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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: 811- parts: the clonus horror

Movie: (1979) At a remote facility, clones are being bred to serve as a source of replacement organs for the wealthy and powerful.

First shown: 6/7/97
Opening: Mike has a mustache and the bots like it — sort of
Intro: Three runaway space children awaken the campers
Host segment 1: The campers are forced to play games with the kids
Host segment 2: M&tB help Pearl out by putting on a public TV show
Host segment 3: Pearl, Bobo and Observer have “that” talk with the kids
End: Crow has a nosejob, and Tom has written a poem for the kids
Stinger: “Sure!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (263 votes, average: 4.56 out of 5)


• This is a (comparatively) thought-provoking idea for a movie, even if it is hamfistedly written, acted and directed. Still, it’s in color, it’s in focus, and its budget was (compared to most other MSTed movies) pretty big, so it’s pretty easy to look at, which helps make it a very watchable episode. The riffing starts slowly, but builds, and by the time of the campfire love scene, they are really clicking. The segments —- featuring a new, brief, story arc with the temperamental and omnipotent space children —- are fun. Not sensational, but there are definitely some laughs there.
• Paul’s take on the episode is here.
• Rhino included this episode in its The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 12.
• In 2005, when DreamWorks released “The Island,” also about a colony that breeds clones to harvest organs for the elite, the makers of “clonus” filed suit, claiming copyright infringement. DreamWorks settled out of court.
• As you enjoy Peter Graves’ performance, remember that he HATED MST3K.
• Just to make a fool of me, the guys completely disregard what I’ve said in the past about them usually showing restraint when a popular TV actor shows up. The presence of Dick Sergeant prompts quite a large number (this time I counted about 10) of “Bewitched” jokes and references. There are plenty of “Biography” references as well.
• I enjoyed Mike’s use of the famous Belloq taunt from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I’ve used it myself a time or two since this episode aired. It does have a certain insouciance.
• Daleism: Shot of man’s hand on podium. Servo: “Hey it’s…oh, I thought it was Dale.”
• For those of you playing along at home, this movie was shot a year after Keenan Wynn did “Laserblast,” so pretty much the same Keenan-ey era.
• Speaking of Keenan, I always feel sorry for the Nobels. This complete stranger shows up on their doorstep and they pretty much do the right thing right down the line, and they get blown up as a reward. Sheesh.
• Nice use of Dorf-style camera trickery during the segments. It works especially well on Paul, for some reason. Mike and Bridget are the other two children, of course.
• As Dr. F learned when he asked M&tB for help with his bed and breakfast, NEVER ask M&tB for help! Pearl learns this in segment 2.
• They would actually do a movie called “The Space Children” next season, but I don’t think they are really making a direct reference to that movie here.
• There’s a residual Adam Duritz riff.
• Best host segment line: “Tanta Bobo has to go see Uncle Reconstructive Urologist.”
• Mary Jo is hilarious in the “facts of life” segment.
• Then-current reference: Tom’s cry of “50 free hours of AOL???” Which was an offer Americans were getting at every turn.
• Cast and crew roundup: special effects guy Steve Karkus also worked on “The Touch of Satan” as did makeup guy Joe Blasco (he also did special effects for “Track of the Moon Beast.”)
In front of the camera, Peter Graves, of course, was in “It Conquered the World,” “Beginning of the End,” “SST: Death Flight” and was a narrator for “Attack of the the Eye Creatures. Keenan Wynn, as noted, was also in “Laserblast.” Lurene Tuttle was also in “Untamed Youth.” Greg Brickman did some stunts in “Hangar 18.”
• CreditsWatch: Beginning with this episode, Jim gets an “executive producer” credit that continues through the end of season 10. Kevin gets the first of several “produced and directed by” credits this season. This is the last week Brad Keeley gets an “audio mix” credit. And this is the last week John Sims gets a “SFX/foley” credit (but he’ll be back).
• Fave riff: “She really WAS on top of old smokey, wasn’t she?” Honorable mention: “Just making sure he hates this…”

173 Replies to “Episode guide: 811- parts: the clonus horror”

  1. Rich says:

    Gotta see this one! My experience is limited pretty much to the SciFi channel rerun era (2003-2004).


  2. snell says:

    Rompero…demented genuis. My friends and I stillgo around saying “Agua” to each other for a guaranteed laugh.


  3. Graboidz says:

    The “Old Smokey” riff never fails to elicit a chuckle!

    Did anyone ever hang their curtains halfway down the window as seen in Keenan Wynn’s house? That was jarringly bad set decoration, or an amazingly inept way to provide character to the room!!


  4. bobhoncho says:

    Hey, bobhoncho’s back!

    This has to be one of the best eps to come out of BBI. And I think this one has the best stinger. Oh, in case anyone asks, that huge tape that Richard watches the background story on is U-Matic (aka 3/4″ BETA). Besides all this, there is only one word I can think of for this ep, “Biography!”

    Good to be back on the boards!


  5. Joseph Nebus says:

    If I remember correctly from the Director’s Commentary on a commercial release of Parts/Clonus/Etc, the budget worked out to something like $200,000, or a touch over what the average episode of the Original Star Trek cost a decade earlier. The movie doesn’t look bad to start with, but knowing it was made on that kind of money it looks, you know, like a real grown-up professional movie.

    As I recall the director also mentioned that the animation for the What Cloning Is expository lump was recycled from some Nova-type science show by the expedient of a friend who worked on that show leaving a copy around where it could happen to be “borrowed” by Team Clonus. You’ve got to like that sort of movie-making spunk.


  6. Kenotic says:

    I agree that this is one of the rare movies where it seems they actually swung for the fences. The problems were all over the place, obviously, but part of it actually kept my interest.

    I agree that the Bewitched jokes were a little too much, but it’s not like Dick Sargent was known for anything else. I still laugh every time they start in with the “Mr. York?” stuff. I’m also surprised they kept the “Horse With No Name” jokes down to only one.

    Still, the clothes alone could have given them enough material to do two rounds of this movie.


  7. awe4one says:

    Watched this when it came out. I thought this was one of MST3K’s weaker efforts. It didn’t help that the movie was dreadful…


  8. DON3k says:

    Good episode, and funny host segment story arc.

    BTW: Bobo is saying “Tante” Which is German, for Aunt. Goes right along with the family names for Grandma Pearl, Uncle Brain Guy.

    I like how there’s all the futuristic medical science, which we have yet to perfect even today, and yet in the film, it’s a reality in the 70s, and apparently as far back as the 30s. So, in a world with perfect human clones, and apparently advanced medical transplant and heal abilities, plus cryogenics that apparently work, you’re still stuck with channel knob TVs.

    Keenan wasn’t as crazied-up as he was in Laserblast, sadly.

    I like that Peter Graves allows his nephew to be drowned, his brother to some off-screen fate, and he’s run-thru with a fire poker, but has no issue showing up to a press conference seemingly the next day, chin up. Boy, talk about going all out to get those votes!

    Clonus apparently just about a mile away from the suburbs, surrounded by one chain link fence, and an old barbwire fence that’s practically falling down. Tight, tight security, there.


  9. Jose Chung says:

    The Childrens television parody that mike and the bots perform is one the funniest moments in television history. I really mean that, It’s histerical.


  10. jason says:

    my favorite riff, what happens if your clone is hard drinking. we need your kidney to keep your clone alive. Go eat a mushroom mario.
    I always laugh at this one. clones are really stupid. I alwaya laugh at the fact they seem to nothing but a endless track meet.


  11. Wilford B. Wolf says:

    This probably the one episode that I really don’t get why they chose the stinger. I know M&TB snigger at the line in the episode, but I fail to see what is so funny or strange…

    On the other hand, Mike’s disturbing silver pants? Fun-nie!


  12. Travis says:

    This is one of the few episodes I remember watching back when it first aired. The “On top of old smokey” riffs were some of the funniest ever in MST history.

    Also, no mention of the lawsuit? I thought that was a big moment for MSTies


  13. Fart Bargo says:

    This one was pretty good MST wise. The 70’s produced a lot of ‘nugget of a great concept, exceptionally bad in execution’, what should have been straight to video, messterpieces. I saw many of these in the movie houses in New Yawk so there were a lot of cat calls and giggles during the showings.

    The vapid, dour, naive, bland, insipid hero(?)and fellow clones had as much vigor as hospital food. They are then herded by a handful of puffy hatted, polyestered, track suited, ear wigged, dull witted, pretentious, rent-a cop drop outs. This bunch should have been isolated in an area away from everyone.

    The scientists and politicians were pretty despicable. Anyone with any sort of a redeeming quality was snuffed or labotted out very brutally including clone daddy, clone bro, clone kitten and the Nobels.

    The riffing was great and the movie was pretty ripe for it. The host segments were done very well also. The evil trio are really starting to jell well. Pearl really developing into her own. Bill getting more comfortable with CTR and as Observer. I totaled up a 4.5 on this one.


  14. Roman Martel says:

    What a crazy episode this turned out to be. “Parts – The Clonus Horror” aka “Clonus” is one of my favorites from the Sci-fi Channel years, but I admit its because of personal reasons.

    The movie itself isn’t really horrible, not in the way “Giant Spider Invasion” was. There is more skill in front of and behind the camera this time. “Clonus” has a solid script that mixes the idea of clone farms for body parts with 70’s paranoia and conspiracy theory. Obviously, budget played a part in the way the film turned out. Some of the acting is less then stellar, the action scenes are restricted and clunky, the dialogue could have used another layer of polish or two, or three. But for all that, the movie moves fairly quickly, and actually creates some tension. Because it was made during the 70’s there is that over-riding feeling of grim fate hanging over the movie. As we get nearer and nearer to the end, we begin to realize that this isn’t going to turn out well for just about all the characters involved. It appears that Clonus may be exposed at the end of the film, but all of our leads pay the price. Style wise, the movie actually reminds me a great deal of George Lucas’ first film “THX – 1138”. They even have similar tones and ideas at their core. “Clonus” is not a bad movie, just one that was limited by budget and time. Of course some will point out that Michael Bay had a much larger budget and more time and still didn’t do the story justice – maybe the story isn’t made for film? I disagree, a shift away from Mr. Bay’s skill of creating pop-trash and more toward a solid thriller director, and “The Island” could have been a classic.

    For Mike and bots the movie offers lots of material to work with. First off you’ve got the famous faces here: Peter Graves, Dick Sergeant, and Keenan Wynn. You’ve got two small college campuses being used as the top secret facility. Our heroic young leads both have interesting faces and acting tweeks that lend to comedy. Then there’s just the over-riding goofiness of the clone behavior itself. I think the director was hoping for childlike innocence, and a bit of unease. Unfortunately, he ends up with some really silly sequences. The whole “America” idea seems like a commentary of some kind, but is heavy handed. It plays right into the riffing and makes for some great lines. Even the dower ending provides laughs. The only drawback for the riffing is the endless “Biography” lines. A little would have been fine, and there are some clever ones, but they really killed that riff. For me it’s about as annoying as the “Are you ready for some football?” riffs of “Laserblast”. Luckily, the rate of the riffs is high enough that I can enjoy most of the other laughs served up.

    The host segments are a mixed bag. The space children should be funny, and while they do provide some humor for the most part it doesn’t quite click with me. I do love how Brain Guy is horrible at Candyland and tries to cheat. I also enjoy Bobo attempting to explain the facts of life to Paul. And speaking of Paul, he’s disturbing as a child. For my money the best scene is when Mike and Bots attempt to create their own children’s show. I love Tom’s inane yet insane laugh, and the cute little song about A and 3. Then there is the unspeakable horror of the Agua segment. Wow, funny and yet brain scarring.

    I also wanna say that the interview with the director on the Rhino DVD was really interesting and I thought the shout out he gave to all the MST fans out there was great. I just might have to pick up the un-riffed version of the film, because the trailer showed lots of scenes we didn’t get to see in the riffed version.

    Normally a four star episode (what with Biography and uneven host segments) – but there is one element that pushes this into a favorite episode category. “Clonus” was filmed locally. I attended one of the colleges in the film (now a University) and my wife attended the other. The rocks over looking “America” are passed by whenever we head out toward LA, and we can’t help but make some reference to “Clonus” when we see them. This episode is a blast for not only my family, but most of the folks I’ve shown it to (especially other alums of the colleges featured). So that is why “Clonus” is a five star episode in my book. Well, that and giving us the phrase “Clone-daddy”.


  15. GizmonicTemp says:

    Scariest Moment! – Did shivers run down anyone else’s spine at the end after Richard enters Lena’s room, is captured, her lobotomized body is turned to face him, and she just stands there with that creepy smile on her face? Hands down, THE scariest scene in a MST3K movie.

    Graboidz #3 – When we moved into our house a few years ago, there WERE curtains halfway down the windows. They were quickly removed.


  16. All I can say is, five billion “Biography” references and not one “Airplane!” reference is a darn shame. “Say, Richard, have you ever seen a grown clone naked?”

    It’s just so HARD to take Dick Sargent seriously as an evil scientist, so every “Bewitched” reference made me laugh. Although I was geeky enough to know that Dick Sargent and Marion “Aunt Clara” Lorne were never on the show at the same time.

    And YES to the fact that Timothy Donnelly “looks like the guy from Three’s Company.” “Larry Dallas is the Saint.” I thought it WAS Richard Kline at first glance.

    If you’ve ever seen a site called the Agony Booth, there’s a fascinating interview with Robert Fiveson about the making of this movie. Apparently he ascribes the use of “america” as “70s f***-you-ism.” So Crow wasn’t too off when he said “Oh, some social commentary about how we bag and freeze people in America, I suppose.”

    Oh yes… Lurene Tuttle, who plays Keenan Wynn’s wife, had a long career in radio and early television as a character actress. She played the mother of Red Skelton’s “Mean Widda Kid”, for instance.

    “Today we learned A and 3, today we learned A and 3. MOO!” And a small touch that makes me laugh heavily is that not only the children and Bobo are rapt, but BRAINGUY is, too!!

    Favorite riffs:
    “Thank you, nurse, that was a lovely aria.”

    “Do you realize how much I HATE YOU???”


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

    Agua. Thuh-ree. Buh-link. Agua.

    3 stars. I don’t mean to be cranky, but I NEVER liked this one that much, the unpleasantness of the movie almost drowns out good riffing and brilliant host segs. The count down.. 98, 97… thuh-ree, has become part of our family’s phrase book. The Xuxa take-off was inspired. Agua ! Uncle Urologist.. priceless. The description of the ape mating process ranks up there with Whorf’s description of the Klingon counterpart in my pantheon of mating humor.

    But I really dis-like the subject movie. And all the gushing last week about how well written this one is just adds to the distaste.

    Sampo: You mentioned in last weekend’s thread that you liked the plot twists in this movie. What were they precisely ? Doesn’t everything workout as expected ? thought provoking ? in exactly what way ? That cloning raises ethical issues ? C’mon.

    Anyway let me just add..

    Agua !


  18. bobhoncho says:

    Also, I forgot to mention, I was really disappointed that Tim Donnelly is in this movie (sans moustache) and M&TB don’t make a single “Emergency!” reference. A simple “Shut up, Chet!” would have sufficed. If you guys remember, Donnelly played fireman and comic relief Chet Kelly in “Emergency!” M&TB passed up on a great opportunity. Although, maybe they just didn’t realize that he was Chet.


  19. DON3k says:

    Oh, another point: What was the up-sell on America? I mean, you look at the lifestyle that the Clones live, and then watch the video about America, and it appears that all America offers is additional clothing options and tennis!


  20. John Seavey says:

    This one’s a genuine five-star for me, but I have to disagree with Sampo: The best host segment line has to be, “Mike’s Moustache To World: I Hate You, And I’m Cutting Myself Off From All Human Contact!” The whole opening bit with the moustache always kills.

    And this one is just endlessly quotable to me, with so many classic riffs. “Oh! Oh, we’ve found it, this is the Horror…” “This is our ‘ool’, notice there’s no ‘p’ in it!” “Paulette Breen, who turned down perfectly innocent sexual advances on the set of ‘parts’, and who will never work in this town again.” “Oh, I see e.e. cummings wrote this.” “The ‘Go As Slow As You Can Without Falling Over’ race.” And so many, many more.

    The movie itself isn’t bad, either; goofy at times, but it’s got a certain fundamental earnestness to it that I admire. It’s got a solid ethical dilemma at its heart, and it explores it honestly, which carries it through the silliness and plot holes without too much damage. My one complaint is that I would reverse the final shots; we already know that Clone-Boy didn’t survive, so shots of him frozen all sad-looking aren’t that shocking. While “Tell us about…Clonus” is a legitimately good twist ending.


  21. adoptadog says:

    “Hey, a Testostarossa!”

    For me the host segments with the Space Children actually outshine the movie. There’s something about the endless Candyland game (I’ve been there, man), Pearl, Observer & Bobo explaining the facts of life to the kids (especially Pearl’s beautifully obscure analogies, given while she throws back a martini), and most of all M&tBs and their highly disturbing Mexican children’s show.

    The movie itself certainly has the feel of many a late 70s movie, very depressing but with a tiny sliver of hope at the end. It especially captures the fears at the time that this was going to be our future, with clones created and exploited at will: “I’m a clone / I know it and I’m fine / I’m one and more are on the way…We destroyed the government / We’re destroying time / No more problems on the way…” (Alice Cooper, “Clones”).

    Still, the plot leaves me with questions, like, isn’t it extremely impractical and horribly expensive to have a clone farm? Why not just lobotomize them all? Why on earth would a clone have a birthmark just like its original, but not have the same mental acuity? Questions, questions.


  22. Doctorb says:

    This was the first episode I ever watched :)


  23. rion-o says:

    my favorite host segment line:

    “going is for BABIES.”


  24. Rex Dart says:

    I’d like to briefly mention that one of my favorite riffs in this episode is Tom Servo referencing “Koyaanisqatsi.” I believe it happened twice.

    When I first watched this episode with my girlfriend, we had both seen Koyaanisqatsi the previous week. (I had had to watch it for a school assignment.) The riff was funny for two reasons:

    1. I’d seen the episode many times before, but this riff had always gone straight over my head. It had never even registered before.

    2. My girlfriend was forced to remember the incredibly boredom and pretentiousness of that movie, which she never forgave me for showing her. This may not sound funny, but if you’d been there, it would have been great. “… oh God no!!” were her exact words I think.

    I guess it just demonstrates how infinitely re-watchable MST3K is.


  25. Number9 says:

    …the hell? I had no idea the Água thing was about Xuxa! So that means Crow and Servo are Paquitas, huh? Sexy.

    Anyway, I would like to apologize on behalf of all Brazilian People for bringing such evil to the world.


  26. Dan in WI says:

    Okay I remember Keenan Wynn as (the second) Digger Barnes on Dallas. Yet I get the impression most of you are attaching some cult type status to him. Where else should he be remembered from?


  27. I’m a big fan of this one. “Only you can prevent crotch fires!”


  28. Michael D. says:

    One thing I noticed about this film was the prominently placed NBC microphone flags at the end. How desperate was the Peacock to pay for product placement in this clunker? (I do know that NBC was at their nadir when this movie was made. They were on the verge of going under.)

    There’s a weekend thread topic idea: Memorable Product Placement in an MSTed Film. Example: “Don’t forget to buy CARNATION ICE CREAM!”


  29. Johnny Ryde says:

    Ah, shades of Laserblast, another film with Keenan Wynn and sheet cake.

    “The International Jeffrey Games!”

    Professor Darrin and Dr. Super Mario Brothers. Man, I laughed so hard at all the little Nintendo music/sound effects. The Bewitched jokes were pretty good tii. (“Are you and Dick York friends?”)


    “It’s easy to get hurt.” “Like when I got my butt caught in the toaster.” Not long after this episode aired, I had one of my Windows alert .wav files set to that particular clip.

    These might be my favorite host segments of the Sci-Fi era. I love the interaction between Bridget’s confused space-child and Mary Jo’s increasingly colorful metaphors for love. Best Mary Jo moment on the show for me.

    (stage whisper) “Dick Sargent’s a Communist!”

    Am I wrong, or is this the first film to feature Old Milwaukee as a major plot point?

    They do a lot of clone jokes before the movie actually gets into the clone plot. I wonder if this is why I was only medium on this episode when it first aired.

    I’d like to point out that Clone Boy clearly doesn’t have a VHS tape with him when he leaves the compound, or when he’s running through the fields, or climbing the rocks, or crashing his bike into Keenen Wynn’s trash pile.

    You know, there are parts of this movie I like. I think the basic story is sound. I like some of the camera-work, such as the shot of Clone Boy hiding on top of the elevator (that said, some of the actual framing is terrible: see crotch fires). The shot of the Small Nose woman turning around at the end is genuinely creepy. And most of the supporting cast is pretty good (obviously). I’d argue this as one of the best movies they ever did…

    Why does Clonus pay undercover motorcyclists to randomly cruise around James Galway’s porn theater?

    “You one of those pre-verts?” (Say, did they make any references to his character in The Great Race? I only just thought of that. It seems like an obvious source, but I can’t think of any jokes based off that…)

    For me, one of the funniest moments isn’t from the riffing… It’s the moment when the movie explodes the old people. It’s meant to be shocking, but there’s nothing leading up to it at all. It looks like a Monty Python sketch.

    So, the guy on the phone and then who turns up at the end to be the head of Clonus… Are we supposed to care about him for some reason? (Oh, and his name is Walker. George Walker. Egads, George *Herbert* Walker?!?!)

    And I’ll echo the comment about wondering why the stinger was supposed to be funny. But someone in the cast must have really thought it was hilarious, as it shows up again during the out-take from DANGER: DIABOLIK when the crew put a bunch of bad movie moments up during the filming of that episode…


  30. Johnny Ryde says:

    Okay I remember Keenan Wynn as (the second) Digger Barnes on Dallas. Yet I get the impression most of you are attaching some cult type status to him. Where else should he be remembered from?

    Dr. Strangelove (he’s Major Bat Guano) mostly… Also, The Great Race and a bunch of secondary roles over the years…


  31. rcfagnan says:

    Average episode as far as I’m concerned. Some really funny lines, but the dull dreariness of the film drags it down a bit. One thing I never understood was why M&TB thought that their was some sort of jealousy/resentment between Peter Graves and James Arness. Did they have a feud in real life? Or were they just trying to make Peter out to be a bitter failure? As Mr. Graves is probably one of the most talented actors (IMO) to appear in the films they do, it seems strange that they tear him down more than actors of far less ability, I guess, is what I’m saying.


  32. Brandon says:

    NBC is on the verge of going under NOW! And, it’s all Jay Leno’s fault! Well, the press is blaming him anyway.

    I love this episode! One of my favs from season 8.

    I always liked the Ted Turner joke near the end.

    Watch out for the microphone that pops down when we see Peter Graves on his yacht.

    I saw The Island in theaters. It’s not terrible, but I found it more hokey than Clonus.


  33. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I do like this episode, and there are some really funny riffs going on, but I too get a bit sick of the “Biography” jokes. Especially when they just say “Biography” as Peter Graves waves to a crowd. I hoped that they’d mix it up with some Mission: Impossible jokes, or Airplane! (as has been noted already). Pretty minor gripe, I suppose. Fave riffs:

    “Professor Darren and Dr. Super Mario Brother.”

    “It’s the go as slow as you can without tipping over race.” – I find myself saying this when caught up in traffic snarls.

    “I think Yoshi parked on 7.”

    “Malibu Barbie’s down!”

    “Have some sun, my little friend.”

    Clone: “Guides may do strange things sometimes. Eat.” Bill: “ME.” This one gets me every time.


  34. Shinola says:

    This one always provokes an odd reaction in me. I see it up there on the shelf, waiting to be viewed, and I often skip over it in favor of lighter fare.

    But then, when I’ve exhausted all possibilities and I think, “Damn, I guess I have to watch this one,” it never fails to crack me up. For some reason, I always remember Clonus being worse than it really is.


  35. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I recall Keenan Wynn from a bunch of Disney movies, as the loud-mouthed industrial tycoon bad guy stereotype. He was in one of the old Flubber movies (not sure which), one of the Herbie movies (not sure which), one of the Kurt “the computer wore tennis shoes” type flicks (you see where I’m going with this…)


  36. Johnny Ryde says:

    Watch out for the microphone that pops down when we see Peter Graves on his yacht.

    I just noticed that there are a *lot* of boom-mikes in this one, but M&TB leave most of them alone…


  37. Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Sampo: “The presence of Dick Sergeant prompts quite a large number of ‘Bewitched’ jokes and references.”

    The funny part is you don’t even mention the metric ton of “Biography” references, although the commenters have made up for it. By the end, they’re pretty much shouting “Biography!” every time Graves appears on screen, and yet they keep going.

    The “buh-link” thing is another one of those jokes where they’re making fun of something that only seems silly because they cut out the explanation. Clonus makes sure the clones are docile by retarding their mental development, which results in the slow blinking. Clone-Boy and his Clone-Sweetie are controls with normal mental development (signified by their special ear tags), although why Clonus would have such controls, I can’t fathom; you can see how well it worked out for them.

    I thought the “agua!” bit was a reference to a cartoon segment from “Sesame Street.” I remember one with “agua” said in that raspy way.


  38. Thomas K. Dye says:

    #37: ESPECIALLY since people seem to be surprised when Richard actually starts thinking for himself. Notice the awkward conversation between the Time-Life Operator and Richard about Richard’s slowing down during the race. Why would they be so shocked when Richard wants to do things differently?

    And wow, great job monitoring Richard there. All he has to do is “sneak” around and the guides lose their peripheral vision (as is their wont). And why does Richard immediately assume Milwaukee is a place on a map? How would he know what a map was, anyway?

    It’s NOT that well-written, but A for effort, I suppose.


  39. pablum says:

    Great episode. The movie and the riffing were both enjoyable for me. Mr. Wynn and his wife getting blown up came out of nowhere and had me rolling as much as any riff. The cover up was so sloppy at Clonus that its quite surprising it took about 40 years for it to be exposed.

    The host segments didn’t strike me as all that funny other than the spanish langauge kid’s show. That was certainly an iconic segment of the sci-fi years.


  40. H says:

    Very nice. I like this one quite a bit. Movie’s good, M+TB do well with it. Host segments are good, enjoyable.


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

    >>>So, the guy on the phone and then who turns up at the end to be the head of Clonus… Are we supposed to care about him for some reason?

    He’s the guy who got parts from George (“Later ON.”). George was HIS clone (and they’re the same actor, he’s just in age makeup “later on”): Two Richards, two Georges. He’s also the guy who says “That’s our boy” after Jeff Knight/Peter Graves’s speech at the beginning of the movie; thus the movie starts with him, Jeff, and frozen bodies, and ends the same way (in case it was unclear to some, after Jeff was stabbed in the heart, he got Clone-Richard’s heart, one’s brother’s clone being almost as good as one’s personal clone, I guess). Since he’s the guy who was paying Clonus money for security, he’s presumably its financial backer.

    None of which would necessarily make us care about him, though…

    I’m not sure I would’ve caught some of those details without having read this:

    The reviewer SORT OF concurs with several correspondents here: “If not for the idiotic dialogue, incompetent direction, horrific acting, non-existent budget, and relentless parade of goofy imagery, this possibly —- POSSIBLY —- could have been a decent movie.”

    In some spots he clearly places his comments right between one piece of dialogue and another, making for a sort of pseudo-riffing quality.


  42. ck says:

    The trouble is whenever someone is talking about coming to America a certaiun song keeps running through my mind :twisted:

    Neil Diamond – Coming to America


  43. ck says:

    And for your further (enjoyment?)

    We’ve been travelling far
    Without a home
    But not without a star

    Only want to be free
    We huddle close
    Hang on to a dream

    On the boats and on the planes
    They’re coming to America
    Never looking back again
    They’re coming to America

    Home, don’t it seem so far away
    Oh, we’re travelling light today
    In the eye of the storm
    In the eye of the storm

    Home, to a new and a shiny place
    Make our bed, and we’ll say our grace
    Freedom’s light burning warm
    Freedom’s light burning warm

    Everywhere around the world
    They’re coming to America
    Every time that flag’s unfurled
    They’re coming to America

    Got a dream to take them there
    They’re coming to America
    Got a dream they’ve come to share
    They’re coming to America

    They’re coming to America
    They’re coming to America
    They’re coming to America
    They’re coming to America
    Today, today, today, today, today

    My country ’tis of thee
    Sweet land of liberty
    Of thee I sing
    Of thee I sing





  44. Spector says:

    I’d rank this one in their very good category. Not quite good enough to be a classic as there are parts where their riffing drags a bit compared to elsewhere in the film where it has the usual crackling delivery.

    Once again another strong series of host segments as the continuity thread in this season kept getting stronger thanks to each new situation Pearl and company kept getting into. Really enjoying the characters of Pearl, Bobo and Observer by this point as you can see them developing with each episode in this series.

    So, not one of their classics like “The Giant Spider Invasion” but this one does rank amongst their better efforts in Season Eight and is in my opinion one of the reasons this particular season ranks amongst the best in series history.

    Four and a half stars.


  45. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    ck #43- THANKS. You’ve successfully ruined my entire day.


  46. Johnny Ryde says:

    So, the guy on the phone and then who turns up at the end to be the head of Clonus… Are we supposed to care about him for some reason?

    He’s the guy who got parts from George (”Later ON.”). George was HIS clone (and they’re the same actor, he’s just in age makeup “later on”): Two Richards, two Georges. He’s also the guy who says “That’s our boy” after Jeff Knight/Peter Graves’s speech at the beginning of the movie; thus the movie starts with him, Jeff, and frozen bodies, and ends the same way (in case it was unclear to some, after Jeff was stabbed in the heart, he got Clone-Richard’s heart, one’s brother’s clone being almost as good as one’s personal clone, I guess). Since he’s the guy who was paying Clonus money for security, he’s presumably its financial backer.

    Ah! Thanks.

    I didn’t realize that he was the clone of “Later On”. I knew his old-man makeup was bad, but I had no idea why. I did catch that he was the guy at the beginning and on the phone… but I couldn’t figure out why it mattered. I think it’s a structural problem. The ending feels like its supposed to be a surprise (e.g. the guy we thought was a good guy turns out to be the main bad guy), but instead it’s just that the guy we’ve only glimpsed is now giving a speech… so what?

    So… is the eye-patch significant? :)


  47. Johnny Ryde says:

    Ack! Totally screwed up the quoting on that message… My reply starts with “Ah! Thanks.” Sorry about that, Chief.

    (Wish we could edit posts on here…)


  48. MPSh says:

    As far as the eyepatch goes, Walker had presumably just had his eye replaced (if you look at Frozen George Clone in the giant freezer wrap, you can just barely see that he has an eye missing).


  49. The Bolem says:

    I’m surprised no one’s mentioned the “shrine to Dolly the sheep” joke, a rare example of a riff that debatably dates the ep in a good way, reminding us of why ethical issues surrounding cloning were being discussed more in the late ’90s. The timeliness of 811’s debut might be why I always thought of this as being a genuinely thought-provoking movie despite the somewhat predictable plot, airtight security, and casting of a woman with the most obvious nose job in the history of film as a clone (if you know of a more obvious case, please share; no, the late Michael Jackson’s doesn’t count because it didn’t really clash with his other features at the bitter end)

    And yet, when I was showing all my tapes to friends for the first time 3 or 4 years ago, around 20 minutes in, their jaws dropped at the fact that, “They MSTed a movie this GOOD?!” Those 2 watch a lot more recent horrible movies, which likely made Clonus look a LOT better by comparisson.

    The video store I worked at had a copy titled “The Clonus Horror”. Now I wish I’d bothered to watch it and Devilfish uncut.

    I’ll pick, “Uhhh…what’s he doing to the garbage?”,”Say, you one a’ them there pre-verts?” as my favorite conjoined riff.

    Two runners-up near the beginning:

    “The secret Sid and Marty Kroft training grounds!”

    “Um, guys? This is the 50 yard dash…”

    After he finds the can, they did a “The Gods Must Be Crazy” riff, right? That popped into my head the moment I saw it in the stream, so it seemed to take forever for them to say it.

    So, during his escape, did the sniper actually shoot our young carp-faced hero both times, or are we supposed to assume he just ducked because he heard the second shot? Was a second wound addressed in a cut scene? Regardless, it gave us one of the best single-ep running gags:
    “*BANG* ow *B-KOW* ow *per-TWEE* ow! *P-TANG* ow…”
    Unlike “Biography!”, that would’ve never gotten old, even if they’d kept doing it until he snuck back into Clonus at the end.

    The first couple times I saw this, I could’ve sworn they did a Thundercats riff! After Clone-Richard gets to town and starts walking through a crowd, it sounded like Crow said, “Hey, Lion-o!”, but upon closer examination, it’s clearly “Lionel”. I’m still not sure which Lionel they meant.

    I’ve also never seen anyone get through the kids’ show segment without totally cracking up. Overall, a great ep, if not quite a personal favorite. Partly because it gets extremely overshadowed by next week’s experiment…


  50. Gary Bowden says:

    #26 Dan in WI: Here are just a few movies Keenan Wynn has been in: Bikini Beach(as Harvey Huntington Honeywagon 3rd),Angels in the Outfield(1951),Kiss Me Kate(1953),The Long,Long Trailer(Lucille Ball,Desi Arnez,jr.)A Hole in the Head,The Absent-Minded Professor,Dr.Strangelove,The Great Race(Tony Curtis/Jack Lemmon),The Patsy(Jerry Lewis)and Herbie Rides Again;just to name a few…One of my favorite eps from the sci-fi era,but I do agree that M&TB should’ve done more than just say “Biography” whenever Peter Graves was on screen.He was also in Stalag 17 with William Holden,too,besides “Airplane”.Another great character actor like Keenan.


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