Movie: (1972) A Florida scientist turns himself into a catfish monster and … seems to have some sort of plan after that. But local authorities are on his trail.
First shown: May 2, 1999
Opening: Crow enjoys a nice chaw
Intro: Crow labels his chaw cans; Pearl conducts a maternal love deprivation experiment
Host segment 1: Mike becomes wedged in the bulkhead of Crow’s evil voiceover
Host segment 2: Gone fishin’
Host segment 3: Brain Guy & Bobo demonstrate Crow & Tom’s naked acting theory
End: Crow & Tom show off their specialized food carrying cases; Pearl’s mer-monkey has an admirer
Stinger: “Sargassum! The weed of deceit!”
• I really think this one rises above the last few “good not great” outings and is one of the best of the season. Insane movie, great riffing, mostly good segments. I like it.
• Bill’s thoughts are here.
• This episode is included in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XVII
• Don Barton, the man to blame for this movie, talks about his film here. You can also read about a screening/celebration of the movie here. This movie even has its own Web site.
• The opening bit is very funny, but also may be the most disgusting host segment ever. Yuck.
• Pearl’s IMF experiment on the bots is reminiscent of the maternal love sketch in episode 602- INVASION U.S.A., and I’m not sure they did anything the other sketch didn’t do, but the look on Bill’s face as he looks into the “love basket” is priceless.
• The movie has a very familiar plot. We’ve seen plenty of these “mad scientist is ridiculed and dismissed by his peers and plots revenge against them using the very technology they claimed was ridiculous” movies. “Mad Monster” comes immediately to mind.
• I’m assuming the filmmakers got a lot of the score from various PD needle drops. Some of it sounds familiar. Anybody recognize any snippets?
• Another movie observation: Why does the scientist create the elaborate block-and-tackle hammock when THERE’S A LADDER?
• Segment 1 is one of those great “one or more of the bots seize on some insane element of the movie and take it to heart” bits. Great line: “Soon it will be YOU who becomes wedged in the bulkhead of my plan!”
• Riff I didn’t get: “Then I gotta go kill Farley Granger’s wife.” That’s certainly a “Strangers on a Train” reference, but why? Somebody explain.
• By the way, I DO know what Cabela’s is. I just heard “Chavella’s” and was baffled.
• The movie was apparently going for a sort of “In the Heat of the Night” vibe between the sheriff and scientist guy. But it just comes off as offensive.
• Segment 2, well, there’s not a lot going on, but it’s cute.
• M&tB still have their fishing hats on when they head back into the theater.
• Movie continuity mistake: As Leopold attempts to convert the girl into his mate, we first see her hands tied down as he gives her the injection (preventing her from stopping him, of course) but her hands are free seconds later when he dunks her (apparently so the actress could hold her nose).
• Callbacks: “rice a pipple” (Bride of the Monster), “Think I’ll head over to Party Beach and see how The Horror is doing.” (Horror of Party Beach) and “I had such a pretty miiiiind!” (Girl in Gold Boots).
• Slam on Sally Forth outta nowhere!
• Note to the Brains: Catfish Hunter did NOT change his name to Chapstick. He just appeared in a now-nearly-forgotten Chapstick commercial in which it was suggested that he might want to do so. He seems disinclined. So I say Servo’s Catfish Hunter joke stands as funny.
• Segment 3 is fun, but that’s more of Bill than I want to see (no offense, Bill).
• The last third of the movie is dominated by “riding on the running board guy.” His amphibious clown car is particularly funny. “Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, Snork. They’re cops!”
• That’s Paul as “Barnicle” (that’s how it’s spelled in the credits) Bob. Paul was definitely the guest star guy in the later years.
• Cast and crew roundup: Nobody involved with this movie was involved with any other MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike.
• Fave riff: “Thank goodness I have my provolone carrying cases.” Honorable mention: “Jack Ruby at home.”