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Episode guide: 1st Annual Mystery Science Theater 3000 Summer Blockbuster Review

Original airdate: Sept 2, 1997.

Watch on Youtube:

• This hit TV screens about two weeks after the debut of episode 816- PRINCE OF SPACE and a few days before the debut of episode 817- HORROR OF PARTY BEACH.
• This is really the fulfillment of the promise of 1995′s Little Gold Statue special. Everything really clicks.
• They came up with a great little opening song.
• One innovation is the new perspective: In FRONT of the riffers so we can see their faces. It certainly was startling at first!
• And, unlike the Little Gold Statue special, they are actually riffing on the clips this time.
• Even better, Bobo joins them in the theater, then Observer. I’m guessing Patrick ran the puppets and the puppets dialog was dubbed in later. It must have been complicated!
• “Directed by Rob Lowe” is a somewhat dated riff. I think Lowe has been forgiven for some of his personal mis-steps early in his career.
• Clips shown: “The Fifth Element” (trailer then a clip), “The Lost World (trailer, scenes of people looking, behind the scenes footage), “Men in Black” (trailer, behind the scenes footage), “Contact” (trailer), Batman and Robin (trailer, behind the scenes footage).
• Interviews: Bruce Willis and Luc Besson.
Fave riff: “And here’s David Cronenberg’s rumpus room…” Honorable mention: “You’re missing Pat Hingle’s towering performance as Commissioner Gordon!”

31 comments to Episode guide: 1st Annual Mystery Science Theater 3000 Summer Blockbuster Review

  • 1
    WeatherServo9 says:

    “This is really the fulfillment of the promise of 1995?s Little Gold Statue special.”


    I really like that they got everybody in the theater, and also that they showed the riffers from the front. I think I was also startled the first time I saw this, but then immediately thought to myself how cool it was that we actually got to see what the theater looks like. Too bad we couldn’t see the rest of the ship in the series. I’m sure, like all big spaceships, it had a big bottom-heavy basement with lots of railings.

    Also it’s difficult to fathom that that particular Batman movie was even made, let alone viewed by anyone. Wow.


  • 2
    Stefanie says:

    I love this special. You can see the inside of the theater room, that’s mind-blowing!!!


  • 3
    Mela says:

    I still remember everyone’s horrified screaming as Joel Schumacher gave Alicia Silverstone an overly-affectionate hug. I can’t even watch the YouTube links right now (work has no Flash), but that was the first thing that came into my head once I saw this special’s title. That and Bobo’s horrible “Hey, that guy’s cool! And so’s that guy!” riffing.


  • 4
    Zee says:

    It always bothered me in the specials that the doorway in the background looks wrong- it looks like the door as we see it in the doorway sequence, while we SHOULD be seeing it from the other angle.


  • 5
    kismetgirl88 says:

    #4 It show you should relax.
    I love Bobo riffs to Men in Black “What going on” WHat did that man say” Because my mom ALway will come in durring a show and ask what going on during show and what did he say I have stop and explain. Thank god for TVIO.


  • 6
    duckpin says:

    Man, I loved this and the second summer blockbuster review. The riffing of Bruce Willis’ interview was classic.

    (And it’s the editor in me that has to call attention to “first annual” … it’s incorrect! Something can’t be annual if it’s only happened once!)


  • 7
    WeatherServo9 says:

    Whoops, I forgot my favorite line – “Protect your sacroiliac when we review the Men in Black.” I laughed at that for days the first time I saw this.

    @Zee, I never noticed the door not quite being right before. Although it is just a show, and I’m fully relaxed about it.


  • 8
    Creeping Terror says:

    Great special! It would make a better DVD extra some day. (Hint, hint, Shout Factory).

    My thoughts:

    1. Does anyone else think the instrumental music is too loud at the beginning?
    2. Funniest parts: the shot of Mike looking interspliced among all the other Spielbergian looking, Observer’s review for his friends on another planet, headbobs and smiles, and Crow shouting, “So, let’s roll it again!” when talking about the awkward behind the scenes clip from “Batman and Robin.”
    3. Least funny moment: Bobo in the theater. Riffing the trailer would have been funnier.
    4. Does anyone else think that they look cramped sitting in the theatre when the camera is looking at them… especially Mike with his broad Midwestern shoulders.

    All in all, one of the funnier specials.


  • 9
    Nutcase says:

    Bobo’s monolouge at the end really says a lot about his people, doesn’t it? Time of the Apes a good movie? LOL


  • 10
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    The Speilberg “people looking” montage is one of my favorite bits. It perfectly sums up the work of Mr Speilbergo. Anytime I need to explain my distaste for Speilberg, I reference this clip. I mean, I love Jaws, but seriously, the guy is a one trick pony, and that trick hasn’t been effective since the early 80′s.


  • 11
    clhenry89 says:

    The Fifth Element and Batman and Robin are both Rifftrax.


  • 12
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    “You should really just relax” as used on this site =

    “I’m not concerned about what you’re concerned about, ergo you should not be concerned, either” =

    “I am too solipsistic to conceptualize the validity of other people’s concerns if they do not match my own.”


  • 13
    gorto says:

    awesome, very funny. love it when bobo watches the men in black trailer. “why’s he no longer part of the system?” I have relatives who get that sort of excitement from lousy movies too. funny, and sad, for its relativity.


  • 14
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    Yes, this is a great preview of what Rifftrax would eventually do: tackle the big-budget/no-brain Hollywood products. I love that they even riff on EPK (Electronic Press KIt) clips. I’m pretty sure I saw Fifth Element and Batman & Robin in theaters that summer. And they both became funny Rifftrax later. Thanks for posting these, Sampo. Note: at the end of Part 2/3, Servo says, “Won’t you? Thank you,” a reversal of the old Joel chestnut.


  • 15
    Matt D. says:

    I actually saw a double bill of Contact AND Batman and Robin one night that summer. I loved Contact, and yet almost all the happiness I got from that movie-watching experience was crushed when I watched the disaster that was Batman and Robin.

    As for the special, this was the first time I have ever seen it, and it was great, especially the Fifth Element review (Crow- From Columbia Pictures, a sincere apology).


  • 16
    Pixiesnix says:

    Wow, the “staying with Demi” line during the Bruce Willis interview was prophetic.


  • 17
    Timber says:

    The line “Oh my God, they’re docking!” during the B&R trailer had me laughing for days after first seeing this. I may have to pick up the B&R Rifftrax.


  • 18
    jjb3k says:

    I love how the ending credits feature Kevin Murphy essentially talking to himself. It is, as comedy writer Ken Keeler would say, “head-exploding TV”.

    I just think it was so awesome that we finally got to see the front of the theater. It’s one of those geeky things that only the show’s fans care about, purely because we’ve never seen it before and our curiosity has been piqued.

    Shame they only had time for five movies – the summer of 1997, just like any other given year, was bloated with big, loud action movies for the Brains to tear into. I would have liked to see them take on stuff like Volcano, Con Air, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Air Force One, and so on.


  • 19
    Brandon says:

    Hilariously, Servo’s head is transparent when we see them at the front of the theater, and then goes back to being black when we cut to the regular view. I always found that funny.


  • 20
    Brandon says:

    Another thing: When we see the front of the theater, why can’t we see Cambot in the back?

    I know, I know. It’s just a show…


  • 21
    Spector says:

    The forerunner of Rifftrax! Seriously, this was a great treat at the time watching them riff on the trailer for those (at the time) first run movies.

    “From Columbia Pictures…”
    Crow: “A sincere apology”.

    As they watch Arnold Schwarzenegger flying through the air as “Mr Freeze” in “Batman and Robin”, Mike exclaims in his best Schwarzenegger accent “Behold, I bring you tidings of joy”.



  • 22
    Wampa Joe says:

    “We’re so sorry Uncle Alfred!”



  • 23
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:


    Everything we see on the show is through Cambot’s eye(s?), so we can never see Cambot himself unless he looks in a mirror (as he does during the MST3K opening credits). Thus, every time the camera switches from usual rear shots to front shots, Cambot is implicitly quickly moving from the back to the front, because he IS the camera.

    Might’ve been a nice extra touch if, right after a shift from back to front or vice versa, Mike or Tom or Crow had said something to the effect of “Whoa! Watch it, Cambot! Not used to you zipping around overhead like that,” though.


  • 24
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:


    The nanites were re-decorating again…


  • 25
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves (#23): “Cambot is implicitly quickly moving from the back to the front, because he IS the camera.”

    The thing is, they’re CUTS, at least apparently. For it to be Cambot moving, he would have to be able to go from a standing start at the front of the theater to a complete stop at the back in less than 1/60 of a second (the amount of time in one video field… and that’s not even subtracting the amount of time the shutter is open). Whoa, indeed.

    The Brains actually did think to explain the two-camera setup in context. I haven’t seen the movie specials in a while, so I don’t remember which one this happens in, but Servo says hello to the cameraman who’s doing the front shots. Calls him by name, but I can’t recall what it was.


  • 26
    Matt D. says:

    The cameraman was LYLE!


  • 27
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Matt D. (#26):

    Thanks. I knew it was a monosyllable, but I couldn’t shake “Chad” out of my mind, even though I knew it was probably wrong.


  • 28
    Wampa Joe says:

    Crow also explicitly references the extra camera at the front of the theater before Servo begins singing the theme song.


  • 29
    starman15317 says:

    I love this one


  • 30

    Bobo + Men In Black = BUYS!


  • 31
    starman15317 says:

    “From Columbia Pictures” “A sincere apology”