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

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RIP Juan Piquer Simon

MADRID–Juan Piquer Simon, a Spanish director and producer of “exploitation films,” for more than two decades, died here Friday, Jan. 7, from lung cancer. He was 74.
MSTies know him as the director and screenwriter for 1983’s “Los Nuevos Extraterrestres” the movie seen in episode 303- POD PEOPLE.
“I know I’ve worked in a manner and with a genre that critics do not appreciate much,” he said in an interview.
Thanks to for the news. Their site has a short bio. There’s a short item (in Spanish) here.

28 Replies to “RIP Juan Piquer Simon”

  1. ck says:

    Well, Los Nuevos Extraterrestres (a.k.a. Pod People) was certainly an
    “interesting” film, with more to discuss and with more of an
    effort to be different then, say, Lost Continent.

    What’s that (It stinks!”) Well, that’s a bit harsh. many virgins like it.


  2. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    I am saddened by this.

    Juan Piquer Simon directed one of my favorite horror films, the wonderfully absurd and shoddy PIECES, from 1982 (the year before Pod People). It’s a gore-tastic film, plenty of the red stuff, and it has one of the craziest WTF endings of all time. Admittedly, Pieces isn’t high cinema, although it is good cinema to watch while high.




  3. Chuck says:

    Your movies sucked.



  4. clonus says:

    I had no idea this was the same guy who directed PIECES, that movie is hilarious. And POD PEOPLE is a MST classic. RIP.


  5. Stephen says:

    I had a blast watching Slugs. RIP


  6. TrumpyCanDoMagicThings says:

    You could do magic things, J.P. Simon.



  7. pablum says:

    Pod People is still one of my all time favorite episodes. I’m glad he did “Los Nuevos Extraterrestres” so that FVI could chop it up and MST3K could riff on what remained.


  8. BIG61AL says:

    Thank you for giving us TRUMPY.


  9. Badgerfansam says:

    Trumpy NO! RIP


  10. ck says:

    Stop the Trumpy bashing madness. He can do magic!
    (Oh, and devour a whole family’s food supplies).
    Btw, without an apparent Port-a-potty, ever stop to
    think what was in that closet?


  11. losingmydignity says:

    Bless him, he thought your average American home has a fully stocked bar…


  12. Captain Cab says:

    Pod People was my first ever Joel episode so this is definitely a story of note for me.


  13. RockyJones says:

    Pod People was my life-changing introduction to MST3K. Fond memories. Thank you J.P. Simon. And I’d also just like to say…

    “Ninny on the road,
    Bees on pie,
    Burnin’ rubber tires!”



  14. Riley says:

    It stinks!


  15. Krepta says:

    I wish I really did have a Piquer Simon / Jack Gray signature ball.


  16. Mr. B(ob) says:

    Pod People is one of the finest episodes of the show ever thanks to the hilariously goofy movie. Highly entertaining from beginning to end. Bees on pie!

    Here’s a bit of trivia from J.P. Simon off of IMDB:
    Piquer once observed Leone while Leone was directing “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly.”

    Personally, I don’t think Mr. Simon got much from the experience!


  17. What an odd coincidence — my wife and I watched the MST3K episode of “Pod People” on Friday (it was just the next item in our rotation, skipping the Gamera films due to their impeding release).

    The overwhelming impression is that the movie is really, really boring and pointless, almost as if it were improvised as they went along (and now we’ll have this girl… um, die? With some sort of mark on her head that has nothing to do with anything?”)

    But the biggest issue with the film is the “monster” isn’t menacing at all, even though he can apparently kill people by merely pushing them out of the way. Apparently it never occurred to anyone involved in this film that a short, dumpy, pigheaded monster that waddled along wasn’t going to be scary in any shape, manner or form. I actually think the film might have worked if they kept the low-budget monster out of the film entirely, just having a shadowy presence (then again, it would have required a director with some talent).

    And, unfortunately, Joel and the bots aren’t very good on this one either, with the result that it’s not a very fun MST3K to watch. Once a year I am always reminded of how much I dislike this episode.


  18. Peter Yates, director of ‘Bullitt’ has died also. However, Steve McQueen and a kick-ass car chase don’t compare to lots of fog and a elephant nosed alien muppet.

    RIP Simon.


  19. ck says:

    Speaking of Bullitt… I rate that chase scene (especially considering
    it was done in 1968) about the best, certainly better then the overrated
    French Connection car/el chase). Also good is the layered and lonnnnng
    chase near the end of Dollars (Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, and Goldfinger
    in it).


  20. Invasion of the Neptune Man says:

    He’s getting colder and breakfast isn’t getting any warmer.

    Sorry couldn’t resist. RIP. he gave us a gift of a movie!


  21. magicvoice says:

    Pieces and Pod People are two of my “go to” movies when I need a good laugh.
    Stray thought – I wonder if he self-buried like Trumpy.


  22. Max Keller says:

    Today, the sack of monkeys in my pocket is much saddened. :(


  23. Steve Horton says:

    It had nothing to do with pods, nothing to do with people. and everything to do with HURTING. Thanks, Mr. Simon.


  24. lancecorbain says:

    One of my favorite all-time episodes….I guess everything has to come from somewhere, even a bizarre ET-rip off like Trumpy. It gave me one of my favorite jokes, “He died as he lived, with his mouth wide open.” As to the movie itself, I HAVE seen worse. I really have.


  25. ck says:


    Of course you have. , say, The Starfighters (When will
    something happen! – other then airplane refueling in air jokes- :) ).


  26. lancecorbain says:

    Oh lord yes, The Starfighters, MANOS, the entire Coleman Francis category,The Dead Talk Back, that horrible version of Hamlet they did,everything by Lippert, etc., and besides the MST movies, I remember telling my friend that I went to see Zombieland with to wake me up when there were zombies on the screen again. Seriously, I thought I was going to see an American comic-booky version of Sean Of The Dead, and nearly fell asleep in the middle of it. Whoa, ranting, sorry, I’ll stop now. And yes, Bill Murray is funny in ANYTHING he does. There, now no one can hate me.


  27. Gary C. says:

    that stinks!


  28. Tom says:

    Here’s my amateur translation of the obituary:

    While his death may not be mentioned alongside that of other cinematic greats, it won’t be the first time his films have been ignored.

    His ceremony will be discreet, much like the majority of his career.

    Director Juan Piquer age 74, died yesterday of lung cancer, which had afflicted him for years.

    The funeral will be an opportunity for Piquer’s children to come together. One of his daughters lives in Europe.

    Before Jaume Balaguero or Juan Antonio Bayone made their terror films, other directors made inroads into the genre, albeit less popular ones.

    Piquer stated there were rules to making “B” movies, and he followed those rules.

    “It’s work, in a way, but it’s work that critics don’t much appreciate” he once said in an interview.

    Piquer certainly garnered underground popularity, and in the eyes of some, could be considered a cult hero.

    He did win some small recognition – the most recent being an award at Mexico’s Cine Mórbido in December.

    He began his career on a different path – as a liberal filmmaker, which included directing the blacklisted documentary “Violent Spain”, which detailed the horrors of the Civil War.

    Among his commercial successes was “A Thousand Screams in the Night” (1981), which garnered some box-office success in the United States, and “Slugs, Slimy Death” (1988), which he said was his most embarrassing effort to date.


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