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Episode guide: 620- Danger!! Death Ray

Movie: (1967) A suave secret agent is on the case after a Europey evil organization makes off with a death ray and its inventor.

First shown: 1/7/95
Opening: Crow has contact lenses, Tom has a sneaker endorsement deal
Intro: Frank is a talent agent
Host segment 1: Servo builds a death ray for peaceful purposes, but can’t resist using it on Crow
Host segment 2: “This is your life, Mike Nelson”
Host segment 3: Crow’s designs for sunglasses seem a bit woman-ey
End: Cambot gets emotional, Frank has a glamour shot
Stinger: John Cameron Swayze intercepts the watch
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (173 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)


• I’m not a big fan of the foreign spy movie episodes, but this one clicks with me. Maybe it’s because the movie is just barely watchable, the riffing is fun and most of the host segments work. The result is one I really like.
• This one will be in Shout’s “Volume XXVI” due out March 26.
• This was the first episode of 1995. It would be difficult year in MSTiedom.
• Crow’s contact lenses and Frank the talent agent are a great start.
• Callback to Crow’s screenwriting career. That’s Mike as Torgo, of course.
• Mike wears his sailor suit/Tom wears his sneakers into theater.
• Crow’s giggle, every time the movie pretends the toys are real, is so infectious!
• Callbacks: Starfighters music, “This nose wheel feels mushy.” (San Francisco International), “We tampered in God’s domain.” (Bride of the Monster), “I’m dyin’ in a rush!” (Kitten with a Whip).
• Segment 1 is strange, but it ends with the arresting image of Crow’s eyes catching fire. A classic moment.
• Non spaghetti ball bumpers: film canister, book, beaker
• Mike is very funny at beginning of segment 2, warily fending off Tom’s attempt to start the sketch. The segment is JUST long enough.
• Segment 3 is fun too. Perfect progression from slightly woman-ey to VERY woman-ey.
• Nice to see Cambot involved in a segment for once! But he’s sooo sensitive.
• Um, has anybody noticed the HUGE body count in this movie? Sheesh!
• Set designer Arrigo Equini, who waas a scene designer for “Secret Agent Super Dragon,” is the ONLY person on this movie who worked on another MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy.
• Fave riff: “Hi. Welcome to Jack Ruby fantasy camp.” Honorable mention: “Look, let’s just put our balls on the table, shall we?”

110 comments to Episode guide: 620- Danger!! Death Ray

  • 101
    PALADIN says:

    “Abe Lincoln is TIME COP!…Trapped behind Confederate Lines !”

    Oh, I LOVE THIS EP ! I look upon the MST selection of spy-guy pics as ‘anti-Bond films’, great for solid laughs…

    Yepper… I love all the spy-guy eps…even the one that just sorta ‘lays around the house’….


  • 102
    Depressing Aunt says:

    OH I love this one and I’m so happy about the upcoming DVD release. I hope you guys don’t mind my dropping this info on you, but the first night I watched it–I had ordered a videotaped copy from a really nice fellow who supplied me with many missed episodes–it actually prevented me from having a full-blown anxiety attack. Seeing Mike wearing sunglasses with the word “WOMAN” on them was better than a therapy session for me for some reason.


  • 103
    Fred Burroughs says:

    For some reason, “I’m going to shun him” just slayed me. I think amish jokes > Abe Lincoln jokes for most cases, here too. It put a whole new spin on why the hit man was ruthlessly hunting him down with machine gun henchmen. The ‘beard-reveal’ scene is one of many WTF? moments in this fine movie.

    I must say Gordon Scott is a believable secret agent, beefy and aggressive; much moreso than, say, Roger Moore. I waited a long time to see this MST, and though I wasn’t disappointed with Bart Fargo (!?), I was disappointed with the whole Death Ray thing, which barely registers on film. Can the balloon juice–make with the death!


  • 104
    bartcow says:

    A long time favorite. One I cherished when I had only seen a handful of episodes by that point. There’s also plenty of opportunities to work “special effects by Billy” and “lyrics by Hal David” into any pop culture discussion. Not to mention “the grandeur of white guys walking in herds”. Bart Fargo owes you a favor.

    I have a VHS of the uncut movie, and it explains what happens to the Barbershop Quartet Guy from the beginning of the movie (he just disappears in the MST version). He’s left for dead by the Frog Guy after getting caught in an elevator door or something (it’s been a while since I’ve watched it). The fight with the Frog Guy at the end is no less confusing, though. The watch scene at the very end is exactly as you see it.


  • 105
    cubby says:

    I have a VHS of the uncut movie, and it explains what happens to the Barbershop Quartet Guy from the beginning of the movie (he just disappears in the MST version). He’s left for dead by the Frog Guy after getting caught in an elevator door or something (it’s been a while since I’ve watched it).

    A friend sent me an uncut copy, titled “Hellish Beam” with Dutch subtitles. There is a 2 minute pre-credit sequence showing how Frank & the Gang hijacked the car (something to do with jackhammers that also worked as machine guns). BQG destroys the death ray on display, but Brian [of All-Brian All-The-Time], with his dying strength, activates the room’s doors, BQG tries to get out, but instead gets trapped between the pressing steel doors. “Help me, Frank,” he says. Frank helps him by shooting him, somewhat to BQG’s surprise. Also in the cut segment, they shoot the nervous security guard on the phone on their way out.

    Another segment cut is after Bart gets his assignment – he goes to the installation where he and Mr. Carver watch the dailies from the Death Ray scene. Fargo IDs Frank and calls BQG “Gary.” He notes they usually have a third accomplice, “A Spaniard, a man with a scar on his face.” He then gets on the plane and meets cute with the evil blonde lady. End cut.

    My copy doesn’t have the watch intercept at the end. Just the watch hitting the water, cut to it sinking slowly to the bottom. I guess you can’t have everything.


  • 106
    bartcow says:

    Hmmm…Comment 30 is credited to me, but I’m pretty sure it’s not me. The spirit of the comment is the same (didn’t bother to read them all, which is why mine is oh-so-redundant). Internet weirdness. Or maybe I’m losing my mind. Sybil? Is that you?


  • 107
    Neptune Man says:

    I could go forever quoting this episode, is on mu top ten of favorite episodes. And the movie itself has its charm. This movie introduced us to one of mankind’s greatest achievements the “Bop-ba-dop-ba-da-ba-da-da” tune.
    Here in all its glory:


  • 108
    MWH1980 says:

    You know those movies where the absurdity goes from being charming to just downright hate-inducing? This film does that for me.

    Then again, this and Double 007 do stupid things that just get under my skin and fester!

    Funny how they both contain a group going into a demonstration without being questioned, and then disrupting it with no real problems at all.

    Though I just hate Bart’s boss. That line calling him ‘worse than an arab’ to me seemed worse than that bad Chinese impersonation in ‘Batwoman.’ Plus he prattles on like Bart will do this without any questions.

    Speaking of another bad spy film, doesn’t it seem most of them deal with the ‘spy’ lazily saying he’s tired or doesn’t want to do a mission, and then is conned into doing it anyways?

    Plus, Bart’s dubbed voice sounds like one of the smarmiest Gregory Peck impersonations ever. What was it with some voices dubbing like their several layers thick of testosterone? Even Cal in This Island Earth’ sounded deep and manly.

    Stuff like this along with ‘Double 007,’ ‘Secret Agent Super Dragon,’ if any of these really bad Bond wannabes actually were successful. We’re living in a terrible time of vampire over-saturation, one has to wonder if anyone at the time of these films grew sick and tired of these spy films.

    P.S. Mr scientist who made the death ray for peaceful purposes…you are soooo stupid!


  • 109
    "Hotcha!" says:

    It’s surprising how many versions of “Watermelon Man” one can find on iTunes. And a lot of them are pretty good.

    I like this movie a lot. A goofy movie to begin with and all the good rifs listed here.


  • 110
    pondoscp says:

    Count me among the small number of dissenters for this episode. This one just doesn’t do it for me. I find it mostly boring, and the Watermelon Man song is a bad ear worm; I can’t shake it for days after watching this episode. But I’m one of the few who likes Kitten With A Whip, so my tastes are somewhat different. I don’t really care for any of the spy flicks MST did. (Diabolik is probably my fav of the spy genre they did.)
    I am looking forward to seeing a crystal clear copy on the upcoming box set. I’ve had several episodes I didn’t care for reveal themselves to me in a new light once I’ve upgraded from a crappy mpeg copy.