Movie: (1990) Searching for his long-lost father, a teen runs afoul of a devil-worshiping cult, then teams up with a beer-guzzling drifter.
First shown: 7/25/98
Opening: With the power shut down, the bots go looting
Intro: Pearl decides to rule the world…one person at a time
Host segment 1: Servo’s song–a tribute to Canada–goes horribly wrong
Host segment 2: Everybody (but Mike) contracts Hockey Hair
Host segment 3: Mike comes down with a case of Grizzled Old Prospector Syndrome
End: The bots have formed a muffiny cult; Pearl has another victim
• This is one of the Sci-Fi era’s best. The riffing is rock solid, the movie is mindbogglingly dopey and most of the segments are good fun.
• This episode is included in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XVII.
• The Shout disk, by the way, has a fascinating interview with the guy who played Zap Rowsdower, in which he reveals that he had not seen this episode! I hope the Shout people gave him one!
• Mary Jo offers her thoughts on this episode here.
• That’s Peter Rudrud, in his only on-camera role, as Todd Gunderson
• Not a big fan of the opening or intro segments. Both ideas sort of peter out.
• Segment 1 became an instant classic. Hard on its heels came South Park’s “Blame Canada,” and there really was a (jokingly) anti-Canada vibe going on for a while there. I recall Canadian fans (who were getting episodes shipped to them by fans in the states, so the show never aired there) desperate for details of the song as discussions began online immediately after the show.
• Speaking of blaming Canada, M&tB found the phrase “Lemon Mine” amusing but it’s a thing, a Canadian thing.
• Segment 2 is another winner, a funny idea mined for just enough laughs, that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
• Crow and Tom still have hockey hair when they return to the theater.
• One of the things I love about this episode is the way the movie just keeps giving them stuff to work with. Just when you think they were running out of Rowsdower jokes, the grizzled old guy arrives. Oooh, it’s comedy gold, consarn it!
• Callback: “A worwilf!”
• Segment 3 extends the premise of segment 2 very nicely. Mike really seems to enjoy that beard.
• Another highlight of the episode: Tom sings the Rowsdower song during the credits, while Crow attempts to pitch “Final Sacrifice: The Series.” Clearly written by somebody who has suffered through meetings like this.
• I actually like the closing bit in the castle, especially Paul as willing — and hungry — thrall Carl. I especially like the way he very comfortably calls Pearl “my liege.”
• Cast and crew roundup: nobody.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. Mary Jo returns to the writing room after her trip to the West Coast.
• Fave riff: “Dear Counselor Troi: I waited at Denny’s but you didn’t meet me!” Honorable mention: “I wonder if they have beer on the sun?”