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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives

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. 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.


  2. 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.”


  3. 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… ;^) )


  4. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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?


  7. 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.


  8. Sharktopus says:

    Go Team Venture!


  9. 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.


  10. 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.


  11. 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… ;)

    #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…


  12. 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.


  13. TheDON3k says:

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


  14. 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.


  15. 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.


  16. 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.


  17. 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…


  18. 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.


  19. 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.


  20. 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.


  21. 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.


  22. 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…


  23. 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.


  24. 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.


  25. 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.


  26. 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!”


  27. 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.


  28. 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!


  29. Fart Bargo says:

    @ 78, You’re crazy and so am I!


  30. 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.


  31. 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?


  32. 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.


  33. crowschmo says:

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


  34. 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.


  35. 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.


  36. 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!


  37. 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… ;) Huh. Same thing. Weird. Y’know, it kinda looks like Jack Elam from Girl In Lovers’ Lane.


  38. 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.


  39. 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.”


  40. 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.


  41. 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.


  42. 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.


  43. 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.


  44. 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.


  45. 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.


  46. Yipe Stripes says:

    i have never gotten through this ep without falling asleep…

    i’ve tried. i really have.


  47. 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.


  48. 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.


  49. Cornjob says:

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

    “And then things got bad”



  50. 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…


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