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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 208- Lost Continent

Movie: (1951) A military/science team searches for a downed rocket atop a remote, dinosaur-infested mountain.

First shown: 11/24/90
Opening: Coach Joel gives the bots a locker room pep talk
Invention exchange: The Mads unveil their exercise treadmill equipped with wheels, introduce the movie and give Joel movie sign against his will
Host segment 1: Hugh Beaumont, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, visits on the Hexfield with a message of unholy death
Host segment 2: J&tB’s preachy “The Explorers” sketch bogs down
Host segment 3: J&tB see The Cool Thing and announce a contest
End: J&tB analyze the movie, Joel reads a letter, Dr. F declares victory
Stinger: “Well, thanks for straightening the whole thing out…”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (147 votes, average: 4.14 out of 5)

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• Rock climbing, everybody. Rock climbing.
• Well this one is definitely a winner. Wacky movie, great riffing, decent host segments and, oh, did I mention…rock climbing? Rock climbing.
• Joel, still sporting a cheesy goatee, is now in a never-before-seen cyan jumpsuit.
This episode appears on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XVIII.
• A message at the beginning of the Shout DVD apologizes in advance for the tape artifacts in their product. Apparently the official BBI copy was damaged or not stored properly. Upsetting.
References.
• This is the infamous episode featuring, as previously mentioned, the mind-bloating “rock climbing” sequence. A couple of years after this episode came out, the sequence so moved one usenet fan that he created a “rock climbing FAQ (frequently asked questions) file” that analyzed the “rock climbing” phenomenon within an inch of its life. And, as proof that nothing ever really disappears from internet, here it is.
• During this season, J&tB’s response to the movie was seen in a very black-and-white way–either Dr. F. “won” or Joel and the bots did. They never made this more explicit than in the opening segment here.
• However, Joel makes a little mistake in his pep talk: the episode two weeks ago was “Ring of Terror,” not “Rocket Attack USA.”
• I hope the Mads sued these guys.
• Frank twice addresses mole people, Jerry and Sylvia, who are apparently behind the camera in Deep 13.
• Joel never gets to do an invention exchange, but don’t worry, the one he’s holding, the sign language translator, will be used next week.
• Joel gets Movie Sign “against his will”–He refuses to enter the theater and appears to get an electrical shock to his tush. This is described as a “shock to the shammies” in episode 302- GAMERA, when Joel gets it again.
• Yes, the opening shot is the same shot used in “Rocket Ship XM.” Lippert was nothing if not thrifty.
• Callbacks: “We’re on our way!” (Rocket Ship XM) “Charbroiled hamburger sandwich and french fried potatoes!” (Jungle Goddess) “Thees will seemplify everything!” (Phantom Creeps) “Chili peppers, they burn my gut.” (Sidehackers) “That square bugs me! He really bugs me!” (Wild Rebels)
• That’s Mike, of course, as Hugh Beaumont (“Cryptodad” in the credits) in yet another Hexfield Viewscreen appearance, in segment 1, and he’s very funny, though the writing is excellent as well. This segment is a pretty good example of what is so wonderful about MST3K.
• Servo keeps asking “Ever fly one of these things?” He also said it a few episodes back. Is that from something?
• Obscure KTMA reference I never got before: Joel riffs, “Maybe there was hand soap in the hydraulic fluid.” A reference to a plot contrivance in the movie in episode K13- SST DEATH FLIGHT. Went right over my head in the past.
• Movie observation: Actors do things in movies that real people would never do (unless they are very stupid). A pristine example is the cop in “Plan 9” who scratches his temple with the barrel of his gun. There’s a moment like that in this movie: Would anyone really sit RIGHT on the edge of a cliff, with their legs dangling over the side, like they do in the movie?
• Host segment 2 is probably inspired by the brief “asking for directions from the native” scene in this movie, combined with all the “white male reality” stuff from “Jungle Goddess.” But here’s a question: Is this the first “We’re doing a sketch but it’s not going very well” sketch? They’ll do more sketches like it throughout the series.
• The “cool thing” bit in segment 3 is clearly inspired by the moment in the movie when the characters reach the top of the mountain, and everyone stands amazed at what they see, but they don’t show us for a long time. Some of the entries they got from viewers were shown in episode 213- GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER.
• Cast and crew roundup: Producer Sigmund Neufeld also produced “The Mad Monster.” Director Sam Newfield also directed “Radar Secret Service, “The Mad Monster” and “I Accuse My Parents.” Cinematographer Jack Greenhalgh also worked on “The Mad Monster and “Robot Monster.” Editor Philip Cahn also worked on “The Brute Man. Special effects guy Augie Lohman also worked on “The Rebel Set.” Special effects guy Ray Mercer also worked on “I Accuse My Parents,” “Radar Secret Service,” “Last of the Wild Horses,” “The Sinister Urge” and “The Beast of Yucca Flats.” Costume guy Alfred Berke also worked on “Last of the Wild Horses. Makeup guy Harry Ross also worked on “The Mad Monster and “Viking Women and the Sea Serpent.” Production manager Bert Sternbach also worked on “The Mad Monster.” Writer Orville H. Hampton also worked on “Rocket Ship XM.” Score composer Paul Dunlap also worked on “The Rebel Set” and “I Was a Teenage Werewolf.” In front of the camera, Whit Bissell was also in “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” and Murray Alper was also in “The Leech Woman.” Hugh Beaumont was in “The Human Duplicators” and “The Mole People.” He was also the narrator of the short “A Date with Your Family.” Sid Melton was also in “Radar Secret Service.” Chick Chandler was in the short “Once Upon a Honeymoon.”
• CreditsWatch: Trace and Frank are still “special guest villians” (misspelled). This week’s creative pit boss: Kevin Murphy. The “Explorers Action Theme” written and performed by Michael J. Nelson. This was intern James Smith’s last episode.
• Favorite riff: “Still talking to crap, monkey boy?” Honorable mention: “I never knew Mountain time was so slow!”

117 Replies to “Episode guide: 208- Lost Continent”

  1. Sitting Duck says:

    BTW the question I asked back in post #74 never got answered.

       0 likes

  2. dasdfa says:

    #98
    the blahblah test shtick helps if you spell the names right lol

       3 likes

  3. Droppo says:

    This is a no doubt about it 5 star, Hall of Fame episode. One of the first I watched and as responsible as any ep for hooking me on MST3K. This is the Joel era at its finest. You completely believe that Joel and the bots are stuck in space and forced to watch the rock climbing sequence. Their breakdown is one of my all-time favorite MST3K moments. And that Joel-era familial sweetness is evident throughout. They’re in it together. “Rock climbing, Joel.” “Rock climbing, Crow.”

    Sid Melton is gold. Every one of his jokes lands with an audible thud and J&TB handle them perfectly.

    The entire rock climbing sequence is MST3K at its finest.

    I love the whole concept of either J&TB or the Mads winning each experiment. And, of course, the Mads won this one convincingly based on “rock climbing.”

    This one is in my top 5 ever. I was so pleased that Joel chose it for the latest Turkey Day marathon. It’s rarely mentioned in the same breath as Manos or Mitchell – but, I believe it should be.

       4 likes

  4. sol-survivor says:

    Sitting Duck:
    BTW the question I asked back in post #74 never got answered.

    If you mean when they’re giving little “facts” about the movie after it’s over I always thought it was a little tribute to Nick Clooney (Rosemary’s brother, George’s father) and Bob Dorian when they would do similar little snippets before and after classic movies on AMC. Judge for yourself with a clip of Nick introducing “The Silver Chalice”: http://bit.ly/1BzXIKw Could be wrong, but that was my impression.

    Maybe there’s something wrong with me, “Rock climbing” and “Sandstormmmm!!!” never bothered me. I thought they were funny. Of course, without the riffing it could have been a whole other story.

       2 likes

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

    103: “It’s rarely mentioned in the same breath as Manos or Mitchell”

    That might just be because it doesn’t start with an M. ;-)

       4 likes

  6. pondoscp says:

    @71 RIP Monkey Boy
    I still love this episode and watch it about 6 times a year

       1 likes

  7. Bruce Boxliker says:

    “Geez sir, I mean Dad, Why must you kill all life and matter?”

    Great episode! As others have said, it really is a defining moment in MST3k. One of my favorites of the season!

    I think the entire rock climbing scene is much deeper than anyone realizes. Climbing a mountain is a harsh, grueling endeavor, with a real sense of accomplishment once you reach the top. The same is true here. We are forced to watch 20 minutes of harsh, grueling rock climbing. There’s times when you want to give up, because it’s just too painful. But once we reach the top, we get that euphoric feeling of relief that it’s finally over. Lippert is a genius! ….or, you know. Not.
    It’s certainly much easier to get through it with the riffing than it would be without.

    Alright, time for a 15 minute break.

       1 likes

  8. JCC says:

    LMAO – Dueling Bechdels!

       1 likes

  9. Professor Gunther says:

    Around our house it’s the Sid-Melton’s-Butt debate, and it is endless, and it is relentless. My wife insists that the reason Hugh Beaumont is laughing so much while Monkey Boy is being hauled up the ledge is because his pants are actually down — we’re looking at his naked butt, while I humbly submit that his compromised position coupled with the harness he’s wearing simply creates the illusion that we’re looking at his naked butt. Either way, there can be no question that between the two of us we have looked at Sid Melton’s butt (often in slow-motion, as we reiterate our respective argumentative positions [rewinding and watching again — in slow-motion — to prove our points]) more than all the Misties combined. That cannot be a good thing.

    This remains one of my all-time favourite episodes. There’s a warm, glowing vibe to this episode that is indescribable, and simply makes me happy. Indeed, this is an episode I often turn to when I need cheering up.

       6 likes

  10. Cornjob says:

    I’m surprised that I can’t find a previous post of mine here. This movie is my personal MST ground zero. I was channel surfing one night in the early 90’s and came across this during the “rock climbing” and I immediately “got it”. This episode remains one of my absolute favorites for all the reasons already mentioned.

    As for Sid Melton’s butt, while watching last night it sure looked like the pants had slid down. Regardless of their covering or lack there of I strongly recommend that all Misties refrain from looking at Sid Melton’s butt for prolonged periods of time. Blindness and cancer may result.

    “You are a cynical and suspicious man.”
    “No I’m not! Who told you that!?”

       3 likes

  11. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    I’m not quite sure why they make a quip during the movie AND a host segment about supposedly dropping “personal pronouns.” Joel repeatedly says “I” and “you” during the sketch, so clearly they are not dropping personal pronouns. It sounds mostly like they are omitting articles and simplifying verb tenses when they are imitating the pidgin speak.

    Grammar is not my strong suit, but being persnickety is. I am surprised the group of extremely well read MST3K writers let this obvious blunder slip through onto the screen. I am equally surprised that with over 100 comments for this episode, none of the equally erudite MSTies missed remarking on this grammatical gaffe. Maybe everyone was too tranquilized by the rock climbing to notice their misstep.

    Pigeon! Pigeon! Like your English!

       1 likes

  12. Juice says:

    Re: the outdoor treadmobile ripoff.
    A few years ago Satellite News posted “24 More Questions Only Joel Hodgson Can Answer”. I asked if he had heard of this video, did he ever feel like suing the ever-lovin-beejeezus out of someone who marketed one of his gizmonic devices or was he a live and let live kind of guy? I also asked if there were any other of his inventions that were starting to look more reasonable and may be worth a trip to the patent office?

    Here is Joel’s reply: “Interesting. It’s hard to say. I’ve been in several situations where it was clear someone took an idea from me, and they would be making enough money from my idea where they could and should pay me for it. I’m trying to imagine just how many treadmobiles they will actually sell. I think it’s possible they’re just trying to be funny as I was. When the treadmobile movie comes out, that’s when I’ll call them.”

       4 likes

  13. thequietman says:

    This seems to be a watershed episode for many people, and I can see why. It’s really the first in that rare handful of episodes that really, REALLY test J&tB patience. Manos, Monster A-Go-Go, Invasion of the Neptune Men, bow down to the one that started it all!

    It even gets to me when I watch this one. As funny as it is, I have a hard time sitting still. As someone previously referenced, one of the biggest laughs is when Joel calms the bots by saying “It’s just a movie, we can get through this…” You think Joel is going to keep it together, and then not two seconds later: “WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?! CAN WE GET A FRAME OF REFERENCE, PUH-LEEZE!”

    And of course, Mike Nelson as Hugh Beaumont. I wish they’d have had him pop up every now and then in later seasons to threaten to bring about the end of the world. I wonder what the Mads’ reaction to him would have been?

       5 likes

  14. Joe in Seattle says:

    This is the episode that started me watching the show.

    Before seeing a few minutes of Lost Continent, I was only aware of MST as ‘that show where they make comments while watching a movie.’

    But when Servo said, “There isn’t this much rock climbing in rock climbing movies!” I was hooked.

       2 likes

  15. Cornjob says:

    Padding is of course an essential part of getting through school. Teacher wants a three page report about tree sap? Time for some padding (as well as large print/elongated handwriting and really wide margins). Teacher wants a five page essay about what the Bill of Rights means to you personally? Time for some padding. Teacher wants a story about a cute bear that likes marmalade? Time for some Paddington. Teacher wants to give you a “bad touch”? Time for a restraining order and some therapy.

       5 likes

  16. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Cornjob:
    Teacher wants to give you a “bad touch”? Time for a restraining order and some therapy.

    You want to give teacher a bad touch? You find out it was just more padding.

       2 likes

  17. mnenoch says:

    I have to agree with a lot of posters here that this is one of MST3K’s finest episodes. The movie is dorky but it serves up plenty of prime riffing real estate. The rock climbing scenes and the sketches based around it are just gold. The sketch with Mike as Huge Beaumont as Death is also just great as well.

       0 likes

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