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Sampo & Erhardt

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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 110- Robot Holocaust (with short: Radar Men From The Moon–Episode 9, Battle in the Stratosphere)

Short: (1951) Cody and Ted escape the pursuing moon men and make it back to the ship. They blast off and … the film breaks.
Movie: (1986) In a post-apocalyptic future that looks a lot like Central Park, the cruel Valaria is the chief henchwoman of the all-powerful Dark One. But a rag-tag band of rebels is determined to overthrow them.

First shown: 1/13/90 (unconfirmed)
Opening: Joel sings the human blues
Invention exchange: Joel demos his “nitro-burning funny pipe”; The Mads have invented the stocking mask of the future
Host segment 1: Crow and Tom, in the “We Zone,” make Joel do tricks
Host segment 2: Cambot’s sitcom simulator malfunctions
Host segment 3: J&TB play Robot Holocaust, but Crow and Joel aren’t having fun
End: Joel announces the “name the plant guy in the movie” contest and reads a letter
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (92 votes, average: 4.34 out of 5)

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• It’s clear that, in 1994, Best Brains thought this is one of the better episodes of season one; it was the one of the ones they chose to show at the first Conventio-con, despite the fact that in general they were down on season 1 at that time. And it was a good choice. The movie is bizarre and it’s in color. The riffing is very strong for season one. The host segments are nothing to write home about, but they’re not terrible either. All in all, lots of fun. And the line “It was after the apocalypse…” became a catchphrase.
• The puppetry mechanism connected to Crow’s jaw seems extra noticeable this week. Also, Crow seems to be clacking a lot this episode.
• Another open flame in the invention exchange this week.
• The “SM of F” looks like something from Joel’s standup act, but I’m not sure. I think the “funny pipe” is new.
• Another use of “By this time, my lungs were aching for air.”
• The whole “the film broke” thing serves as our farewell to the “Radar Men from the Moon” series. I assume they discovered that the full short and movie together were a few minutes too long, so they decided to cut the short to the length needed. I don’t really care that much, but it seems like there’s a really long closing credit sequence at the end of the movie, where the riffs are a little thin, that might have been cut back instead. In the ACEG, Kevin also says they were sick of “Radar Men” by this point, so that may be the reason why the short got short shrift, as it were.
• Also note: They cut the entire opening credits for the short, which, of course, we’ve already seen eight times. (Hence the episode title screen instead of the main short title screen above.) I don’t blame them. YOU try to come up with nine sets of jokes for the same three minutes of footage. Eight was enough!
• After the film breaks Joel gets up from his seat and walks back to Cambot to investigate, giving us a rare sense of the empty space between the camera and the seat backs.
• For those who care, the Wikia page for this episode kindly provides a brief summary of what happens in the remaining installments:

“After Krog repeatedly fails to kill Cody, Retik comes to Earth so he can defeat Cody personally and oversee the plan to invade Earth. Krog’s henchmen almost kill Cody’s pals, but the bad guys are caught and arrested. Cody convinces the police to release the criminals so he can follow them to their secret hideout. Cody storms the villains’ HQ, and eventually kills Krog and his two henchmen. Afraid of being caught, Retik takes off in his rocket ship. Cody uses Retik’s own giant ray gun to shoot at the departing rocket, destroying Retik and his plans to invade Earth.”

• Joel does a turtle impression in the theater. Silly.
• Recognize that music during the opening and closing credits of the movie? It’s the same music used in “Laserblast” and several other Charles Band films (Band was the uncredited executive producer and the music is by his brother Richard).
• I’m somewhat amazed that Daddy-O didn’t know this one: director Tim Kincaid (born Tim Gambiani) is also known as Joe Gage, a name he used as a gay porn movie director (and he is apparently a well-regarded one at that). A LOT of stuff in this movie starts to make sense when you know that. Fangoria has an interview with him here, though he doesn’t discuss “Robot Holocaust” very much in it.
• Joel guesses that a particular shot was done in Central Park. He may be right. The IMDB says the locations were shot there, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Roosevelt Island.
• I just want to note a weird coincidence. In this movie there’s an evil robot named Torque, aka “Crusty.” “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” has a robot named Torg. Then there’s the evil henchman named TORGo… Then there’s TOR Johnson… I think there’s a lingusitics masters thesis in there somewhere.
• Segment 1 should probably have been shown later in the episode. We have no idea why Tom and Crow are dressed in furs and talking about the “We Zone” until later in the movie when we meet women in furs talking about the “She Zone.”
• I do enjoy Joel’s “crazy duck face,” but it’s too bad we don’t get to see “snow storm in China,” which reportedly is a stunning magic trick involving lots of confetti.
• “I kinda miss Earth, you guys.” Poor horny Joel.
• This movie makes the classic mistake of not letting us know ANYTHING about the protagonists, in an attempt to create a sense of mystery, I suppose. The result is that when our hero from the wastelands is battling Torque in the climax of the movie, we feel nothing. Even that stupid robot is a more sympathetic character.
• Crow’s never heard of George Clinton? What is he, a Gramercy Pictures executive?
• In the letter Joel reads, the little kid says his favorite riff is: “He’s out of bang bang.” Everybody draws a blank. I remember it. It was in a “Radar Men from the Moon” episode, when one of the characters’ gun jammed.
• It’s in this episode the we get the famous explanation as to why Servo wants Joel to carry him into and out of the theater (although over the years he made it in and out himself lots of times). As they leave the theater at the end of the movie, Servo says, “Hey Joel, you gotta come lift me over this heating grid.” It isn’t mentioned again until Mike’s first episode, when Crow refers to it as an “air grate.”
As explained in the FAQ, the off-screen reason why they had to do this is: “When they entered the theater, Joel/Mike could walk in, and Trace/Bill could slide over with Crow from the right, but Josh/Kevin had to be already sitting in Tom Servo’s spot. So Joel/Mike had to carry Tom Servo in and hand him to Josh/Kevin, and carry him out at the end.” It does seem like Josh is crawling in with Servo in some of the KTMA eps, so it’s unclear when they decided this would be the procedure. I’ll try to remember to ask ‘em at some point.
• The winner of the “Name the plant guy” contest was announced in episode 104- WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET.
• Fave riff from the short: “Taste my steel, Jughead!”
• Fave riff: “I think somebody’s forgettin’ who’s holdin’ the pink slip, little lady!” Honorable mention: “Where IS the room of questions?”

57 comments to Episode guide: 110- Robot Holocaust (with short: Radar Men From The Moon–Episode 9, Battle in the Stratosphere)

  • 1
    Dan in WI says:

    It’s been a couple weeks but here again Joel feels the need to explain the premise of the show. It does get old but I suppose it’s not a bad idea since they are conceivably gaining new audience members in these early days.

    Hey where was the “Thank you” from the Mads?

    Well so long to Cody. Even though I’m sick of it, I still feel compelled to go looking for the rest of it on You Tube this weekend. I wonder what that says about me?

    Our first color movie (ignoring #104 for obvious reasons) of the national run! Unfortunately it is an uncomprehensible piece of garbage. I mean this movie only makes slightly more sense than Humanoid Woman. I’d say it was nothing more than random “dangers” but that implies there was some suspense created during the confrontation of these “dangers” but there wasn’t. I just couldn’t even begin to care. For my money this is one of the films they couldn’t save even with season 4 quality riffs.

    But this movie does give us our first recurring character: plant guy.

    Favorite Riffs:

    A colorfully face-painted warrior woman appears on screen: “David Lee Roth” (See really did look like the cover of “Eat ‘Em and Smile.)

    The group is walking through some tunnels: “Hello Cleveland.” (I love Spinal Tap!)

       0 likes

  • 2
    Matt Sandwich says:

    The first truly great episode? I think it is in my book. The most recent movie we’d see until the sci-fi years, and one of the cheesiest they’d ever do. I don’t know, somehow contemporaryish grade-Z sci-fi was much more satisfying than decades-old grade-Z sci-fi. Commando Cody gets the ignominious sendoff he deserves (though I’ve grown to appreciate the ‘film broke’ gag, it was still pretty jarring), and it would be a long time until what was the mystery of the Name the Plant Guy contest was resolved.

    Also for a long time, this was one of a very few Season One episodes I would see, and the only one I had on tape in the day, since it was shown on what I think was Comedy Central’s first Turkey Day marathon (which had me setting my alarm for 3 a.m. or so to switch tapes).

    And another funny memory: this was the first episode I loaned out. A friend with a fondness for bad movies recognized the director’s name (or was it the writer or the producer?) as someone who knew Ed Wood. If I’m remembering that correctly. Anyway, he was actually one of those who found the riffing to be an unwelcome distraction. I’m still disappointed in him some twenty years later. Heh.

       0 likes

  • 3
    fathermushroom says:

    Oh Dan in WI, I am so with you on this one! I find this movie unbearable, and for me it’s a classic case of hating the movie so much that it keeps me from watching it for the riffs.

    The annoying sidekick robot is enough by itself. And Valeria is just more weird than sexy, to me. I’ve seen the cut nudie scene and it’s about as sexy as an anatomy diagram.

    I’ll give it yet another chance one day, and like all the other times, I’ll probably end up removing the disc and saying to myself, “Yep, that’s why I don’t watch this one much.”

       0 likes

  • 4
    Matt Sandwich says:

    Oh, and how could I forget Angelika Jager? They’d be referring to her awkward diction for a while (“the… Dog Wan?”), but what a fox. And according to IMDB this was her only acting role. I have a hard time believing she wasn’t in something that required less dialogue. And clothing. Yards of Leather, maybe.

       1 likes

  • 5
    Kenotic says:

    “Crow’s never heard of George Clinton? What is he, a Gramercy Pictures executive?”

    Zing!

    My assumption with the Commander Cody bits is that they were as dry as a dessert and the prints were never that good. It was probably an early excuse for an escape — they never tried serials that long again. Besides, educational shorts became far more fun to experience.

       0 likes

  • 6
    Matt Sandwich says:

    Oh, and Sampo, I think showing the film’s credits is a legal requirement. These days they just run them at high-speed, but obviously didn’t in this episode.

    And I’m glad I could reinforce Sampo’s Theorem so early in the thread!

       0 likes

  • 7
    BIG61AL says:

    Oh just thinking about that stupid looking plant guy makes me laugh. It always reminds of the plant guy from “lost in space” episode.

       0 likes

  • 8
    Kenotic says:

    Doh…Dessert = desert. Then again, some fruit cakes can be pretty moisture-free….

       0 likes

  • 9

    And if you want to actually see the rest of Radar Men, you can view/download all the unedited chapters from Archive.org:

    http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=Radar%20Men%20From%20the%20Moon%20AND%20mediatype%3Amovies

    There’s even a compiled version that takes out the repetitive intros after the first chapter:

    http://www.archive.org/details/PhotosbyHaroldRadarMenFromTheMoonAll12EpisodesCompiled

       0 likes

  • 10
    klisch says:

    I finally get closure on the Radar Men shorts. Now I can die happy. Thanks Sampo.

       0 likes

  • 11
    Colossus Prime says:

    Just last weekend I convinced a roomate and a friend that we should watch a bad sci-fi movie on Netflix. We came across something called Mutant Hunt that was writen/directed by Tim Kincaid. At the time I knew the name was familiar but I didn’t know why. Anyways, there’s a really, really, really bad “love” scene at one point in the movie and because of the way it was filmed I made a comment along the lines of, “Oh I get it. This is a porn director trying to make a real movie.” The next day I looked him up and saw that he directed Robot Holocaust and got a laugh that I recognized the name, then more of a laugh when I saw he indeed did/does direct porn.

       2 likes

  • 12
    hungry and a little confused says:

    I was really hopeful for this one. I really like the 80’s movies being riffed in later seasons. But this movie was awful, most of the time I couldn’t make out the characters dialogs, so many of the riffs playing of of that were lost on me. I was forced to watch it on youtube so I don’t know if it was the actual movie or just a not-so-good copy on youtube. As it is, I have to say this was my least favorite from season one. ( I give the first half of season one episodes a little leeway.)

       0 likes

  • 13
    Fart Bargo says:

    This one is in my ever changing top ten consistantly. It is certainly my favorite Josh episode. The “We Zone” tickles me to no end.

    Great movie for riffing. Valeria made her mark with the multiple prounciations she comes up with for the (I assume) Dark One;

    Dog Won, Dahk Vun, Dong Run, Dawd Hun, Dahn Wan, Dahnk Von…

    You could run a WE thread the variations she came up with.

       0 likes

  • 14

    (from Seinfeld, ep. 419)
    Sidra: And by the way, they’re real – and they’re spectacular.

    From the first time I saw this one, I was entranced by Angelika Jager as Valaria (the correct spelling).

    Her first line: Something is wrong, I can sense it.
    Servo: Must be cold in that room. (you can make out what he’s referring to much clearer in the online video)

    I figured she was a Penthouse model hired to do a cheap sci-fi flick because she was game for a topless scene. The edit is so obvious, I was sure there was more to it and indeed their is. It’s a scene I wish they could have riffed on, not because of her nudity but because of the silly dance-moves the (also naked) attendants make during the scene. The weird S&M club scene from Warrior of the Lost World comes to mind (as do the Space Mutiny gypsies): sad, erotic dances of the future. (@ 17:30 in the original, viewable for free at hulu.com)

    At the time, this was the most recent movie ever riffed on MST — and if you you discount the “produced much later” Women of the Prehistoric Planet episode, this was also the first color movie they did on the national cable channel stage. This being a 1986 film also means that there is a lengthy end credit sequence over which J&tB have a casual chat. We haven’t seen that for awhile.

    The movie is a cheap, impotent blend of apocalyptic sci-fi with the sword & sorcery genres so typical of the 80’s, obviously made to cash-in on current trends. My DAP copy has a prominent nasty hiss throughout which makes trying to make out the dialogue, half of which is already processed robot voices, very difficult. Add to mix the impenetrable accent of Valaria and you have a gratingly painful movie experience. The Mads’ should be proud. The online version has an MGM logo upfront and is crisp and clear as any real movie, revealing it’s handmade origins even more.

    • Joel riffs on Muddy Waters classic “I’m A Man” during the intro, then basically smokes a bowl, while referencing “Nitro Burning Funny Cars” by The Dead Milkmen.
    • The Cody short blasts along in a blur of action then suddenly ends. Good riddance.
    • Joel: Uh, you got a little… something on your mouth there. (variations on this riff will soon become a standard)
    • “Oh God, I need this job” and “Am I my resume?” are lines from the song “I Hope I Get It” from the movie/musical A Chorus Line.
    • Joel reprises the lyric, “Peeking through the knothole…” from Robot Monster which seems to be from an old camp song entitled “The Horses Run Around.”
    • As a former NYC native, I find the Central Park scenes very silly. They also appear on Roosevelt Island, a location we’ll revisit in Escape 2000.
    • Crow gets in a great Prince riff: Is that Wendy or Lisa?
    • Nyla: Men… they’re all useless AND crazy.
    • Servo: You know, you look familiar. Were you in Yards of Leather? (second time this fictional porn film has been mentioned on MST)
    • The sewage-worm sequence is hilarious. Crow: Whole movie’s just socks and violence.
    • Joel: Hey, don’t touch my hair – I work real hard on that hair. (a paraphrase of Travolta’s Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever)
    • The numerous references to This is Spinal Tap as our heroes navigate the bowels of the Power Station are apt.
    Servo: This film is rated “B” for Basement.
    • Valaria: Dark One, I assure you, they are all doomed.
    Joel: Ah, she must have studied at the Gabor Institute of Acting and Attitude.
    (this is the source of the oft misquoted line “You and your daughter are doomed” that will reappear later when Mike Nelson portrays Valaria in Season Two)
    • Joel: Lovely, lovely. (While V. is being electrocuted by the Dark One. A callback to a fairly obscure riff, previously noted by Monoceros4 when we discussed Robot Monster as coming from Hitchcock’s 1972 film Frenzy.
    • The bomb de-fusion scene is deadly slow and is the worst scene in a film already full of bad ones. But I liked all the references to mute muscle-man Kai as Ted Nugent.
    • (As the camera slowly pulls back from our busty erstwhile heroine) Joel: You know, I kinda miss earth, you guys.
    • Crow: Hey, that’s not half bad. It’s all bad.

    I am reluctantly awarding this 4 stars because I love the movie so much, but the nasty audio is a real detriment. I hope this gets an official release someday.

       0 likes

  • 15
    gulliver says:

    Thank you, fathermushroom (#3) … You restore my faith in humanity and my own well-being. I too have seen the cut scene that shows more of Angelika Jager and I’d wondered if there was something wrong with me. It’s about as sexy as the nude images on the Pioneer plaque.

       0 likes

  • 16
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    I remember seeing this one at ConventioCon I, and nearly jumping out of my seat and yelling, “Now I get it!” Having seen Valeria, I finally understood what Mike was trying for during his Hexfield appearance on “Rocketship X-M”.

    One riff they missed: whenever the Power Station is mentioned, either Crow or Servo should’ve starting singing, “Some like it hot and some sweat when the heat is on.” I can see them doing that until Joel either tells them, “That is the LAST time you can do that” or ripping off someone’s arm.

    Oh, and I saw the “Snowstorm in China” trick live and, yes, it is quite stunning.

       0 likes

  • 17
    Creepygirl says:

    I really like this episode. It’s probably my fave of Season 1. The riffing is really strong and the host segments are all fun in their own way. I think the movie probably looked really good on paper. Although with no budget and hammy/cheezy actors it becomes a crazy sidesplitting mess. This made ROBOT HOLOCAUST perfect for MST3K.

    I vote 4 stars out of 5.

       0 likes

  • 18
    Skiptastic says:

    “Valaria: Dark One, I assure you, they are all doomed.
    Joel: Ah, she must have studied at the Gabor Institute of Acting and Attitude.
    (this is the source of the oft misquoted line “You and your daughter are doomed” that will reappear later when Mike Nelson portrays Valaria in Season Two)”

    I always figured either they misheard or there was part of the movie that was edited out with that line, because I’ve watched this episode numerous times and NEVER heard it!

    My favorite episode of Season 1 by far. I will need to find the original of this one somewhere…because I’m a perv.

       0 likes

  • 19

    A bit of self-correction:
    “Whole movie’s just socks and violence.” (it’s actually Servo that says this)

    Highly recommend that Fangoria interview with the director Tim Kincaid that Sampo links to above. Seems like an intelligent guy. Watch out though if you visit his site “joegage.com” – it’s pretty NSFW (unless you work at a bath-house, I guess).

    Turns out that actress Jennifer Delora who plays Nyla, is clinically deaf. Her IMDB bio (supplied by herself) is pretty extensive.

       0 likes

  • 20

    “You and your daughter are doomed”

    It’s kind of a mash-up of various lines. She says, “your daughter…” a couple of times when the father is being tortured in the Room of Questions, then later the line “…they are all doomed.” Actually a clever bit of creative mis-remembering by Mike and the writers as it sums up the character into one catch-phrase.

       0 likes

  • 21
    Sampo says:

    Finnias: Thanks for the catch on the spelling of Valaria’s name. Now fixed.

       0 likes

  • 22
    monoceros4 says:

    I’ve only ever seen this from a terrible quality VHS copy, which makes the already muddy audio even worse. And Valaria makes even less sense. Robot Holocaust has this in common with the later Space Mutiny: the casts of both movies are forced to wander over and over through the same few locations, which in the case of Robot Holocaust look suspiciously like a local college’s steam tunnels.

    Valaria is so useless in this, isn’t she? All she does is stand around and repeatedly assure the Dahk Wan that “they are all dyooomed” while automatic (if pathetic) security measures do all the work. Oh, I guess she gets to flounce ineffectually around Jorn for a bit and “interrogate him”–that is, send him offscreen to be tortured by someone else. She can’t even turn rebel in any useful way. All the same, the movie is better and makes more sense than Aeon Flux.

    I’m really glad that MST3K eventually dropped the idea of riffing on serials, opting instead to fill out the episodes with educational shorts. If the endless repetitiveness of the Commando Cody material hastened this decision, it was all for the good.

       0 likes

  • 23
    Brandon says:

    My review from 2008:

    110- Robot Holocaust. W/ yet ANOTHER Commando Cody short.

    Movie Plot: Basically the film takes place in the future where humans are enslaved by the “Dark One”.

    Host segments
    Opening: Joel does a blues riff about his predicament
    Invention Exchange: Joel’s Nitro-Burning Funny Pipe. Dr. F’s ski masks that show expression.
    Segment #1: The bots re-enact the wrestling scene from the movie. They try to get Joel to do their bidding.
    Segment # 2: Cambot’s sitcom simulator is out of whack, and is producing canned laughter anytime J&TB speak, whether they make a joke or not.
    Segment #3: The bots do a sketch where they have taken over the earth, and Joel is their slave.
    Closing: J&TB present a “Name the Plant Guy” contest for fans. Then they read some fan mail.

    Memorable riffs from short:
    Joel: “Cody, don’t wear your jet pack in the house. What if that thing went off?”

    Crow: “Ron Howard pops the clutch and tells the moon to Eat my dust!”

    Memorable riffs from Movie:
    (“Joel Ornsteiner” appears on-screen)
    Servo: “Isn’t that you, Joel?”
    Joel: “Nah, it’s the other Joel. There’s two of us.”

    Joel: “I’m editing this.” (he places his hands over the topless guy’s nipples)

    Robot: “He speaks to me telepathically!”
    Servo: “Actually, it’s more telepathetically.”

    Servo: “I guess it’s a wasteland if you don’t count the big city behind you.”

    Valeria: “Do you wish to say anything?”
    Joel: “Yeah, do you know Elmer Fudd? How about Barbara Walters? Truman Capote? Daffy Duck?”

    Crow: “Now WHERE is that city?”
    Joel: “Uh, Queens is right there behind you.”

    Joel (imitating Valeria): “If you wewe a twee, what kind of twee would you be?”

    (an extra walks by in front of the camera, while two characters are talking)
    Joel: “Please cross BEHIND the actors! Do you mind?”

    Valeria: “You fool! You let them pass the gate! Do you know what you’ve done?”
    Crow: “Yeah, I let them pass the gate.”

    Fav. riff:
    Servo: “He’s the crawdaddy!”

    Comments
    -Joel makes a reference to the movie Robot Monster during his intro.

    -Crow’s mouth looks awkwardly crooked in this episode. Also, for some reason, Crow’s lower mouth has a thick wire connected to it, as opposed to the usual wire connext from his mouth to his neck. It has never been explained why Crow’s mouth piece was changed like this, but I’m speculating that Crow’s original mouth wire broke, and The Brains just weren’t able to fix it for the rest of the season, so they resorted to a more primative wire.

    -Gosh, were the Brains obsessed with flames? Hey, that rhymes. Anyway, we have ANOTHER episode that has an open flame during one of the sketches.

    -For some reason J&TB are dissapointed that the movie will be edited. Did they WANT to actually view the whole film regardless? Maybe they were expecting female nudity.

    -First of only two instances on MST3K where the film breaks.

    -J&TB constantly make fun of Valeria’s accent; stating they can’t understand what she’s saying. Personally I find the ribbing a little mean-spirited. And, she is pretty easy to understand. Plus, maybe it’s just me, but I find Valeria’s accent to be kinda sexy. But, then again, I am a freak.

    -I wonder just how long it took for the film’s screenwriter to come up with the name, “Vault of Heat.” My God…

    -Beany & Cecil reference: “Meanwhile, back at the basement…”

    -When J&TB leave the theater at the end, Servo mentions to Joel he needs to be carried over the heating grid. That explains why Servo can’t hover into the theater on his own…. supposedly…

    -The results of the “Name the Plant guy” contest are revealed in episode #104.

    Best segment: I liked Segment #3. Servo is so cute in his little fur costume.
    Worst segment: Segment #1 drags on and on, and has a lame pay-off.

    Overall: A well-done episode. They just keep getting better. One of the better Season 1 shows.
    Rating: ***

    Nice burn on Gramercy, Sampo!

    One additional comment I want to make is, when Joel goes back to investigate Cambot, does Joel walk up to Cambot on his knees? It certainly doesn’t look like he’s on his feet, or standing upright.

       0 likes

  • 24
    Joseph Nebus says:

    I was looking up Commando Cody and apparently if they had gone to the 10th installment they’d have found that was a recap one which would have just re-established the tiny handful of plot points for the big sweeping conclusion. I can’t imagine the Brains staggering through thirteen minutes of that.

       0 likes

  • 25
    PirateJoe says:

    This was my first one! I caught this for the first time when I was in college. Robot Holocaust and Commando Cody hold a special place in my heart. Not only was it my discovery of MST3K, and gave me a reason to use my new VCR, it was one of the first shows I was able to watch regularly with my father. He actually loved Cody. When they didn’t continue the shorts the next season, I went out and bought the complete set for him just so we could see how the series ended. We still watch the occasional MST when we get together.
    Fave riff? When Joel says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if they ran into master carpenter Norm Abrams (sic)?” and Crow does his best New England accent, “Whaat we gat heere, Bahb, is ah, we gatta little ro-baht praablem.”

       0 likes

  • 26
    Rachel says:

    For me, this movie is a crossbreed of ‘Cave Dwellers’ and ‘Outlaw’, with just a smidgen of ‘Warrior of the Lost World’.

    When I was younger and watching ‘Rocketship X-M’, I sat there perplexed as Mike Nelson, dressed as what might have been a Swedish glam rocker, appeared in the Hexfield and threatened Joel and the ‘bots in a Teutonic accent. It’s funny now that I’ve finally seen this movie. The years of therapy certainly didn’t hurt, either.

       0 likes

  • 27
    SuperSwift says:

    This one is a lemon smelling clunker. No stars.

       1 likes

  • 28
    M "Look Out, He's Got An Eggplant!!" Sipher says:

    Ah. So a young me is home from school, sick as hell. Skimming the channels when I catch some guy and two silly-looking robot puppets. The guy is smoking a pipe shaped like a monster truck, and it’s belching fire. I’m intrigued. Then starts a movie. And they’re joking over it. It only takes a minute or two, but then a line happens that cements my love for the show:

    “Ooh, right in the plywood!”

    Josh’s dry, bemused delivery of the line is perfect, and I’m hooked. “Aw, c’mon mom, just one more grenade!” The film break is a funny meta-ish gag, and then we get THE MOVIE.

    Oh, Robot Halocaust. You are so amazing. This episode is completely in my top ten, if not top five. They’ve really got their grovoe on, and the jokes are flying left and right here. The film’s ability to supply the crew with running gags, the failed sexiness of Valaria (sorry, but Kalgan is right, some women really do are much more attractive with their mouths shut), the completely non-sequitor nature of the heroes, how there’s only ever TWO Guard-Bots in any shot and NEVER any Tans-Bots, the utter silliness of the Plant Guy form, everyone being so damn stilted…

    “We use men to breed with us to make future warrior women.”
    “Cool!”
    “Then we dispose of them.”
    “…oh.”

    What was the point of the telepathetic speech thing? Neo just has this ability that somehow works on robots, and… what good does it do? He speaks through Klyten so he can be sure other humans will join with him, but the bot SAYS THIS to the other people, which kinda ruins the point… plus Neo opens his yap the instant one person says “sure”. What if they were lying? And even ignoring all that, is he trying to maintain plausible deniability with a dark, omnipotent power that obviously will kill anyone just because it’s bored? “No, I wasn’t really trying to-” (ZAP)

    “No, that’s the other Joel, there’s two of us.” I love that line. It reinforces what a small, small, microscopic world Joel and the bots live in, and also casts a little more amusing light on Joel as the bots’ creator.

    I want this one on DVD so hard. Please, Shout Factory!.

    And… I’m now intrigued by Tim Joe Kincaid Gage. I wonder how stilted and stiff (ha HAA!) the actors in his gay porn are compared to Robot Halocaust.

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  • 29
    schippers says:

    If you like Robot Holocaust, check out another slimy Tin Kincaid classic, Breeders (but beware, I think there’s more than one sci-fi cheapie bearing that title, so check for the seal of approval). It’s got LOTS of nekkid wymyn cavorting in alien, uh, special sauce. Should be seen to be believed.

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  • 30
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    This one is a must-see episode to me. All MSTies should see first-hand the wonder of “you are doomed” delivered by Valeria. The movie is one of the worst, but I love the episode. The film is goofy enough to keep me entertained throughout and as always, I really enjoyed what they did with Commando Cody. In fact, my wife and I bought Radar Men From The Moon in its entirety years ago on VHS to see how it all turns out. Disappointing story ending, you bet! But also ridiculous and fun. Anyway, I hope this one makes it to DVD from Shout! Factory soon.

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  • 31
    Gary Bowden says:

    Would have loved to see them redo this movie,either in season 3 or season 5,because it is perfect for them.Low budget,bad acting,an annoying robot,a female villain who talks like Elmer Fudd and plenty of room for some great riffs.Would like this to be included in a future box set as well.Has anyone checked out the un-Mstied version? Valeria wooks wunderful!

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  • 32
    Jose Chung says:

    By all logic, This episode should never have been made. I can’t imagine watching this show in 1989 being accustomed to black and white 50’s sci-fi-horror movies. Then suddenly being smashed over the head with this movie that was 2 years pryor. It just did not fit at all with the at the time. Now it’s accepted to do movies like this but it must have been insane at the time. It’s an Okay episode for season 1. Joel and the bots don’t even bother making fun of the credits, but because they’re required by law to show the credits, they leave them to play unriffed for almost a minute.

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  • 33
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ “…director Tim Kincaid (born Tim Gambiani) is also known as Joe Gage, a name he used as a gay porn movie director (and he is apparently a well-regarded one at that). A LOT of stuff in this movie starts to make sense when you know that. Fangoria has an interview with him here, though he doesn’t discuss “Robot Holocaust” very much in it.”

    Shades of Hobgoblins. Though I think Robot Holocaust is more entertainingly incompetent because the humor is unintentional and therefore worked better for MST3K. In Hobgoblins, it’s painful when they try to be funny, ruining to a large degree the MST3K experience.

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  • 34
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    This one used to be my favorite of Season One, and so far through this re-watch, it holds that position. I am a sucker for 80’s apocalypse future type movies, and this one delivers the “dumb” in spades. As mentioned, the movie was shot in and around Central Park and Roosevelt Island, but what about the “basement” scenes? They really resemble the similar scenes in Space Mutiny. Lots of railings. . . . . .

    Thanks Sampo for pointing out the musical connection between this film and other Charles Band productions. The end credits music was giving me flashbacks to other bad movies….

    The Invention Exchange isn’t very good, and the Host Segments are only “meh” but the riffing is solid and I give this one a 4/5.

    My copy has a Comedy Central logo on screen. Did Comedy Channel change over already or what?

    In the short, Crow says “By this time, my lungs were aching for air” which is a callback to the previous episode. But of course, you knew that. . .

    Joel is pretty active again in the theater. At one point, he covers up a guys nipples with his hands.

    RIFFS:

    Joel: “Maybe they’re looking for the renaissance fair?”

    Joel: “Do they shop at the same place Mad Max does?”

    Crow: “Hey, you cleaned my sword. Thanks!”

    Servo: “Ya ever seen me do this one? I can walk the dog too..”

    Also, the characters in the movie are wandering around the basement set a lot, and J&TB’s reference Spinal Tap and their infamous “getting lost backstage on the way to the stage” scene by occasionally calling out “Hello Cleveland!” and “Rock n’ roll!” in their best Nigel-type voices.

    That’s all I got, avocado boy! See ya next week!

    !

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  • 35
    H says:

    You and ya dawda are doomed! Not really but couldn’t resist. This one is pretty good. I like Commando Cody but enough is enough already. The movie’s pretty good, nice choice for the first national shown color film episode. Just a crazy weird post-apocolyptic film and the riffing’s good. The host segments are good as well, though nothing spectacular.

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  • 36
    Sharktopus says:

    Good riddance, Commando Cody. This needs an official Shout DVD release so I can get a nice clean high resolution screengrab of that OOPS! FILM BROKE! sign, if for no other reason.

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  • 37
    pondoscp says:

    Ah, here we go, the moment I’ve been waiting for; the beginning of the golden age of MST3K. Starting with this episode all the way through 324, “Master Ninja 2,” are the hands-down, all time greatest episodes of the series. Why are 110-324 the greatest, you ask? Just look at Joel during these episodes, so carefree and absolutely happy; it’s very refreshing. I don’t know what happened between 324 and 401, but some sort of oppression seemed to overtake the program at that point. There are some wonderful, brilliant episodes from 401-624, but the happy bliss of the cast seems to have left. But in the 110-324 era, it feels like the Brains were still only trying to amuse themselves, and it’s just so wonderful. The enthusiasm from these episodes seems to ooze from the screen; even in the episodes I don’t really care for from the era, I totally respect as seminal and iconic towards the series as a whole.

    With the snap of the film in the Cody short, we are thrust into what the show we love would come to be; rapid fire riffs and hilarious, absurd and off-the-wall host segments. That film break, to me anyway, signifies the end of the old, and the step into the new. Love this episode! Cheesy flick, reminiscent of “Warrior of the Lost World.” Dawk Won rules!

    “Do you understand what I’m saying? No, none of us have understood a word you’ve said for the last half hour!”

    This one’s in my top 20 for sure. What’s better from season one that this? Not next week, but the one after…. We’ll discuss it then. Smile

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  • 38
    trickymutha says:

    One of the better series episodes- based on my girlfriend in the other room laugh meter. She will often wander off during an episode, and then begin to laugh at riffs. The only two season one episodes she laughs hard at are: Robot Monster (especially the-deus ex machina riff(also from a fav film of mine- Adaptation) and, of course- this film. *****

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  • 39
    eegah says:

    @11 (Colossus Prime) – We saw Kincaid’s Mutant Hunt as well. It was pretty hilarious and we definitely recommend it for funny-badness. Any movie with the phrase “space shuttle sex murders” is alright in my book!

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  • 40
    bdtrppr6 says:

    right at the beginning of the movie while the dudes are rasslin, josh says, “Armageddon tired of this already!” cracks me up every time.

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  • 41
    Mike in Portland says:

    This has always been one of my favorites. I, too, was waiting for the “Some like it hot” lyrics, or Robert Palmer references whenever the Power Station was mentioned, but they never came.
    Valaria’s accent is the funniest in all of MST-dom, I think, and that’s saying something.
    I’m tickled to find out the director is actually Joe Gage. Makes the movie that much more enjoyable.

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  • 42
    Kali says:

    Well, so long, Pumpkin Boy. Yew n Yrs r duumed!

    Probably just as well that the film “breaks” at that point. I’ve seen the entire serial. Shortly after this point, the moon man gets hisself killed. Idiot tries to make a break for it – after the ship has taken off. Cody and Ted tackle him, and someone’s gun goes off. Dummy. They give the moon man a, shall we say, Viking’s funeral.

    Anyway, would have been interesting to see what the Brains would have had to say about Episode 10, which is the recap episode. Considering how much the serial lapped itself already, making it obvious would have caused the bots’ heads to explode. Again.

    Still, great job. Shows the quality the Brains would exhibit next season. Even Valeria shows up in the first episode of the next season – although newbies were kind of left headscratching at who the strange trannie was…

    Anybody else wants to see just the Cody episodes released on Shout!? Admittedly, Rhino should have the rights to the serial, but I’m sure a deal could be worked out. How about it, guys? We got one miracle when Shout! managed to get the rights to the Gamera films. Only need three miracles for sainthood, guys… Smile

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  • 43
    PrezGAR says:

    This was the first episode I ever saw, and it got me hooked. Not to mention, it wasnt even a full copy. No host segments, no short and a chunk of the actual movie missing. It was still enough to make me a MSTie for life.

    I recently found a torrent with the original, Un-MSTed movie, so now I have two ways to watch it. Now, if only I could find Outlaw un-MSTed.

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  • 44
    Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    Did you know you can actually watch this movie on hulu??? (not the MST3K version)

    I mean, NETFLIX does not have it even for streaming, but hulu has it.

    I can’t find anything on Angelika Jager. She seems to have slipped off into the darkness.

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  • 45
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    Apparently digital media is the only way to see Robot Holocaust now, it’s not in print on DVD from what I can tell by searching Amazon and DeepDiscount. It used to be on VHS but apparently didn’t make it to DVD at all, not even a cheapie.

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  • 46
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    @Mr. B(0b):

    And nothing of value was lost!

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  • 47
    J.Ho says:

    It doesn’t get much better than this IMO until Cave Dwellers. I guess noone on this board listens to GWAR records because nobody mentioned their single from 1999’s “We Kill Everything”: Nitro Burning Funny Bong! I suppose I could try and email Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus) to see if, in fact it’s based off Joel’s invention exchange or not, though in the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_-A5o74yUA&feature=youtube_gdata_player) the titular bong bears a distinct design resemblance. I seem to get the notion there is one other MST3k reference somewhere else in their songs but I don’t have the time right now to listen to 13 albums or watch their plethora of long form videos. BTW, the combination of MST and GWAR are the two things that I think I get the most scorn and ostracization over from friends and family “I just don’t get it I guess” is the usual goto phrase I hear too much. I just appreciate unique and outrageously original entertainment, I suppose. What other favorites does anyone here enjoy that causes confusion in those close to you?

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  • 48
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #47: “What other favorites does anyone here enjoy that causes confusion in those close to you?”

    That sounds like a possible weekend discussion topic, if more than a little obtuse and off the subject of MST3K.

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  • 49
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    @47: The criminally short-lived TV series Get A Life starring Chris Elliott. Most people I know like my wife absolutely hate it but it’s hilarious!

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  • 50
    Zee says:

    My favorite season one episode. Tim Kincaid also directed a hilariously awful movie called BREEDERS where the monster rapes rather than kills his victims.

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  • 51
    bobhoncho says:

    #6 Matt Sandwich,

    They did not necessarily have to show the entire end credits of the film. Two episodes in my library, “Cave Dwellers” (301), and “Pod People” (303), have Joel and the Bots leaving the theatre right in the middle of the end credits.

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  • 52
    Cornjob says:

    I love the comment about it being hard to get someone out of the sight of an omnipresent being.

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  • 53
    pondoscp says:

    @43: You can watch Gor, the first movie, on Netflix streaming. It actually makes Outlaw make more sense

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  • 54
    PrezGAR says:

    @53 I have Gor, downloaded from a torrent. And I have seen Outlaw unMSTed in the past. I just would like to find a copy to complete the set. Maybe an unMSTed Cave Dwellers, too, since I just found the first Ator movie.

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  • 55
    Son of Bobo says:

    Okay, I know these movies are supposed to be bad, but yeesh, what a turkey. I like to think of the free bot as the Jar Jar Binks before Jar Jar Binks. I’m guessing these actors were cast based on head shots, not acting auditions. If there were auditions, how bad were the rejected actors?
    Fave riff: Oh, THE DARK ONE!

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  • 56

    The “bang bang” riff is in the Commando Cody segment of #105 “The Corpse Vanishes”.

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  • 57

    This is the only series one episode that I still watch every so often, seemingly once a year since 2009 if my posts on the IMDB are any guide.

    Most of the film is rubbish. The hero has a weak chin, the robot costumes are embarrassing, and it’s one of those films where I feel sorry for the cast. They turned up, did the work, went home, washed their hands, and tried to forget what they had done.

    Angelika Jager is astonishing however. Mesmerising. One of the most eccentric performances I have ever seen, up there with Nichol Williamson as Merlin in Excalibur. It was her one and only film role and she’s awful; she can’t even stand still convincingly. And yet she has a fairly dialogue-heavy role, which is madness.

    Presumably the director asked her to play the role as a kind of seductive dominatrix (with her vurlds of pain), but she gives the impression that she’s a petulant Valley Girl – or the German equivalent. Her performance comes across as a bizarre kind of resentful overacting under duress.

    I assume she was chosen over a more conventional actress because she was willing to take off her top, but I’m puzzled as to why she was never in anything else. The direct-to-video market has always had work for women who look good naked, and she could always have been dubbed. In fact it puzzles me as to why she wasn’t dubbed, given that the robots at least were looped later on. She just vanished into the mundane world of normal life. Just like Heidi Bjorn, the attractive sidekick woman with the nice legs from Werewolf, who was in the film for five minutes.

    Perhaps she had a parallel career in porn films under a different name. Gosh, I would pay to see her and Adrianna Miles from Werewolf, in a film together. You know, together… telling secrets. Or was she actually Claudia Brücken from Propaganda, earning a few quid on the side?

    Quoting myself from the IMDB, “I can only conclude that she was a random passerby who was press-ganged into the production, and she could not speak English and had to deliver the lines without understanding the words. And the director did not speak German and so had to direct her by drawing faces in a notebook. Smiley face for evil; frowning face for anger; blank face for petulant irritation, that kind of thing.”

    There’s a post about it at Lowerdecks.com, which has a comment from one of the stars of the film, who says that “I played the role of Jorn at the request of a friend, Tim Kincaid, who did intend it as a parody and asked me if I’d like to have some fun.” I suspect that the parody angle is post-hoc rationalisation of the Space Mutiny kind.

    Curse you, Hulu, for only streaming within the United States! Curse you to heck. Also, all of a sudden I actually *can* click to insert a smiley. But I’m not going to.

       2 likes