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Sampo & Erhardt

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Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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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 (185 votes, average: 3.66 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! :-)
• 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 Replies 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.



    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. ;-)


  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. :-)

    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.



    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…


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