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Episode guide: 102- The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (with short: Radar Men from the Moon, Chapter 1: ‘Moon Rocket’)

Short: (1951) A jet-pack-equipped scientist and his team investigate reports of sabotage by spies from the moon and their hired thugs.
Movie: (1957) A mad scientist builds a robot to battle the mummy guarding an Aztec treasure.

First shown: approx. 11/18/89? (See below.)
Opening: None.
Invention exchange: Joel demonstrates the airbag helmet; The Mads unveil The Chalkman, and then show off Deep 13’s new security system.
Host segment 1: Demon dogs attack; Tom takes them on, and fares poorly.
Host segment 2: Talks with Enoch, the demon dog king, don’t go well.
Host segment 3: Crow’s attempt to impersonate Enoch also fails.
End: Joel’s trick fools the demon dogs…or does it? Doh!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (168 votes, average: 3.59 out of 5)


• As discussed in last week’s entry, it appears that this episode was actually the first one The Comedy Channel showed, just days after going on the air.
• This episode is part of Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XVII.
• Again, no opening segment.
• Again, the early Tom Servo design
• Again, no buttons on table, so Joel just slaps it.
• No Bots are present during invention exchange.
• The “airbag helmet” was another bit from Joel’s standup act.
• The Mads’ invention, a riff on the old Close and Play phonograph has one small problem. The dialog has the Mads’ saying that you are to “close it” and “open it,” echoing the old Close and Play commercial, but they’re not actually closing and opening it. They’re just lifting the tone arm up and putting it down. Kinda ruins the joke, but they were just getting the prop shop running, so I will let them slide.
• Say what you will about Josh, he was really “inside” Tom Servo; Kevin never used a phrase like “You can look me in the bubble and say that??” as Josh does here.
• The thinner bluescreen level makes Tom Servo look very odd in the theater–kind of elongated. Tom is also VERY animated in the theater–a stark contrast to his wooden behavior in the host segments.
• After 18 weeks of the little tiny KTMA theater seats, the standard-size seats take a little getting used to.
• In some scenes, the seats were fully black this week, not tinted at all, that I can see. But in very dark scenes the seats are tinted dark gray, like last week.
• The “demon dogs” were made out of a “Masters of the Universe” toy called “Battle bones,” painted red and black and added with some contruction paper ears.
• That is clearly Jim Mallon doing the voice of Enoch, the king and charismatic leader of the dog people. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to make out what he is saying thanks to the incessant clacking of the puppet’s mouth.
• Josh makes an odd comment during host segment 2, calling the SOL “the 2525” and telling Cambot that the SOL’s schematics are under “2525” in his files. Is this weird Zager and Evans reference?
• Watch carefully early in the feature during the flashback of the Aztec ceremony scene, as Joel covers the irritating singing lady’s mouth: Joel clearly has something in his hand–between his two fingers, as one would hold a cigarette. Was Joel smoking in the theater? Gasp! Smile
• In addition to smoking, reportedly this was the only episode in which the riffers were drinking while shooting the theater scenes.
• There are also two spots where the Brains experimented by playing with the sound. In one spot, as the men stand in a row with their backs to the camera in a way that suggested that they were relieving themselves, they added the sound of liquid streaming. And in the aforementioned musical ceremony, when Joel covers the lady’s mouth the sound cuts back as if he is muffling her. They seldom did it again.
• At one point, Joel comments that the cemetery was ANOTHER place that would make a great miniature golf course. “Like that other movie,” he says. WHAT other movie? What’s he talking about?
• The demon dog in the theater at the end is the first of many unexpected guests who would invade the theater over the years.
• Cast and Crew Roundup for the short: special effects guy Howard Lydecker also worked on “Undersea Kingdom.” Makeup guy Bob Mark also worked on “The Human Duplicators.” Set designer John McCarthy Jr. also worked on “San Francisco International” and “Kitten With A Whip. Sound guy Dick Tyler Sr. also worked on “Beginning of the End.” Score composer Stanley Wilson was music director for “The Beatniks.” In front of the camera: Tom Steele was also in “Undersea Kingdom.” Dale Van Sickel was also in “Manhunt in Space.” Paul McGuire was also in “Gunslinger.” Carey Loftin was also in “The Rebel Set.” Kenneth Terrell was also in “The Indestructible Man.” Roy Barcroft was also in “The Phantom Creeps.”
• Cast and Crew Roundup for the movie: Producer (he also got a story credit)Guillermo Calderon a.k.a. William C. Stell also worked on “Santa Claus.” Producer Luis Garcia DeLeon also worked on “Samson Vs. the Vampire Women,” as did director Manuel San Fernando. Score composer Antonio Diaz Conde also worked on “Santa Claus.” And of course, K. Gordon Murray also imported “Santa Claus” and “Samson Vs. The Vampire Women.” In front of the camera, Arturo Martinez was also in “The Black Scorpion.”
• CreditsWatch: Special Guest Puppet: Enoch (Jim Mallon)
• Favorite riff from short: “Oh, I hate to shoot a butt like that.” Honorable mention: “Eat lead, space pansy!”
• Favorite riff from the movie: “We’re hitting people!” Honorable mention: “Maybe she should choke up on it a little.”

102 comments to Episode guide: 102- The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (with short: Radar Men from the Moon, Chapter 1: ‘Moon Rocket’)

  • 1
    Dan in WI says:

    Sampo: A screen shot of the film AND short. I like it!

    Given the selection of this movie and I have to stop and remind myself that Frank Conniff is not yet a part of the show. You know he has a weakness for Mexican fare.

    I’ve always enjoyed Joel’s in theater site gags. Here we have him covering the mouth of the singing Aztec and when he does the sound is muffled as well. Nice touch.

    The whole demon dog storyline really did nothing for me. I wonder how it compares to their use in whichever lost KTMA episode they appear.

    Joel does his best Richard Moll when Tom Servo points out fetch means the demon dogs will return.

    Speaking of not doing anything for me, this episode as a whole was very blah. It didn’t really bore me or put me to sleep. But it really didn’t have me laughing either. It was just there.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Giant shot of the moon. Crow: I didn’t know Jackie Gleason was in this.
    Scientist “You know we’re the first persons to break in here.” Tom Servo: “The others used the door.”


  • 2
    swh1939 says:

    I’ve tried several times to watch this episode. On the occassions that it didn’t put me to sleep, I hadn’t given it my full attention. As others have stated, I don’t hate it; it’s just uninteresting.


  • 3

    Sorry Sampo, they did do it again, one last time during season 1 or has everyone forgotten the clapping sound effect in experiment 113- The Black Scorpion.

    As for this episode, the single worst experiment in Season 1. The movie sits like a ton of bricks and at an hour and a half seems to last about 14 hours long and the Brains aren’t at the riffing ability that they would attain during Season 2 and so it’s made all the more unbearable. Not a favorite.


  • 4
    robot rump! says:

    the ‘Aztec Mummy’ (boo) vs. ‘the Robot’ (yay)
    Not exactly the ‘Thrilla in Manilla’ as fas as fights go.
    i do kind of enjoy listening to the scientists and ‘experts’ explain things, it reminds me of when i was a kid and we’d say ‘ well the reason Superman can breath in space is ’cause he’s from space and stuff and everyone from space can fly and stuff and not breath and stuff…in space’
    what WAS the point to this thing?
    people who are here from Mexico say there’s no jobs there. i’m thinking if you have robots and mummies rolling around in your backyard on a regular basis, employment probably isn’t the biggest problem your country has going on.


  • 5
    RockyJones says:

    I’ll agree that the movie does tend to drag on. Especially after the slightly brisker pace of the Commando Cody short. I love Servo’s questions concerning the whole “serial” concept…”Why would anyone want to watch “part” of a movie?”…and, “Is the music in serials always this poor?”

    I enjoyed the Radar Men shorts, and still think it’s a crime that we never got to see how the whole thing ended, darnit!


  • 6
    Thingy says:

    Did you know that there is actually an airbag helmet invented by the Sweedish?



  • 7
    Dan Belcher says:

    This one is almost impossible to watch. It certainly feels as if time is slowing down whenever you watch this experiment. (Perhaps NASA could use its time-slowing abilities for deep space travel?) And what’s possibly the most annoying aspect is how anti-climatic the fight actually is. When the movie title is specifically centered around a mummy and a knee-less “human robot” throwing down, I expect more than five seconds of awakward waddling and arm-ripping after an hour of dull dialogue and standing around. Thankfully I suppose the short wasn’t too bad.

    Still a few good lines though…
    “Do you have any jumper cables in your car or something? It’s not working.”
    “The table’s moving. The table’s a better actor than any of them.” “They’re all made of the same material — wood.”


  • 8
    Aldo Farnese is Mr. Krasker says:

    My favorite part of the movie is when The Bat has the heroes tied up to chairs and the guy with glasses just looks like he could care less about the situation. He’s possiblily the most indifferent threatened person ever.

    Also the movie is a hugh cheat. Most of the movie is just footage from the first two Aztec Mummy films.


  • 9
    ck says:

    Although I’m generally an advocate of “Less is more”
    in rstrained use of monsters (a great example is the sparing
    presence of The Thing in the original The Thing From
    Another World (not the pointless remake)it was absurd to
    have virtually no Mummy (boo!) or Robot (yea!) until the
    very end and then a short (fight?) ended when the scientist,
    in effect, succor punches the robot.

    And let’s face it, Ralph Cramden’s robot could have taken
    out the movie no-knee one.


  • 10
    finniasjones says:

    Crow: This is the kind of film you won’t put on pause when you leave the room.
    Servo: It encourages you to get a sandwich.
    Crow: Kind of like TV repellent.

    Although I hate the belabored flashback-within-a-flashback story structure of this movie ( seriously: at one hour, fifteen minutes into it, our lead says to his guests, “All this I’ve just told you occurred almost five years ago” ), I grudgingly admire its nutty mixture of history, mysticism, and science fiction. Add in the spirited riffing by our crew and the silly but amusing Demon Dogs host segments, and it’s almost bearable. 2 stars. A “dog” I don’t watch very often.

    Servo: Oh I’d hate to shoot a butt like that!


  • 11
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “I enjoyed the Radar Men shorts, and still think it’s a crime that we never got to see how the whole thing ended, darnit”

    Cody won and the moon guys didn’t invade Earth. Wink


  • 12
    Brandon says:

    If you wanted to, you could pretend that those “sound effect” riffs were done by Cambot.

    Anyway, here’s my revew from ther MST3K Discussion board.

    102- The Robot Vs. the Aztec Mummy. With short, “Commando Cody, Chapter 1.”
    Short: Commando Cody is assigned to defeat the Moon Men.

    Movie plot: (taken from ACEG) “A psychiatrist and his wife fritter with things they don’t understand, unleashing the curse of the dreaded Aztec mummy.”

    Host segments:
    Invention Exchange: The Chalkman; Airbag helmet.
    Segment #1: Demon Dogs are attacking the ship. Servo attempts to chase them out. He gets more than he bargained for.
    Segment #2: Enoch the Demon Dog announces that his people have come to worship the giant bone. Gypsy reveals the dog’s fallacy.
    Segment #3: Crow disguises himself as Enoch. The Demon Dogs see through it.
    Segment #4: Joel launches a ball out of the SOL. The dogs “fetch” after it.

    Memorable Riffs from Short:
    -(explosion) Servo: “I guess that’s the end of chapter one.”

    Memorable riffs from movie:
    -Crow: “Digging for gold, Bruno?”
    -Servo: “My underwear is a hundred years old!”

    Stuff I noticed:
    -Larry and Dr. F briefly talk about incidents that occurred at a mad scientists convention. Suggesting that they’ve known each other for some time.
    -For the record (no pun intended), the sound of nails on a chalkboard doesn’t bother me in the slightest, so Dr. F’s invention is obsolete IMO.
    -The theater Crow double now has its net positioned correctly. He doesn’t look like a reindeer anymore. Although, it still became a running gag of referring him to a reindeer.
    -The first episode that includes a short, or rather the first chapter of a “serial” production in parts. Servo seems confused by this as Joel tries to explain it. Servo: “Why would anyone go to see PART of a movie?”
    -On top of that, Servo brags, “My shorts are never boring.” Perhaps the first mentioning of Servo’s underwear collection.
    -In segment #1 when Crow is describing what could happen to the SOL, he uses the same line that Dr. F says in 706-Laserblast. Is this a reference to something?
    -I’m not sure exactly how to describe the “special effect” of the ball being launched out of the SOL, but I think Mike sums it up nicely in the ACEG.

    Favorite riff from short:
    -Servo: “I’d hate to shoot a butt like that!”

    Favorite riff from movie:
    Servo: “Okay — It forms two creamy layers — No, wait, three layers: a creamy layer, a gelatinous layer, and… Dammit, I must find that formula!”

    Best segment: Segment #1 is kind of funny, albeit a little disgusting.
    Worst segment: I’ll say the invention exchange. Because it’s been done better.

    Overall: It’s okay. The movie riffing is better than the short riffing. The host segments are a bit lacking. They have nothing to do with the movie, and thus are somewhat season 6-ish.
    Rating: *1/2


  • 13
    Kali says:

    “Oh, look! It’s Pumpkin Boy!”

    This was always one of my favorites – you gotta love a movie that spends most of its run explaining itself. I always thought the guy playing the Mummy was too short and way too unthreatening. Of course, we were rooting for the robot, but please, this one was pathetic.

    “What are you doing there?” Bash! “We’re hitting people!”
    “Guess who’s history in this scene.” “Juan Valdez?” “Bingo.”
    “A human robot? There’s a flaw right there.”
    “I think it’s the human part that’s failing.”
    “I looked up ‘anticlimax’ in the dictionary and it said ‘See Aztec Mummy’!”
    “Every lair should have a bunch of rattlers!” <-that needs to be on a shirt, by the way. Smile

    Actually, I saw most of the Aztec Mummy series – they're all just as goofy: sometimes, I think they should have done the second one (If I remember, Robot is the third film in the series), where they turn Pincate (aka, Floyd the Barber) into a wrestling superhero who failed miserably in his fight against the Mummy). Sometimes, you just can't make these things up.

    My favorite moment came in Radar Men, when Cody enters the room with the Martians all in a row: "I'm Orkon. This is my brother Xenon and my other brother Xenon." Classic.


  • 14
    Kali says:

    Moon men, sorry.

    “And Dick York as The Mummy. Actually, I think it might be Dick Sargent.”
    “The table’s moving. The table’s a better actor than any of them.”
    “Another good shot of me!”
    “Hey, I look like Gene Hackman!”


  • 15
    Zee says:

    A tad off-topic, but the comment “The demon dog in the theater at the end is the first of many unexpected guests who would invade the theater over the years” made me think that it would be great if Shout Factory released a box set of “atypical theater” episodes, say:
    412 Hercules and the Captive Women (Gypsy)
    416 Fire Maidens of Outer Space (Timmy)
    611 The Last of the Wild Horses (Frank & Dr. F)
    913 The Quest of the Delta Knights (Pearl & “Eggs”)


  • 16
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    I love this episode. The movie is goofy fun beyond belief and the jokes during this and all of the Commando Cody shorts never cease to thoroughly entertain me. The jokes during the feature film have the brilliant spark already of what the show would soon become and the host segment story arc with the demon dogs is highly amusing.


  • 17
    klisch says:

    Whenever this came on as a rerun (didn’t catch it when it first aired) I’d only watch the short and turned the channel when the feature started. It’s just a dull episode. And yes, I wish they would have wrapped up the entire ‘Moon Men’ shorts.


  • 18
    klisch says:

    Whups, sorry. That should be ‘Radar Men’. I’m just excited that we’re finally discussing season 1.


  • 19
    Sharktopus says:

    With all deference to Mr B(ob) – who kindly demonstrates “Sampo’s Theorem” – I rank this right up with The Hellcats as weakest (non-KTMA) episodes of the series. But interestingly, both have good extenuating circumstances for being so poor: Hellcats suffered from an incomplete writing staff (and those dumb flashback host segments), while Robot Vs Aztec Mummy suffered from, I presume, some exhausted Brains who burned themselves out building the show for cable.

    Not to mention the near-unwatchably crappy movie. The Crawling Eye – while a a terrible print with muddy sound – was a textbook perfect film for MST3k, but Robot Vs Aztec Mummy was more of a graduate level course when the Brains were only sophomores. I’m sure if they’d tackled the film in later years, with a full writing staff firing on all cylinders, this could’ve been a hilarious outing, especially given Frank’s admitted affection for cheezy Mexican movies. But as it stands, I find 102 to be the toughest slog of the series.

    That aside, this ep still has its moments, and I’d rather watch all 90 minutes of than just 5 minutes of American Idol or Lost.

    Some random thoughts:

    1. I knew those Demon Dogs were a MotU toy! In fact, I HAD that toy when I was a wee anklebiter – I believe it was a figure-carrier. He man and his pals snapped into the thing’s ribs, if I recall correctly. Pretty sure Joel got more use out it than me.

    2. I hate the Demon Dogs. The incessant yapping irritates me, Enoch’s clacking jaw is irritates me more, and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but that one that pops up in the theater at the end always scares the bejeebers out of me. The noises it makes just creep me out – I dunno why. (Anybody know who performed that one? It doesn’t sound like Jim to me. Maybe Kevin? If so, would that be Kevin’s first puppeteering appearance?)

    3. Years ago I disliked Josh’s Servo based on the few season 1 eps I’d seen. I take it all back. After spending more time with seasons K and 1, he was damn talented and clever, especially considering his age. And after seeing live at Cinematic Titanic, he’s gotten even more taltented than clever. And damned funny, to boot. “You can look me in the dome and say that?” I owe you a beer, J. Elvis.

    4. “Y’know, that would make a great miniature golf course.” I love running gags. 8^D

    5. When your robot gets defeated by the superior strength and speed of a shambling, decomposing mummy, you should hang up your mad scientist labcoat and try selling insurance or something. But still, that Dr Krupp needed more screentime – the movie ended with so much more scenery left for him to chew up. Attention K. Gordon Murray: Less standing around talking, more hammy maniacal villain, please. And some luchadores wouldn’t hurt either.


  • 20
    Sharktopus says:

    I should really proofread my posts BEFORE I click submit… A couple more thoughts, to justify this post:

    Maybe Joel’s just holding a pen, not a cigarette. Crossing off his lines after he delivers them? Hmm… how come we never hear papers rustling in the theater segments? Did they their lines on monitors? In 1989, I doubt it.

    The first time I wathced this ep years ago, I thought that peeing sound they added was just static on the movie’s soundtrack. I never would’ve known they did that if not for the ACEG.


  • 21
    Bice says:

    It’s been forever since I watched this episode, so I can’t comment on it specifically, but I just wanted to throw a “me too” towards Sharktopus’ random thought #3. For me, Josh was the best thing about the KTMA and season 1 episodes. His Servo was just so droll, clever, understated and funny. Sort of a “too hip for the room” robot. The show overall would get better after he left, and Kevin eventually made Servo his own, but I still would have liked to have seen what later seasons would have been like if Josh had stuck around.


  • 22
    Creepygirl says:

    Count me in as one that really likes this episode. I think if it was actually the first shown it was a good example of things to come. THE CRAWLING EYE was maybe a better movie and episode but this had goofy host segments and Devil Dogs and said “tune in next week folks. If you like this, there’s much more to come.”

    I’ll just add that much like the Joel vs Mike, I see no Josh vs Kevin wars. All the writers/actors of the show always did great IMO and I like everything about this show. I love that so much has been said that this show was such a team.

    Don’t listen to the bad-say.


  • 23
    Tim S. Turner says:

    I always loved this one, even though the riffs aren’t up to later levels. There’s just something so goofy about this movie. The Bat, the robot, the mummy, the goofy “leads”, it’s so loveably dumb I can’t help but enjoy it.


  • 24
    Brandon says:

    I rewatched this episode, and the noises that the demon dog in the theater makes, reminds me of Stripe from “Gremlins”.


  • 25
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Coincidentally, footage of The Bat from this film later shows up in…The Wild World of BATwoman, where it becomes Ratfink footage instead.

    “the guy with glasses just looks like he could care less about the situation. He’s possibly the most indifferent threatened person ever”

    Well, per the Santo / Blue Demon / etc films, stuff like that happened in Mexico all the time. It’s like living in Metropolis or Gotham City. Some people can adjust to anything.


  • 26

    I have to agree, this would have been better if they had been the brains from season 3 on rather than the brains just starting out in the new format. The riffing is just not able to handle this movie to make it watchable.

    And on to the movie:
    Did not know this was the third in a series. I was seriously wondering why a movie spent over and hour explaining events rather than showing it. Now knowing still doesn’t make up for the long butt padding that that first part of the movie was. And then to add insult to crappy, the fight that the film is named for is ridiculously boring and stupid. This whole film killed Miexico, you hear me, this is the reason. AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! sorry, sorry. Lost it, my bad. whew.
    On the positive side: the make-up used for the Aztec Mummy is some of the best I have seen and especially exceptional with it being done in the 1930’s and all.

    Host Segments:
    Josh’s line of look me in the bubble is great. Very cute.

    The demon dogs, are simply not funny to me. But seeing the bone being thrown out is funny, just due to how low budget it looks. But this movie kills it.


  • 27
    Sampo says:

    Frankenforcer–do’h! You’re right of course. (I hate when that happens.) Comment corrected.


  • 28
    The Professor says:

    #20 Sharktopus

    Wrap your head in a nice pair of headphones next time you watch MST3K and you’ll probably hear some rustling of papers. You can hear it a lot in the Joel years but less so as Mike took over.

    As for the episode itself, I have to throw in my hat with the people that just don’t like this one. It is, by far, my least favorite episode from any season (hell, at this point, I’d rather watch Joel solo-riff Gamera again before this beast). I’m not a big fan of Mexican horror films to begin with and the Brains just aren’t ready for a movie of this caliber. I remember reading somewhere that the Brains had begged the station for them to find another movie to use instead of Aztec Mummy but CC refused. Did anyone else ever hear that?


  • 29
    Alex says:

    Next to K05 – Gamera, this really isn’t one of their best episodes, for my opinion.

    Oh… and it appears the images for the shorts are being added in addition. Interesting.


  • 30
    The Professor says:

    Also, forgive me if i’m wrong here, but I remember Trace implying that they were drinking during a writing session for Untamed Youth. Once again, this is from an article that I read ages ago so I could be very wrong.


  • 31
    Cornbred says:

    Very weak early episode. I do find the movie somewhat interesting. Sure it’s a bottom of the barrel godawful piece of flotsam but its the kind of flotsam I enjoy. However the riffing overall is poor. I can accept that for the early ones except for the fact that this one has that extended Martin/Lewis impersonation which I found exceptionally annoying. Goes on way too long, provided no laughter, and the Jerry Lewis impersonation was bad and grating. The Dean Martin was more well done but overall just felt like people doing a bad impression for no reason. There hasn’t been too much else during the series which I found annoying, or at least not to this degree. And that is probably the most negative I will ever be about this show we all love.

    Despite my complaints I still find myself leaving this one running now and then for my nightly battle with insomnia.


  • 32
    fathermushroom says:

    Someone admits they drank during “Untamed Youth” in one of the bonus interviews somewhere.

    What always impresses me in “Commando Cody” is how effortlessly the humans leap to the conclusion that there are Moon Men who are exploding atomic bombs up there. “Maybe the people on the Moon are doing it.”

    And no one says, “WHAAAAAAAA?”


  • 33

    For some reason, this is one of my favorite S1 episodes. I can’t explain it.

    Regarding Josh: I came in around Season 3, and only saw Josh in reruns. I always felt like I preferred Kevin’s Servo, but the more I think about it, it wasn’t Josh as Servo that I had problems with. As has been pointed out, he inhabited Servo to a greater degree than Kevin ever did.
    The problem I had was with Dr. Erhardt. I found Josh annoying in the extreme in that role (probably the voice). Looking back, his Servo is excellent.


  • 34
    jacks master says:

    “Kevin never used a phrase like “You can look me in the bubble and say that??” as Josh does here.”
    I’m glad he didn’t, I find it a bit too corny.


  • 35
    Skiptastic says:

    My favorite riff was:

    Doctor: As punishment, Diwaee was buried alive and an eternal cursed was placed on him.
    Joel: Then, things got bad.

    I tend to use that last part now whenever possible.


  • 36
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #19: Sampo’s theorem also applies to the other episode you mentioned as being weak, Hellcats. I really like that one too in spite of the retread host segments.


  • 37
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Well, for whatever reason, I kinda liked this episode. Sampo’s Theorem is in full effect. I liked it better than The Crawling Eye, I felt the riffing was more spot on, and the demon dog host segments is a good indication that the staff’s writing skills are on the upswing.

    Sure, the movie is crappy and slowly paced, but that Mummy looks pretty cool, all crusty and scary. Yeah, yeah, the Robot is lame looking, I know, but it was a HUMAN Robot, so I blame the human parts.

    Oh yeah, and this movie features BRUNO, the forgotten, low-brimmed hat wearing, scar-faced sidekick that belongs in the same company as Torgo and Ortega, both in fashion sense and creepy-ness.

    As for the episode. . .

    The Mads (Dr. F and E) both have little ponytails. Ah, the late 80’s. . . . . . . . .

    After Joel’s airbag helmet, Dr. F says, “Oh, great. Get Ralph Nader on the phone. And then call Gary Busey.”
    >The Nader reference still makes sense today, but the Busey reference is to the almost fatal motorcycle accident that he had in Dec. of ’88. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. Has anyone noticed that he’s been a little ‘off’ ever since? ?

    Movie sign, Joel just slaps the table. It looks weird, like he’s mad or something. If buttons were meant to be there, why weren’t they, and if they weren’t meant to be there, why is Joel slapping that table?? ??

    Also, Joel’s acting is on the upswing in this episode. Table slapping aside, he is obviously benefiting from a written script.

    FINALLY, after years (15 to be exact) of wondering, “are those demon dogs made out of Battle Bones??”, FINALLY I have that fact confirmed. I used to be a a HUGE fan of the Masters of the Universe (being born in 1980 and being male), had tons of the toys and totally had Battle Bones, which was this skeleton dinosaur thing that was a carrying case as you snapped your He-Man’s waist into the ribs of the thing. With that mystery solved/confirmed, I have to say, they sure did have a lot of those things there on the set. There’s something like 50 battle bones/demon dogs on set during the final segment. Where did they get all of them? Wholesale from Mattel??**


    During the fight with the scientists in Radar Men from the Moon, Joel says, “And this is for Louis Pasteur!”

    During the first Mummy attack (I think), Joel exclaims, “Guys, help me! He’s giving me a snuggie!”
    >Doubly funny ’cause a Snuggie is now a stupid product you can buy. A blanket with sleeves, I believe.

    There is a series of Peter Graves jokes, with a James Arness punchline. “Who’s buried in Peter’s grave?” “James Arness.”

    Character in movie, worried about Flora: “I’m afraid The Bat has something to do with this.”
    Servo: “Maybe she should choke up on it a little bit.”

    **I looked up ‘Battle Bones’ real quick, found some info that said that Mattel apparently overestimated how many children in America would want to play with a skeleton carrying case and massively overproduced this toy, which caused it’s price to severely drop as it languished on store shelves. Apparently you can still find them for a fairly cheap price, mint in box even. So I am guessing in 1989 (or 88 I guess?) Best Brains was able to procure a large amount of this item at a fairly low price. Mystery solved.



  • 38
    Raptorial Talon says:

    “The Nader reference still makes sense today, but the Busey reference is to the almost fatal motorcycle accident that he had in Dec. of ’88. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. Has anyone noticed that he’s been a little ‘off’ ever since? ?”

    Are you kidding? Comedy Central had an entire *series* based on that fact. ;p

    It was even referenced in the Venture Brothers in a 2008 episode. As far as I can tell, most people in my demographic would in fact find the Nader reference far more obscure than the Busey one. Nader is known to most of us as the guy who tilted the 2000 election, not the guy who fought for automotive safety standards.


  • 39
    MiqelDotCom says:

    2 stars (boring movie, so-so riffing & host segs)
    Aztec mummy puts me to sleep! Too much narration & standing around. At least one of the voices is the same as in “Samson vs. the Vampire women”, I think it’s the professor’s voice.

    What’s with the overdubbed part when they walk into the theater? Joel says “you’re getting too heavy” and it sounds echoey. (nevermind, read in the description about the experiments with sound dubbing in this ep) The 2525 thing is weird too … anyone get that one?

    Commando Cody: Why are you carrying out the reign of destruction on earth?
    Servo: Because it’s an election year.

    Crow: “Not the pepper mill”

    Joel: ” You can see they are a more advanced civilization, their furniture doesn’t break”

    Announcer “How far can man penetrate into the depths of the unknown”
    Crow: “13 feet 4 inches!” (Zing!)


  • 40
    Sharktopus says:

    Hey B(ob), how do you feel about the Hamlet episode? I love it.

    Thanks for the Battle Bones info. It explains a lot about where Joel got so many and why I had one – I had a few He-Man figures but would never have asked for Battle Bones. My mom probably nabbed on clearance.

    Wow. Joel and company were developing what would become my favorite show when I was still playing with He-Man. Nice to feel young for a change from grumbling about kids these days…


  • 41
    Flying Saucers Over Oz says:

    Re: Joel slapping the table. If I understand correctly, the prop guys hadn’t quite finished making the buttons yet.

    The MST3K stuff is, as per Season One, rather on the weak side (Has anyone, or more likely, has EVERYONE noticed the guy’s hand briefly appearing on camera as the Devil Dogs are swarming the SOL?) but I find this movie charming in its berzerk, inept lunacy. It invariably makes me dig out my Yma Sumac CDs afterward.


  • 42
    fish eye no miko says:

    I’ve always thought that during the singing, the sound actually was muffled in the print they had, and Joel was just taking advantage of the error to make a joke.


  • 43
    RockyJones says:

    I still wanna know just exactly HOW that stupid, straight-legged robot managed to walk down the stairs leading into the crypt. That’s always bugged me…


  • 44
    Aldo Farnese is Mr. Krasker says:

    As lame as the “fight” in this movie is; it doesn’t disappoint/piss me off as much as the title fight in Frankenstein meets the Wolfman. They start going after each other and a flood of water ends it after two minutes.


  • 45
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    #38 Raptorial Talon : Comedy Central has a series based on Gary Busey’s motorcycle accident or was it a show about his general all around craziness nowadays??? I was sharing information because I didn’t think everyone knew the fact and point of origin of Busey’s erratic behavior (let’s not forget all the cocaine), but I was unaware that Venture Brothers was a learning device, so I guess I am the one who has been schooled.

    @Sharktopus (great avatar, btw): “Wow. Joel and company were developing what would become my favorite show when I was still playing with He-Man. Nice to feel young for a change from grumbling about kids these days…”

    Tell me about it. . . . . .


  • 46
    H says:

    I enjoy this episode. The serials are some of my favorite shorts and the movie’s pretty good. The host segments are enjoyable. I know I saw Demon Dogs in the KTMA opening so I wonder if they did anything with that back then.


  • 47

    ooh, a 2.96 average rating? I actually liked this one pretty well. Maybe my favorite of the season 1 episodes I’ve seen so far.


  • 48
    Keith Palmer says:

    I suppose that one thought I always have about this episode is that “The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy” is one of the absolutely perfect “MST3K canon” titles for me. With that said, I suppose that when you focus on the title, it’s possible the rest of the episode may be lacking something… (I suppose that leaves me wondering if “Invasion of the Neptune Men,” another absolutely perfect title for me, is just a little similar.) However, I do also get a bit of a kick about the way a good chunk the movie seems to be taken from a previous movie (or previous movies?) Commando Cody also adds some variety in his first experience, although I do sort of get how the Brains themselves (in the official episode guide) gave an impression that he wore out his welcome for them.


  • 49
    lancecorbain says:

    I don’t remember any memorable riffs from this one, but I do remember me and my old friend Kevin cracking up over the truly pathetic fight between the Mummy and the ??Robot??. Was in my late teens/early 20’s at the time, and just starting to notice how many truly awful and stupid things had been committed to film over the decades….spent a lot of time wondering why, in the name of all that’s sane, anyone would put forth the effort to not only film, but especially to finish and release a lot of what later became fodder for the show. It’s good for us that they did, but seriously, what was going through their heads? I always loved the Commando Cody shorts, though. They’re nowhere near the quality of even other shorts from the period (like, say, Flash Gordon), but they would work for kids on a Saturday afternoon at the movies. And you gotta just sit back in awe of the innocence of a time when a guy would simulate tweaking his nipples to start his suit and no one thought twice.


  • 50
    Johnny Ryde says:

    I’m in the camp that really doesn’t like this one. It think this has to be my least favorite episode in my least favorite season.

    There’s a blown riff. They show newspapers and one of them has a small article with the headline: “New Petitions Against Tax”. This is a common headline in a lot of movie newspapers (another being “Building Code Under Fire”). Joel points this out… but only a few moments later when a *different* newspaper is on-screen…

    I always knew the Demon Dogs looked familiar, so the fact that they were a common 1980s toy makes sense. I don’t remember having Battle Bones, but I think some of my friends must have.

    As for drinking, is there anything on screen that shows that? I remembering an interview with Mike when he says they only drank during the writing session once. The movie was so bad that he went out and got a bottle of tequila. Unfortunately, it made the movie seem even worse…


  • 51
    Gary Bowden says:

    I believe I read in Entertainment Weekly a year or two ago that they had vodka before they shot this.The article also mentioned that Mike told Frank that the Coleman Francis movies were ruining his health..Not a bad movie for season 1.


  • 52
    Son of Bobo says:

    Commando Cody got so many things wrong. Love those fighting scientists.
    In the ACEG, Mike in his notes on show 624, mentions this as the second episode, though he may have been unaware of the network swapping the two, if it happened. Personally, I thought The Crawling Eye was a much stronger episode, so if the network did switch, I wonder about the reason behind it.
    Fave riff: “Oh, I’d hate to shoot a butt like that.”


  • 53
    Sharktopus says:

    Regarding the drinking issue, I imagine that no one would’ve brought any Vitamin Booze into the writer’s room or on set when they had a recovering alcoholic on staff, if I’m correct in my interpretation of the nod to Bill W in the credits. Plus, even at a cowtown puppet show, it’s inappropriate to drink at work. (Or so they keep telling me… ;^) )


  • 54
    M "You Can Eat Your Gun" Sipher says:

    This one has always been one I’ve enjoyed, despite its obvious early struggling. So many bits of it “defined” the feel of MST for me back then. From the inventions that actually felt like goofy solutions to actual problems, the “found stuff” prop management, and of course, the choice of movie.

    Clay and Lar’s little exchange about the Mad Scientist Convention remains one of my favorite conversations in the entire run of the show. Not just because it sets up the [i]The Tick[/i]-like notion that Mad Science is a recognized field to the point of having conventions (a notion that would all but vanish until mid-Sci-Fi-era), but the whole “the THIRD time I used the incendiaries, and it didn’t make the building BLOW UP, it just made it burn, really quickly” always gets me.

    I fully agree that it was a shame we never got a conclusion to Commando Cody. I rather enjoyed seeing the ham-fisted way they’d save Cody’s butt from the previous installment’s ending… and the ways the riffers would try a new spin on joking about it. In fact, when season two replaced it with the terminally boring “Phantom Creeps”… well, let’s just say it didn’t help me adjust to all the changes to the show any. (I was never in the “I hate Servo’s new voice” camp, but it was pretty jarring.) Yeah, the move to individual short films was a MAJOR step up, but still.

    I want to add the the Josh love here. In fact, Servo was my favorite character in the first year. (It helps that, well, he was the most well-defined character of the group.) I loved the droll delivery, and his take on “Time of My Life” here is priceless. Later, when Crow got a lot more manic, he took over that spot.

    Oh, the movie. I admit I’m fond of it.It’s almost PERFECT MST fodder, and the only regret I have is that it didn’t hit in the late-CC-early-Sci-Fi era.


  • 55
    Fart Bargo says:

    I’m in the minority, again, and really enjoyed this episode. Both the short and the movie assume the public would accept just about anything as scientific fact. The movie goes the extra mile by securing ‘Notarized statements sworn to a NOTORY PUBLIC!!!’.

    Both the short and main feature are silly enough to be viewed without riffs. There were so many flashbacks in the Mummy movie I could not tell when they were occuring. The villian, the Bat, likes to dress in black and wear a mask only when he is walking around hallways? As others point out, how did the no kneed robot manage stairs? Did anyone else notice that the robot’s feet were rural mail boxes? Was that the Bill Shatner playing the robot? This was the lamest robot since Tweakie.


  • 56
    Sharktopus says:

    Nobody believes me when I tell them “snuggie” is another name for a wedgie. I’ve only ever heard on MST (and Mike used it in Death Rat), so I guess it’s a Midwestern thing? Still, I can’t help but snicker when I hear that someone “got a Snuggie” for Christmas…

    I never knew Garey Busey had a well-known motorcycle crash, though it does explain some things. Personally, I’ve always hated the riffs made in MST3k (and RiffTrax) along the lines of “Uh-oh, shouldn’t have let Garey Busey/George Jones/Kelsey Grammer/whatever celebrity most recently crashed his car drive.” Auto accidents are rarely funny, and drunk driving is never funny.

    Speaking of never funny, those Jerry Lewis impressions! The real thing is annoying enough, thank you no. Hmm… Has there ever been a “pet peeves/riffs you hate” type of weekend discussion?


  • 57
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #40 “how do you feel about the Hamlet episode? I love it.”

    Sharktopus, I guess we really do have different taste in episodes. For me the Hamlet episode is okay, but I don’t watch it very often. On this past Thanksgiving I put Hellcats and Robot Vs. Aztec Mummy into my homemade MST3K marathon, but Hamlet was nowhere to be seen.

    Regarding Ralph Nader, when the jokes about him appeared on MST3K 15-20 years ago he was best known for championing automobile and product safety, not for politics. Remember, these MST3K episodes are aging as are the original adult fans of the show.

    If I recall correctly, Garey Busey is another one who learned to lock the barn after the horse was almost stolen. He didn’t wear a helmet and almost died in that motorcycle crash, but came out quite publicly right after he recovered in support of helmet laws and motorcycle safety. I love that joke on the Venture Brothers about “do you want to look like Garey Busey?” if you don’t wear your safety belt.


  • 58
    Sharktopus says:

    Go Team Venture!


  • 59
    bad wolf says:

    I was waiting for the earliest appearance of the “I hate to shoot a butt like that” riff, and when this came out on DVD i was surprised that it wasn’t an in-movie line. Was there another use in the KTMA year? Or was it just a reference to something else i’ve been missing? That riff got a lot of use over the years.


  • 60
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    Wasn’t in movie? Isn’t “I hate to shoot a butt like that” during the Radar Men From The Moon short in this episode? That catch phrase was primarily a Season One catch phrase and it only appears twice I think in Season Two and then it was retired.


  • 61
    Lee S. says:

    #5 You know, you can just buy the Commando Cody serials on videotape or D.V.D. I also hear Cody has a country band that’s worth checking out… Wink

    #56 “Running jokes that got old” would be a good weekend discussion topic I.M.O.

    Netflix is behind schedule, so I have no comments on this episode yet…


  • 62
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ Sampo, “Josh makes an odd comment during host segment 2, calling the SOL “the 2525? and telling Cambot that the SOL’s schematics are under “2525? in his files. Is this weird Zager and Evans reference?”

    I have always presumed this to be a reference to the song “2525”. What else could it be?

    My wife and I purchased Radar Men From The Moon, Phantom Creeps and Undersea Kingdom after seeing them on MST3K. They are lots of fun on their own, though the endings are invariably anti-climactic when you watch these in their entirety.


  • 63
    TheDON3k says:

    Hopefully the ‘2525’ has nothing to do with Cleopatra 2525…. Ugh….


  • 64
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ 63 “Hopefully the ’2525? has nothing to do with Cleopatra 2525…. Ugh….”

    It doesn’t and it is not possible that it does. The MST3K episode is 11 years older than the terrible TV show you mentioned.


  • 65
    Genericboardname says:

    I actually don’t mind this episode, I find it to be an above average season 1. Much better than Mad Monster, anyway.


  • 66
    Spector says:

    This episode would be the first in which the riffing on the short was better than the feature. If they could’ve revisited this film later in the show’s history I think they definitely would’ve done a better job. Loved the Commando Cody shorts, and Tom’s early line where Cody does his “nipple tweaks”‘ before flying. Hilarious line which they would build throughout their riffs on this short series.

    Overall not a solid follow-up to “The Crawling Eye” as they’re still finding their way. Only a two out of five episode but thankfully better things are ahead in Season One.


  • 67
    Johnny Ryde says:

    I thought the 2525 was a reference to a song… But I wonder if Josh blew the line and they didn’t reshoot it…

    I always wondered if the “I hate to shoot a butt like that” was a reference to something else…


  • 68
    Sharktopus says:

    I also had assumed “I hate to shoot a butt like that” was in reference to something. Maybe if the first butt in question had been more, erm, exceptional I might believe that it was an original comment, but it just has that referencey feel to it. (Only MSTies would know what I mean by “referencey feel.”) Maybe it’s from some local Minneapolis comic’s act, like “Around the world”!” and “Go to bed, old man!”?

    Y’know, all the comments from those of you who like this ep have me thinking I should give it another chance. (All you Hamlet haters out there might try the same.) Maybe I’ll skip past the serial and watch the movie in chunks. I’m sure the “climax” will be funnier if I’m not worn out from slogging through it all at once. I’ll still hate the demon dogs, though.


  • 69
    Creeping Terror says:


    Yes, we’ve had the “running jokes that got old” weekend thread. More people than I expected hated the “Are you ready for some football?” jokes in “Laserblast.” My personal least favorite running joke is “Jim Henson’s (fill in the blank) babies.” I hate it so much that it makes me want to pull an Elvis and shoot my TV.

    I’ve only ever seen the first half of Season 1. Definitely my least favorite season. But recently I have come to see it in the same light as I see season 1 of another classic 1980’s/1990’s show that I enjoy, “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Compared to what both shows would do in later years, their first seasons are awful. But there’s a certain charm in the episodes as you hear Josh do Servo’s voice, or as you hear a long running riff used for the first time. (The Trek equivalent would be seeing Tasha Yar at tactical or those awful pajama-looking uniforms.)

    These Season 1 episodes also make me appreciate how far the Brains came and how thankful I am that this show was given enough time to find its footing and become successful. Too many shows today only have 1/2 or 1 season to become big hits before they’re canceled. If MST3K had started off today on a cable network, it wouldn’t have made it past its first season. Thank heavens the Comedy Channel was desperate to fill in 2 hours of air time every week.


  • 70
    bad wolf says:

    #60–I mean ‘in movie’ like “Look out for snakes!” or “He hit big Jake!” I had always assumed it was something that a character said that the gang picked up on, not a riff that they enjoyed so much they kept doing callbacks to it.

    #68–good idea! maybe it was just too obscure in the first place.


  • 71
    Smog Monster says:

    #51) And that’s coming from a guy who ate bacon for an entire MONTH! (Februrary 2009)

    I liked this movie/experiment. The riffing is steady, not dull and downbeat, it’s the first MST3K episode with a short in it, and the movie practically riffs itsself, so I’m glad they did it.


  • 72
    Kali says:

    Didn’t Bugs Bunny do a lot of “I’d hate to shoot a butt like that” type of gags? Always thought that’s where it came from…


  • 73
    finniasjones says:

    From Mighty Jack’s page for this episode:

    “Oh I’d hate to shoot a butt like that” – Servo

    ?I asked Josh about this riff and he responded… “My recollection is that it was a comment I (as Servo) improvised on a KTMA episode that cracked up Joel H. so much that it became a standard.”

    While Josh’s recollection may be accurate, he never said it onscreen during the available KTMA’s. I’m guessing he just mis-remembered when this riff first appeared.


  • 74
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #70: “he hit big Jake”

    That line is a callback to Sidehackers. It’s a line from that movie, same as “chili peppers burn my gut”, a line that was used as a callback for years after that episode.


  • 75
    JeremyR says:

    Am I the only one that wants them to release a disc of all the Radar Men from the Moon segments back to back?

    Or 2 discs.

    Anyway, I guess it was a cheaper to make a movie that is 50% recaps of previous movies. Some of the US mummy movies did that.


  • 76
    Chief?McCloud! says:

    Could be the tryptophan [sp?] O.D. from last week, but it took six attempts to make it through without dozing off. Sleepless night? Pop in this extra-strength sleeping pill and avoid operating any heavy machinery. The highlight of the entire DVD could be the Film Crew ad.

    The Commando Cody short reminded me of an appetizer you crave more of after realizing your entree is lousy. Aztec Mummy is, in my opinion, the weakest ep. Their cannon gets stronger from here on out.

    Dirty riffs: “Yes, and I’ll take the gun too” + “….and speaking of RUMPuses, there’s Flora!”

    Music riff: “Take your protein pills and put your helmet on.”

    Movie riff: “Wish we had one of them doomsday machines.”

    Obscure riff [during host segment]: Crow mentions “Gains Burgers”, a semi-soft dogfood that was shaped and individually wrapped like a burger patty circa 1973.

    Political riff: “The evil judge Robert Bourque.”

    Fave riff: “See? Mommy’s drinking it. Mmmm….nyum, nyum, nyum, nyum, nyum. Open up, here’s the steam shovel!”


  • 77
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #75: “I guess it was a cheaper to make a movie that is 50% recaps of previous movies.”

    Was it ever and at Republic Serials it only got worse as the demand for serials dropped off and therefore so did their budgets. Not only was at least one of the moon man villain costumes in this serial a re-use of a costume from their earlier serial Purple Monster Strikes, but if you watch that earlier serial you’ll discover that huge chunks of film footage from it were also re-used in Radar Men From The Moon.

    @ #71: “I liked this movie/experiment. The riffing is steady, not dull and downbeat, it’s the first MST3K episode with a short in it, and the movie practically riffs itself, so I’m glad they did it.”

    I couldn’t have said it better or more succinctly myself. It’s great light entertainment, the movie is funny by itself, the riffing makes it all the more amusing. The jokes during Radar Men From The Moon always cracked me up.

    Maybe whether or not people like this episode of MST3K is largely to a degree based on when they started watching the show. In other words, if you started out in the first season or two, then you enjoyed this a lot, but if you came in at season three or later the show was so much more advanced by then that one’s expectations were set so differently that these earlier shows seem too slow to enjoy. We were lucky enough to get Comedy Channel during MST3K season two and so were seeing season one episodes in rerun mixed in with newer season two shows. Getting hooked on the show fairly quickly meant we were just glad to see any episode we hadn’t seen before and it took us a bit to find out what was going on with the two different looks of the show, which ones were newer, etc. To this day I still enjoy season one for what it is, though I’ll agree that the show took off to a whole new level of creativity in season two.


  • 78
    Matthew Shine says:

    Call me crazy, but this is one of my favorite episodes of Season 1 and even the show. I guess I’m a sucker for REALLY bad Mexican “horror”.
    Commander Cody’s debut and the movie itself is funny in its badness. It’s worth watching the episode just to see the titular “robot” in all it’s glory. I never was too fond of the demon dogs, but it’s nice to see the first overarching theme host segments.

    Favorite riffs:
    I’ve had the time of my life and I’m waiting for the knive to fall.
    The constant “This would be a great mini-golf course!” riffs.
    My shorts are never boring.
    Nipple nipple, tweak tweak, FLY!
    The table is a better actor than everyone else in this movie!


  • 79
    Fart Bargo says:

    @ 78, You’re crazy and so am I!


  • 80
    losingmydignity says:

    Sorry, spaced out a lot during this one, though it had a few enjoyable moments.
    The highlight was really the Cody short. I thought they had the best riffs there and it is enjoyable/goofy.
    Is it me or does Josh seems to get the best riffs here? Or is his delivery just working better? A couple of times early in the ep he really makes Joel laugh and I enjoyed that…(I’m listening on some bad ass Bose headphones these days so I catch things like that).

    The flying effects are really well done in the Cody short. Much better than today’s CGI.

    An example I think of how the riffing changed: during the Cody short when they cut to the aliens’ place they riff: “Hey, it looks like a chess set.” In later seasons they would have given the joke more layers, something like having one of the aliens in a funny voice say: “Checkmate!” and if possible used the name of a famous chess player or some other layer. Most of the jokes at this point have one layer and are of the “look it’s a chess set” variety.


  • 81
    Lee S. says:

    #69 “Jim Henson’s (fill in the blank) babies” is exactly the joke I had in mind! Where can I find this thread?


  • 82
    crowschmo says:

    This one was kind of dull. I—really don’t have much to say on it.

    I HATE movies where all they do is TELL you what happened in a flashback or in a voice over; you see everyone’s fine. Just show it in real time, jerks. There’s no drama or suspense to what happened BEFORE and you see everyone that was involved is sitting there and okay. Did she die? Oh, wait…she’s right THERE. Then to learn it happened FIVE YEARS AGO?!!! How stupid.

    Sure, there’s the possibility that something sinister is forthcoming, but by then the movie’s almost over.

    Not much funny stuff in this one, the demon dogs weren’t anything to write home about.

    Some lines that got a slight chuckle:

    (Commando Cody short)Servo: “Eat lead, space pansy.”


    (“You know, we’re the first people to break in here.”) Crow: “The other people used the DOOR.”

    Crow: “Every good laboratory has a pit full of rattlers.” (yeah – WTF was THAT about???)

    Crow: “Floyd’s a good barber, but not a very good detective.”

    #41 Flying Saucers over Oz: I thought that was a hand in front of the camera as well, but I think it was a couple of demon dogs waved in front of the lens to indicate that they were all over the ship.


  • 83
    crowschmo says:

    How the heck did a winky smiley face end up in my previous post? I hit the parenthesis key.


  • 84
    Creeping Terror says:


    It was the weekend discussion thread on April 11, 2009. You can view it here:

    Looking at the old comments, it seems I wasn’t the only one who hates that joke.


  • 85
    Sitting Duck says:

    It would be great if Rifftrax or Cinematic Titantic were to do the Commando Cody serial in its entirety. If the Wikipedia entry is accurate, it’s in the public domain, so there shouldn’t be any legal hassles.


  • 86
    finniasjones says:

    @ #83: “How the heck did a winky smiley face end up in my previous post? I hit the parenthesis key.”

    The combination of quote [“] and close parentheses [)] creates a “) . This has been going on ever since Sampo upgraded to the new batch of Emoticons. To avoid this I’ve started putting an extra space between them (“like this” ). And always preview your posts!


  • 87
    Sharktopus says:

    I’m not a big user of emoticons, but shouldn’t a wink be a semicolon and closed parenthesis? Let’s see what that makes… Wink Huh. Same thing. Weird. Y’know, it kinda looks like Jack Elam from Girl In Lovers’ Lane.


  • 88
    Kali says:

    Cinematic Titanic should do “Zombies of the Stratosphere” instead. Not only does it have Leonard Nimoy as one of the alien “zombies,” nearly ALL of the “special effects” came from earlier serials. That’s why the main alien wears that costume – so they can steal from “Radar Men,” which itself stole from something else, which probably stole from something else, ad infinitum. (CROW: “Window! Window! Boy, that was close!” )

    Thanks, Republic.


  • 89
    Lee S. says:

    I was dreading watching this, after reading all the negative comments. It’s really not a bad show. It had more laugh-out-loud moments for me than some episodes from the good seasons (although about 90% of the humor comes from the short). Still, it’s frustrating when crazy things are happening on screen and Joel and the Bots are silent.

    The host segments are also pretty good, despite the dodgy production values, and outperform the sketches in some later episodes I could name. I’ve noticed that the Best Brains love dog jokes, and go to them at the slightest provocation. They get some good ones out here. The Demon Dogs kind of remind me of the Wirrrn on “Doctor Who.”

    Now I’ve got a couple questions for the more experienced fans:
    -Was the Satellite of Love designed to look like a bone just for the sake of a joke in this episode?
    -Are the Demon Dogs a remake of a KTMA sketch? I noticed this clip in the original opening credits:
    -What’s going on with the silhouettes in this episode? They look like they were stretched vertically. Crow looks really weird, but that’s already been explained. Is it just me, or does his body here look like a Terminator endoskeleton?

    Favorite riffs:
    “You know, I could make it in half the time if I has a straight-edge.”
    “He’s wearing a smoking jacket, you guys.”
    “Oh my God, he’s torn apart the Michelin Man!”

    Favorite line from the host segments:
    “Lorne Greene?”

    #88 Don’t forget that “Zombies of the Stratosphere” uses one of the robot costumes from “Undersea Kingdom.”


  • 90
    finniasjones says:

    Lee S. @ #89: “Was the Satellite of Love designed to look like a bone just for the sake of a joke in this episode?”

    No, it’s a riff on Kubrick’s 2001. The smash-cut from the ape throwing a bone in the air to a spaceship floating above the Earth. Do a YouTube search for “?2001 – A Space Odyssey (1968) – Best Cut in the History of Cinema?” and you’ll find it.


  • 91
    jjb3k says:

    Oh man, this one hurts. The movie is a slog and a half, and it comes with some of the weakest riffing ever – in Season 1, the Brains had a really bad habit of beating jokes to death through repetition. That Jerry Lewis thing in the cemetery just goes on forever. And this was the first episode they aired on the Comedy Channel? Not exactly a good first impression.

    I will say this, though, Erhardt and Forrester getting beaned with a battering ram always makes me guffaw.

    The Commando Cody serial is in much better shape than most of the movies shown this season – the picture and sound are way clearer. Which means somebody actually thought this stinker of a twelve-parter was worthy of preservation. Sure, half of The Magnificent Ambersons is lost forever, and it took them an eternity to dig up a complete version of Metropolis, but at least Pumpkin Boy and his nipple-tweaking rocket pack will be around for centuries.

    I can forgive the Brains for the mouth covering up joke. They had this shiny new shadowrama that was way bigger than the one on KTMA and they wanted to play around with it. I can’t, however, excuse the urinating sound effect joke. That’s just stupid.

    The one saving grace in this episode is the Demon Dogs. There’s some pretty funny stuff in the host segments (“Who’s bad?” “Tom Servo.”), even though the special effects are some of the worst in the show’s history, and that’s saying something. Watch closely at how many Demon Dogs get their heads knocked off in the final segment.

    Still, it’s one of the toughest episodes to endure. As Crow so astutely puts it, “This is the kind of movie you don’t put on pause when you leave the room,” and boy howdy, is he right. I still can’t believe this one resurfaced in 1995 as one of the Season 1 episodes the Brains actually wanted to show the world again.


  • 92
    JohnnyRyde says:

    Ah, didn’t realize these were starting up again. I’ll have to go back and watch 101 and 102 now. 101 I like… This one… That’ll be tougher to get through.


  • 93
    Sitting Duck says:

    The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy passes the Bechdel Test, but just barely. Flora and her daughter talk to each other about the former’s sleepwalking.

    Again, no buttons on the table.

    But they do have sirens this time around.

    Seeing as how Rifftrax has been revisiting MST3K titles along with the success of the Batman serial, perhaps they could take another crack at Commando Cody. The one potential issue for doing that would be coming up with opening credit riffs. It wasn’t just their riffing inexperience during the first season that resulted in the opening credits being a slog. In the Batman serial, they have some visuals to work with where they first have Batman and Robin running towards the screen and dissolving to them cruising around in the Loanermobile. In Commando Cody, all they have are the credits with nothing else intersting happening.

    When Ted suggests the possibility that Moon Men may have created an atomic ray, I’m surprised Joel and the Bots didn’t riff, “SHUT UP!”

    Trace hasn’t fully gotten the hang of theater puppeting, as there are several moments where we hear Crow speak but his mouth doesn’t move.

    The bit where one of the cops says, “I hope this thing… works all right,” was kind of weird. It’s like something you’d get in a shoddy dub of a Japanese film.

    The movie claims to be based on real events. At best, I imagine it’s something along the lines of The Exorcist, where there is a real but poorly documented event that served as inspiration for the story.

    It’s kind of hard to see, but the demon dog enters the theater right after Krupp is killed.

    Favorite riffs

    There’s always a boring short.
    My shorts are never boring.

    “I suppose you’ll be wanting this.”
    Yes, and I’ll take the gun, too.

    Why do they hate trains so much?
    It’s not so much that they hate trains, they hate what they stand for.

    Here, sit in my seat. I want to play with your stuff.

    You know, I’d be able to make it in half the time if I had a straight edge.

    “Mind telling me why your men are carrying out that campaign of destruction on Earth?”
    It’s an election year.

    “How far can the human mind penetrate the mysteries of the great beyond?”
    Thirteen feet, four inches, 1920 Olympics.

    “My theory was made the subject of ridicule, and I left the convention bitter and defeated.”
    Same as always.

    Let’s see, now what can we do with her hair? Well, we could give her a swinging bob, or… Oh she’s scheduled to die. Just give her a blow dry and a rinse.

    “No Edward, don’t do it!”
    Do it, Edward, do it!

    Every good laboratory has a pit full of rattlers.

    Bruno, stop letting hate run your life.

    “These are new slippers, I just bought them. And now they’re dirty.”
    And so are you!

    You can’t even act yourself out of a paper bag. You’ll never work in Coral Gables again!

    “Now I’ll tell you why I called you here tonight, gentlemen. Because you are both scientists.”
    And you like boring stuff.

    Once that robot gets into gear, you’re really going to see him kick some Aztec.


  • 94
    Bruce Boxliker says:

    ‘How can you look me in the bubble and say that?’

    Ah, Commando Cody. I loved all the rocket-man serials. Thanks to Netflix I was able to watch the rest of this one, and (Spoilers!) Cody wins!
    The movie… it’s one of those movies that just sits on your head. But, since the movie has so little substance, it doesn’t hurt & you sometimes might even forget it’s there.

    And remember, Immolation is the sincerest form of flattery.


  • 95
    Kansas says:

    I can’t help but notice a similarity between the demise of “Juan Valdez” in the graveyard and the last of Torgo in Manos. Graveyard guy is touched by the radioactive robot and runs offscreen with smoke coming from his clothes, with The Bat in the foreground. In Manos, Togro runs offscreen with fire coming from his sleeve, while the Master laughs manically in the foreground. Since Jerry Warren and the Manos crew lived along the Mexican border and perhaps were familiar with Mexican TV and movies, I wonder if this was their inspiration.


  • 96
    Yipe Stripes says:

    i have never gotten through this ep without falling asleep…

    i’ve tried. i really have.


  • 97
    jjk says:

    I always liked the Aztec Mummy and Mexican wrestler movies from Churobusco Azteca Studios. They are the Ed Wood movies of Mexico. Commander USA used to show these on Saturday afternoons on the USA network.


  • 98
    pondoscp says:

    Rewatched this one last week. Much funnier than I remembered, especially the Cody part. An overall better episode than 101. I’d rather watch this than any of the Ks again.


  • 99
    Cornjob says:

    “They gauged out his eyes, buried him alive and put a curse on his soul”

    “And then things got bad”



  • 100
    thequietman says:


    I noticed this time around the words “A Re-release” on the main title card of the serial. It’s almost imperceptible as the theater seats and Servo cover much of it. So maybe it’s not so much a case of ‘selected for preservation’ as much as it was reprinted at some point (goodness knows why), so more copies had a chance to survive in good condition. On the other hand, that didn’t prevent the film break a few episodes later…

    And I agree about the shame of not having the complete, original “Magnificent Ambersons”!

    Anyway, I watched this again because having discovered this weekly retrospective after it had already reached the Sci-Fi era I’m going to follow along and watch as many episodes in chronological order as I can.

    Fave riffs, from the short:
    (Thugs shoot at Cody with pistols)
    Crow: Why don’t they use the RAY GUN?
    (Thugs run out of ammo, run off)
    Joel: Why don’t they take the TRUCK?
    Servo: Yes, it’s a good idea to run off into the desert with no provisions…


  • 101
    Cornjob says:

    The short definitely outshone the movie here. Aside from Robot Monster, the Commando Cody shorts are to me the high points of Season One. The fair playing thugs who hate what trains stand for and abandon a working truck with a death ray mounted on it to run off into the desert with no provisions while wearing black suits. Trashcan Head in a leather jacket with his butt on fire. The Moon men who launch an invasion because “its an election year”. And I am most curious what a “usual” amount of atomic activity on the moon would consist of, and how worried I should be about it. Time to put out our butt fires before they become groin fires.


  • 102
    Mnenoch says:

    The short is pretty fun although it’s very silly but I guess that makes the guys riffing it even more fun. This movie is nuts, the editing is just mind boggling bad, the same footage over and over again. The fight at the end is just awful.