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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 (156 votes, average: 4.28 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. wotunw5o says:

    Rod looks kinda like Kikaider when he’s got his guitar.


  2. Cronkite Moonshot says:

    One of the all time classic MST episodes in my opinion. I really wish they had done more of these kinds of 60’s movies over the years. I wouldn’t generalize the trio from season 2 as “biker” movies because Sidehackers is hardly about bikers (as in “motorcycle gang” bikers), but they are of the same era and ilk of exploitation films. I love those kinds of movies, and think they worked great on MST.


  3. JCC says:

    Man do I feel embarrassed for Alaimo’s dance partner.

    Still it’s one of my favorite scenes in an MST3k film, and I love that song by The Birdwatchers! Almost bought their compilation CD (still should)…


  4. pondoscp says:

    Daisy slipped into something more comfortable


  5. PALADIN says:

    Actually, this movie is a triumphant celebration of the power of Good over Evil and the effectiveness of Law Enforcement over The Criminal Element.

    These oddball hoods, led by their erudite leader, rampage unchallenged committing a host of nefarious deeds ( five murders, three assaults, two armed robberies, violation of State & Federal Gun Laws, one involuntary doping, one popcorn theft, and a rather rude and gratuitous fanny slap.)

    Yet the forces of Good win out at the end, despite the fact that the police in this film cannot accurately shoot worth a damn.

    The Law wins the day by sheer persistance of expendable manpower and an endless supply of ammo fired hither and yon until The Guilty inadvertently get hit, one-by-one. The Cops don`t stop, until the case is done.

    Makes ya proud.

    When the Feds were after Dillinger back in the 30`s, and kept shooting up law-abiding citizens by mistake; Will Rogers quipped that Dillinger had better watch out–he could be standing next to an innocent person and get killed by mistake.

    “Wild Rebels” carries on that same sentiment.

    Me…I knew that the hoods were doomed when Fats stole the kid`s popcorn at the car races.
    Some things, just cannot be allowed to pass unchallenged.


  6. Kouban says:

    I looked up Bobbie Byers (’cause I dig them groovy 60s ladies) and learned something interesting: She was a voice actress for some early anime dubs, including Prince Planet, whose US release was handled by American International and produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff!


  7. JJK says:

    THAT SQUARE BUGS ME! HE REALLY BUGS ME!!!! I can’t believe they didn’t use that as the stinger or have a stinger. Late 60’s movies are great for MST3K, even good movies from that era have that certain look/feel that just beg to be riffed.


  8. ck says:

    agree with JJK above on 60s movies,

    Even a great movie like Bullitt, with the best car chase ever (way better then the
    French Connection or even the long chase scene in Dollars) (Warren Beatty and
    Goldie Hawn) would have been great riffing.


  9. schippers says:

    #52 – But what, really, is Sidehackers “about”? Hard to say, I would say. Certainly not sidehacking.


  10. Briizilla says:

    5 stars and I’d give it 10 if I could. I love this episode from beginning to end, it’s easily my favorite season 2 ep and top 5 of the series. I don’t think it’s been mentioned yet but towards the end when fats(I think) is running up the lighthouse steps and crow is doing the panting for breath sound cracks me up to this day. I also love ‘no witnesses’ , ‘no handcuffs, no jail’ and ‘look they’re just really smart ok!?!’.


  11. Cubby says:

    @59: Man’s Inhumanity To Man. And Only Love Can Pad The Film.

    Regarding “Wild Rebels,” though …

    I like this one. I don’t love it, but I couldn’t argue against anyone else’s love. I only saw it a couple of times broadcast, and from the first time I only remember Gypsy rushing in and the spiral staircase shot from the climax.

    I wonder, though. Is this the last use of “Zack Norman is Sammy in Chief Zabu”? I don’t remember hearing it after this.


  12. Grognard says:

    Great episode.I remember that the turd museum was a reference to an old Steve Martin joke.
    I went to the turd museum the other day,saw a lot of nice sh*t there.I bet some of that crap is worth a lot of money.


  13. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    My favorite riff from this movie has GOT to be the scene at the track after Rod has agreed to go undercover. There’s a lot of sly glances between Rod and his government handlers, and Rod inhales off a cigarette and sort of bears his teeth, as Joel says “what’re you lookin’ at jerk?” I typically rewatch that riff about 5 times before moving on in the film. It’s one of those magic moments for me. Just a perfect little riff that is way funnier than it really should be.


  14. Sharktopus says:

    I had no idea Turd Museum was a Steve Martin bit. Thanks, Grognard. :laugh:


  15. Pete says:

    I always thought the lighthouse was the one at Lighthouse Point. Although it’s actually at Hillsboro Beach.

    Look at these cites:


  16. Pete says:

    Here’s some more Florida lighthouses. I think Cape Florida is a good candidate for the exteriors. Look at 1:23 in the movie.


  17. Creepygirl says:

    I truly LOVE this episode. I tend to watch it only once in a while and I tend to forget a lot of those really funny riffs. Today was the first time I’ve watched this episode since RHINO Vol. 9 came out and many riffs were new to me again.

    I also really enjoy the host segments in this one. I had a great afternoon with my friends on the SOL.


  18. noplot says:

    I’ve used the “and we can’t go straight up; remember when we tried that?” more than once while riding with my spouse or parents, much to their annoyance. But I’m amazed we’re through over 65 comments and no one’s mentioned my favorite: as the gang finishes the day and one notes “We’ve got a big day ahead of us.”, Crow adds, “Yeah, we’ve got early Mass.” To this day I (and my wife) think of the early Mass now as the biker Mass. (Don’t tell Father Pat!)


  19. Pete says:

    It’s interesting that the gun shop prominently shows their address as 12953 Biscayne Bd. Pl. 48922. Biscayne Blvd. is obviously Miami, but that zip code shows up as Lansing, Michigan in Google Maps.


  20. Cubby says:

    Pete, I didn’t think it was a ZIP code, I thought PL 48922 was the phone number, from the days when prefixes were represented by letters. (Like KLondike 5-1212)


  21. Cubby says:

    Following up, I looked here for old Miami telephone exchanges and found PLaza.


  22. trickymutha says:



  23. Sharktopus says:

    And coming into the third lap, Pete and Cubby and neck and neck in the most obsessive MSTie race. Meanwhile, Rod Tillman’s car has spontaneously burst into flames. Again.


  24. losingmydignity says:

    Better riffed than I remembered. I really got a kix out of it this time.

    This might contain one of my favorite host segs. Their referencing the Alonoquin (sp) table is one of the reasons this show was made for me. (And I love that they use it as a riff late in the movie).

    Great host segs overall.

    No one has mentioned the small-town bank jokes. For some reason they really killed me this time around. Slutty Linda jokes work pretty well for me too. Ridiculous casting. For some reason the actress screams Batman episode.

    Plot wise this could have been a western, or whatever. Hardly a biker film as someone else mentioned. Only Hellcats really comes close to being an honest to gosh biker film. Wild Angels (whose coattails they were obviously trying to ride on), a biker film. Easy Rider, a biker film. This one–a station wagon film.

    Fav riff: From Crow, during the getaway, something like: Well, we could trying going up, but remember when we tried that? (ok, totally wrong wording, but I tried).



  25. mnmlist says:

    This was one of my 1st episodes. And it’s no less than a 5-star.

    I’m headed to the Int’l turd museum…

    … Ride ’em. :sweat:


  26. JCC says:

    Dude – Steve Alaimo looks exactly like Paul Dinello! Thought this when I first saw the episode in ’94/’95 because his show Exit 57 was being heavily promoted by Comedy Central at the time.


  27. jerry schils says:

    i laughed so hard i had tears in my eyes. you all did a great job on the movie. a few corrections if you don’t mind. our band was out of miami, not tampa. my last name is spelled schils. bobby puccetti was the founder of the birdwatchers. thanks for sending me the movie, i will treasure it. good luck to you all


  28. MsMyste3000 says:

    I’m watching this right now!

    Things I like about this episode:

    “My lunch goes BLLLAAAAAAAGGGHH!!!” :X-P:

    Joel’s Gypsy Serenade….makes ME swoon… :inlove: oh Joel :inlove:! I also love his goatee!

    During the “Intellectual Bikers” skit, Joel says about Truman Capote, “….Oscar’s Wild Ones…they were leather boys…..”.

    During the opening “Rod auctions his junk scene” Joel says “Dickweed”! One of the few times he blatantly says it (It’s usually the Bots who say it).

    Y’know, folks are always baffled over the biker gang’s need for a car…the Bikers needed a car because they wouldn’t stand out, thus making their coming & going during crimes unexpected. If folks saw them coming on their hogs, they would know trouble’s up….however, a dorky station wagon with a biker chick disguised as a sweet, bespectacled librarian-type wont arouse suspiction.

    I always found Fats lovably amusing.

    “She’s wearing her Van Husen…and he’s wearing a beer…woah, looks like Banjo exploded!!!”

    Concerning “Stock Market” jokes…”Anaconda’s up…” always puzzled me, until I realized it was a phallic double-entendre! It helps to remember Sir-Mix-A-Lot.


  29. Kansas says:

    John Vella who played Jeeter also starred in the horror movie Sting of Death, in which he played a were-jellyfish. I used to cross my fingers and hope MST3K would tackle that movie some day (though I suppose there is still time for Rifftrax). When I first saw this movie, I thought Linda shot the gun shop owner, but on later viewing, I realized she just punched him in the stomach with the gun. Of course in movie terms, a blow to the stomach means automatic unconsciousness.


  30. Bruce Boxliker says:

    This movie bugs me… IT REALLY BUGS ME!!

    Actually, it really doesn’t. I just wanted to say that.

    The biker movies really aren’t my favorites, but I did find this one funnier than I remembered. As #1 points out, it may be the best of the 3, but it’s a very low bar to drunkenly stumble over.
    I’m guessing that the Wild Rebels Cereal commercial came from the several kicks/kix jokes they used.
    Since Gypsy’s attached to the ship & runs it’s higher functions, I always thought of her AS the SOL itself. It also made me think that Magic Voice might be another aspect of her rather large mind. Then I remembered that it’s a puppet show & I should really just relax.

    ‘Tom, go keep the heat shields pointed towards the sun. Crow, do everything else.’


  31. Sitting Duck says:

    The Wild Rebels fails the Bechdel Test. No two female characters converse, with Linda being the only speaking female throughout most of the film.

    No stinger. The one I’d go with would be, “I’m in it for kicks.”

    Come to think of it, Rod does look kind of like Bob Denver.

    Joel’s crack about the copyrighting of the Hell’s Angels logo is interesting when you consider that the actual Hell’s Angels do in fact vigorously prosecute infringements of their logo. The only thing is they actually do it in court rather than in a back alley with blunt instruments.

    So was the Wild Rebels cereal based on a particular breakfast cereal commercial?

    HS3 proves once again that the claim of Joel’s relationship with the Bots being all lovey-duvey is a complete load. The way Gypsy delivers the line, “I’m in it for the kicks,” particularly cracks me up.

    The final host segment here and that of the MST3K Movie bear a more than passing resemblance.

    @ #38: No, dickweed was used as far back as the KTMA episodes. In fact, it predates MST3K itself, as it was used in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (“You killed Ted, you medieval dickweed!”)

    Favorite riffs

    And the Glaucoma Players.

    “There goes two years of saving.”
    Well you shouldn’t carry cash in the glove compartment, Rod.

    “Come on down from there, Rod. You don’t want to sell out.”
    Well I made this movie, didn’t I?

    If you take these bikers internally, do not induce vomiting.
    The movie will do that for you.

    “Would you believe Banjo’s in love?”
    Okay, would you believe mildly infatuated? How about a schoolboy crush?

    “No creeps are allowed to touch here.”
    Only union members and their families.

    “You remember that little college banana you were dancing with?”
    Well now he’s a banana split with nuts on top.


  32. Sitting Duck says:

    As a follow-up to those who are skeptical that Hell’s Angels operate that way, it’s in the second entry.


  33. Clint says:

    I love the riff when the gang is planning their getaway route after the robbery

    “And we can’t go straight up, remember when we tried that??”


  34. Lisa H. says:

    I had a big crush on goateed Joel when I was in high school/early college. I know the “I know what I like” song is supposed to be just a dopey spoof of the movie, but somehow I find it sincerely tender and sweet. I still think he looks pretty cute here.

    I are weird.

    (It’s a bit of a mindbender to think about how I’m now several years older than he was at the time.)


  35. littleaimishboy says:

    “No gun dealer, no matter how naive or smitten, would ever load a gun for a customer.”

    That scene was (I would guess) inspired by a similar scene in “Public Enemy” (1931) in which down-on-his-luck gangster Jimmy Cagney persuades a gun dealer to show him how to insert “those things, what are they called, oh yes bullets”* and then robs him with the thoughtfully loaded gun.

    *Not the exact dialog but it’s something like that.


  36. pondoscp says:

    I could’ve sworn Joel referred to the “Mystery Science Theater” in some KTMA episodes


  37. Joel Lillo says:

    In case anyone was puzzled by the “Kicks are for Trids” reference that Joel makes a couple of times, it comes from a real groaner of a joke. Here is a version of it: Every morning the Trids got up, ate breakfast, and marched over the bridge to Tridville to work. One morning, a troll moved in under the bridge. When the Trids tried to cross the bridge, the troll climbed up and kicked the Trids all the way back to their homes. The Trids decided to take the day off in hopes that the troll would go away, but the next morning the troll once again climbed up onto the bridge and kicked them back to their homes. In desperation, the Trids decided to ask the Rabbi for help. So the next morning the Rabbi walked across the bridge several times but never saw the troll. He went home believing the troll had indeed moved on. When the Trids tried to cross the bridge afterward, the troll climbed up again and kicked the Trids back home. The Rabbi returned to the bridge and called out for the troll. When the troll appeared, the Rabbi asked why he was allowed to cross the bridge but not the Trids. The troll replied, “Silly Rabbi, kicks are for Trids.”


  38. rose from nj says:

    OK, I’ll say this and get it out in the open – I like Steve Alaimo! In the 60’s, I watched him every day after school on Dick Clark’s “Where the Action Is”. Mostly I watched for Paul Revere & The Raiders, but the show was fun for a teenager at the time (me). Man, am I old!!!


  39. senorpogo says:

    One of my all-time favorite episodes. Love the Tommy Lasorda, Slim Fast riff.


  40. Lex says:

    One of my top five favorite episodes for sure. I remember watching the last part with a friend of mine all those years ago and we just loved the jokes about plants being shot and the goofy sound effects.
    I got a copy years ago and showed it to my family and I think they were amused by it, too. It’s a perfect movie for this show because you can tell the people who made it really put their work into it. Whether it worked or not.

    “Paint your house. How’s my sandwich coming.”


  41. PALADIN says:

    One of my all-time favorite eps, partly because it brings back memories for me of 1960`s Florida when I was a kid there.

    I may not have lived in ‘Citrusville’, but I certainly recall plenty of small towns that looked just like it …

    Heck, I may have passed through the filming location.

    Who knows? … Mayhap I traded shots with inept cops at that very Lighthouse… Those were craaazy days !


  42. Cornjob says:

    And another episode hits it out of the park. Tons of classic riffs. Exploding bikers with head injuries. A pro race car driver that can’t get the car around the track without it exploding. Bikers that don’t know how to drive a car. Police that can’t solve an assault that took place in public in front of more than 20 witnesses. And my lunch goes “Bleeahhh”.


  43. senorpogo says:

    I would also add: this movie may have the most inept law enforcement officers of any film done by MST3K and that’s saying something. Of the many idiotic things they do, the most egregious to me: even though the police know where the bikers are after they murder the gun store owner in cold blood and steal all those firearms (obviously to be used in more heinous crimes), they don’t arrest them. They don’t tail them. They do nothing. They wait for them to go on their murderous rampage.

    Has that ever been a weekend discussion? Most inept law enforcement and/or military officers in an MST3K film?


  44. Into The Void says:

    It’s unfortunate that the BB crew never returned to the ‘biker flicks’ to riff on (City Limits doesn’t count) as they provided much riff-worthy material! ha, what a hoot!

    I’d found my way to MST in the early ’90s, and the three biker trash movies they did definitely had a role informing me to the world of MST.

    Speaking of which…favorite ‘Kreskin’-esque “mmm!…that’s good weed!” (or fill in the blank___booze, blow, etc) weekend thread?

    Those seemed to dry up post-Joel era.


  45. Into The Void says:

    …actually, that should be “Carnac” (the Magnificent) instead of Kreskin. Meaning, the funny voice/inflection Joel used when he did that line/bit always reminded me of Johnny Carson as “Carnac.”

    Perhaps just a coincidence.


  46. Cornjob says:

    Is your handle a Black Sabbath reference or something else?


  47. thequietman says:

    Just to add one more log on the “inept cops” fire, during the bank robbery scene Rod tips off the cops but doesn’t think to mention the fact that they’re armed to the teeth with a shotgun, rifle, and several pistols, thus setting the officers up to get blasted. Of course, the cops just blindly rush in anyway so maybe it wouldn’t have done much good.

    But that aside, while I’m sure this movie has a far higher body count than Sidehackers, this is a much better episode overall. I generally don’t laugh much at the host segments, but Dr. F’s offhand ‘shut up’ to Frank in the invention exchange and the way Joel is so overcome with emotion at connecting with Gypsy he slaps Tom’s head instead of the button got big guffaws out of me.

    Fave riff:
    Reaganesque cop: They know we’d recognize those bikes immediately, so they’re switching to cars…
    Servo: …’cause cars are harder to see!


  48. MichaelK says:

    One of the first MST3K episodes I ever watched and still one of my favorites. A very underrated gem of an episode.

    “I’m in it for the kicks.”


  49. Goshzilla says:

    If “Operation Weasel-Snitch” doesn’t make you laugh, MST3K just ain’t for you.

    Hey, how’s that for a Weekend Discussion: single riffs as litmus tests?


  50. 70's run on car says:

    “It’s possible I just might be too hip for this room”. Willie the
    wisp boxing champ. Banjo.


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