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Episode Guide: 421- Monster A-Go-Go (with short: ‘Circus On Ice’)

Short: (1954) A look at the 40th annual carnival of the Toronto Skating Club.
Movie: (1965) Authorities launch a search for an irradiated astronaut they believe has returned to Earth as a giant mutant.

First shown: 1/9/93
Opening: The bots have opened a micro-cheesery.
Invention exchange: After making a wager on an action figure invention exchange, the Mads present Johnny Longtorso, and the bots present three non-violent action figures
Host segment 1: Gypsy “doesn’t get” Crow (or is it Tom?)
Host segment 2: Joel and Servo play keep-away from Crow
Host segment 3: Examining “The Pina Colada Song”
End: Joel knights Happy King Servo and Sir Giggles von Laffsalot Crow
Stinger: Monster on the go-go
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (225 votes, average: 4.55 out of 5)


• This is a deservedly famous episode featuring a deservedly infamous short and movie. There’s plenty for them to work with here and they knock it out of the park. The riffing is top-notch, the segments are all terrific, just a really strong episode — if you can take the movie.
• How could such a horrible movie have happened? As Daddy-O tells us: Bill Rebane made some of the movie, but had run out of money before it was completed. Meanwhile Herschell Gordon Lewis was looking for a co-feature with his recently completed movie “Moonshine Mountain,” and he needed it quickly. So he bought Rebane’s unfinished film, added some new scenes, and presto … a movie with no continuity and no sense!
• The invention exchange reminded me of the wonderful movie “Local Hero.” How come you never see that playing on any of the movie channels? Gotta rent that.
• A hook falls off the peg board with a loud clang during the Mads’ invention exchange. They keep going. And there’s also a lovely crunch as Dr. F. steps toward the camera, right onto the blister packs on the floor.
• You can see Frank ALMOST crack up while singing the Johnny Longtorso theme song, as he actually does on the poopie reel.
• Frank does a nice little bit with the pitchpipe: he blows into several random pipes, making the whole thing pointless.
• Trace is hilarious as he introduces the movie, giving us Dr. F at perhaps his most maniacal. It’s an all-time favorite Trace moment for me.
• Terrific riffing in the short, and Joel doesn’t even try to keep them from getting too dark. The highlight is the great “pink girls” song.
• What does “with a filbert nut” mean? Joel sounds a little like Red Skelton when he says it. Is it a reference to him?
• Segment 1 is rightly famous (it even inspired a shirt). If you wanted to introduce the personalities of all three robots to newbie, this would do it very well in just a few minutes.
• Does ANYbody know what that song Crow is singing (“hum-did-a-hee-hee…”) is from? It’s one of the unsolved mysteries of this show. (Several different commenters are certain they know, but each thinks it comes from a different place.)
• Joel opens a can of “pop” (or as normal people call it, soda) in the theater! What a rebel!
• The workings of Tom’s hoverskirt are never explained in detail, but in segment two we see a new use demonstrated: sports!
• Is that a velcro ball Joel throws to Tom when they return to the theater? Still, it’s a pretty good toss.
• Then-topical riff: “Matthias Rust!”
• J&tB do a little of the Richard Kiel voice they did a LOT in the last episode.
• When the movie ends up in what looks very much like Chicago’s Lower Wacker Drive, they begin to rattle off some great Chicago references, including McCormick Place and the Arie Crown Theater.
• Both a callback and a call-forward in closing segment: Joel crowns Tom a “happy king,” recalling the “Mr. B. Natural” short and Crow is holding the stick with the tiny Crow on it, which we will see again in jestering segment next season.
• Cast and crew roundup: Tom is right, nobody involved with this movie went on to do anything else. The exception is Bill Rebane who later gave us “Giant Spider Invasion.” But I have to assume the writers were just guessing.
• Creditswatch: Host segments directed by Joel Hodgson.
• Fave riff from the short: “Vomit sprays out in a beautiful Technicolor dream.”
• Fave riff from the movie: Narrator: “There is one terrifying word in the world of nuclear physics.” Tom: “Oops.” Honorable mention: “He made her bark!”

153 comments to Episode Guide: 421- Monster A-Go-Go (with short: ‘Circus On Ice’)

  • 1
    Bobo "BuckDat" Briggs says:

    I think the humming Crow does is hillarious and much more creepy NOT knowing where the hell it came from. Sort of like knowing the origin of Timmy. Crow seems crazier with the idea that he just sort of goes a little nuts and made it up to cope. Hua-Hua!


  • 2
    Ang says:

    Obviously we have to talk about the phones in this one. Early on in the film we here a phone ring at someone’s home and it’s so loud is scares Joel and the bots (and me too!). Kind of reminds me of British phones Alien. Then of course the infamous scene where there should have been a phone ringing but instead we get someone off camera making a phone sound. Apparently they shot their phone ringing budget with the earlier scene Wink

    Also my fave line from this one is ‘there’s a man out standing in his field’ LOL


  • 3
    eegah says:

    One of my favorite MST3K movie segments of all time is the scene where they inform Ruth and Jimmy that Frank is missing.

    “This coffee is warmer than Frank is.”
    “I don’t want to spend any more time on this than I have to.”
    “Frank’s dead!”
    “Make other plans, Jimmy.”
    “Let’s not make a bigger deal about this than it really is.”
    “Two words: closed casket.”

    and many more…


  • 4
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    All hail Sampo and “then topical”. As one of the original complainers about dating our references, I feel I need to pay the proper respect to these brave new words.

    hear hear !


  • 5
    dmalcs says:

    I’m sorry, but for about half of the country “pop” is normal and soda sounds weird. Even worse- if you live in the south, it’s all “Coke”- i.e. “Give me a Coke.” “What kind?” “Sprite.”


  • 6
    Kris says:

    Comparing this film to Season 8’s Giant Spider invasion, it is almost unbelievable how much Bill Rebane improved as a movie maker in ten years. (The fact that Giant Spider Invasion is still a bottomlessly terrible movie shouldn’t be held against him too much. Smile )


  • 7

    I assumed it was “With the Philbert Met” as in “Metropolitan Opera”. I can’t remember the original line that inspired that riff (it had something to do with music, I think), but it seemed to work.

    I also always liked Joel’s cranky “Oh, the joke’s on US!!” at the end of the film. Joel rarely gets pissy during the movie riffing, but it’s always funny when he does. And this movie definitely warranted that. Crow: “There was no dignity for anyone who worked on this film!”


  • 8

    it is almost unbelievable how much Bill Rebane improved as a movie maker in ten years.

    Oh, yeah, that reminds me. Tom says at the end, “No one who worked on this stinkburger ever went on to do anything else!” How wrong he was, as he would find out later.


  • 9
    happy says:

    Truly a great episode. This movie for me is a guilty pleasure. I just love this episode. I love that “phone ring” from the man off camera, truly an all time classic moment in cinema…
    It looks like Rebane did shoot the scenes with the monster – well there was no monster- but anyway Im guessing the additional scenes came after the first Doctor gets choked out in the field by the monster. Then we jump to the ‘tedium’ scenes with the other doctor…
    Rebane went on to other wonders like Giant Spider Invasion Shock


  • 10
    underwoc says:

    As many great things as there are in this episode, my favorite is host segment 3, where they rip apart Rupert Holmes. I just wish they had found a way to work Him into the bit, as well.


  • 11
    Brandon says:

    “Douglas was pear-shaped, very short, and stood the whole way.”

    That riff’s a classic.

    BTW, Sampo, I’m not sure, but is this the first episode to contain a John Sununu reference?


  • 12
    Sean says:

    The scene at the airport when they pick up the Gen. The car takes off and Joel and the bots do the loud Bass Speaker is priceless…the first time I saw it when it originally aired, I laughed for a good 10 minutes.
    The short is one of my all time favs. Hi pro-phase, hi ana-phase!


  • 13
    GizmonicTemp says:

    I love how Joel tells Tom to stop singing the “pink ladies” song, yet Joel can’t stop laughing as he does so. Great! BTW, one of my favorite shorts.

    “Stinky, unshaven, and boozed up on Rumple Mints, the hunters spray bullets into the woods”

    “Shut up and watch the deer get slaughtered!”


  • 14
    stevie says:

    Lovely reference to MASH in helicopter approach.


  • 15
    Ryan says:

    GREAT GREAT short! One of their darkest.

    The movie is one of the most tedious they have ever done. Very funny, though.

    My favorite riff is near the end of the movie when two guards are talking near a large support pillar. “If you can’t out act the post…!” The frustration in (Tom’s?) voice as they are all so clearly fed up with this movie by this point, reflects my own frustration.


  • 16
    Luke says:

    Herschell Gordon Lewis? Where have I heard that name… aha! He was referenced in the movie Juno(which I just got on DVD)! All roads lead to MST3K.

    This one of the great episodes of course. The movie is not just bad, but downright mind-blowingly so. It has some of the best host segements too.


  • 17
    -RCFagnan says:

    I never saw this episode until it came out on dvd, and it instantly became one of my faves. Johnny Longtorso is one of the funniest inventions ever (and one in which I show my cynicism by being surprised that no toy company has actually done this yet).
    Fav. Riffs: Tom’s song for the “pink ladies”, the “Yeah, Douglas was pear-shaped, very short, and stood the whole way” and “There is one terrifying word in the world of nuclear physics. Ooops”.


  • 18
    Bookworm says:

    This is my absolute, all-time, numero uno, favorite MST episode of all. (See my review of it here.

    One of my favorite moments is something I noticed in the film after seeing it a few times. Remember the two military guys by the oscilloscope toward the end of the film, who sound the warning that the “monster” is on the move? Well, during the interminable civil defense/military-gets-ready sequence, we see those same two guys from a different angle, and they’re apparently running through their big scene together (albeit without sound)–right down to the strange gestures they used.

    Yes, folks, they used practice takes as padding!


  • 19
    AstroHarry says:

    There *is* a Jonny Longtorso doll – kinda. I was walking through the toy aisle looking for a brithday gift for one of my nieces when I saw a toy of some marvel character (perhaps Cyclops) with a big-*^$ wing behind him. It turns out that each of six toys has a piece of a seventh toy. Buy the whole set, and you get to build the last toy. Don’t buy the whole set and you have a physically challenged supervillian.


  • 20
    EricD says:

    I always thought Crow’s humming was an imitation of the ambient sound that’s always in the background on the SOL. Anyone else, or am I totally alone on that?


  • 21
    Skenderberg says:

    Ah, one of the worst films ever to provide fodder for Joel and the ‘Bots. Most of it makes no sense, and the few things that might are so badly recorded that you can barely understand them.

    Favorite riff: “Take the kazoo out of your mouth.”


  • 22
    adoptadog says:

    As others have noted, the fury that J&tBs direct at this movie is especially funny (and well-deserved!). My fave has to be Crow’s constant yells of “Stop that!” in response to the background music during the “getting-in-the-car-and-driving-away” scenes. Haven’t seen the movie in a while, and can’t remember if it’s a bass note or what, but I do recall that it was extremely annoying, and Crow exactly expressed my irritation.

    A terrible, terrible movie. Great MST episode, though!


  • 23
    Nick says:

    I love reading what H.G. Lewis had to say about this flick. Like the fact that Dr. Logan (or whatever his name was) was supposed to be one character, but because he had a toupee in some scenes and not in others he decided to make him his own brother. Or that he poked fun at the movie in the taglines: “You’ve Never Seen a Motion Picture Like This — Thank Goodness!” I really need to see the un-MSTed version, but man, I’m afraid to. Alien


  • 24
    Nick says:

    Herschell Gordon Lewis? Where have I heard that name… aha! He was referenced in the movie Juno(which I just got on DVD)! All roads lead to MST3K.

    Even though I’ve never seen Juno, I’m willing to bet the reference had more to do with his splatter flicks like Blood Feast and The Gore-Gore Girls than with MAG-G. Still, you got a point there: All roads lead to MST3K. Cool

    BTW: Sorry for the double post. Is there any way to edit our previous comments?


  • 25
    R.A. Roth says:

    I think Crow is humming a few bars from an overused slice of “Gilligan’s Island” background music. Considering that he’s building a ship at the time, it does sort of fit thematically.

    MAGG only wishes it possessed such a rich example of thematic integrity as this.



  • 26
    Joseph Nebus says:

    Isn’t “Johnny Longtorso” itself sort of a callback to an earlier riff? I remember being startled by a reference to it in … ah … I want to say one of the later season two movies, when I ran across it.


  • 27
    derm says:

    Pop: Its a Midwest Thing.


  • 28
    insidemyhead says:

    I’m almost positive that the song Crow is humming comes from a something in a previous episode, though at the moment I can’t remember which episode…

    Actually, now that I think of it, isn’t it music from early in Monster A Go Go? *urgh* Can’t remember!


  • 29
    Seth Anders says:

    A little more on H. G. Lewis:

    Yes, we have him to thank for gore films. Working in collaboration with David F. Friedman, “Blood Feast” was the first gore film ever made, as Nick already stated. Films that followed included “2000 Manics” and “The Wizard of Gore”. He later went on to a very successful career in advertising (go figure), where he literally wrote the book on the subject, which I believe is still being used today. A few years ago he released the highly anticipated “Blood Feast 2”


  • 30
    Seth Anders says:

    On a personal note, I believe that Segment 3’s deconstruction of “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” is a microcosm for the entire series. You can almost boil down Best Brains comedic sensibility into this one bit. If asked to pick one piece to represent the entire show, this would be it.


  • 31
    Jason says:

    Being originally from the south I have to defend the “Coke” phenomenon. The south is about boiling things down to a common denominator. “Coke” is more universally recognizable that “pop”.

    Hell, I just made that up, but it sounded good, right? Right…?

    So, on the to topic at hand: 421 – Monster a-Go-Go. Maybe the worst movie ever featured on the show, along with Manos & TISCWSLABMUZ (both favorites of mine) this one has that special edge of absolute nothingness going on, though. As has been mentioned many times, this is a great example of the writers turning nothing into something. I also tend to believe this is the last in a GREAT ‘trilogy’ of episodes. 419-421 are all 5 star episodes, IMO.

    I’ve often wondered at what point did Joel decide that he would not go any further than 512 because it always felt to me like there’s a certain specialness to pretty much every episode after 419, all the way thru 512.

    This episode, as has been noted, has excellent Host Segments and a great IE. Frank almost losing it during “Johnny Longtorso” always makes me chuckle. Yet again (at least to my eyes) shoes feature a prominent roll in either the riffing or the IE. I think Joel was a sneaker pimp. “Are those Skylon Air Max, I thought so” (from 324). But, I digress.

    The short is a classic:

    “Based on the actual case files of the Toronto Skating Club”
    “She has a sheeps butt”
    (‘It all adds up to split-second artistry’)
    “At the Civic Center, but not here”.

    Something that I have always loved about the feature is that to with the incomprehensible story (which makes for great riffing), the sound is attrocious. The conversation in the lab early in the movie often cracks me up as I anticipate “trying to find a microphone!” And the Ernie Kovacs lookalike..I remember when I first saw this ep, I was thinking hey it’s and then Crow busts out with “I’m Percy Dovetonsils”. Too much.

    I love MST3K, this is a Top Ten all timer, IMO.


  • 32
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    Oh, yeah. This one hurts. Before I’d seen the MSTied version, I actually bought an uncut copy of Monster a Go Go from Something Weird Video after a friend recommended it to me. Turns out he was kidding. It’s hard to trust. Good title though. My fave riff has got to be the ‘Yes, I made that phony phone noise’ line. It always seems to catch me by surprise and I just giggle on and on. Circus on Ice has such a dreary look about it, and the riffs just bring it down to a sweaty, back-alley level of depression. This way to the kill floor!


  • 33
    M "Here's My Card. Johnny Longtorso" Sipher says:

    Yep, “Johnny Longtorso” is a callback to “Women of the Prehistroric Planet”. That name sounds great coming from Josh-Tom.

    Regarding Joel cracking up at Tom’s “pink girls” song… it’s moments like this that made MST really work for me. There was a time in the show where the riffing felt really forced and overscripted… yeah, just because the gags are carefully timed and scripted, it doesn’t have to feel like that in the performance. You get three funny guys together to riff at each other, they’re gonna laugh at each other.

    They really seemed to relax more towards the end of season four and through season five, more and more to the end. And having people laugh while trying to not laugh too loud… funny. Joel’s snorts at Crow’s “bedsprings” noises in “Tormented”, Kevin chortling at Bill’s “Then again, we eat paste” from the “Lunchroom Manners” Rifftrax…

    And Mike totally losing it over the crusty old grocer in “The Brute Man” is easily one of my all-time favorite MST moments… and Mike doesn’t even say a word. He’s just shaking, clearly trying not to bust out loud. It’s wonderful.


  • 34
    MPSh says:

    In New England, we used to say “tonic” until “soda” took over. We still say “watuh bubblah” though.

    Anyhow, I love how the assistant scientist lady freaks out when the investigator starts thumbing through her lab notebooks.

    Manos or Monster-a-Go-Go for Worst Film Ever? The debate continues. (Let’s not forget The Creeping Terror, or Hobgoblins, either…)


  • 35
    Nutcase says:

    These girls are quite a pair!
    They come from your worst nightmare!
    They will haunt your sould forever!
    And now when you see pink, you’re gonna think YOUR DOOMED!
    These girls are agents of Satan-

    Joel: *laughs* Stop it, Tom!

    LOL, that had to be one of few moments where Joel’s performance seemed real (please note that I’m not dissing Joel in any way, I love the guy as much as the next person). I wonder if the laugh was real considering how ridiculous Tom’s song was?


  • 36
    Opus says:

    “What’s that? Face like spinach dip? Horribly mangled? NO dental records.”
    “Well, apparently they found him in a state of sin.”

    RE: Pop vs. soda vs. Coke. This East Coast kid says soda… there was a great skit where Mike programmed with the bots with different regional speech patterns:

    – So, before we go to the show, do you want to have a Coke?
    – Sure, I’ll have a root beer.
    – I said ‘Coke’!
    – I know, I’ll have a root beer!


  • 37
    Bob says:

    This one is a serious favorite at my house. Circus On Ice is killer stuff. Too many great jokes in that one, like:
    “Two bad things that go worse together.”
    “Nothing worse than a gut-shot fawn.”
    “Threat? The poor thing was grazing!”
    “Shut-up and watch the deer get slaughtered.”
    “She skates over her own intestines.”
    And of course, Tom Servo’s imitation of film running roughly through an old projector at the end of the short is terrific and funny.

    The movie is well, it’s almost a movie. Really, really funny! The fake phone ring, the joke about the astronaut being “short, pear-shaped and stood the whole way” when the tiny prop capsule is shown, “get the cat off the piano”, “they’re tip-toeing past Robert Fripp’s room”, “if you can’t out-act the post” and many, many more!

    One of my favorite parts of this episode is the comedy bit at the beginning of Monster A-Go Go where Joel and the ‘Bots converse as if they don’t know what’s coming and Joel and Tom state that they think the movie will be extremely bad while Crow resists feeling pessimistic about it. Crow’s attempt at staying positive is so short-lived and is followed by his near immediately caving in with the line “this is gonna suck”. That made me laugh so very hard the first time I saw it and it still cracks me up after dozens of viewings. It’s an example of really great sketch comedy done right during and at the expense of the film, which fully deserved it.

    One of the best episodes, ever!


  • 38
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    My own favorite riff is near the end…

    NARRATOR: “The line between science fiction and science fact…”
    CROW: “And science CRAP!”

    Perfect description of the movie!


  • 39
    Rhys says:

    Every one seems to do the whole “hum, didi hee hee! hooa hooa!” song, it’s been in a few eps I’ve watched, and thanks to it being so catchy, I even sing it to myself. LOL


  • 40
    Fred P says:

    I’ll have a “Pop”, being from Michigan that’s what it’s called, but having lived in the South for the last 25 years it’s “Coke” for every soda which is really confusing so I still ask for a “Pop”. Sampo you struck a nerve I think.


  • 41
    erasmus hall says:

    This was their finest hour
    and a half


  • 42
    Doctorb says:

    Huh. Well, in Scotland, which is where I’m from, people use “juice” to mean soda. It can mean anything from OJ to Sprite.


  • 43
    Shenny says:

    Born, raised, and still living in Louisiana, we don’t ALL say “Coke”. Working at a pharmacy where different sodas are on sale each week, I get plenty of customers coming in asking about the “sodas on sale,” even when said sodas are Coke.

    I admit, I did refer to them as “Cokes” at one point in my life, but it didn’t really matter to me one way or another because I’ve never liked carbonated drinks.


  • 44
    Mike says:

    To Brandon (Post No. 11)
    John Sununu was referenced in the Snow Thrills short of Episode #311, It Conquored The World.

    (I didn’t remember it, I just happened to watch it yesterday.)


  • 45

    The movie itself is one of the great “cop-outs” in cinema history.

    Here are all these people chasing after a half-human mutant (or whatever the thing called Douglas is supposed to be) in the tunnels in Chicago, then everything grinds to a halt. “There was no giant, no monster, no thing called Douglas to be found.”

    J&TB singing choruses of “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” during the Chicago chase scenes is a classic.


  • 46
    Brandon says:

    Oh and who could forget…

    “*GASP* His face is gone!”

    also later…

    “Boss, do you ever worry that you don’t have a face?”


  • 47
    rhr says:

    My favourite riff ever, in reference to the foghorn-like “music” in a scene in the woods –

    “Aw, here comes that boat again…”


  • 48
    Bix Dugan says:

    There is nothing as chilling, as fearful, than the way Frank says, very simply:
    “Monster A Go-Go, Joel”
    with that tiny smirk on his face…


  • 49
    Shenny says:

    One thing I love is when the monster comes upon the women sunbathing and they scream in terror and flee. Joel says, “No one’s going to tell you you NEED Clearasil.” This is funnily appropriate because the monster’s warty face could, in a twisted way, be conceived as super bad acne.


  • 50
    Bookworm says:

    By the way, there should be another feature to these reviews–most local riff:

    A young Ghermezian brother scouts locations!


  • 51
    Meranalf says:

    Obscure riff: When the characters are examining the log books in the lab, one of the bots says: “Rumple Tweezer the good fairy lived under the dum-dum tree and got what!?” This is a reference to a Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch where Eric Idle is trying to read a children’s story but the stories quickly turn adult. “Rumple Tweezer ran the Dinky Tinky shop in the foot of the magic oak tree, by the wobbly dum-dum bush, in the shade of the magic glade, down in Dingly Dell. There he sold contraceptives-”

    Favorite Riff: “Shut up and watch the deer get slaughtered. It’s fun!”

    Surprisingly, especially since I was looking for them, no Wizard of Oz references appear in this episode.


  • 52
    fishbulb says:

    Love the short, can’t stay awake through the movie, even with the riffing. I do remember the John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt riffs, but not much else in the movie. However, the short is one of the best ever.


  • 53
    Absorbine_Sr says:

    Being a long time King Crimson fan, of course my favorite riff is “Wow, he’s sneaking past Robert Fripp’s room”.


  • 54
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    My favorite riff from Monster A Go-Go:

    Guy in movie: “Have you ever overdosed an animal?”

    Servo: “Well, I smoked too much rabbit once”.


  • 55
    ThorneSherman says:

    Fav riff from this one:
    Scientist: “I don’t have a precision mind like you Doctor Brent”
    Crow: I’m only a scientist”


  • 56
    Onryo Clutch says:

    I love this episode. This should be a show like Fu Manchu where the characters misery causes you to despair about the movie as well, but the writing here is so superb that I could watch this ep over and over again. Rebane reused the “Lucky Man”-esque music for Giant Spider Invasion, as did the MST crew reuse the joke about the similarity.


  • 57
    Andrew says:

    He later went on to a very successful career in advertising (go figure), where he literally wrote the book on the subject, which I believe is still being used today.

    Direct marketing, technically, where H.G. Lewis is a highly regarded and very well-paid copywriter. I heard him speak at a conference a few years ago.

    This episode is one of a whole string in season 4 when The Brains were at the top of their game. The short is brilliant, and what they were able to do with a film this bad speaks really highly for their skill. As others have said, the “short, pear-shaped…” riff is one of my all-time favorites.


  • 58
    Ralph C. says:

    I liked this episode. It was fun. I laughed a lot. Silly movie.


  • 59
    Sean74 says:

    I’ll be honest, when this ep first came out, I wasn’t crazy about it, not so much for the ‘Brains efforts but because the movie was soooo unwatchable! Over the years, however, this has become one of my favs. Being older now, I appreciate more of the jokes’ significances. I’m in agreement with everyone who has said that this is when these guys were at their very best; the riffing, segments (except segment 3 with J&TB playing keepaway – just a filler in my opinion), and invention exchanges were clever. “Johnny Longtorso” is not only funny, but in some ways ahead of its time.

    The moment when a guy offscreen makes the phone noise: perhaps the funniest ever in any movie we’ve seen on this show!

    Favorite riff: with the annoying, Oriental-like music playing during the scene where they find the woman, Tom says: “In the southern provinces, the rice patties have been grown they have been for thousands of years”. Something about his delivery, sounding like one of those soft, snobby PBS announcers, makes the joke work for me.

    And the short, “Circus on Ice”….how did I forget this as being one of their darkest? How ANYONE actually enjoyed these shows way back when is beyond me. (I think Tom says something to that effect.) I love the part where the woman playing a fawn getting killed is hysterical. Crow (as kid): “But mom, I don’t to watch the Circus on Ice anymore!” Tom (as Mom): “Shut up and watch the deer getting slaughtered, it’s fun!”

    What a great episode, and just the first in a series of exceptional shows to come!


  • 60
    JoeB says:

    Yum-d-dit dee-dee….hua-hua is something i heard on a Frank Zappa album some years after i first heard Crow sing it. Zappa’s performance must have been first, ’cause i think he was gone by the time I heard it. Very sorry I have no idea which album… you’ll just have to listen to them all.


  • 61
    fireballil says:

    I don’t remember this too much because I haven’t seen it too many times, but it is a memorable episode, seeing that it already has three times more comments than Human Duplicators. I can’t wait to see how many Manos gets.

    When I first saw the ‘Gypsy doesn’t get Crow’ sketch, I loved it. I’m not sure that she really ever knew just how to explain what she was thinking, and the whole thing is topped off with one of the best lines in the show’s history; perfect for Tom to say.

    Fave riff: Same as Sampo’s.

    Joel certainly expressed my sentiments at the end: “The joke’s on us!” It’s the most confusing ending of any of the movies that I can think of.

    The short is also a classic; I wonder what they are thinking up in Canada, this and Johnny At the Fair from The Rebel Set make for two of the darker riffed shorts in the show’s history.


  • 62
    Joel Kazoo says:

    For the record, in Minnesota, it *IS* “pop” not “soda”. “Soda” is when you add ice cream to it.
    One of my fave dark riffs ever is from the movie itself, it’s been a while, so I’m paraphrasing, but it’s when the son of the murdered guy is rushed out of the room, so I think Servo had him say: “Hey, Jimmy, my dad just got murdered! Can I come over and eat supper at your house?”
    Had never even heard of “The Pina Colada Song” before this ep, and it’s since become one of my guilty pleasures song-wise. (Yeah, I *KNOW* I have terrible taste in music!)


  • 63
    John H. says:

    In my mind there are three “ultimate bad” MST3K episodes: Manos, Red Zone Cuba, and this. Manos got the popular perception of worst because of the charismatic riffing and Torgo, but really, all three of these are equally bad. Once you start naming the worst MSTed films it’s easy to leak out into things like TSCWSLABMUZ and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, but at least those are slightly competent technically.

    Sean74: That rice paddy bit sounds like it might be a style parody of Orson Welles’ frozen food commercials. I don’t remember what the delivery was like though.


  • 64
    Mark M. says:

    I first watched this episode a few months or so after I went to the first Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park in Chicago. I had to read through all the comments to see if anybody else go the most obscure riff in the whole episode, since the only reason I got it was because of going to Pitchfork. I seem to be the only one, hooray!

    At one point Joel says something to the effect of “They could stop at the Billy Goat and have a chee-burger” (not a typo). There’s a crappy restaurant not far from Union Park in Chicago called the Billy Goat saloon or pub, or more properly, “The World Famous Billy Goat”. We ate there before heading to the park, and all of the workers there have thick Spanish or Middle Eastern accents (I can’t recall which), which would account for the pronunciation of cheeseburger as “chee-burger”.

    Not funny when you give an in depth explanation, but hilarious when you totally get such an obscure quote. I just thank God that I live in Wisconsin so I am privy to understanding all the local references and jokes they made. Obviously, Giant Spider Invasion was like a gift from heaven to us WI Misties.


  • 65
    Richard says:

    Watch Frank try really hard not to start laughing at the end of the Johnny Longtorso song. The man can barely get out the “He’s long” tagline through his gritted teeth.


  • 66
    fireballil says:

    Richard: I didn’t know if Frank would ever get that line out; they put a goof of him laughing after the song on the Poopie blooper reel.


  • 67
    shinragod says:

    One scene in particular from this awful movie still has me replaying it.

    The scene where a man answers the phone after he makes a “Phone Noise!” “Brrrrrppp…”

    In the following sequence; Joel and the bots do three things that anyone watching this scene would have done.

    – Joel slaps his forehead and says “Unbelievable….”
    – Tom Servo busts out laughing.
    – Crow just shakes his head at the pure shock of ineptitude here.


  • 68
    Jacob says:

    If you really think about it this is not really a movie because we waste our time chasing after this thing called Douglas only to find out that Douglas is safe 1000s of miles away and the thing has vanished, so really what is the point of this movie ?!?!?

    BTW this movie contains one of my all time favorite riffs:

    Crow: “I always keep an open can of gas behind the seat”


  • 69
    Lyon says:

    Given the Torontonian origin of the short I thought it worth mentioning for the record that it’s “pop” pretty much everywhere in Canada. Ordering a “soda” up here is basically equivelant to singing “the star spangled banner” out loud whilst frantically waving ol’ glory.

    This movie’s rough but nowhere near as rough as say Racket Girls.


  • 70
    Uranium - 235 says:

    At one point Joel says something to the effect of “They could stop at the Billy Goat and have a chee-burger” (not a typo). There’s a crappy restaurant not far from Union Park in Chicago called the Billy Goat saloon or pub, or more properly, “The World Famous Billy Goat”. We ate there before heading to the park, and all of the workers there have thick Spanish or Middle Eastern accents (I can’t recall which), which would account for the pronunciation of cheeseburger as “chee-burger”.

    Okay, being raised in Chicago, I have to say one of the reasons I enjoy MST3K is because there’s a lot of midwestern slang and jokes that work their way in. We typically see references in media to more vague things people are familiar with – Hollywood, New York, etc. For some reason, Chicago and the midwest in general tends to be a more rare sight (how many big-name movies do you know were shot in the city? I can only think of a handful, versus hundreds set on the East Coast).

    The story with Billygoat’s Tavern is two-fold. For starters, the Billygoat is the origin of the ‘Curse of the Goat’, or rather, the reason the Cubs haven’t won a World Series game in over a century. The owner of the tavern was ejected from a game for bringing his pet goat and swore that the Cubs would never win a World Series.

    The story behind the “Cheezborger cheezborger cheezborger” goes back to a Saturday Night Live skit with John Belushi where he played a Greek restaurant owner. The “No Pepsi, Coke” I think was what he yelled at patrons whenever they asked for a Pepsi.

    That said, how dare you call the Billygoat a ‘crappy restaurant’.

    Since we’re on the topic, you missed an EVEN MORE obscure Chicago riff – at some point, Joel says something about going to grab a pizza at ‘Ginos’. “Ginos East” is one of the most famous names in Chicago when it comes to true Chicago deep dish pizzas, somewhat along the lines of a ‘Portillos’ when talking about Chicago hot dogs.

    Favorite riff: “This was only a test. Had this been an actual movie, you’d have been entertained.”


  • 71
    Spector says:

    One of their all-time greats! Another example that the Brains did their best work when the movies were gawd-awful. Just a rich treasure trove of material here, and the Circus on Ice short is wickedly funny. So many wonderful lines from Joel and the ‘Bots here which everyone who commented early already noted. This one ranks among my top ten of MST3K episodes. Never get tired of watching this one.


  • 72
    bobhoncho says:

    short’s great, movie riffing’s great, but at the end of the movie, I just screamed to mum, who was upstairs, “mum, where’s my shoes? I need to throw them at the TV!” As a big movie fan, I must say, Lewis, you have hurt me deeply. If you’re still alive, may you regret purchasing the unfinished “Terror at Halfday” for the rest of your life!


  • 73
    georg says:

    In the last host segment, when Joel is trying to cheer up Tom and Crow, is it a blooper that Joel called Crow “Sir Mix A Lot” instead of “Sir Giggles Von Laffsalot”? You can kind of hear Trace chuckling when he corrects him, and Joel seems a little taken aback by his error, but maybe that’s how well-oiled they were by this point, where it just seemed natural.

    Also, Crow shouting “Stop it!” at the odd guitar music cracked me up. And Joel saying, “Boy, this is the whitest drive ever.” in the very next scene.


  • 74
    bobhoncho says:

    Oh, by the way, out of all the MST skits or riffs that I have acted out, the pink ladies song has always gotten the biggest laughs.


  • 75
    Eric says:

    I just watched this episode for the first time today. Classic! All the riffs mentioned were of course hilarious. I think my favorite bit that hasn’t been brought up is the scene in the lab where the dark-haired female scientist is getting miffed because the two male scientists are ganging up on her (I have no idea what they were talking about, since I couldn’t hear the dialogue). The references to that were funny, but what I found even more amusing was the blonde female scientist in the background, looking through the microscope for a good five minutes, adjusting things, looking again, trying desperately to appear as though she’s working even though she has absolutely nothing to do. Maybe the most pointless extra in the history of cinema?

    One thing I like in the Joel episodes is the way J&tB jump out of their seats and yelp in unison whenever something startling happens. E.g. in this movie, after a long stretch of absolutely nothing happening that has Servo falling asleep on Joel’s shoulder, the narrator suddenly explodes onto the scene at full volume with a random voice over.

    As a Chicago native (currently attending college in the heart of the city) I got a kick out of the Windy City references. I have been to the Billy Goat Tavern, and for the record the food was delicious, although we didn’t actually get to order for ourselves–the cooks did that for us (“Dub-lay chizz? You want the dub-lay chizz? Dub-lay chizz!”).


  • 76

    The song Crow’s humming is from the 1970 TV special version of “Horton Hears a Who.”

    Now, how ’bout “Do you want to go faster? Raise your hand if you want to go…fffaster!”


  • 77
    swh1939 says:

    More nitpicking (it’s my lot in life … sorry): The screengrab has the feature title as “Monster A-Go Go”, not “Monster A-Go-Go”.

    But then again, there was no monster.


  • 78
    Dan in WI says:

    When this episode first aired it replaced Human Duplicators as my then all time favorite episode. (It wouldn’t hold that distinction for long.) This another example were even truly horrible stink burger movies (which the Brains will shy away from more often than they tackle them) can become brilliant experiments so long as the Brains bring their A game. And for the second straight week the host segments are almost entirely A material as well.

    It’s a shame we were never able buy the Bots’ cheese at our local supermarkets. I’ll take that over a Killer Shrew.

    Johnny Longtorso is the second straight home run invention by the Mads. $300 just to assemble what appears to be an eight inch action figure. My favorite accessory: the realistic action batch.
    Unfortunately with a minor nod to Crow, this week the Bots really don’t answer the Mads the way they did last week. But the tapeworm is a bit of a cute idea. But in the end it doesn’t take an impartial judge like TV’s Frank to name a winner. It is the Mads and thus we get Monster A-Go-Go.

    But in the then topical reference category how about the audiotape that makes up Crow’s tapeworm. It was already on the way out at the time of this exchange.

    I have to agree. The talk above about how Joel and the Bots discuss the prospects for this movie is classic.
    Joel “You know what guys, I have a feeling this is going to be a tough one.”
    Crow “No it might not be too bad.”
    Tom “I think Joel’s right. This one has stinkburger written all over it.”
    Crow exhales big “Come on you can’t tell just from the credits.”
    Joel “No, no it’s a feeling I have. My gut instincts tell me this is going to hurt real bad.”
    Crow “Joel it’s not healthy to have such a negative attitude right out of the gate.”
    Tom “It’s just common sense Crow. There’s already a feeling of incompetence in the air.”
    Joel “Yeah we might as well face up to it.”
    Crow “Well I refuse to give in so soon. I’m going to riff away like it’s nobody’s business. I can’t think of anything now but … this is going to suck”
    This bit shows that something can be made of nothing. It really had nothing to do with the credits. It was just a bit that filled the space. So whenever someone says that you can’t riff low action (like just standing around) I give you this bit.

    I’m really not sure what I can say to add to the “I Don’t Get You” host segment. It is a top five host segment for me. Trace really shines in it. But it’s all been said before. Favorite line “Is it the way I panic when making sandwiches?”

    As the military brass types were getting into that car after walking off the airplane Joel and the Bots start making a rap style beat as if coming from the stereo in the car. Did anybody else wish it had turned into a Master Ninja Theme Song callback?

    When I was in the drama club in high school, even we had an actual ringer for our prop telephone.

    This episode actually contains a second top five host segment and that is the Pina Colada host segment. Again the delivery on this one just sells it. The facts the Bots use as they get more and more frantic with great vocal emphasis sells this segment. I keep a copy of the transcript at my desk and read it when I need a laugh. Favorite line “they are not only cheating on each other, they are cheating on each other with each other.”

    Favorite Riffs:
    Crow “Vomit sprays out in a beautiful Technicolor dream.”

    Tom “Can you imagine if you were the kind of person who enjoyed this?”

    Crow “Take the kazoo out of your mouth”
    Tom “They’re talking to Charlie Brown’s mom.”

    Singing the melody from M*A*S*H

    Riffs about Frank’s death:
    Crow “This coffee is warmer than Frank is”
    Joel “Make other plans Jimmy”
    Character: “Suppose you go upstairs and when we’re all through we’ll have a nice big ice cream soda.” Tom “Yeah that solves everything.” Crow “Hey Timmy, my dad’s dead again. Can I come over for dinner?”
    Joel “two words. Closed casket”

    Girl dancing and Crow says “Oh they decided to go to Shakey’s”

    Guy dining with girlfriend “Oh waiter?” Crow “My date is ice cold.”
    Shortly after: Joel “Ah barkeep, could you freshen my date.”

    Tom “It’s funny you see because women don’t know anything about cars.”

    A soldier extra speaks to another who runs off screen. Joel “Ah bad news you’re not in this scene.”


  • 79
    snowdog says:

    This truly is one of the rare episodes where a god-awful movie doesn’t drag down the riffing at all. The brains are really at the top of their game here. They’ve come a long way since Fu Manchu!

    The host segments are inspired as well. I wish I had remembered Crow’s jester costume for the Best Bot Costume Weekend Discussion. I love how Trace even seems to be operating “Tiny Crow”. That’s talent!

    Favorite riff:
    Offscreen: BRRRRING!!
    Joel: Unbelievable!

    5 Stars


  • 80
    Kenotic says:

    That even the recap doesn’t talk more than a few sentences about the flick shows just how bad this thing is. It was a Riff from a few years later, but I guess it was just assumed that the kids going to these things were focusing on … other things instead of the movie by this point.

    The short is a classic, in part of because that so much of the fake circus seems to revolve around death and killing. Top riff “Bravely? The thing was grazing!” It’s quite the kitchy concept.

    The movie is such a bomb, and it is a little hard to slog through. Too many good lines in here, but that ending. Oh, that ending. Catchy little low-fi intro rock song, though.

    Top line from the movie “Man, if you can’t out-act a post…”


  • 81
    Sitting Duck says:

    @#17: I would think that those Transformers gestalts might count as such. Though I believe only the Constructicons had an action batch.

    Regarding the Pina Colada Song, does anyone recall if this episode coincided with when Dave Barry was doing his Bad Song Poll? IIRC Escape was one of the more frequently mentioned songs and was often referred to by respondents as the Pina Colada Song (in Barry’s book on the poll, it was prominently featured in the chapter entitled Songs People Get Wrong).


  • 82
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    The “monster” was an alien IMPERSONATING Douglas, and the alien subsequently “devolved” into monstrous form, led the authorities on a chase, then teleported away, all while Douglas was safe and sound.

    Seriously, that seemed so OBVIOUS to me…

    “Meanwhile Herschell Gordon Lewis was looking for a co-feature with his recently completed movie “Moonshine Mountain,” and he needed it quickly.”

    Which begs the question, is “Moonshine Mountain” a better or worse film than “Monster A-Go-Go”? Frankly, I suspect that it’s worse.

    Fortunately for, well, the entire human race, I suppose, in 1993 “Hunting for Bambi” ( ; do not click there unless you REALLY SINCERELY want to know what I’m talking about) did not yet exist, or the deer riffs could have gotten way, WAY darker. “This way to the kill floor,” indeed…

    Should anyone be sufficiently morbidly curious, I just did a Yahoo search and huntingforbambi . com evidently still exists (apparently Wikipedia simply had too much class to post the link with the relevant article), although I didn’t click on it. For all I know, the videotapes are still for sale. Appall your friends! Receive restraining orders from your entire family! Thinking


  • 83
    JimmyBruce says:

    This episode has a 4.41 rating out of 5? Wow, I must have watched a different movie. The one I saw was horrible.


  • 84
    Fred Burroughs says:

    Even though the riffs are A+ and the host segments all great, this is still a tough watch for me. The bleak black and white, bad print, bad audio, no continuity or logic, all drag this in the mud. That said, the cruelty of the riffs saves it. From the short, “She skates over her own entrails” to the awful ‘like old times’ dinner date (who are those people, anyway? NASA staff? Friends of the astronaut? the press? how do they know each other? are they romantic? are they married? I don’t know!). The movie is just dead enough to allow time for great riffs in between the bad delivery and pointless padding. Waiter, could you freshen my date?


  • 85
    ck says:

    Well, on the East Coast “soda” is normal and “pop” is
    Hollywood movie western talk. And so in the South if
    you want a Pepsi you as k for a Coke Pepsi
    and if you want a Coke you ask for a Coke Coke?

    Btw, say what you will of the director it was BRILLIANT to
    put the script on the floor of the lab (obviously the scientist
    had trouble remembering his lines). Smile


  • 86
    Tom Carberry says:

    The film had a troubled production. Director Bill Rebane began shooting the film in 1961, but the production ran out of funding before it could be completed. Years later director Herschell Gordon Lewis was looking for a movie to play double feature with his film Moonshine Mountain when he bought the shot footage for Monster A Go-Go from Rebane. Lewis filmed some additional footage for the movie and added a voice-over narration (Lewis himself was the narrator) and released the film in 1965. The reason that most of the characters simply disappear from the film without explanation was the original cast from the 1961 shoots couldn’t be re-gathered for the completion of the film which occurred four years later.
    The lead actress, June Travis, had a bit of a career before this train wreck came along. Born Dorothea Grabiner in Chicago in 1914, was signed by Warner Bros. in 1934 and made her film debut the following year, but would last only three years before leaving Hollywood forever and focusing on marriage. Gridlocked in the “B” category for the duration of her career, some of her modest highlights would include the Perry Mason whodunnit The Case of the Black Cat (1936) in which she essayed the role of secretary Della Street alongside Ricardo Cortez’s noted crimesolver; Ceiling Zero (1936), a lesser Howard Hawks film about war pilots starring Pat O’Brien and James Cagney; two slapstick movies as the love interest to comedian Joe E. Brown — Earthworm Tractors (1936) and The Gladiator (1938); the mystery Love Is on the Air (1937) opposite Ronald Reagan, who was making his feature film bow here; two comic features capitalizing on radio personality Joe Penner — Go Chase Yourself (1938) and Mr. Doodle Kicks Off (1938); and a comic strip film version of Little Orphan Annie (1938) Although June was top-billed in Circus Girl (1937) and Over the Goal (1937), the films came and went with little impression made. All in all, she was usually called upon to divert the proceedings and blandly back up the rugged “B” tough guys at Warners — a roster which then included Paul Kelly, Dick Purcell, Dick Foran and Wayne Morris. After co-starring in Federal Man-Hunt (1938), she handed Hollywood her walking papers at age 24. For her last film, and for reasons completely unknown, she agreed to play a role in the bogus horror opus Monster a-Go Go (1965).

    Favorite lines (Circus on Ice):

    These two girls they make quite a pair.
    They both come from your worst nightmare.
    They will haunt your soul forever.
    And now when you see pink
    You’re gonna think were doomed.
    They are agents of Satan…

    This way to the kill floor.
    You know you guys, there’s nothing sadder than a gut shot fawn…on ice.
    Please, she’s an artist. Do not throw pennies at her.
    “At last the hunters close in, there is no escape.” Unshaven, stinky and boozed up on Rumplemintz, the hunters spray bullets into the woods. [Rumplemintz is a very potent peppermint schnapps from Germany.]
    The girls with the bruised legs have to wear the long dresses.
    …And as dull as a beige room, this is like watching paint dry.

    Favorite lines (Monster a–Go-Go):

    Elvis has staggered out of the building
    I have a feeling that this one is going to be a tough one. Now it might not be too bad. No, I think Joel’s right, this one has stinkburger written all over it.
    It’s nice they shot this film at such a pretty time of the year.
    “Without question this was the capsule that had put Douglas into orbit.” Douglas was pear shaped, very short and stood the whole way.
    “It’s about Frank isn’t it?” “Ruth the capsule came back.” This coffee is warmer than Frank is.
    “What do you make of this Carl?” It looks like a meadow muffin.
    [Dr. Logan with Geiger Counter] Now with a Wagner Power Painter, you can paint the whole forest in a day.
    Meanwhile at Lens Crafters. Yeah, bad movies in about an hour.
    Hey, they’re going to frag the director. Good!
    Man, if you can’t out act a post.
    There was no dignity for anyone who worked on this film.
    This is a test. Had this been an actual movie you would have been entertained.
    Phil Silvers tries to flee the set.

    Final Thought: This one is a tough slog everytime. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.


  • 87
    Hamdingers says:

    Everyone mentions the “no monster” but there was also no “a-go go”


  • 88
    Matthew Redwine says:

    LOVE this episode! My all time favorite for sure (with Gamera vs. Guiron a close second). Like this comment if this is your favorite episode too. short is one of the best ever. It’s my favorite invention exchange. The movie is in the running for worst ever. The host segments are memorable and funny(except 2&3). Also, the movie can act as a sleeping pill if I watch it before bed. To me, this is the perfect storm. My favorite part is when J&TB fall asleep in the theater and then the narrator jars them awake suddenly.


  • 89
    Smoothie of Great Power says:

    I definitely don’t blame them for ignoring those little mistakes during the Johnny Longtorso presentation since it looks like the whole thing was done on a single take.

    This is an episode I go to whenever I need a cure for insomnia so I often fall asleep before reaching the “Oops” riff, which is also my favorite.


  • 90
    Dan in WI says:

    Hamdinger #87> The a-go go was the music during the opening credits.


  • 91
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    #87, #90: Also, the teen dancing at “Shakey’s”.


  • 92
    jay says:

    Can I make a small suggestion for these episode guides? Could you make a mention if the episode was ever released on (official) DVD? I came into the show very late (Sci-Fi Mike era), and even then could only catch the show sporadically. But I have managed to collect every officially released title on DVD, so I’ve caught up with more of the show that way and I think it would be nice if there was a quick mention of any DVD release for the episode being discussed for anyone like myself who came to the show via DVD.



  • 93
    Fart Bargo says:

    Besides the telephone ring and the astonishingly small space capsule, I get a real kick out of the Mrs Lady Scientist when she emoted “Yes but THEN what?” Poor thing.


  • 94
    Sitting Duck says:

    The Coke as any kind of soda issue is revisited in the introductary host segment from Last of the Wild Horses. Speaking of which, it must be a Deep South thing, because I’ve lived in Virginia all my life (actual Virginia, not the DeeCee suburb known as Northern Virginia), and have never heard soda get called Coke unless it actually was a Coke.


  • 95

    This was one of my very first exposures to MST, courtesy of a friend who moved to my non-Comedy Central-having city from out of town. Thanks to this, Giant Gila Monster and Jungle Goddess, I became hooked. Proof that circulating the tapes worked!

    Music by The Other Th?


  • 96
    bad wolf says:

    “I just am. I hang out.” To me Segment 1 always stands as a strange counterpoint to the Mike-as-wereCrow/Crow conversation at the end of Werewolf, as the personality traits Crow uses to describe himself seem so different at that point. Just the drift over the years but it does demonstrate why it took me a while to warm to Bill’s Crow.


  • 97
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    I remembered this episode as being the worst of all episodes and never wanted to see it again. This was due in large part to being emotionally scarred by the terrible ending and still remembering it 20 years later, but I figured 20 years was long enough and watched it again when it came up on the schedule this week. I was pleasantly shocked as the riffing is top-notch and makes the episode quite watchable and the host segments are great.
    I have used the line “Nobody gets me. I’m the wind baby” many times over the years and forgot it was from this episode. The Pina Colada segment (or should I call it the Escape segment) was especially hilarious for us old people who remember when you couldn’t escape that song being played on the radio. Everyone else has already listed the best lines but I think there was a missed riff opportunity.

    Movie: “Did you tell Dr. Manning of this?”

    I think this was begging for a Colossal Man Glen Manning callback, but then I loved that episode. I am giving this 4 stars when I was sure last week I was going to give it one. I still think this is the worst movie they ever did on the show.


  • 98
    Dan in WI says:

    Jay #92> While the specific episode guide entries don’t mention if there is an official release or not, there is always the DVD List page of this website.


  • 99
    Laura says:

    This is one of my “go-to” episodes when I’m jogging om the treadmill. Very nice episode to kill an hour on. The narrator talking about the space capsule cracks me up every time. Even with headphones on I still can’t hear what the so-called scientist and the Army General are saying during their scene in the lab/office. Apparently no one had ever heard of the word “boom mic”. Razz

    @94, same here with me in New Jersey. Heard it called soda all my life; I didn’t hear the word “pop” until I saw an episode of Mythbusters featuring it and was wondering what the heck they were talking about.


  • 100
    jay says:

    @Dan in WI#98

    I can see the list there, and I should have mentioned I can also use my online DVD collection site (DVDAficionado), but in either case, I’m having to specifically look up which set it’s in, instead of the guide saying, “this episode is available vol# whatever, by Shout/Rhino”.

    Something else that just occurred to me, if the episode being discussed were currently in print, it might be helpful for this website to put an Amazon link-through referral thing, so somebody reading the guide can buy the episode right then and there.


  • 101
    schippers says:

    My two favorite parts of this astonishingly inept (even for Bill Rebane and HGL) film (and please forgive the somewhat vague language, as it has been months since I last saw the ep):

    1. The lady scientist and the non-lady scientist are sitting, back to back, and the male scientist keeps looking over his shoulder with the nastiest expression on his face. J&tBs decide that she is filling up the room with foul flatulence, and hilarity ensues.

    2. The creepy, utterly bizarre “guy helps the stranded motorist lady, and she reciprocates with tongue kissing” scene. It’s just two steps shy of Penthouse Forum, and REALLY lets you in on the filmmakers’ inner lives, such as they were.


  • 102
    RPG says:

    There’s a little known robot malfunction in this episode. After the characters investigate the burnt grass, you can hear a clatter. That’s one of Crow’s arms falling off, and you can see Joel quietly talking to Trace under Kevin’s line “Robert Goulet and Martin Milner. They’re cops!”. LAter, when Crow gets up to leave the theater, you can see the arm is missing.


  • 103
    M "Yes, I Made That Phone Noise" Sipher says:

    Yeah, in the Carolinas, all soda is definitely not “Coke”. Especially considering Pepsi was created in North Carolina.


  • 104
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:


    Isn’t it ironic that H.G. Lewis and H.P. Lovecraft — two horror figures who could hardly be more dissimilar — have almost the same initials? Or is that something else I’m confusing with irony?


  • 105
    Lisa says:

    Great riffing, great short, great host segments, great inventions. Unfortunately combined with an unwatchable movie.

    I’ve tried 3 times this past week to watch this movie, and I never make it more than half way through. The beginning set up is fun and I enjoy it, but after that it’s too boring to watch. Not that I won’t try again. Laugh

    I truly think this is the worst movie they ever did. It makes Manos seem like a delightful desert romp through Hell. Or at least coherent.


  • 106
    Stressfactor says:

    And people think “Castle of Fu Manchu” is bad?!

    Yeah, I made a mistake back when I was trying to get into the show as this was one of the episodes available for free on Hulu. It was like ‘hey, free samples!’ and everyone always said you could jump in anywhere so THIS was one of the films I tried to jump in on.

    Like Gypsy… I didn’t “get” it.

    Seriously, would NOT suggest this one if you’re trying to get someone hooked on the show.

    Watching it again now I do “get it” the riffing is much better now that I’m used to the rhythms and cadences and the relationships between all the actors involved.

    But MAN this movie is horrible. Terrible sound, terrible print, terrible story and most of all so obviously, obviously filmed on the cheap it’s painful.

    You could really see the range again though as the guys go for a wide mix of the “highbrow” and “lowbrow” references on this one.


  • 107
    fatbarkeep says:

    In the History Channel show “How the states got their shapes” they give an explanation on the uses of “pop”,”soda” and “coke” in the different regions of the United States. Very informative and interesting.
    And for those who care, being a Michigander I say pop. Always have, always will.
    For me, the best riff in this movie that ALWAYS makes me laugh out loud is in the scene where they are telling the astronauts wife that her husband is dead and the lady asks the wife if she wants her to stay the night. Joel responds in his always amusing “woman” voice, “Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” don’t know why buy that always cracks me up.
    All the other classic lines have pretty much been referenced already. But definitely one of my favorite episodes!
    Hit shot dawns are always funbyp even in mixed company!
    Hua hua!


  • 108
    fatbarkeep says:

    Hit shot dawns are always funbyp should read “Gut shot fawns are always funny”
    I blame my Blackberry Smart-Type for not reading my mind efficiently.
    My bad! I’ll drink a “soda” as pennance.


  • 109
    Big61al says:

    Great episode. Clowns are creepy and skating clowns are creepier. Great riffing for sure!


  • 110
    rocketnumbernine says:

    The first time I saw this, I scored a Very High on the Schumacher-Esterhausen Cinematic Pain Differential. Oh, the agony! The ending that is no ending!! The concrete column that is of more interest than the main characters!!! AAH!!!!
    The plodding black and whiteness nearly overcame me.
    But the SECOND time, after I’d undergone more training, my score dropped dramatically and this episode became an all-time favorite. Smile


  • 111
    Blast Hardcheese says:

    This is one of my all-time favourite episodes. The riffing in the short is some of the best they ever did, and the film gets my vote for the absolute, all-time worst they ever covered (no other film has a “brrp-brrp” telephone sound, now does it?). As others have said, rather than being dragged down by this cinematic black hole, J & TB rose to the occasion. In some ways, I like this better than “Manos” as an episode, but I can understand why people find the movie itself so repellantly unwatchable that they can’t see the sheer triumph of the riffing. I’ve also used it as an introduction-to-MST episode, and found that it worked well.

    I have never heard soft drinks called anything but “pop” in Canada. (Except, perhaps, “soft drinks” by people who also need to distinguish “push-button” phones). If you ask for a Coke in a place that doesn’t serve Coke, you’ll invariably hear, “Is Pepsi OK?” (Except in Quebec, where Pepsi is stereotypically the default setting. And I say this as someone with Quebecois relatives). There was even a book on technology and culture published in Canada in 1998 called, you guessed it, “Chips and Pop.” Clever title–not sure how good the book is.


  • 112
    Jbagels` says:

    Did we ever get an explanation for why this episode and a couple others featured host segments that had nothing to do with the movie? Was it because the movie itself had so little going on they couldn’t come up with any related sketches?

    Johnny Longtorso was a callback to a season 1 episode wasn’t it? I can’t remember which one.


  • 113
    R.A. Roth says:

    The “hum-did-a-hee-hee, hoo-a-hoo-a” is based on incidental music from “Gilligan’s Island.”



  • 114
    jjk says:

    Where I grew up in Ohio it was called soda-pop, both words not one or the other. Soda’s had ice cream and chocolate syrup.
    As for the episode, I always thought the worse the movie the better the episode because there was so much for them to make fun of. Since Monster-A-Go-Go barely qualifies as a movie there was a lot to work with.


  • 115
    Droppo says:

    5 stars from Droppo.

    An off the charts bad film.
    A hilarious short.
    Top notch riffing.
    Great inventions.
    Strong host segments.

    In short, a classic.


  • 116
    frankenforcer says:

    wait, wasn’t there a nautical themed movie (possibly submarine related) set during the time of WW2 or Korean war where that was the music they played?

    I recall hearing that in a tense moment in the movie or in the introduction of the characters or something.


  • 117
    dsman71 says:

    I will always love that fake phone noise. this movie is one of the all time worst. Its always fun in a weird way, but I always found it entertaining. the segments were ok, since there wasnt anything going on in the movie, the segments matched them up with nothing segments.
    Did anyone notice Crows voice changed a little bit here, it had been morphing but the voice wasnt as sharp as it was earlier in the season. His voice kept changing ( especially around season 6) I guess it was Trace’s voice getting older, and crow got older too…old crow
    Joels Hair (growing out)
    Joels Knees
    Crows voice
    Traces Voice
    Did you make that phone noise
    Therapy a Go-Go time Grin


  • 118
    Mrs. Dick Courrier says:

    This thread’s gonna take a while to get through Smile

    Probably one of my top ten fave episodes. The whole thing is great, the riffing, the host segment, just everything. And I gotta say Bill Rebane movies did get better at least.

    Not my fave short, but do enjoy it.

    Some fave moments:

    The Hawaii 5-O music
    “Doug was pear shaped, very short and stood the entire way”
    “I often panic while making sandwiches” I quote this one all the time
    “They decided to go to Shakeys”
    “There’s a man outstanding in his field”
    “Dawn on the serengeti”
    “Speaking of tedium….”
    “Later over lunch with Wally Shawn”
    “Man, if you can’t outact a post…”
    And the phone ring, a classic…

    Now, I’m gonna start reading the thread


  • 119
    24HourWideAwakeNightmare says:

    It’s “pop” here in the Pacific Northwest, too. Are you denizens of the Atlantic seaboard still standing “on line,” too? Silly Loved that this regionalism made it into the ACEG.

    We won.

    You lose.


  • 120
    Max says:

    Joel’s “pop” is clearly a beer. When he explains that “it’s medicine” it’s because this movie has finally driven Joel to drink.


  • 121
    noordledoordle says:

    #120… Which would also explain why he doesn’t share any Wink


  • 122
    Max says:

    The horrifying skate about the hunted fawn and the comments about skating over its intestines is the highlight of the short.

    I love the clatter that passes for a score in the feature. The BEEEEE-OOOOOO and the various other strange noises are just inexplicable soundtrack choices.


  • 123
    bad wolf says:

    @Jay #100

    Great ideas! Including the DVD availability/location would be both convenient and informative. Sampo could include links to Amazon or Shout Factory orders, and also to the iTunes store to buy or rent individual episodes, and even Hulu episodes when available!

    in fact here we go with today’s entry:


  • 124
    pondoscp says:

    Promo for this episode:

    I’m comment 124! Wow, people have a lot to say about the episode with no monster and a cheese factory!

    Hershell Gordon Lewis is responsible for this flick. For more great info on when he invented gore films (which not only showed us the monster, they showed us more than we wanted to see), check out this:


  • 125
    Cornbred says:

    Gotta ditto Sampo here. The two highlights I wanted to mention were Servo’s “Now when you see pink you’re gonna think ‘we’re doomed'” song, which my dog has had the misfortune of hearing me sing many a time, and Trace’s absolutelly brilliant bit of delighted insanity when Frank announces the short. That is one of my favorite little moments of anything ever. So many of the tiny little moments from the series that make me laugh like an idiot for hours on end were Trace’s fault. As for the movie I put this one as worse than Manos. Manos had that sleezy greesy factor working against it, but it is still much more intersting than this turd. At least Manos had a real ending too. This one battles with Castle of Fu Manchu for worst movie they did, at least until Rifftrax and CT came along. However while I thought Fu Manchu was a weak episode, this one is brilliant. And it also makes a great sleep aid for us chronic insomniacs. I rarely make it past the short nowadays. If I do I don’t make it past the scene with the kid whose dad is dead again. And someday I hope to be able to use the phrase “Nobody gets me, I’m the wind baby.” Just waiting for an opportunity.

    I see this one as not only a great episode, but also a personaly challenge. It is a movie that must be endured, but if you survive you can take anything. At least anything of that era of film. I still can’t take the vast majority of what present day Hollywood squeezes out though.
    5 Stars, easily


  • 126
    Neptune Man says:

    Johnny Longtorso! Johnny Longtorso!
    The man who comes in pieces!
    Rrr tchi!
    Great episode.


  • 127
    Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    Don’t have much to add with this one; definitely a “classic” even through it’s a wretched print of a wretched film…

    I’ll throw in a vote for “Pop” here in Western NY, which is so close to Canada it isn’t funny!


  • 128
    Cubby says:

    Pop vs. Soda vs. Coke: An online survey map of the USA


  • 129
    Jbagels says:

    H.G. Lewis was behind this? I first heard of him through gore rapper Necro who I used to listen to. I don’t suggest anyone check out Lewis’s other films.


  • 130
    hellokittee says:

    Ugh, famous episode, yes. “Really strong” seems like a stretch. I have watched this one a number of times and it is painful each and every time. I don’t know what it is about, even the riffing doesn’t save it for me, as much as I want it to. The short is fantastic though, gotta say.


  • 131
    bad wolf says:

    and the iTunes link for your shopping convenience:


  • 132
    gorto says:

    great episode, with the voice ringing and unproportioned space pod (“pear shaped” astronaut?). the “…hoo-a, hoo-a” part of crow’s hum sounds like the incidental music from beast of yucca flats


  • 133
    This Guy says:

    Oddly enough, though I was born in staunch “pop” territory and grew up in “Coke” country, I now say “soda.” Go figure.


  • 134
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Another great Season 4 episode, a classic in my book. The opening, the Invention Exchange (“Johnny Longtorso! He’s long.”), the Circus short, the Host Segments, it’s all aces. And the movie, man, wow, what an awful awful film, but man, Joel and the Bots really have at it, they come out swinging and don’t let up. Their pain is my pain, I find solace in watching the movie with them, suffering and laughing. Laughing and suffering.

    HG Lewis has done some films that are WAAAAAAY better than this (Bill Rebane for that matter too) but that’s all really relative to how stank awful Monster A Go-Go really is. I mean, 2000 Maniacs and Wizard of Gore are bad, but they are charmingly so.

    One of my favorite things in this one, is Host Segment #1, the “I Don’t Get You” sketch. To me, this is perfect MST, and I have to say, Crow’s statement of ” I just am. I just hang out,” really just about sums up my personal philosophy on existence.


    from short, Circus on Ice:

    Servo: “Two bad things that go worse together.”

    Crow: “The soldiers destroy the delicate balance of nature.”

    Joel: “Women are pulled apart like fresh bread.”

    Joel: “She’s got a saggy diaper that leaks.”

    from the film, Monster A Go-Go:

    Crow: “It’s Billy Pilgrim.” (Later, Servo makes another Pilgrim reference. Vonnegut on the brain!)

    All 3: “Hi Steve!”

    Joel: “Ray look, it’s filled with Schlitz cans!” (“it” being the helicopter)

    Joel: “Oh, quit playing with his face, Aaron.”

    Joel: “They shaved his mustache, THOSE ANIMALS!”

    Crow: “Oh they decided to go to Shakey’s..”

    Servo: “A solemn Jack Kerouac pulls on a J in the middle of the room.”

    Crow: “Whoa. That guy’s got a weird shape.”

    movie: (mumbles somethings incoherently)
    Joel: “These pants?”
    movie: “Is there another way in?”
    Joel: “Into your pants!?!!”

    For the record, grew up in Southern Illinois and it was called either ‘Coke’ or ‘soda,’ never ‘pop,’ at least in my household. Now, I call it soda, sometimes for fun I call it ‘Coke-sodie.’

    And also, for the record, Monster A Go-Go is one of the worst films…ever. I mean, you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about…

    ….this however is a classic MST episode. 5/5, even with no monster and less go-go.


  • 135
    Cornjob says:

    This movie reminds me of a blackout. No matter how many times I see it I can hardly remember anything about it other than a lot of dark gray nothing.


  • 136
    Richard says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes! And I love watching Frank fighting desperately not to start laughing as they finish the song. Smile


  • 137
    PALADIN says:

    HA ! For years after this one, a friend of mine and I would encounter each other and one of us would just softly say..
    …To which the other would softly respond;
    …And if this transpired in public and someone noticed, I would look them right in the confused face and say;
    “Nobody gets me! I`m The Wind, Baby !”

    Then my friend and I would laugh maniacally together.

    …Ah…Good Times….


  • 138
    schippers says:

    #124 – HGL might have invented cheap, terrible AMERICAN-MADE gore films, but he certainly didn’t invent them, period. For an earlier (and much better) gore film, watch Jigoku (Hell), from Japan, which Criterion released not too long ago. You get to see a torso sawed in half. Among other things.


  • 139
    Jbagels says:

    In New York we say soda.


  • 140
    bobhoncho says:

    I am a Michigan man, born and raised, and yet I will sometimes say “pop” and other times “soda.” If I say “soda” it’s usually because the drink is fruit-flavoured.


  • 141
    frostyplum says:

    my favorite MST3K episode ever; it’s so deliciously painful. I’ve noticed I tend to like the more boring, dragged-out movies (Radar Secret Service, Rocket Attack USA, etc), and they really rise to the occasion here. living in the city, I love, love, love all the Chicago references, even more than Beginning of the End. the host segments, the invention exchange (I <3 Servo forever for making Action Oxford), the diabolical short, the post-movie wrap-up…it's got it all. this is one of the episodes I put on when I'm working late into the night and know my journey will be long and hard; it's the perfect soundtrack of suffering.


  • 142
    jjb3k says:

    This is one of my all-time favorites. Yes, the movie is punishingly bad, but this is a glistening example of how the Brains could make something out of nothing. The riffing is screamingly funny throughout (“Boy, it’s white out, it must be the whitest day yet”; “What is this, Chinese music torture?”; “I figured it out, he’s got his script taped to the floor!”), and all the host segments are brilliant. And of course, the short is one of their best (“Women are pulled apart like fresh bread!”).

    These movies where absolutely nothing happens seem to bring out the best in the Brains. With junk like Monster A Go-Go or The Starfighters or The Beast of Yucca Flats, they don’t have to worry about following the plot or keeping track of the characters – they can just hurl riff after riff at the screen without stopping. It gets a good rhythm going and it stimulates their creativity and observational skills, and it makes for some classic episodes. Smile


  • 143
    Ken says:

    ThorneSherman says:

    ‘Scientist: “I don’t have a precision mind like you Doctor Brent”
    Crow: I’m only a scientist” ‘

    Few things ever made me laugh as much as that one. But one of the others was from this episode when they tell the girl her husband(?) is missing, her girlfriend says, “Would you like me to stay with you tonight,” and Joel does his insinuating “Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Genius.


  • 144
    michael says:

    I may have bastardized it a little bit but any time someone expresses confusion in who I am as a person I still say, “Is it because I panic while making sandwiches?”.


  • 145
    Creepygirl says:

    A really fun episode I only pull out once in a while. I don’t wanna get burned out. I guess I’ve seen it about 20 times over 20 years. It is still a joy. Love the short.

    4.5 stars out of 5.


  • 146

    “Is it that I often panic while making sandwiches?”

    This and Hobgoblins are the only two movies in the canon that I believe actively hated the viewer. For sheer, woeful incompetence coupled with the worst ending to a movie in history (and yes, I’m including Shyamalan films), this one is my choice for the worst movie they ever riffed. I really don’t know how Herschel Gordon Lewis thought he could get away with releasing a movie with “brrt” in place of a phone foley, with releasing a movie where all of the characters get replaced after 35 minutes, with releasing a movie where fully three-quarters of the dialogue is completely incomprehensible. Given the raw bad of this it’s a wonder that Joel and the bots are able to make this as much fun as it is. There aren’t too many slow points in the riffing, which is far, far more than I can say for the film itself.

    The host segments are a riot. Johnny Longtorso is just evil enough to actually work (and, for those who follow trends in action figures, it has for some time now). Segment 1 is a work of art and one of my favorite host segments from the Joel seasons. Segment 2 is silly and short, while segment 3 amuses me because it’s a conversation I’ve had before. Finally, the bots breaking down despite Joel’s attempts to be goofy is a hoot. All in all, an excellent episode despite abominable source material. Despite the movie being worse, I find this easier to watch than Wild World of Batwoman, Sidehackers, and Catalina Caper. There’s just enough silliness to warrant multiple viewings that the others mentioned don’t.


  • 147
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Somehow no one’s mentioned “One, a cat in a bag?” yet. Smile One of Tom’s attempts to make out what the badly miked actors were saying, along with “washington’s radioactive?” and other guesses.

    Or was that “won a cat in a bag”? That would make marginally more sense.


  • 148
    Matt D says:

    The short of course is amazing, but one weird moment always gets me the most. It is right in the beginning when the ringmaster skates onto the floor and stop quickly while flinging his whip. Joel gives out an empathic “YES” sound that gets me every time. I don’t know why really; it really isn’t a joke. I think it’s just Joel’s inflection of that word that slays me.

    I work at a retail store where I get to tell the fellow employees about what movies and music come out on each Tuesday. A few months ago the movie “Anonymous” came out, and it was about Edward “Action Oxford” de Vere. Only because of the Invention Exchange in this episode, I was able to tell people about the rumors of him writing Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. The look I got from a few people was awesome. They didn’t know how I knew this tidbit. So thank you MST3K!

    The “Pear Shaped” riff is indeed the greatest riff in the movie, and is indeed one of the best riffs in the history of the show. So great.


  • 149
    Sitting Duck says:

    There was an article in the September 2006 issue of Smithsonian on the matter of whether or not Edward de Vere was the real Shakespeare. Overall, it’s quite evenhanded. However, two points are made which I find of interest. First, there is not a scrap of actual evidence that Edward de Vere wrote the Shakespeare plays. At the end of the day, it’s just a bunch of conjecture by overeducated intellectuals who are unwilling to accept the possibility that these plays were written by what they perceive as a semiliterate hick. Second, one of the scholars in the article remarks that the material which can definitely be attributed to Edward de Vere ranges from mediocre to really bad.


  • 150
    Keith in WI says:

    One of the great episodes in my opinion. The Short is absolutley brilliant. The movie, probably the worst one they ever encountered, with the possible exception of “Creeping Terror.” Anytime you can get references to Rumplemintz and Schlitz in the same episode, comedic gold. Not much else to say that has not already been said. No monster, no Go Go, classic.

    Fave riff: “This was only a test, if this had been an actual movie, you would have been entertained.”

    Next week – Sampo!


  • 151
    Blast Hardcheese says:

    Apologies, first, to the rest of the group for being off-topic (well, Shakespeare has the honour of being MSTied, right?).

    Sitting Duck:

    Be careful about calling the anti-Stratfordians “overeducated intellectuals”–the vast majority of them are amateur scholars, and a surprising number of them come from the theatre community. The academic world has largely rejected the claims of the Oxfordians and the Baconians, mostly because the arguments against “the Stratford man” reveal a great ignorance of Elizabethan and Jacobean literary and theatrical culture. For example, you can’t make any guesses about “clues” or “codes” in the words themselves, since some of the plays (including “Macbeth”) were written collaboratively or altered by other writers, at least one (“King Lear”) was heavily revised and now exists in two distinct versions, and variations in spelling can be found even within the same book (the printers, not the author, decided what the spelling would be. They also misread words or left out lines). The only text for the Sonnets is a fairly bad pirated edition that garbles lines. More important, the whole idea that the plays have to be autobiographical completely misunderstands the way 16th and 17th century writers thought–autobiography and the culture of self-examination don’t even start until the 18th century. There’s an excellent new book by James Shapiro, “Contested Will,” that traces the history of the Bacon and Oxford authorship theories, and concludes with Shapiro’s own reasons why he believes Shakspeare from Stratford is Shakespeare the playwright. I highly recommend it if you’re interested in the “authorship question.”

    OK–now back to cheesy movies. The worst we can find.


  • 152
    Basil says:

    Sitting Duck says:
    April 5, 2012 at 11:12 am
    The Coke as any kind of soda issue is revisited in the introductary host segment from Last of the Wild Horses. Speaking of which, it must be a Deep South thing, because I’ve lived in Virginia all my life (actual Virginia, not the DeeCee suburb known as Northern Virginia), and have never heard soda get called Coke unless it actually was a Coke.

    Oh, that’s so cute! Thinking Virginia is in the south.

    I went to Virginia one time. Well, near Norfolk, but I think that counts. Went into a restaurant and ordered sweet tea. The waiter looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out my ears.

    If they don’t serve sweet tea, they aren’t in the south.

    Although, historically, Virginia is considered the south, what with Richmond being the capital of the Confederacy and everything, but the reality of it is, it’s not.

    When someone drives down I-95 and crossed into Virginia, they think they’re in the south. Then, they get into North Carolina. They can tell they’re in the south. Then, when they get to South Carolina, there’s no doubt they are in the south. Then they cross into Georgia and realize what the south truly is. But, if they keep driving and cross the St. Mary’s River into Florida, they’re suddenly back up north again. True story.


  • 153
    dad1153 says:

    What can be said about a barely-audible, no-budget B&W movie so craptacular, so badly-made (the too-small-for-a-vetriloquist-dummy space capsule ROTFL ) and so in contempt of its own audience that its non-ending ending is still shocking (to me at least) many times after originally seeing “MST3K” make hay of it? I can only imagine what it was like for MiSTieS that saw this experiment for the first time back in ’93, but even recently on DVD my jaw just drops when voice-over guy (friend with benefits of Magic Voice? Pain ) casually lets us know ‘there was no __.’ My… God, what a steaming pile of crap flick! And yet Joel and his fellow Brains rise up to the challenge of actually scoring laughs (big one’s at that) from literally nothing, to the point that casual observations (‘hey, a new angle!,’ ‘General!’) detonate with laughs that a normal movie (i.e. one where someone actually bothered bringing an audio recording device or looking into the camera viewfinder) wouldn’t get. If “Manos” didn’t exist this would be Season 4’s ‘threshold of pain’ memorable masterpiece. Throw in a classic invention exchange (‘Joooohny Longtorso, Joooohy Longtorso’) and the demented ‘Circus on Ice’ short that’s like a baseball-throwing machine for Joel and the bots to hit homer after homer of dark humor (‘skating over her own intestines’).

    Only the average-to-uhh? host segments drag this one down (Sir Giggles von Laffsalot Crow… really?), but not enough to make “Monster A-Go-Go” less than a FOUR-AND-A-HALF STAR (out of five) episode. Favorite riff: ‘They’re talking to Charlie Brown’s mother.’ Drunken Razz