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Episode guide: 207- Wild Rebels

Movie: (1967) A down-on-his-luck stock-car racer is recruited as getaway driver for a biker gang planning a robbery spree. He wants nothing to do with it until the cops ask him to go undercover.

First shown: 11/17/90
Opening: Something’s wrong with Gypsy but to find out what it is, Joel must shut down most of the ship’s higher functions of the SOL
Invention exchange: Gypsy was just a little depressed but she’s feeling better; the Mads unveil their hobby hogs; Joel shows off his 3-D pizza
Host segment 1: Joel explains that most famous intellectuals rode in biker gangs
Host segment 2: J&tB do a commercial for Wild Rebels cereal
Host segment 3: Joel and Gypsy have a nice little stroll, and he serenades her, a la the movie
End: Joel explains how to appreciate a bad movie, then he and bots start to party, much to Dr. F’s astonishment. Joel reads a letter and Dr. F puts a partying Frank down for the night
Stinger: None.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (161 votes, average: 4.29 out of 5)


• I have to agree with the folks who have been saying, for several weeks, that this is the best of the three biker movie episodes in season 2. This ep is definitely a lot of fun. You’ve got a dumb but watchable movie, good and steady riffing and memorable host segments. All in all, plenty of KICKS!
• Joel, still in a green jumpsuit, is now sporting a cheesy goatee.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 9.
• Tom Servo’s regular head returns. No explanation is given.
• The opening explains Gypsy’s role on the SOL, a bit that came in response to fan questions about her. In the ACEG they sheepishly admit that it was a little uncomfortable that the only female character on the show was distinctly cow-like. By the way, I never noticed before that Joel actually turns a little knob on the back of Gypsy’s head in order to turn off the “higher functions.”
• Trace and Frank are very funny in the invention exchange. Dr. F finally tries to get to the bottom of “eyukaeee,” but nothing doing.
• Joel twice calls the theater the “Mystery Science Theater”–the first and last time he would do that.
• J&tB take note of a really glaring continuity mistake early on, as the guitar is present on the car Rod is trying to sell, and a moment later it isn’t.
• We get Gypsy’s second appearance in the theater (her first was in episode 112- UNTAMED YOUTH) about ten minutes into the movie when somebody mentions “Voyage to the Bottom of Sea.”
• The club where our hero meets the bikers was an actual place, a Dade County dive then called Trader John’s.
• The band playing in the background at the bar are “The Birdwatchers,” a surf-rock band out of Tampa. Drummer Eddie Martinez died in the ’80s. Lead guitarist Joey Murcia’s whereabouts are unknown. As of a few years ago, keyboardist Bobby Puccetti was a party deejay in Florida and bassist Jerry Schills, who founded the group, lived in Dubuque, Iowa, and still played in a band. Lead singer Sammy Hall was a minister until he died in 2013. There’s a really extensive look at their career here. Schills, Hall and Puccetti reunited in 2012 to play a concert called “Geezerpalooza.” I got an email from Schills, who said “I don’t remember much of the movie other than the whole 5 or 10 minutes we had in it took the whole damn day to film. We weren’t the problem, it was just the way they do movies.” Still, he says “It was an unforgettable time of our lives.” I spoke to Hall on the phone for a bit. He also remembered that he was told to be there very early, and he was, but the filming still took all day. He also said he was the only one of the group who was actually called upon to act, “since I had to pretend I was playing the trumpet.” Incidentally, the song they sing, “Can I Do It?”, was never released commercially until a retrospective album came out in 1980.
• The bartender is played by then-Miami radio deejay Milton “Butterball” Smith.
• Callbacks: “The driver is either missing or he’s gone.” “Thees will seemplify everything!” (both The Phantom Creeps)
• Segment 1 is another intensely written but very funny sketch, typical of season 2, including the great line “Everyone thought Joseph Campbell was tough, but that was just a myth.”
• Segment 2 is an instant classic. Great line: “Like getting hit on the back of the head with a surfboard of flavor!” It’s not in the credits, but that’s Alex Carr as the voice of “Mom.”
• Movie observation: No gun dealer, no matter how naive or smitten, would ever load a gun for a customer.
• Instant catchphrase: “That square bugs me!”
• This was an era in the show when any character in any movie saying the words “I will…” was enough to get somebody shouting “I WILL KILL HIM!” as Sting did in the movie “Dune.” They were obsessed with it.
• Joel says “J. Gordon Liddy.” That’s G.
• The driver of the lead cop car in the scene where the cops are pursing the bikers through the swamps is then-Miami radio deejay Dutch Holland.
• Other than in the Marvel universe, I can’t find a Citrusville, Fla. I believe Jupiter, Fla., stood in for it. There is a lighthouse in Jupiter, too, but it’s unclear if that’s the Jupiter lighthouse in the final scenes of the movie. If anybody knows for sure, I’d love to find out.
• Also, the racing scenes were shot at the Palm Beach Fairgrounds Speedway.
• Segment 3 is just so adorable. Great line: “You know, I kinda feel like Mac Davis on ‘The Muppet Show.’ ”
• The closing segment really gives viewers a primer the MST3k way to look at a movie.
• Joel says “…dark, tarry…” Hmm.
• A balloon explodes in mid-letter, the bots react in character and they just keep going.
• For some reason, this episode has no stinger. Maybe they just forgot. Stinger suggestion: “That square bugs me…”
• A record album by Steve Alaimo, “Every Day I Have to Cry,” hung on the wall at the Best Brains studio. That appears to be the one Mike gives Crow in episode 512- SANTA CLAUS. You can briefly see the back and it looks like it’s been matted like something you would hang on the wall.
• Cast and crew roundup: None. Nobody who worked on this worked on any other MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: The font size and spacing are back to normal this week. Trace and Frank are, again, “special guest villians” (misspelled). This week’s Creative Pit Boss: Jim Mallon. Jim’s name, and Jann Johnson’s name, appear along with Kevin’s and Alex Carr’s names, in the Post Production Supervision credit, for this episode only. After an episode off last week, Tim Paulson returns as editor and will remain in that job for the rest of the season.
• Fave riff: “Personally, I like guys in clown suits.” Honorable mention: “Here comes the sermon on the Gran Torino.”

111 Replies to “Episode guide: 207- Wild Rebels”

  1. Dish of Ice Cream says:

    Lisa H.:
    I had a big crush on goateed Joel when I was in high school/early college…

    I are weird.

    If you’re weird, than I am too. I think goateed Joel is cute.

    This is a fun episode. I love the Wild Rebels cereal jingle. I’m glad Gypsy gets her due, my lunch goes blah, and the movie is kicky. Linda is interesting too, totally into the kicks, man.


  2. trickymutha says:

    GF loves the line “you’re messing with private stock” Part of our lexicon


  3. Sean says:

    I count four Comments that say this was their first episode of MST3K. Well, make that five! Really fond of this one. BTW, I’m the guy who wrote the annotations (“References,” above). It was my fist spin writing/researching for, so naturally I chose my first MST3K episode.

    “It’s like getting hit in the back of the head with a surfboard of flavor!”


  4. Cornjob says:

    These cops may have been incompetent, but at least they didn’t jump in a light aircraft and randomly shoot at anything that moves on the ground at the first sign of trouble.

    Love the Devil’s Tritone reference. Tre Slayer.


  5. Into The Void says:

    Is your handle a Black Sabbath reference or something else?

    Sabbath, absolutely.


  6. Cornjob says:

    Keep holy the Sabbath…


  7. Into The Void says:

    Keep holy the Sabbath…

    Indeed. I was a kid of the ’70s, and Black Sabbath, courtesy of my older sister–who was quite the head in those days, was my first real love …along with Fri night Creature Feature (wrap-around shows), horror comics, and science/speculative fiction.


  8. adud says:

    For ’60s Nazi bikers, they sure make a lot of gay innuendo, “baby”.

    Also, in the ACEG they actually mention a stinger: “Steve Alaimo dances like he has ergotism.” They probably forgot to put it on.


  9. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    GF loves the line “you’re messing with private stock” Part of our lexicon

    She’s like a virgin goddess? Well, sorta…


  10. fireballil says:

    Fun fact: Jupiter, Florida is now spring training home for the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins.


  11. mnenoch says:

    “We’re funky crunchy rebels”.

    This is an extremely memorable episode for me. After my brother and I discovered MST3K on scifi in early 97 we started searching across the internet for more MST3K stuff. Fortunately for us, msties were on the internet from the beginning. For some reason a lot of the songs showed up as wave clips early on, among other waves of course. The commercial song for Wild Rebels cereal was one that my brother and I listened to a lot before we able to get an actual copy of the episode. It’s funny how even in the later years of MST3K how classic some parts already were.

    I have to agree that this is the best of the biker movies that they watched. For some reason this one isn’t as dark as the other biker movies they watched and provided some real odd ball moments.

    My favorite parts are:

    First segment where Crow has the 3d glasses on: I think I’m really here.

    Wild Rebels Cereal Commercial!

    Crow making fun of people climbing up the stairs. Trace’s parts where he would breathe heavily while characters are climbing up the stairs is just hilarious everytime I watch it.

    For the kicks baby!!


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