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Episode guide: 1007- Track of the Moon Beast

Movie: (1976) A New Mexico mineralogist is struck by a meteor, and is transformed into a mindless humanoid-lizard monster.

First shown: June 13, 1999
Opening: Crow and Tom are blossoming everything
Intro: Mike’s attempts to escape using a remote-control Bobo
Host segment 1: The bots rush the Halloween season, and hollow embarrassment ensues
Host segment 2: This week on Legends of Rock: The Band That Played “California Lady.”
Host segment 3: Crow and Tom rig a remote camera, and catch a glimpse of Mike’s disturbing bedtime routines
End: Tom has injured a baby satellite, but soon all is well; Brain Guy and a brain-exposed Bobo bond, much to Pearl’s displeasure
Stinger: “Moon rocks? Oh, wow!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (244 votes, average: 4.57 out of 5)


• I like this one a lot. The movie is only marginally watchable and on this viewing I really noticed what a mostly placid, quiet little movie this is, which gives the riffers a lot of elbow room. It’s a classic example (“Teenage Strangler” is another one) of a group of people who got together in a town to make a movie, and didn’t really know what they were doing. The riffing is solid and just about all the segments are a lot of fun.
• This episode, sadly, is not yet available on DVD.
• Mike offers some thoughts here.
• References are here.
• Once again, props to the prop makers for the exquisitely blossomed objects.
• Servo’s head is still blossomed in theater and Mike crunches on some while watching the movie.
• In his comments, Mike makes reference to the classic moment where Johnny Longbow recites the ingredients of his stew recipe with a level of world-weariness more befitting the reading of a will. From that point on, they just won’t let the stew jokes go.
• The intro segment definitely has a late season 5 feel. It’s been a while since “bringing the satellite down” was the goal of a scheme.
• Mike’s face in segment 1 is classic; complete neutrality in the face of Crow’s increasing embarrassment and humiliation. Those pea pods look good, too. Oh, and this time I noticed that Tom’s arm is taped around Gypsy.
• Segment 2 is another gem, perfectly capturing those nostalgia/biography shows.
• Segment 3 is probably the weakest of the episode, but the Mike’s little puppet show on his bed is worth the price of admission. And I guess this is our one and only look into Mike’s bedroom.
• Fans have tracked down Frank Larrabee, the lead singer (aka the fish-lipped guy) in the band that played California Lady. He still lives in New Mexico and is a professional Appaloosa breeder. Fans who’ve tried to contact him for some backstage remembrances have gotten no replies, Maybe he didn’t appreciate being called “the fish-lipped guy.” No word on the eskimo and the friendly looking backup singer.
• Riffs that made you want to slap them: “His pants are Hagar, and they’re horrible.”
• Cast and crew roundup: Screenwriters William Finger and Charles Sinclair also worked on “The Green Slime.” Special effects makeup guy Joe Blasco did makeup for “Parts: The Clonus Horror” and “The Touch of Satan.” Special effects guy Rick Baker (who was uncredited here) also worked on “The Incredible Melting Man” and “Squirm.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike. A Bill Gibb is listed, along with Brad, as an editor for this episode and three more after it. Ed Dykhuizen and Sarah Lemanczyk begin their stint as interns that continues to the end of the season, except for one episode.
• Fave riff: “I need a wheat penny and a Glock.” Honorable mention: “They shot two klieg lights and a gaffer.”

148 comments to Episode guide: 1007- Track of the Moon Beast

  • 1
    Fart Bargo says:

    This one is a solid ‘4’ for me. Good to great host segments. Observer’s Spin N Swoon after Bobo hits him with a cattle prod just slays me. Mike’s Legends of Rock was top rate. The movie itself minimally held interest due to the brain dead leads. Paul & Kathy are the templates for Heidi and Spencer. I did like the music though, same folks from Dr Z? What saves (?) this movie for me is Johnny Longbone, a movie hero who wheels around in a brown station wagon. Boy, Johnny jaw jacks almost as much as ‘Doc’ Lockhart. One last observation on the Moon Beast, outside of Norman Bates, no monster should be living with their mom.


  • 2
    ck says:

    Not a bad movie, but it’s best to watch it while
    enjoying some munchies. perhaps, say, a stew. I’d
    suggest one with chicken, green peppers, rattlesnake,
    velveeta, hair, corn, chili, onions, Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter…


  • 3
    creepygirl says:

    This is a solid 4 star for me also. The riffing is great and this movie really lends to that. I was and am still a big fan of VH1’s Behind The Music. So the band that played California Lady skit had me in stiches and still cracks me up. This may be my last fave episode of season 10. The rest are still good but not as high on my list.


  • 4
    Pinback65 says:

    Crow’s slowly-deteriorating mental state in Segment One is one of my all-time favorite bits. Kind of dark, but very, very funny, it’s the segment I most point to when explaining the difference in the character when Bill took over from Trace. I have no preference, mind you; they’re both hilarious.


  • 5
    Tim S. Turner says:

    I love them spying on Mike in his room. “That’s right, you big dope!”


  • 6
    continuing legend says:

    This is my favorite episode of all time. The only weak part for me is the last host segment (and it’s Tom, not Crow, who injured the satellite, BTW), but the rest of it is just GOLD. This episode just RULES. I love it. I am not being very coherent, but I’m tired. I might post more thoughts later.


  • 7
    Dan in WI says:

    Not even close to my favorite episode. The actually laugh out loud laughs were few and far between though there was a good supply of smirkers. But it was a treat for me in a different way. Those of you in the Norteast Wisconsin (Green Bay) television market are surely aware of the Ned the Dead Show aka Chiller Theater. For those of you not aware, his show was sort of a proto-MST3K and has actually been around longer than MST3K. While not on the air continuously it has been around for over 25 years. In it’s current form it consists of commercial break host segments on a much more bare bones set. It does include a cast of costumed characters. There is very little riffing over over the run of the movie itself but there are many 5-10 second cutins showing the two main characters making longer jokes that simply wouldn’t fit between the movie dialog. The also begin each episode with a segment called “Doc’s Movie Lore” where one of the main characters does a couple minutes of notes and trivia about the movie. It is somewhat similar to Daddy-O’s Drive in Dirt on this website.
    Well a couple weeks back Ned the Dead showed about a two year old rerun of this movie. It was fun to compare and contrast the treatment of this movie by the two different groups. The biggest laugh getter by Ned occurred during the flaming falling metiorites early in the fill. They referred to them as flaming charcoal briquettes. When they were on screen they would yell out “Charlie’s cooking Johnsonville brats, Johnsonville brats, Johnsonville brats…” It’s a reference to a long running commercial series for a Wisconsin sausage manufacturer.

    As for the MST treatment:
    Then current and amazingly STILL current reference: Kent Brockman.

    I thought Mike was really channeling his inner Joel when he chided Tom for shooting that baby satelitte with the arrow. That really was a speak Joel would have delivered.


  • 8
    John Seavey says:

    “Pretty soon I’ll be throwing up chicken, corn…onions…”

    Really, what strikes me about this film is how unattractive everyone is. You don’t really notice it until about 2/3rds of the way through, because they don’t give anyone close-ups (a wise decision on the director’s part) but everyone looks as though they’d been somehow eroded. Like a human version of the Crazy Horse sculpture.

    This one is decent, fun, but not spectacular. Four stars.


  • 9
    Colossus Prime says:

    Crazy note from IMDB: The guy in the Moon Beast suit was a make-up artist on Touch of Satan, and Clonus!

    The blossoming bit has three great parts: Mike’s delivery when discovering they blossomed his wallet, the way Crow says, “Your head,” and Pearl’s greeting of, “Mike, Crow, Snack,” is all awesome. And then everything about the hot wired Bobo is fantastic. Love Pearl’s emotionless presentation of, “It’ll either kill him or allow us to control his every motion,” all leading back to Tom with his blossom and fried head. “Sorry, Pearl, can’t help myself.” Man do I love Bobo.

    Mike’s purposeful non-reaction in segment one is so incredibly perfect. The tragic story of the band that played California Lady isn’t a laugh riot, but the ridiculous-ness of the “facts” is very funny. “And then we’ll kill him,” is delivered so perfectly. And Tom is cute with his little bow.

    The great riffing throughout is the only thing that gets me through this painfully bad movie. On its own I’m sure the movie would cause me to subconsciously stab a screwdriver through my eyes. Bad acting, dumb story and horrible explanations within the story.

    “It stars nobody and features nothing. I hope you gag on it.” is such a great intro to this movie. Opening with Johnny Longbow trying to scare Paul then reinforces it. The entire scene hinges on Paul’s reaction to the sounds and the mask appearing out of nowhere and he gives us absolutely no reaction which makes the exposition that follows pointless and weird. Even with the bad acting, terrible dialogue it would have all actually made sense if Paul wasn’t entirely wooden. Of course it all feeds great riffing and an absolutely great host segment.

    I know we had a weekend discussion about worst actor/actress in a MSTied movie, but did we ever do one for the full ensemble? Because without even thinking about it this has to be in the top three. It’s all absolutely terrible, ESPECIALLY Kathy. My job requires me to sit on a computer almost all day but I listen to MST3K episodes to pass the time. Nearly every time I hear Kathy I get a headache from just how terrible she is.

    Favorites –
    Johnny: Lizard and Coyote were having an argument about what shape man would take.
    Mike: They fought and died. The end.

    Kathy: Paul, where are we exactly?
    Crow: I’m telling you! What do you want, longitude and latitude?

    Tom’s drawn out singing of “Fame, fame, fame, fame…”
    (I’m a sucker for Bowie references)

    Mike: [as Johnny talking to Kathy] So how’s the pretending you’re not old going?
    (This line is so mean it’s awesome)

    The entire scene of the cops shooting at Paul-beast while Kathy is clearly in their line of fire is awesome even without the riffing.

    Johnny: Paul is not Paul anymore!
    Crow: He’s SUPER PAUL!


  • 10
    rcfagnan says:

    Am I mistaken or do Mike and the bots call Johnny Longbow “Johnny LongBONE”? I think the host segments really outshine the movie, yet another one where our monster is Paul! For some reason, I always used to confuse this one with “It Lives By Night.” They just feel like the same movie. Maybe because they’re both an ick-seventies-kidney-stone-of-a-films…


  • 11
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    I’ll go 4 on this one… the legends of rock bit ( brilliant ) pushes it over from three. not that there is anything wrong with this ep.. it’s just a little low-energy for my taste on the movie riffing.

    And I didn’t like the terminal-bobo bit. Maybe physical humor is not Kev’s forte, especially trapped in a gorilla suit. It might even put me in a bad mood for the rest of the show Frown

    Observation: Anyone else note that the mod-squad line-up of the band that played California Lady ( native american , bland white guy, blond chick ) neatly reflects the line-up of our three movie leads ?


  • 12
    Sampo says:

    Thanks for the catch, Continuing Legend. Now fixed.


  • 13
    PLLDD says:

    There’s a poster of Targo in Mike’s bedroom. Now that’s creepy.


  • 14
    MPSh says:

    Yes, they did call him Johnny Longbone, and he was the best part of the movie.

    The stew ingredients recital was a hilarious little moment – kind of like Johnny was irritated at having to repeatedly list all of the ingredients. Mike and the ‘bots took that little moment, plopped on a stool next to it, and milked it for all it was worth. Classic.

    I have to second the “Super Paul” riff as well.

    I kind of liked the California Lady song. Much better than you might expect in a movie like this.


  • 15
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    Track of the Moon Beast was filmed in Albuquerque. As a native Albuquerquean, I feel as if I should apologize.

    This is one lame ass movie. The scene where the professor, students, and photographer perform their ineffectual prank is an incredibly awkward exposition moment. And I agree with Colossus Prime about Kathy as one of the MOST irritating characters in any movie; how many times does she whine Paul’s name? Paul himself spends too much time out of breath, shirtless and sweaty, not very interesting despite turning into a hell beast.

    Johnny Longbow and the sheriff have several scenes in and around the Geology Museum in UNM’s Northrup Hall. UNM has lots of interesting architecture, but maybe the filmmakers couldn’t get permission to film any of that.

    I have to rebut the riff about New Mexicans thinking about killing themselves two or three times a week. When the heavy winds last for days on end, we might think about it several times a day.

    Also, Paul’s house is not really in a “fall-out shelter neighborhood.” It’s just Rio Rancho. The confusion is understandable.

    Favorite riffs: “I need a wheat penny and a Glock.”
    “Thinking hurts…ow.”


  • 16
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    Oh, and as to the poster above Mike’s bed…I see that #13, PLLDD, says it’s a Torgo poster. My husband insists it’s a poster of the Outlaw Josie Wales. Which is it? Torgo would make more sense, MST-wise. Still, I’d hate to think my husband confused Clint Eastwood with Torgo!


  • 17
    MikeH says:

    The only thing that really sticks out in my head about the movie was the “California Lady” song and the following host segment. For some reason it reminds me of camping as a kid and this the campside’s fireside “entertainment” Mike’s “biography” of the band was hilarious. Rest of the movie was quite tedious, Kathy being ok looking but quite stupid. Her comment on the stinger “Moon rocks, oh wow!” Her delivery of the line itself, it’s almost like she forgot how to express the line.


  • 18
    WeatherServo9 says:

    BOO! Did I scare you? Isn’t it fun how I just played a mild prank on you? Let’s talk about it at great length while we enjoy some stew.

    So many of the movies from this era of the show (and the actual era of the 1970s/80s) that were shot in color seem so dull and lifeless. Especially compared to something like I Accuse My Parents or Batwoman or any of black and white movies which had real energy and life in them. Both this and Touch of Satan and a few others are just so slow and plodding – I can’t imagine how anyone could make it through them without riffing.

    The band that played California Lady and the band from Hobgoblins and the band from Girl in Gold Boots all must have had the same incompetent manager.


  • 19
    FarmboyinJapan says:

    I absolutely LOVE the way Mike delivers the “Bone how are ya?” line!

    And any episode that references the now infamous “taking a crap on the foot cart” incident is OK in my book….


  • 20
    Tork_110 says:

    I find this episode to be weak but host segment one with Crow getting more and more upset over Mike’s “reaction” is a classic.

    By the way, you’re all a bunch of dummy….heads! Twisted


  • 21
    Dan in WI says:

    One other comment I meant to make. During the stew eating scene I did crack up with the “eating noises” riffs. It reminded me very much of commentary Mike Myers made once about the peeing scene in the first Austin Powers movie. Mike Myers described that joke by explaining the extended length of the peeing was intended to be at first funny. But then as it dragged on it was intended to get a bit uncomfortable. But then as it continued to drag on it was intended to go full circle and become funny again.
    While hungry chomping noises aren’t as uncomfortable to the viewer as peeing, that Mike Myers description poppped into my mind as Mike and the Bots kept running with that joke throughout the scene. I did kind of go through those stages.


  • 22
    AlbuquerqueTurkey says:

    Ah, yes. Track of the Moon Beast – Bill Richardson’s first attempt to bring Hollywood film making to New Mexico.

    Along with Dark Grandma, I too live in Albuquerque, and so this episode has a special place in my heart (a dark, lonely place, perhaps, but still special). There are so many comments I would like to make about this episode:

    1) I have never figured out if Johnny Longbow’s stew recipe is for green chile stew, posole, some local Native American variation of one of these, or some bizarre combination. I just thank God he wasn’t serving menudo, and listing THOSE ingredients: “Chilies …. TRIPE ….”

    2) The local scenery and references are fun. The scenes in the UNM geology labs are fun, as I’ve been there a few times. It seems like they did 1 or 2 location shots on Sandia Peak, but it’s hard to tell. I understand the producers wanted to go the Charles Pierce route, and film a scene at the football game, but then they found out nobody would be there.

    3) Albuquerque Police Officer, with his thumbs always in his pants – pretty typical. (To my APD friends out there, I am just kidding.)

    4) Dark Grandma, was that really Rio Rancho? Oh no – they really did LEAVE THE BRONX!!!

    5) With as many beautiful choices that they could have picked, our intrepid filmmakers picked some of the least enchanting locales to shoot in. What, the dead car lot in the South Valley wasn’t available?

    6) I don’t know if Johnny Longbow’s wild Native American lizard-meteor-coyote-whatever legend has anything at all in common with any local N.A. legends, but it just seems that back in the 70s, filmmakers could make up any goofy legend that fit their movie, and claim it to be some mystical, spiritual, Native American story.

    7) In the Band That Played California Lady scene – the band appears to be playing in a bar, but the main characters appear to be enjoying a concert at Popejoy Hall in comfy auditorium seats. Where were they?

    8) As always, M&TB did a great job with this movie. Thanks, guys!


  • 23
    M "California Graaaaavy, Add Flavor To My Meat" Sipher says:

    Okay, maybe I missed some news-of-the-weird bit, but the riff “Does anyone need a food cart to crap on?” confuses me. Not that it isn’t inherently funny, delivered as such in Tom’s pleasant “girl-voice”, I’m just not sure what exactly the reference is.

    Host segments completely shine in this one. I love it when Pearl unblinkingly calls one of the SOL crew something else as if they were always that, like this episode’s “Snack”. Mike’s utter deadpanning while Crow’s mental state disintegrates further and further is classic, a weak premise made great through simple execution. And of course, Mike’s deep-voiced “Legends of Rock” speech. I think the part of “And then we can kill him!” that makes me laugh the most is Tom’s response. He’s not horrified by the suggestion at all. It’s more like “Look, not now, okay?” Again, the way these guys (and gal) can deliver patently ridiculous lines perfectly amazes.

    As for the movie… oh man oh man. Another “our main protagonist(s) die(s) and/or fails” ending. Between this, Dr. Z and the upcoming Lives By Night (plus the original ending for the second half of Merlin’s Mystical Shop… criminy. (Hamlet doesn’t count. Sorta.)

    The recurring stew bit, though. Classic.


  • 24
    AlbuquerqueTurkey says:

    By the way, I can’t wait for the day when teri-cloth wear comes back into fashion.


  • 25
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    The last really GOOD one until “Diabolik.” I love the laid back atmosphere of the movie… to the point where you actually hear hospital PA announcements while characters are reciting their dialogue. The main actress who played Kathy is hilarious. During that scene where the camera zooms in on her as she’s thinking, she totally does look brain-dead with her glazed expression and her shaky head movements (“Brain has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down”). That just cracks me up, in addition to “What do you think, Bobblehead Baseball Kid?”

    Everything works about this movie; it’s just so quietly incompetent. I will agree that “California Lady” is a cute song, but I don’t mind M&tB making fun of it. And damn, Frank Larrabee sure did look like Robin Gibb.


  • 26
    GizmonicTemp says:

    I did a little remake of the “California Lady” song for iRiffs awhile back if anyone would like a listen.


  • 27
    Yipe Striper says:

    this is one of my favs… but i feel dirty after watching it.

    its almost as if the writers would get to the point in the scene and they wouldn’t know what to do next so Paul would just get dizzy.

    Moon rocks, oh wow!


  • 28
    superticket says:

    To M “California Graaaaavy, Add Flavor To My Meat” Sipher:

    The “crapped on food cart” was a reference to a what a drunk passenger on an airline flight did. It always sticks in my mind because to this day I wonder how angry-drunk you have to be to relieve ones self on a food cart.

    “Now, watch how hard we hid the wall.”


  • 29
    GizmonicTemp says:

    Oh, and let me know what you think of “Californa Lady”. There are certainly other songs in the MST3K series that I’d love to revisit.

    Granted, I’m not a professional, but it’s just so darn fun!


  • 30
    superticket says:

    I mean “Now, watch how hard we hit the wall.”


  • 31
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    I remember watching this movie one Saturday morning on WOR-TV years ago, back in the days when they’d also show Tom Baker episodes of “Doctor Who” back to back.

    I thought the movie wasn’t too bad, actually. And I thought “California Lady” was OK; having lived through the 70’s, I heard much worse folk rock songs, believe me. As for the episode, I thought the riffing was fine, and my favorite bit was the “Legends of Rock” segment. Mike’s voice was just perfect.

    I’m surprised no one mentioned that Rick Baker did the makeup effects for this one; he’s since moved on to better movies.


  • 32
    Jimmy Doorlocks says:

    “Your own… personal… moon rock…”


  • 33
    Son of Bobo says:

    I agree with Colossusprime on post #9, this has got be among the worst acting by an ensemble, with Kathy leading the way.
    Do you think Paul’s mother bought him his shorty pajamas?
    Two consecutives episodes with a charachter that just couldn’t keep his shirt on.
    I love the antiseptic comments after Paul’s weird delivery.
    Fave riff: Crow singing Weekend in New England.


  • 34
    Ator In Flight says:

    “What up bitch!”


  • 35
    Spector says:

    I found this one okay but as with many of the episodes in this season didn’t find it a particularly strong outing, although the host segments in this episode and throughout this season were very good. Like all of you really enjoyed the “California Lady” segment. Still chuckle every time at the mention of “fishlipped guy”. Three out of five for me.


  • 36
    Sampo says:

    M Sipher: The incident in question occurred on a United Airlines flight from Buenos Aires to New York in 1995. According to accounts, Gerald Finneran, who was a successful president of an investment banking company, became intoxicated during the flight. When he was refused any more beverages, he decided to help himself. After being told to stop, he became abusive and threatening to the flight attendants and generally disrputive. Finneran’s grand finale was to defecate on a food cart in the first class section in front of passengers and crew. He used linen napkins as toilet paper, wiped his hands on service counters and service implements, and tracked feces throughout the plane.
    Finneran was arrested when the plane landed in New York. He plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge. He was sentenced to community service, alcohol counseling and 2 years probation, and had to pay more than $50,000 for airplane clean-up costs and ticket costs. Finneran died in 2005.


  • 37
    Brandon says:

    “Thanks for the stereotype music!”

    “She gets up asking ‘what happened’? a lot.”


  • 38
    Fart Bargo says:

    @23 “Does anyone need a food cart to crap on?” confuses me. Not that it isn’t inherently funny, delivered as such in Tom’s pleasant “girl-voice”.” I believe this riff has to do with the airline mentioned just prior to the riff. I recall a story about a passenger who was allegedly drunk and abusive to the flight attendants. He stripped and actually did er, ah, dueced on a food cart. Obviously this happen way before Sept 11.


  • 39
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    I’ve always liked this episode, but it’s become more interesting to me since I moved to Albuquerque. A surprisingly accurate geographical riff: “Get your kicks… on me!” Since they’re headed toward Sandia Crest, I’m almost certain (for what that’s worth, as we found last week) that what we’re seeing then is a stretch of I-40 east of the city, which was indeed part of Route 66 at the time. (Now, of course, someone will tell me Crow is reacting to a big, obvious road sign, or something, that I’ve been missing all this time.)

    An amusingly inaccurate geographical part of the movie: Johnny and others are continually going back and forth from Albuquerque to “the reservation,” as though it were just up the road. Johnny is Navajo, and the Navajo Nation is way up in the corner of the state (and extends into other states).

    Paul is the perfect example of how, in the 1970’s, there was a whole generation of actors who confused “realistic underplaying” with “complete lack of affect.” It still amazes me that the director let the actor get away with it in the “rushing the Halloween season” scene, where the WHOLE POINT of the dialogue is that Johnny et al got a reaction out of him. The actor playing Johnny might have rescued it by playing his lines ironically, but instead it’s like they’re in two different movies. It’s just so bizarre, it’s no wonder it caught the Brains’ fancy enough for them to build a host segment around it.

    Favorite riff: “Your brain is the size of a chickpea.”


  • 40
    Howard says:

    Love this episode! I lived in Albuquerque for a while, too, after this episode came out. It’s true to the region, apart from the geographical inaccuracy mentioned by Steve Pop. They still have the tram/ski-lift and you can still drive the same 2-lane highway up to Sandia Crest. Route 66 is still around in Abq too! The actor who plays Paul also appeared in a movie released by Something Weird Video — can’t remember the title — wherein he plays a gay stud! This might partly explain his lack of “screen chemistry” with his rock-stupid new girlfriend.


  • 41
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    #39: Now, of course, someone will tell me Crow is reacting to a big, obvious road sign, or something, that I’ve been missing all this time.

    ‘Fraid so. It’s obvious when you cut right to the scene. I’d like to give the Brains credit, but it was my first idea for a riff when I saw the road sign as well.

    A friend of mine said that getting to Sandia Crest from Albuquerque is a long trip, and thus added more geographical inaccuracy to the movie. However, Paul actually mentions it being a long way (“so we’ll have to go there naked” adds Crow). Tom’s remark about getting “moon shots at twelve noon” is therefore off the mark; they’re going at mid-day because it’ll take a while to get there. As, apparently, it does, because it’s dark when they look at Albuquerque “before electricity”.


  • 42
    Ang says:

    It’s hard to say definitively but this may be my very favorite episode. It’s certainly one I watch the most and I like all the host segments and riffing is strong throughout.

    #10: I also kind of think of Track of the Moon Beast and It Lives by Night together. They’re both fun eps.

    Fave riffs:

    “Drink me in world, I’m freshly oiled and ready to rock!”

    “Smile Paul’s ass!”

    Johnny Longbone: “I know what you’re thinking” Servo: “I’m boring and my slideshow eats!” (Mike later said this riff still cracks him up.)

    Kathy: “Don’t touch it, let me do that.” Crow: “Words every guy wants to hear”

    “Boinking guards for the losers”

    Most fave riff that I use quite often:

    “How’s that pretending you’re not old going?” Alien

    Several years ago when my dad was working in Albuquerque I went out to visit him (from Texas) and we were driving along looking at the scenery and I ask him what the mountainous looking area was and he said “Sandia Crest”. I busted out laughing and he looked at me like I was crazy and it was a few minutes before I could stop laughing and explain to him that that’s where part of Track of the Moon Beast was filmed. It was a fun trip.


  • 43
    monoceros4 says:

    Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! I doubt whether any MST3K movie has failed any more spectacularly at making us empathize with its hero’s dark night of the soul. The entire last act of the movie is devoted to Paul’s inept suicide attempts, which I think is supposed to make us feel sorry for him, instead of feeling like screaming “Just stop larking about and KILL YOURSELF ALREADY!” at him. Failing to do that he could at least have killed his stupid girlfriend; I love how the bad editing at the end makes it seem like she found Paul and then got herself stuck within about five seconds.

    And I don’t think “California Lady” is that horrible either. Inoffensive, really.


  • 44
    fry1laurie says:

    One riff that my brother and I anticipated when watching this version was the “Help me, Paul.” “Or Spock.” “Star Trek and MST3K, working together for a funnier America.


  • 45
    AJB says:

    Mike’s comments actually contain an error, right at the end. He attributes the line “I’m boring and my slideshow eats” to Crow; it’s Servo who says it.


  • 46
    SAVE FERRIS says:

    “I kind of liked the California Lady song. Much better than you might expect in a movie like this.”


    Couldn’t agree more, “MPSh”……… fact there’s probably only one other MST (in-movie) song I like as much, “Happy Today”, performed by The Kevin Danzig Band (“Thank you……..our hand-hewn wood cd’s are available at the gate…….”) during the “Summerfest” scene toward the beginning of Soultaker (#1001).

    Now if we were talking about “host segment” (i.e., MST “cast”) songs, I don’t know that I’d honestly be able to pick a favorite with those…………just too darn many of ’em !!!!!!!!! Alien



  • 47
    kismetgirl88 says:

    I like the behind the music special of “California Lady”. I miss Behind the Music with drugs, sex and rehab.


  • 48
    mikek says:

    I like Paul’s non-reaction to the prank. It’s accurate, because the prank is, as Crow said, pointless and confusing. Paul’s non-reaction adds some intellect to the character. If he were stupid, he might get scared, or at least surprised.


  • 49
    Son of Bobo says:

    More Film Crew than MST, but RIP Rue McClanahan.


  • 50
    M "What Up, Bitch?" Sipher says:

    Ah, Sampo, danke. I mean, I’d figured it was a Actual Thing That Happened, but… man. 1995? And this episode was in ’99? (taps chin) I don’t really recall nay other “crap on food cart” riffs save the one in Dr. Z only a couple episodes prior, so… I can only assume one of the Brains stumbled on this little news tidbit years after the fact and found it hilarious.

    And… man, I just drove on Route 66 last year as part of a cross-country trip. As I MIGHT do so again next year, I should look into what Moon Beast locales I might be able to see from the road… probably none.


  • 51
    crowschmo says:

    I’ve never seen this one. Shock


  • 52
    Gummo says:

    Simply one of my all-time favorite episodes.

    The movie riffing is hilarious and the bits are, too (a rare combination).

    Mike’s “Behind the Music” segment has to be one of the best, most dead-on parodies ever done on this show. They boiled down every Behind the Music episode to its essence and laid it out in 3 minutes. I can never watch this segment without laughing out loud.

    The same goes for the parody of the “prank” scene in the movie. It wasn’t much of a prank, Paul didn’t panic or crap himself, but they still had to spend the next 4 hours (subjective time) explaining the damn thing. Oy vey. Nobody, but nobody, these days does a blank stare (to hilarious effect) like Mike Nelson. (I like to think of this bit as Mike’s Buster Keaton homage, much as he paid tribute to Oliver Hardy with his mannerisms in the Crow v. Servo dogfight sketch in “Space Mutiny” as he prepares to take his tea.)

    The movie? The movie is awful, of course, another weird little regional cheapie made by god-knows-who for god-knows-why. And if the set of this movie wasn’t awash in cocaine, then I’m Joel Hodgson. There are scenes where the actress playing Kathy — flushed, blotchy & gaunt — looks like she hasn’t eaten or slept in days and that’s BEFORE she starts worrying about Paul.

    And I’m surprised no one’s mentioned the police chief who’s more worried about Paul’s health than the fact that he’s been on a couple of killing sprees. That’s some warmhearted policing there!


  • 53
    JFE says:

    STOP TALKING JOHNNY LONGBOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL I’m sorry but that line cracks me up. Even now when someone is talking on and on I will say that line.


  • 54
    Invasion of the Neptune Man says:

    This is one of my favorites. I think the recreation of the practical joke is great. IMHO one of the best ways they got across how bad some of these movies is when they simply redid a scene from the film without changing it much. The classic example being of course It Stinks from Pod People. Favorite riff- I call it Antiseptic Manor.


  • 55
    continuing legend says:

    34- When I was younger, I watched the HELL out of this episode. I lost the tape, but finally got a fan DVD of it recently. It turns out I remembered just about every line, but I had forgotten “What up bitch!” which made me laugh SO HARD because I didn’t remember it AT ALL.

    The practical joke in the beginning is so great because it’s just so BAD. I have no idea if Paul is supposed to be scared or not. He doesn’t act it, but then Kathy apologizes profusely for like ten minutes.

    I also love “California Lady” and I love that it doesn’t fit in with the movie at all. Was Frank Larrabee friends with the director or something? Why else would he be in the movie? The song has NOTHING to do with the movie. Kathy is from New York. There’s no California ladies anywhere. There’s just like a random folk song interlude and I have no idea why.

    God I love this movie!


  • 56
    Johnny Ryde says:

    I don’t know who made this, but I just stumbled onto it today. It’s an fake ad for Johnny Longbow’s Legendary Stew:


  • 57
    mikek says:

    I love Crow’s reaction when the “California Lady” starts. He first hears the music. Then moves back in surprise and says, “What’s that!” Then we see the concert and Crow says, “Oh no! We’ve stumbled onto an Eagles concert! It’s a nightmare!”


  • 58

    With all the talk about ‘The Band Who Played California Lady’ on this thread, I think we should have a Weekend Discussion about who was the worst band in an MST3K movie. My pick would be a toss-up between the one that sang ‘Idiot Control’ from ‘Pod People’ and the one that sang ‘Fish Kicker’ from ‘Hobgoblins’.


  • 59
    MikeH says:


    I LOOOOOOVVVEEE your version of California Lady

    Should make more metal though!!


  • 60
    ghlbtsk says:

    I am very surprised that, being filmed in New Mexico, they didn’t make a “this is what happens when you leave the Bronx” joke as the station wagon pulls up to Paul’s (mother’s) house.

    Also: “I’m wearing terry cloth, do you need anything absorbed?”

    Even if Frank Larrabee has a sense of humor about himself, I don’t blame him for not wanting anything to do with MST3K. Making fun of someone’s complete lack of acting talent is one thing, but “fish-lipped guy” is just ripping on the guy’s looks and is kind of mean (from his perspective).

    Kathy, on the other hand, HAS to be aware of how awful her performance was. I found it odd that she started mothering him before the end of their first date.


  • 61
    Flying Saucers Over Oz says:

    You’re rushing the Halloween season again, aren’t you?

    Ah, yes. In the 70’s, Native Americans were very ‘in.’ That is, the concept of Native Americans, at least. I think we’re in the Apache Chief field of Native American studies here.

    Y’know what’d be really fun? A movie where Kathy and the weird-accented lady from WEREWOLF –Not the pantsless girl, the other one– get together and talk about their boyfriend troubles.


  • 62
    Spalanzani says:

    A good episode, but upon re-watching it I’m kinda disappointed that what with all the jokes about Johny Longbow, Mike and the bots never made a “Johny Long-Torso” callback. Oh well.

    Favorite riff: “Let’s just go eat!”—Mike, as the sheriff. One of those you kinda have to see to understand, but Mike’s delivery just perfectly matches the sheriff’s expression at that point.

    Runner-up: “Monstrous pigs are attacking!”—Mike, as Paul’s girlfriend shrieks. That really does describe her shrieks perfectly.


  • 63
    JCC says:

    Great episode. I love the parade of goofy looking doctors towards the end of the movie with Crow cracking up saying something like “Where did they find these guys!?”


  • 64
    WhereTheFishLives says:

    Yet another solid episode in the season 10 arsenal. Granted I have not seen this episode in awhile, I have trouble recalling a lot of the jokes that made it a winner in my book. I love the host segment where they mock the ridiculous scene where the main character is supposedly “scared” by the mask. Favorite riff, (that I can recall from memory), “JC Penny hookerwear.”


  • 65
    GizmonicTemp says:

    MikeH #59 – Thanks a bunch! I did the best a guy with a guitar, effect pedal, and Audacoty can do.

    “Calif. Lady” is actually a very cool song, especially if you crank the low frequencies and listen to the VERY fine bass work by “the eskimo”.

    More metal, huh? Hmmm….


  • 66
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    let me throw another kudo on the fire for gizmonic temp’s cover of California Lady. very nicely done sir.


  • 67
    incrediblehorriblemrlimpet says:

    I confess to really liking the California Lady song, lead vocal, harmonies and bass playing from the first giddy-up go.
    Don’t know why I see a bit of resemblance between Frank Larrabee and Julia Roberts’ niece, Emma.
    *While Paul is climbing the hills on the stolen motorcycle, Servo: “There’s a huge bee chasing me!”
    *Kathy flashing back to prior scenes while Paul’s narration of his love of going to Sandia Crest replays in her head. Crow (as a groggy, out-of-it Kathy) after each pause: “Huh?”. “What?”. “Huh?”. “Why?”. “What?”
    *The monotone doctor confirming with Johnny, “…a meteorite you say?”. Johnny lightly nods. Servo (as the doctor): “I SAID, WAS IT A METEORITE?”


  • 68
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    “I forced my skull right through my face and refused to wash my stringy hair!” I love that one.


  • 69
    H says:

    Very enjoyable episode. It’s not in my regular rotation, granted, but I enjoy the movie and host segments.


  • 70
    This Guy says:

    Only one person mentioned my favorite riff: Tom saying “What up, bitch?” for the dumpy scientist when he greets Paul.
    When Kathy asks about Johnny Longbow’s name, Paul (or whoever) says “It translates as ‘warrior’s bow that reaches far to its mark.'” Did he just translate “Longbow” from English into English? (I suppose he might just be giving a more literal translation of the Navajo name, but the first version is funnier.)


  • 71
    RockyJones says:

    Paul! Paul! Paul!….if you ask me, it sounds like a college drinking game just waiting to happen…

    All I know is…Paul and Kathy get my vote for the “screen couple with absolutely NO chemistry whatsoever” award. They almost come across as not even liking each other, but instead, are toughing it out for the sake of just getting the film finished. I guess it might help if they had so much as one single personality between them. They both give performances equal to that of a re-animated cadaver.

    That said, I still get a lot of good laughs from this episode…both the movie and the host segments. 5 stars.


  • 72
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “Then I dressed a pencil as a cop…”


  • 73
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    One of my top ten of all-time.
    I’d like to see this one in the next dvd set. Let’s see…Moonbeast, Riding with Death, High School Bigshot (w/ Out of this World) and Time of the Apes. It would be a great set.

    I had this on in the background this past new years eve while I did other things, and right when I started hearing firecrackers and booms outside, (it had obviously struck midnight), I heard from the living room “And the monster’s red glare!”. I thought it so cool that I named 2010 ‘the year of the moonbeast’.
    I have the screenshot shown here stuck on the wall calendar right above my computer.

    Great riffing, great 70’s bad movie, great host segments. Just everything I could want in an episode.
    Too many great riffs to pick just one.
    I’d have a hard time even narrowing down to a ‘top 100 riffs’ list.

    “I hope she says “Paul help me” again real soon.”

    “My Face Grease!”


  • 74
    Pixiesnix says:

    It’s been noted by others, but Johnny Longbone’s amazing colossal pomposity makes this episode. He’s a shining example of an actor who thinks he’s better than the movie he’s in. He’s not. But to his credit, he’s head and shoulders above Kathy.

    The Legends of Rock segment is one of my all-time favorites. They nailed the alcoholism, drug abuse, womanizing and out-of-control gambling that makes bands like The Band That Played California Lady so very tragic and that shows like that loooove to rehash. I notice they included the “but things are getting better for them now, really!” thing those shows always have at the end.

    I will say that California Lady is not a bad song, by 70’s folk standards. I can easily imagine it being played on one of those “70’s classic rock” stations, right after “One Toke Over the Line” or “Sister Golden Hair.”

    Now, about Kathy…that she’s no actress is abundantly clear. But really, to me, (and this is completely subhjective) she looks…well, haggard. Like she’s a worn-out groupie and this movie is a way to make money to feed her increasing coke habit.

    Favorite riffs:

    Right after the opening downbeat of the song, “Shelly Duvall!” The timing on that was perfect.

    “It’s that used tissue I just threw away! Hey, hi, tissue!”

    “Man, watching you transform is like watching paint dry!”

    “I’d almost unhook my thumbs for her.”


  • 75
    Pixiesnix says:

    @GizmonicTemp Very well-done! Has a sort of mid-90’s feel to it, which I like.


  • 76
    JustinT says:

    I’ve seen this one twice in the last 3 months and it’s quickly become a favorite of mine.
    An excellent episode.

    The Riffing started out strong and finished strong, with only a few spots in the middle where I wasnt laughing. The riffs off Johnny Longbow were fantastic, especially over his stew. Serveral riffs had me laughing out loud.

    Good host segments too, the opening stuff was great, loved them making fun of the band that sang California Girl with Mke talking about what happened to them in voice over. The stuff with Bobo being experimented on was fun stuff. Also liked Servo accidently shooting the little sattalite and the mommy arriving to get it.

    Favorite Riffs:
    “JC Penney Hooker Wear; For the casual hooker at work, rest, or play.” – Crow
    “Wow! He’s transforming into the exact same person” – Mike
    “I’m ready to fight Captain Kirk.” – Mike
    “If I’m going to die, I’m going to die looking like a man.” – “In my feety pajamas.” – Paul/Crow
    “I need a wheat penny and a glock.” – Crow as Paul
    “Paul is not Paul any more!” – “He’s Super Paul!” – Longbow/Crow


  • 77
    Mighty Jack says:

    This is part of season 10s big 3 (with Boggy Creek & Gold Boots) and the last great episode MST would ever do (IMHO). This was one of those that snuck up on me. I liked it just fine when it first aired, but it seems to get stronger and more consistantly hilarious every time I put it on.

    Crow’s line “The arrow caused him to frug” – made this old man howl with laughter. Super Paul really did look like he was doing that dance move, LOL


  • 78
    KJB says:

    Nice to see others who feel that “California Lady” isn’t a bad song. It’s no classic, but I wouldn’t change the station if it came on. The Band Who Sang “California Lady” has to be up there alongside the bands from Horror From Party Beach and The Girl In Gold Boots in pantheon of MSTed music that doesn’t totally suck.

    “The original Smashing Pumpkins!”


  • 79
    losingmydignity says:

    This is a solid one, but it wasn’t always that way. File this one under: really improved for me with repeated viewings. Doesn’t happen often, but does. There are some slow parts but strong riffing overall. I particularly like the scene where the couple get killed (the drunk guy who comes home), don’t think that’s been mentioned yet.

    I was in New Mexico a couple months back. Just wanted to say that. Yep. That’s all. You can all go on with your lives now.

    Great host segs for Sci-Fi year…it occurred to me as I was watching a Joel ep the other night that a lot of my fav host segs are not just when they play with some aspect of the film, but actually use an image from the film or incorporate a short scene. A great example of this would be when the last one for Godzilla vs Megalon and they supply their own subtitles. They do this kind of thing for California Lady and I like it very much.

    Btw, a good song? I think not. “My voice is getting too damn froggy?” Yeesh. Though, for the record, it’s still better than most songs by the not very original Smashing Pumpkins.



  • 80
    Thunder Dan says:

    This was the first episode I ever watched, and is still by far my favorite. However, probably my favorite part is the giant glaring mistake I noticed during maybe my tenth viewing.

    After the scrawny drunken bowler and his wife die, we cut to the scene of the sheriff telling Longbow about the killings. Now, the guy is definitely on the stretcher, dead, but if you look at the other stretcher, it is obviously just a pillow under a blanket. Now, I wouldn’t think anything of this unless the sheriff hadn’t motioned TO THE PILLOW ON THE STRETCHER as “the woman died of a weak heart.” So, either they only decided to pay the woman for one day’s worth of shooting, or he’s just the most unobservant sheriff of all time.

    Either seem plausible.

    On another note, the place where the scrawny drunken bowler scene starts (“thing, get down from…oh”) is the same location as where the guys playing cards in the tent are killed.

    Man, I’ve seen this episode way too many times. A solid five-star from me.

    Here’s what isn’t great quality of the pillowstretcher (TM), but gets the job done. Around the 5:30 mark is where to start.


  • 81
    Warren says:

    Solid 4-star episode for me. Watchable enough with plenty of good riffing-“I am the Jim Morrison king!”. I can’t think of moonrocks the way I used to. Now I hear the word ‘moonrock’ and laugh. Don’t forget to take your 4×4 down to the Track of the Moon Beast.


  • 82
    WhereTheFishLives says:

    @Gizmonic Temp, excellent rendition of “California Lady.” The song always caught my ear, despite the fish lipped lead singer and eskimo guy on visuals. Well done! Grin


  • 83
    MiqelDotCom says:

    Wow, what a film, lots of bad performances in this one, very few likable characters and lots of weird line deliveries. The sherrif is way too touchy-feeley in his first scene with Longbow, I assume the director was trying to show they were good friends, but it starts to get sorta creepy!

    Worst line delivery? Many to pick from, but my fave is;
    “I’ve got all kinds of antiseptic in my medicine cabinet at my at my place”
    Mike “I call it ‘antiseptic manor'”

    Paul and Kathy are the most wooden romantic couple of any MSTiied film I can think of, no chemistry and just generally awkward. Others have noted she looks a bit haggard like she’s been up on a 3-day coke bender. I totally saw the same thing, flushed cheeks, glassy eyes, red nose, etc … she should have tried some of Longbow’s Peyote instead!
    And Paul … zero emotion, zero acting but more than enough standing around shirtless or being sick and sweaty.

    1st host segment with Mike eating peas and the ineffectual practical joke is one of my top faves from the sci-fi years! great example of how awesomely funny Bill’s Crow can be! The other host segments in this ep are pretty good too!

    Right on GizmonicTemp! Good job on your cover & I also noticed the excellent bass from the Eskimo dude. The song is annoyingly catchy but the jammin bassline makes it more tolerable. (I play flute and have been picking out a bit of what he’s playing.)

    4.98 Stars!


  • 84
    MiqelDotCom says:

    Oh, and my theory about the famous Johnny Longbow stew recipe scene –
    It feels like maybe they have done a LOT of takes of this scene, or it had been a tiresome day and he pauses for an exasperated sigh when he gets to onions, not thinking this would be the actual take they used.
    But probably the editor or director didn’t have ANY good takes from the actors on this scene or any others, so they had to go with the ‘least bad’ ones for the majority of the film.


  • 85
    Truck Farmer says:

    I would file this under “good, but not great” episode. It’s an enjoyable episode but not necessarily one of my favorites. I give it 3 1/2 stars.

    My favorite riff:

    Kathy: Why do you call him Johnny Longbow?
    Paul: That’s his Indian name, his tribal name.
    Mike . . like Wahoo McDaniels


  • 86
    ck says:

    #77 “This is part of season 10s big 3 (with Boggy Creek & Gold Boots) and the last great episode MST would ever do (IMHO).”
    What! With those nice young ladies from Spider Island coming up,
    and the RETURN OF JOE DON BAKER Shock
    Although I’ll concede that the latter is not a favorite with Maltese men.


  • 87
    GizmonicTemp says:

    #66 #82 #83 – Thanks for the kind words!

    #75 – Nice catch! I actually DID listen to “August and Everything After” before I arranged this. (One of the BEST albums EVER!!)


  • 88
    thecorman says:

    One of my favorite episodes, the riffing and the host segments are top notch in my book.
    I normally don’t take issue with what most people write on this board, but I believe that all the people who say “California Lady” isn’t “too bad” may need deep, prolonged, musical therapy…
    Also, I love Longbone’s scientific leap when explaining how the Moon could cause a human to lizard metamorphosis: “Look at what it does to the tides”

    Good science Johnny!


  • 89
    Smoothie of Great Power says:

    Definitely my favorite episode from Season 10 because I was born in New Mexico and, yes, the view from the top of Sandia Crest is quite nice.

    Favorite Riffs:
    “Wow, he’s transforming into the exact same person!” and “I’m ready to fight Captain Kirk!” – Mike
    “Your brain is the size of a chickpea.” – Crow (plus Mike’s follow-up of “We also found some stray Q-tips.”)
    “Drink me in, world; I’m freshly oiled and ready to rock!” – Servo


  • 90
    Michael D. says:

    I found a letter from Donna Leigh Drake (Kathy) written about 3 years ago in which she talks a little about Track of the Moon Beast and the MST3K version. Scroll about 2/3 down the page:

    Maybe Shout! can interview her for the inevitable DVD release. It’s a public domain film and a great episode, so hopefully it’s on Volume XIX.


  • 91
    Rich says:

    Ang mentioned a quote- “Kathy: ‘Don’t touch it, let me do that. Crow: ‘Words every guy wants to hear’.” Remarkably racy for MST-3K, I always thought. BTW, we got the Johnsonville Brats commercials here, too (Ohio): “JOHNSONVILLE Braaaats!!”.


  • 92
    Colossus Prime says:

    #90 – Good find.

    An interesting read but she just doesn’t seem to grasp how truely bad she was. She says this very early in the letter, “however, when I received the script, it became apparent that it was almost impossible to give those wooden words some life!” Badly written dialogue is not a reason for bad acting. Though yes, that is where the director should have stepped in and pointed out how bad she and everyone else was acting.

    Glad to know she’s moved on and is very happy though.


  • 93
    mikek says:

    That was a good find. So she is a country singer now, and check out the name of her band, “I front a band called Sugar Magnolia.”

    As MSTies, we should be familiar with that name. It was the one Tom Servo chose for himself when Joel asked the question to the ‘bots what kind name they would give themselves.

    Aside from Hayden Christiansen, the Star Wars prequels are proof that good actors can’t save a movie with wooden dialogue.


  • 94
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    mikek (#93): “Aside from Hayden Christiansen, the Star Wars prequels are proof that good actors can’t save a movie with wooden dialogue.”

    And a bad director. They have that in common, too.

    Yes, that host seg popped to mind the moment I read “Sugar Magnolia” in her letter. Maybe when she’s performing, she should change her name to Vivian Vance.


  • 95
    thedumpster says:

    Great movie and riffing. Shout factory should release this if they can.


  • 96
    Garth Arizona says:

    Hilarious 4 star episode for me. Top 20 all-time. I watched it again last night and it was better than I remembered. I love Johnny Long(Bone)bow. He acts so self-important and pompous throughout the movie. He’s one of the most memorable side characters in any MSTied film. Paul has all the acting chops of a wooden cigar store indian. Kathy may be the worst actress in MSTory. I LOVE the numerous racy/naughty jokes in this one centered around Kathy and Johnny’s Long-Bone. Not enough of that in other MSTied films for my taste. To each his own, I guess. Of course, The Band That Played California Lady sketch is a classic.

    Nice to see a southwestern movie MSTied. I grew up in Nortern Arizona not too far from the Navajo Rez, which crosses the New Mexico border near where Moon Beast is set.

    An aside: This is one of my top twenty episodes of all time and I only give it 4 stars. The overall rating here is like 4.51. It seems like every movie rated on this board in between 4.00 and 4.50+. Really? I LOVE MST3K and I’ve got a lot of them rated at 2.00, 2.50, 3.00, 3.50 stars. There has to be some kind of difference in gradation levels, right? every episode can’t be a 4.00 or 5.00 star episode. I rate only about 4-5 episodes at 5.00 stars. 5 stars means I’m basically LOL throughout. If you give every episode 4 or 5 stars, it really doesn’t mean anything.


  • 97
    GizmonicTemp says:

    Garth Arizona #96 – People who like a certain episode are more likely to vote that they like it. People who don’t like an episode tend to simply stay way and/or not take the time to vote. A show that gets one 5-star vote is not better than a show that gets 100 votes that average out to 4.99. When I did the Mstie Community rankings for my website, I had similar problems. If two people liked a show second-best, is that better than one person who ranked it their favorite? I eventually settled on “merged rankings” (ranked # of votes list + ranked average score list = final list).
    Statistics suck.


  • 98
    Not Merritt Stone says:

    So does Longbone always keep a fresh supply of corn cobs in his station wagon in case of impromptu arrow trick demonstrations?


  • 99
    Garth Arizona says:

    Everything’s subjective with ratings of course, and it all averages out. Some episodes given rave reviews on fan sites are NOT FUNNY episodes IMO, and vice versa. That’s one of the great things about MST3K-every episode is loved by some fan.


  • 100
    Garth Arizona says:

    I would have loved seeing Dr. Johnny Long(Bone)bow in something else. Maybe a cheap “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” knock-off where the pompous, windbag, anthropolgy professor chases mythical native american and mexican monsters around the southwest (chupacabra, etc.). Every episode of the extremely short-lived series would have featured Johnny’s expert archery and interludes with Johnny reciting the ingredients of his authentic native american dishes. That would be hilarious and make for amazing riff fodder.

    Alas, it was never meant to be. The actor, Gregorio Sala, was never in anything else according to IMBD.


  • 101
    Mighty Jack says:

    #86 – Sorry CK, but I don’t care for Spider Isle and the Joe Don ep clocks in at the ‘okay’ range for me. As I said, this is just my humble opinion – and opinions (humble or otherwise) are all any of us can offer Wink


  • 102
    Pixiesnix says:

    @GizmonicTemp I thought so! It reminded me of my college days, listening to the radio and studying.

    @thecorman Just goes to show that tastes vary. All part of the lovely salad that is teh internets.

    I’d forgotten about the Wahoo McDaniel joke. That one had me rolling.


  • 103
    Sitting Duck says:

    If you really want to see how tastes vary, wait a few weeks for when we do Hamlet.


  • 104
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    4 stars (could be a 5 if the print looked better or the movie itself had any compelling scenes). First time I saw this I found it pleasant enough. But in the time since then I’ve found on many online MST forums/review sites that it is considered a classic by some hardcore fans; after a couple more viewings I have come to agree. Even the host segments sing (and I’m generally unimpressed by Season 10 skits).

    As usual for me, the presence of a cute female in sexy clothes (“J.C. Penney hooker-wear”) increases my enjoyment of a movie, but it’s funny that she and the male lead are so bland. Truly Johnny Longbone gives the most charismatic performance in this sleeper of a film. Also strange how this movie ties in thematically with other Sci-Fi era episodes like Werewolf, Dr. Z, and the upcoming Bat People/It Lives By Night.


  • 105
    Cornjob says:

    “Also strange how this movie ties in thematically with other Sci-Fi era episodes like Werewolf, Dr. Z, and the upcoming Bat People/It Lives By Night.”

    Right on, of the 3 season 10 quasi-lycanthrope films, this is my favorite. Like Pumaman this movie gives us a sidekick/mentor who is really the hero. Longbow is far more competant, involved, and more interesting to watch than Paul, who does little more than be shirtless, get hit by a rock, and fail to kill himself for the whole 3rd act. here we also have one of the many Sci-fi era Paul monsters. Did anyone ever tally them?


  • 106
    pat f says:

    I have only one things to say about this movie:

    Fitzhugh Emerson III, of the MOONBEAST Emersons.


  • 107
    Scott says:

    Favorite riff: ” Smile Paul’s ass”.


  • 108
    Richard the Lion Footed says:

    This is one of the best episodes of season 10.
    The movie is your typical indie film of the 70s and 80s.
    Films that got played latenight when there were independent T.V. stations around.

    I really liked the song, “California Lady,” but then I like the soft rock of the 70s. Given what DID make the charts then, I am surprised this one did not not.

    Fav riff: “J.C. Penny line of Hookerwear.”


  • 109
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    It was me running the slides.
    Now I’m over here!


  • 110

    you can avoid kidney stones by drinking lots of liquid.*-‘


  • 111
    Sadie says:

    5/5. One of the funniest episodes of the last three seasons (and one of the funniest, period, in my opinion). The acting was mind-numbingly awful, especially from Paul and Kathy, Johnny “Longbone”‘s suggestive name and strangely pompous demeanor were a comedy goldmine, and the interactions between Johnny and the sheriff were classic. Mike and the ‘bots were at their best in this episode.


  • 112

    Kidney Stone is a deadly disease specially if it has not been checked regularly..”`


  • 113
    Yipe Striper says:

    need more fish-lipped guy.


  • 114
    robot rump! says:

    has there been a weekend topic covering ‘riffs that made you want to slap them?’
    the riff “..and i’ve been a square kid” responding to Rowsdaower’s statement ‘I’ve been around, kid.” is one i grit my teeth through.


  • 115
    Dan in WI says:

    That bloomed onion looks good on Tom Servo. What will they think of next?

    California Lady: A lot of people seemed to like this band and song. I guess they are good if you happen to like folk rock. It doesn’t really float my boat. The bands I like best in MiSTie movies were the handful of beach party bands even though they isn’t my favorite genre. They at least had energy and enthusiasm.

    So yeah, perhaps Behind the Music was a bit formulaic. Though I’ll admit I enjoyed watching that show whenever the subject was a band I liked. My question: What was with Mike’s country drawl when he did the narration for this sketch?

    The spying on Mike sketch was a good one. But why are the bots so interested in what kind of underwear he wears? And since when was there enough time for a nap between movie segments? Oh. It’s just a show? I should really just relax?

    Favorite Riffs:
    Old hag yells at person knocking at door while chaining it shut “Go to hell.” Tom “No that would mean letting him in the house.”

    Cop to Johnny Longbow “I would agree with you except for one thing.” Tom “You’re wrong.”


  • 116
    revlillo says:

    Possible weekend discussion topic…

    While watching this episode this week with all of its references to Albuquerque, I couldn’t help but think of the Breaking Bad riffs they would have made if they had done the episode today. (I know from the Cinematic Titanic performance in Milwaukee last year that they were all huge Breaking Bad fans.) It got me wondering if there are any other obvious riffs they would make in certain episodes if they were doing the episode now rahter than 20 years ago.

    One other recent example — In Werewolf, the grizzold survivalist is a dead ringer for the grandfather in Duck Dynasty. I’m sure that would have inspired a few jokes.

    What do you think, sirs? Laugh


  • 117
    Bruce Boxliker says:

    I got hit by a moon rock once. Every full moon, I turn into the exact same person. It’s a disturbing experience.

    My favorite episode of season 10, and in my top 10 of all time! The riffing is just 100% fantastic! Johny Longbone’s acting style makes this whole movie. He’s in the range of over-the-top acting I call super drama.
    And what’s with all the Pauls in these movies? We’ve had several Pauls that turn into some sort of monster, often with an woman repeating his name over & over… Projected Man, Werewolf… Moonbeast….

    Anyway, time to rush the Halloween season!


  • 118
    snowdog says:

    @115 – I think Mike was channeling this guy from VH1 Legends:
    I also love how the kept using the same short piece of footage over and over just like those shows, trying to disguise it by slowing it down or flipping it.

    One of my favorite latter days eps, as much for the host segs as the movie. The riff about throwing up corn… chicken… onions… still makes me laugh hard. The movie starts to drag a bit toward the end, but the riffing is top notch throughout.

    Tomorrow is Friday, so I plan to drink more than I can stand in honor of this viewing.


  • 119
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    I have to give this movie bonus points as I grew up near Albuquerque and visited there many times in the ’70s. I would call it good but not great overall, loved the peek into Mike’s room.


  • 120
    ck says:

    #115 Not sure about Crow but Tom has quite an underwear collection,
    which you get to see in the This Island Earth movie(good thing
    there isn’t smellavision yet).


  • 121
    maclen says:

    For anyone who is not aware yet, someone posted a “studio recording” of California Lady by Frank Larrabie.

    The sound quality isnt great, but it does give for a different vibe on the song. This is one of my favorite episodes. Like the “johhny longbone” bit and the riffs on the dresses Kathy wears. “won’t you shorten your dress for me”…”she’s wear as cherry cloth onesie.”


  • 122
    Shrike says:



  • 123
    Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    One of the dumbest, most awkward movies they’ve ever done.

    I’ll explain the joke more at lunch.
    Don’t take my face grease!
    I hope she says “Paul, help me!” again real soon.
    Professor of Stew
    Her dress started out as a baby blanket but then she added a bra to it
    It’s that tissue I just threw! HI TISSUE!!!
    What th- they’re going for night shots at twelve noon!
    Drink me in, world. I’m freshly oiled and ready to rock!
    Your brain is the size of a chickpea
    Longbone goes into his windup!
    Oooh I’m sick, I can’t do the dangerous trick anymore!
    I’d unhook my thumbs for her…
    Wow, all this AND he lives with his mother!?
    Aww, she’s sleeping so pinkfully…
    Watching you turn into a moon beast was like watching paint dry…
    They’re both so furtive and uncomfortable, it must be love!
    *shoots arrow* Got her!
    It’s cozy… snuggling here… watching your boyfriend die…


  • 124
    Gare.Chicago says:

    As I’m sure some of you already know, the lovely woman who played Kathy wrote a response to a review on the old ColdFusion site (currently down, according to the link I’m including below, due to some sort of catastrophic event). Here’s a link to a post on the MST3k Discussion forums, as well as the text of the pertinent post:
    I found this letter in response to a Track of the Moonbeast review on a different site. I thought it was kinda cool. Always nice to see that some actors “get” MST3K and even bad movies can be profitable!

    date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007
    name: Donna Leigh Scott (Drake)
    subject: Track of the Moonbeast

    Well Nathan, I agree with you, this is a pretty awful movie and even though I “starred” in it, I was pretty bad…however, when I received the script, it became apparent that it was almost impossible to give those wooden words some life! And it was the director’s first gig. We all thought the movie would never be edited and put out there (whew!) when much to my surprise, folks started recognizing me from it around the country. When I first saw it, I sat there and cried. My husband, a wonderful actor named Tim Scott (Lonesome Dove, Fried Green Tomatos, Butch Cassidy, inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame for Ned Blessing, died in 1995) pointed out to me how funny it was and sure enough, it was picked up on his favorite show, Mystery Theatre with those little robots really dishing me…Did I mention I earned enough money to buy a house from that one movie that is now worth 7 figures? That dreadful movie, but still playing at 4 a.m. someplace, is 30 years old and I have reinvented myself as a singer and am a member of the Academy of Country Music.


  • 125
    JJ Johanson says:


    Some of us have a weakness for puns, I guess…I LIKE “I’ve been a square kid”, just as I really enjoy:
    “Johnny, you’re an anthropologist; I thought you’d–”

    I like to think that the writer of the “anthropologize” joke was also the one who wrote:
    “Even George S. Kaufman won a prize!” for the Junior Rodeo Daredevils short.


  • 126

    This is another good one. The movie plods along mostly, filling the gaps between the monster action with long stretches of dialogue scenes and stew recipes. Mike and the Bots do a great job of keeping the riffing lively and the movie watchable. Johnny Longbone, Paul (another hero named Paul?!??), and Kathy make for a memorable movie trio, even if they are particularly bland. “Moon rocks? Ohwow!”

    This episode also has some quality Host Segments. The lame joke in HS#1 is, well lame, but Crow takes his apology BIG, which saves the scene (and yeah, one of Servo’s arms is wrapped around Gypsy, but she has an arm wrapped around Servo too. Huh??). HS#2 is classic and cements The Band the Played California Lady as one of the better musical acts featured on MST (not THE best, mind you, but I have to say that it is an okay song). I was watching a lot of bad cable shows back then, VH1’s Behind the Music was a “fave” so this segment was an instant favorite for me. HS#3 is the weakest of the three, as there isn’t much payoff. Also, am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that the Bots want Mike to take off his robe? Creepy! Shock

    Oh, and the onion blossoming of Servo’s head looks delicious.

    And hey, good job GizmonicTemp (#26) with that quality cover of California Lady.


    after the two assistant to the producer credits,
    Crow: “Man, the producer got the hell assisted out of him.”

    Crow: “I just want some peyote.”

    big thunderclap,

    Servo: “She gets off the ground saying ‘what happened’ a lot!”

    initial reaction to fish-lipped guy,
    Mike: “Shelley Duvall!”

    Crow: “The original Smashing Pumpkins.”

    Servo: “I picked at it!”

    Mike: “Guys are lining up to take her home.”

    Mike: “He’s transforming into the exact same person.”

    Mike: “I’m fine, I know what I’m doing!”

    I didn’t think it was possible, but Track of the Moon Beast may actually have a WORSE transformation scene than the one featured in Werewolf. However, the monster in Moon Beast looks better than the sorry excuses for warwilfs in Werewolf. I have no idea who would win in a fight between the Pauls though. That’s a tough one…

    Track of the Moon Beast? Ohwow!

    I give it 4 out of 5 stew ingredients, such as chicken…corn…green peppers…chilies………onions . . .


  • 127
    Jason says:

    I adore this episode, and considering it’s (supposedly) public domain I’m always disappointed when a set gets announced that does not include it. A weird complaint now that we live in a reality where The Pumaman, Gamera and the Universal episodes get official releases. Perhaps it’s not the low-hanging fruit I’m assuming it is?


  • 128
    AmazingRando says:

    I agree with #118, that Mike was doing the VH1 Legends guy, although the style of the mockumentary reminded me more of the more popular Behind the Music of the time. I think Kris Kristofferson was the VH1 Legends narrator.

    The Johnny Longbow stew recipe is one of a handful of timeless movie clips that continue to inspire jokes and laughs after the show itself ended. I was happy to see it referenced in a RiffTrax short (or maybe it was a movie?). They throw a few bones to the fans during live shows, I notice, but it seems rare when they reference them in the website shorts and VODs.

    I really like this movie, at least the riffed version. Like someone else confessed, I have a soft spot for ’70s schlock. Southwestern scenery and mellow folk rock also charm. I’m not well.


  • 129
    goalieboy82 says:

    the movie is on amazon instant video by the way.


  • 130
    Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    I’ll never understand how Mike keeps such a straight face for segment 1, especially during Crow’s apology. Maybe the pea pods were bitter.


  • 131
    littleaimishboy says:

    Hey #124, Thank You for typing out that whole paragraph,
    Hey “Kathy”! Thank You for being totally cool!


  • 132
    JC says:

    “Harris was killed by some kind of thing that…” “…killed him.”

    Haha. I thought it would be funny to quote that riff for you all. It’s just that I was screwing around on my computer here, and then I saw that you were talking about Track of the Moon Beast, and then since I already knew the riff, well… posting the riff was my idea. Then when I saw that I got such a huge reaction out of you guys, well, it was just really unexpected. Kind of like the bird calls I do: HA-ROO! HA-ROO! Haha. Look, I promise I won’t use the shot. I mean, I know you were just talking about Track of the Moon Beast here, and it WAS my idea to post that riff, but… God, I just didn’t expect such a HUGE REACTION!! Anyway. I’ll explain the riff more at lunch.


  • 133
    Larry P. says:

    I’ve always LOVED this episode. Great riffing, and some of my favorite host segments of the latter-half of the Sci-Fi era. The movie is bad, of course, and reeks of 1970’s-ness, but in a good way, IMO; it leaves me gloriously entertained for all the wrong reasons, like The Giant Spider Invasion, as opposed to, say, The Incredible Melting Man, which just leaves me depressed. Speaking of the big ol’ spiders, this ep reminds me of the second half of season eight, when the show was really firing on all cylinders. It’s not just the movie, either; I find this one of the most consistently enjoyable eps since that eighth season ended.

    “I was so hot last night” “So I killed a tent full of old guys.”

    Also, with all due respect to Final Justice and Squirm (as well as the series finale, which is good but really all about the host segments), I feel this is the last truly great episode of the series. Everything about it just just clicks. Maybe that’s just me, though. It’s certainly the season ten episode I revisit most.


  • 134
    Feyd Rautha says:

    I always like it when the movie makes MorJ&TB laugh. In this one, the subtle jump-cut where the police officer and Johnny Longbow walk in the back of the house where the drunk was killed shows one of them abruptly saying “whatever” as the scene begins. You can hear stifled laughter in the theater which was probably genuine, and the scene makes me laugh too. So, it’s a bit like you’re sharing the laugh with them, which sort of makes you part of it too.

    Or maybe I’m just overthinking it.


  • 135
    Geoff says:

    “I forced my skull right through my face and refused to wash my stringy hair!” That’s all that needs to be said here.


  • 136
    Sitting Duck says:

    Watch-out-for-Snakes #126: I have no idea who would win in a fight between the Pauls though. That’s a tough one…

    It would probably be a battle of epic ineptitude, with both constantly stumbling and whiffing their blows.


  • 137
    Eric Fell says:

    Fun fact: Screenwriter Bill Finger is the uncredited co-creator of Batman! He also co-created The Penguin, The Green Lantern, Calendar Man… onions…


  • 138
    Depressing Aunt says:

    #124 Thanks for this! What a cool actress!

    I wouldn’t want anyone to assume my late-ish post means I’m not into this episode. (I’ve just been sick the past few days from eating too much of Johnny’s stew. *sigh*….onions….) Because I really really like it.

    And Crow’s rushing the Halloween season is one of my favorite performance from Bill’s Crow. I love his manic meltdowns. (Just today, I was watching the Rifftrax short “Eggs to Market” and broke up over Bill’s performance as a freaked-out chicken: “I gotta go peck something!”) Mike being stone-cold bored by the routine was great, too.


  • 139
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    Wow, Gare, that letter from Donna leigh Drake is awesome! Thanks for finding that.

    This episode is CLASSIC in my mind. I never fail to laugh and I’ve watched hundreds of times.

    A couple years ago I had it on New Years eve and just as the clock struck midnite, the riff “And the monsters red glare” was said, just as all the peoples home celebration firecrackers were going off all around my neighborhood. I called it ‘the year of the moonbeast’ because of that.

    Now I play it every new years eve along with other episodes in my own little marathon.

    Shout really needs to release this one (along with ‘Riding with Death’) as soon as possible.


  • 140
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    Depressing Aunt #138 – I love Bill in that short ‘Eggs To Market’ when he sees the sign that says ‘Cackle Fresh Eggs’ and proceeds to cackle “fresh eggs! heh heh heh, fresh eggs!”. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.


  • 141
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    By the way, there is a fantastic call-back to ‘Track of the Moon Beast’ in the Rifftrax short ‘Nutrition’. It’s worth it just for that, but it also has a great call-back to ‘Buying Food’s Henry Slinkman. Plus I can never get Kevin’s ‘fat guys in the park’ song out of my head whenever I watch ‘Nutrition’.


  • 142
    Cornjob says:

    Another fantastic episode. See #105 for my previous comments. A huge shout out to the Kathy actress for being a good sport. I’m glad she got to cry all the way to bank. So many great riffs. The whole stew thing. “Soon I’ll be throwing up onions… corn… chicken…” I thought Johnny Longbow (bone) was a great character. Smart, educated, compassionate, slow to take action but decisive when need be. He was a far more interesting character than old no shirt.

    I can’t help wonder why the meteor fragment didn’t blast a hole through Paul’s head at the least considering the heat and velocity associated with rocks plummeting through the atmosphere. The orientation of the film seemed to straddling Sci-Fi and supernatural horror. The moon rock in the head part is more sci-fi, while the transformation by night seemed more along the lines of traditional lycanthropy albeit with a lizard twist.

    I’m getting married in a week, so if you don’t see me posting for a while it’s for a good reason. Soon there will be a Mrs. Cornjob. May you all be as happy as I am.


  • 143
    Manos Bride says:

    Congratulations, Cornjob!


  • 144
    pondoscp says:

    Another fine episode from Season 10. My favorite part is probably when taking a picture of the moon rocks causes a little laser beam to hit Paul in the face. So random and silly.


  • 145
    Cornjob says:

    “Smile Paul’s ass.”


  • 146
    Sitting Duck says:

    @ #142: But are you ready for marriage? Or will the wedding end up like the one in Racket Girls?


  • 147
    MSTie says:

    Hats off to the actress who played Kathy for having a sense of humor about the whole thing, and also for parlaying her salary from this turkey into a good investment.

    A solid 4 stars from me. Fave riff was the “Fame…. fame…. fame…. fame….” Davie Bowie song one.


  • 148
    Cornjob says:


    Thank you for your concern, but I think we’re ready. We’ve known each other for more than 20 years, I think we have enough in common to keep the rubber band from breaking, and we both worship Cthulhu. Plus I showed her the MST shorts pertaining to marriage.