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Sampo & Erhardt

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Episode Guide: 411- The Magic Sword

Movie: (1962) A knight tries to save damsel from an evil sorcerer with the help of his magical foster mother.

First shown: 8/29/92
Opening: Joel fancies himself a caricature artist
Invention exchange: J&tB demonstrate their Big Gulp berets; The Mads have created designer bio-hazard absorbent throw pillows and Frank performs a one-act play to explain them
Host segment 1: J&tB present their commercial for Basil Rathbones for dogs
Host segment 2: Joel, Gypsy and Crow, in medieval costumes, present a pageant on life in the middle ages, but Tom ruins things
Host segment 3: Crow sings: “Estelle”
End: J&tB discuss words you can’t say on TV, Joel reads a letter, TV’s Frank’s not looking good
Stinger: Estelle’s two-headed assistant
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (172 votes, average: 4.28 out of 5)

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• I agree with Joel (in the theater), Tom (in a host segment) and Paul (in the ACEG): this movie is not that bad for a Bert I. Gordon movie, which makes the whole affair more watchable. The riffing is decent and the host segments are fun. This one may not be great, but it’s very good.
• This episode was included in Shout! Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXVI.”
• RiffTrax has re-riffed this movie.
• In the opening bit, Trace and Kevin must have been crouching in front of the SOL set. Probably uncomfortable.
• That’s Maili Nurma, aka Vampira, as the enchantress/hag who tempts the Frenchman.
• Nice cartoon sound effect as the needle is removed from Frank’s neck.
• I love the phrase “criminally-priced spring water.” It hasn’t gone away.
• One thing I’ll say for about this episode, it answers at last the question of who Merritt Stone is … he’s the guy who plays “King Grady.”
• Callbacks: “Hey, it’s the Undersea Kingdom…” “I say it’s foggy!” (The Crawling Eye), “Ya got me!” (Catalina Caper), Crow imitates Del Moore from Catalina Caper, “I’m so sleepy I can barely keep awake!” (The Hercmeister) “Hikeeba” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet) and “…Happy king…” (Mr B Natural).
• Joel mentions a “Jane Fonda video.” It’s been decades since she’s made one, so a lot of people may not remember that Fonda was once the queen of exercise and fitness videos.
• Joel does another overt religious (or Biblical at least) riff: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
• As they head out of the theater toward segment 1, they start talking about the host segment they’re about to do. I like when they do that. Adds continuity.
• Great reference: “They’re packed with bits of Nigel Bruce!”
• Note the LOTR reference before LOTR references were commonplace.
• Crow’s song is easily a highlight, though I confess I like Tom’s list of people better looking than Estelle ever better. (However, hate to break it to Tom, but Jesus Jones is not a person.)
• Alas, Crow’s love was not to be. Estelle died in 1984.
• Joel mentions Ashwaubenon High, his alma mater.
• While reading the letter, Joel actually says “keep circulating the tapes.” I think it’s the only time he ever did that on the show.
• Poor Frank at the end — and, hey, didn’t something very similar happen to Dr. Erhardt?
• Cast and crew roundup: Of course, we’ve already suffered through Bert I. Gordon’s “King Dinosaur,” “The Amazing Colossal Man,” “Earth Vs. The Spider” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” In the future we’ll get “Tormented,” “Beginning of the End” and “Village of the Giants.” Scriptwriter Bernard Schoenfeld also wrote “The Space Children.” Cinematographer Paul Vogel also worked on “Village of the Giants.” Editor Harry Gerstad also worked on “Rocketship X-M.” Costume guy Oscar Rodriguez also worked on “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” and “The Phantom Planet.” Assistant director/production manager Herbert E. Mendelson also worked on “She Devil.” Art director Franz Bachelin worked on “Village of the Giants.” Set designer George R. Nelson worked on “Code Name: Diamond Head.” Score composer Richard Markowitz also worked on “Stranded in Space.” In front of the camera, Gary Lockwood has a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” role in “Kitten With A Whip.” Angelo Rossitto also appears in “The Corpse Vanishes.” And don’t get me started about Jack Kosslyn and Merritt Stone.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim. Crist Ballas did the hair and makeup, the only episode he worked this season. “Ode on Estelle” was written and arranged by Mike and Paul. “Ammendment” is misspelled.
• Fave riff: “Just came to freak you out, baby…” Honorable mention: “Ga-nish!”

104 Replies to “Episode Guide: 411- The Magic Sword”

  1. Creeping Terror says:

    I’m surprised at how much I liked this episode. That’s two eps in a row. I watched “The Magic Sword” once about 5 years ago and never revisited it until this week. It’s probably a 4-star episode for me and will likely enter the episode rotation. (This is why I love the discussions… It gets my watching eps that I normally don’t and occasionally I find a gem that I wasn’t aware of.) Shout definitely needs to put this one on DVD.

    I am one of the many who chimes in that this is one of the more watchable MST3K movies, and perhaps Gordon’s best work (although “Tormented” is pretty darn good… for a Bert I. Gordon film). The costumes are gorgeous, the set pieces reasonable (and I think it was filmed on location), and the special effects were pretty good for their era.

    There’s so much goofiness going on, and I second Dan in WI’s (#30) comment that it is like the Russo-Finnish movies. It’s so bright and colorful and wacky. I sometimes feel bad laughing at those because of the poor dubbing and the fact that I’m probably laughing at someone else’s culture. But we can’t use that excuse for “The Magic Sword,” Bert and the movie are completely American and the thing’s bizarre.

    So much of the movie doesn’t make sense. Gary Lockwood (Sir George) is supposed to be 20, but he looks 30. (He was 25 in reality.) But why does Estelle show him his birthday presents early when she clearly knows what he wants and that these things can help him obtain the princess? Why is she stupid enough to go down in to the inescapable cellar that has trapped her loved ones in the past? I love the six other knights who–from their very first appearance–serve no purpose other than to be casualties in George’s quest. (1 hero + 6 characters w/out a personality + 1 villain + 7 curses = obvious ending.) Why are the miniature people introduced just seconds before they’re needed for the plot and then forgotten? So many questions…

    Funny obscure reference: when Tom is showcasing the invention exchange he refers to a puppet theater doing a production of “Marat/Sade.” This refers to a 1967 play whose full title is “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade.” It is shortened for obvious reasons. It was sensational and somewhat controversial in its time. I read it for a college theatre class and the script is quite good. But it’s rarely produced today because it requires a very large cast (the Broadway production had 35 actors in it), huge production costs (with period costumes and some expensive required technical elements), and difficult stage directions (at one point the asylum guards spray the inmates with water to subdue them). Why do I find this funny? First, the only thing that can be more absurd than a production of “Marat/Sade” is a production of that play done by puppets. Second, it’s the perfect example of the Brains knowing pretentious people and still not absorbing any elitism. They love to poke fun at that bohemian group (like when Tom imitates someone doing an “anti-Columbus” piece at a theater in “Hercules Unchained”). With my background in theatre, it’s all the perfect elements in one great joke.

    The host segments are extremely strong, for the Joel era (which I tend to find weak). The song is one of the best from the Joel era, although I wish it had a better musical resolution. Tom’s view about serfdom, social class, and medieval culture is completely correct. And Frank’s one-act play is hilarious.

       5 likes

  2. Jbagels` says:

    Always liked the Estelle song. They really had some great songs through out the years on MST, this one even had counterpoint (with Crow singing his “she’s cute, she’s rooty toot” and Joel doing his part). Great stuff.

    Does anyone else own the “Play MSTie for me” VHS with all the classic songs that came out sometime after season 4 or 5? Wish I could find that tape, it’s not on Youtube anywhere either. Had all the classic Joel and early Mike era songs ( the Janitor song was on there). If anyone has a copy, let me know.

       0 likes

  3. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    aww yeah, baby. I love this movie so much I got my username from it.
    From Estelle to Gary to Basil to Merrit f-ing Stone, I love this film and everyone in it.

    I’ve always been a sucker for swords ‘n sorcery type movies, and this B.I.G. extravaganza is a great riffing fodder.

    Favorite line: “His words are like honey from a clover patch”
    favorite riff: “Terry, the sensitive knight” (duh)

    “Oh she’s cuuute. She’s rooty-toot-toot. I bet she smells like Juicy Fruit.”

       1 likes

  4. dsman71 says:

    Love this episode. I like most also enjoy the Estelle song, but even more when Tom sings people who look better than Estelle ( Sherman Hemmmmsleeyyyy)
    I spoke to Richard Kiel at Wondercon last year and he claims to have NOT been in this picture as the big pinhead. Maybe hes right or just forgot. But that info swirled around in the Psychotronic book by Michael Weldon. He says its Bert’s Best and I think it is in terms of story and effects. This was Berts answer to the Sinbad series, Jack the Giant Killer. The use of color was really helpful in making this picture work better. Gary Lockwood went on to 2001 A Space Yawner..oops Odyessy
    I can watch this with or without the riffing. I own the MGM DVD of it – widescreen and signed by both Mr. BIG and Gary Lockwood.
    That being said
    Joels Hair
    Joels Knees
    Im bewildered and bothered by not needing any therapy
    Estelle !!! :D

       0 likes

  5. Jbagels` says:

    The Notorious B.I.G. Notoriously mediocre to bad movie maker that is.

       0 likes

  6. Erik says:

    As annoying as the Beck’s “Sail Away” song was, I have fond memories of it because it feels like a parody of an import beer ad.

       1 likes

  7. JCC says:

    And as obnoxious as the Beck’s ads were, it did give us some great SAIL AWAY! riffs later on in the series.

    Love this episode. and pretty much all the Bert I. movies. Best Brains seemed to have more fun with them, even the doom laden Tormented. I would take the Bert I. movies over the Corman movies any day.

    “That’s precise editing…” I’ll say – wow!

    Did some older posts get deleted here?

    @38 – I don’t think the crew riff on Lee Van Cleef’s acting ability at all. They do take a few pokes at his gut though. And Van Patten deserves it. I just saw part of the series unriffed and when he gets winded or excited, they should have put up subtitles.

       4 likes

  8. Mr.Right says:

    Not a bad episode? Someone is tripping, this one is one of the best episodes ever.

       2 likes

  9. Cornbred says:

    Really fun episode, and I agree with Joel’s assesment of it. Not a bad movie, I actually kind of like it. Possibly my favorite MST movie unriffed. Its just a bit goofy is all. It was one of the first episodes I saw back in the MST3K hour days, and I think the first one I saw both parts of. I remember at the time it not having any big gutbuster laughs as compared to the other episodes I had seen (Pod People, Amazing Colosal Man, and Cave Dwellers), it was just a good time all around. Can see where Crow is coming from too, as Estelle Winwood seems quite charming. I like to imagine that she was a genuinely nice person. No idea if that is true, but it is the impression her performance gave to me. She was great in Murder By Death when she was VERY old.
    Sanford and Son jokes always get me too.

       2 likes

  10. Bob (NotThatBob) says:

    Just a tiny little correction – Herbert E. Mendelson did work on “She Devil,” but that’s not an MSTied film. His contribution to MSTiedom apart from “The Magic Sword” was in “War of the Colossal Beast.”

       0 likes

  11. trickymutha says:

    #59- Murder by Death is one of my favorite movies.

       2 likes

  12. awfoun says:

    It’s worth pointing out that legendary badfilm Turkish Star Wars lifted some footage from this.

    And I love the Estelle song, especially the way Joel takes it out to commercial. There’s a very real happiness in the way it comes off.

       0 likes

  13. Th1rt3eN says:

    this episode is very special to me, it was the very first mst3k I ever recorded to vhs, this was the big bang of my collection. I believe it was 1996, at 2:00 am syndicated on NBC affiliate WCSH 6. Originally I had one tape I kept recording over, that process died quickly as I couldnt bring myself to tape over this episode or the next 2 that followed(good thing i didnt one of them was godzilla vs the sea monster).

    wow that brings back memories.
    just thought I would share that with you folks.

    “have some pumpernickel bread with me friend”

       2 likes

  14. Cornjob says:

    #21 losingmydignity

    “After viewing it my sister and I ran outside and played out our own version of St. George and the Seven Curses.”

    That does sound like fun. Did your sister play the princess or did she want to be a knight so she’d have something to do besides getting locked in a room or tied to a tree?

    I’m with the people who think this is a pretty good movie, and it makes a great episode, and a floor wax.

       0 likes

  15. Cornjob says:

    “I’m tired of the whole sworded affair”

       0 likes

  16. Creepygirl says:

    I haven’t pulled this episode out since sometime in 2007. I had forgotten how good it is. Loved the riffs and really loved the host segments this time around. My fave riff actually comes from the opening segment with Joel as the caricaturist. paraphrase:

    “Joel thinks he’s a caricature artist. He draws people which makes them all look like Jack Soo.”

    Easily 4 stars.

       1 likes

  17. Jbagels says:

    I haven’t watched this episode in a while but that third host segment is the one with the serf Servo in black face right? Shocking.

       0 likes

  18. Mitchell "Rowsdower" Beardsley says:

    This is one of the the few Joel Episodes I don’t have a perfect copy of.

    Please SHOUT! Give us The Magic Sword next!!

    She’s a vision, I’ve got a new mission!

       0 likes

  19. ck says:

    has anyone seen an uncut version of The Magic sword?
    Not like I’m wondering whether there was any frontal
    nudity. Really! Still, one does wonder how much of a prevert
    the witches’ nephew was.

       0 likes

  20. Brian T. says:

    Love the “Estelle” song! And Servo’s mocking of it is priceless. It is one song I will sing along to in the car! Very catchy! “And I’m bewildered and bothered!”

       1 likes

  21. EricJ says:

    @59 – She was great in Murder By Death when she was VERY old.

    93, if IMDb is correct. And still funny. (Murder-poos?)

    @21 – The Green Ghost links seem to be missing from the site, but take it from one who remembers. (Never had the game, but at least I got the ref.)

    @69 – I’d seen one, back in the days when stations showed public-domain, and….no. Mostly a lot of uncut hijinx with the Keebler elves.

    And this rather a rare occurrence, an entire discussion of Magic Sword, and not one quoting of “Have breakfast with MEE-bbebbebbe…”
    Arguably the silliest of obligatory King Vitamin references to date. :)

    (Although for classic lines, also have a fondness for:
    Joel: “Imogene Coca, no!”
    Servo: “Imogene Coca, yes! Talk about ‘Your show of shows’!”)

       1 likes

  22. Cornjob says:

    “I suppose that could have gone better.”

    “Must… reach… crappy… special effect.”

    Two favorite and often intoned riffs of mine.

       0 likes

  23. Mrs. Dick Courrier says:

    I’ve only seen this one a few times. On air years ago of course, and online. I love it though. Have it on tape unriffed, taped it off TCM, love the movie. Its fun.

    Some fave quotes I can remember off hand, been a while since I’ve seen it:

    “you’ll risk the seven curses? I love that Carlin bit!”
    “Hey Joel, serf’s up”
    “by this time my lungs were burnt to a crisp”
    “Teddy Ruxpin, no!”

       0 likes

  24. Jbagels says:

    So I guess nobody has that Play Mstie for me video huh?

       0 likes

  25. Ryvius says:

    Jbagels: If you just want to hear the songs, they are available on iTunes as part of the Clowns in the Sky cds.

       0 likes

  26. Jbagels says:

    Thanks, I got it off iTunes today (had the first Clown in the Sky way back when). Was a nice trip down memory lane on my subway ride tonight. Joel had a nice Rivers Cuomo type of voice at times.

       0 likes

  27. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Let me start by saying I like this episode, it’s good.  But it doesn’t rank as great or classic for me.  I’d have to go as far and say that THE MAGIC SWORD is my 2nd least favorite episode of a very strong Season 4 so far, right behind CITY LIMITS.

    While I’d say that the movie is quite watchable, maybe Mr. Big’s best work, it’s the riffing that doesn’t quite do it for me and the opening and the Host Segments were only so-so.  Well, HS#3 is really good, and I do like the closing segment.  Anytime the Bots employ mouth-jazz is a good time.  Also, Frank with the skull face is pretty funny….

    Otherwise, a good, but not great, episode for me.  
     
    RIFFS AND THINGS:

    My DAP copy has a brief crawl at the bottom of the screen, “Comedy Central News Bites: 4.2 people in Norway, they all look like Gary Busey” or something like that.  Also, there was an ad for the MST Hour, HERE! ON COMEDY CENTRAL.

    Crow: “Is a woman who hangs out with a hag a hag-hag?” ——oh man, this is so close to being offensive, but it’s so damn clever.

    Crow: “Roddy McDowell, no!!”

    Joel: “I am curious yellow.” —-yet another reference to this art-house fave.

    Joel: “Boss!  It’s a Hank Aaron model!”

    Joel: “Terry, the sensitive knight.”

    Joel: “Teddy Ruxpin, no!”

    Servo (about the ogre): “He’s kind of got Conway Twitty hair.”

    Joel: “Deep Heating.” —a reference to the reference of Deep Hurting in previous ep.

    Joel: “Sleeping in armor is hard on the body.”

    Crow: “By this time my lungs were burnt to a crisp.”

    Servo: “I’m so sleepy I can barely keep awake.”

    There’s also at least 3 “Hi KEEBA!”‘s and an Undersea Kingdom joke too.

    Poor Basil Rathbone, he looks so embarrassed.

    3/5 stars.
    .

       3 likes

  28. Droppo says:

    5 stars from Droppo.

    I agree with Sampo (and Paul and Joel) that the movie is strangely watchable. But, it’s still perfect for riffing. In fact, the riffing is up there with the best of the entire series for me. I never fail to laugh at Estelle’s opening sequence.

    Highlights for me:
    Crow’s Brooklyn-accented voice as the magic lake…”What?”

    Joel’s mock amazement and admiration for Estelle’s set-up…loosely quoting: “it’s so neat how everyone has their little tasks”

    The Estelle song

    “Terry, the sensitive knight!”

    All the riffs at the expense of the knights’ poor accents.

    Basil.

    I love this episode.

       1 likes

  29. Boy Howdy says:

    Richard Keil was asked if he was in THE MAGIC SWORD. He is on record saying he is NOT. So if the IMDb still lists him as in it, they are wrong.

       0 likes

  30. Kali says:

    I read somewhere that the French lady (who eventually turns into Maila Nurma’s hag) was actually Danielle De Metz from Return of the Fly. I don’t know why they thought they needed another actress, unless Vampira couldn’t do the French accent…

    Still, she’s cute. :kissing:

       0 likes

  31. dad1153 says:

    Decent episode that moves reasonably fast (and when it stalls we get great scenery-chewing moments from Winwood and Rathbone), has decent-looking SFX for a color movie from Mr. B.I.G. (‘we’re in BIG trouble guys’) and has a great hiss-worthy villain in Liam Sullivan’s arrogant Sir Branton (who was, indeed, framed by his own stupidity :shock: ). The couple of scenes where Mr. BIG uses an attractive ‘butter’ face monster for misdirection always manage to shock the hell out of me even though I know they’re coming, especially the last one where she just turns around and stares at the audience (yikes… kill it… with… fire!!!). The host segments are OK (‘Big Gulp Berets,’ Crow dumping Kim Cattrall for ‘Estelle’) but the riffing is never better/worse than consistently good. Between cocky Gary Lockwood’s George (‘open the hatch bay doors Hal!’), in-her-own-little-galaxy Estelle Winwood’s performance (‘Tonight on Tales from Lucy’s Crypt…’) and the always-entertaining Basil Rathbone playing the heavy (his desription of the dragon eating the just-fed-to-it sisters to Princess Helene was both colorful but also kind-of-creepy) there is never an absence of a target or central figure on which Joel and the Bots can hang a handful of good riffs for a scene or two. Shame that the French knight dies before the final reel/confrontation with Lodac because the MST3K gang were on a roll with every conceivable French joke they could come up with (Movie: ‘A Galant Frenchman’ – Joel: ‘you don’t see too many of those’). The reveal at the end that Sybil revived all the knights that died in George’s quest with Lodac’s ring feels like a total cheat though. Also, J&TB’s not doing a single ‘rescue the princess’ or ‘your princess is in another castle Mario’ jokes (like the one’s during the live 2011 Rifftrax skewering of ‘Jack the Giant Killer’) is disappointing given this movie was an airball with that kind of joke just begging to be hit. Oh well.

    THREE AND A HALF STARS for “The Magic Sword.” FAVORITE RIFF: ‘Petticoat… Dungeon!’ :inlove:

       1 likes

  32. cvbwe says:

    I’m pretty sure Turkish Star Wars lifted some sfx shots from The Magic Sword. Or at least they both pulled from a common source.

       0 likes

  33. bartcow says:

    I liked the Jesus Jones reference; it’s like he’s saying ALL the members of the band were (questionably) better looking. It made me chuckle the first time I caught it (the list goes by pretty fast).

    And I need help with the Nigel Bruce reference. Sadly, I’m not clever enough to get it.

       0 likes

  34. Abrabra Navelnite says:

    bartcow:

    And I need help with the Nigel Bruce reference. Sadly, I’m not clever enough to get it.

    Nigel Bruce played Watson in the Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies.

       2 likes

  35. Cherokee Jacka$$ says:

    This eppy is among my favorites as though cheesy, the movie is entertaining in its own right. The plot works, the characters are likeable (who knew Gary Lockwood was young at one time?) and Basil Rathbone’s performance IMO is the best by any actor in a MST film. I actually own a non MST version on DVD The host segments are good even if the opening didn’t really work for me. “Estelle” is classic and I enjoyed Servo taking things too far for a change. I think this eppy was also the first use of the term “dickweed” All in all amonst the most entertaining experiments

       0 likes

  36. Keith in WI says:

    ” Joel mentions Ashwebenon High, his alma mater. ”

    Sampo, it is spelled “Ashwaubenon” – Joel would be disappointed. (Spell check has a problem with this word.)

       0 likes

  37. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Jbagels:
    So I guess nobody has that Play Mstie for me video huh?

    There was also a DVD, “The MST Triple-Decker”, released by BBI that featured songs from the whole run of the series.

       2 likes

  38. EricJ says:

    cvbwe:
    I’m pretty sure Turkish Star Wars lifted some sfx shots from The Magic Sword. Or at least they both pulled from a common source.

    It’s hard to tell which Turkish Star Wars one is looking at, but I remember seeing a copy that lifted some shots and scenes wholesale, including the idea that the “sunburn curse” knights were apparently on Tatooine. Oh, the indignities a public-domain movie has to go through.

       0 likes

  39. Sitting Duck says:

    The Magic Sword passes the Bechdel Test. Helene and her maid talk about the social limitations of being a princess. Also, Helene and her fellow prisoners discuss their predicament.

    Truthfully, Sybil was just asking to get trapped in the secret basement.

    I disagree with Tom. Crow was obligated to impale him. Serf’s up indeed.

    The Estelle Winwood crush is normally something you’d expect from Tom (and be mocked by Crow).

    Do you think the Madscientistmobile has wicked fins and a jet engine?

    @ #85: Not even close. Dickweed dates all the way back to the KTMA era (IIRC in one of the Gamera episodes).

    Favorite riffs

    “Magic mirror, show me what has upset my boy.”
    Adolescence, puberty, raging hormones.

    I remember it like it was two hundred years ago.

    Why do you seek the living among the dead?

    “He’s no ordinary animal.”
    He’s your father.

    We bring you tennis balls, Your Majesty.

    Terry the Sensitive Knight.

    Tonight on Mime Court.
    Yeah, if you’re really bad, they put you in the imaginary box.

    Petticoat Dungeon.

    My Wesley will come for me.

    You guys cower over here. I’ll go look.

    We talked about it, and we’d really appreciate it if you stop throwing things.

    “Where’s Dennis?”
    At Mr. Wilson’s.

    Tonight on Tales from Lucy’s Crypt.
    Ah Ricky, welcome to the Crypt. I’ve been lurking for you.

    I know he’s French, but her?!?!?

    Hello, I’m French.

    Butch and Sundance: The Really Early Years.

    By this time, my lungs were burnt to a crisp.

    They’re not dead, they’re just metaphysically challenged.

    Mimes. I hate these guys.

    Okay, act natural. We’re vacationers from Japan.

    “Where did I go wrong?”
    Well dying your hair orange was a start.

    Goodness gracious, I’m dead!!!!!

    In a private ceremony, they were married by Grady from Sanford and Son.

       4 likes

  40. Bruce Boxliker says:

    One of my favorites, which is also the first full episode I ever saw (I vaguely remember that I might have seen some of Herc vs the Moon Men the week before). As has already been said, it really is a pretty good movie, with surprisingly passable SFX for B.I.G.. Plus, consistently funny riffing all throughout. Great host segments, too. I love when they (both MST3k & Rifftrax) inject the reality of medieval life into the fanciful imaginings of it.

    If you watch carefully in the opening segment, you can briefly see a glimpse of Joel’s drawing of Gypsy, and it’s just of course random scribbling… or is it truly progressive art?! Who can say?!

    Avaunt & quit mine sight, dickweed!

       1 likes

  41. Sampo says:

    Keith in WI:
    ” Joel mentions Ashwebenon High, his alma mater. ”

    Sampo, it is spelled “Ashwaubenon”– Joel would be disappointed.(Spell check has a problem with this word.)

    D’OH! I knew that!

       0 likes

  42. A.J. (A Jerk) says:

    Last week’s episode sucked and this one’s a little bit better but not by much. I don’t know, a lot of Joel episodes (specifically from Season 3 and early on from Season 4) rub me the wrong way. They just don’t make me laugh that much and even get on my nerves sometimes. The humor just seems so old fashioned AND like it’s trying too hard to be “hip” or “out there” to me, a jaded 24 year old with way too much time on his hands.

    This episode’s just all over the place, a couple good jokes here and there, but way too many moments where the delivery is just loud and overbearing and the timing is just abysmal. It just isn’t my kind of humor. The Estelle song is a bit better as a follow-up to the (lame) Kim Cattrall song from City Limits but I’m not fond of the songs on the show as a whole really. Too theater-influenced or something (I don’t know, I like loud rock music and noise!). I also like Frank during the invention exchange and at the end of the episode.

    Fortunately, this seasons gonna start to get pretty good soon. The next couple of episodes are a little inconsistent (a good one, a weak one, a TERRIBLE one, a great one…) but things finally start to smooth out towards the end, and then finally….Season 5! :laugh:

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  43. Droppo says:

    5 stars from Droppo. Easily a Top 10 episode. The riffs on each knight alone make it a masterpiece, not to mention Estelle and Basil.

    I’d put the riffing in this one up against any episode.

       7 likes

  44. I saw this on the big screen as a kid, and it scared the pluperfect hell out of me. When that beautiful French woman whipped around and had turned into the hag, I honestly thought I’d pissed myself; turned out I’d just spilled my drink.

    In other words, I LOVED this movie! :laugh:

       3 likes

  45. thequietman says:

    “Act natural! We’re tourists from – Japan!”

    This one is just a fun time all around. Basil Rathbone brings this film more dignity (relatively speaking) than it arguably deserved, and I bet seeing it on the big screen in a good-quality print with sharp color would knock your eyes out.

    A better time than last week, I think…

       1 likes

  46. EricJ says:

    Honorable mention: “Ga-nish!”

    “…’Ga-nish’?”
    The riff’s one of the better examples of Joel’s “React, don’t punish” silliness to a strange enough movie, that’s been getting more discussion back lately with his comments about the KS show. The last go-round of comments compared the episode to the great Russo-Finnish fairytale episodes, and like those, it’s a movie where going in with your own jokes already written would only be a distraction from the ones the movie writes itself.

    (Oh, and “The Wizard’s not in!”)

    A.J. (A Jerk):
    The Estelle song is a bit better as a follow-up to the (lame) Kim Cattrall song from City Limits but I’m not fond of the songs on the show as a whole really. Too theater-influenced or something (I don’t know, I like loud rock music and noise!).

    As one geezer enough to get Joel’s drive-by Chuck Barris/Gong Show ref as the musical fun goes to commercial (“We’ll be right back with more…sssstuff! Mwah!”), I liked it.

       0 likes

  47. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Is it just me, or does Crow refer to Tom as “the great Serf-o” during the serf sketch?

    Serf’s up!

       0 likes

  48. Ro-man says:

    LOVE THIS EP:

    “It’s Mr. Edgar Winter” nearly killed me; probably my favorite riff.

    Loved the Shakespeare Henry V “tennis balls” reference, no to mention the later “so foul and fair a day” MacBeth line

    “Petticoat … Dungeon”, runner up for favorite riff

    “Gentlemen, mount your horses.” “We’re not THAT lonely!”

    “Tonight on Tales from Lucy’s Crypt!”

    Yeah, I think it was “Serf-O” :-D ; and was it “avaunt and quit my sight Sir Dickweed?”

    But also I have to agree, this is not a bad film. B. I. G. did pretty good for himself here. And Princess Helene (Anne Helm)… well, “hubba hubba!!!” 8-)

       2 likes

  49. Cornjob says:

    This is a pretty good movie. Especially coming from mister B.I.G. Makes for a great episode.

    BTW There are some nice vintage cheesecake pictures of Anne Helm on the internet if you look.

       0 likes

  50. Cornjob says:

    Taken from an interview with Anne Helm:

    “There was a real dragon. [A giant-sized prop, she means.] I was tied up, I was thrashing around, and it was very cold on the backlot of MGM. But it was a fun movie to do”

       1 likes

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