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Episode guide: 621- The Beast of Yucca Flats (with shorts: ‘Money Talks!’ & ‘Progress Island U.S.A.’)

621s1 621s2

Short: (1951) The ghost of Ben Franklin visits a spendthrift teenager.
Short: (1973) An upbeat travelogue tries to lure investors to Puerto Rico.
Movie: (1961) After being exposed to atomic radiation, a defecting Russian scientist becomes a murderous monster.

First shown: 1/21/95
Opening: Mike is wallpapering the SOL, Crow and Tom are no help
Intro: The Mads promote “Proposition Deep 13” while M&tB speak up for the Satellite of Love
Host segment 1: M&tB get a visit from some partiers
Host segment 2: Crow asks: Is it 11:30?
Host segment 3: Crow offers a plea for film anti-preservation, but Mike disapproves
End: Mike’s victory speech, Tom reads letters, Dr. F.’s concession speech
Stinger: The beast is pissed
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (202 votes, average: 4.47 out of 5)

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• Ah, part 3 of the Coleman Francis trilogy, with the extra special sticky badness of Tor Johnson thrown in. This terrible, terrible movie, the very sharp riffing (especially given what they had to work with in the main feature) plus not one but TWO shorts and some great, memorable host segments, makes for a classic episode.
• This episode can be found on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XVIII.
• Of course the riffing is good in this episode: Mike already riffed on it during his training before his first experiment, as mentioned in episode 513- THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE.
• The political segments managed (mostly) not to offend folks of any particular stripe, but also managed to make some smart satirical observations.
• A rare two-shorter (the last one was in season 3). A nice mix, too: one classic 50s educational short, followed by an industrial. As a side note: I doubt that noted abolitionist Ben Franklin would say “Would you have your slave press my suit?” but I’m willing to overlook that one amid some great riffing. The riffing in the second short has a lot of “fill in the blanks” jokes, as in “A booming economy…” “…is not here.” I don’t think they overdid it, but I think they hit the limit on that one.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: Film canister, book, beaker, bulletin board.
• Callbacks: “This nose wheel feels mushy” (San Francisco International) and, of course, “I’m Cherokee Jack” (and several other references to Red Zone Cuba) .
• Segment 1 seems to come out of the blue. Maybe the mention of rum in the short? By the way, during the sketch Tom shouts “water buffalo!” at the partiers. This was a then-current reference. Read about it here.
• Did anybody notice that the opening of TBOYF is vaguely reminiscent of the opening of “The Dead Talk Back”?
• Another then-current reference: “Marlon Brando arrives for the Larry King Interview.” Honestly, it seemed like a big deal at the time.
• Still another: A reference to the short-lived TV show “The Five Mrs. Buchanans.”
• Like Frank, I like to eat lunch at 11:30. So segment 2 resonates for me.
• At the sight of a coyote, Tom says “Humphrey!” That coyote looks nothing like Humphrey.
• I said in 1997, and I still say today, that the Academy should have had Crow and Mike do segment 3 at the Oscars that year (the year “MST3K: The Movie” came out). It would have brought the house down.
• Frank’s face in the closing is great.
• Cast and crew roundup: special effects guy Ray Mercer also worked on “Lost Continent,” “I Accuse My Parents,” “Radar Secret Service,” “Last of the Wild Horses” and “The Sinister Urge.” Sound guy Titus Moody worked on “Incredibly Strange Creatures.” Score composer Gene Kauer also worked on “Atomic Brain” and “Agent for H.A.R.M.” Producer Anthony Cardoza, worked on “The Hellcats” and “Red Zone Cuba.” Producer Anthony Cardoza and cinematographer Austin McKinney worked on “The Skydivers.”
In front of the camera: Eric Tomlin and Tony Cardoza appeared in “The Hellcats.” Marcia Knight, Coleman Francis, Eric Tomlin, Tony Cardoza, Titus Moody, Barbara Francis, Ronald Francis and Alan Francis, appeared in “The Skydivers.” Coleman Francis, George Prince, Tony Cardoza and Howard Morrison appeared in “Red Zone Cuba.” Tor Johnson was also in “The Unearthly” and “Bride of the Monster” as was Conrad Brooks. Brooks was also in “The Sinister Urge.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. The partiers were Patrick Brantseg, Paul Chaplin, Bridget Jones, Tim Paulson and Mary Jo Pehl. The music heard was “Speed of Sound,” written by Dayton Mercil, performed by a band called Ripcord.
• Fave riff from the first short: “Could you get your stomach off my desk?” Honorable mention: “Oh, and kill your parents.”
• Fave riff from the second short: “I’m having a freakout up to ten years later!” Honorable mention: “Just like everywhere else in the world.”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Some people just burrow straight down, I guess.” Honorable mention: “It IS more suspenseful when you don’t know what’s goin’ on.”

153 Replies to “Episode guide: 621- The Beast of Yucca Flats (with shorts: ‘Money Talks!’ & ‘Progress Island U.S.A.’)”

  1. JCC says:

    jjk (#99), yeah, but instead of playful slapping and nose tweaking he would just strangle the others to near death. Not much fun.

       7 likes

  2. Depressing Aunt says:

    Wow, another episode I love. Great season, this season 6.

    Ben: Until one day he had enough to buy the car he wanted.
    Mike: But then he crashed his car and died.

    Crow (with weird nasal voice): The dingos took my bay-bee!

    Coleman’s wife, I long to go back in time and give you a make-over. Wow! She was perfect–to mock. Nothing bothers some people, not even flying saucers. (Speak for yourself, movie.) Maybe it was actually aliens that put a flag on the moon, that’s how it got there. Hey, there must be some reason the narrator brought up flying saucers, I may as well go with that.

    The 11:30 sketch, well, it actually reminds me of hanging out on a family visit, and I find I’m pretty bored, and I think, if only it were time for a meal, cuz eating’s a real time killer. (That’s the spirit, lolz.) Yeah, I know that’s not the backstory, but I’ve been in Crow’s place, all antsy, constantly checking the time. Let’s just go eat!

       6 likes

  3. Fred Burroughs says:

    Beast of Yucca is still one that I must force myself to watch. Skydivers is a playful romp in comparison, and RZ Cuba is an epic. At least Creeping Terror had characters, even if it didn’t have actual dialogue (how do you forget to have dialogue in your movie?)…so tough. Still, Coleman F has that special hypnotic effect, you just want to watch to see WHY would someone watch this, or make it, or appear in it, it’s real guerrilla filmmaking.

    Progress Island:
    “Yes, no matter what the culture, folk dancing is stupid.” I love the matter-of-fact delivery. and I approve.

       7 likes

  4. schippers says:

    #100 – Lepus would be a great choice, if only for a bemustached DeForest Kelley. Rory Calhoun, however, does not even approach the level of wacky entertainment he offers in Motel Hell.

    Also, shout out to the UofA in Lepus! Let’s hear it for Old Main!

       0 likes

  5. Stefanie says:

    Segment 1 has Crow reading an “Amethyst” issue from the mid 80’s! This cracks me up every time! Of all the comics the guys read, he picks a extra girly lesser known one instead of Superman or Batman! It’s so random I chuckle no matter how many times I watch this episode.

       2 likes

  6. MikeK says:

    “Gambling!”

       2 likes

  7. big61al says:

    @ Stefanie #105
    I have a copy of that issue of Amethyst framed and hanging on my wall!!

       1 likes

  8. Sitting Duck says:

    And for those who are wondering what this Amethyst is, Wikipedia is your friend.

       1 likes

  9. Jerru says:

    I have yet to watch this episode and not fall asleep during it. It’s right up there with Hamlet and Monster A Go-Go.

       0 likes

  10. JC says:

    “This is my weekly feigning of interest in you, son.”

       6 likes

  11. agentcoop007 says:

    I don’t normally comment, but I have to say that Progress Island U.S.A. is my favorite short. I’ve watched it countless times, and like others i’ve seen comment rarely make it through the feature before falling asleep.
    My favorite part has gotta be where it looks like the short is starting over again and everyone gets upset.
    P.S. #88 MattK I gotta watch this short again to see in my mind if it is Bob Crane. I hope someday it can be figured out.

       1 likes

  12. Creepygirl says:

    My favorite Coleman F. movie of the three. I also really love the shorts. Great riffing all around.

       3 likes

  13. MWH1980 says:

    This film still reminds me that Coleman Francis was a very disturbed man.

    Given that this film has that old theme of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ that would filter through his next few films.

       2 likes

  14. Zor Prime says:

    I just love that they worked in a Verne Gange reference.

       4 likes

  15. pondoscp says:

    The last truly awesome episode, in my opinion. I really love this episode. The next three episodes are slightly above average to average, and “The Movie” is great, but for me everything after season 6 is mostly sub-par, with an occasional decent episode here and there. But hey, six wonderful seasons, that’s pretty good. And I thank all involved for it.

    Beast Of Yucca Flats reminds me of wandering through the desert washes in Tucson back in the early 1980’s; one big hot and bizarre mirage.

       0 likes

  16. Dr. Erickson says:

    Pondoscp (115), seriously? Time Chasers, Space Mutiny, Werewolf, Puma Man, Final Sacrifice, Soul Taker, Track of the Moon Beast, Pearl, Bobo, the Brains, the Nanites, etc. “Mostly sub-par?” Can’t say I’m with ya on that one. Think the Sci-Fi seasons were pretty damn wonderful too. I’m with you on “Yucca,” though: “awesome,” indeed. “My Lunchables!”

       11 likes

  17. Sitting Duck says:

    And speaking of Amethyst, anyone happen to know who the issue Crow was reading belonged to?

       1 likes

  18. Strummergas says:

    Oofa, this movie is easily the worst of the 3 Coleman Francis films. I couldn’t believe how bad this movie was and this is a mere two weeks after seeing Red Zone Cuba for the first time!

    A decent episode though. We get to see a bit of parenting from Mike in this episode in the “11:30” and “FAPS” sketches, which is a bit of a rarity in the Mike years. The Mads also revert back to “classic” mode with the Deep 13 vs. SOL sentiment of the opening sketch and then Forester abusing Frank over the credits. I always preferred the Mads in this role as opposed to them getting “personalities” over the course of this season.

    Anyway, bad movie but not a bad episode. 3 of 5 for me. Slightly lower than RZC and still slightly lower than The Skydivers which I liked the best of the CF Trilogy.

       1 likes

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

    #116:

    Anything that has Bill Corbett as Crow is by definition sub-par to anything that has Trace Beaulieu as Crow. But that’s just me, of course. ;-)

    And I say this as someone whose first year or two of watching MST3K was on the Sci-Fi Channel. Corbett was the only Crow I knew. Then I watched episodes from earlier seasons and I could never hear Corbett the same way again.

       2 likes

  20. Matt D says:

    Oh, pondoscp, you are crazy. But at least you are talking about a Mike episode, so it doesn’t seem like you are a strict Joel guy. That being said, there are plenty of eps, imo, better than BOYF that came after it. There is simply no way that anyone can think that Space Mutiny or Time Chasers is worse than BOYF. That is a FACT (not really).

    I was very happy to get the DVD of this, as I had never seen it before. I actually like the first short better than the second, although both of them are excellent. The movie was a real slog to get through. Nowadays, I gotta admit that I just watch the shorts and usually bypass the movie.

       2 likes

  21. MSTie says:

    Boy, BoYF is train-wreck bad. The sound issues alone make it a “What were they THINKING?!?” film. It’s only saved for me by the bunny at the end, and of course the riffing.

    Not a big fan of the money short, but the one about Puerto Rico cracks me up. It’s so desperate in its “Like me! Please like me!” pleadings and very typical of late ’60s/early ’70s travelogues, where everyone is happy all the time and there is no poverty (sarcasm).

       2 likes

  22. EricJ says:

    MSTie:
    Not a big fan of the money short, but the one about Puerto Rico cracks me up.It’s so desperate in its “Like me!Please like me!” pleadings and very typical of late ’60s/early ’70s travelogues, where everyone is happy all the time and there is no poverty (sarcasm).

    It’s not a “travelogue” in the sense that the sun sinks slowly in the west while our boat sails away, it’s a Chamber of Commerce movie trying to lure businesses to show how profitable and economically active it is to open offshore branches.
    (And that it hopefully won’t be too painful if you get stuck being the local branch manager.)

    Sort of like that Python Viking “Invest in North Malden!” sketch, only they’re not kidding.

       2 likes

  23. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    Every time I see a Cessna, I think of Coleman Francis. Whenever I pass a Starbucks I think “Coffee? I like coffee.” And whenever I see BoYF, I think of passionate incoherence, scattered dialog, and random appearances of coyote, hard-faced blonde, Butt Mountain – all courtesy of Mr. Francis.

    BoYF is still not my favorite of Coleman’s films, but I enjoy the riffing, and I like the strangeness of the movie itself. It would have been interesting to talk to the cast and crew during production. Were they excited to be there? Did they have fun? What did they think of Coleman? Did they have any sort of clue as to what the story was? Did they care? And what happened to the rabbit?

       7 likes

  24. Sitting Duck says:

    The Beast of Yucca Flats fails the Bechdel Test. Not only was there never any instance of two women speaking to each other, there was barely any dialogue of any sort.

    Is it just me, or is the narrator of Progress Island the same guy who narrates those At Your Fingertips craft shorts Rifftrax brought to our attention?

    Interesting how a short with the theme of how wonderful progress is gets followed by a movie which frequently refers to progress in a more cynical light. You think that was deliberate on the part of the Brains, or just a happy coincidence?

    So what’s the book Mike is reading in HS #2? When I try zooming in, the picture gets too blurry.

    Anyone know the location of that hinder-shaped peak?

    @ #41: I doubt there was catering.

    @ #71: IIRC Coleman Francis grew up in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl.

    @ #84: If you want to get really pedantic, the Korean War is still technically going on and it’s in the middle of an incredibly long cease fire.

    Favorite riffs

    Greasy Scarecrow Guy not invited.

    “Why am I always broke?”
    Maybe it’s my crack habit.

    “In addition, you obtain another dollar or so in what you call tips.”
    Or protection.

    On behalf of all girls, none of us are going to the dance with you.

    “A budget should fit the user.”
    Like a teddy.

    “Notice that last item on his budget, William? Savings?”
    Get it William?

    “Bob remembered one important rule.”
    Stuffing instead of potatoes.

    William, what are you doing in there? You’re not talking to the Founding Fathers again, are you?

    Benjamin Franklin was tried in the Eight Circuit Court on stalking charges. In a minute, the results of that trial.

    Circle Pines is really thriving.

    Here, money is exchanged for coconuts.

    Here, we’re flying in another trumpet section.

    The music of John Phillip Salsa.

    When Judy Garland died, it destroyed Puerto Rico’s economy.

    “Puerto Rico and the United States, a partnership for progress.”
    Whether you like it or not.

    Get off my land, you credits.

    This here part doesn’t need any narration, folks. It stands on its own.

    It is more suspenseful when you don’t know what’s going on.

    It’s the KGB, Mr. Benny.

    Don’t shoot while I’m reloading. That wouldn’t be fair.

    You dare question the Great Oz?

    It was a dark and boring night.

    There was no such thing as clinical depression until this film was made.

    Kenneth Brannagh’s Mary Shelley’s Bram Stoker’s Wes Craven’s Tim Burton’s Beast of Yucca Flats. A Francis Ford Coppola Film.

    Well here’s your problem. You’re dead.

    Fine. I’ll just put off breakfast so I can investigate your little murder.

    Sorry, honey. Hadn’t realized you dead.

    I’m glad Tor didn’t cocoon her with his spinnerets.

    “Aw, we never get to have any fun.”
    But you looked at pigs, and there’s a tire. You’ve had lots of fun.

    So long, folks. Enjoy our bleak landscape.

    I thought Scrub World would be more fun.

    This movie stops at nothing, and stays there.

    We have Mom’s looks and Dad’s intelligence. We should be able to deal with this.

    Vacationing at The Most Dangerous Game Dude Ranch.

    She was in a Bergman film, where she played Low Self Esteem.

    The fifth grade production of Of Mice and Men.

    Those Donner Party people seem very nice.

    You know, Tor was originally offered the role of the mom in this film.

    If Hank is gone seven years, I’m free to marry again.

    The tension is so think, you could cut it with a knife. But please use a spoon.

       5 likes

  25. Lisa H. says:

    Sitting Duck: And for those who are wondering what this Amethyst is, Wikipedia is your friend.

    Huh. Reminds me of Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, which I watched in 1995-96 though being, shall we say, well over the age of the target audience. So I guess I feel Crow there.

       1 likes

  26. goalieboy82 says:

    years ago i sent to the people at the National Film Preservation Foundation the clip of the Film Anti-Preservation Society. they got a good laugh.
    also it to the Library of Congress people.

       4 likes

  27. goalieboy82 says:

    speaking of FAPS:
    this person died a few days ago:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Shepard_(film_preservationist)

       0 likes

  28. Joseph Nebus says:

    Joseph Nebus: And think of the poor Yucca Flats World-Journal-Tribune editor who has to decide what to lead with: the bombing of the suburbs, or the Beast, or the crazed flying Coleman Francis shooting people, or Lost Mom.

    Looking back over this now I wonder if it might be a Weekend Discussion Thread: how the local news would cover the events of the movie. For Beast, I’d expect the Yucca Flats World-Journal-Tribune to have the atom bombing of the suburbs be the major, eight-column story with a half-page picture above the fold, at least the city edition. The Beast would get two columns, bottom of the front page. Coleman Francis’s flying and shooting spree would still make the A section, but a couple pages in, probably the last page before the National News section. Lost Mom would be in the Personals section, under “Missed Connections”. In the suburban edition Lost Mom gets half the front page above the fold, and the bombing of the outer Yucca Flats boroughs is reduced to four columns on the right half side of the page.

       8 likes

  29. Jonah Falcon says:

    “The political segments managed (mostly) not to offend folks of any particular stripe, but also managed to make some smart satirical observations.”

    You’re kidding, right? It was a beat-for-beat riff on Pat Robertson’s “Culture War” speech in the 1992 GOP convention.

    I still guffaw at “And then KISS came to town!” “When Judy Garland died it DESTROYED Puerto Rico’s economy!” and “Each one comes with a Peter Frampton album!” Can’t have too many 70’s riffs.

       2 likes

  30. thequietman says:

    And by the way son, have you seen your mother?

    Well, I’m glad we’re past the Francis trilogy. I think this one beats “Skydivers” in coherency, but only by the very thinnest of margins. I’m really looking forward to some cheesy 70s goodness coming up next week with ‘Angels Revenge’.

    The opening and closing segments with the dueling political rallies is one of this season’s most memorable moments. I loved Trace’s put-out delivery of ‘so what, half an hour?’ when Frank reminds him there are two shorts before Coleman Francis is inflicted on M&TB. Does anyone think though, that Deep 13 could have used an audience for their rally? Perhaps Torgo and those ever so nice neighbor ladies?

    Fave riff:
    He’s either a ruthless agent or he’s Schemer from ‘Shining Time Station’.

    As a child who grew up watching that show, I appreciated such a specific reference to its best character.

       1 likes

  31. Thomas K. Dye says:

    “Father MacKenzie. Darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there.”

    The way Crow delivers that line in Coleman’s monotone voice cracks me up every time. Paul McCartney could have learned a thing or two (about how not to deliver song lyrics).

       3 likes

  32. Mr. Krasker says:

    Progress!!

    OK, I haven’t read through all of the comments this time around, but am I the only one who noticed the strangeness of the fact that, when Ben is showing Greasy Scarecrow Boy how Bob (who’s a better person than you) keeps a budget, he points out that the last item is Savings. When GSB wonders how Bob has that much left, Ben explains that Bob sets aside savings first.

    If this is the case, I’d expect it to be the first item on the budget, not the last.

    Other than this small quibble, I see nothing wrong with either short, or with the film.

       2 likes

  33. Ray Dunakin says:

    I love this episode, mostly for the two shorts, but the movie part is pretty good too. (Due entirely to the riffs, of course.)

    The “Progress Island” short is the best of the two. The short is so earnest and perky and dated, and there’s not a single dud in the constant stream of rapid-fire riffs.

       4 likes

  34. Cornjob says:

    My comments from 8 years ago are at #71. I’ve actually grown fonder of this episode. The movie is such a train wreck on so many levels. Then there’s the double butt mountain, the film being shot on location in hell, Tony Cardoza looking bored enough to be declared legally dead, homicidal police in light aircraft… .

    Coleman Francis thought he could make a movie. He was wrong.

       4 likes

  35. Cameron Bane says:

    I actually saw this movie as a kid when it came out, at the drive-in with my folks (and no, I didn’t choose it; my dad did). It was just as turgid and baffling on the big screen as the small, but at least the concession stand hot dogs and root beer weren’t bad. Which reminds me, we also took in The Magic Sword (and that one scared the monkey poop out of me).

    Maybe that would be a good topic: what MSTed movies did you see before they got “the treatment”?

       5 likes

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

    klisch:
    I haven’t seen this movie since it aired so my memory has faded on it, but I do remember a woman being choked to death in the beginning scene. And this was BEFORE Tor became the monster, so my question is, who killed that woman, and why? But why ask why, this is a Coleman Francis movie where physics and logic are thrown out the window.

    Maybe Francis was trying for “gratuitous” but didn’t entirely grasp the concept.

    Thomas K. Dye:
    Probably the WORST Coleman Francis film.As Mike says at one point, “This could be vacation footage for all we know.”The music just cycles endlessly, and its dissonant motifs burrow into your brain.Tor really does not do very much but wander around and pretend to attack people.Oh, but he does pet a bunny rabbit (who reportedly was not scripted to show up)

    Yeah, I hear the rabbit improvised that whole scene and Tor just played along. The rabbit even improvved some dialogue but, well, you know, no sound…

    Thomas K. Dye:
    Still… was a shadow the best they could do?Why couldn’t they actually show Benjamin Franklin?It’s not as if anyone was going to say, “Hey, that doesn’t look like him!”

    Someone around here would. ;-)

    adoptadog:
    Strange seeing Francis’s sons & wife in this film.I wonder what they thought of Coleman’s moviemaking.

    “Mom, I don’t want to be in Dad’s movie any more!”
    “Hush, dear, it’s all tax-deductible.”

    Colossus Prime:
    I am always absolutely baffled by how much Coleman seemed to hate due process.At least in Skydivers the police openned fire on people who were technically guilty, but they were just driving away.No shooting or any other sort of resisting arrest other than driving.And then here the cops opperate with the thinking, “Hey there’s a murderer out here somewhere.Oh what do you know, a man wandering around, it must be the murderer.Well let’s shoot him.”

    Well, it’s sort of a prototype of Death Wish, Dirty Harry, and so many other vigilante films. The concept didn’t entirely catch on until they dropped the plane.

       4 likes

  37. Torgo"s Pizza-NJ says:

    Fav line from “Money Talks” Ben Franklin: “Will you have your slave press my suit?”

       2 likes

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

    MikeK:
    “I am poor but clean. Downtrodden but upright.”

    I’m short but I’m healthy

    I’m here but I’m really gone

    I’m sick but I’m pretty…

       1 likes

  39. Ray Dunakin says:

    Torgo”s Pizza-NJ:
    Fav line from “Money Talks” Ben Franklin: “Will you have your slave press my suit?”

    That line almost ruined the short for me. It’s not accurate to who Franklin was, and it’s too consistent with the contemporary liberal trend of dismissing the Constitution by belittling all the “founding fathers” as vile creeps.

       1 likes

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

    Watch-out-for-Snakes:
    Servo:“A very nice prairie dog taught me about being a woman.”—–VERY NAUGHTY RIFF!

    What’s so naughty about screening “What Is Home Economics”?

    jjk:
    I think Coleman Francis missed his true calling as the Fourth Stooge.

    You fail to take into account Shemp, Joe, and Curly Joe. He’d instead be the Seventh Stooge. One Stooge to rule them all…

    Stefanie:
    Segment 1 has Crow reading an “Amethyst” issue from the mid 80’s! This cracks me up every time! Of all the comics the guys read, he picks a extra girly lesser known one instead of Superman or Batman! It’s so random I chuckle no matter how many times I watch this episode.

    Hey, in a shared universe, it all ties together eventually.

    big61al:
    @ Stefanie #105
    I have a copy of that issue of Amethyst framed and hanging on my wall!!

    Uh…any particular reason?
    ;-)

    MWH1980:
    Given that this film has that old theme of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ that would filter through his next few films.

    Mm, yes, good thing society got that out of its system…

       2 likes

  41. EricJ says:

    Ray Dunakin: That line almost ruined the short for me. It’s not accurate to who Franklin was, and it’s too consistent with the contemporary liberal trend of dismissing the Constitution by belittling all the “founding fathers” as vile creeps.

    Sampo already points out Franklin as early abolitionist, but I’m not as willing to overlook it, seeing as it’s just more of the Kevin-style M&tB “hipster”-ism toward shock references, considering that this episode was back in the 90’s, when “Thomas Jefferson sleeps with his slaves” jokes were also all the rage.
    (And there’s modern theory that he probably didn’t after all, but hey, Franklin, Jefferson, same punchline.)

       0 likes

  42. Ray Dunakin says:

    BTW, I’m kind of surprised that they never mentioned how much the dad in that short looks like Dabney Coleman.

       0 likes

  43. Sitting Duck says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: You fail to take into account Shemp, Joe, and Curly Joe. He’d instead be the Seventh Stooge. One Stooge to rule them all…

    And with an eye poke bind them.

       2 likes

  44. littleaimishboy says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves

    You fail to take into account Shemp, Joe, and Curly Joe.

    And Iggy.

       3 likes

  45. Joseph Nebus says:

    Ray Dunakin: That line almost ruined the short for me. It’s not accurate to who Franklin was, and it’s too consistent with the contemporary liberal trend of dismissing the Constitution by belittling all the “founding fathers” as vile creeps.

    Yeah, it’s really dirty of liberals to call slave-owning vile when I bet most of them haven’t even tried it themselves.

       3 likes

  46. Dihgdfj says:

    Lol here in the dark cyberfuture we need trigger warnings on our cowtown puppet show from a quarter-century ago.

       2 likes

  47. [The Original] Stan McSerr, Destroyer of Worlds says:

    Cornjob, I beg to differ from you.
    You said:”Coleman Francis thought he could make a movie. He was wrong.” He can make a movie, it is just very, very bad. If you had said Coleman Francis thought he could make a good movie, I would agree with you. :-P

       2 likes

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

    the contemporary liberal trend of dismissing the Constitution by belittling all the “founding fathers” as vile creeps.

    You mean the part about most if not all of them weren’t actually Christians? If so, well, you should know that “vile creeps” isn’t a universally accepted synonym for “non-Christians,” leaving your meaning (if that in fact was your meaning) rather vague. Try “godless commies” next time, you’ll make your point much more quickly. If, again, that in fact was your point.

       5 likes

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

    Cornjob:
    people shoot each other. An atom bomb goes off.

    The maid screamed. A door slammed. Suddenly, a pirate ship…

    robot rump!:
    i’ll never understand why Coleman didn’t win an Oscar

    Apparently he was never nominated for one. It’s all politics, y’know.

    ToolAssist:
    Beautiful episode, though I have to admit the second short is my favorite part. The “fillintheblank” riffs always leave me giggling like an idiot.

    Which one?

    Of no account:
    I’ve never actually used a gun, but isn’t it nearly impossible to hit a running target while in an airplane in-flight?

    In 1942’s “Hitler: Dead or Alive,” a guy shot down a fighter plane with a tommy gun. And there was no turning back…

       2 likes

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

    Nearly two days and no further comments, therefore, no compunction about posting one right after another.

    Kenneth Morgan:
    A word re: “Progress Island”.My brother Bruce actually had one of those stereo sets, along with a Peter Frampton album (the “Frampton Comes Alive” double album, as I recall).

    “Frampton Comes Alive” sticks in my memory because Servo cited it as “one of the oldest human records” in “The Mole People.” And for no other reason. ;-)

    Ryan:
    I think that says a lot about Coleman Francis that even Ed Wood did more and got a better performance out of Tor Johnson.

    Well, Ed Wood had a LOT more film experience than Coleman Francis. That’s just pure logistics.

    Johnny Ryde:
    Hmmmmm…IMDB agrees with me ( Lanell Cadohttp://www.imdb.com/name/nm0128271/ ), although that’s not authoritative…

    Sounds like the name of Lando Calrissian’s half-sister.

    Pete:
    PROGRESS ISLAND, USA – Could there really been a mall store called “GROOVY CLOTHES?”

    (blink)

    In the seventies?

    You find that hard to believe about the seventies?

    (blink)

    Where ARE you? Are you HERE? Do you LIVE on this planet?!
    ;-)

    Cornjob:
    Some law officers jump to the task by …shooting at the first person they spot on the ground.

    Lending it a sort of timeless quality. :-|

    robot rump!:
    so did a Coleman Francis casting call consist of him cruising through town in his 54 pick up and grabbing whatever relatives he found at home?

    (bemused reaction time again)

    That’s actually kind of standard procedure for REALLY low-budget filmmakers.

    A few random samples from IMDB trivia: Half the cast of “Howling: New Moon Rising” were residents of the town where it was filmed (I’m sure there are many films which used small towns for locations and similarly recruited “local color” but that’s one I already knew about). John Waters “hired” genuine homeless people to appear in “Desperate Living.” Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda hired friends and passersby as the crew for “Easy Rider” (which may not qualify as low-budget but certainly wasn’t big-budget). And who can forget Ed Wood’s chiropractor as Bela Lugosi?

    That’s why you see so much bad acting in low-budget films. Lots of times, they are NOT using GENUINE actors…

    ;-)

    Dan in WI:
    “Progress Island USA”
    Mike “We would like to apologize to all the people of Puerto Rico that we did not offend.”Huh?

    I think the joke is that anyone who wasn’t offended must not have been mentioned at all. I could be wrong.

    ToolAssist:
    Beautiful episode, though I have to admit the second short is my favorite part. The “fillintheblank” riffs always leave me giggling like an idiot.

    Which one?

    Watch-out-for-Snakes:
    The movie itself. . . .well, what can you say about The Beast of Yucca Flats?It just happens before your eyes, never letting your brain know what is going on.You’d think the addition of Tor Johnson would be an improvement for a Coleman Francis production, but the math doesn’t work out when you subtract synch dialogue.It’s a bleak and drab movie, maybe not as depressing as Red Zone Cuba, but it’s close.This film is Coleman Francis’ directorial debut (in 1961).Two years later he would make The Skydivers and three years after that he would helm his final film, Red Zone Cuba.

    If only he’d stayed in the horror/SF genre. He probably could’ve made a bit of a niche for himself. “Beast” was already *relatively* well-known even before MST3K, and if he’d had more horror/SF films, they’d have probably had similar level of “familiarity.” But no, he just had to go mainstream and look where it got him. Poor dope. Sad, really.

       2 likes

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