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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: 814- Riding with Death

Movie: (1976) Two stitched-together episodes of the TV series “Gemini Man,” about a hero who gains the power of invisibility.

First shown: 7/19/97
Opening: Mike, who was once a teppanyaki chef, has a relapse
Intro: Pearl and company are under fire! She begs Mike for air support … and she gets it, and then some
Host segment 1: Tom sings about the 70s (and the 50s, too)
Host segment 2: Tom acquires a buttless truck driver body
Host segment 3: Crow is Turkey Volume Guessing Man!
End: Mike, Crow and Tom spoof the end of the film, while Pearl is weighed down with medals
Stinger: Jim Stafford is really happy!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (286 votes, average: 4.78 out of 5)


• I like this one. The movie — two poorly spliced-together episodes of a forgotten ’70s TV series (a la “Master Ninja”) — is not painful to watch, but gives them plenty to work with. The riffing is great and the segments are mostly pretty good. So rock it, you turkeys!
• Kevin offers his take here.
• This episode is included in Shout’s “MST3K: Volume XXXVI.”
• The opening, with Mike as the mindless teppanyaki chef, is hilarious. “There’s about a 1-in-4 chance were gonna get out of this alive!”
• This episode is the last one in which Jim is listed as providing the voice and puppetry for Gypsy, but Gypsy isn’t in this one. I had thought that meant his last actual performance as Gypsy was the previous episode’s “Lord of the Dance” sketch, but a commenter corrected me. More on that in the next episode’s writeup.
• Daleism: During the bar fight, the big guy tries to punch Buffalo Bill, but his fist is held back by invisible Sam. He looks at his fist. Crow: “Thought I was Dale.” Big guy tries again, and is again held back. He again looks at his fist. “Again, I thought I was Dale.”
• I love the way Mike answers the phone in this episode. His cheery little “Helloo?” is great.
• Mike destroys his third planet so far this season. This sets up the premise for the segments in the next episode.
• Crow and Mike reenact a memorable moment from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
• A perfect example of the genius of this show is the scene early on in which four characters are just standing around explaining the plot. Not much to work with. Then they pick up on Ben Murphy’s boss compulsively wiping his (apparently filthy!) glasses and suddenly the otherwise dull scene is a riot.
• Tom’s songs about the 70s and the 50s are a lot of fun. “The apostle Paul traveled to Greece…”
• I think the “Tom’s trucker body” segment seemed funnier on paper. Nice job on the body creation, however.
• Tom still has his trucker body in the theater. Mike and Crow are already there.
• The Turkey Volume Guessing Man segment is another gem, another hilarious example of Bill’s slightly deranged Crow.
• The “Pearl gets medals” bit at the end is cute, but doesn’t really go anywhere.
• This movie has two completely baffling elements, which probably only made sense in the context of the series, context which is completely lost in the movie. First there’s this Elliot guy, who angrily, even bitterly, berates Driscoll, who I think is his boss. Why is he doing this? Is he working for Denby? Is he just naive? As the movie plays out, it becomes clear that Denby is exactly the elusive crime boss Driscoll thinks he is. But we never see Elliot admit he was wrong (though he does seem a bit less grouchy in a later scene — maybe by then he’s seen the light).
Then there are the shots of Abby in the lab, watching some sort of super duper camera feed (it can pan and change angles and do closeups). Apparently the makers felt the need to include Abby, but why? (Note: A commenter had a plausible explanation for this.)
• On a related subject, you’re not seeing things: two different actors appear as Driscoll: Richard Dysart portrayed Driscoll in the pilot (and is seen briefly in the flashback sequence, which was taken from the pilot), while William Sylvester played Driscoll in the series.
• Then current reference: Kelly Flynn.
• Callback: “Look, a couple of VAAAAAANS!” (“Giant Spider Invasion”)
• Cast and crew roundup: “Village of the Giants” also gives H.G. Wells an amusing story credit. Costumer Charles Waldo also worked on “San Francisco International.” In front of the camera, Ben Murphy was also in “Being from Another Planet.” William Sylvester was also in “Gorgo.” Ed Nelson was also in “Superdome,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Swamp Diamonds” and “Night of the Blood Beast,” plus he did costumes for “Attack of the Giant Leeches.” Austin Stoker was also in “Being from Another Planet.”
• CreditsWatch: Produced and directed by Kevin. Brad, who has been listed as “Editor” on and off since season five, is listed as “Editor” for the first time this season, a credit that will continue until the end of the series. Bob Seabold begins a two-episode stint as grip. Intern Joseph Olson begins a four-episode stint; intern Meshach Weber begins a six-episode stint. The music for “The Funky Seventies” and “The Fifties” was written by Michael J. Nelson, with lyrics by Bill Corbett.
• Fave line: “Dear, sweet, homicidal Murray.” Honorable mention: “Okay, now, who wants their butts kicked first?”

210 Replies to “Episode guide: 814- Riding with Death”

  1. ck says:

    Interesting link to the Ben Murphy site above.
    In The Graduate doesn’t the screen come alive when Ben Murphy (isn’t) in it? Some would say there’s one word to describe Ben Murphy’s acting there- and it isn’t “Plastics”.

    I understand in the original screenplay he became invisible and followed Benjamin to the wedding (got a free ride in the back of a bus where he…)


  2. Rex Dart says:


    Well, I see what you mean about New England journalists, but I think that journalists of many regions have their own unique styles!


  3. DamonD says:

    “Well get off the air, ya cracker!”

    Love, love this one. Definite top 10 of all-time. Mike’s teppanyaki chef gets the silly ball rolling and it doesn’t stop.

    I love Mike’s sarcastic “My patent papers are at a slight angle, Sam” when the truck finally explodes.

    Jim Stafford makes a perfect Taz.

    Much love too for the moment when they point out Sam’s bandaged head doesn’t have any air holes…


  4. MiqelDotCom says:

    4.5 stars! This one never gets old for me – i can watch it 5 times in a row & it’s still funny.

    Tom’s 70ad & 50ad songs are classic & TVGM is totally random and funny.

    Nice try but no cigar on the clunky way the spliced-in backstory and audio dubs are used in a desperate attempt to tie the episodes together. The weirdest part is definitely the unexplained super magic spy-camera Abby is watching in the 2nd half. Crow – “Mike, is she in heaven?”

    “Now Way” –
    Mike “Just Curds”

    “Remember, when riding with death, always buckle up!”

    “For some reason this movie was a hit with elderly back women and hispanic lesbians”


  5. Roman Martel says:

    #90 – The Bolem

    If I’m not mistaken the fifth wheel is a pre-digital way of acuratly measuring milage. The wheel is attached to a device that measures the distance the car travels down to feet (maybe inches). This would provide clearer data for fuel efficiency.

    I’ve got a strange hand held version that pretends to be a tape-less tape measure. :-)


  6. thecorman says:

    #95 -Incredible Horrible Mr Limpet

    I just watched that scene, it’s hilarious!
    It reminds me of the awesome curmudgeon-from-hell grocer scene in the “The Brute Man” where Mike couldn’t control his laughter.


  7. GizmonicTemp says:

    SampoIs he working for Denby? Is he just naive?

    I think that Elliot berating Driscoll was meant to show us just how much Driscoll disliked Denby.

    Also, I haven’t read ALL of the comments above, so I apologize for repeating, but does anyone know if Sam and Abby had any romantic interest in each other? Was that ever shown is other episodes of the show?


  8. Fade away jerk handshake says:

    By my chosen moniker, I’m sure you can guess my opinion of this episode :mrgreen:


  9. The Bolem says:

    This is also the ep that I avoid making any mention of around one household of my extended family: What with my aunt being from the south, my uncle having tried his hand at stock car racing, and both of them running and occasionally driving for their own delivery service (albeit, with vans instead of trucks), I’m just not sure how this one would go over.

    Not that I don’t still laugh at,

    “If a driver is killed, section 14B gets a free Hormel hot dog” (okay, I didn’t go back and watch this to recall the actual section number)


    “They should drive into the biggest concentration of racing fans they can find, THAT would muffle the explosion”

    …because they do have a point. Everyone watching NASCAR is hoping to see the most horrible wreck in which somehow no one gets hurt.

    Man, why did Comedy Central have to screw up Battlebots…

    Ah what am I afraid of? Buffalo Bill wasn’t even so much a character as a gestallt of television stereotypes rolled together to create a sort of Made For TV Frankenstein’s Cracker (TM), and THAT’s what M&TB were taking shots at, right?

    Still, they were somewhat offended by Andy Kaufman’s pro-wrestling schtick back in the day, and it’s not like I have any reason to bring up Riding With Death on the few holidays I spend with my only 2 extended relatives in the state…


  10. Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    atomic womble (#100): “I particularly loved Kevin’s summary of the ‘Executive Story Consultant’ credit – did they actually have to employ someone specially to tie these 2 episodes together so badly?”

    “Executive Story Consultant” is a credit for a staff writer on a series. So his work was done long before this “movie” was slammed together.


  11. “Coming up next: Banacek! I mean, thank you for watching our theater-released movie today.”

    As you might guess from my moniker, this is in my top 5. Funny from start to almost-finish (agree that the “Pearl gets medals” bit is a touch stale). If I ever open a teppanyaki restaurant, I’m calling it “Suki-Yummy.”

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get back to being elusive.


  12. DamonD says:

    “THE TRIPOLODINE, oh, wait…”


  13. Warren says:

    Here’s a Transformers connection: Alan Oppenheimer (“my patent papers”) was the voice of Beachcomber in G1. I really hope this episode makes it to dvd, even though if Universal won’t let them that could be the problem, but it’s not JAWS we’re talking about here…
    “Smokey’s gonna put you in the pokey”-“Then we’ll sing crokie in Skokie!”


  14. Finnias Jones says:

    Self-correction of comment 82:
    s/b William (You make feel mighty real) Sylvester

    Still, anyone familiar with tranny disco singers from the (19)70’s could have corrected me first.

    I love how the TVG Man skit emerges naturally from the “film” script itself. Both halves of RwD feature “Turkey” used as a mild, acceptable for TV insult.

    The first time our hero Ben Murphy utters his chosen CB handle, I hear him say, “Sleazy Rider”. Anyone else hear this? From then on it’s clearly “Lazy Rider”.


  15. Jacob says:

    Sorry, Finias (#114)– what he says is “This is Lazy Rider” (sort of slurred, actually). Or were you joking? Which is of course ok.


  16. Manny Sanguillen says:

    This is hands down my all-time favoritest.

    I can’t do it justice by writing anything about since I could wax eloquently on an on about it endlessly.

    Maybe someday when I have more time I’ll have a go at it, but for now, lets just say 5 stars Plus.


  17. Manny Sanguillen says:

    On a different note, I see people expressing amusement that the movie had all the “what hollywood thinks is currently popular among the culture” elements from about 1976-77 featured in it, ie. the word ‘turkey’, cb’s, trucking etc.

    Don’t forget that this is common at all times for Hollywood (my word for the whole entertainment industry and I’m being kind…I COULD call it Babylon) . They always have their antenna up for “what is currently popular among the paying folk” and they pay their writers to insert it into their media products in order to connect with the customers. It is being done right now and always will be done.

    The important thing to remember is that it’s what hollywood THINKS is popular, not what actually IS. But the problem is that many nondiscerning folks watching at home then go on to think that these things really ARE the popular “in-thing”, and they actually CAUSE things to become POPULAR FOR NO REASON other than that.

    This is a continuing cycle.

    Hence you have Riding with Death, and their continual use of the word ‘turkey’ and prominent use of CB radios.

    If it had been made closer to ’78-’79, we’d have had a disco-dancing Sam Casey.


  18. Manny Sanguillen says:

    Hey Finnias, that’s what I though he said too the first time I watched it.


  19. Finnias Jones says:

    Kudos to comment #42 John Seavey for noting that this episode features “some of the funniest, filthiest riffs they ever did on the series.”

    The Truck-Sex Diaries
    Sam: Y’know I’m right on your back door buddy
    Bots: eww!
    Buffalo Bill: Well you can keep the black barts off my mud flaps
    Mike & Bots: Eww! – ooh
    Sam: Say that again?…

    BB: Your speed’s gonna build up and that’s about the time you’re gonna be coming up on ol’ Buffalo’s hind quarters. [then, an obvious ADR edit added to help link the episodes together] If I pull you through this, how’s about getting out of this racket with me?
    S: And do what?
    BB: Race cars in Ontario. This is my last run in this rig.
    S: This is likely to be my last run too if you don’t stop the gab. [end ADR]

    BB: OK I got you in my rear view, what’s your speed?
    S: 60 MPH
    BB: Oh man I hope the jolt’s easy
    S: Alright, you tell me, what are you carrying?
    BB: Cartons of eggs
    S: I sure hope you like ’em scrambled

    S: Alrighty I’m coming up on your mudflaps at 67
    Crow: “Coming up on your mudflaps.” People have such cute names for sex.
    Mike: My well oiled chassis is coming up on your backside now
    Tom: My rigid grille structure is bearing down on your unprotected cargo door
    C: My oft complimented Peterbilt is rhythmically nudging that sweet honeypot of yours
    M: Drain and satisfied, I’m tracing lazy circles on your supercab now.
    C: You said I was bad…
    M: You inspired me.
    T: Now they have to get married.


  20. The Bolem says:

    Warren@113: I think he was also Warpath and Seaspray (and Skeletor?), but being Beachcomber means he outdid his performance here with two little words at the end of “The Golden Lagoon”: “We won”, while surveying war’s collateral damage.

    Why all this Transformers talk, some of you ask? Well, Pearl’s camping trip was attacked by alien, warlike robots with the power to stay out of the shot, so it might be more relevant here than in any other ep. Since we don’t see them…relations of Ravage and Mirage, mayhaps?

    I especially liked Observer’s explaination that all he could do was deliver humanitarian aid because his race has evolved beyond war, so they only kill out of personal spite. Shades of every anime character who incessantly whines about not wanting to hurt anyone because of some nebulous code of honor/ethics, then proceeds to do more damage than than all the other protaganists put together. Perhaps my favorite Bill moment.


  21. Damon B. says:

    For Halloween ’97 I put on some jeans, a t-shirt, and a leather jacket, and when people asked me what I was, I said, “I’m the elusive Robert Denby.”

    Not very many people got it.


  22. Halomek says:

    Leave Robert Denby alone!


  23. This Guy says:

    It’s funny that although “Gemini Man” had a grand total of 11 episodes produced, only 5 of which were originally aired, they managed to drop a major character–Abby–by the time they got to the not-so-premature (postmature?) end, hence the awkward footage of her staring blankly at a surveillance monitor in the second episode. It’s obviously slowed down in places to extend the shots, and possibly even freeze-framed a couple of times (“I’ve been drugged!”) That they expected anyone to buy this crap, along with the blatant ADR lines, shows true contempt for the viewers’ intelligence.

    As a side-note, unless I zoned out during the episode at some point, M&TB didn’t make a single joke about 2001 when William Sylvester was around. It seems like they really missed out on an opportunity there–not as big as the oversight in “Space Mutiny,” but still.


  24. And I don’t even like turkey.

    * The theme song is actually unusually catchy.
    * Great running gags: Driscol’s glasses, Robert Denby’s elusiveness, and trying to create continuity between the two halves.
    * I don’t know exactly why, but I like Ben Murphy. It’s just fun to watch him in this and Being from Another Planet.
    * These 70s movies always look brown and drab. I keep asking people who grew up then if the world looked the same way.
    * In looking at the montage featured in this video: I’m surprised they didn’t use Jim Stafford’s “Dukes of Hazard got renewed!” hootin’.
    * “It can’t BE! You’re DEAD!” reminds me of the “It’s a nice IDEA, but it’s not a plan.” from Angel’s Revenge. In both cases they mis-EMPHasize words.
    * What they needed to do was put the exploding car from the 2nd half into the truck from the first. That certainly did a decent job in containing an explosion that was supposed to take out a whole town.
    * Speaking of the truck, was there anyway for Dr. Hale to get outside at all once inside the safe?
    * Favorite riffs:
    “Lucky guy, he’s about to find out I’m Ben Murphy” – Mike
    “Dukes of Hazard got renewed!” – Crow
    “They don’t call me ‘Carl’ for nothing.” – Servo

    Host segments:
    * Favorite line: “Yes, Mike! Cut my hand up and serve it to me!”


  25. trickymutha says:

    #124, as Mike Nelson once said- 70’s movies are brown and drab ’cause they have bong water spilled all over them.


  26. mikek says:


    Didn’t Dr. Hale design that secure compartment? I think he deliberately made it so secure as to make him above suspicion.

    About the tripolodene explosion, I figure that it was not as bad as it was supposed to be due to the fact that the jar was still inside the steel compartment. But, I doubt it would have taken out the whole town; even if the jar itself were left in the street and run over by a truck full of dynamite that was then run into by a full gasoline tanker truck.

    The idiots who put this movie together really not care. There is absolutely no need for those shots of Abby in the second half of the movie. One would think that, while they were going ADR crazy, they could have dubbed in some line about Abby working on another mission or something.


  27. Jacob says:

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the spoiler Tom does near the very beginning, where, as the truck pulls out, he says “Hey, it fell over and exploded already!” This is before the viewers know that tripolodine breaks down and becomes an explosive (nitpicky, I know, but still…)


  28. The Bolem says:

    Oh yeah, that’s another inconsistency that I’m surprised no one mentioned: the tripolodine Abby wipes up with the kleenex is so much more volatile than nitroglycerine that the tissue’s impact with the wastebasket is enough to set it off…but the beaker tipping and striking the table, glass on wood, for some reason does not do the same. Did the molecular structure break down that much in the space of 5 minutes…or does our heroine really have exploding boogers? Is THAT how she was written out of the show? Was she really in heaven, Mike?

    And for that matter, want a sci-fi truckin’ adventure series without all these unanswered questions? Then I highly recommend the 1983-4 12 issue Marvel comic masterpiece which I was finally fortunate enough to take in earlier this year: “US 1” Perhaps the most underappreciated toy-franchise story of all time, Tyco needed advertizin’ for their revolutionary “electric truck-set” concept (yes, a toy truck confined to tracks under some wretched curse from Lionel) so they took the same hands-off approach as the makers of ‘Micronauts’, ‘ROM: Spaceknight’, and ‘Team America’: just let the funnybook do whatever the heck they wanted as long as their big rig was the center of the action.

    The result was the rather simple story of how Ulysses Solomon (U.S.) Archer, on the verge of adulthood and still mourning his deceased parents while raised by Poppa Wheelie and his wife Wideload, has his older brother taken from him one night as they’re run off the road by the “Blackrig” of the mysterious “Highwayman”, causing an accident requiring U.S.A.’s skull to be replaced with an experimental plate that can pick up C.B. transmissions (his “C.B. Skull” is essentially his superpower), and spurs him on a quest to find his brother and nemesis for which he outfits his US 1 semi with remote operating systems, biodegradable tire shredder spikes, the ability to “jump”, surface to air missiles and every other gadget James Bond, Batman, and Speed Racer ever employed on their rides but never thought to try out on a mack truck. After besting enemies like Midnight and her hypno-whip, Iron Mike the King of the Bike (no, not THAT Iron Mike), and Baron von Blimp with his Zeppelin full of fake neo-Nazis, aliens come down and display their sense of humor by teleporting that last group into downtown Tel Aviv, and revealing that the whole ordeal was an elaborate test to select Ulysses as the next ambassador from Earth, because, “What the universe really needs, are truckers!” (as opposed to Gundams, the Ultimate Nullifier, or Jedi, bearing in mind that only Mars needs women) This is illustrated by a climactic race in which big rigs so heavily modified they can get into space and survive reentry, must complete one Earth orbit, apparently a desperate attempt to counter the hurtful space-trucker stereotypes we all know from ‘Alien’.

    In other words, kind of like Riding With Death, except with more likeable and believable characters and a second half that actually makes sense instead of spiralling into that nonsense about blowing up Nascar with radio signals.

    For that matter, does the presence of Cupcake indicate product placement from Hostess? Sprint or whoever has that whole mobile-phone subplot in ‘Heroes’ now…

    Oh, you think I made some of the 3rd paragraph up? If so, someone around here will correct me, just you wait…


  29. Zee says:

    I’m way late to the party but I’ll just throw in that I like Bobo’s trumpet playing, another example of his tendancy to burts into Asia songs at the drop of a hat


  30. Manny Sanguillen says:

    Actually as for Bobo’s trumpet playing, I thought it odd that they would play 80’s pop music in a show as dedicated to the 70’s as it was.

    If you ask me, he should have been playing Chuck Mangione or Herb Alpert music.


  31. DamonD says:

    The Bolem – if you haven’t already, I’d suggest tracking down Linkara’s review of the first US 1…


  32. Dr. Fysh says:

    I agree with Smoothie of Great Power at #124 that this movie has a catchy theme song, I like it! :) Although I also enjoy the theme from Escape 2000, so take that as you will. :p


  33. Canucklehead says:

    It’s definitely one of my favorite episodes. After rewatching my taped copy last night, though, I think the thing I enjoyed the most was the commercial for the SciFi Original Movie “It Came from Outer Space 2″… :wink:


  34. Watch Archer says:

    Hey, that’s some great information you got there. Archer Episode 2 is coming soon!


  35. I love this one, or at least the first half. It’s a decent rip-off of Wages of Fear with an invisible hero, and it seems no worse than any other formula US action TV show from the period. It has the same stock explosion and gunfire sound effects that were in The A-Team a decade later (bra-kow! pewpewpew! etc), plus a 70s “hicksploitation” vibe.

    Along with “The Girl in Lover’s Lane” it’s another (cough) movie (cough) where the men love each other, would die for each other, hug each other etc, and the women are either asexual mother figures or deceitful troublemakers who use their tight jeans and lustful bodies to tempt and destroy men. It’s surely no accident that the female scientist heroine wears pristine, unstained white clothes throughout the film. The symbolism is undeniable.

    I find it almost impossible to paint a mental picture of the second half of the (cough) film. The synth them tune is fab. Cupcake was nice. I learn that the actress who played her was a dancer and subsequently retired due to illness; she has a very 1970s look.

    I was born in the late 1970s in the UK, and so I have no organic memories of the US in the 1970s, and yet the film feels very familiar. I assume this is because British television in the early 1980s was filled with late-70s US television, e.g. The Hulk, Kojak, Starsky & Hutch etc. And thus I have artificial memories of a culture and a decade that were not my own, that I did not live in.

    I love to say “turkey volume GUESS-ing man!”, even when it is not appropriate to do so, e.g. when answering the telephone, ordering food in a restaurant, performing surgery etc. It’s a shame about the other host segments with Pearl and the monkey and the brain guy. I’m sure they were all great writers, but they have no charisma or screen presence at all.


  36. Dan in WI says:

    The teppanyaki opening was cute but went on way too long. And that’s saying a lot since it was the opening.

    So am I alone in thinking this latest planet that was destroyed is the first one that should really be blamed on Mike? He slipped nicely into the role of mad bomber and was really convincing. I’m not sure what Pearl was so upset about. She wanted a distraction right? She did get away, unpursued due to said distraction. Right? Where’s the problem?

    So Pearl considers Riding With Death the worst movie she knows? She must not have been aware of Hobgoblins at that point!

    Bobo is a really great bugler! He plays Asia’s “Only Time Will Tell” when something somber is needed.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Mike “Is there such a thing as starring Ben Murphy? Isn’t it more honest to say that most of the time the camera is pointed at Ben Murphy.”

    Tom (during credits) “If Clu Gulager isn’t in this it will be very very wrong.”

    The truck is out of control. Tom “If only he had the Flintstone braking system.”

    Crew chief “what I really had in mind was something like gas man on the pit crew.” Crow “I can fart up a storm.”

    Buffalo sings. Crow “Well this is hardly worth it but: booo.”

    Buffalo opens the car door for Tina. Crow “Well we’re home. You want to sleep in the front or the back?”

    Tina “I can explain.” Crow “You’re an idiot and I fooled you.”


  37. robot rump! says:

    ah the 70’s..bathing was optional, fashion was horribly bad and the government had way too much time on their hands. and oh yes, turkeys ruled the day.


  38. robot rump! says:

    ‘Whaat?!…you’re deeaaaad?!?!


  39. man; if it stops being the Seventies, we’re all screwed.

    This is still one of the greatest episodes they ever did. Top ten for me. So many great lines came out of this episode.

    The trucker language used as sexual metaphors was a hoot and a half.

    Crow and Mike’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” bit was a great little callback to when Frank and Forrester did it.

    Favorite line

    Trucker: Man, ain’t that cornpone and chit’lins

    Crow: Sir, I’ll have you know chitterlings helped my family through the war!!!

    I also loved the chuckle Mike gives when Servo is doing is New England journalist bit and says “Hold on” at the end. Always loved when one of the bots made Mike corpse a little.


  40. Sitting Duck says:

    Personally I thought the host segment featuring Servo’s trucker body was hilarious. Though granted his singing about the Seventies and the Fifties fell flat.


  41. Duane Zykov says:

    One of the greatest Sci-Fi episodes. Can’t wait for Shout! to release it. C’mon, Shout!, we’re getting sick of those B&W Universal flicks. Give us a Universal flick in color for once.


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

    >>>Then they pick up on Ben Murphy’s boss compulsively wiping his (apparently filthy!) glasses

    Maybe he recently quit smoking and just needed something to occupy his hands while he was speechifying.

    Gemini Man seems to be more or less a ripoff of The Six Million Dollar Man, i.e. a vague government agency with a superhuman operative. When you think about it, that’s even sort of what Knight Rider was, wasn’t it, only IIRC without the government connection. It even had a stuffy office authority figure and a woman in a labcoat, like Gemini Man did.

    Apparently, in the actual TV show, part of the setup was that if Sam turned invisible for more than a total of fifteen minutes per day — or maybe it was more than fifteen minutes AT A TIME, I’m really not sure — he’d remain invisible forever. Since he seems to spend less than a total of five minutes being invisible in the course of two whole episodes, one of which (the racecar part) occurs over a period of SEVERAL days, I’m not sure how much of a problem that would’ve been.

    Hm, look at some of the other shows that debuted in the same year as Gemini Man, back when there was such a thing as Saturday Morning Sitcoms:

    I remember that The Krofft Supershow actually had a character named “Turkey.” Dear God, I’m old…


  43. Bill Redfern says:

    It may be a silly thing to notice, but I really liked how BBI depicted the planetary explosion. Nelson releases the baking soda bomb and out of frame a rich golden light fllods the satellite’s bridge, accompanied by a slow thunderous “boom” and a shaking of the camera. A simple technique, but given their resources, the “implied” destruction seems far grander than what they could have achieved if they tried to show it directly.

    Like a well shot horror film, one’s imagination will almost always envision far more impressive than the filmmakers might depict.




  44. The elusive Robert Denby says:

    “Bearclaw, no!”


  45. Tom Carberry says:

    Playing Sam Casey is Ben Murphy. He was born on March 6, 1942 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. While born in Arkansas, he was raised in Memphis and Chicago. He attended eight different colleges, including the University of Illinois and the University of the Americas in Mexico. He apprenticed at the Pasadena Playhouse for a time. Rumor has it that Murphy ended up a frontrunner for the Alias Smith and Jones series because of his close resemblance to Paul Newman. He is an avid tennis play, at one time top seeded in Southern California.

    Favorite Lines:

    RIDING WITH DEATH – Hey, the Matthew Broderick Story…and believe me Death does not pony up for gas.
    This computer has over 500 bytes of RAM.
    Peter Fonda is Richard Petty in the Marcel Marceau story.
    So, they have thirteen hours to drive from Torrance to Long Beach [Note: this is about 10 miles.]
    [Bottle in Bib overalls] We’ve disguised the bottle of tripoladene as Junior Samples.
    [Abby/Katherine Crawford spills flask] Oh, it’s Giorgio, I’m gonna stink for three years.
    [harness for bottle] Why did she put death in a Johnny Jumper?
    [Driscoll/William Sylvester] His comb over is making a run for it.
    [Sam/Ben Murphy] He had his sister’s pants today. The rare male camel toe. Those are nice polyester knit jeans.
    [Buffalo Bill/Jim Stafford singing] Well he’s an amateur, I’ll give him that.
    I have become death, destroyer of portable radios.

    Final Thought: Riding with Ben Murphy, a would be Paul Newman. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.


  46. robot rump! says:

    i do have to agree with some of the posters, i really want this on on dvd soon. throw in Harm and Outlaw and you have 3/4th of a perfect Mikey pack for me.


  47. Colossus Prime says:

    “You couldn’t tune a kazoo” is still one of my favorite silly but effective insults ever.


  48. robot rump! says:

    so… why didn’t they just slip a bomb in the truck while they were doing the unecessary bag switching set the timer for oohh.. 10 hours (they did have 13 set aside for the 20 mile journey)and sit back somewhere tropical?


  49. MSTie says:

    One of my favorite episodes because it’s so ’70s, the time of my high school & college years. And I also remember having a bit of a crush on Ben Murphy. (Btw, ladies, if you’re so inclined, Google some recent photos of him — he has aged VERY well.)

    That trucker/CB radio fad in the mid ’70s was overwhelming at the time and it couldn’t die too quickly for me. Ditto the tight polyester pants on everybody, Cupcake’s Farrah Fawcett hairstyle, and dumb Jim Stafford songs.


  50. F Burroughs says:

    “I could hear the filth on his glasses over the phone.”

    This episode has so many running gags, an example of them ‘manufacturing’ the laughs when they’re not directly from what’s happening on screen. The ‘mellow’ theme, the dirty glasses, Ben Murphy being Ben Murphy, random 70s fads mentioned.

    Of all the TV-show-cum-movies that MST saw, this has the most blatant, incompetent, and unnecessary splices, voice-overs and flashbacks to try to convince us IT’S REALLY ONE MOVIE. One would have been enough, but they keep coming and coming.
    “I’m going into the racing business…when you’re in Ontario, look me up!”
    “As elusive as Robert Denby!”
    “I hear you’ve grown quite the mustache.”
    “Off to the slammer, to join Dr. Hale.”
    and, of course, “Give it the ol’ college try, Sam!” (maybe she went to Harvard with Sam, while she was studying isotopes and he was studying welding at law school.)
    Not to mention the slo-mo to try to stretch time to fit in a few more frames for another voice-over. They really didn’t have any respect for the viewer’s intelligence in the 70s, it was insulting.

    Minutiae: Austin Stoker was in the credits but never actually appeared in this episode, as far as I can tell. Also, Buffalo uses the term ‘squarehead’ in this ep, referring to Germans working on his car in Berlin. AND I echo the sentiments of those who can’t figure out what exactly Denby is sabotaging. They got Baxter radios laced with ‘Dutrium’ into American jets, and presumably, they want to be able to blow them up by remote-control. Why then, the running around in a high-tech Dodge van, why the car-racing enterprise, why blow up your own car, why during a race, why do they need to finish 3rd for an inspection (can’t they just inspect it themselves?), why does Intersect need to wait for the race to arrest Denby; why does Cupcake need to give herself to Buffalo, just to get him to drive the car, which he obviously wants to do anyway? The only part that made sense was when they monitor his special frequency to pinpoint the source to arrest him. Eeecccchhhhhh.

    Well, my brakes are out and I’m headed down the mountain. But that Abbey is one special gal…


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