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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: 910- The Final Sacrifice

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
Stinger: “Rowsdower…?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (349 votes, average: 4.70 out of 5)

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• 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, since 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?”

254 Replies to “Episode guide: 910- The Final Sacrifice”

  1. swh1939 says:

    The Canada Song is one of my favorites. I’ve been to Canada; I know what they’re on about. But I’m trying to disguise my hate.

    R.I.P. Robert Culp (even though you had nothing to do with MST3K).

       3 likes

  2. Colossus Prime says:

    “Sorry, baby, nobody rules the Tom-monster.” Such a great opening host segment with Pearl’s out of context opening line, Mike and Crow’s cliché glance around, and Brain Guy’s attempt to give context to how bad the movie will be. And now whenever I say, “It’s weird,” I do so in the same inflexion as Tom.

    And every year if someone mentions Boxing Day on any of the other message boards I visit, I type out all of Tom’s Canada song from memory in hopes of giving someone a smile. The end with Tom crying and being called Dudley is so great.

    I am so happy to say that I have never had a mullet or even considered having one.

    This movie falls into the same category of Time Chasers where all in all it’s good natured and not entirely incompetent, but it is definitely a lot sillier than Time Chasers was. The amount of, “Umm… What?” moments in this movie are simply fantastic.

    Another episode where it is nearly impossible to single out a favorite riff:
    Running jokes: Jokes about Troy being incredibly wimpy and inept in the real world, Larry Csonka jokes (the first time I showed this episode to my wife she said “Is that Larry Csonka?” just before M&tB started the jokes) & Mike being cut off from making bad puns (I love bad puns).

    Crow: Beethoven’s 5th just can’t get started here.

    Chainsaw starts coming through the door.
    Tom: (annoyed) It’s open.

    Rowsdower: I’ve been around kid.
    Crow: And I’ve been a square kid.

    Mike: Zut alors! Je suis morte.
    &
    Tom: Aww merd. Mon pied.
    (the dryness and lack of an attempt to add French accents is perfect)

    Pipper: Troy McGregor? Thomas’ son?
    Troy: Yeah, did you know him?
    Tom: Know him? He was delicious!

    Tom’s constant dismissal of Pipper’s exposition.

    Crow: If it’s any consolation, I hates that rabbit, too.

    Troy: You don’t mean that…
    Pipper: Killed your father?
    Crow: Sounds fun, but I’m busy.

       5 likes

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

    Good dope. 5 Stars.

    Who can explain the gestalt of a great episode ? funny and fun and very watchable.

    The host segments are nice and low key, they don’t do a lot, but they don’t try to ( excpet for the rockin’ Canada song ).

    Movie is stunning. 4 way over the top characters, a silly plot, the production values of my junior high film project, and a whole crew of ridiculous names ( Shane Marceau !? boy silently motions to gunfighter hero to come back come back )

    Riffing is very strong, but they have sooooo much to work with. A long line of Greidanuses, heh heh heh.

    Musically strong as well. The Canada song is a spectacle, the Rowsdower song, is that Telstar Tom is humming at the opening shot of the sky ? if not, any ideas ?

    Favorite riffs.. Good Dope ( sure it’s not that original or whitty, but the timing and the vocaliss are perfeect ). Zombie Furtrappers in Medicine Hat! Evil Acadian Robots on Cape Breton !!

    Good dope indeed.

       3 likes

  4. mcbarkerton says:

    Rowsdower: “It’s A Cult.”‘
    Crow: “They worship Blue Oysters.”

       0 likes

  5. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Very funny episode, especially the Canada song.

    Is it just me or does Pipper look a lot like Tom Baker?

       0 likes

  6. Tim S. Turner says:

    One of the best-EVER. “Dear Agent Scully, did not appreciate your lawyer’s tone.”

       3 likes

  7. Bat Masterson says:

    Another one of my favorite riffs of all time:

    “I wonder if there’s beer on the sun.”

       0 likes

  8. Apollonia James (yeah, right) says:

    “Aahh hates legends…”

       1 likes

  9. Graboidz says:

    “That must be his winter tank top”.

       0 likes

  10. Travis says:

    Apropos of nothing, but Troy kind of looks like Mark McKinney from Kids in the Hall.

       2 likes

  11. Roman Martel says:

    This is an episode that when it hits me the right way, it’s a favorite. But if I’m not in the mood for endless Canada bashing and Rowsdower jokes it leaves me a bit cold. But only a little bit. It’s still a really strong episode. I think the opening scenes with Troy in his attack go on way too long and don’t give Mike and the bots enough to work with, but all in all it’s a solid episode. I’m glad we finally have a version on official DVD.

    Four out of five Zap Rowsdowers.

    Click on my name for a full review.

       0 likes

  12. Mr. B(ob) says:

    I have never been able to figure out why so many fans think of this as a favorite episode. Just saying “Rowsdower” two-hundred times is not all that funny and certainly not an example of the best comedy writing ever done on MST3K. The movie is not especially fun and the comedy writing from MST3K is certainly acceptable, but hardly their best work. I will say that the host segments are a bit more consistently funny than was often the case at this stage of the show’s development. A decent episode, but nothing great, especially when I think of some of the really great ones from the show’s earlier days.

       1 likes

  13. Fingal Dopple says:

    “Know him…he was delicious!”

    Without a doubt my favorite Sci Fi MST3K episode. I love how all M&TB can do when Pipper is introduced is laugh. I can only imagine what seeing that scene for the first time must have been like.

       5 likes

  14. Johnny Ryde says:

    Haven’t watched the DVD yet, but I remember the first time seeing this on Sci-Fi… The whole way through the old prospector’s first scene I was waiting and waiting for them to do a “New Red Green Show” riff. The guy sounded exactly like Red Green… I probably missed all the riffs they did do until they actually did the Red Green line… Was it “”If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy”?

       2 likes

  15. MPSh says:

    “OOOOOOH, I HATES THAT RABBIT!”

    “Know him? He was delicious!”

    Mike Pipper, the Grizzled Old Prospector Dude Who Talks Like Yoseimte Sam, is only one of the really cool things about this episode, but Prospector Pipper is the one who really stands out. That and the “Rowsdower!” riffs, Rowsdower’s hockey hair and acid washed jeans, the drunk jokes, the jokes about Troy being a weenie, the Big Bad Dude Who Talks Like Jesse the Body, the guys in face masks and muscle shirts, the Canada riffs (“So I’ll just come on over and kill ya, eh?”). All of which makes for a great episode.

    And the host segments were good, too….

       1 likes

  16. This film wants to be a fantasy-mystery-horror and just ends up being annoying and clumsy, with the puffy amateurs in all the roles, the hideously cheap set design, and the horribly unlikable characters. I have a feeling that they were so proud of that city effect at the end, and it’s just embarrassing. I mean, this huge city raises itself, and the next shot is of them driving down the road as if nothing had happened!

    “They stumbled on Geddy Lee’s ancestral birthplace.” More Rush referenes! YES!

    And I agree; the grizzled guy just has to talk and it’s hilarious. “WHAT’S THAT MARK THER UPON YER SHOULDER!” “If it’s any consolation, I hates that rabbit, too.”

       0 likes

  17. Graboidz says:

    Maybe it’s just me….but I thought Mary Jo looked great with the hockey hair (of course I am a child of the 80’s who grew up on music videos by Vixen, Joan Jett, and Lita Ford……)

       1 likes

  18. ck says:

    This is one of the first (the first?) mst3000 I saw
    on tv. At first I thought it was a kid’s show
    until I heard their first middle-earth reference
    “Let’s see, it’s been a week since I read Tolkien” ;-)
    and realized it might have some Monty Pythonish
    potential.

       1 likes

  19. Chris says:

    Like many others here, this is one of my favorite episodes. Everything about it just pops to me. And I have to disagree with Sampo. The looting segment at the beginning is high-larious. (“I’m not a very good looter, am I?”)

    Favorite riff:

    “Oh! That’s a classic Rowsdowerism.”

       2 likes

  20. Tork_110 says:

    Pipper partners.

       2 likes

  21. MikeH says:

    Been a while since I’ve seen this episode, but holy carp!! The scenery is so depressing, Troy is geeky beyond words, and the bad guy looks like a mini-me version of Richard Kiel. Rowsdower is, well pure Rowsdower, and I swear Pipper is Red/Green. And after is all said and done, the secret city looks very much like a model. Plus what are they supposed to do with this secret city? And don’t you think local authorities (along with RCMP) are going to want to investigate this themselves. Oh well what do I know, I’m not Canadian (though at one time I did have a mullet.

       2 likes

  22. Evan K says:

    “FOOD!”

       1 likes

  23. ck says:

    This movie does bring up the provocative question:
    which does Tom Servo dislike more, Canada or the
    citizens and officials of Rutland, Vermont. :?:

       1 likes

  24. Timber says:

    Me and my wife first saw this last week when the DVDs came out. Two words- “Instant Classic.”

       1 likes

  25. I watched the special feature where they interview Bruce J. Mitchell about this movie. He points out a flub where he and the actor who played Troy got their names switched in the end credits. The film editors never bothered to correct it. Another case of ‘They Just Didn’t Care’.

    If Bruce J. Mitchell ever does see this episode, I’d like to see his opinion of it. Hopefully, he won’t be too offended.

       1 likes

  26. M "CANNIBALISM! I VOTE CANNIBALISM!" Sipher says:

    “He was delicious!!!” is probably the line that has gotten the biggest laugh from me in the entirety of MST history. MST, though great, had never made me physically hurt from laughing before, but that line did it. Tom’s delivery in Yosemite Pipper’s voice, the timing, is completely spot-on. That it came right before a commercial break so I didn’t miss any following jokes was a saving grace.

    Of course, cannibalism is just funny.

    Sorry, but if you’re going to name your lead character “Zap Rowsdower”, then unless you’re setting it in outer space, that name deserves to be pantsed and dragged around the track for an hour and thirty minutes. That most of the time it’s said as the whiny, whisper-thin, will-probably-be-a-houseboy-to-an-off-Broadway-producer-until-he’s-dumped-for-a-younger-and-dumber-model Troy only adds to the hilarity.

    No, really, did they actually expect us to take that kid seriously? They try so hard to make him seem all tough and determined in the beginning… but… I think the only reason Troy wasn’t subject to quite the same treatment Danny got in The Girl in Lover’s Lane from the SOL crew was that his prospective “interest” was… Zap Rowsdower. Woof. Hngh. Sorry. Bile rose a little there.

    (Hee hee. “What’s your name, kid?” “Sex Poodle. Um…”)

    This is certainly a top-10 episode for me. The opening bits revel in the various idiocies of our cast (I love how not a single major character in this series is exempt looking like a complete doofus from time to time) plus that uniquely odd BB concept-writing, Hockey Hair is funny, and the movie. Oh the movie. It’s the perfect combination… a basement budget applied to an ill-thought-out concept, all produced with complete, honest earnestness. The movie completely feels like everyone involved thought they were making the best thing ever. It’s the Ed Wood Jr obliviousness factor. It’s that wonderful combination that produces some of the most prime fodder for the Brains.

    And of course, having a convenient target like Canada to fall back on doesn’t hurt.

       3 likes

  27. FarmboyinJapan says:

    “Hi! I’m Billy the Building!”

       0 likes

  28. Nick says:

    “You shot my butt! You just shot me in the butt!”

    To be honest, I think the episode is a tad bit overrated. Still, it’s a great episode and I’m thankful that Shout! Factory was willing to give the fans what they wanted by spending the cash for the movie rights.

       1 likes

  29. It’s hard to hate on a film produced at my own alma mater.

       0 likes

  30. RPG says:

    “Oh, he exploded before they could shoot him.”

       1 likes

  31. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    #28 – So you went to college in a dilapidated cabin in the woods or in a beat up pickup? :smile:

       2 likes

  32. bigzilla says:

    “And they take refuge in the Anne Murray national forest.”

    One of my all time favorites. The Canada song is tied for my favorite MST song ever (The Starfighters Servo choir being the other). Sometimes for no particular reason my wife and I will sing it when one or the other is in the shower. Also, this is one of those rare episodes where the riffing never hits a lull – there are 20 minute stretches in the movie where you almost can’t breath between laughs. Love the random comments about the music(sounds like it is better suited for plate spinning/now it’s video poker music!) and the constant riffs on Rosdowser’s heart exploding.

    5 star all the way.

       2 likes

  33. GonzoRedux says:

    One of the posts on the YouTube message board for TFS (sorry if I’m stealing your thunder):

    Rowsdower is the Chuck Norris of Canada.

    Yes.

       1 likes

  34. underwoc says:

    Must be just me, but I think Pipper sounds a heck of a lot like Jim Henson (who, granted, sounds like Red Green).

    Love that they got a Gordon Lightfoot joke in, too.

       1 likes

  35. M "If It's Any Consolation, Ah Hates That Rabbit Too" Sipher says:

    #33: Now that you mention it, he sorta looks like Henson too. Well, the beard. Henson was never that leathery and bug-eyed.

       0 likes

  36. Markedman247 says:

    Maybe it’s me but I always though Mike Pipper should have had a Dr. Teeth joke thrown in. He sounded just like that muppet.

       0 likes

  37. badger1970 says:

    Yes, the movie was dumb as hell but saying Zap Rowsdower in various incantations, ripping on Canada, the mealy mouth kid and pioneer Pete is damn funny. It’s an episode that a former cheesehead could really appreciate, my personal #2 behind “Jack Frost”.

       0 likes

  38. TrumpyDumpy says:

    “I understand everying up until A”

       1 likes

  39. MSTJon says:

    Whenever I hear Pipper I immediately think of Rolf the Dog, though I suppose any Muppet voiced by Henson is accurate. I have to think the guys went with that since you can’t really milk Dr. Teeth jokes like you can with Yosemite Sam.

       1 likes

  40. Fart Bargo says:

    @ 34-Pipper would look like Henson if a muppet was made in his image, or if he was amped up.

    No disrespect toward our northern cousins, but the Canada song is just behind the Hike up Your Pants song on lyrics, rhythm, timing and presentation. Throughout this episode, M&TB and gang were terrific with their timing in host segs and riffing. The movie has so many funny lines that are furtile ground for riffing. Brain Guys “I feel like Guy Lefluer” still cracks me up.

    QUESTION-Doeas anyone know why Rowsdowers hood was red? Is it an assasin in training color?

       0 likes

  41. DrFysh says:

    ‘Pippered Eggs!’ :razz:

       0 likes

  42. thecorman says:

    Lord how I love this episode.
    I don’t know if it’s the fact that I live in Minnesota, which is within smelling distance from those back-bacon love snow creatures and has much of the same accents and attitudes, or my life long love affair with SCTV, but this has been one of my absolute favorites since I first saw it. Thank you Shout Factory!!!!

       1 likes

  43. H says:

    Lots of fun, this one. Movie’s a lot of fun. Strange only begins to describe it. The host segments are great as well, especially love the Canada song. Also, the Rowsdower interview on the DVD was pretty good, definitely recommend watching it.

       1 likes

  44. kismetgirl88 says:

    #4 you took my favorites riffs. I hope Zap likes his song. ( I dought he wouldn’t) Maybe would fill us in what up to now.

       0 likes

  45. Th1rt3eN says:

    johnny ryde, I know what you mean! seems like it takes forever for them to make that reference. As soon as I heard that guys voice the wait was on.

    I miss the red green show, not as funny as mst3k but it was fun half hour on a saturday afternoon.

    seemed like there were a few more riffs they could have squeezed out of that, but the show is kind of obscure.

    “using the handy mans secrete weapon.. duct tape.”

    “and I will be the one, to hold Larry Csonka down, kiss him so hard..”

       0 likes

  46. Rex Dart, Eskimo Spy says:

    I haven’t seen this episode yet, but I REALLY want to. I ordered Volume XVII on Monday and am still waiting for it to come in the mail. I am so ready to see Mike and the ‘Bots rip apart this piece of Canadian trash. I’m sure that I will enjoy every minute of it. :mrgreen:

       0 likes

  47. Spector says:

    Being Canadian I thought this was the worst episode in the show’s history…bastards!

    Naw, just kidding. Bad movies come from every country so my home and native land should be no different. Fortunately this particular crapfest of a flick would go on to become one of the best episodes ever. There’s so much here for the Brains to rip on, and considering how they’ve given the Japanese and British their fair share of ribbing for some of their film turkeys which appeared on the show it’s only fair we Canadians get our just desserts too. Of course the Brains also riffed on Minnesotans too so everyone was fair game.

    As for the film itself, there were so many wonderful moments and characters.

    Seriously, Zap Rowsdower is the name of your lead actor? The hell?? How much BC gold were they smoking when the scriptwriters dreamed up that name?? The old gravel voiced miner who sounds like Yosemite Sam. The weedy nerdy kid on the quest to find that lost city or whatever the hell it was. That stupidly grinning villain whose voice didn’t match his reedy body and who just looked ridiculous every time he appears onscreen. The fact Rowsdower didn’t even have a camper to put on the back of his pickup and has his laundry strung across the back where it can get nice and dusty. I could go on and on, there’s just such a rich vein of crap to be mined for laughs it’s little wonder this was so popular.

    As for the host segments, loved The Canada Song but my particular favourite was the hockey hair one, especially when Brain Guy revels in his new look and said he feels like “Guy Lafleur”. OK, somebody on the show was a hockey fan, Lafleur was one of the greatest players in hockey history.

    Wonderful episode, yet another example that many of the Sci-Fi episodes were as great as those from the Comedy Central era. Five stars.

       5 likes

  48. M "Dr. Bob" Sipher says:

    #39 Bart Fargo… actually, there was a Henson Muppet. He had small black bead eyes as I recall. Looked very gentle and folksy.

    I think the one problem with Rowlf or Dr. Teeth references is… well, they really don’t have any distinctive “catchphrases” that immediately identify them as Yosemite does. Pity. Henson shaped my childhood, which explains a lot.

       1 likes

  49. Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    “Oh, I love trash! Ow ow ow ow!”

       1 likes

  50. losingmydignity says:

    A top ten classic for sure…though it wasn’t always that way. I didn’t like this ep until I found out everyone else did and then…just kidding.
    For some reason only on the second viewing did this one really hit me (this is about eight years ago) though I liked it plenty the first time through. It is a movie that just keeps on giving. The best parts to me are not all the Rowsdower stuff–funny enough but not the highlight–but the villain and his Mapplethorpian cohorts which people rarely mention. Whenever they step in the riffing just “takes off, eh.”
    Everyone I show this to, even not fans of the show, laughs their butts off.
    The host segs are indeed pretty good for this era.
    In the Crow vs Crow thing on the Beatniks DVD Bill mention how the Sci-Fi channel kept asking for edgier material…would the Canada song and the you can’t beat Off (hey, it’s not my joke) in the woods joke be an example of this…if so maybe that was the right thing to do? The Canada song is one of their best, though very Pythonesque.
    Someone already mentioned the beer on the sun riff so:

    My favorite riff: “I feel so relaxed.”

    A+

       0 likes

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