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Sampo & Erhardt

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Episode guide: K20- The Last Chase

Movie: (1981) In a carless, gasless, oppressive future depopulated by a plague, a disgruntled ex-racecar driver attempts to escape to California with a nerdy kid in tow.

First shown: 5/21/89
Opening: Dr. F. tries to create cold fusion… in Erhardt’s mouth!
Host segment 1: Crow and Servo don’t respond well to their humanity lesson
Host segment 2: Joel announces the 1,000th fan club member
Host segment 3: Servo reads a fan letter
End: Joel reads another, very complimentary, fan letter
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (117 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)


• Trace is trying desperately hard not to laugh during the opening host segment. Watching him struggle is at least as entertaining as the sketch itself.
• After the opening, we see the doorway sequence and the start of the film, without having first seen J&TB.
• Trace would reuse the phrase “Here comes the steam shovel, chug-chug-chug” when feeding Tim “the miracle growth baby” Scott in season three. Maybe he remembers it from his childhood?
• Who are “Pons and Fleischmann” and what is all this “cold fusion” business? you young folks may ask. It was a big deal two decades ago.
• In the theater, Servo says “bitch.” Joel is aghast, sort of.
• Movie stuff: Is the plague everybody died from related to there being no gas or cars? Or was no cars or gas just inevitable and the plague was a whole separate thing? The movie never makes it clear.
• Also: They don’t have McDonald’s in this dystopian future??? NOOOO!!!!
• And: Why doesn’t that car have a windshield? Chris and Lee must have been picking bugs out of their teeth.
• Also: Wow, that lady fell into bed with Lee awful quick! Ah, the sexy early 80s.
• Also: Does the pairing of Chris and Lee remind anybody else of Troy and Rowsdower?
• Josh does a silly voice as Burgess Meredith’s plane. Joel likes it.
• Trace seems to have the National Lampoon Radio Hour’s “The Immigrants” sketch on his mind. He makes two references to it!
• Is Gidget Howell out there somewhere?
• Summer is on the way in the Twin Cities. It’s still 80 degrees at 7 in the evening.
• Joel says “Daddy, what’s Vietnam?” again.
• A character mentions “gypsies” and Joel asks “Where IS Gypsy.” Servo shushes him. Hmm.
• A few moments later, the Servo puppet seems to develop problems. Josh covers by telling Joel he’s “lost the equilibrium cycle.” Joel seems to pull the puppet back together.
• Cast and crew roundup: The only name is Burgess Meredith, who was also in “SST Death Flight.”
• CreditsWatch: Vince Rodriguez is back as director for the two remaining episodes, and Todd Ziegler is back at audio.
• Fave riff: “Hope nobody pushes that guy’s flush button.” Honorable mention: “I just never imagined the future being lit so poorly.”

56 Replies to “Episode guide: K20- The Last Chase”

  1. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    This was another one of those “made for TV movies” that actually had a theatrical release. I first saw it on a pay channel, but remember when there were ads on TV for it.

    Have they just stopped making “cheap” films for theatrical release? I can’t remember the last it me I saw a “Roger Corman” type film on the big screen. One of the side effects of the video age. :-(

    Martyn Burke directed this little gem. What is odd is that while this movie was so bad, he has gone on to direct some very good films. He co-wrote “Top Secret!” one of the better Zucker –Abrahams-Zucker efforts. He directed Pirates of Silicon Valley, a good TV film, and he wrote “The Pentagon Wars,” another good HBO production. The man had talent.

    This is a good Season Zero effort. We get a good look at the Mads in their lab and the opening skit is as funny as anything they did on Comedy Central. We get the start of Dr. Forester as the “evil” scientist abusing his assistant.

    It is odd that we go from the Mads to the film, with nothing from Joel, and it is odd that Joel and the bots are not even in the theater when the movie tarts. My copy was poor and dark so I don’t know when they all arrive, but they are there by the time racetrack appears. Where were they and why weren’t they seated. Was this an idea that just did not work right?

    Movie Sign! :-D

    It is 20 years in the future (or today as it is known) as the film opens and the oil has stopped flowing, though why we never find out. Some movie sites say the oil ran out, but that is not in the narrative. Just as the oil is turned off, a “disease” overtakes America. Remember, this movie was made before the AIDS outbreak of the early 80s so this second plot point was not historical, it was the typical dystopia scifi writers have to use then and now. No oil, breakdown of society, rampant infection. (see Soylent Green, and The Stand) You don’t know if this has affected the rest of the world, it seems to just happen in America (like The Stand).

    The real ironic point of this film, made in 1981, is that “tree huggers” have taken over the country and turned it into a dictatorship without McDonalds. The “hero” is a free thinker, who drives a muscle car where he wants and when, with disregard for others, and the goal is to get to “free” California, the one area that is returning to “machines.” Do you think they could make this film today?

    The computers in this year 2000, and the graphics they produce, are all cutting edge for 1981, sort of Tandy TRS-80 in color. But then, with tree huggers in charge, what do you expect? The competition needed to improve computers can only come from meat eaters after all.

    Then again, the race-car that Franklyn Hart rebuilt doesn’t have and headlights, which I can accept, nor windshield, which I cannot. He doesn’t even have goggles. Later he “magically” has a helmet, which we only see during the climatic chicken scene to obscure the stunt driver. Oh well, it’s THEIR movie. 8-)

    The movie was only 101 minutes long and a lot of it was stock air footage. I am not sure why they cut so many informational scenes to make time for host segments and such. The flight scenes could be cut without added confusion.

    The film ends on an up note. This was extremely rare for dystopian films made after 1970s. Even today you must end your film on a down note or you will not get studio funding.

    What makes this one of the best Year Zero episodes is that the movie is cheesy, but not that bad to watch, so the slow riff style of the KTMA era blends in nicely.

    The host segments are nice. In the first one Joel reprograms Crow for humanity but puts in the wrong module. This is another of the few times we are reminded that the robots are machines Joel can alter at will. This will be done a few more times over the show, but is all but abandon during the Mike era.

    The “1,000th fan club member” is a good reminder of the early days of our favorite show.
    1,000 fans and all she got was a used prop? I wonder if she still has it, and what it would fetch on EBay?

    Favorite riffs

    “Want a belt?”
    “NO, I have suspenders. Than you”
    (Why are they always drinking Jack Daniels? Just because of the recognizable bottle?)

    A white Sammy Davis Jr.

    It reminds me an old Salem ad, but those got outlawed too.

    Now they are going to run real fast until they pick up enough airspeed . . .

    Jet flies overhead of the Indian camp (they were Indians back then)
    “Hope it is one of ours.”

    “Why are you telling me all of this?” – I always wonder why they don’t say this during plot expositions.

    What is this, bottom gun?

    Continuity error.
    “He had to stop and fly his kite” – Tom

    Tom says this BEFORE the scene where Burgess Meredith stopped and flew his kite.
    Tom would not have seen it yet.

    One last note.

    Joel and the Bots seem smaller than I have seen in other shows. It makes them look farther away, like they are in the first row and you are eight rows back. You do see more of the movie though. An experiment?


  2. Fart Bargo says:

    The Take Mass Transit message still rings in my mind. Agree with the Rowsdower/Troy comparison except that Rowsdower was much more dynamic than Lee. There is no difference between Lee’s performance in this film and his “Bionic Ear” ads that are seen today. Who would win in an Apache knife fight, Troy or Chris? Love Burgess Meredith!


  3. Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    Just like City on Fire, another piece of late 70s, early 80s crapola from the Canadian Film Development Corp. Basically, if a movie had enough Canadian content, it served as a tax shelter. Henceforth, a lot of bilge got made, many with name stars. Porky’s is probably the only one that falls into that category that is remembered nowadays, although I do recommend trying to track down Silent Partner.

    They do a really poor job of hiding the fact that Lee Majors steps off a Toronto TTC subway in the opening bit. It is more interesting to spot a couple folks who would go onto better things. Harvey Atkin (the guy who introduces Lee before he speaks) would appear in Cagney & Lacey, and is now a regular judge in the Law & Order universe. Even more interesting is Moses Znaimer, who plays the reporter, would go on to start Muchmusic, and many other Canadian networks.


  4. finniasjones says:

    Dr. F: It’s supposed to hurt, it’s science.

    According to DADDY-O this 1980 Canadian film falls squarely between Lee Majors’ starring roles in 6M$ Man and The Fall Guy. I love the idea of fighting against a dystopian future ruled by bicyclists. Not a car owner myself, I rely on mass-transit (which is great in San Francisco) and find the current bike-culture a bit smug. But the message of this film seems strange for it’s era, championing the freedom of Americans to drive cars despite the environmental catastrophe that resulted from overindulgence. It’s more effective at depicting a Big Brother-like government exerting total control over its subjects.

    The movie itself is very silly while being over-serious (the massacre at the compound is particularly grim) and the performances are all over the map. Majors is dull (surprise), Makepeace is clueless, and Meredith is over the top. The control-room scenes are best with the leader gloating, the female glowering, and the male controller gradually becoming sympathetic to “our heroes” quest. There are a few impressive stunts featuring a game of chicken with the (very ugly) Porsche* and the fighter-plane, but aside from some nice landscape scenery, this was pretty dull visually.

    Servo: He ran over the head of Alfredo Garcia. (Peckinpah reference)

    Servo: It looks like fun to me. Where’s the mango bar?

    Burgess talks sexy to his plane and makes noises during takeoff. (funniest part of the movie, IMHO)
    Crow: I think I just got sick…
    Joel: I don’t feel like we should be listening to this.

    Crow: Oh, Canada – well that explains why it SUCKED!

    3 KTMA stars, efficient riffing of a dumb movie.

    *Seriously. They drove cross-country in that thing without any windshield at all?


  5. jjb3k says:

    This episode has what’s probably my favorite riff of the KTMA era – “Suspect is driving a white dot…” That gave me my biggest laugh from all of Season 0.


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

    “I can’t remember the last it me I saw a “Roger Corman” type film on the big screen. One of the side effects of the video age.”

    But the video age also resulted in there being MORE of them, so it sort of evened out.


  7. Dan in WI says:

    I didn’t get the chance to watch this last night for today’s discussion. I saw these episode a little over a year ago but my memory is fuzzy. I guess what I’m puzzled over reading some of these early comments about the Porsche having no windshield. Are you guys amazed that the car itself had no windshield or simply that they would choose to take a no windshield car cross country?

    I am a huge fan the lesser known subset forms of auto racing known as road course racing and sports car racing. If memory serves the race car in this film is the Can-Am version of the Porsche 917. This is a very important car in what was a very important sports car racing series. The Can-Am series was famous even if short lived because it started out as a “the rules are there are no rules” racing series. In the beginning in 1966 the rule book was very thin because it basically held the technical specs on the safety equipment required on the cars to participate in the series and that was about it. The purpose of the series was to say to the car builders/engineers: here is a clean sheet of paper now draw up the car you think will win in any way you see fit. This approach had two results. The first was due to the lack of restriction there was inovation in leaps and bounds at a level pretty much unprecidented at the time. The second result was due to this open rules format was the pretty much the most expensive form of racing at the time. All that open inovation came at a very high price. Innovation ain’t cheap. So this series (in its original form) died part way into the 1974 season. You basically (at any given time) had one giant team that out spent the rest of the also-ran field and walked away with the season championship.
    The first giant team was McLaren (the same team that runs Formula 1 to this day) They were the dominant team from 1967-1971. Then along came the true star of our film: the Porsche 917. Porsche decided they wanted to sell more cars in America and used the win on Sunday sell on Monday philosophy. They did it by entering the open-engineering Can-Am series to show off their engineering prowness. If memory serves the 917 still holds the crown for most powerful race car ever built. It (under the team managment of the great Roger Penske) total blew away the former dominators, McLaren, and took the next two season titles. It is also known as the car that killed the original Can-Am series. There was simply nobody else that could spend the R&D dollars necessary to run with them. The series tried to save itself and introduced limits to its rules for what would be its final season in 1974. But that only chased Porsche away and there was essentially no one left to run. Only half that 1974 season would actually be run before the series folded up.

    So with that very brief version of history I guess I proove that us MiSTies can have more than one geek passion in our lives. But to say that it is strange not to have windshields on race cars threw me. That was in fact quite common for open top race cars such as these. It was all in the name of aerodynamic efficiency. As for keeping the bugs out of your eyes and teeth, well that is what the visor on the helmut was for. And actually the race cars which descended from the Can-Am of old often do have windshield. They are about 1 inch tall. And believe it or not they are effective. When aerodymanically designed properly they deflect the air over the drivers head quite well. Also the no headlight thing is pretty regular as well. Even the NASCAR fans know most race cars don’t have them. Really only the endurance type race cars which contest races like the 24 hours of LeMans are equipped with headlights.
    But if you are saying it was silly to choose to drive a no windshield car cross country, I can see that to a point. If I lived in world with empty roads I’d sure love to do just that. I’d wear a helmut though.
    And the road racing affianato in me believes this Porsche 917 is a very beautiful race car.


  8. MiqelDotCom says:

    My all time favorite KTMA episode! Therefore I give it 5 stars on the ktma scale.

    Odd film & eclectic casting … a strange disease kills people and cars or ‘private vehicles’ are outlawed, but there’s still cameras everywhere, monitored by one guy. California is an independent nation? Cops drive golf-carts? Our hero is a rebellious racecar driver w/ a wiz-kid sidekick? Perfect MST3K fodder.

    Josh: “Thank you dragon bitch”
    Joel: “Don’t you ever say that again”
    Josh “Dragon?”
    Joel (Cracks Up)
    Trace: “Just say Lizard.”

    It seems like this movie was edited a bit for TV, some scenes stop abruptly and others happen way too quick, like when Lee hooks up with the babe on the indian reservation. Also there must have been some additional backstory on the burecrat & dragon bitch(is he the president? or head of the spy agency? it never really says) And .. what is with the rant about the evils of Personal Mobility? Was this underwritten by oil & car companies or what?
    And .. is there no military whatsoever … and no planes? WTF? The only pilot they can find in the whole country is an alcoholic veteran working with a salvaged jet fighter? There are SO many holes in the plot.

    Joel: “i never imagined the future being lit so poorly”

    Joel “There’s no desert between Pennsylvania and New York”
    Trace: “This is the FUTURE”

    Trace “The Incredible Johnny The Wobbler”

    Drug joke:
    Joel and Trace start sniffing the white line on the road.

    “What is this, Bottom Gun?”

    “Oh Canada … now I see, that explains why IT SUCKED”


  9. Creepygirl says:

    I enjoyed this one a lot. I tend to agree with the posts above and there for do not have much to add. My copy is actually in really good shape and made the experiment more enjoyable when you can see and hear everything going on.

    Is it just me or did everyone in the film seem to not know what was going on?

    Burgess was soooo over the top. Check out his plane launch segment.
    JOEL: I don’t think we should be listening to this.


  10. mataglap says:

    This is a fun movie to watch and maybe the best riffing so far, of course the premise and execution of the actual movie are completely ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining.

    Amazing what good shape the roads are in after 25 years of non-use, especially for a racing car that rides an inch off the ground. And all the homo-erotic interaction between Lee Majors and his teenage sidekick is hilarious. And how do they service all those surveillance cameras in the desert, do the maintenance guys have a vast fleet of all-terrain golf carts?

    Having sat through all these KTMA episodes now, I sort of feel like Lee Majors, taking a dangerous, ill-advised ride through unknown territory, with other fans trying to turn you away, focused on the goal of arriving at the promised land of Season 1. I guess that makes those KTMA-naysayers Burgess Meredith?


  11. Zeroninety says:

    One pretty distasteful part of the film: the crash footage shown to represent the race where our bungling hero got a couple guys killed is taken from the 1978 Italian Grand Prix, where a pile-up at the start led to the death of Swedish Formula 1 star Ronnie Peterson (he was in the the car shown billowing smoke). Not *quite* up there with Invasion of the Neptune men using World War II stock footage, but still–What the hell, Movie? The guy *actually* died! :cry: Frankly, it’s not like there was a shortage of horrendous looking crash clips where the driver ended up walking away.

    I love Josh-as-Servo’s stunned reaction when the car said to be in Pennsylvania moments earlier is now supposedly in *Kansas*! I had no idea Canadians were as bad at American geography as we are at theirs.


  12. TheDON3k says:

    There’s an exchange, right at the beginning, that I’ve always wondered about. When Lee’s car is sputtering loudly at low speed on the test track (as most high performance cars will), Joel says, “Sounds like he’s in trouble. Wonder if he brought his cables?” and then a moment later, he says to Tom, (paraphrasing) “Tom, what do you thing about cable safety?” Tom then says, “Standing ankle-deep in muck, holding two cables with enough juice to reanimate a dead horse, holding up a metal hood with your head…..”

    I’m guessing Josh had been recently stranded with a dead battery, in the rain, somewhere?

    The film itself is pretty ridiculous, and frankly, a society where they can only dig up one former pilot, and then somehow get a 60+ year old jet, that’s been sitting in a hanger, up and running in apparently two days is only one of the many questionable things about this film.

    Also, gas goes bad… There’s no way around that. And I’m sure the parts Lee is stripping from Fords and Chevys at the impound yard will just bolt right on to that Porsche formula racer’s engine…. Sure. What, did he forget to bury critical engine parts in his garage? Maybe just hoses, but rubber does dry-rot.

    Crow cracks me up, near the begging, when they show the 2001-monolith-style shot of the gas pump, and crow just yells out, panicked, ‘NOT THE GAS PUMP!!!’


  13. Brandon says:

    I wonder if they were planning on dumping Gypsy completely, but then changed their mind. Maybe Josh just didn’t want to play Gypsy anymore (in the 20 questions article, he says something about her being too dumb to play).


  14. Tork_110 says:

    “They don’t have McDonald’s in this dystopian future???”

    First they came for the Happy Meal toys, and I did not speak out because I was too old for those…


  15. dad1153 says:

    Watched this yesterday and love, love LOVED it, easily in the top-tier of KTMA episodes and much better than many supposedly-ready-for-national-TV Season 1 episodes. My DVD copy is very poor (had to boost the TV’s darkness and contrast levels all the way to the right) so a new DVD version from Shout! would be like a Godsend. It occurred to me watching “The Last Chase” experiment that we have hit a natural ceiling with what the then-young Brains could do with this premise, the available-at-hand movie material and their resources. Unless next week’s experiment is an above-average entry this and “SST Death Flight” are my favorite KTMA’s because they’re as close to good as these guys could make a show given it isn’t fully scripted, they were new at it and it was more like a part-time gig. There was no place for the “MST3K” creators to go on KTMA except abandoning it altogether or striking out on their own. That’s the joy and experience that I’m taking from watching the KTMA era “MST3K” for the first time ever.

    Back to “The Last Chase.” It has a reasonably good premise of a dystopian future (if Green Peace ruled the world!) but falls pray to the genre’s reliable failure of giving a convincing timeline for the event to have happened (which most movie producers shooting sci-fi on a budget have to do because they’ll be shooting the bulk of their ‘futuristic’ flick in the present). You mean to tell me in the 20 years since fuel was outlawed there are NO adults that remember fondly car driving or flying planes with the passion that Lee Majors and Burgess Meredith display? Guess all the car-loving folks were caught on the California side of the country except for the young guy running the control room’s monitors (i.e. cactus target practice dude!). Loved that the bad guys (their control room clearly pattered after the United Nation’s assembly room) are clearly bureaucrats that have never seen a movie before (the older one should have remembered them from 20 years earlier! :-p) because Burgess turning around and betraying the people that gave him the plane (and take Lee’s side) was more predictable than the ending of “Wurwulf.” Hello??!! There should have been a “Escape From New York”-type device and/or hostage held that Burgess wanted/loved badly enough to be conflicted and forced to come back. The teenager that hitchhikes along with Lee reminded me more of Harry Potter than Rowsdower (brainy and geeky but also normal). Lee Majors was in-between series and yes, he’s bland, but damn it he’s the Six Million Dollar Man and he married Farrah. It takes a lot to make me lose respect for what was once during my childhood an effortlessly cool MOFO, and “The Last Chase” isn’t it. The hearing aid ad on the other hand…

    [DISCLAIMER: the company I work for did some minor post-production work on putting together Lee Majors’ ‘Rechargeable Bionic Hearing’ video that came with the direct response product. When we kindly asked the producer why she hadn’t approached Lindsay Wagner to see if she’d do this (since, after all, it’s the Bionic Woman that had the bionic hearing device; Steve Austin had a bionic eye) she had no Earthly idea what we were talking about. Majors was paid $25,000 to put his name and face on the product. And if you thought he looked wooden and uncomfortable on the TV commercial you should have looked at the outtakes and unused footage. :D]

    Basically the movie serves one cool-but-ridiculous air ball after another for Joel and the Bots to hit at will. And, unlike many previous KTMA’s, they’re rarely quiet and most of what they say is funny. I thought I was seeing another “SST Death Flight”-like ‘grab an obvious gag and run with it until its milked dry’ masterpiece when they wouldn’t shut up about Lee Majors’ hair (especially during the ’20 years later’ flashforward… or was the opening a flashback??!! :) ) but the hair jokes died quickly when they gave way to car jokes, society jokes (‘very ineffective architecture given the energy crisis’), America jokes, Penguin jokes, 70’s jokes, surveillance jokes (‘A world run by Sony’)… basically J&TB’s don’t settle on any one target or thing (Lee is the closest but they go relatively easy on him) and the riffs are surprisingly varied, frequent and hilarious. Only the host segments were disappointing to me, not one made me crackle or even laugh a little. And yes, it was weird going from the Mads to the theater without ‘Movie Sign’ in-between.

    FOUR STARS (on the KTMA scale) for both “The Last Chase” and the “MST3K” treatment of it. FAVORITE RIFF: (when Burgess’ airplane engine approaches Lee and the kid for the first time) ‘I haven’t heard that sound in 40 years.’ :D


  16. Fingal says:

    Funny, they ONLY have McDonalds in my dystopian futures.


  17. ck says:

    A note, might the four Film Crew movies be done after the K episodes?
    (Pity there aren’t more of them).


  18. H says:

    Eh. I mean, the host segments are good but I just can’t seem to get into the movie for some reason. They do a decent job of it though, I will admit that, but I don’t have as much love for this one.


  19. Sharktopus says:

    Richard The Lion-Footed: ‘Have they just stopped making “cheap” films for theatrical release? I can’t remember the last it me I saw a “Roger Corman” type film on the big screen.’

    Two words: Uwe Boll.

    So you’re the other person who saw “The Pentagon Wars.” I still have my VHS copy.


  20. fireballil says:

    I heard Tom say ‘Pons and Fleischmann, the early years!’ during The Human Duplicators and always thought it had to do with Ponds cold cream and Fleischmann’s margarine. I wondered what the heck that those two things had to do with each other. Then I saw the opening segment and realized what it meant. This is another example of my MST3K Hypothesis: that the show may not make you smarter, but it does increase your knowlegde base. This is true even in the early days of the show.


  21. kismetgirl88 says:

    I also like “Want a belt?”
    “NO, I have suspenders. Than you” line.

    “The real ironic point of this film, made in 1981, is that “tree huggers” have taken over the country and turned it into a dictatorship without McDonalds. The “hero” is a free thinker, who drives a muscle car where he wants and when, with disregard for others, and the goal is to get to “free” California, the one area that is returning to “machines.””

    But dose anyone else find funny that California is “free” place place where machine are still are in Transit future with public transposition/non pollution or oil. California ifs place were most solar cars are sold and public transportation area (with trolls and bus. are.) And where the Hippie movement stated. Man talk about really miss you demographic.


  22. Gorn Captain says:

    This was not a made for tv movie. I saw it many times on HBO in the early 80’s, and there was some sex and nudity cut from what Joel and the bots saw…

    Got to love all those pothole and weed free roads years after the apocalypse!


  23. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    Yea, I remember the nude scenes also.
    In fact, considering it was 30 years ago, and I only saw it once,
    I was amazed at what I remembered, and noticed that they cut.

    It had all the looks of a TV movie, and thanks Bobby for the information on the Canadian Film Development Corp.
    It explains so much bout films of the late 70s/ early 80s. I also did not know that “Porky’s was Canadian. – WOW

    I did a quick look back and no other KTMA show had Joel and the Bots so small on the screen.
    Maybe it was an idea that they were playing with at the time.


  24. Cornjob says:

    I never understood the movies message that public transportation equalled fascism. Why was that beurocrat so hysterical about people wanting to go anywhere they wanted to whenever they wanted. Since there was no gas the mass of people couldn’t take to the roads even if they wanted. And there’s nothing like scrambling an F-16 to demonstrate to the people how evil vehicles that burn a lot of fuel are.


  25. Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    I just looked through my copy of Mondo Canuck, which is a nice little wrapup of Canadian pop culture up until the late 90s. On their write up about Telefilm/FDC, they included this tidbit.

    …”Lee Majors, who even had a widely publicized fling with Canadian prima ballerina Karen Kain while filming some forgotten epic in Toronto”…

    At least the trip north wasn’t a total waste for Lee.


  26. Gorn Captain says:

    I think there was a hint in the uncut version that the plague outbreak was an excuse by those in power to take away little freedoms like owning your own cars. (Not to mention nobody ever figured out if it was a biological attack by an enemy power.) Other scenes cut for time show Chris Makepeace’s character not conforming to the other rules of the new order as well. Foaming at the mouth propaganda isn’t supposed to make sense anyway. Then again, I’m probably over-analyzing a cheesy Canadian version of 1984, and I should really just relax.

    And that was a Korean War era F-86 Sabre jet fighter, not an F-16. ;)


  27. Smog Monster says:

    #10 – The promised land of Season 1 contains mostly black and white movies… I think I’d rather encase myself in a science laboratory held hostage by superintelligent ants of KTMA than go there…

    These episodes were so great (atleast past the Gameras and if you get used to the lower pace and all), and I’m glad they’ll be apart of MST3Kinfo’s episode guide. The Last Chase is particularly great, and worth reaching. In fact, if only Season 3 didn’t choose just the Japanese episodes to redo, this is the one (or maybe Hangar 18…) it feels like a Season 6 or onward kind of movie, and would have ruled with a full staff of writers.


  28. Dan in WI says:

    Okay now I’ve had a chance to rewatch this experiment.

    Without a doubt this is my favorite Mads segment in the KTMA season. I guess I’ve never really thought about it before, but poster #1 above has it right. This is the first time we see Dr. Forrester torment his sidekick and I guess that is the element that probably made this my favorite.

    In much the same way Megaweapon’s agent did him such a huge disservice getting him that Warrior of the Lost World gig, the true star of this film, the Porsche 917, should have never taken the role of this movie. (Can you tell from this or my post above I really love that historic racecar?)

    Any movie that contains not one but two alumni of my all time most under-rated Bill Murray movie, Meatballs, is okay in my book. Here we have Rudy the Rabbit playing the Lee Major’s sidekick as well as the greatest camp director of all time, Morty, as the guy who introduces Lee Majors at the speaking engagements.

    Is it just me or whenever Lee Majors puts on those glasses he looks like a current day Tom Berrenger?

    Favorite Riffs:
    Crow: Are these the Oak Ridge Boys?
    The series of riffs about the old NFL films music.
    Servo: She knows how to get the maxi out of a pad.
    Servo: We’re in his jet wash

    And for my final thought: The film ends with a rant on how this car on the loose could send the world back into the 80’s. He says that like it would be a bad thing. I’d welcome it.


  29. Cornjob says:

    I get that this was an anti-environmentalist propaganda piece. And that might have made some sense in the film if the environmentalists had siezed power through a coup. But with oil running out, austerity essentially imposed itself. Though they did have plenty of power for those computer banks.

    Anyway, people still could go wherever whenever, as long as they walked. For a freedom crushing dictatorship, all the enviro-fascists did was make internal combustion engines (for which there was no fuel) illegal. And it’s not like they were setting up concentration camps for offenders.

    Oh, and did anyone notice the similarities to this and the Rush song Red Barchetta about a future in which cars are outlawed.

    Also, freedom here is defined as doing what you want without regard for others. That is also the definition of sociopathy.


  30. Cornjob says:

    Great episode by the way.


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

    >>>You don’t know if this has affected the rest of the world, it seems to just happen in America

    The rest of the world is experiencing Mad Max or Destroy All Monsters or a Doctor Who episode or…


  32. Dan in WI says:

    #29: Here we have a Canadian movie about a future with no cars and Rush is a Canadian band which makes a song about a future with no cars… Coincidence?


  33. Tork_110 says:

    Cornjob, you just outed yourself as a monumental control freak.


  34. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    We’re winding down to the end folks; only one more KTMA to go.

    This one is pretty good, a movie with a neat premise and a totally stiff delivery. I could see a remake of this one working today. The Last Chase exists somewhere at the intersection of Death Race 2000 and Warrior of the Lost World. The riffs are pretty good, host segments are “neat” but not necessarily funny. Still a really good KTMA episode.

    The cold-fusion opening with Dr. F and Larry is pretty funny, but where the heck is their lab now?? It looks like they’re outback by the dumpster.


    Joel: “He shot Liberty Valance.”
    Servo: “He ran over the head of Alfredo Garcia!”

    Servo: “Thank you, dragon bitch.”
    Joel: (laughing) “Don’t you ever say that again.”
    Servo: “What? Dragon?”

    Crow: “Is this old NFL highlight music?

    Burgess Meredith is making weird sounds in the airplane,
    Crow: “He’s turning into a werewolf.”
    Servo: “He’s turning into Michael Landon!”

    In reference to Burgess Meredith being Burgess Meredith,
    Joel: “He is juiced.”

    After the plane crash,
    Joel: “Will he get a DWI for that?”
    Servo: “Posthumously.”
    Joel laughs. . ..

    Crow: “Oh, Canada. That’s explains why IT SUCKED!!”

    Only one more to go. . . . . . . .



  35. Cornjob says:

    Out of curiosity, am I a control freak becaus I’m an environmentalist, or because I analyzed the film so deeply.

    Do you suppose Canada’s latent anti-car sentiment was why Rowsdour’s truck kept breaking down?


  36. finniasjones says:

    Hoping not to offend anyone who was an original fan club member, but no less than 3 of these host segments deal with fan letters and are not that funny. I realize the Brains didn’t have future audiences in mind when they filmed these, and were celebrating the growing popularity of their show. That joy is infectious but also a little distancing to me watching them 20 years after the fact. Would have preferred more scripted skits with the Mads/SOL crew. As others have mentioned, maybe the KTMA/MST3K incarnation had reached its limit at this point…

    In future seasons, the final host segment will be devoted to featuring this exchange with the fans. Glad they found a balance that worked for audiences both then and now.

    Thanks to “Dan in WI” (#7) for his brilliant defense of the Porsche 917. The general accolades here for this episode might raise my vote to 4 stars.

    From Sampo’s intro: “Comin’ down to the end of the KTMA journey here… we’ll start season 1 on Thanksgiving Day.”

    I was hoping we’d take a week to discuss the season as a whole (possible Weekend Discussion topic? – I’m curious as to why more people didn’t watch these with us), but I guess I’ll have to collect my thoughts for next week. I found “Legend of the Dinosaurs” to be a very disturbing movie the first time I saw it, but am looking forward to a more critical re-watch. I am bothered by the fact that none of these Season Zero episodes rated 5 stars from me, even graded on the KTMA curve, but maybe that’s the point…


  37. MightyJack says:

    I viewed this one again not long ago (along with Dinosaurs for next week) and it held up pretty well. The best of the KTMA bunch in that regard. I got some laughs and the movie was a fun watch. The dragon bitch exchange is a great MST moment.


  38. Laura says:

    I watched this as my first KTMA ever, and for some reason during the hospital panic scene, I kept saying “You must leave the Bronx!” Anyone get that vibe or was it, once again, just me?


  39. Fart Bargo says:

    LOL, me too!


  40. Cornjob says:

    Awww c’mon. Tell me why I’m a control freak. Really. TELL ME NOW!! I have to know all information possible so I can prepare for every possibility! So why am I a control freak?!

    Remember this exchange from Lost Continent?:

    “You are a cynical suspicious man.”
    “I am not! Who told you that?!”

    Descartres thought if he was careful enough he could avoid making mistakes. He was wrong.


  41. J.Ho says:

    “That’s a model – do you realize the expense of having an actual gas pump?”

    Favorite riff, too bad it comes essentially at the start, but it dovetails in a way with the theme of the movie, as in; if this movie were made, let’s say after the ‘Last Chase’ had actually happened, the producers wouldn’t have easy access to a gas pump. Or something along that line.

    Cornjob, haven’t you learned yet (being an MST3k fan) when displaying any kind of unorthodox penetration of human productions, negative assertions always abound amongst a particular percentage of the populace?

    “You think, therefore you suck” – a modern malleus, and idiom for idiots’ implementation and indoctrination of idiotic ideals

    This was my favorite KTMA episode. I watch these and get just a little upset that I can remember being in Minneapolis during part of this season’s run, and even though I was only 7 or 8 at the time, I know I would have watched the show, as I have always loved watching cheesy movies, even at that young, tender age. I can actually recall what WAS on the TV during that trip: my brother watching MTV and ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ playing probably 15 times a day…..


  42. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    “Also, freedom here is defined as doing what you want without regard for others. That is also the definition of sociopathy.” – Cornjob #29

    I missed that one.

    Franklyn doesn’t bother anyone. he doesn’t kill anyone with his car.
    In fact, it is the eco-freak dictatorship that kills people becuase Franklyn has a car and can travel where he wants, when he wants.

    His freedom does not even effect road traffic once he leaves the city.


  43. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #2: I think it would end with accidentally self-inflicted stab wounds all around.


  44. Cheapskate Crow says:

    Everyone else has summed up my feelings on this movie, it is odd to see public transit so vilified. To the people that mentioned Rush’s song Red Barchetta, the idea for the song actually came from a short story written by Richard Foster. This is mentioned in the Moving Pictures liner notes and wikipedia expounds:

    The song was inspired by the futuristic short story “A Nice Morning Drive”, by Richard Foster and published in the November 1973 issue of Road and Track magazine.

    I am guessing this movie’s makers might have read that story too. This was probably one of the better KTMA episodes but I still couldn’t make it all the way through. I totally agree with Joel about we shouldn’t be listening to Burgess and his plane.


  45. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Cornjob will be blamed.


  46. senorpogo says:

    This may be my favorite KTMA movie. The premise is so goofy, yet I can’t not root for Lee Majors – The Fall Guy!, The Six Million Dollar Man! – racing a souped-up muscle car cross country to fight the forces of an evil, oppressive government trying to impose the horror of mass transit on red blooded Americans. And this all powerful totalitarian government’s best bet to stop Lee? Burgess Meredith and his jet from the Korean War. This needs a remake. Or prequel.


  47. pondoscp says:

    Yeah, this is probably the best KTMA. Previously, I had thought SST Death Flight was the greatest, but after this latest run, I’ve discovered I had the most fun with The Last Chase. It must the the Burgess Meredith connection lol.


  48. Kenneth Morgan says:

    I, too, remember watching this movie back during its original cable run back in the day. It’s actually a pretty good movie, making for a pretty good KTMA show. Another one that might’ve worked well if they’d re-riffed it later on.

    And when Harvey Atkin shows up as Lee Majors’ friend, I expected them to shout out “Hi, Mickey!”


  49. Lex says:

    I remember watching this movie on TV when I was a kid. I thought it was really neat. It had a Lee Majors, his car and he gets a chick in a dystopian future. Then he goes up against Burgess Meridith who has come out of retirement to play chicken against Lee Major’s race car.

    I bet if I ever see this again, whether it is the MST3K version or not, it may not hold up as well. I could be wrong.


  50. Cornjob says:

    See #29-#40 for my previous posts. This movie has got to be one of the most astoundingly rabid and incoherent anti-environmental propaganda pieces ever. Mass transit and bicycles equal fascism and the death of the human soul? Really? And what with fossil fuel use cooking the planet, acidifying the oceans, and contributing to a rate of species loss that amounts to the 6th great extinction (great extinction defined as the loss of 75%+ global loss of species, the last one killed the dinosaurs), stuff like this seems not just ignorant and stupid but downright insane. But thats the human race for you. What are you gonna do?

    And yes #45, I will be blamed. All part of being the Master of Darkness. What are you gonna do?


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