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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives

Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

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 (206 votes, average: 4.06 out of 5)


• Mike’s take on the episode is here.
• This episode was included in Shout’s “MST3K: Volume XXXIV.”
• 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 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.”
• 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” and “I can’t help but feel that was directed at me.”

93 Replies to “Episode guide: 808- The She Creature”

  1. jason says:

    SLEEP! This is one fo the worst movies the ever done. The acting and the stupid plot. This is one those movie that sits on your face and crushes it. However you do get the two stars from the amazing collassal man. My favorite riffs was it makes you wonder what the he-creature looked like.


  2. Spector says:

    I agree with jason, this one was a tough slog despite the best efforts of the Brains. It has its moments (especially Tom’s cries of SLEEEEPPPP! whenever Lombardi tries his hypnotist act) and the host segments are again very well done, especially the Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi doll and Mike’s demonstration of Lance Fuller’s atrocious “acting”.

    Still, I have to say this one is my least favorite episode of Season Eight. Sure, part of the reason is the steady stream of B&W films they’d done up to this point, but the movie itself is just plain awful and the riffing was not as sharp as in earlier episodes in this season. Only the points I noted earlier save this from being a total waste.

    Fortunately, the best of Season Eight was just around the corner! :smile:

    Two stars out of five.


  3. DON3k says:

    Yeah, I know, Yumping Yimminy…..

    Overall a good episode, and nice host segments. Mike trying to perfect his Lance Fuller was my fave.

    Ah, King the Dog; A cute dog that we’re supposed to believe is terribly vicious. Yeah, Yellow Labs are like that…. I like the way they tie and draw back his upper lips to reveal his teeth, saying “I’m a snarling, vicious dog”, while his eyes and tail say, “Let’s play!”


    Who pitched an 80 lb dog at fuller, I wonder. It doesn’t really look like he jumped. Fully is not-acting, as he warns the girl to stand back from the dangerous dog. Poor pooch. He looks like he just wants to be pet, and everyone is treating him like he’s rabid.

    I’m not touching you. Does this bug you? I’m not touching you.

    I don’t believe it’s possible for Lombardi to be oilier in either personality or physical characteristics. He looked like he was wearing motor oil on his head. Mike’s “Well, time to go paint my hair” was perfect.

    Fave riff, I think, is Mike, responding as Fuller in the movie, with “I’m going to kick your ass!”

    I also get a big laugh out of Vorelli… I mean, Lombardi, doing the mind-control on the ‘snarling’ dog, with Mike dubbing in “What….? What….?” as King.

    Tom’s constant rim-shots after every sentence the Swedish Couple says had me rolling, too.

    Lord Mountbatten, trying to cash-in on Vorelli…. I mean, Lombardi; How many of those $4.75 books would they need to sell to clear enough profit to give them the 500k that they were splitting?

    There’s a lot of day-for-night in this movie, as seems to be the case with almost every crap Sci-Fi film ever made, and it’s only slightly better than we normally see, I guess.

    Anyway, it was a good episode overall, with no real dead spots and good host segments.


  4. ck says:

    If Mike doesn’t watch out he’s going to be brought up on charges for destroying planets (hint: he might want to start looking for a good defense attorney).


  5. Tim S. Turner says:

    Love this one. The Dr. Carlo Lombardi doll is my favorite Bill/Crow moment. Bill’s inflection when he says, “Oh, I think you better, Mike” makes me laugh every time.


  6. Gummo says:

    This not never fails to crack me up.

    Years later I was astonished to learn that Chester Morris had quite a Hollywood career, starring in the early 30s as a leading man (!) alongside such superstars as Jean Harlow (!!) in Red Headed Woman, then in the 40s he did a whole series of B movie mysteries as a character named Boston Blackie.

    Makes his appearance in this wad of grease seem downright tragic….


  7. Gummo says:

    I meant:

    This ONE never fails to crack me up.



  8. Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds!


  9. Zee says:

    I’ve had intermittent internet access for several weeks and haven’t been able to comment in depth on an episode since “Laserblast”, so forgive me if I get verbose about this one and season eight in general.

    With this episode we finally settle into the triumphant triumvirate of Pearl, Bobo, and Observer. I like that they didn’t try to recreate a Frank/Forrester dynamic and having the dominant “wicked queen” Pearl with her two non-human henchmen really felt like a fresh change (I can’t imagine the Pearl/Forrester situation continuing for another 48 episodes). Although I will admit Bill’s work as Crow took a while to get up to snuff I instantly took to his Observer character. Back when this season aired I was in high school and had a ‘zine’ (please don’t mock me) and I reviewed the new season saying as such and sent it to Best Brains, and Bill being the good-natured guy that he is sent me back an autographed postcard. Too sweet!

    Adding Observer to the main cast solved another (minor) quandary. After Joel left the show slowly lost a lot of the nuances that made it feel unique (Magic Voice, viewer mail, the “pushing the button” effect), but the big thing I noticed after Trace’s departure was an inattention to scientific detail. In many interviews Trace is referenced as the NASA buff on staff and, for the most part, during his tenure this goofy puppet show sticks to the “rules” of space. I wonder what Trace would’ve made of Pearl sticking her head out the Widowmaker’s window in space (in “Deadly Mantis”)? Thankfully (or lazily, from a writers point of view) having a regular character with Observer’s powers sidesteps those issues (I’m going to assume he’s creating an air-tight forcefield around The Widowmaker with his mind. Now that I think about it, did they ever call it the Widowmaker on sceen?).

    This was such an exhilarating time for the show, so while the changes I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next to all the characters, and it almost felt like a let down when season 9 reverted to the “Mad Scientist in a stationary set”.

    The host segments are so consuming it’s easy for the “front 9” movies to blend together. It’s interesting that the first nine episodes season one (production order) were B&W, and this was essential a reboot of the show and repeated that phenomenon. Now as time has past I can appreciate the individual movies on their individual merits, and this one is great and really weird. Wish they spent more time at the greasy carnival, there’s lots of material with those carnies, but we still have the glowering Lombardi, the block of wood Lance Fuller, a goofy monster, and an army of adoring old maids.

    This episode has great host segments too, with tons of good Pearl lines (“Guard! Water! Sick man!” “Your friend Observer created an invisible man with his mind and put him in here with me, yeah, and now he’s lookin’ real sick, uh oh, you better get in here quick, you wouldn’t want him to die!”, “By the way, Mike Nelspant, this doesn’t mean that you won’t not be finishing your movie. Quite the opposite, in fact0 it means that you wont not be finishing your movie, no way!”, “Oh, I’m glad you’re the last of your civilizations!”) and sharp writing in general. One of the Nanite’s schemes to distract the Observers was probably the inspiration for “Meet Dave” (sending a human-shaped robot full of nanites to earth as a distraction). I liked Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi (Crow: Mike, I had an idea and wanted to run it by a totally average, unspectacular, not overly bright consumer, and here you are!) and I often quote this exchange when pulling out of the driveway:
    Tom: To infinity and–
    Crow: Shh, Disney, lawsuit!
    Tom: –Some other places!)


  10. Zee says:

    And now some of my favorite riffs:

    Title Riff: Servo: The Ru Paul Story!

    Tom: SOOOOOOOOUUUULLLL Transmigration!

    Crow (as monster): I want those Glenngarry leads!

    “I’ll give you one more change to marry me!”
    Tom: Look familiar, Mike?

    “Neither man nor animal will be the same.”
    Crow: Or Manimal.

    “He’s challenged me privately and publicly to disprove his experiments.”
    Tom: And to oiled jockstrap wrestling.

    “Do you think a human could’ve done this?”
    Mike: No, I think a Mudskipper did it!

    Tom (on the monster): Ewww, she’s got a prison matron’s bosom!

    Crow: They tried to light this, but this movie is like a super-absorbent black hole…

    Riffs about the greasy carny:
    Mike: Step right up, I’ll touch you for a quarter

    Crow: His kissing booth isn’t doing to well, is it?

    Mike: Bob Dornan, after the election!

    “Dr. Erikson?”
    Crow: Um, breasts?
    “This is the man you saw coming out of the Jefferson house?
    Crow: Boobies, exactly.

    “That’s a million dollar idea- Read it!”
    Mike: “Sell something for a million dollars…”

    “Another thing I’ve discovered–”
    Mike:–I’m part woman!

    “I’m making Hellraiser!”

    They make two references to Margaret Dumont on shots of the psychic-loving dowagers.

    Mike: Man, if I ever wanted to put a movie into the stump grinder, this is the one…

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

    Mike: My first question is… Will I get the part in “This Island Earth”?

    Crow: And he DUCKS out of frame…

    Mike: Who was that lethargic, lunk-headed stranger?

    Crow: Fear, elation, what is it? Despair, love, joy- Tell us! Concern, passion, hunger- What Lance? Ennui, angst, apathy, gas!?
    Tom: Cold, jubilant, headachey?

    Mike: His emotional memory is the last scene.

    Crow: He’s got a list of his facial expressions taped to her back.

    Riffs about King the Dog:
    Crow (as King): I think I might’ve killed some people and I feel kind of bad about it!

    Tom: King, what have you done here? King, kill outside, go outside!

    “Go on home and call the police.”
    Mike: King is the Scorpio Killer.

    Riffs on Carlo Lombardi:
    Crow: The part of Carlo Lombardi will be played by a lump of wax.

    “I hate you!”
    Mike (as Lombardi): I can’t help but think that was directed at me.

    Crow: Some hate him, others merely loathe him!

    “You have eyes only for mine, you have ears only for my voice…
    Mike:…Nose only for my scent…

    off poster:
    Mike: See his lecture series ‘Let A Smile Be Your Calling Card’!
    Crow: Author, Lecturer, Choreographer!
    Tom: Endorsed by King the Dog!
    Mike: “I barked my ass off! You’ll laugh, you’ll growl, you’ll pee!”
    Crow: See him perform live with his band Funkasaurus!


  11. “That sounds like King’s bark.”

    I think I like the constant riffs on what a non-act Carlo Lombardi has. Really, is pretending to regress someone to a seventeenth century existence and have them repeat some dubious facts that much of a draw? I don’t think the occult could have been THAT fascinating.

    Trivia: Kenneth MacDonald (the oily guy with the thin moustache who says “Trickery”) plays one of the skeptical professors. He’s a very visible foil for the Stooges in many of their episodes with Shemp, and I was a bit disappointed that the Brains didn’t pick up on that. However, it’s still a bright spot for me when he shows up.

    Speaking of Columbia comedians, apparently the “unfunny Swede” El Brendel also had his own series at Columbia. Yes, they based a series of shorts around this guy and his mock Swedish accent. Any surprise why he didn’t make it as far as the Three Stooges?


  12. Sitting Duck says:

    Gummo #6: Years later I was astonished to learn that Chester Morris had quite a Hollywood career, starring in the early 30s as a leading man (!) alongside such superstars as Jean Harlow (!!) in Red Headed Woman, then in the 40s he did a whole series of B movie mysteries as a character named Boston Blackie.

    For a full more or less accurate history of Boston Blackie, Wikipedia is your friend.

    I too thought Tickle-Me-Carlo Lombardi was hilarious.


  13. Cliff Weismeyer says:

    Don 3K: “Who pitched an 80 lb dog at fuller, I wonder. It doesn’t really look like he jumped. Fully is not-acting, as he warns the girl to stand back from the dangerous dog. Poor pooch. He looks like he just wants to be pet, and everyone is treating him like he’s rabid.”

    While my sentiments about this episode tend more toward Spector, I laughed and laughed at this post.

    Although this movie is a dreary bore, I must admit that it seems like there was a good story in there trying to stagger out of the sea at the audience. The director does some interesting things with the camera, and Chester Morris was certainly game. While I love Peter Lorre and John Carradine, I’m not sure that they would have brought too much more to the Lombardi role. Now if one of them was cast in Lance Fuller’s role, that would have been interesting.

    Speaking of Mr. Fuller, how does one give a performance that is both pop-eyed and disinterested? The best riffs to me are the crew letting him have it toward the end.

    One other note- I love the totally inappropriate round of Row Row Row Your Boat in the Widowmaker. Not only is it a callback to Manos, but it seems to be some type of terrible movie meme (see: Troll 2). Does anyone ever want to sing a round of that song, especially when they are sad/upset?

    I’d buy a Tickle-me Carlo Lombardi. Maybe that can be an upcoming Shout Factory extra.


  14. Cliff Weismeyer says:

    One more comment- this is a particularly good stretch of Episode Guide entries. While you get the feeling that they lost interest in these after a while (especially Paul), this first group have been very fun.


  15. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    I can only go 3 on this one. Maybe because previous eps were very strong, but this one just seemed kind of low energy and draggy. I’m not saying it wasn;t funny, just that it wasn’t as good as the last few.

    From a strictly visual point of view this is a very hard film to watch, soooo dark.

    Agree with others, nice to have the Triune Evilness in place.

    Of course Mike doesn’t actually destroy worlds, he is just an enabler who fails to practice world destruction avoidance.

    Speaking of annoying ads, has anyone mentioned the VW – drivers wanted ‘bug’ that camps out on the screen from time to time during this series of episodes ?


  16. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    are they now even strength and man-to-man 9 as it were ) on good versus evil…

    Mike Pearl
    Crow Bobo
    Tom Brain Guy

    ( This does leave Gypsy out in the cold, poor thing. )


  17. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    ooops something disapperd form my post it meant to show some kind fo correlation

    Mike :: Pearl
    Crow :: Bobo
    Tom :: Brain Guy


  18. Roman Martel says:

    Cliff #13

    I believe that the “Row Row Row Your Boat” sing along is a little poke at the similar scene in “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier”. You get Kirk, and Bones trying to teach Spock the lyrics to the song and to sing it in a round. This bit of “comedy” has made Trek fans cringe almost as much as the Uhura Fan Dance, or the Data “Life Forms” song.

    And we know that Best Brains enjoyed thier Trek. :-)


  19. Roman Martel says:

    I’d never seen “The She Creature” before, but for some reason the idea of a “Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi” doll always amused me when I saw it on the episode guide. I got the DAP copy and popped it in. Coming so close to the non-excitement that was “Terror From the Year 5000” almost anything would be an improvement right?

    Well it was better, but only slightly. Again we have a movie that fits the Interesting start – boring middle- interesting ending, template. The set up is kind of interesting, with the hypnotist. At least it seems to embrace it’s more side-show roots than “The Undead” did. But the middle with Carlo worming his way into the house and hitting the big time really didn’t provide much riffing. We also had the case where a man in engaged to a nice woman but falls head over heels for another girl… and his fiancé barely blinks an eye! And she ends up with a drunk at the end? The hell? But at least they knew each other from their work on the “Amazing Colossal Man”. Probably getting drunk because he was fired over the whole “one cell heart” debacle.

    The riffs follow the same pattern of good, bland, good. Mike and the bots take great pleasure in skewering the acting abilities of our hero. Boy does Lance stink. They also give Carlo some good jabs. Of course the creature provides the bulk of the comedy at the end. All in all, an average effort for the riffing, but nothing really stands out.

    The host segments are also average. Mike blows up another world and Pearl adopts Brain Guy. Of course now we have the solid trio of evil that would make the rest of the Sci-fi Channel host segments click for me. I really think that the combo of Pearl. Bobo and Brain guy was just what was needed It was kinda neat to see the beginnings of it here. I did like Pearl’s call back to “Red Zone Cuba” and of course the Tickle me Carlo Lombardi doll was as disturbing as I imagined. Plus you get a riff on Star Trek V and how doesn’t enjoy that?

    With that said, the episode almost achieves an average rating. Coming after the slog that was “Terror” it’s a bit refreshing, but compared to some of the golden episodes coming up, it just barely makes the grade. I’d give it 2.5 stars for effort, but it need improvement. At least I didn’t fall aSLEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!


  20. Zee says:

    Wow, “The Round” of Row Row Row Your Boat: I assumed it was a reference to when Andy Robinson makes the kids on the school bus sing this in “Dirty Harry”. The “Manos” connection never occurred to me! Now I’d like to think that’s what they’re referencing, although the “Star Trek V” theory is plausible too.


  21. Fart Bargo says:

    Chester Morris was the creepiest ole villian! When he would lean over that poor girl and practically drool on her, yeeike! The rich girl was sort of a drooler herself her, fiancee was a male version of the leech woman and the so-called hero was as lively as cardboard (except when the Lombardi assitant’s breasts showed up). Always had a weakness for Hypno-Science! Armed with a HypnoCoin, one could rule the world.

    Shoe polish dye jobs, tight blouses, hypno- horror, K9 ‘Kingspar’, slimy businessman, Lobster chick (with shelled breasts), bland hero, drunks, ethnic servants, Brain Guy, OK host segments, SLEEEEP, add up to 1 a 3.7 for me.


  22. MSTJon says:

    Not a bad ep, but still pretty low on my heap. The dreariness of this one is too soon after the last ep. The bland styles need to be broken up and any color at this point would have been welcome.

    And the Observers just weren’t doing it for me at this point. One mismatched with the group is great. Three just…I don’t know. I’m much happier when the endless chase finally gets going.


  23. John Paradox says:

    Thomas K. Dye says:fascinating.
    Speaking of Columbia comedians, apparently the “unfunny Swede” El Brendel also had his own series at Columbia. Yes, they based a series of shorts around this guy and his mock Swedish accent. Any surprise why he didn’t make it as far as the Three Stooges?

    When I was reading the comments, this name struck me as oddly familiar. Turns out (Brendel) was the ‘star’ of a 1930 Sci-Fi Musical (yes, musical) called Just Imagine. Those unfamiliar with the film: it’s a look at ‘fifty years into the future’, 1980.. with flying cars, babies dispensed from vending machines, etc. AFAIK it’s not available on video or DVD, I DVR’d a copy from TCM Late Night when it ran long ago, and turned it into a DVD for viewing.


  24. Tim S. Turner says:

    I love Observer. Bill’s “Dr. Smith-like” mannerisms are hysterical. Favorite line(not from this ep, I know): “Why you addle-pated homonculus!!”


  25. mikek says:

    The She-Creature is another one of those episodes that I avoid watching, but I find myself pleased when I do watch it. To me, this episode is the culmination of black and white movie marathon of Season 8, each movie being worse than the previous movie.

    Despite that, the riffing is good, as are the host segments. I don’t have any favorite riffs, none of them stand out to me because I don’t often watch this episode.

    On the term “squarehead” being used as an ethnic slur for Swedes in America. I’ve heard it used in the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (a good black and white movie). There are two characters, also a husband and wife, who run a restaurant in town; it’s not so much as a restaurant as it is a giant steak distribution center. Anyway, it’s not a nice term, in my opinion.


  26. mikek says:

    Oh, and about the She Creature, what was with that thing? Were they filmmakers expecting the audience to believe that women evolved from some sort of lobster lady?

    Or is it merely the case of, “Hey guys, I made this cool looking monster costume, you got any use for it?”


  27. Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    It definitely doesn’t help that this seems like one of the murkiest B&W prints they’ve ever used. Which movie was it that they characterized as being “in glorious black and… slightly less black”? Whichever it was, it should have been this one.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t get to watch Sci-Fi episodes until just after they’d discontinued the new ones. I have the feeling that if I had seen them in order, I’d like “The Giant Spider Invasion” even more than I do, just because its bright, goofy ineptness would have been such a relief after dully semi-competent movies like this one, Terror from the Year 5000, and The Undead.

    By the way, even when the ‘Bots pronounce Mike’s Fullerian acting perfect, his face is still far more expressive. I guess actor-Mike (as opposed to character-Mike) can’t produce that much of a dial-tone of a performance, even when he’s trying.


  28. mikek says:

    Speaking of Mike’s attempt at “non-acting”, I love it when he quote the movie Waterworld. He’s so perfect at it. He was just like Kevin Costner.

    “My boat.”


  29. pearliemae says:

    They’ve killed Savage Pier!!!!
    Here’s a big slab of sit down for ya!
    Damn Bumpus’s dogs! Get off our lawn!!


  30. rcfagnan says:

    “Donald Duck’s wearing the Ring of Power!”
    “Tickle me Carlo Lombardi and Tickle-Me Carlo Lombardi sold separately.”
    An all right episode. Not my fave, but better than Mole People. “This was such an exhilarating time for the show, so while the changes I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next to all the characters, and it almost felt like a let down when season 9 reverted to the “Mad Scientist in a stationary set”. ” I agree wholeheartedly!


  31. buffalo bill in “riding with death” refers to “a coupla’ squarehead mechanics” working on the elusive robert denby’s race car when they were in east berlin (or was it west berlin? durned if he knew which one).

    its a shame that lance fuller never did a movie with the heroine elaine from “horror of party beach” – now that would have been an electric screen couple!


  32. crowschmo says:

    This is another one that I watched a few months ago, but couldn’t bring myself to watch again for this discussion. Just didn’t do much for me. I remember there were a few chuckles here and there, but not enough to sit through it a second time.

    (I didn’t comment on the last one, because I must’ve taped over that when I had it).

    BTW: They also do the “Row row row your boat” thing in Teenagers from Outer Space when the evil alien (forget his name) that’s chasing Derek hijacks Betty’s and her grandfather’s car and they’re driving down the road.


  33. Brandon says:

    I still don’t get why “schmucks” got bleeped. Unless SciFi thought she said “****s” or someth


  34. losingmydignity says:

    My second least favorite ep of all time…

    This one has few laughs for me. Most, wonderfully, are at the expense of Lance Fuller, and I always get a kick out of the Coney Island Ferris wheel’s magical transportation to the West Coast. I can’t go to Coney Island without thinking of this dreary, shot on a muddy, swamp-dismal Monday film. (muddy and swamp-dismal are meant to be seperate adjectives there…I’m feeling “creative” today).

    But just chuckles mostly. Really one of their weakest.



  35. OnenuttyTanuki says:

    “BTW: They also do the “Row row row your boat” thing in Teenagers from Outer Space when the evil alien (forget his name) that’s chasing Derek hijacks Betty’s and her grandfather’s car and they’re driving down the road.”

    His name is Thor and he sentences you to TOHTCHA!


  36. Cornjob says:

    There was a surprisingly good “remake in name only” done with the name She-Creature.


  37. Chuck says:

    I saw this movie when it first came out at the Avon Theater. It’s always had a place in my heart, as cheesy as it is.

    I got MST3K the first time I saw it in ’91, and when I first saw they were starting on this, I almost had tears in my eyes!

    Joel, Mary Jo, Frank, Trace and J. Elvis: yes. I am one of those people that have a fondness for cheesy movies. I grew up on them.


  38. Stickboy says:

    Okay, so the actual movie sucks on toast. But when I think of this episode, plenty of goodness comes to mind. As others have already said, the host segments are great. “Tickle-Me Carlo Lombardi doesn’t like to be disappointed.” And the riffing for me is pretty good. Lombardi’s lame act, the references to the assistant’s chestamological region, “King is the Scorpio Killer.” Feels like a winner to me.

    My favorite riff gets me everytime because it’s perfect, flows directly out of the movie, and underlines the film’s inherent flaws.
    Lombardi: He did what I told him without a single word.
    Mike: That’s because he’s a dog!

    I too question what the she-creature’s relation to the assistant was supposed to be. (I looked back for the post but couldn’t locate it again.) The movie flat out stated that years ago, before being Elizabeth Weatherbee, the assistant was some form of monster living in the sea. The hell? Did Darwin know about this? The quote Crow: Now I really hate this movie.


  39. Nicias says:

    Oh, man….this one is tough for me. I can’t help it; this movie just drags on. This is one episode I don’t dig up too often. The supposed mystique that surrounds Carlo Lombardi just baffles me. He joins the ranks of Henry Krasker and The Great Vorelli; all are total losers, transparent frauds and thoroughly talentless, and yet the rest of the cast hold them in awe and respect that is utterly groundless.

    My favorite character is a bit of a cheat, but I choose King the dog. Somewhat fitting that the most dynamic performance is from a non-human character.


  40. rcfagnan says:

    Oh, I wouldn’t put Krasker in the same category as Lombardi and Vorelli; after all, the latter two use their powers for their own selfish desires rather than to broaden the scope of humanity’s knowledge. Also Vorelli and Lombardi both actually HAVE psychic powers, while Krasker is a delusional phony (albeit a clever showman) with waaaaaaaay too much time on his hands.


  41. Nicias says:

    Yeah, I guess you’re right. But what stands out about these three to me is not their motivation, but their self-important smugness, and the fact that everyone around them instantly buys into it. It’s like Crow says “You’re doing a puppet show at a party…calm down,” yet everyone else acts as if Sir Lawrence Olivier just walked into the room, rather than just a gross carnie. Admittedly the latter two had some skill at hypnosis, but is that really so amazing?

    I guess in my mind I can’t separate them from the likes of Estrella. However, maybe I’m undersestimating the obsession that bored dowager-types had with the paranormal, although I thought most of that craze died out after the 1930’s. In all likelihood I’m just once again overanalyzing the flimsy premise of a badly made film.


  42. RockyJones says:

    I hate to sound shallow, but personally, I find it too hard to concentrate on any of the gray, boring aspects of this gray, boring movie. I’m too constantly distracted (and creeped out) by the incredibly ASYMMETRICAL facial features of Lombardi’s assistant. I keep wondering if she was a recent stroke victim or something. Couple that with her “acting” abilities, which are only slightly above those of Lance Fuller (she does the worst “british” accent this side of “Atomic Brain”), and it begs the question, “just how the hell did she get cast in this movie?”

    Aside from that, I’d have to say that “Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi” is my favorite moment of the whole show…especially Crow’s “jingle”…

    “Who’s little di-dee need’s a good little change..? It’s Tickle Me Carlo Lombaaaaaardi!”


  43. The Bolem says:

    If I recall correctly, when Rhino did that poll of which eps fans would most like released and Puma Man came in 1st, She Creature came in dead last. This really surprised me, since this is easily my favorite of Season 8’s first 9. In addition to the implausible characters and non-acting, how many movies give the ‘bots such a rich variety of technical and continuity glitches to play with? All the riffs on them tie for my fav, so I’ll try to do a complete list:

    “Based on drunken comments made one night by:”
    paves the way for,
    “The only movie based on a lens flare”

    “And since that’s King running right at us, you’re probably right”

    “And, KA-ZAM! My pipe is gone!”

    “Okay, the topography in this movie is getting suspicious…”

    “Well they tried to light this shot, but…”
    “Oof! Ow! Ooch! Augh! D’oh! Didn’t see you there!”

    “Wait a sec-how could they have missed each other?”
    “Space has warped, and time is now bendable!”

    I haven’t watched this in a few months, so that’s probably incomlete and inaccurate.

    I also find myself saying, “That logic is completely…pregnable”, on a semi-regular basis.

    Watching this with a friend recently, the audio had degraded more than on my other S8 VHS tapes, so badly for Servo that I had to explain that he was doing rimshots during the goofy immigrant couple scene. Of all the unreleased eps I’ve actually seen, I’d really, REALLY love for Shout! to tackle 808 ASAP.

    Like a lot of my college MSTie friends, I was struck by the similarities of Lombardi and Varelli, and determined that if they fought mano-e-“MANOS”, the far more evil Varelli would mop the floor with Dr. Carlo, but a clash between their evil creations would be most quick and boring, if somewhat cathartic.

    Yet I didn’t see The Undead until loooooong after 808, so I never thought about the parallels between those two. When showing the first 9 to a friend this year, about 15 minutes in, he questioned aloud if this was actually a sequel to the movie 2 eps prior. While they take somewhat different tacks with a the same premise of regressing a woman back to her past lives, it seems to me that all 4 Observer eps center around a woman being somehow drawn back into her past as a means of unlocking some ominous knowledge. Even if Jessica in 805 just has a psychic flashback to something she didn’t witness in a past life, her power giving her a connection to an old evil gave it a similar vibe.

    Maybe my strong affection for this one does have a lot to do with it debuting at an exciting time in my life, just before I graduated high school. Did 808 really not debut until April? For some reason I associate it with an ice storm that winter that coated everything around Detroit with at least a half inch of ice and knocked out power for a day or two. Not that I actually could’ve watched TV during a blackout, but, um…

    Regardless, this is the first SciFi Channel ep that became an instant personal favorite. For a stinger, I guess I’d go with King barking the butler’s bow-tie off. I wouldn’t trade, “Ow…my spine…ow…” for anything though, as it gave a nice sense of closure to another arc of sketches that struck just the right balance between playing off the movie the ongoing story.


  44. John Seavey says:

    I think Zee has it right in #20; any time they do a “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” (especially with the “sing, dammit, sing!” stuck in there), they’re riffing on ‘Dirty Harry’. ‘Manos’ was just one of the times they did the gag.

    That said, this might be one of their delightful “combination riffs”, where they mash up two similar scenes (so the “comedy” bit in Trek V gets mingled with the terrifying sequence in DH.)

    As to the movie…five stars just for the Lance Fuller sketch alone. To this day, I can still get a laugh out of my friends by looking at them and saying, in an utter monotone, “My boat.”

    “Remember, do not look at the other actor. Simply wait for them to finish speaking and then deliver your line.”


  45. klisch says:

    This looks like one of the lowest rated movies on here. I’ve never seen this episode and maybe I’ll just pass on it.


  46. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>The movie flat out stated that years ago, before being Elizabeth Weatherbee, the assistant was some form of monster living in the sea. The hell? Did Darwin know about this?

    Well, before humans existed, her soul had to reside SOMEWHERE, I guess.

    It’s sort of the same thing as “Revenge of the Creature” identifying the Gill Man as a “missing link.”


  47. rcfagnan says:

    #41 Nicias: The point I was trying for (I think, this was rather late last night) was that Lombardi and Vorelli are so obviously full of contempt for anyone who had the gross misfortune not to be them (Lombardi and Vorelli, I mean) and that is what makes them loathsome IMO. Krasker lacks that quality, so his smug self-assuredness is laughable rather than annoying (also IMO) and the fact that he seems like a sad, desparate, lonely little man (as opposed to an angry, bitter, hate-filled old man like the other two) makes him (again IMO) more likable (or less unlikable, if you must).


  48. MPSh says:

    Dreary movie. As good as the riffs and host segments are, I’ll pass on commenting, except to ask, “Is Pshychical Research really an academic discipline?”


  49. Kouban says:

    Bill Corbett does a very good “creepy” voice in the TMCL sketch. And Carlo reminds me of one of the Greasy Mediterraneans from Girl in Gold Boots.


  50. Zee says:

    Re 9 & 30: My post should’ve read “This was such an exhilarating time for the show, so while the changes WERE JARRING I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next…

    Re 44: Although I think I’m right too, it should be noted in “Manos” the characters in the film do the round of “Row Row Row Row Your Boat”, not Joel & the bots (if memory serves).


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