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Sampo & Erhardt

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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 (351 votes, average: 4.70 out of 5)


• 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. MSTie says:

    This episode, one of my top five MST3Ks for sure, is comedy gold. I know some don’t like it, but eh. Or, as we Canadians say, “Eh?”

    Troy is so wimpy and lame. Rowsdower is so clueless and lame. Pipper is so Jim-Henson-Muppety and lame. I thought Pipper’s horse did an admirable job and should have had more screen time.

    My favorite riffs are any of the French ones or most of the Canada jokes:
    Mike: Zut alors! Je suis morte.
    Tom: Aww merd. Mon pied.
    I can see why Québec wants to be separate from all of this.

    And of course I love “The Canada Song.” By the way, Christian Malcolm (Troy) turned out rather handsome after he grew up, except maybe for those ears. Hmmm, looking at this picture I think there’s an argument for Sartoris being his real father.


  2. pondoscp says:

    How could you not like this episode?


  3. Depressing Aunt says:

    I reckon this is one of my two favorite Sci-Fi episodes. And definitely one of my favorites, period. I really love all the jokes about the characters, especially Troy. Up-thread someone mentioned the great timing of “Know him? He was delicious!” right before the commercial break. It happens also in the case of Tom’s decisive, “I’m gonna color it!” as Troy looks at the map. And I love that feral growl someone does later, when Troy looks up from the map all squinty and snaggle-toothed.

    #201 Nice picture. I’m glad he grew out of his awkward stage.

    “I want to know what happened to you.”
    Mike: I died.

    Tom: Now, that is a darling maxi-skirt!

    5 beers! Oops, I meant stars.


  4. Gobi says:

    One of my all time favorites. I’m surprised no one mentioned another great riff: “I made you some trail mix out of rat droppings and hair.”


  5. MSTie says:

    Quelle dommage, I see I misspelled “merde” in my previous post. This is what happens when you copy & paste without being fully awake. Don’t let it happen to you, eh?


  6. Hey Cabot! says:

    This movie feels like it was made as an excuse to show off the neat model city at the end but the real attraction here is Rowsdower, the drunken curmudgeon one can’t help but love. This mulleted, denim jacket-wearing redneck has no business being the action star of anything, yet here he is making awkward kicks and firing a rifle with choppy editing to indicate he hit his mark. I also have to make a mention of Pipper, who momentarily steals the movie with his raspy voice and lousy beard. I can’t omit Troy, who gets the meanest nerd jokes made at his expense. However, Troy can fire a rifle and beat a guy with a baseball bat, so he’s definitely tougher than say, Mikey from Teenage Strangler. Finally, Sartorus’ overblown lines really make for a fun villain, although my personal award for best bad villain still goes to Troxartis from Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell.

    The Final Sacrifice is a fun bad movie. It’s sleepy and slow moving but full of that low-budget charm unique to a film school project by an amateur would-be auteur. It adds up to a great episode that’s well-suited for beginners, particularly for Canadians with a sense of humor.


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

    >>>Servo’s “I was next on the list! Totally random! It’s WEEEEEEIRD!”

    Well, both of their names started with “TO” so it seems like it wasn’t TOTALLY random.

    Off-Topic: Re the “slasher film rules” discussed in the “Hobgoblins” thread, there won’t be another movie to which that concept applies until Season Ten: “Soultaker.” However, it occurred to me that the “rules” apply just as well to a very non-slasher film, “The Breakfast Club.”

    The Scholar: Brian (duh)
    The Athlete: Andrew (double-duh)
    The Fool: Bender (triple-duh)
    The Promiscuous One: Claire (although both girls are virgins, Claire’s the one who, without actually lying, tries to give the impression that she isn’t)
    The Virgin: Allison

    I wonder if “Cabin in the Woods” writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard modeled their cast after “Breakfast Club” on purpose. Not all slasher films even have exactly five protagonists, two girls and three boys.

    A perusal of slasher films gives me the impression that it’s THE most cookie-cutter film genre in existence. Seriously, sometimes it’s as if the directors filled in a page of Mad Libs OSLT. Also as if they have no concept of how teenagers actually behave. Seems like it’d be a really easy genre to be groundbreaking in.


  8. Dirty D says:

    The time is 6-4…


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

    No matter how much criticism it gets, the makers of this movie get the last laugh; it was a FRESHMAN film school effort. How many other film school freshmen get their films ushered into immortality? It’s like how MST3K made Coleman Francis a “success” years after he died. If not for them, would he even rate a Wikipedia entry? Probably not.


  10. Of no Account says:

    I came down with GOPS when I was younger. Started mining in my parents basement. Didn’t find any gold, but I did expand the basement another 5 feet.

    Truly a great episode! Just plain silly from start to finish!

    Wait… I haven’t read Tolkien in almost a week!


  11. jaybird3rd says:

    A few random notes on “The Final Sacrifice”:

    I recently picked up a “Mr. Wizard’s World” DVD collection as a gift for my niece and nephew. The series was produced in Calgary in the early 80s, so most of Mr. Wizard’s on-screen assistants were Canadian child actors. I was surprised to see that one of them was a young Christian Malcolm, probably about age eleven or twelve! It isn’t listed on his IMDb page, but he was apparently the “Mr. Wizard Kid” in quite a number of these shows, as was his real-life sister Nicola.

    “The Final Sacrifice” was also marketed under the alternate title “Quest for the Lost City”. Anyone who’s interested should do a Google image search for the “Quest for the Lost City” home video cover, because it’s hilariously deceptive marketing. The writer/director is credited as “T. Jardus Greidanus”, and the actors shown on the cover look nothing like the actors in the film. The one on the right (I’m guessing he’s supposed to be “Troy”) looks more like Val Kilmer to me, and “Rowsdower” is a young muscular guy with a sleeveless shirt and a rifle, and without a mullet!


  12. Cornjob says:

    When did MST start hating Rush? They liked Rush in the beginning. Maybe this is just another Joel/Mike thing.


  13. 1 adam 12 says:

    Of all the episodes I’ve only seen on DVD, this is by far my favorite. Hilarious from beginning to end. Fave line: “Dear Agent Scully: Did not appreciate your lawyer’s tone.”


  14. 1 adam 12 says:

    Oh, and my Honorable mention: “Know him? He was delicious!”


  15. The best Season 9 episode, hands down.
    Quite possibly the best episode of the Sci-Fi years.
    One of the best episodes from any era of MST3k (personally, it’s at least in my top 12, maybe it cracks the Top 10…)

    The Final Sacrifice has its detractors (see the smattering of comments above) but what episode of MST doesn’t? Personally, the Larry Csonka riffs work for me, simply because that framed picture they show really does look like Csonka.

    The Rowsdower riffs work for me too, except for one: when Troy is walking through the woods and Servo is singing “Rowsdower, Rowsdower, Rizzity-Rowsdower…” Ugh. I think its Servo’s tone of voice, but something about that little riff just gets on my nerves and makes me frown. But then shortly thereafter Pipper shows up and puts this episode over the top.

    Pipper really is one of those characters who should’ve visited the SOL. He could’ve been the next Ortega or Krankor. He’s got a distinct look, sound, and catchphrases. They missed the boat there. Maybe no one on staff could pull of the look? I mean, based on Host Segment #3 we know they had a fake beard laying around…

    Oh yeah, the Host Segments. Let’s talk about those. They’re pretty good, in my opinion. I like the looting opening skit (Crow, about taking his TV: “I’ll never miss it”) and I have to say that Pearl’s scheme to take over the world one person at a time is given juuuuust enough screen time as to not overstay its welcome. Servo interacting with the Mads is a nice change of pace for character pairings (plus it’s funny) and when he returns to the Satellite, Mike and Crow are in the theater already and Crow yells out, “C’mon, dummy.” There’s just something about Bill’s delivery of the word “dummy” that slays me. Simple, funny.

    HS#1 with the Canada song is, of course, a classic. HS#2 with the hockey hair is pretty good too, and just like the opening bit with the Mads, it also doesn’t overextend its premise; also, it extends nicely into HS#3 and the Grizzled Old Prospector Syndrome. Oh, and Brain Guy with that white mane of hair! How fun!

    With the good, enjoyable Host Segments, solid riffing, and the goofy Canadian “action” movie in The Final Sacrifice (which if filled with memorable, riffable characters) we got ourselves here a CLASSIC episode of MST3k. Just ask Larry Csonka.


    Crow: “I think the movie’s going really well.”

    Mike: “You know, this has the bacony stink of Canada all over it.”

    Servo: “He’s working on his Bud Cort scrapbook.”

    guy smashes door,
    Crow: “Can I interest you in a replacement door?”

    Mike: “Can you imagine how many potato olé containers are on the floor of that car?”

    Crow: “So..Rowsdower. . .is that a stupid name…or. . ?”

    (Servo making monster/vampire noises when Troy is looking around flashing those pointy teeth)

    Rowsdower gets hit by piece of wood,
    Mike: “Firewood for sale.”

    movie: “Dad..”
    Crow: “That’s my favorite Jack Lemon movie.”

    Pipper pulls from his pipe,
    Crow: “Mmmm, good dope.”

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

    Crow: “You pusses make me laugh.”

    Crow: “My drinking arm’s healed!”

    C’mon mom,
    just one more sacrifice!
    but this is
    The Final Sacrifice.

    Classic MST3k,
    I give it 5 out of 5 beers on the sun.

    :beer: :sun: :beer: :sun: :beer:


  16. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #212: More of a Frank thing. IIRC Frank once commented here on how the other Brains would mock him over his fondness for prog rock.

    Watch-out-for-Snakes #215: The Final Sacrifice has its detractors (see the smattering of comments above) but what episode of MST doesn’t?

    I Accuse My Parents.


  17. jaybird3rd says:

    I also love how Mike gives the “jack-booted thugs” effete French names as Rowsdower picks them off:

    “Gilles, no!”
    “No, not Étienne!”


  18. Cornjob says:

    Thanks for the input Sitting Duck re: Rush. I always thought it was puzzling how the reverent Rush references that lasted at least through season 5 gave way to the near Gallagher levels of dislike found in the Sci-Fi era. I think there’s a list of Rush references somewhere in Ward E if anyone wants to check my observations. Now off to get some FOOOD!


  19. thequietman says:

    I must join the ranks of the majority here and say this is one of my favorites too. I don’t really know who Larry Csonka is, but to me the Brains set it up with that one riff “MVP Super Bowl VIII, For Miami” and everything else that came after I took as ‘oh, they’re talking about classic football’ so it didn’t bother me as it seems to bother others.

    Anyway, here’s one of my fave riffs no one has mentioned yet:
    [As Rowsdower swigs from his flask]
    Servo: Better check this oil here… yep, 10W-30!

    For years I couldn’t quite make out Carl’s last words as he’s being tied up (right before Bobo says “Gimme back my food!”), but once I got the DVD I finally figured out that he said “Unhand me or you’ll have to answer to the Traveler’s Group!” What is the Traveler’s Group anyway? Were they an insurance outfit of some kind?


  20. Depressing Aunt says:

    I got ketchup on my hand!

    That, and “Your s’more fell in” just put me over the edge. Poor Rowsdower. Even when they mock his torturous branding it makes me laugh.


  21. @ Sitting Duck #216: I went back to check the comment thread for I Accuse My Parents. You’re right; it’s overwhelmingly positive, I think only one “negative” comment in the bunch, and that person was still like, “I like it, but don’t love it,” or whatever. Personally I think it’s a great episode, but maybe just a couple hairs short of a classic 5/5 experiment (I gave it a 4/5), which means that, yeah, I like The Final Sacrifice better (which I only mention to bring it back around to the focus episode of this comment thread).


  22. @ thequietman #219: Yes, The Travelers Group is an insurance company, one of the countries largest personal and property insurance companies. They are incorporated in Minnesota, with headquarters in NYC, field offices in every state, and they have a significant operations in St. Paul, Minnesota and Hartford, Connecticut, not to mention offices all over the world. The Minnesota connection is undoubtedly why they’re mentioned on MST3k.


  23. Tim S. Turner says:

    “Canada is for lovers.”


  24. Shrike says:

    The first time I watched this the riff “mmm, good dope” may have made me laugh more than any other thing in my life.


  25. JJ Johanson says:

    “OK, bring the brats out!”


  26. little winged potato says:

    Other than the bottles in his truck and the bad guy calling him a drunk, what evidence of Rowsdower’s non-stop inebriation have we? Were there scenes cut from the MST episode that show him totally sh*!faced?

    Just curious. The Rowsdower drunk jokes kind of reminded me of the song at Joe Don’s expense in the closing credits of Final Justice. Funny, sure, but mostly poetic license.


  27. Hey Cabot! says:

    #226: Rowsdower took a nip from his boot flask before pouring some in his truck’s engine, threw a crate full of beer bottles from the back of his truck to slow down pursuing cultists, drank beer at a campfire in an ensuing scene, was called a “drunken fool” by Satoris and took a nip from his boot flask before pouring some on his scarred shoulder.


  28. JeremyR says:

    @212: The latest Rifftrax VOD, Treasures of the Amazon, actually has a Rush reference


  29. Cornjob says:

    Well, I guess I’m going to have to see it now. I’m just glad that Geddy Lee didn’t run over Mike’s dog or anything. Personally I like Rush.


  30. Creeping-Death says:

    @227: Rowsdower was also shown drinking a beer while watching the sunset, “I wonder if there’s beer on the sun?”.
    Love this episode. Five stars. After having watched this episode perhaps a dozen times or more, I was surprised when I noticed the cult symbol in the cavern where the map originated from. You can see the “X marks the spot” symbol from the shadows.

    Rowsdower: Alright!
    Crow: My drinkin’ arm’s healed!

    The growling noise that Servo makes when Troy is baring his teeth at the camera.

    The song they sing to the music as Rowsdower is getting branded.

    Troy: Rowsdower?
    Servo: Could you put my head out?

    Crow(as Troy is driving off in Rowsdower’s truck): Hey! I got 89 cents worth of cans back there!


  31. little winged potatoes says:

    Ah, forgot about the flask. That is actually the most damning.

    A beer in front of a campfire is pretty standard. Heck, even bottles in the back of the truck might just mean he’s into recycling or wants to get money (89 cents!) for them. He doesn’t seem to have any other source of income, apart from the possible clowning gig. But tipping back a bit of hooch from the boot before you get behind the wheel is pretty incriminating. Or maybe just pretty Canadian.

    He sure is functional, though. And from what I remember about the DVD interview, the actor was a really good sport about his MST treatment.


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

    BTW, speaking of slasher films (as I, you know, was), some might be intrigued by this slasher film list I came across some time ago.

    Enough fodder to keep a riffing show rolling in hamdingers indefinitely. Yeah, that’s not nearly as good a metaphor as it could’ve been, is it? :-) I particularly like the singling out of which films have MASKED slashers. I dug up images of a few in some spare minutes some time ago — fencing mask, gas mask, Mardi Gras mask, wrestling mask (El Santo would NOT be pleased), canvas mask, Cupid mask, Nixon mask, Reagan mask, jester costume, bear costume, rabbit costume — quite an eclectic bunch.

    Although I’ve actually *watched* very few slasher films, I’ve read plenty of reviews and IMDB entries, and the way some of them s-t-r-e-t-c-h circumstances to get the horny teens trapped inside a building is, well, if any friend of yours ever suggests that it’d be cool to party inside an abandoned prison or insane asylum or some such site, maybe you need more friends.

    And I’ll stop now.


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

    I didn’t quite get how Pipper was supposed to have been hiding from the cult for seven years…in his cabin. I can believe that he hunted his own food and made his own soap and otherwise got by without buying anything, that he entirely cut himself off from civilization the way some survivalists manage to do, but his cabin is RIGHT THERE. What’d he do, hide under the sink every time the cultists searched the place?

    Plot holes like this (and the part about the cult finally getting the bright idea to search the MacGregor home mere hours after Troy found the map) become a bit more understandable when the film’s status as a freshman film school effort* is taken into account — #84’s comment about a teenager with a camcorder isn’t TOO far off — but only a bit. Still, one can probably find larger plot holes in plenty of “professionally” made films.

    Plus, of course, the cultists DID give up on searching the cabin for Troy and Rowsdower themselves pretty quickly, not unlike how, at the end, they gave up on the cult itself almost immediately, so obviously, their hearts were just never in it. Maybe they were supposed to be mesmerized zombie-types who couldn’t think for themselves until after Sartoris’s death?

    S: “Are you guys SURE you didn’t find anything, anything at all, at the MacGregor house?”
    c: “Huh…? The…where?”
    S: “D’OH!”


    S: “You searched the cabin from top to bottom, right?”
    c: “Well…searched…this one…room…”
    S: “Gyaaaaaaaaah!”

    A little exposition can go a long way. ;-)


    *maybe that’s why Sartoris’s voice was out of sync, he was younger than he looks and they needed to dub in his lines because his voice hadn’t quite finished changing yet; how seriously could anyone take a villain who sounded like Peter Brady? ;-)


  34. Savvy says:

    Haha! I love this movie!

    -I have this feeling that Zatoris was a creepy loser freak in high school that hung around with other smelly creepy loser freaks like him.
    -Seven years later…
    -Mike: “You know, people are just dying to get in-”
    Tom: “NO!”
    Mike: “Sorry.”
    -Mike: “Some men can really pull-off LEGGINGS.”
    -That guy in the picture really does look like Larry Csonka!
    -“To Mike Pipper.”
    Mike: “Oh, he’s a Pipper. Wouldn’t you like to be a-”
    Tom and Crow: “NO!”
    -Crow: “Mrs. Costanza!”
    -Mike: “Seven years later.”
    -How’d you like those weird hooded-thugs showing up at your house?
    -There’s a box that just says “Candy” in the basement.
    -Crow: “Can I interest you in a replacement door?!”
    -Zatoris is such a freak. Just listen to his voice!
    -Mike: “Seven years later.”
    -If Rowsdower tuned-up his vehicle once in a while, maybe it would start!
    -Crow: “His menace is undercut by the ‘Baby on Board’ sign on his truck.”
    -Tom: “Hi! I’m Billy the Building!”
    -Tom: “Let me check this oil, here… Yep, uh, 10W-30.”
    -“Canadian ‘MANNIX!'”
    -Mike: “So, uh, you wanna hit the breaks there, or not?”
    -I love how Troy doesn’t know what his dad was like when his dad only died seven years ago. You’d think he’d have some clue.
    -Tom: “Rowsdower? Could you put out my head?”
    -Mike: “He trespassed on Charleton Hesston’s place.”
    -Where’s that stream water in the cave coming from?
    -Now when somebody pisses me off, I want to say, “Go to hell! Or at least Edmonton!”
    -Tom: “Ha! I’ve escaped! Wh-AHH!”
    -Crow: “Cripes, he rolled out of bounds!”
    -Crow: “This is just like when they bury me every week at school! And give me ‘pink belly,’ and hang me from the goal-post, and shave my head, and magic-marker my weenie, and stuff me in my locker!”
    -You know, Troy kind of looks like a monkey.
    -Tom’s impression of Rowsdower’s gasping is hysterical!
    Crow: “Yeah, no beer though.”
    Tom: “More ‘FOOD!'”
    “What the hell are you doing here?!”
    Crow: “We were eating your ‘FOOD!'”
    -Whoa! Check out the water damage on Grandma’s hunting shack!
    -Tom: “Whoa! I’m exhausted! I gotta go take a nap after I’m done sleeping!”
    -Crow: “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Alan Jackson!”
    -Mike: “Uh, hello? Have you seen the other hooded-thugs?”
    -“Cut yourself loose.”
    Mike: “I dropped it!” … “Which is the sharp side?” … “Um, I cut both my wrists.” … “Um, I somehow swallowed the knife!”
    -Crow: “Hey, I’m in a snowmobile club with that one guy!”
    -I like how Tom calls Mike a “Non-musical mook” when Mike happens to compose all the music for the show.
    -Looks like Best Brains took a trip to Pier 1 Imports for all those candles in the cult segment.
    -Cute ending. The episode’s, not the movie’s. Haha.


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

    Since it refers to an ancient culture, one might expect the term to be spelled “the Ziocs”, ala the Aztecs, the Toltecs, the Olmecs, et cetera, but evidently not, since the word “Ziox” is clearly seen in the film.

    The 1987 film “Shock! Shock! Shock!” did much the same with another fictional ancient culture, which sounds like it should be spelled “the Mintecs” but is spelled on IMDB as “Mintex.” Tch.

    Ever notice that it’s Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean? What’s THAT about? ;-)


    Should anyone be remotely intrigued, “Shock! Shock! Shock!” has yet to be released on DVD. The VHS is currently available on Ebay for around $50.00 “or best offer.” It’s also available on Amazon for about five times that amount but I doubt that anyone’s THAT intrigued. ;-) It can, of course, also be found somewhere or another on Youtube.

    It would take a film reviewer to describe it with maximum effectiveness but it’s kind of a moderately good storm of serious drama and utterly-straight-faced-absurdity — no kidding, I can’t right off think of any other movie that presented “silly” concepts just as earnestly as it presented the dramatic concepts — sort of like if Ed Wood had been more aware of his limitations and had possessed moderately more talent. As has been the case with other riffed films, it was directors Arn McConnell & Todd Rutt only directorial effort (it’s Arn McConnell’s only film work period but Todd Rutt remains active in various technical capacities). I think it would be a good candidate for Rifftrax which might eventually get it onto DVD. So there’s that, anyway.


  36. jay says:

    Here I was listening to “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” and up pops this reference to beer on the Sun. That’s the old joke, ya know. How did Rowsdower get the beer on the Sun? He went at night. Rim shot and cymbal slap, please. Ohhhh Canada!


  37. thequietman says:

    Sigh…that was a good seven years!

    Or three years, rather, since we last revisited this classic and it’s still as funny as ever and I’m so glad it has a legitimate DVD release. I was at my cousin’s wedding a few years back and while there discovered my uncle is a MST3k fan. He and I swapped lines for a while before he mentioned this as one of his favorite episodes and invited me to guess his favorite riff.

    I thought for a moment, and got it on the first try: I wonder if there’s beer on the sun!


  38. Sitting Duck says:

    Regarding the syrup rustler riff, apparently theft of genuine maple syrup is an actual problem in Canada.

    The real money losing investment is in desert lime mines.

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    It’s like how MST3K made Coleman Francis a “success” years after he died. If not for them, would he even rate a Wikipedia entry? Probably not.

    I recently picked up a “Mr. Wizard’s World” DVD collection as a gift for my niece and nephew. The series was produced in Calgary in the early 80s, so most of Mr. Wizard’s on-screen assistants were Canadian child actors. I was surprised to see that one of them was a young Christian Malcolm, probably about age eleven or twelve! It isn’t listed on his IMDb page, but he was apparently the “Mr. Wizard Kid” in quite a number of these shows, as was his real-life sister Nicola.

    Weird. You’d think that would be something to be a bit more proud of.


  39. littleaimishboy says:

    What a great season this is.

    903, 904, 905, 907, 908, 909, 910 — all outstanding episodes, and many people like 901-902-906 as well. And some of the all-time great host segments in upcoming episodes …

    Ya know, having these shows to revel in again at this time of year — it’s a MSTmas miracle!


  40. Speedy B. says:

    My favorite episode, as previously mentioned more than once. The movie itself is in that sweet spot where, yes, it’s a bad movie but it’s very watchable and is delightfully goofy. It’s similar to “Space Mutiny” in that sense.

    Some favorite quotes:
    “Man, Beethoven’s 5th just can’t get started here.”
    “Al Lewis as grandma.”
    “I’ll lock you in, as usual.”
    “MVP, Super Bowl 8, for Miami.”
    “Seven years later.”
    “That’s enough habitat for the spotted owl, i’nt it?”
    “I’d like to thank Dan Aykroyd for doing that last line.”
    “Hi! I’m Billy the Building! Huhhuhuhuh!”
    “Is he a door-to-door executioner?”
    “Can I interest you in a replacement door?”
    “You know it’s spring when the executors start getting in the house.”
    “Hold on, I’m having a serious of elaborate heart attacks.”
    “Ah, crusty pants, a filthy wall, good morning.”
    “Have a drink on me, tattoo.”
    “This is just like that time I almost missed the Teens Encounter Christ bus!”
    “Hmm, devil, living room, den, family room, another devil.”
    (Troy with his mouth open, bearing teeth) “HAAAAAAH!”
    (shot of a statue with its mouth open) “Mammy! Eh.”


  41. Ray Dunakin says:

    I LOVE this episode!! It’s definitely in my Top 5. The movie itself is fairly well shot and moves right along, it has a plot you can follow, and most of the time it doesn’t look quite as dirt cheap as it obviously was. On the other hand, the really cheap-looking parts are hilarious. Paper mâché props are one thing, but couldn’t they at least find someone who actually knows how to DO paper mâché? The “idols” in the underground map room look like something a third grade kid would make.

    Best of all, the movie is so goofy and so full of highly riffable characters, situations, and plot elements. You couldn’t make a more riffable movie if you tried.

    As for the riffs, the Brains knocked it out of the park! Here are just a few of my favorites:

    “Ooo, I needs an eraser!”

    “Knew him? He was delicious!”

    “Oh, and who says there aren’t any nice homes in Canada?”

    “Leif Garrett today.”

    “He’s a makeup-less clown!”

    “The McCulloughs are here!”

    “Bring out the brats!”

    “Go to hell! Or at least Edmonton!”

    “Look into your heart, eh!”

    “Hey, thank your sister for sewing our hoods for us.”

    “Let’s do ’em all in one load, they’re all the same color anyway.”

    “Well, it was a pretty good cult but hockey season is starting and all…”


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


    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

    I’m guessing that when your parents name you “Tjardus”, your perspective on “weird” names is much different than most…


  43. Cornjob says:

    You know it’s Spring when the executioners start getting in the house.


  44. antiseptic manor says:

    Just like almost everyone else, this episode is one of my favorites. I’ve never been to Canada, but it’d be nice to drive through the Ann Murray National Park…


  45. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    Count me in with the many who say this is among their top five episodes; it may even be my number one all-time favorite. Everything comes together just right for a MST3K movie — goofy characters, a movie that’s bad yet not uncomfortable to watch, great riffing, perfect timing. I mean, how many episodes are there where you only have to quote one word (“ROWSDOWER!”) to other MSTies to get them laughing hilariously? I think Christian Malcolm and Bruce J. Mitchell (whose names were inexplicably switched in the credits) did the best they could with the script they had to work with. As a previous commenter said, how many film school freshmen have their project made famous/infamous?


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

    Colossus Prime:
    Tom: Know him?He was delicious!

    I’m bemused by this plucky riff’s widespread popularity. Is it originally from another source which gives it greater context? Thanks.


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

    Oddly enough, this was NOT Tjardus Greidanus sole directorial effort. See the IMDB for details.

    During the credits, Crow failed to realize that, for a series, the title “The Final Sacrifice” would be pretty much meaningless. What, he envisioned a sacrifice in every episode? ;-)

    Thomas K. Dye:
    I mean, this huge city raises itself, and the next shot is of them driving down the road as if nothing had happened!

    Well, it’s not as if they had any pre-existing interest in it. None of their business, really. Besides, after an adventure (like the Goonies?), you’re just tired, you wanna go home

    No, really, did they actually expect us to take that kid seriously?

    Well, again, they were merely freshmen…

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

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference?

    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.

    He’s a drifter. He’s never in one place, he goes from town to town. Who’s he trying to impress?

    Anyway, at least he had a vehicle. More than David Banner did.

    “Man, i’m 25, i hope i hit puberty soon.”

    I’m not sure I was even that young…

    M “I’ll Take Larry Czonka’s Breath Away” Sipher:
    You know, I had completely forgotten that at the beginning of the movie, Tom emulates Troy singing a rather steamy love song to Larry Czonka. Disturbing.

    Shrug. I’ve heard of less likely teenage crushes…

    M “I’ll Take Larry Czonka’s&
    Have we really studied the pusses of MST3K experiments in full? Have we really investigated the wimps and whiners that are supposed to be principle characters we’re supposed to cheer for

    You obviously haven’t watched any number of non-MSTed films…

    -Since the bad guy’s name is “Satoris,” I wonder why they didn’t go for any Faulkner jokes.

    I was an English major and even I wouldn’t have immediately recognized such a riff. Shrug.

    He and the ‘bots plainly thought Jimmy Wilson was a pathetic little snot (“there’s ‘stupid’–really big!”).

    “Stupid” is by no means synonymous with either “pathetic” or “snot[ty].”

    M “The Last One Out Of Saigon” Sipher:
    Troy, however, apparently we’re supposed to think he’s a hero, fighting known “impossible” odds. The problem here is more the actor chosen than the script and what the character’s actions.

    Well, that’s what makes him an UNLIKELY hero…

    I’m not a medium, I’m a petite:
    The City of Troy ( where the Trojans lived ) was considered to be entirely mythical. Heinrich Schliemann believed otherwise and set out to find it. He discovered the Lost City of Troy in the 1870s.

    That’s more subtlety than can be found in some entire film trilogies…

    Flying Saucers Over Oz:
    (Why is he dressed like Billy Batson?)

    Why not? Apparently the Brains didn’t pick up on it, so it must not have been all THAT glaring…

    Sure Troy is the kind of kid who looks for old maps in attics

    Well, it was his attic. It’s not like he broke into someone else’s attic…


  48. Scott Strong says:

    Oh man. I have used the moniker “Satoris” so many times as a password, user name, etc. I just love this episode. I have probably seen it two dozen times and it just never gets old.

    Bruce J. Mitchell seemed like a good sport about Mst riffing the movie, and his character, which gives me a higher opinion of him.


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

    Apathy: It’s What’s For Dinner. :-)

    Cabbage Patch Elvis:
    Have a drink on me, tattoo.

    “Thanks, Boss.”

    Something I’ve wondered about in this episode…if Troy’s father is dead and Mrs. Costanza is raising him, where’s his mother?

    Well, no one actually said she was RAISING him. Maybe Mom was just out of town that day.

    I don’t even remember any dialogue to the effect that she was his aunt, although clearly several other commentators do.

    Something I realized after a while that the riffers never touched on was the fact that, although all the good guys in the film think Satoris is just a madman, he *really actually does* have sorcerous powers.

    That hardly means that he wasn’t crazy…

    Some people might opine that thinking that one can take over the world is in itself a sign of craziness.

    Flying Saucers Over Oz:
    And frankly, I’ve been afraid of Canada ever since I found out there’s a city there named Moose Factory.

    There’s a town in Arkansas named Toad Suck. You ain’t heard nothin’ yet…

    Sitting Duck:
    I sensed that with my hair. My hair is an elaborate network of nerves, constantly processing information.

    It looks it, too. See, all the jokes about his mullet and it turns out to have been an actual plot device. Or not.

    Hey Cabot!:
    was called a “drunken fool” by Satoris

    Maybe that was just supposed to indicate that Rowsdower was in fact drunk at that very minute…

    -I have this feeling that Satoris was a creepy loser freak in high school that hung around with other smelly creepy loser freaks like him.

    So he’s basically an older version of Troy himself…?

    -I love how Troy doesn’t know what his dad was like when his dad only died seven years ago. You’d think he’d have some clue.

    Maybe the Brains edited out some backstory?


  50. Ray Dunakin says:

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference?

    If anything, I believe the “sex poodle” riff is a reference to the Steve Martin film, “All Of Me”.


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