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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


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

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 1010- IT Lives By Night

Movie: (1974) A scientist is bitten by, and then begins turning into, a bat.

First shown: July 18, 1999
Opening: Mike quizzes Crow and Tom on colors and the moods they cause
Intro: Pearl tries tactical misdirection so M&tB won’t notice that she’s spraying poison on them, causing mutations
Host segment 1: Mike and Tom can’t deny that they didn’t forget that Crow’s not Mary Tyler Moore
Host segment 2: Finding Mike unconscious and foaming at the mouth, Crow and Tom assume the worst
Host segment 3: Mike seeks Pearl’s opinion on his new moustache, but Crow’s larger ‘stache impresses her more. Tom takes the premise too far, however
End: Tom is dissatisfied by his franchisee kit from the Buddy Ebsen Hat Distressing Corp.; Pearl tortures Bobo and Brain Guy with slides from her many honeymoons
Stinger: Bat guy says “Well?” then convulses.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (285 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)

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• This one’s another season 10 good-not-great outing for me. It’s a dumb enough movie, of course. Why on earth would being bitten by an animal turn you INTO that animal? I get the whole werewolf thing, but that’s some sort of supernatural curse. But I don’t think the movie is suggesting that anything supernatural is going on here. Just some sort of weird form of rabies or something? I don’t get it. Anyway, the riffing is fine, the sketches are pretty good, I laughed a lot, but there’s not too much that’s very memorable about this one.
• Kevin’s thoughts are here.
• This episode was included in The Mystery Science Theater 3000 collection, Vol. XXX.
• Lathrop’s (emblazoned on the bots’ hats in the opening) was apparently a local Benjamin Moore-owned chain in the Twin Cities, apparently absorbed by another retailer about a year after this was shot.
• I’m a big Talking Heads fan and Tom’s “Look at these hands!!!” cracked me up.
• Tom suggests he should be called “Bob Huge Hands.” Hmmmm… Is he related to Timmy?
• Apparently this movie was originally titled “Bat People.” This resulted in no end of confusion whenever it appeared on the schedule, as Sci-Fi Channel insisted on calling it “Bat People.” Our rule is that we call the episode whatever actually appears in the title card on the screen (which is why we use the title “Attack of the the Eye Creatures”). So, no “Bat People.”
• By the way, last time around I noticed that the “IT” in the title is capitalized on the title card. Information Technology? So that is now its official title.
• Then-current reference: Mary Slaney.
• There was almost a “Dale” in this one. Looking at our hero’s hands somebody says “…your hands!” and the riff is “So young looking!”
• Callback: “He’s turning into a damned wirwilf!”
• Segment 1 is classic insane Crow, driven even more insane by the Mike and Tom’s taunting.
• Of course, that’s the always-enjoyable Michael Pataki as Sheriff Menacing W. Pervert.
• Segment 2: Eh. Doesn’t do much for me.
• At one point, Crow admires himself in a mirror on a car in the movie.
• Tom briefly hums the “NBC Mystery Movie” theme, once verboten by Joel.
• LOTR reference: “It’s just a balrog.”
• Riffs that made you want to slap them: Mike’s “bat master’s son” joke.
• Segment 3 a little low-key, but Mike’s expressions save it. Note another instance where Pearl calls Crow “Art.”
• The Satellite of Love has a loading dock?
• Nice job from Mary Jo in the ending bit.
• Cast and crew roundup: director Jerry Jameson and cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti also worked together on “Superdome.” Photo effects guy Howard A. Anderson also worked on “Women of the Prehistoric Planet,” “King Dinosaur,” “Twelve to the Moon” and “The Amazing Transparent Man.” Sound guy Rod Sutton also worked on “King Dinosaur” “Hangar 18” and “The Slime People.” In front of the camera, Michael Pataki was also in “Superdome” and “The Side Hackers.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. This is editor Bill Gibb’s last episode; he’d been brought on three episodes previous. The credits say that this was also interns Ed Dykhuizen’s and Sarah Lemanczyk’s last episode; they too started three episodes prior, however Ed himself has posted in the comments to say that this was a mistake and they both actually finished up the season.
• Fave riff: “Well, I do feel closer to you since you opened up to me about your stink.” Honorable mention: “Hunter Thompson, Texas Ranger.”

131 Replies to “Episode guide: 1010- IT Lives By Night”

  1. rcfagnan says:

    Another dull sevenities movie. I can’t really bring anything new to the discussion except to inform everyone that we are all now, by this time, coated with a thick slimy film of seventies-ness and need to take long showers immediately to clean the filth off.

       1 likes

  2. Spector says:

    Agree with Sampo on this one. It’s a good episode and the movie is goofy enough but at times this one just seems to lack sizzle. It had the potential for much better riffing and I know I’ve said this several times regarding most of the episodes of Season Ten, but with this episode I just had the sense that their hearts just really weren’t as much into it knowing it was the final season. 3 out of five.

       0 likes

  3. WhereTheFishLives says:

    Maybe I’m just biased towards episodes with Bill in them, but I love this episode. Sherriff “My own flesh and blood I didn’t love better” really makes me laugh with his creepiness.

       2 likes

  4. robniles says:

    A pleasant if uneventful ride through a pretty stock lycanthropy flick. Well, give or take the decent-ish theme song and that “B-movie on TV on a Saturday afternoon in the ’70s” vibe, which this has in spades. Watching it again, I wonder if it would’ve been improved with Dr. Mellow Ski Bum and Sheriff Perv as the leads instead of Mr. & Mrs. No-Chemistry.

    Also, everything Finnias (#19) said.

       0 likes

  5. kismetgirl88 says:

    I love the ending bit. Who knew Pearl was married so many times. Very creative.

       2 likes

  6. losingmydignity says:

    This is one of those that doesn’t get a lot of love, but I really really like. Not a classic but a fond favorite. A sleeper ep if you will like Deadly Bees.

    The best part is the car chase. Very funny. “He would have crashed into that car anyway.”

    This DOES feel like a tv movie, so I can understand people making that mistake. Really reminds me of Gargoyles and other oddities that were made in the early seventies. I think it is supernatural. I mean the bats are calling them after all. But the supernatural element isn’t emphasized. This was a seventies trend that was epitomized by Jaws and its ilk. Also, possession was big, a la Exorcist, so I think they were going for that element too.

    This is not the worst bat movie ever. That accolade falls to that David Warner movies, I think it’s called Nightwing, that came out a few years after this one.

    There’s a nice moment when Mike does Joel: “UMMMMMMMMM that’s good……”

    Yeah, there were a lot of movies with men turning into things in this season, but have you guys noticed all eps in this season, except Hamlet, take place in southern climes, especially the southern United States (Soultaker and Merlin are southern california right?). So you’ve got shaky California, greasy Arkansas, smarmy Florida, smelly Malta, groovy New Mexico, camp Arizona, tropical Spider Island, The SOUTH, and world cup failing Italy (perhaps the lovely Amalfi coast?)

    Exactly what city was IT filmed in? Anyone know? Looks like Flagstaff again or Phoneix?

    Favorite riffs: “All he needs is a feather boa.” and “The town that’s all outskirts!”

       3 likes

  7. monoceros4 says:

    Track of the Moon Beast is stupider, which means the episode is funnier. It Lives By Night reminded me a little of the duller, cheaper ’50s sci-fi or horror movies that occasionally appeared in MST3K, where either because of a microscopic budget or because of some misguided idea that “atmosphere” all by itself was the only thing needed to keep the viewers going without any need for showing action or decision or even a decent conversation (think The Screaming Skull). Yeah, we can all make fun of the not very wolf-like creatures in Wurhwilf or the wretched were-lizard costuming in Moon Beast but, by God, at least both movies actually bother to show something. The horribly protracted “He’s a monster! or is he??” indecisiveness of It Lives By Night is fatal in a movie that has nothing else going for it. The X-Files-style trick of offering a “rational” explanation, the possibility that the fellow is suffering from rabies, is particularly silly because there’s zero resemblance between the progress of rabies and what happens to the protagonist–and, anyway, if the hospital really thought Beck was raving and frothing because of symptomatic rabies, it’d be straight into drugged insensibility for our hero and none of this “is he or isn’t he sick” nonsense the movie gives us. The medical men on Track of the Moon Beast look like geniuses in comparison.

    I daresay that if this had been a late 8th-season episode, the episode would have been more entertaining–maybe. After all, Devil Doll was painful to watch as well even though the SOL crew was putting more energy into riffing it.

       1 likes

  8. losingmydignity says:

    Okay, did my own research. IMDB says its Bishops, California and obviously the cave stuff was done in Carlsbad (no, he isn’t. Carl’s a nice guy!)NM.

    The film is Nightwing.

    My grade for IT is a slightly overinflated A- (hey, I’m fond of this one)

       2 likes

  9. Kouban says:

    Does anyone know what happened to Multi-Armed Crow?

       0 likes

  10. Gorn Captain says:

    I got Paul Carr’s autograph at a con a few years after this aired, and my brain just didn’t connect him to MST at the time! Must have been the lack of moustache. I’ll always wonder if he knew about “Dr. Mellow”.

       0 likes

  11. Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    losingmydignity (#58): “Okay, did my own research. IMDB says its Bishops, California and obviously the cave stuff was done in Carlsbad (no, he isn’t. Carl’s a nice guy!)NM.”

    Where did you research that? As I mentioned (#45) the Mitchell Caverns sign is in the movie, and that’s in California. Check out this web page. The tour building appears to be the same one used as the police station.

    www [dot] desertusa.com [slash] mnp [slash] mnp_mc [dot] html

    Sorry for the [dot] and [slash] stuff, but the blog software holds up messages with regular web addresses.

       1 likes

  12. RockyJones says:

    This one’s never done much for me. The host segments are okay, but the overly “laid-back” pacing of the movie tends to lose me about ten minutes in. The riffing just doesn’t seem all that inspired either.

    Also, I’ve always wondered what had to be going through Marianne MacAndrew’s head while shooting this little pile of dreck…considering that just a few years previous, she appeared as Irene Molloy in the film version of Hello Dolly!, alongside legendary performers like Barbra Streisand, Michael Crawford, and director Gene Kelly. Talk about a step backward!

       2 likes

  13. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    “I was just pimp slapped by a bat, how the hell do I put that in a report?”

    “Who is this movies target audience?”
    “I dunno, a bat-fetishist named Stan??”

       5 likes

  14. Mr. Ball says:

    What can I say? It was one of my first taped episodes, before Sci-Fi began their 4-year reruns. Not a favorite, but an enjoyable one for me and an episode I usually have playing in the background either at home or work.

       1 likes

  15. Gummo says:

    A very solid second-tier episode, this is one of those movies that gets stupider the more you think about it:

    The way Johnny & Dr. Ski Bum both shrug off the possibility he may have rabies — “oh, go skiiing, you won’t get terminally ill for at least a few weeks!” — never fails to boggle my mind. The utter blandness of our lead characters — heck, of the entire movie, also. It may have been a theatrical release, but everything about it, from the casting to the endless talk, just screams made-for-TV movie.

    I tend to forget about this one for long stretches, pull it out for an occasional viewing, laugh heartily, then promptly forget about it again.

       2 likes

  16. Howard says:

    #56 -losingmydignity says: “Soultaker and Merlin are southern california right?” Actually they’re not. Soultaker was shot in Alabama, which is surely Southern, but Merlin takes place in a small town in “northern California.” I know this because Ernest Borgnine says so as he begins spinning his yarn. Just noticed it a few nights ago. For L.A. & southern California see “Girl in Gold Boots.”

       1 likes

  17. Thomas K. Dye says:

    #66: He SAYS “small town in Northern California” but it’s clearly shot in Southern California, as evidenced by the sign reading “North Hills Cleaners” (who have a two for one velvet robe special going). North Hills is in the San Fernando Valley, in SOUTHERN California.

       1 likes

  18. ck says:

    #66
    “For L.A. & southern California see “Girl in Gold Boots.”
    ====================================

    But don’t forget those mountains of Illinois
    in Beginning of the End.

       1 likes

  19. Howard says:

    #65 Gummo says: “I tend to forget about this one for long stretches, pull it out for an occasional viewing, laugh heartily, then promptly forget about it again.” Perfect! That sums it up for me too. It neither adds to nor detracts from the show’s legacy, for me anyhow.

       0 likes

  20. mjmiller18 says:

    Not a comment on the episode, per se… But I was wondering if anyone ever heard a comment from anyone at MST3K about whether it was weird to comeback to the SciFi web site and write comments about an episode after the series had been cancelled.

       0 likes

  21. Lucas D. says:

    #70: We appreciate the attempt at satire, but this is what fans do, and I’m absolutely certain the Brains are aware of it.

    Ooh, I know! Since you’re so clever and cutting, next you should question why there are forums for fans of classical music and silent films; I mean, don’t those idiots know nobody even makes that stuff anymore?

       1 likes

  22. Oddly, I don’t remember anything about the movie in this one, just the host segments. Mike’s Ted Baxter is great and the mustache bit is amusing, but what kills me is Crow’s deadpan “We saw you were unconscious and naturally assumed that you’d turned into some kind of horrible man-bat.” I’m going to have to rewatch this one.

       2 likes

  23. Cornjob says:

    “I can’t help but compare this to 1007 – Track of the Moon Beast. From the opening credits alone, one can see this is the better made film.”-#19

    I agree that the two movies have very similar narratives, and despite It Lives…’s better production, I think Track is a better film. The couple in It Lives… annoy the heck out of me. The couple in Track consist of a twit and a man who seems to have never met a woman before, but I feel some sympathy for them. I wanted the It Lives… couple to die, and neither did. I also didn’t know lycanthropy was a venerial disease.

    Dr. Mellow Ski-Bum was by far the most appealing character in It Lives…, even if he had to be harrassed into doing his job; but he was no Johnny Long-Bone. Johnny was alert and on the case immediately. And even if all he could do is make the tragic hero die faster, he did it decisively and competantly.

    Track’s monster(a buggles video) was also better. Here’s a question: Who was the worse lycanthrope, the Wurwilf from Werewolf, or the Man-Bat from It Lives… ?

    I like both episodes, but tilt a little twards Track for the above reasons.

       3 likes

  24. Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Lucas (#71):

    Uh, what? It’s obvious that what mjmiller18 was asking was this: Did the Brains find it at all awkward to get hired by the very people who canceled their show to write about the episodes that those very people apparently disliked enough to cancel the show? It’s a little like a girlfriend dumping you, then hiring you to write about your relationship. It would feel a little odd.

    That’s it. I’m guessing that you thought mjmiller18 meant that the Brains were idiots for writing about a canceled show, but I haven’t the slightest idea how you derived that from what he wrote.

       4 likes

  25. Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    By the way…

    mjmiller18 (#70): “I was wondering if anyone ever heard a comment from anyone at MST3K about whether it was weird to comeback to the SciFi web site and write comments about an episode after the series had been cancelled.”

    I doubt it was that weird for them. Although scifi.com was, of course, part of the same company, it was run by different people than Sci-Fi Channel programming. So it wasn’t the same people canceling them, then turning around and hiring them to write about it. I have the feeling the attitude from the website was something like, “We’re sorry the show ended. We were big fans. Can we interest you in writing about the last few episodes?” Anyway, it must have been a mutually satisfactory experience, because scifi.com and the Brains subsequently worked together on “Edward the Less.”

       2 likes

  26. Lucas D. says:

    #74: Oh. My bad, but it wasn’t even the tiniest bit obvious. There are a lot of ways to clearly say “I wonder if the Brains thought it was weird for the Sci Fi Channel to commission them to write episode guide summaries after the show was cancelled,” in fact, there’s one right there, but that wasn’t one of them. It seemed like he was snarking on us for commenting on older bits of pop culture. But again, my bad.

       1 likes

  27. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    I’m with you, Lucas D. I had to read #70 twice to make sure he wasn’t snarking on us. I mean, there have been a few instances of trolls popping up here on the site as of late and making lame attempts to snicker-snag on us, so I can understand the confusion and the raising of the red flag(on the moon).

    Let’s all try to just relax and go back to our bad movies and silly puppet theater.

       3 likes

  28. mjmiller18 says:

    #74 & #75 & #76 & #77
    Iggy Pop’s Brother Steve Pop interpreted my comment/question right. I do lurk a lot, but I’m definitely not trolling. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I had been wondering for a while if it was a weird experience for the cast of MST3K to write comments for the SciFi.com/mst3k web site about an episode that was shown after the show had been cancelled.

       2 likes

  29. losingmydignity says:

    According to imdb they used the famous Carlsbad caves but we all know how authoritative the imdb is…ha ha. Whatever, the case it looks like every ep this season except Hamlet was shot in sunny southern place. I rest my pointless case.

       0 likes

  30. Pixiesnix says:

    #78, For what it’s worth, I knew what you were talking about. Then again, I usually don’t have trouble parsing the written word.*

    Not much to say about this one. It’s another good episode, but not particularly remarkable. I agree that it’s a weaker cousin to Track of the Moon Beast. The only memorable characters are Sheriff Menacing W. Pervert and Dr. Groovy moustache, the former loathsome and the latter incompetent.

    And what is it with super-thin 70’s actresses and jutting hip bones? We saw it in The Incredible Melting Man, Laserblast, Squirm, and this one. Kathy from Moon beast was at least shapely.

    *This is not a slam against anyone who misinterpreted mjmiller’s original post. I can see how someone could misread it. It’s just one of my stronger suits. Taxes and fees may apply. Do not expose post to temperatures over 72 degrees Farenheit. Offer not valid in Alaska or Hawaii. See store for details.

       1 likes

  31. Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    losingmydignity (#79):

    I’d like to apologize for snapping about research before I myself had even done a Google search for “‘it lives by night’ carlsbad” and found that practically everyone (including, as you note, IMDb) thinks it was shot there. I guess they a) missed the sign, and b) made the leap from “limestone caves in the desert” to “Carlsbad.”

    As for Bishop, CA, the IMDb is right there. Here’s the motel from the movie (note the sign):

    www [dot] tripadvisor [dot] com/Hotel_Review-g32083-d614068-Reviews-Bishop_Village_Motel-Bishop_California.html

    I’ve been through Bishop several times, and even spent the night there once (though not at the Village Motel), but had no idea I’d seen it on MST3K.

       2 likes

  32. Warren says:

    This one’s okay but I don’t watch it very often. Mary Tyler Less’ Charlie Brown shirt is noteworthy I guess. I think this one had a Monty Python reference (It’s….).

       0 likes

  33. losingmydignity says:

    Re 81: I’m so staying in that hotel on my honeymoon…

       4 likes

  34. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I don’t know exactly where it was filmed; I was just impressed at how narrow the cave opening appear-dammit!

       0 likes

  35. htom sirveaux says:

    Did she marry Kevin MacDonald?

       1 likes

  36. htom sirveaux says:

    “By the way, if you are bit by a bat you will convulse and turn into one, it is a scientific fact.”

    One of the best Mike reads ever.

       2 likes

  37. Sitting Duck says:

    losingmydignity #56: Really reminds me of Gargoyles and other oddities that were made in the early seventies.

    I believe this is the one LMD means, for those whose first thought was of the Disney-produced animated series from the Nineties.

       3 likes

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

    “We have to MELLOW him out!”

    Obviously, since Johnny’s the only Bat Person in the movie, the title “Bat PEOPLE” was a no-go from the start.

    I’m not sure I get why Mike and the Bots think Cathy will also turn into a werebat. Don’t we just see her walking toward the cave and not actually transforming? Maybe she’s going to live in the cave with him and the bats while remaining human. Mixed marriages CAN work, you know.

    So, which, if any, of Pearl’s dead husbands was Dr. Forrester’s father? We’ll never know.

       4 likes

  39. Dan in WI says:

    I too have to disagree with our esteemed fearless leader Sampo. The way Johnny senses the bats before ever being bitten screams supernatural to me. Then Cathy displays the same traits before her inevitable transformation begins.

       2 likes

  40. jjb3k says:

    This is typical of Season 10 – an icky, oily, unpleasant movie from the ’70s that inspires top-drawer riffing from Mike and the bots. It kinda trails off towards the end with a long barrage of “squeak” jokes that wear out their welcome, but overall, I like this one a lot.

    Servo’s enthusiastic delivery of “Can really needs it!” in the opening kills me every time. The rest of the bit is kind of obvious, but they keep it afloat. “DEVILS!”

    “Man, she’s got a lot of fingers.” I love riffs like that, ones that sound like nonsense but you can see where they were coming from anyway.

    Is it some kind of rule that Michael Pataki has to play a sleazebag in every movie he’s in? He’s not nearly as loathsome here as he was in The Sidehackers, but he comes pretty close. I understand the Brains cut a scene where he tries to put the mack on Mrs. Bat. What a dickweed.

    I love the Mary Tyler Moore sketch. Mike does a dead-on Ted Baxter. :)

    I always think of this movie as a companion piece to Track of the Moon Beast, since both involve boring guys turning into stupid-looking monsters and escaping a hospital to wander around and do nothing for about twenty minutes. The heartwarming bonding scene between Man-Bat and the Buddy Ebsen homeless guy is truly classic. “Ooh, I’m technically dead again…”

    “Honk-shoo, honk-shoo, boy am I sleeping!” I gotta use that in real life sometime.

    And in addition to Moon Beast, this movie rips off its ending from The Blood Waters of Dr. Z. It’s like they put Season 10 in a blender and pushed the “mix” button. :)

       7 likes

  41. Duane Zykov says:

    Theres another guy from this movie who worked on other MSTed movies. Gaffer Frank Leonetti. He also did “Violent Years” and “Transparent Man”.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0502948/

       1 likes

  42. Kenneth Morgan says:

    @jjb3k (#90)

    Michael Pataki has an uncredited role in “The Andromeda Strain” where he plays a fairly competent lab tech.

    And I agree Mike’s Ted Baxter is spot-on.

       2 likes

  43. Bruce Boxliker says:

    I mostly agree, a good-not-great episode.

    There’s a lot of Cathy’s in these movies, too (as evidenced by the always-expected ‘ACK!’ riff).
    On the question of why the guy can sense the bats in the beginning, he’s established as working with bats. Maybe sonar rubs off on people.
    Obviously these two were-bats are the origin of the infamous Bat Boy.

       2 likes

  44. itsspideyman says:

    #93 I agree, good-not-great, but there were some spot-on riffs.

    Loved the car-chase with those big unwieldy 70’s cars, and loved the sheriff riffs.

    “All he needs is a feather boa.”

       3 likes

  45. Cheapskate Crow says:

    I thought Servo was color blind, I can’t remember which episode it was but I remember a big crying scene at the beginning of an episode where Crow comforts him and says “It wouldn’t have mattered to me!” I know, just relax. As to this episode, I watched it a couple of years ago and don’t really remember anything about it, which I think is a bad sign. Season 10 just didn’t do a lot for me at all.

       2 likes

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

    #95:

    Well, Joel had ample opportunity to fix that later, or even Mike could’ve done it, if the instructions were simple enough. If nothing else, Servo himself could’ve “color-corrected” his own eyesight when he reverted back to matter after being pure energy at the end of the universe and stuff…or when he re-entered his body after being a toaster strudel…or…

       3 likes

  47. Geoff says:

    The funniest part of this episode though was at the end when Crown was like “How did she become a bat when the only contact she had with him was in the bedroom?” Then that all have the sudden realization and he Crow says “I call the shower first!”

       5 likes

  48. pondoscp says:

    Silly, funny, light, pretty good. I really do enjoy these Season 10 episodes, and look forward to getting a better copy of this one on the upcoming vol. 30!

       3 likes

  49. Whenever I think of IT Lives By Night, I seem to remember it fondly, as it’s a ’70s horror movie (which I love) with a couple memorable characters (the greasy sheriff and Dr. Mellow Ski-Bum). However, when I actually sit down to watch it, it’s one of those episodes that sort of just wash over you. It’s entertaining, mostly, but it really doesn’t stack up against some of the earlier Season 10 eps.

    What I’m saying is, this is a good-not-great episode.

    One complaint about the movie: not enough special effects. I’d like a better peak at Johnny as a Bat Boy, you know? The great Stan Winston did the special effects, so it would’ve been nice to see more of his work (those bat hands looked kinda good). This is one of Winston’s earliest screen credits, and his first non-TV movie, actually (his first work was the fondly remembered TV-movie, Gargoyles). He would of course go on to create the Predator, Terminator, Edward Scissorhands, the dinos in Jurassic Park, and those monsters in Monster Squad, amongst other things. Stan was one of the greats. RIP.

    Back to IT Lives By Night: the riffing is fairly good in this, there’s plenty of funny moments. The “SQUEAK!” jokes are plentiful and I can see how some might get annoyed at their frequency, but they won me over (my favorite is highlighted below). There were also a few (by my count, three) jokes about Beck, because that was the couple’s last name, but no one seems bothered by those.

    (note: it seems that somebody on the writing staff really did not like Beck, although maybe it’s a case of actually liking him and they’re just gently ribbing him? I dunno, it’s hard to tell. There are jokes about him stretching back to at least Season 8, and I’m fairly sure there are some instances of them back in the CC days. I guess I can understand, his earlier stuff could be quite polarizing, but I’ve always liked him as an artist. His newest album, Morning Phase, is pretty good, inmyopinion).

    The Host Segments are, once again, a mixed bag. The Intro with the painting and colors is okay (Lisa Stansfield!) and the Opening Segment with Mike and the Bots being gassed by a plane (…wait..what? They’re on a satellite? In space!) leads to the funny appearance of six-armed Crow and Bob Huge Hands Servo, both of which are funny.

    As for the Host Segments proper:
    HS#1 is okay. Mike’s impression is fairly spot on, but the whole Mary Tyler Moore thing seems apropos of virtually nothing.
    HS#2 with Mike’s rabies is totally “meh.”
    HS#3 is a skit I like to call “Mustaches and Turtlenecks.” I love Crow’s soft laughter, it kills me.

    The Closing Segment with the hat distressing company jokes is a nice, quick out to the episode, and the last bit down at Castle Forrester is notable only because we learn that Pearl had at least FIVE ex-husbands. The only misstep? One of her exes shoulda been Sandy…POOOM!


    RIFFS:

    Crow: “A human! He’ll entangle my feet with his hair!”

    movie: “Kathy!”
    Servo: “You’re ruining the mood!”

    Mike: “Ooooo, too much vapor action!”

    Johnny sits in the snow,
    Crow: “Hey, where’d my chair go?”

    Crow: “But Dr. Mellow Ski-Bum said it would be fine.”

    Crow: “Has he never been mellow?”

    Crow: “He has achieved a state of perfect blandness.”

    Servo: “Hunter Thompson, Texas Ranger.”

    car crashes,
    Servo: “SQUEAK!”

    Crow: “I’ve seen you undressing me with your sonar.”

    Crow: “I was just pimped slapped by a bat, how the hell do I put that in a report?”

    Crow: “So, who was this movie’s target audience?
    Servo: “Hell, I dunno. A bat fetishist named Stan? And even he missed it.”


    IT Lives By Night is a good episode,
    I like it better than the previous two,
    Final Justice and Hamlet,
    but I find myself giving IT the same rating,
    making this stretch the low point of Season 10,
    which is otherwise a pretty great season,
    inmyopinion.

    IT Lives By Night,
    IT gets 3 out of 5 SQUEAKS!!!!

       7 likes

  50. Cornjob says:

    My comments at #73 still stand. There are probably more annoying couples in MST history, but these two give it a game try. He’s a bat loving spineless weenie, and she’s a shrew. And this has got to be the vaguest quasi-lycanthropy ever. Was the bat radioactive like Peter Parker’s spider? Did a Gypsy curse get edited out of the MST version? Did Dr Mellow Ski Bum ask himself, “What would Johnny Longbone do?”

       4 likes

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