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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: 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 (246 votes, average: 4.42 out of 5)


• 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.
• 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. mikek says:

    Ah, the Nanite segments were always good. It’s another thing that makes me appreciate the Sci-Fi era so much. Whatever trouble the Brains had with the network is nullified by the success from making MST3K more “sci-fi”.


  2. Wampa Joe says:


    Yeah, I agree. Something really changed in the show’s dynamic when Bill came into the theater. Everyone started to legitimately crack each other up, coupled with making what seemed like off-the-cuff side remarks to each other. It’s why I’ll always prefer these later years (although still loving and treasuring what came before, obviously). It felt a lot more relaxed and natural, and it doesn’t surprise me that Mike, Kevin, and Bill are still together to this day.


  3. Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    @ everyone re: Roji-Panty Complex

    It’s pretty clearly one of the Brains’ deliberate mishearing gags. When the scientists mention the two metals, I’ve never heard them as anything other than “rogium” and “pannium,” and the complex as “rogi-panni complex.” As to what either of them could be, I’ve tried Googling several variations on the spelling, and haven’t found anything that seems significant, so they seem to be made-up elements.


  4. RPG says:

    The first one is Rhodium. It is a precious metal. As for the other, it might be a variant or old name for something else, maybe platinum. Or maybe that one really is made up.


  5. Fantagor says:

    IotNM is an exercise in banality squared. At no time should you expect a ray of sunshine to penetrate the inky cloud of blithering nonsense in which this movie was filmed.

    The end sequence especially shows the director’s contempt for humanity. Any film that recycles Nazi footage is strictly in it for inducing as much pain as possible in 90 minutes.

    Servo’s ending rant shows incredible restraint compared to the NC-17 cuss fest I would have written.



  6. OnenuttyTanuki says:

    Don’t look now but it appears the Hitler building has been rebuilt.


  7. satrain18 says:

    “Soldiers are popping up everywhere, asking if the war is over yet.” I think this have something to do with Japanese holdouts after WWII.


  8. ety3 says:

    #106 —

    I was about to post a link to that, but you beat me to it.

    Judging by some of the characters visible, I believe that may be in Korea.

    I’d still love to know exactly what the deal was with the Hitler building.


  9. The Toblerone Effect says:

    This one is hard for me to rewatch, moreso because I think the riffing isn’t that good – certainly not as good as Prince of Space – and it doesn’t help to know that footage of WWII was used at one point. The last third is indeed one giant pain parade, kinda like the Bataan (sp?) Death march put to a children’s film. If this ever sees the light of dvd this may be the rare disc that I skip watching for the rest of my life, and I don’t say that lightly about ANY MST episode, because the show to me is like blood, I need it to go on with my life.

    But thankfully things only get better from here, and Season 8 ends on a tremendous high-note.


  10. Creeping-Death says:

    You forgot to note about Michelle Genlo and Katy O’Neil as the cute arm candy for Bobo and one of the few roles that didn’t go to a cast member, again. Were they relatives or just people the Brains knew? The first two-thirds of the movie are great and compare wonderfully to any other MST3K episode. The last third, however, does drag a lot despite some good jokes. I’d still rate it as a above average episode, though. What was with the dubbing on this? Did two people do all the voices(one guy and a woman)? It sounds like one guy trying to do as many weird voices as possible. The chubby kid sounded kind of like K-9 from Doctor Who.

    Favorite riffs:

    The many jokes about the kids’ stupid voices

    The many jokes about everyone else’s stupid voices

    Crow (As gravelly voiced professor): You’re right, Profesor Froggy.

    Mike (As minister/Sugar Bear): Can’t get enough sweet Sugar Crisp.

    All(as Neptune men and Space Chief): Hahahaha. Your costume is ridiculous!

    Crow: So whatever happened to Space Chef?
    Mike: Chief.
    Crow: Chief Chef?

    Crow: Y’know, Space Chief should try going into space sometime!
    Servo: Yeah, he’s more like Lower-Atmosphere Chief.
    Mike: Barely-Off-The-Stupid-Ground Chief.

    Naughty riff: Space Chief is waving with three fingers.
    Crow: Hey, read between the lines, kids.

    Servo: Space Chief’s off having a couple Sapporos with Jet Jaguar and Prince of Space.

    Mike: Space Feeb!
    Servo: Space Dink!
    Crow: Space Late!

    Crow: Paul is a dead man. Miss him. Miss him.


  11. robot rump! says:

    so do these androgynous japanese space heroes naturally attract failed in over their collective head villains, or are the truly skilled forces of evil busy taking over the better countries?
    and as i understand it we have the chicken men of Krankor who have never heard of proper underpant usage and the Neptunians who magically become transvestite soldiers when going under cover.

    and i don’t EVEN want to know about the Hitler building.


  12. Sitting Duck says:

    You know, the comments made the previous time around have me dreading the day if and when Shout announces that they’ll be releasing this one.


  13. Dan in WI says:

    Excuse me a moment but I have to go and watch the Mad Goth eat.

    It’s amazing how much the nanite eye lash segment reminds me of the recently riffed Starship Troopers.

    Noh Theater: A lot people seem to like this one. I’m a great fan of old Abbot and Costello stuff but I found this lacking. They just didn’t seem to have the same comedic timing that Abbot and Costello had. (What’s the old saying: often imitated but never duplicated) Perhaps if they rehearsed it a bit more… But I did enjoy Mike breaking the fourth wall and telling us you gotta mess with them ever now and then. Actually that was a very Joel like thing to do.

    I love observer’s excuse for hiding behind a “bush:” Sometimes a god has to inspect a bush.

    I love how The Mad Goth is verbalizing these wonderfully clichéd autographs when in reality all he is doing is marking an X.

    We’ve seen the riffers broken by a movie before. Hercules Against the Moon Men comes to mind. The difference is in the set up. This movie simply breaks them. But the Mads started early in Moon Men by introducing Sandstorm and Deep Hurting in the Invention Exchange. That’s why I like Moon Men better.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Mike “Wow that guy trained under Bruce Lee…bawitz”

    “The clock is running backwards.” Tom “That means lunch won’t be until yesterday.”

    Mike “Scientists labor to find out what the hell is the deal with Japan.”

    A power plant explodes: Mike “I suppose Rachel Carson is going to bitch about this now.”

    Scientist “Hold it. Some things happened.” Mike “Yeah right.”


  14. Tom Carberry says:

    Playing Space Chief is Sonny Chiba. Chiba was born Sadao Maeda in Fukuoka, Japan in 1939 and shared a house along with four other siblings to a father who was a military test pilot. As a youth, he was keen on both theatre and gymnastics, and was a talented enough athlete to score a position in the Japanese Olympic Team, until a chronic back injury finished his gymnastic aspirations. However, whilst at university he took a strong interest in karate under the guidance of the legendary “Mas Oyama”, and soon earned his first black belt. However, his life took another turn, when in 1960 he was discovered during a talent search by Toei Studios, and he soon began his screen career under the name of “Shinichi Chiba”, appearing as “Space Chief” in _Uchu Kaisoku-ken (1961)_ (aka “Invasion of the Neptune Men). Over the next decade, Chiba busied himself with many appearances in Japanese crime thrillers and steadily built a reputation for playing hard men of few words and direct actions.

    Favorite Lines:

    [Space Chief/Sonny Chiba] LaToya Jackson.
    They’re being defeated by a wispy bachelor.
    He cherried out his golf cart.
    How did they ever get around to designing good cars?
    [Alien spacecraft] So they glued wings to a fuel filter.
    A break dancing task chair.
    Robby the Robot in a depressing cameo.
    It’s the AP Wire Service Cross Country Team.
    Who Kobe Beefed?
    Due to the apocalypse, cram school will be delayed 45 minutes this morning.

    Final Thought: Say it ain’t so, Sonny. I give this one 2.5 out of 5 stars.


  15. MSTie says:

    Yes, it’s a horrible movie. Horribleness squared. But it’s one of my favorite MST3K episodes because of the riffing and because of the amazement over just how bad it is. I’d kind of like to have the poster in my movie den:


  16. schippers says:

    I’ve only ever listened to this one. Never actually seen it.

    I want to give a shout out to my favorite Sonny Chiba movie: Time Slip (also commonly found under its alternate title, G.I. Samurai). This is a FANtastic movie – don’t believe any negative reviews you might read if you Google the title. A JSDF squad is inexplicably sent back to sengoku-era Japan and decides the only way they can get back is by changing history, to wit, by conquering Japan. And yes, they have a tank, a helicopter, and machine guns, but are those enough to accomplish their goal? (spoiler – no)


  17. the_dumpster says:

    Actually, WWII footage was not used in this film. There are a few topics about on IMDb where they used models from another film (stock footage). Just look up “Invasion of the Neptune Men” on IMDb.

    Plus, wouldn’t a camera be blown to bits if one were to set a camera up during a military bombing?


  18. Yipe Striper says:

    Roji-Panty Complex.
    The Hitler building.
    Krankor appearance.

    *mic drop*


  19. littleaimishboy says:

    Me: “Hey gang! Want me to tell you my favorite part of this episode?”
    Everybody else: “NO!”
    Me: “That’s right!”


  20. Depressing Aunt says:

    Ugly, ugly movie. Are the musical tinkling sounds that constantly accompany the sleepwalking aliens meant to be their voices? When they make themselves appear human by wearing lipstick, it’s total silence, though. I do think some scene may have been cut from the movie–I guess cut for time–which would explain why the kids exclaim “He’s real!” after they’ve met Space Chief. They see him, instantly give him that name, and wow, he’s real! That seems to suggest that at one point he was a figment of their collective imagination. Ah, who cares.

    #63 points out that the butterfly effect is brought up for the second time this season. I noticed that, too. But make no mistake, don’t mess with space time thingies, or you’ll be messing with Pearl Forrester. :)

    Mike: Don’t worry, kids, it’s a promotional gimmick for Sushi Cereal.

    I think this would be a good one to pop in when you’re suffering from the flu. (Or Roji Panty complex??)


  21. mstgator says:

    Horrible movie, but the bizarrely dubbed voices (particularly the chubby kid and the guy with the Sugar Bear voice) make it bearable.

    Favorite riff: It’s a breakdancing task chair!


  22. trickymutha says:

    By far the most painful of the Sci-fi years. I, like many, cannot hardly watch the last two segments. END! To their credit, the next three episodes are some of the show’s finest hours (or 90 minutes)


  23. trickymutha says:

    On another note- a lot of people compare this to “Red Zone Cuba”- there is no comparison in my eyes. RZC is MST classic. Great short, and, totally un-likeable sociopaths, bad song, and, Cherokee Jack.


  24. Dr. Batch says:



  25. Cornjob says:

    Check #99 for a rather lengthy post I left last time round. Early on there’s a line. “My barubarackas really work. What is a barubaracka?


  26. Angie Schultz says:

    What is a barubaracka?

    My guess is that it’s a reference to BluBlocker sunglasses — big-ass shades like the ones Space Chief wears. Kevin might be trying for a Japanese accent, though it doesn’t come off clearly.


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


    I think the implication was more like “Wow, a super-hero just like in the comic books except that he’s REAL.” Notice that, just before the Neptunians appear, the children are pretty much flabbergasted just by the existence of the spaceship, so apparently, in this particular Japanese filmiverse, the existence of alien invasion forces and super-heroes wasn’t common knowledge up to that point.

    Possibly, every now and then, Tokyo simply REBOOTS (explaining how all the alien/monster/etc damage gets repaired), and the residents forget previous events (“So, no accumulated memory whatsoever!”) and have to learn about such things all over again. Or whatever. ;-)


  28. Invasion of the Neptune Men starts out strong, but looses steam somewhere after the first Host Segment… This truly really is a terrible movie, one of the worst of the Sci-fi era, easily. Mike and the bots do their best. . . .but it’s not quite enough. However. . .

    The Noh Theater sketch in Host Segment #1 is really great, obviously indebted to Abbott/Costello, and is maybe one of the best HS of the Sci-fi years. Classic Crow line that I have to remember to use more often: “I’m going to grab a step ladder so you can jump up my butt!!” Krankor’s return in HS#3 is great as well, I love that guy. . . . YOU SCUM!!

    Um… otherwise we’re still down in Roman Times and those segments still don’t so anything for me. The best part of HS#2 is Servo suffering from Roji Panty Complex and Crow trying to get in on that action. The Roman Times stuff just seems really underwritten to me, and while previous HS this season have referenced classic science fiction movies (Planet of the Apes, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Alien, etc.) the Roman Times stuff doesn’t seem to reference anything at all, except World History, I guess…

    One funny moment from Roman Times: in the opening, Pearl calls Flavia a slut using the classic, “slut? I mean what?” line. Their bickering chemistry is pretty good, I have to admit. Maybe the best thing about Roman Times…

    As I said above, Invasion of the Neptune Men is a terrible movie. It does have the Roji Panty Complex and the Hitler Building (a WTF moment if there ever was one), but it also has a mountain of stock footage and a grating soundtrack. This might just be the worst Japanese movie they riffed on MST…at least tied with Mighty Jack for suckitude…

    Notice: they only did a couple cram school jokes in this one (as compared to Prince of Space)..


    Crow: “OW! My spine!”

    Servo: “Pre-fab Lutheran church.”

    kids are standing in the weeds,
    Crow: “Children of the pot..”
    and later with same shot,
    Servo: “Legalize it.”

    Crow: “This guy trained under Bruce Lee…owitz.”

    Mike: “I knew we shouldn’t of sent in the B-squad.”

    Mike: “Desk Job Chief.”

    Mike: “So it turns out the aliens are a big bunch of pussies.”

    Servo: “They took out the Hitler building!”

    Servo’s moment of imaging he’s watching Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons is quite inspired.

    Crow: “Who Kobe beefed?”

    Servo: “EAT IT, MOVIE!!”

    Yup, Servo sums it up nicely there,

    Eat it, movie. Won’t you?
    Thank you.

    I give this one 3 out of 5 Roji Panty Complexes


  29. Gorn Captain says:

    @128 I think time travelers being mistaken for gods by the locals, and causing a historical event to occur is the reference. (Bobo causes Rome to burn in the next episode.) This happens in a lot of time travel stories, Doctor Who being a well known example.


  30. Depressing Aunt says:

    #127 Ah, makes sense. These brats see a comic book super-hero even though I see a barely effective skinny guy in a ridiculous costume. They probably like that costume, too, inspiring the whimsical line, “I’ll make clothes that glow!”

    I’m embarrassed that it took me years to realize they were calling Bobo the Mad Goth…not Mad God!


  31. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #130: If it makes you feel any better, the first time I heard it, I though he was being called the Mad God as well.


  32. Cornjob says:

    When I was taking drama in High School me and a classmate I was also doing martial arts with chose medieval Japan as the subject for our mandatory paper about some kind of non modern theater. We ended up trading all kinds of Noh Theater jokes that weren’t nearly as clever as Mike and the bots were, but were in the same vein. As a result the whole Noh theater sketch from this episode was like an old in joke coming to life on my favorite show. I loved it.

    I’m not sure if “worst fake fighting” has been an episode topic, but this episode wins. I think It wins for all movies. Not just MST episodes.


  33. Sitting Duck says:

    Speaking of Noh theater, if you wish to get a taste of it, you can check out Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (essentially Macbeth with katanas instead of claymores) which is done in the style of Noh. Everyone talks about Rashomon and Seven Samurai, but IMO Throne of Blood is his best film.


  34. Cornjob says:


    Is Throne of Blood the same movie as Ran, which is based on King Lear?


  35. Cornjob says:

    Different movies. Looked it up myself. Ran is well worth watching though, even if it didn’t just say Noh.


  36. Mitchell Rowsdower Beardsley says:

    This isn’t one of my faves. Then again it took me a while to warm up to the Gamera flicks (Godzilla ones are instant classics though).

    But all I really want to say is:

    Revenge of the Creature is NOT a bad movie (relatively speaking of course)!


  37. Mnenoch says:

    One of my favorite’s from season 8. Although I can watch just about any of these crazy Japanese movies. They have a certain charm to them even though this is probably the worst Japanese movie they watched.

    This one has some great riffing moments. Especially all the comments about the kids having level 5 access. Plus the Hitler building is just insane. The last riffing parts are definitely hard to get through just because of the movie replaying the same scenes over and over but watching the Mike and the Bots go insane is its self pretty funny.

    I know this is considered one of the worst films they watched but for some reason this is goofy and wacky enough to not be near as dull as some of the other ones they’ve had.


  38. jay says:

    Neptune Men is where they separated The Brains from the the pretenders, I think. Bill as Krankor, Tom losing it during the repetitive stock footage, and of course, Mike’s Noh Theater routine show what real creativity and talent can do with a cockroach of a movie.


  39. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    I really liked this one and agree with Mnenoch that these loopy Japanese movies have a certain charm to them. Of course they’re basically horrible but that’s what makes them so darn funny as riff material. Thought the host segments, especially the Noh theater one, were funnier than usual. I can’t imagine watching IotNM without the riffing.


  40. Sitting Duck says:

    Invasion of the Neptune Men passes the Bechdel Test. Two random women comment on the recent odd weather patterns.

    The guy they have stand as for Callipygeas is plainly beardless.

    The way the Neptune Men flail about in their fight with Space Chief brings to mind some of the more ineffectual monsters from Doctor Who.

    One of the other ways Neptune Men was like Prince of Space was how the Brains must have had a tough time selecting a stinger. Krankor laughing and the fat kid screaming and falling on his hinder were excellent choices. Still I can’t help thinking that one of the variations of, “Your weapons are useless!” and the destruction of the Hitler Building would have been suitable alternatives.

    The point where Neptune Men fell short compared to Prince of Space involved their respective tights-clad heroes and space invaders. Prince of Space and Krankor had some personality and engaged in plenty of witless badinage. Space Chief and the Neptune Men OTOH are silent and bland. This left it to the kids to carry the film, a task for which they were ill-suited.

    For those who couldn’t be bothered to watch the extras, our old pal August Ramone explained the reason for the reused footage during the dogfight. It appears that it fell a couple of minutes short towards filling a two hour slot when shown on TV. It fell a couple minutes shorter thanks to the production company that localized it cutting out a scene where the kids were singing. In the balance, I think it might have been worth it not to hear their dub voice actors singing.

    My dad has NEVER understood why the “Noh Theater” bit is funny. Even after so many times of trying to explain it to him, he just doesn’t get the joke. To him, it’s just a bunch of “nonsense talking”.

    Have you tried the Who’s on First analogy, or does he not get that one either?

    One thing I have to say about this ep, other than the obvious, is that the whole eyelash mite bit is a good example of the way the ‘bots treated Mike as opposed to Joel. It seems that the whole thing was just an elaborate prank to get Mike. They would never have done anything like that to Joel because he created them and he could turn them off.

    I respectfully disagree. Rewatch HS3 from Wild Rebels.

    Tim S. Turner:
    Where will get our Hitler memoralbilia?!?

    There’s always E-Bay.

    I want to give a shout out to my favorite Sonny Chiba movie: Time Slip (also commonly found under its alternate title, G.I. Samurai). This is a FANtastic movie – don’t believe any negative reviews you might read if you Google the title. A JSDF squad is inexplicably sent back to sengoku-era Japan and decides the only way they can get back is by changing history, to wit, by conquering Japan. And yes, they have a tank, a helicopter, and machine guns, but are those enough to accomplish their goal? (spoiler – no)

    That sounds familiar. IIRC their problem was their limited supply of ammunition and fuel.

    Favorite riffs

    I invite you to pull my finger.

    Don’t worry, kids. It’s a promotional gimmick for Sushi Cereal.

    And immediately, Bob Hope is flown in to entertain the troops.

    Some on. I want to jump around while you fall down more.

    “The clock’s running backwards!”
    That means lunch won’t be ’til yesterday.

    No one showed up for my One Man Il Duce Show.

    “You explain it. Your spaceship landed there.”
    Oh, my spaceship. When we bought it, it was our spaceship.

    “There is no need to despair, as yet.”
    Okay, now despair.

    “Each power dome covers a small area.”
    Like mine.

    Gamera, get back in your kennel.

    So it turns out that the aliens are a big bunch of pusses.

    I’m looking for dignity, but there just isn’t any.

    Someone put wasabi in our jocks!

    At least panic in your pre-designated sub-groups.

    If you lived here, you’d be strafed by now.

    Thomas was very cross with Japan, and felt he must resort to carpet-bombing.

    Not many movies can support a full minute of showing a radar screen. For example, this one can’t at all.

    It’s the end of the world as we know it, and actually, I feel a little bit gassy. But otherwise, I’m fine.

    You didn’t say shields up, please, sir.

    Due to the apocalypse, cram school will be delayed by forty-five minutes this morning.


  41. docskippy says:

    Sonny Chiba is also great in Timeslip, aka G.I. Samurai, aka Sengoku Jietai. He’s the commander of a modern-day JSDF unit that gets sent back to the Warring States period. Lots of violence – you get to see a samurai army take on a tank/helicopter. Also, things don’t go as well for the modern-day soldiers as you might expect…


  42. Raigely says:

    The first one of their Japanese ventures that I happened to see, and probably one of my favorite episodes to just pop in and watch [watching out-of-order did mean I didn’t get the Krankor joke at first, but now I do and it’s even funnier]. The “Hitler building” string of jokes is probably one of the best in-theatre moments of the whole series.

    It may have been brought up before here, but I’ve read that the footage used in the movie isn’t actual WWII footage as the Brains believed. Allegedly [though I’m not sure how legitimate this source is] it came from a 1960 Japanese film called “World War III Breaks Out”. I wonder if that would alter their opinion of the movie any if someone told them that.

    …Probably not much. This is still a pretty pathetic little drag of dull cinema regardless.


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

    Sitting Duck:
    @ #130: If it makes you feel any better, the first time I heard it, I though he was being called the Mad God as well.

    “No God is sane. How could it be? To be a Man is so much less taxing, and most men are mad…” — from “Ernest and the Machine God,” by Harlan Ellison


  44. Sampo:
    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.

    Er, wasn’t that ALREADY explicitly answered in the Movie, when Dr. F shuts off the oxygen as an incentive to get back into the theater for today’s experiment?

    Neptune Men is where they separated The Brains from the the pretenders, I think.Bill as Krankor, Tom losing it during the repetitive stock footage, and of course, Mike’s Noh Theater routine show what real creativity and talent can do with a cockroach of a movie.

    For all the S8-9 world-baiting Japan jokes, the two most Fan-Repeated Holy Lines from the episode both seem to be pokes at the movie, and the low-budget stock footage: “Eat it, movie!”, and the Hitler Building.
    Director Kevin, or guest director Mike, can “shock” us all they want to, but in the end, there’s really only one reason a good episode is funny. Which didn’t happen that often in the Universal years.

    Sitting Duck:
    Speaking of Noh theater, if you wish to get a taste of it, you can check out Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (essentially Macbeth with katanas instead of claymores) which is done in the style of Noh. Everyone talks about Rashomon and Seven Samurai, but IMO Throne of Blood is his best film.

    In fact, just watch Throne of Blood and Seven Samurai ANYWAY, they’re that darned good.

    The problem, though, as was mentioned during the last round of Prince of Space comments, is the Pre-Anime 90’s, when Japan was a country of funny-talking identical businessmen who bought buildings, ate fish, and worshipped Hello Kitty.
    Pretty much the only post-corporate-80’s jokes you got about Japan before Pokemon were Sushi, Samurai and Geishas–especially the wackiness of dressing up as the latter two–and the cultural distinction between Kabuki and Noh wasn’t one that was particularly quibbled over in 1996…It was just more funny xenophobic stuff you wondered why they made such a big deal of over there.

    I remember just being repelled by this episode on first watch, because I’d thought Servo’s nonstop mocking imitations of all the “(gasp!)…(gasp!)” reactions in the bad Japanese-accent English dubbing was more Funny-Talking Foreigner jokes about stock Japanese stereotypes, and the naughty M&tB world-trolling was already starting to grate on us CC fans even before S9 came along.
    But no, turns out it was just more funny picking on the things the characters said.


  45. thequietman says:

    Meanwhile, in pre-revolution Havana…

    So, we finally come to the bottom of the barrel for Season 8, from which we would climb until we come to ‘Screaming Skull’ (or perhaps ‘Hamlet’). I dunno, I laughed plenty of times during this episode in spite of the mind-numbing repetition. All the host segments were funny, Krankor’s return was inspired and we all know ‘Space Mutiny’ is right around the corner. What, me worry?

    So take us away, little shorts!

    Fave riffs
    I used to be virulently anti-pix, but now I’m ProPix!

    Did you leave the Yen on the track?

    Good thing they carry Clinique at the PX, eh?

    Ready? Strut, pout, put it out!

    The catacombs of ancient Legoland…

    Thomas was very cross with Japan and felt he must resort to carpet bombing.


  46. EricJ says:

    “Er, wasn’t that ALREADY explicitly answered in the Movie, when Dr. F shuts off the oxygen as an incentive to get back into the theater for today’s experiment?”

    Haven’t seen The Movie in a while but I believe Forrester cuts the oxygen just to get Mike to bow down to him.


  47. Johnny Drama says:

    Really funny and clever host segments, which is crazy considering it’s the Roman times era. But the movie itself is so terrible that it’s like teflon, the riffs just roll right off, along with my head. This movie hurts. Therefore, it’s a truly evil experiment from the Mads, but at what cost to the viewer? I’d rather watch Fu Manchu, Robot vs Aztec Mummy and Coleman Francis’ movies in a marathon twice before watching this dreary, ugly, nothing going for it “film.” Easily one of the worst, movie wise. The host segs are really good, though!


  48. jay says:

    It would be an Original “shock” to most of us here if you could cough up a compliment now and then. To paraphrase Twain, “Always be positive. It will gratify some and astonish the rest.”


  49. IR5 says:

    While this is the worst film they did at Sci-Fi, I still laughed- especially at the riff “here’s your porn bill!”


  50. jay:
    It would be an Original “shock” to most of us here if you could cough up a compliment now and then.To paraphrase Twain, “Always be positive.It will gratify some and astonish the rest.”

    I did, during the Netflix season. To also quote Twain, one mustn’t criticize on grounds one can’t stand perpendicular himself. :)

    (Btw, take a look at what’s up for next Thursday’s column: Debate Club, you have one week to prepare your arguments for and against.)


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