Support Us

Satellite News is not financially supported by Best Brains or any other entity. It is a labor of love, paid for out of our own pockets. If you value this site, we would be delighted if you showed it by making an occasional donation of any amount. Thanks.

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.

Social Media


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 (314 votes, average: 4.11 out of 5)

Loading...

• 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. Jeremy Zharkov
    Ignored
    says:

    Jason:

    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.

    During Season 10, Kevin and Bill basically stopped playing Servo & Crow (at least in the theater) and were just themselves.

       2 likes

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

    Jason:
    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.

    I would really think it likely that the Brains have made riffs about someone by their “old” names before but no examples occur to me. Shrug.

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

    Well, he was satisfied with it. That’s what counts.

    So, who seemed less likely to conquer the world, Dr. Z or Dr. Vornoff from Bride of the Monster? Any other MST3K would-be world conquerors whose chances were even lower? Which ones had the BEST chances? Food for thought at the very least. :-)

       2 likes

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

    Wait a minute. Hold everything. A couple of weeks late, an insight about Crow’s time with Mike’s family (as mentioned in Terror from the Year 5000) hits me in the face like a wet, uh, hm, earthworm, I guess.

    Since Crow’s mission was IIRC to tell Mike’s family what had happened to him, he must have arrived at least shortly after Mike was sent to the Satellite of Love.* (Wouldn’t it have made more sense to simply delay Mike so he’d miss his bus to Gizmonic Institute? Oh well.) If he stayed with Mike’s family for eleven years, that means that, when Mike and the Bots took up residence on Earth at series end, Crow was STILL living with Mike’s family. Am I the last one to catch on to this? Probably. :-| Whether that other Crow was still working at Burnett County Dairy Cooperative is something about which no data exists. If he was, well, one can imagine Servo’s reaction: “Hey, I had to get rid of my duplicates and now Crow gets his own duplicates! No fair!” ;-)

    “We three Crows of molybdenum are…”

    And now back to our episode:

    I’m sure any number of us have heard a riff and thought of how it might be made to sound “better.” I think “I guess I could be stupider but it’d be hard!” might have worked better as “I guess I could be stupider but it’s hard to see how!”
    ;-)

    ===

    *and now I’m wondering about the unfilmed scene between Mitchell and Brain That Wouldn’t Die in which the Bots warily watch as the rocket Dr. F used to send Mike to the Satellite docks, its passenger a nearly total stranger (Gypsy talked to him earlier for a few minutes) being, well, forced into their lives whether they like it or not.

       2 likes

  4. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    t
    ouches no one’s life, then leaves
    :
    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.

    Didn’t the Scooby gang travel across the country, sort of like an early cartoon version of Supernatural?

    Manos Bride:
    The credits mention Switzerland as one of the locations. Of course, that’s Switzerland, Florida, a small town near Jacksonville.

    IIRC there’s also a Hollywood in Florida.

       1 likes

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

    Sitting Duck: Didn’t the Scooby gang travel across the country, sort of like an early cartoon version of Supernatural?

    That may have been so in later incarnations, but originally, whenever they traveled, it was specifically to visit someone or attend an event or something like that. In some episodes, they remained in what seemed to be a familiar town with the proverbial malt shop and such (“No ghosts, not allowed!”).

    With so many fake monsters everywhere they went, it’s kind of like the characters lived in a world that had lots of super-villains but no super-heroes.

    ADDENDUM:

    So, if they were teenagers who lived in town, why did we never see them in school (which was mentioned in the very first episode when Daphne noted that Shaggy was “the swinging-est gymnast in school”)? Because No Dogs Are Allowed there, of course. ;-)

       1 likes

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

    dad1153:
    Gummo: “Tom: I need to simplify my masturbation ritual.” The single most out-and-out dirty riff in the 10 season history of MST. The first real acknowledgment to me that the run was ending and they were damn well going to make any jokes they pleased.

    It arguably goes back as far as Revenge of the Creature. “I mean, what is a taboo, really…?”

    Servo and Crow in and of themselves seem more…oh, for a phrase…”explicit-minded” than they were during the Comedy Central years (I don’t use terms like “adult” or “mature” in this context because, well, think about it…). Sure, they made the occasional saucy remarks back then (so there’s no point in quoting CC era riffs to disprove my initial premise; it’s not all-or-nothing), but it seems to me like they amped it up a bit for Sci-Fi.

    The end of this movie, for instance. “Wet clingy dress scene coming up!” “Yes-yes!” The Soultaker “Visine” bit took things up to eleven, of course. Well, whatever.

       1 likes

  7. Jason
    Ignored
    says:

    goalieboy82:
    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.

    While the Brains probably saw the writing on the wall from the beginning, I don’t think they were formally cancelled until they were down to the last couple episodes of Season 10. I’ve always been curious about when exactly they found out, but we can make a decent guess. Episodes 1001-1008 all have a 1998 copyright date, suggesting those episodes got produced late in 1998 before production resumed in 1999 after a lengthy break. The cancellation was announced in February 1999, and we know Diabolik was shot in April 1999.

    crowtdan:
    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.

    I don’t know why you’re so sure the culprit is Mike, but there was definitely some hostility toward cats in the writers room. The line you take so much umbrage with isn’t anything special, but it seems harmless to me. They’ve definitely made better riffs along those lines before, though. Like in Merlin’s Shop, when the niche reviewer is being assaulted by the devil cat, Mike calmly says: “So this is like any cat, really.” There’s also this line from one of the Summer Blockbuster Review specials: “An affectionate cat? This IS science fiction!”

    So yes, somebody had a hang-up about cats, though to be honest your hang-up about Mike seems more deeply rooted.

       2 likes

  8. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    Jason: So yes, somebody had a hang-up about cats, though to be honest your hang-up about Mike seems more deeply rooted.

    When even I suspect crowtdan’s trolling…he’s probably trolling.

    dad1153:
    Gummo: “Tom: I need to simplify my masturbation ritual.” The single most out-and-out dirty riff in the 10 season history of MST. The first real acknowledgment to me that the run was ending and they were damn well going to make any jokes they pleased.

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: It arguably goes back as far as Revenge of the Creature. “I mean, what is a taboo, really…?”
    Servo and Crow in and of themselves seem more…oh, for a phrase…”explicit-minded” than they were during the Comedy Central years (I don’t use terms like “adult” or “mature” in this context because, well, think about it…). Sure, they made the occasional saucy remarks back then (so there’s no point in quoting CC era riffs to disprove my initial premise; it’s not all-or-nothing), but it seems to me like they amped it up a bit for Sci-Fi.

    Mike and Kevin were directing more of the episodes during the Sci-Fi years: Kevin’s style wanted Angry Shock Humor, while Mike preferred Everything That Randomly Annoyed Him About Current Pop-Culture, including geek-specific Trek refs, ’cause they’re, like, on a sci-fi channel.
    Interesting that I’m not the first one on this thread to notice that, yes, the axe had already come down after the end of S9, S10 was more to wrap up obligations, they knew they were a Dead Show Walking (which explains why the off-topic themed “trolling” riffs were toned back a bit and concentrated more on the movie now that someone had gotten the slap), and…MK&B just pretty much stopped caring.
    That’s probably what led to the “looser” styles of Film Crew and RiffTrax, once they thought they had their own sandbox, and didn’t care if anyone was over their heads to cancel them for audience reaction or ratings anymore if the material started getting too self-indulgent.

       2 likes

  9. Jason
    Ignored
    says:

    Mike and Kevin were directing more of the episodes during the Sci-Fi years:Kevin’s style wanted Angry Shock Humor, while Mike preferred Everything That Randomly Annoyed Him About Current Pop-Culture, including geek-specific Trek refs, ’cause they’re, like, on a sci-fi channel.

    Didn’t being a director of an MST3K episode basically just mean you were the one calling Action and Cut for the host segments? Tonal changes that occurred during the Sci-Fi era can only reasonably be credited to the Brains as a collective, not specific individuals with which you coincidentally have an axe to grind. And I’m simply not smart enough to know what you’re going on about with regard to Star Trek.

    That’s probably what led to the “looser” styles of Film Crew and RiffTrax, once they thought they had their own sandbox, and didn’t care if anyone was over their heads to cancel them for audience reaction or ratings anymore if the material started getting too self-indulgent.

    Yeah, the pressure on MST3K to maintain those huge ratings it was notorious for posting throughout its run really kept the writing staff in check. What on earth are you talking about?

       7 likes

  10. Mr. Krasker
    Ignored
    says:

    Jason: Didn’t being a director of an MST3K episode basically just mean you were the one calling Action and Cut for the host segments?Tonal changes that occurred during the Sci-Fi era can only reasonably be credited to the Brains as a collective, not specific individuals with which you coincidentally have an axe to grind.And I’m simply not smart enough to know what you’re going on about with regard to Star Trek.

    Yeah, the pressure on MST3K to maintain those huge ratings it was notorious for posting throughout its run really kept the writing staff in check.What on earth are you talking about?

    You’re trying to reason with EricJ, Jason. It won’t work. In EricJ’s universe, Michael J. Nelson is to blame for all evils that were unleashed on the world when the most holy Joel Robinson left the show. The fact that Mike was head writer for almost the entire run of the show is irrelevant. The fact that the show was always a team effort is irrelevant. All that matters is Joel Good, Mike Bad!

       11 likes

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

    Jeremy Zharkov: During Season 10, Kevin and Bill basically stopped playing Servo & Crow (at least in the theater) and were just themselves.

    Ironically (if there is in fact irony), when I watch Rifftrax, where The Brains are literally just themselves, I envision Servo, Mike, and Crow in the lower right corner without even needing to think twice about it. ;-)

    BTW I recently inquired the riffed The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant so if anyone wants to talk about that… ;-)

       3 likes

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

    Well, this thread’s dying out quick. Were there really so few things to gripe about? ;-)

    Maybe it was the film’s anti-high-tech look.

       1 likes

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

    Mr. Krasker: You’re trying to reason with EricJ, Jason.It won’t work.In EricJ’s universe, Michael J. Nelson is to blame for all evils that were unleashed on the world when the most holy Joel Robinson left the show.The fact that Mike was head writer for almost the entire run of the show is irrelevant.The fact that the show was always a team effort is irrelevant.All that matters is Joel Good, Mike Bad!

    It’s like I keep telling you folks: Consider welcoming apathy into your life. Apathy has no plan for your life at all, so there’s no pressure. ;-)

       2 likes

  14. Jason Samuels
    Ignored
    says:

    Jason: While the Brains probably saw the writing on the wall from the beginning, I don’t think they were formally cancelled until they were down to the last couple episodes of Season 10. I’ve always been curious about when exactly they found out, but we can make a decent guess. Episodes 1001-1008 all have a 1998 copyright date, suggesting those episodes got produced late in 1998 before production resumed in 1999 after a lengthy break. The cancellation was announced in February 1999, and we know Diabolik was shot in April 1999.

    In the ACEG entry for “Future War” Mary Jo claims that she and the crew didn’t know they’d be cancelled at the time they were writing that episode, although Paul seems to contradict this slightly when he wrote about “Girl In Gold Boots” suggesting that they strongly suspected it would be the final season. I had previously assumed they’d found out about the cancellation during this episode because of the somewhat negative riff directed at the network, but maybe that was just a coincidence. I think it might have been sometime after “Boggy Creek II” because that was the last time I remember them directly referencing the whole mad scientist accreditation sub-plot that began with “Girl In Gold Boots.” It was encouraged by some people from the network as a way for them to boost their ratings, but they quietly abandoned it after the cancellation since they weren’t terribly interested in starting an on-going subplot in the first place.

       0 likes

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

    “Mary Jo claims that she and the crew didn’t know they’d be cancelled at the time they were writing that episode, although Paul seems to contradict this slightly when he wrote about “Girl In Gold Boots” suggesting that they strongly suspected it would be the final season”

    Well, there’s a difference between “knowing” and “strongly suspecting”…

       1 likes

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

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    >>>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.

    ADDENDUM to myself:

    To say nothing of “And I’m SMOOTH!” ;-)

    He’s also wood, PURE WOOD, baby…

       1 likes

Leave a Reply