it by watching it so much around the time it came out, plus being an early official release, that I rarely watch it now. Something about the riffers sound mix is so strange to me as well. It’s kind of dry and boomy and otherwordly and completely unique to this episode. Or maybe I’m just nuts.

    *gravely voice* “I just keep thinking of those tasty frog legs…”


  19. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    I hate to be the lone dissenter here, but this is one of two MST3Ks I can’t even make it through. (The other is Wild World of batwoman)
    When I got it through my Columbia Record Club subscription on VHS, I sent it back. That is how bad I thought it was.

    The movie is almost as bad as Hitchcock’s version, Topaz.
    The guys really try, but I don’t think they made the episode watchable.


  20. Dishoficecream says:

    @169, it’s hard for me to get through too. I love “Night Train to Mundo Fine,” and “I’m Cherokee Jack”, and the happy “Everyone is having fun and smoking, and the dogs are eating too!” song, but when I tried re-watching while doing some kitchen chores, I had to rewind several times because I totally tuned out. I still have no idea how the plot (???) works. I think I have to be in the right mood and paying more attention, I’ve only watched it a couple of times. I join with you all in wondering what Coleman Francis’ deal was. His vision is sooo gray and depressing and totally devoid of any kind of human emotion other than a generalized hatefulness. Yuck! At least Skydivers has that wacky concert and Petey the Plane.


  21. Sitting Duck says:

    Red Zone Cuba fails the Bechdel Test. There are no instances of two female characters conversing.

    So what kind of Bingo cards do they use where B is not in the 1-15 range?

    I don’t know why, but I was grossed out by the eggshells on Frank’s trousers.

    Fun fact. One of the reasons Bay of Pigs failed (aside from the whole enlisting hoboes) was because of a SNAFU regarding the air support. When planning out the timing, they forgot to take into account that the base the air support was launching from was in a different time zone from Cuba. As a result, by the time they got there, the fighting was over.

    Favorite riffs

    Did ancient Toastmasters make this film?

    Professor Buehler’s Day Off.

    Appearance has A Pear in it.

    “She seems to be afraid she’ll break, and she looks frightened and excessively formal.”
    And yet startlingly erotic.

    “You can determine this distance by making the Knee Test.”
    I will not make the Knee Test!

    Coleman Francis is Curly Howard in The Fugitive.

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

    Once we get past the character development, this film’s bound to pick up.

    I can’t handle the truth!

    Full Metal Curly.

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

    Castro doesn’t stand a chance.

    It’s the Shining Path Fantasy Camp.

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

    “We must not get caught on the beach.”
    Especially with my thighs.

    I had to follow the stinky guy.

    The Mounds View Junior High School production of The Guns of Navarone.

    Castro lives above a hardware store.

    We approach County Road B with extreme caution.

    Coleman, don’t take off your pants!

    You want the paint in your face? That’s optional.

    Curious George Goes to Cuba.

    “I know it sounds crazy…”
    But would you choke me again?

    We have a wonderful Oktoberfest frog leg.

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

    The legendary Singing Buick!


  22. MSTie says:

    RZC is bad in a train wreck sort of way. I can’t look away because it’s so awful, and at least the riffing is good. Worst movie MST3K ever did? No way; that dubious honor belongs to The Starfighters as far as I’m concerned.

    I think RZC should be required viewing for all would-be filmmakers as the #1 example of how NOT to shoot a black and white film. It’s all the same two or three shades of gray.


  23. MikeK says:

    I finally got the Toastmasters riff.


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

    Yet again, I offer this retort on Coleman Francis’s behalf:

    “Yeah, I made some {urp} crappy movies. What kind of {snort} movies did YOU make?!”


  25. Torgo"s Pizza-NJ says:

    Frank Conniff has publicly apologized for rediscovering the Kingdom of the Crystal Scuzz that is the Coleman Francis film library.These pictures make you appreciate how much Ed Wood movies Were actually Movies, with a beginning, middle & ending and characters and situations that engaged the audience to some degree. Francis’ films are often just poorly shot scenes of men running to and away from airplanes. They’re silent films with indifferently added soundtracks. When you make Tor Johnson boring, you know the magic is gone…


  26. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    This episode holds up for me all the way. It inspires a love that only a Francis Coleman film run through the MST3k filter can produce. “Runnin’ down the road/trying to loosen my load/I got Coleman Francis on my mind.”

    It’s also given my family one of our favorite phrases: “YOU shove off!” My husband likes to use it a LOT.


  27. Ericb says:

    I always lose it when Crow says “This movie dares you to watch it” while viewing an out of focus shot of the three guys laying around on cots. It’s simple line but it seems to contain within it all the existential angst that comes over you when watching this “film.”


  28. dakotaboy says:

    Tom: “We’ve reached the point where this movie has thrown up its hands and said, ‘I just don’t know.'”
    Crow: “I want to hurt this movie, but I could never hurt it the way it hurt me.”
    Mike: “Did they even need to go to Cuba?”

    Classic MST3K.


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

    This was one of the first MST3K episodes on VHS and, thus, one of the first pre-Sci Fi Channel episodes that I ever owned and thus watched it LOTS of times. :-)

    And now the $10,000 question: Who the hell told Coleman Francis that he would have done well in FRONT of the camera?

    If the only people who ever made films were people who’d been told that they’d be GOOD at it, well…

    The Bolem:
    Ah, Spring Break,

    Filthy, shameful Spring Break…

    “Ho, guys. Step back and think. Are we all gonna fit in here?”
    That is indeed a great riff. I love how all those guys rush to that helicopter that can only hold two people. WTF?

    Obviously, everyone wanted to BE one of those two. They must have received a very effective pep talk…

    Cliff Weismeyer:
    One more note:
    Marketing line they should have used:
    “Tony Cardoza IS Fidel Castro in Red Zone Cuba!”

    No no no no no no no. That kind of riff works best when all three have nothing to do with the movie. “Coleman Francis IS Curly Howard IN The Fugitive!” “Martin Scorcese IS Mister French IN The Exorcist!” And so on.


    Great, great, amazing episode. I love Crow’s line of “at the point the movie just threw it’s hands up and said “I don’t know””
    Or something to that effect.

    While that’s a favorite riff of mine, too (it’s from Servo, btw), it might not be quite fair to the movie, since we (well, I, anyway) don’t know who’s responsible for that jumpcut, the filmmakers/distributors or the Brains themselves. If the latter, well, it’s not very sporting of them to pick on a flaw that THEY added to the movie…

    Also, any Curley riff.

    Regrettable that there were so few of them. Sigh.

    Tim S. Turner:
    “I am Cherokee Jack.”
    Every time they say that I absolutely lose it.

    Please pardon my nitpickiness but they, uh, never actually said that, though. It’s “I’M Cherokee Jack!” (emphasis added)

    I never got what was so funny about that, anyway. Oh well.

    However, I do not care for the stuff in Deep13. I always feel like it’s not ever Deep 13 in this episode.While it is nice to see Frank get the upper-hand for once, he still seems out of character. Also, seeing Dr. F’s package made prominent by a cup (which I assume was made to make the bandage costume easy to put on) is very uncool. One would think that the brains, who often have an aversion seeing “areas” or “batches,” would found a way prevent doing creating a “area” themselves.

    On the contrary, they were clearly trying to create a Very Noticeable Area. That was the point of the joke (such as it was).

    Mark Shields:
    Was tungsten really all that valuable?

    Well, it was better than nothing. After all, money may not buy happiness but LACK of money won’t buy ANYTHING.

    (We hear rain outside the plane)
    Tom: It’s really coming down out there.
    (Cut to outside the plane. No rain)

    If you don’t like the weather, just wait a couple of frames…


  30. thequietman says:

    His ‘green pants’ meant everything to him?

    I thought to myself going into this movie, all I need to do is pay attention and I’m sure I can follow this movie. Nope, I could barely do it. This might be Mike’s Manos, but Manos (I can’t believe I’m saying it) is the better film.

    I’m surprised no one else mentioned how Professor Buehler from “Speech: Using Your Voice” turns up in silent demonstration in the short, as does Coach from “Why Study Industrial Arts?” as the slovenly speaker. He really hit the skids, didn’t he?


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

    Sitting Duck:

    It’s the Shining Path Fantasy Camp.

    As some here already know, this is a reference to the Communist Party of Peru. In a later riff, Servo suggests that they should’ve tried invading “Belize or Grand Cayman.” So, as far as international riffs go, this episode has some. However, Grand Cayman is a British territory, so invading it would make even less sense than invading Cuba.

    BTW, Moundsview High School (although, apparently, not, specifically, Moundsville JUNIOR high school) is a real place in Arden Hills, Minnesota. In the remarkably unlikely event that anyone wants to know, per the IMDB, at least seven movies have been filmed in Arden Hills, Minnesota, all directed by Christopher R. Mihm, surely a name to watch out for, perhaps even to dread.

    The Monster of Phantom Lake (2006)
    It Came from Another World! (2007)*
    Terror from Beneath the Earth (2009)
    Destination: Outer Space (2010)
    The Giant Spider (2013)
    The Late Night Double Feature (2014)
    Weresquito: Nazi Hunter (2016)


    *exclamation points in titles Really Bug Me but I have a responsibility to be as accurate as possible


  32. Cornjob says:

    #179: What’s funny about, “I’m Cherokee Jack”, is something you just get or you don’t. It’s the way he says it. It’s just…odd.

    On an unrelated note: Actor Miguel Ferrer passed away yesterday. He was rarely if ever a leading man, but he always brought an ineffable Miguel Ferrer quality to whatever supporting role he was in. No MST connection that I’m aware of, but a real loss.


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

    Tim S. Turner:
    I am Cherokee Jack.

    Cabbage Patch Elvis:
    I’m Cherokee Jack.

    I’m Cherokee Jack.

    Which of these three men is really Cherokee Jack? Find out TONIGHT, on…

    I, uh, don’t remember the name of the game show and thus can’t complete the riff. Sorry about that, folks.


  34. schippers says:

    Miguel Ferrer was a big part of what makes Robocop so special. He will be missed.

    Also, his dad, Mel, was in a whole bunch of very entertaining movies, such as Nightmare City. Just sayin’.

    I loves me some Red Zone Cuba.


  35. RedZoneTuba says:

    My all-time #1 favorite MST episode, and I had to comment (for obvious reasons)…

    All my favorite riffs have of course been covered, so I’ll just add that the thing I find both sad and funny is that Coleman even ATTEMPTED this movie. A sprawling adventure with multiple international locations, invasion and battle scenes, aerial chases…and we’ve got a budget of $200. YES! Let’s do it!


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

    The Toblerone Effect:
    Fav riff from short: Narrator says, “You must remember to Think Tall, Stand Tall, Walk Tall

    So where’s the “Walking Tall” riff?

    R.A. Roth:
    The old guy (“My father was a can opener, my mother was a wood duck.”) with a restaurant menu scrawled on the exterior walls

    That’s actually a relatively common way for between-town places like that to try to lure in business. Not many people are likely to stop somewhere they have no idea what kind of food is served. If the location was in fact supposed to be in New Mexico, even the “Viva Frog Legs” part makes sense, inasmuch as there’s a perceptible percentage of people in New Mexico who are more fluent in Spanish than in English.

    Thrilling Wonder Stories:
    #15: I’d noticed the U.S. registrations on the planes.I wonder if the Brains didn’t, or just couldn’t come up with a good joke to use it in?

    Maybe the planes were left over from the regime of Fulgencio Batista (whom Castro overthrew), which was strongly supported by the USA (and thus might have received some US planes and not bothered to change the registration numbers since almost no one notices that sort of thing anyway) because, while Batista was per some sources an EVEN WORSE dictator than Castro turned out to be, he at least wasn’t a communist…

    David N. Madson:
    Great riffing by Mike on this song alone: “Drink Night Train / Go to the basketball game / Throw up under the bleachers.”

    Oddly reminiscent of one of Crow’s riffs from Prof. Bueller’s earlier effort, “Speech: Using Your Voice”:

    “Duh, I was under de bleachers over at de ball game, an’ dat’s when de cop chased me out an’ asked me what I ‘as doin’…”

    Sitting Duck:
    The Toblerone Effect #59:
    Fav riff from short: Narrator says, “You must remember to Think Tall, Stand Tall, Walk Tall, and Talk Tall”. Mike responds, “What if you’re Robert Reich?”
    Weird thing. I was just reading today’s Dilbert and in it, Topper claims to have once passed a gallstone so big that it became Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration.

    Uh, did that clip *need* any set-up…?


  37. Thanos6 says:

    “Ho, guys. Step back and think. Are we all gonna fit in here?”

    I have literally never seen my father laugh harder at anything than at this one riff.


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

    The Bolem:
    …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…

    Or even get hairy palms…


  39. crowschmo says:


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

    “You must appear, and you must have matter.” – Mike


    “There’s 80,000 of them and seven of us.” – Mike

    “Ted – you take Havana.” – Servo

    “At 12:15, we’re captured.” – Mike

    And finally, “YOU shove off!!”


  40. Ray Dunakin says:

    Please pardon my nitpickiness but they, uh, never actually said that, though. It’s “I’M Cherokee Jack!” (emphasis added)

    I never got what was so funny about that, anyway. Oh well.

    I think it’s just the unnatural way that the clearly-not-a-real-actor said the line that made it so funny.


  41. Ray Dunakin says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: Which of these three men is really Cherokee Jack? Find out TONIGHT, on…

    I, uh, don’t remember the name of the game show and thus can’t complete the riff. Sorry about that, folks.

    The show was “To Tell The Truth”.


  42. Ray Dunakin says:

    Lots of great riffs in this one, but I think my favorite might be after the trio has been captured and are huddled in the shack, and Mike perfectly mimics Coleman’s phlegmy growl: “For the sex shot, we’ll focus on me with my legs splayed and my enormous package spread out.”


  43. littleaimishboy says:

    Ray Dunakin: The show was “To Tell The Truth”.

    Remember when Spartacus was the celebrity guest?


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

    Sitting Duck:
    pearliemae #95:
    for that matter he could have killed her beforehand.
    OH GAWD!!!!! Surely even Coleman Francis couldn’t be that sick.

    If he was, well, he was kind of ahead of his time…

    Now, just remember, I didn’t TELL anyone to click the link…

    R.A. Roth:
    gray people in vaguely military-esque gear climbing up be-roped bunny hills

    Be-roped bunny hills? There was no rope on that bunny.
    Oh, wait, I’m thinking of “Beast of Yucca Flats,” never mind…

    The Bolem:
    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?

    #116 explained the first part. As for the second, “seems like a thousand years ago” means it seems like a long, long time ago, that’s all.

    Castlevania Pork Roast:
    I one wrote “GET REAL BEARD” on a comment card and put it in the comment box at my old job.

    When I worked for the Postal Service, I once signed the names “Mr. McFeeley” and “Hello Newman!” on a list for, uh, something or another. I wasn’t necessarily bored, but I *am* sometimes easily entertained. As any number of my posts must have long since made transparently obvious. :-)

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

    Should we know who Mrs. Mimbauch is? Or not?

    ray the whimsical lampshade:
    Did they even need to go to Cuba??

    Well, of course, they needed to jump on the Bay of Pigs trend while it was still hot in the public mind…


  45. Cornjob says:

    Maybe those FBI guys are used to clown helicopters that fit a whole squad in two seats.


  46. Cornjob says:

    And will the real Cherokee Jack please stand up?


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

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

    Maybe he made a point of doing that because Batista had made a point of NOT doing that. Or maybe not.

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

    The restroom?

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

    Joey “Frog Legs” Tagliono just didn’t have the same ring to it…

    Tom Carberry:
    Filmed in 1961 and released in 1966, Night Train to Mundo Fine (translates to Night Train to the End of the World)

    As we know it. And I feel fine. Sort of.

    Is there a book about Coleman, much like the fantastic “Nightmare of Ecstasy” is about Ed Wood?

    Alas, no. However, checking Amazon, I find that there are apparently a surprising number of authors named Francis Coleman. (so, more than two, then)

    I had no idea that the Kennedy administration approved(apparently at the very last moment) the use of America’s own unskilled fugitive-hobo population in such a operation.

    The technical term is “cannon fodder”…

    But really, this film is like a live action version of the stories found in the absurd, lowbrow, mens ‘true’ adventure magazines that graced the nations barber shops in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Think “Hapless G.I. captured by Hitler’s She Devils!” or Frank Zappas favorite title, “Weasles Ripped My Flesh!”.

    I’d say something about the adventure mags/Ed Gein connection but I already did that back a while ago before.

    Neptune Man:
    Ah, Red Zone Cuba, the movie that taught us life is one bleak landscape where one waits drinking coffee for Cherokee Jack. Also, everybody should die shot by a vigilante from a helicopter.

    These helicopter guys were cops or feds OSLT, though. Shooting Griffin down (like the dog that he was) might have qualified as vigilante action, though, meaning that they were rogue cops or feds OSLT who didn’t play by the rules but who got results. I guess.

    Depressing Aunt:
    I might as well add…The piece of eggshell stuck to Frank’s hair is a nice touch!

    A sign that Frank has his very own special way of making hard-boiled eggs?

    Why the heck did he kill Chastain’s wife at the end?? Why? Oh. never mind.

    Just a guess: “The man’s a homicidal maniac!”

    TVtropes, in fact, categorizes him as a “complete monster”:

    The “Red Zone” part of the title always reminds me of that awesome airport intercom argument from the classic movie, “Airplane”,about “The Red Zone is for loading and unloading”

    “Cuba and Un-Cuba.” Cuba and whatever is not Cuba. So, just about everything, then.


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

    My all-time #1 favorite MST episode, and I had to comment (for obvious reasons)…

    All my favorite riffs have of course been covered, so I’ll just add that the thing I find both sad and funny is that Coleman even ATTEMPTED this movie.A sprawling adventure with multiple international locations, invasion and battle scenes, aerial chases…and we’ve got a budget of $200. YES!Let’s do it!

    I’m sure better has been done with less. Although I can’t confirm that at this point in time.


  49. jjk says:

    Coleman Francis, the only director that could make Ed Wood look like a genius.


  50. EAG46 says:

    JOSE Ferrer was Miguel Ferrer’s dad. Rosemary Clooney was his mom. And to me Miguel was Garret Macy from Crossing Jordan. Hell of an actor, sad loss. Anyhow: Red Zone Cuba is only “watchable” up till their escape from Cuba. Once Coleman starts killing everyone willy-nilly it loses me. The short is great and John Carradine singing “Night Train to Mondo Fine” has a strange appeal.


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