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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives

Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 1005- Blood Waters of Dr. Z

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!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (317 votes, average: 4.10 out of 5)


• 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.”

166 Replies to “Episode guide: 1005- Blood Waters of Dr. Z”

  1. Pixiesnix says:

    According to this website, the song “World War Two Boy” was done by a Jamie DeFrates.

    You can’t actually download the song. Rather, it plays about a minute of the beginning. The only other place I could find it was, which corroborates the DeFrates authorship.


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

    >>>The first real acknowledgment to me that the run was ending and they were damn well going to make any jokes they pleased.

    I think it’s arguable that Season Eight’s “Sorry you couldn’t perform, Vorelli” bit from “Devil Doll” was noticeably extremer.


  3. Sitting Duck says:

    Andrew Borntreger of BadMovies.Org did a review of Blood Waters of Doctor z.


  4. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I watched this again late last night, and realized I’d forgot to mention one of my favorite riffs:

    “I hope you like your catfish hot and spicy. CHAWMP!” (Also one of my fave bits from Devil Fish)


  5. crowtdan says:

    I’m betting you won’t print this but here goes. I actually went into my vault and found this episode on a VHS tape with Future Wars. I don’t think I watched it all the way through when it was first aired. I found the movie to be grossly disturbing. I felt I had to shower after watching. Usually the riffing will carry me through this type of episode but when Nelson first “joke” is “You see, this is why I hate cats!” at the title sequence which has a very vague picture of an animal with claws, I knew this was going to be a stinkaroo. This joke of his is not funny. He’s used it before and you can feel the thud. Nelson hate things all you want but remember you are just a guy who makes a living busting on movies. Your other writing stinks. TV Guide canned you. Your books are harder to find than Alaskan Democrat. I have never seen RiffTrax. But I have all the CT tapes.


  6. DJurgServo says:

    So, I have a question about the first line in the movie, which also happens to be the stinger: “Sargassum! The weed of deceit!” Does that makes any sense on any level in this movie?? Or anywhere in the real world? Or is it just some random statment said right out of the gate to establish that the good Doctor is batpoop insane?? Did I miss anything else? I looked at a couple sources on-line and none of them said anything about the deceitful nature of sargassum. Thanks!
    And to Crowtdan (#105), you can come to my place to find 3 of Mike Nelson’s books, plus the Episode Guide. I really like them all, esp Mind Over Matters. Funny stuff! But to each his own, I guess.


  7. Cornjob says:

    I need another bowl of Zoloft.


  8. Flying Saucers Over Oz says:

    “Suddenly, her Volkswagon comes crashing through the wall, her dog at the wheel…”

    How lame is this movie? After puttering around for over an hour, the heroes finally solve the mystery when the sheriff finally remembers, “Hey, maybe that crazy Nazi mad scientist guy is involved in this…”

    And Doctor Z… My goodness, he looks like Exidor from MORK AND MINDY with Donald Trump’s hairpiece…

    Funny, funny episode.


  9. KSK says:

    @ Cornjob:

    “I need another bowl of Zoloft.”

    Line of the ep for me. Still kills me when I hear it.


  10. Mighty Jack says:

    I wonder if Jamie DeFrates would mind it if I sent him an email telling him how much I liked that opening song? (or have other dopey MSTies like me bugged him with similar messages?) As a fellow songwriter I liked the guitar work on the number.

    The episode is a middle area one for me. I gave it 3 stars. Skits are cute, riffing is generally solid. I loved the bit with the dune buggy slowly taking off as dramatic ‘action’ music blares – that cracks me up.

    It’s not a screamingly hilarious ep but a pretty good one riff-wise, the dreary movie does kind of drag on me at times.


  11. Spalanzani says:

    @105: You should realize that just because a certain character says a riff, it doesn’t mean their actor wrote it. Kevin didn’t write all of Tom’s lines, Trace/Bill didn’t write all of Crow’s lines, and the same applies for Mike. So saying “This Mike line is so lame, Mike’s a really terrible writer” doesn’t make much sense.


  12. Pixiesnix says:

    @Mighty Jack: I’d like to be able to download the song. The combination of good melody with preposterous lyrics must be in my collection!


  13. Fart Bargo says:

    @105 Your rant sounds like the work of a jilted lover who’s decided to stalk and ruin. Please get some help.


  14. With all the comments about the guy who rides on the running board, no one has mentioned my favorite riff from the movie, “Quit playing Rat Patrol!” It can only be that no one else here remembers Rat Patrol.


  15. J says:

    Some really foxy blonde ladies in this movie (that’s Florida for you), and even the bots became fixated on seeing said foxy ladies (further) divested of clothing. Most of the rest of the movie did not stay in my memory as well as that part.

    However, watching it again, it was definitely a classic MST3K candidate, with touches not only bad but bizarre: the over-the-top lengthy narration, the guy driving his little toy ATV/boat thing, jumpsuits, Invisible Cracker Mom, “the powerful forearms of a catfish,” and that ending. A worthwhile episode.


  16. Dan in WI says:

    I like the chewing tobacco opening. It’s what an opening should be. Random and disgusting.
    I’ve got to simplify my masturbation ritual: I don’t think this is a case of them saying whatever they want because the end is near. Isn’t this actually a callback? I seem to recall this as a Josh riff from season one.
    Tom sure can sing a good Peter Gunn theme.
    Past that there is not much to say here. It really was a weaker episode for me.
    I think Mike summed it best: “I’m going to let Pearl talk while I vomit.”
    Favorite Riffs:
    A snake swims through. Tom sings “I don’t want none unless it’s got buns hun.”

    Tom as the racist Sheriff “Nothing down here but girly magazines and beer bottles. Oh wait, this is my basement.”


  17. BlackRobbin says:

    This one holds a special place for me. Its the episode that got my five year old nephew hooked on MST3K. Much to the chagrin of his parents. He started making little comments during everything on tv after that.


  18. schippers says:

    I picked up this movie on Blu-Ray a while back and boy oh boy does it DRAAAAAG in the beginning. Best Brains made some judicious cuts, let me tell you.


  19. Shrike says:

    Anyone know if this one passes the Bechdel Test?

    Anyhoo, gonna go simplify my masturbation ritual.


  20. Bruce (Of no Account) Boxliker says:

    What a coincidence! I was just now planning revenge on my friends…

    Gotta go with the good, not great rating for this one. It just feels…. damp.

    I think the block & tackle setup was, as mentioned before, because of the pain of having your very DNA rewritten, but also to keep you under until you actually start breathing water. It would be very hard to intentionally counter the survival reflex of holding your breath underwater.
    I also don’t think Doc Z put enough thought into the whole ‘conquer the universe’ plan. He may be amphibious, but he’d no doubt need to be underwater from time to time. That would mean having a large water tank on your rockets that take your fishy minions out into space, which would make the rocket heavier than it really should be.
    There I go again… trying to apply logic & science to a fish monster movie…

    Now off to create my very own rice of pipple!


  21. Ang says:

    A few months ago Long John Silvers had a new item they were advertising called fish bites (little fish nuggets). Every time the commercial would come on and they would say ‘fish bites’ I’d have to say “fish bites Mother!”. It’s so fun to play along at home!


  22. MWH1980 says:

    I’m more of the idea that the hammock was mainly the filmmaker’s own little tribute to the likes of Frankenstein’s creation being hoisted up to be struck by lightning…only this movie’s mad scientist sinks to new lows( Yes, I went there. I’d go there again if I had to!).

    I think that Florida sun does something to people’s brains. How else to explain them making this, and Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny?

    I do love Crow’s parody of the voice-over, notably when Mike tries to dislodge him (“AH, my old friend the squeegee…I LOVE you.”)

    When you think of it, could you almost call this the Floridian version of England’s ‘Projected Man?’ Given that at one point, both this guy and Paul broke into a store to steal stuff?


  23. jjk says:

    One of my favorite episodes from this season. I know I’m in the minority on this one but I actually like this movie. I’ve seen the original uncut version and it has some gory scenes that were of course cut by MST3K. It reminds me of The Horror of Party Beach that was also better in the uncut version. It’s one of those it’s so bad it’s good movies that MST3K does so well.


  24. JohnnyRyde says:

    This one is a lot of fun and since the DVD I’ve added it to my regular rotation…

    TCM showed this a few years ago on their underground cult film series (I forget the name of it). I only made it through the first ten or so minutes. But it was the first time that I realized that the lyric, “Planning revenge on your friends” is actually in the song. I laughed like a fool. I assumed it was something the Best Brains made up to be over-the-top cheesy.

    Definitely one of the odder films they did.


  25. Mark me down as another fan of Blood Waters of Dr. Z, this is yet another strong episode from (what I consider) a strong season.

    I’ve never seen Zaat, the uncut version of this movie. Not sure that I need to. . . .

    Yeah, this isn’t a very good movie, I’ll agree. It’s slow in spots, and the characters are more or less kind of stupid, plus the whole concept seems about half-baked, but it still has a guy in a monster suit stumbling around, plus a good look at rural 70s Florida, which make it fairly watchable for me. Plus, the riffing is fairly strong (except for a couple dry patches in the middle) and the Host Segments have some winners. Yeah, I’d have to say this is a great episode. Now. . . .ATTACK!

    The Opening with Crow chewing tobacco and spitting in all those cans is great stuff. Simple, silly, apropos of nothing, plus I love Crow’s little bump of chaw near his lip (wait, Crow doesn’t have lips. His mouth opening, then) which is a great little detail. “Hey Crow, what’s going on?” “Flavor, Mike!” After Crow spits in Mike’s shoe, when Mike walks off you can hear a slight squishing sound. EWW!
    – – Product note: the Pepsi One cans that Crow is spitting in: Pepsi One was relatively brand new back then, having just debuted the previous summer in June of 1998. – –

    The Intro with Pearl’s experimental love giving/withholding doesn’t really offer much, but Crow does spout this great non-sequiter: “Sweet, hot pad love!”

    Host Segment #1 is very funny. “Saddle soap, cleaning compound of deceit.” You wanna get some odd looks from people? Next time you’re at a gas station, grab the squeegee and quote this line: “Ah yes, my friend the squeegee. I love you.” :-)) Also, I have to mention that this is yet another skit that ends with Crow falling from a high place (he seems to do that a lot I’ve noticed).

    HS#2 is maybe the weakest of the bunch (even MST can’t make fishing interesting) but HS#3 is pretty funny (“Mike what is your deal?”), with Bobo and Brain Guy’s fairly flat reading of a scene from Glengary Glen Ross while nude (Brain Guy’s pasty white chest!). For some unknown reason when they cut down to Castle Forrester they are both intently listening to an old timey radio play country-western songs. What the heck? ?:-) :laugh:


    movie: “Sargassum. Weed of deceit.”
    Crow: “That’s what I smoke.”

    Mike: “This guy peaked in the womb.”

    Servo: “I need to simplify my masterbation ritual.”

    Crow: “No, I’d rather see Sammo Hung in a speedo!”

    Mike: “It’s kind of weird when your monster needs to use a handrail.”

    Servo: “There I conquered Florida, now on to Southern Illinois.” – – I found this to be particularly funny, as I spent the first 29 years of my life living in So. Ill. – –

    Mike: “. . . . .and go.”

    Crow: “A poor catfish blames his tools.”

    Crow: “Tonight on Invisible Cracker Mom.”

    Crow: “No matter how much the movie insists there’s tension, I must respectively disagree with it.”

    Crow: “Fish guy’s got good weed.”

    Blood Water of Dr. Z,

    I have to give it 4 out of 5 sargassums.


  26. goalieboy82 says:

    Blood waters, huh? Guess Dr. Z had a little kidney problem.


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

    The more I think about it (“So don’t think about it.”), the odder the out-of-nowhere “Dr. Z is an ex-Nazi” bit seems. So, uh, what local business (where the victim guys had been his co-workers) employed ex-Nazis? I mean, somebody in the area must have known SOMETHING about it, or Martha couldn’t have acquired the pointless German-accented recording so quickly. Right? Or not?

    At least the fact that we never heard Dr. Z speak aloud (only his interior monologue) makes it moot that HE didn’t have a German accent.

    Per Wikipedia, the recording (not like I memorized it) also mentioned that Z had graduated from MIT (!) in 1934, which only confuses the issue further. Maybe he was a Bundist.


    Sampo: Another movie observation: Why does the scientist create the elaborate block-and-tackle hammock when THERE’S A LADDER?

    THAT’S the strangest thing you perceive about how this guy thinks? ;-)

    Again, no idea if any of these commentators are still around, but…

    #36: But if they’d done a movie about an unhinged, fully human scientist that plots revenge on people who “wronged” him

    Then they’d have made a serial killer movie (or a slasher film, the terms are sometimes interchangeable). There weren’t many of those as of 1972, but there were a few.

    That noted, I made a similar observation about Leopold as the kind of guy that a “real” mad scientist might be like. I’m out of nowhere reminded of the Unabomber.

    It’s *relatively* unusual for a mad scientist to want to take revenge against his enemies AND to conquer the world, though. You’ve gotta give the movie that much, anyway.

    #47: Is this the most ineffectual take-over-the-world mad scientist ever, or what?

    You’re evidently unfamiliar with “Dracula Vs. Frankenstein” (which hit the theaters a mere year earlier). And that’s only the first example that occurred to me. ;-)


    I’m sure if Dr. Z had ever actually accomplished anything with his fish-man project before, Lou would have remembered him more quickly. Law enforcement officers encounter all kinds of nuts, and a guy who thinks he can turn a man into a fish isn’t going to rank very high on the “credible threat” chart.

    And now I’m for no particular reason wondering about what kind of stuff had to be dealt with by the police department in whatever town Scooby-Doo and the gang lived in. Hm, “Coolsville, Ohio” (not to be confused with Coolville (no S), Ohio), thank you, Wikipedia. Wow, Ohio, “Land of the Serial Killers” [Quinn Fallon], what are the odds, huh?


  28. Depressing Aunt says:

    Ah, yes, my friend the squeegee! I LOVE YOU!

    I’m so grateful statements like this exist…


  29. Sitting Duck says:

    For those dying to find out, Blood Waters of Dr. Z passes the Bechdel Test, but it was a squeaker. Ma Pringle informs her daughter Sue that she’s leaving and is acknowledged.

    You really have to wonder about Harry Harlow. Any guy who would employ devices with names like rape rack or pit of despair has some problems.

    Add my voice to the chorus that finds Crow’s rafter monologue to be hilarious.

    I.N.P.I.T. has one of the most unfortunate acronyms, second only to the A.R.M.P.I.T. from the dubbed version of Sergeant Frog. At least they have the excuse that they’re suppose to be ridiculous.

    Favorite riffs

    That song put the boogie in my feet.

    I’d rather see Sammo Hung wearing a Speedo.

    Oh come on! Long tubes, fluids, men in their underwear. What’s next?

    Weird when your monster has to use a handrail.

    Frankly, I think the world can handle this invasion.

    I’ve got to be honest. Am I that much closer to ruling the universe?

    I sense danger. I’d better undress.

    Once I get Herbie out of the way, she’ll be mine.

    The faces of the fish he’s wronged flash before his eyes.

    I’m a failure as a fish. I’m gonna try being a fungus.

    Lay off the heavy music. I’m just making a grocery list.

    On the bright side, shower caps are on sale.

    You seem kind of mad at me for not remembering the weird fish doctor before.

    No matter how much the movie insists that there’s tension, I must respectfully disagree with it.

    Sure, you thought the clown car would solve everything, didn’t you.

    I guess I could be stupider, but it’d be hard.

    Nothing down here but girlie magazines and empty beer bottles. Oh wait, this is my basement.

    And finally, he gets eaten by a manatee.


  30. MikeK says:

    Blood Waters of Dr. Z, the movie that’s almost a porno. Seriously, if that girl with the VW Beetle went skinny dipping and the I.N.P.I.T. agents had a couple of sex scenes, this movie would be a weird, ’70s porno.


  31. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    The riffs are pretty racy in this one

    “I need to simplify my masturbation ritual.”

    “Typical male. Sitting in a chair, playing with his rod.”


  32. pondoscp says:

    I used to absolutely loathe this episode. I decided to give it another whirl, and I laughed louder and harder than I did at any other Season 10 experiment. Just goes to show, keep watching ’em, and you’ll eventually have your breakthrough moment. Now I have no opinion on what the worst episode of MST3K is.


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

    *I* have to wonder about Harry Harlow because I have no idea who he is.

    (checks Wikipedia)

    Oh, okay, I get it now.

    When you’re done wondering about Harry Harlow, you might want to try wondering about William Moulton Marston. Or you might not.


  34. snowdog says:

    This is another one of those where the dull movie starts to drag down the riffing for me. But there are some fun moments and a couple of great host segments. I was living near Jacksonville, FL when this filmed in the 70’s, but knew nothing of its existence until MST3K. Go figure.

    The chewing tobacco segments rate among the most unsettling in MST3K history, imo. I grew up around that stuff, but avoided it like the plague. And that thing that’s supposed to be a bulge in Crow’s cheek looks like he already has a tumor. Yuck.


  35. MSTie says:

    I own this one but have never watched it for some reason. So tell me, what level of intoxication do you all recommend for viewing??


  36. Depressing Aunt says:

    #135 By the end, the action of the film *does* get dull. You might feel drowsy, depending on your tolerance level. (You might feel drowsy without having had a single drink, actually.) Pace yourself accordingly. However, that opening narration is pure gold. Yes, Dr. Z, somehow you and your mutants will conquer the entire universe. Uh huh. Watch out for the black holes. P.S.: So long, and thanks for all the fish! :)

    Pearl’s Love Stuff is wonderful. Hot pad love? I can relate. I have hot pads passed down from my grandma. But staple remover love, and alternator love? That’s pretty creative. Sometimes Pearl reminds me of one of my aunts.


  37. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    #123 “Horror of Party Beach that was also better in the uncut version.”

    There is an “uncut” version of Horror of Party Beach” ???? They actually made that film LONGER ???
    LOL. THIS I have to search out.


  38. Cornjob says:

    Boy is this movie a weird grab bag of mental illnesses and odd fetishes. It starts out with mad scientist voice over declaring love for a disgusting fish. Then a classic folk song about getting revenge on your friends, while a barely ambulatory lump of flesh and hair wanders around a leaky pool. I wanted to ask the movie, “are you sure you want to be about this guy?” And then things proceed to get strange.

    One thing I’m really unsure about is whether the nazi fish guy won or not or what. He managed to stagger into the ocean with his canister of ZaAt (not to be confused with Zaaaahh!! from A Touch of Satan), so does this mean the sea life would mutate and rise up all over the world while exposed humans turned into fish people rallying around our protagonist(?) as leader? And the fainting blond didn’t marinate in the ZaaT long enough to go scaly, but she did follow adolf catfish into the ocean in a trance. So was she now going to be his bride? Did she soak long enough to get gills, or was she just going to drown herself rather be associated with the film? Do I need to join The Esoteric Order of Dagon and make friends with some Deep Ones to prepare for life under our new amphibious overlords?

    Well, let’s sit down with a big bowl of our antidepressant of choice and enjoy the film.

    Oh, and I want Steve Pop to be in my werewolf movie.


  39. spap oop says:

    This mst3k started a tradition at our house. watching mst3k instead of the commercials during the superbowl. a certain satellite providers dvr makes this possible.
    anyway, my kids (kids at the time) thought the catfish chapstick joke was hilarious despite knowing nothing about those chapstick commercials.
    o,my team was in the big game for the first time in their memorable lifetime this year and I made them sit and watch it as a family. MST3K the Movie was the movie.
    After that second half kick off return for a touchdown, I told them “go do what you want” and watching the movie was the best thing we–I watched all day.


  40. goalieboy82 says:

    “Cast and crew roundup: Nobody involved with this movie was involved with any other MSTed movie”
    Thank God!


  41. thequietman says:

    For the first time, I have to admit this was an episode that didn’t exactly stick with me like the others surrounding it. The only parts that lasted were bikini girl’s fate (probably because that was one of the few borderline competently done sequences). Since then, the rest of the film has grown on me, particularly that bonkers opening monologue and Crow’s brilliant imitation later. Plus, there’s Mike’s cute business as he tries to figure out how he’s going to finish polishing his boots after Crow makes him lose his brush down the puppeteer pit.

    Once I figured out this movie’s original title and learned more about it, I found it rather intriguing. I must admit this film’s original trailer has one of the most over-the-top voiceovers I’ve ever heard. It’s almost like they’re trying to do a send-up of how creature features were sold:

    “His goal? To pollute THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!!!”
    “An entire town goes BERSERK! In a rampage of DEATH AND VIOLENCE!!”
    And my favorite: “How could it happen? No one knows… BUT IT DID!”

    Perhaps the producers thought volume would compensate for the palpable lack of berserk town rampaging and universe conquering.


  42. Manos Bride says:

    I have a lot of experience with this movie. Way too much, actually.

    I saw it in the theater when it first came out back in 1971, along with some friends of mine. At the time, I found it confusing and weird. My opinion hasn’t changed. But it was a big deal here in Jacksonville, and to a certain extent it still is today. Every few years or so we have a revival of it shown somewhere. At the last one I bought a blu-ray copy of the original unriffed version, ZAAT.

    It was made just down the road from where I grew up, and the mother of a friend of mine was an actress in the film. Her name was Carol Thompson, and she played the lady reporter in the “mod pantsuit”. I was very young at the time, but from what I remember she was a nursing student who did a little bit of acting on the side. She was very nice, as I recall. Her family moved away shortly afterward, so I’ve long since lost track of her and her daughter, unfortunately.

    The credits mention Switzerland as one of the locations. Of course, that’s Switzerland, Florida, a small town near Jacksonville. They also mention Marineland of Florida, which was the big marine life park before Sea World came along. It still exists today, but it’s changed over to offer dolphin encounters (swimming, feeding, etc.) There’s also a town of Marineland, with a population of 12.

    One of the associate producers was Dick Stratton. He was the sportscaster on one of the local news programs back in the 70s. I’m not sure how he got a mention in the credits, but I’m guessing he put up some of the money for the film. I doubt if he had any movie-making experience.

    It was a lot of fun seeing MST3K take on our little hometown movie. Naturally, the film richly deserved the riffing.


  43. MSTie says:

    OK, I remedied my never having seen this one, watched it last night. Hoo wee, pretty boring. I felt that the writers were often at a loss because there were so many repetitive, empty stretches. “Invisible Cracker Mom” would have probably been more interesting!


  44. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    According to this website, the song “World War Two Boy” was done by a Jamie DeFrates.

    You can’t actually download the song.Rather, it plays about a minute of the beginning.The only other place I could find it was, which corroborates the DeFrates authorship.

    I actually like the song, sans irony. This clip has the full audio


  45. docskippy says:

    The review of ZaAt (this movie, in other words) over at 1000 Misspent Hours points out that the filmmakers seem to have had a much more ambitious vision than what was realized (no surprise there) – in other words, what they WANTED to show were giant walking catfish causing havoc, using forced perspective and probably some other cheesy Bert I. Gordon “special” FX. That would make sense considering how much of the evil scientist’s inner monologue is devoted to talk about having “catfish the size they’ve never seen before!”

    Of course, instead all we got was a sub-sub-Creature from the Black Lagoon trudging around with a squirt bottle. Ah well.

    I’m afraid this movie is just too dull to recommend watching unriffed. The only thing you miss in the MST3K version that’s worth a chuckle is the long scene where the fat cop leads a group of singing hippies to jail (in order to protect them from the fish monster, you see, because the fat cop is down with the folk hippie scene).


  46. goalieboy82 says:

    I need to simplify my masturbation ritual. i think at that point, they knew it was over so they didn’t care what they said.


  47. thequietman says:

    Glub? Glub glub??

    Watching this today I found myself wondering whether the voiceover guy at the beginning could have possibly been trying to do a Vincent Price imitation. Otherwise, I think Sampo might be right that this is above ‘good, not great’. The movie has a LOT of padding, but I had more big laughs than I remembered.

    Since I don’t think anyone pinpointed it, the context of the “gotta go kill Farley Granger’s wife” riff is in ‘Strangers on a Train’ Robert Walker’s character stalks the wife to a carnival (where the famous carousel climax also occurs) and follows her to an isolated island in a little boat, not unlike the one our intrepid marine biologist was in.

    Fave riffs
    Listen to that; this movie needs a whole new exhaust system!

    (RV pulls up to shore)
    And you’re sure we can water ski behind this thing?

    “Looks like a generator…”
    Last time you said it looked like a Butterball Turkey, could you make up your mind?

    The director who proved there’s no reason to ever end a shot!


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

    I need to simplify my masturbation ritual.i think at that point, they knew it was over so they didn’t care

    That’s “they just didn’t care.” ;-)

    Glub? Glub glub??
    Watching this today I found myself wondering whether the voiceover guy at the beginning


    Do you mean Dr. Z or the singing sargasm guy? Neither one sounded very Price-ian to me. But what do I know?


  49. goalieboy82 says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: That’s “they just didn’t care.” ;-)


    Do you mean Dr. Z or the singing sargasm guy? Neither one sounded very Price-ian to me. But what do I know?


  50. Jason says:

    I love when MST3K has a little side moment between the riffers in the theater – in this episode there’s a bit where Servo briefly pouts because his “Catfish Hunter” joke isn’t well-received, then has to be consoled later. It just makes me happy.

    The biggest strength of the Sci-Fi Channel era to me is how natural the camaraderie between Mike, Kevin and Bill feels. Even though they’ve seen the movie several times and have rehearsed the riffs, their reactions to each other’s comments or the movie’s more provocative moments manage to feel genuine. Whenever Crow goes “Daaa” at something that’s self-evidently annoying, it really feels like authentic exasperation from Bill and it’s just sense memory that causes him to make the mouth move in tandem. There’s a real level of comfort that enhances the whole thing.

    There’s a riff in this episode about defecating on an airplane food service cart. They make another one in Track of the Moon Beast. Considering the Gerard B. Finneran incident happened in 1996, I wonder why the Brains were suddenly so infatuated with it while writing Season 10?

    It’s interesting how my reaction to the first half of Season 10 is almost the opposite of Sampo’s. By his reckoning it isn’t until this episode that the pattern of “good-not-great” comes to an end. For me, the first four episodes of this season are stone cold classics, and this one bucks the trend by being a minor step down. It’s still a good episode – strong riffing and a movie that is perfect MST3K fodder – but they struggle to overcome the sheer dullness of the film.

    Anyway, shame about Dr. Z turning himself into an amphibious warthog by mistake.


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