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Sampo & Erhardt

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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Weekend Discussion Thread: A Better Final Movie?

Again this week, I no longer can find the e-mail that came in with this from an alert reader. To the sender, my apologies. Please feel free to take credit in the comments and feel free to elaborate.

But an e-mail came in saying the the sender never really liked that “Diabolik” was chosen as the very last movie riffed on the show, and wondered if fans could suggest a more appropriate one.

Me, I always felt Zsa Zsa Gabor’s immortal “Queen of Outer Space” would have been a great choice, since it would have made Sci-Fi Channel head honcho Barry Schulman’s goof at the second convention come true.

What would you have picked?

160 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: A Better Final Movie?”

  1. John Paradox says:

    Two movies I’ve always been sorry that never were (officially) MST’d are Swords Of The Space Ark (AKA Space Ninja) and Message From Space, with Vic Morrow. They would have made great companions to Prince/Neptune.

    J/P=?

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  2. The the Eye Creatures says:

    Although Rifftrax got a hold of it (and did a good job I might add), I’ve always felt that Plan 9 From Outer Space would have been a great final movie for MST3K.

       0 likes

  3. Gary Bowden says:

    I have more than one:THE ASTOUNDING SHE-MONSTER(Ed Wood had a hand in it,I think),FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER(starring John Ashley),NIGHT OF THE GHOULS(another Ed Wood film,which I believe was a sequel to Bride of the Monster) and last but not least,INVASION OF THE BLOOD FARMERS..Or how about BIGFOOT with John Carradine?? Or THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON?? Or THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF OZ??? Wait,how about?? There’s too many to choose from..Ok,I’ll just stop here and be satisfied with the ones I picked.Whew! :roll:

       0 likes

  4. Fart Bargo says:

    I like The the’s Plan 9 suggestion, it seems absolutely appropriate. I wasn’t at the second convention and I’m not taking Barry Schulman’s calls these days so could someone fill me in on what Sampo is alluding to? Thanks.

    Happy New Years to all!

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  5. snowdog says:

    Two words: Star Crash. Or maybe it’s one word.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079946/

       4 likes

  6. Sampo says:

    For those who aren’t familiar with the Schulman’s little goof at the second convention:
    Schulman, the guy that saved the show and brought it to Sci-Fi, spoke at the convention. Obviously somebody on his staff prepared his remarks, somebody who was vaguely aware of the show, but didn’t bother to check his or her facts. At one point, he was describing the best-loved episodes and mentioned the episode featuring the movie “Queen of Outer Space.” The audience, as one, got a quizzical look on its face, but because he’d saved the show, they assumed he meant well and gave him a pass.

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  7. thedumpster says:

    There are a few that I would pick for different reasons:

    “Final Justice” for the Joe Don Baker send-off, but not an original way to end the show.

    “Rad” because it is obscure to the general public and is very ’80s but it is not a sci-fi movie. (Although they did do non-sci-fi movies “Gold Boots” & “Final Justice.”

    “The Wraith” but the rights to get that movie probably would have been too much and it is a more mainstream movie.

    “Return to Oz” would be my choice. A very odd, disturbing film for kiddies.

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  8. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Hmmm…

    The original “Gor” movie, featuring Oliver Reed and a Jack Palance cameo, might’ve worked. There’s also “Evil Brain from Outer Space”, a Japanese “movie” that was an inspiration to both “Prince of Space” and “Invasion of the Neptune Men”. “Horror Express”, with Christopher Lee, Peter Cusing and Telly Savalas, might’ve worked well.

    But, if you want to really make it a complete circle, they could’ve done a full riffing on “The Green Slime”.

    Actually, though, I thought “Diabolik” was a good choice. It’s goofy rather than awful, and provided fine riffing material. If only they’d been able to feature the entire movie.

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  9. AlbuquerqueTurkey says:

    I love the “Queen of Outer Space” suggestion – I always wanted them to do that movie. There was a Japanese movie called “Frankenstein Conquers the World” that would also have been perfect – color, lots of bad science dialogue, Japanese goofiness.

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  10. JAY says:

    While I’m perfectly content with Diabolic….Diabolique?….Diabolick?…. the one with that goofy guy in the black wet suit, I would’ve like to have seen how Mike & the bots would re-riff The Crawling Eye. We got a tease at the end of the series finale but that only wet my appetite.

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  11. monoceros4 says:

    #10 probably has the best idea, but I vote for Cat Women of the Moon. Also, although I’m not sure they would have been able to, I’d have loved The Swarm.

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  12. happy says:

    Empire of the Ants, Reptilicus, The Giant Claw, Queen of Outer Space, Missle To the Moon, Cat Women on the Moon , Konga, Yongary Monster from The Deep, The X from Outer Space , Zontar the Thing from Venus I think would have been good choices.
    Frankenstein Conquers the World would have been a good one but it is owned by Toho
    I have to say Horror Express is actually a good movie with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing working together again.
    Other titles have been used for both The Film Crew, Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax – those would have been good too ( Wild Women from Wongo !!) :mrgreen:

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  13. chas_m says:

    I think you guys are totally barking up the wrong tree.

    The last movie riffed by the MST3K folks should have been a curveball, a movie so utterly irredeemable that it actually SUCCEEDS in its mission and drives Mike and the Bots insane — making them realise that they must destroy Earth, creator of such terrible movies, in order to save the galaxy.

    And that’s why I’m nominating Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.

    Or Xanadu.

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  14. How about a re-riffing of Manos? That or # 10’s idea of re-riffing the Crawling Eye.

    For a new movie I would have liked one of the other movies done by ‘cabbage patch Elvis’, Arch Hall Jr: Wild Guitar, (with Ray Dennis Steckler as well!), The Choppers or The Nasty Rabbit. They must have been as good as Eegah!

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  15. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I would have to agree with those who’ve suggested Plan 9 from Outer Space. For many of us, it represents the epitome of bad movies. Yes, there are worse, but Plan 9 does has a deserved reputation going. Diabolik was a great episode, though. Could’ve been worse. What if they’d ended with Projected Man instead?

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  16. Some Guy says:

    They never did Gamera vs. Viras or Gamera vs. Jiger, which always seemed like an oversight to me. Granted, that’s two movies, but a lot of shows have ended on 2-parters.

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  17. OnenuttyTanuki says:

    Attack of the Super Monsters.: Bad recut of a 1970’s Japanese TV. Show put into a 2 hr movie. All the monsters are guys in suits and all the human characters are animated so it’s like someone took a Kaiju flick like Godzilla vs. Megalon and an Anime like Voltron into a blender. This the film that my friends and I use to describe how bad a movie is. Scale of 1 to “Attack of the Super monsters.”
    http://www.badmovies.org/othermovies/supermonsters/
    The Last Dinosaur (1977), Wealthy big game Hunter Richard Boone fights caveman and other prehistoric beasts in hopes of killing T.Rex in Antartic Lost World. Done by Rankin Bass and Tsuburaya Productions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Dinosaur

    Bog. Killer Crayfish man stalks the backwoods on Wisconsin. Might possibly be the Midwest’s answer to Manos.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077254/

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  18. Righty says:

    I think the plan 9 would of worked out or Roadhouse :lol:

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  19. Canucklehead says:

    Hmmm, so many choices…

    I love Diabolik, and think it was a fine send-off to MST3K. But if I had to give them an alternative final episode, I think I’d see what they could do with one of the decent creature features from the 50s, such as Them! Tarantula, Beast from 20,000 Fathoms or, my personal favourite, the Monolith Monsters.

    That would, of course, be dependent on them securing the rights to do them…

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  20. Nicolletta says:

    Troll 2
    The Giant Claw
    Night of the Ghouls

    Queen of Outer Space is a good choice, or as I like to call it: “Sexism in Space”. :lol:

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  21. Nutcase says:

    They should have done those Gamera films seeing as how many were confused by one scene in the flashback sequence in Gamera VS Guiron.

    Anyway Diabolik was good as a final episode, though shame it wasn’t a full season like season 8 was. They should have been allowed a full 23 episode season to end in style. Then perhaps a different film could have been used as the finale of the series.

    But I liked the idea of The Green Slime as the final episode.

       0 likes

  22. Steve K says:

    I agree that with chas_m (#13) that it should have been a truly horrible movie. I also think they should have tried to go beyond the B-movie arena to riff on a big-budget movie. Go out with a bang, you know.

    So, they’d need a big budget movie that was so bad that the production company would likely be looking for any way to actually make some money back for it. I think I have one that might fit the bill: Gigli.

    Granted, the show would have to remain on the air for at least 6-8 more years to get it; that’s just a side bonus :wink:

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  23. weepydonuts says:

    Because SciFi waited to air Merlin’s Shop after the series finale, I always feel that Merlin was the last episode. I don’t understand why the Brains didn’t hold on to Merlin for the final episode (though I understand that Diabolik is well known outside of the States.)

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  24. billybkool says:

    La Nave de los Monstruos [Ship Of Monsters]….in Spanish !!

    One of the very goofiest things ever committed to celluloid. It would have really pushed the envelope being in it’s native language and could have provided the most fertile ground for riffing of all the episodes. Too bad they never did so.

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  25. MPSh says:

    I don’t know about being a last movie, necessarily, but I’ve always wished they could have done The Brain form Planet Arous. A giant alien brain with Cookie Monster eyes suspended from strings, another giant alien brain possessing a dog, John Agar – what more would you want in a movie?

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  26. Tim S. Turner says:

    I like the suggeston of “Troll 2”. What a hilariously awful film. I was always disappointed in the final episode. With the exception of the host segments(which I love-perfect ending), the movie bored me to tears. It’s one of the dullest eps ever. Even the guys seem unmotivated. I know most people won’t agree with me, but I thought “Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders” should’ve been last.

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  27. mikek says:

    I’m okay with Diabolik.

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  28. Colossus Prime says:

    “#1 Swords Of The Space Ark (AKA Space Ninja)”

    1,000 times yes! They could get a little millage out of Star Wars rip-off jokes.

    BTW – anyone know if it’s available on DVD?

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  29. # 16 – Great idea! A Gamera movie would have been a great way to go out.

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  30. Lots of good ideas from everyone, but ‘The Giant Claw’ is my top choice. They started with a goofy monster movie (‘The Crawling Eye’) so they should end on a goofy monster movie.
    I also still wish they could’ve ended the series with Dr Ehrhardt showing up at the last minute. He’s about to tell us where he’s been for the last 9 years when someone knocks him out and drags him away, never to be heard from again.

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  31. Sadly, my choice Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus was not available at the time of the finale.

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  32. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    #7, thedumpster: ““The Wraith” but the rights to get that movie probably would have been too much and it is a more mainstream movie.

    “Return to Oz” would be my choice. A very odd, disturbing film for kiddies.”

    The Wraith is a HILariously bad movie, with a young Charlie Sheen and Randy Quaid totally phoning it in and the thespian duo of Skank and Gutterboy, but I think that it is one that doesn’t really need the MST treatment. You can just do it yourself, at home with friends and beers.

    Return to OZ is one of my favorite movies of all time, so HOW DARE YOU suggest it for MST treatment. That movie used to scare the beejezus out of me, what with the Wheelers and Princess Mombi and her interchangeable heads…good ol’ fashioned nightmare fuel. ‘Return to OZ’ was directed by Walter Murch, sound editor/designer for Apocalypse Now & the Godfather movies, and starred a young Fairuza Balk as Dororthy and Piper Laurie as Aunt Em as well as Jean Marsh and Nicol Williamson. This film is more in tune with and keeps the tone of the original L. Frank Baum novels and I truly believe it to be a BETTER FILM than the WIZARD of OZ. So there!

    As far as final MST movies go, I was always satisfied with the choice of DIABOLIK. Fun, weird, Italian spy(?) movie from the great director, Mario Bava. Strong riffing and good host segments, the only thing that ever was sort of a letdown was that I (along with others, I am sure) was really hoping that Joel would pop into the theater for a segment of riffing with Mike and the Bots. How cool would that of been if Joel was sitting on the other side of Servo?? I know…super cool.

    BUT, if I got to choose a movie I wish they did a MST for, that would for sure have to be YOR: THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE starring our friend, BigMcLargeHuge, REB BROWN!!!! Awesomely bad 80’s European prehistoric-swords-and-sandals-hero flick, that would fit nicely alongside Deathstalker 3, Quest of the Delta Burkes(i mean, Knights!), Outlaw, and Cave Dwellers. If you’ve never seen it, find clips on the YouTube and enjoy. HILarious.

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  33. norgavue says:

    Wild Guitar would have worked I think. The film has a bit of cult status to it plus Arch Hall Jr. and Ray Dennis Steckler. I think just the two of them would have a bit of a bridge between two movies that were really good episodes and that could provide a good book end to the series. Course in the opposite view going out with a monster movie that doesn’t have anything to do with the previous giant monster movies would be neat as well. Something japanese would help, or maybe reptilicus.

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  34. Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    I think “Diabolik” is a really good episode, so for me, the only movies worth replacing it with would be ones that add to the feeling of finale.

    JAY (#10) beat me to suggesting a re-riffing of “The Crawling Eye.”

    For a sort of “going out big” finale, maybe the bizarre but big-budget 1984 Japanese sci-fi spectacular “Sayonara, Jupiter” (also known as “Bye-Bye Jupiter”). It even has a goodbye in the title.

    Or for a “final showdown” ending, how about “Night of the Lepus”? I think that must be the sci-fi movie most mentioned by name on MST3K that they never did on the show.

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  35. JJK says:

    I wouldn’t have changed it. Diabolik is one of my favorite episodes. In fact, I just watched it last night on my new DVD copy of it.

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  36. mikek says:

    I guess I’ll choose a movie anyway.

    The Eliminators. Classic ’80s sci-fi action, with a cyborg, an evil mad scientist who wants to rule the world from the past, Tasha Yar from Star Trek, a ninja, and an R2-D2 rip-off. I think Dr. Hale’s associate from Riding With Death was also in the movie, playing a Han Solo type boat captain.

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  37. ForkLiftKiller says:

    “Sssssssss” is a very MSTable flick, with nice production values and a suitably much-ado-about-nothing ending that could draw some great rants from M&tB.

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  38. Some Guy says:

    #24– Yeah, Brain from Planet Arous is *perfect* MST-fodder.

    Earth vs. the Flying Saucers or When Worlds Collide would’ve been good too; they’re sort of archetypes of the 50’s SF B-movie.

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  39. Some Guy says:

    Oh, I know– if they did a multi-part finale, they could’ve done *all* of an old serial. Redo Commando Cody, or a Flash Gordon one, or Buck Rogers, or something else.

    I do like the idea of something fairly well-known or high-profile (or part of a series/franchise) as the finale, so Diabolik sort of qualifies, at least in Europe.

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  40. ck says:

    I was going to also say Plan 9 From Outer Space, but how about Soylent Green. Not really that bad a movie, and I have the dvd with nice commentary by the director and Leigh-Taylor Young (Shirl). But there are some great bits they could riff, including Chuck Heston and Edward G. Robinson’s repast.

    Spolier alert: Soylent Green is made from people! :shock:

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  41. bobhoncho says:

    I say that “Diabolik” was a fine choice.

    And by the way, #13, “Xanadu?” HOW DARE YOU?!

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  42. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    Boy, I may have spoken too soon. Some great ideas coming out here. I remember thinking about the Brain from Planet Arous a while back and thinking it would have made for a great episode. It seems suitable to just cram John Agar down Mike and the Bots’ throats one more time. Same goes with Arch Hall Jr or Joe Don Baker I suppose.

    I also really like the idea of Ssssssss (don’t say it, HISS it!) It came on tv a while back, and while it was great to see a young Dirk Benedict, it also featured Reb Brown as a small-town bully.

    Another film that comes to mind is Return of Count Yorga. It would fit nicely into the vein of campy 70’s horror flicks like Squirm, It Lives by Night, etc.

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  43. CMWaters says:

    If they could have gotten the rights to do one: any movie (besides Rocky III) with Hulk Hogan in it. Those things are painful.

    Either that, or a movie I always thought they should have riffed but for some reason never did: The original version of “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman”

       1 likes

  44. Meadows says:

    I don’t mind that they riffed “Diabolik”, I just think it was an odd movie choice to end the series on. It was almost too high-budget for them, and wasn’t really indicative of the type of movie they usually go after. Actually, both “Diabolik” and “Squirm” were almost too “good” (relatively speaking) to be the last two movies featured on the show.

    Still, “Diabolik” is an above average episode, so rather than eliminate it completely I would have just swapped it out with one of the more crappier movies from season 10. I would probably have gone with either “Future War” or “Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders” (which actually WAS the last new episode to be broadcast, anyway) for the final show.

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  45. ck says:

    They Live (Rowdy Roddy Piper scifi flick), directed and written by John Carpenter!
    They could have had the aliens visiting the SoL (of course, Crow would probably start identifying with the aliens and get up a suitable costume).

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  46. H says:

    Bear with me on this- how about Silent Running? I know it’s not of the low quality they normally do but I think it would be interesting to riff the movie that partly inspired the show.

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  47. klisch says:

    I really disliked Diabolik as the last episode, I was hoping for just one more Ed Wood or Roger Corman film.

    Glen or Glenda by Wood
    The Last Women on Earth by Corman

    Any one of those would be fitting.

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  48. Brandon says:

    #22, the Merlin episode aired last because SciFi couldn’t legally air it yet. Hallmark had the movie at the time.

    “The Green Slime” would have been a great choice. Another idea would be the William Shatner snorefest, “Kingdom of the Spiders”.

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  49. Invasion of the Neptune Man says:

    Without reading any other comments I’m going to suggest another Dino De Laurentius film, namely King Kong (1976). An American pop icon mixed with stereotypical 70s characters and dated special effects. A can’t miss.

       1 likes

  50. Invasion of the Neptune Man says:

    Reading the comments I see some great ideas esp. Message from Space. How about Jack Palance in Hawk the Slayer (1980)?

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