Movie: (1994) A man who was enslaved by aliens escapes to contemporary Los Angeles, where he is hunted by cyborgs using forced-perspective dinosaurs as trackers.
First shown: April 25, 1999
Opening: The bots calculate how many times a lady Gypsy is
Intro: Pearl conducts LSD experiments on the bots
Host segment 1: Tom makes a pair of legs so he can kickbox, but Gypsy has a leg up on him
Host segment 2: M&tB thank Pearl for not killing them, which puts a crimp in her plans
Host segment 3: Droppy the Water Droplet visits
End: Mike has a biiig chin; Pearl explodes Bobo and Brain Guy’s plans for going on the road
Stinger: The future warrior’s shirt is head-butted right off
• We’re still in a stretch of good-not-great here, seems to me. A mixed bag of host segments, a movie that is simultaneously watchable and incomprehensible and riffing that kind of rises and falls with the movie.
• Mary Jo’s thoughts are here.
• This episode appeared on the MST3K 20th Anniversary Edition, aka Vol. XIII.
• The opening segment is almost a textbook example of an opening bit. It’s apropos of nothing, takes a silly idea and takes it just as far as they should but doesn’t belabor it. Witty, fun and it’s over.
• The intro segment isn’t a laugh-riot, but Brain Guy and Bobo are hilarious.
• Filmmaker Dave Eddy revealed that this is another movie that kind of collapsed halfway through production and got taken over by another director (him). The original director, Tony Doublin, was battling with the movie’s producer, who felt the fight and action scenes weren’t being done correctly. (He might have been right!) Ultimately Doublin quit and Eddy and his team (dubbed the “Damage Control Unit”) was hired to salvage the movie as best they could. This is the result.
• He also noted that, while they did so, he and some of the crew remarked that it would be great if some day their movie would show up on “Mystery Science Theater 3000”!
• Then-current reference: Kim Wilde. Yes, I know she was actually popular in the ’80s, but at least in ’98-’99 people still remembered who she was!
• The characters cuss a few times and Sci-Fi Channel felt it necessary to insert silences.
• What IS going on with the “car visor cam” effect in some of the shots? (A “gradiant filter” was kindly explained to me in comments.)
• Segment 1 just kind of lays there. I think they’ve attached all the body parts to Servo that are possible.
• The guy with the magazine in the park who gets eaten by a dinosaur is none other than writer, editor, agent and movie fan, the late Forrest J. Ackerman.
• Callbacks: “Warwoolf”; “Tusk!” (Werewolf) “Would you dopple me into that movie, Mike?” (Overdrawn at the Memory Bank)
• Particularly amusing movie moment: the TV cameraman who is clearly holding a cardboard box sloppily made to look a little like a camera.
• Last time I mentioned that the “Warren Moon impression” joke escaped me. I don’t follow the off-field antics of footballers. It was explained in the comments, as was the Mandy Patinkin reference.
• Segment 2 is a cute idea taken from the movie, but they belabor it a bit.
• On the other hand, segment 3, featuring a visit from Droppy the water droplet, is classic MST3K.
• This movie must have been extra-tough duty: The Brains had to come up with TWO sets of riffs for the same sequence–the one in which the rag-tag band infiltrates the dinosaurs’ lair — which is shown in its entirety TWICE.
• The subject of Joel comes up when Mike tries some forced perspective fun during the closing credits.
• Mike’s big chin is funny in the closer, but Pearl calmly blowing people up when they annoy her is not really a new concept.
• Cast and crew roundup: Robert Z’Dar was also in “Soultaker.” That’s it.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike. Fred Street Post Audio get a special thanks in this and only this episode.
• Fave riff: “An actor prepares…to suck.” Honorable mention: “Z’dont!”