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Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 624- Samson vs. The Vampire Women

Movie: (1961) Masked wrestler El Santo battles vampire women who believe a young woman destined to become their queen.

First shown: 3/25/95
Opening: A moment of silence
Intro: Frank enjoys some Chinese food, Dr. F not so much; on the SOL the food is confounding
Host segment 1: While playing Stratego, Crow gets a sign
Host segment 2: Torgo the White arrives to take Frank to Second Banana Heaven
Host segment 3: Song: “Who will I kill?”
End: The ‘Bots read their letters to Frank, who visits Dr. F. and pushes the button one last time
Stinger: “Chief, I saw two corpses in the garden.”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (201 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)


• And so we come to the end of another era of MST3K. This is the last episode of the fourth consecutive 24-episode season, and pretty much the end of four years of job security for everybody at Best Brains. And of course, it is our bittersweet goodbye to Frank, which in turn is a harbinger of Trace’s farewell to come. It was about this time, March of ’95, I began regularly checking in with Julie Walker with questions like “so, season seven starts in June, right? July?…August??” She didn’t know, and nobody was giving it much thought, because they were headed into movie making. “MST3K: The Movie” had been greenlighted, and it was taking up everybody’s time. It would only be later in the year that the ominous silence from Comedy Central began to be recognized.
• Overall, the episode itself is in the “good-not-great” area for me. The host segments are historic, and very funny. The movie is kind of a cross between “Aztec Mummy” and “Racket Girls,” for better or worse. Last time, I thought the riffing was only so-so, but I have to say that I laughed quite a bit this time so I think I need readjust my rating upwards.
• This episode appears in “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXIV.”
The references.
• The “moment of silence” opening is appropriate and great fun. It’s one of those bits where the idea is simple, but the execution is what makes it work.
• I love when they cut to Deep 13 in the intro and Frank takes a breath to say something, but never gets to say it.
• Lo mein seems to have been on somebody’s mind–Auntie McFrank served it last episode.
• Dr. F’s fortune is very accurate.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers (which seem to have been freshly shot for this episode): Film canister, book, bulletin board.
• One of the most blatant LOTR references ever on this show is the appearance of Torgo (again played by Mike), but not Torgo as we knew him but Torgo “the White.” “Yes, that was the name,” he mutters.
• Callback: “…and a good friend.” (Rocketship XM)
• Trace does a terrific job with the song, but a little pitchy, dawg.
• While in general I love the song, I have to say that the imagery evoked in the line “No cute tummy to drill” is a little off-putting.
• Frank departs with the wonderful “Wave your freak flag high!” speech and a final “Eyukgaee!”–the strange guttural sound he popularized back in season two, but hadn’t really used in a few seasons.
• Cast and crew roundup: Producer Luis Garcia DeLeon also worked on “Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy.” American producer K. Gordon Murray also worked on “Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy” and “Santa Claus.” American director Manuel San Fernando also worked on “Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy.”
• Creditswatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. Additional contributing writers: Bill Corbett and Drew Jansen. Of course, the music for “Who Will I Kill?” was written by Mike, but I never noticed before: the lyrics were written by Bridget Jones!
There were also some farewells with this episode: The were shutting the show down for a while, and people were either departing or heading to the movie studio. It was Tim Paulson’s last show as editor. This was also the last show for post production coordinators Jann L. Johnson and Ellen McDonough Thomas, both of whom had been with the show for years. And finally, interns Wendell Andersson, Michael D. Parker and Sarah Swanson also worked on their last show.
• Fave riff: “Fiends are visiting from Europe.” Honorable mention: “He’s got a full acre of area!”

Next week we will do “MST3K: The Movie” and from there will go on to Season 7.

109 comments to Episode guide: 624- Samson vs. The Vampire Women

  • 101
    Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Season 6 was more of a miss for me. I think it’s the weakest season since season 2. Only 9 of the 24 episodes cracked my personal top 100. The following are my favorite episodes from season 6, the first number being their rank in my top 100. Coleman Francis put in yeoman’s work, and the shorts bolstered many of these episodes.

    18 601- GIRLS TOWN
    35 619- RED ZONE CUBA with short: SPEECH
    75 618- HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT with short: OUT OF THIS WORLD
    77 602- INVASION U.S.A. with short: A DATE WITH YOUR FAMILY



  • 102
    Ned Raggett says:

    Bombastic Biscuit Boy:

    Anyone think the vampire guys look like The Misfits?

    “I got something to say!
    I’m now in MST3K!”



  • 103
    Into The Void says:

    “Wave your freak flag high!”

    Indeed Grin



  • 104
    Johnny Drama says:

    Yep, a lot of others have already expressed the same sentiment as me, that this is the end. Frank leaving really ended the show for me. Something is definitely missing in the writing of the riffs from here out. A few semi-interesting episodes would follow over the next few seasons, but for me, the ship sails with this one.
    I also feel this episode is all about the host segments. The movie just drags. An average, yet important, episode from the golden CC era.

    Four years later, and I’m of the same opinion. Now let’s see if Season 11 changes my mind!



  • 105
    EricJ says:

    Bombastic Biscuit Boy: Anyone think the vampire guys look like The Misfits?

    You mean the iconic punk band, or the nasty girl punk band that chased Jem & the Holograms around?



  • 106
    Brock Lee Rubberband says:

    How funny is it when Samson first appears in the Professor’s office in his snazzy outfit? Mike and the Bots burst out laughing. It puts an immediate smile on my face. That is the first thing I think about this episode. That and the weird scene were Samps torches the women. Also the horrible dubbing.



  • 107
    Atorgo says:

    I know it’s comparing apples to oranges, but the wrestling action in this one is light years beyond whatever the heck was going on in Racket Girls. Shame that RG had so much more of it.

    I love Season Six.



  • 108
    Ray Dunakin says:

    I really love this episode. The host segments are mostly great, the movie is incredibly silly, and the riffs are top-notch.

    One of my favorite scenes is when Sampson/Santo first shows up. The way the guys bust out giggling is more effective than any spoken riff would have been.

    I always enjoyed “TV’s Frank”, as well as Frank’s contributions as a writer. On top of all that, the world owes him a debt of gratitude for getting “Manos: The Hands of Fate” onto the show and into history.


    Oh, also got a kick out of seeing Mike teaching the bots to play Stratego, even if incorrectly. That was my favorite board game. I played it for many, many hours with my brothers, and later with my son.



  • 109
    Cornjob says:

    My comments at #52 still hold. The scene where Samson strides in to the professor’s study dressed like an executioner that joined Cirque de Soleil is hysterical even without any riffing. How hard was it for the actor playing the professor to film that scene with a straight face?

    I played Straaa-Teee-Gooooo as a child. Once as a teenager me and a kid named Scott played Straa-Tee-Gooo after getting good and drunk at a party. Talk about unconventional warfare.



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