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Episode guide: 111- Moon Zero Two

Movie: (1969) On a colonized moon, the services of a disaffected former astronaut turned “moon ferry” pilot are needed by sinister tycoon and a woman looking for her brother, who’s a moon miner.

First shown: 1/20/90 (unconfirmed)
Opening: Joel explains the premise and suggests viewers go get a nutritious snack
Invention exchange: Larry’s hair is lifeless, but the invention exchange must go on. Joel demonstrates his food teleporter; the Mads have invented celebrity mouth-to-mouth toothpaste
Host segment 1: J&TB perform a moon landing pageant
Host segment 2: J&TB conjecture about games of the future
Host segment 3: Crow and Tom fight over the women in the movie, in zero gravity
End: The bots play the “good thing/bad thing” movie review game and Joel reads a letter. Larry’s hair is better.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (100 votes, average: 4.01 out of 5)

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• I’m going to put this one, just barely, in the “good” column. The movie is just so goofy, but actually pretty watchable. (It’s interesting — to me, anyway, since I lived through that time period — to see an enactment of the future a lot of people considered almost inevitable right after the moon landings took place: that NASA would smoothly continue, colonizing the moon, beginning passenger space travel, then mounting expeditions to other planets. I think if you went back in time and told the movie makers that, in 2011, we haven’t done any of it, they’d be amazed.) The riffing is also quite good. It’s the host segments that drag the thing down. All of them seem to be long, not-very-funny setups for lame punchlines or sight gags.
• This is the first episode in which the opening segment begins with Magic Voice announcing “30 seconds to commercial sign.”
• That twine attached to Crow’s chin is again very noticeable.
• Joel once again explains the premise, using almost the exact same language as in previous openings.
• The Bots are uncharacteristically silent during the opening segment and the invention exchange.
• Joel is playing with something as the invention exchange begins. Some sort of magnetic game? Anybody know what it is?
• As the Mads call, Joel says: “Try not to look so happy, you guys.” One of the interesting things about the first season is the way Joel didn’t seem to be that upset about being stranded in space. It was only in later seasons that his character seemed to become more anxious to get back to Earth.
• Joel’s invention is one of his lamer efforts, I’d say. You can pretty much see the mechanisms of everything. Or is that the point?
• Joel still has part of his invention exchange on his head when he comes into the theater.
• I have a question about our hero’s space ship. The movie takes place in the 21st century, so it’s been at least 30ish years since the Apollo program. The bad guy says Kemp’s “moon ferry” is 10 years old–so that means it was built in the 1990s at least. So, it’s not like it’s a leftover Apollo lunar module. So, why does it look exactly like a lunar module? (I know, the real answer is probably because the filmmakers thought audiences would immediately recognize it as a space vehicle.)
• Josh reads that whole moon landing sequence in segment 1 like he had it memorized, but I asked him on Twitter and he said he wasn’t that big of an Apollo buff–he just read the script they gave him.
• Also one minor fact is wrong. The Eagle landed on the moon on July 20, not July 22.
• Crow is still wearing his helmet when he returns to the theater after the first host segment. Joel later removes it, causing Crow to yell “Ow! Ow!” It’s those little touches that make Trace’s performance so amazing.
• “I kinda miss the moon, you guys.” Joel is still horny.
• Obscure reference: “Thnooperth and Blabberth!”
• Then-current (and somewhat dark) reference: “Just ask John Landis.”
• Several times, the bots sing snippets of “The Wiener Man,” a campfire favorite. I remember there was much excitement about this when it aired. It was mentioned in one of the early newsletters and there was an entry about the song in the FAQ for a while. There are a number of variations to the lyrics, but I think the most standard one (the newsletter notwithstanding) is:

I know a wiener man
He owns a hot dog stand
He gives me everything
From wieners on down.
Someday, I’ll be his wife
And then we’ll live the wiener life
Hot dog! I love the wiener man!

• We get another reference to “Yards of Leather.”
• One of the waitresses on the moon base is played Carol Cleveland, who, that same year, began making regular appearances on a little TV show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”
• Toward the end of the show, they come back from commercial and only Joel and Crow can be seen in the theater. After a few moments, Tom Servo pops up from the last seat on the left and heads over to his seat, saying: “Got my gum back.” Did he leave it there at the end of the last theater segment?
• Gypsy’s light is on at last! She again answers “Richard Basehart” when asked a question, and is again rewarded for it.
• Favorite riff: “Fourth floor: Tyrannical tycoons, loose women.” Honorable mention: “In space, no one can art direct.”

61 comments to Episode guide: 111- Moon Zero Two

  • 1
    Dan in WI says:

    I don’t know about the Mad’s invention. Like several weeks back I don’t think it’s evil enough to come from a mad scientist. Heck I’m surprised something like that never was made or marketed toward kids.

    Looking at the opening title sequence, I was going to say they ripped off the movie Grease. Then I look it up and find Moon Zero Two is 9 years older than Grease.

    Is the closing the first time we hear Gypsy speak the name Richard Basehart?

    Overall this is a very blah episode. The movie is bad (on MST3K, go figure) and none of the host segments did much for me either.

    Favorite Riff:
    Crow: “The dress their stewardesses like Nazi.” (Accutually I was thinking a (Star Wars) Imperial officer myself.)

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  • 2
    ck says:

    Speaking of Star Wars…..
    Doesn’t the bar scene, including fight, remind you (in a really, really
    bad way) of the Star Wars pub scene?

       0 likes

  • 3
    swh1939 says:

    I’m intrigued to see in the newsletter that Frank was to play Dr. Erhardt. I’m glad that ultimately they didn’t go in that direction.

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  • 4
    Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    Actually, no it doesn’t.
    Not in any way.

    I actually LIKED this episode.
    I looked forward to getting it when I ordered it from a tape trading site some years back.
    We did not get the Comedy Channel (Central) until season three of MST3K so I was eager to see what the
    past was like.

    This was a movie I had always wanted to see ever since I was a young lad
    watching movies for a dime at the Navy base back in the 60s.
    I saw the add for this film when it was to come the next week, bu for some reason missed it
    and never got the chance to see it again.

    That is until MST3K.

    I always liked James Olson, having first seen him in The Andromeda Strain.
    I often confused him with Richard Jordan of “Hunt for Red October” fame.

    This episode had a watchable movie, very 60s far out space style, good riffs,
    and passable host segments. It is not sidesplitting funny, but it is a comfortable
    entry into the MST3K market and I would recommend it to any casual fan.

       0 likes

  • 5
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    Fun movie, good host segments and plenty of good riffs during the film. I’d love to get this one from Shout! Factory. The fact that the film uses a rehashed plot from old western movies quite transparently transplanted to the Moon is offset by the fun SF elements, bright costumes, pretty girls, swinging 1960’s attitude and decent pacing of the film.

       1 likes

  • 6
    Dr. Ted "Hotcha!" Nelson says:

    I get the feeling that the folks hired to do the opening credits had their own, separate, vision of the tone of the movie. Or more likely that they didn’t know anything about it other than “it’s set on the moon.”

    I also liked the movie own it’s own. The SFX are on par for it’s time and apart from “turning off the gravity” the future tech side was pretty good. But it was bleak.

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  • 7
    Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    For those of you have been relegated to seeing Moon Zero Two only in fourth generation VHS,
    here is a review site that posted some remarkably clear pictures.

    http://teleport-city.com/wordpress/?p=8108

    They also give you a pretty good history of the film.

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  • 8
    Gulliver says:

    When I was a kid I thought MOON ZERO TWO was quite possibly the greatest movie ever made. I was 8 in 1969 and the race to the moon filled my every waking thought. So when this movie came out I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. I didn’t really understand what was going on, but the very idea of a modified Apollo lunar module being used as a commercial freighter thrilled me down to the bones. Now I understand that the very idea is ludicrous … and, of course, so is this movie.

    And I grew up to be a screenwriter, so now the film is doubly cringeworthy to me — the script asks us to be emotionally invested in Captain Kemp despite his not having one single admirable quality! Cartoony “Old West” saloons on the Moon I’m willing to believe. Captain Kemp as a hero I am not.

    It only adds insult to injury for the film to have the numptious Catherina von Schell in it and to dress her in such ridiculous outfits. (Hey, Thumbelina!)

    Dan in WI — check out some of the great, great animated title sequences that far preceded MOON ZERO TWO and GREASE … any of the Saul Bass films (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000866/) before 1969 would qualift. AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS still has my favorite end title sequence ever (with the possible exception of THE INCREDIBLES).

    Sampo, maybe this is a topic is a topic for future discussion: films we thought were too good for being mocked on MST3K until we actually say them get the treatment? This would be one for me, although the biggie was THIS ISLAND EARTH. I was offended by the very idea until … well, until they showed me the movie again …

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  • 9
    Gulliver says:

    “Qualift”? I mean, of course, “qualify.”

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  • 10
    Rachel says:

    I gotta say, this movie bored me to death. I can’t remember anything happening. On the plus side, no Commando Cody! (Ram chip now?)

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  • 11
    SuperSwift says:

    This was a stinkfest. 1 star.

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  • 12

    Joel go-go dances to the theme song, a misbegotten attempt to emulate the sound of “The Age of Aquarius.” Sung by Julie Driscoll (“Peculiar Clark” ), I recognized her voice right away and recall that at this point in her career she was still transitioning from groovy pop singer/model to soulful avant-garde jazz vocalist. Her masterworks are 1969 and Sunset Glow (under her new surname of “Tippetts,” after she married pianist Keith Tippett, perhaps most well-known for playing with King Crimson). She also did good work with Brian Auger’s Trinity who once did a version of “The Flesh Failures/Let the Sun Shine In” from Hair that is kind of similar to this insipid tune.

    The cartoon credit sequence I find amusing, if not quite in keeping with the movie we are about to see.

    Screenwriter and producer Michael Carreras, son of Hammer Films founder James, was producer of most of the studios’ output (both good and bad). Director Roy Ward Baker is mostly known for latter year Hammer efforts but is responsible for The Vampire Lovers, a terrific lesbian vampire movie, featuring the late Ingrid Pitt.

    Of course Catherine Schell is known for Space: 1999, a Pink Panther movie, and that Lazenby Bond movie. I recognized the star James Olson from his TV work (seriously – look at his IMDb credits: this guy made guest appearances on every major show in the 1970’s). His receding hairline, with early-stage comb-over makes him an unlikely leading man, especially by today’s standards, but I find his detached manner kind of likable. As one commenter online said, “Olson turns in an odd performance here, part Sam Spade and part Han Solo, but neither very effectively.”

    • Servo: You ever think about renting out your forehead for advertising?

    The story begins with a space walk. As the astronaut leaves the capsule, Servo says, “It must be cold” in reference to the nipple-like features on his breastplate. But he says it in such a flat, dead-pan manner that I wonder if his dissatisfaction behind-the-scenes was beginning to set in…? Admittedly, I’m retro-actively projecting here, but this is the first time I’ve heard Josh give an unconvincing line-read in these early episodes.

    The music during this sequence features a muted trumpet with tons of echo on it, eerily similar to Miles Davis’ sound on 1969/70’s In a Silent Way & Bitches Brew. Likely an influence on the composer Don Ellis, especially when the percussion kicks in. (Or maybe I have it backwards and Miles saw this movie and dug the vibe?) In either case, I like bits of this score a lot, even though most of it is just the same theme recast in different musical flavors.

    • Joel: Maynard Ferguson’s out there somewhere.
    (Later, during the lunar fight-scene) Servo: Seems like a Bad Music festival.

    Some of the movie’s own attempts at humor work, in a dry British sort of way. Python babe Carol Cleveland gets in a good quip during her one scene…

    Kemp: I’m always at a disadvantage when I haven’t got any clothes on.
    Hostess: I never noticed it.

    The DVD of this one seems to be out of print, but I just got a very sharp looking widescreen rip of the original movie and it includes a scene cut from MST that fleshes out the connection between renegade Captain Kemp and “Lunar Bureau of Investigations” agent Liz Murphy (Adrienne Corri). It takes place in her quarters where she is dressed in some sexy white outfit and a crazy wig. Turns out they are lovers, but she’s been ordered to ground his ship for “safety reasons” by the corporation who really want total control of all space-flights. She gives him an ultimatum to get a new ship within a week. This occurs right before his meeting with the rich dude Mr. Hubbard, and helps explain Kemp’s motivation for agreeing to take the job.

    There is another cut scene much later, after the standoff at the Far Side Five outpost, with our heroes and villains aboard M02 on their way to the asteroid. Hubbard explains that he intends to use the massive quantity of sapphire to build new rocket engines that will enable the types of exploratory missions the Corporation no longer do. He invites Kemp to pilot the first flight to Mercury, but the captain refuses. By the time they arrive at the asteroid, which is where MST resumes the story, we have learned how high the stakes are for both Kemp and Hubbard.

    A couple of choice riffs…

    • Liz: There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
    Servo: Everyone says that, but no one ever tells me the other way.

    • Joel: You got to marry her, Bill. She’s got the wedding bell blues.
    Crow: Up, up, and away. (Fifth Dimension references)
    …………

    This late 60’s vision of the future combined with “Space Western” motifs fully engages me, so I gotta confess I like the actual movie, and find myself listening to it more than the riffing, which seems merely adequate. There’s a lot of love out there on the web for Moon Zero Two and in a recent blog post (click on my name above), I include links to articles featuring many terrific screenshots, revealing the colorful costumes, set designs, and behind the scenes FX work. But I’ll be the first to admit that the stills may make the movie look a whole lot better than it actually is…

    4 stars. (3 for the Brains/5 for the movie)

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  • 13
    Revlillo says:

    I think that this episode is the first one that really caught my interest. I saw a couple of snippets of the show during the first season (my town’s cable got the Comedy Channel in January 1990), but they weren’t compelling enough to capture my attention. This episode happened to be on at noon when I was eating lunch and there was something about it that made me watch more than a minute or two. A scene came on where the lunar rover is blown up. At that moment, there is a huge trumpet blast on the soundtrack and Joel (I think) said, “They just blew up a jazz combo.” That’s the line that got me hooked. I started taping the next week.

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  • 14
    Dan in WI says:

    Gulliver #8> When you spin the movie the way you have the thought occurs to me this could have been a proto Han Solo from Star Wars or a proto Mal Reynolds of Firelfy. Again except for the fact we are given no reason to care about or see Captain Kemp as a hero.

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  • 15
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    A few thoughts…

    I’d put this one with the best of Season 1, with good riffing and a movie that’s pretty watchable on it’s own. I do agree, though, that putting Catherine Schell in the Gumby-type outfit was a very stupid idea. And I think the title sequence doesn’t really fit.

    I know the DVD of this movie (paired, I beleve, with “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth”) is out of print, but copies can be found. A while back, I found a copy of this movie’s novelization and it’s actually good, providing a lot more backstory.

    I still find it hard to believe that this was made by the same company that gave us the Cushing/Lee Gothic horror movies and the Quatermass films. I know that Hammer’s output was more varied than you might think, but still…

    And I’m surprised this episode’s ACEG entry hasn’t been mentioned. Mike writes that not only does he have no memory of this one, but that he denies it even exists. And this is after he’s been shown evidence that it does.

       0 likes

  • 16
    crowschmo says:

    I haven’t seen this one. But I notice in the ACEG the Brains refuse to believe they did this episode. Smile (Mike’s description of the ep cracked me up).

    Take’s place on the MOON!

    In the FUTURE!!

       0 likes

  • 17
    crowschmo says:

    Smile I started typing my post before I saw #15.

       0 likes

  • 18
    Bice says:

    It’s been a couple years since I last watched this one, but I remember thinking it was one of the better episodes of season 1. Maybe just because it was in color and was a decent (if goofy) sci-fi flick. But I also remember the riffing being pretty good too.

    I had a hard time buying the romantic subtext between the male and female leads though, especially since he looked old enough to be her father and had very little in the way of charm.

    Reading Sampo’s descriptions of the host segments, they don’t ring a bell at all. Maybe Mike was right and this episode doesn’t really exist.

       0 likes

  • 19
    Brandon says:

    My review:
    111- Moon Zero Two

    Plot: A space salvage expert and his partner become involved with a group of criminals intent on hijacking a small asteroid made of sapphire and crashing it into the moon for later recovery. The only place that they can bring the asteroid down without drawing attention to themselves is a far side mining claim. But first they must dispose of the miner. Little known to them, however, is the fact that the miners sister has hired the same salvage team to help her locate her missing brother.

    Hose Segemts:
    Opening: Joel explains the premise again.
    Invention Exchange: Teleporting food; Celebrety toothpaste containers
    Segment #1: Servo presents a revue on people who have made it to the moon…. well, kinda.
    Segemnt #2: J&TB discuss how games will probably evovle in the future.
    Segment #3: Crow and Tom argue over who is the nicer-lookin chick in the film. Joel breaks up their fight by turing off the gravity.
    Closing: A good thing and bad thing about the movie.

    Memorable riffs:
    Servo: “Look, he’s beating the titles out of him!”

    Joel: “Uh Houston I just spotted an animated cartoon on the service of the moon.”

    Joel: “Darn those spacecoons, they got into the garbage again!”

    Crow: “They dress their stewerdeses like Nazis!”

    Servo: “D cups as far as the eye can see.”

    Character in film: “Moon Flower!”
    Joel (as Bartender): “Uh, the name’s Bob if you don’t mind.”

    Character in Movie: “Do you know the asteroids, Mr. Kemp?”
    Servo: “Sure, I have an Atari.”

    Kemp: “It’ll only be a 3-hour trip. I’ll be back in time.”
    Crow: “That’s what the Skipper said.”

    (Woman finds her brother as a skeleton)
    Servo: “Woah. He’s lost weight!”

    Fav. riff:
    Servo: “Did you ever think about renting your forehead out for advertising?”

    Best segment: Segment #1 is very well-written.
    Worst segment: Segment #2 is very lacking.

    Comments:
    -Hey, the Commercial Sign light is green!

    -Rather questionable bit in the theater. During the scene where the astronaut removes his suit and gets into the shower, Joel actually stands up and pretends to peak into the shower!

    -Great gag during the 1st segment. Joel is supposed to be impersonating JFK. To top that off, he’s holding a photo of Marilyn Monroe!

    -“MOONOPOLY”?!!!! LOL!

    -The bit during segment 2 where Joel makes Crow and Tom do “Rock ‘em Sock ‘em” Robots may have inspired the short-lived Internet game that rhino.com created using the characters Crow and Servo.

    -Interesting thing about the barfight scene in the film. Note that the female dancers continue dancing like nothing is going on. I don’t know if this was intended by the director to be humorous, but it does make me chuckle a little.

    -Um… Joel never gives Crow a ram chip!

    Overall: This clearly isn’t a well-liked Season 1 episode by the MST cast, and I can see why. The movie is actually okay to watch, but the riffing here is very so-so. Host segments are OK though.
    Rating: **

    I always forget that Catherine Schell is in this. I always remember her as Lady Lytton from “Return of the Pink Panther”.

    Funny moment from the theater is when the inside of the ship starts getting hot, and Schell’s character takes off her suit down to her strange-looking underwear, and says something to the effect of “If it gets any hotter, I’ll really have to take the rest of it off.” She says it like it’s a threat! That part always makes me laugh.

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  • 20
    Cronkite Moonshot says:

    This is one of the best Season 1 episodes, and also one of a few movies they did on MST that I consider to actually be a good film in it’s own right. This movie is very much 60’s campy fun, and was never trying to be anything but that, so it doesn’t actually fail on any major level like most MST movies do. And I love seeing a film on MST actually treat space travel in a realistic way. There are very few that do. Space Travelers/Marooned is another, and Rocketship XM tries to with all it’s floating objects shananigans, but it completely forgets that (duh) the people would float too.

    Moon Zero Two is also a good example of one way that Star Wars (as much as I love it) totally RUINED science fiction in films for a long time. Before Star Wars even a campy movie like this was trying to treat space realistically, and combined with all the other films doing the same thing people were actually starting to learn and understand what it was really like in space. But then Star Wars came out and dumbed it down so very much, and ever since then outer space has been treated almost totally unrealistically in most films/TV series. And now most people have absolutely no concept of what it is really like out there.

    Anyway this is one of the few MST films that I genuinely like and would actually want to own on DVD even if it had never been on MST, so I’m glad I was able to pick up the DVD that Warner Brothers put out a couple years ago before it was quickly pulled off of the shelves. Speaking of which I think the chances of this episode ever getting released on DVD are little to none. I have a feeling that Warner Brothers asking price for the rights of the film would be out in the orbit of the Moon, or at least more than would be worthwhile for a company like Shout to pay out. But I hope I’m proven wrong, and that Shout can eventually release it, because this and Robot Holocaust are tied for my most wanted Season 1 episode to get on official DVD.

    Also, I think the title animation fits perfectly with the film given the time period in which it was made. It was common for films to have such animated titles. Look at The Pink Panther films, or even Catalina Caper. And it actually sets up the film nicely. If you actually pay attention to the Moon Zero Two titles it tells you the entire premise of the film’s vision of the future. While the USA and USSR were fighting it out between themselves over which of them would “own” the moon everyone else just went there and set up a real community. All of their “super power” posturing meant nothing because the Moon was never either of theirs to claim, and in the end they had to just join everyone else in cooperation. That is the world of the film. No one “runs” the Moon, it’s just a place where people from all over the world can go to live and work. A very late 60’s vision of the future.

    Also also, can anyone tell me off the top of their heads, was this the only Hammer film that MST did?

       0 likes

  • 21
    kismetgirl88 says:

    Hey can show more the old MST3K newsletter on the site? It was blast see. I have keep some them but the early one I have never seen.

       0 likes

  • 22
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ “Rocketship XM tries to with all it’s floating objects shananigans, but it completely forgets that (duh) the people would float too.”

    I don’t think they forgot, I think the movie was just too low budget to try and deal with an expensive scene of all the actors in the shot suspended on wires. Shots like that usually don’t go as planned on the first take and the cost can run up pretty quick on top of the cost of the wire rigs and operators. The shenanigans is most likely in the cheapness of the film. But, hey, the “selective gravity” worked well on MST3K, it’s my favorite episode.

       0 likes

  • 23
    Matt Sandwich says:

    Another one I love in spite of itself. As with several of the KTMA/season one episodes– and not something I encountered much in later seasons–I actually find the movie pretty compelling. As always, not because it’s actually good in any way, but it is a very ambitious movie with a distinctive look and feel (and yes, a whole lot of babes, which is apparently a common thread in the movies I choose to defend).

    Also interesting are the stories about the movie’s production. If Internets is to be believed, it nearly destroyed the studio due to their miscalculation of the film’s box office potential. Someone pointed out ‘Moonopoly,’ which I think was actually a marketing tie-in gimmick. Anyway, it was a failure. But an ambitious failure, which counts for something.

    As with Space:1999/Cosmic Princess, this is a feature that I think has some wonderful music. And as with Space: 1999, the music keeps turning up as samples in electronic and hip-hop tunes. In the case of Moon, it’s the wild bit of free jazz that appears near the film’s climax as the hero investigates the missing brother’s claim site. And I never would’ve known they were samples if it hadn’t been for MST. Just one more reason for me to enjoy these ‘lesser episodes.’

       0 likes

  • 24
    Spector says:

    “Moooooooon! Zee-rooo Twoooooooo!”

    The opening animation for this would gives the impression it would be a comedy but while it certainly has a late-60s cheesy vibe it’s actually not a bad sci-fi film on its own. Still, I give the Brains high marks on this one as the riffing is solid throughout the film. 3.5 out of five for one of the better episodes of Season One.

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  • 25
    Chuck says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen this episode. Is it available on dvd?

       0 likes

  • 26
    big61al says:

    I’ve got to dig this one out and watch it again. It must have been at least 8 years seen I played it.. Wink

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  • 27
    EricJ says:

    …Er, wot, sorry, I was thinking about rabbits?

    (While everyone else was remembering what they remembered Catherine Schell from, I was the only one who spotted big-thug Bernard Bresslaw as the cyclops from “Krull”…Yep, how 80’s-geek is that?) Grin

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  • 28
    ck says:

    #24

    You can get it on youtube.

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  • 29
    Toots Sweet says:

    #4 Richard the Lion-Footed, that’s funny that James Olson reminded you of Richard Jordan. Here’s how off I was, I spent 3/4 of the movie sure James Olson was Roy Thinnes! It wasn’t until I looked the movie up on IMDB that I found out I was wrong, and even then I didn’t believe it at first. To me, they both have the same smirky personality.

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  • 30
    Tom Carberry says:

    I pulled this one out and watched it the other night. I hadn’t seen it for many years (10+). I recall reading that when the BBI staff was writing up what they remember about Season 1, they all drew a blank and commented that perhaps they never did this one. Obviously they did, but I can see why they all drew a blank. This one was not very memorable. I liked James Olsen in Andromeda Strain, but this was not one of his better efforts.

       0 likes

  • 31
    JeremyR says:

    I tried watching this one again a couple weeks ago, but just couldn’t. The movie is just so stupid. I love campy movies, but this one just tries too hard. Camp has to just come naturally.

    And as to trying to be realistic? Uh, no. It’s like all those movies in the 70s and 80s using the Space Shuttle not as a space shuttle, but some other sort of spaceship (Buck Rogers, Airplane II, LifeForce, etc). Only replace Apollo with Space Shuttle here. Completely destroys any attempt at realism.

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  • 32
    Cronkite Moonshot says:

    @ Mr. B(ob) #22 Well I was just being snarky, but yeah I guess “ignored” is more accurate description, but that doesn’t make it any better. I’m sure it is the case that they simply couldn’t afford to pay for the effects in scenes with the people being weightless, but the point is that they actually included scenes that specifically emphasized the point of things being weightless, and then just ignored it the rest of the time. If they didn’t want to have to deal with the issue of people being weightless they should have never brought it up at all, or better yet figured out a way to get around actually showing it, which would have been as simple as saying they had “magnetic shoes” or “artificial gravity” or something like that). Intentionally bringing up the subject just for the sake of some stupid slapsticky jokes, but then not bothering with it for everything else is really lame, and just about the worst way they could have dealt with it.

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  • 33
    big61al says:

    @ Cronkite Moonshot…..could be that film makers didn’t care because they figured the audiance [remember it’s a late 1960’s audiance] wouldn’t care if the story line did not follow through on it’s own premise.

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  • 34
    CaveDweller says:

    I don’t really know why, but I always kind of enjoyed this episode. Granted, I wouldn’t put it in my top 10, or even top 25 favorites of all time. But to me, it always kind of stood out amongst the other season one episodes. I guess that’s because it was so different and so goofy.

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  • 35
    Gorn Captain says:

    The Russians are still essentially flying the old Soyuz capsule designs, and NASA is trying to reinvent Apollo hardware to go back to the moon, so the old creaky Lunar Module make sense to me.

    One old science textbook I had as a kid outlined NASA’s ambitious 1970’s plans to setup lunar outposts with larger versions of the LEM, which sounds a bit like the plot of Project Moonbase.

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  • 36
    Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    #29 LOL Toots Sweet, I ave a bad habit of doing that all the time.

    I got mixed up with Maximilian Schell & Max von Sydow recently when reading that they wanted Schell originally for the “Sound of Music.”
    I kept wondering how “Emperor Ming” would look at Capt. Von Trapp. My wife finally said, “What ARE you taking about??”

    The only reason I did not see Roy Thinnes in this film (though I could have) is that he made “Journey to the Far Side of the Sun” at this time, and I love that film.

    It is interesting how some actors stand out and others are interchangeable like that.

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  • 37
    pablum says:

    This is one of those early episodes where I remember the movie more than I do the riffs. Its very 1960s and I like it that way.

    Besides the sluggish pace of public domain episode releases, this may be the first in the inexplicable lapse on the part of Rhino not to publish this episode to home video considering that Rhino is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. I can only guess inter-company insect politics kept this episode from retail shelves. That or the usual Rhino clumsiness. With Shout Factory’s record I fully expect this episode to see release at some point despite the previous owners of the MST3K home video license having a closer proximity to the rights holders.

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  • 38
    DICKWEED 1 says:

    I would put this episode in the top 3 of season 1. Watching this in parts on youtube at first I thought the sister and the cop were the same girl!! As far as the cartoon intro I think it had more to do with the movie than say CAVEDWELLARS or POD PEOPLE!!

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  • 39
    H says:

    This is a good one. The opening sequence alone of the film is worth the price of admission. Good movie, pretty good host segments, thumbs up.

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  • 40
    ern2150 says:

    Sorry, slightly OT – in the newsletter there — who are “Bonner and Harris”? I was watching Season One in Normal IL at the time…
    WHOOOOOOO ARRRRRRRE BONNER AND HARRRRRIIIIIIIIIS

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  • 41
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Crow: “In space, no one can hear you yawn.”

    This one is sorta watchable, but these outer space movies tend to make me zone out for some reason. The riffing in this one flows nicely, but ultimately the episode suffers from meandering & fairly unfunny Host Segments, specifically #1, that go nowhere. . . . . . .slowly.

    The animated opening credits sequence reminds me of the same in Catalina Caper. Surely that’s not lost on anyone else. ?

    One of the things I love about Season One is how active Joel is in the theater. He really goes for it with that go-go dance during the credits.

    During Host Segment #2, a VHS timecode appears on screen (I have a DAP download) and the date is 02/08/2001, which is almost exactly ten years ago to the day. Weird, huh?

    Also, another Comedy Central logo appears in the corner of the screen, the third I’ve seen over the course of this Season One re-watch, and all three have been slightly different. When did The Comedy Channel change over to Comedy Central? Was it after Season One had aired, or was it during?

    RIFFS:

    Joel: “Damn those space ‘coons, they got into the garbage again!”

    Servo: “He’s got the Nintendo Power Glove!” —-hahaaha, that’s a dated reference now!

    Servo: “Who thought free form jazz would be right for this soundtrack?”

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  • 42
    Warren says:

    I’ve only seen it once but this was an above-average season 1 episode for me. I think the ACEG entry was part tongue-in-cheek, not remembering this episode and thinking it might not be real, but if enough years have passed people can forget things if they’re not very memorable. There are things I know I’ve watched, because I wrote them down, but I have no memory of them at all (like some Doctor Who tapes I checked out from the library in 2000). I hope this is the next season one episode to make it to dvd.

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  • 43

    Toots @ #29: Me too!

    While composing my post, I was about to write, “Veteran MSTies will recognize the male lead from the General Hospital shorts and Code Name: Diamond Head.” Only after checking IMDb did I realize this was a different actor altogether and that I more likely recalled him from episodes of Wonder Woman, McCloud, or McMillan & Wife.

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  • 44
    Zeroninety says:

    #41 Comedy Channel merged with HA! and became Comedy Central (after a couple months as CTV) in mid 1991, after season 2 aired. Season 1 episodes were still rerun into early 1992.

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  • 45
    pondoscp says:

    The final awkward Season One episode. I’d put this one above the early part of Season One, but not up to par of “Robot Holocaust” and the next two week’s episodes, which I anxiously await to see everyone’s reactions to.
    When I first watched this one about four years ago, I thought why did they do this movie? There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not the greatest movie in the world, but it’s certainly not on par with most of “the worst we can find.” This one falls purely into we’ll send him “Cheesy” movies.
    It’s also nice to see I’m not alone in thinking that George Lucas saw this in 1969 and was quite inspired by it. A bar in space! A space western! I can do that, but better!

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  • 46
    Sharktopus says:

    I haven’t seen this one in years, and even then I think I was ying only half paying attention, but I do recall thinking the movie was pretty decent, at least as MST films go. One that definitely stuck with me: I’ve had MOOOOOON ZEEEERO TWOOOOOO pop into my head with no provocation for about four years on a fairly regular basis.

    Refreshing my memory right now via YouTube, some quick observations:

    Josh seems really fidgety and is Trace’s mustache drawn on? I’ve always been amazed that he was willing to sport that ‘stache for so many years. Now that’s devotion.

    Copernicus is spelled wrong in the cartoon. Classy. I must be in for a very educational depiction of space travel.

    So the US and Soviet astrononauts fly back to Earth together. I wonder where they’ll land? And why am I wondering about the stupid cartoon?

    A western set in space, huh? Shiny. (Any other Browncoat MSTies out there?)

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  • 47
    Dr. Ted "Hotcha!" Nelson says:

    I agree about the Olsen/Thinnes confusion. They both have that certain edge to them. Like they’re not angry YET, but always close to losing their temper.

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  • 48
    Dan in WI says:

    Sharktopus #46> Check out my post #14. You bet I’m a browncoat.

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  • 49
    Chuck says:

    @ Sharktopus, I’m a browncoat too!

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  • 50
    Smoothie of Great Power says:

    While this isn’t quite my favorite season 1 episode as a whole, it’s definitely my favorite movie they riff on from this season. Like another poster said, I remember the movie more than the riffs.

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  • 51
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    @44 Zeroninety: Thanks for the info. I’ve been wondering about that.

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  • 52

    Two words: Catherine Schell.

    Five stars.

       3 likes

  • 53
    fathermushroom says:

    I really enjoy this movie, as some others have posted. Apart from the freaky lady wigs and the zero-gravity bar fight, I think “Moon Zero Two” really does a pretty good job of anticipating what industrial life on the Moon might be like. They emphasize the bleakness and drudgery of making a buck up there. And, like others here, I lived through that period of history and remember vividly what people hoped to accomplish up there.

    Funny how J&TB mock “Moonopoly” and now, of course, they sell every variety of Monopoly you can dream up.

    I never did like the cartoon intro, though. To me it’s completely out of character with the flick. I always imagine the director having a fit when he finds out the studio insists on the cartoon opening.

    A bit off topic, but from an earlier post, I just learned that the creep from General Hospital was Roy Thinnes. Yikes! It IS him!

       0 likes

  • 54
    Cronkite Moonshot says:

    @big61al #33 I’m not talking about Moon Zero Two in my post at #32, I’m talking about Rocketship XM. If you go back and read my first post (#20) you’ll see that I actually praised Moon Zero Two as one of the few movies that MST did that actually tried to treat space in a realistic fashion. I also mentioned that Space Travelers/Marooned was another, and that Rocketship XM tried somewhat but failed.

    Anyway if what you said about the late 1960’s movie audience is what you believe then I can only assume you don’t know much about that era of film. Some of the most intelligent and well made mainstream science fiction movies came from the late 60’s early 70’s era, and I would say that movies and their audience in general were VASTLY more intelligent at that time than they are today. Even a campy movie like Moon Zero Two tried to handle the science behind space travel and living on the Moon in a fairly accurate and sophisticated way. That’s because they DIDN’T just instantly assume the audience were drooling dullards the way most modern movies do. Again, Star Wars (as much as I love the original trilogy) opened the door which inevitably lead to today’s modern moronic “popcorn movie” “blockbuster” attitude, and made idiotic massively budgeted movies like Transformers or The Day After Tomorrow possible at all. There is a reason that in the 1950’s and 1960’s the unintelligent and trashy science fiction movies were mostly the cheap ones, while the more expensive ones were usually more intellectual fair like 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Forbidden Planet. It’s because the studios didn’t think it was wise to put a lot of money into the more unintelligent low brow B movies, but were more willing to put money into the more intelligent films. It’s pretty much the opposite today. Now they won’t dare spend a lot of money on movies that might actually make the audience think, but they will dump hundreds of millions into the modern day equivalent of the 1950’s B-Movie with very little hesitation. If he had lived in the 1950’s Michael Bay would have been just like Ed Wood. Making the same kinds of terrible movies he does now, but with no budget, and no fancy special effects and big explosions to wow so many dullards into not noticing what an awful director he actually is.

       1 likes

  • 55
    Fart Bargo says:

    I like this film. For it’s time it, is one of the more realistic films that is dumbed down with silly cartoon intros and a sometimes silly scripting. I thought the overall plot was good, crime set in space. Good actors in Maria and James. I actually remember seeing this in the theater and laughing with the crowd at the ‘Moonopoly’ game.

    This was good riffing fodder none the less due to the silly script and toon that just breaks up any serious interest. In a lot of ways, this flick reminds me of Total Recall.

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  • 56
    Matt D. says:

    Hey, the first Transformers was a really good movie. And what about The Island…oh wait nevermind.

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  • 57
    RGA Dave says:

    I saw this movie when it first came out. My dad took us to the Bedford Drive In in Bedford, NH. So I of course got this on DVD, it’s sort of nostalgic for me. Also the part of it I most remembered, as a 10 year old when I saw it, was the girl gradually removing all her clothing while the sun gradually drove up the heat inside the ‘moon bug’. Cool! Otherwise the movie itself is laughable, in retrospect. Crashing and asteroid onto the moon, to harvest it? Wouldn’t the impact sort of totally pulverize it?

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  • 58
    Cornjob says:

    I like the episode and the movie itself. It has a goofy fun feel to it.

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  • 59
    Rhys says:

    I think I’m in love with this movie, I bought the movie poster and the novel adaptation of it, and was tempted to buy an 8mm print of it. Certainty one of the better movies MST3K tackled, one of the better season 1 episodes too (probably the only one i’ve watched more than once)

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  • 60
    J.Ho says:

    I, too almost completely forgot this episode until the point wherein Clementine mentions her brother ‘mined cop

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  • 61
    J.Ho says:

    I really hate Apple’s iOS softkeyboard…

    Anyhow Clementine mentions her brother “mined copper in Montana” I happen to be from the one-time biggest copper mine in the world and current ecological disaster, Butte, Montana. I then recalled seeing this over 20 years ago, because, as a kid with no friends, seeing your new favorite TV show ever mention your bucolic barrio created an engram that caused a little bit of lucid Deja vu when I just watched it. The other thing I thought about, this time, since I didn’t know anything about L. Ron Hubbard when I was 10 (except that he wrote bOoks about erupting volcanoes), was he grew up in Helena, MT (an hour’s drive from Butte) and as has been well established in the intervening two decades, was an evil egomaniac with a penchant for getting others to do his dirty work and raping every penny out of anybody foolish enough to follow him. Oh yeah, he was a well known sci-fi writer in the golden age of Pulp. I figured at the first introduction of JJ Hubbard in the film that perhaps he was so named in homage of his prolific output in the SF arena. Then I considered that at the time of this film’s production, Scn world headquarters was in England at Saint Hill Manor, he was particularly infamous and actually banned from England at this time, but no bother. He was busy cruising the Mediterranian with his own personal fleet sEarching for his past lives’ hidden gold (Search “Mission Into Time”) at which time England’s Grenada TV did an interview with him (search ‘The Shrinking World of L Ron Hubbard’) which is fairly revealing in-between-the-lines, in the parlance of our times. If you do a little more research on the corporate structure of Scn at this time, you’ll find that the scene in the movie depicting J Hubbard winning Moonopoly money from a nubile assistant and then docking 17 cents or whatnot from her pay to be in alignment with Scn tactics of removing any and all funds from their dupesErrr I mean adepts, ie charging for ‘rundowns’ (lessons or audits) again and again, because if YOU don’t show the powers of a Clear or an OT, YOU must have done the lower levels on The Bridge To Total Freedom wrong and it is keeping you from making cognitions and case gains.

    I’ve read about 6 biograHies and Countless other material on him, and it is actually quite fascinating – he is probably the greatest con man of the 20th century, and right up there with Joe Smith in the last 1,000 years. Before that I’d say it were that Mehmet feller and prior to him some Jewish zombie carpenter dude.

    Bloated digression? Yeah, probably – still more informative than redundant review rehashes repeating redundant repetitions.

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