Support Us

Satellite News is not financially supported by Best Brains or any other entity. It is a labor of love, paid for out of our own pockets. If you value this site, we would be delighted if you showed it by making an occasional donation of any amount. Thanks.

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.

Social Media


Episode guide: 819- Invasion of the Neptune Men

Movie: (1961) When robot aliens attack Japan, Space Chief takes to the air to battle them.

First shown: 10/11/97
Opening: Tom and Crow worry about Mike’s eyelash mites.
Intro: The nanites take on the mites; The Mad Goth (Bobo) is getting more attention than goddess Apearlo
Host segment 1: Mike’s love of Noh theater causes confusion
Host segment 2: Tom comes down with Roji Panty complex; Pearl and Observer have no luck with Bobo
Host segment 3: M&tB are near despair, then Krankor visits
End: Crow has some suggestions, while a conk on the head from Pearl restores Bobo’s memory, with unfortunate consequences
Stinger: Little boy faw down
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (245 votes, average: 4.42 out of 5)

Loading...

• This is one of those movies. There are bad movies like, say, “Revenge of the Creature.” There are VERY bad movies, like, say, “Prince of Space.” And there are the dregs: “Manos,” “Fu Manchu,” “Red Zone Cuba” … and now this “little cockroach of a movie” (as Servo calls it in a fit of rage toward the end) joins that wretched roll call. Segment three works because (in addition to Bill’s hilarious return as Krankor) it so piquantly makes the case that, as Servo noted many seasons ago, “every time I think I’ve seen the worst movie ever made, along comes the worst movie ever made.” The final 20 minutes or so, which feature a solid 10 minutes during which essentially the same four or five shots are repeated again and again and again and again, is easily one of the most punishing bits of film MST3K has ever subjected its viewers to. Because of that, I predicted there would be wide differences of opinions on this one. Some MSTies love these bottom-dwellers; others will retreat to the oft-used line: “even Mike and the bots couldn’t save it.” Pro tip: One way to get through it: stop watching the episode just after segment three and wait a day or so before watching the final half hour.
That said, the riffing is really quite good, all things considered, and, as in the other recent eps, the SOL segments are funny and fun (the wonderful “Noh Theater” sketch, especially) while the “Roman Times” segments are unremarkable, though I think Kevin’s performance is great.
• This episode was included in Shout’s MST3K: Vol. XXXVII.
• Kevin’s take on this one is here, including his wonderful reaction to the Hitler Building shot.
References.
• That’s Paul as first hapless nanite soldier, and again Paul, Beez and Patrick are “Roman day players.”
• Kudos to Beez or whoever created the tiny garbage around Mike’s eyes.
• Yes, that’s Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba as Space Chief. Chiba would go on to star in many martial arts movies, most notably as Terry Sugury in the “Street Fighter” series.
• Then-current reference: At about the time of this episode the aging Russian space station began to have a series of mechanical failures. The Mir fell from the sky long ago.
• All I can say about The Noh Theater bit is: Somewhere Abbott and Costello are smiling.
• This show had several complicated moments — note that both Tom Servo and Bobo are on camera at the same time, then Callipygeas and Bobo are on screen at the same time, as are Krankor and Crow later on. Patrick was probably running the puppets in all cases.
• Servo has a breakdown, contracting Roji Panty Complex. He sure does break down a lot.
• This show explicitly answered the question that has so often been asked by fans: “why do Mike and the bots put up with these bad movies?” In this show, Mike is so appalled he gets up to leave, only to realize that there is no air in the rest of the ship.
• Callback from the old days: Gooood morning!”
• Cast and crew round up: Scriptwriter Shin Morita also wrote “Prince of Space” (dull surprise).
• Produced by Kevin. Directed by Mike. This was Jill Roozenboom’s last episode as production manager. It was also intern Meshach Weber’s last episode.
• Fave line: “Our quick and pointless plot cul-de-sac is over!” Honorable mention: “Say, has anybody seen my record?”

159 Replies to “Episode guide: 819- Invasion of the Neptune Men”

  1. PJ says:

    Jesus, EricJ haunts old places I thought I could go and be left in peace.
    Away with you banshee…away!!!!

       9 likes

  2. Keith Palmer says:

    I seem to have a pretty high tolerance for the “those movies” mentioned in the guide (as featured in the series itself, anyway), but I will admit I understand just how gruelling “Invasion of the Neptune Men” can get with the final battle sitting on peoples’ heads and crushing them. The “it’s not just the original movie’s fault” explanation provided in the official DVD extra is something, even if it can sound just a little familiar when thinking of certain other “localized” properties…

    Not that long ago, I happened to see what looks an awful lot like a “Neptune Man” and “Space Chief” in a background from the “Daicon IV opening animation,” a “spot the reference” fan work famous among anime fans. This is either a suggestion the original movie hadn’t quite been expunged from the consciousness of Japanese fans by the early 1980s or a warning about taking too much interest in cartoon gun-toting, big-eyed, prepubescent blondes…

       2 likes

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

    The Bolem:
    And my favorite riff, which I don’t think has been mentioned here despite being quoted a lot in other threads, is of course when our hero arrives nearly an hour too late to save half of Tokyo, and Servo sings along with his heroic entrance music:

    “Space Chieeeeeef,
    failed mis-rablyyyyyy,
    and tried to cooo-verrr-up
    his shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!”

    Hey, y’know what, stop and ask yourself…

    Was he obligated to show up AT ALL? What was he, under CONTRACT? Someone was PAYING him for his services?

    Oh, I Don’t Think So.

       1 likes

  4. Keith Palmer:
    Not that long ago, I happened to see what looks an awful lot like a “Neptune Man” and “Space Chief” in a background from the “Daicon IV opening animation,” a “spot the reference” fan work famous among anime fans. This is either a suggestion the original movie hadn’t quite been expunged from the consciousness of Japanese fans by the early 1980s or a warning about taking too much interest in cartoon gun-toting, big-eyed, prepubescent blondes…

    Ah, the Daicon IV video: Back in the days when anime was only a secret cult of the faithful in a hidden room on the UMass campus–Being shown the Daicon IV video was a ritual of acceptance, and a bold statement of the revolutionary ideals we all stood for. :)
    But the idea was that the homemade animators were homaging EVERY geek-holy bit of Japanese pop-culture from the 60’s-70’s…Even the starfish-aliens from “Warning From Space” (as RT-riffed by those two unfunny British guys).
    Starman, aka Space Chief, aka Prince of Space fell under said 60’s-70’s J-Cult Ref category, along with Gundam robots, Mothra and Voltron.

       0 likes

  5. Cornjob says:

    My original and most pertinent comments can still be found at what used to be #99 at the end of the second chunk of posts. There are a few others scattered in the 3rd chunk. My record is probably in there somewhere too.

       0 likes

  6. Sitting Duck says:

    A couple days ago, immediately after making my usual random musings post, I saw a couple of spelling errors that were mocking me with their presence. Did you know that the new Edit Post feature results in said post being pulled until the moderator approves it? Now I know. On the off chance anyone wishes to check it out, it’s the third post of 2017.

       0 likes

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

    robot rump!:
    why does japan hate us? was it because of the A-bomb? i mean o.k. we’re sorry we had a couple lying around and we used them. it was that or save them for the garage sale, i mean c’mon japan what would you have done?

    I wonder if in the interim this correspondent died alone and afraid…

       1 likes

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

    JCC:
    “Mike mentions Sailor Moon. Servo also utters that series’ name at the start of the movie.” (47)
    ========================
    I somehow doubt they watched it for their own entertainment. Keep in mind Sailor Moon became notorious in the media (briefly) over the lesbian under/overtones. Or maybe the writers kids watched the show.

    I’m guessing you don’t make it to that all that many conventions. It’s not unheard of to see grown men who bear an unnervingly close resemblance to Comic Book Guy to dress up as Sailor Moon characters.

       1 likes

  9. Sitting Duck says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: I’m guessing you don’t make it to that all that many conventions. It’s not unheard of to see grown men who bear an unnervingly close resemblance to Comic Book Guy to dress up as Sailor Moon characters.

    Sometimes known as Sailor Goons

       1 likes

Comments are closed.