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Episode guide: 912- The Screaming Skull (with short ‘Robot Rumpus’)

912s

Short: (1956) A Gumby cartoon. Gumby builds robots to do his chores for him.
Movie: (1958) Newly married headcase Jenni sees human skulls everywhere in her new home.

First shown: 8/29/98
Opening: Tom has become a beautiful butterfly
Intro: Tom’s still a butterfly, but you can’t really tell; Pearl, Observer and Bobo pull a not-so-fast one on M&tB
Host segment 1: The bots try to work through the pain of the Gumby short
Host segment 2: The bots try to scam a free coffin
Host segment 3: Crow, disguised as a screaming skull, freaks Mike out
End: The coffin arrives from Coffins Etc.; Bobo fails to pull an even-less fast one on M&tB
Stinger: Hubby flings his stool.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (281 votes, average: 4.38 out of 5)

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• This is another one of those episode where the spectacularly funny short outshines some decent riffing on a drab, dull movie. I wonder how it even came up that they would be able to use this cartoon. The segments are hit and miss, but a couple of them are real classics.
• Bill’s thoughts on the episode are here.
References.
• This episode is featured on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXXI.
• This was the last episode of the show broadcast on Sci Fi Channel, January 31, 2004.
• Nice build on Servo in the opening segment; kudos to whoever did it.
• Watch Mike as Servo explains his metamorphosis. His reactions are great.
• The opening bit in the castle is one of those long-walk-for-a-little-bit gags, but I have to admit everybody’s costumes are pretty funny.
• I wonder why Pearl didn’t mention the short in her intro.
• M&tB are still wearing their costumes as they enter the theater.
• The short is simply sublime, hilarious from start to finish. The reaction by fans was overwhelmingly positive, with a lot of calls for more cartoons.
• Fave riff from the short: “Thank goodness for the internal genitalia!”
• Alex Nicol, who plays unhinged gardener Mickey, was also the director. So I think you can pretty much blame him for this movie.
• Again, another nice build for segment 1. And the segment is hilarious, a rare look at the world through the eyes of the bots.
• Last time around I wrote a long plea for somebody to explain the movie to me, and I got several good responses. As I understand it, we are to believe that, in addition to the skulls evil hubby Eric was placing around the house, the ghost of Eric’s dead first wife was capable of conjuring up tangible, corporeal objects (see the skeleton in the wedding dress, which is clearly a physical object–though it is transparent as it runs around the garden) in revenge for what we assume was his murder of her?
• This may not be the worst print of a movie they ever riffed, but it’s up there.
• That’s Barb Tebben as the as operator at Coffins Etc.
• Arty riff: “Pinched lady at Giverny.”
• Jenni disrobes down to her underwear at one point, and I think the movie was trying to titilate the audience a bit, but jeez-louise that is the least sexy bra ever.
• Segment 3 is an all-time favorite, one of those Looney Tunes-style segments that works perfectly. I particularly like the way Mike keeps screaming in horror as he carefully selects just the right golf club.
• Also note, right at the end of the sketch, Mike’s elbow accidentally(?) brushes against Servo’s head — and of course it immediately falls off.
• That’s Patrick in the closing bit as the delivery guy. His “this must be a great place to work” comment is probably something they heard at BBI a lot.
• I have to assume Kevin was boiling in that costume inside a costume.
• And the episode closes out with a little blast from the past: a forced perspective gag. Paging Joel…
• Cast and crew roundup: Executive producers Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson worked on too many MST3K movies to name. In front of the camera, Peggy Webber was in “Space Children.”
• Creditwatch: Directed by Kevin. Andrea DuCane couldn’t do hair and makeup this episode (the only episode in season 9 where she didn’t) so Mary K. Flaa took her place. Barry Schulman, who renewed them one last time just before getting canned, gets a special mention in the credits.
• Fave riff: “Wow, too bad. So…some?” Honorable mention: “GET A BOX!”

200 Replies to “Episode guide: 912- The Screaming Skull (with short ‘Robot Rumpus’)”

  1. jjk says:

    To #143. John and William Hudson were twin brothers who both did a number of similar horror and sci-fi movies in the 50’s. I thought it was the same man too.
    It’s too bad the Gumby short wasn’t the full length movie in this episode. It was a lot better than The Screaming Skull.

       1 likes

  2. Depressing Aunt says:

    I like this one. I don’t even mind the movie. The silly “soundtrack” helps a lot on that score. Did the filmmakers just not know from legitimately scary music? And for some reason, I’m relieved when the Snows realize Eric is a creep at the end. Like, every time. (I think I just hate to see people involuntarily committed into mental wards in movies; you can probably imagine the angst “France” caused me.)

    #141 re: “I want everything for me”–this should really be used in everyday conversation, I feel. It’s funny!

    And oh, the short! I really wish Rifftrax could somehow riff some more Gumby shorts. Seems like a natural fit, to me…

    4 robot rumps all around.

       4 likes

  3. Depressing Aunt says:

    “Frances”, not *France*… Silly spell-correct!

       0 likes

  4. Sampo says:

    Smoothie of Great Power: Thanks for the catch on William & John Hudson. Don’t know how that error crept in but it has been booted out!

       1 likes

  5. Smoothie of Great Power says:

    As #152 explained, they were twins. Kind of sad that William died in 1974, but John survived him until 1996.

    #149 while not my favorite in this one, the “HOW-deeee!” riffs in Assignment: Venezuela are mine in that one. The delivery there kills me every time.

       2 likes

  6. pondoscp says:

    I love the short on this episode, but after the opening of the movie, this episode becomes a cure for insomnia to me! Even after the many, many, many Sci-Fi airings of this one back in the day, I can just not focus on it! I tried last week, and sure enough, out like a light! I’ll give it another shot this weekend.

       2 likes

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

    #142:

    Hey, just think how many circa 1958 films there are that *haven’t* been riffed. There must be much worse out there.

    Hm, according to Wikipedia (so, you know…), “High School Big Shot” (because when you think gray and depressing, you think “High School Big Shot”) was filmed in 1958. Maybe gray and depressing was really big that year.

       4 likes

  8. ToolAssist says:

    I love how awful the print for this movie is. I’d say it’s up there with the worst.

    Mr. Snow: Eric, I think I should tell you that Jenni has conf (cut) in me about the sanitarium.
    Crow: She conf-d you?

    Eric: I told her Jenni was impressionable, but not that (cut) literal (cut) Mr. Snow.
    *M&tB laugh*

       4 likes

  9. The Screaming Skull is one of those old clunkers I remember from my teenage late-night “Creature Feature” watching days. Even then, it seemed a bit dull, and slow to get moving. Still, the MST3K version, while not an instant favorite, was one of those episodes that grew on me very quickly, due in large part to the riffing:

    “Can we help you, movie lady?”
    “The film broke, and it was horrible!”
    “Alas, poor Yorick, she threw him well!”
    “You know, the Bible speaks of losers like you…”

    …and, one of my favorites, one of those brilliant riffs that comes from bad splices:
    Rev. Snow: Eric, I think I should tell you that Jenni has conf (cut) in me about the sanitarium.
    Crow: She conf-d you?

    I’ve seen this episode a million times, and I bust up every time it gets to that bit, probably the funniest bad-splice riff since Racket Girls.

    Btw, while we’re on the subject of Peggy Webber, was she ever in a movie where she didn’t appear constantly distraught and neurotic?

       2 likes

  10. Happenstance says:

    Segment 1 (Mike helps the Bots with their claymation therapy) and Segment 3 (Screaming; skull) are two of my all-time favorites. They put me into hysterical laughing fits every single time. When Crow and Servo explode into unintelligible snarling while portraying Bollus and Horseflop (Horsefly?), I’m in tears. Also oddly fond of Servo’s butterfly stage (probably because of Mike’s revulsion and the party proboscis).

    Strangely, the movie’s utter predictability would normally infuriate me but here it allowed me to relax and concentrate on the riffing…and the riffing is excellent, nailing everything from the condition of the print to the technical incompetence of the film itself, while giving us another peek into the confused and confusing sexuality of the ‘Bots.

    HOLY ****, AND THEN THERE’S MICKEY. I have no doubt that Mickey was the deciding factor in choosing The Screaming Skull and the riffing is merciless and hilarious. Another one that leaves me on the floor is when Crow loses patience with Mickey’s fumble-bumbling: “GET A BOX!!”

       4 likes

  11. Sitting Duck says:

    The Gumby short (as well as some of the riffs) brings to mind the conundrum regarding old-timey cartoons (and even a few modern ones) featuring anthropomorphic non-humans. Namely how females are just about always fully clad, while males either are nude or wear nothing below the waist (Mickey Mouse and Goofy are the only exceptions which come to mind). Discuss.

       0 likes

  12. Nadroz says:

    I was lucky to tape the final re-run of this episode! I was going to record it without the commercials, but my brother had broken his knee, so I just let it tape while I was at the hospital with him. I love the Gumby short!

       1 likes

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

    #159

    Still, that’s something that’s not really the fault of the movie itself. Doesn’t seem quite fair to mock the film for something that isn’t intrinsic in it.

       1 likes

  14. Ill Gotten Pants says:

    I’m convinced this episode contains the movie with the fewest actors in any MST3K’d movie. Just five and a half actors. Husband, wife, older couple and Mickey. I count the ghost wife as a half.

       2 likes

  15. Richard the Lion-footed says:

    I was never sure why people had problems understanding the movie. The idea that a husband wants to drive his wife off, only to have REAL supernatural forces at work, is fairly standard horror movie fair.

    This is one of our favorite episodes for most of the reasons already mentioned. The “As previously implied” riff comes up almost as often as “Teenage Werewolf’s” “And that is all the foreshadowing we can afford right now. . .” when watching today’s, what passes for, “television.”

    A solid episode that I wish they would release on DVD someday.

       4 likes

  16. The Grim Spectre of Food says:

    For me, this is up there with Pumaman and The Touch of Satan as the best of Season 9. I have a fondness for the film that vastly exceeds its actual quality, and as others have stated, the highlight is Mickey. Forget Ortega, Mickey is the best ersatz-Torgo of the Sci-Fi years.

    The reason I really love this one, however, is the short. As has been said again and again, “Robot Rumpus” is one of the finest 10 minutes of the series.

       2 likes

  17. This is a good not great episode, saved by the short and some of the Host Segments. The movie portion is the least enjoyable for me actually, which is strange. I don’t find The Screaming Skull (movie) to be very watchable; it doesn’t really engage me as a viewer, it’s not really weird or memorable enough to be an episode that I would return to over and over again.

    The Gumby short is funny, I like it. Wouldn’t be in my Top 10 MST shorts, but still.. it’s good. Plus it leads into Host Segment #1, which is pretty funny, if just for the line “Work the lumps.”

    HS#2 is too long and doesn’t really bring any laughs, but HS#3 is excellent as Mike goes full-Gumby on Skull-Crow, which by the way, seems to be extra durable (note that Servo’s dome takes a whack near the end of the skit. Not so durable).

    The only clunk-clunkers are the opening and closing bits. Tom as a butterfly. . .. .um, okay. Not really that cool, but I do like when they return from commercial break and Servo’s back to normal and in explaining how he got his round shape back he barks “I hit the pecan sandies. Hard.” Gave me a laugh.

    The Mads attempted prank on Mike and the Bots is pretty stupid in my opinion. I don’t like it. HOWEVER, in the closing bit when Bobo is wearing the monkey suit (damn, must of been hot in there!) the unfunniness of the whole endeavor is perfectly captured in the cutaway to Mike and the Bots giving Bobo the death stare. I laughed out loud.

    So yeah, The Screaming Skull is a mixed bag. Not the worst of the season, but still in the bottom tier of Season 9.
    Just like every episode of MST, it does offer some good RIFFS:


    from the short:

    Mike: “Pokey left a big surprise in your begonias.”

    Servo: “Miss Gumby is stacked.”

    Crow: “That squares my breasts.”

    Mike: “Thank goodness for the internal genitalia!”


    from the move:

    Servo: “I went someplace and I’m sad.”

    Servo: “It’s like they had two servings of tension that they’re trying to stretch out for seven people.”

    Mickey runs away,
    Servo: “I had a victim in the oven!”

    Mike: “So they put a tiny bit of movie in a box then filled the rest with a bunch of foam peanuts..”
    Crow: “Yeah. This scene for example. This scene is a foam peanut.”

    Mike: “Yeah, Mr. Snow, then Mr. Horse, then Mr. Mary Jane.”

    Mike: “It’s the society for un-strangled wives.”


    The Screaming Skull,
    gets 3 out of 5, um, skulls I guess.
    :skeleton: :skeleton: :skeleton:

       2 likes

  18. Thomas K. Dye says:
    April 8, 2010 at 9:51 am

    …I loved the bit where Eric repeatedly slaps Mickey and Three Stooges slap effects are foleyed in. Mike and the Bots notice it, too, and play it for everything it’s worth. “Stop hitting me, Moe!”

    D’ahhh ha ha ha ha ha ha haahhh, oh, god yeeaahhh. I wonder how many generations of comedy buffs carry indelible memories of the Three Stooges attached to that sound effect, like a comedic version of the “Wilhelm Scream”. It’s kind of like the “tension hook” theme from the Creature From The Black Lagoon — DAH DAH DAAAAHHHHHH! — turning up in other movies on MST3K, like Planet Of The Prehistoric Women, Hercules And The Captive Women, and The Thing That Couldn’t Die.

    I first saw Screaming Skull in its original form on the local “Creature Feature” as a young teenager in the early ’70s, and I laughed my butt off at that scene. Here’s this supposedly tense, serious scene in a supposedly dark, serious, scary movie, and the sound/foley people were somehow entirely unaware that the slapping sound effect they chose was the same damn slapping sound effect that they used in all those Three Stooges shorts… and there I am, about 16, after having spent almost my entire boyhood watching the Stooges every day after school, watching that “serious” scene and laughing until I damn’ near wet myself.

       1 likes

  19. Joe Boltonn says:

    For me, the Gumby short had one of my favorite riffs ever, when the camera cuts to Pokey eating crackers and Mike dryly observes: “closeups reveal the weakness of the whole premise”

       3 likes

  20. docskippy says:

    Such a limp, wet noodle of a movie. Could anyone have possibly been frightened by this thing, ever, at any point? It seems unlikely, but people’s tolerance for spookiness varies, I guess, and is also shaped by the broader culture (e.g., what else is spooling out in movie theaters at the time).

    Nevertheless, “The Screaming Skull” is just…so…slow. I love it.

       5 likes

  21. thequietman says:

    I’ll just slip over to Cambodia for a moment…

    This is one of the few times I can say I experienced an MST milestone, because I still remember watching this as the final airing of the Sci-Fi era. It was bittersweet to say the least after so many years of the Saturday morning reruns being appointment TV for me, even moreso because I think this is one of the few Sci-Fi eps I’d personally consider a dud. The short is terrific, no doubt, but the movie is just interminable and the host segments aren’t much better. Crow’s failed skull trick is the only one that really got a laugh out of me.

    Ah well, Sampo’s theorem in action I guess…

    Fave riff
    It was either the clown wallpaper or the flat gray paint!

       1 likes

  22. Sitting Duck says:

    Apparently a screencap of Mike and the Bots in their slapped together animal costumes has appeared on a web site called Furries For Life.

    During the Disembodied Head sequence, Mickey’s speech appears to be less slurred.

    Mike Flugennock:
    Btw, while we’re on the subject of Peggy Webber, was she ever in a movie where she didn’t appear constantly distraught and neurotic?

    Well she was a regular on Dragnet.

    At the end of the day, I think there’s a reasonably decent movie buried under all the cinematic foam peanuts.

    Favorite riffs

    Pokey left a big surprise in your begonias.

    Mom threatened to make me into a bowl.

    Son, I’ll need a can of Play-Do to replace my butt.

    I bought this with the royalties from an earlier short.

    “The Screaming Skull is a motion picture that reaches its climax in shocking horror.”
    But we cut that.

    It’s the robots I hired to do the yard work.

    “Jenny, this is Mickey”
    Mickey’s a wide awake nightmare.

    “How did she lose them?”
    She set them on top of the car and then drove off.

    Then a lion jumped out and shot her. At least that’s what Eric said.

    It was either the clown wallpaper or the flat, grey paint.

    Flat, drab passion meanders across the screen!

    The film broke, and it was horrible!

    I’d like to go to bed, but there’s a victim strapped to it right now.

    Mickey gave me an ear. I’m wondering if you knew whose it was.

    Mickey, don’t chase the car this time.

    That scene brought to you by the Superfluous Foundation.

    At least an oboe player got a paycheck out of all this horse hockey.

    Can I come in? It’s scary out here.

    Can we help you, movie lady? Do you need a push or something?

    Remember folks, if you die of boredom, you do not get a free coffin.

    Why are there scuffs all over my prize skull?

    “This wasn’t quite that kind of sanitarium.”
    It was staffed by clowns.

    You know, the Gospels speak of losers like you.

    I found a screaming hip bone, if that helps.

    “It’s only the peacocks.”
    Yeah, they’re machining some tools out back.

    Therapy. Counseling. Bunch of hooey. This is the real way to mental health.

    The skull emits a steady stream of chlorine all day, keeping your swamp sanitary.

    There’s the rock I crushed my first wife’s skull with. That brings back memories.

    “I’d like to leave as your friend, Mickey.”
    But you’re extremely creepy and have very dangerous B.O.

    Buy Beach Skull now and receive Beach Clavicle.

    This tragedy could have been prevented with furniture.

       2 likes

  23. Mike Flugennock:

    Btw, while we’re on the subject of Peggy Webber, was she
    ever in a movie where she didn’t appear constantly distraught and neurotic?

    It’s pretty rare for women in 1950s and early 1960s movies and shows to not be constantly distraught and neurotic. That and having hair that looks like a helmet.

       0 likes

  24. One venture that I have enjoyed over the years is getting autographed pictures of people that have been involved with movies that were on MST. I sent a British lobby card of Screaming Skull to Peggy Webber with a fan letter and a prepaid return envelope and requested an autograph. She could not have been nicer! She not only signed the lobby card, but she also sent an additional 8 X 10 photo that was autographed as well. She also included a nice letter which outlined her involvement with a project where classic radio dramas and plays were performed anew with her acting peers and elder stars.

    So my favorite memory of this episode concerns Peggy Webber, a very nice and gracious lady indeed!

       15 likes

  25. Bill’s thoughts on the episode are here.
    And a slow-witted, Snagglepuss-sounding, Torgo-Lite gardener named Mickey is tossed into the mix for a highly unsuccessful red herring.

    As one of the few anointed who actually got the cartoons’ joke about Snagglepuss as a kid (a cowardly lion sounds like Bert Lahr, what’s not to get?), when MK&B decide to “attach” exit-stage-left jokes to Mickey after some fatal line, I just, y’know…couldn’t HEAR whatever it was that triggered them off as Designated School-Hallway Running Gag for the rest of the episode–Any help here?

    Yes, director/actor Alex Nicol’s focus on his 50’s method-acting would embarrass “The Beatniks”‘s Mooney, but I’m not quite clear on the appointed gag that Mike’s Army is supposed to be in on.

       0 likes

  26. Joe Boltonn says:

    thequietman:
    I’ll just slip over to Cambodia for a moment…

    This is one of the few times I can say I experienced an MST milestone, because I still remember watching this as the final airing of the Sci-Fi era. It was bittersweet to say the least after so many years of the Saturday morning reruns being appointment TV for me, even moreso because I think this is one of the few Sci-Fi eps I’d personally consider a dud. The short is terrific, no doubt, but the movie is just interminable and the host segments aren’t much better. Crow’s failed skull trick is the only one that really got a laugh out of me.

    Ah well, Sampo’s theorem in action I guess…

    Fave riff
    It was either the clown wallpaper or the flat gray paint!

    Honorable Mention: “Everyone knows it’s Slink-Skull…”

       2 likes

  27. Mr. Krasker says:

    The Original EricJ: As one of the few anointed who actually got the cartoons’ joke about Snagglepuss as a kid (a cowardly lion sounds like Bert Lahr, what’s not to get?), when MK&B decide to “attach” exit-stage-left jokes to Mickey after some fatal line, I just, y’know…couldn’t HEAR whatever it was that triggered them off as Designated School-Hallway Running Gag for the rest of the episode–Any help here?

    It’s the way Mickey says, “I heard her” which seemed to me to be what reminded them of SP. And, followed by “Observed her, even,” well, they just went from there.

       8 likes

  28. jay says:

    A rancher friend of mine does not play golf, but spotted a golf club laying on the side of the road and picked it up. Back at the ranch he retrieved an old cow skull from the pasture and set it on a cable spool that was used as a work bench. At this point he began to reenact a combination of Mike’s Screaming Skull terror (complete with the mindless screaming) and the scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey in which the proto-human bashes a tapir skull to smitherenes. It was epic. Unfortunately, no one had a slo-mo camera to record the event and now it is lost to all but memory and retelling. Sigh.

       4 likes

  29. GareChicago says:

    The Original EricJ: As one of the few anointed who actually got the cartoons’ joke about Snagglepuss as a kid

    Delete your account.

       16 likes

  30. GareChicago says:

    Mr. Krasker: It’s the way Mickey says, “I heard her” which seemed to me to be what reminded them of SP.And, followed by “Observed her, even,” well, they just went from there.

    Now *you* Sir, are one of the anointed ones, because you actually *understand* how humor works. Well done.

    Gare

       11 likes

  31. Cornjob says:

    I love the riff about Martin Luther being outside nailing up each thesis individually. This sudden allusion to this historical religious event from out of nowhere to explain the banging noise just cracks me up. The movie is a bit of a grey slog, but the jokes about Mickey needing to rotate the hostages picked it up, as well as the school that wasn’t normal because it was staffed by clowns, and, “Get a box!”

       5 likes

  32. Lisa H. says:

    Is the Gumby short really a “cartoon”?

    Is it spelled Jenni or Jenny?

       1 likes

  33. Ray Dunakin says:

    The short is definitely the high point for me, especially since I loved the Gumby show as a kid.

    The host segments are a mixed bag. I like Tom’s “butterfly” transformation and reversion. The costume “prank” bit was kind of blah. I liked the bots trying scam a free coffin, and trying to scare Mike. Somehow the part with the bots acting out their aggression on the clay lumps just didn’t quite work for me, though I’m not sure why.

    The movie… ugh. The riffs are good, but the movie is a dull, drab, predictable slog. What’s more, as the husband of a wonderful woman who suffers from bipolar disorder, I REALLY dislike movies about creeps tormenting their mentally vulnerable wives.

       1 likes

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

    Torgo, Ortega, Mickey, but I don’t see any props for Angelo from “Terror from the Year 5000.” He even had a Torgo-eseque hat. :-)

    Torgo and Ortega had “evil” employers and were thus by implication themselves “evil.” Mickey and Angelo seem to qualify as at worst neutral. So there’s that, anyway. Of course, you could say that about anything…

       1 likes

  35. Cornjob says:

    This episode also has a favorite “finish the sentence” riff:

    “This may sound selfish… But I want everything for me.”

       5 likes

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

    "Hotcha!":
    I’d love to see mickey and torgo fight.

    Which one would you cast as the good guy and which one the bad? IMHO the fiction of western civilization really need to declare a moratorium on two good guys fighting each other….

       1 likes

  37. Johnny Drama says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: Which one would you cast as the good guy and which one the bad? IMHO the fiction of western civilization really need to declare a moratorium on two good guys fighting each other….

    It turns out, both Mickey, Torgo and Ortega’s mom’s name was Martha (I know, too easy)

       4 likes

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

    Incidentally, I checked and “Mrs. Gumby”‘s name is…

    (are you ready for this?)

    Gumba

    A female name that ends in A, they must have really stretched for that one. ;-)

       1 likes

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

    The Original EricJ: As one of the few anointed who actually got the cartoons’ joke about Snagglepuss as a kid (a cowardly lion sounds like Bert Lahr, what’s not to get?), when MK&B decide to “attach” exit-stage-left jokes to Mickey after some fatal line, I just, y’know…couldn’t HEAR whatever it was that triggered them off as Designated School-Hallway Running Gag for the rest of the episode–Any help here?

    Dude — if I may call you that — are you ever at peace with the world around you? I’m not even asking that you demonstrate such a mood in here, I’m just wondering if it ever happens at all.

    Think about it, won’t you? Thank you.

       13 likes

  40. Jason says:

    “You know, the Gospel speaks of losers like you” is one of my all-time favorite individual riffs, mostly thanks to Mike’s delivery.

       4 likes

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

    Joe Boltonn:
    For me, the Gumby short had one of my favorite riffs ever, when the camera cuts to Pokey eating crackers and Mike dryly observes: “closeups reveal the weakness of the whole premise”

    Cartoons (particularly those made long before anyone imagined that they’d be viewed again and again and again over decades) aren’t really intended to stand up to scrutiny.

    Sitting Duck:
    During the Disembodied Head sequence, Mickey’s speech appears to be less slurred.

    Well, the state of disembodiment alters the acoustics within a head. I mean, I’m guessing. Plus, it didn’t actually exist except in Jennie’s mind, so there’s that.

    Sitting Duck:
    That scene brought to you by the Superfluous Foundation.

    The Superfluous Board of Foundation of Redundancy of…

    thequietman:
    Crow’s failed skull trick is the only one that really got a laugh out of me.

    “Failed”? All Crow was trying to do was frighten Mike. I’d say that in that he succeeded beyond his own best expectations. ;-)

    Cornjob:
    the jokes about Mickey needing to rotate the hostages picked it up, as well as the [sanitarium] that wasn’t normal because it was staffed by clowns, and, “Get a box!”

    “So…you the clown that runs this madhouse?”

       1 likes

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

    Johnny Drama: It turns out, both Mickey, Torgo and Ortega’s mom’s name was Martha (I know, too easy)

    On the contrary, I have absolutely no idea what this reference means. :-|

       2 likes

  43. littleaimishboy says:

    What’s really frightening about this movie is how close it gets to creating a Circularity Loop, which physicists speculate could spark a universe-ending chain reaction. Like so:

    “This is where Mickey stores his gardening tools.”
    “Who’s Mickey?”
    “The gardener.”
    “Oh, you have a gardener? What’s his name?”
    “Mickey.”
    “Mickey?”
    “Yes, Mickey. This is where Mickey stores his gardening tools.”
    “Who’s Mickey?” …….

    Sometimes referred to as an Abbott/Costello Causality. Of course its existence is purely theoretical at this point …

       0 likes

  44. thequietman says:

    “Failed”? All Crow was trying to do was frighten Mike. I’d say that in that he succeeded beyond his own best expectations. ;-)

    Fair enough, it succeeded in scaring Mike, but Crow failed to do so without getting the snot beat out of him with various sporting implements.

       2 likes

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

    jay:
    A rancher friend of mine does not play golf, but spotted a golf club laying on the side of the road and picked it up. Back at the ranch he retrieved an old cow skull from the pasture and set it on a cable spool that was used as a work bench. At this point he began to reenact a combination of Mike’s Screaming Skull terror (complete with the mindless screaming) and the scene from 2001:A Space Odyssey in which the proto-human bashes a tapir skull to smitherenes. It was epic.

    Okay, see, for nearly the entire paragraph, you neglected to mention that when all this went down, OTHER PEOPLE were present.

    Without that crucial piece of information, the immediate presumption is that your friend was by himself. I think you’ll agree that, armed with that presumption, the account reads much differently than perhaps you intended. ;-)

       1 likes

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

    Manny Sanguillen:
    6. I love these kinds of rogue body part movies. How illogical it is that a skull could be scary in any way, and even move by itself.

    It’s magic, that’s how. Besides, skulls symbolize DEATH and death scares a lot of people.

    The Castle Monster:
    This Guy:
    I’ve always sort of been amused with the scene in Jason and the Argonauts where the evil wizard conjures up a bunch of armed skeletons to fight our heroes in the climactic battle. I mean, why skeletons of all things? Sure, they look totally metal fighting with swords and shields, and you won’t have much luck stabbing them to death, but it was clear that they were still just bone

    Again, magic, people. They weren’t just bone, they were magically-empowered bone. It seems safe to presume there’s a distinction.

    Dan in WI:
    Eric “No Jenni, it may seem selfish.” Tom “I want everything for me.”

    George: “Why does everything have to be “us”? Is there no “me” left? Why can’t there be some things just for me? Is that so selfish?”
    Jerry: “Actually, that’s the definition of “selfish.””

    Lucas D.:
    Pastor: “Why, did Eric tell you?”
    Crow: “He sat on her head!”

    Hot image, Lucas…

    Smoothie of Great Power:
    * Skulls have their own set of vocal chords.

    Uhm, again…MAGIC. Seriously, folks, how is this hard for you? ;-)

    big61al:
    Yeah this film is hard like trying to swallow a whole walnut. But add in the great short, the riffs and the host segments and now you got a delicious brownie dripping with chocolate and walnuts…….oh boy lets dig in …. ;-)

    Does that remark call for a Touch of Satan callback?

    Sitting Duck:
    I’m gonna set you on Don Knotts strength.

    As long as it’s not Barney Fife strength. That guy could really lose control and he didn’t even need a hot dog to do it.

    Mike Flugennock:
    Btw, while we’re on the subject of Peggy Webber, was she ever in a movie where she didn’t appear constantly distraught and neurotic?

    Apparently so.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0916423/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

    She looks like Mrs. Kravitz’s slightly more uptight sister OSLT.

       2 likes

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

    Sitting Duck:
    The Gumby short (as well as some of the riffs) brings to mind the conundrum regarding old-timey cartoons (and even a few modern ones) featuring anthropomorphic non-humans. Namely how females are just about always fully clad, while males either are nude or wear nothing below the waist (Mickey Mouse and Goofy are the only exceptions which come to mind). Discuss.

    Well, it’s only a conundrum if you, y’know, care…

    Why can men walk around shirtless yet women can’t? It’s all about the breasts, baby. ;-) And Crow or Servo comments, “Mrs. Gumby is stacked!”

    And once the cartoonists admit the existence of breasts, the implication that vaginas also exist is pretty much inescapable, thus clothes from the waist down as well.

    As an example of a rare exception, Minnie Mouse used to be nude from the waist up, or at least her upper body was the same pitch-black color as the areas of her head that didn’t include her face. Notice, however, that in that incarnation, she was IIRC pretty much breast-less, and if cartoonists are permitted to deny the existence of breasts, the implication that vaginas similarly DON’T exist is every bit as inescapable.

    Yet I’m pretty sure that she wore skirts from the start. Oh well.

    In contrast, male anthropomorphic cartoon characters theoretically have only one indication of gender. Whether that’s depicted or not, it doesn’t imply the existence of anything else. Hence, if the cartoonists ignore it, it becomes a non-issue.

    I’m not sure if male anthr. characters who have noticeably muscular “real-looking” chests (as Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and so many other such characters do not have) — a stereotypical human male characteristic — are permitted to dispense with pants, since the chest-implies-genitals equation would then be valid.

    Arnold, the Arnold Schwarzneggar-esque dog from Tiny Toon Adventures, has such a chest yet wears only a collar. However, he’s considered a pet-dog (walking on all fours for all intent and purpose makes the look of his chest irrelevant) instead of a person-dog (completely different conundrum there), so even that’s inconclusive.

    Then again, while Bugs Bunny doesn’t wear clothes, Buster Bunny wears a shirt and Babs Bunny wears a shirt AND skirt, yet Babs’s fellow girl character Fifi la Fume can dispense with clothes without comment. So whatever. ;-)

    Watch-out-for-Snakes:
    The movie portion is the least enjoyable for me actually, which is strange.I don’t find The Screaming Skull (movie) to be very watchable; it doesn’t really engage me as a viewer.

    Well, you’re not in the 1950s. You aren’t the target audience. ;-) 1950s filmgoers MIGHT have considered it an effective low-budget horror film. One would need to dig up 1950s film reviews to be certain, I suppose.

       1 likes

  48. jay says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: Okay, see, for nearly the entire paragraph, you neglected to mention that when all this went down, OTHER PEOPLE were present.

    Without that crucial piece of information, the immediate presumption is that your friend was by himself. I think you’ll agree that, armed with that presumption, the account reads much differently than perhaps you intended. ;-)

    Huh?

       4 likes

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

    jay: Huh?

    “At this point he began to reenact a combination of Mike’s Screaming Skull terror (complete with the mindless screaming) and the scene from 2001:A Space Odyssey in which the proto-human bashes a tapir skull to smitherenes.”

    If he’d done all of that WITHOUT an audience (or without knowing that he had an audience), well, just a BIT of concern might have been warranted…

       1 likes

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

    Johnny Drama: It turns out, both Mickey, Torgo and Ortega’s mom’s name was Martha (I know, too easy)

    Oh, because Batman’s mother and Superman’s adopted mother were both named MARTHA! NOW I get it!

    (wotta maroon iam)

       1 likes

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