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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 1013- Diabolik

Movie: (1968) Super-thief Diabolik performs several daring heists, then sets his sights on a shipment of gold.

First shown: August 8, 1999
Opening: M&tB discover the SOL employee handbook
Intro: Pearl has a new joystick, which leads to re-entry protocol
Host segment 1: Crow and Mike are packed; while Servo disposes of the many extra hims
Host segment 2: In Castle Forrester, everybody is lining up new gigs
Host segment 3: Crow is worried, so Mike sings a reassuring song
End: After the crash, M&tB settle in to their new home with a familiar pastime
Stinger: “Is that stud coming?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (207 votes, average: 4.38 out of 5)

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• And so we come to the final episode, and, of course, this is one where the host segments outweigh the movie. Like all the big premise-changing episodes, the host segments are, once again, a marvel of tight, efficient (and funny!) story telling. As for the movie, it’s sort of “Danger Death Ray”/”Double 007″ meets “Batman” and, well, yes, it certainly is pretty to look at.
• Last time I called the riffing “steady and workmanlike,” adding that “there’s little that’s memorable.” I’m going to disagree with myself after this viewing. Maybe it was the mood I was in, but I laughed a LOT this time.
• Mary Jo (with an assist from Bill, Patrick and Paul) offers her thoughts.
References. I noticed a couple they missed: “Okay, I’ll go hang with Nova for a while” is a reference to the fact that the woman looks a bit like the female lead of “Planet of the Apes.” Also “Flaming truck at Brixton, 20 minutes late” is a “Fall & Rise of Reginald Perrin” reference.
• While this episode was being made, Jim Mallon stalked the halls with a video camera, documenting the event. The footage was later released on video as “The Last Dance: Raw.” The last time through, I watched it before actually watching this episode, and it is interesting in a couple of respects. First, if it does nothing else, it captures the tedium of TV production. There is a lot of standing around waiting, and this gives us a real sense of that. Second, it gives a brief shot of where I scrawled on the back of the SOL set. Since that object no longer exists, to my knowledge, it’s nice that there’s a record of it. Finally, yes, the MST3K process has been described many times, but there’s nothing like actually seeing people doing it. So, if you haven’t given it a look, it’s worth one. But I doubt you’ll want to watch it again.
• I think a lot of MSTies agree that this was a strange choice for a final movie. We discussed it here.
• But I do have one question for the movie: What is the point of covering your face with a form-fitting mask that doesn’t disguise you at all? As proof of this, I simply have to note that, despite the face coverings, every cop who encounters Diabolik immediately knows who he is.
• There are many, many naughty riffs during the “rolling around in the bed full of money” scene.
• In one scene, the lovely Eva climbs into Diabolik’s car and as she does so we get a very brief glimpse of VERY high (stocking covered) inner thigh. Crow is the only one who reacts, and he does so only very quietly. I wonder if they just couldn’t decide whether to make a big deal out of it or not.
• I assume Esso (now ExxonMobil) paid for the blatant product placement: It feels very phony. Having the service station attendant ask Eva if she wants a tail (Esso stations sold little plush tiger tails that one was supposed to attach to one’s gas intake pipe so that, when the gas cap was in place, it looked as if there was a “tiger in the tank”), and actually say “Tiger’s in the tank, ma’am,” is a little over the top.
• I really like the little explosion sound effect they use in segment 1 as Tom disposes of the extra Toms. It’s a very satisfying little “boom.”
• Callbacks: “Welcome, Dr, Meecham!” (MST3K: The movie) “Ha-ha! I’m useless against your weapons!” (Prince of Space).
• Mike references the “giant fiberglass muskie in Hayward Wisconsin,” a landmark that is also depicted in the movie “Blood Hook,” directed by Jim Mallon.
• Crow’s concern about “traffic accidents” echoes a similar concern by little Akio in the movie in episode 312- GAMERA VS. GUIRON. I wonder who on the staff made that connection.
• During the song, Mike produces Crow’s “mother” from episode 602- INVASION USA. Wonder how much they had to dig in the prop room for that!
• I just want to note that the song in segment 3 is the second time in the series that a song rhymes “Earth” with “Colin Firth.”
• The final bit in Castle Forrester makes a reference to the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” finale, where the cast similarly huddled together and sang “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” Or maybe there’s a law that any TV show connected to the Twin Cities has to end that way.
• That’s the voice of Peter Rudrud as the TV announcer.
• The final bit, in which Mike and Bots settle in and start riffing on “The Crawling Eye,” the movie Joel and the bots riffed in the first national episode, is cute and kind of satisfying. But a lot of fans noticed a little goof: We can’t see the screen, of course, but based on their riffing, it seems that the first thing they see is opening credits. The problem is that “The Crawling Eye” doesn’t start that way. It starts with a cold opening, showing some characters mountain climbing (and then one of the characters is killed). The credits don’t begin until several minutes into the movie. Kind of ruined it for some people. But the bit is such a lovely bit of closure I can’t fault them.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director-scriptwriter Mario Bava was cinematographer for “Hercules” and “Hercules Unchained.” Assistant director Lamberto Bava directed “Devil Fish.” Makeup guy Otello Fava also worked on “Warrior of the Lost World.” Score composer Ennio Morricone also worked on “Operation Double 007.” In front of the camera, Marisa Mell was also in “Secret Agent Super Dragon.” Adolfo Celi was also in “Operation Double 007.” John Phillip Law was also in “Space Mutiny.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. “To Earth” — music by Mike; lyrics by Kevin (so you can blame him for the Colin Firth rhyme).
• Fave riff: “Member FDIC…” Honorable mention: “I’m driving with my whipper.”

Next week we will move on to the TV specials, starting with “This Is MST3K.”

201 comments to Episode guide: 1013- Diabolik

  • 1
    Apollonia James (yeah, right) says:

    Isn’t M&TB’s sweet, garden-level apartment actually the Brains’ writing room? I thought I recognized it in one of those behind-the-scenes clips recently. I don’t watch this episode often, but it’s fun when I do– I love the groovy music, and the bizarre ending in which Diabolik thinks he wins by being trapped in solid gold. “Aagh, I forgot to wear swimming-through-the-sun-proof socks!!”

    I think my favorite part isn’t even a riff: the scene in the plane (I think) when Valmont & henchmen discuss catching Diabolik. One of them points out that “no one’s ever seen him and lived”, to which Valmont replies unconvincingly, “so what?” Crow just laughs incredulously, no further riffing needed.

    “DIABOLIK..!” “…starring this Muslim woman!”

       5 likes

  • 2
    Fart Bargo says:

    This one is hard to watch for me. Great movie, love Bava films. Despite being the last, the guys did a great job in making this a fun, upbeat, end of an era effort. Although everyone from the show evolved into CT and RT to continue their fine work, I miss the Bots the most. Crow T Robot, Tom Servo, Gypsy, Cambot (who never did get the proper respect for all the work he/she did), Magic voice and of course the SOL itself. I can’t help but to flash back to the great ending of the movie Silent Running.

    I think it would be terrific if Joel, Josh & Trace reprised their roles and do a “missing” episode and Mike, Kevin & Bill do one as well. The sets could be of the different eras;
    J,J&T CC S1 – M,K&B SF S8 with apropos opening sequence. I am sure virtually all fans would buy both. Although I love both CT & RT, this would be the perfect phoenix for the Bots and the SOL. If only I could be young at heart again.

       4 likes

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

    >>>What is the point of covering your face with a form-fitting mask that doesn’t disguise you at all?

    Well, obviously, he thinks he looks good in it. Wink

    Masked murderous super-criminal protagonists are a big thing in European pop culture. Personally, I don’t get the appeal of a “hero” who steals from whoever he wants to and kills whoever gets in his way, but there it is.

       2 likes

  • 4
    Dan in WI says:

    This is one I catagorize as Good but not Great (TM used with implied permission) I found the riffing very, very witty but very little of it actually made me laugh out loud.

    I absolutely love the ending in Mike’s effeciency. (I wonder if it will have a silo and feed lot.) As for them settling into watching the showing of Crawling Eye without the cold opening, obviously WTMJ (a real Milwaukee TV station) edited that cold opening for time. Or let me put it a different way. The final joke of MST3K falls into the “It’s just a show, you should really just relax” category.

       3 likes

  • 5
    Colossus Prime says:

    I love how even though it’s painfully obvious what the result of the grievance policy is Mike still goes through the motions slowly because he doesn’t get it. Everything about the intro is awesome with some of the best dialogue they’ve ever written, all of it starting the emotional rollercoaster that is the last episode of MST3K ever. I love the bots just staring off, taking in the, “last time,” bits.

    Tom blowing up his spares is great and of perfect length and the lead in to it is quite cute. Following this my copy has a commercial for Edward the Less, which I have never actually seen. Is it any good? I love Mike’s map to earth and I’m happy to hear that the mads were able to acquire new jobs so quickly even if Brain Guy has to settle. Bobo’s retelling of his interview is a great wrap up to how lovable he is.

    I absolutely love, “To Earth.” It’s very emotional in context of the episode. And of course we get to see Crow’s “mom” again.

    While the closing is pleasantly funny, Pearl unplugging the connection to the SOL always makes me tear up, and then Crow looking for his sweater brings me right back to laughing.

    The movie itself isn’t all that bad, just really silly and strange enough to fit the right criteria for Mike and the bots.

    I have to disagree with Sampo here, I find the riffing is incredible and as a whole for the episode they bring their A game and then some to give us an amazing finale to an amazing show. In re-watching the episode it really is amazing how much they put into it. Even the stinger is one of the best ever.

    And in closing, this episode easily ranks in my top 3 all time favorite series finales. I think what helped beef up the emotional impact for me was the additional story line stuff. Though the show is primarily about making fun of movies, the space travels and what not all helped give the characters more character and endeared them even more to me.

    Favs (too many to list, but here are some. Well, a lot)
    Guy: This is the largest single shipment of dollars ever made at 6 o’clock in the morning.
    Mike: There was a larger one at 7am once.

    Crow: Sophisticated, not gay.

    Mike: Reverse Raccoon Man!

    Tom: This is just a good Samaritan he met in the tunnel.
    Crow: She’s a great Samaritan!

    Crow: Then they just go and have quick, lousy sex.

    Mike: Well I’m just delaying the moment she finds out I have an undescended testical.

    Mike: When they make love in English pound notes their sex is 50% better.

    Diabolik: Isn’t the 6th your birthday? What would you like me to give you?
    Mike: Hmm… Something non-penis.

    Crow: Omaha Beach, June 5th. I was early.

    Tom: This is what they apult their cats with.

    Crow: Let’s face it; this guy operates on unbelievable luck and coincidence.

       4 likes

  • 6
    Edge10 says:

    ‘Crow’s concern about “traffic accidents” echoes a similar concern by the little girl in the movie in episode 312- GAMERA VS. GUIRON. I wonder who on the staff made that connection.’

    A minor correction: It was the little girls brother Akio who had the fascination with traffic accidents.

       3 likes

  • 7

    The End

       2 likes

  • 8
    klisch says:

    Diablik is just a ‘once is enough’ episode. The movie is very blah for me. I do give them kudos for the segments, especially the ending, watching an afternoon movie on WTMJ in Milwaukee (my hometown) sitting on the couch just like the SOL theater. Brilliant.

       1 likes

  • 9
    KGoon says:

    Anyone whose experience of this episode was ruined by the opening of the Crawling Eye on the tv needs to either:
    a) get into a long and involved chat with Jeff the Comic Book Guy
    or
    b) get a hobby pronto.
    That said, loved the episode and loved the way it closed the series.

       7 likes

  • 10
    Graboidz says:

    Oh how I wished they picked a different movie for the final episode!! If it weren’t for “Hamlet”, this would have been the worst episode of the series. Just a dull film, sub-par riffing….the only bright spots were the host segments.

       1 likes

  • 11
    Clouseau says:

    @9
    Or listen to the opening credits of THIS SHOW. Wink

    I’m with a few of the others here in that I always liked the riffing here. Of all the spy movies, this was the most entertaining to me outside of MST3K (I own it even). I enjoy the hell out of the riffing and the not that difficult movie helps.

    One disappointment I have with the DVD of the movie is that the dubbing is different. Its actually far better (though John Philip Law’s track obviously remains the same), and some of the lines are a bit altered. I don’t remember if “Is that stud… coming” is still in the movie.

       1 likes

  • 12
    Son of Bobo says:

    Well, riffing wise, I agree, good not great, funny, but very few memorable. This is an odd choice to go out on. a very good director in Bava, a hero we never care about, and a story that never really develops. It isn’t an atrocious movie. But then again, if it had been Manos like, they would have had to deal with that and not the great host segments we got. To Earth is one of their best songs, “Have you seen my other sweater?”, and many more in these wonderful segments. They did a great job ending it.
    BTW, is it just me, but in describing the apartment don’t they say one-half bath, not one and a half a bath, implying that there is no tub/shower?
    Thankfully, CT and RT came along. Are we ready for a new version of MST3K?

       0 likes

  • 13
    Stefanie says:

    Anybody else notice how WEIRD it was for Crow to say “The Crawling Eye” looks familar when NONE of the guys sitting there are the ones who saw it in the first place? Kevin replaced Josh in season 2, Mike replaced Joel in mid-season 5 and Bill replaced Trace in season 8. I don’t know, I just think it’s funny.

    Also, I feel it’s awsome that the final line spoken in the theater was a stooge joke. It just seems proper.

       1 likes

  • 14
    TomBomb says:

    Bad movie choice. Go out with a bang, not a whimper.

       1 likes

  • 15
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Well, we finally made it. Personally, I like this episode a lot. As Sampo said, the host segments just work, they’re short, sweet, and funny. I love the Brain Guy with affected speech patterns in the opening, he sounds like a character in Steven Soderberghs Schizopolis (which isn’t for everyone, but I love it) with all the nonsense double speak. I particularly like the line, “chilly squint” as Brainy Guy stares into the camera.

    This movie is my kind of Italian cheese. Doesn’t hurt it’s directed by the great Mario Bava, who coincidently I’ve been been catching up on lately. Just saw The Girl Who Knew Too Much, with John Saxon, and Bay of Blood, which is a must see for gore fans. Good good stuff. Bava’s got great style, and Diabolik sure has lots of style, even if parts don’t make sense. The music is by the great Ennio Morricone, which I find funky and a little irritating. I like the funky guitar riff that makes Crow go, “gonna go to the store. Gonna pick up some bread.”. Funny stuff.

    Riffs:
    “oh no, is this a Pink Floyd video?”

    “Well that was an inappropriate response.”

    “Makes the hall to our theater seem efficient.”

    of course, “is that stud coming?”, but I love Mike’s subtle “I beg your pardon?”

    Overall, I think it’s a great final episode. I find it very satisfying that Mike and the bots end up in the same apartment doing essentially what they’ve always done. It
    makes me smile. I love that they fade out on Crow saying, “this movie seems familiar……”. Classic and perfect.

       5 likes

  • 16
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    The very last riff ever references the Three Stooges: “This has been a biopic of Larry Fine.” Gotta love it.

    Mike’s apartment only has “1/2 bath.” So how’s he gonna take a shower? Still, it looks so cozy and nice, and the bots seem satisfied, so it’s just a perfect little ending.

    As for the movie, I love it, and even though it’s not the best movie to end on, it’s got enough wackiness to tickle me. I love how they tear apart the “grooviness” of Diabolik and make what must have seemed cool at the time look even sillier. “This will fool them unless they look at it!”

       0 likes

  • 17
    Two Bricks Shy of a Load says:

    On the theater rough cut of Diabolik someone but a “Best of” style clip collection on screen. Mike, Kevin and Bill are obviously caught off guard by it but are delighted by among other clips:
    Blood Waters of Dr Z: “Sargacious.”
    Gumby in Robot Rumpus: “Sure Mother.”
    Sorry, Can’t place this one: “Smokey’s going to put you in the pokey”
    Final Justice: “Yew think yew kin take me? Go ahead on.”
    Mitchell: “I don’t like your mother”
    Track of the Moon Beast: “That’s a great stew.”
    Merlins Shop of Mystical Wonders: “Rock ‘n’ roll Martian…”
    The Giant Spider Invasion: “Your hitting the booze again.”
    Werewolf: “Wherewolf?
    A delighted and grateful crew applauded at the end.
    A sweet recap for a farewell episode, unfortunately it never made it to television. Perhaps we could put this delightful two minutes up for all to enjoy?

       2 likes

  • 18
    JimmyBruce says:

    Put me down as another fan who wished they had shown a different movie. At least they didn’t finish with “Hamlet”. Could you imagine?

       0 likes

  • 19
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    Oh no, is this a Pink Floyd video?

    First caught this during the final repeat years on Sci-Fi, one Saturday morning in either April or July 2002 (according to this site’s Broadcast Schedule Archive pages). Already familiar with this movie as a Mario Bava fan, I was mostly pleased to be seeing the film again, albeit cropped/pan & scanned, plus those annoying guys at the bottom of the screen… Smile

    Daddy-O’s Drive-In lists only some of the previous credits from the quite impressive cast of collaborators who made this project: De Laurentiis, Bava, Morricone, Law, Mell, Piccoli, Celi, Thomas. The movie itself was based on an Italian comic (created by two sisters) celebrating an outlaw anti-hero who by todays’ American standards comes off as a self-centered terrorist.
    2 minute clip from DVD bonus feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dEJNn_7FeM

    I have the excellent Ennio Morricone score in my iTunes (Crow, singing: “I only learned one lick. Does this bug you at all?”) and in 2008 Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane covered the theme song “Deep Deep Down” with a live string backup here —
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaUrzMeS4xg.

    To really appreciate Danger: Diabolik one has to see the full-length (100min.), widescreen original, available on DVD with a fine commentary by Bava biographer/Video Watchdog publisher Tim Lucas & Kalgon himself, the late John Phillip Law. This was the closest Bava ever got to making a big-budget studio picture for the international market.
    Diabolik Documentary “From Fumetti to Film” — the whole thing (20 min.):
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4132542787231129368#

    Stylistically it’s part of the whole “European film-makers cash-in on the success of James Bond” movement, so I lump this in with the 60’s-Spy Genre, which is apt as it’s most similar to (and shares some cast/crew with) Ep. 508 – “Operation Double 007.” But while this is the better film, the former provided the funnier MST3K episode.

    Here, the riffing is slight, like a first draft, as if the guys are just having a good time, but not really giving it their full attention. And I can’t blame them: the show was over. On my last day at work, I doubt I’d give 100% either. The host segments provide the highlights: the eventual, literal “downfall” of the SOL is well done, with resolutions (?) for each character, finding the main trio of riffers still together at the end.

    3 stars from me, inflated by my love of the movie (Law & Mell are very sexy), and for my sentimental attachment to the skits which provide (for me) a satisfying end to the series.

    Listen—someone’s beating up Doc Severinsen. Hey-oh!

    BTW: the DVD English dub of the approaching boat bit from the stinger has Celi say: “Who’s that? Must be Stud.” Tim Lucas claims in his commentary that two different English dubs were made for this film, so the Brains must have had the other one.

       3 likes

  • 20
    pablum says:

    The End.

    Sort of.

    Not as great a series ender as Laserblast was, but good enough. Keeping things more terrestrial and logical was certainly the opposite of what we got in 706.

    I don’t know what it is with fans of this series who enjoy the murderous exploits of Diabolik as he kills cops and security guards just doing their jobs all to get necklaces and other riches for his hyper-materialistic girlfriend who condones the slaughter just to get what she wants. The real protagonist was Inspector Ginko and he was made out to be some sort of villain trying to stop Diabolik and his girlfriend’s killing spree. Certainly a divergence from the usual fare in movies however. At least we get to see a young John Philip Law mugging it up for the camera one last time.

       1 likes

  • 21
    Sampo says:

    Two Bricks: Thanks for remembering that!!

    For those who haven’t seen it, it’s at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9oED6w1IAc

       4 likes

  • 22
    mataglap says:

    Finally I get Sci-fi channel on my cable service and six months later the last new MST3k episode is shown. I’ve been trying to catch up ever since.

    Favorite riff: “nana nana nana nana This Guy!”

       0 likes

  • 23
    WeatherServo9 says:

    The final episode! What can I possibly say about how this show changed my life, helped me retain my sanity when confronted with horrible entertainment product, and gave me a glimpse of what TV could be like if done with character and authenticity? It’s all been said.

    Whenever I am overwhelmed by how much bigger everything in TV and movies has gotten over the decades – bigger budgets, bigger visual effects, bigger plots, bigger sound, bigger advertising – I find an island of sanity in this show. Just think of all the good things in entertainment that could be made with smaller budgets by people who put real craft and care into what they’re doing, as this show was. I can think of a few examples of online video or some independent musicians who are doing just that. But still, when it comes to Hollywood, we are treated to almost every single movie being a blockbuster, every new TV show being the Next Big Thing. We are pummeled with advertising for product that is full of CGI and noise, and which is created solely to serve the bottom line. And then we are inundated with propaganda about how much profit each new movie or TV show has made, splashy Monday-morning headlines about the metrics of viewership and capitalism, as if this is some valid criteria of worth; as if we who are not in the business of entertainment are supposed to care that Lost attracted this many millions of viewers, or that Toy Story 3 made this much money its opening weekend.

    One of the things people always say when praising MST3K is that it not only made fun of movies, it also educated the viewer in how to watch them. This is so very true. MST3K offered something that was a hybrid of genuine criticism with good-natured ribbing, sort of a precursor to the Daily Show except for bad movies instead of politics. I suspect this is why some actual critics like Tom Shales like the show so much. It served as real criticism for the acting, cinematography, directing, writing and editing of these movies as much as it served to make us laugh. This is why I find a lot of the third-party MST clones kind of unbearable, because they often offer up nothing more than cheap jokes. Sure, MST3K did this too, but in-between the cheap little jokes were references to literature, history, philosophy and the art and history of moviemaking itself. MST3K didn’t just make fun of Coleman Francis, it made me interested in who he was.

    The thing that stands out for me about this show above everything else I can say about it is its authenticity. We have seen time and again that when we, the lowly consumers, are given something which has authenticity, we flock to it. And yet it is still so rare. Even though the entire premise of MST3K was to make fun of things other people had created, it never had an ego. This alone might be the most remarkable feat this show pulled off, and they pulled off quite a few. So much of what is sold as comedy is so heavily egotistical and brutish. In remaining stoically low-budget and consistently self-effacing, the Brains managed to pull off insult and satire with no hint of brutishness or egotism. They managed to remain authentic in a medium of self-promotion and self-loathing. They managed to provide incredibly high quality entertainment while still retaining their core humanity. This show, and all of its stars and writers, is to Hollywood what Buster Keaton is to Michael Bay.

    Anything I can say about the final episode of MST3K is pretty cut and dry – the movie was ho-hum, the host segments were spectacular. I remember at the time that I felt kind of glad that the show wasn’t actually going off the air, that they were going to keep on showing it for a few more years. Unfortunately, as I recall, Sci-Fi showed The Screaming Skull quite a bit more than any other episode in that period, which meant that for the first time since I’d had cable, I finally had to stop watching the show when it was actually on.

    I don’t know if the show runners ever read this site anymore, but if I could say anything to them it would mostly be thank you. Thank you for making something fun and clever and authentic and sharing it with all of us. Authentic creativity always inspires other creativity, like Haydn inspiring Mozart or Shakespeare inspiring, well, essentially everybody. Watching MST3K, even after all these years, always makes me want to do something creative myself.

    For that inspiration, and for two decades of real entertainment, I am most grateful.

       8 likes

  • 24
    Wilford B. Wolf says:

    I should point out that Exxon is still known as Esso outside of the US; there’s even Esso stations in Canada.

    Of course, one thing that confuses me about the film (and I’m not sure how much of this is due to the editing the Brains did), but it seems like 3 or 4 different comic book plots that weren’t joined together very well. There’s the theft of the Rolls Royce, then the kidnapping of Eva, the theft of the emeralds, and then finally the gold train. One plot ends and they just launch into the next without any sort of transition.

    Favorite riff: “Mike’s looking at the stairs, the poor dope.”

       1 likes

  • 25
    Aaron says:

    Cool, cant wait to read up on the KTMA episodes, seems like they are the hardest ones to find.

       0 likes

  • 26
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    I think “Diabolik” was a good choice for the last ep. The movie is OK to watch on its own, but is goofy as all get out, making for good riffing. Better this tan an unwatchable flick. However, I wish they’d been able to use the whole movie; they cut Terry-Thomas’ return and Diabolik’s novel tax cut plan.

    The host segements were good, though I wonder about Mike’s facsination with bleached & enriched rice, and “To Earth” was a nice song. The end was great, though if the station had been KTMA it would’ve been perfect.

    Oh, and the “flaming truck at Brixton” riff is a callback to “The Fall & Rise of Reginald Perrin”, not Python.

    On to Season 0…

       0 likes

  • 27

    @25
    If you are looking to see what the KTMA episodes were like check out my video review series of MST:
    http://lazlowthemstguy.blip.tv/
    One of the main goals of my show is to show the host segments in their entirety so more fans can see how the show evolved. I just started about a month ago so I only have a few episodes posted, but I am reviewing every episode and started with KTMA 4. I am currently writing KTMA 7 and will hopefully be shooting this weekend.

       0 likes

  • 28
    MPSh says:

    Nitpick: I think “Flaming truck at Brixton, 20 minutes late” is actually a reference to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.

       1 likes

  • 29
    Bat Masterson says:

    I tried watching this one again recently, but I just couldn’t find too much to laugh at. I feel like the movie is just too “boringly wacky” to make for good riffing material. I do however always crack up at: “This will fool them unless they look at it!”

    I wonder why Diabolik was chosen. I remember them mentioning it way back in Season 8 in an interview somewhere or something, so they must have been trying for the rights for quite some time. It seems obvious to me that Diabolik was never intended to be the final experiment, it just happened that way.

    I am however thankful that MST3K showed me this movie so I knew where all the samples on Fantomas’s first album came from. Also, as was mentioned above, Mike Patton does a pretty killer version of “Deep Deep Down” on his album “Mondo Cane” so he must be a huge fan of this movie.

    All in all, the choice of movie doesn’t bother me too much, since in my mind, the final episode of MST3K is Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders, due to it being the final one aired (even if that means it’s out of continuity).

       0 likes

  • 30
    Roman Martel says:

    A solid episode, but like many of you I expected a bit more from the finale. There are some great laughs here, but my favorites have to do with Crow singing along or commenting on the Moriconne score. I agree that this feels like a first draft, a little more energy on some of the riffing and this could have been a five star episode easily. This is one of the most colorful and bizarre films they’ve ever done. I find I have to be in the right mood to enjoy this episode.

    I also think that the host segments are top notch. I like the song a lot and the finale sequence was perfectly pitched. Just a great way to end the series in that respect. But all in all I can only give it three gold encased super-thieves out of five.

    Click my name for my full review.

       0 likes

  • 31
    Spalanzani says:

    I like how the ending, with Mike and the bots still riffing away as always, seems like foreshadowing for Rifftrax.

       1 likes

  • 32
    Trenner Dios says:

    “Anybody else notice how WEIRD it was for Crow to say “The Crawling Eye” looks familar when NONE of the guys sitting there are the ones who saw it in the first place? Kevin replaced Josh in season 2, Mike replaced Joel in mid-season 5 and Bill replaced Trace in season 8. I don’t know, I just think it’s funny.”

    It’s not weird at all. Tom and Crow are still the same CHARACTERS who watched “The Crawling Eye” originally, voice changes or not.

       3 likes

  • 33
    Howard says:

    This one is hard to watch now because it’s so drenched in end-of-an-era sentimentality that it’s no fun at all. The sketches are funny and the movie riffing never seems to get off the ground. I do like the gangster’s airplane with the trap-door in the floor, though. I want one! Yah, yah! Yah, yah!

    My first viewing of this, in prime time, was a happy occasion as I had half a bottle of Percocet and some good Starbuck-type coffee on the table in front of me the whole night. Of course I videotaped the episode, then saw it again (didn’t they show it twice that same night — you see I really can’t recall).

    I think WeatherServo9 (#23) says it all quite eloquently; I’ve never been good with eulogies.

       0 likes

  • 34
    Colossus Prime says:

    A question has occured to me:

    For those of you not born and bred in the Milwaukee, WI area, how did the call letters of the channel hit you?

    I know that’s a bizarre question, but as a Milwaukee native I recognized the letters right away and smiled with a strange sense of the show suddenly being very grounded in reality and therefore more special.

       0 likes

  • 35
    Brandon says:

    As for The opening to The Crawling Hand being cut off when M&TB watch it, remember, they’re watching a TV airing of it. maybe the TV station cut off the ending because it was too disturbing (a guy’s head gets torn off, off-camera). You know how skittish local stations can be.

    I wasn’t too familiar with Satellite News, and didn’t know there’d be a chatroom after the show aired. Sci Fi channel only promoted it once I think minutes before the show aired, yet I missed that promo. I wish SciFi had announced it during the end credits. But, that probably would have angered viewers who don’t like announcements over credits.

    A few riffs I recall that I like:
    Eva: “Those emeralds!” (Diabolik doesn’t respond)
    Servo: “Typical guy, doesn’t get the hint.”

    (a huge feather appears from off-camera)
    Mike: ‘Phyllis Diller dropped by.”

    Servo: “He picked up a good samaritan.”
    Crow: “She’s a GREAT samaritan!”

    Servo: “I borrowed Harvey Feinstein’s voice.”

    Crow: “Phew, I wish us Europeans believed in showering.” (interestingly enough, both the last episode of MST3K, and the last episode of The Drew Carey Show had a joke regarding Europeans not showering. Hmmm)

    Servo: “Diabolik’s only 2 feet down the tower going as fast as he can.”

    Crow: “You know, rings can twist and lose their structural integrity? Oh, who am I kidding, it’s not going to happen.”

    I find it odd that Crow doesn’t want to go to Earth because of Alannis Morisette. In “The Final Sacrifice”, Crow listed Morisette as one of the reasons he’d ever go to Canada! Crow sure changes his mind about stuff a lot doesn’t he? Initially, Road House was his favorite movie, then later he trashes it…

       0 likes

  • 36

    I don’t like this one much. 2 stars just for the host segments. Yeah, I appreciate Bava but I’ve never gotten the point of Diabolik or Sadistik or any of those other euro anti-heroes. In Europe the anti-hero seems very much born out of the self-loathing and misanthropy of ruined empires. Laughing at them is like laughing at crime-scene photos. In American movies the anti-hero is typically very textured and more interesting a character than the hero. In Diabolik there’s a bunch of store mannequins with nothing vaguely warm or curious about them. And the riffing is, understandably I think, purely quitting time at the factory level.

       0 likes

  • 37
    Rex Dart says:

    This was a perfect ending to the series, in my opinion. Perfect riffing, perfect host segments.

    The only thing I might have changed is I kind of hoped for more callbacks during the riffing. In the underwater scene for instance, Eva even makes the “OK” sign, which would have been perfect for a “It stinks!” reference. Sure, the folks who started with Sci-Fi might miss the reference, but I would have appreciated it.

       3 likes

  • 38
    Kouban says:

    Oh yes, and this episode made me aware of “Mojo Nixon,” but just as a name. Years later I find out he actually exists and is a talented musician and my mind is blown just a little.

       0 likes

  • 39
    bchat says:

    I loved this episode. I don’t find Diabolik anywhere near as boring a film as some other fans here, but watching MST3k was, for me, never about the films themselves.

    Since my cable company never really got its act together until the last 2-3 seasons of the show, I was extremely disappointed that the show was getting cancelled. On the other hand, the DVDs were getting released on a regular basis, and there are other ways to see all the episodes, so I had (and still have) plenty of MST3K shows to watch for the first time.

    Not sure about anyone else, but it isn’t the scene in Mike’s apartment that bums me out, knowing that this was the last of the new episodes, but the end theme afterwards. The final chord always left me with a “that’s it” state-of-mind … and then Reefer Madness, Plan 9 From Outer Space, etc etc, The Film Crew & RiffTrax came along, and all is right with the world again!

       0 likes

  • 40

    Actually, I have to admit I don’t remember much about this episode. It’s a terrible movie so it should be ripe for riffing. I just don’t remember it being much fun.

       0 likes

  • 41

    If I have one complaint about this movie, its Diabolik himself. The riff, “This guy gets by on unbelieveable luck and coincidence.” really nails this one. Diabolik is just a walking Deus Ex Machina. I don’t like it when heroes are too damn good at their job. Even at the end when he’s encased in gold (which should have crushed him) it looks like he’s going to eventually escape.

    I liked the farewell they gave to the show at the end, coming full circle with the ‘Crawling Eye’ reference. But I would’ve still liked to have seen them do my idea for the final scene. It would play like this:

    Halfway through the end credits, the live feed to Castle Forrester cuts back on and we see the castle’s interior. Someone has plugged the power back in. Then, a figure moves into view. ITS DOCTOR LARRY EHRHARDT! He looks disheveled and out of breath. He addresses the camera. “Is this thing on? Oh good! Hey guys, its me! I’m back! Listen. You’re not going to believe where I’ve been for the last 9 years! It all started when…” But before he can continue, someone from off screen clubs him on the head and he falls to floor. As he lies unconscious, unseen hands drag him away. Then the live feed cuts out again, permenantly, and we go back to the end credits.

    That would’ve been a great way to end the series if J. Elvis was availiable for it. Plus it would also deepen the mystery of Ehrhardt’s disappearance and give fans something to discuss for years to come.

       3 likes

  • 42
    Emily says:

    I was already a longtime MST3k fan when this episode aired, but for a variety of reasons had not been watching the show on SciFi, and therefore I don’t have quite the emotional attachment to the final episode as many others have. (Not that I’m criticizing anyone for that, it’s just the way it is.)

    This is an odd episode for me, in that I really enjoy it, and it has a lot of laugh-out-loud theater moments, but I tend to forget them once the movie is over. I do enjoy both the theater and the host segments, although I agree that it wasn’t the best choice for the final ep. Ah well, “c’est la vie” as they say…

       1 likes

  • 43
    eegah says:

    I don’t get the hate for this movie. It’s not the best ever, but I enjoyed it; especially the repetitive music (“DaDaDaDaDaDa DeeDeeDeeDeeDeeDee DaDaDaDaDaDa DeeDeeDeeDeeDeeDee DaDaDaDaDaDa DeeDeeDeeDeeDeeDee …” and so on)

       1 likes

  • 44
    Kilroy says:

    I’m firmly in the camp of loving the movie riffing and the segments. Such a fantastic series finale for me, at any rate. The movie’s so goofy that they have plenty to play with.

    Also, I personally like to imagine Observer and Bobo’s plans didn’t work out and they ended up sharing an apartment down the hall. Makes the part of me that enjoys sitcoms giggle.

       1 likes

  • 45
    Brandon says:

    Also, am I the only person who thinks Bill flubbed the Prince of Space callback? He says, “Ha! I’m useless against your weapons!” Which sort of goes with what’s happening on-camera. Diabolik is useless against their weapons. However after Bill says the line he kind of drops the voice and goes, “Err, I mean… um…”. I’ve wondered now if the line really was supposed to be, “You’re weapons are useless against me!”

       0 likes

  • 46
    Colossus Prime says:

    “Also, am I the only person who thinks Bill flubbed the Prince of Space callback?”

    The “err… I mean” bit was to further add to the fact that he didn’t say the line exactly. He said the joke exactly as written but wanted to drive home the joke of mixing up the words.

    Also to your comment in #35, Crow’s mentioning of Alanis in the Canada Song was being ironic so his comment about not liking her music in “To Earth” is appropriate.

       3 likes

  • 47
    Gummo says:

    I agree that this movie was a bad one to end on but for an opposite reason than most: I think it’s way way too good to be MST’d. I recognized that the first time I saw this episode, and eagerly bought the DVD of the film when it was released.

    One of the best of the 60s comic book/superhero/antihero movies, it’s gorgeous to look at and our leads are true ANTI-heroes (none of those nuanced tortured American suffering types), just awful awful people who get away with it all because they are just so damned cool. Add a psychedelic Morricone score, John Philip Law and the insanely GORGEOUS Marisa Mell and I’m sorry, this is light-years away from The Creeping Terror. An odd and frustrating choice to go out on.

    And of course the bittersweet goodbye to one of the best shows ever on television; it made for an awkward ending.

       1 likes

  • 48

    Mixed emotions watching this one. I think it was time to end it, though. While still very funny, the show was a shell of what it once had been.
    I know a lot of people think the Sci-Fi era is better than the CC years, and I think I know why. I did a quick count of pop culture references in a few random season 4 and season 9 episodes, and the earlier episodes had *5* times as many pre-1975 references in them.
    The thing is, that’s what made the show really special. Not only were they making fun of the movie, but also reaching back and dragging a reference from the dark recesses of your brain to do it. I think that’s what people like Tom Shales were responding to, and why the show won a Peabody award in the early years.
    The fact that younger people who don’t get the references prefer the Sci-Fi years makes me wonder about the legacy of the show. If people only a few years younger eschew the early years of the show, what will happen when even more time has passed? How will the show be remembered in another 30 years?
    I know there are a few older people who prefer the later shows, and some younger people who like the earlier shows. I’m pretty sure, though, from several years of reading peoples’ comments, that what I said is generally true.
    Anyway, this seemed like a good time to bring up this question. See you die-hard fans next week for Gamera vs. Barugon!

       2 likes

  • 49
    Scarina says:

    I love this movie if only to ogle John Phillip Law when he was hot. Alien Before he morphed into oily Kalgon in Space Mutiny.

       0 likes

  • 50
    rcfagnan says:

    “Once again they triumph in the name of sex!” And of course, “Is that Stud coming?” Lots of memorable moments in the theater and in the host segments. “And slice your heel upon a broken bottle of Lipton Iced Tea!” is my all time favorite lyric from any of the MST songs. So disappointed they never released this on a Clowns in the Sky cd…

       2 likes

  • 51
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Since the SOL crash, I guess Wisconsin is crawling with nannites…

       3 likes

  • 52
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #36: In American movies the anti-hero is typically very textured and more interesting a character than the hero.

    I’m not per se questioning your opinion, but if you feel like citing some examples, that might be interesting.

       0 likes

  • 53
    tamerlane says:

    Personally I think this was a great one to end on, as the film is wacky and doesn’t take itself too seriously, offsetting the sadness that is the end of the show.

    I also think the movie is entertaining on its own, and have seen an unriffed version.
    @11: The version I saw also had different, much better dubbing, but unfortunately “Is that stud coming” was taken out. As often happened, the Brains had (intentionally?) gotten hold of a poorly dubbed copy.

    Fans of good cinema probably shrieked with delight as Michel Piccoli (star of many 60s & 70s European art house films, particularly those by Luis Bunuel) poked his head out of a window to start the film.

    If you enjoyed Diabolik, do check out Modesty Blaise for another 60s mod-spy comic book adaptation, or La Decima Vittima to see Ursula Andress and Marcello Mastroianni engaged in a futuristic mod Most Dangerous Game.

       0 likes

  • 54
    RockyJones says:

    #23: WeatherServo9…I’m speechless. Bravo.

    #41: John M. Hanna…I gotta admit…that’s a HILARIOUS concept for the ending! I was laughing out loud just picturing it in my mind.

    I’m another one who’s not that fond of the way the anti-hero’s selfish, greedy antics are glorified, and while the riffing only has a few high points, the sharp host segments and the incredibly satisfying “full-circle” feeling of the ending scene balance it all out into an enjoyable, if not somewhat bittersweet episode.

       1 likes

  • 55
    Laura says:

    The day my life ended. I never watched SyFy (SciFi) Channel again after that. Sad

       2 likes

  • 56
    JJK says:

    I’m in the minority again in thinking this was one of the better movies they did in the final couple of seasons. I always liked 60’s movies like this and Modesty Blaise.
    That refence to the giant muskie from Blood Hook brings up why did’nt they riff that movie. Was it because that was to close to home for Jim Mallon?

       0 likes

  • 57
    bearshark says:

    Just glad to see other people caught the Monty Python/Reginald Perrin mix up. “Flaming truck at Brixton, 20 minutes late” was definitely from Perrin.

       0 likes

  • 58
    MPSh says:

    The Montgolfier Brothers riff was a Monty Python referene, hover…

       0 likes

  • 59

    #52 Snake Plisskin vs any cipher hero role ever played by Van Damme, Swarzenegger or Chuck Norris. And villains are almost always more complex than the hero in American movies. In Stone Cold Lance henrickson is developed far more than the hero and is almost likable until the script (unfortunately) calls for him to be iredeemable scum. Wheras Diabolik is cool because he has a hot chick and a nice car from the start and is so ruthless because ???, Plisskin would piss all over that Yurpeon fancy pants and steal that hot chick and car and wreck them both for fun and the reasons why are etched into his one-eyed face. How’s that for a start?

       1 likes

  • 60
    sauron says:

    sometimes the worst thing about fansites are the fans.

       1 likes

  • 61
    Commenty the Comment Sprite says:

    Can somebody clue me in on what “Member FDIC” means? I’ve no idea.

       0 likes

  • 62
    trickymutha says:

    #61- FDIC- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. I believe it insures one’s deposit for up to $100,000- it might be higher under new Bush/Obama regulations now. Came out the depression when people lost money when their bank defaulted.

       1 likes

  • 63
    tamerlane says:

    @61: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FDIC

       1 likes

  • 64

    #55 I’m pretty sure you haven’t missed anything.

       1 likes

  • 65
    tamerlane says:

    #59: I wouldn’t generalize and say that American anti-heros are always more psychologically complex than their European counterparts. Shallow villains permeate the cinema of countries across the globe. To give an example of a more complex European anti-hero, how about Jef Costello, the hitman in Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samourai? Or the characters in any of Melville’s films for that matter.

    I agree that the plot of Diabolik is pretty contrived, but the film deliberately chooses style over substance. No matter what your feelings on the structure of the plot, you have to agree that the scene where Diabolik and Eva roll around in a rotating bed of money is a great example of the masterful creative vision of Mario Bava. With the addition of a suave, very 60s, backing tune from Ennio Morricone the scene becomes iconic.

       1 likes

  • 66
    Commenty the Comment Sprite says:

    Oh, okay. But how does that work in the context of the joke?

       0 likes

  • 67
    PrivateIron says:

    #55, you missed Farscape and the better seasons of Battlestar. Otherwise (crickets)

    #59 Maybe I am not reading you right here, but Arnie, Van Dang and Norris are not European anti-heroes…one of them is American and the other two play in American type productions. Also, at the same age in a fair fight, Arnold probably could tear Kurt Russell in half, though maybe Snake could make sure it was not a fair fight. I say this as someone who worships KR in Big Trouble and The Thing, but the whole point of those movies was that he was not a perfect superhero type.

       1 likes

  • 68
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Has only one person (besides me, now) mentioned the “Goin’ off to the store” lyrics so far, or did I miss one/some? In any event, I expected to see metric tons of references. To me, there’s something brilliantly twisted about taking that insistent, driving guitar lick, and giving it mundane, little-old-ladyish lyrics. One of my all-time favorite riffs.

    Second favorite riff: “You know, if he’d stolen just a little less money, I could see her ass now.”

    ***

    Stefanie (#13): “Anybody else notice how WEIRD it was for Crow to say “The Crawling Eye” looks familar when NONE of the guys sitting there are the ones who saw it in the first place?”

    The thought did occur to me on watching it. But I like it. The idea that different people are playing the bots who saw the movie back in 101 (and that they’re with a different human) kind of contributes to the “the more things change…” vibe of the moment for me.

    ***

    Colossus Prime (#34); “For those of you not born and bred in the Milwaukee, WI area, how did the call letters of the channel hit you?”

    I thought it might be another reference to the joint disorder TMJ (as in “Werewolf”). Now that I think of it, the sound of “WTMJ” is a little reminiscent of “KTMA.” May just be coincidence, or maybe it helped suggest that station to them… the closest they could come to referencing their first home, considering a) it no longer existed by that point, and b) the bit is set in Milwaukee. Or, not knowing anything about Milwaukee, am I missing something about WTMJ, like a reputation as the local station most likely to show an old, cheap-to-acquire movie like “The Crawling Eye”? Every city tends to have one. (If it were Chicago, say, they’d have been watching WCIU.)

    ***

    I thought this was a good choice for a last movie. Elsewhere in the season, they’d taken advantage of their impending cancelation to do material they wouldn’t/couldn’t have done in earlier days (“Hamlet”), or had decided not to do in earlier days (“A Case of Spring Fever”). But for the actual series finale, it was nice to see them go off on a cheerful if unchallenging note, sort of a casual victory lap, with one of their more overall good-natured riffings, continuing on into a final host segment that charmingly dramatizes the MST3K philosophy that, I think, contributed to the show’s success: the story of the series may be about people and robots trapped in space and forced to watch bad movies, but it was seldom about hating the movies. So, freed from the captivity of the Forresters, what do our heroes do? Choose to watch bad movies on their own time, and riff on them. Of course. Consider that they could have used their last episode to take an angry poke at Sci-Fi, similar in tone to their working out their frustrations with Gramercy in “The Incredible Melting Man.” I think they made the right choice, tonally, going out with a smile.

    All in all, I found this a much more satisfying conclusion than “Laserblast” because it definitively WAS a conclusion, which, of course, “Laserblast” couldn’t be. In terms of how they handled the end of an era, I think this one ranks with Frank’s departure in “Samson vs. the Vampire Women” because both of them were really about how the characters reacted to the change. By contrast, I felt that, until the charming final host segment, “Mitchell” was more about the mechanics of explaining the imminent changeover (with the weird result that, in his own finale, Joel probably appears less than in any previous episode of the cable series). And the host segments in “Laserblast,” while funny, were primarily about kidding SF tropes, until we get to an ending that’s interesting, but a little disquieting because the tone is so unusually up-in-the-air for the show (which, granted, was part of the point of the thing: putting all of the characters into a sort of limbo from which, depending on the future of the series, they may or may not ever come back).

    So, not one of their most brilliant individual episodes, but a very good finale.

       4 likes

  • 69
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    hmmmm the TV station in The Mary Tyler Moore Show was WJM. Does that help ?

       0 likes

  • 70
    Thingy says:

    Hope you guys are strong enough to handle season 0.

    It’s actually quite good, provided you don’t watch it after season 10. Twisted

       0 likes

  • 71

    Yeah, Diabolik isn’t the best example of European cinema. And it’s captivating visually, like all of Bava’s films, but rather incoherent at times (also like all of Bava’s films) and ludicrous in it’s physics. Anyway, Rich, handsome, greedy and remorseless isn’t really a winning combination from this backward cheeseburger-eating American’s perspective. I like to know where the character is coming from. Look at Riddick in Pitch Black, born in the dirt to a lifetime of incarceration and escape, versus…who was the hero in the prequels, again? Forget the prequels, in the original Star Wars all we know about Luke Skywalker in the beginning is that he’s kind of a whiny little dweeb. Probably wouldn’t have cared much about Obi Wan if Alec Guinness wasn’t delivering his dialogue and he becomes several magnitudes less interesting when his background is filled in in the prequels. And Han Solo, well he’s basically set up as sort of an anti-hero scoundrel. His character comes through in his abundant personality. He only becomes heroic in the traditional sense when he starts falling for Leia. Someone who doesn’t play by the rules gives you more to work with. Morality makes a character rigid and hard for the average person to relate to. A writer/filmmaker who can’t make his villain/antihero three-dimensional is in the wrong line of work. MO.

    Speaking of Morricane (a degree of separation) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is very visually arresting and while it’s also kind of silly and stilted at times (in a good way) you buy the antihero character thoroughly and the hero is so cool that it doesn’t matter if he has no background/motivation whatever (unlike villain and antiheroes). Clearly Leone had a better story to work with but that movie really showed how an anti-hero could be done right.

       1 likes

  • 72
    Brandon says:

    The only KTMA episode I’ve ever seen entirely is SST Death Flight, and I thought that one was okay, but there are STILL alot of missed opportunities for good riffs.

    You got Peter Graves on an airplane…. hmmmmm what movie could they POSSIBLY reference, but don’t?

       1 likes

  • 73

    #67 Okay but I wasn’t comparing American antiheroes to European heroes, but American antiheroes to American heroes (on average). Ironically, I used a couple of examples who were actually Europeans in American movies. Oops!

       0 likes

  • 74
    Roman Martel says:

    #48 Mike, I don’t see how fewer pre 1975 references make the later seasons less special. The years were passing and the writers decided to move the references to pre 1985. Wink

    I agree that a real shift in riffing style kicked in for the final three seasons, but it was still the same show, just as special as it used to be. Just because you more people got the references didn’t make it any less special.

    Sorry, but your comment rubbed me the wrong way. And this coming from a fan who enjoys the Comedy Central shows just as much as the Sci-fi era.

       3 likes

  • 75
    Sampo says:

    Thanks for the corrections on the Python/Perrin mixup. To me it sounded like a moment from “Cycling Tour of North Cornwall” sketch. It’s now fixed.

       0 likes

  • 76

    #48 Yeah, that *was* maybe a little condescending. I understand most pre-1975 references and I don’t see how that makes the Comedy Central eps much more rewarding. Lucky for me I like both the CC and SciFi stuffs virtually the same, quantitative differences aside.

       2 likes

  • 77
    Sampo says:

    #66 Commenty: Tom says the line when the Diabolik and Eva are rolling around naked in the bed full of money. Tom emphasizes the first word. (If you get my drift.)

       0 likes

  • 78
    Jamie says:

    since the last thread was about bad comercials, I was watching Squirm (taped in full) and enjoyed the “Final MST3K Episode” preview. (“…And, every TV show…..gets canceled!”)

       0 likes

  • 79
    Commenty the Comment Sprite says:

    #66: Oh, thanks. I only got into MST3K a few years ago, so I haven’t seen all the episodes. Catching up though!

       0 likes

  • 80
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    The Castle Monster (#71): “Anyway, Rich, handsome, greedy and remorseless isn’t really a winning combination from this backward cheeseburger-eating American’s perspective.”

    I dunno… reading those words, I had an immediate “George Clooney in ‘Ocean’s 11′” flashback. Not that I liked the character. Quite the contrary– I preferred to think that the somewhat ambiguous ending meant that, just after fade-out, the two large guys caught up with Ocean and killed him. It’s just that that kind of “hero” is hardly unique to Europe.

       0 likes

  • 81
    GonzoRedux says:

    I have to admit that DIABOLIK might get my vote for the best movie they watched. The soundtrack’s a blast, the women are attractive, and the action’s not too bad. It’s goofy at times, but it’s still fun for me. It might be worth mentioning that Leonard Maltin gave both DIABOLIK and SQUIRM three stars.

    That being said, I still like the riffing a lot, though I agree with some that a cheesier movie would have been nice.

       0 likes

  • 82

    Well, yeah, but I bet George Clooney had some actual dialogue and character development (because I haven’t actually seen Oceans 11).

    BTW, funny that the guy who plays Diabolik was actually born in Los Angeles. In most of the roles of his I’m familiar with (Diabolik, Sinbad, The Russians are Coming) he plays foreigners. The IMDB says he fluent in Italian, Spanish, French and German and that he was a fovored guest at the Playboy mansion. I’m guessing that by the time Space Mutiny came out they weren’t as thrilled to see him.

       0 likes

  • 83
    Cornjob says:

    Did the animated ID machine remind anyone else of the “Identigraph” from For Your Eyes Only (the 007 film)?

       1 likes

  • 84
    darthservo says:

    Since MST3k, the SCIFI (oops, SyFy) channel has become a haven for bad movies like Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus and pro wrestling. What a loss.

       1 likes

  • 85

    Wow, there’s a Hugh Hefner reference in the riffing. “Hef taught me that move.” I wonder if that’s a coincidence?

       0 likes

  • 86
    Roman Martel says:

    #83 My wife and I said the same thing! “I said a nose Q, not a banana.”

       1 likes

  • 87
    MikeH says:

    Movie and riffing, I give a solid 4 stars. Not the best but was pretty good. I kind of wondered how Diabolik was able to maintain suge a huge underground lair without any kind of detection. Does he have his own power source? Is it structurally sound? And where do you have those materials built and who built the place? My thinking is, somebody is gonna get suspicious.

    Me and my wife’s favorite line, “Is that stud coming?” Who the heck thinks of these lines? We generally use if we are expecting company over or calling the cat.

       2 likes

  • 88

    WAIT, I’M JUST THE POSTMAN! Unghh… *dies*

       0 likes

  • 89
    Laura says:

    Yeah, I’m well aware of SyFy having NXT. At least they got rid of that crappy ECW. (I am a wrestling fan, and yes, I KNOW IT’S FAKE!)

       1 likes

  • 90
    Kali says:

    Still think they should have done “The Green Slime” as the final episode, but boy was this film weird. It’s already making fun of itself, so it didn’t look like they could get a good riffing on it. They did do a great job here.

    MIKE: Wow, the Two Fat Ladies have their own gang now!
    (I always liked that show, so this was a good riff)

    Valmont: “Is that Stud coming?”
    The crew couldn’t believe this line!

    Ginko: You’re a diplomat? Look sophisticated!
    CROW: Sophisticated! Not GAY!

    Valmont’s man: We’re over the target sir.”
    CROW or SERVO (I forget): Anyone want any discount items?

    Girl (who saw Eva before the theft of the emeralds – why is she panting in this scene?): Want me to describe her?
    SERVO: Now, who’s straight in this scene?

    And Mike looking at the stairs right as Eva’s about to disrobe. Wow, MST sure was tame at times…

    Actually, John Phillip Law (RIP) said in the commentary on the Diabolik DVD that there were in fact two separate English tracks, and the one the Brains used (before the DVD was released) had all the women talking like bimbos. The DVD’s English track is different, with the women talking reasonably intelligently. It’s almost a pity (since one of the lines lost is the one about the Target.)

       1 likes

  • 91
    StumpBeefKnob says:

    I have a copy of this one, but have never watched it. Too painful. My plan is to watch this one and TLD-Raw on my death bed, though the logistics of making that happen may be a bit more difficult than I presume. I’ll let you all know how that works out! Wink

       0 likes

  • 92
    Spector says:

    I agree with Sampo, this is one of those episodes where the host segments overshadow the movie, but for good reason, and not just because the riffing’s just ok or the movie isn’t particularly memorable. It’s the end of the road of one of the greatest shows in television history and we all want to see how they were going to close it out.

    Have to admit, I’ve only watched this one three or four times since it originally aired. I find this one just too hard to watch. It’s the end of my favorite show, the end of an era, and it’s like saying goodbye to old friends who’ve been with you for a long time.

    Sure, I know, Joel, Frank and Trace had left and took their beloved characters with them, and Josh wasn’t around long enough to really get to know (though the more I watch the first season they did for Comedy Central the more I like his work), but I’d grown to really like Mike and got used to Bill’s version of Crow (but more thoroughly enjoyed his more delightful turn as Brain Guy). Kevin WAS Servo, having been the longest serving member of the cast, and his character of Professor Bobo grew on me. Mary Jo evolution of Pearl Forrester from Dr. F’s annoying mom into her own wicked funny evil gal who pursued and tortured Mike and the ‘Bots made Pearl one of my favorite characters. And I loved the evolution of Gypsy from a seemingly brain dead ‘bot into a sophisticated character with her own spirited personality, becoming almost a mother figure to the ‘Bots, played well by Jim Mallon and later Patrick Brantseg.

    They were the best family ever on television. I welcomed them into my home every week, delighted in their adventures, skits and of course the laughter they brought me by riffing on cheesy movies.

    Sure, I still can watch the old episodes and do so on nearly a daily basis, and still get plenty of laughs from them. But in a way it’s like watching old home movies taken of the best moments of your life. You enjoy them, you smile at the warm memories they bring, but you’ll never recapture the actual moments, the immediate joy and laughter they brought you, the wonderful moments of surprise.

    Yes, the show was starting to show its age by that point, and it’s probably for the best that it was cancelled lest it deteriorate into a parody of itself. But it was hard to say goodbye. I know, it’s only a TV show, but dammit, I loved those characters, and I loved this show, and I loved looking forward to the new seasons and new episodes. When this went off the air, it was like a death in the family.

    To this day, I still miss them all.

    Thankfully, we have RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic, and in my opinion the latter is closer to the spirit of MST3K, so it’s wonderful now to get a new riffing fix, but they only come infrequently now, rather than an episode per week, and it’s just not the same without Crow, Tom Servo, Gypsy, the Satellite of Love,Deep 13 or Castle Forrester.

       3 likes

  • 93
    mjmiller18 says:

    Colossus Prime says in #34:
    “For those of you not born and bred in the Milwaukee, WI area, how did the call letters of the channel hit you?”

    One of our local major stations used to show movies at 4pm every M – F afternoon and another local station used to show movies on Sunday afternoons. So, the reference reminded me of those stations filling up time with old movies, kind of a nostalgic flashback when the final segment played.

    bchat says in #39:
    “Not sure about anyone else, but it isn’t the scene in Mike’s apartment that bums me out, knowing that this was the last of the new episodes, but the end theme afterwards. The final chord always left me with a “that’s it” state-of-mind”

    Yes, yes, that’s when it hit me too! I thought the last segment was a great reference to their first national episode and then the fade out and the music and then… gone.

       0 likes

  • 94
    MiqelDotCom says:

    Wow, here we are at the end!
    It’s sad that the show didn’t last a few more seasons but I think they did a great job with the final show. The host segments are fantastic (though the song about Earth isn’t one of their best efforts) and the last scene closes the show beautifully, with the guys still riffing away at whatever is on TV (& the choice of ‘The Crawling Eye’ is a nice bookend)

    Hard to believe Diabolik is the same guy who played “Kalgon” in Space Mutiny!

    Favorite riffs:
    “Reverse Raccoon man”
    “Help, my leg is turning one dimensional”
    Every time … “I’m about to close, some jerk want’s to be cremated”

    Other funny moments:
    Tom using the remote detonation device to get rid of all the extra copies of himself.
    Pearl discussing Brain Guy’s job prospects.
    Mike’s bowl of white rice at the end.

    The next phase should be an interesting contrast between the sophisticated riffing of the last season and the unscripted stream of consciousness riffing of the KTMA season! Also it’s cool to see the characters develop into the personalities we know and love.
    I’ve watched all of the KTMA episodes and for those who haven’t seen them … get ready to sit through a lot of missed riffing opportunities and long periods of silence! These episodes have a lot of charm and some great moments too!

       1 likes

  • 95
    mjmiller18 says:

    Spector says in #92:
    “I know, it’s only a TV show, but dammit, I loved those characters, and I loved this show, and I loved looking forward to the new seasons and new episodes.”

    Exactly. How many TV shows get you that interested in the characters that you dread the last episode when it airs.

       1 likes

  • 96
    H says:

    Good times, good times. As much as I hated to see the show end (well, except for the whole Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders thing), they did a good job with it. Movie’s decent and the host segments work mostly.

    Oh, and I know I’m gonna get “Just repeat to yourself it’s a tv show”s, but didn’t they dump Crow’s mother in the sixth season? You know, the one where the guys have a really dirty console so they just space everything? I think it was Code Name Diamond Head.

       0 likes

  • 97

    Aw… This is actually a pretty good episode. I should have given it 4 stars.

       1 likes

  • 98
    trickymutha says:

    #92- you said it best- I still remember that night, August 8th, 1999. It was sad- we still had Merlin to look forward to. Hard to believe 11 years have passed. Sad

       0 likes

  • 99
    MiqelDotCom says:

    Eva “I was expecting you inspector”
    Servo “I was inspecting your expecting when I expectorated your injector inspector”

       2 likes

  • 100

    “We’re beautiful, you’re a loser!”

       0 likes

  • 101
    MSTieScott says:

    On the first viewing, during “To Earth,” I couldn’t help but think, “Hey — they jettisoned Crow’s mother into space back in season six! How’d they get her back?” I see that I should probably be ashamed to admit this.

    I thought that this was a fine way to end the series. The riffing was solid and the host segments, naturally, were great. It was sad to see the show go, but this episode made it less painful.

       1 likes

  • 102
    crowschmo says:

    Cry Fade to Black

       0 likes

  • 103
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    H (#96) & MSTieScott (#101):

    Maybe he built himself a new one at some point. As we know from the fertility idol, it was a long, lonely 520-odd years…

       2 likes

  • 104
    fireballil says:

    Again four stars beacause it was closer to that than three. Fave riffs:

    Mike, when Eva is hitchhiking in a skimpy outfit: ‘I wore that hitchhiking once.’ It was made great by Crow’s reaction: ‘Yeesh!’
    Tom, when people are hit with laughing gas: ‘Dan Quayle announces his candidacy!’ (I can laugh at someone I agree with politically if they deserve it.)
    Crow’ singing along with the guitar riffs, especially the second one: ‘Gotta practice my lick…only one hour more…’

    Also loved the waa-waas by Chachi and Fonzie joining in with the woa-woas, all the riffs over the title sequence(‘Gentlemen, let’s open our movie with a ten minute shot of a spinning radish!’) and the second host segment where Crow says that there is too many of Tom: ‘You should be limited to one or less.’

    Also, even though there weren’t that many callback riffs, I would say that there were a lot of call backs to other episodes:

    Crow’s wire mom first appeared in #602, Invasion USA, in Dr. Forrester’s experiment. It also appeared in #608, Code Name: Diamond Head, apparently thrown out the hatch when the crew tried to clean up the bridge.
    Mike’s rice is from #821, Agent for H.A.R.M., when he tried to be an extreme rice eater.
    The whole clone Servo thing began in #420, The Human Duplicators, when Tom first made them.
    And, finally, when Pearl unplugs from the SOL, it was follwed by the ‘TV turning off’ that ended the show in the Comedy Central era.

    One bit of trivia: Tom has the last theater riff: When ‘Fine’ appears at the end of the movie, Tom says, ‘This is the official biopic of Larry Fine.’

       1 likes

  • 105
    DaWurmFace says:

    I love this episode. Its a bittersweet send off but it’s a good one. About the movie, I love that its watchable and not really horrible or harmful. Its a silly euro hero movie with a jerk hero. Kinda like Mitchell, but the women make the movie easier to deal with then Joe Don. And I love the laugh on Diabolik, the same as Kalgon cause its the same guy, but it fits better here. More dastardly.

       1 likes

  • 106
  • 107
    Gorn Captain says:

    One of the movies I likely would never have discovered had MST not riffed on it. I liked Diabolik so much, I bought the Laserdisc several years before the DVD was available. (The LD has the “Is that Stud coming?” dub.)

    It’s interesting that even after getting down to Earth in one piece, Mike and the Bots still feel compelled to watch cheesy movies. Did the experiment really end? Wink

       0 likes

  • 108
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Another nice last-episode thing that I forgot until now: using the “push the button” video effect, unseen since Comedy Central, when Pearl unplugs the connection with the SOL.

       2 likes

  • 109
    Smog Monster says:

    I thought Squirm was better…

       1 likes

  • 110
    This Guy says:

    I still have to put Sci-Fi Channel (which I still call it) in the overall positive column, despite the cancellation of MST3K, the stupid name change, and the terrible original movies they air for two reasons: one, they actually supported BSG and promoted it during its run, and two, they’ve done something shocking for any network and voiced a commitment to Caprica despite its low ratings because (they say, at least) they know that the fans want to keep watching it. That alone ranks them ahead of, say, Fox by a fair margin.

       0 likes

  • 111
    Sitting Duck says:

    Has anyone here ever read the comic book series the movie was adapted from? If so, how much of the film’s badness can be attributed to Adaptation Decay?

       0 likes

  • 112
    Gummo says:

    Kevin WAS Servo, having been the longest serving member of the cast, and his character of Professor Bobo grew on me. Mary Jo evolution of Pearl Forrester from Dr. F’s annoying mom into her own wicked funny evil gal who pursued and tortured Mike and the ‘Bots made Pearl one of my favorite characters. And I loved the evolution of Gypsy from a seemingly brain dead ‘bot into a sophisticated character with her own spirited personality, becoming almost a mother figure to the ‘Bots, played well by Jim Mallon and later Patrick Brantseg.

    They were the best family ever on television.

    Well said, Spector, well said.

    Mary Jo’s Mrs. Forrester gets a lot of grief from fans, but I thought she really came into her own as a character in the last 3 seasons. And the trio of Mrs. F., Brain Guy & Bobo were a great comedy team, MST’s own 3 Stooges, representing Moe, Larry & Curly, respectively.

    And yes, that thrill of a new MST episode is gone forever. New CTs and Rifftrax are great, sure, but it’s not the same….

       3 likes

  • 113
    Brandon says:

    On TV Tropes’ Wild Mass Guessing page for MST3K, someone wrote that for Riff Trax, Kevin and Bill are really Servo and Crow disguised as humans, and that after MST3K ended Mike and the bots (now in human suits) got jobs riffing better movies. I love that thought.

       1 likes

  • 114
    Rich says:

    I still remember after all these years how disturbing Pearl’s breakdown was. And when I first saw this episode I did not yet realize the series had ended and I was watching the last one. Maybe I expected them to continue riffing in that little apartment?

       0 likes

  • 115
    bad wolf says:

    I was pretty late on noticing Diabolik was the inspiration for the Beastie Boys video “Body Movin’.” When i finally saw it i really missed Mike and the Bots!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTQ3MNPxyfA

       2 likes

  • 116

    111

    I have a Diabolik “comic-strip book” Terror Aboard the Karima a friend sent me years ago for whatever reason. I’ve never bothered to read it but it’s an American/Canadian adaptation, anyway, and printed in 1999.

       0 likes

  • 117
    Nutcase says:

    there’s several videos on YouTube that celebrate the magic that is MST3K. It proves how much this has touched us one way or another.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK4nPc1h1NQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOoxI33rvtM

    there was some even better ones but it seems the jerks on YouTube decided to take the vids in question away…

       0 likes

  • 118
    Green Switch says:

    Outstanding finale.

    The movie riffs are great (I loved just about anything that took aim at Ennio Morricone’s groovy score and the lame technical effects). As was said earlier, “Diabolik” gave them a lot of material to work with, and they succeeded admirably. It helped that the movie itself was more enjoyable than most of the MSTed selections.

    I have to admit, though, it would have been interesting to see the series end with a gag movie choice, like “Plan 9 From Outer Space” or “Killdozer.” Even so, no complaints about “Diabolik” or the treatment they gave it).

    And like Sampo said, this is an episode where the host segments overshadowed the theater segments, and with good reason – they HAD to. We needed a great sendoff for Mike, the ‘Bots, and the Mads, and we got just that.

    Having been an overzealous fan for about five years at the time of the finale’s broadcast (and seeing the show as something that more or less changed my life and the way I saw comedy), I wanted the host segments to deliver something of an emotional punch. In the end, they accomplished that very task. Mike’s opening of the “To Earth” song is wonderful and a poignant reminder that the end is nigh.

    As earlier mentioned, the “push the button” graphic was something of a surprise and an interesting capper to the “Tipperary” scene with the Mads (and it was cool to see them still continuing on with their individual plans and designs).

    What REALLY got to me on the initial viewing, though, was the opening piano instrumental to “Who Will I Kill?” after the SOL crashed and the screen faded to white. At that moment, I thought they were going to go with a tragic and downbeat ending, considering the song’s ties to the passing of TV’s Frank in #624, “Samson Vs. the Vampire Women.”

    Needless to say, I’m glad that they DIDN’T go with a tragic ending.

    In fact, the full circle coda with the gang watching “The Crawling Eye” was an inspired and fitting choice, especially with the three sitting on the couch in the exact same formation that they sat in the theater.

    That, and the writers stuck to the continuity of the show by reminding us of Gypsy’s role as the overseer of the ship’s higher functions. Is it any surprise at the end that she had the brains to start something like ConGypsCo (or that Crow would respond to her offer to join by making bodily function sounds)?

    I must admit, though, it would’ve been nice to see nods to Cambot, Magic Voice, and the Nanites in the new apartment.

    All in all, it was an outstanding series finale to an outstanding series. It gave me everything that I could have wanted from the concluding episode of my favorite television show. Although the show was canceled too soon by the Sci-Fi Channel, MST3K could have run for another 20 years and I would STILL feel as if the show were canceled too soon.

    Keep circulating the laughs, people.

       6 likes

  • 119
    mikek says:

    Sampo: “The final bit, in which Mike and Bots settle in and start riffing on “The Crawling Eye,” the movie Joel and the bots riffed in the first national episode, is cute and kind of satisfying. But a lot of fans noticed a little goof: We can’t see the screen, of course, but based on their riffing, it seems that the first thing they see is opening credits. The problem is that “The Crawling Eye” doesn’t start that way. It starts with a cold opening, showing some characters mountain climbing (and then one of the characters is killed). The credits don’t begin until several minutes into the movie. Kind of ruined it for some people. But the bit is such a lovely bit of closure I can’t fault them.”

    I don’t know why anyone would think that was a mistake. Maybe they came in late to the movie? After all, Mike did have to wait for his rice to cook. Plus, the TV station they watched might have a bad copy of the movie with the opening cut off? Then there is what the episode provides, a TV announcer that announces the movie, “The Crawling Eye.” So Mike could very well be riffing on that rather than the actual title of the movie on the screen.

       0 likes

  • 120
    JJK says:

    Does anyone why the line “Is that Stud coming” is in the movie? Was it bad translation from Italian?

       0 likes

  • 121
    mikek says:

    JJK says:
    July 16, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Does anyone why the line “Is that Stud coming” is in the movie? Was it bad translation from Italian?

    It’s the name of a character in the movie. I think there’s a shot cut out of the MST3K version of the movie, where the boat drops off Stud. What we see in the episode is Stud, a man who does not look like his namesake at all, on the boat, telling Valmont about something.

       2 likes

  • 122
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    mikek (#118): “I don’t know why anyone would think that was a mistake. Maybe they came in late to the movie?”

    As you mention yourself, it’s preceded by a station announcement, which makes it unlikely it’s anything but the beginning of the movie.

    “So Mike could very well be riffing on that rather than the actual title of the movie on the screen.”

    Except that his riff, “Oh, Forest Tucker…” strongly suggests he’s reacting to the appearance of the name in the opening credits.

    “Plus, the TV station they watched might have a bad copy of the movie with the opening cut off?”

    Now, that makes sense. My rationalization was that the station (or the seller) cut it for time. I was thinking of something I once read about the movie “The Killers,” based on the Hemingway story. Or rather, the pre-credit sequence is based on the story, and the rest of the movie follows on from it. So what part of the movie most often gets cut on TV for time? Yes, the only part actually based on Hemingway.

       0 likes

  • 123
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    JJK (#119) & mikek (#120):

    I think “stud” is just what Valmont ironically calls the pudgy little guy, not his actual name, or even a nickname, per se. (Hence, “Is that stud coming?” rather than “Is Stud coming?”) As mikek points out, Valmont is reacting to the unexpected development that the pudgy guy is coming out to the boat to talk to him. So the line itself isn’t so strange. The way the voice actor delivers it, however…!

       1 likes

  • 124
    JCC says:

    TRUE DAT on “The Last Dance: Raw”, I watched once and haven’t seen it in ten years. You get the gist from the thirty minute behind the scenes specials.

       1 likes

  • 125
    Brandon says:

    Incidentally, the “Is that stud coming” stinger is actually in close captioning by Sci Fi Channel!

       0 likes

  • 126
    Tim S. Turner says:

    Broken record time. I really dislike this one, with the exception of the host segments, which are funny and bittersweet. Seriously, though. They couldn’t have picked a film better suited to their talents?

       1 likes

  • 127
    Mechagamera says:

    “Diabolik” as the last episode . . . it is what it is. Yes, it would have been great to have gotten a better movie for their last hurrah, but perhaps the Brains just couldn’t afford anything better, or Sci-Fi didn’t have anything left in it’s stables for them to use on the show. It seems like, by this time in their run, usable movies were getting harder and harder to come by, with A LOT of hits and misses. But, they soldiered on, they did what they could with that they had, and I give them credit for that.

    I’ll throw my hat in the ring on what this show meant to me as well. It was one of my first exposures to puppetry, and now I work as a puppeteer for a living. Shows like this, they just aren’t around anymore. That may sound cliche, but it’s the gods’ honest truth. Where, in the horrid wasteland that TV is now, can you find a show that comes close to the originality that MST3K did? It was a two hour long show that was locally produced in St. Paul, MN for TEN YEARS and broadcast nationally on TWO major networks. There are hardly, if any, shows that have that level of notoriety.

    The work that group did is akin to the locally produced shows I remember seeing and reading about in Chicago. Shows like The Bozo Show, Garfield Goose, and Ray Raynard, programs produced by talented, hard working people. However that stuff was only shown locally; MST reached national distribution and was able to show folks that a cow town puppet show could keep audiences coming back a whole ten years after things got started. It just boggles my mind that they lasted as long as they did.

    I miss this show very much, but I wouldn’t want it back. There’s no way to catch lighting in a bottle twice, and what we have now with Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic are probably the best we’ll ever get to seeing a continuation of MST3K.

    Whether they knew it or not, this show was inspirational to so many people. And I’m one of them Smile

       2 likes

  • 128
    Brandon says:

    It would kind of make sense that a random film like Diabolik would be their last experiment, as Pearl certainly didn’t intend on that being their last movie.

       1 likes

  • 129
    Kali says:

    And every TV show gets … canceled!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybv2_5jIn_0

    And what has happened to SciFi, excuse me, SyFy? “Frankly, we have no idea.” to quote the narrator in Jack Frost.

    I understand Canada has or had The Space Channel, which is supposed to be better.

    Diabolik! Farewell, MST. You are missed.

       1 likes

  • 130
    Cornjob says:

    Diabolik strikes me as essentially an evil James Bond. His only redeeming quality is his devotion to his girlfriend. Maybe they’re like Micky and Mallorie from Natural Born Killers. This is probably the best MST spy movie. Diabolik would certainly kick agent for H.A.R.M.’s butt, except harmboy would probably stay at home and send a mortally wounded old man in his place.

    The actor who played Diabolik often affected a pretty creepy cold demeanor which reminded me of Terrance Stamp’s performance in The Collector.

    Over all I Diabolik wasn’t that bad a film, especially for MST fare. The big exception is the soundtrack. The Monkees crapped better music than that. Did anyone else find themselves singing “Yes the Devil made this movie for you” along to the incessant guiter noodling? The penguin band in Double 007 was better.

    The other thing that seemed a bit off in the film was of course the ending, which implied that Diabolik had outsmarted the police again by getting buried alive in molten gold. His girlfriend better get back with a pickaxe and a blowtorch before he suffocates.

    I’m not one to get too emotionally involved with a TV show, but I did watch this episode with a rather heavy heart. One of the funnest things in my life was coming to a close. The host segments were perfect, especially the closing when they sit down to watch a film together. The advent of Rifftrax and CT made me a happy man again. Sure I miss the bots, but the riffing was always the heart of the show, and the riff goes on.

       2 likes

  • 131
    mikek says:

    Kali says:
    July 16, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    And every TV show gets … canceled!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybv2_5jIn_0

    And what has happened to SciFi, excuse me, SyFy? “Frankly, we have no idea.” to quote the narrator in Jack Frost.

    I understand Canada has or had The Space Channel, which is supposed to be better.

    Diabolik! Farewell, MST. You are missed.

    You know, seeing that promo again after all these makes me realize crude and vulgar it is.

       1 likes

  • 132
    Gorn Captain says:

    (#130) Cornjob, you are aware that Ennio Morricone did the score for both Diabolik and Operation Double 007? Perhaps you’ve enjoyed some of his other film scores and didn’t realize it. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” ring any bells? Wink

    And since when did the Monkees write their own music?

       2 likes

  • 133
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Kali (#129):

    Thanks for the link. Love how Sci-Fi misspelled the name of the series. Kind of emblematic, there, about how much they knew or cared about it at this point.

       1 likes

  • 134
    Cornjob says:

    Reflecting on the final host segment. It seemed so touching that Mike and the Bots had become such good friends. That even though they were being held hostage and forced to watch aweful movies, the three of them enjoyed each others’ company so much that they ended up spending time together watching bad movies even after they had escaped. That the movie was The Crawling Eye was the perfect cherry on top. Aside from a possible epilogue where Larry finally get’s the bathroom stall he’s been stuck in, they couldn’t have done it better.

       0 likes

  • 135
    Cornjob says:

    BTW, I didn’t say anything about The Monkees writing music.

       0 likes

  • 136
    Cornjob says:

    That’s supposed to be: Larry getting out of the bathroom stall he’s been stuck in.

       0 likes

  • 137
    Sitting Duck says:

    Dated riff (paraphrasing here): Well I guess I’ll go write an article about the Internet.

    I seem to recall someone (possibly here) describing Diabolik as a unlikeable version of Lupin III (though Diabolik was created five years earlier).

       0 likes

  • 138
    Creepygirl says:

    Yes, The Monkees did have many top song writers in their camp. Each Monkee did write songs for both the show and the records. The most prolific was Mike Nesmith. Papa Genes Blues, The Girl I knew Somewhere, Mary, Mary, You Just May Be The One, too name a few. Peter Tork wrote For Pete’s Sake, the song that became the second season closing theme song among others. Micky Dolenz wrote Randy Scouse Git that hit #1 in England during the summer of 1967. It was not released as a single here in the states. Now we come to Davy Jones. He wrote a bunch of middle of the road ballads that showed up on the fifth, seventh, and eighth LPs. Nothing really to write home about.

    So in conclusion, The Monkees did write some of their songs, not all, but many.

       3 likes

  • 139
    Droppo says:

    I hope Sampo was joking that some folks complained about which point of Crawling Eye was featured. That’s the kind of behavior that leads to Comic Book Guy stereotypes.

    Anyway….brilliant end to the best show in TV history. Much more about the host segments than the film. And I can’t think of a better ending than Mike and the bots returning to Earth to share an apartment and willingly mock bad movies.

    Perfect.

       2 likes

  • 140
    dad1153 says:

    Watched “Diabolik” last night (had to dug out the VHS from the depths of a box with other boxes piled on top of more boxes), first time in at least five years I’ve watched the finale. It was much better than I remembered and laughed out loud often. Yes, it’s not your typical “MST3K” experiment (the budget for each of the extravagant sets in “Diabolik” could have paid for half-a-dozen of the poverty row movies the show riffed) but that’s maybe what made it appealing as a finale: proof that even with lots of money backing up the production a bad movie is always riff-worthy regardless of genre or size. The host segments seemed heartfelt and watching the closing credits after seeing what became of M&TB’s brought me to tears. Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic are appropriate substitutes, but when both camps combined their talents back in they day the whole was complete and inimitable. R.I.P. MST3K. Cry

       2 likes

  • 141
    J.Ho says:

    #17 (Two Bricks): “On the theater rough cut of Diabolik someone but a “Best of” style clip collection on screen. Mike, Kevin and Bill are obviously caught off guard by it but are delighted by among other clips:
    Blood Waters of Dr Z: “Sargacious.”
    Gumby in Robot Rumpus: “Sure Mother.”
    Sorry, Can’t place this one: “Smokey’s going to put you in the pokey” <——- Irrepressible Jim Stafford (Bill) in "Riding With Death"

    Never saw this one on tv, and so only later when the show was no longer even in syndication, and has no overt emotionality involved for me with it, but I think it’s a great movie to have been riffed, and the episode holds up as a very good one. Sure, the plot of the movie stinks and you can see many ‘twists’ from forty miles down the road, but that of course isn’t what it’s really about.. *** of **** for myself.

    The one thing people should consider is that there must only be a handful of people that can actually remember the content of the first 3 KTMA eps that the hope remains that some fan copy will surface, or something in Jim Mallon’s mind will change, and we will be graced with one, two, or perhaps three more romps on the SoL.

    Have Faith, my brothers and sisters, for He That Bringeth Forth Mysterious Miracles shall shew forth pity, and with his terrible countenance being transformed, provide all that ye need upon this Earth or any other. Forgo blasphemous commiseration with all abominations dwelling within ye olde moving picture box or face a woeful future void of all love, for it is written: “Know ye the consecrated content of Star Force: Fugitive Alien 2, but further truth have I for ye, and with travail upon the fields and humility in the heart, one day forth is promised. The ultimate of my love reserved only for the stout of faith and pure of conscience shall then be revealed – yet, until that day, study long the Word as spoken, so as to prepare thy mind and body for the day when my love shall encompass thee, and all sadness shall end.” [The Book of Mystie, Recently Unearthed Gnostic Gospel] Amen my brothers and sisters, Amen.

       1 likes

  • 142
    losingmydignity says:

    Solid ep with a film that is indeed an odd choice for last ep. Did it have something to do with Austin Power’s popularity at the time?

    The riffing is solid if routine, and I love the film. Well, the uncut version anyway. Get the good print DVD version and be amazed at how much fun Bava’s film actually is…anti-heroes who bucked the establishment were very popular at the time, not just in Europe. Bonnie and Clyde came out the same year…uh, but yeah that was a good movie with nuanced storytelling. Oops. But still, many of the complaints made by posters here about Diabolik’s character can be applied to B and C. It’s just one is a comic book and the other has more subtle characterization.

    Maris Mell is hot!

    The host segs don’t overshadow the film for me at all. Nothing too memorable except for the closing shot in front of TV. But then I’m a fan of host segs that play with the movie being riffed.

    The ending (host seg) with Mike and bots in basement watching Crawling Eye has some interesting meta-fictional implications, and not just because, like Planet of the Apes (so much a part of the show’s riff-repertoire), it points to an eternal return. Really, what else are the Forresters but infantile TV programmers who subject us all to to trash week after week…. After all there is really little difference between being imprisoned in a Satellite and living in Oshgosh, Minnesota (“I’m a Rocket Man, burning up my fuse here alone”). Humor as a means of survival. Enacted with friends. The ending hinting at our imprisonment as self-imposed and voluntary. Love it or hate it, American pop culture is what we have to deal with. Cheetos line the walls of our stomach like melted 70’s black light posters. That lovely blanket on the back of the couch looks like a fishing net. Caught. From the Brothers Marx to the Stooges Three–sticking it to the man, man. The Crawling Eye starts during the credits because the all-seeing eye, besides referring to the now iconic opening credit image of Season One, now points to Mike still being watched, as we all are…but by whom? Is Cambot big brother? Have we learned to love him? And, oh, Crow and Servo would know the Crawling Eye because they did watch it with Joel–only their voices were changed, not their memories.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go relax.

    B+

       1 likes

  • 143
    Flying Saucers Over Oz says:

    I’m actually kind of fond of DANGER: DIABOLIK, though I’m not one of the “How DARE they riff on it!” crowd. It’s style over substance in the manner of the 60’s ‘Camp’ craze. At least they didn’t try to be funny, as so many other intentionally campy movies did. It’s definitely dumb and goofy enough to merit the MST3K treatment.

    I actually rather like the soundtrack, though someone possibly should have gone to jail for Criminal Misuse Of A Sitar. Sadly, it’s one of the few Morricone scores that was never released on album or CD.

    The end is, of course, a bit bittersweet, as most endings are. It was a good ride and a very funny show.

       1 likes

  • 144
    Cornjob says:

    Re: ” it points to an eternal return”

    There’s also a bit of Nietzschen eternal recurrance that Joel alluded to once.

       0 likes

  • 145
    Gorn Captain says:

    (#140) If you listen to the commentary track on the Diabolik DVD, it’s revealed many of those “extragavant sets” are a clever use of foreground miniatures, and even photographs.

    Mario Bava was an economical filmmaker, and only a used a tiny amount of the three million budgeted by Dino Delaurentiis. The final cost was around $400,000. A bargain compared to Barbarella, which was being made around the same time. If only MST had been able to do that one!

       1 likes

  • 146
    Titanius Anglesmith, Fancy Man of Cornwood says:

    Thigh, nothing…I can swear we get a brief glimpse of Marissa’s bare breast in that tunnel scene.

       0 likes

  • 147
    BIG61AL says:

    Alas, all good things must end. Don’t dwell on the fact it ended. Let us continue to celebrate what I consider “the” best TV program ever. Let us give a collective job well done to everyone involved. Let us watch the tapes and simply enjoy some of the finest humor ever filmed along with some truly bad movies.

       2 likes

  • 148
    RPG says:

    I too am a little perplexed over this choice of movie, because, like Jack Frost, it’s goofy more than it’s terrible. Still, good fare all around, one of my favorite episodes. In their tradition of nicking sound effects from the movies, note the sour organ chord Pearl lets out with her forehead is Diabolik’s intruder alarm.

       0 likes

  • 149
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    RPG (#148): “I too am a little perplexed over this choice of movie, because, like Jack Frost, it’s goofy more than it’s terrible. Still, good fare all around, one of my favorite episodes.”

    I think, as a general rule, a “goofy but not terrible” movie makes better MST fodder than a “terrible but not goofy” movie. Some of my least favorite episodes are ones where the movie was sub-competent, but in a dull and common way. “Goofy AND terrible,” of course, is solid gold. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, it rises below badness.

    This reminds me of the genre movie review site “1000 Misspent Hours,” where the ratings go from a high of five stars, through zero, to a low of negative five. Negative-rated movies on the site’s scale are the ones which are more entertaining for their liabilities than for their assets as conventional entertainment, until you reach transcendent anti-masterpieces like “Robot Monster” and “Plan 9 from Outer Space.” The movies to avoid are the ones at zero and clustered nearby on either side– the ones which are terrible without being endearingly goofy.

       0 likes

  • 150
    Kali says:

    I don’t know if anyone posted this already, so, in case you haven’t seen this, here’s a little tribute montage the Brains slipped into the rough cut of Diabolik. Call it a little “best”-of – a little laugh for Mike and the Bots. It’s about a minute and a half into the clip. Enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsy62rUB0lQ&NR=1

    Aram Fingal: Mum – ‘my nuts?

       0 likes

  • 151
    Warren says:

    Except for Diabolik being a greedy murderer, it is an enjoyable movie, I have to give it style points. Ennio Morricone’s music does stand out, considering most of these riffed movies have bad or mediocre music. I wouldn’t have picked this for the final episode but it wasn’t a bad choice. The host segments I don’t remember well but I think I enjoyed them. All in all a good way to go out, though having Merlin air later on helped.

       0 likes

  • 152
    derfy says:

    “There’s a strange little moment I’d never noticed in previous viewings. In one scene, the lovely Eva climbs into Diabolik’s car and as she does so we get a very brief glimpse of VERY high (stocking covered) inner thigh. Crow is the only one who reacts, and he does so only very quietly. I wonder if they just couldn’t decide whether to make a big deal out of it or not.”

    Tom reacts, with a very subdued, “Gah”

       1 likes

  • 153
    Brandon says:

    I just now noticed that Sampo edited the host segment descriptions. I guess they were too spiloer-ish.

       0 likes

  • 154
    Kali says:

    #123.
    “I think “stud” is just what Valmont ironically calls the pudgy little guy, not his actual name, or even a nickname, per se. (Hence, “Is that stud coming?” rather than “Is Stud coming?”) As mikek points out, Valmont is reacting to the unexpected development that the pudgy guy is coming out to the boat to talk to him. So the line itself isn’t so strange. The way the voice actor delivers it, however…!”

    I think that IS the guy’s name. When we flash to the boat and Stud gives his information (that “all the narcotics are in Keith Richards”), Valmont slaps him and says: “You see, Stud, you brought bad news.”

    Actually, a very understanding boss, except for the minor moment of tossing everyone who disagreed with him out of the plane. But then, I understand that’s what happens when Northwest has a problem with their flight attendants. Twisted

       2 likes

  • 155
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Kali (#154): “I think that IS the guy’s name. When we flash to the boat and Stud gives his information (that ‘all the narcotics are in Keith Richards’), Valmont slaps him and says: ‘You see, Stud, you brought bad news.'”

    If Valmont had said “You see, doofus, you brought bad news,” would you figure the guy’s actual name had to be Doofus?

       1 likes

  • 156
    losingmydignity says:

    “I think, as a general rule, a “goofy but not terrible” movie makes better MST fodder than a “terrible but not goofy” movie. Some of my least favorite episodes are ones where the movie was sub-competent, but in a dull and common way. “Goofy AND terrible,” of course, is solid gold. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, it rises below badness.”

    I don’t know, Iggy’s Brother, I think goofy and terrible applies to pretty much every film they ever did, and has little to do with what makes the writing connect with a film. For example, Village of the Giants, a truly endearingly goofy film is not their funniest for me. Incredible Melting Man is somewhat goofy but more in the repulsive and inane category and it is for me one of their best. What films would not be considered goofy anyway?

       0 likes

  • 157
    mjmiller18 says:

    Anybody else notice that August 8 falls on a Sunday this year? I might get my tape out and watch it on the eighth; kinda in memoriam…

       0 likes

  • 158
    Kali says:

    RE: #155.

    It’s a Dino DeLaurentiis film, isn’t it? Would you be surprised?

    Besides, it might have been. Remember, there are two separate English translations out there. The one on MST clearly said, “You see, Stud, you brought bad news.”

    Wink

       0 likes

  • 159
    Richard the Lion Hearted says:

    “So, if you haven’t given it a look,[RAW] it’s worth one. But I doubt you’ll want to watch it again.”

    Gotta disagree. It is an excellent look at the behind the scenes work of a beloved show.
    Everyone wants to have produced a hit. Few want to actually do the work.
    This tape shows what the work actually is.

    As for the film, ANY final film would not have lived up expectatons.
    There are a hundred films we could come up with off the top of our heads that would have been better, but we all would have disagreed on.

    I Liked this as a MST3K project. It’s an over-the-top Italian movie that was great fun in the 60s. (Why don’t we see Italian filma anymore? Has Italy stopped making movies??)

    It was ripe for riffing and the crew did a good job.
    My only limit to watching this one is the sadness the end always brings me.
    I miss this show.

       0 likes

  • 160

    Others mentioned how the DVD’s dub is different…and while I agree it is a slightly better dub, I like the voice of Valmont in this version better. He’s way funnier. Aside from the famous “Stud” line in this dub, you also get the “So what?” line from Valmont. Which is easily the best scene in the movie.

    Also, a while after this episode came out I remember reading that Saban was working on bringing a Diabolik Saturday morning cartoon to Fox Kids. Since I never saw it I figured the show never aired and they had trouble cutting stuff that would only fly in Italy. But I guess it DID air for a short time.

    Diabolik The Animated Series — Episode 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0wBYLP-kV8

       2 likes

  • 161

    “Sadly, it’s one of the few Morricone scores that was never released on album or CD.”

    Yes, sadly the masters were apparently “lost”. Many tales about what actually happened to them but nothing concrete as far as I know. Unfortunately, all the albums released as the soundtrack are all bootlegs culling audio from the movie. Which is sad cause it’s one of my favorite Italian movie scores.

       2 likes

  • 162
    Dan in WI says:

    So the stick of joy is broken. You really have to feel for Pearl. She put a lot of time into this experiment and it is sad to see it end.

    The saddest part of this episode is when Servo blows up the extra Servos. This spells the end of the United Servo Academy Men’s Chorus.

    Why show the info club address in the final episode?

    I wanted to like this episode top to bottom. But I guess I fall in the camp that somehow (in a way I really can’t explain) the movie just didn’t lend itself to the type of riffing that I like best. But no matter. The host segments were just that strong. So often I find final episodes corny and sappy and as a result really nothing like the typical episode that you know and love. That was not the case here. Maybe the fact that host segments make up such a small percentage of the show forced the Brains to get right down the business and cut out the corny and sappy. Whatever the reason this was one of the stronger final episodes of any show I’ve ever followed. A tip of my cap to Best Brains.

    Now about the journey we have a group have taken the past four years. This is the first time I’ve watched every episode in order. In fact there were probably as many as 25-30 episodes which I saw for the first time in this four year run. You know how it is. You don’t discover the show right away so that means you probably never saw the first season before. Then you move in out of markets that don’t have Comedy Central and/or Sci-Fi. Then there is the period of time when you finish school get your first place while job hunting and you can’t afford cable whether they have the right channel or not. Then you wait for episodes to be released on home video and eventually discover Cheapnis so you only recently have access to those episodes you never saw back in the day. So I was very glad to finally watch all the episodes in order and have this wonderful website to discuss them as you go. It gives such a perspective that I never had before. I got to see the incubation chamber that was KTMA and the rough patches of season 1. I got to see the show hit that first stride in seasons 2-4. I got to watch the long running gags of “By this time my lungs were aching for air,” “Sessions Presents,” “Jim Henson’s _________ Babies” and Daleisms as they developed. I got to feel the transition periods and watch the show reinvent itself all in ways you just don’t get watching random re-runs. This show as brought much joy to me over the years and these past four years it brought even more joy to me. Not bad for a cow town puppet show.

    Thank you Sampo and Erhardt for this website and opportunity. Let’s do it again someday.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Diabolik drives into a tunnel. Crow “Ah-ha this is a metaphor for arterial plaque reduction.”

    Crow about Eva’s coat “Did she get stuck in a bear’s behind?”

    Eva “Give me a few seconds more. Alone.” Mike as Ginko “Well you guys have never tricked me so I guess it’s okay.”

       4 likes

  • 163
    Sitting Duck says:

    @ #87: Probably the same way Batman does it with the Batcave. Of course the real question is how a base gets constructed without attracting attention. There’s probably a mass grave of laborers buried under it.

    I remarked previously about the similarities between Diabolik and Lupin III. The biggest difference between the two franchises comes from their cop opposition. Ginko is willing to go to any lengths to capture Diabolik, including allying with Valmont. Meanwhile, Zenigata is far less likely to do such a thing. In fact, he sometimes calls a truce with Lupin to take out someone far worse.

       2 likes

  • 164
    robot rump! says:

    when they reference Crow’s mom in ‘to Earth’ i sometimes catch myself remarking how they threw her out in ‘CodenameGriniamondhead.’ i guess i should just relax. this is always a poignant episode for me. i had an emergency and got in on the first airing shortly after the second host segment. being blissfully ignorant of MST’s ultimate demise, i went into the 3rd host segment assuming something would happen, probably poopie related, and the return to Earth would be postponed for a while. i think when Pearl pulled the plug it hit me and i was almost heartbroken at the realization. whenever i pull up Diabolik on you tube or a long lost tape i get extremly nostalgic during the final strains of music during the credits.

       1 likes

  • 165
    David J says:

    I always liked the SciFi Channel ending better than the Comedy Central ending. While Season 7 certainly wrapped up in an elaborate way what with people turning into balls of pure energy or space babies, there’s something easier to relate to with the way that both the heroes and the villains just moved on with their lives. It was especially comforting to think of Mike, Crow, and Servo continue to riff movies out of habit after the show ended, much like we Msties have continued to riff on our own(until Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax came along anyway).

    Diabolik was a rough movie. There was no reason to cheer for the main character as he killed innocent security guards, but the antagonists really weren’t any more likeable. There was still a lot of fun to be had even though it wasn’t as epic a film for a transition episode as say Mitchell or Laserblast.

       2 likes

  • 166
    klisch says:

    I’ve typed it before and I’ll type it again. This was a horrible movie to end the series with.

       0 likes

  • 167
    Professor Firefly says:

    For me,this falls into the “cute,but could’ve been better” category because I feel the movie isn’t all that bad,kind of cheesy,but still fun.I would’ve preferred if they did a really bad black and white monster movie like From Hell it Came or maybe do Wild Guitar with Arch Hall…I’d like to watch this one without the riffs..I thought the last host segment was cute and fitting..I give it 2 and a half stars..nice,but you can’t dance to it..lol..

       0 likes

  • 168
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    I loved the ending which is rare as most series finale episodes always annoy me in one way or another. The bots hanging out with Mike in his new apartment with the Crawling Eye playing was absolutely perfect, anyone having a problem with it in any form really needs to just relax. The effect they were going for couldn’t have been made with The Crawling Eye’s cold open and Crow and Servo as characters had seen the movie before. As for Diabolik, the riffing was passable but not their best work, but I was never a fan of the spy movies in MST3K even in my preferred Joel era.

    I would like to thank this site for motivating me to check out the Sci-Fi era of the show which I had bitterly avoided at the time of its original airing. There was some good stuff there but I still think overall it wasn’t as good as the Joel years. Although I would rate the SciFi years above season 6, which I didn’t enjoy much at all.

       4 likes

  • 169
    little winged potatoes says:

    Adios, viejos amigos

       0 likes

  • 170
    JC says:

    The first time I saw this I was underwhelmed too, but that’s probably because I was bawling too hard to have any chance of enjoying it. Now that it’s been years since that fateful day, I really like this episode and I’m perfectly fine with the choice of movie. Sure, maybe a Corman film or something with Peter Graves would have been more poetic and “full-circle” and whatnot, but what we get here is a wonderfully goofy, stupid, and colorful movie– just because it’s the finale of a beloved and influential series doesn’t mean they can’t have some fun. I’ve even successfully used this one as a starter episode… after doing the necessary explaining, of course.

    “Roger. Affirmative.” “Do something affirmative, Roger.”
    “If he had stolen just a little less, I could see her ass right now!”
    “With my salary, I’d be rolling around in some loose change.”
    “Wow, the addition blends right in!”
    “I’ll take a picture using the LARGEST CAMERA IN THE WORLD.”
    “I’ll bulge my eyes at you!”

    And then there’s the suit that lets you swim through the sun:
    “Well, that’s what it said in the catalog, anyway.”
    “Let’s go swim through the sun!”
    “I forgot my swimming-through-the-sun-proof socks!!!”

    I also love the AAA road map that just shows a single straight line for about ten pages between the SOL and Earth. Makes you feel kind of silly for even needing to look at it.

    And Tom getting the last riff is a nice touch, since he also made the first riff in “The Crawling Eye.” (“This must be a Paramount Picture.”)

       3 likes

  • 171
    jjk says:

    One of the best episodes of the final season and one of my favorites(probably in the minority here) of the whole series. I always like 60’s movies and this one pretty much summed up late 60’s film making. One of the hottest babes in 60’s movies(Marissa Mell) and the always “interesting” Mario Bava. He knew how to put things on screen to get your attention. Sure it’s a relic of it’s time. but what 50’s,60’s or 70’s movie isn’t. Also despite some of the earlier comments, Diabolik is a crime movie, NOT a spy movie.

       7 likes

  • 172
    Ang says:

    I agree with you jjk (#171). I really like this one but I love almost all of the Scifi eps and they are some of the ones I rewatch the most. This one has solid riffing all the way through and one of the best stingers of the entire series. It’s sad of course b/c it’s the end of an era but it is a good episode. It’s got a silly song to (To Earth) and I love the songs so this one really has a lot going for it. I agree with all the people too who said this is one of the best series finale episodes. I love that Mike and the bots ended up up together still watching bad movies (and the first ep from season 1 which I also just like on its own).

       3 likes

  • 173
    snowdog says:

    …and an interesting four years it’s been! I have to admit, I skipped over most of KTMA and Season 1 as I find them hard to watch. Perhaps I’ll circle back now and take a look. As for this ep, the riffing isn’t the top of their game, but that’s not what it was about at this point anyway. I have The Last Dance: Raw burned to DVD-R here somewhere. Sampo is right: one viewing is plenty.

    Ask not for whom that stud is coming. He comes for you.

       5 likes

  • 174
    Bruce Boxliker says:

    There! I’ve finally gotten around to lamenting my wish, and Clacky the Keyboard Sprite has returned my keyboard to me. Seems he has no power over Virtual Keyboards (that’s Tappy’s domain), so he’s spent all week trying to get me to need a real keyboard.

    I really enjoy this episode. Yes, the host segments overshadow the movie (as stated above, they pretty much had to), but that doesn’t mean the movie & riffing were bad in any way. The movie was just plain silly, though it was very well made. My theory (as someone above mentions), is that Ginko is the real hero here, and they just made an artistic choice to film it from (mostly) the villains point of view.
    Because really, how can anyone consider Diabolik a hero in any way, even an anti-hero? He does NOTHING heroic whatsoever. Every single thing he does is for his own greed. He casually murders countless innocents, all in the name of greed & sex. He’s not ‘bucking the system’ in any way, either. He’s not Robin Hood. He’s evil, plain & simple. Thankfully, it’s a groovy, goofy kind of evil, so it doesn’t fill me with as much rage as certain shows about criminals do.

    Me, I didn’t get into MST3k until I saw The Magic Sword syndicated in 1995 or so. Then I only saw sporadic episodes until Sci-fi picked them up, and I watched most of that from (near-)start to finish. When Rhino started releasing tapes, I bought every single one I could find, then the DVDs. Anyway, my point is that seeing this final episode wasn’t as much of a bummer for me, since I knew there was still many, MANY episodes I hadn’t yet seen. Thanks to the internet, I’ve now seen every single episode (several times over).

    Thank you, MST3k, for bringing some laughs into my life, and for being the last truly great thing on TV.

       6 likes

  • 175
    Dr. Frankenkeister says:

    Now that we’ve reached the end of another run through the series, could the Thursday reviews go over ancillary MST projects? The Film Crew, Cinematic Titanic, Mike’s solo commentaries, Rifftrax video releases, Blood Hook, etc. These all represent releases that most of the fans own, could comment on, and are definitely connected to the show we all love.

       4 likes

  • 176
    Dan in WI says:

    Can someone clarify this The Last Dance Raw? I have a DVD from Cheepnis (which I haven’t got around to watching yet) titled BBI Tour: The Last Waltz. While the titles are similar I’m reasonably certain they are not the same thing. Is the Last Dance Raw available anywhere at present?

       0 likes

  • 177
    MikeK says:

    Yeah, Diabolik is a dick.

    Anyway, about the closing host segment, I think it works well. Having not seen The Crawling Eye prior to the final episode, I had no idea that what Mike and the ‘Bots did was inaccurate. It works though, because the alternative is this:

    Crow: “Hey, look, it’s The Crawling Eye. Remember that Servo?”
    Servo: “Yeah, that was a long time ago, our voices were different then.”
    Mike: “What are you guys talking about?”

       3 likes

  • 178
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    @Dan in WI (#176)

    “The Last Dance: RAW” was a VHS tape offered directly from the Info Club. You might find it used on Ebay or Amazon, but I doubt any more are available from BBI. I don’t know if it’s on YouTube.

    By the way, isn’t it odd that we’re talking about the last episode of the original show just days after word that a revival may be on the way.

       1 likes

  • 179

    Before I dive into my review of DIABOLIK, I’ve got some other things to talk about:

    First, I love this show. It has been a part of my life for about 20 years and I enjoy it on so many levels. The exploration of old B-movies, the enjoyment of them with friends, the low budget nature of the sets and the design, the lessons on filmmaking hidden within the show, the wit, the humor, and just how damn funny the show could be in so many damn different ways. MST3k hits all of my buttons. I love it dearly and I just want to say thank you, THANK YOU!, to Joel, Mike, Kevin, Trace, Frank, Jim, Bill, Mary Jo, J. Elvis, Bridget, Paul, Beez, Jef, Patrick, and everyone everyone EVERYONE who was a part of MST3k and helped bring it to life. (thank you)

    Second, just like Dan in WI (at post #162), I too have been watching MST3k for the first time in sequential order over the last four years. One episode a week for, well, I guess 198 weeks. Including the KTMAs, it was something like 20 episodes that were first time viewings. I only watched one episode every week (keeping up with the episode guide here) the entire time, except for around Christmas when I would watch Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (and sometimes Santa Claus) because of TRADITION and because it’s not the holidays if I haven’t heard “Patrick Swayze Christmas.”

    Also, like Dan in WI, I feel like my appreciation and perspective on the show has increased and deepened. It was a fun, semi-obsessive, and indulgent project to take part in. I really enjoyed it. As for others: I would say that you don’t NEED to watch the show in sequential order to truly enjoy it or be a fan or whatever, but I would suggest that if there are any MSTies out there that are looking for an assignment and are up for the challenge, watching the show in this way can be quite the reward.

    Now that I’m done with the project, I’ll probably go back to my old viewing habits: watching whatever random episode, whenever the mood strikes. I’ll most likely be hitting up some of the Joel years soon, as it has been too long since I’ve seen any of Seasons 3 (except for SCCTM) or 4. I might even hit up a couple KTMAs, which might sound like crazy talk, and, well it is, but it’s been four years since I’ve seen them, so. . .


    Anyway, with all that out of the way,
    let’s talk about DIABOLIK!

    Some people seem to not like this episode or the movie selection. I couldn’t disagree more. I think this is a solid episode, with some great Host Segments and a great final moment. As for the movie, Diabolik is sort of like last week’s Squirm, in that it isn’t THAT bad of a movie and is something that I personally kind of even like. Let it be said: the Brains took it easy on themselves with these last couple episodes.

    Diabolik is fun and colorful, with some cool photography. The story or plot is secondary, but that happens a lot in Italian genre cinema. Director Mario Bava is great, a legend really. He is a pillar of the Italian genre film, having a hand in Italy’s first sword and sandal picture (Hercules), horror movie (I, vampiri), and science fiction film (The Day the Sky Exploded), before making classics of his own like Black Sunday, Kill Baby Kill, Bay of Blood, Planet of the Vampires, The Girl Who Knew Too Much, and Blood and Black Lace, the last two of which helped spawn and inspire the very successful Italian sub-genre of giallo films.

    I’ve never seen Mario Bava’s uncut version of Danger: Diabolik, but I think I need to get around to it. I also really like the music by Ennio Morricone, even if the “dee-dee-da” song is repetitious and outstays its welcome. The “wa-wa-wa” song during the underwater scene is rad, as is the funky little guitar part where Crow sings “Driving off to the store / Gonna pick up some bread / maybe stop by the post office.” It’s got that cool, 60s spy movie groove that I dig.

    Michel Piccoli (who played Inspector Ginko) is a great French actor, having worked with Jean-Luc Godard (Contempt), Jean-Pierre Melville (Le Doulos), Jean Renoir (French Cancan), Alfred Hitchcock (Topaz), and a string of great films by Luis Buñuel (Diary of a Chambermaid, Belle de Jour, The Milky Way, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty). I very much recommend all of them (well, except for Topaz. It’s minor Hitchcock at best, comparatively speaking).


    As for the MST episode,
    The bits with the SOL Employee Handbook are pretty good, especially for anyone that has ever worked for a large business that likes to hand out a thick binder on your first day or orientation and says, “here, read this and sign this here saying you read this.”

    The accidental sending of the SOL back to Earth by Pearl seems like an easy out for the writing staff, but it works. Pearl’s “cry face” is a thing of terror. Like I said way up at post #15, I love Brain Guy’s nonsense double speak (caused by Pearl pouring Mountain Dew in his brain pan), especially the taunt of “chilly squint.” Also, Mike and the Bots celebration of returning to Earth with a hearty “it was done by someone!” and “it was done!!” is funny stuff.

    Host Segment #1 is good stuff. Servo has 517 of him at last count, which he then proceeds to blow up, which is a nice bit of (literal) house cleaning for the show. Also, Crow has some loose paella in the bottom of his bag if you want to dig in.

    HS#2 gives us the details on what the Mads will most likely be up to after the end of the show. I like that since the SOL is coming back to Earth that Pearl and Co. just completely pull the plug on the whole “mad science” thing. It really shows that she (and by extension, they) weren’t really all that into the whole project of keeping a man trapped in space and forcing him to watch bad movies. I wonder how her stint as dictator of Qatar went? I wonder if she ever got them that letter U? I’m sure Bobo is loving “working” at the zoo and Brain Guy is surely still having “lots of stuff going on.”

    HS#3 has the great, final song of the show, “To Earth.” It’s one of those nice jaunty little ditties that they do so well and that we’ve seen so many times before on the bridge of the SOL. I’m really glad they put a song in the final episode. Crow being scared of Earth because of traffic accidents and wild pigs (hilarious!) and the reappearance of Crow’s mother (classic!) are both highlights, but what really sells the bit to me is that as Crow gains confidence in going to Earth through the song, Servo becomes more fearful of the trip, eventually wedging himself under the desk. Very funny.

    The Ending brings things full circle for the series. I approve.

    Servo: “The Crawling Eye: The Marty Feldman Story.”

    Crow: “This movie looks kind of familiar, doesn’t it?”
    Servo: “..hmm..”

    I find these last moments to be satisfying and an almost perfect way to end the show. Mike and the Bots continuing to live together (after a pretty good and funny crash sequence) just makes sense. It makes me smile. And then the end credits theme plays and you realize it’s all over (for the show) and things almost get a little emotional. . .and then it hits you with the stinger, “IS THAT STUD COMING?”, and it makes you laugh. Thanks for that, MST3k.


    RIFFS:

    Crow: “Oh no, is this a Pink Floyd video?”

    Mike: “Well that was an inappropriate response.”

    Servo: “Whoa, it’s getting groovy.”

    Crow: “Makes the hall to our theater look efficient.”

    Servo: “Might as well throw these Hardee’s wrappers away now that I’m here…”

    Servo: “Dan Quayle announces his candidacy.”

    movie: “Is that stud coming?”
    Crow: “I beg your pardon?”

    Crow: “A sex-clown!”

    Crow: “Step aside, Voltaire.”

    movie: “The fuse must of blew.”
    Crow: I don’t blame it.”

    Servo: “I’ll go find Nova and hang out with her for awhile.” —-Planet of the Apes reference.

    movie: “Yes he’s ready.”
    Crow: “For sum foootball!”

    the “organ alarm” goes off,
    Mike: “Dr. Phibes is drunk again.”

    Crow: “He’s basically an eyebrow delivery system.”


    While I do find this to be a great episode, I feel as if the combination of the riffing and the movie itself don’t really add up to a “classic” type of status. The quality of the riffing is solid in parts and the movie is watchable, but I still don’t think DIABOLIK quite measures up to the other “big moment” episodes of the series, like MITCHELL, LASERBLAST, or even this season’s earlier SOULTAKER, which featured the return of Joel. Still, as I said, this is a great episode.

    I give DIABOLIK,
    4 out of 5 studs, who may or not be coming.

       6 likes

  • 180
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    @Watch-Out-For-Snakes (#179)

    I recommend the uncut “Diabolik”. While it does have a brief but unpleasant scene where a bad guy tries to rough up Eva, it has another funny bit with Terry-Thomas and, as I previously-noted, Diabolik’s novel attempt at tax reform.

       1 likes

  • 181
    trickymutha says:

    I liked Diabolik. But, hey, I like coffee and pie. More sad it was last episode than the actual movie, which, may have fit better for Joel.

       0 likes

  • 182
    asdf says:

    I keep meaning to check out the comics. Movie was okay. Decent enough EU spy guy thing, decent enough riffing.

    Also didn’t Lupin III (who clearly doesn’t resemble Diabolik in any way nuh-uhh) shill for Esso/Exxon in some tv ads?

       0 likes

  • 183
    Depressing Aunt says:

    Man, I sometimes feel like the most cynical creature… When I heard this would be the final episode, I thought, hmmmph! it figures!–and when I watched, I didn’t feel mournful; I just thought, well, I was lucky to have it as long as I did. Having watched the episode many many times, it’s reached a status of being a B+ for me, goofy movie with amusing host segments. No emotion-laden flashbacks, but a fairly good time.

    Love Pearl’s post-cry makeup horror look, love Brain Guy giving the “L” for loser signal over his forehead–that was actually a thing I’d seen before, probably done by one of my college friends (who had never seen the show).

    And as Mary Jo mentioned in the guide, I can’t help but marvel at Diabolik’s laugh ‘o’ triumph. It would kinda take a long time to get out of the melted gold….hope he didn’t drink a lot of water before everything went down. It took me forever to figure out John Phillip Law was also in “Space Mutiny.”

    I’m rather glad Gypsy finally got to use that big brain of hers for her own benefit, in the end, by the way. Smile

       2 likes

  • 184
    JeremyR says:

    Strangely, this was the first episode I ever saw. I was too busy in college to watch it when it first came on, and after it I didn’t have cable TV for a few years.

    Dammit, I just started watching it and the show was over?

       2 likes

  • 185
    Sitting Duck says:

    jjk #171: Also despite some of the earlier comments, Diabolik is a crime movie, NOT a spy movie.

    That may be true, but the two genres do have quite a bit of overlap.

       1 likes

  • 186
    ck says:

    After the tv specials why not do the Film Crew movies. You get to
    see Rue Macclanahan stripping! And lots of Greeks in diapers.

       3 likes

  • 187
    Shrike says:

    “The final bit, in which Mike and Bots settle in and start riffing on “The Crawling Eye,” the movie Joel and the bots riffed in the first national episode, is cute and kind of satisfying. But a lot of fans noticed a little goof: We can’t see the screen, of course, but based on their riffing, it seems that the first thing they see is opening credits. The problem is that “The Crawling Eye” doesn’t start that way. It starts with a cold opening, showing some characters mountain climbing (and then one of the characters is killed). The credits don’t begin until several minutes into the movie. Kind of ruined it for some people.”

    Some people really, desperately need to get a life.

       5 likes

  • 188
    littleaimishboy says:

    Mike Nelson isn’t a SOL employee anyway. As a temp, he’s considered an independent contractor. Sheesh! Eyeroll!! What a blooper by the writers!!!

       4 likes

  • 189
    Kali says:

    ***ALERT for MSTies!***

    Amazon is offering what looks like a REAL soundtrack for Diabolik through its mp3 music line for about 9 bucks. I got it a few weeks ago. Great tracks and no dialogue to get in the way. I haven’t seen a soundtrack CD on this (except for the one where the packager made the best of things and cut out all of the music from the film with dialogue). Of course, I started going “Deep Deep TONGUE!” at the appropriate moments. Smile

    Enjoy:
    http://www.amazon.com/Ennio-Morricone-Danger-Diabolik-Complete/dp/B00JAJVGBO/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1398471543&sr=1-1&keywords=Diabolik

       1 likes

  • 190
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #87 (Old Post): I kind of wondered how Diabolik was able to maintain suge a huge underground lair without any kind of detection. Does he have his own power source? Is it structurally sound? And where do you have those materials built and who built the place? My thinking is, somebody is gonna get suspicious.

    I think some people significantly overestimate just how much the construction industry, you know, CARES. As long as the check clears. I think that’s the unofficial motto of the Eurospy Movie Universe, known for so many outrageous structures and scenarios and objects: “As Long as the Check Clears.”

    Also, you can get one construction company to handle one part, another to handle another part, divide the labor out so that nobody ever realizes exactly what they’re constructing.

    This approach was actually used over a hundred years ago by a serial killer who practically qualified as a real-life super-villain:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._H._Holmes

    “The ground floor of the [Murder] Castle contained Holmes’s own relocated drugstore and various shops, while the upper two floors contained his personal office and a maze of over 100 windowless rooms with doorways opening to brick walls, oddly-angled hallways, stairways to nowhere, doors openable only from the outside, and a host of other strange and labyrinthine constructions. Holmes repeatedly changed builders during the construction of the Castle, so only he fully understood the design of the house.”

    Hard to tell from the photo, but the guy was only 35 when he died. He designed his Steampunk Murderworld at the age of 29. How much does the average movie criminal genius accomplish by age 29? Well, obviously, we’re almost never told, but still.

    ***

    Off-topic, maybe this has already been posted somewhere around here, but who cares? Wink

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/?attachment_id=336931

       1 likes

  • 191
    thequietman says:

    While others are ending their run of watching the whole series over the past four years, I am just embarking on mine. Thanks to Shout! and Amazon I’m finally able to watch earlier episodes without resorting to Youtube. This was indeed a bittersweet episode, but I was so glad we still had four years of reruns to tide me over in between Rhino set purchases.

    As for the episode itself, I always thought Brainguy said ‘Chilly squid.’ Seemed to make sense given he was just saying random words. And I had no thoughts of the writers just softballing it during the film itself. I sometimes sing the ‘Driving off to the store/hope they’re serving that ham’ song in the car. Besides, any film that gives us more of John Philip Law’s mellifluous evil laugh (and Diabolik can throw it too!) can’t be all bad. Here are some of my favorite riffs:

    (During the trippy animation of Eva)
    Crow: No, she wasn’t Hitler!

    (Diabolik grabs Valmont and dives out of the plane)
    Servo: But I’m an evil mastermiiiiiinnnnndddd!

    And a callback (that I don’t think anyone has caught) to everyone’s favorite Hungarian, Bela Lugosi.
    Valmont: Pull the cord! Pull the cord!
    Mike: No, it’s ‘Pool de string’!

    Finally, I vividly remember the final crash scene as Servo methodically reports the reentry damage to the SOL. “Deck four, BROKEN AWAY! Deck five, BROKEN AWAY! Deck six, melting and BROKEN AWAY! Poison gas, FILLING OUR LUNGS AND OUR NASAL PASSAGES!”

    By the way, earlier someone lamented the lack of referencing Cambot or the Nanites in the final apartment scene. Well, Cambot must have survived too. Otherwise, who would show us M&TB kicking back to enjoy “The Crawling Eye”?

       0 likes

  • 192
    ck says:

    BUT WHAT OF THE NANITES! (Especially Shelley, a highly talented,
    if eccentric, hair stylist). Hope they got a work order to evacuate
    the SoL (hey, they don’t even go to the john without a work order).

       1 likes

  • 193
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #187:

    Sure, you can SAY that, but what does it really MEAN? What is life, anyway? And if we don’t know what life is, how can we recognize its absence within one’s existence when its presence and its non-presence are identical? Is a life spent in nitpicking not nonetheless a life? Better for someone who likes nitpicking to have such a life than for one who doesn’t like nitpicking. For truly, has it been said, that what might be right for you may not be right for some, and this is life, the one you get, so go and have a ball again, laughter is calling for you.

    If you’d instead remarked “Some people really, desperately need to get laid,” well, that’d be something else entirely. After all, if sex is such a great problem-solver, why don’t doctors prescribe it?

       0 likes

  • 194

    @Kenneth Morgan #180: I’m on it!

    In reference to the query from #190 and #191: WHERE ARE THE NANITES?

    Well, they weren’t featured or mentioned at all during Season 10, so it seems to me that they were ret-conned out of the show.

    After all, how could the SOL reach the critical failure levels it did in the first episode of Season 10 (Soultaker), requiring Joel to show up and fix things, if the Nanites were around and were, you know, seemingly capable of fixing the ship at the drop of a (very tiny) hat?

    The lack of closure for the Nanites doesn’t really bother me at all because, as I’ve said before, I don’t like a single one of the Host Segments that they appear in. They are one of my least favorite aspects of the Sci-Fi years.

    And Shelly was terrible at doing hair. Razz

    As for Cambot,
    Mike never addresses the camera that is in his apartment, neither do the Bots. Plus, the angle of the shot switches (or cuts) from behind the television to behind the couch (putting Mike and the Bots in their familiar “shadowrama” arrangement), something Cambot never did (it was a fixed, single lens camera-robot). This evidence suggests that there is NO camera in Mike’s apartment (this is a just a glimpse into his life) and there is most definitely NO Cambot in Mike’s apartment, which leads me to only one conclusion:

    Cambot didn’t survive the crash of the Satellite of Love.

    RIP, Cambot. Ye shall be missed. Cry Camera Cry

       1 likes

  • 195
    Cornjob says:

    The animated ID machine that prompts the riff, “No, she wasn’t Hitler. reminds me a lot of the Identigraph from some James Bond movie. I think it was For Your Eyes Only. While looking at it James even says, “I said nose, not banana”, when a clumsy technician elongates the nose on the image, in a way that reminds me of the MST riffer’s, “She wasn’t Hitler” remark.

       0 likes

  • 196
    spap oop says:

    Does no one else remember that blair witch fever was in full pitch at this exact same time? SciFi had just ran that faux documentary on said witch. Talkcity chat rooms had just turned the mst3k chatroom into the blairwitch chat room that very week.

    Anyway me an the family drove from the desert southwest to florida that week. And of course a thunderstorm knocked the power out to the vcr(vcr hahaha)so we had to wait til ‘diabolik was repeated.
    Good Times.

       1 likes

  • 197
    pondoscp says:

    A great ending to the series. I like this episode more each time I see it. I’ve already embarked on starting the series from the beginning again!

       1 likes

  • 198
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “Having the service station attendant ask Eva if she wants a tail”

    …results in a really obvious yet totally overlooked riff opportunity.

    Attendant: “Would you like a tail for luck?”
    Crow or Servo: “You’ll need more than luck to get any of this –”
    Mike: “All right, we’re using up our allotment of sex riffs, let’s tone it down for a while.”

    OSLT.

       0 likes

  • 199
    Sitting Duck says:

    Watch-out-for-Snakes #194: After all, how could the SOL reach the critical failure levels it did in the first episode of Season 10 (Soultaker), requiring Joel to show up and fix things, if the Nanites were around and were, you know, seemingly capable of fixing the ship at the drop of a (very tiny) hat?

    Well, it has been established that the Nanites have a highly bureaucratic union. If you don’t file a work order, nothing gets done.

       1 likes

  • 200

    Comment #200! Wooooooooooo!!

    –@199: Yeah, but Nanite work orders seemed that they were able to be requested and fulfilled in a matter of, well, nanoseconds, and in Soultaker, with the ship messing up big time, Mike doesn’t even THINK to check in with the Nanites. Sure, Mike is a supreme dope sometimes, but I am sticking to my opinion that the Nanites were (rightly) ret-conned out of the show starting with Season 10.
    Wink

    And one more thing:

    This is how I would rank the episodes of Season 10:

    Soultaker (5 star)
    Squirm (4 star)
    Future War
    Girl in Gold Boots
    Diabolik
    Track of the Moon Beast
    Horrors of Spider Island
    Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders
    Blood Waters of Dr. Z
    Boggy Creek II
    IT Lives By Night (3 star)
    Final Justice
    Hamlet

    I only ranked one episode a 5-star classic (Soultaker) but nine episodes came in at a great 4-star rating, with only three episodes landing a good-not-great 3-star rating. Looking at those numbers, I’d say this was a fairly great season.

    Overall, I would say that I like Season 10 better than Season 9, and that it is possibly on par with the entirety of Season 8, but in honesty, the final 13 episodes of Season 8 are the best run of the Sci-Fi Channel years for MST3k.

       2 likes

  • 201
    PALADIN says:

    ‘Diabolik’ always strikes me as exemplary of the difference between American and European action/adventure films.

    An American-made film about a professional thief would have made a point of giving the protagonist a compelling and sympathetic backstory to make him an anti-hero, but a hero nonethless.

    The Italian ‘Diabolik’ takes it for granted that the viewer is familiar with the titular character`s comic book roots…
    ” Diabolik is a ruthless master thief. He typically steals from criminals (and has no issue with killing them if need be, but rarely, if ever, kills the innocent or the police). He seems to have a deep knowledge in many scientific fields, including chemistry, mechanics and computers. In his first appearances, Diabolik was a more straightforward villain who did not hesitate to murder anyone in order to accomplish his deeds. He was later given a more “Robin Hood”-like persona and was shown stealing essentially from criminals, in order to soften the series’ violence and amorality.”….
    …and the movie just plunges the viewer into the hedonistic heists of this bizarre character, who starts out with apparently More Money Than GOD and goes on to steal even more….seemingly just for something to do.
    ( Sure, maintaining sports cars and a classy blonde-model babe in your own private Batcave MUST cost a load o` bucks…. But after you have enough to roll around in on your Squash-Court-sized bed, you`ld think that it would be time to just enjoy it all instead of ‘going for the gold’ as well. )

    American action adventure films INSIST upon delivering the origin of the hero, even if the hero is Superman, whom I believe babies have actually been born knowing who he is and where he came from for decades. Diabolik must be one well-known character in Italy for a backstory to have seemed irrelevant.

    Fortunately, the forbidding, relentlessly protruding skull of John Phillip Law carries the day and his over-acting is just icing on the cake.

       0 likes