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Episode guide: 1004- Future War

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
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (268 votes, average: 4.40 out of 5)


• 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!”

168 comments to Episode guide: 1004- Future War

  • 1
    Titanius Anglesmith, Fancy Man of Cornwood says:

    Warren Moon was an NFL quarterback who at the time, was facing charges and bad publicity for allegations of domestic abuse.


  • 2
    Trilaan says:

    There was a time when I thought no movie could have worse dinosaur effects than Carnosaur. How wrong I was. Haven’t seen this ep for a while. I think I recall having trouble staying awake during the movie. Robert Z’dar never looked so bad in a movie. Even Matt Cordell was a looker compared to this badly done cyborg.

    I must admit, though, they came up with an interesting way to de-shirtify Jean-Clod van Dummb.


  • 3
    Fart Bargo says:

    I love this episode, consistently at or near 10 in my TT. The Opening & closing host segs were great, but the mid ones were meh. The movie was a terrific pick and the riffing was very sharp. Aliens, Dinosaurs, gang members (Jenny Craig Gang, Oprahs Book club gang…), French Resistance fighters, Puffy Hat Police, ”Captain Polaris”, kickboxing, big knife, BIG guys, guy with BIG FACE, hookers + nun = hooker nun, drugs, pimps, automatic weapons, mullets, boxes, explosions, spaceship, Forrest J. Ackerman so many targets for riffing!? Like shooting fish in the barrel and the boys did not disappoint.


  • 4
    robot rump! says:

    ditto on the Warren Moon notes. at the time of the troubles he was QB for the Vikings. a large enough cross to bear without the legal troubles. i wonder if the editors for X-Men 3 got their inspiration for Wolverine’s bloody now/ not bloody later T-shirt clearly seen in his epic fight with ‘disgruntled camper who could throw bones at people, man. just wondering.



  • 5
    Colossus Prime says:

    The intro really feels like a Comedy Central era bit. Am I the only one who gets that? Maybe it’s because Trace’s Crow was often on a computer, I don’t know, but I liked the feeling it left me.

    The movie is that lovely level of incompetence prime for MST3K. I love the scene when Anne first gets to the house and she’s out of breath, which makes sense if she carried Tool all the way from where she hit him as opposed to driving, like I’m sure she did. Of course the brisk jog from the car to the door might have winded her seeing as how winded she got when Tool held her to the wall moments later. Additionally it’s great that instead of just making her a nun in training that had a rough life before hand, having a crisis of faith, they provide tons of superfluous exposition to that rough life back story.

    There is just so much great stuff that makes no sense. Anne and Tool escape the dinosaur at the house and immediately proceed to hop on a train. The cops picking up Anne and Tool for no reason and taking them to a warehouse they have under siege. Said warehouse (possibly warehouses) being full of empty boxes. The unexplained news team at the scene that gets random focus. The gay police radio operator inappropriately joking with a lone SWAT agent. That and the entire premise of all the effort the alien overlords are putting into getting one guy back, is laughable.

    Oh, and the opening dialogue line, “For all the questions I had about the heavens, all it brought was hell on earth,” totally sets the tone for everything. Looking at it implies that the person’s questions are what created the hell on earth. And on top of that it totally looks like something I would’ve written in high school thinking it was deep and effective.

    Some Fav Riffs:
    Tom: “Future effects…” I hope that doesn’t mean Alf.

    Crow: And now, “Ooo, Heaven is a Place on Earth: The Movie.”

    Crow: You thick woman! Ennnnn!

    Tom: This is then, too, it’s weird.

    Mike: So when you edit it it’ll look like I stabbed him, right?

    Crow: Look how much more can I drive? There’s no inherit amount of driving that I can increase.


  • 6
    robot rump! says:

    one last question…were they trying to go for a low budget ‘terminator’ thing with this one? just wondering…


  • 7
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    “It’s Liberation Theology versus Opus Dei!”

    Pearl’s description of this as “a little tab of Orange Sunshine” sums this one up nicely. Why the train ride to nowhere and back again? Why dinosaurs? Who closed the gate when they were in the truck, being chased by a dinosaur? Why was the dinosaur stopped by the gate? Why the Plaid gang? Who thought this mess amounted to a movie?

    I did enjoy Jean Claude Goshdarn’s character saying, “I am tool.” How can you top that line?


  • 8
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    I didn’t find the movie particularly incomprehensible (although my attention tended to wander), but the backstory seemed unnecessarily complicated. The cyborgs from the future went back in time millions of years to abduct dinosaurs, and then, millions of years later, abducted humans. Having the cyborgs originate from the future wasn’t really necessary; maybe the notion of cyborgs existing on another planet contemporaneously with dinosaurs was a little too much for someone’s mind to wrap itself around.

    Needed more Borg jokes.

    “Hey, it’s Third of Five!”
    “More like Fifth of Scotch.”
    “Maybe Tenth of CC?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “Third of Base!”


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

    The film’s tagline was:

    Past Predator
    Present Alien
    Future Terminator

    So apparently they were going for a hat trick, but instead they lost their shirt.


  • 10
    I'm Evil says:

    A real turkey of a movie, leading to a solid if not great episode. Riffing is good throughout, and host segments are just middling for me. The opening where they calculate how many times a lady is probably my favorite here, and Sampo nails it in his description above.

    I can only imagine the pitch meeting for this movie: It’s like “Terminator” meets “Kickboxer” meets “Jurrasic Park”…oh, and everyone wears plaid. We’ve got a product placement deal with a cardboard box company.

    On a side note among the crew listing in the credits was “Box Wranglers.”

    I have to say that Daniel Bernhardt is actually a good martial artist, but the fight choreography (which he did himself apparently) makes for lame fight scenes. Overall, there just seems to be such little effort that went into this movie (eg cardboard box with a lens taped on as a camera, editing machine in the shot, continuity issues). Every time the movie gets a tiny bit of momentum, it blows itself up.


    Oh good, another large guy. The movie was needing one.

    Oh, Z’no!

    It’s Super Pope!

    My theory is that director shot the entire movie without looking at it.

    See, this what happens when you deregulate credits.

    Fave riff: Come on and go…and then DRIVE!


  • 11
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    BTW, Colossus Prime (#5), I appreciated your point about the opening dialogue…you’re right about the implications. Yet another factor that makes this such a fine piece of cheese!


  • 12
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Speaking of plaid, at least one callback to “Time Chasers” (“Two plaids?”) might have been warranted.

    “Well, movie, I sure hope you can justify all this personnel…”


  • 13
    Bat Masterson says:

    I love this one tremendously, I just watched it last week.

    “He’s a Cute-asaurus!”


    “What happened? We were batter dipping!”


  • 14
    Stckboy says:

    I agree with Colossus Prime, this movie does look like it was written by a high schooler. Scenes follow each other with no explanation. People show up to deliver lines of dialog even though they haven’t been part of the ongoing conversation and in fact could not possibly have known where to show up in the first place.

    The riffing is good and enjoyable. The hosts segments, other than the opening and Droppy the Water Droplet, are not very good. Tom’s attempt at kickboxing and the revelation of Gypsy’s new leg make me think the Brains were doing some of their own LSD experiments. I love Droppy, though. Who knew water had so many uses?

    Ladies and gentlemen, Fred Burrows!


  • 15
    bad wolf says:

    I love the two lines within minutes of each other: “I’m a tool” and “I’m a man” (“…in my particular relationship”)


  • 16
    Dan in WI says:

    The callbacks were a highlight in this experiment!

    Other favorites as best I can remember:

    For a lack of anything humerous please accept this substite.

    [Mike as Zdar as Tool winds up a kick in the final fight] I’ll just stand here and see how this plays out. [the kick connects] ouch I guess.


  • 17
    John Seavey says:

    I’ll admit that I actually thought Daniel Bernhardt was a stage name for Jean-Claude van Damme until I looked the movie up on IMDB. Whodathunk there’d be two guys who looked like that who were both kickboxers/actors/not-really-actors-at-all?

    Personally, I think the film editor deserves an Oscar for this movie. There’s clearly not a single usable take in the whole movie, but he gamely presses on with montages and voiceovers and non-linear exposition in order to conceal it as best he can. (My favorite is the nun’s voiceover that covers her actual dialogue–clearly, she couldn’t convey emotion at all in the actual sequence as shot, so they just overdubbed her with a voiceover that wasn’t expected to.)

    Does anyone else think that this is where the extra seconds from the super-slow countdown at the end of ‘Time Chasers’ wound up, or was it just me?

    My favorite lines:

    “I’ve done some things…I’m not proud of.”
    “That’s why I keep this scrapbook!”

    “Sister Vehicular Homicide.”

    “Whew. Glad the dinosaurs got the kid. Really slowed them down.”

    “So do they ship fully inflated balloons?”

    Four stars, easily.


  • 18
    jjb3k says:

    The “thank you for not killing us” segment has always baffled me. Mike and the bots are Pearl’s test subjects for the movie-watching experiment, right? So why would she decide to randomly blow them to smithereens in the middle of a movie? It’s an example of how I think the Brains kind of lost focus on what the show was really supposed to be about towards the end of its run.

    I believe this is the episode the Brains were working on when the SciFi Channel announced that MST3K would not be coming back for an 11th season. And it shows – from here on until the end of the season, the riffing seems to lose a lot of its energy, sort of like the Brains didn’t have any fight left in them.


  • 19
    Sitting Duck says:

    My favorite riff occurs at the cardboard warehouse. One of the Bots (can’t recall which) says, “He’s boxed in,” to which Mike replies, “Yeah, well I’m card-bored.”

    Andrew Borntreger of BadMovies.Org reviewed this one.


  • 20
    RockyJones says:

    Coincidentally, I just watched this one last night. I’d have to give it a solid 4 stars. I’d give it 5 if all of the host segments were on the par of the opening bit or “Droppy”.

    Such a PERFECT movie for the guys to tear into! The cheapness and imcompetence just ABOUND in every single scene. The blah, fake-looking interiors all look like they’re the same exact location…the “fat guys’ house”, the police department, and even the highly UN-detailed church interior at the end of the movie. I mean, GEEEEEEZ!…the windows look like they’re made out of waxed paper! Rolls Eyes

    Fave riff has got to be…
    Anne: “I have a past that I’m not proud of” Crow: “That’s why I kept a SCRAPBOOK!”

    Oh, and BTW Sampo…The Mandy Patinkin referrence DOES pertain to the ladder in the background. A single ladder was the only set piece used on stage for his famous “Dress Casual” concert back in the 80’s.


  • 21
    ck says:

    Okay, if you’re operating an empty box factory/store/
    warehouse wouldn’t it make sense to HAVE THE BOXES FOLDED!


  • 22
    RockyJones says:

    …that’s “INcompentence”. sheesh, how impometent!


  • 23
    Cubby says:

    • Then-current reference: Kim Wilde.

    Oh, Sampo honey, I don’t think so. She was early-to-mid-’80s.

    What was she doing in 1999? According to the never-doubtable Wikipedia: “Since 1998, Wilde had an alternative career as a gardener, whilst still being active in music.


  • 24
    Apollonia James (yeah, right) says:

    It took me a long time to realize that the “I’m a tool” guy also played an Agent in Matrix Reloaded. His and Morpheus’ fight scene is cool except for when the CGI obviously takes over, but I had a hard time taking it seriously after I realized who the guy was.

    Trying to think of a favorite riff, and a whole bunch kept popping into my head:
    “Is this a halfway house for huge guys?”
    “Somebody look in your rolodex for a Fred Burrows!”
    “So in the future, they simply forgot about flashlights…”
    “Someone shot the editor!”


  • 25
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    3 stars (barely). Doesn’t do it for me.

    Not a fan of martial arts, rubber dinosaurs, or the Catholic Church. The movie is hard to look at and painful to listen to. Large sections of the score sound like malfunctioning drum-machine overlaid with tracks of unrelated synthesizer noodling. It’s plot makes less sense to me every time I watch it. So given this train-wreck of a film, it’s a little disappointing that, while amusing, the riffing never really comes to a boil. And the host segments are generally lame, the worst set in awhile.

    I usually hate when the riffers fixate on a minor point then run it into the ground (“Steve” in Bloodbeast, “Are you ready for some football?” in Laserblast), especially when it’s based in them mishearing something or not paying attention. This is one of those times. Fred Burroughs is the round black dude. He is called Fred at least three times at the house. Granted, his full name is only used by the police in conjunction with a scene that we never see (Alan Thicke Cop: “Fred Burroughs told us how he got you to give him a ride”) which is pretty confusing. To be fair, I realize the Brains have watched the movie a few times during the writing process and they may have figured this out themselves, and then decided to use the gag anyway because they know we will be confused by this element also. It just doesn’t work for me here, in this case.

    Surprisingly, lead “tool” Daniel Bernhardt still has a career. Currently shooting a film in Baton Rouge.

    Only the Shout! DVD extra of the Comic-Con makes this disc essential for fans.


  • 26
    mike says:

    Two things about this episode that always cracked me up.

    The first is the random scene where Tool and the nun end up running away from the dinosaur, jump in a random truck and insist that the driver DRIVE! The editing is hysterical. “RUN!” Mike: “Who are those people?”

    The other is the acting between Captain Polaris and the police dispatcher after the SWAT guy dies. Oh man, that has to be the most half-assed acting ive ever seen in a movie. The police dispatcher has no enthusiasm at all, not that i would either if i was in this movie and Captain Polaris is just so cheesy.

    This movie is ripe for riffing, the cardboard box camera, ashy cyborgs, millions of cardboard boxes, dustbuster galactica, etc., etc. Understanding the plot could potentially merit a nobel peace prize.

    “This movie is crediting the entire United States person by person!”

    “the randy johnson model cyborg”

    polaris: “what the hell is that?”
    crow: “uh, thats your shadow sir”

    and who the hell is Fred Borroughs????


  • 27
    Ed says:

    Solid but not classic episode, though I love the first fifteen minutes or so.


  • 28
    RPG says:

    Don’t forget the infamous fat guy dummy stand0in moment. Plus, with the sci-fi aspect and everything, you’d expect a name like Captain Polaris would belong to the hero or something.


  • 29
    Dan in WI says:

    Oh, and how many other movies had opening credits so long there is a commecial break as soon as they finish?


  • 30
    norgavue says:

    Fred Burrows…enough said.


  • 31
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    #26: Fred Burroughs is the black guy who gets killed because the dinosaur “supersized it,” as Finnias Jones pointed out. It IS funny how the movie just introduces his full name at the awkwardest moment.

    #29: “Hobgoblins,” rather famously. Wink

    This movie is one of the funniest movies to have sets made out of poster board and styrofoam. As one reviewer said (paraphrased), “if your kids made this, you’d think it was cute.” Why are these time travelling cyborgs hovering around Earth in a huge dustbuster during the present day? Is it really a good idea to leave a dangerous wounded stranger who busts table alone with the son of Moe Howard? Why ARE they on a train that takes them back to the same place? Why do the police pick Ann and Future Tool up? Why exactly is Future Tool put in jail at all? Just because Sister Ann was a former prostitute, she has all these “connections” to get explosives? Why does a sewer, or whatever it is, have pipes along the walls and huge wooden slats? And didn’t Forrest J. Ackerman have better things to do than promote his sci-fi magazine in a film like this?

    I could think of more, but this movie constantly rewards with all the “huhs” per second.


  • 32

    The movie’s not the most watchable for me, but the riffing is excellent throughout. Lots of great, memorable lines. While I agree that the opening and Droppy segments are the best, I do like the others as well – the “You tried to kill us!” one is particularly fun, because Mary Jo delivers her “NO! I would NEVER . . .” lines so brilliantly. We use that one (and that tone) a lot for faux apologies around here. As for why she was trying to kill them . . . just relax. They took a liking to that line from the movie (“thanks for not killing me”/”they should have a Hallmark card for that”) and decided to run with it. I also like Brain Guy’s frustrated mutterings over Pearl’s sudden change of heart.

    As others have noted, this film is freakin’ ideal for riffing. Nuns and cyborgs AND kickboxers AND dinosaurs? And it tries to take itself seriously? How could the riffing go wrong? It’s a perfect fanboy’s blend of material.

    “Jerry, nooo!! He was only three days from retirement!”

    “These, are things. They exist.”

    “Haven’t had Hardee’s in over an hour.”

    “No wonder fossils are so rare.”

    “Im fretting . . . see audience? I’m fretting.”

    Great stuff pretty much ll the way through, a few minor lulls aside.


  • 33
    thecorman says:

    I really have a hard time making it through this one in one sitting – I think it’s because the movie is soooooo bad. I have to turn it off occasionally and punch the walls to get through my frustration.

    I haven’t watched it in while, but was this another 80s-early 90s SciFi movie where 3/4 of the movie is eaten up by credits?

    Also, does Belgium have a college that specializes in producing crappy martial artists-slash-actors?


  • 34
    trickymutha says:

    @#23- still, though- what with all the bank bailouts, and how I generally abhor their wealth and power- I’ll sing “we’re the bank of america” when I see one- puzzles and amuses my GF.


  • 35
    CG says:

    I actually really liked the kickboxing host segment, mainly because Gypsy is so adorable. “I don’t want to hurt you, Tom!”


  • 36
    GonzoRedux says:

    I love this episode. The past four episodes have been great, riffing-wise. I do think the host segments got a little lame toward the end…but the riffing is top-notch.
    And this movie is awesome. Easy to watch and terrible.

    The stinger has to be my favorite of the series. Z’Dar’s look of disbelief cracks me up every time.


  • 37
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #26: The police dispatcher has no enthusiasm at all, not that i would either if i was in this movie

    How much enthusiasm would you have if you were an actual police dispatcher? Maybe the actor’s performance hit the nail right on the head. Smile

    Might’ve been nice if they’d given us better indications of exactly how the action was spread across the Four Days. So Day One started when Ann met Tool, and Day Four ended when Ann took her vows, right? Three days before her final vows and all THIS intrudes into her life, like she wouldn’t have been nervous enough in the first place.


  • 38
    Mike Sh. says:

    One thing that always cracks me up about this episode is the newspaper clipping they show at the end of the movie that announces “Tool” as the newest staff member of the drug counseling center. The picture that accompanies the article shows “Tool” shirtless and with a demonic expression on his incredibly grimy face. What would it be like to go to the center for help with your nasty drug problem, and be met by that guy?

    Favorite riff: “They must have a loser bishop”


  • 39
    JCC says:

    I don’t care how “meh” anyone may be on this episode, I feel it is hilarious and one of my favorites. I also feel that there is no energy dropoff level (at least in the theater) on account of them being cancelled. Just my opinion though.

    I find Servo’s “legs” highly disturbing and don’t think they look like human legs at all. Or was that the point and I’ve been watching this sketch all wrong for the last 11 years? Maybe it’s like a magic eye puzzle or that three prong fork illusion.

    “Battle of the guys that peaked in high school.”


  • 40
    monoceros4 says:

    “The “thank you for not killing us” segment has always baffled me. Mike and the bots are Pearl’s test subjects for the movie-watching experiment, right? So why would she decide to randomly blow them to smithereens in the middle of a movie? It’s an example of how I think the Brains kind of lost focus on what the show was really supposed to be about towards the end of its run.”

    I thought this was a show about a scientific experiment! Instead it’s about, like, jokes and stuff! Those sell-out bastards!


  • 41
    Brandon says:

    We finally see the other end of Gypsy’s body!!!! Or did that happen already before during the CC-era?

    I think the director, or somebody who worked on this film made a blog post not long ago and said that when this episode aired, he had trouble watching it because he was a fan of MST3K, and he knew the end of the show was coming. However, when the episode came out to DVD, thanks to Shout Factory, he was able to re-watch it and found it hilarious.

    “Is this because Joel stopped by earlier?”


  • 42
    omega2010 says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, this movie is also notable for being the most recently made film to appear on the show. The Brains at this point had rarely riffed a film made in the ’90s. So can anyone list all the ’90s films they riffed?


  • 43
    Ang says:

    Definitely one of my desert island episodes. I think the riffing and host segments are strong throughout and the movie has just the right amount of incompetence and silliness. I think the message they were trying to convey is a nice idea; using your faith to get through tough times. The execution however was just bad. I give them at least one thumb up though for trying.

    Fave riffs:

    Servo: “I had a bottle of Dom Magwilli once, it was overrated.”

    Crow: “It’s not even ass, Servo.”

    “It’s hard to sample off the radio.”

    “I’ll hit you so hard with this, you’ll go flying that way.”


  • 44

    Past Predator
    Present Alien
    Future Terminator

    That was my Prom Theme!


  • 45
    CG says:

    Did anyone else notice that the organ music played in the background sounded remarkably similar to the background music in “Hobgoblins?”


  • 46
    Matt D. says:

    Nobody has named my favorite riff yet, as it is one that absolutely floored me the first time I saw/listened to it (and I don’t even exactly know why).

    As the clock winds down to detonation, “Introducing new, faster seconds.”

    I also enjoy, “By the bells, it’s now 97 o’clock.”


  • 47
    mikek says:

    “Fred Burroughs! Help me!”

    Daniel Bernhardt really is Jean Claude Gosh Darn. He was in the three sequels to the movie Jean-Claude Van Damme movie Bloodsport.

    Okay, I give this episode 4 stars, but only because I really don’t like the second host segment. It’s just stupid. The Droppy the Water Droplet bit wasn’t all that funny either, but it was still watchable. The rest of the episode is lots of fun. Future War is another example of a newer movie being far worse than any bad movie before 1975.

    I have to agree with Mary Jo Pehl about how sad the news reporter scenes are in the movie. The cardboard camera is so pathetic. I also feel sorry for actor Ray Adash, who played Captain Polaris.

    Sampo: “Mandy Patinkin’s gonna do a concert back there.” What? Because of the ladder?

    Yes, because of the ladder, although now I think Eric Bogosian would have been a better reference.

    Favorite riffs:

    “Is he talking about a ‘warwilf’?”

    “Being a scab for UPS is hard.” (A then-current reference to the strike of UPS workers.)

    “Thank you Soloflex.”

    Servo: “Look at the beautiful stained-glass window.”
    Crow: “They must have a loser bishop to get a basilica like this.”
    Mike: “I think it’s the Arby’s employee chapel.”


  • 48
    gorto says:

    One of my favorite episodes, the movie is just so goofy. I particularly like the end with Runaway’s photo in agressive action pose depicted in the newspaper as the new teen crisis counselor. cracks me up. Anyway, that is not a “car visor cam” ‘effect’ in that shot, it is probably a gradient filter used on the camera (a filter with two or more areas of gradually different shading). They are most often used to dim out bright areas of a shot (ie sky) which might blow out the exposure levels while filming. The effect of using a grad filter should be seemless, they just did a very bad job of using one. Good cinematographers can mess up using them too. Desert shots in “Thelma and Louise” have a similar problem, the tops of some of the land formations get into the graded area and look awkward. I do think they are being used less these days with digital color grading and digital cinema cameras, but in camera filtering is always better.


  • 49
    Joseph Nebus says:

    Dan in WI says:

    May 13, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Oh, and how many other movies had opening credits so long there is a commecial break as soon as they finish?

    Hobgoblins went to commercial break immediately after the credits were done and Mike had corralled the Bots into just sitting down and watching this movie, provoking a rare bumper voice-over of “Doh!”

    I think the late-credit champion is Angels Revenge, though, which as I recall doesn’t get the credits started until after the first break.

    One of those little lines that I love that nobody seems to notice comes from the Droppy sketch, as Crow’s listed several of the many uses for water and Mike just starts to ask, “Are these in any kind of order …” It’s a simple little yet logical thing, and the answer of course is no.


  • 50

    “The picture that accompanies the article shows “Tool” shirtless and with a demonic expression on his incredibly grimy face. What would it be like to go to the center for help with your nasty drug problem, and be met by that guy?”

    Not only that, but the picture was clearly taken *during* his fight with the cyborg! Someone was snapping pictures during the climactic clash, and that’s what they choose to depict their new counselor! The hell?


    “I thought this was a show about a scientific experiment! Instead it’s about, like, jokes and stuff! Those sell-out bastards!”

    I believe that qualifies as an owning.

    My hat is off to you, sir. Twisted


    “Unless I’m mistaken, this movie is also notable for being the most recently made film to appear on the show.”

    Unfortunately, you are mistaken. We covered in the Merlin thread recently that Werewolf and Merlin were both from 1995, while Future War here was from 1994. Damn close, though.


  • 51
    Brandon says:

    Future War also might have been the movie Mike was referring to when he and Mary Jo appeared on “Sci-Fi Vortex”.


  • 52
    Needs to Go Up a Shirt Size says:

    This episode has the one MST3K movie quote that pops into my mind more than any other. I’m referring of course to the line “Monsters in the hood.”

    This episode is one of the thirty or so that I keep in my top ten.


  • 53
    WhereTheFishLives says:

    Certainly a solid episode. Not so much because of slam dunk riffs that floored me as much as constant and solid riffs. The police dispatcher with the femme voice is classic, “Coptin Pullarith…” Fave riff, crow: “What is this a halfway-house for huge guys?”


  • 54
    schippers says:

    It’s fun to watch the really exciting faux-Terminator assaults the police station segment and just watch how pathetically the filmmakers handled firearms. The one old cop, who’s handling an Uzi or a Mac-10, don’t know which: check it out, when he shoots, the editor just inserted a brief snippet of white space to represent gunfire! It’s priceless!

    Monsters in the hood, y’all.


  • 55
    mikek says:

    Speaking of that gang, they must be really good at what they do because they have all survived into their 30s.


  • 56
    Ator In Flight says:

    The fight scenes in the movie are funny on their own. “Whaaaa!” Chaaaaaa!” Cracks me up even without riffing.

    Since no one has mentioned it yet another favorite riff of mine “Son of Moe Howard.”


  • 57
    rcfagnan says:

    “Y’know I could point out that this isn’t the future and it’s not a war, but you know me, I don’t like to complain!” Does this strike anyone else as being the “Werewolf” of season 10? Just the most incompetently produced film on every level from everyone involved swirling to make a perfect storm for MST, or as Kevin Murphy referred to Werewolf “a gift from God.” I for one LOVE the “Thank you for not killing us” host segment. Hilarious through and through. All in all a great episode. On to Dr. Z!


  • 58
    thedumpster says:

    Did anyone notice that when you watch the “stinger” scene, Runaway actually rips his shirt off with his hands? On first viewing, it isn’t noticeable, but watch it again and you can’t miss it.


  • 59
    Spector says:

    Agree with Sampo’s analysis of this one. The movie has its moments and the riffing certainly rises with those, but there are parts where the riffing also falls flat. I really think the final season hangover was affecting the Brains by this point as their riffing seemed to lack its usual sparkle and snap over the course of this season. If they’d done this one in Season eight or nine, or even in the earlier years of the show, I think the results would’ve been better. Overall it’s not bad, good but not great. 3.5 stars out of five.


  • 60
    OnenuttyTanuki says:

    #55, It’s probably from all those wild flowers they pick.


  • 61
    This Guy says:

    “He studied under Lee Strasberg…’s car.”

    Daniel Bernhardt did indeed go on to appear as Agent Johnson in The Matrix Reloaded. He was certainly better off in a movie that had a good fight choreographer and didn’t require him to do any actual acting.

    I really liked Tom’s “vomitorium” riff because it means the Brains, unlike most people, actually know what a vomitorium is.

    Droppy the Water Droplet seems to hearken back/forward to Wally the Waffle and Coily (who originally inspired Wally, of course.) The sketch is sort of the inverse of the famous “dihydrogen monoxide” prank.

    The “nun with a troubled past” story is a pretty straightforward redemption tale, but nobody seems to bat an eye at the fact that she’s doing business with illegal arms dealers and drug pushers. She’s just outright supporting their activities.

    It seems like a great many cyborgs and androids in movies have supposedly enhanced vision that looks much, much worse than ordinary human vision. It’s typically in false colors that don’t seem to convey any information, horribly pixellated, and jerky.

    Another movie this one seems to have ripped off: the credits sequence reminds me an awful lot of Alien^3. The names are intercut with scenes of chaos aboard a spaceship followed by the launch of an escape pod.


  • 62
    Flying Saucers Over Oz says:

    A brilliant episode, with an utterly bizarre and inept movie that’s begging to be ripped apart by these guys. I still have trouble keeping a straight face just thinking, “Ladies and gentlemen… Fred Burroughs.”

    My only nitpick is that they somehow missed attacking the endless repetition of the “Four days ago, a man fell from the sky…” line. ‘YES. We KNOW. You TOLD US EARLIER, THANK YOU.’ Razz


  • 63
    Tork_110 says:

    Didn’t Mortal Kombat Conquest air around or just after season 10?

    The ending of the movie confused me. The first few times I thought the nun didn’t make her vows and ended up with the runaway.


  • 64

    “I’ll hit you so hard with this, that you’ll go flying over there – ”

    Actually in agreement on this one as being good, not great. The riffing is solid, but I think they’re kind of hurt by the fact that the movie is SO disjointed as to be hard to follow. Forget continuity across the length of the movie, there’s barely any continuity from scene to scene. Hell, I had a harder time following this one than I did Overdrawn at the Memory Bank or Monster-a-Go-Go, probably two of the most incomprehensible movies ever made. There’s still plenty of good stuff, though. Probably my favorite part, though, is when the first dinosaur busts through the window at the halfway house for huge guys, White Huge Guy runs at it and it just knocks him over, and Mike and the bots crack up.

    Host segments, as has been mentioned, are a mixed bag. The opening is great (“Gillian Anderson herself is only a 2.9”), and the intro, while pretty predictable by their standards, did provide the awesome acid rock name Narcotic Casserole. The other segments are mostly forgettable save Droppy, who foreshadows Coily by 8 episodes and is an absolute riot (in large part because the uses for water have seemingly no correlation and are in a totally haphazard order), and Gypsy in the kickboxing sketch (there’s something about her singing “You Shook Me All Night Long” that kills me).

    On an unrelated note, I think the whole “once they found out they were canceled they stopped trying as hard” bit is completely ridiculous, particularly since we’re still a ways from most of the best episodes of the season (Blood Waters, Track of the Moon Beast, and Horrors of Spider Island) and one of their top 5 shorts (the aforementioned A Case of Spring Fever). My guess is that it just seems like they’ve lost a little steam because there are a few clunkers spread throughout this season, whereas seasons 8 and 9 had theirs primarily at the beginning and then went on runs of great episode after great episode (particularly true of season 8, where basically everything from Giant Spider Invasion on was gold).


  • 65
    DamonD says:

    Never really got along with this one much, it just feels like the riffs could’ve been a bit sharper and the movie a bit sillier. Yeah, it’s a tough balance I know!

    Has it’s moments, but not enough of them.


  • 66
    Brandon says:

    #64 I think it’s universally agreed upon though that HAMLET is a sucky season 10 episode.


  • 67

    #66 I wouldn’t say universally, but yes, Hamlet is generally viewed as pretty sub-par. That’s kind of what I meant by “clunkers spread throughout the season;” it’s not that there weren’t episodes that weren’t entirely up to snuff, it’s that rather than having those episodes be clustered together near the beginning of the season as in seasons 8 and 9, there’d be a couple good-to-great episodes followed by a less-than-stellar one, followed by a couple more good ones, then another weaker one, and so on. Because the mediocre ones are more spread out, people tend to think of the season as a whole as more mediocre than they would if they all came at the beginning. In fact, I think a large part of the reason season 8 is so widely hailed (save, of course, those who never got over Trace, or even Joel, leaving) is because that string from episode 810 on is pretty much all fantastic episodes, which helps people forget that most of the first 9 episodes were pretty iffy.


  • 68
    This Guy says:

    Actually, it isn’t, in accordance with Sampo’s Theorem. I really like that episode.


  • 69
    Johnny Ryde says:

    Oh Z’no!

    I didn’t watch this one much after the show ended, so when the DVD came out, all I remember was a lot of boxes and and that shot of the guy’s shirt falling off.

    Is that scene of the “van’s emissions” the worst day-for-night shooting ever seen?

    Is that old man with Monsters comic someone famous, or supposed to look like someone famous? I couldn’t figure that scene out at all.

    The worst thing about the cardboard camera is that they use the cardboard to make it look a film (as opposed to a video) camera… which is being used for a TV live shot.

    So, why do they get arrested half way through the movie? What law have they broken?

    I’d put this one as Good But Not Great(tm). It has some fantastic moments though. I really like the half-way house for huge guys.


  • 70
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    There’s no “universal agreement” about ANY MST episode, not even Hamlet.


  • 71
    Luther Strickland says:

    “Drive! DRIVE!!!”

    #70, Dark Grandma, you said a mouthful. It’s hard to get “universal agreement” on episodes even here in my household, must less in the world of Misties. I rather enjoy pork-filled German Hamlet.


  • 72
    ck says:

    Hey! I kind of like Hamlet (especially Max’s over the top acting).
    But I’m still looking for some of those Hamlet action dolls.
    Talk about great Christmas presents.
    P.R.I.N.C.E. H.A.M.L.E.T Hooray for Prince Hamlet!


  • 73
    HotDrawnButter says:

    I wonder if the writers had a lot of ..ideas, with that line, “I am tool”…


  • 74
    Justin says:

    Johnny Ryde says: “So, why do they get arrested half way through the movie? What law have they broken?”

    That has always infuriated me! I wonder if the explanantion was cut from the MSTing for time, considering Mike and the ‘bots never bring it up.

    Fav lines:

    SERVO: What other random things can I say? “Lamp?” “Elephants in the street?”

    CROW: Hi. I’m the director. Please accept this small, inaccurate model of what we’d like to imply just happened.

    MIKE: The stuff my stereo came packed in flies through space!

    “Everything he wanted was everything I needed.”
    CROW: “…so neither of us actually GOT anything.”

    I also like during the third segment when Droppy comments on how the movie “made much of the propensity of dinosaurs to gather near water” and Servo mutters, “I remember ONE line.”


  • 75

    Hey, I like Hamlet, too, as I like the play, I like Ricardo Montalban, and it’s not so much bad as it is bleak (“hell, even a stick would cheer this place up”). Again, though, I’m simply stating what seems to be a general opinion; time and again on here, whenever the question of least favorite episode gets posed, the answers are inevitably a bunch of Hamlets, a bunch of “movies that even the riffing couldn’t save” (i.e. Neptune Men, Starfighters, Monster-a-Go-Go, Fu Manchu, Batwoman, etc.), and a bunch of “they really hadn’t found their footing yet” episodes (all of season one, most of season two). NOT my opinion, just trends I’ve noticed on these boards. There are ALWAYS exceptions to these; there are no universally derided episodes just as there are no universally beloved episodes (you’ll always get someone who knocks even stuff like Manos and Space Mutiny).


  • 76
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    #73: I wonder if the writers had a lot of ..ideas, with that line, “I am tool”…

    I also wondered why they didn’t riff on that and guess that maybe “tool” wasn’t yet a popular slang term in 1999?

    #69: So, why do they get arrested half way through the movie? What law have they broken?

    I’m guessing Fred (Burroughs) called the police after the dinosaur attack at the halfway house and gave them descriptions of Runaway & Sister Anne. The fact that Tool knew something about the recent dino-attacks makes him a “person of interest” for the cops. Almost makes sense, except for that inexplicable train ride to nowhere.


  • 77
    Dalty Smilth says:

    This movie actually has a couple of self-referential riffs. Or at least riffs referencing the continuity/universe of the show. Over a shot of someone going through a door that looks vaguely like one of those from the door sequence, Servo says, “Hey, they’re coming into the theater, Mike!” And at one point, Mike says of the first cyborg, the one with the mustache and the mullet, and is wearing white makeup at first: “Brain Guy looked like this in high school.” My favorite riff from the film: “Well, that was easy! Maybe it was butterflies that wiped out the dinosaurs.”


  • 78
    UberNeuman says:

    Future Wax!


  • 79
    Johnny Ryde says:

    @Finnias ‘Critter’ Jones, #76

    I’m guessing Fred (Burroughs) called the police after the dinosaur attack at the halfway house and gave them descriptions of Runaway & Sister Anne. The fact that Tool knew something about the recent dino-attacks makes him a “person of interest” for the cops. Almost makes sense, except for that inexplicable train ride to nowhere.

    But from what I remember, they are arrested and thrown in the back of a police car… So it’s not like they’re being asked nicely to help the police with their inquires. They’re arrested, handcuffed and sneered at…


  • 80
    MiqelDotCom says:

    (n) x ‘a lady’=funny

    I happen to love LSD unapologetically (not as a party drug but as a tool for introspection, *not recommended for everyone) so the ‘secret government LSD tests’ sketch is one of my favorites. However, I have never mistaken a Milky-Way for a Snickers bar while tripping.
    Pearl: “Who wants vegetables? You do! You do!” Bill sounds genuinely disoriented when he says “wha .. you mean you’re not a clown, or ..”

    This to me is only a fair episode (3.5 stars) but it really has some stellar moments & riffs.
    – All the stuff about the empty boxes fight cracks me up. “Boxes of air shipped anywhere overnight”, “Maybe they ship fully inflated balloons” “he’s BOXED in” “well I’m Card-BORED”
    – Nun: I have a past i’m not proud of – Crow “That’s why i made this handy scrapbook”
    – the cardboard movie camera!! Oh jeez!
    – Crow: “I could point out that this isn’t the future and it’s not really a war but i’m not one to complain”
    Bomb ticks really fast – Crow in announcer voice: “INTRODUCING NEW FASTER SECONDS!”
    “hi i’m the director, please enjoy this small, inaccurate model of what we’d like to imply just happened. thank you”


  • 81
    MiqelDotCom says:

    Forgot to mention:

    Servo’s new legs are really funny and his speech about expecting constant kickboxing action is hilarious.

    Droppy the Water Droplet(tm) is a great character and i love the randomness in their selection of water facts

    “Just call me Bruce box-liker”


  • 82
    MrsPhyllisTorgo says:

    #63: Wait, she did take her vows? I totally thought she gave that up to marry Runaway or something. This movie, jeez.

    I like this movie because it’s so solid. It’s a good background movie — doesn’t put me to sleep, but I don’t feel like I have to just sit and watch it.


  • 83
    MonkeyPatrol:InColor says:

    I thought this episode was utterly hilarious the first time I saw it. The next time the laughs were more sporadic.

    All in all I’d say this is a pretty average episode from the seasons 9 and 10 period. The host segments are forgettable, but with just a few exceptions I feel that’s sort of typical of the Sci-Fi era; the riffing seemed to become the main priority of the show after they were dropped from CC, so at this point in the series the host segments don’t really factor into my judgement of an episode.

    I love season 10, by the way. It’s probably not as solid all-around as season 9, but there are some absolute knock-out episodes and I feel the writers continued to go full-bore, as evinced by SQUIRM, which was one of the best episodes in the Sci-Fi era and the penultimate episode of the series.

    I think it’s unfair to the writers to say they would have done more with this film earlier in the series or when not under the gloom of the show’s demise. One thing I notice a lot on these boards is MSTies openly lamenting the failure of the writers to make jokes out of certain moments or lines from a movie which seems like obvious riff-fodder. Comedy writing is hard, and sometimes even a whole room full of writers can’t make a joke work. Most comics realize that no joke at all is better than an uninspired one.


  • 84
    Creepygirl says:

    This is a middle of the road episode for me. The theatre segments are good not great. I’ve only seen this one a few times since it aired. Maybe I’ll have to give it another look. Wink


  • 85
    ghlbtsk says:

    *Jean-Claude Goshdarn shrieks while throwing an empty box at Robo-Mullet*
    TOM: “Carboard boxes aren’t working…try throwing a piece of paper or a cotton ball.”

    During the ensuing fight (both characters, repeatedly): “EEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!”

    The worst grammatical offense since Cave Dwellers’ “What do you intend doing?” – Captain Polaris: “Hey, what do we’ve got?”

    “A Macy’s balloon! Oh, it’s you.”

    During the panicked call by warehouse employees to Puffy Hat Dispatcher, a guy in the background is being handed things to block the door from an implied dinosaur attack. EMPTY CARDBOARD BOXES OUGHT TO DO THE TRICK!

    During the “Cha” scene – MIKE: “He’s warming up to sing the Big Country song.”


  • 86
    MiqelDotCom says:

    Another Callback – to SanFrancisco International
    at the end Brain Guy says
    “Sorry man, I don’t follow you, no way”
    Quoting the hippie kid with a guitar being interviewed by airport security.


  • 87
    This Guy says:

    Yeah, I don’t get the “faster seconds” the characters used on their timer. Sure, nothing’s stopping them for using whatever time intervals they please, but… why? It’s formatted like a standard m:ss timer and everything.

    I forgot to mention that the lady at the first dinosaur-attack crime scene (cop? EMT?) reminds me a lot of Yeardley Smith–in appearance, not in voice or in talent.

    Note to would-be fight choreographers: Don’t have the combatants pause every few seconds to shout “YEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAARRRGGH” at the top of their lungs. If Yuen Woo-ping saw this movie, I’m sure he’d just be shaking his head sadly throughout.


  • 88
    MPSh says:

    #76: “Tool” in 1999 pretty meant the same thing it means today. I think they kind of passed that one by in order to keep it a family show. I remember they did laugh when the Runaway said, “I am a tool”.


  • 89
    Warren says:

    #62 I’m pretty sure Crow said, exasperatedly, “THAT’S BEEN ESTABLISHED!” I missed the original episode premiere so it was a awhile before I got a chance to see this. Now I’ve probably seen it 20 times. I think when Annie got on the train she was already planning to see her aunt (if I remember the dialogue accurately) but apparently she never showed up. It can be hard to follow. Anyway, this one never gets old. I do have an explanation for the last ‘huh?’. Runaway Tool put the exploding collar on the cyborg and that’s why he was on-fire. Why the cyborg didn’t just vanish into smoke like the dinosaur (no wonder fossils are so rare!) is anyone’s guess. I think most of us lament the loss of Terry Joe. He was a good python. One last thing: Pearl cancelling her intended killing of M&TB shows that she’s not as evil as she thinks. She’s too ditzy and short-sighted. If she was truly evil she would’ve said “don’t thank me, you’re going to die very soon anyway MWA-HA-HA!”


  • 90
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    When I’ve come across a phrase like “that guy’s such a tool,” the meaning seemed to be “that guy’s an idiot, he’s a loser, he lets people [or maybe society in general] manipulate and use him…like a TOOL.” The word also has a sexual implication, of course — it has since at least Shakespeare’s time — but if they’d decided to do anything further with the word, I’d expect the former, not the latter. They did use the word’s most common meaning a few times, saying he was a screwdriver or something like that.

    Some sources claim that the character is stating that his name is “Atool,” which doesn’t work in the context of him saying “I have a job. I’m a tool.” What he’s saying is that he’s a slave, an object, property. He never seems overly excited about becoming a free person, but I guess that’s just his acting level, I mean, personality.


  • 91
    I'm Evil says:

    #69 Johnny Ryde asked who the old guy that got munched by the dino was:

    It was Forrest J. Ackerman, famous for his ginormous collection of science fiction memorabilia, and general efforts to promote the science fiction genre. I remember he used to show up as a guest at science fiction conventions in the 80s and 90s. I think the sci fi magazine he’s holding when he got eaten is a stab at an in joke.


  • 92
    Hal Moffet says:

    I always crack up at the part where they show the cyborg with the
    curly hair and white make-up, and Mike says “thats what Brain Guy
    looked like in high school”.


  • 93
    Johnny Ryde says:

    @I’m Evil, #91

    It was Forrest J. Ackerman, famous for his ginormous collection of science fiction memorabilia, and general efforts to promote the science fiction genre. I remember he used to show up as a guest at science fiction conventions in the 80s and 90s. I think the sci fi magazine he’s holding when he got eaten is a stab at an in joke.

    Ah ha! Thanks! The scene was so random (even for this movie), that I figured it had to be an in-joke of some kind…


  • 94
    Sitting Duck says:

    The Elusive Robert Denby #67: I wouldn’t say universally, but yes, Hamlet is generally viewed as pretty sub-par.

    I would say there’s a more or less even split between those who like it and those who don’t. It’s just that the naysayers are more vocal and therefore seem more numerous.


  • 95
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    Exactly, Sitting Duck! The discussion of Hamlet should be _______ (supply your own adjective); looking forward to it!


  • 96
    John Seavey says:

    Oh, and I saw one person comment on it, so I figured I’d clarify:

    The boxes aren’t meant to be empty. They’re intended to be full of heavy stuff, and the main character and his cyborg opponent are so strong that they toss them around as if they’re empty. That’s why you see extras in the background pretending to lift them as though they’re really, really working.

    Of course, the problem is that an empty box flies through the air differently than a full one, and so the effect comes off so badly that everyone just says, “Why are they throwing around empty boxes?” But it’s meant to be super-strength.


  • 97
    Rich says:

    “Brandon says:
    May 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    #64 I think it’s universally agreed upon though that HAMLET is a sucky season 10 episode.”

    Hamlet actually made me despair of life for awhile. When looking through my pile of MST-3k DVDs I usually grimace and shuffle it to the bottom of the pile.


  • 98
    Son of Bobo says:

    Good episode, solid riffing, but the movie was poorly made that it sometimes drags it down.
    The shirt falling off sequence, I think, is our hero removing a shirt that might have restricted proper fighting techniques. That or the filmmakers wanted another scene of the hunky hero shirtless.
    I imagine that the screenwriter was a young first time writer asked to cobble something together that used elements from recent successful SF films. The question of faith seems like the writer was dealing with his own questions of Roman Catholicism, settling on a take care of orphans and sacifice yourself for others. I suppose he thought that he was sending a great and inspiring message (and it is), that the message was deep and would cause us to think, but maybe a kickboxing cyborgs film with two different directors helming wasn’t the best showcase for promoting the social gospel. I suspect that the writer can look back on this and (hopefully) say he has gotten better.
    Fave riffs are the religious ones near the end.
    “The Lutherans create a cyborg.”
    “Jesus was a kickboxer, right?”


  • 99
    mikek says:

    Future War at least proved that it was possible to make dinosaurs that were even cheaper than Carnosaur.


  • 100
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    ( Another solid vote for Hamlet )


  • 101
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    #96: Apparently the movie’s director and producer couldn’t make a deal with the Earth’s gravitational pull to help them out with the illusion. Wink


  • 102
    Needs to Go Up a Shirt Size says:

    Just thought I’d mention that although I don’t really like Hamlet all to much, in a recent weekend discussion it was one of the top vote-getters for peoples top 10 episodes. Go figure.


  • 103
    M "Aren't You Killing Them Now?" Sipher says:

    Regarding Pearl killing the SOL… it strikes me as all part of a lonnnng running gag throughout much of late MST… the “fiction” really isn’t about the experiment proper. Hasn’t been for a long time.

    The experiment has simply become That Thing We Always Do.

    Both the SOL and the Forresters acclimated to its sheer repetition and begun to accept it as normal. Hence the half-hearted escape attempts (and lack of, despite the many many many opportunities the SOL crew has had), BOTH Forresters being quite casual about letting the SOL drift off helplessly, or be engulfed in flames or whatever, and of course the final scene of the series. Pearl just keeps flinging the movies at the SOL not because of any actual experiment, but just because, well, she’s evil and that’s what she DOES. And killing them is pretty darn evil, right?

    (Of course, she’s also not very smart, hence the sudden “I can’t kill them now, can I?” bit. Which Mary Jo sells so, so well. And her amazing fake-indignant protestation when the SOL realizes she nearly killed them.)


  • 104
    NormalView82 says:

    Definitely in my top 3 episodes of all time. I think it has to do with the fact that I understand almost every riff M&TB throw out.

    So often (especially in the Joel era) the riffs are so obscure or dated I can only laugh at the enthusiasm with which they are said. But “Future War” seems to focus more on characters lapses in logic and cheapness of the production as opposed to “Hey, it’s (60’s/70’s actor, musician or political figure I’ve never heard of)”, which is refreshing.

    Plus, I just love watching the earnestness of the extras in this movie. Chubby Policeman not wearing a tie that leads Capt. Polaris to see a corpse, the flannel wearing gangsters and of course Cardboard Camera Man!


  • 105
    ck says:


    One escape posibility would be to use the time machine
    (as Crow did and did in Time Chasers). I suppose they
    could all use it to go back in time and warn Joel about
    being sent into space…but then Joel wouldn’t have made the
    bots so they couldn’t go back in time to warn him….. Shock


  • 106
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I waited and tried rewatching this after reading such favorable comments. I just assumed I was missing something, and well, I guess I missed it again. I loathe Future Wax. And the Mo Howard kid makes that little rock-n-roll martian kid absolutely cuddly by comparison. I want to hurt this movie, but I can never hurt it the way it’s hurt me. I think that’s the phrase, isn’t it? Anyway, I tried, if not very hard. NEXT!!!


  • 107
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    #106. Sometimes it pays to listen to the dissenters.

    Upon re-watch (and Shout DVD release) this episode fell in my estimation, whereas next weeks DR. Z (a much more boring movie) actually improved. Myself, I’m shocked that FWar is currently at an above 4 star rating. “There’s no accounting for taste” and all that…

    And our “1009 – Hamlet” discussion should be epic. So everyone posting about that now should save their love/bile until then.


  • 108

    Nah, don’t listen to *anyone* — humor is so subjective I truly believe the only reason there’s such a consensus on MST3K is they throw out SO many riffs, in SO many different ways that some of it has to hit you no matter what. If the stars align (the movie, the host segments, whatever) and the majority of material suits you, then the episode becomes “a classic”. If not, you can’t stand watching it.

    So there will always be episodes no one can stand (that happen to be someone’s favorite) and vice versa. I wouldn’t fret, I wouldn’t debate (debating humor is about the most pointless exercise I could imagine). About the only thing we can do is come up with whether an episode is “popular” (and remember, “Gilligan’s Island” was EXTREMELY “popular” — does that make it great art?).

    I really do like this episode — it’s goofy fun, which is how I define a great episode. “Hamlet” depresses me (not the rifts, but the movie) and therefore I don’t enjoy it. But so what? If others do enjoy it, then it’s a success (at least for them).


  • 109

    Ladies and gentlemen…FRED BURROUGHS!!!


  • 110
    Finn says:

    This is by far my favorite episode of MST3K.
    It is an awful, awful, awful, awful, awful movie. The segments are forgetable but the riffing…when it shines, its like the glow of an atomic bomb…and that alone makes up for it.

    Besides Giant Spider Invasion (snap crackle poop, my 2nd favorite), this is also the ONLY one my fiancee will watch in its entirety. She is not a big MST3K fan by any stretch, but whenever we tell each other something is worse than we thought, we always tag on “theres no butter in my coffee” (the all time greatest quotable-in-virtually any bad situation riff)


  • 111
    Laura says:

    FUTURE WAX!!!!
    (Couldn’t help that) Alien


  • 112
    Garth Arizona says:

    I tried to watch Future War twice this weekend and I fell asleep both times. Not promising. I’ve only seen it once, and I rated it a low 2 stars from that viewing.

    Good opening credit sequence. The dinosaur effects are laughable and highly riffable.

    I’ll try again later.


  • 113
    losingmydignity says:

    I don’t care that much for this ep for a reason I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet…

    It’s too camp, to self-consciously bad. In a recent interview Joel mentioned how he doesn’t like to pick movies that “wink” at the audience too much. And this film is winking all over the place. I prefer deadly earnest (but Earnest) movies that have grand ambitions beyond the means…Manos, for example.

    But that said the riffing is solid and it’s still more fun to watch than, say, Swamp Diamonds. It also helps that my girlfriend really likes this one…

    I met Forrest J Ackerman. He was a kind man who gave me and my mom a tour of his house (I got to literally touch models used in King Kong, Harryhausen armatures, and a miniature gong used in Metropolis, the creature from the black lagoon mask, etc) and took us out to lunch. He also got us in free to Graham’s Chinese Theatre. A true gentleman. I also sent short stories to him when I was a kid and he actually replied with kind comments and encouragement. The magazine he is holding is Famous Monster of Filmland, in which he published one of my stories (though not in the issue he is holding), and my name and picture can be found as I won a few contests. Ah, sweet nostalgia…



  • 114
    losingmydignity says:

    the paranthetical statement in the second paragraph above should read: (NOT Earnest movies)


  • 115
    mikek says:

    I don’t think the movie is bad on purpose, it’s just bad. Look at all of the actors. They all take their roles seriously and play them straight. Look at Ray Adash as Captain Polaris. I can almost feel his internal pain at having to act in such a movie, but he doesn’t show it.


  • 116
    losingmydignity says:

    Maybe Mikek, but the makers have said they thought it would be great to have it MSTed some day while they were making Future War. In my book that displays the high degree of self-consciousness that does not make for a great ep. Contrast that to say, Soultaker–though Vivian and co’s tongues do appear to be in their cheeks at times, it is also clear they (and some viewers) thought this was a coherent and intriguing film…the one other example of a film being “too campy” for MST, in my opinion (not Richard Nixon’s, though people often confuse my opinions with his) is Hobgoblins…doesn’t work well with MST for the same reason.


  • 117
    mikek says:

    The filmmakers may have said that, but that doesn’t mean they made a conscious effort to make Future War bad. They may have decided to make the best of things and say it would be good for MST3K, but there’s nothing about the movie looks deliberately cheesy.


  • 118
    DON3k says:

    It’s not even ass, Servo!

    I love how the movie is so low budget, that they even get away with using shipping pallets as framing for sets. The whole tunnel sequence and train sequence is built of shipping pallets.

    Z’Dar cracks me up in this movie. The little goofy, crooked helmet he wears is comical.

    All the cyborg sound effects seem to be made by someone just pressing the trigger on an electric drill.


  • 119
    Roman Martel says:

    This is one of those episodes that I remember fondly and then when I watch it I figure I wasn’t as in the mood for it as I thought. But since thats happened three times now, I chalk it up to being an average episode and not the solid winner I think it is.

    The movie provides more than enough material, but there is a lack of energy to the riffing that makes parts of the episode drag. But when Mike and the bots are on fire, some of it is very funny.

    As others have mentioned the host segments have thier moments but nothing really stands out. So I end up giving this three exploding dinosaurs out of five.

    Click on my name for a full review.


  • 120
    J.Ho says:

    #39 (JCC): “I find Servo’s “legs” highly disturbing and don’t think they look like human legs at all. Or was that the point and I’ve been watching this sketch all wrong for the last 11 years? Maybe it’s like a magic eye puzzle or that three prong fork illusion.”

    I believe they’re supposed to be kangaroo legs, as kangaroos are known kickboxers, right.. RIGHT?!

    Has anyone ever seen an actual kangaroo-with-boxing-gloves match up? Youtube, hoOoOoOooo!


  • 121
    Yipe Striper says:

    i watched this ep over the weekend…

    actually had it on in the background while i cleaned and fed the baby…

    but i remember the Jim Courier news caster… “we are at the 3rd (?) st. warehouse…”

    the empty cardboard, the mailboxes etc. reference…
    this is one bad movie but one great episode!

    Mary Jo is perfect in segment 2. there’s nothing she could have done to improve that performance.


  • 122
    Cornjob says:

    I love this episode. I think Fred Burroughs was kind of like Lembach in Projected Man. If they could only get his help everything would be allright.


  • 123
    Mighty Jack says:

    I mentioned this somewhere on my website or on the forum… I thought it was interesting that the mag that Forrest J. Ackerman is reading features an article on “Gorgo”.

    I find FW an enjoyable endeavor all told. Many solid quips throughout, I’ve always seemed to enjoy Christianity quips, especially when they zero in on Catholicism (I was born into a Catholic family). And this one has plenty of good ones.


  • 124
    M "Aren't You Killing Them Now?" Sipher says:

    #116 “Maybe Mikek, but the makers have said they thought it would be great to have it MSTed some day while they were making Future War.

    … you mean the makers who were dubbed the “Damage Control Unit” who were brought in halfway through the film to salvage what they could?

    This isn’t Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, this is an honestly incompetent stinkbomb of a film that has a second crew brought in to try and save it from being flushed, a crew who knew that they were on a bad production but moving on anyway because getting paid is very nice.


  • 125
    BeefStumpKnob says:

    Love this one too-“damn Bumpasses dinosaurs!!”—“I asked Sister Bertril for air support”—“he’s got lady-weight lifter cleavage!”


  • 126
    Howard says:

    The thing I remember about this episode is the halfway house setting, because it’s the kind of film that might be cooked up by the real-life denizens of a halfway house I know. Whenever I watch this one I’m struck by how BAD the movie is. Sad, really.


  • 127
    zach says:

    did we forget, “I have a big chin”. A nice slam to Z’don’t and the cuteasarus.


  • 128
    Sitting Duck says:

    Future War passes the Bechdel Test. Sister Ann discusses her crisis of faith with the Mother Superior.

    I would think that Mike appearing as a clown would inspired terror rather than laughter.

    That ship does sort of resemble the Galactica.

    According to IMDB, Future War was released in 1997, which would make it (as claimed on the back of the DVD slip case) the most recent film featured on MST3K.

    So why do the opening credits make such a big deal about Mel Novak? I’ve checked his IMDB profile and there’s nothing that appears to stand out.

    @ #2: How does it compare to those in the Doctor Who adventure Invasion of the Dinosaurs from the Third Doctor’s tenure. Although I haven’t seen it myself, I’m given to understand they were bad even by the already low standards of the original version of that show.

    @ #70 and #75: There is universal agreement that I Accuse My Parents is good (aside from a few who were a bit underwhelmed by the art therapy host segment).

    Favorite riffs

    Welcome to Pipe World. All we do are pipes, and we do them well.

    They’re promising entertainment, but I’m not that optimistic.

    We’re still building the sets. Keep the credits going.

    Gerbils? Well they pretty much remained gerbils.

    I’m telling! You’ve got a pet on the beach.

    Maybe it was butterflies that wiped out the dinosaurs.

    He’s boxed in!
    Yeah, well I’m card-bored.

    I care about the boxes. I mean, why should innocent freight have to suffer?

    Sorry, I ate your breakfast on the way in.

    I don’t think I will enjoy, if it’s all right with you.

    Glad the dinosaur got the kid.

    “I have a past that I’m not proud of.”
    That’s why I kept a scrapbook!

    We’ll take a brief break from my flashback now.

    Thanks for playing Reporter and Camera Guy with me. I think the cardboard camera’s working good.

    The dinosaur is skeet shooting off the port bow.

    A skinny Belgian idiot was arraigned on charges earlier today.

    Sorry, this nipple ring’s hard to remove.

    The Crips like to go down to the reflecting pool for their gang retreats.

    The mean streets of Burbank.

    Until actual humor can be found, please enjoy this substitute.

    By the way, I asked Sister Betrille to give us air support against the dinosaurs.

    Introducing new, faster seconds!

    His careful plan involved putting on a beret and rushing at the dinosaur with a Boy Scout knife.

    The Lutherans create a cyborg.

    I tried to light a votive candle for my grandma and it got out of control!

    You know, he has a point, Crow.
    No, no, no. He has no point. Don’t encourage him.


  • 129
    Dan in WI says:

    Calculating how many times Gypsy is a lady is kind of sort of but not exactly a Joel era opening.

    Bobo roasting marshmallows over Brain Guy’s burning guitar is a nice touch.

    When we see the spaceship the first time Mike riffs “dustbuster Galactica.” Is this the make up riff from Space Mutiny?

    In conclusion “I could point out this isn’t the future and it’s not a war, but I don’t like to complain.”

    Rewatching the Comic Con Panel DVD extra five years later is interesting. The participation level on that was incredible. We haven’t seen this many alum in one room since. I noticed there was a name card for Patrick Brantsig even though he was missing otherwise there really wasn’t any writing room talent absent. The most prophetic moment was Mike expressing a desire to riff Titanic which of course Rifftrax would later take on.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Fred shoots a dinosaur. Crow “So it wasn’t a giant meteor, it was a Daisy air rifle that killed the dinosaurs.”

    The Cine Excel Entertainment title card is show. Crow “They are promising entertainment but I’m not that optimistic.”

    The Dave Eddy credit is on screen. Tom “Two first names from Van Halen. Coincidence?”

    Tool crawls on the beach. Crow “It’s tough swimming in this part of the ocean.”

    Tom “Cardboard boxes aren’t working. Try throwing a piece of paper or a cotton ball.”

    With the two big guys on screen Crow sings “All… My… Pants… Are lowriders.”


  • 130
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Post #9 got four likes yet Post #8 got none? That *faintly* surprised me but, hey, likes is likes. Smile

    My first thought was to comment on how some sources list the main character’s name as Atool but it turns out that I made that comment the first time around. Huh.

    “B*st*rd! He’s always one step ahead of me!” [see The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror IV for context]


  • 131
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    BTW, entertaining-and-informative-jerk reviewer tackled this film too:


  • 132
    "Hotcha!" says:

    “The Scary part is that they’re all ex-hookers.”


  • 133
    jaybird3rd says:

    Ah, good old Future Wax. I was a junior in high school in 1994, so watching this movie reminds me of that time when “plaid was king and all other textiles mere serfs in its kingdom” (as Trace said during the CT riff of “Alien Factor”).

    I think one of the riffs described this movie best: “It’s more of a movie loaf made from real movie parts, chunked and formed.” In this case, they were all parts stolen from other, much better movies (“Past Predator, Present Alien, Future Terminator” indeed!), glazed over with a really weird coating of Catholicism.

    The riffing is in top form on this one, of course, but it still isn’t a top ten episode for me. I’m not exactly a fan of the Catholic Church, to put it politely, so the theological parts of the movie are like a cheese grater to the face. I also can’t help but echo Mary Jo Pehl’s sentiments about feeling sad for the actors, who are clearly doing their best in what is obviously a very troubled production. Others have already singled out Ray Adash as “Captain Polaris” and the “Cardboard Camera Guy”, and I would also have to give kudos to Travis Brooks Stewart and Robert Z’Dar. Despite the terrible material she was given, I actually thought that Stewart brought a lot of heart to her performance as “Sister Ann”, and poor Z’Dar reportedly had to work a sixteen-hour day shoehorned into that ridiculous homemade Terminator costume. I don’t think anybody in front of the camera made a lot of money on this one, and most of them have since left show business or are still relegated to supporting roles. As others have said, Hollywood isn’t exactly known for its compassion.


  • 134
    RPG says:

    I don’t think the Pete Porteous in this movie is the same one in Cosmic Princess.


  • 135
    Sampo says:

    RPG–Good catch. Will fix. Guess there are two in the world.


  • 136
    Of no Account says:

    Just call me Bruce Boxliker!

    Someone bumped into me at the mall the other day, and my shirt just flew right off! I don’t know why you all think it’s so unrealistic…

    One of my favorites from season 10, probably 2nd favorite (after Track of the Moon Beast). And I’ll be contrary here and say that the ‘kickboxing’ & ‘thanks for not killing us’ host segments were the funniest, while the others were just kind of there (amusing, but not overly funny).

    Well, I’m all CHAAA’d out.


  • 137
    underwoc says:

    I probably shouldn’t worry about such minutiae, but I’m guessing that Fred Street Post Audio is responsible for blanking out the curses (as Sampo noted). The credit mention is probably in the contract…


  • 138
    snowdog says:

    I couldn’t tell for sure, but the “TV camera” looked like a small super-8 movie camera with a box taped to it to make it look bigger. It wouldn’t have been nearly so noticeable if they had at least painted the cardboard black. That was just embarrassing!

    Not a fave of mine. I agree that the movie drags in places and the riff quality gets pulled down with it. The host segs were mostly ok, but Tom’s and Gypsy’s legs were just… wrong.

    Mmmm… vitamins.. minerals…. lots of fiber… powerful hallucinogens…


  • 139
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    Decent episode, the movie is so ridiculous I find it entertaining and I am a sucker for dinosaur movies no matter how badly done. Riffing was good as well.


  • 140
    schippers says:

    Future War is really something. Terminator + any given kickboxer movie from the 1990s + Catholic Church. Wow. Not really a combination most sane people would have thought of. But then, most sane people would not have made Future War.

    Narration really is the last refuge of the desperate, isn’t it? Especially so when you have scenes of people talking and you’re narrating OVER the talking. And it’s not as though Sister Bland’s narration whilst she and Tool are perambulating about really advances the film’s narrative, such as it is.

    I am entirely unclear why the future cyborgs even bother to track down their escaped slaves. Who cares? What are these slaves going to do? Tell the authorities? Let ’em go and spend the time and money on beefing up security, I’d say.

    There is one deleted scene from The Terminator that reminds me of Future War. It’s the scene where Reese has a blubbery crying fit with Sarah over how overwhelmed he is to be in the past, where everything isn’t destroyed and stuff. Cameron was SO RIGHT to omit that scene from the film. But that one scene pretty much encapsulates about 55% of Future War.


  • 141
    MikeK says:

    I don’t get the host segment with the legs either. It comes across as a last minute idea in the writing room. The sandbag weights that are Servo’s legs are strange as well.


  • 142
    Depressing Aunt says:

    Ah, we’ve come to an episode in the rotation that I do *not* watch repeatedly. Mostly I blame the movie. It’s just dull. I don’t think the actors have much charisma. The music is grating and the plaid is too plaid-y. By the end of it I’m totally annoyed and dying to forget the whole thing. I do find the randomness of two massively heavy roommates a refreshing novelty. (“Wanted: Housemates to make me look dainty by comparison. Bring ice cream.”)

    But I do get a kick out of the LSD expirement. And Droppy is cute.


  • 143
    pondoscp says:

    This movie is sooo bad. We’re talking Birdemic/Monster A Go Go level of badness. Well, okay, a step above that. But not by much. This time around, it took me several viewings to finish this one off. I used to think next week’s episode was the all time worst, but not anymore. This one was clearly more painful than 1005, but now I don’t know what to think the absolute worst episode is. While this was the dullest of Season 10 (so far, and may remain so), it was still funny and amusing, not the absolute worst ever. Just very slow, Castle Of Fu Manchu levels of tedium. That makes for a good torture experiment, but it unfortunately puts me to sleep.

    Also, this is clearly the the most “Grunge”-ish episode of all MST3K. Flannels abound! It figures this one would roll around on Kurt Cobain’s birthday (also Joel’s birthday!)


  • 144

    I love that this comment thread has at least two mentions of Carnosaur. You guys are on my wavelength. The first thing I thought of way back when this episode premiered was, “this is kinda like Carnosaur, except worse!”

    I really like Future War, it’s maybe not quite a 5-star classic, but it’s still a great episode. The movie is cheesy-stupid in the best possible way (I don’t find it to be “winking at the audience” at all) and the riffing is solid. It’s another great Season 10 episode (I really seem to like this season more than most..).

    My favorite things in the movie are the box fight, Robert Z’dar, and the forced perspective dinosaurs, which looks like something you would do at home messing around with your friends and not, you know, making a professional movie.

    The Host Segments are okay and serviceable, none of them are all-timers but also none of them totally bomb, so consider that a positive. As noted, the opening with the calculation of Gypsy X a lady is very Joel era funny, a bit of short nonsense. I wish the LSD experiments were funnier, they don’t quite nail it for me, although Bobo roasting marshmallows on Brain Guy’s flaming guitar is a small bit of inspiration. The closing with Mike and his big chin is a nice bit of goofiness, Mike just having fun. “I have a big chin!”

    Host Segment #1 is maybe the weakest, mainly because Servo’s “legs” look so dang weird (what is the story there?), but the payoff with the reveal of Gypsy’s large and much better looking leg is pretty funny.
    I’ll admit the premise of HS#2 with the Mads just randomly trying to blow up the SOL is not well thought out, I do like Mike’s calm and mannered delivery of “thank you for not killing us.”
    Droppy the Water Droplet in HS#3 is the harbinger for Coily, right?

    Future War is the most recent movie that was riffed on MST3k, not Merlin or Werewolf as others have posted and/or seem to think. It was released in 1997 (riffed on the show in 1999), and even though Future War was shot in 1994, you can’t go off that date, because the film was not finished and released until 1997. You have to go off of a movie’s domestic release date and not the year of production. Just wanted to clear that up.. Film Silly


    Servo: “It’s Jean-Claude Van Damme.”
    Mike: “It’s more like Jean-Claude Gosh Darn.”

    dinosaur bemoaning the death of his compatriot,
    Mike: “He was three days away from retirement!”

    Crow: “I warn you, my meat is very stringy..”

    dino blows up,
    Servo: “No wonder fossils are so rare.”

    Crow: “He’s boxed in.”
    Mike: “Well I’m card-bored.”
    Servo: “Shut up you two.”

    Mike: “Battle of the guys who peaked in high school.”

    Servo: “Is this a halfway house for huge guys?”

    guy chokes a woman,
    Mike: “Great Warren Moon impersonation.”

    Crow: “Want a little convent issued pot here?”

    cop pulls up,
    Crow: “I’m supposed to get you folks back in the movie..”

    Crow: “It’s a giant fake Bruno Kirby!”

    Crow: “You know. . I hope they do the ‘bong-bong’ sound again, Mike. You know, I hope they never stop.”
    Mike: “Yeah. I wish I had a bong-bong right now.”

    Servo: “My shirt was knocked off!”

    Mike: “I think it’s the Arby’s employee chapel.”

    Servo: “The movie that delivers more HUH?s per second!”

    Future Wax, er, I mean War, Future War is a great episode.

    I give it 4 out of 5 exploding dinosaurs.


  • 145
    schippers says:

    For the record, I find Carnosaur INFINITELY more boring than this movie.


  • 146
    jaybird3rd says:

    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    “Future War is the most recent movie that was riffed on MST3k, not Merlin or Werewolf as others have posted and/or seem to think. It was released in 1997 (riffed on the show in 1999), and even though Future War was shot in 1994, you can’t go off that date, because the film was not finished and released until 1997. You have to go off of a movie’s domestic release date and not the year of production. Just wanted to clear that up.”

    But, if we use the domestic release date to determine the most recent MST3K movie and not the production date, I can think of at least one that was even more “recent” than “Future War”: “The Dead Talk Back”. Yes, the movie was shot in 1957, but it was never released or even seen outside of an editing machine until Sinister Cinema discovered it and released it on video in 1993 (that’s why the IMDb gives the film a 1993 date). It was first shown on MST3K the very next summer, on 7/30/94.


  • 147
    trickymutha says:

    This is the movie where credits encompass the entire second act. This is the movie that leaves me boxed in. This is the movie where large guys occupy half way houses. This is the movie where somewhat foxy ex-hookers become nuns. This is the movie where I’m not sure if it was shot in Houston or Los Angeles. This is the movie that I have watched a whole bunch, and, it makes me laugh. Future Wax.


  • 148

    @ jaybird3rd #146: Hmm. I knew somebody on here would bring some sort of factoid like that to the table. Until this moment, I was unaware of the history behind The Dead Talk Back, but this is my take on that particular instance: there has got to be a statute of limitations on this sort of thing.

    I mean, a movie being made and then released 2 or 3 years after is one thing, but 36 years later… sheesh, that’s just a little too much. I would say the statute of limitations on this sort of thing would have to be at least a decade, maybe 15 years at most…? I dunno. I mean, The Dead Talk Back is obviously a ’50s movie and not a ’90s one, you know? The 36 year difference is too much to overcome, unlike, say, the 3 year difference in Future War’s production and release dates. So, I’ll say, nice try, but no cigar on that one, jaybird3rd. Future War is still the most recent movie (from release date to riff date) to be featured on MST3k.


  • 149
    Cornjob says:

    I love this episode. I’m watching it now and it keeps cracking me up. Who can’t love the adventures of Jean-Claude Gosh Darn and his sidekick Sister Mary Vehicular Homicide with the chunky guys helping them to fake fight dinosaur puppets and Lutheran cyborgs that throw empty boxes in a time that isn’t the future during circumstances that aren’t a war. The movie is silly enough for me to watch by itself and the riffs are on the spot.

    BTW clean pure LSD taken with preparation and a good attitude in a peaceful beautiful setting with a competent guide shouldn’t result in hallucinations (even pleasant ones) unless the person taking it is predisposed to schizophrenia. However, if harsh, impure LSD is taken in tense circumstances with a bad attitude with untrustworthy people, you’re on your own. Obviously those prone to mental illness should take any mind altering substance with caution, if at all. Think about it, won’t you?


  • 150
    Sitting Duck says:

    @ #146: Last time I checked, 1993 did not come after 1997 or 1994. So no matter how you cut it, Future War is more recent than The Dead Talk Back.


  • 151
    jaybird3rd says:

    @ #150: True, but it depends on how you define “recent”. Do you mean strictly chronologically, or do you mean relative to the time the film was riffed by MST3K? If the latter, then the time that elapsed between the film’s release date and the MST3K air date was less for “The Dead Talk Back” than for “Future War”, which would make “The Dead Talk Back” more “recent”. I will admit, though, that this is a very unusual case given how long ago the film was made.

    Not that any of it matters, anyway …


  • 152
    thequietman says:

    I’m more partial to this era thanks to the late Sci-Fi reruns but I suppose if I had to, I’d say this is a solid middle-of-the-road episode for me. It does have one of those really well timed riffs like we were discussing a few days ago, as the cuteasaurus knocks aside one of the huge guys and there is a split second shot of him collapsing: “Save the meatloaf!”

    Also, besides the cheap sets and even cheaper props, no one has mentioned the number of cheap stock sound effects, from crashes, explosions, gunshots, to the ludicrously misused scream a female scientist makes when Z’dar gropes at her head through a door. It’s a stereotypical shriek like one would expect when a lady sees a mouse, not when a cyborg is trying to rip your head off.


  • 153
    JC says:

    “Unnnnhhhhhh, unnnnhhhhhh!”
    “Oh, you’re from Unnnnhhhhhh.”


  • 154
    edward says:

    This is one of the few movies that I have a visceral reaction to. It ticks me off.
    How do you expect to make a film with cyborgs, dinosaurs, and time travel on a budget of $14.38!?! It takes millions to make a decent movie with any one of those things. Did the director really think he could pull it off with a warehouse full of boxes and lots of flannel?
    I still laugh at the riffs but the movie itself just makes me mad.


  • 155
    jaybird3rd says:

    @ #154: I often wonder about that myself. Why do so many of these bad low-budget sci-fi movies get the green light in the first place? Small-time filmmakers like the ones behind “Future War” always seem to want to make the next “Star Wars” or “Terminator” or “Alien”, when they can’t possibly succeed on their relatively meager budgets. Why don’t they choose less ambitious projects that would be more appropriate for the resources that they have? I’m sure there are lots of good, character-driven stories that could be told without big stars or special effects or elaborate sets and makeup. They’d certainly have a much better chance of becoming good movies. I’m sure they’d be more satisfying to make, too: it can’t be fun going to work on a movie knowing ahead of time that it’s destined to become the filler in some distributor’s cheap movie package, something that nobody would watch on purpose unless they’re tricked into thinking that it’s just like someone else’s much better movie.


  • 156
    PT says:

    This is a favorite episode of mine, mostly because it does so many things wrong. Everyone involved is clearly trying to make SOMETHING out of this complete mess, but…yeah.

    All the fight scenes just kill me from laughter. The shootout at “police headquarters” especially slays me. (“Somebody shot the editor!” “Shot in the lounge of a college dormitory.”) The editing just makes NO SENSE. The woman who reaches for her pistol…then the sudden jump cut/flash where she apparently got whiplash. Then the shotgun guy shooting offscreen for no reason whatsoever! Later on, the doctor trying to escape from the cyborg and the shot of her legs hanging out and struggling to get in the vent. Why show that?

    It’s not one of the best episodes ever made, but it’s easy comfort food (and available on Netflix Instant!) if you just need background noise while working and/or doing something else!


  • 157
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #156: Later on, the doctor trying to escape from the cyborg and the shot of her legs hanging out and struggling to get in the vent. Why show that?

    Well, from one perspective, you could consider it some sort of post-modern irony thing OSLT. I mean, think about it, lots of movies show average people adjusting to life-threatening crises easily, skillfully. On some levels, that’s no more realistic than being attacked by a cyborg in the first place.

    The doctor is afraid for her life and has, I’m guessing, never before climbed through a vent. How many people, if called upon to flee for their lives through a vent, are going to be any GOOD at it? Action heroes can do that kind of thing quickly, effectively, effortlessly. Normal everyday people, not so much.

    From a really realistic perspective, of course, when padding out a film to a certain length, every second of screentime helps. Wink


  • 158
    ToolAssist says:

    #148 “Future War is still the most recent movie (from release date to riff date) to be featured on MST3k.”

    Even if you discount “The Dead Talk Back” it’s still not. Master Ninja I and II came out in August 1991 and were riffed in January 1992.

    And if you’re going to say “the production difference from The Master (1984) and MST3K (1992) is too long” then Future War gets disqualified as well, since Werewolf was produced in 1995 and was riffed in 1998.


  • 159

    @158 ToolAssist:

    Not sure where you’re getting that Master Ninja I and II were released on video in 1991. The episodes of the TV series The Master were reedited and released on video in 1984 and 1985, basically not long after its brief run on television.


  • 160
    ToolAssist says:

    Are you sure? My VHS tape and the copyright date in the opening both say Aug 1991.


  • 161
    ToolAssist says:

    Pic for clarity:

    So yeah, either there are two editions of Master Ninja or the copyright date was increased by six years. Whatever Razz


  • 162
    Savvy says:

    This is also from the First DVD pack I ever got of MST3K, so I’ve seen it multiple times.

    – Mike has a REALLY short haircut going on.
    – I love Bobo and Brain Guy’s outfits! I wonder what made the Brains do the “LSD Tests” segment, but it did provide some neat opportunities, like roasting marshmallows over a burning guitar.
    – Crow: “Welcome to Pipe World. All we do is pipes, and we do them well.”
    – Tom: “Dino! No!”
    – Robert Z’Dar! Just add him to the list of big guys in this movie. It would’ve been interesting to see him more, though.
    – I think “Future War” contains the longest opening credits of all MiSTied movies.
    – Crow was on fire throughout the opening credits!
    – Tom: “Kindof an ineffective beer commercial.” Yes, very.
    – Mike: “Alan Jackson in a very special cameo!”
    – The fake-punching noises are quite amusing, just like the synth noises are amusing in “Hobgoblins”.
    – Tom: “He looks better without makeup.”
    Crow: “He’s so pretty, he really doesn’t need it.”
    – Gypsy is so cute in the kick-boxing host-segment.
    – “Hey! I got something here.”
    Tom: “I found part of a burger. I wanted to know if I could eat it?”
    – “You just did a month in the joint, you were suicidal and addicted.”
    Crow: “And you threw it all away!”
    – Crow: “The sad thing is they’re ALL former prostitutes.”
    – “Hi, my name is Max.”
    Mike: “Hi, I’m your toy. Pleased to meet you.”
    – The movie was an interesting idea, but it wasn’t executed correctly. It could’ve actually been decent.
    – “When I was younger I ran away, and I have a past that I’m not proud of.”
    Crow: “That’s why I kept this scrapbook!”
    – I think Kevin does a wonderful job with Bobo. You can really see how Bobo tries to understand things. Just look at how he watches the rocket!
    – “Sister Ann, that was then.”
    Tom: “This is then, too. It’s weird.”
    – Mike: “Am I a wild and crazy guy?” Gotta love Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin!
    – Oh, God. The reporter’s voice! Then that other guy’s voice! This movie is filled with random voices!
    – The editing of this movie SUCKS.
    – “They come in packs.”
    Crow: “Or cartons.”
    – Who the hell is Fred Burroughs?
    – Tom: “Ladies and gentlemen… Fred Burroughs!” Kills me.
    – “Willis?”
    Crow: “What you talkin’ ’bout?” That’s so perfect!
    – Mike’s facial expressions during host-segment three are great.
    – Tom: “What’s that light supposed to be? Is God outside?”
    – Mike: “According to the bells, it’s ninety-seven o’clock.”
    – Crow: “Introducing new, faster seconds!”
    – Tom: “Ain’t it funny how time slips away?”
    – Shirt just falls off there. Really! It did!
    – “Everything I wanted was everything he needed.”
    Crow: “So, neither of us really got anything.”
    – Mike is hilarious in the forced-perspective segment in the theater and with the big chin. I love his expressions!


  • 163
    SOLDaria says:

    @128 If I may interject, (Who geek bowtie on) Doctor Who’s dinosaurs were worse, but the story better. Impressed by how a new FX team handled the f/x on a previous serial, the producer asked if they could pull off dinosaurs. They said they could, and thus an old script that had been shelved for budget reasons was dusted off. By the time it became clear this team had bitten off more than they could chew, all the production could do was minimize the damage by showing the dinosaurs at a bare minimum and focusing on the much better conspiracy story behind their invasion. (Who geek bowtie off) For the Who casual not recommended (even as riff fodder), but it’s a favorite among the hardcore.


  • 164
    Smoothie of Great Power says:

    I can’t believe I forgot to comment on this one twice.

    * This is perhaps the only episode that was ever specifically requested for one of my MST3K nights in college. A few of my dorm peers wanted to find out for themselves how bad the movie is. That found out all right.
    * I’m actually surprised that there aren’t a lot more no-budget movies that rely on the rooms full of empty cardboard boxes to full up space and act as debris during actions scenes.
    * I saw this before Soultaker but the Robert Z’dar jokes weren’t lost as a result.
    * I agree with Servo: Who the heck is Mel Novak?
    * Anyone ever figure out what happened to Captain Polaris?

    Host Segments:
    * They really do go up and down on this one, but the only really annoying thing is the music Crow uses in Segment 3.
    * Favorite line: Bill’s perfectly-delivered, “Hello,” when he begins to reprogram the satellite killer missile.

    Favorite riffs-
    Mike: “By the number of bells it’s 97-o’clock.”
    Crow: “The van must be having emissions problems. It’s blackened the lower atmosphere.”
    Servo: “My God, I’ve found the beginning of the movie!”

    Things I Learned From This Movie:
    * Dinosaurs only ever looked big because of forced perspective.
    * Dinosaurs can be killed by stabbing them with pencils.
    * Dinosaurs are great soccer players.
    * All you need in life is to live in Maui and read monster magazines.
    * Gangsters love plaid.
    * Dinosaurs gather near water.


  • 165
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    It’s mentioned several times in the previous round’s comments, but what the heck: Fred Burroughs is one of the guys from the halfway house. Max the Kid (who IIRC turned up alive and well at the end, so technically Tool and Sister Anne DIDN’T simply leave him to be killed by the dinosaur) referred to him as “Uncle Fred” (an honorary “big brother”-esque title, one presumes).

    Anyone know what, exactly, was the deal with all the guys at the halfway house being, well, HUGE? There were three of them, right? One, it’s just a character who happens to be huge. Two, well, that could still be random, I suppose. But THREE? If there are NO non-huge guys at the halfway house, that implies an attempt at meaningfulness of some kind, however half-baked.

    Then again, maybe I’m misremembering and there WERE only two. The IMDB doesn’t help much, although it would if I remembered who Romero, Otis, Chadwick, and Cameron were. Meh.

    On another note, I don’t remember it all registering on me that the doctor was Asian-American — we don’t see many of those in MST3K movies (except in the Japanese films, of course) — but “Dr. Margaret Tanaka”, as played by “Joanne Takahashi”, doesn’t leave much doubt. Like I said, my attention tended to wander during this one.

    On ANOTHER another note, this is the only film credit for an “actor” with the memorable name of “Ax’nt”; he or she played one of the gang members. Wonder what his or her deal was.

    And I still think the movie needed more Borg jokes. C’mon, those guys are obvious Borg knockoffs.


  • 166
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:


    What many filmmakers fail to realize is that it is very rare to PURPOSELY make a “significant” film. I doubt that anyone involved in “Star Wars,” “Terminator,” or “Alien” seriously anticipated that they’d become the ginormous franchises that they became. You either strike gold or you don’t.


  • 167
    Nate says:

    #165 Well, just because the kid turns up alive at the end doesn’t mean that they didn’t leave him behind while they saved themselves. On the other hand, kids love dinosaurs!

    There were only the two men at the halfway house, but it’s certainly still…odd

    Also, in addition to the doctor, the head nun (Mother Superior?) was Asian-American as well.


  • 168
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #140: Narration really is the last refuge of the desperate, isn’t it? Especially so when you have scenes of people talking and you’re narrating OVER the talking.

    Even Coleman Francis knew better than that…