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Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 818- Devil Doll

Movie: (1963) The relationship between a ventriloquist and his dummy is even creepier than it seems.

First shown: 10/4/97
Opening: It’s Friday at the dorm and M&tB have a window!
Intro: Tom agrees to send the window back, but a drunken Crow smashes it; meanwhile Apearlo and Brainguyus liven up a dull Roman party with pants
Host segment 1: Crow expresses interest in Pitch’s line of devil dolls, Mike disapproves
Host segment 2: The bots set up a British pub, and it has a *very* stout ale on tap
Host segment 3: Pitch helps Crow transfer Servo’s soul, Mike disapproves.
End: Crow dresses Mike up as Hugo, Mike disapproves. Meanwhile Apearlo and Brainguys, attending Lesser God Day at the Colosseum, see a familar face!
Stinger: Hugo takes a licking and keeps on ticking
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (246 votes, average: 4.35 out of 5)

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• This movie is so weird, but it’s a little dark for MST3K and I think the darkness drags the episode down a bit. Still, the riffing keeps up for the most part. Host segment-wise, it’s a mixed bag. The Roman Times stuff is good for a chuckle, but not many. I do like the bits with reasonable, affable Pitch and intemperate, outraged Mike. Paul and Mike are both terrific. The British pub sketch, however, is too long for a one-joke bit.
• This episode is included in Shout’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XIX.”
• Paul’s take on this one is here.
References.
• Not included in that list is “Papers, Fawlty!” which is an evocation of the gruff Colonel from the British comedy series “Fawlty Towers.”
• That’s Patrick, Beez and Paul as the “Roman day players.”
• As the Roman Times segment begins, Kevin is singing “And now to Eden” from the “Star Trek: TOS” episode “The Way to Eden.”
• A nice callback to season four with “pants” business, but it takes a while to get there. Another callback from the old days: “Does this bug you?”
• What’s fairly clear, as you watch, is that they used a lot of real-life locations, not studio sets. Example: In the first scene with William Sylvester and his assistant, it appears they are in an actual office somewhere. As he dials the phone, watch the window sill behind him. A tiny shadow goes by. At first I thought it was a mouse but then something transparent goes by, and it becomes clear that that is actual city traffic going by outside the window.
• Callbacks: The appearance of William Sylvester prompts several “Robert Denby” riffs.
• If I recall correctly, there was some trepidation when the Sci-Fi Channel’s counterpart channel in the U.K. began running the show and this episode — featuring the observation that England is populated by “chinless, jug-eared stomach eaters” — first aired. From what we heard from MSTies in the U.K., they loved it.
• Then-current reference: Warren Christopher. The former Secretary of State was an easy target because of his dour persona.
• Servo the toaster strudel riffs for an entire segment.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director Lindsay Shonteff also directed “The Million Eyes of Su-Muru.” In front of the camera, we’ll see Bryant Halliday again in “The Projected Man.” William Sylvester was also in “Riding with Death’ and “Gorgo.” Alan Gifford was also in “Phase IV.”
• CreditsWatch: Produced and directed by Kevin. Intern Dan Breyer begins a stint that will last until the end of the season.
• Fave riff: “Look! There’s the proof: There’s no God. Not a single God…” Honorable mention: “So how many hours have rotary phones added to movies over the years?”

187 Replies to “Episode guide: 818- Devil Doll”

  1. Cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm St. have been referenced with: “Meanwhile in Friday the 13th” riffed in Being from Another World. And “I’m your boyfriend now” from either King Dinosaur or Giant Gila Monster. Not sure about Halloween or Child’s Play. I think Leatherface has been referenced. Of course Rifftrax riffed Halloween post MST. I’m a horror fan. I notice these things.

       2 likes

  2. Cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s true that there are few slasher movie references in MST as a whole. I don’t think any of the writers were particularly fond of the genre.

       1 likes

  3. Savvy
    Ignored
    says:

    mstgator @144: Yes, Pitch perfect! Good one!
    Sitting Duck @146: Will do.
    Welcome, thequietman! So happy you’ve “joined us”!

       2 likes

  4. JC
    Ignored
    says:

    Never thought the phrase “blood of the virgin” could bring out two of the biggest laughs for me.

    “…Blood of the Virgin.”
    “But I call it giggle juice.”

    “DRINK THE BLOOD OF THE VIRGIN!! Or am I coming on a little creepy?”

       3 likes

  5. Mnenoch
    Ignored
    says:

    @140

    It depends – do you count Joel’s and Frank’s characters coming back in season 10?

       1 likes

  6. Cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    Welcome thequietman. “We accept him, we accept him. One of us, one of us.”

       2 likes

  7. Cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m driving with my MIND!!

       2 likes

  8. GizmonicTemp
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m a little late to the party, and I’m not mentioning anything new, but this has never been one of my favorite eps so I watched it again last night to give it a second chance. Man! This one is creepy! It’s like a black and white episode of X-files! People becoming dolls is just one of those things that REALLY spooks me. (Anyone see the Gepetto episode of “Once Upon a Time”? (SHUDDER!!)
    The ending also got me wondering. SPOILER ALERT (not that it matters). So, now that Hugo LOOKS like Vorelli, can he still be the showman that Vorelli was to keep the act successful? Also Vorelli seems infinitely more devious than Hugo and so, even though he IS a doll now, mightn’t Vorelli figure out some way to swap souls back? Even if not, what keeps Doll Vorelli from going on a murderous rampage during their first show? Who would blame a doll, meaning that Hugo would be blamed for the “accident?”
    Maybe I’m thinking too much…

       4 likes

  9. bartcow
    Ignored
    says:

    The dorm window bit is a classic that I actually ripped to audio to I could listen to it on road trips. The other segments, while having positive aspects, haven’t proved as memorable for me.

    There’s also a lot of butt in this movie (well, one in particular). I’m surprised they could get away with that back then (or maybe I just have London’s 60s mores all wrong).

       1 likes

  10. snowdog
    Ignored
    says:

    Ah yes, the movie that reminds me how lucky I am to be able to enjoy ham and many other various luncheon meats. As I mentioned in the last go-round, I still believe this could be a good film, especially if it were still set in the 1940’s, before that whole rock ‘n roll thing.

       1 likes

  11. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    Sampo wrote:
    Honorable mention: “So how many hours have rotary phones added to movies over the years?”

    You could tell there was a change in movie-love from one regime to the other in that almost every third SciFi or RiffTrax riff seems to be over the fact that a movie is “boring” if characters talk in a scene and something isn’t plot-pointing or isn’t living up to its cool title promise at any given fifteen-second interval, or the director is “padding the scene out forever” if the shot runs on for five seconds longer than it should have.
    What sort of mosquito attention-spans do MK&B HAVE, anyway? Do they drink that much coffee in Minnesota??

    If I recall correctly, there was some trepidation when the Sci-Fi Channel’s counterpart channel in the U.K. began running the show and this episode — featuring the observation that England is populated by “chinless, jug-eared stomach eaters” — first aired. From what we heard from MSTies in the U.K., they loved it.

    And the first of many, many, many, many, many, many, many directly Brit-baiting riffs began through S8-9, sparking a new riff-hook for the distributor package of 60’s British films (Deadly Bees, Projected Man, Gorgo).
    Even to the point that they had to substitute “Europe” for “Italy” in baiting “Devil Fish”, hoping that UK fans would be baited by Europe-bashing jokes, since there was no Sci-Fi Italy. Evidently, Brexit has cut into MK&B’s act somewhat since then. :(

       1 likes

  12. jay
    Ignored
    says:

    “Brit-baiting riffs” –

    The British have a long and cherished tradition of self deprecating humor. Parliament could not function without it, I suspect. My British friends relish such banter with the possible exception of disparagements dished out by the Aussies who are particular in their Brit-baiting vehemence such as “That Pommy derro has a bad case of DADS”. The latter term is an acronym for Dumb As Dog Sh-t, in case you were wondering. In comparison The Brains seemed mild in their transoceanic abuse, I think.

       11 likes

  13. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    jay:
    “Brit-baiting riffs” –
    The British have a long and cherished tradition of self deprecating humor.Parliament could not function without it, I suspect.My British friends relish such banter with the possible exception of disparagements dished out by the Aussies who are particular in their Brit-baiting vehemence such as “That Pommy derro has a bad case of DADS”.The latter term is an acronym for Dumb As Dog Sh-t, in case you were wondering.In comparison The Brains seemed mild in their transoceanic abuse, I think.

    Yes, but that puts it in the same professional gray area as Jewish Jokes, Geek Jokes and Guy Jokes: Brits can tell their OWN jokes about themselves because they know how, but anyone else who tries to joke about them and doesn’t, just ends up sounding like bigoted jerks.
    And no, M&tB’s “It’s okay, we made jerk jokes about the US, too!” cover-all excuse from the Mexican “Santa Claus” isn’t the automatic universal Get Out of Jail Free card they thought it was, either.

       2 likes

  14. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    bartcow:
    There’s also a lot of butt in this movie (well, one in particular). I’m surprised they could get away with that back then (or maybe I just have London’s 60s mores all wrong).

    Well we did have a near boob flash (though it might have been actual, since that scene has what looks like a sloppy cut where it could have happened) from a post-coitus Magda. The first series of Monty Python also had a nude woman appear in the Dull Life of a City Stockbroker sketch. Going off on a bit of a tangent, the IMDB profile of that performer (Sheila Sands) lists the bulk of her characters as being strippers, so looks like she got typecast. No nudity in original Doctor Who (unless you count Sergeant Benton at the end of The Time Monster). Then again, it was a kids’ show.

       2 likes

  15. jay
    Ignored
    says:

    The British have always been masters at taking the wind out of gas bags and they can take it as well as they give it; a skill we could sometimes make use of here. If one travels abroad even a bit it quickly becomes apparent that WE are the thin skinned ones. Not counting the French, of course.

       5 likes

  16. thequietman
    Ignored
    says:

    Last week I actually said the word ‘damn’!

    So this was the first thread I posted on (an extremely belated thanks for the welcome, everyone!). Has it been that long already? Indeed, it’s been so long that before tonight I would have sworn this was from Season 9 and for the life of me I could not remember which episode came between “Horror of Party Beach” and “Invasion of the Neptune Men”.

    One would think then this would be just a decent filler episode, but apparently it seems to resonate with folks. I wasn’t expecting to find this many comments here. I had a good time nonetheless, from the unforgettable opening segments to the welcome return of the affable Pitch. Brainguy looks positively manic when he breaks out the pants, and I love Mike’s little question to the drunken Crow; ‘do you ever have a fantasy where you’re happy and successful?’

    Fave riffs
    Ah, Conglomerated Federated Industries Limited!

    The most depressing spot in London, sir, just as you asked!

    If it wasn’t for alcohol there’d be no moisture in that woman at all!

       1 likes

  17. littleaimishboy
    Ignored
    says:

    I like fratboy Crow.

       3 likes

  18. ChristmasApe
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    says:

    The Original EricJ: Blah, blah, blah who cares?

    So how much of your life have you wasted watching something you obviously hate?

       13 likes

  19. ChristmasApe
    Ignored
    says:

    I feel like I have a black-and-white block because very few of my “favorite” episodes are B&W and yet when I watch them (Like with Devil Doll) I’m always like “Oh wait this is actually really good”

       2 likes

  20. antiseptic manor
    Ignored
    says:

    This episode is near and dear to my heart as it’s the very first episode I saw. I missed the first third of it, but I was immediately hooked and never looked back. Maybe because I share a love of ham.

       4 likes

  21. Johnny Drama
    Ignored
    says:

    Please, no. Just, no.
    I saw this movie before it was on MST3K, and it was too dark and creepy for even my wacked out tastes even then. I feel it’s completely out of place on MST3K. Once again, the blame has to go to Sci-Fi, who probably gave the Brains very little to choose from. Easily one of the worst of the entire series for me, although I’m sure it has it’s fans.

       2 likes

  22. IR5
    Ignored
    says:

    The Red Devil guy is doing all right for himself.

       3 likes

  23. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    ChristmasApe: So how much of your life have you wasted watching something you obviously hate?

    Better an expert hater, than an uninformed fan. :)

       2 likes

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

    ck:
    #13
    Shari Lewis! of course, Crow might go for Lambchop on the rebound from Debbie.

    Joel: Oh yeah?…The most sinister friendly witness brought up in front of the committee was none other than…(musical crescendo) Lambchop!
    Crow (sarcastic): Oh, wow, big surprise!
    Tom: Yeah, I always hated her, anyway!
    Crow: Yeah!

    Thank you, Ward E.

    beth563:
    No horror movie genre really scares me, but talking evil dolls really creep the hell out of me.

    “Saw a dummy. It gave me the wig.”

    M “Wait Til You See ME Like Ham!” Sipher:
    I’m a little foggy on Vorelli’s plan here. He’s uncovered this awesome power, the ability to transfer souls, something he’s willing to do to UNwilling victims, and he’ll murder people who inconvenience them and he… puts on a stage show with it?

    Although a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing, it by no means necessarily makes one even the LITTLEST bit smarter.

    M “Wait Til You See ME Like Ham!” Sipher:
    I’m also wondering about his apparent plan to plunk Vacuous Girl’s soul into an ugly puppet like he did Hugo’s. What is he going to gain there? Wouldn’t he need a living VG to get a hold of her fortune?

    He was going to get her to leave him everything in her will, THEN “kill” her via soul-plunk. At which point, hey, he’d be rich. That’s ultimately almost everyone’s master plan: GET RICH.

    MC:
    The movie is dark, sure, but it’s also completely absurd and there’s so much sheer randomness – like ham. Why ham? Why would that be in the act?!

    Because
    he’s at
    a
    Dinner Party?

    Where they’re SERVING HAM?

    sauron:
    How a film where a large man puts his hand up a smaller mans rear end and then is successfully plumbed for humor doesn’t endear the viewer is beyond me.

    You’ve been watching “Cinema Snob” again, haven’t you? Or possibly “Badly Dubbed Porn.” ;-)

    M “Here’s The Pipe. You Take It” Sipher:
    Man. Imagine the road show if Vorelli and Carlo Lombardi teamed up. EXCITEMENT AHOY, let me tell you.

    Paging Dr. Vorelli, Dr. Lombardi, Dr….?

    H:
    It’s good. Admittedly it drags at times but still a good episode. Movie’s fine, I’ve never been one for evil dummies

    Hugo wasn’t evil. He was a victim of soicumstance.

    H:
    I especially love Servo as a toaster strudel.

    I question the “wisdom” in becoming something edible. And I considered saying something about disturbing internet fetish sites that revolve around that very concept but I just couldn’t find the words. Thank heavens.

    mdwileygrl:
    And for the record…I freaking HATE “Child’s Play.”I hope Chuckie gets wood-boring worms.

    He’s dead…made of plastic…

    MC:
    “All I want is my fair share! All I want is what’s coming to me!”

    So, who was the more irritating emasculating b|tch, Sally or Lucy? I’d hate to think that either one of them “got her man” as an adult. Boys who constantly harassed girls with unwanted declarations of “love” would rightly be regarded as total jerks, restraining orders waiting to happen. And how did Lucy keep getting into Schroeder’s house, anyway? Should his parents be considered accessories to stalking? Hmph.

       2 likes

  25. Mr. Krasker
    Ignored
    says:

    Do people really not get the ‘ham’ bit?

    At the party, Vorelli goes to the table and says, “Ah ham. I love it!”
    To which Hugo replies, “You Cannibal!”

    See, it’s because ‘ham’ refers to an inferior, overacting performer, so Hugo says Vorelli is a ham eating ham and therefore a cannibal.

       2 likes

  26. littleaimishboy
    Ignored
    says:

    Mr. Krasker:
    Do people really not get the ‘ham’ bit?

    At the party, Vorelli goes to the table and says, “Ah ham.I love it!”
    To which Hugo replies, “You Cannibal!”

    See, it’s because ‘ham’ refers to an inferior, overacting performer, so Hugo says Vorelli is a ham eating ham and therefore a cannibal.

    Ooooh! Mega burn from the little wooden dude!

       1 likes

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

    ck:
    #54
    I would imagine the bots used the Wayback Machine to go from Roman Times to travel forward to muse Mike’s credit cards and order stuff. Brain Guy could whip up some gold bullion to pay off Mike’s everincreasing debt (and they haven’t even gotten to TS’s fetish for PPTV thank you gifts).

    Oh, sure, THIS you folks give serious thought to. ;-)

    “Of all the plot holes to fill, they chose the CREDIT CARD plot hole!”

    Gorn Captain:
    #10 Jay Johnson and his little wooden friend on “SOAP” were a little crazy, but otherwise non-evil members of the Campbell family.

    How exactly was “Bob Campbell” supposedly “related” to the Campbells, anyway? How did Chuck introduce him? As his brother? His cousin? His nephew? Or just “Say hello to my leetle friend”?

    I’m not a medium, I’m a petite:
    Sampo: Heller in Pink Tights may be a better known film that you think.

    It’d kind of have to be, since I’d never heard of it all until now. ;-)

    Fart Bargo:
    I do not know of any Italian that is a hypnotist or is in possession of a demon doll (mortal sin).

    Is THAT in the Bible? ;-)

    Clint:
    My favorite riff: “You think you like wine? Wait until you see me like wine.”

    Regrettably, that line’s, uh, it’s not actually in the film. It’s “ham,” not “wine.” Sorry.

    In fact, a surprising number of correspondents are misquoting lines from this episode. Shrug.

    Pixiesnix:
    It’s the scene where Vorelli hypnotizes and rapes the heroine.

    Wait, he did that? He didn’t do that, it’s so “funny” you’d think he would —

    Well, yeah, I guess he did. Even if Sex Did Not Occur (I don’t recall the segment very well), mesmerizing someone into acting against their will would indeed be a form of rape, no matter what you mesmerized them to do. You can’t control your body and you’re at the mercy of your assailant. Yes, rape, I just…never thought of it like that before. I thought the Brains had a moratorium on films with rape in them.

    Nicias:
    As #39 argues, and as I’ve mentioned before, it is utterly implausible for an audience to greet Vorelli’s tepid on-stage performance with thunderous applause. No one is that starved for entertainment.

    “No wonder people went nuts over the Beatles. THIS is all there was!”.

    Tim_Servo:
    One of the weirdest most bizzare(but funnist) experiments.
    I just finished watching “2001” a little while ago tonight. I can only see Heywood Floyd as the“guy from Devil Doll” now! AAARG!
    no ham for you!

    So he’s The Ham Nazi?

    Sitting Duck:
    It was believed by the Ancient Greeks (who called the phenomenon “eggastrimuthos”) and Romans that noises emanating from a person’s belly could be the voices of the spirits of the dead or, in the worst-case scenario, a sign of demonic possession.A “ventriloquist” (later called a “gastromancer”) was a seer or psychic who interpreted the sounds coming from the person’s abdomen and, depending on the supposedsource, passed along predictions of the future, messages from great-grandma, or bad news about the spiritual future of the patient.

    Somewhere along the line, people got the idea that ventriloquism meant making one’s voice seem to originate from several feet or even yards away, the rather unimaginatively named Tex Avery cartoon “Ventriloquist Cat” (1950) being the first example that comes to mind.

    However…

    http://www.superdickery.com/super-ventriloquism-in-space/

    Jacob:
    I hate to be picky

    Then you’ll have to LEAVE, Jacob.
    No, not really. ;-)

       1 likes

  28. EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    The Original EricJ: Better an expert hater, than an uninformed fan.:)

    I’d rather be “uninformed” than lead a miserable existence.

       7 likes

  29. EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    Johnny Drama:
    although I’m sure it has it’s fans.

    You only have to read the comments here! Nothing wrong with some darkness, people are overdoing it with the forced positivity.

       3 likes

  30. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    Regrettably, that line’s, uh, it’s not actually in the film. It’s “ham,” not “wine.” Sorry.

    And as universally funny words go, “Ham” is always funnier than “Wine”. Dave Letterman knew that from way back. :)

    It’s just how much the movie lingers over this one plot point that sells the riff.
    The movie’s strange, utter seriousness over its own predictable plot just transcends any of the S8 Look-It’s-British safety-net gags, to etch its own unique place in the SciFi episodes. This episode and “Prince of Space” manage to be the S8 standouts, no matter what MK&B try to do to them.

       1 likes

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

    Depressing Aunt:
    Anybody else like to think that Mercedes and Hans became a couple?

    I thought they were brother and sister.

       1 likes

  32. bartcow
    Ignored
    says:

    The Original EricJ: Better an expert hater, than an uninformed fan.:)

    Better a miserable pedant, than someone who can just relax and enjoy things. There, fixed it.

       5 likes

  33. Mr. Krasker
    Ignored
    says:

    Anyone who disagrees with me is clearly uninformed.

    Yes, you are now welcome to worship my superiorosity!

       1 likes

  34. Ray Dunakin
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Vorelli’s “act” is lame, stupid, and not the least bit entertaining; and his evil plan makes no sense.

    His apparent reason for putting Hugo’s soul into the dummy is to make it lifelike and thus amaze his audience. Yet the Hugo-possessed dummy is the most wooden, lifeless, boring lump in entertainment history. And unlike any good ventriloquy act, there’s no witty, hilarious banter between them — just dull, slow, hate-filled sniping.

    And why does he hate Hugo so much? That’s never explained in the movie.

    Then there’s Vorelli’s hypnotism act… Instead of comical stuff like making his subjects act like chickens or think the audience is naked, etc., he convinces one guy that he’s going to be executed! Yeah, that’s entertainment — not! Especially since the whole bit just involves Vorelli describing the situation, while the subject does nothing but grimace.

    Next he has a woman tell the audience that she’s not a dancer, then he has her perform a modest dance that virtually anyone could do, and the audience is supposed to be amazed and astounded.

       1 likes

  35. Johnny Drama
    Ignored
    says:

    EricJ: Nothing wrong with some darkness, people are overdoing it with the forced positivity

    Hey, darkness is great, I even love Sidehackers. I just don’t like this movie for MST3K

       2 likes

  36. Warren
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t think I commented on this one before. It is a dark movie in many ways, but is a mostly enjoyable episode with good riffing. I especially like the callback to Robert Denby. It would have been great as an Alfred Hitchcock movie-I think that was someone else’s idea first but I agree with it. “Kubrick saw this scene and said ‘We’ve found our Heywood Floyd.'”

       1 likes

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

    Supposedly, anyone who’s tired of London is tired of life. Hope this film didn’t have any unforseen negative consequences.

    robot rump!:
    sooo… what exactly was Vorelli’s master plan supposed to be AFTER he crammed Hugo’s soul into the dummy

    Master plan? I think you’re giving Vorelli WAY too much credit. He was obviously winging it, completely improv. But what would you expect from a performer but improv? ;-)

    Depressing Aunt:
    As a tribute to “Devil Doll” I’d like to go to the nearest Subway; before the sandwich artist even asks me what I want I will blandly say “Ah, ham.I love it.”Then I’ll just wander out of the place.

    Which reminds me of the Seinfeld episode, The Chinese Restaurant. Elaine went about things ENTIRELY wrong. Jerry’s dare was “You walk over to that table, you pick up an egg roll, you don’t say anything, you eat it, say, “Thank you very much,” wipe your mouth, [and] walk away.” (I looked up the dialogue)

    So what’s the FIRST frickin’ thing she does? She tries to explain the situation to the people at the table! That’s NOT how to “don’t say anything,” Elaine! That doesn’t create a surreal moment at all! Stupid, Elaine! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

    Sheesh.

    GizmonicTemp:
    The ending also got me wondering. SPOILER ALERT (not that it matters). So, now that Hugo LOOKS like Vorelli, can he still be the showman that Vorelli was to keep the act successful?

    Why presume that Hugo’s going to continue the act? In his place, I’d catch the first bus out of London, leaving Vorelli to just sit there…

    Ray Dunakin:
    And why does he hate Hugo so much? That’s never explained in the movie.

    Because he can. Vorelli’s a bully, and Hugo was a fairly helpless victim.

    Warren:
    “Kubrick saw this scene and said ‘We’ve found our Heywood Floyd.’”

    The thing is, though, William Sylvester DID play Heywood Floyd, which means it’s not all that much of a riff. I mean, okay, I’m sure the scene in question in fact had no effect at all on Kubrick’s opinion of Sylvester’s (kind of odd typing that name in a “serious” context) acting ability — it seems safe to presume that he never watched this movie at all — but is that really enough?

    “Martin Scorcese *IS* Mr. French in “The Exorcist”, now THAT’s a riff, referring to three entirely different areas of pop culture in a mere few seconds. “William Sylvester *IS* [character name] in “[film that has absolutely nothing to do with William Sylvester or with the named character],” that would’ve sold the bit better. IMHO.

       1 likes

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