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Episode guide: K11- Humanoid Woman

Movie: (1981) In the future, a clone is rescued from space, lives on Earth for a while, then leads her friends to her polluted and desperate home world.

First shown: 1/29/89
Opening: The Mads are furious to learn that last week’s ratings were higher, despite being opposite the Super Bowl
Host segment 1: J&TB enjoy a game of tag
Host segment 2: Servo hits on a blender
Host segment 3: J&TB demonstrate surrealism
End: Servo and Joel discuss the Village People and end with a “Dating Game”-style goodbye kiss
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (79 votes, average: 3.34 out of 5)

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References.
• Three of the host segments from this film were later reused in Season One shows, making this one of the most heavily-plundered KTMA episodes. Segment 1 was later re-shot in episode 105- THE CORPSE VANISHES. Segment 2 was later recycled, almost word-for-word, in episode 103- MAD MONSTER. A sketch somewhat similar to segment 3 appeared in episode 107- ROBOT MONSTER.
• It’s unclear why the Brains think the movie is Czech (maybe it said so in the Maltin guide). It’s Russian. But that doesn’t stop Servo from making a “corn Czechs” joke.
• In the opening segment, after movie sign is announced, the Bots chase Joel down the corridor leading into the movie theater. Both Joel and Mike have run down the corridor, but Crow, Tom and Gypsy following is unique.
• I’ve been noticing something in these episodes: Joel hasn’t really embraced the “the right people will get it” mentality yet. A lot of times Josh or Trace will make a reference and not explain it, and Joel will, almost reflexively, explain the joke. A good example in this episode is the “Kiki Dee” reference which Servo makes and Joel then explains.
• Not sure if this is my DVD or the way it actually happened, but there is no “movie sign” transition between segment 3 and the theater.
• Movie stuff: The movie was originally titled “Cherez Ternii K Zvedam” (in Russian) and was shown in two parts: “Iskusstvennyl Chelovek” and “Angely Kosmosa.” When exported to the west, it was initially titled with the Latin phrase “Per Aspera Ad Astra” then retitled with the rough English translation of that phrase: “To the Stars by Hard Ways.” Sheesh.
• According to the IMDB, the director’s son has reedited/restored the original, which purists insist is far more interesting than the Sandy Frank version. Sounds a lot like purists who swear by restored “Solaris” (which I found impenetrable, but others whose opinions I respect really enjoyed).
• It’s definitely another case, like all the other Russian films that were riffed over the years, that, whatever it’s flaws, it had a huge budget and it’s fascinating to look at, even if you don’t know what the Sam Hill is goin’ on.
• During the ending segment, Crow discusses what he plans to do in the upcoming week. This segment feels improvised, and it’s one of the few times in MST3K’s history in which Trace can’t think of anything funny to say. It’s almost painful to hear him bluff his way through.
http://www.annotatedmst.com/episodes/humanoidwoman/index.htmCast and Crew Round up: Sandy Frank is the only name this time.
• Fave riff: “Why did she crawl inside the espresso machine?” Honorable mention: “You better close your little ticket window, there.”

60 comments to Episode guide: K11- Humanoid Woman

  • 1
    Dan in WI says:

    Joel: “Looks like backstage at the Penn & Teller show.” That’s an interesting riff considering how much Penn would later be reviled during the later Comedy Central years.

    The tag host segment was fun in random way. It reminded me of the I Spy/Wipeout host segment a couple episodes ago. You really can’t do that complete random off the wall stuff often but occasionally it is fun. Too bad those never happened nationally.

    As for this movie, I simply didn’t understand it. Can anybody tell me what was going on? Anybody?

    Oh and for those who have a Cheapnis copy of this episode, what’s the deal with the travel ad? What did that have to do with MST?

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  • 2
    TheNinfinger says:

    I think the travel ad was included because Kevin Murphy was the guy in the lounge chair.

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  • 3
    Clouseau says:

    I’m willing to give the Humanoid Woman enthusiasts some credence, because it is a gorgeous film, and Frank’s dubbing absolutely awful. Perhaps if someone halfway competent did it it’d be, in the least, coherent.

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  • 4
    Alex says:

    Pretty decent episode. Extremely strange movie. Overall, 4/5 stars. Razz

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  • 5
    pablum says:

    I haven’t seen this episode in a while, but I have to say, the movie was quite strange. I do like the early 80s look to the film.

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  • 6
    Graboidz says:

    I really like this ep! I think it’s the cool 80’s vibe the flick gives off, but like several other KTMA eps, I would love to have seen them tackle this flick a year or two later. I may just have to check out the fully restored version. (Sampo….should I wait for you to post a link before clicking over to Amazon??)

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  • 7
    Alex says:

    Also kind of strange this wasn’t repeated in Season 3. I’m guessing either Gorky Films probably didn’t feel like licening their material to the Brains, Sandy Frank lost the rights to this movie before/during Season 3 (I’d imagine Brains only licensed those Sandy Frank-dubbed-version-films from Mr. Frank himself during Season 3), or the Brains just didn’t have enough room and wanted to show newer movies.

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  • 8
    Fart Bargo says:

    Humanoid Woman is proof that bad cinema is a world wide phenomena, courtesy of Sandy Frank. In a lot of ways, it was an interesting film to watch. It’s biggest difficulty was LISTENING to it. I guess it would be the ‘Foley’ guy who should get shot for all the annoying sound effects that continue to plague this sound track. Some of the music was good, foreboding at times. Out of nowhere, the HARPSICHORD music would then blunder into the scene. It’s like awakening to a John Philip Sousa march. I much rather get beat up by Albert Glaser.

    The look of the film was interesting. H-Girl is certainly alien in appearance and behavior. She looks like a lollypop with bug eyes glued on and acts the part as well. The domestic robot should have been cut completely. I am surprised J&TB did not take more shots at her but I guess the bots were taking care of their own.

    The opening of this episode has Dr F ogling a life size cutout of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. What I had not noticed until viewing this recently was Dr F wearing 3-D glasses while he was up close and motorboat position to Elvira’s assets. LMAO when I realized it. What a start! The Mads are getting more ‘polished’ and are starting to gel. J&TB are picking up the pace a bit and their script (?) seems tighter. A solid 4 from me.

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  • 9
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    Female scientist: It’s like a nightmare, isn’t it?
    Servo: Yes, it is.

    By the time the underground dwarf leader shows up, I was put in mind of David Lynch’s “Dune”, which I acknowledge is a very flawed film, but one I love nonetheless. But HW also shares Dune’s frenetic pacing, as if it was chopped down from a three hour runtime to a jam-packed hour and a half.

    In fact IMDb lists the original runtime of HW as 148 minutes, with the 2001 restoration as 123 (according to Wikipedia, “to speed up the dynamics of the plot; but also some episodes with Soviet ideological context were cut.”). I don’t find the movie that bad, just hard to follow. This was the third time I’ve watched this episode and the first time I felt I understood what was going on.

    So maybe because I’m straining to follow the movie’s plot and simultaneously attracted-to/creeped-out by the lead actress (Yelena Metyolkina as Niya), I just don’t find much gold in the riffing. Even more so than last week’s “Space: 1999″ effort, I think the strangeness of the movie outshines the jokes made at it’s expense. Also, I can’t believe HW was made in 1981. I swear it looks like a Western film from a decade earlier (blame the Soviets). And I can’t think of many sci-fi flicks with a manic harpsichord/synthesizer combo providing the score.

    2 stars. I do like Servo seducing the blender, another J. Elvis highlight. Oh, and if this episode had a “stinger,” I’d chose the robot maid sucking up the splattered watermelon (@17:10).

    “Oh, what a mess…Up the hatch.”

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  • 10
    Brandon Caudle says:

    When asked about one of his favorite Servo memories at Dragon*Con, Kevin Murphy said one of his favorite sketches was Servo flirting with the blender in this episode.

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  • 11
    Cubby says:

    • Obscure reference: “Dirk, Stig, Nasty and Barry.”

    Really? I’ll grant that my perspective may be skewed; I’ve known those names since “All You Need Is Cash” first aired on NBC back in 1978. I’ll understand if I’m alone/in a small minority, but …

    Serious question to everyone: Is this actually obscure?

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  • 12

    As always this is a link to my video review of this episode:
    http://blip.tv/file/4086591
    This movie is really strange but pretty cool at the same time.

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  • 13
    dad1153 says:

    I got serious “Phase IV” vibes out of what came through of the original Russian movie in this bad-to-me “MST3K” KTMA experiment. A theory of mine is that many foreign movies focus on the human plight and drama of everyday life among their people because their countries don’t have an economy strong-enough to sustain the expensive blockbuster movie-making we’re used to from American, British and a handful of other markets. If the rest of the world were as wealthy as the United States, my theory goes, their movies would have as many stupid SFX-driven spectacles and popcorn movies as the US while still having room for earnest dramas and brainy stuff. Watching “Humanoid Woman” knowing that there was a boatload of deleted scenes, cultural references and dialogue removed (Sandy Frank’s edits/dubs are mediocre but this isn’t as horrendous a hack job as his “Gamera” work) I got the vibe that the original writers/directors saw a lot of non-Russian sci-fi movies/TV and wanted to make their own version. The outdoor scenes in Nya’s planet, for example, have an orange tinted look that seems lifted shot-by-shot from Nicolas Roeg’s “The Man Who Fell To Earth.” But, even if the Sandy Frank edit is clearly watering down everything for kiddie consumption, you can’t tell me that a movie featuring killer foam that moves on its own (the scene where the Earth crew’s robot is trying to suck in all the foam had me laughing!) and a dwarf villain named Turanchoks is trying to compete for the “Solaris” mantle of Russia’s ‘thinking man sci-fi’ spectacle. The Russians behind this movie were trying to do their own “Star Wars”-type epic (or maybe their own “Supeman”… was that really Superman’s Dad? LOL ) and, while I’d need to see the unriffed, unedited version for a true comparison, it’s safe to say this is no undiscovered or ‘lost’ sci-fi classic.

    Between this and “First Space Ship to Venus” J&TB’s have a perfect 0-2 record in making me laugh. I don’t know what it is about this European space movies that stumps the Brains, but their riffs just come out of their mouths and die on-screen (with a handful of exceptions like the Jor-El riffs) while the boring movie plays on. I found mild amusement in Turanchoks’ ‘Go to the ASTRA’ line being repeated over and over again as a precursor of sorts to ‘Deep Hurting’. The Mads are coming along but they’re still gestating their true potential. The upside-down tribute to surrealism was neat (Letterman did it better a few years earlier though) but man, what’s up with that last segment? Joel looks tired (no sleep?), Trace is off his game and even J. Elvis’ enthusiasm can’t save the moment from coming across awkward on-camera; to steal a line from a recent “Cinematic Titanic” live show, that’s the take they went with? Shock

    One-and-a-Half Stars (on the KTMA scale) out of five for the show and THREE stars for whatever decent flick is buried underneath the layers of interference (from the Brains as well as the Sandy Frank dub) standing between me and the director’s true vision. I had fun comparing “Humanoid Woman” to new and old sci-fi movies as the story unfolded and the Brains’ jokes kept falling flat. Does anyone else think Nya looks like the mutant in “Splice”? And could someone involved in “Alien: Resurrection” have stolen the ‘Ripley’s botched clones’ laboratory scene for that movie from the one that starts “Humanoid Woman”? Is it me or is the older woman that goes to Nya’s planet with the Earth crew look a lot like Arlene Francis? Sigh, why do I have to make my own jokes when watching an “MST3K” experiment? Isn’t that what J&TB’s are there for? Sad

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  • 14

    And here’s my LogBook entry:

    http://www.thelogbook.com/logbook/mystery-science-theater-3000/experiment-k11-humanoid-woman/

    This one is another that I really enjoy, mainly because the film is really interesting, even chopped to pieces by Sandy Frank. Those who can’t understand why people like the movie need to see the original version, which has a *lot* of plot and characterization missing from the Frank version. (Which I still find worthwhile, BTW.)

    As I state in my entry, Yelena Metyolkina won an award at the International Festival of Science Fiction Films in 1975, so there was appreciation for the original version. I think its bad reputation today is part of the “MST Effect”, where films that might otherwise be explored or enjoyed in their own right are put down or dismissed *because* they were on MST3K. The original version with – I believe – new “Special Edition” effects can be bought from RussianDVD.com as “To the Stars by Hard Ways”.

    Overall, a good episode and an interesting film.

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  • 15
    Smog Monster says:

    I have got to say, out of 11 seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3,000, this is the worst episode they’ve ever done. Sure, one may say ‘No, that’s KTMA Gamera vs. Barugon; KTMA Gamera; Hamlet; or Beginning Of The End perhaps’, but in all honesty, I say this on is. Besides the total lack of comments from Joel and the Bots – compounded because the silence was when things that could be made fun of were indeed happening on screen, the riffs also clashed or fell flat. The movie was plodding and dull, and it would have been better in seasons 8 or 9, rather than K. The grade of the episode is ‘poor KTMA level’.

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  • 16
    mst3ktemple says:

    @11 I think the Rutles is a fairly obscure reference to most people. I too have been a fan since seeing on TV back 1978, but for a long time whenever I mentioned it to anyone they didn’t seem to have any idea what I was talking about. It’s a hilarious parody and Neil Innes is a genius.

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  • 17
    H says:

    This one is pretty decent. Movie’s manageable and the host segments are enjoyable, especially looking back at how they did them later in Season 1.

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  • 18
    MiqelDotCom says:

    It took about 3 viewings for me to fully understand the plot & relationship between the characters. From what i’ve read about this film it was pretty good in the original uncut Russian version, but much of the plot suffers from bad editing/translation/dubbing.
    That said, the Robot is a kooky permutation of ‘Rosie’ from the Jetsons, the alien facial hair style is bizarre (tiny asymmetrical goatee) and the intelligent soap-suds are not too impressive.

    The riffing is reasonably funny at times but not near what it could have been …

    Crow: “I think i feel a Eurythmics video coming on”

    OH and YES, The Rutles is a slightly obscure reference to most people under 30 years old (ie. not born in the 1970s or earlier.)

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  • 19
    JJK says:

    To #11. It’s pretty obscure if your not of a “certain” age to remember something on TV more than 30 years ago. Unfortunately I remember that and other things going further back than that.

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  • 20
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Yeah, the Rutles is totally obscure. I mean, I was born in 1980 and I’ve heard of them, but I would never in a million years guess or know there names as Dirk, Stig, Nasty (?), and Barry. Pretty obscure for us “youngins”.

    As for this movie, as stated, it is very confusing and I have no idea what is going on. This is my first time watching it, apparently I’ll need to see it twice more before the mysteries unravel themselves. I don’t see any room for comparisons to Solaris, which is beautiful in it’s depth and meaning, and this flick just features a hot bald chick and some confusing space drama. Not a “good” movie.

    This episode is kinda flat too. Not the worst ever but not that lively. The opening with the Mads is good, starring at Elvira with 3D glasses (or are they 2-D glasses?) but I have to say, Josh’s laugh as Dr. Ernhart is awful, skin crawling stuff. I don’t like it one bit.

    The riffing never takes off for me. The “looks like backstage at a Penn & Teller show” is a good riff, considering the problems MSTies would come to have with ol’ Mr. Penn. Other than that, kind of a “meh” episode for me.

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  • 21
    TarlCabot says:

    Holy crap! They made a Rutles refence!

    Now I’m CONVINCED that, at one time or another, MST3K referenced EVERYTHING.

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  • 22
    RockyJones says:

    For me…rampant editing or not…this is one of those movies that seems to just go on forever. The pacing seems as slow as a snail, and the sparse KTMA-era riffing doesn’t help. I will admit, though, that it has some moments that are wonderfully “artsy”. Especially the poetic, high concept ending sequence, which is absolutely beautiful. Not an episode I’d be likely to go back and watch very often, though.

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  • 23
    fathermushroom says:

    I was a huge Python fan and only have a few acquaintances that really remember the Rutles.

    For those of you reading this thread, who keep going, “The WHAT?,” The Rutles was a fictional 60s rock band in a TV-movie by former Python Eric Idle (“All You Need Is Cash”), which was a spoof documentary of a group “very much like” the Beatles. Very funny, and can be found online.

    Dig it.

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  • 24
    JCC says:

    “or Beginning Of The End perhaps’”
    ================================
    WHAT!? Maybe “average” for an episode but worst ever? Not even close. The Eight of Chris Lemmon clouds judgement…

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  • 25
    Sampo says:

    JCC–I think Sampo’s Theorem applies here.

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  • 26
    mst3ktemple says:

    Sampo’s Theorem always applies.

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  • 27
    Mighty Jack says:

    “Now make her sound like a Kazoo”

    This is one of my favorite KTMA eps, I think it pretty funny (in relation to other KTMAs). I’d like to see the movie in its original form. I know I mentioned it in my review page (so I’ll be repeating myself to some readers), but the lead actress won a “Silver Asteroid” for her portrayal. So somebody out there thought she (and the flick?) had some merit.

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  • 28
    Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    It is important to remember that when these episodes were done we were not as technologically advanced as we are today. Much of the film information the MST3K crew got was from books on hand. They could not just “look it up” like we can today. Throughout the early history of the show there are minor errors in cast or crew of the movies taken on. That could explain why the movie was mistaken For a Czech production. Although, in their defense, Joel does say, “By way of the Ukraine” at one point.

    Overall this is a typical Season Zero episode. They are still getting the idea of what they are there for and they allow the movie to run way too long without comments, and after the first segment we get a long look at the movie in an empty theater.. A lot of the show seems to be improv and while that is fun, it misses more than it hits, even with pros like Jonathan Winters. Had this been a more scripted show I think it would have been better.

    In Segment 1 they make reference to Elvira. For those on the young side, in the early 1980s Elvira was the host of a Saturday late night show called “Movie Macabre” on an independent station in L.A. She showed bad horror films and made comments about them during the show breaks. While not really MST3K, she set the stage for Joel and the crew and deserves the recognition she has received.

    Other than Cocoon: The Return in 1988, I am not sure why Wilford Brimley got so many references in this film. He was not exactly a pop culture icon.

    I found it odd that there were not more robot jokes in this film. The robots were “practical” and very sub-par compared to Crow, Tom, and Gypsy. I was expecting more material from them. Particularly since the housekeeping robot in the film is named “Hazel,” the name of the maid in the early 1960s TV show of the same name.

    Joel mentions the Hopi Kachina doll when he sees the robot. I am curious about this as most of us older kids remember the Hopi doll as a recurrent character in the old “Gumby” series. Is Joel more educated in Indian lore than I am, or did he grow up watching Gumby, Sunday mornings like the rest of us?

    A couple of good comments early on in the movie;

    “Playing her like an organ” – slightly naughty
    “Don’t go breaking my heart” – I still have this song on a 45

    A good riff that was lost due to a long delay by Joel is when a character in the film says, “All of life is one big experiment.” (20:30)
    To which Joel finally replies, “So is this film.”
    Of he had come in tighter that would have been the best line in the show.

    Interestingly, at 33:00 Joel lets loose with a bad pun, “The plot sickens.” If Crow had said that, he would have had his arm taken off like he did in an earlier episode.

    Despite the strong female leads in this film, there are few good female jokes. I don’t know if this is because this early I the show they did not have any female writers, but the Monty Python crew admitted they had a similar problem. They could not write for women.

    I thought that Crow made an obscure Larry Niven reference when he talked about a character’s mustache looking like a “Vole.” (see World of Ptavvs) I though thisw was extremely cleaver of them to say it and ME to remember it. Then I found out that Voles are worms. Oh well, I thought I got my first “deep inside” joke.

    One (of several) jokes I did not get was “These Odessians don’t have mush luck with their ships.” Which after a long delay, Tom says, “Always wreck ’em.”
    Did I miss something in history class?

    A lot of good and varied references came toward the third act of the movie. These would be common staples in later years, but I think this is a time everyone was getting the idea of the show. For example, and quickly;

    “The flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true” – Court Jester (1955) Danny Kaye
    “In a mayonnaise jar under Funk & Wagnalls’ Porch” – Johnny Carson’s Carnac routine.

    Now, I want to know about the “New Zoo Review” references about a hour into the show. These guys are about as old as I am and we were all too old for THAT show when it was on. I KNOW why they watched it, for the same reason I did, but I thought I was the only one. Apparently this “kiddie” show had a larger male teen audience than I thought. Oops!

    This was also one of the few episodes that made a “Dark Shadows” reference. In this case Barnabas Collins. As I said above, these guys are my age and this show was a big part of a lot of our lives at that time. With all the other late 1960s references I am surprised there were not more of Dark Shadows.

    It is interesting that while Dr. Erhardt is so young, his comments seem to span the ages. You would think his references would be more current as he was only 17 at the time.

    Over all not a bad film for Season Zero, though not a keeper. I disagree with a lot of the critics here who say that the European imports usually get short changed. I Liked “First Spaceship on Venus” and “Hamlet.” These are not the easiest films to riff and I think the crew does as good a job as they do on the other films of that time in the show’s history.

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  • 29
    Graboidz says:

    Richard the Lion-Footed…and any other fans of Elvira’s “talents”…
    Good news!! She is retuning to TV this Fall on the THIS network (yep..I never heard of it either)..doing her old schtick of hosting bad b-movies…begins airing on Sept. 25TH!!!!

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  • 30
    crowtdan says:

    Great, Elvira is coming back. We get Off Beat Cinema and Wolfman Mac showing movies that have already been on MST3K. Why isn’t there any talk of MST3K in some incarnation coming back? RetroTV and THIS are perfect outlets for MST3K. I WANT MY MST!

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  • 31
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    Ricaado-Lion-Foot @28.

    Wilfred Brimley: Ubiquitous ( at the time ) Quaker Oats TV pitchman starting in the 80’s. It’s the right thing to do.

    Voles are rodents, kind of like mice… small, furry.

    Odessa ships: reference to The Battleship Potemkin and the Odessa Steps ?? just a guess.

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  • 32
    Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    Yea, sorry about that. I meant rodent and not worm. I was picturing the alien in the Niven book and crossed wires.

    Good call on the Odessa reference. I had forgotten about that. It is a little obscure even for THIS group, but I think you are right.

    Good to hear about Elvira but I agree about MST3K. As always, its about getting the rights to the films AND show.

    Anyone ever seen the re-release of “Humanoid Woman”? I try to see the original, un-MSTieed versions of these foreign films just for the fun and education. Most are hard to find on the rental circuit.

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  • 33
    Ryan says:

    This is my top fav ktma episode. So much so that I have the Original uncut movie 148 min, the restored print 123 min, a subtitled version of the original movie, and the non mst version of ‘humanoid woman’

    http://vobzor.com/page.php?id=139 is a forum page (in russian- so use google translate) that shows screenshots between the different versions and explains, to some extent, what changed.

    Part of the reason i love this movie is that it has a great soundtrack (less the harpsicord as mentioned above) early electronic type music, along the lines of kraftwerk. the soundtrack on the new version is a classical musical score- and for me kills it.

    Random tidbit that was edited out. There is a dr. Kreuel (sp?) a character, who is a fish of sorts, who is carted around in a tank of water (his tank is seen briefly when stephan meets the robot at the airport for the first time- the robot is pulling the tank behind) anyway all scenes with him were cut out.

    fav bit of the mst episode: when the humanoid is putting her hands up and down- joel does the same Smile

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  • 34
    Zee says:

    It’s a shame they didn’t re-do this movie in season 3, it’s good goofy fun. I liked the big bucket-headed slant-eyed robot the best.

    Loves the shot of Joel and the bots running down the hallway!

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  • 35
    Killer Rabbit says:

    Trace had a pretty good riff on the title character:

    Crow: “She’s got GI Joe hair!”

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  • 36
    Cornjob says:

    I said this earlier in the annoying character post:

    “I’ve mentioned before how indescribably disturbing the Humanoid Woman from the same named episode is. If she won’t ditch the upsetting shock-white micro-thin afro, or share the drugs she’s obviously stoned out of her mind on, I wish she’d lower her eyelids a titch. Maybe then her face wouldn’t look like a lidless skull her eyeballs are desperately trying to eject themselves from in search of another host.”

    My most recent watch yeilded that the observation that her hair looked like mildew, making her head look like a moldy skull. No wonder the eyes want to escape.

    Remember Mike’s experiment in color affecting mood? Well the color pallette in this movie makes me feel existentially sad and nauseous. Maybe it’s because it was a deteriorated master on a deteriorated tape transfered to DVD (Cheepnis’ copy). Maybe it’s Soviet chromatic warfare. Whatever it is, I’ve only been able to stand watching this one 3 times. It hurts me. Riffing’s allright I think. The haze of pain and incomprehensible plot make it hard to recall.

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  • 37
    Cornjob says:

    And what the heck was that weird noise?

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  • 38
    DON3k says:

    More Hair, Less Eye

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  • 39
    Chief?McCloud! says:

    @30 crowtdan – Amen!

    Been a fan of Wolfman Mac’s Chiller Drive-in [formerly Wolfman Mac's Nitemare Sinema] since its inaugural season on local Detroit tv. I miss it now, living in KC without RetroTV either [thanks Time-Warner!].

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  • 40
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    @Richard the Lion Footed- Whenever I think of Wilfred Brimley, I think of two things: Quaker Oats and their health benefits and him as Blair from John Carpenter’s The Thing. I like to combine the two in my head sometimes. “I’m alright now, I want to come inside. I want to enjoy your Quaker Oats.”

    Didn’t Vampira sue Elvira for stealing her act? And didn’t she lose??

    Either way, it’s good to hear Elvira is making a comeback. We get the THIS network here in Portland, I’ll look forward to see her two D’s with my 2D glasses.

    crowtdan- I used to get Off Beat Cinema when I lived in Southern Illinois, but I always found them a little corny and a little too “far out.”. Plus, they seemed to always watch The Screaming Skull, which is barely watchable in it’s MST incarnation. But you know what, I’d usually find myself watching on a Saturday afternoon, so what does that say about me?

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  • 41
    Alex says:

    And by the way, here’s an interesting question I have:

    I know Joel and Jim say “Sorry, but we’re not too keen about having those early episodes released”, but even so, if Best Brains technically don’t have the legal rights to those episodes, why do Joel and Jim have a say in it in the first place? Is it because they both technically produced the show?

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  • 42
    mataglap says:

    bahn, bahn, bahn. auto-bahn.

    Surprised there weren’t more Annie Lennox references. In fact, while there are some laugh-out-loud bits in this movie, the overall riffing isn’t as good as the last couple of episodes. Trace in particular doesn’t have much to say.

    Would love to see this re-mastered, even in a mstied, heavily edited, badly dubbed, Sandy Frank version, you can tell watching it that there’s more going on than you’re going to get in one viewing.

    Seems like once the brains went national they didn’t tackle movies like this or Phase IV, certain this kind of SF movie is anathema to the programming suits at the SciFi Channel, even 10 years ago. Fugitive Alien, on the other hand…

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  • 43
    Sharktopus says:

    @ Cornjob – “Soviet chromatic warfare.” I LOLed.

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  • 44
    bad wolf says:

    #41–Does every comment thread from the last 3 months have a question from Alex whining that he can’t see the first couple of episodes?

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  • 45
    rcfagnan says:

    Okay, so Premier Midgetkoff on the contaminated planet doesn’t want the Earth people nosing around said planet for fear that they might find out how it came to this (implying that he and/or his cohorts had something to do with it): SO WHY THE SAM HILL DID THEY INVITE THE EARTH PEOPLE TO THE PLANET IN THE FIRST PLACE? Why was clone woman created to be subject to being controlled by others (the scene when she confronts her earth hosts for doing just that, complete with a smug assurance that it’s good for her to be controlable and that it means she’ll make a good wife for someone someday) has a Stepford feel to it and I really expected Joel and co. to rake them over the coals for it…and they didn’t. Just further evidence that this movie should have been done again later. So in the end, they decontaminate the planet and clone lady elects to stay there alone amongst the freakish people who reject her and want to kill her? WHAT? Oh, man, I could follow the basic gist, but this episode just made my head hurt.

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  • 46
    Alex says:

    @ 44

    I’m not THAT desperate to have HQ episodes from the KTMA season. Yeesh. Rolls Eyes

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  • 47
    Alex says:

    And I could really care less if copies of the first 3 episodes never turn up; while I’m interested in seeing them, those episodes are not something I even worry about every single day. So if you have anything negative to say about me, please keep it to yourself, thank you.

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  • 48
    ck says:

    I haven’t commented on the K episodes, since I haven’t seen
    them. But I found this one on youtube. Having seen part of
    it now, I’d say it would be worthwhile, if possible-probably not for
    this one since it’s a Sandy Frank production- to eventually have
    them for dvds. The riffing is acceptable, especially since it’s
    in mst3000 formative stages, but the intro, sets, and bots are
    really primitive. Shock The movie itself is interesting.
    Is the premise based on the movie Alien, made in 1979? The humanoid was
    strickingly like Persis Khambatta in Star Trek The Movie-also made
    10 years earlier.

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  • 49

    @45: “Okay, so Premier Midgetkoff on the contaminated planet doesn’t want the Earth people nosing around said planet for fear that they might find out how it came to this (implying that he and/or his cohorts had something to do with it): SO WHY THE SAM HILL DID THEY INVITE THE EARTH PEOPLE TO THE PLANET IN THE FIRST PLACE?”

    Turanchoks (the midget) didn’t. If you pay attention, you can see that he is a shadowy figure who has his hand in several pies (including ties to – but not full control of – those who speak for Dessa). It was Dessa’s official government that called on Earth for help. Turanchoks wants to retain the power he has accumulated since the disaster by keeping the Earth scientists from cleaning the planet. There is no implication that he had anything to do with what happened, just that he doesn’t want it fixed.

    “Why was clone woman created to be subject to being controlled by others”

    She was created to be a tool of her “father” Glan and so, like the other clones, had some controls “built in” to her. Glan expected to use the clones to fix the world (as Niya outlines) and didn’t expect to be killed and to have Niya tested by humans who were obviously able to tap into her control scheme. Turanchoks has gained control of Glan’s lab on Dessa and, therefore, gotten ahold of her override controls, which he tries to use against her.

    “(the scene when she confronts her earth hosts for doing just that, complete with a smug assurance that it’s good for her to be controlable and that it means she’ll make a good wife for someone someday) has a Stepford feel to it and I really expected Joel and co. to rake them over the coals for it…and they didn’t.”

    I’m glad there wasn’t any poh-poohing of people’s outdated attidues. It tended to grate on me as being too preachy. Besides, it’s not like the scientists’ attitude is portrayed as being *good* (as Professor Nadezhda later admits). And it’s also obvious that Stepan has feelings for Niya that are coloring his statements.

    “So in the end, they decontaminate the planet and clone lady elects to stay there alone amongst the freakish people who reject her and want to kill her? WHAT?”

    No, the people only turned on her because of the falsehoods being spread by Turanchoks. It’s a message of hope, you see? The planet’s been healed, she wants to stay to help it along. Despite everything, she believes in Dessa and feels it is her home.

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  • 50
    Richard the Lion Footed says:

    Wow Philip,

    Well done.

    I watched the film, I mean I rally watched it, and you answered some questions I did not think to ask.

    Well done.

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  • 51
    Bruce Boxliker says:

    A decent episode with an interesting, if at times meandering, movie. I have but one question. The robot at the end that was vacuuming up the Sentient-Doom-Foam ™. Where was he vacuuming it to? Does he have a Bender-like interior compartment?

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  • 52
    snowdog says:

    To me, this one felt like a step backward in terms of riffing. The long gaps return for some reason, as if no one can think of anything to say. After last week’s final segment, I was thinking Joel might start carrying Servo into the theater, but nope, not yet.

    Fave riff:
    She’s got Sammy Davis eyes.

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  • 53
    pondoscp says:

    Ouch. It’s probably my horrible copy of this episode, but ouch. Let’s just say this one didn’t go down easy. Some fun goofiness, however, and it’s always interesting to see those early host segments.

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  • 54
    jjb3k says:

    I confess, I can’t hear ELO’s “Evil Woman” anymore without singing “Humanoid Woman” instead.

    I would have loved to see the Brains take this one on again in a later season. A movie this head-explodingly crazy is almost screaming for a redo with better riffing. Can you imagine the kind of comments we would have gotten on that ambulatory wedding cake robot that sucks a watermelon up its butt if they’d tackled this movie in, say, Season 4 or 5?

    Having seen Star Trek: The Motion Picture since the last time I watched this episode, I too notice Niya’s uncanny resemblance to the V’ger-controlled Ilia. Niya’s got a little more hair, but not much. I half expect her to mention her oath of celibacy at some point.

    This movie, with its trippy underwater sequences and its oddly facial-haired bad guys and its gooey foamy ending (not to mention the puke-green tinge of my fan copy), feels like a bad fever dream crossed with an acid trip. One of those movies where you keep having to stop and remind yourself that it really exists, even as you’re watching it. It’s the cinematic equivalent of an out-of-body experience.

    “Go to the Astra! Go to the Astra! Go to the Astra!” Thank you, Turanchoks, we heard you the first time…

    I’m tickled by Joel and the bots’ “Dating Game”-style sendoff at the end, considering Joel is the only one who can physically blow a kiss at the audience. Another one of those KTMA “we didn’t think this through” moments.

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  • 55
    ern2150 says:

    Jjb3k: “ambulatory wedding cake robot that sucks a watermelon up its butt”

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  • 56
    ern2150 says:

    Sessions presents!
    Sounds of KTMA!

    Huuu manoid Woman (Servo beepboop)
    Bahn Bahn Bahn der Autobahn
    In the Land of Dairy Queen

    and many many more!

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  • 57
    Cornjob says:

    “I’ve mentioned before how indescribably disturbing the Humanoid Woman from the same named episode is. If she won’t ditch the upsetting shock-white micro-thin afro, or share the drugs she’s obviously stoned out of her mind on, I wish she’d lower her eyelids a titch. Maybe then her face wouldn’t look like a lidless skull her eyeballs are desperately trying to eject themselves from in search of another host.

    My most recent watch yeilded that the observation that her hair looked like mildew, making her head look like a moldy skull. No wonder the eyes want to escape.

    Remember Mike’s experiment in color affecting mood? Well the color palette in this movie makes me feel existentially sad and nauseous. Maybe it’s because it was a deteriorated master on a deteriorated tape transferred to DVD (Cheepnis’ copy). Maybe it’s Soviet chromatic warfare. Whatever it is, I’ve only been able to stand watching this one 3 times. It hurts me. Riffing’s alright I think. The haze of pain and incomprehensible plot make it hard to recall.”

    Sorry to reprint all of my post from 4 years ago, but it really sums up my initial response to this movie very well. I’ve never had a visceral response against the color palette of a film like I do this one. As for the title character, “Less eye, more hair”, sums her appearance up quite well. Over the last four years I’ve gotten accustomed enough to the look of the movie to actually watch it.

    A big shout out to Philip R. Frey aka “Rhindle The Red” for the plot analysis. Did you get that watching the MST version or another? You cleared up a lot of my own questions. Odd film that reminds me a little of Last Spaceship on Venus and makes me wonder if this is another Stanislaus Lem adaptation.

    And I guess Nea’s telepathy/control explains the irritating mosquito choking on a kazoo sound and her stoned look. For the life of me I don’t know how she manages to look bulging bug eyed and sleepy at the same time. I wish she wouldn’t Bogart that telepathy. It looks like it’s great stuff.

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  • 58
    jaybird3rd says:

    I don’t have much to add about this one; again, my copy is somewhat muffled and hard to hear, and of course, the typical KTMA video quality makes an already dark and muddy film even harder to look at. I’m mostly intrigued by the movie itself; I’d be curious to see the uncut, un-Sandy-Franked version someday. The dubbing isn’t as bad as that of most Sandy Frank films, but the actors do have the bad habit of pronouncing “Sergei” as “Sir Gay”, prompting a few “I am not!!!” and “Don’t call me that!!!” jokes from Servo.

    This is the kind of movie that provides plenty of riffing opportunities, but few that can easily be mined in the off-the-cuff manner of the KTMA shows. I wish they had returned to this movie later, perhaps early in Season 8: it would have fit perfectly into the “sci-fi only” mandate that the show was operating under at that time, and in the midst all the changes during that season, a return to Sandy Frank territory would have been a welcome touch of familiarity … not to mention a nice break in the tiresome stretch of black-and-white films!

    A belated thank-you to #49 for the interesting plot analysis, confirming there’s more to this movie than meets the eye, and also to #54 for the perfect description of the “ambulatory wedding cake robot that sucks a watermelon up its butt”. I’ll never be able to look at the movie in the same way again! Someone also described Niyya as a hybrid of Christopher Walken and Ilia from “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”, which I also thought was very apt. I’d be surprised if the character of Niyya was not modeled after Persis Khambatta to some extent.

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  • 59
    Philip R. Frey aka "Rhindle the Red" says:

    Just caught up with the fact that this episode came ’round again.

    @Cornjob: I have a copy of the Sandy Frank version of the film un-riffed, but as was common in the KTMA era, there’s not very much in the un-riffed version that isn’t in the MST3K episode. It just makes it easier to follow the plot not having three wise-acres talking over it. Wink

    I also did a lot of research on the film when I was putting together my own KTMA episode guide (linked above) and learned just how much was cut from what was essentially two movies to make this version.

    I stand by my original observation: a decent movie and a solid episode. My second favorite KTMA (behind my favorite episode of all, “Cosmic Princess”).

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  • 60
    Mnenoch says:

    Well the first half of Humanoid Woman is deadly dull. The last half concerning Dessa isn’t nearly as bad. I think the guys did a pretty good job of riffing on it. My favorite riff in this film is when they are taking the chalice from the palace bit from The Court Jester.

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