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Episode guide: 501- Warrior of the Lost World

Movie: (1983) A nameless hero and his talking motorcycle fight an evil dictator in a post-apocalyptic world.

First shown: 7/24/93
Opening: Servo attempts a formal welcome but Crow rattles him
Invention exchange: The Mads demonstrate the Square Master, J&tB show Bittersweet Hearts
Host segment 1: Joel retrofits the bots to be slot cars, but Tom still needs some work
Host segment 2: J&tB put on a sketch: The warrior tries to get a driving permit
Host segment 3: J&tB discuss things you could do after the apocalypse
End: J&tB get a phone call from Megaweapon, Joel reads a letter, the Mads enjoy an active lifestyle
Stinger: The Paper Chase Guy checkin’ out Persis
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (227 votes, average: 4.51 out of 5)


• This episode has its moments, I’ll give you that. The movie is all over the place, from the whiny, chipmunk-cheeked hero and his air-headed onboard computer, to the squeaky spiders, to guerrilla leader Jimmy Carter/Ronnie Cox, to hapless Persis Khambata, to perhaps Donald Pleasance’s creepiest performance (and that’s saying something), to the “Road Warrior” rejects, to the raw star power that IS Megaweapon. The riffing is solid for the most part, and the host segments are decent. It doesn’t quite add up to a classic for me, but, yes, it has its moments.
• This episode is in included in Shout!Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XVI.”
• The stretch between the end of season 4 and the beginning of season 5 was 168 days, the sixth-longest amount of time MSTies had to wait between episodes.
• That said, longtime fans will recall that, although this is episode 501, it is NOT the first episode shown in season 5. That honor went to episode 502- Hercules, which aired a week before this one. Why? They’ve never said, I don’t think, but my guess is that the Comedy Central suits decided the Hercules movie was a more marketable opener. In any case, as we’ve done in the past, we go by episode number.
• I wonder who Dickie Schnable is.
• Joel’s bittersweet hearts invention has since come true. You can now buy little chalky hearts that say all sorts of weird things.
• Joel makes what I always thought was an astute observation: that the afterlife would be a little like Ellis Island. I’d never thought about it like that…
• Callback: “Ator? Tong?” (Cave Dwellers) “Old Time bus driver Billy Slater…” (Junior Rodeo Daredevils) Crow mentions “Hangar 18” “He hit Big Jake” (Sidehackers). “I Accuse My Parents.”
• How are they controlling the robots during the slot car host segment? Are puppeteers crouching under the track?
• Everyone loves that bit during the movie when Joel and Tom Servo get into a little dual-riff that is, I guess, a parody of Robitussin commercial–one I don’t remember ever seeing. Maybe that’s why I don’t find it as hilarious as everybody else seems to…
• It’s nice to see Tom Servo forthrightly admit that they never bothered to write an ending to bit in segment 2–having movie sign happen is a little like when Monty Python “drops the cow.”
• I believe this episode contains the very first reference to then newly elected President Bill Clinton.
• Do you think that the odd, pointless little comments of the onboard computer were the inspiration for the bittersweet hearts invention?
• Persis Khambatta’s character gets called Natasha and Nastasia, depending on who is addressing or referring to her.
• Then-topical: The “woo-woo-woo” thing audiences of the Arsenio Hall Show did.
• Probably my favorite moment of the episode is toward the end when the camera does that long pan of all the revolutionaries celebrating and Tom Servo has a celebrity name for every single one. Amazing and hilarious.
• That’s Mike, it hardly needs saying, providing the voice of Megaweapon. The raport all the actors have with one another at this point in the show is really remarkable.
• Cast & Crew roundup: Cinematographer Giancarlo Ferrando also worked on “Devil Fish.” Make up person Otello Fava also worked on “Danger: Diabolik” and production designer Massimo Antonello Geleng also worked on “Devil Fish.” In front of the camera, we’ll see Donald Pleasance again in “The Pumaman.”
• CreditsWatch: The writers list is now: Trace Beaulieu, Paul Chaplin, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Bridget Jones, Kevin Murphy and Mary Jo Pehl (Michael J. Nelson is still head writer). Contributing writers: Colleen Henjum, Jim Mallon. Host segments directed by: Trace Beaulieu. New credit–Utility Infielder: Patrick Brantseg (which I think means Patrick started getting paid for what he was already doing). Hair and make-up: Andrea J. DuCane (she will do it for all but five episodes this season). New interns: Stephanie Hynes, Peter Keffer, Michael J. Sheehan and E. Jane Shortt.
• Fave riff: “Heeeeyyeee, it’s the crazy Guggenheim museum!” Honorable mention: “They love it when he signals a left turn!”

159 Replies to “Episode guide: 501- Warrior of the Lost World”

  1. EricJ says:

    Cornjob: Poor Persis. Her big break involved being bald and weird in the worst Star Trek movie ever.

    Huh? Who did she play in Star Trek: Insurrection?


  2. Goshzilla says:

    EricJ: Huh?Who did she play in Star Trek: Insurrection?

    She played Tom Hardy’s Reman henchman in Nemesis. Everybody just assumed it was Ron Perlman.


  3. schippers says:

    Wait, WHO did Persis play in Star Trek Into Darkness?


  4. new cornjob says:

    though, y’know, we still hafta see the end of a good cage-match between “megaweapon” and stevie spielb’s “duel” semi-truck…


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

    In response to the first comment, the 1982 film Megaforce doesn’t have the Paper Chase guy but it does have Persis Khambatta.

    Darn, almost eight years too late.

    Megaforce also starred Henry “rent-a-Silva” Silva as, surprise, the bad guy. An ad for it was on the back of virtually every comic book at some point in the 1980s, so the Megaforce movie poster is surely ingrained upon the psyches of many people who have never heard of Megaforce and perhaps never will. Oddly enough, Megaforce, which is very much like the version of G.I. Joe that is very much like Megaforce, hit theaters during the same month that Marvel’s G.I. Joe comic book debuted. Life’s a wondrous tapestry, innit?

    Here’s a quote from director Hal “Give me a Firebird and a dilapidated building and I’ll give you drama” Needham, but you’d need to have watched (as I haven’t) or at least read about Megaforce (as I have) to understand just how much in his own little world Needham must have been at the time:

    “It’s like no other movie ever made before. And the machines we’ve built are extraordinary. There’s one other thing. Although there’s a lot of action, you don’t see anyone get killed. I think people are beginning to get sick of that kind of thing. What we’ve tried to do here is make an entertaining film with some believable heroes the public can cheer for.”

    IMHO Needham should totally have cast longtime collaborator Burt Reynolds as Megaforce’s “Commander Ace Hunter.” C’mon, Bo “Bandit” Darville as the leader of an international peace-keeping organization? Would’ve made for an entirely different vibe. [insert distinctive Bandit laugh]

    I should probably get back to the actual MST3Ked film, though. ;-)


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

    I didn’t read all the above comments but I think Joel referring to the Mads as “the Buttafucos” qualifies as the ultimate dated reference.

    There ARE no…

    The RIGHT people will…

    Oh, never mind.


    …and I will lie awake at night wondering what the deal is with the black gestapo guy.

    In case you’re still wondering, well, here’s something else to wonder about along with it:


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

    Earl Rogers:
    Favorite riff topic:pretty much everything about how our “hero” never actually -does- anything heroic.

    That’s because he has no interest in *being* the hero; THEY chose HIM, remember? That’s surely why he sounds so bored, too. “Fine, they can make me be involved, but they can’t make me CARE.”

    Michael Howe:
    What I really hate about the film is the ‘reluctant chosen one’ story they use. The Paper Chase Guy keeps whining and saying he isn’t the chosen one, and everyone just acts like they didn’t hear him. Just once, I want to see a scene where the expected chosen one just lets everyone down

    Or one where he or she just walks away from the whole magilla and it turns out we’re in an entirely different movie and the “chosen one” sequence was just a brief interlude. “Yeah, well, good luck with all THAT, but I got other stuff to do.”

    Not sure if you want to watch The Road Warrior, Escape from New York, or The Warriors? Why not watch all three?

    I’m not sure I see the overall connection, since “The Warriors” isn’t post-apocalyptic.

    “Escape 2000” has a few seconds of “Warriors” imitation in it, in the part where Trash visits Toblerone and members of the gangs from the previous “Trash” movie (where the Warriors vibe was much stronger) are present as extras. The woman who tells Trash she’s still waiting is the leader of one of the gangs, The Iron Men. The others were The Zombies, The Tigers (led by none other than Fred Williamson), and Trash’s own Riders.


    Where did the Paper Chase Guy get that super bike anyway? Who built it and programmed it to be his friend?

    That’s like asking where did The Man With No Name get his horse. We’re not supposed to know stuff about the mysterious character who finds himself in a pre-existing conflict; otherwise he wouldn’t be mysterious.

    The protagonist of this movie had no name, either. He’s listed only as “Rider” and that’s probably a description. Maybe he’s an ex-member of Trash’s gang.


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

    @112–1 Potato 2 was (and apparently may still be in a few scattered malls) a restaurant found at malls, usually in food courts and focusing on, well, potatoes.I remember them being around at the various -dales in Minneapolis/St. Paul in the late 1980s-early 1990s, so they must have seen them too.Never ate there myself; apparently I wasn’t in a potatoesque mood.

    So, potatoes were NOT what you ate, then.


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

    I’m guessing this thread is dead, Jim.


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