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Episode guide: 108- The Slime People (with short: Radar Men from the Moon, Chapter 6: ‘Hills of Death’)

Short: (1951) Krog sends the thugs to bomb a volcano, which causes widespread flooding, for some reason. Cody tracks the thugs to a diner, where a fight ensues and Ted is kidnapped. He soon escapes and Cody is after them again.
Movie: (1964) A sportscaster/pilot flies into Los Angeles and finds it deserted. He soon learns that reptilian monsters from beneath the Earth have conquered the city. With the help of a scientist, his two daughters and a marine, he mounts a counter-offensive.

First shown: 12/30/89 (unconfirmed)
Opening: Joel and Tom are sleepy, but Crow is a morning bot; Joel explains the premise again
Invention exchange: Joel is playing three-card monty with the bots when the mads call. His invention is cartoon eyeglasses; theirs is screaming cotton candy
Host segment 1: Crow and Tom take Commando Cody to reality court
Host segment 2: J&tB discuss how dumb the movie is, and suggest ways to make it better
Host segment 3: Inspired by the movie, the Bots fill the SOL with smoke
End: Joel bakes a pie, letter, the Mads are sarcastically happy
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (97 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5)

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• I’m not sure this one quite adds up to the sum of its parts. The riffing is about average for season one. The short, well, as you’ve been saying, Commando Cody is wearing thin. And then there’s the talky, foggy, completely nonsensical movie. I’d put this in the good-not-great column.
References.
• This episode is included in Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXVII.
• This is the first episode in which they add a blue tint to a black-and-white movie, presumably to help shadowrama be more visible. It’s a practice that will continue into the fourth season. The previous time around, I said I couldn’t see it. But now that I am looking for it, it’s clear as day and I can’t imagine how I could have missed it. As one of the commenters noted, just look at the frame grabs at the top of the page, fer cryin’ out loud. The blue tint is obvious. Amazing.
• Joel is again in a robe (and so is Tom). They were going with the flow of a Saturday morning show.
• Joel calls Tom Servo “Crow” and Servo corrects him.
• Joel calls the Mads “quasi-evil.” Hmm.
• Again, both inventions are props from Joel’s standup act.
• The theater seats are black again and they stay that way, I believe, thanks to the blue tint.
• Crow and Joel again duck out of the way so people can read the text at the beginning of the short. Again, Tom doesn’t bother.
• Segment 1 is pretty much a continuation of the segment from the previous show where they again rail against the absurdity of the way Cody’s rocket belt supposedly works.
• Segments 2 and 3 do a good job of summing up most of what’s wrong with this stooopid movie. One thing they missed: The opening few minutes, with our hero flying in to L.A., do not in any way suggest that he is flying close to the surface of the ocean, which the characters later insist he MUST have done. Our hero also says he “came through something rough.” Again, the scene in which he approaching the airport in his plane does not show this at all.
• Joel does the “Love-ly…love-ly” riff for the second week in a row.
• One thing about first season episodes is that they seemed to be following the movie more closely than they would be in later seasons. At least Josh was. At one point in this episode, Servo points out: “Why are the guys carrying guns? They have no effect on the Slime People! We know that!” Leaving aside the fact that it’s a major state park riff, it’s hard to imagine that kind of a plot-intensive riff in later seasons.
• No Tom Servo in the closing segment.
• One of the dumbest lines of dialog ever: “Now, we’ve always known that there are fish in the ocean, haven’t we?”
• Stinger suggestion: The drunk looter in the theater.
• Cast and crew roundup: Producer ?Joseph F. Robertson also produced “The Crawling Hand” and “Agent For H.A.R.M.” Cinematographer William Troiano also worked on “Wild, Wild World of Batwoman.” Special effects guy Charles Duncan also worked on “The Crawling Hand” and “The Phantom Planet.” Sound Mixer Rod Sutton also worked on :Hangar 18,” “King Dinosaur” and “It Lives By Night.” In front of the camera, John Close was in “Beginning of the End” and “The Deadly Mantis.” Blair Robertson was also in “Agent for H.A.R.M.” Bob Herron was also in “Mole People.” Jock Putnam was also in “The Crawling Hand.” (106)
• CreditsWatch: Melanie Hartley was an additional production assistants and Jim Erickson was, again, the additional production staff.
• Fave riff from the short: “Come and get me! I’m a fuzzy little rabbit! I’m bring bad!” Honorable mention: “Hip? Not! Ick!”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Honestly, Bonnie, the slime you bring home.” Honorable mention: “What it is, Dr. Bro?!”

63 Replies to “Episode guide: 108- The Slime People (with short: Radar Men from the Moon, Chapter 6: ‘Hills of Death’)”

  1. Bruce Boxliker says:

    ‘They’re short-order crooks!’

    I stand by my devotion to Cody. Cody forever! Though, yes, the physics of his rocket suit make no sense whatsoever (Though the flying effects look really good). In fact, in this episode, there’s a point when he’s flying, and looking around. He looks down, bending his back, and thus moving the rocket backpack, but he didn’t go into an uncontrollable spin & crash.

    I remember watching my DAP copy of this episode, and the fog scenes were just walls of light-gray light. Couldn’t see anything whatsoever. Now with the DVD release, I can vaguely make out people shuffling around! Thank you, Shout Factory!
    I actually really like Slime People, and would probably watch it un-riffed. Hey, if a race of mucous-covered creatures wanted to run all the even more horrible people out of hollywood, I’m all for it. Plus 3 POUNDS of bacon for $1?!

    @10 – As for the slime people’s spears – the spear is the most basic of weapons. It’s just a stick with sharp pointy thing on the end. And who said the spears are actually metal? They could be solidified slime person ….waste.

    For the gaming crowd here, do the slime people look like the inspiration for the Krogan from Mass Effect, or is it just me?

       1 likes

  2. jjb3k says:

    I can see the show starting to settle into its groove with this episode. And it’s evident right from the beginning, where instead of Joel just standing on the bridge alone doing the same “I’m part of an experiment and now so are you” spiel, they actually write a skit with actual jokes in it.

    Were all the Season 1 invention exchanges just recycled props from Joel’s stand up act? There’s a commercial for one of Joel’s performances on one of my KTMA episodes, and both of this episode’s inventions are in it.

    All the Commando Cody installments after episode three or so just blur together randomly in my mind. I have no clue what happens in this one. But let me guess, Pumpkin Boy flies around a lot and several gray guys in boxy suits beat each other up. Was I close?

    Why does Joel have a hammer in the trial sketch? I guess gavels are hard to get your hands on if you’re not a judge.

    “Now we’ve always known there were fish in the ocean.”
    “Oh, that’s a little far-fetched…”
    Finally, the first riff of Season 1 to literally make me laugh out loud.

    And hey, they score another gut-buster just a few minutes later! One guy describes the slime monsters as being “large…huge…” and Servo chimes in with “Big, almost.” Josh’s sarcastic read is perfect for that.

    This is the episode where the Brains finally solved the shadowrama problem by tinting the black and white movies blue, so the silhouettes wouldn’t disappear into the darker parts of the picture. It’d continue into Season 4, but they always seemed to crank up the hue to different levels from episode to episode. Ring of Terror and It Conquered the World in particular are two of the bluest episodes ever.

    “A marine who says ‘gee whiz’. What’s he gonna do, storm the Cunningham house?” My god, this is one corny movie. I like how Servo is one step ahead of the idiotic script when he identifies sodium chloride as “ordinary table salt” moments before the movie treats it like some breathtaking reveal.

    The bots filling the bridge with fog seems like the set up for a fun segment…but then it turns into another “let’s just stand here and point out the movie’s plot holes” skit that they loved to do in Season 1. We already had two in this episode; did we really need a third?

    Jesus, you seriously can’t see anything for the last fifteen minutes of this movie. Reminds me of a riff from Pod People that I use all the time in real life: “Not even the movie The Fog had this much fog in it.”

    Nice to see the Brains finally fixed Gypsy’s squeaky jaw. Now they just need to figure out how to have her and Tom Servo on set at the same time.

       0 likes

  3. senorpogo says:

    I’ve been waiting for this one!

    The dark haired girl is Susan Hart who gained some fame as an actress in the 60’s as a bikini-clad beauty in a number of beach movies produced by American International Picture. She ended up marrying James H. Nicholson, president of AIP and partner to Samuel Z. Arkoff (two names MSTies are probably familar with). After Nicholson’s death (and some legal wrangling), Hart ended up as owner of a number of AIP films, most notably for MST fans: It Conquered the World, I was a Teenage Werewolf, The Eye Creatures, The Amazing Colossal Man, and Terror from the Year 5000… none of which have ever been made available on DVD (though I think TACM was on VHS for a short period of time).

    Over the years, Ms. Hart has earned a reputation for being quite litigious, regularly going to court to defend her properties. Many in the cult movie community speak of her as a villain, though in the interviews and articles that I have come across she seems a sincere woman just interested in protecting her rights and the movies her husband help create. (Your mileage may vary.) Regardless, Ms. Hart is undoubtedly a main hurdle in getting a few more episodes onto DVD.

       2 likes

  4. EricJ says:

    Sitting Duck:

    Favorite riffs
    Well Cal, you’ve been really worthless. A coward and a tower of Jell-O. Thanks for your help.

    Showing news footage in screening room
    Weinstein Servo: Hey, great, maybe there’ll be a Chilly Willy, or a Droopy cartoon!
    Newscaster appears on screen
    Crow: ….It’s Droopy.

    Slime people theatrically death-staggering
    “Oh, but that a man might–” (collapse!)
    “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a–” (collapse!)

       1 likes

  5. dafs says:

    The Servo quote about the guys carrying weapons immediately makes me think ahead to Prince of Space: “Your weapons are useless, but scare the crap out of me anyway.”

       1 likes

  6. Cornjob says:

    Can anyone tell me how to “disable scripts” to enable the right click functions on the mouse like copy and paste?

       4 likes

  7. thequietman says:

    A thought struck me as I watched this episode this week, during Cody’s umpteenth foiling of the crook’s plans: are the Moon Men only attacking this one chunk of California or is there a Commando Cody in France or the Soviet Union fighting lone Moon Men there too?

    Anyway, as for this movie, one thing I’ll say for it, the monster costumes didn’t look as dopey and slapped together as others we’ll see as the show goes on.

    Fave riff: “This is the human race. We’re not in at the moment. Please leave your message at the sound of the bomb!”

       0 likes

  8. senorpogo says:

    @57 – That’s a thought I regularly have when watching scifi stuff. Aliens never invade Eritrea.

       0 likes

  9. littleaimishboy says:

    Mashup:

    “You disgusting sliiiiime people!”

       1 likes

  10. Cornjob says:

    Always check yourself for ticks after walking in the woods. You could come down with slyme disease and turn into a foggy rock monster.

       2 likes

  11. Justin says:

    dafs:
    The Servo quote about the guys carrying weapons immediately makes me think ahead to Prince of Space: “Your weapons are useless, but scare the crap out of me anyway.”

    “Will you guys listen?! Your guns. Don’t. WORK!”
    “Allow me to reference my earlier codicil on how your weapons against me are without merit.”

       0 likes

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

    #54:

    IIRC, in Season Two’s Rocket Attack USA, Joel also mentioned Chilly Willy as something the Mads could send up that would make the movies at least a bit more bearable. So FWIW that was probably a Joel thing, not a Josh thing.

       1 likes

  13. mnenoch says:

    Another episode another CC short. This one contains on of the more laughable ideas about using a nuclear weapon and dropping it from a piper airplane. I actually kind of like this movie in that the acting isn’t completely horrible and the monster costumes aren’t that bad for a change. Of course the never ending fog throughout the movie and other plot holes make it ripe for riffing. If I’m not mistaken this and Horror At Party Beach came out near the same time. I wonder what it was with monsters coming out from the water/ground and having salt hurt them was such a big deal at the time? I really liked this one, the riffing and the skits are good and I’ll echo everyone else this feels much more like a regular MST3K episode.

       1 likes

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