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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: 904- Werewolf

Movie: (1996) A man develops lycanthropy when he’s injured by werewolf bones unearthed at an archeological dig.

First shown: 4/18/98
Opening: Mike thinks he’s James Lipton
Intro: After being de-Liptonized, Mike attempts to escape down a ladder to Earth, only to arrive at Castle Forrester
Host segment 1: Mike and Tom present who would be in their werewolf movie, but Crow isn’t as good at it
Host segment 2: M&TB sing “Where, o, werewolf”
Host segment 3: Mike has become a werecrow!
End: Mike is still Crow, Tom has become Mike; in Castle Forrester, Bobo ruins Pearl’s attempt to create a werewolf
Stinger: “This is absolutely fascinating!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (387 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)


• Bill’s take is here.
• Now THIS…this is MST3K at its best. I would stack this episode up against any other one from any era. Even if you’re a total Sci-Fi-era naysayer, you’ve still got to love this one. The riffing is brilliant, the segments (well, most of them) are fantastic and the movie is, oh, so very ripe for riffing. It’s just great in every way. Did I mention how much I like this episode?
• Obscure reference not in above: King Timahoe, Richard Nixon’s dog.
• I think I told this story once before, but it needs to be told here. Sci-Fi Channel threw a little wingding in New York City just before this season started, to drum up some publicity. They invited all the major TV press people and most of them came (including my pal and former mentor David Bianculli). In front of a packed amphitheater were Mike and Kevin and I can’t quite remember who else. I don’t think Bill was there and I don’t recall Jim being there, but I could be wrong on both counts.
In any case, in the audience was none other than James Lipton. I suspect he had been put up to it, but during the press conference, he rose and attempted to ask Mike some of the Bernard Pivot/Marcel Proust questions he famously asks his guests on “Inside the Actor’s Studio.”
Now, I can’t say for sure what was going on with Mike, but I strongly suspect he was having one of his famous headaches. I’ve been around him when he’s had one, and in general he is, at best, quiet and cool, and at worst surprisingly short-tempered. I think that explains what happened. The other explanation would be that Mike simply has no use for James Lipton, especially at an event where the purpose was to focus media attention on his TV show, and not Mr. Lipton’s.
Anyway, Lipton asked Mike: “What is your favorite curse word?” and Mike, slowly and with a pained expression his face, replied something to the effect of “I would have to say that it’s: ‘Go to hell, Mr. Lipton.'” Lipton didn’t attempt to ask him any more questions.
• This was the episode Sci-Fi Channel submitted for Emmy consideration. It was not nominated.
• Host segment 1 is one of those “bit about not quite being able to manage to do a bit” bits. They’re a bit wry for my taste.
• The song in segment 2 became an instant classic.
• M&tB are still wearing their girl group hair as they return to the theater.
• Segment 3 is a gem featuring the instantly beloved line: “Well, your voice is going to change inexplicably every seven years…”
• Mike is still a werecrow when he returns to the theater
• At the end of the movie, just when you think they can’t possibly top what they’ve done so far, we get the brilliant closing credits song, in which they chime in with an eclectic mix of songs that they think fit the song’s rhythm. Don’t recognize them all? They’re all identified here and here.
• Ya know, considering that Kevin is the most musically experienced of the three riffers, it’s kind of surprising that Servo messes up the tempo a couple times during the song.
• Of course, the cocker spaniel seen in the final segment was Kevin’s beloved Humphrey. Humphrey lived a long and happy life and has, um, “gone to live on a farm upstate.”
• Cast and crew roundup: Joe Estevez was also in “Soultaker.” That’s it.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. Intern Dan Breyer took a one-episode break after this show, then returned for three more episodes. That’s Beez as the peasant.
• Fave riff: “Okay, stop. Everyone go up a shirt size.” Honorable mention: “I’m still in this movie, ya know! You might not think I am, but I am!”

237 Replies to “Episode guide: 904- Werewolf”

  1. Htom Sirveaux says:

    Did anyone else notice Tom messing up the lyrics (intentionally?) to Admiral Halsey? Instead of, “He had to have a berth or he couldn’t get to sea,” Tom most definitely sings, “He had to have a bath or he couldn’t get to sleep.”


  2. I like Mike even more now that I know he told James Lipton to “go to hell.”


  3. DamonD says:

    “Fountain O’ Hair”

    One of my top ten of the whole series.

    Great for Yuri the multi-haired psychopath devouring the scenary, great for Natalie being so easy on the eye while being being so hilariously wooden and tripping headlong over the language barrier. Throw in an ever-changing werewolf and a truckload of unintentional hilarity and you have a damn good MSTing time by all.

    “I want Joe Frazier!”


  4. Castleton Snob says:

    This episode is a top 5 for me whether it be SciFi or Comedy Central. The riffs get better and better as the movie goes. I still crack up at Paul jumping through the window, and Yuri’s reaction..*blank stare*…Huh..

    Noll(grandma): Don’t let the other Indians see it.
    Mike: You know like, Rajipour, or Amir.


  5. Graboidz says:

    Strong episode for sure.

    But I gotta say I’m kind of bummed at your Lipton meets Mike story. Seems like a real douche move on Mike’s part to slam Lipton in a room full of people. If it was meant as a joke it was obviously a poor one if even Sampo couldn’t tell.


  6. Sitting Duck says:

    Colossus Prime #36: And multiple Native American cultures have many of there own versions of werewolf mythologies, it is not exclusively an European idea. Unless you’re suggesting the mix of the introduction of the Native American story (magic) but then having the werewolf be more of the European quality (more infection like).

    As a point of interest, the werewolf infection trope is a Hollywood invention, grafting vampire lore on the werewolf legend. In fact, most traditional methods for becoming a werewolf in European folklore are voluntary. The closest to the popular perception of werewolves is a curse on the bloodline, which features the aspects of changing at the full moon and only being killed with silver.


  7. Rich says:

    I know I’ve posted this before- good for a review-

    Joe Estevez’ career:



  8. ck says:

    About werewolf origins: I recently picked up some
    dvds on sale at Borders (The Wolfman, Frankenstein,
    Dracula) that have some good extras, including
    commentaries by film historians. The Wolf Man one
    is by Tom Weaver, and covers a good bit of backgriund
    on werewolf folklore.


  9. ck says:

    It also covers “background”. ;-)


  10. mikek says:

    Wow indeed. I’m glad that Joe Estevez has had so much work over the years.

    I give this episode 5 stars. I love it, but it does have one cheap sketch (Segment 2) and the riff from Crow, “There’s a business up there simply called ‘R’.” Bad Crow, bad. Segment 2 is, obviously, acknowledged being stiff, awkward, and phony, but that still doesn’t make it funny.

    Everything else is great, though. Mike’s was, and still is, the BEST James Lipton impression. Eat it Will Ferrell.

    The movie is so fantastically bad and it’s a fine example of why I think newer bad movies made for funnier MST3K episodes.


  11. Brandon says:

    I still wonder what Humphrey was thinking when seeing his owner dressed up in a ridiculous monkey suit.

    BTW, when did Humphrey pass away?


  12. Kilroy says:

    Oh God, what can I add to the conversation about this awesome episode? Nothing short of a classic in my book. Sampo’s favorite riff is also mine. This movie is always such a joy to pop in. I think my other favorite riff is Crow’s emphatic “Good-BYE, Joe!” in the scene where he keeps looking back as he walks away.


  13. Kilroy says:

    Oh man, I almost forgot Mike’s groan inducing moment when they cut to the fan in Paul’s room.

    Mike: DeNiro…Snipes…The Fan.

    Crow: Oh now, come on!


  14. Random Citizen Who Can Kick a Werewolf's Ass says:

    Ooh, I know a line that I can add!

    “Made it, ma, toppa the Farmer’s Bank!”

    Someone on Youtube once noted that in segment 3, Kevin’s hand can be briefly seen when Servo “jumps.”


  15. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I rented Werwilf a few years before it showed up on MST3k. I might have realized what great fodder it was if I hadn’t been so disgusted by its thorough ineptitudity. Is that right I should check my dictionotomy (I love that one). The only reason I rented it was that my friends and I were busy renting movies whose boxes had those flip flip changing covers. What the hell are those stupid things called anyway. Someone help me. ANYWAY… we’d thoroughly enjoyed Jack Frost and Uncle Sam and were hoping that Wirwalf would be just as much fun. Alas, I think we all know how this story ended. It’s a hard pill to swallow without the riffing. I was so scarred from that experience with Wurwelf that I can only give it 4 stars. And from me, Sam the Keeper gets love only for the Black Hole Sun video, but only my contempt for this movie. And he needs to quit being so homophobic about Count Dracula. He’s just festive, that’s all. (Not that there’d be anything wrong if he were..)


  16. Cornjob says:

    I think Yuri gets an award for best inexplicable rage. What was he so mad about? His hair? I love the way he shows up at the dig in the beginning and starts beating up the hired help for no apparent reason. Why didn’t he get fired for assaulting someone on a daily basis, or at least put in jail?

    Perfect episode. Aside from everything allready mentioned my favorite moment was nobody in the pool hall noticing someone turning into a warwilf. Oh, and the anamalous full moon that lasted all month long.


  17. While I do understand #105’s feelings about Mike’s Lipton remark, despite not knowing the context (or even if Lipton was in on the joke) I do have to say that Lipton comes off as a fawning, obnoxious sycophant and there have been times I really wanted someone to call him out on it — if that was Mike’s intention more power to him.

    (And, ya know, if it was just a joke gone wrong I’d say F* ’em if you can’t take a joke :>)


  18. losingmydignity says:

    A classic furry lovable ep. I prefer Pumaman and Final Sacrifice to this one, but it is a classic.

    I love love the riffing on the Indian/western mural and the entire pool table scene. The fight too. I love how the werewolf gets his ass whooped by ordinary Flagstaffians.

    I’ve been to Flagstaff. It seemed tiny, and set in the foothills. Was this really filmed there? Not that we see much of the town, but….

    I don’t believe the Lipton story for a second…come on…why would dorky Lipton come to some promotional MST event?! Are you sure it wasn’t an actor impersonating Lipton? It sounds like the kind of joke they would do, esp when you bring in Mike’s reaction. Even the headache thing sounds concocted, not that you’re pulling our leg on purpose, Sampo, but were you perhaps April fooled? Something is fishy here and it’s not Melissa Strickland.

    To the person who posted about Tommy Wiseu and Natalie in the same room/movie: GREAT idea and comic gold…


  19. fathermushroom says:

    I always thought the driving werewolf was a perfect opportunity for a “Nipsy Russell!” shout out.

    Natalie is fairly spectacular to behold.


  20. Chief?McCloud! says:

    Natalie nipple alert! DVD original theatrical trailer…after “no-pants” girl tumbles down the steps to her, um, yeah…she just up and walks away after being assaulted by a beast, no cops or SWAT team. What gives?

    Anyway, for the guys out there (and some of you ladies too) you’ll see Natalie’s “talent” in the lower right corner of the screen. What an actress. Accidental nude is far better than on purpose nude. I apologize in advance if I’ve crossed a line.


  21. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    @120. dude, nice catch :)


  22. Shenny says:

    @115 I believe you mean lenticular boxes.


  23. Creeping Terror says:

    This movie is a perfect storm of inept film making, bad screenwriting, shoddy acting, perfect riffing, and incompetent editing. My favorite MST3K films are usually from the 1970’s to 1990’s that have no excuse for being awful (unlike a lot of the Italian or Russo-Finish movies where you can blame the weirdness on culture, or the teenage 1950’s films that simply haven’t aged well). A few things that make this movie stand out for me:

    – This probably has more music riffs than any other film, thanks to the closing credits, the “thanks for turning off the bad soundtrack riff,” the joke about the “Concerto in F for cello and werewolf,” the opening credits joke, the jokes about harpsichord music, the country music references, etc. I’m have been a musician for over 80% of my life, so I appreciate those jokes A LOT.
    – I’ve been to Flagstaff. No, it’s nothing like what you see in the movie.
    – There’s a sort of mystery behind this movie: so little is on the internet about the behind the scenes process (sort of like “The Creeping Terror”) that the lack of answers adds to the intrigue of such a bad movie. This is in contrast to “Manos,” which has an extensive Wikipedia page (which I edited recently) and quite a bit is known about how it came to be.
    – I see my family 1-2 times per year, and each time I have members request that I bring MST3K DVDs. Almost always SOMEBODY requests this one. It’s their favorite. It’s also a favorite among friends.

    By the way, there are two songs from the Rogers and Hammerstein canon (“The Lonely Goatherd” and “Surrey with the Fringe on the Top”) that they sing in the closing credits. Does anyone know who the writer(s) with a penchant for musical theatre is/are? I used to work in theaters to pay my way through college, so those jokes always get me.


  24. Warren says:

    Easily in my top 5. “Later in the dead of blue-filter night…” If Adrianna Miles had actually been in Hustler magazine, that would’ve been spectacular.


  25. Ray The Whimsical Lampshade says:

    According to the credits this movie was filmed in California and Mexico, and not in Flagstaff. I have no idea why they picked Flagstaff for a setting, but they did. I like this movie not as fond of it as the vast majority of people here, but it is certainly a good episode. I do agree with some of the other posters on this though: Why wasn’t Yuri fired or in jail, the fact that he assaults two people, and always seems to be on the verge of going psycho makes him a danger to society. I believe he attacked Paul because he thought Natalie was his girlfriend, never mind the fact that she doesn’t seem interested in him, in the least. I don’t blame her. Blandish writer would beat out psycho archeologist(or whatever the heck Yuri is supposed to be) for me too.


  26. Random Citizen Who Can Kick a Werewolf's Ass says:

    I think I’ve fgured out why Yuri hasn’t been thrown in jail: apparently the cops in Flagstaff are more of a mythical figure. Remember, Sam the Keeper “prays” for the cops to come instead of, you know, actually calling for them.


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

    #111: I still wonder what Humphrey was thinking when seeing his owner dressed up in a ridiculous monkey suit.

    What do dogs think about anything ever? “Can we ever really KNOW?”

    #125: Why wasn’t Yuri fired or in jail, the fact that he assaults two people, and always seems to be on the verge of going psycho makes him a danger to society.

    Eh, just one more sociopath walking among us unfettered. Maybe he was just off his medication that week.

    As for Yuri’s hair, I think it might be not so much that the movie lasted for months as that the FILMING lasted for months. Maybe Jorge/George Rivero just wasn’t a team player.

    This was Fred “Paul” Cavelli’s only film, and Adrianna Miles’ only starring role. She also played a bit part in an Albert Pyun film. So, ironically, starring in a Tony Zarindast film was a big step up for her.

    Considering how well this one turned out (so to speak), I’d be mildly surprised if no one ever tried to get hold of other Tony Zarindast films to riff. Director, writer, producer AND actor in “Werewolf,” he’s perhaps the Coleman Francis of his times and, like Francis, he owes his current level of fame (again, so to speak) to MST3K.

    Of course, per IMDB some of his films are in the Persian language (Zarindast is from Iran, while Rivera is from Mexico; who says the American dream can’t come true?), so that might have been more than MST3K was willing to tackle. Still, he also has 10 films in English, including “The Guns and the Fury,” an eighties action film starring Peter “I’m Peter Graves” Graves AND Cameron “Captain Santa Claus” Mitchell.

    “So, which one’s the Gun and which one’s the Fury?”

    “I think they’re both Guns and the Fury comes in later.”

    “Oh, there’s gonna be some fury later, I can promise you that…”


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

    Off-topic, although Cameron “Captain Santa Claus” Mitchell had a fifty-year-long acting career, I can’t figure out what if any role he would’ve been best known before prior to MST3K (now, of course, there’d be no contest). The villain in “Supersonic Man,” maybe?


  29. DamonD says:

    Got to mention Tom’s great reaction to the ‘nose to anus’ line.

    “What?! It’s FUN!”


  30. Stan McSerr says:

    #126 is correct, the police are mythical creatures that you have to pray for. Warewolves, however, are real. Yuri probably has roid rage. :lol:


  31. fathermushroom says:

    Yuri has hemmoroides?


  32. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    I guess being an assistant archeologist pays pretty well, Yuri does drive a nice Mercedes.


  33. Chief?McCloud! says:

    The Yuri character (using that term loosely) played by George Rivero looks like the same guy as the random townie that fights the war-wulf outside the billiard hall….What do you think sirs?


  34. Finnias Jones says:

    “I just found out that Count Dracula was a faggot!”
    Any chance Sam the Keeper’s out-of-nowhere remark is a reference to Repo Man which starred Emilio Estevez, Joe’s nephew?
    “John Wayne was a fag.”


  35. Slartibartfast, maker of Fjords says:

    There are five real categories of MST episodes. The stinkers like Siderhackers, the barely watchable like Project Moonbase or Gamera vs. Gaos, the middle of the road episodes like Gamera vs. Zigra, the entertaining, but not over the top great like Werewolf, and the absolutely fantastic, like Final Sacrifice and Space Mutiny. This, for me is obviously in the four stars category, although I have been known to sing “Where, oh, werewolf” when I’m all alone (sick, ain’t it).


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

    #134: Any chance Sam the Keeper’s out-of-nowhere remark is a reference to Repo Man which starred Emilio Estevez, Joe’s nephew?

    I doubt the filmmakers had that much self-awareness. I’m still not sure what “This is just to keep the flies down” was supposed to mean. He kills flies with a RIFLE? Re Count Dracula, is he worried about vampire flies? Exactly what sort of “weird things a-doing” did he mean, anyway?

    “We can always use another pretty face around here.”



  37. MrsPhyllisTorgo says:

    I guess I’m the only one, but I *love* Segment 2. The offhand way Servo says “Chip Hitler” just kills me. I still remember the first time I saw that, and laughing so hard with my mom, who was watching it with me. So many of these episodes I’ve seen so often that it’s hard to remember that first time. I also like Don’s mobbed up brother Vito Knotts….


  38. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    #134,#136: I’m wondering if there ever was any scripted dialogue for Sam the Keeper at all. Maybe he just wandered in with his gun and started saying stuff, and they just filmed it.


  39. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    Woolworths ?


  40. DON3k says:

    Someone above questions the lack of cops, even after the attacks – like the Realtor lady not calling the cops….

    The real question is, after Paul starts to turn, while at the bar, then runs from the bar, and attacks and bits / kills two people at the entrance of the bar, scares the cub scouts who are walking by, and runs over the roof of an occupied car, with a guy cursing at him… Still, not cops?! I mean, you literally would have had to step over two dead guys to get in or our of the bar, but still, no cops. No one runs into the bar, asking for help. No one in the bar steps out and finds the bodies…..


  41. AlbuquerqueTurkey says:

    All of the above quotes and riffs, plus

    “You can’t handle the truth, dearie!”

    “I just heard ‘Goodbye, England’s Rose’!”

    “Yep, same gas station.”

    Is that museum in the film the La Brea Tar Pits museum in L.A.?

    BTW, I think Mike is very into Gilbert and Sullivan – he also sings “Model of a Modern Major General” in Horror at Party Beach.



  42. Roman Martel says:

    For me this is a solid 4 star episode, one of the better Sci-fi channels ones to be sure. I remember the cover to this DVD back when I worked at a video store. Sorry to say that the “morphing” cover didn’t help it rent much.

    Check out my full review here:


  43. Zeroninety says:

    “Oh my God!–”
    “–this is *so* great!”


  44. Wendel says:

    This is by far one of the best episodes they have ever done.
    I was “fortunate” to see this movie on Showtime a year or two before MST3K took it on. I thought it was odd, but they lots of late night Showtime movies in the 90s were.

    This is the movie I would use to introduce newcomers to MST3K.


  45. crowschmo says:

    The full moon doggedly refuses to wane. :lol:


  46. Steve Laughery says:

    I hate to be naive, and please, don’t send any mean replies, but … what the heck is “TUSK”? I always thought they were saying “Toss!”, as in, “I’m tossing the next line over to you”.
    Sorry. I live in a small town way out west. Have I just missed “Tusking” all my life?


  47. This Guy says:

    I thought that for a long time, too. “TUSK!” is a reference to the Fleetwood Mac song “Tusk,” which also somewhat resembles the style of the credits song.


  48. Wendel says:

    THAT was the reference I knew no one would cover.
    Thank you :mrgreen:

    TUSK was a popular song in the late 1970s by Fleetwood mack.
    While it only made it to #8 on Bilboards top 100, it stayed in the top 40 for most of the year at one point or another.

    Great band number it is used for football games thoughout the 80s and 90s.

    “Tusk” was the puch in the song. THe rest was mainly sining to the melody.


  49. Steve Laughery says:

    This Guy and Wendel,
    Now I get it! Thank you, very much!


  50. The Bolem says:

    I was too busy to properly respond to this one until the guide for the next ep was up, so nothing to say about the movie in general except that after the mighty roar of the puma kicked the season 9 into overdrive, the equally inexplicable cry of the anoglanche (?) surprisingly kept up the momentum, assuring me that their second SciFi season would be just as awesome as the first.

    I always thought they were saying “TOSS:” too. I never heard ‘Tusk’ until I saw a Fleetwood Mac tribute band at my local harness-racing track last summer.

    Another song I never heard until last year was ‘Walking in Your Footsteps’. Until then, I almost wondered if, “Tell me mighty Brontosaurus, don’t you have a message for us”, was some sort of mutilated Wizard of Oz reference.

    On the other hand, I’ve had ‘The Battle of New Orleans’ commited to memory since the 4th grade, so it was hilariously strange to hear its refrain sung so close to Chili Peppers’ lyrics. Misquoted a bit, but, “…and they ran through the places where a rabbit wouldn’t go”, actually is a bit funnier than, “…bushes where a rabbit wouldn’t go”, in this context.

    I thought someone would mention Tom’s comment about high gas prices being perhaps the most dated riff they’ve ever done, but I guess a month ago any riffs connected to Haiti became unintentionally tragic as well.

    This was also the first I’d ever heard Fruit Brute mentioned, as Monster Cereals had dropped him by the ’80s. Was it more or less like Fruity Yummy Mummy in the ’90s?

    For that matter, I’ve never seen any of those Frito Bandito commercials either.

    And I guess I’m not alone in having found several occasions to mention Chip Hitler. The idea of Don Knotts’ older, tougher brother Spike Knotts always reminds me of some special on Don that claimed he was some sort of irresistable ladies’ man off camera, something I’m not sure ever translated onscreen; has anyone here seen him in ‘The Love God’?

    The whole celebrity siblings skit reminds me of a recurring bit on ‘House of Buggin’, perhaps the weakest of all the sketch comedy shows Fox cranked out in the wake of ‘In Living Color’ (‘The Edge’ being by far the best). It involved a guy who was supposedly Yoko Ono’s kid brother having a talk show where he interviewed fictional celebrity relatives, including IIRC, the lost Zeppo Baldwin mentioned in one of Mike Nelson’s books. The only exchange I actually remember was with Snoop Dogg’s sister Dog-Doggy-Dogg, where after Ono had pissed her off, she threatened to do a drive-by of his house, and he responded, “Eh, you couldn’t drive by a McDonald’s…”

    Somehow the delivery made it work. HOB had it’s moments, including John Leguizamo (sorry, no time to spell-check) just barely pulling off a Superman impression. Still, it’s probably yet another example of the ’90s sucking outside of MST3K, much like this week’s movie.

    Oh, and having minored in German, with rules on sentence structure and verb tense harder to memorize than probably any other language, “future-conditional-pluperfect-subjunctive”, floors me every time.


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