Short: (1955) A minister urges railroad workers to stop selfishly getting injured on the job.
Movie: (1959) A mad scientist makes an escaped convict invisible so he can steal radioactive material, but he would rather rob banks instead.
First shown: 3/18/95
Opening: Crow is Tom’s science project
Intro: At Auntie McFrank’s bed and breakfast, Dr. F. demands that M&TB provide some “local color” — and soon regrets it
Host segment 1: Crow learns about “gentle pressure,” but doesn’t practice it
Host segment 2: Frank misses out on “Squanto”
Host segment 3: Mike gets caught playing Rick Wakeman
End: Answering the film’s question, transparent letter, in Deep 13 Frank is still Auntie McFrank
Stinger: Petting the invisible guinea pig
• In terms of the host segments, this episode feels like the opposite of last week, where the segments were kind of blah. These are mostly inspired. The short is a classic, with very good riffing. The riffing feels like it falls off a bit during the main feature, but it definitely has its moments.
• This episode is not yet available on DVD.
• We begin with a hilarious opening, one that feels very season-fivey, then move on to the legendary B&B segment, as Dr. F asks M&tB for help and very quickly wishes he hadn’t. Trace and Frank are hilarious. And watch Mike: He never blinks.
• Dr. F does not mention the short in his introduction. Not sure he’s ever done that before.
• I loved the “Plan 9” reference. The shot is remarkably similar.
• Callback: “Flag on the Moon.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: Bulletin board, beaker, book, film canister.
• “Gentle pressure” became an immediate catchphrase.
• Interesting commercials on my copy (from the debut): a commercial for their “Little Gold Statue special” and one for “Duckman” on USA.
• Annoying commercial: The “Etiem!” commercial in which the couple, lost in a foreign country, follows a little boy who seems to be saying “etiem!” Turns out he’s taking them to an ATM–they’re saved. Cute the first time, annoying after several viewings. Also: there was one of CC’s “Just say No-J” spots. Good times, good times…
• Segment 3 is random, but very funny.
• Then current reference: the now-largely forgotten movie Squanto, A Warrior’s Tale.
• Although this probably wasn’t his favorite movie, the movie’s director, Edgar G. Ulmer, is well respected in some circles.
• Cast and crew roundup: special effects guy Roger George also worked on “The Human Duplicators.” Special effects guy Howard A. Anderson also worked in “Women of the Prehistoric Planet,” “King Dinosaur,” “12 to the Moon” and “It Lives By Night.” Makeup guy Jack Pierce also worked on “The Brute Man.” Assistant director Leonard Shapiro also worked on “Project Moon Base” and “Bloodlust.” Set designer Louise Caldwell also worked on “Giant Gila Monster” and “Killer Shrews.” Sound guy Earl Snyder also worked on “Giant Gila Monster,” “Killer Shrews” and “The Crawling Hand.”
In front of the camera: James Griffith was also in “Manhunt in Space.” Edward Erwin was also in “Ring of Terror.” Jonathan Ledford was also in “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.”
• Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Additional contributing writers: Ben Bakken, Bill Corbett and Drew Jansen.
• Fave riff from the short: “Get out of my head, Reverend!!!” Honorable mention: “Obey the toaster!”
• Fave riff: “Here. These’ll blow your mind.” Honorable mention: “Doc, that’s not his wrist!”