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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: 410- Hercules Against the Moon Men

Movie: (1964) Evil Queen Samar is in cahoots with a cult of monstrous moon men. Herc is determined to stop them.

First shown: 8/22/92
Opening: Crow and Tom run away from home (briefly)
Invention exchange: The Mads unveil DEEP HURTING!; J&tB demonstrate their super freak-out kit
Host segment 1: Tom & Crow present the amazing BOOBY trap illusion
Host segment 2: Newly muscular Crow and Tom consider tough guy names
Host segment 3: Song: “Ode to Pants!”
End: J&tB discuss the switch from Steve Reeves to Alan Steele, Joel reads a letter, Crow gets disciplined, Tom reads another letter; In Deep 13, Dr. F is baffled by the outcome of the experiment, while Frank is wistful
Stinger: Old guy gets skewered
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.22 out of 5)


• This is, for me, the funniest of the sword-and-sandal movie episodes, and an all-around great episode. As I said with the last one, these Herc movies are just perfect for MST3K, very watchable and very riffable. Strong riffing, great segments, just lots of fun.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s “The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 7.”
• Joel seems to have let his goatee grow out since last episode. Attention dsman71.
• “Deeeeeeep hurting!” (and, to a lesser extent, “saaaaaannndstoooorrrmmm”) became an immediate catchphrase and it’s still being used by longtime fans. By the way, it’s a reference to a commercial for a nostrum called “Deep Heating Rub.” I don’t think this is the actual commercial they were parodying, but you get the idea.
• Ya gotta love “Wishbone Ash” Frank’s freakout. Traaaaiiills!
• While the title and the dubbing refer to our hero as Hercules, in the original Italian he is Maciste (aka “My cheesesteak”). The strongman character has a long history: he originated in the 1914 Italian movie “Cabiria” and was resurrected when sword-and-sandal epics suddenly became very popular in the late 1950s. Because American audiences were unfamiliar with Maciste, the title character’s name was usually changed to Atlas, Colossus (as in “Colossus and the Headhunters,” although nobody calls him that in the movie), Goliath, Hercules or Samson.
• Obscure riff: “The Mighty Flavog!” That was a character invented for The Muppets’ very brief stint on Saturday Night Live, more than 30 years ago.
• Love the “pizza-pizza” stuff. A reference to popular commercials for the Little Caesars pizza restaurant chain. This should give you an idea of what was going on.
• I always enjoy the bit where some character in the movie has a long speech with odd little pauses and Tom tries to get a word in edgewise, as he does here when the old guy talks.
• During segment one, the walls of the amazing BOOBY trap illusion swing rather freely … Not really very threatening. This is also a “meta” bit, essentially a joke about a joke.
• Callbacks: “Hikeeba.” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet). “Trumpy, you’re angry!” (Pod People). o/` “Hey, it’s the undersea kingdom…” o/` “I’m a Grimault warrior!” (Viking Women). “You told me a fabricated story…” (The Unearthly). “It was after the apocalypse. They had to get to the power station…” (Robot Holocaust).
• Mildly naughty moment: “Guys, I am so homesick right now…”
• The first time I saw this I was floored when they referenced this ancient TV commercial for “Marvel the Mustang” that I had completely forgotten about until that moment. What horse do!
• Although Tom’s body rejected his muscle-man arms in segment 2, Joel has put his old arms back by the time he reenters the theater. He quietly thanks Joel.
• During the brawl on screen, J&tB do a terrific version of the “Star Trek” fight music. Harmony and everything.
• Segment three features one of my favorite MST3K songs: “Pants!” Even Frank gets into it! (This segment also gave us a couple of great poopie moments.)
• When the sandstorm scene finally arrives, it definitely is pretty punishing. In earlier seasons, it’s the sort of thing that might have gotten the movie rejected. What can you riff on when essentially nothing is happening in the movie for several minutes? But the geniuses at MST3K found a way, and it’s a great example of turning a liability into an asset. Instead of ruining the episode, that section is one of the highlights.
• Joel actually uses the term “riffing” several times, something he didn’t do a lot.
• In the discussion of the movie at the end of the episode, J&tB speak of the movie as if it was a direct sequel to the movie they watched a couple of episodes back, but really the two aren’t related at all.
• Somebody mentions Gaines Burgers, which you don’t really see in the stores any more. Since I seem to linking to commercials on youtube a lot this time around, here’s what they’re talking about.
• Cast and crew roundup: Of course we saw Alan Steel in “Hercules Unchained.” Goffredo Unger, who was one of the actors in this movie, was an assistant director for “Devil Fish.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim. Barb Oswald was “Toolmaster Jr.” one last time. “Pants” was written and arranged by Mike and Frank. Beginning with this episode and for the next seven episodes, the credits misspell “Ammendment” in “the authors of the 1st Ammendment.”
• Fave riff: “Meet Sammy SPEAR and his orchestra!” Honorable mention: “Don’t make me laugh, Woodsy Owl!”

97 Replies to “Episode Guide: 410- Hercules Against the Moon Men”

  1. Mark says:

    I love the sword-n-sandal genre as fodder for riffing, but this one is my least favorite of the 5. Still a solid, middle-of-the-road episode, though, with plenty of laughs. I’d probably give it a B- grade.

    The “Don’t make me laugh, Woodsy Owl” is one of my favorite riffs ever.


  2. Scott P. says:

    Just watch this one and “Unchained” during the past few weeks. Enjoyed them both. Call be crazy, but I kind of dig those kooky, shapely, fire-haired queens.


  3. GizmonicTemp says:

    This episode has 800 riffs over 1:14:20 of movie time for an RPM of 10.762 which is #4 overall!

    This episode is a guilty pleasure for me. The quality of riffs isn’t that great, granted, but I LOVE these sword & sandal movies, especially with a mythology angle. Well, the American version is mythology based anyway.

    “She’s all gased up, sir. I vacuumed the inside too.”


  4. Sitting Duck says:

    Definitely one of my all-time favorite Poopie moments is when Crow was suppose to say, “I hate movies where men wear shorter skirts than the women.” But instead he starts, “I hate movies where women wear shorter…” at which point Trace realizes he’s screwed up and half-heartedly adds, “Or men.” At which point, Kevin remarks, “I love movies like that!” I think the major reason why MST3K has far superior blooper reels in comparison to other shows is the fact that the cast has plenty of improv experience which allows them to carry on in their own fashion.


  5. Tork_110 says:

    My family used to go to Little Caesars a lot.

    I miss it. Crazy Bread is awesome.


  6. RCFagnan says:

    Little Ceasar’s has the best breadsticks, indeed. I loved the “Pants” host segment and the “Deep Hurting/Sandstorm” bits, though until reading this post I had no idea they were parodying anything. Fav riffs: “Good thing they made everything out of balsa wood back then.” and just about the entire sandstorm sequence, especially “You know, the mads said this was gonna be bad and you know what? THEY WERE RIGHT! THIS SUCKS!”


  7. bigmoneygrip says:

    My dogs LOVED gaines burgers. Lord knows what was in them, though.


  8. ThorneSherman says:

    It’s the Monsters of Rock Tour!…good all around episode, i like the sword and sandal flicks myself.


  9. skenderberg says:

    One of my favorite sword and sandal episodes as well. Thanks to this episode’s host segments, we have the delightful “Sing the Praises of Pants” song.

    Favorite Riff: “Shiny little heinie with the fringe on the top.”

    My full review is here.


  10. Hawkins says:

    One of my favorite all time riffs is from this movie:

    “I’m a chocolate bar. Break off pieces of me and enjoy me all day.”


  11. Joey Stink Eye Smiles says:

    “I’m sending you good vibes, Herc.”


  12. Classic MTS3K riffing: the Little Caesar’s reference “Pizza Pizza” (whenever soldiers appear) and the mind-numbing sandstorm sequence where Joel and the Bots soldier on gamely.
    Another favorite: the Super Freak Out bit, and when J&TB say “WE GOT MOVIE SIGN!” backwards.


  13. Nutcase says:

    My favorite Poopie moment when it came to the Pants Song sketch was that after they sang “Sing the praises of pants”, Joel forgets his line and says, “Oh ****…” Then Trace and Kevin begin singing, “****! ****!” lolololol

    I also liked those song refrences when Joel and the bots start saying, “You wanna get stoned?!” or “Everybody, let’s get stoned!” when those living statures start gangimg up on people.

    Also, I laughed out loud when that one rock monster clotheslined Hercules. Talk about getting owned lol.


  14. GornCaptain says:

    It’s the Mighty Favog, not Flavog!

    This was the first obscure reference riff that got me right between the eyes! :mrgreen:


  15. Bob says:

    I love this episode and watch it often.

    The info about it being a Maciste movie is correct. Many of these films had their titles changed to be more marketable in the US. It’s why “Sadko” was changed to “Magic Voyage of Sinbad” even though the film is not remotely Arabian. Americans have heard of Sinbad, not of Sadko, so it became Sinbad.

    The orginal title of Hercules Against the Moon Men was, “Maciste e la regina di Samar” or “Maciste and the Queen of Samar”. The actors’ names were often changed for these films to sound American as well. Alan Steele was really Sergio Ciani.

    Favorite riffs:
    “This movie is equipped with airbags.”
    “Why is he wearing oven mitts?”
    “Pizza pizza this!”

    Frank really seems to get into the “saaanndstoooorm” gag and his enthusiasm makes it all the funnier.


  16. The Bolem says:

    This was one of the first MSTs I saw, since I didn’t have cable until just before the switch to SciFi channel, and had to settle for the handfull of MST Hour eps the Detroit UPN station showed during that glorious year of syndication.

    Given my location, those Pizza-Pizza riffs meant a lot to me, but as a child of 80’s cartoons, Joel calling the rockmen “the Inhumanoids” meant perhaps even more. We never got riffs from that world very often, and there’s one later instance that practically begged for one: In Prince of Space, the 3-barrelled gun that Krankor uses near the beginning looks EXACTLY like the main gun from the back of the Thundertank! I was looking forward to speculation as to how the Chickenmen ever stole it from the Thundercats (Maybe they were related to the Vulturemen of Plundarr, home planet of the mutants), but alas, that was somewhat after the Brains’ childhoods. Ah well.

    Incidentally, my friends agree that the ending was woefully anticlimactic. The sandstorm did succeed in conveying impending doom, but Woodsy Owl and Queen Selene were dispatched without so much as a fight after the rockmen. She at least coulda’ stood up and acted like she was about to attack Hercquiste with magic before her life was drained back into the other girl, but…oh I don’t care, this is still a personal favorite.

    This also contains the first reference to a previous experiment that I’d seen and therefore understood: Pod People must have been the 2nd or 3rd one that I’d seen from start to finish.


  17. fireballil says:

    I nned to watch this again to get more rememberances, but as I said in the ‘how did you start watching’ thread, the ‘Pizza Pizza!’ riff where the Roman-type guy was attacked is my all time favorite riff.


  18. fireballil says:

    There were two other parts of the “Pants Song” that made it into the Poopie! tape:

    One where Tom falls over just as he says, “Oh, hi…” Kevin says, “This is a bugaboo, isn’t it?” while Trace starts singing the chorus.

    In the middle of the chorus, Joel forgets his line and says, “Oh, s***!” and the ‘bots start singing it too.


  19. Jeyl says:

    I remember watching this episode for the first time fearing that they would just reuse all the jokes from Hercules unchained. And while they did do some of the same skits (The seductive “Wah wah wah waaahh! theme”), I was impressed!

    Favorite moment:
    Crow: My name is Hercules and I’m a hercoholic!
    Joel and Tom: Hi Herc!

    Dumbest movie moment:
    Hercules finally is about to confront the evil force behind this insane plot! This is it! This is the evil being capable of summoning rock monsters, forcing kingdoms to commit human sacrifices, being able to be in many areas at once, resurrecting once powerful queens and creating endless sandstorms to hamper both our hero, the characters and the plot! Hercules comes in, fights through hordes of rock monsters, rushes towards him AND!!!!!!……….. simply pushes him off the raised platform..

    That was it? That’s how you kill a god like creature? Just push him?


  20. GizmonicTemp says:

    Does anyone else here still play Unreal Tournament (the original) AND have the Tom Servo skin and voice pack? When you rocket launcher someone to oblivion, Tom says, “Break off bits of me and enjoy me all day” or “Behold the only thing greater than yourself.”

    I love that game.


  21. Nick says:

    Great episode, lots of good riffs.

    IMO, sandstorm was nowhere near as painful as rock climbing. SS was only about 20 minutes, while RC started 20 minutes into Lost Continent and never let up. But that’s just me. :cool:

    My favorite line: “…Herculie, Hercula. My backpack’s filled with pecs.”


  22. norgavue says:

    I love the concept of DEEP HURTING, if only I could harness it in my own life. The movie riffing was good but the host segments for this one were simply on fire.


  23. EpcotServo says:

    One of my all-time favorites!

    “AHHH…Early DISNEY Employees.”


  24. Sean74 says:

    Like I said before, this is my fav Hercules-themed MST episode. All this info about the actual titles of the film, and even the names of the actors being changed to sound more American, is like a revelation. Who would’ve thought Alan Steele was just as Italian as pasta?

    This episode had one of the best invention exchanges and segments of any episode. BOOBY TRAPS, inflated arms on the ‘bots, the “Pants!” song, all culminating with “Deeeeeeeeep Huuuuurting!!!” The riffing was above average, arguably the best of any sword and sandal movie they covered. My favorite riff is when Herc goes after Prince Dereks (?) after he’s been sabotaged, Herc fights off the soldiers and then carries Dereks, saying, “we’ve got to think of that wound”, and Servo remarks, “I can’t think of anything else!”

    The Little Ceasars references make me soooo nostalgic for their pizza and crazy bread. In fact, very often I’d get both late on a Friday night and come home and watch the midnight showing of MST3K on CC after work. I miss those days!

    I agree that the sandstorm sequence is alot less painful than the rock-climbing sequences of “Lost Continent”. J&TB do a great job joking while at the same time admitting that the pain of the scene is setting in.


  25. :sad: This ep is one of my all time least favorite episodes. I receive very, very few laughs from this one. It would rank in my bottom 5 (not counting KTMAs of course)


  26. losingmydignity says:

    A solid fun episode. Not my fav of the Hercs or Sword and Sandal ones (Colussus and the Headhunters is far superior to any of them). This is one, oddly enough, that I ranked pretty highly on a first time viewing, but fell a little flat the second time I saw it. (this rarely happens). I do love “deep hurting” and the the rather naughty “airbag” riff.
    Does anyone know if Mario Bava (director of Diabolik) did the visuals on this one as well (I know he did on Hercules Unchained, the weakest of the Herc Msted eps IMO)?


  27. Meranalf says:

    The second episode I ever saw, seen right after my first: The Giant Gila Monster. I liked this episode right away, due mostly to my obsession with mythology at the time.

    Three more callbacks:
    “You know, I think this exercise is working. I can feel it here, and here.” Cave Dwellers
    [singing] “Heeeeeeeey… It’s the Undersea Kingdom…” Attack of the Giant Leeches & The Indestructible Man
    “I’m so sleepy I can barely keep awake.” Hercules Unchained

    There were at least five references to The Wizard of Oz in this episode, which is a lot, even taking into account that the writers seemed to reference The Wizard of Oz more than any other movie. You could seriously do a Ward E entry chronicling all the Wizard of Oz references.

    The ode to Pants is my favorite MST3K song. And it even has a Wizard of Oz reference in it. “Whadda they got that I ain’t got!?” “Pants/Courage!” “Oh you can say that again.”


  28. Joel Kazoo says:

    This ep had one of Crow’s best throwaway lines EVER, (I’m giggling as I write this) when Joel held up the child’s crayon scribble and called it a “really good drawing” and Crow being Crow just matter-of-factly blurts out “It’s not really that good!”



  29. Sean74 says:

    To Meranalf: I totally agree about the “Wizard of Oz” references the show repeatedly makes; it seems like there’s at least one per episode. Hey Sampo, you have your next Ward E assignment! :grin:


  30. Uranium - 235 says:

    I love how crow leeaaannnss over as the camera pans right when Joel drops the Homesick line.

    THREE Princess Bride references: “Have fun stormin’ the castle!” “Now you would assume I would think the poison is in this cup!” and of course the “Inigo Montoya” (which debuted in Hercules Unchained).

    Also I guess the Brains have had good music on the mind lately. In the last couple movies or so I’ve caught references to Queen, Deep Purple, the Doors, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin… quite the list!

    Another note – the Scientology riffing is great and STILL topical! “Dianetics, by L. Ron Hubbard. Why do I hurt inside? Page 54. When will this stupid movie end? Page 38. How much money can we get out of Tom Cruise? Page 25!”

    Also, agreed – rock climbing was worse than sandstorm – doubly so because RC wasn’t cut every few minutes like SS was. Though RC had some great riffs (like when they pull the guy up who has the parachute headfirst, then they all grab his ass and roll him around).


  31. Spector says:

    My favorite of all the Hercules movies they’ve riffed on, heck, my favorite of all the sword and sorcery flicks the Brains have done. Yes, the seemingly endless sandstorm scenes could be a real drag but I love how Joel and the ‘Bots’ exaggerated “struggle” through those scenes makes them funny rather than tedious. They also get off some great riffs against Hercules, the Moon Men and everything else in site, especially the singing riffs:

    “He’s a guy and he’s got big pecs and they call him Her-erc, hey!”

    “Fal-der-ree! Fal-der-raa! My knapsack’s filled with pecs!”

    “I love being a guy!”

    And of course the memorable “Deeeeep Hurting” and “Sandstorm” taunts from the Mads, and Joel and the ‘Bots game “Freak Out” which triggers a freak out in Frank. Classic stuff, classic episode, hilarious from start to finish.


  32. bobhoncho says:

    Hey folks, I, the offical MST Detroit fan am pleased to announce that for all you Little Caesars fans, they have a new commercial on the radio for the company it’s hilarious. In fact here are some quotes

    “Little Caesars New Deep Dish Pizza!” “Next!”
    “Little Caesars New DEEP DISH Pizza!” “NEXT!”
    “Next? You know what happened to the last guy who told me next? He’s deep! 6 feet deep!” “Security!”
    Then finally:
    Little Caesar: “Pizza! Pizza!”
    Audition Man: “Again?”
    Little Caesar: “Pizza! Pizza!”
    Audition Man: “Could you say that a little deeper?”
    Little Caesar: (slow and deep) “Pizza! Pizza!”
    Audition Man: “Poifect!”


  33. Dan in WI says:


    This episode represents everything that is right about season 4. This is topped off by the Sandstorm/Deep Hurting bit which is there absolute best ever use of the opening segments to set up (or foreshadow if you will) a joke riff late in the movie. To add another level this foreshadow even starts out with a call back to rock climbing. In fact, as many commented four years ago the last time this episode was reviewed, the sandstorm scene probably would have been insurmountable even for Hall of Fame level riffing. But the set up more than salvages an unusable movie segment. It makes an unusable movie segment absolute gold.
    Oh and Frank really does sell the “sandstorm” well with the pail and shovel.

    The Crow and Tom run away opening is also well done all around. Joel plays it well, Magic Voice does a great play by play, even dim witted Gypsy knows how it will turn out and Tom comes back with a classic line “We’re back. We forgive you.”

    For my money, Pizza, Pizza is the best running gag since Chief McLoed.

    Magic Voice really shines in this episode. First there is her part in the runaway gag and she is integral in the booby trap segment.

    The second host segment where Joel is explaining big and brawny names feels to me a lot like a season two segment where other movie terms or techniques are discussed. (Think gobos or folly host segments) It also feels like a season two artist rendering sketch but instead of drawings we have the upper body implants. My favorite name was Drake Tungsten.

    Just what is that Deep Hurting prop? It looks like some sort of lever or handle to me.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Joel (during the credits) “Nike. Just film it.”

    Crow as characters walk through a canyon. “Not that way R2. You’ll be breaking down in no time.”

    The rock monsters are revealed. Joel: “The monsters of rock tour.” (Oh how I miss that festival.)

    The plot point alarm

    Joel “This is like seeing bad performance art.” Tom “It’s like seeing performance art in another words.”


  34. Dave says:



  35. Creeping Death says:

    I like Queen Curve E. Voluptuous and her sister, Princess Busty. The Little Caesars jokes are classic, and I love the “Monsters of Rock” Joke. For a guy who didn’t like puns, that one was a groaner.


  36. robot rump! says:

    like others i do like the sword and sandal ‘genre’ over the others. (wacky Japanese being a close second in case anyone is keeping score.) but i don’t quite get into this one like the others. sure, sure, watching the evil queen and her sister argue, secretly hoping for a catfight, makes me feel funny in a good way and Herc wins an Oscar in the ‘getting drunk and sleepy’ catagory, but it just doesn’t compare to ‘Herc,’ ‘unchained’ or ‘the captive women’ in my overinflated opininon.


  37. JimmyBruce says:

    Ah, the Moon Men. This is in my top ten. It doesn’t get as much attention as it should.


  38. Creeping Terror says:

    I used to be “meh” towards the sword and sandal movies. I had seen this episode twice before without thinking it was remarkable, but the third time was the charm for “Hercules Against the Moon Men.” It’s a pretty funny ep.

    Ah, Little Caesar’s… back when they made good pizza. Now they’re just good for a $5/$6 (depending on where you live in the country) pizza that’s barely fit for college student consumption.

    Lots of references to musicals in this one: “West Side Story,” “Flower Drum Song,” “Oklahoma!” and more. I love musicals, so it’s fun when they’re referenced in the movies. That being said, the Brains seem to rarely mention a show that was made after the 1960’s. :-(

    @27: It doesn’t surprise me that the Brains reference “The Wizard of Oz” so much. It’s probably the most culturally influential movie ever made. If you pay attention, you’ll notice lots of references to it in entertainment (and perhaps your everyday life).

    That sand that Frank scoops up and shakes around makes quite a dust cloud.

    In the “strongman name” segment, they should have used “Clark Formica.” It just strikes me as funny.


  39. John W says:

    Joel: “Anybody got change for an eight year-old?”


  40. RPG says:

    One thing I noticed about this one, I could hear or see Joel turning his script page several times. Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention to see if it was like that in other ones.


  41. dsman71 says:

    Alan Steel wasnt in Hercules Unchained, that was Steve Reeves :)
    Joel looked really high in this episode with that goatee. This is a great episode by the way ..this Deep Hurting / sandstorm wasnt anywhere near as bad as Rock Climbing
    Its too bad they didnt do any of the Sons of Hercules vs. series because they are also just as campy but there is that great theme song at the beginning
    Joels Hair – not quite so parted this time
    Joels Knees
    Toms Arms
    “The Mighty Sons of Hercules”
    Time for some Herc-u-therapy :D


  42. Stressfactor says:

    After a couple of episodes that were kind of ‘meh’ to me this one really hit my funnybone.

    And for the record — not the first time Crow and Servo have done the ‘C3PO and R2-D2 out in the deserts of Tatooine’ bit. I have to give some props to Trace — he does a pretty darn good C3PO impersonation.

    Also, I was really startled when Joel did the “Mr. Yuck” thing.

    That PSA commercial scared the ever-living CRAP out of me when it would air on TV when I was a kid. It doesn’t bother me now but man, the opening part of the commercial was pure NIGHTMARE FUEL to me when I was about five.

    For those who are unfamiliar with it…. BEHOLD, THE GLORY OF MR. YUCK!


  43. jjb3k says:

    This one…eh. The Brains don’t really have their A-game going, in my opinion. It sorta feels like the riffing is on autopilot – it’s mostly just them throwing out pop culture references without putting their usual observational twist on them. For instance, there are a lot of actors in this movie who look like celebrities (or at least the Brains seemed to think so). But instead of making jokes at those celebrities’ expense, they just call them as they see them (i.e. “Rob Reiner, no!” “Father Murphy, no!” “Gumby, no!”, plus that long talky scene where they’re just shouting the names of celebrities and applauding). Then most of the rest of their riffs are just movie or TV quotes (“Have fun storming the castle!”, “I am the mighty Favog!”, “Dorothy? Dorothy!”, “You’ve been gonged!”, and of course the endless “Pizza pizza”s). It feels lazy.

    Oh sure, there are some breakout riffs – “Hi, I’m a chocolate bar! Break off bits of me and enjoy me all day!”, “OH, I forgot I had that put in!”, and so on. But they’re few and far between. And the host segments don’t do much to help, either. They half-assed the invention exchange. “The Amazing Booby Trap” is painfully lame, and the special effects don’t even work. And the ending is kind of frustrating, as any fool can obviously tell that this movie is not a sequel to Hercules Unchained – it feels like the Brains are playing dumb for the sake of a joke. But at least the pants song kinda makes up for it. I still quote “The Pants Council recommends you wear your pants at least three times a day!” all the time.


  44. Fred Burroughs says:

    I was singing “My backpack’s filled with pecs” just this morning, huh. I caught this one when it first aired then didn’t see it again till a few years ago. I remember being in a class in college in 1992, and singing “Pants…pants…” and a few people joining in. Even then it seemed like an old classic. The Tough Guy names would of course be expanded much later in Space Mutiny with Slab Bulkhead et al (also with ‘Touch’ Connor’s alternate nicknames in Swamp Diamonds), but it’s great to see the intellectual analysis of the syntax that goes into a great hero name.

    The sequence when Herc arrives to save Dereks from assassination is priceless, as Sean (24) alluded. It reads like a bad vaudeville act with Herc as the straight man.
    Herc: “Thank goodness I got here just in time.”
    Joel (groaning): “That’s a matter of opinion!” (arrow jutting out of chest, oozing blood)


  45. Blast Hardcheese says:

    Sampo’s Theorem strikes again: this one, for me, is good for a few laughs, but doesn’t rank as a top episode. It isn’t nearly as good as the other Herc/Maciste/Colossus movies, including the one coming up in 412–I’m going to blame Alan Steel, who doesn’t bring quite the same level of campy fun to his beefcake role that Steve Reeves does. Some of the same types of riffs (eg Herc’s oily body) appear in the other sword-and-sandal episodes, but I think they’re funnier there because the on-screen action is just that much goofier. That being said, there are still some great moments here–this is the ep that gave us “Deep Hurting” after all; the “Pants” song is one of my favourites (and one of the highlights of “Clowns in the Sky”); and the sandstorm sequence is far and away the highlight of the whole thing. I’m also a big fan of the “Mr Ed” imitations they usually do when there are horses onscreen, and there’s not enough of that here for my taste.

    Sampo usually mentions when host segments seem out of place: the “booby” trap bit is another one of those, since we don’t see the sequence that obviously inspired it till much later (the “Pants” number could have come earlier, and still worked). The joke, though old as the hills, is funny because it’s a meta-joke: nice to see Magic Voice put to good use here.

    Canadian Content Trivia: There’s a Toronto-based national pizza chain here called “Pizza Pizza” (the “967-11-11” jingle is tattooed on the brain of anyone who’s ever spent even a day in Toronto) that actually sued Little Caesar’s when they came out with their “pizza pizza” slogan. We had (may still have?) Little Caesar’s here, too, but not as widely as Pizza Pizza. Best thing about Little Caesar’s was the Crazy Bread (now, for me, forever associated with Torgo); best thing about Pizza Pizza was their phone number.


  46. Joe Klemm says:

    With all the mention of Super Freak Out and Poopie, I’m surprised that no one has mentioned this yet:



  47. Matthew Shine says:



    This is my favorite sword and sandle movie that the Brains did. The bizzare plot, Hercules AKA not Hercules but Maciste (who’s quite popular here in Spain) and the ridiculous rock monsters makes this a winner for me. Strangely, I don’t think that this film made it to Spain, despite the fact that most other Maciste films were.

    Favorite Riff: Hi, I’m a chocolate bar! Break pieces off me and enjoy me all day!


  48. Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:


    #45 Blast: Oh, thank you VERY much, now i’m going to have 967-11-11 stuck in my head for the next week!! I actually think you only need to be in Toranna for about an hour to do that!

    I love this movie…it definitely one of my top 3 Herc Movies….just not sure which one!
    I just watched this a couple of weeks ago and realized that they quote Neil Young’s Ohio REALLY fast at the end of the “Freakout” invention exchange…

    I also love how Joel always made fun of traditional magic acts (such as the Amazing BOOBY Trap, Crow’s failed Houdini escape act, Joel’s magic ping-pong balls) in the show. That would be good Weekend Discussion topic! In the Mike era, Musical Theatre would become the running gag…

    NOT-So Mildly Naughty Moment: [Taris hops up on Herc’s saddle] Crow: “I think I just sat on the saddle-horn! Ooof!” They also make sounds later of Herc & Taris “enjoying” their ride together…

    Herc: “Even willing to fight?” Taris: “Even that, if necessary!” Joel: [as Herc] “Would you fight me?”
    Crow: “This is my friend Gorgon! Say ‘hello’ Gorgon!” Joel: “Hello folks!”
    [Herc gets caught in the water pit] Joel: “OK! I get the HINT! I’ll BATHE more!!”
    [Close-up of the evil Goddess] Tom: “Louise Brooks!” :yes:


  49. Zee says:

    It’s The Mighty Favog, not Flavog!


  50. Cheapskate Crow says:

    Solid 4 stars for me, I was going to comment on host seg. 1 being out of place but #45 beat me to it. This seemed to happen fairly often, does anyone know why? Deep hurting is still a catchphrase for me and my MSTie friends and I think this would have been one of the best episodes of some other seasons but in the greatness of season 4, it’s only middle of the road for me. Can’t wait for next week’s episode. And thanks Sampo and Gorn Captain for explaining the Mighty Favog reference, I was wondering what that was about.


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