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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: 808- The She Creature

Movie: (1956) A carnival mesmerist uses hypnosis on a woman to summon the spirit of a murderous female sea creature. A drab guy tries to stop him.

First shown: 4/5/97
Opening: Crow and Tom confuse similar sounding household products
Intro: The Observers prepare to dissect Bobo, Pearl begs for a distraction, Mike asks the nanites for help and they provide a Number 7
Host segment 1: Crow presents the “Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi” doll
Host segment 2: Pearl and Bobo have a stowaway
Host segment 3: Mike demonstrates the non-acting method of Lance Fuller
End: Questions about the movie, and M&TB find out they are being held in place by Observer’s mind
Stinger: Bobo investigates a planet…closely
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (170 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)


• Mike’s take on the episode is here.
• This one, despite being deep in the season-eight string of black-and-white B potboilers, tickles me in a weird way, kind of like what one might do to a Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi doll(ew!). While Lance Fuller drags down every scene he’s in, it’s balanced out by the weird vehemence of Chester Morris. The host segments are nearly all great, and the riffing was steady and reliable. Plenty of fun.
• This is the final episode in the Observer story arc and the last one with no stinger.
• Mike blows up a SECOND planet and Pearl gets a second sidekick, creating an terrific three-way personality dynamic that works carries the series forward.
• Callbacks: “Guard! Sick man!” (Red Zone Cuba); and the ever-popular “Sleeeeep!”
• Like “The Undead,” this movie tried to cash in on the craze about regression to past lives via hypnosis, as popularized by the book (and movie) “The Search for Bridey Murphy.”
• The term “squarehead” was new to me when I saw this. They seem to be using it refer to Scandinavians, but apparently it’s more popularly used to refer to Germans.
• Daleism: [Lombardi is hypnotizing the recumbent Andrea, waving his hand in her face.] Mike: Do you think I’m Dale?
• That’s Kevin as the voice of the Carlo Lombardi doll.
• Obscure riff: “(flatly) Hello Max.” A reference to Hymie the robot on the TV series “Get Smart.”
• Irritating commercial: The Pepto-Bismol commercial featuring the tune “Mamma said there’d be days like this.” Cute the first time, increasingly grating that next six times.
• The MSTie classic “Does this bug you?” makes a return. As does another MSTie classic: “Sessions presents!”
• The end of the ep brings the show to what later was called “The camping planet” by BBI, though it was never referred to like that on the show.
• Mary Jo calls M&TB “schmucks” and got bleeped by a nervous channel. Fans were a bit upset about it at the time, but BBI seemed only to find it funny (or so they let on to fans).
• Suggestions for a stinger?
• Cast and crew roundup: I won’t go through the Arkoff/Nicholson again. Producer Alex Gordon wrote the story for “Bride of the Monster.” Screenwriter Lou Rusoff also wrote “It Conquered the World.” Cinematographer Frederick West also worked on “It Conquered the World,” “Swamp Diamonds” and “Gunslinger” (was she a pal of Beverly’s?). Editor Ronald Sinclair also worked on “The Amazing Colossal Man,” “Earth Vs. the Spider,” “Viking Women and the Sea Serpent,” “War of the Colossal Beast” and “Swamp Diamonds. Special effects guy Paul Blaisdell also worked on “The Amazing Colossal Man,” “It Conquered the World,” “Earth Vs. the Spider” and “Teenage Caveman.” Costumer Marjorie Corso also worked on “Earth Vs. the Spider,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Tormented” and “Bloodlust!” Makeup guy also worked “Bloodlust!” Supervisor/Assistant Director Bartlett Carre was production manager for “Swamp Diamonds.” Set designer Harry Reif also worked in “Women of the Prehistoric Planet,” “I Accuse My Parents,” “Radar Secret Service” and was assistant director for “Gunslinger.” Prop Master Karl Brainard also worked on “Earth Vs. the Spider,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Night of the Blood Beast” and “The Undead.” Sound guy Ben Winkler also worked on “War of the Colossal Beast.” Score composer Ronald Stein also worked on “It Conquered the World,” “Gunslinger” “The Undead,” “The Girl in Lovers Lane” and “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.”
In front of the camera, Tom Conway was in “12 to the Moon.” Cathy Downs was in “The Amazing Colossal Man.” Lance Fuller was in “This Island Earth.” Frank Jenks was in “The Amazing Colossal Man.” William Hudson was in “The Amazing Colossal Man.” Jack Mulhall was also in “Undersea Kingdom.” Edward Earle was in “I Accuse My Parents.” Luana Walters was in “The Corpse Vanishes.” Paul Blaisdell was in “It Conquered the World” and “The Undead.”
• CreditsWatch: Jim gets the “produced & directed by” credit and Kevin gets the “Associate producer” credit. After two episodes off, interns Elliot Cobb and Mytch Parks return for the first of two more eps.
• Fave riff: “Big Balinese wheel money!” Honorable mention: “He’s got a list of his facial expressions taped to her back.”

87 comments to Episode guide: 808- The She Creature

  • 51
    Cliff Weismeyer says:

    I think you are both right. The characters in Manos start “Row Row Row Your Boat,” and the riffers sing along in a round with a “sing dammit, sing!” thrown in. The second is clearly a riff on Dirty Harry, the Mads singing it in the Widowmaker could be reference to either (or to Troll 2, for that matter).


  • 52
    Cliff Weismeyer says:

    ..and Teenagers from Outer Space and Star Trek V.

    Too bad it was not in The Room also.


  • 53
    The Toblerone Effect says:

    After last week’s dreadfully dull Terror From the Year 5000, this was remarkedly a step up, in terms of riffing as well as the movie’s plot holding interest. That’s not saying much – I may never watch TFtY5K again – but at least it has a more deciferible story and a couple of characters that are quirky enough to laugh at. (Or, in Lance Fuller’s case, funny in the sense that the guy lacks total emotion). Yes, the print is very dark, as if it’s filmed with the sun no longer in existence. But the jokes are sharper than last week, and the host segments are spot-on. Best of all, it’s the last episode without a proper stinger.

    Speaking of which, my suggestion for a stinger would have been the quick shot of the English-challenged butler, and his bow tie falling off as King is barking at him. A perfect goofy moment!

    The shot of King looking at Lombardi as he’s hypnotizing him, and Mike saying, “WHAT??!! HUH??!!”, is one of my favorite all-time Mike moments.


  • 54
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    This one was the only episode that would make me rather watch 1009 Hamlet instead.

    The riffing is so-so (though there ARE a few real good ones) and not good enough to make me sit through this darker than gray movie.

    It’s got to be the blackest movie I ever saw. I mean that literally.

    I can’t believe people can rank ‘Terror from the Year 5000’ anywhere near as bad as this. ‘Terror’ was very funny, with non-stop good riffing. Plus it was visible to the eye, whereas I couldn’t see anything in ‘She Creature’. I might as well have listened to the movie on the radio.

    I think Hamlet would have been better appreciated had they showed it right after this episode.

    Still, I’d sooner watch this episode than any KTMA or season one episode, so it at least has THAT going for it.

    Favorite Riff:
    (At least I think it was from this episode)

    Servo: “Samuel Z Weinerhead!”


  • 55
    JCC says:

    “I’ve never seen this episode and maybe I’ll just pass on it.” (#45)
    It’s still MST3k though. How can you not see every single episode of a show that has a finite number of episodes, even the bad ones?


  • 56
    Nicias says:

    #47 – You’ve definitely got a point. Given the option, I would certainly rather be stuck on an island with Krasker over Vorelli or Lombardi, were I forced to choose between the three. Hopefully, though, I never will be.


  • 57
    bdtrppr6 says:

    i’ve always liked this episode. i think it’s because of the attacks on lance fuller. there’s always the good riffs that make the ep just like all the others. it may not be fast and heavy like some, but it still has it’s share of hilarity. and the tickle me carlo lombardi is one of the funniest skits they did. i sing the jingle whenever i see a new lame toy ad. funny stuff.


  • 58
    The Toblerone Effect says:

    Seperated at birth: Lance Fuller and John Agar.

    Consider it, won’t you? Thank you.


  • 59
    Fart Bargo says:

    TE @ 58-Considered it and agree, to a point. Fraternal twins at best IMO. Lance is cardboard, drying paint and grass growing all rolled into one. John is all that with a generous dose of smarm slathered all over it.

    Anyone tell me the name of the dog? Many have posted ‘King’ but I distinctly hear the Fuller hag call him “Kingspar’ or something close to it. Since the dog was the best performer, he should be identified properly, thanks.


  • 60
    MeMyselfand! says:

    Wow…I must be in the minority with this one. I enjoyed it this one quite a bit. Allot of things come together in the ongoing host segment story arc. The movie is dismal with one of the Top 10 ‘greatest’ MST3K characters, Dr. Lombardi.

    Mike’s stump grinder comment at the end of the feature is classic. It’s one of those that grows on you with repeated viewings, I think.


  • 61
    Patch says:

    For the younger folks (I can’t believe I’m ancient enough to say that, yeesh), The MST catch-phrase “Sessions presents” were late-night ads for compilations of songs from the 60’s-70’s. They were almost invariably soft-rock/ballads, and were also almost invariably the AM radio edited versions instead of the LP cut. The cuts on the albumn would scroll by, and if you looked carefully they would repeat the same ones (because other than the one or two recognizable songs the rest were totally forgettable.)
    The ads always had some too-attractive couple walking on the beach, or in front of a fire consumed with passion by the BJ Thomas sound bite that was playing in the background.
    “Not available in stores”. Yeah for good reason…


  • 62

    Probably a 4-star episode but I gave it 5 because it’s not getting nearly enough respect.


  • 63
    Zee says:

    Re: 59 I think Fuller’s love interest says “That sound’s like KING’S BARK.


  • 64
    MiqelDotCom says:

    ‘Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi’ is so wrong it’s just gotta be right! Love how Bill/Crow particularly emphasizes the line about “who’s little diaper needs Big little change?”

    This ep is pretty good, considering the dreary nature of the film. I’ll give it 3.5 stars. I have no preference on the B&W issue but even i am starting to get weary of this long stretch of drab movies. Good riffing though and some bright moments in the host-segments. Mike’s “Do Not Act” non-acting method sketch is awesome!

    #60 – i totally agree about Mike’s stump grinder comment, that makes me laugh every time.

    Tom “Sooouuuul Transmigration”


  • 65
    Wampa Joe says:

    I think “Thighmaster vs. Thawmaster” might be one of my favorite opening bits ever. It’s absurd but it doesn’t last long enough to beat you over the head with the joke.


  • 66
    Fart Bargo says:

    Thanks Zee!


  • 67
    Creeping-Death says:

    Dull film, probably my least favorite Sci-Fi era movie. A couple of the host segments are good, the “Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi”, and “Lance Fuller Acting”. Lance Fuller, the “Hero” does nothing, especially in the acting department.

    Servo: Would you like a C cup or a D cup of coffee?

    “I’m what you might call a ‘square’.”
    Crow: or a ‘dull bastard’.


  • 68
    robot rump! says:

    I know alot of people feel Lombardi is the top MST’d villain around. and while i agree his ick factor is high, he’s no Vorelli.
    his torturing poor Morley Safer with some Andy Rooney horror alone makes him the Big Dog on my list.
    Any takers?


  • 69
    Yipe Striper says:

    I got a catchphrase shirt with: Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi doesn’t like to be disappointed.

    pure evil.

    I do like this episode, love it, in fact. Yeah… the movie is horrible, detestable, in fact. I will stop expounding on my previous utterances soon, right now, in fact.

    Lombardi and Verelli… what a team they would have made.

    both overpowering attractive gals with the power of their mind. And in the end, they can’t even do that right. HEY! Nimrods… ever heard of shoes? Rue 21? Jewelry? Chocolates? they’ll be eating out of your hand. why all the mind control stuff?

    N-E- Way… the real money draw of this movie is King the dog. the plot reveal the was, in fact, the Scorpio Killer was a stroke of genius.


  • 70
    Tom Carberry says:

    Marla English was born Marlene Gaile English in San Diego, California on January 4, 1934. She was the daughter of Bertha Lenore and Arthur H. English, and Marla was the nickname given to her by friends of the family who took care of her when her mother fell ill in 1939. She began modeling at the age of 12, and became a member of San Diego’s Globe Theatre while a sophomore in high school, and played roles in their productions of “Mad Woman of Chaillot” and “Cricket on the Hearth” while continuing her modeling career. Paramount Pictures signed her to a contract in the fall of 1952, and she had parts in five Paramount films. She died of cancer on December 10, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona.

    Favorite Lines:

    The She Creature—the RuPaul Story.
    Fun times at the Kennedy Compound…here you go Mr. Trafficante.
    I married Aunt Bee.
    [Lombardi in suit] The Fleet Street line of beachwear.
    “…someone living today, over a million years old.” Strom Thurmond.
    This guy leaves grease stains in the air as he walks.
    Guess the stain and win a prize.
    [She Creature and Lombardi] Ok, tough one, who’s uglier here?
    Death by Murphy Bed.
    “We’ll have a honeymoon for three: you, me and the whiskey bottle.” The Hazelton Holiday Party.
    [Lance Fuller/Ted] My first question, will I get the part in This Island Earth? [Note: yes, he was Brack.]
    [Marla English/Andrea] I dreamed I was married to Jackson Browne.
    The Exxon Valdez Beach.
    [Lombardi] He has the raw sex appeal of Casper Weinberger.
    She should get a purple heart for doing this role.
    Look deep into my eyebags.
    “…close your eyes and go into a deep sleep.” Like when you’re on a date with Lance Fuller.
    [Tom Conway/Timothy Chappel] He’s doing a Noel Coward play all by himself.
    Self delivery cotton candy…It’s the She Vicks vapo-rub creature.
    If I ever wanted to put a movie into a stump grinder, this is the one.

    Final Thought: This movie dragged slower than staring at the clock in a dentist’s office. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.


  • 71
    Sitting Duck says:

    The only reason I can think of for why Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi wasn’t mentioned in that creepy host segments article from a while back is its non-presence on Youtube. Bill’s delivery in it is brilliant. “Oh I think you’d better, Mike. Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi doesn’t like to be disappointed.


  • 72
    Dan in WI says:

    Okay so maybe the thighmaster isn’t great at thawing things but let’s back up a step here. Tom was going to make a roast for breakfast?!?

    I see Mike’s bot repair skills have come a long way since he first set foot on the SOL. I had Crow looking pretty good after the thawmaster incident.

    At first I was mad at Pearl for breaking her promise about not sending any more bad movies. But then she explained it: she accidentally lied. That happens.

    How does Mike get blamed for destroying another planet? I’m pretty sure the Nannites were at fault here.

    Did anybody else have a Gamera flashback during the wave crashing section of the opening credits?

    Okay we just had two of the last three movies being way to similar. This hypnotism shtick just doesn’t do it for me. I’m glad we have this behind us.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Mike as King the dog commenting on the Lombardo poster: “I barked my ass off. You’ll laugh, you’ll growl, you’ll pee.”

    Carlo “I invite him up on this platform so that he may expose me.” Mike “No! Ew.”

    Guy pours out his drink on the ground. Tom “Some squirrel is going to have a kick ass party.”

    Carlo is trying to put Andrea under. Tom as random audience member “maybe if we did the wave.”

    Mike “Aw man if I ever wanted to put a movie into a stump grinder this is the one.”


  • 73
    snowdog says:

    I just couldn’t do it. I don’t remember it being this bad in the first run, but I just couldn’t sit through another dull, dark B&W film. So I watched the host segments. Just not a fun ep for me. Mike blowing up a second planet was by far the most entertaining of them.

    It’s funny, as someone mentioned on a previous thread, how recognizable Kevin’s voice is. He only does a throaty laugh for the Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi doll, but it’s very obviously him.


  • 74
    Smoothie of Great Power says:

    As drab as this episode is as a whole, it does have my favorite LotR-based riff:

    Servo: “Donald Duck has the Ring of Power!”

    followed up later by, “Frodo’s going snorkeling,” but that one’s not as funny.

    And, having grown up reading Archie Comics, I cracked a grin at Mike’s, “My father is principal of Riverdale High,” upon Elizabeth Weatherby’s introduction.

    Other great riffs:
    Lombardi: “Now, put [his glasses] back.” Crow: “Or just reverse the film.”
    Mike: “His emotional memory is the previous scene.”
    Lance: “Fire! Fire!” Mike: “Okay, civilian!”
    Crow: “Look, I know I touched you but you didn’t have to become a nun.”

    I was also more familiar with Host Segment 3 than Waterworld when the “My boat…” was used again in Season 9’s Quest of the Delta Knights.


  • 75
    F Burroughs says:

    Sub-par episode for me; I still watch it in rotation, but the movie itself is so unappealing and blah. The host segments are kind of blah, too, but memorable. MaryJo does a great acting turn as the inmate in the invisible cube. (“Your friend created a man with his mind”)

    The off-screen backstory is a little weird on this one; I still can’t figure out why Lance Fuller’s acting that way, it seems he can do better (or anyone could). And it’s hard to mock him too much, mindful of his violent end (mentioned by buddy Don Sullivan I think). And on this board I learned that Chester Morris(Lombardi) was married to Judy Garland, of all people. So now I imagine him coming home from work into bed and Judy saying “I hate you, someday I’ll be free of you!”

    PS – I had a friend who sang the Tickle Me C.L. song, but kept calling him Vince Lombardi. Which is less funny, but in a different way.


  • 76
    Duane Zykov says:

    Despite this movie’s undeniable stink of drab B&W horror and Lance Fuller, the episode’s actually not bad, though I’d be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t one of my least favorites of season 8. The riffing, while decent and pretty sharp, is generally beginning to fall off. I’m getting the sense they’re starting to lose interest in these boring black and white horror films. The segments, however, are great. Mike’s Fuller and the Carlo Lombardi doll are both very funny. Too bad there’s a really boring movie in-between them.


  • 77

    Two things:
    1) Neither my sister Hilary (my MST3K watching partner-in-crime) or I have ever seen the end of this episode. Ever. I was determined to watch it a little while ago, even texted her as much . . . and fell asleep.

    2) Mike’s “Do Not Act” was my first introduction to “The Odd Couple” Years later, our local theater company did a production of the female version (I played Vera, one of the “Trivial Pursuit” buddies) and even opening night, after hearing my friend Rachel say “Now, it’s garbage” for six straight weeks, I could still only hear Mike muttering it.


  • 78
    F Burroughs says:

    In Lance’s defense (Fuller, author of Do Not Act), I noticed that ALL of the males in this film mumble, talk into their chests, and refuse to look at anyone else in the scene. As noted by Crow, “battle of the mumblers…”

    Also, it may be esoteric trivia, but Lance’s co-star on This Island Earth (as Exeter) played a Roman Centurion present at the crucifixion of Christ (from “The Robe,” with Richard Burton). his co-star from She Creature, Lt. fake Bogart, played the centurion who oversees Christ’s trial in a stupid scene from “King of Kings.”

    Am I the only one who thinks the She-Creature looks like Oderous Urungus from the rock group GWAR?

    Lastly, in other movies I’d be tempted to sort through plot holes and absence of logic, but there is so little sense here, it’s not worth it. Why is Lombardi killing people? Was he planning to make money off it all along? Why are Lance and Liz in love? Why do the scientists show up, just to berate Lombardi at his demonstration, which lasts 20 seconds? Why is Lombardi staying at Chapell’s house? Why does Lance get the police to shoot at the Creature, and why then give up? aaaand etc.

    IN closing, I’m too old for those games. I’m a “limp noodle.”


  • 79
    mstgator says:

    As mentioned already, this was a really dark movie. Rivals “Slime People” for being hard-to-see, and at least that one had fog as an excuse.

    Just an average episode to me, but things pick up substantially beginning next week.


  • 80
    littleaimishboy says:

    No, Pearl Forester calls M&TB “schmucks”.

    It’s an important distinction.


  • 81


    This episode puts me to SLEEEEEEP!!

    Ugh. Another sub-par Season 8 episode. . . . this one is drab, gray, stupid, and boring, a lethal combo. Neither the Host Segments nor the riffing are strong enough to save this one. I’d have to say this is the weakest episode of Season 8.

    Without a doubt, the best character in the movie is King, the dog. They should’ve made him the hero/star.

    The Host Segments are pretty mixed in this one. The Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi doll in HS#1 is short and weird and a good instance of Bill getting very comfortable with the character of Crow. HS#2 is terrible. Just terrible. HS#3 with the Fuller Method of “Do Not Act” (as performed by Mike) is the best of the bunch. Mike’s “My boat” line read is fantastic.


    Servo: “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”

    Mike: “Step right up! I’ll touch you for a quarter.”

    Mike (as King): “I ate the whole cheese tray, sorry everyone.”

    Mike (as King): “Did you bring the frisbee.”

    This isn’t a very good episode,
    the movie is super weak,
    the riffing is only okay,


    this one scrapes up a barely 2/5


  • 82
    atomic womble says:

    While a very strange and nonsensical movie, it is one of the ones that got to Sci-Fi UK originally and so, in part, is responsible for my love of this programme. Anyway, how can anyone not be moved by the raw power and charisma of Lombardis’ act?

    Lombardi: Andrea, raise your left arm please…….lower it…….now your right arm….lower it…….
    Crow: And now, for the finale, BOTH ARMS…….THANK YOU!!!!!!!


  • 83
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>Why is Lombardi staying at Chapell’s house?

    Because Chapell didn’t want him living at the carnival any more. Chapell wanted to get his fellow rich guys to invest in the act, and living at the carnival wasn’t respectable enough OSLT.

    >>>Why does Lance get the police to shoot at the Creature, and why then give up?

    Because he thought it would accomplish something, and then he realized that it wouldn’t.

    “With no food, gerbils DIE…”


  • 84
    Of no account says:

    Ah, the 50s, when scientists could take over the police &/or military & order them to shoot randomly at nothing. I miss the days when science & scientists were actually respected by the general public.

    Great episode. Lombardi is just pure comedy gold. Just him standing there trying to look evil & menacing makes me laugh.
    Can you imagine if Lombardi & The Great Vorelli teamed up? They’d OWN theater! Lombardi could regress Hugo, and Vorelli could transfer Lance Fuller into a dummy, the ONLY way to make him more wooden!


  • 85
    Depressing Aunt says:

    I like this! A lot! Now I will change Tickle-Me-Carlo-Lombardi’s didie!

    I think it’s a great Pearl episode, too. Her cutesy-voice begging with the big lipstick pout, that cracks me up. Hey, when they censored “schmucks” someone should’ve had one of the guys dub in “gangrene” as a tribute to Monty Python.


  • 86
    Tim S. Turner says:

    I don’t get all the hate. I love this episode, with great host segments and Bill really coming into his own as Observer and Crow.


  • 87
    Hey Cabot! says:

    This is an incredible episode and Bill just nails his deliveries in the theater, cementing his status as the new Crow. I actually like the anti-chemistry between Lombardi and his lovely subject, although their interaction otherwise is limited to him hovering his oily face inches away from her. Hypnotism is one of the lamest, most boring concepts for a movie. It didn’t work for this movie nor for Teenage Werewolf, The Undead or Devil Doll, yet filmmakers kept trying to work hypnotism into their scripts. This movie doubles up on the coma-inducing hypnotism concept by casting Lance Fuller as whatever his character’s name was, who puts out some of the worst acting ever seen on MST. However, despite the oiliness and wearying concept, our cast manages to riff this movie to shreds.

    I wouldn’t say this is an episode to bring in new fans, but it should be a staple in an MST veteran’s library.