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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: 202- The Side Hackers

Movie: (1969) A mild-mannered mechanic/pioneer in a new motorcycle “sport” runs afoul of a violent, megalomaniacal stunt rider and his scheming girlfriend.

First shown: 9/29/90
Opening: Joel’s been busy giving the bots a bath
Invention exchange: Joel introduces Gretchen the living slinky; Dr. F. has a slinky train body
Host segment 1: J&tB sing “Sidehackin’.”
Host segment 2: J&tB provide terminology for the sport of sidehacking
Host segment 3: J&tB have Rommel hats; JC and Gooch visit on the Hexfield
End: Joel croons: “Only Love Pads the Film,” letters, Frank “will” push the button.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (164 votes, average: 4.09 out of 5)


• In the past, this has never been a favorite. I know some folks love the biker movies, but they mostly leave me pretty cold. Still, in more recent viewings I liked it a bit better than I did in the past. Maybe it was because I completely followed the plot of the movie (such as it was). Maybe it was the nice clean print on the Rhino disk that helped make everything a little easier to follow. The songs are fun and the segments are entertaining so, overall, it’s somewhere between fair and good.
• This episode is included in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 3.”
• Joel’s jumpsuit is still teal.
• Gypsy has an eyelash.
• Boys with brothers (and any sisters who had to use the same bathroom) will get the “we were havin’ sword fights” line. Ew.
• Apparently a mole person has taken over the camera work in Deep 13: Hence the confused camera work when we go to Deep 13 during the invention exchange. But we can also see two mole people on screen. So are there more than two mole people?
• The Rhino release comes with alternate takes and outtakes. Perhaps most interesting are the many, many takes for the invention exchange segment in Deep 13, where the back end of the slinky train prop seems to have given them no end of problems.
• A very astute observation in the credits: In these early season two episodes, Dr. F. is, for some reason, performing the invention exchange experiments on himself. That would change.
• Crow’s arm works in the opening.
• Movie observation: It is implied that J.C. is some sort of motorcycle stunt performer, mostly because he wears a bespangled, Evel Knievel-esque outfit in one scene. But we never see him do anything (other than fall off a sidehack several times in Rommel’s back yard). I haven’t seen the full movie, and maybe it was cut, but a scene of Rommel watching JC do his stunt act might have established the premise — and his megalomaniacal character — a little better.
• Cambot makes a rare movie riff: a sarcastic ESPN-like readout.
• Up to this point, except for the “Clay and Lar’s Flesh Barn” jingle and Josh humming tunes occasionally, there really hadn’t been a lot of music on the show. That would change with this episode, which features not one but two songs. “Sidehackin’,” in segment 1, is a classic and completely original.
• Before segment 2, Tom Servo attempts a little play-by-play of the sidehacking, only to be frustrated by the fact that the sport is so new that it doesn’t have any terminology yet. Then, sure enough, in segment 2 (another densely written — almost overwritten — segment that’s more clever than funny, fairly typical of season two), what do we get but terminology for sidehacking. You can pretty much see the genesis of the segment in the earlier riff. This sort of thing would happen in future eps, but they usually weren’t as obvious about it.
• In a story that has been repeated by the cast many times (including in the ACEG), this was the episode where BBI learned to watch the whole movie before agreeing to riff it. Up to this point, apparently, they’d watched a little at the beginning of any movie they were considering, maybe skimmed a bit through the rest of the movie and made a decision. When they did that with this movie, they missed a brutal and graphic scene in which J.C. and his gang beat Rommel to a pulp and rape and murder his girlfriend, Rita (if you are morbidly curious, a link to the scene is in the comments). They tried to back out of doing the movie, but were told it was too late. So they cut the scene and did their best to write around it. (J&tB leave the theater to do segment 2 just before the mayhem begins, and when they return to the theater, the movie picks up as a bloodied Rommel wakes up from his beating.) During the morose montage of Rommel wandering the countryside mourning, Crow fills the audience in by saying: “For those of you playing along at home, Rita is dead.”
• Callbacks: “There was nothing left after the…Robot Holocaust.” As Lloyd Bridges: “Now that you’re dead I can tell you about a thousand wonderful hours…” (Rocketship XM). “No drumming…not allowed.” (Crawling Hand). “Hikeeba!” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet).
• The first time J.C. explodes, he lashes out at the black guy, and, we can assume, uses a slur. We can’t actually hear it, but based on the reaction of J&tb, we can guess. Later the bad guys, joking around, use a gay slur that we CAN make out. So, we really hate these guys, is what I’m saying.
• You may be wondering: What in the world does “Five the Hard Way” (the original title of the movie) mean? Turns out they called it that in order to cash in on the Jack Nicholson movie “Five Easy Pieces,” released earlier the same year.
• We get more choruses of “The Weiner Man,” and “The Happy Wanderer.”
• The movie has a few hamfisted attempts at analogies to the Christ story, with Cooch in the Judas role betraying Rommel at the behest of J.C. (J.C.! Get it??) It’s dumb.
• Catchphrases that came from this episode include: “That was number 5!” “He hit big Jake!” and the “It’s pretty good!-It’s not half bad!” interplay in the garage. And, although Hagen never actually says it, the line “Chili peppers burn my gut,” in a Ross Hagen-like growl, would be heard many times after this.
• The Hexfield has had a slight reworking. The window shade has been mounted on the bottom of the opening and it has some sort of mechanism to raise it at the end of the bit.
• When Joel sings his second song of the episode, I found it interesting that they made no attempt to rewrite the insipid lyrics sung in the movie, except for changing “…only love, only love.” to “…only love pads the film.” (Joel also sings it a bit in the theater.) Also, I wonder if we are treated to ALL THREE verses of this dopey song because they had to fill the time created when they had to cut the movie.
• That, of course, is not a real keyboard Joel is “playing” in the final segment, and the real keyboard work, as always, is being done off-camera by Mike.
• Gypsy, wearing tambourines for earrings, joins Joel, Crow and Tom for the final number and steals the show, cracking Joel up with her contribution to the song.
• Stinger suggestion: “NUM-BER EIGHT!”
• Cast and crew roundup: Scriptwriter Tony Houston also performed in “The Hellcats” and wrote “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.” Score composer Jerry Styner also worked on “Mitchell.” In front of the camera: We’ll meet Ross Hagen was also in “The Hellcats.” Gus Trikonis appeared in “The Hellcats.” Warren Hammack appears in “The Hellcats” and “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.” We previously encountered Michael Pataki in “Superdome” and we’ll meet him again in “IT Lives by Night.” Richard Merrifield, Eric Lidberg and Tony Lorea were all also in “The Hellcats.”
• CreditsWatch: Dr. F is still a “special guest villian” (misspelled). Mole person Jerry is played by intern Nathan Molstead and mole person Sylvia is played by intern Amy Kane. J.C. was Mike, “Gooch” was Frank (the character in the movie’s actual name is Cooch but Pataki seems to call him “Gooch” several times in the movie, hence the confusion.) Host segments directed (last episode it said “produced”) by Jim Mallon. Toolmaster Jef Maynard is listed twice.
• Favorite riff: “Even these oil fields seem to remind me of her. Can’t put my finger on it…” Honorable mention: “You taste good too, but you’re lips … are … drugged!”

137 Replies to “Episode guide: 202- The Side Hackers”

  1. Alex says:

    Not one of the best episodes, but still has some good laughs to it.

    I can watch this movie on its own (surprisingly), but the ending is just so bad that it practically ruins the entire film. :/


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

    #34: Anyway, why does JC have a loyal posse who follow him around? He’s clearly a psycho.

    Don’t look now, but you sort of answered your own question.

    Jones, Jim


  3. Smoothie of Great Power says:

    This was my least favorite movie they riffed on until I watched Manos (and that has since changed again with many others), but it’s recently grown on me. What I have to ask is, if the crew knew about what god-awful, sleazy actors they’d have to deal with in later seasons (I’m looking at you, Joe Don!), would they have been so hard on Ross Hagen in season 2? He’s not the best actor, but he’s like Reb Brown in the sense that you can’t just help but like the guy.


  4. tinaw says:

    I just watched the movie, inspired by this discussion. Hopefully, I can do that more often.

    I have a question though. Why did the Brains cut out the rape/murder flashbacks of Rommel’s girlfriend, but keep the real time/full onscreen/no hints whatsoever/that’s what’s happening right now murder of JC’s girlfriend?

    Don’t get me wrong, the rape thing (thanks for the link!) is ugly and suprisingly sadistic for what started out as a stupid teen rebel movie. But JC choking the life out of his girlfriend was just as awful, I think.

    Anyway, the weird shift in tone might not sit well for some, which is why it’s not going to be everyone’s favorite. But the riffs all hold up well, even during the second half. And I like the Sidehacking song, mostly because of the clip from the Poopie Reel.


  5. Sampo says:

    Laura: It’s fun (albeit messy) when it’s fun!

    (Never peek into the mind of a little boy. You won’t like what you find.)


  6. M "That's MAGNIFICENT Son Of A Bitch" Sipher says:

    #54 Tinaw: “Don’t get me wrong, the rape thing (thanks for the link!) is ugly and suprisingly sadistic for what started out as a stupid teen rebel movie.

    I think that’s the problem. There was virtually no buildup to it. Rommel leads a rather pleasant life with his best pal and best girl. He has fun on his sidehack. He has a good job as a mechanic.

    And then a stranger comes to town, then nearly 2/3rds of the way into the movie, the stranger utterly destroys, and ultimately ends Rommel’s life, and Rommel was not remotely at fault for any of it.

    He did nothing wrong except maybe be a little brusque to J.C.’s chick when he (rightly) rejected her. It’s just a really, really ugly sudden turn, and I do think the riffing hurt because of it. If the movie had STARTED dark and grimy, well then, wouldn’t have been an issue, and the riffing would have rolled along with the punches. Or, again, in later years, they probably would have adapted better.


  7. Smothered in gravy, Texas style says:

    I like the MST treatment of the biker films, though I loathe the genre in general. As much as I hate JC in the film, the scenes with Crap Out make me wince. Maybe it is the accent, maybe it is the battering ram run.

    Favorite rif “You’re not supposed to eat them”


  8. aprilmay says:

    I watched the movie uncut on Youtube last year. And it is quite shocking. Especially for a movie that old.

    I’ve also seen the movie several times. And really enjoy it. For three reasons. The Sidehackin’ song. The song at the end with Gypsy. And I secretly think Ross Hagan is hot. The third reason is why I shall remain anonymous :)


  9. MiqelDotCom says:

    3 stars

    For me this one is fair but not great. The host segment songs are classic, riffing is good but the movie is a bummer. For the longest time I had no clue the “Chili Peppers burn my gut” callback originated here.

    It’s true though, Only Love Pads the Film!


  10. Cornjob says:

    One of my absolute favorite episodes. Can someone tell me what the whole “no guns” thing was about. I guess Rommel found out that Vigilante Pacifism really doesn’t work.


  11. TNMistie says:

    This one is probably the least watched episode in my collection. I personally don’t like the biker/low-life genre, with WILD REBELS being a notable exception. In a way, it’s almost required viewing for newbies because so many oft used riffs (all mentioned above) had their origin with this episode.


  12. fathermushroom says:

    I’m going to differ with the gang on a few points here.

    1. I think Ross does a decent job in this role. It’s a stupid story that makes no sense, but I end up liking Rommel overall.

    2. I despise Michael Pataki in most things I’ve seen him in, and the way he plays this role really bugs me man, it really bugs me. He is Exhibit A of what I call the “erudite thug” that appears in movies from time to time. What’s the attraction, for writers, in a complete bum who has an overstuffed vocabulary? We get the same treatment with Jeeter in “Wild Rebels” and, less offensively, with Pinky in “Untamed Youth.”

    3. I’m not crazy about MST songs during the Joel years. To me they always sound like they need a real guitar and real drums, and the thin keyboard arrangements leave me flat. For me it’s the equivalent, for some fans, of hating the movie so much that you can’t enjoy the episode. The lame music paralyzes my enjoyment of the bit. I can’t explain why this should matter to me, but there it is.

    However, I DO enjoy “Sidehackers” a LOT more than “Hellcats” which is nothing but unsurpassed grime (poorly portrayed for that matter) shot through a greasy lens.

    I kind of get a kick out of “Wild Rebels” though.


  13. Cornjob says:

    Do they still Sidehack anymore? Not Rommel obviously.


  14. trickymutha says:

    As a longtime fan of Michael Pataki, from his appearance in “Tribbles”, The Onion Field, All in the Family and Ren and Stimpy I love his Shatner lite psycho performance in this film. Without him, it would have been much duller. He is also good as the leering Sheriff in “It Lives by Night” The songs are great, but the first hour of this film is downright boring. Like others here, the best of the trio of biker films is Wild Rebels.


  15. Manny Sanguillen says:

    I hate when people say “the biker films” that MST3K did, as if they are anything remotely similar to each other.

    Wild Rebels is a classic and one of the best Joel episodes ever for me. Definitely in the top 3 at least.

    Sidehackers is trash. They couldn’t be more different.

    That said, I still can handle sidehackers once in a while.
    The other biker movie, the Hellcats was terrible and probably in the bottom 5 unfunniest episodes they have ever done.

    At least Sidehackers has some funny moments.
    But still, Wild Rebels is head & shoulders above it.

    I like the riff early on by Trace “I’m having Butt pain!” –
    a take-off on the commercial that had the old woman who had “fallen and I can’t get up!”. It was originally an old guy right before or after her who said “I’m having chest pain!”


  16. vplaid says:

    I introduced a friend’s son to MST3K and he loved it; this was his favorite episode. He was only nine years old in 1991 (and I’m sure a lot of the riffing and plot went over his head), but he wanted 1) a cool electric guitar like Joel had when they sang Sidehackers, and 2) a slinky like Gretchen the Slinky (well, I wanted one of those, too).

    I ran into him recently and the first thing he said was, “Remember watching MSTie? Those were great. I wish I had one of those Slinkys”. Then he told me he’s been in a band for years. And they occasionally sing “Sidehackin'” when they rehearse. Apparently, it made an impression on him.


  17. “Chilli peppers burn my gut.”

    I, like Joel and the bots, thought that sidehacking was something the film makers made up. But, years later I was watching the movie Ah My Goddess! and the main characters were sidehacking! Sidehacking actually exist and Japan knows about it.

    I don’t care that Frank is totally death staring in his appearance as Cooch; I just love his read of “I will do it”. I also love the Jerry and Dean rolling down the hill bit in the movie.


  18. This Guy says:

    @67: Hey, someone else noticed that about AMG!. It’s not really that surprising that Fujishima, as a raging motorcycle fanatic, would know about sidehacking. Too bad Heaven couldn’t send out anybody to smite the characters in this movie and spare us.


  19. jjb3k says:

    I hate this movie so much. It’s just…ugh. Dark, ugly, murderous, oily sludge. It’s movies like this that make me glad I wasn’t alive to see the late 1960s. They were clearly not happy times.

    As a result, I can’t stand this episode. This movie gives the Brains virtually nothing to work with. Once the goofy-looking race at the start of the film is over, that’s it – there’s nothing funny to say about anything else that happens. It’s all just angry, selfish people manipulating and murdering each other, and the one decent person in the film, Rita, gets brutally killed.

    To me, MST3K is about making the best of a bad situation, but this is one of those movies designed to make the audience realize that reality is not fun. The two are totally at odds with each other, and it keeps me from ever enjoying this episode. I haven’t watched it in almost three years, and frankly, I’m not eager to give it another try anytime soon.

    …Well, okay, I’ll admit there is one saving grace – Joel’s invention exchange. Darn it, Gretchen the Slinky is really cute.


  20. Dr. Batch says:

    The first time I saw this episode, I never got the feeling that the girl was raped. Rommel seeks revenge because she was murdered, but there’s no mention of her being raped. I didn’t feel it was implied, but that’s me.


  21. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ “I like long-running non-sequitor oddities like that, right up there with the SPACOM!”

    SPACOM is not really a non-sequitur like the Klack sketch, it’s a frequently used call-back to Project Moonbase often utilized years after the original episode in which the reference originally appears, just like “chili peppers burn my gut” is a call-back to Sidehackers used in other episodes for years to come.


  22. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Not a particularly great episode, but I think it’s passable, albeit very depressing. And having read the description of the missing scene, I think I’ll give actually watching it a pass.

    I have this on Rhino VHS; I didn’t know the DVD copy has outakes from the episode. I’ll have to check on that.

    And one correction re: Mike Curb. “Burning Bridges” was from the soundtrack to the 1970 Clint Eastwood film “Kelly’s Heroes” and charted in 1971, not 1974. (My apologies if this causes any negative waves.)


  23. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #72: “Kelly’s Heroes”

    For fans of that Kelly’s Heroes soundtrack by Lalo Schifrin, a few years ago Screen Archives Entertainment did a limited run expanded CD soundtrack. It not only has the full original vinyl LP on it, it has tons more music, all of it original music cues directly from the film’s soundtrack, making it way better than the “suite” Schifrin recorded for the original LP. I’ve had the LP since I was a kid and I had been trying to get it on CD for years, but it was out of print. Then my wife surprised me with this special CD version by SAE. It’s fantastic! And since then I have ordered many other wonderful soundtrack offerings from SAE. Amazingly, there are still copies available of the Kelly’s Heroes CD. Here’s a link:


  24. Wow. In less than one day this discussion has received nearly as many comments as ep. 201 did in an entire week. And surprisingly, the positive vote tally is only slightly lower than RXM‘s, despite so many folks claiming they don’t like this one (using the DVD as a coaster sounds like blasphemy to me, but whatever). Apparently people have a lot to say…

    After reading more of your thoughts here, I want to add that the “dark turn” the film takes should include Paisley’s murder by J.C., Rommel’s stupid revenge plot sans firearms, and the unfunny goof-balls he hires. Culminating in a joyless fight taking place in a barren landscape where everyone seems to die. Total buzzkill and inept film-making (remind anyone of Coleman Francis?). Against all these odds, I still consider it a good episode.

    I classify this (and Hellcats/Wild Rebels) in the “juvenile delinquent” category. The biker film genre (custom-made for American drive-ins) specialized in voyeuristic looks at an amoral subculture, both celebrating notions of freedom and punishing the participants for their transgressions. Roger Corman & Co. made many of these in the late 1960’s. Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider was the antithesis in that it portrayed the bikers as romantic heroes, though still stupid and finally killed for their difference. It was a well-shot movie with something to say, by a director sympathetic to the new ideas floating around at the time.

    Five The Hard Way (apparently also a reference to rolling dice) feels more like an old man giving the middle-finger to youth culture, luring them in with the promise of something fresh and exciting (the sidehack racing, the optimism of love – Rita and Rommel are planning to marry, raise children, etc.), only to turn around and shatter everyone’s dreams. So it’s not just the cut rape scene that makes this one a downer, it’s the whole damn thing.

    “We blew it.”


  25. Rich says:

    When I first watched this on the Rhino collection years ago, it took me some time to realize Rommel’s girlfriend had been killed. At the time I took that to mean the event had been implied by the movie makers rather than ever shown, for obvious reasons of taste. Only later, on this site, did I find out it had been shot, and later removed by BB.


  26. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Crow: “Uh, this is gonna be hard to watch.”

    So true my little gold friend, so true.  I’ve never been a big fan of The SideHackers, it doesn’t really do it for me.  It’s not because of the icky-ness of the movie (I’ve seen ickier) it’s because the movie is poorly made and a bore.  I can’t really compare it to Hellcats or Wild Rebels (it’s been years since I’ve seen either) but I would venture to say that The SideHackers isn’t a very good biker-juvenile-deliquent movie.

    As Finnias Jones quoted, “we blew it.”

    I noticed that Trace (as Dr. F) is still sporting a little ponytail, as he has been throughout the show so far.  I’m waiting for when he cuts the dang thing off.  Just want everyone to know I’m on ponytail watch.

    During Host Segment #1, the SideHackin’ song, Crow is playing his guitar overhanded.  I believe this is considered SideHack-style.  

    Goofy Servo riff: “maybe she’s got a saggy diaper that leaks?”

    Servo: “they stole his radio!”
    *guy falls down*
    Crow: “they stole his kneecaps!”



  27. pondoscp says:

    Who would’ve thought that the Rommel hat would come back in style? Every time I see someone wearing one, I always think “Why you want to be like Rommel man?” What fashion genius decided to unleash that hat design on the world again? Unless you’ re Brian Johnson from AC/DC, don’t be like Rommel man! We were going to bring you back down to Earth!

    I love this episode. I have been guilty of watching it several times in one day, a feat that I can accomplish with no other episode. I think what makes it work so well is that it’s a horribly ugly movie, but the riffs and the host segments are so sweet and innocent, the polar opposite of the movie. It’s as if this hideous movie has infiltrated it’s way into a kid’s show, and the result is just pure brilliance. The movie starts out all fine and happy, lulls you in, then turns on a dime, smacks you over the head, and you’re left with nothing but pain. And Frank as someone other than Frank? Incredible.

    The Brains were tormented by having to use this movie. And because of this you can start to feel the premise of the show become more prominent: The bad movies are torture. Over the next few episodes, we start to see the shift from the show being a sort of movie-host show to a flat out let’s try to break their will with bad movies concept. (Rocket Attack USA and Lost Continent, for example, anyone?) To phrase it simpler: the beginnings of Deep Hurting. Though this progression would eventually lead to Joel leaving, IMO. Whenever I see him fight with the bots about how the bots don’t like his artist’s renderings, or when they ruin his host segment bits, it felt like a little of the reality of the situation was leaking into the show. But, hey what do I know? That’s just the feeling I get from those parts. But I digress, as those moments are in future episodes (some are coming up soon). For now, let’s revel in this bliss of everyone getting along and having fun amusing themselves.

    Where was I?

    And the songs, wow, the songs. Both are wonderful, especially the Love Pads The Film. It’s like a sister song to Clown In The Sky. Singing about coping with the movies, love it.

    There was never another episode quite like this one. While as it’s not my all time favorite, or even in my top ten, it’s easily the finest Season Two episode. There are many other amazing, classic Season Two episodes, but Sidehackers is in a class all it’s own. It contains all the promise of what the show would fulfill in the years to come. The only other episode that comes close to this pure and innocent vibe is Catalina Caper. But that one’s not nearly as funny; it’s just very soothing instead.

    Charlie, they took my thumbs! (First appearance of this riff?)

    That was number 5!


  28. pondoscp says:

    Something else occurred to me now that I’ve never thought of before: would the Comedy Channel have allowed this movie to be shown with the cut scene intact? I know the Brains cut it, for obvious reasons, but for curiosities sake, what if? I would suspect that Sidehackers came out of a pre-approved batch of movies the Brains could choose from. If this was the case, does that mean the channel would have been okay with it, or did even the channel not bother to watch the movies first? Or am I way off base? From what I can tell, it looks like Sidehackers doesn’t have a rating.

    Makes me wonder about other movies, like City Limits and the umbrella gag. Did CC tell the Brains, you can do this one if you can figure out a creative way to cover the nudity? Hmmm….


  29. Zee says:

    Pretty sure this is the only episode where:

    A) Cambot does something during the movie (or is even acknowledged during the movie)

    B) Frank plays someone other than TV’s Frank (not counting his voice-only performance as Winky’s mother).

    Please someone correct me if I’m wrong!


  30. Sampo says:

    Zee– Frank provided the voice of Winky’s mother in a segment in episode 413- MANHUNT IN SPACE. That’s the only other time, I believe.

    I think Cambot is acknowledged a few times in the theater but yes, I think this is the only time Cambot actually contributes a “riff” of sorts.


  31. dsman71 says:

    I love this episode and the movie, well I did order the uncut version and still havent seen it yet…
    I loved that ESPN segment with cambot and the songs
    Total classic
    I love the biker film episodes
    I love the whole season
    Love has padded not just the film but my post :)


  32. TtotheB says:

    This is my all time favorite episode. I know most people don’t like it but the movie is just so stupid and the riffing to me is some of their best. For anyone who wants to see the complete movie, the entire thing is on Youtube in multiple parts including the infamous cut scene. It’s worth checking out if you’ve always wanted to know what happened to Rita.


  33. M "A Handful Of Crunchy Fire Ants" Sipher says:

    #73 Mr. B(ob): “SPACOM is not really a non-sequitur like the Klack sketch

    Uh, yes it is. Because I was referring to the sketch where Crow and Tom go over allllllllll of SPACOM!’s amazing and ridiculous uses.


  34. Max Keller says:

    “I don’t care that Frank is totally death staring in his appearance as Cooch; I just love his read of “I will do it”.”

    I always kinda thought that Frank is just mimicking the awful, awful acting job that Cooch does during that scene. That’s the impression I got, anyhoo.


  35. rcfagnan says:

    This episode, like the Coleman Francis and the other two biker movies, is something of a grinder for me to get through. There are some really hilarious bits (Mike and Frank as J.C. and Gooch/Cooch,), but the inherent ugliness of the film proper just drags the whole experience down for me. And the whole “no guns” approach really seemed stupid (and was the sole reason Rommel and his posse ended up getting killed.)


  36. Charles says:

    #78 I’ll go on to say that if they had not cut the rape and murder scene (although the shots of her corpse hanging by its arms was much more disturbing) The Comedy Channel wouldn’t have renewed them after that season. It’d be something that goes so far past bad taste that you’d never be able to look at the show the same again. So yeah, if by some bizarre circumstance BBI riffed the aftermath of the rape/murder and the later flashback of the rape/murder, CC probably would have rejected it. You just can’t make that funny.

    And I too thought that Frank was imitating the actor who played Cooch, calling back specifically to that really weird scene where Cooch agrees to betray Rommel.

    But if we’re talking about terrible line reads, Joel’s “Gretchen the Slinky” skit was as bad as he ever was. It is so obvious that he’s reading a cue card to his left that it’s painful. I frequently have to skip through that entire skit because it’s so embarrassing and cringe-worthy.


  37. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ 83: We’ll have to agree to disagree. It matters not what they say about SPACOM, it’s a joke that is also a call-back whether a one-liner or a whole sketch. Of course, I’ll agree that it’s a non-sequitur from the point of view that EVERY call-back is a non-sequitur once it’s used in an episode completely unrelated to the episode of origin.


  38. Creeping Terror says:

    Like Sampo, I enjoyed this episode more in my most recent viewing. I agree with Cubby (#33) that the last half of the film is really slow and the riffs aren’t as good as the first half. Yes, it’s the change in the tone in the movie that brings down the second half for me. I think that a finale revolving around sidehacking (maybe JC sabotages our hero’s sidehack?) would have been much more interesting and watchable.

    The songs are nice addition, but they are pretty pathetic compared to later tunes like “Let Me Be Frank About Frank” or the Boobtacular song for “Outlaw of Gor.” One issue hurting the closing song is the fact that Joel isn’t a very good singer. I never noticed it too much, but he does sound pretty bad in “Love Pads the Film.”

    And I LOVE the Cambot scoreboard gag. I always laugh when I see, “Boredom 9, Movie 1.” Hehehe.

    The blue screen effect during the first song is really bad. Joel has a pretty thick blue outline and sometimes his shoulder phases out of our space-time continuum. :-S

    This episode clocks in at exactly 1:37 (on the DVD), making it one of the longest MST3K episodes. The extra ~7 minutes REALLY adds to the unpleasantness.

    The second segment might be the best one of the season. I love terminology like, “teenage co-ed prison,” “spinning love funnel,” “the haedy-hiedi-ho side of the track,” “cock of the walk,” “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” and the idea that a sporting event would be held at “Japanese War Atrocity Park.” (I’m allowed to laugh at that. My grandmother and her parents were POWs of the Japanese during WWII.)


  39. Sharktopus says:

    Mr B(ob),

    I believe that Mr Sipher is saying that the original SPACOM sketch was non-sequitur in that it was just a list of unrelated things that had nothing to do with the SPACOM in the movie. Sure it started as a reference to the film, but quickly devolves into a wacky kitchen sink laundry list of meaningless words, much like Klack Foods and Sidehacking terminology. (And some George Carlin bits and pretty much every Red Hot Chili Peppers song.)


  40. bdtrppr6 says:

    there’s also another mention of “this is a woozle and his name is peanut” in the first half somewhere.


  41. The Klack sketch is anything but meaningless.
    It’s a parody of the old Kraft commercials, and I would say the silly foods are meant to sound as repulsive as Kraft’s actual prepared foods.

    It’s from the sixties.


  42. Cornjob says:

    Here’s the descriptions for some sidehacker related things from a MST3K related facebook game I helped make:

    Sidehackers: Faction

    Extreme sport enthusiasts with a penchant for fatal self-inflicted buttock abrasions.

    Rommel: Hero

    He’s a good looking guy with a nice girl he’s going to marry, and ruinously poor taste in friends. He just wants to scrape his butt on his sidehack in peace until J.C. kills his woman. Then it’s time for a violent but principled gun free vendetta.

    J.C.: Villain

    This eligable bachelor is a motorcyclist who enjoys hitting people, sexual assaults, wearing clothes that make Ray Charles’ eyes hurt, and having tender heartfelt conversations with loved ones he’s murdered. You can see why he’s popular with the ladies.


  43. John Ellis says:

    I think Frank also played Glen during one of the skits for ‘The Amazing Colossal Man’, only for Mike to take over the role in the skits for ‘War of the Colossal Beast’.


  44. Manny Sanguillen says:

    No, Mike was always Glen Manning, in both Colossal movies.


  45. Don says:

    The first time we ever saw mst3k was the side hackers episode, when we were on vacation in LA in 9/92. I had heard of the show before, but our cable system didn’t carry the comedy channel/central until a few months after that…I remember being surprised that (nearly) the entire movie was shown and the program was 2 hrs long! It wasn’t an episode I’d recommend to newbies ( ex. Amazing colossal man), but it was still pretty funny, and I remembered Joel from his funny standup career; (almost 20 years ago…ouch).


  46. briizilla says:

    I hadn’t seen this episode in quite some time and I was happy to realize it’s a better episode than I remember. However, considering the year it actually aired I was pretty surprised by the language the film got away with uncensored, especially the f@g joke. I’d have to say it’s the most ‘adult’ movie the brains ever did all-things considered.


  47. John Ellis says:

    In that case, I think the closest they came was when Frank briefly took on aliases as part of the Mads’ current scheme. (Ala “Auntie McFrank” for their Bed & Breakfast.)


  48. pondoscp says:

    @96 yeah, and at one point in the movie there’s dirty pictures on the wall in the background, and they aren’t blurred out! Makes me wonder where they got Sidehackers from. If it came from the network, the network must not have watched or cared what the content was. They probably assumed old meant non-offensive?


  49. TheDON3k says:

    Got a dopey hat?


  50. Dan in WI says:

    Won’t somebody make the 100th post already?


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