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
• 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.”