Movie: (1967): The brother and fiancée of a murdered detective infiltrate a drug-running biker gang.
First shown: 12/8/90
Opening: J&tB have colds
Invention exchange: J&tB are feeling better thanks to vapor action, but it may cause flashbacks. The Mads are still enjoying the hobby hogs. Joel’s invention is the sign language translator. The Mads just yell “NOOOO!” for reasons that never become clear.
Host segment 1: Tom’s flashback: J&tB do Shatner with The Crawling Hand (from episode 106)
Host segment 2: Crow’s flashback: Zero gravity humor lesson (from episode 201)
Host segment 3: Joel’s flashback: Gobos lesson (from episode 203)
End: Gypsy’s attempts a diary entry; Crow and Tom mock her for it at first, but they soon admit they keep diaries too and everybody gets emotional. Joel reads a letter. In Deep 13, the Mads are emotional, too
Stinger: Trumpeter yells something unintelligible.
• This was a pleasant surprise. My memory of this ep, from the last time I saw it, was that it was pretty blah, what with the lame movie and the retread host segments. But, I don’t know, this time around I liked it a little better. The segments are still useless and the movie is still terrible (it is clearly cut from the same cloth as “Girl in Gold Boots”–even “Sidehackers” looks more professional), but the riffing is really pretty good, good enough to save this one from being truly painful. It’s still not a standout episode or anything, but I had fun watching it.
• Just about every TV show has a cheesy clip episode, and this is MST3K’s. In the ACEG, it is explained that most of the staff was going to be out of town, so the writing time was shortened and this is what they came up with. Mike calls it a “tribute to ‘Family Ties’” (an ’80s TV show that seemed to have a lot of flashback episodes).
• Joel’s jumpsuit is not a never-before-seen pastel green. The goatee also still there.
• Joel finally gets to show off his sign language translator, which he wasn’t able to present in the previous episode. The Mads, still enjoying the “hobby hogs” from the previous episode, offer no invention.
• In the bit in Deep 13 before the movie starts, you’ll notice that it cuts off the INSTANT that Frank says: “I don’t fink on soul bruthuh.” The reason it cuts off so quickly is that Frank could never say that line and look at Trace without cracking up (as seen in the “Poopie” reel). He finally managed to say the line straight and hold his laughter for about half a second, which was enough.
• Cast roundup: Coleman Francis’ drinking buddy Tony Cardoza produced this movie, so lots of Coleman’s regulars are in this one, along with some SIDEHACKERS alumni. We already saw Ross Hagen, of course, in SIDEHACKERS. Nick Raymond, who plays Pepper here, seemed to find all the worst directors: he’s also in Ed Wood’s THE SINISTER URGE and Coleman’ RED ZONE CUBA. Warren Hammack, who plays an attorney here, had a small part in SIDEHACKERS and was also in ATTACK OF THE THE EYE CREATURES. Eric Tomlin, who plays a cop here, was coffee-lovin’ Joe Moss in THE SKYDIVERS and is seen being run off the road in Coleman’s THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS. Gus Trikonis, who directed SIDEHAKCERS, does some acting in this movie as Scorpio. And Frederic Downs, who plays Jack, the proprietor of the Moonfire Inn, was
a face in the crowd the pharmacist in THE SKYDIVERS, played Prof. Howard Erling in TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000 and Tinsley in RED ZONE CUBA. Cardoza, of course, produced all three of Coleman’s movies and performed in RED ZONE CUBA and THE SKYDIVERS.
• During the funeral scene at the beginning, two guys are crouching behind a tombstone: a thin guy and a chubbier guy with sunglasses. The chubbier guy is director/screenwriter Robert F. Slatzer. Crow points out that the director is on screen, but when he says it, the other guy is being shown. At first I thought it might have just been bad timing, but later on they identify the other guy again as the director. So it’s officially a goof by BBI. They got the wrong guy.
• Crow and Tom wear their robes in the theater for the entire show.
• Some of the music for this movie was arranged and produced by well-regarded producer Richard Podolor (misspelled “Podlor” in the credits) who produced Three Dog Night, Iron Butterfly and Steppenwolf. (By the way, there was a soundtrack album. Yes, there was.) The act Podolor tried to push in this movie was a group called Davy Jones and the Dolphins. Their career still went nowhere.
• Incidentally, when Crow (wrongly, by the way) suggests that the Davy Jones of Davy Jones and the Dolphins is the same Davy Jones as the guy in The Monkees, Joel says “He would have been about 14 at the time.” Uh, no. This movie was made in ’67, a year after the TV show started. But, that said, Joel’s right: this group had nothing to do with The Monkees.
It was a group out of Connecticut founded in 1960 by a guy named David John Liska with his brothers Walt (bass guitar, he left the band in 1962) and Richard (who played steel guitar and keyboard). Also in the band at the time of “Hellcats” were lead guitarist Paul Bogel and drummer Bob Vilezanti (replacing original drummer John Urbanik, who left in 1965).
In 1966 the four-piece band went to L.A. to record the songs for “Hellcats.” They made a USO tour of Vietnam. When they returned to Connecticut they built a recording studio in New London called East Coast Sound Studios.
In 1970 the group was signed by Columbia Records, had their name changed to Crossroads, and had a moderate hit with a song called “Shannon” but couldn’t follow up. In 1974, David and Richard formed a bluegrass band called “Kentucky Wind” and toured for a while. In 1981, David moved to Nashville and wrote for various publishing companies. In 1991, David and Richard and their families moved to Nevada and formed a country-western group called “David John and the Comstock Cowboys.” You can catch them at the Famous Bucket of Blood in Virginia City, Nev. Richard died in 2010.
• There’s also music in this movie from a group called Somebody’s Chyldren. The group was founded by David Clark Allen, who went on to found the group Carmen. Also in the band were Paul Dobies, Ricky Cameron, Angela Allen (David’s sister) and Dennis Trerotola. Allen is still making music: He is now the leader, in England, of a flamenco/rock band called Widescreen. I was able to email Allen and he told me their music got into the movie because it was promoted by their producer, a guy named Chance Halladay. Halliday had a few singles of his own, but Google is virtually silent, as far as I can tell, about his work as a producer.
• Joel gets a little rough on Crow during the opening credits of the movie.
• Then-current reference: “Love Canal.”
• Twice, Tom reprises the Weiner Man song.
• Callbacks: “That was number 5!”, a line used twice in the opening segment, is a callback to “Sidehackers.” When Ross Hagen’s name appears in the credits there are numerous callbacks to “Sidehackers.” Also, “He hit Big Jake!” (Sidehackers) and “Yew and your daughter are doomt!” (Robot Holocaust)
• Kids, in segment one, that thing in front of Tom was known as a “typewriter.” It had a REALLY slow internet connection. Servo also notes that the flashback he introduces happened “before my voice changed.”
• Note that Crow’s arm works in segment 2.
• In the closing bit in Deep 13, Frank uses a little AA lingo with the line: “work the steps, Doctor.”
• This week’s Creative Pit Boss: Joel Hodgson.
• Favorite riff: “Now Ross can put the star on the tree.”