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Episode guide: K18- The Million Eyes of Sumuru

Movie: (1967) A pair of CIA agents are assigned to stop a female supervillain’s plans to take over the world.

First shown: 5/7/89
Opening: Joel gets back inside the ship, only to be mocked by the Mads
Host segment 1: After Joel disciplines Crow and Servo, he finds out where Gypsy has been
Host segment 2: Joel tries to do a courtroom sketch, but Crow and Servo are too busy doing stream-of-consciousness game show riffs
Host segment 3: In answer to Servo’s question, Joel does an acoustic version of the last lines of the theme song, with Servo harmonizing
End: Even though his mouth is broken, Servo gives fan club information
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (102 votes, average: 4.13 out of 5)

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• Servo only watches the first half of the movie with Joel and Crow, opting instead to “bake muffins.” Presumably Josh had to be somewhere else that day.
• Apart from the show’s opening credits, host segment 2 is the last time we see Gypsy in the KTMA era.
References.
• This is, I think, the first time in the series that a plot from a previous set of host segments is picked up immediately in the following show (something they would do again in the season eight story arcs). This prompts them to use the old “Previously…!” bit (which they would parody many years later). Note the use of the “Fugitive Alien” music in the background.
• Joel suggests the show could be around for another “three to 12 weeks.” Turns out it was the former.
• As soon as I saw the name “Sax Romer” in the credits, I immediately detected the stench of o/` Harry Alan Towerrrrrs!!! o/` Yep, the madman who gave us the nightmare that was “Castle of Fu Manchu.” And it has very much the same feel–Sumuru is pretty much a female Fu Manchu. It also feels like they’re using some of the same locations, but I could be imagining things.
• Yes, our star is none other than George Nader of “Robot Monster” and “Human Duplicators.” If your gaydar went off while watching him, it is well tuned. Nader was a very popular actor in the late 1950s and was about to achieve stardom when a tabloid threatened to expose his gay relationship. With no chance for roles in Hollywood, Nader acted in grade-B films produced in Europe (like this one). Which means that in this movie, as Crow would say, we get several scenes of George REALLY acting. Not that there’s anything wrong with it!
• It’s early May and it’s getting nice out in the Twin Cites. It’s 67 degrees after the first host segment.
• They always did the host segments before the movie theater scenes, as is referenced in this episode: Servo announces he won’t be staying for second half and Joel asks him to just be present for the host segments. He replies “I wouldn’t miss it. I feel like they’re already done.”
• Wow, this is a terrible, washed-out, pan-and-scan print, which Crow comments on several times.
• As many people have observed. Josh seemed to thrive most in the ad-lib atmosphere of the KTMA era, and Servo’s absence is definitely felt in the second half.
• Then current event reference: “Cold fusion experiments.”
• The characters in the movie break the fourth wall a few times. The worst one is when Frankie says “I wonder if this is where I’m supposed to sing…nah.” Joel calls him on it and Crow keeps bringing it up.
• Cast and Crew Roundup: Producer Harry Alan Towers also produced “Castle of Fu Manchu” and “Outlaw” and, under the pseudonym Peter Welbeck, wrote the stories for both. Director Lindsay Shonteff also directed “Devil Doll.” Art director Scott MacGregor also worked on “Moon Zero Two” and “Fire Maidens from Outer Space.” In front of the camera, George Nader was also in “Robot Monster” and “The Human Duplicators.”
• Fave riff: “Where do I get socks like yours?” Honorable mention: “Oh, they brought their autoharp with them.”

46 Replies to “Episode guide: K18- The Million Eyes of Sumuru”

  1. Dan in WI says:

    I loved the cheesy announcer doing “previously on…” It felt like a cheesy two-parter sitcom recap.

    The experiment contains my favorite KTMA host segment. I love the second segment. It’s silly but the rapid fire timing is just great. There must have been a few rounds of rehearsal on that one.

    Is it just me or did those guns used by the Su-Muru girls in the climatic battle look very similar to Han Solo’s blaster?

    But on the whole this wasn’t a very remarkable episode. It was okay but nothing memorable in the riffing department.

       0 likes

  2. Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    This episode has my two most wince-worthy riffs of the series, around the 1:08 mark.

    Crow: Quick! Nip down that alley!
    Joel: Nip is right.

    I wonder if all million eyes of Sumuru are slanted.

       1 likes

  3. Kenotic says:

    For the KTMA years, there were a few moments in this episode I thought would have worked just as well a year or two later.

    First, Servo gets a REALLY bad pun about Frankie “working without a net” in. It takes Joel and Crow a few seconds to get it.

    Later on Frankie breaks the forth wall about his teen idol days, and Joel chastises him for doing their job.

       3 likes

  4. nekouken says:

    There was another immediate pickup; in season 8, Prince of Space ended with Pearl and Observer following Bobo through a wormhole and landing in Roman Times (as announced by Kevin as Callypigius, “Welcome to Roman Times,” followed by Bridget as Flavia ordering “Guards, seize them!”). Horror at Party Beach begins the first host segment with Observer running the same footage, and Pearl says, “and that was just a few seconds ago.”

       1 likes

  5. Kenotic says:

    (good grief, I should proofread more…)

    This was my first KTMA show, something I got (likely) from Joe Barlow. I live in the Twin Cities, and it was fun to watch the then-WB23 and realize how awesome it was that it had MST3k on the air 12 years prior.

    I also realized just how much they stepped over each other’s lines. You can tell when the same idea hits them, Josh usually beat the others to the punch unless Joel was persistent.

       1 likes

  6. Sampo says:

    Thanks for the catch, nekouken. I have fixed that observation.

       1 likes

  7. mataglap says:

    Is it just me or are there an inordinate amount of politically incorrect references in the riffing to this movie? Not to mention the line near the end about “fire in the hole”, which is a common enough phrase but I’ve never heard it applied in quite that way before. Makes me wonder if that’s part of the reason the brains would prefer not to release these episodes.

    Anyway, this movie would be more entertaining in a better print, but it was still kind of fun in a goofy cross between Diabolik and Catalina Caper way. Too bad Frankie didn’t sing, what was he trying to be a serious actor or something? This would have been a great one to revisit during the Comedy Central years.

       0 likes

  8. finniasjones says:

    Nick West: “I vote we blow.”

    Back in November 2009 in our Best Spy/Secret Agent Movies weekend discussion I wrote:

    When I first got hold of the entire run of MST3K (via DAP) I was excited to see some Jess Franco related films in there. Season Three’s “Castle of of Fu Manchu” is bad (very bad), but K18 – THE MILLION EYES OF SU-MURU produced by Harry Alan Towers features some actresses (Shirley Eaton, Maria Rohm) who would appear in the Franco directed sequel “The Girl From Rio” (aka The Seven Secrets of Sumuru), the superior film. In it we see more of the female army and their plans for world domination.

    “Million Eyes” however stars two of the least appealing super-spies ever, the goofy, smarmy and unfunny pair of Frankie Avalon and George Nader. I would nominate Nick West as portrayed by Nader (otherwise good in Robot Monster and Human Duplicators) as my least favorite MST movie character ever. I’m not sure why, but “that square bugs me, he really bugs me.” Maybe the closeted gay actor (true fact) had trouble pretending he was tempted by the bevy of babes around him.

    Watching this again this week I’ve softened on my criticism of Nader, and appreciate more of his bemused sarcasm. Frankie actually bugs me more now – his character reminds me of Winky from the Rocky Jones movies. I think on first viewing I was expecting a little more seriousness from the male leads, especially when all the gals seem so grimly determined to take over the world. This time I caught more of the intentional humor (Kinski’s entire performance) and the silliness of the sex and torture scenes. Shirley Eaton is really good here, as is the lovely Maria Rohm. Patti Chandler who plays Louise, the gal who breaks a guys neck with her thighs then later helps free Nick West from the dungeon, gives a strong, sexy performance also. Despite these strengths the film is still a mess, concluding with the ineptly staged siege on the island.

    • Dr. Erhardt warns us upfront of the “really, really washed-out print” and it is indeed hard to watch. This got me to search the web for a better copy of the original 1967 movie and I was able to track down some fairly pristine widescreen screenshots, but no actual file of the whole thing. Needless to say, it looks a lot better with the proper color balance and aspect ratio.

    • Servo (@16:50) “It’s Bee-woman.” I think this is a reference to the sexy 70’s classic Invasion of the Bee-Girls. Those gals wore big sunglasses too, and were fond of seducing then killing men.

    • During a host segment we learn that Gypsy got stuck in the Spiral-On-Down (30:38) another rare mention of this feature of the SOL. Sampo explained that this is the way Joel enters the theater, though never shown. Theater of the mind?

    • The “Order in the court” sketch is extremely well written. Shows how good these guys could be with a script.

    • Why is Servo absent for the final 40 minutes? Baking brownies for the Pinewood Derby?

    3 KTMA stars. I like this episode for its content (the humor, the babes), but the video quality is so awful it diminishes the pleasure.

       4 likes

  9. dad1153 says:

    I skipped last week’s KTMA episode (I have the DVD, just didn’t feel like degrading my soul with yet another Sandy Frank-dubbed flick) so imagine my surprise when K-18 starts with a ‘Previously on MST3K’ sketch. Guess I’ll have to watch “Time of the Apes” now to see how the thing I already know how it ended was started back then… I guess. :-|

    An (unintentional?) “Austin Powers”-type parody of 60’s spy movies starring George Nader and Frankie Avalon (this movie’s low-rent equivalents of James Bond and Felix Leiter, respectively, IF Leiter were more annoying and hands-on than the genuine article) pitted against an all-female terrorist group trying to take over the world one seduced leader at a time. Yep, OK! Even through the bad pan-and-scan print used by The Brains (and the lower-still quality of the copy we’re watching) the beauty of the women in this movie is off-the-scale high. Shirley Eaton as the title character alone has enough sex appeal to sink many a man’s battleships. :inlove: And, probably because he owed producer Harry Alan Towers a favor or two, seeing Wilfrid Hyde-White pop-up regularly as an exposition-spewing elder agent that moves the “plot” along is hilarious by itself. Here Joel and the Bots run into the same problem here that they would run into in Season 2’s “Catalina Caper”: how do you riff something that’s already silly, goofy and self-aware to begin with? Avalon is particularly horrid as the comic relief sidekick that breaks the fourth wall (the Brains took Frankie’s ‘singing’ line and ran with it) while being forced to carry the assault on Sumuru’s island lair (the movie’s best action… strike that, ONLY action scene) by himself because Nader’s too busy… uhh, ‘acting.’ 8-) Even Servo bails midway through the movie but Joel and Crow (and Josh when he was running into the other two with his improvised dialogue) get through “Sumuru” by concentrating on the endless amount of gorgeous women (‘midriff village’), implied (but never shown) sex and complete lack of anything resembling coherence in the plot. Joel must have set a record in this episode for the number of times he says ‘Oh, WOW!’, and I can’t blame him because I was thinking the exact same thing. :laugh:

    Shame the PQ is half-ass (lousy pan-and-scan copy) but the riffing, all things considered, is slightly-above average for KTMA-era “MST3K.” Blink and you’ll miss an OTT Klaus Kinski cameo as President Boong, easily the highlight of the movie (especially the wig part). THREE-AND-A-HALF STARS for both the KTMA episode (the host segments were ‘meh’ but Trace and Josh are really gelling as equals in the Mad Scientist department, which is different from the master-slave relationship Dr. Forrester would have with Erhardt and TV’s Frank during the show’s national run) and the movie (silly and stupid but also filled to the brim with enough female eye-candy to keep one looking). FAVORITE RIFF: ‘the towel sure got bigger.’ Also, I think I actually blushed when Joel stooped to the movie’s sophomoric level of sexual innuendo with the line (when the girls drown that woman on the beach) ‘hit that snitch.’ :shout: This one becomes exhibit A whenever someone brings up that the Joel era of “MST3K” was more family friendly and less overtly sexualized than the Mike era of the show.

       1 likes

  10. MiqelDotCom says:

    I first saw this when watching downloaded episodes on random rotation and the riffing/commentary was good enough that for a while i falsely remembered it as a season 1 episode and was surprised when I realized it was KTMA. This one may not be the funniest KTMA but it really flows, the riffing is quick and well focused on the action in the movie … that is until Josh leaves to “bake brownies for the pinewood derby”.

    Also the movie itself is ridiculous enough to be sorta watchable which keeps the momentum going. Too bad they didn’t re-riff this one in the later years … great material to work with & it would have fit in with the other goofy spy movies. It even contains the same sub-theme we see in Super Dragon/Danger! Death Ray, etc – the secret agent always being ‘on vacation’ and called unwillingly back to duty to save the world.

    Joel “He has overlord undertones”
    Crow: “He has overlord underoos”

    Josh: “The Million headlights of Subaru”

    Trace: “Nuns know right where to get ya”

    Avalon “I vote we blow”
    Trace “Uh, yeah – we got a lotta balloons in the next room”

       1 likes

  11. MiqelDotCom says:

    @Finniasjones #8
    “Frankie actually bugs me more now – his character reminds me of Winky from the Rocky Jones movies.”

    Good call! Very true!

       0 likes

  12. BIG61AL says:

    Having only seen this once I feel like I can’t make a better comment as I can remember nothing from it at all. I suppose I need to dig it out of my collection and get it a second viewing. :clock:

       0 likes

  13. Brandon says:

    I wonder if Segment 1 and 2 were shown in the wrong order. It would make sense kinda for segment 1 to be segment 2, since it involves Gypsy being locked up, and we never see her again for the rest of the KTMA era.

       0 likes

  14. H says:

    This is a good one. As I said last week, I like how this one resolves Joel being trapped outside the ship without a suit. The movie’s manageable, or at least more so than Castle of Fu Manchu (which I still think is the worst movie they ever did). The host segments are interesting. I wonder what Josh was really doing instead of baking muffins.

       0 likes

  15. JJK says:

    I’m probably in the minority but I liked this movie. Too bad it was a lousy print of it. I always liked the 60’s spy movies, even the low budget ones. It had a lot of hot 60’s babes in it so that made it worth watching.

       1 likes

  16. Cheapskate Crow says:

    I remember this one as being one of the better KTMA episodes but haven’t watched it in many years, I will have to check it out this weekend.

       0 likes

  17. Alex says:

    I thought that “Previously on Mst3k” or something like that at the beginning was pretty neat. This is also a very strange movie. It sucked that Servo had to leave half way. Overall, this is an okay episode.

       1 likes

  18. Brandon says:

    Also, I wonder if the Servo mouth really did get broken while they were filming.

       0 likes

  19. Manny Sanguillen says:

    I remember that a guy who made some copies for me said this was the best of the ktma lot. I watched and was terribly let down. I hate these kinds of movies, so that didnt help, and I was brought in to mst3k by watching the sci-fi era,( and a bunch of second-through-sixth season episodes as well), so the humor and riffing left me highly wanting, to say the least.

    Some people have a great deal of sentimentalism attached to these and their love for it is based on that. My love for the show was always based on good comedy writing and delivery, not sentimentality, which is devoid of substance.
    All ‘sentimentalism’ is devoid of any substance, not just this instance, so don’t think I’m picking on mst3k.

    I adjusted to the ktma years eventually, and learned what I can and can’t expect. From that worldview I was able to enjoy them to a degree. I still wouldnt rank this one as one of best ktma’s, at least for my own tastes.

       1 likes

  20. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    @19 Manny Sanguillen: “All ‘sentimentalism’ is devoid of any substance, not just this instance, so don’t think I’m picking on mst3k.”

    Wow. It must be a cold, dead world where you live, man.

    .

    I was looking forward to The Million Eyes of Sumuru since I read that Klaus Kinksi was in it. Um, yeah…looked like he did about a days worth of work on this thing. His wig is a thing of hilarity. Still, he steals both scenes he is in. If his reputation is to be believed, I’m sure, despite his short stay on the film set, that he bedded a few of the ladies in this picture. You’re such a rapscallion, Kinski.

    The movie itself is a horrible pan-and-scan job, and it doesn’t help that Frankie Avalon is ANNOYING-as-all-get-out. With George Nadar serving up ham in this thing, it’s no wonder it was so easy for Kinski to steal scenes. I would definitely put this on the worst spy movie list.

    Still, the babes aren’t too shabby. . . . . . . . .

    What’s up with Josh Servo leaving halfway through the movie? Baking brownies?? Likely story. . . .

    Nice acoustic performance by Joel during Host Segment 3. I think it rocks.

    RIFFS:

    Crow: “Take 5 from a Robert Plant video.”

    Joel drug humor: “I am so toasted.”

    Someone in the movie says something about “the most influential men in the world,” and Crow goes on to say, “Dennis Crosby, Jerry Garcia. . .,” before trailing off. It feels like a joke that coulda been, you know?

    Crow: “They run like they don’t want their shoes to get scuffed.”

    Racist Joel comment: “I wonder if all million eyes of Sumuru are slanted?”

    Frankie Avalon: “Tell me a story.”
    JOEL: “. . AND USE PROPS!”

    Wow, we are almost to the end of this KTMA run. The end is in sight. Next week, Hangar 18, the only KTMA I had seen previously to this run. Can’t wait ’till we’re done, though. These KTMA’s feel like schoolwork, you know?

    !

       3 likes

  21. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    James Bond meets Manos.

    I could be wrong but I think that the “Robert Plant video” reference should have been a “Robert Palmer video” reference.

    Loved the MST3K unplugged bit. a lot.

    “nip down the alley” !?! They dialed down that sort of thing when they hit the big-time. thank heavens.

    It’s hard for me to vote on these… I’ll go 2 on the full spectrum scale.

       2 likes

  22. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    @21 I’m not a medium, I’m a petite: “I could be wrong but I think that the “Robert Plant video” reference should have been a “Robert Palmer video” reference.”

    Yeah, totally. I thought the same thing, as Palmer had that one video with the babes in slinky pink dresses sashaying behind him. I’m pretty sure it was “Simply Irresistible.”

    Yeah, just did a YouTube check. Totally.

    And yeah, boner on Trace/Crow for flubbing that riff.

    !

       3 likes

  23. Matt Sandwich says:

    Yeah, I’d say this is about as good as it gets for the KTMA shows. The riffing and sketches are a cut above, and the movie is a blast. Achingly beautiful women, the high camp factor, Nader’s usual too-wry-by-half delivery, and the rare presence of an actual celebrity in the cast (not counting the Euro-stars in smaller roles).

    I would’ve loved to have seen this on with a better print during the halcyon days of seasons 2-5. Oh, that dismal, dismal print.

       0 likes

  24. Matt Sandwich says:

    Say, that (and one of the earlier comments) gives me a thought. I’d get a kick out of seeing a thread about what MSTed movies people have tracked down out of morbid curiosity. I’ll bet Manos gets plenty of votes, and although I’ve always been curious about the ‘too hot for MST’ scene in Sidehackers, I haven’t actually made an effort to find it. (Apparently Horror of Party Beach also has an elusive gorier version, though I’m sure everyone here already knows that.) Anyway, it’d be nice to hear what fun things people have come across watching the non-edited versions of these movies.

       0 likes

  25. Richard the Lion-footed says:

    This one was a hard one for me because the film was one of those foreign spy spoof that I grew up watching on the independent channels.
    I like these kind of movies and found myself paying more attention to it than the riffs.

    The most memorable moment in this episode was the folk song version of the MST3K theme.
    THAT should have been on one of the music CDs they released some time back. :giggle:

       1 likes

  26. Smog Monster says:

    Maybe they thought that ‘Robert Palmer’ would be too lame a pun to use?

    This episode would have been really good had Tom Servo stayed throughout the entire feature. This is also the best looking the seats were in any KTMA episode. Also, this was a washed out print, but MST3K did a few washed out prints in their history? It depends on how much sunlight there was on set, etc. etc.

       1 likes

  27. Creepygirl says:

    I too really enjoyed this episode. The movie was just goofy and interesting enough to keep my attention. The host segments were pretty good and seemed to move at a good pace. Maybe it’s just me but didn’t the movie seem to keep moving from serious spy thriller to goofy buddy spy comedy starring Nick & Frankie?

    I know enough has been written earlier on Josh having to leave halfway through. I’m sorry that he had something to do that day because this could have been the best KTMA of the lot. Bad print and no Josh half way loses this experiment some points.

    3 1/2 stars on the KTMA scale.

       1 likes

  28. Ryan says:

    It seems that Kinski, Jess Franco, Maria Rohm, etc. always appear in the same type of sleazy 60s European movies together. Some are good just for the women and psychedelic effects, but the majority of them are eye-roll worthy attempts at being “erotic”

    I heard that the original VHS of Sumuru is sought after since it is one of the first tapes released on one of the first ever home video companies, Catalina Video (which also distributed “Clonus” and “The Psychic”/”Seven Notes In Black”…the later which I have a copy of signed by Jennifer O’Neill!). Catalina, from what I gather, became a gay interest video company. Makes sense since this movie seems to be somewhat of the cult classic among men who are into the female domination fetish (see the “neck breaking” scene). I’m not into that sort of deal, but it’s bizarre how something as mundane as an obscure 60s quickie flick could be popularized decades later and be viewed in two differing contexts, depending on who you ask.

       1 likes

  29. finniasjones says:

    I wanted to share what I found from the original movie online. Don’t worry, none of these links feature anything explicit so go ahead and click “OK to enter” though I can’t vouch for the other pages of these sites.

    Video clip of the neck-breaking scene:
    http://www.indavideo.hu/video/The_Million_Eyes_of_Sumuru

    A good review of the film from a Jess Franco fansite:
    http://robertmonell.blogspot.com/2009/11/million-eyes-of-sumuru-1967.html?zx=3446ccdf93d52cf8

    High quality screenshots (in 14 parts) from a site called “gungirls.eu”:
    http://www.csagag.com/videos/060-The_Million_Eyes_of_Sumuru/CSaGaG-060-The_Million_Eyes_of_Sumuru_01-hq-ger.htm

       1 likes

  30. Unga Khan says:

    Anybody know if a full, un-MSTied copy of this film is available, in any form? It doesn’t seem to have ever been officially released on video, but somehow it was in KTMA’s library.

       0 likes

  31. Larry says:

    @#28 – Catalina also released The Giant Spider Invasion. Both that film and Clonus were put out in 1983, fairly early in the VHS game. In the pre-DVD days, I was quite a video collector, and Clonus was a tough find on that label (I paid some ridiculous amount, despite already having the Lightning Video release), but Giant Spider was very, VERY elusive; I think I saw one copy on Ebay back in ’99, and it went for quite a bit. Don’t think I ever saw another non-Burbank Video copy except for bootlegged copies on Ebay in those days. ‘Course, now that both films are readily available on DVD, the old VHS copies have gone down dramatically in price (I even remember when the final episode of M*A*S*H was fetching BIG bucks on VHS). I found two copies of the Catalina Giant Spider Invasion super cheap on Amazon, and bought them both (why two? Why not!). I believe Catalina was a subsidiary of Media Home Video, but I may be confusing two different companies (the aforementioned Lightning Home Video was a part of Vestron, for example).

    I’m digressing, though. Sumuru: One of the few KTMAs I never picked up for the simple fact that I have a real hard time getting into this type of movie. I mean, scantily clad women are great and all, but this was an ep that just never seemed all that interesting to me. The solo MST3K theme sounds pretty cool, though!

    Next week’s will be a good one (and it’s crazy we’re almost through the KTMAs; That went fast!).

       0 likes

  32. Mighty Jack says:

    I remember the first time I saw this, I got some big laughs out of it. It slows down when Josh leaves but I still consider it one of KTMA’s best efforts.

    It has it’s cringe worthy riffs (the slanted eye… ugh) and sloppy moments. Joel messes up a quip and keeps mentioning Jeanie C Riley (and Tom calls him out it). But I think you can see the show start to take shape into what it will become. For example, in the use of pop culture references (Kung Fu, A Hard Days Night and I was very happy to hear the Dickies referenced, even though Joel calls her “Trixie” instead of “Trisha” Toyota)

    “I’ll give her my approval” – “Thumbs up!” – “Not just thumbs…” – Servo-Joel-Servo :laugh:

       0 likes

  33. eegah says:

    Pretty good episode for a KTMA.

    I never appreciated pan-and-scan until this movie. It sure could’ve use it.

    The movie definitely crossed a cinematic line with the comedy attempts. You can’t mix super wacky fourth-wall-breaking comedy with serious drama.

    #7 mataglap Is it just me or are there an inordinate amount of politically incorrect references in the riffing to this movie?

    I noticed that too. Did they not realize that “nip” is a racist term? Or am I wrong about that?

       0 likes

  34. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    yes “nip” is a rascist term. The nip, slant eye & flied lice ( from earlier in the season ) jokes are a bit tough for me to take. I tend to think very highly of the MST3K crew, so I am willing to chalk it up to some kind of naivete and a perhaps a relative lack of exposure to asian sensitivities based on the time and place they were brought up in. When they went ‘national’ they seemed to leave it behind ( but not completely ).

       4 likes

  35. Bruce Boxliker says:

    In spite of some of the questionable riffs, this was shaping up to be the best KTMA episode of them all…. then Josh leaves half way through. Oh well, it’s still the best so far. Great riffing, great host segments, and goofy movie.

       1 likes

  36. Cheapskate Crow says:

    I was about to post how I remembered liking this episode and need to get around to watching it only to find that I had already posted that four years ago the last time this episode came up. That does it, I’m really watching it tonight!

       3 likes

  37. pondoscp says:

    I just can not focus on the episode. It’s like Teflon to my brain.

       0 likes

  38. Cornjob says:

    Was Jess Franco involved with this? It was his crappy feel about it.

       1 likes

  39. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    “Nader was a very popular actor in the late 1950s and was about to achieve stardom when a tabloid threatened to expose his gay relationship.”

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I’m glad the 50s are long dead.

       3 likes

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

    Trivia notes: Sax Rohmer created Sumuru for British radio in 1945, since Fu Manchu was deemed too controversial. He subsequently wrote five Sumuru novels, and there were two more Sumuru movies in addition to this one.

    And so much for that.

    >>>Wow, this is a terrible, washed-out, pan-and-scan print, which Crow comments on several times.

    Which, when you think about it (“So don’t think about it.”) isn’t quite fair. It’s not the MOVIE’S fault that they’re working from a washed-out print of it. Crow’s riff time could have been put to much better use. IMHO.

    #9 (yes, it’s a four-year-old comment, so what): An (unintentional?) “Austin Powers”-type parody of 60’s spy movies

    By the late 1960s, almost any spy movie contained some inherent parody. The Eurospy genre had reached the point where it couldn’t even take itself seriously.

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  41. Kenneth Morgan says:

    I have two particular problems with this movie.

    First, I can’t understand how nearly all of the women in this movie are strong, independent and staggering beautiful…and yet they instantly fall for the two smarmy, lunkheaded “heroes”.

    Second, I’m not sure of who to root for in this one. The “heroes”, fighting on the side of good, are, as I mentioned, smarmy lunkheads. While the “villains”, while murderous and bent on world domination, are beautiful, strong, independent women. I’m left with hoping both sides lose, actually.

    I figure this is a close tie with “Agent for h.a.r.m.” as the worst spy flick ever MSTed.

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  42. jaybird3rd says:

    I’ll have more to say about the episode after re-watching it this weekend, but one minor correction: the bit of music we hear at the beginning is from “Time of the Apes”, not “Fugitive Alien”. It’s a direct sample from the previous episode, K17, which ended with the “Time of the Apes” end credit music fading into the “Joel on a string” action figure floating outside the SoL.

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  43. asdf says:

    @33
    back in the 80s some slurs here and there for the sake of a gag was a lot more accepted
    Hell, Pat Morita made his name with the nickname “The Hip Nip”.

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  44. jaybird3rd says:

    “Back in the saddle again! It feels good, doesn’t it?”

    There was a five-week gap between this episode and K17, the longest break between shows in the entire KTMA run. It was a five-week gap in the timeline of the show, too, judging from Crow’s question at the beginning of Segment #3: “How were you able to survive for five weeks outside the spacecraft with no spacesuit on?” I’m curious to know the reason for the long break: were the MST3K crew simply taking some time off, or did KTMA drop the show temporarily? I bet that this extended break was what prompted them to open the episode with a “recap” from the end of K17.

    As for the episode itself … I’ve been sick this past week and had a hard time getting into the movie, but this is another strong KTMA effort. Given the choice between “The Million Eyes of Sumuru” and “The Castle of Fu-Manchu”, I would have much preferred to see them revisit “Sumuru” at the end of Season 3. It would have fit in with all the other KTMA redoes in that season, and despite the terrible-looking print, “Sumuru” is much more watchable as a movie to me than “Fu-Manchu”. A lot of it has to do with the goofy pairing of George Nader and Frankie Avalon, and with the strong and sexy performances by the actresses, particularly Shirley Eaton, Patti Chandler, and Maria Rohm. I also enjoyed Wilfrid Hyde-White in this movie; I remember him best as “Dr. Goodfellow” in “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”. I wonder if Best Brains didn’t use this one again because the movie was too risqué for Comedy Central, or because they simply couldn’t get a better print.

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  45. mnenoch says:

    Wow this episode is crazy. I like the skits a lot especially the alternate style of the last few longs of the MST3K song. The riffing seems pretty good although the times that Joel says “Oh wow” or Crow says “Stop it!” goes a bit overboard near the end.

    As for the movie. I like these 60’s spy movies but man this one has some dumb characters. The two lead characters are both doing their best James Garner impersonation except you’re only supposed to have one character doing that. It doesn’t work very well. Also what is with the women in this movie? Why did they kidnap West to force him to work for Sumuru when they know that he is actively working against them. Why does every woman in film want to immediately go to bed with West? I mean I understand the James Bond formula about that but still this movie seems to go over board.

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  46. Graboidz says:

    Wow, never knew so many MSTies were so “sensitive” that a few jokes about race could so easily offend?? Just note there is a HUGE difference between “racial” jokes and “racist” jokes. If this offended you….don’t ever try to make it through a Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy or Don Rickles routine…you won’t be able to take it.

    Overall a pretty dull episode, you really feel it when Josh leaves for the 2nd half of the film. My favorite riff has to be the “fire in the hole” line at the end of the film. Was that an old WWF Hulk Hogan action figure they used as Joel outside the ship???

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