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: 907- Hobgoblins

Movie: (1987) Some not-too-bright teens pursue aliens — who make people’s dreams come true, then murder them — who have escaped from confinement.

First shown: 6/27/98
Opening: On the SOL, there’s a rash of unintentional on-turning
Intro: M&tB mistreat Pearl’s new couch, and soon regret it
Host segment 1: Crow presents: “Let’s Talk Women!”
Host segment 2: Bobo calls Crow’s crisis hotline
Host segment 3: Pearl is only briefly fooled by Mike’s cutouts
End: Servo has solved the Rick Sloane problem…or has he?; Pearl expresses her disappointment
Stinger: The hobgoblins enjoy a ride
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (347 votes, average: 4.65 out of 5)


• Wow. Well, there are bad movies, there are really bad movies, and then there are bad movies like “Hobgoblins.” It’s one of those movies where somebody is sure to say “even the riffing couldn’t save it.” If nothing else, it’s memorable. The riffing is as good as it’s been all season and the segments are all pretty strong, and all that adds up to a great episode.
• Paul, who was doing these a lot at this point, offers thoughts here.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 8.
• Producer Rick Sloan famously lobbied to get this movie on the show, something that didn’t happen often.
• Sloan revisits the movie in this video.
• The whole “on-turning” thing is brilliant.
• The intro is also a gem. We can’t have nice things.
• Crow, it’s pronounced “cerberus,” not “cerebus.”
• Among the more memorable credit sequences is the opening credit sequence, in which Mike is forced to corral the bots as they understandably attempt to flee the movie.
• In segment one, Mike is reading Dickens’ “Bleak House” as the scene opens, while Tom is reading Richard Scary’s equally gripping “What Do People Do All Day.”
• That’s Beez in the grainy photo Crow shows during segment 1.
• I like that the TV says “Stony.”
• Once funny, now dead references: JFK Jr.; Hunter Thompson.
• I was completely taken in by segment 2. Never saw the twist coming.
• Is my disk defective or does the sound cut out during the door sequence after segment 2?
• Naughty riff: “You’re the expert on that.”
• The run of “parking” riffs just gets funnier and funnier.
• Segment 3 is particularly funny to me because of the the three complete different reactions of Brain Guy, Pearl and Bobo. Reminds me a bit of some comment threads… :roll:
• I wonder if Rick Sloane began to regret offering this movie, after the infamous “interview” at the end of the movie.
• The closing bit is probably the weakest of all the segments, but even that one is pretty funny.
• No roundup this week: Nobody who worked on this movie did any other MSTed movies.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike. After this episode, Mary Jo took then next two episodes off from the writing room–I’m guessing that was so she could head to the coast to do the “Gorgo” segments.
• Fave riff: “Aha! And what brisk witticism will this chappie have to offer?” Honorable mention: “o/` It’s the 80s… do a lotta coke and vote for Ronald Reagan…” o/`”

218 Replies to “Episode guide: 907- Hobgoblins”

  1. Timber says:

    I have to say this is one of my favorite episodes of the later years. It’s often been said that the worse the movie, the better the riffing – and this movie fails so spectacularly on ALL levels that it must have seemed like Christmas morning for Mike and the bots. The host segments are pretty funny, and the cardboard character sketch still leaves me and my friends laughing. I can honesty say I have all due respect for the MST3K crew – had I been in on their writing/screening sessions I would probably have just been staring, mute, at this train-wreck of a movie getting progressively worse and worse onscreen. Bravo for sticking it out, and for delivering one memorable MSTie…


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

    The secret origin of the on-turning bit:


  3. Shinola says:

    For me, this was a “lost” episode of sorts, because I had a friend tape it for me and I didn’t get the tape until several months after the episode actually aired. When I actually sat down to watch it, I was baffled in the best possible application of that word. The riffing’s amazing, the segments are strong. The movie…the movie is one of those so historically bad that it cements a place in the show’s history. I think the Manos comparison gets tossed around a lot, so I won’t use it. Instead, Hobgoblins makes its own milestone, becoming an easy yardstick for movie quality in the Sci-Fi era.


  4. robot rump! says:

    every time i see this episode i myself am tempted to give Rick Sloan a swift kick to the shin. and the sad thing is if this movie only had better actors, sound effects, cinemetography, coordination, editing, puppetry,soundtrack, scriptwriting and catering it might not have been as bad as it was.


  5. Fun fact: the Club Scum M.C. is Daran Norris, who has gone on to be a prominent voice actor (Spiderman, Fairly Oddparents) and was Cliff the attorney on Veronica Mars.


  6. dafs says:

    Absolutely one of the best episodes ever. It may seriously be the worst film they’ve ever done. Incompetent science fiction films are one thing, but an unfunny comedy is a monster all its own. Also, segment two provides one of my favorite lines: “Watch out now, you little doodad!”


  7. ck says:

    Given that Gremlins was made a few years before this,
    it’s a pity that TS didn’t ask Rick Sloane whether
    he made his film to profit off the earlier film’s

    “So, Rick Sloane, is it true that you employed Chinese
    children as slave labor to make rip-off Gremlin puppets
    for your cinema that would help U.S. army recruiting?”

    “Yes. That’s a very insightful observation. I had hoped it
    would be the first in a long series of horror/army
    recruitment films, not unlike the WWII ‘Why We Fight’ series.”


  8. Mike Palmiter says:

    The words “bad movie” and “worse movie” are relative. If the MST movies were any good, they wouldn’t be MST worthy.
    As for HOBGOBLINS, it fits right between my first two quotes, so it’s pretty good! Crow’s segment on “Women” makes the entire episode one of the best.


  9. klisch says:

    “Can we make a point next time that films need to be made by film makers?” A funny line from Crow.

    This movie was of course painful to watch but with Mike and the bots, it was downright funny! They earned their paychecks that week!


  10. Finnias Jones says:

    Crow: Can we have a law that in the future, films have to be made by filmmakers?

    Oh Hobgoblins, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

    Yes, this film is offensive, not only to women, but also to men who love women. And worse, it offends those who love Gremlins, and its excellent sequel. But the greatest offense of Hobgoblins is that it was all intentional. No complaints about a low budget or studio interference apply here. This was this the film “auteur” Rick Sloane set out to make. Not since Attack of the Eye Creatures have we seen a movie where the director clearly hated ALL of his characters. Only here, he “did care” about the final product: the audience are meant to hate them too.

    Some positives:

    • The notion of alien creatures manufacturing a human’s deepest desires is a good one. Despite having seen this episode a few times, I’m always surprised when the phantom characters disappear. But I’m left wondering what the Hobgoblins motives really are…

    • Amy stripping down to her Jane Fonda workout gear. Gotta agree with Roadrash, she’s a “HIT.”

    • The Club Scum house-band: “Basque separatists” or not, The Fontanelles sound pretty good to me, a pleasant goth-new wave hybrid with aggressive guitars. There is a torrent featuring three songs (including “Kiss Kicker 99” and “Passion Kills” from the movie) that a MST fan posted from his mint vinyl copy of the band’s 7″ single.


    At the beginning of 1008 – Final Justice, Servo says “Greydon Clark, the producer of Hobgoblins, we’re doomed!” but IMDB does not support this statement. Any suggestions as to how this rumor got started?


    Four stars from me: 3 for the riffing, plus 1 for “combat pay” for the boys having to endure such a brutal affront to good taste. Plus, the host segments hit me where it hurts:

    • Robert Palmer’s “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On” is a legitimately good song, catchy in that “Prince/Jam & Lewis/Minneapolis 80’s electro-funk” kind of way. Mariah Carey covered it in Glitter but don’t hold that against the late, great Palmer.

    • The “Let’s Talk Women” short film by Crow is a MaSTerpiece. One of Bill Corbett’s finest moments.

    • The couch-jumping bit is funny too. Crow: “Watch you guys I’m gonna do something cool. You can see my legs!” “We can’t have nice things,” is called-back to in CT’s Danger On Tiki Island by Mary Jo herself.

    Sampo alluded to this possibly now-tasteless riff: “It’s not that complicated.” JFK Jr. could do it.

    Favorite riff:
    Crow: Just as long as Demi Moore doesn’t come out and start shaking her saline bags.


  11. Kenotic says:

    This is easily the most misanthropic movie they did. EVERYONE is either a jerk, a slut, or a whiny loser. No one is a redeemable character, and no movie (except maybe Batwoman, Maybe) seems to both loathe its characters and its audience as much.

    Little Trivia: Daran Norris is one of the few people to escape this film with a respectable acting career. He was the awesomely sleazy DA Cliff McCormack on Veronica Mars — a role he knocked out of the park every time he was on. Anime nerds might recognize his voice as Cowboy Andy on Cowboy Bebop, or Vincent in the movie.

    The other one is Tami Bakke (aka Tamara Clatterbuck) who did some soap operas afterwords. She was the horrific phone sex operator, and yes that really is her voice. My respect for her grew infinitely once I saw the little documentary they made about the film — she’s one of those who can laugh at the experience. Maybe it just keeps her from crying.


  12. Kenneth Morgan says:

    About the only thing that barely makes “Hobgoblins” tolerable is the fact the people behind it clearly weren’t taking it seriously. If this had been played straight, it would’ve been insufferable.

    The riffing is great, and the host segments are top notch. I didn’t see the twist in Bobo’s call coming, either. And who was the lucky so-and-so who ended up with the cast cut-outs at the prop auction.

    And the bad feelings towards the 80’s continue: “It’s the 80’s! Do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan!”


  13. Kenotic says:

    Sorry Mark, I didn’t mean to duplicate trivia — I’m just a little slow on the uptake today.

    And “Fishpicker!!” is easily my favorite MST song. “Chord, Chord, Chord, Chord, Other Chord” is my favorite riff of the show.


  14. pearliemae says:

    I love the fear M&tBs have at the start of the flick, and then at the first scene – “a badly lit warehouse, I feel better already”. That’s the spirit we like to see!


  15. Colossus Prime says:

    The opening segment, aside from being ridiculous amounts of fun, shows off one of my favorite transitional elements of the show: Though the bots can’t express facial emotion, when Mike does something, in this case intense worry, it somehow reflects in the bots’ unemotional faces.

    We get another “Doc” from Crow. I absolutely love all documentaries or reports (as done in pre-Sci Fi days) that are horribly inaccurate. Great mustache, Crow!

    It seems as though every episode now has a bit that further endears Bobo as a lovable simp. Great bait and switch bit.

    Gotta love Pearl calling Bobo and Observer, Pinky and Brain.

    This episode truly is terrifying. It’s one thing when the movies are just goofy on their own (often unaware of it), but this is one of those movies that are so uncompromisingly incompetent that even with the absolutely fantastic riffing it’s still painful. Starting from the writing it seems as though it was penned by a forty year old who just learned English five years ago, has the mind of a twelve year old, and was recovering from a recent head first fall down the stairs. In fact this is a go-to movie to explain; just because you really, really want to make movies for a living, doesn’t mean you should. The only redeeming quality it has is that beginning to end it is an exercise in how not to make a movie.

    BTW – Rick Sloane’s wiki entry is very revealing and comforting with such facts as:
    While in film school at Los Angeles City College, Sloane was singled out among his peers by a number of instructors and deemed the least talented student in the bunch. His directing teacher dropped him from the class on the first day, weeding out people that didn’t belong in film making. He waited a year for another teacher to take the course.

    Favorite riffs
    Crow: The true story of Neil Pert.

    Tom: So what, now he becomes a Jedi Knight? Why am I sitting here?!

    Crow and Tom crying and trying to run away from the movie.

    Mr. McCreedy: This is what I was telling you about. (holding a gun)
    Mike: Used it to kill Arch Duke Ferdinand.

    Mr. McCreedy: Did I ever tell you what I did when I was in the Army?
    Tom: I was Tokyo Rose.

    Crow: Sentence fragments… just phrases.

    Mr. McCreedy: There’s been an accident at the studio.
    Crow: We made Hobgoblins.


  16. GizmonicTemp says:

    Finnias #10 – Cool! I’m glad someone else thinks that the “Pig Liquor” song from the movie is actually decent. I love the agressivie guitaring and lead-in harmonics. I must find that torrent.


  17. Tim S. Turner says:

    “I had the popular Jerry Orbach hairdo back then….”
    “Paint my muscle car PRUNE COLOR, please!”
    “They’re having a ‘girl’s’ night.”
    Meet the Hobgoblins! Frankie, Sniffles, Bounce-Bounce and the Claw!”
    One of the greatest episodes-EVER.


  18. Shinola says:

    @Kenneth Morgan (#12): And the bad feelings towards the 80’s continue: “It’s the 80’s! Do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan!”

    Yes! I completely forgot to mention my favorite line! I was born in the ’80s, and for me, the combination of the dancing, inspid music and Mike’s lyrics summarize the whole decade.


  19. Gummo says:

    If anyone ever says to you, MST was never any good after Josh/Joel/Frank/Trace left, just show’em Hobgoblins.


  20. Scott says:

    Favorite Riff “Yuk, there’s a girl touching me”.


  21. Tim says:

    Despite many years of searching, I have been unable to find a Casio rake. Those things were amazing.


  22. GizmonicTemp says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention that the scene in Club Scum when Pixie finds out the kids are underage and summons Roadrash, who asks how many fake ID’s they need, is actually very funny!

    Anyone else think the first junior security guard (who dies as he lives his rock and roll fantasy) looks like Mike McCready from Pearl Jam? This is odd since he died while performing music AND the elder security guard is named “McCreedy”. Just a thought.


  23. The Bolem says:

    1998 might just have given me my fondest memories amidst interminable suckitude of the ‘90s. I finished my first year of college, and returned to my first job at the local family-run dairy/restaurant, where a milk crate full of half-gallons of ice cream gave me my first concussion. That last bit happened a few hours after I saw the X-Files movie…I think. I also rented half of the old Godzilla movies (including Rodan and Mothra), and in the wake of what was likely the best season of any Transformers cartoon ever, Kenner was churning out the best Beast Wars toys ever, and we all got to enjoy what was even more likely MST3K’s most consistently excellent short-season ever the whole summer long.

    But was it Season 9 as a whole that defined the time? Not quite. For anyone who had even the most passing interest in MST3K 12 years ago, the summer belonged to HOBGOBLINS.

    The legend spread at an alarming rate. Whenever the MST came up in conversation, the phrase, “Oh my GOD, did you see when they did that movie ‘Hobgoblins’ a few weeks ago?”, was spoken no less than a minute after. As great as the previous season had gotten at the end, it seemed that here the Brains had finally tackled their first true Maw-of-Hell caliber movie of the SciFi era.

    And still, after all of our discussion of it in other threads, I wonder if it really was that much worse than any other flick they tackled in those 3 seasons, or if it was partly Hobgoblins hitting me below the belt. You see, I naturally discussed it mostly with people around my age, with childhood memories of the ‘80s. Memories which I believe, if precious to said person, it dredged up, spray-painted neon colors, defecated upon, and reburied in a variety of humorous positions. Thanks to said Beast Wars reigniting my Trans-passion and Toonami rerunning an astounding variety of other beloved cartoons from just after Reagan’s lift of the great ban on toy-tie-ins, Hobgoblins didn’t have to dig very far either, and hundreds of thousands of my generation who saw this must have felt the same. To this day, for about 24 hours after each viewing of #907, I can’t quite clearly recall any movie, TV show, or toy franchise that I really loved back then.

    I’m also not sure just how isolated this effect was to children of the ‘80s. The intro segment of M&TB regressing to childhood to jump on the couch in their feety pajamas until they’re abruptly traumatized by the announcement of the movie channels this sentiment so strongly that I doubt it’s a coincidence; if the Brains didn’t feel it themselves, they must have realized it would have that effect on a lot of us.

    And yet, as we all know from our favorite show, any such defilement of a facet of pop-culture is in some small part a celebration of it as well. I’ve sung “…Do a lotta’ coke, aaaand vote for Ronald Reagan…” during several viewings of the Junkion dance party in Transformers: The Movie, and the first time I watched this with a group (my college comic creator club), during the Fontanelles’ big number, I found myself complimenting their music with, “We’re COLD…SLITHER, you’ll be joi-ning-us-soon. A BAAAND of VI-PERS, play-ing-a-tune”.

    By the end of that particular showing, we all agreed the best riff was: “There’s been an accident here at the studio” “We made ‘Hobgoblins’…” Of course, traumatized as we all were, this group was also a bunch of hardened MST veterans who just hadn’t followed the switch to SciFi that closely, so we were all still laughing through the pain. The SECOND group I subjected to Hobgoblins on the other hand…well, that’s another post.


  24. badger1970 says:


    I did not even notice that when I looked up the English voice actors for Bebop.


  25. John W says:

    “Boy, that sure is a bad movie, won’t you?”
    “It sure is, you know.”


  26. Droppo says:

    5 stars, no doubt.
    The movie couldn’t deserve it more. Absolutely perfect vehicle for MST.

    The riffing is top notch throughout. This is one that never drags for me. I can just hit play and let it run. Club Scum is probably my favorite sequence because of the deserved hatred heaped on the emcee. But, the rake fight is right up there. I love every riff about the characters’ nonchalance to Nick’s gruesome murder. And anything involving the old man. The Jerry Orbach hairstyle riff, making fun of his non-reaction to the Hobgoblins’ reveal.

    Most of the host segments are strong. Crow’s documentary is great….”I don’t remember.” And I love the cardboard cutout segment. I’m not crazy about the Bobo hotline segment, but, it’s not offensive. The entire opening is great. I love the expression on Mike’s face when he defiantly sprays the juice box at the camera. And it’s just as funny when it cuts to his terrified reaction after Bobo’s scream.

    Easily in the top 3 Sci Fi Era shows and up there with the all time best.


  27. Tork_110 says:

    If it weren’t for Space Mutiny this would be the best episode of the SciFi years, maybe even the series.

    I thought Rick Sloane missed an opportunity by not adding a rich black girl to the cast in the sequel. (Uhh, I MEAN the sequel that I made up in my mind and doesn’t actually exist because it never happened! Yep, please don’t throw any rocks at me now.)


  28. The Bolem says:

    The second group of people I exposed to Hobgoblins was the one close circle of friends I had in college, Junior year. I showed them a lot of MST3K for the first time, starting with Rhino’s VHS releases, including Manos, Eegah, Batwoman, and Red Zone Cuba, all of which they endured rather well. I’d also shared much else with them, from the fact that I remembered the powers of specific Super Globe Trotters, to my most-bizarre-substitute-for-toilet-paper-I-ever-resorted-to story, to explaining who Priapus is, to confessing strong attractions to various female cartoon characters at 2:00 AM. Point is, by the time I showed them #907, I had both exposed them to about half of the absolute worst MST experiments, and freaked them out so routinely that they’d just gotten used to it, something you must understand to get the full impact of their later unanimous reaction.

    We were watching it on a Friday night in the spring of 2000, so we paused at the 1/4 break to watch Space Ghost, and the halfway break for Gundam Wing. It never occurred to me that giving them a break just like M&TB might have been essential to their being able to sit through it. So after the SOL escape attempt, as I simply fast-forwarded through the commercial, I was surprised to hear a perfect 3-part harmony of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” behind me. I turned to find the 2 oldest unblinking and seemingly out of breath, while our lone freshman was curled up in a fetal position, shivering. I thought he might be having another one of his “episodes” of suspended animation which I later learned were some sort of seizure caused by a rare form of hypoglycemia, so being the humanitarian that I am, and having just learned that he went to a Catholic middle school for some reason despite being Protestant, I had my boxing-nun along to try and spur him back to life.

    But it was a moment about 5 seconds after I put the puppet away that will be forever burned into my memory, for in response to my next sentence, I suddenly saw pure horror on the faces of other human beings for the only time in my life. Anyone who didn’t hear said sentence but saw their expressions would’ve assumed it was something like, “Well of course live puppies SEEM hard to chew at first, but after my dog had her THIRD litter…”, or a confession that they all had just 10 minutes to live thanks to something I spiked their drinks with, but all I actually said was, “I guess I’m kind of desensitized since I’ve already seen this one 4 or 5 times”.

    We all watched the last quarter, and still technically hung out after that, but things would never be the same between us again. Innocence can never be regained but through the cycle of death and rebirth, and I had opened a chasm that destroyed the most meaningful social circle to which I’d ever belonged.

    And yet, my core fascination with MST3K has always been how strongly I identified with Dr. Clayton Forrester, so ya’ know what? It was worth it! To see likely the ultimate destructive effect a film can have on the human psyche, and bring me one step closer to my dream of finding a way to use art to actually, directly, PHYSICALLY hurt people, ohhhhhhhhhhhhh was it ever worth it!!!

    But there’s always some more innocence out there to be lost, and as Russ Meyer taught us, violence doesn’t only destroy; it creates and molds as well. And as luck would have it, the THIRD time I showed Hobgoblins to a group of people…


  29. I considered this the worst film ever until I saw “Troll 2.” Though “Monster a Go Go” is really awful in a different way.

    Every actor is awful, every character is loathesome, every plot point, line, camera shot and special effect is wretched and clumsy. And the “comedy” aspects make me want to puke. This film has nothing to redeem it, and deserves the whole setup Pearl, Brain Guy and Bobo give it. It certainly MAY cause blindness and death.

    And the less said about the Fontanelles, the better.


  30. GizmonicTemp says:

    Tom’s Rick Sloane interview at the end of the movie is TOTALLY made by Crow. Bill’s dead-pan deliverance of topics regarding cocaine and rat droppings has me rolling every time.


  31. Mela says:

    So many great riffs I don’t know where to begin…

    Probably the absolute finest of the Sci-Fi era and second only to “Angels’ Revenge” in my affections. Maybe it’s the sheer offensiveness of it or the attempts at self-aware goofiness that fail. Both are excellent examples of what happens when porn directors try to make non-porn movies. This one, though, was way stronger host segments. To this day, I find myself quoting the “cardboard cutouts” one in various situations.


  32. Johnny Ryde says:

    I wonder if they had trouble writing for some sections of this one. There’s a lot of “other business” (running out during opening credits, cardboard cut outs, Servo bouncing, interview with Rick Sloan) to distract from the action (or lack thereof) occurring on-screen.

    I happen to think that Tom Servo reading “What Do People Do All Day?” is hilarious.

    “Sentence fragments! Just… phrases!”

    It cracks me up that they try to de-age the security guard by 30 years in the flash back. The man is presumably in his 60s and then they dye his hair and try to pass him off as being in his 30s. *I’m* in my 30s; if I looked like that I’d never be able to leave the house.

    The scene of the Hobgoblin’s “ship” opening cracks me up every time. There should have been a call back to “Douglas was very short, pear-shaped and stood the whole way” from MONSTER A-GO GO.

    Central idea of what you want can ultimately destroy you is decent but pretty much ignored. I mean, the rock’n’roll lifestyle ultimately kills you at age 45 with a busted liver… not from falling off the stage at your first gig. Having a fantasy woman kills you of a venereal disease… not because she randomly decides to push you and your car off a cliff.

    The Zookeeper scene. Servo’s reaction of “Mother! Get out of there, PLEASE!” is hysterical.

    Is the army superior real or a hallucination? I’ve never been able to figure that out…

    Anyway, great episode. One of my favorites. A great one to put on to cheer you up.


  33. Roman Martel says:

    This is one of my favorites too. I love when they tackle 80’s movies – and this movie is sooo 80’s it hurts.

    Bolem – I grew up in the 80’s too, and have fond memories of it. I’m a little older than you (attended college in the mid 90’s), so I don’t know if its the extra years or what, but I don’t find “Hobgoblins” to be the abomination to the 80’s that you do. In fact, I think it fits in perfectly with that whole direct to video vibe. Sure it’s probably worse then a lot of stuff that came out direct to video, but the whole mixed genre thing is pretty typical.

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s anywhere as bad as “Red Zone Cuba” or “Monster A Go-go”. But I will readily admit that my love for all things cheesy and 80’s may overwhelm my good judgement.

    Check out my full review here:

    I give this episode 5 Hobgoblins out of 5.


  34. Sitting Duck says:

    Colossus Prime #15: Gotta love Pearl calling Bobo and Observer, Pinky and Brain.

    One is a genius, the other’s insane. So what are we going to do tonight?

    My favorite riff was, “I’m gonna break into Jack Benny’s piggy bank.”


  35. Dark Grandma of Death says:

    “It’s the ’80s / do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan!”

    Reprehensible movie, one of the worst ever. The Brains made this almost enjoyable, but I still don’t watch this one very often, it’s just too horrible. At least when I do, the riffs make me laugh:

    “The Army was looking for a few good men, and Nick qualified.”

    “When threatened she gains the strength of a thousand trollops.”

    And one of those riffs that always catches me off guard and makes me laugh out loud: When the hobgoblins escape, the old guy say, “The vault. I tried to warn you. Those creatures. The vault. I tried.” Crow responds with, “Sentence fragments. Just phrases.”

    The Club Scum dance scene still makes me laugh all on its own. That blonde woman waving her arms around like a windmill is on a par with Steve Alaimo’s dance moves. And the “scum” in the club are much like the beatniks in The Beatniks…more wannabe than actual.


  36. The Bolem says:

    As for the third time I watched #807 with a group, I was originally going to just watch it with a friend from work with whom I watched an ep every week. He’d seen even more of their worst than my college pals, but something told me to bring a back-up tape just in case (this was still before volume 8). I told him him about how it was probably their most painful ever, but took his word for it that he was up to it.

    Then his girlfriend came over, intending to hang out with us for a change. At some point in the next few minutes, as I heard him explaining the premise of MST3K, it suddenly dawned on me that she’d never even seen part of a single episode.

    Now, my college friends were one thing, but this opened up an even more horrific possibility than I could’ve imagined. I can’t remember what that back-up ep was, just that I pleaded with him over and over to pop it in instead, but he just took the attitude that they’re ALL bad movies, and looked forward to a challenge.

    And so, I got to see someone make HOBGOBLINS their introduction to MST3K. Of course, there was no way to guage just how damaging that was at the time on someone being introduced to the very concept of intentionally sitting down to endure a bad movie. The only new thing I learned is that people have slightly different points at which the wretchedness fully overwhelms them and they emit an “Uuuuugggghhhhhh…”; For my college friends it was when The Fontanelles took the stage, but these 2 actually like ’80s music as much as I. They’d seen so many lame pseudo-martial arts movies on the other hand that “But first, I’m gonna’ hit mah-self with road-flares.” was the moment that pushed them over the edge.

    The next time I saw my friend, I learned that because his gf’s mind was not fully prepared to process Hobgoblins, it had indeed been horribly warped. She’d seen the uncut DVD in Borders and wanted to buy it to torture their other friends with, despite his protests that they just barely withstood it with the Bots. You know, like how vicitms of abuse often go on to perpetuate it themselves. All I could say was, “Look: I WARNED you…”

    Ah well, she technically recovered. I assume.


  37. Horace Rumpole says:

    I would not like to drink pig liquor.


  38. monoceros4 says:

    Which gang of unappetizing ’80s post-adolescents is worse, the kids here or the creeps from Zombie Nightmare? Compare and contrast the big-haired psycho teens in each movie and their respective weapons.


  39. Brandon says:

    “You can’t say this is a worse movie than say ROAD HOUSE!”

    Hey, when Mike is towing the Bots back into the theater, look at Crow’s beak. I swear it looks like something is attached to his snout, but it’s hard to tell. Anyone know WHAT that is?

    “Pepe Le Pew came in from the back door!”


  40. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    “Paint my muscle car PRUNE color, please!” – Far and away my fave riff for this episode. Nothing else even comes close.


  41. As Sampo noted in his introduction, some folks think the riffing can’t save this, and I’m one of them. Unlike a lot of folks here, for me it’s just not an episode I enjoy. Yes, the movie is so incompetent it’s easy to ridicule, but I always find the best episodes are where the director (and at least *some* of the actors) think they are creating something worthwhile (and fail).

    Here it seems clear that everyone connected knew this was garbage — probably the reason Sloane didn’t mind lending it to MST3K. Unlike some, I think he knew *exactly* what he was doing, knew he couldn’t make a good film no matter how hard he tried, and was simply creating drudge for the money. Forgive me, but the only person who slightly seems to be making an effort is the old security guard (as a result, his sequences are the only ones I really get a laugh at).

    It’s a little like trying to make a joke about Cheech and Chong saying they are stoned. “So what?” they’d ask. I get the feeling that if Rick Sloane were in the room when they were making fun of his cardboard cutout he’d just smile and say “Yep, biggest piece of crap ever. And they PAID me for it. Ha, ha.”

    The host sequences are wonderful, yes, but the rest is so nasty in its intent (simply going through the motions) that I can’t enjoy it. I don’t skip it in my rotation (I’m too faithful to the process) but while it’s on I tend to do other things (like read or eat) and let it be background.

    Overall, I’d rate it two stars (for host sequences only). But I’m glad it brings enjoyment to many (and, truth be told, it’s actually nice to have a MST3K episode I kind of hate, because it makes the other ones all that much better).


  42. RPG says:

    “Ivan Lendl look-a-like night?”


  43. Kafka Was Right says:

    @10: Thank you SO MUCH for letting me know that there’s a torrent out there for the Fontanelles. I agree, they’re actually pretty good, sort of a holdover from (what my friends and I referred to as) the death rock scene like TSOL, 45 Grave, early Cult, The Nuns and a whole lot of other far more obscure bands in California and England who were somewhere between punk/new wave and all-out goth.
    As for the episode, what more really needs to be said? It is a classic.


  44. H says:

    Definitely one of my top Mike/Sci Fi eps. The movie, I don’t even know where to start. The host segments are all really great, lot of fun. Just an instant classic from first viewing.


  45. CG says:

    This movie. THIS MOVIE.

    Watching Hobgoblins is like making a pact with the devil. You get good-to-excellent host segments; hilarious, sidesplitting riffs; and, overall, one of the funniest episodes that MST has ever produced. But BOY, do you pay the price.

    Red Zone Cuba is nihilistic; Monster A-Go-Go is aimless and droning. But Hobgoblins takes a part of you, something treasured and important, and you are never quite the same after staring it down. I’m not sure when I realized it – I think it was sometime during the club scene – but I just felt so degraded. I can’t explain exactly how, but I knew that I’d lost some part of my innocence, and that I’d never get it back.

    Now on to the movie:

    -As mentioned above, great host segments. Accidental on-turning, the spot-on “Raiders of the Lost Ark” parody, the cutouts, and one of my favorites, “She’s a chimpanzee and her name is Emily!”

    There are too many excellent riffs to count, but they include:

    -The opening sequence with the security guards, particularly the concert. (“Ladies and Gentlemen: Flat Butt!” “Oh, just sing the St. Elmo’s Fire theme and get it over with!” “We’re on the road to nowhere – I’ll say,” etc.)

    -Everything from Kevin’s arrival home to the end of the “gardening tools” fight.

    -Everything from the beginning of the dance party (“It’s the 80s – do a lot of Coke and vote for Ronald Reagan!”) to the part where the shorts kid makes the sex call.
    This is probably the best riffing in the entire movie, and stands up to some of the best they’ve ever done.

    -One thing I’ve noticed about the MST3k Theater crew: They make hilarious riffs when they pretend to be the “animal creatures” in a movie. This is true no matter the era of the show. And some of their best riffs come when they’re “voicing” the Hobgoblins. (“Just tell us how to change the record!” “We’ll take your literature, but we’re trying to watch our program!” “I don’t know, maybe it’s the child lock!”)

    So it’s hard to pin down an original riff when there’s so many to choose from, but I think my choice would have to be, “Their garden tools make little Casio keyboard sounds.” When my sister and I watched this episode for the first time, we actually had to pause the DVD for a minute after that riff because it made us laugh SO HARD.


  46. norgavue says:

    First off the club scum MC (Daran Norris) and RoadRash (Duane Whitaker) are the only two actors to survive this movie. Daran is a voice actor on too many things to list and Duane played in pulp fiction and many horror movies. With that out of the way oh man is this a bad movie. My bunch just loved this episode when it came out cause they really stick it to this movie. The cardboard cut outs and crows film about women are just great segments and who can’t love the line on the coach “you can see my legs”. I don’t think that the ending attack on rick sloane was a low blow as he has much to answer for. As for favorite line “It’s the eighties…Do alot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan.”


  47. Ator In Flight says:

    Just a couple of questions.

    Damn it why aren’t you old?

    What WAS that stain?


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

    Favorite Line: “Death guaranteed for upto fifty-thousand DIE!!!”


  49. This episode is unquestionably one of my faves. So many of the riffs hit with deadly accuracy. Host segments had me on the floor, especially #2, #3, and the credit sequence.

    “I just want to be brave for my horrible, frigid, non-supportive girlfriend.”
    “They should really add an S to that.”
    “I’d like to tell you about my problematic urethra if you’ll follow me.”
    “She looks like Michael Bolton!”
    “They made love in their Chevy Van and that’s NOT alright with me!”
    “Now that move really requires the cooperation of the flip-ee!”
    “Filipino push-fighting!”
    “Someone’s rubbing puppets on us!”
    “You feel a hand inside you? Uncomfortable, huh?” “Sure is.”
    “Did you know that Nick went on to play…Pong in his underwear while drinking beer?”



  50. CG says:

    A few other random notes:

    -Did anyone else notice the movie’s “Singin In the Rain” parody? It was the part when three of the characters, after fighting the hobgoblins, collapse onto the couch at the same time. It looked eerily like the end of the “Good Morning, Good Morning” dance sequence from the Gene Kelly/Debbie Reynolds movie. I’m not sure if Rick Sloane intended that or not, but I’m surprised that M & TB didn’t riff on that.

    -I loved that Servo was reading Richard Scarry’s “What Do People Do All Day?” So cute!

    -Everybody always talks about Joel being the daddy figure to the bots, whereas Mike was more like a pal. In this episode, though, Mike definitely plays the nurturing guardian. It’s actually sweet to see him comfort Crow and Servo throughout the movie, like when he was patting Servo’s back after the latter broke down in anguish. Yeah, yeah, I know, I should really just relax.

    -Sampo, you’re definitely right that the JFK Jr/Thompson riffs are awkward when watching the episode today. That isn’t MST3K’s fault, of course; they didn’t know that JFK Jr. would die in a plane crash (“It’s simple. JFK Jr. could do it”) or that Thompson would commit suicide with a handgun (When Kevin sees the pistol: “When found, please return to Hunter S. Thompson.”) It’s just par for the course when you’re riffing on current events.

    -Yes, the characters are repulsive, but I strangely liked Mr. McCready (the old guy). He seemed to be the voice of reason. Plus, Frankie, Sniffles, Bounce-Bounce and The Claw were a lot more lovable once they got those names.

    -To me, Amy (Kevin’s frigid girlfriend) is a BEAUTIFUL young woman. Absolutely stunning. I was really struck by that the first time I saw this movie, and the fact that, looks-wise, she and Kevin (the main character) made a gorgeous couple.

    -And finally, I have a crush on a guy who strongly resembles Kevin (the protagonist), so I’m partial to his character for that reason. Tragically, though, the real-life Kevin has never defended my honor in a rake fight.


Comments are closed.