Movie: (1984) Bud-swilling Florida scientists discover a gigantic prehistoric shark.
First shown: 8/15/98
Opening: Mike loses his identity…or does he?
Intro: Pearl’s cruise ship scheme requires M&tB to make ice sculptures
Host segment 1: M&tB learn that dolphins are smart … and touchy!
Host segment 2: M&tB learn not to taunt electricians
Host segment 3: Pearl’s Italian filter malfunctions
End: Crow tries to think of animal combos, while dinner at the Captain’s table doesn’t go well
Stinger: “It’s right underneath us!” “I knowwwww!”
• This episode is one of those comfortable middle-of-the-road ones for me. The riffing has lots of laughs, but there are some quiet spots. The segments are also fun and funny but not exceptional. This episode also featured two elements that had internet MSTies talking!
• Kevin offers his thoughts here.
• This episode is featured in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XIX.
• Mike predicament in the opening bit is reminiscent of five or six action movies that were out at that time, especially “The Bourne Identity.”
• That’s Patrick and Beez as the tourists, Ann and Norm.
• The intro almost has an invention exchange feel to it, which everybody offering a different comic take on the ice sculpture idea.
• Did anybody notice that this movie has two title cards? I don’t think the Brains did. They don’t react when the second one appears.
• A generational thing: This movie’s director, credited as John Old Jr., is actually Lamberto Bava. His father was Mario Bava, director of the movie in episode 1013-DANGER: DIABOLIK (Lamberto was the assistant director on that movie) and cinematographer of the movies in episodes 408- HERCULES UNCHAINED and 502- HERCULES. Lamberto worked on many of his father’s films. Mario was sometimes billed as John Old Sr.
• Marc Cohn definitely seems to be one of those pop stars that earned the Brains wrath. I was never a huge fan, but his stuff never really bothered me.
• Segment 1 is less a segment by itself than it is a setup for the segment 2. It’s not a laugh-riot, but it moves along quickly.
• Segment 2 is the pay-off sketch, but it’s still not hilarious. I feel like maybe it’s Paul’s lowkey delivery that drags it down, but I’m not sure.
• This week Mike is reading Mary Tyler Moore’s book “After All.” Is he a member of the book of the month club?
• There’s kind of an odd moment in segment 2 where Gypsy doesn’t know who Pearl is. Made me go:”Huh?” She used to…
• Peter Rudrud is the voice of Sea World phone representative.
• About a third the way through the episode, one of the characters on the boat climbs quickly down a ladder, and is shot from below. Apparently we could see quite a bit up his shorts because Sci-Fi Channel felt the need to put a digital fig leaf over it, in the form of the spaghetti ball logo. The incident sparked a bit of a debate among online MSTies about censorship, etc.
• Incidentally, this addition to the episode apparently was made AFTER the episode was submitted to Sci-Fi Channel for broadcast, because M&TB do not react to the appearance of the logo, and instead react in horror to seeing what the logo covered up.
• This episode marks two Wizard of Id references in two weeks.
• During the dull scuba sequences, nobody thinks to mention that his lungs are aching for air. Just as well, I guess.
• A few fans conjectured that segment 3 was BBI’s response to some fan complaints (baloney, if you ask me) that the show was overdoing jokes mocking the movie characters’ nationality. By now, I imagine the writers have long forgotten whether it was or not, so we’ll never know if it was intentional.
• The first Richard Jewel joke in a while pops up.
• The long laughing-through-the-end-credits bit is reminiscent of the Jim Backus-Phyllis Diller comedy bit, “Delicious.”
• Why is Crow so hyper in the end segment?
• Cast and crew roundup: In addition to the Bava family mentioned above, assistant director Freddy (Goffredo) Unger was an actor in “Hercules Against the Moon Men.” Screen writer Frank Walker also worked on “Operation Double 007.” Cinematographer Giancarlo Ferrando also worked on “Warrior of the Lost World,” as did costumer/production designer Anthony Geleng.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike, his last directing effort of the season.
• Fave riff: “You know, just because you CAN edit doesn’t mean you SHOULD.” Honorable mention: “Tiny Medical Center, starring tiny Chad Everett.”