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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 message
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 (165 votes, average: 4.48 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 remember 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.
• The episode itself is in the “good-not-great” area for me. Sure the host segments are historic, and very funny, but the movie is kind of a cross between “Aztec Mummy” and “Racket Girls” (not a winning combination for me) and the riffing seems a little less than inspired. Maybe Frank’s departure and the movie distraction is part of the reason.
• 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.
• Frank departs with the wonderful “Wave your freak flag high!” speech and a final “Eyukgaoo!”–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.

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

  • 1
    swh1939 says:

    Thanks. I would never have known how to spell that.

    Fiends are visiting from Europe
    I’m sure Sampo meant ‘friends’ not ‘fiends’. Kinda changes the whole feel of the piece, hehe.


  • 2
    Cubby says:

    I’ve always liked this one more than the previous two episodes. While I see your “Aztec Mummy Vs. The Racket Girls” perspective, I think their wrestling riffs were stronger this time. It helps that the wrestling is less straight-forward – unless Clara Mortensen was part-werewolf.

    My fave wrestling riff is somewhat dated these days: “The wrestling program in Hell is second only to Iowa.” (Thanks to all the Iowa wrestling grads coaching at other colleges, Iowa has to struggle to stay near the top. Any guesses which Iowa wrestler ended up coaching in Hell?)

    Fave riff: Tom crooning, “We will crush the imperialist running dogs!”


  • 3
    Cubby says:

    Fiends are visiting from Europe
    I’m sure Sampo meant ‘friends’ not ‘fiends’. Kinda changes the whole feel of the piece, hehe.

    Nope. “Fiends are visiting from Europe.” … ’cause they’re vampires, see?


  • 4
    klisch says:

    I wish Frank could have stayed on long enough to be in the MST3K The Movie before going to second banana heaven.


  • 5
    Joseph Nebus says:

    This is yet another application of Sampo’s Theorem to me: I just can’t get into the episode, but I know many people really love it. I can’t even pin down any particular fault to the movie riffing, since any segment of it that I try out seems as full of as successful jokes as any other episode. It just doesn’t quite congeal for me.

    Nevertheless I do love how Samson enters and the only response is a delightful giggling from the Brains. It’s just so … perfect.

    The host segments, now, those are supremely wonderful. It’s also neat how Crow’s revelation of how something wonderful is coming is one of the few allusions to 2010: The Year We Make An Interesting Yet Not Quite Satisfying Sequel ahead of TV’s Frank’s departure, given how Trace’s departure would be given a treatment derived from 2001. There’s a symmetry there I know they couldn’t have imagined when writing this.


  • 6
    jason says:

    This is a great episode. i love the riffing in it. the movie is so goofy where the vampires act like cheap thugsand easily defeated. My favorite riff, I need some beauty man just a little beauty. it’s a oak ridge boy.


  • 7
    Fnord says:

    I’m one of the people who loves this episode. It’s not the best, but it’s a good, solid episode for me.

    The vampires, the whole Mexico thing, the wrestling, the weird dad (who Trace does a great impression of), just how silly the whole this is overall.

    But I also hate that Frank leaves in this one. I remember when I was watching the episodes in first run, I took Frank leaving a lot harder than when Joel left. Even to this day, the interaction between Frank and Dr. F makes the early seasons work, for me, at least.


  • 8
    ck says:

    To stunned Mexican guard:
    “Yes. They’re real!”

    And about Dr. F’s rebirth:
    Is the below correct?
    2001: A Space Odyssey—1968 debue, star baby
    1995—Dr. F. reborn
    1996—Merlin’s Shop debue, icky reporter reborn
    1999—MST3000 Merlin’s Shop debue, i.r.r.

    What’s with all the rebirths?


  • 9
    Stickboy says:

    Goodbye, Frank. You were enjoyed.

    The historical aspect of this episode outweighs the riffing, but it is spot on. The scenes were Trace gets to imitate the weird inflections of the father are the best. “Sometimes lint gets in your eye and takes on ghoulish shapes.” I know that Mike’s line, but Trace’s fantastic impression really doesn’t work out of context.

    A bit off tangent: Something that shows up in many films from this time period–and here we see it crosses cultural and national boundaries–is the idea that a chop to the shoulder is enough to kill someone. In this movie, in She Creature, Women of the Prehistoric Planet, others I can’t think of right now. I just wonder how this came to be a universal way to off a character in movies. Did audiences really accept that?


  • 10
    jjb3k says:

    “Bittersweet” is a good way to describe this episode. Yes, Frank departs the cast, much to my dismay, but look at it this way – if he hadn’t left, the Brains wouldn’t have let him pick this movie as a going-away present (Frank loves goofy Mexican wrestler movies). And man, do I love the riffing in this! It’s another one of those episodes where I’m literally in tears from laughing so hard. I remember the first time I watched it, after Diana finishes playing the piano and Servo riffs “That was great, hey, do you know that thing from ‘Peanuts’?” I was practically on the floor. (He’s talking about Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy”, for anyone who doesn’t know.)

    El Santo (a.k.a. the Silver Maskman) offers up dozens, nay, hundreds of great riff opportunities. Count me in as another fan of his entrance scene – Trace’s barely contained laughter (“pffhaHA!”) never fails to make me giggle too. The wrestling match between Santo and Satan is great too. “Pan, Texas Ranger.” I can’t overlook Professor Orlof, either, whose Marvin the Martian-y voice gets the Brains’ gears turning like crazy (“Sometimes lint gets in your eye and takes on ghoulish shapes”, “Or perhaps a tiny condor waiting for you to die”, “Turn off the film now and discuss. What would you have done to make this a better party?”).

    I was surprised to hear Crow say “Ooh, titty-twister!” I didn’t think you could say that on television. I know it’s cable, but still.

    I love Frank’s final host segment. It’s the perfect loving goodbye to the character – when he thought-pushes the button and gives that final “Eyuk-a-yee”, you almost want to go “Wait, don’t go!” I’ve also taken his advice to heart – many of the managers I’ve worked for are hard-asses to the extreme, but I’ve always “waved my freak flag high”, as it were.

    “Please stop playing the waltz!”


  • 11
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    I hadn’t seen this one since broadcast, so when i saw the DAP over the last few days it all seemed very new to me. I didn’t warm to it at first but by the last half I was really into it.

    I do remember my daughter and I getting a little choked up by the [ really very well done ] who shall I kill song.

    I may watch this again before rating.

    And despite what annotaedmst says, I think the de-masking reference is to Peter Lupus from Mission Impossible. Not taekwondo practicioner Peter Lopez ( who would have been 13 or so when this aired ).


  • 12
    MikeK says:

    I agree with Sampo, the episode is good but not great. The movie riffing is surpassed by the storyline in the host segments.

    Still, like last week’s movie, Samson vs. The Vampire Women moves along briskly. I never expect this episode to be such a breeze, but it is.

    Would anyone else put this movie in the same company as Space Jam, starring Michael Jordan? Both movies do take a popular athlete, I use the term loosely when talking about El Santo, and stick him in a movie that has him saving the world. Not only that, the movie utilizes the sport that the athlete is a part of.


  • 13

    The movie begins really slowly, with all the dreary pans across the castle and the glacially paced vampire awakenings. However, it picks up at the Professor’s home, especially with the Professor’s constant dissembling about the girl’s vampiric origins. “[It’s] a tiny condor, waiting for you to die!”

    Then there’s the hilarious bit where the Professor invites his soon-to-be son-in-law into his study, only to tell him to “leave him alone.” “Hey, you invited me here!”

    And, of course, Samson’s outfit is good for tons of laughs. And let’s not forget his hilariously dire final solution for the vampire women. “Hey, how’d your costume slumber party go—OH MY GOD!!!”

    Frank’s exit was indeed bittersweet, and had I known it would lead to Trace’s exit later, it would have affected me more. At the time, I didn’t even know he WAS leaving for good — we’d already had a false “Frank leaves” episode with “Village of the Giants”, so for all I knew this was just a temporary thing. But there you are.


  • 14
    badger1970 says:

    TV Frank is a character that I hated at first but after repeated viewings, he tended to grow on me. That goofy sound he makes though, still bugs the crap out of me.


  • 15
    Edge says:

    Let the Cher jokes begin!

    One of my all time favorites. A triumph of the human spirit! I’d give it 6 stars if you would let me. A bittersweet farewell to Frank but executed so well it eases the pain.

    I guess I love the movies that are goofy enough on their own right, like Samson, Puma Man and Gamera vs. Guiron.


  • 16
    H says:

    Let me be frank about Frank- he was missed. The movie is alright for me, nothing special though. Host segments are good, a good way for Frank to go.


  • 17
    Brainchild "I'm pretty, therefore I have value" says:

    Count me as one of those who LOVES this episode. The skits, the riffs, everything. At least Frank got to go out on a good episode. I mean, you’ve got some seriously stunning women, the goofy-voiced dad, the neverending waltz, El Santo’s grand, sudden entrance, and the fact that the film takes a 10 minute wrestling break.


  • 18


    “Vampires have a pretty basic agenda with everyone.”


  • 19
    Brandon says:

    I know you usually take a one-week break of episode reviewing between seasons, but will MST3K: The Movie also get the episode review treatment from you guys? I’d imagine it’d be up next since the movie was made before season 7, but not released until much later.


  • 20
    Spector says:

    A very good episode, very wonderfully weird with Mexican wrestlers and vampires which of course can’t help but make for prime riffing material, but of course it’s overshadowed by the departure of Frank,who was not just one of the show’s most beloved characters but also among the most beloved in TV history, if TV Guide was anything to go by.

    Coming only a year after the departure of Joel this was a serious blow to the dynamic of the show. No offense to Mary Jo with their Pearl Forrester character, which was a much funnier character in the Sci-Fi years, but she just didn’t have the same chemistry with Trace as Frank did, plus I didn’t much care for the shift of Forrester from a bully to a tormented wimp.

    Some may argue it was an end of an era when Joel departed but as long as Forrester and TV’s Frank remained the chief tormentors of the SOL the dynamic could survive with a new host in Mike. For me, Frank’s departure marked the true end of an era for the show.


  • 21

    My favorite part of this pivotal episode was Dr F’s psychotic paeon to Frank “Whom Shall I Kill?”
    “No screams that are shrill.
    No cute tummy to drill.
    Tell me whom, whom shall I kill?”
    Just sick, wrong and funny.


  • 22
    Joe Raygor says:

    Is it true that, before Frank announced his departure, that Ep. 624 was originally going to be “Master Ninja III”?


  • 23
    This Guy says:

    I’ll always remember this episode not just for Frank’s departure, but also for the incredibly wonderful moment where Our Hero comes on the scene and basically conducts a business meeting in full luchador gear, and both he and the rich guy behave as if this is a perfectly normal thing to do. Massively hilarious.


  • 24
    Omega2010 says:

    Reply to #22
    I’d read the same rumor too. Master Ninja III would have been an interesting film to riff. The ACEG doesn’t quite confirm it though (Frank only mentions selecting Samson as his final movie).


  • 25
    MrRocco says:

    I put this episode in my top five favorites for the following reasons;

    -Vampire women were easy on the eyes, post hemo fix only.
    -Dubbing grammer was very weird (and funny).
    -There seemed to be a lot of giggling and off script remarks by M&TB throughout. I find these the most enjoyable riffs they can do.
    -Plenty of ridiculous action throughout.
    -Most useless police force ever.
    -Shortest hero ever, cool wheels though.
    -Most well dressed wrestling fans ever, all male in business suits.
    -I enjoyed the sedate party transforming into a prison riot with the flip of the light switch.


  • 26
    Ineedanickname says:

    This episode is VERY high on my list of favourites. I’m a wrestling fan anyway, and this episode just killed me because I didn’t know there was a luchador in it until the moment he walked in the room. Hven’t seen Racket Girls yet, holding out for Volume 15 (I’m a relatively new MSTie).

    This epsiode has a lot of great riffs:

    “Tell your friends the vampires were here!”
    “I’m watching the game.”
    “Be sure to come back tomorrow, then LEAVE IMMEDIATLY!”
    and my favourite, “Hey honey, we’re home, how did your dress up slumber party gOH MY GOD!”

    Can’t wait until this one hits DVD.


  • 27
    crowschmo says:

    M&TB imitations of the Professor (especially Crow’s) were the best part of this episode for me. There were just too many good lines when they did that to list them all here.

    Movie was just plain OUT THERE, man. Confused

    Anyone else notice that Samson didn’t really DO anything? He just kind of inconvenienced the vampires long enough for the sunlight to get them. What a crappy “hero”.

    Loved when Diana was playing the piano and Crow was just intoning, “Bored…bored…bored…”

    No more Frank. Bummer. Definitely the end of an era. I also didn’t like Pearl’s chemistry with Dr. F (it was better with Brain Guy and Bobo, they kind of changed her a little). Maybe they should have had the other writers on doing rotating sidekicks that Dr. F was trying out and just had mean old mom pop in once in a while then just had her take over when Trace left. Heh, well, little late now. Rolls Eyes

    Even though Frank was gone, I did like a lot of the eps in Season 7. Trace was still there, after all, my favorite Crow. Now when HE left… well, that’s coming…I still think Bill’s Crow should have been this Crow’s second cousin, twice removed, or something, rather than have him supposed to be the same character…or WAS he? Wink I’m getting ahead of myself.

    Fave line: “Be sure to stop by again tomorrow – and leave IMMEDIATELY.” – Crow
    (Liked that whole exchange in the Professor’s office, actually, with all of them making comments in the same vein, leave, just get out, wait come back…”).

    Also liked Mike’s: “She thinks she’s hot snot on a silver platter, but she’s just a cold booger on a paper plate.”

    But, overall, just 2 stars for me on this one.

    “The International Fight-Like-a-Girl Championships.”

    (Oh – always meant to ask: anyone know what’s in the door sequence after door #4 when they’re going in the theater? Is that a little Dr. Bunsen Honeydew doll I see there? Alien )


  • 28
    Kouban says:

    I don’t think the karate chop was supposed to kill anyone, just KO them.


  • 29
    Popcorn Sonata says:

    One of my favorite lines ever in the beginning “I don’t get the physics of a hovering bat.” Also Gypsies poem for Frank was great, not sure what it’s from but it sounds familiar. This is one of my all time favorites, I’m gonna watch it tonight as I go to sleep.


  • 30

    A very bittersweet episode, as others have said. Although the show would remain pretty good in later years, something wonderful was lost with the breakup of Trace and Frank as a comedy team.
    The movie in this one leaves me flat, but “Who Will I Kill” is just wonderful.


  • 31
    FarmboyinJapan says:

    This is probably one of my favorite, if not MY ALL TIME favorite episode.

    The riffs were fast and furious, and it just seemed like this movie was created for the sole purpose of being featured on MST3K.

    And wowy wow wow wow is Tundra hot. Much more so than the ‘Queen of the dark dominion.’

    I was in Washington DS on a school trip when this episode first aired, and ended up having my mom tape it for me. Much to more horror, when I finally watched it, I discovered that the tape ran out mid recording, and I only got about half of the episode. I let out a ‘someone taped over Seinfeld’ scream like in the movie. As a result, it would be over 10 years later before I would see the rest of the episode.

    My favorite riffs:

    ‘This is Howard Cosell. How can this be considered a legitimate sport?’

    ‘Boy I’d be nervous sleeping under that chandelier.’

    ‘Yes….oh…stepped on the plug there.’

    ‘Many times lint gets in your eye and takes on ghoulish shapes, it happens to everyone!!’

    And I LOVE the way Tom says ‘Umm….Oww.’ during one of the wrestling scenes. The way he delivers that line kills me everytime.

    And for the life of me, I can’t figure out what ‘Have you ever seen a Polish magnet? Its over this way.’ is supposed to mean? Can anyone shed any light on this obscure rift?


  • 32
    rockyjones says:

    #29 –

    Gypsy’s “poem” to Frank is actually a piece from Shakespeare’s “Romeo And Juliet”…

    “Give me my Romeo…and when he shall die, cut him into tiny stars…”


  • 33
    Nicias says:

    I heartily agree with Spector (#20); after Frank’s departure the writers seemed unsure of how to maintain the proper dynamic. While Frank and Forrester synergized well, Pearl and Forrester clashed constantly in a not particularly pleasant way. Forrester could torment Frank while the two remained allies in their evil doings; not so with Pearl/Forrester. I feel like the role-reversal of Forrester being brow-beaten worked in the single episode where Pearl visits (can’t recall which one at the moment), but was untenable for a prolonged stretch.

    That said, I think Mary Jo is fantastic. It’s simply that Pearl has a very strong screen presence and this made it difficult for Forrester to maintain his role as head honcho. The “New Pearl” was great in the SciFi era; watching her torment her lackeys is fantastic. Of course, the made-over Pearl of the later seasons bore little resemblance to Season 7 Pearl (she seems to have lost several decades of age for a start) and I find her later incarnation the far more interesting of the two.

    The movie is fun, but not near the top of my list since it drags at times. Prolonged wrestling matches do not translate well to film. Still, there are many delightful leaps in logic that Mike and the bots pounce on (“I’ve discovered the letter D!”).


  • 34
    Jeff McMahon says:

    This episode gave me one of my biggest “WTF!” moments of all MST history: after watching a fairly dull vampire movie for quite a while, a ludicrous Mexican wrestler swoops down upon the scene and the missing heroine’s father, not batting an eyelid, responds, “thank goodness you’ve come, Samson”. I think I did a spit take.


  • 35

    Wow, it’s truly bittersweet. When I was watching these live I was pretty dismayed to see his character leave. Frank was one of my favorite characters on the show (the “Eyukgauoo!” sound made me laugh!) & his chemistry w/ Dr. Forrester added a lot to the host segments.

    It was so great at the time because in the media landscape they were contemporary with it was VERY obvious that they had real creative freedom to be crazy, obscure or just silly)

    Love the 2010 references, and how Crow uses a growling scary voice when he says “Something Wonderful is going to happen”

    SO long TV’s Frank, definitely “the best Frank that ever happened to me”

    The dubbing & transaltion of the words of the father/professor are very awkward and weird!
    — “I’m usually quite direct and I don’t like secrets, But in this case I hesitate now because i’m not sure yet, that’s about what you’ll say”
    (Crow says … “oh, I’m .. Huh?”)

    AND the scene where El Santo enters the professors office in his mask and glittery cape is too funny. No riff necessary, M&TB just laugh at the surreal hilarity of the scene.
    – then the riff “I feel sort of silly right now, did I overdress?”

    For me, there is something distinctly Un-Superhero-ish about the car Samson / El Santo drives. It’s just funny!
    … I can’t help but picture him rushing to the vampire castle and having to change a flat tire or his radiator overheating and having to flag down a ride in his wrestling costume.

    Oh yeah … and what is the PHYSICS of the crazy TV connection the professor has with Samson? Does Samson have a micro-camera mounted on the hood of the car and a microphone on the dashboard? Or does the professor have some even more exotic technology that allows him to view & interact with events happening anywhere???
    (yeah .. it’s just a movie)

    Discussion Suggestion:
    Which character do you most relate to on the show? Or, if you were an MST3K character, which would you be & why?


  • 36
    SaintStryfe says:

    MikeK: You’re a bit off on El Santo’s films. In Mexico, the man was revered his entire career, and made a bunch of these films. He was respected right till his death, and was buried in his mask if the stories are to be believed. This is a very high honor, as even the most popular wrestlers “do business on the way out”, that is to give some up-and-coming wrestler the shine of beating the popular veteran as they are about to retire or quit. Often in Mexico, the “Business” they do is losing in a Mask-verus-Mask or Mask-versus-Hair match, which is generally considered a huge event. And in Mexico, when you lose your Mask, you do not ever put it back on. There is, believe it or not, a government agency (the Comisión de Box y Lucha Libre Mexico) which enforces it, and will prevent a guy from wrestling under a mask if he’s lost it all ready.

    For all measure, for the audience it was intended for, this was as big as Jordan. I haven’t seen other El Santo films, but as I’m told, they’re pretty much exactly the same where El Santo just pops up out of nowhere long after the plot is established, fixes things, and leaves. Like a sequined Littlest Hobo or something (fellow Canadians: Prepare to have the theme song in your head for the rest of the night. “Maybe Tommorrow, I’ll want to settle down…”)

    Off topic, I won’t name drop, but my Uncle is a wrestler, old timer, long retired now and fought El Santo in an Exhibition match. He worked for years in Japan where he was the foreign devil American, but never did he ever get such a heel (bad guy) reaction as he did wrestling in Mexico versus guys like El Santo. They REALLY love wrestling down there in a way that we don’t get in the US.

    Personally, I love this film. The wrestling sequences are fun and silly, I love the riffs, the Host Segments with Frank are entertaining (and I am forced to use the “Willie Lo-main” joke every time I get take out now…).

    Now, what I want is to get Frank on Rifftrax, if he’s a fan of bad wrestling films, and to do some of the really cruddy 80’s and 90’s films starring wrestlers. “Suburban Commando” with Hulk Hogan, or maybe “Ready to Rumble”, a 2000 vehicle for WCW wrestlers starring David Arquette (who famously won the WCW World title – to a reaction so negative, that WCW was closed within the year). Or just for another El Santo picture if he wouldn’t care for those (god knows I wouldn’t).


  • 37
    Cliff Weismeyer says:

    I agree with the general sentiment on this film. As others have said, the best scene is when El Santo abruptly appears in the library of the heroine’s father in his glittery cape, and no one finds this remotely odd. This is why we love bad movies.

    TV’s Frank was the type of character that you did not really appreciate until he left. Afterwards, I really appreciated what he brought to the show. He was sorely missed in both season 7 and the movie. When the mads finally regained their bearings, it took two minions to provide what Frank brought to the table. It was a great run.


  • 38
    Ang says:

    This is a great ep but I wasn’t crazy about it when I first saw it. After a couple viewings though it has become one of the ones I watch most often.

    Fave riffs not already mentioned:

    “We got a dine and dash at table seven!” (or whatever table number it was)

    “I don’t mean to be rude, but this is an ugly sorority.”

    It was sad to see Frank go since he was so great. He always (and still does) kinda freak out my mom and I like to make his funny noise around her sometimes just to bug her. When I saw CT’s live Austin show a while back I shook Frank and Joel’s hands and it was so awesome!!

    I don’t have a fave era of the show as I really love and enjoy it all the way through. It was sad when Frank left but I love how the dynamic changed from Dr. F being the tormenter to being tormented by his mom – how embarrassing and hilarious!!

    I think I’ll watch this one again when I get home from work today. Smile


  • 39

    The people who are surprised that the other characters are so nonchalant upon El Santo’s entrance just aren’t getting the dynamic of the El Santo movies.
    In the USA we have Superman movies. In those, Superman simply enters the room, and none of the other characters are surprised that a man in blue tights and a cape just walked in, because they already know who he is. It’s the same thing.


  • 40
    Sitting Duck says:

    crowschmo #27: I still think Bill’s Crow should have been this Crow’s second cousin, twice removed, or something, rather than have him supposed to be the same character…or WAS he?

    At least you didn’t mail the Brains a ten foot banner that said, “I HATE CROW’S NEW VOICE!!!!!” Or maybe you did. Shock

    FarmboyinJapan #31: I was in Washington DS on a school trip when this episode first aired

    Is that a version of the Nintendo DS produced by the federal government? Razz


  • 41
    Zee says:

    I love this episode! The movie is perfectly awful and I think the main vampire baddie ‘Tundra’ is THE hottest woman in MST3K movie history. The Brains do send-off episodes really well- “Mitchell”, “Laserblast”, and “Diabolik” are all great. I missed Frank a lot and couldn’t IMAGINE giving up such a great job voluntarily. I have a lot of thoughts about Pearl but I’ll save those for when we get to her episodes… Anyway, here’s a bunch of my favorite lines from this episode:

    Mike: Mike Johnson and Todd Langus are calling.
    Crow: Who’s that?
    Mike: I went to grade school with them.
    Crow: Well how the hell are we supposed to know who you went to– Are we supposed to carry a yearbook…

    Frank: I’m going to eat my fortune cookie first- I’m so naughty! …”You have been summoned to a place beyond this Earth, a place beyond your understanding, a place filled with laughter and love, safety and happiness for all eternity. A trusted friend will accompany you to this other plain of existence, and your journey will begin. Watch for the signs, my friend. God speed and good luck”… WHAT A CRAPPY FORTUNE! Clay, open yours.
    Dr. F: Let’s see, “You will die, alone and afraid, knowing that not a single human being ever loved you, lucky numbers 3, 18, 80- Funny, I keep getting the same one.

    “SAMSON (The Silver Masked Man)”
    Tom: Well, granted, hes the silver masked man, you didn’t need to tell us that.
    Mike: Samson ‘The Silver Masked Man’ Tutaglione.

    Mike: Hey, I went to school with an ‘Alfonso Corona Blake’- Oh, wait, it was ‘Todd Langus’.

    Mike: Uh, some butlers stay inside, sir.
    Tom: Just shut up and get outside.
    Mike: Yes, sir.

    Tom: Uh-oh, more supernatural tomfoolery!

    Crow: I don’t get the physics of a hovering bat…

    “We’ll stop any attack they can plan…”
    Mike:…Providing it’s lame and poorly thought out and it’s our grandma’s…

    “Please excuse the question…”
    Tom: …But will you sleep with me?

    Crow: She’s totally attracted to my hat!
    Tom: Hi! Want to see inside my hat?
    Mike: Hi, come on over. Want to see the sweat band?
    Crow: I did the glitter myself!
    Mike: You know what they say about guys with big hats!
    Tom: You know, they say once you go Cossack you never go back…

    Tom: Ahhh! They’re making the beast with two butts!

    “What’s a good way to explain it to you?”
    Mike: Puppet theater?

    Torgo: Frank? Awaken my child.
    Frank: Jesus?
    Torgo: No.
    Frank: Torgo?
    Torgo: Yes.

    Crow: The ultimate battle of good vs. evil is really goofy!

    Crow: I just realized that this is a totally boring party! Let’s get the peyote out!

    Tom: So, she comes, sucks on your neck, you live for all eternity, she’s superhot, what’s the problem?

    Mike: Say, is your body remarkably different than the last time I was here?

    Mike: Oh, and the devil is out of the ring, the prince of darkness has fallen on a lady in the first row!

    Tom: Guys, the presence of his pants proves there is a god!

    “It’s true! Those were vampires I saw!”
    Tom: He said the same thing about a parking violation last week.

    Crow: If they just bought curtains they could’ve saved the whole vampire race!

    Crow: Panty raid! Just kidding, I’m gonna burn you to death.
    Mike: Well, I’ll let god sort them out.
    Tom: Oh, that’s nice, Samson, just torch everyone!
    Mike: Bested at every turn, and now he’s got a chance to light some helpless women on fire.
    Tom: Boy, t’s good to be back at the castle.. Hey, honey, how did your dress-up slumber party go- OH MY GOD!!!

    Dr. F: Speak to me, Frank! Speak to me!
    Frank: Clay… Close your robe.

    Frank: Remember this, my sentimental friend- Even though I will forever be in your heart, till the end of your days you’ll be a profoundly lonely man.


  • 42

    This episode holds more than one piece of significance as “Who Will I Kill?” was the very first song I ever heard from MST3K courtesy of an old Realplayer audio file (that I still have, despite my new computer not having Realplayer- for the good reason they invented spyware).

    Not only that, but El Santo has been one of my personal heroes for a very long time. He, along with Tor Johnson and Andre the Giant, had a heart as big as he was (more than an acre, too). I haven’t seen many of his movies, but enjoy every chance I get. Now for my thoughts.

    * When you compare the original Spanish version to this dub, the original is actually pretty good. The actors did a fine job, in my opinion. This dub is just horrible.
    * Satan is really active (though I use the term loosely) in these Mexican movies. Do you think he was waiting for Thorina to return before or after sending Pitch to take care of Santa Claus?
    * Regardless of how well anyone may know about El Santo, his entrance and Trace’s laugh kill me every time.
    * Anyone else notice that the audience in the wrestling ring cheer for “Santo?” The dubbers got lazy there.
    * There have been several instances of modern pro wrestlers resorting to the same second grade tactics as well.
    * Favorite riffs:
    “So the devil’s minions are just cheap thugs.” – Mike
    “Panty raid! I’m kidding, of course. Going to burn you to death.” – Crow
    “Hi, honey! Boy it’s great to be back at the castle. Hope your sister’s dress-up Halloween slumber party went well… OH MY GOD!” – Servo

    Host Segments:
    * Frank must have really good eyesight to read that long of a fortune on that small a piece of paper.
    * Servo must’ve never tried an American dish at a Chinese restaurant before. They usually aren’t very good (at least around here).
    * There’ve been plenty of riffs in the past based on Stratego. It certainly took a long time for either Joel or Mike to actually teach it to the bots.
    * Gypsy’s remembrance of Frank is definitely the most sentimental thing to ever happen in the show.
    * Favorite line: “Clay… close your robe.”


  • 43
    pablum says:

    Samson is funny and all, but this episode’s host segments overshadow anything that happen in the theater (for obvious reasons).

    I only got to see Frank’s departure years later on the internet as I didn’t have direct access to Comedy Central with the crummy cable company we had at the time.

    I honestly don’t see why Frank didn’t stick around for at least the movie, but I suppose he had his reasons.


  • 44
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    #36 SaintStryfe: Thanks for the insight. Interesting stuff to say the least. I haven’t seen this episode, but it looks like a blast. As soon as you mentioned more modern wrestling films, I immediately thought of No Holds Barred with Hulk Hogan and Tiny Lister. Great stink coming of that film…


  • 45
    Jeff McMahon says:

    To #39 – sure, but that’s not my point. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m saying it kooked me out.


  • 46
    Cliff Weismeyer says:

    #39- Point well taken, but I think the criticism is just as valid for a Superman film as it is for El Santo. I posit that it would be equally unlikely to have a nonchalant conversation with a man in blue tights and a cape as it would with a man in a sliver mask and glittery cape. In either case, it is pretty funny.


  • 47
    1 adam 12 says:

    Sorry, Sampo, I think you and I just have different tastes–I love Love LOVE this episode! It’s in my top, er, 11. The host segments are in the good-not-great category for me. I also wasn’t entirely sure TV’s Frank was gone forever, but apparently…

    The riffs in this movie are outstanding and consistently hilarious. Some of my favorites:

    “The vampire precision flight team in formation.”
    “It’s vampire wilding!” (Remember wilding?)
    “So the devil’s minions are cheap thugs.”
    “Be sure to come back tomorrow…and leave immediately!”
    “I feel sort of strange; am I overdressed?”
    “When was I a flying leatherneck?”
    “Now everybody get out there and Strauss out!”
    “This party totally blows. Let’s break out the peyote.”

    #31 FarmboyinJapan–If you’re being serious, the Polish magnet joke is basicaly where you tell somebody to follow you and you just keep leading them around, implying that they’re Polish and therefore gullible.


  • 48
    emily in winter says:

    That whole scene where the detective is in the guy’s office and it’s all “now go away” and “why did he leave?” back and forth… the rest of the episode is okay, but that scene makes me laugh every time.


  • 49
    pearliemae says:

    Again, love the episode, but was devastated that Frank really left this time. So nice to see him again in CT.
    #2 Cubby – I have seen this one several times, and I’m from Iowa City fer cryin’out loud, but I never caught the Iowa wrestling riff, and I don’t know which wrestler is coaching in hell (I am covered in shame).
    #33 Nicias – you are so right. MJ is fantastic. As for the looking years younger later on: that is one of the extras you get when you are cryogenically frozen and then thawed out hundreds of years in the future by apes, A Make-Over. Just thrown in, gratis.
    #36 SaintStryfe – once again, I am so impressed with what I can learn from other msties. Thanks.


  • 50
    Brian says:

    This is easily one of my all time favorite episodes. Any movie whose vampires require “considerable taxiing” before taking off is OK in my book! The funniest scene has to be when Samson aka The Silver Mask Man makes his sudden appearance to the professor. Crow just bursts out laughing! Then, as the professor blathers on about the vampires or curse or whatever, I believe its Mike who gives the best line of all, “Sir, do you have any wrestling that needs to be done?”
    Frank’s departure was very sad, indeed. I did find it funny that he first had to ask Clay to shut his robe though, before leaving. If I remember correctly one of the next if not the next movie was Escape 2000. Another great one! So, as much as I loved TV’s Frank, I thought this was the beginning of a string of outstanding episodes.


  • 51
    Creepygirl says:

    I agree with much that has posted above. It was truly an end of an era. Does anyone else think that FATHER/PROFESSER guy sounds like Henry Krasker form THE DEAD TALK BACK?

    When Diana is combing her hair…

    *Look, It’s Butterfield Ocho* Crow


  • 52
    Cornjob says:

    One of the best and most signifigant episodes in my opinion. The host segments are touching and hilarious. The movie is hysterical even without the riffing.

    Many countries have many things wrong with them. Here in America we loot and polute the world and wonder why other countries don’t like us. And what we have to show for our plunder seems to mostly consist of epidemic levels of obesity, depression, and impotence.

    Japan, as we misties know, has an embarressing tradition panicking in times of crisis and turning control of the country over to pre-schoolers. It’s worked out pretty well, but is that any way to run a nation.

    With this in mind I would like to humbly submit that there is also something seriously wrong with Mexico. I will submit the movies Santa Claus and Samson vs. the Vampire Women as exhibit A. The scene where Samson bursts into the Professors study dressed like a flaming gay executioner with no sense of shame pretty much says it all. It’s downright surreal.

    That people who dress like this can not only be taken seriously, but be exalted, means that Mexico has some explaining explaining to do. After Japan finishes explaining their obsession with naked fat men bumping stomachs.


  • 53
    This Guy says:

    This may be a valid argument, but in fairness, after Supes shows up in a movie (which he typically does before half of it has elapsed), he actually does things and accomplishes goals. El Santo, for all his wrestling prowess (I’m assuming he’s got it, since I wouldn’t really be able to tell), essentially achieves nothing outside the ring, making the praise heaped on him by the professor at the end completely bizarre.


  • 54
    crowschmo says:

    Oh, yeah. Forgot to add what I thought was pretty stupid about those vampires: 1) their idiotic swooping with their capes. Really necessary? Yep, vampires – get it.
    2) (pointed out by Crow) A castle filled with vampires and they don’t think to BLOCK THE WINDOWS? Sunlight will kill us -let’s leave every window open. Rolls Eyes


  • 55
    Nicias says:

    The whole “Gee, it’s great to be back at the castle, hope your sister’s dress-up Halloween slumber party went well….OH MY GOD!!!” bit is one of my favorite Servo moments. I love it when he has a total meltdown. No one can freak out as quite as memorably as Kevin. He had equally good moments at the tail end of Gunslinger and of course his agonized “EENNNNNDDDD!!! EEEENNNNNDDDDD!!!” in Wild World of Batwoman. I can’t help but laugh every time at these scenes.


  • 56
    pearliemae says:

    I can’t believe I forgot to mention my fave riff: “We’re gonna party like it’s 1959!!”


  • 57
    wcf says:

    Our First, and favorite!!

    “This is what Baptists think Catholic mass is like”!


  • 58
    bigdaddy320 says:

    Just finished watching this ep for the first time. I thought it was great. I tend to agree with a few of the other posts about the legitimacy of Mexican folk heroes. Yes, #39, Superman’s outfit is silly if it’s not within the comic book or movie format. But, at least he has great powers and gifts to set him apart form the mortal man. El Santo wrestles and gets around by convertable coupe. I just find it all wonderful mst fodder.

    Fav. riff.
    Tom-“It’s the Mexican Larry Tate!”
    Crow-“EL STEVENS!”


  • 59
    The Toblerone Effect says:

    I actually enjoyed this episode, in spite of losing TV’s Frank. The riffing was excellent and the host segments were inspired. I’m glad Frank went to second-banana Heaven rather than going back to Arby’s; its much more clever, and sets up for a hilarious return of Frank during the “Soultaker” episode. Forrester’s “How Will I Kill?” is one of my all-time favorite songs.

    It’s probably in the translation of cultures, but this to me is one of the goofier movies they’ve ever done. Samson’s first entrance is one of the great movie moments, it’s exactly what this show is all about. I also enjoy the scene where, right after Samson throws the vampire in disguise out of the ring, the vampire starts fighting people in the stands, then suddenly realizes Samson is waiting for him. It’s a great “wtf” scene.


  • 60
    Timothy Wallace says:

    WOW! Don’t much care for this website’s half-hearted take on this episode. It’s one of my all-time favorites, but then again, my other favorite episodes include “Starfighters” and “Invasion of the Neptune Men”, so you’ve been warned. I happen to think that “Samson” was a gift from God to MST3K…c’mon, a Mexican vampire wrestling movie? What more could you ever ask for? The show is hilarious…but Frank’s departure never meant much to me (I never thought he was all that funny) and let’s face it: MST3K The Movie SUCKED. And Rifftrax? No thanks. Give me classic MST3K anytime…and don’t forget to forward past the host segments!


  • 61
    robot rump! says:

    This was a tough one because as crazy, whacked out funny mexican silliness goes, this is da king. i was laughing on the outside but crying on the inside for the loss of one TV’s Frank. in the end Additionally, in retrospect, when taking in all that is ‘Samson the silver mask man.’ I’d have to say the vampire really must have had some major holes in their plans to get beaten by the big headlock administering load.

    good bye TV’s Frank you were enjoyed.


  • 62
    Sitting Duck says:

    It’s rather unusual how Frank is bossing Dr. F. around in the introductory host segment.

    They must have ordered their Chinese food from the Swedish Chef.

    They still had Tab in the Nineties? I thought that beverage was a relic of the Eighties.

    The riff “This is what Southern Baptists think Catholic Mass is like,” particularly cracks me up, as I’m a Catholic who lives in rural Virginia (where there are more Baptist churches than Catholic individuals). However, only the sort who take Jack Chick seriously actually believe that.

    This may be somewhat pedantic, but it’s suppose to be, “Hi yo Silver!” and not “Hi ho Silver!”

    BTW which are we doing next week, Night of the Blood Beast or This Island Earth?

    Favorite riffs:

    So for two hundred years nobody tried to develop this castle into upscale townhomes?

    They were going to have vampires take the form of squirrels, but it wasn’t the same.

    I am not anxious. It is you who are anxious.

    Be sure to stop by tomorrow, and then leave immediately.

    Her tragic destiny was announced by her parents of Red Wind, Minnesota.

    Many times, lint gets in your eye and takes on ghoulish shapes. It happens to everyone.

    So the Devil’s minions are cheap thugs.

    Well I think it was the vampire, but let’s keep that guy locked up.

    You are not the Kissinigers!

    I just realized that this is a totally boring party. Let’s bring out the peyote.

    Uh oh, more supernatural tomfoolery.

    It’s fun being the Eternal Damned!

    Come to the Dark Side or I’ll take your lunch money.

    Hi honey! Gee, it’s great to be back at the castle. Hope your sister’s dress-up Halloween slumber party went we- Oh my God!


  • 63
    Dan in WI says:

    Let me tell you how much I loved Frank. I’m a Reagan/Limbaugh conservative. I say this not to start a fight but to point out I’m on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Frank. Yet this is a man I idolize and feel lucky to see him perform. I missed him the rest of the show’s run and now with Cinematic Titanic shutting down I’ll miss him again. It really is amazing how a character who averages less than 5 minutes of screen time per 2 hour episode can make such an impression.

    Wow, I haven’t seen that much Chinese food on screen since Cliff Barnes on the classic Dallas show.

    Clayton’s fortune cookie really is on the money. You will die, alone and afraid, knowing that not a single human being ever loved you. I just can’t imagine why he always gets the same fortune.

    Favorite Riffs:
    With the castle in the background of the opening credits, Tom “Suddenly I’m in the mood for a black castle hamburger.”

    Tom commenting on the portrait over the mantle: “Isn’t it strange the way the eyes DON’T follow you no matter where you are in the room.”

    Mike as Samson “Ah, do you need any wrestling done?”

    Tom as cop “All right you folks need to turn down the Straus. There’s been some complaints.”

    Mike “If a wrestler falls in the forest and nobody is there to see it does it count as a fall?”

    Samson is searching the castle. Mike “Come on do something already. Wrestle even.”


  • 64
    Dan in WI says:

    Sampo> I echo Sitting Duck’s question. What should we watch to prep for next week? I’m assuming you’ll go The Movie before 701 like we did four years ago but let us know for sure.

    Sitting Duck #62> While I recall Tab’s heyday as the late 70’s, it always has existed and still exists today in an extremely niche way. There is a person in my office who always has one on his desk.


  • 65
    Tom Carberry says:

    Lucha Libre (Mexican masked wrestling) was very popular in Mexico in the 1950’s. El Santo started in the 1940’s and was a professional athlete. In the 1950’s he made many movies which expanded his popularity even more. The first two were filmed in Cuba. By 1962 we were finally treated to Samson vs. the Vampire Women which was filmed in Mexico.

    Favorite lines:

    Must be the maid’s century off.
    It looks like Miss Havisham’s summer place.
    Oh, boy, Angie Dickinson has hit a rough spot.
    This is an ugly sorority.
    She woke them up so they could move the couch.
    It’s Butterfield Ocho [she does look a little like Liz Taylor in profile.]
    She’s got combination skin—one part is fetid and one part is rotted.
    Can you imagine the huge apocalyptic grease fire if they threw Rush Limbaugh in there?
    Transfer the County’s funds to derivatives. [This was an obscure Orange County, California reference even then.]
    [Father] I know I look like Vincent Price.
    Tonight, we’re gonna party like it 1959.
    [Vampire Women] “In a little while we’ll be back.” She must have drank Chinese blood…Boy, I tell ya, you only rent blood, huh?
    [Wolfman wrestler] It’s an Oak Ridge Boy…Run, it’s Butch Patrick.
    She’s been stuccoed…Lillian Hellman on a bad day.
    I got a dine and dash on Table 4.
    [Witches are burned in their coffins] Authorities suspect arson.

    Final Thought: This movie looks old even for 1962. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.


  • 66
    Sampo says:

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


  • 67
    snowdog says:

    Like Dan in WI above, I occupy the opposite end of the political spectrum from Frank (although age has moderated me a bit). Fortunately, I was a MSTie long before I’d heard any of his views and very much enjoyed his performance on the show. I would miss him in the coming months as the first episodes with Pearl would nearly ruin the whole show for me. Season 8 would win me over, though, but that’s another guide entry.


  • 68
    Of no account says:

    One of my top 10 favorite episodes. Fun movie (even the wrestling!), hilarious riffing, and amazing host segments. That said, the Chinese food sketch was mildly amusing, but not really all that funny. The SOL side of it, anyway. The Deep 13 side was funnier.
    What fascinates me most about the wrestler/hero movies, is that even outside the ring they still abide by wrestling rules. Even the vampires don’t just flat out punch people (even in the ring, when the vampire is supposedly using ‘karate’ on Samson). Seems like being evil, they would at least use some foreign objects. I mean, would it violate vampire pride to take a folding chair, or even a crowbar to Samson?
    I guess you go with the skills you know…


  • 69
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    To me, Frank’s leaving was the sign that this show was basically over. I think season 6 was vastly inferior to the seasons that preceded it and Frank’s departure coming after this bad season was like a big sign to me that said “Move along, nothing to see here.” I stuck around for the movie and season 7 but didn’t like them that much either so I declared myself done with the show and I completely ignored the Sci-Fi era when it originally aired.
    I only watched them all a few years ago after discovering this site and think while they don’t approach the greatness of seasons 2-5, they were better than season 6-7.
    As for this particular episode, they always wrote characters out well but the episode and movie didn’t do much for me, I would say just 3 stars.


  • 70
    Mitchell "Rowsdower" Beardsley says:

    This was a pretty dreary movie, coupled with Frank’s departure and the uncertainty surrounding what was going to happen to the show – it just wasn’t as much fun as I would imagine MST3K doing a crime-fighting mexican wrestler movie would be.

    It’s just terrible that we now know that the movie itself was what led to Joel’s departure, plus the truncated 7th season. If the movie was good it’d be one thing, but to me it was essentially the least funny episode of the series – I’m sure due, at least in part, to studio meddling.

    This just felt like limping to the finish line for me. I taped this on a very crappy garbage tape at the time, so I will revisit it one day on DVD. But it’s another one of those I rarely put on since there are many, many funnier episodes to choose from.

    On to season 7, but I don’t think things improved much until they hit Sci-Fi (which was as much a surprise to me as to anyone.)


  • 71
    Fred Burroughs says:

    Love the food skit (especially Mike having to fight off his own entree) and Dr. F’s reaction to his fortune: “Why do I keep getting the same one?” Plus I always order Chicken in a Distinctive Sauce when getting take-out.

    This is one of eps I’ve seen the fewest, but I’ve heard about it for so long, especially Frank’s departure and Torgo the White. it wasn’t depressing as I knew what was going to happen but it also flattened the funny a bit for me. I appreciate the endless add libs in the professor’s voice, and any episode that has Strauss jokes in it is a winner for me.


  • 72
    safaw says:

    a big problem with the movie was that they cut a ton of the riffs

    They script they worked with at the con live shows was much more in line with their normal work.


  • 73

    So for some people, Frank was the best part of MST3K? I’m afraid I can’t relate. The host segments are not essential to the concept, anyway, as Rifftrax demonstrates.


  • 74

    Ah yes, we come to the end of Season 6, the end of an era, with a Mexi-wrestler movie. Simply being Frank’s final episode (and the final 24 episode season [good god, people, we were/are some lucky fans to live in a world that had this cowtown puttper-show on tv for as long as it was]) is enough to put this one into the realm of important MST episodes, but it also happens to be a really funny one too.

    The opening moment of silence is cute and suitably funny, but it’s only now that I realize that this was a moment of silence for Frank.. The Host Segments serve the departure of Frank rather well, HS#1 is maybe the weakest of the bunch but it still contributes to the overall story. Plus, STRA-TE-GO!!

    HS#2, with Torgo the White (Mike’s final portrayal of Torgo) and Frank’s ascension is just fantastic stuff, I particularly love Torgo’s assurance that “there are no bum knees in my world, child.”

    HS#3 is bittersweet indeed, Dr. F delivers such a touching and threatening plea for friendship with “Who Will I Kill?.” The closing, with Frank’s declaration that we must “always be yourself and wave your freak flag fly!” followed by one last “Eyukgaoo!,” is one of the reasons I love this show so dearly, it’s at times equally ridiculous and poignant.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: the ending of this made me a little sad, almost (almost!) on the verge of a tear or two. I got the chance to meet Frank a couple weeks ago here in Portland, OR and tell him how much I’ve enjoyed his work over the years. He said, “thanks” and that he “appreciated that.” It was a brief conversation/photo-op, but it meant a lot to me, meeting one of my cultural heroes. Goodnight TV’s Frank, sleep well in second banana heaven….

    As for the movie itself, SAMSON VS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN does start off a bit slowly, but I think it picks up considerably as it goes on. The weird overdubbing, goofy special effects, and El Santo (er, Samson) more than make up for it. It’s a fun slight change of pace compared to their usual 50s horror output. This episode is twice as good as RACKET GIRLS, c’mon..


    during the American/International logo:
    Mike: “Oh, Capitol Critters is on.” —-Man, that is an obscure reference; anybody else remember it?

    Servo: “It’s like Mrs. Havisham’s summer place.” ——we were reading Great Expectations in high school the same week I first saw this one; it made me feel smart to “get” one of the literary references.

    Crow: “Boy, Angie Dickinson has hit a rough spot.”

    Crow: “Too much middle management in this organization.”

    Servo: “I feel sort of silly right now, did I overdress?”

    movie: “Now hide them, in a little while we’ll be back.”
    Crow: “She must of drank Chinese blood…”

    Crow: “I just realized this is a totally boring party, lets bring out the peyote.” —I quote this all the time!!

    Servo: “It’s a Robert Mapplethorpe photo session.”

    Crow: “You have a kind face. . . ”

    Mike: “And the crowd goes wild…”
    The Bots: “Yaaaaay…” ——callback to Junior Rodeo Daredevils (ep#407)

    Crow: “It’s an Oak Ridge Boy!”

    Crow: “C’mere you mortal sonofabitch.”

    after El Santo’s torching of the crypt,
    Mike: “Authorities suspect arson.”

    odd credit:
    Utility Infielder: Patrick Brantseg. Have I just not noticed this credit/baseball joke before?

    This is a great episode of MST3k,
    4 out of 5 Mexican vampires agree,

    Vampire Vampire Vampire Vampire


  • 75
    Goshzilla says:

    The Chinese food sketch on the SOL is one the most “Muppet Show” bits ever featured on MST3K, especially the clam biting Mike. It’s surprising they didn’t do that kind of thing more often during the Joel years.

    I love the wackiness of the Santo movies, but this episode tends to disappoint me, simply because the movie doesn’t feature nearly enough Santo. “Am I overdressed? I feel a little silly right now.” For me, the most memorable line from this ep is “Chicken in a distinctive sauce.” Grin That’s pretty much 90% of the typical Chinese food menu.


  • 76
    Alex says:

    I have a copy of this and the two previous episodes on a tape. It’s my least favorite of the three, but I can still recall some fun from it. I love it when he just comes in and starts torching the vampire women without checking or anything. I’ll have to watch it again. It was sad to watch Frank go, but I understood it. I actually watched less and less as time went by. I was very much a Joel person. Not to say that the years to come didn’t bring some great episodes. You still had Werewolf and Space Mutiny coming up.

    Again, I’m going to watch this again while my VHS tape still works.


  • 77
    pondoscp 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.


  • 78
    Droppo says:

    Let me be frank about Frank. I adore the man. I can’t overstate how much I enjoyed his performance on MST3K. I remember being so depressed when I heard he was leaving. I just didn’t feel his amazing comic chemistry with Trace could be improved upon or equaled….and, IMHO, it couldn’t….not by a longshot.

    I love Joel. He seemed to be the heart and soul of the show and his delivery was so original and unique….and yet, I immediately loved Mike too. Even more surprising to me, I loved Bill’s Crow when I thought it was impossible for anyone to replace the brilliant Trace.

    But, one area they just weren’t able to get right was replacing Frank. My thoughts on Pearl, the character (not Mary Jo), have been expressed many times here. But, even beyond that….Frank, to me, was the one truly irreplaceable cast member. The host segments never were consistently good, again IMHO, after Frank left. The riffing was still often off the charts hilarious and there were many classic episodes to come as a result. But, the show changed for the worse after he left. To be clear, it still was better than any other show ever….it just lost something special.

    To recap, Frank is the best Frank that ever happened to me.


  • 79
    Neptune Man says:

    According to some people, this was the final show, all the other episodes, from Night of the Blood Beast to Diabolik were figments of my imagination, the cosmic switch was pulled, there was no MST3K! Come on people, Frank was great and all, but the core of the show was riffing movies. The mad science experiment was a mere excuse. Also, I don’t get why you seem so emotionally attached to a fictional character, they are just that.
    Well, back to the movie, I enjoy very much this episode, the riffing is hilarious and the movie is one Hell of a goofy trip, courtesy of K. Gordon Murray and René Cardona. I wish the MST3K would have tackled all of their productions, specially Santo Against the Martians and Ship of Monsters.
    Let the Cher jokes begin!


  • 80
    Fred Burroughs says:

    Speaking of Cher jokes, I find it interesting that that is the only Cher joke, yet they repeat it several times, and each time the delivery is completely different and gets funnier as it gets quieter. You are never done mining the depth of mirth to be had at the expense of that mononymous cultural icon. and yet, it’s too easy to use very often. *sigh*


  • 81
    ToolAssist says:

    Stellar episode. Vastly superior to the movie, imo. Sad to see Frank leave, but at least he went out with a bang.

    They should have done some other Santo flicks. Santo and the Wax Museum, maybe?


  • 82
    Depressing Aunt says:

    I was trying to remember why I missed so many of these Comedy Central episodes while they were running. College, maybe, or limited access to CC. As a result of this sporadic viewing I didn’t see Frank’s departure till well after the fact. What a blow it must have been. And yet I always feel bad that Dr. F got no Chinese food…

    I’d like to thank YouTube for letting me find the Stratego commercial. Now I finally get it.

    I love movie dad’s goofy lines and he had a great foil in the inspector with the mild, boring voice. Also love:

    Mike, as Samson examining the portrait intensely: Re-be-ca? What the hell is Re-be-ca?

    By the way, I can’t think of a single thing more distracting than YouTube, every single commercial from my childhood is there.


  • 83
    Sitting Duck says:

    @Depressing Aunt: How about providing a link to that Stratego commercial so the rest of us can get it?


  • 84
    Droppo says:

    #79: I think that’s a bit unfair. After all, this is a fan site celebrating MST3K so it’s not hard to understand why a “fictional character” would mean so much to us.

    To be clear, there are many, many episodes that I adore post-Frank exclusively because of the riffing: The Incredible Melting Man, Deathstalker, Time Chasers, Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, Werewolf, Hobgoblins, Track of the Moonbeast and Merlin’s Mystical Shop of Wonders to name a few.

    But, the fact remains: prior to Frank leaving, I enjoyed every part of the show. From the opening credits on, I was transported. The framing device was a huge reason why I fell in love with MST3K. It had such a goofy charm and somehow (I know this sounds kind of odd) added a poignancy to the whole thing. Somehow, it gave it more heart. And Frank’s delivery and comic sensibility is just so unique. He blended brilliantly with Trace, their comic chemistry was truly as good as any comedy team I’ve ever seen. That dynamic was forever lost when Frank left. Now, what was left was the brilliant bedrock of the show – the riffing. And the goodwill of the whole premise and the characters that remained. But, I loathed….and I mean LOATHED…..the Pearl character. Nails on a chalkboard for me. So now one of my favorite parts of the show was replaced by a new dynamic that I actively and strongly disliked.

    Is it just a show? Of course. Should I just relax? Without question.

    But, if one can’t profess their love for TV’s Frank on the site dedicated to celebrating MST3K….where, I ask you, can he?


  • 85
    hortense says:

    Although it’s probably been done, I’d like to see a poll amongst fans to see how much the host segments mean to people. I can see by this thread that many sincerely love the characters and sketches. I feel guilty saying how few I really watch, I mean to me it’s always mostly about the riffing. I have a few favorites from the Joel era and probably more from mostly season 9 & 10, but mostly I just haven’t watched enough to fall in love with the characters.


  • 86
    Neptune Man says:

    I never said you shouldn’t express your love of all things Frank. My point was that I don’t see the chemistry, that I recognize it worked incedibly well, between Frank and Dr. Forrester as a vital part of the show. It added value, like the songs or skits, but the vedettes were always the movie and the riffing.
    When I said “I don’t get why you seem so emotionally attached to a fictional character”, I expressed a honest curiosity, I never felt a strong connection with anything fictional, it’s a trait of my personality I’m not sure is good.


  • 87

    I do enjoy the host segments. I tend to accept them as a nice bonus regardless of quality.

    I remember when MST3K started playing on the local Comedy Central and my first reaction to a cast change was “Who is this non-Joel person with the robots in some episodes? He’s not Joel!”. I didn’t often see the episodes in sequence. Frank was just kind of there sometimes and not at others. But he wasn’t out in the theater riffing, either way, so it wasn’t that important. To me, the main significance of this episode was that I’d already become a fan of the movie after seeing it on Reel Wild Cinema. I sure didn’t hold Frank’s departure against the show.


  • 88
    Depressing Aunt says:

    Sitting Duck and all:


  • 89

    It’s not just Frank’s character that was missed, it’s the riffs he took with him. The style of the riffing changed after Frank and Trace left, for the worse in my opinion, although there were still some very good episodes. But if one of the things you enjoyed were the riffs that tickled your memory about some almost-forgotten commercial or movie, those would be mostly gone after season 7. And it seems likely that a lot of those had come from Frank.


  • 90
    John S. says:

    I remember reading speculation at the time that Master Ninja III would be a season six episode. Was very excited at the prospect of checking in on the continued adventures of Max Keller and his pet hamster.


  • 91
    Droppo says:

    #86: Totally fair. And I do agree, the host segments always were the sprinkles on top of the sundae. I just loved the sprinkles. In sum, Frank = sprinkles.

    I’m not sure loving fictional characters as I do is necessarily healthy either.

    #90: Master Ninja I and II are my favorite episodes ever. I was crushed when the III rumor didn’t pan out. I’m still holding out hope that Rifftrax gets their hands on Master Ninja III one day. In fact, I may start a Kickstarter for it.


  • 92
    Cornjob says:

    Oh, and, Sra-Tee-Go-Oooohh.


  • 93
    Jason says:

    I only have a Youtube version of this, but the first time they go into the theater, it looks like Crow’s head pops clean off his body. I’ve seen that happen to Servo dozens of times, but never Crow! Laugh


  • 94
    1 adam 12 says:

    Gotta disagree with you regarding this episode, Sampo. This is one of my ten favorite episodes ever! From the baffling conversation where the detective tries to get the professor to tell him what the heck is going on (I know the feeling), to the goofy cheap thug/vampire violence (vampire wilding), to the atrocious special effects (I don’t get the physics of a hovering bat either), this one is a winner all around for me.


  • 95
    Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    When I was a college student, this was the final nail in the coffin for the show for me. The show did OK with the replacement of Joel with Mike, but I couldn’t see how MST3k could survive the departure of Frank. After coming back to the show recently via internet and watching the later episodes, I can say now I was horribly wrong, for the most part, but the dynamic of the show did change. Not only did Frank contribute a singular foil to Dr. F, but behind the scenes he was a valued writer and (don’t forget) also did the main work of selecting the cheesy movies for the show. Much of Season 7 (and afterward) shows this shift: the humor (IMHO) got a lot meaner and negative, and the choice of films also changes. Season 7 reflects the stress the cast and crew were undergoing with work on the movie and cancellation. Seasons 8-10 take a new direction, but also reflect a much more limited film selection and writing style, due to the machinations of SyFy. Definitely the end of an era.

    Anyone think the vampire guys look like The Misfits?

    Push the button, Frank!