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Episode guide: 209- The Hellcats

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 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.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (161 votes, average: 3.91 out of 5)


• I laughed quite a bit this time around, but I found I could only take this episode in short bursts of 10 or 15 minutes. The movie is just so meandering and pointless, and the retread host segments don’t help. The movie 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 — a little at a time.
• This episode was released (in DVD) by Rhino as a single episode in 2002.
• 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'” (for the younger folks, that was 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 is also still there.
• Joel mentions SPACOM, from “Project Moonbase.”
• 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 brutha.” The reason 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.
• 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.
• Crow and Joel are very snippy toward each other early on in the theater, but then they re-enact a famous exchange from “Then Came Bronson” (which they felt it necessary to have Servo explain) and all is forgiven.
• Great moment when the shot moves to the gangster and his dog sitting in the convertible and all the riffers can do is laugh.
• Some of the music for this movie was arranged and produced by well-regarded producer Richard Podolor (misspelled “Podlor” in the credits) who also 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 Monkees TV show started. So, although Joel’s reasoning is wrong, he’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 (no longer in existence as far as I can tell).
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.” They were regulars at the Famous Bucket of Blood in Virginia City, Nev., but Richard died in 2010 and it’s unclear how busy the band has been since then.
• There’s also music in this movie from a group called Somebody’s Chyldren. The group was founded by David Clark Allen. Also in the band were Paul Dobies, Ricky Cameron, Angela Allen (David’s sister) and Dennis Trerotola. After the band broke up, Allen lived in England, and pioneered what he called “flamenco rock.” He formed one band called Carmen and later formed a band called Widescreen. Last we heard from him, he was back in the U.S. Fronting a band called El Tigre!papa-tigre/c1cod. 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.
• Several times the bots reprise bits of the Weiner Man song. Is this the last time we hear it?
• Callbacks: Several variations on “That was number 5!” (“Sidehackers”). Ross Hagen’s name appears in the credits and there are numerous callbacks to “Sidehackers.” Later, “He hit Big Jake!” (Sidehackers) and “Yew and your daughter are doomt!” (Robot Holocaust)
• Kids, in the host segments, that thing sitting on the desk was known as a “typewriter.” It was a very lo-fi word processor and had a REALLY slow internet connection.
• Servo notes that the flashback he introduces happened “before my voice changed.”
• Note that Crow’s arm works in segment 2.
• Toward the end of the movie, Tom spots a fire hydrant and makes a pass. Joel reins him in.
• Okay I know the plot’s in tatters by the end, but how did the biker gang know to go to the docks and not the bad guy’s office?
• In the closing bit in Deep 13, Frank uses a little AA lingo with the line: “work the steps, Doctor.”
• Cast roundup: Coleman Francis’ drinking buddy Tony Cardoza produced this movie, so lots of Coleman’s regulars are in this thing, along with some “Sidehackers” alumni. Assistant director/screenwriter Tony Houston also worked on “The Sidehackers” and was an actor in “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.”
Production manager Eric Lidberg also worked on (and acted in) “The Sidehackers.” In front of the camera, there’s Ross Hagen, of course. Nick Raymond was also in “The Sinister Urge” and “Red Zone Cuba. Warren Hammack was also in “Sidehackers” and “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.” Eric Tomlin was in “The Skydivers” and “The Beast of Yucca Flats. Gus Trikonis directed “Sidehackers.” Frederic Downs was in “The Skydivers,” “Terror from the Year 5000” and “Red Zone Cuba.” Cardoza, of course, produced all three of Coleman’s movies and performed in “Red Zone Cuba” and “The Skydivers.”
• CreditsWatch: This week’s Creative Pit Boss: Joel Hodgson. “Villians” still mispelled. Additional Music: Michael J. Nelson.
• Favorite riff: “Now Ross can put the star on the tree.” Honorable mention: “They’re all piano tuners.” “I like to shoot heroin straight into my head.” “Looks like she’s into safe walking.”

141 comments to Episode guide: 209- The Hellcats

  • 1
    bad wolf says:

    I really do enjoy this one. It had a pretty negative review in the old episode guide here so i’m glad to see Sampo has mollified his position on it too. Maybe just because it’s been on DVD for a long time, maybe just because i like the biker films. Fun music track, goofy story, sleazy but not brutal, kind of amateurish/independent filmmaking. Great to have Ross Hagen and Tony Cardoza again. Even the flashbacks don’t bother me. If there are fewer riffs at least they seem more focussed on the movie itself somehow.


  • 2
    Tork_110 says:

    I love this episode. I wish it wasn’t a clip show because fans tend to dismiss this one. This is my favorite of the three biker films from this season because the movie is just so insane. Usually these films are so hard to watch because they star terrible people or good people that have terrible things happen to them. This one the craziness makes the movie far more enjoyable.

    I love that the riffs completely go after Ross Hagen. I love the convenient electric saw at the end of the movie. I love the fact that Hagen’s character tells a stoned girl that she’s as beautiful as a cyclops, completely missing the point of said creatures. (They didn’t look like ancient Greeks. That means they’re ugly.) The race part makes me laugh because they just show people watching the race. I love the sister’s reaction to Ross Hagen making out on the mattress with one of the biker babes, which was TOTALLY helping out on their undercover mission, he swears!

    There’s a woman who gets choked for no reason towards the end. (Was there a reason? I guess I should watch again. It always seemed to be a part thrown in to pad the movie and make sure that we get that the bad guy is bad.)

    There’s the scene where two thugs receive a shipment of drugs and they have a stoned woman begging for a hit. It should be a nasty scene, but I can’t help but laugh at the fact that the thugs are playing chess. It’s just destroys whatever the scene was going for.


  • 3
    Dan in WI says:

    A big part of this episode is we have a film with such a poor soundtrack we can’t understand the movie lines that set up the riffs. The Mads attempt to compensate by riffing (what feels like) more visual things of the film than lines. But still, why choose such poor quality raw material film?

    This is the first time in a bit we saw KTMA host segments plundered. Although during Superdome we saw flashbacks manufactured, here the flashbacks were actually flashbacks. My favorite part is the irony of Tom Servo’s flashback. Back during KTMA we saw Tom setting up his flashbacks sitting at a typewriter. Here we are again, Tom has a new voice, yet he is still sitting at a typewriter setting up his flashback.

    I haven’t seen this episode in years. I remembered it much darker than it was. Truth is it is just plain incomprehensible. That said I wonder if there is a such thing as a good Ross Hagen film.

    We have a Spacom callback in the vapor ingredient list!

    While Joel was interacting with the film and reading a characters notebook, Crow joins in. We see Joel interact with the movie often but this is the first time I remember a bot joining in to that extent. Nice piece of puppetry!

    During the first host segment flashback we hear Joel drop a Daleism. I didn’t remember any this early on in the show’s run. Is this the first one?

    Favorite Riffs
    Joel “What is the Sergeant Exposition and Detective Plotpoint?”

    The entire sequence where they name the dancers including several callbacks.

    Joel “Hey it’s Buck Henry.” Crow “or Father Mulcahy”


  • 4
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    Let’s push the button together

    Finally after 3 tries we get a biker movie with that certain special something… that is.. people on motorcycles. As I’ve said before, sidehackers. Almost all of the motorcycling is of a professional nature. No gangs, no born to be wild, most of the time the characters travel from place to place in pick-ups and cars. In Wild Rebels, our ‘stars’ spend their time in an avocado green station wagon. But here we have bikering, and lots of it. And it makes for a pretty high energy subject flick.

    I’ll go 4 stars because of that energy, without it I’d go 3. There is quality riffing here, but for some reason there just doesn’t seem to be enough of it.

    I have always like the sign language translator. But I am not sure how I feel about the flashbacks, they happen to be flashbacks to good bits, which it makes it OK, but I’m still not sure I get them. Is it a meta-joke, is it filler, is it an ‘advertisement’ for MST3K reruns ? I dunno. Feels kind of empty.

    I wasn’t sure, but I thought I heard a distinct stuffy-nose quality to Kevin’s voice in last week’s ep, and again in Trace’s voice in the last part of this week’s ep. The ‘we all have a cold’ theme to this week’s ep is art following life ? Of course I have no idea when and in what order any of these were filmed….

    Finally.. at the biker fest out in the country… the snappy dressed character with the trumpet that ends up in the river… it wasn’t until yesterday’s viewing that I realized what was bothering m about this cat… that this guy is a dead ringer for the John The Baptist character in Godspell ( the movie ). Body type, face, bugle, clothing, even a river. But at this point ( 1967/8 ) Godspell is not due for several more years. Was this a conscious borrowing by the Godspell team ? have we stumbled across a cultural archetype ? Am I just hallucinating ?

    Anyway I love drug humor. I’m gonna shoot smack straight into my head.


  • 5
    swh1939 says:

    What bug was up Tom Servo’s butt early on in the theater?? While Joel and Crow are riffing away, Tom finally shouts that he made an obscure reference and then yells at both of them to “knock it off!” This was one of the very earliest episodes I ever saw and as such was still uncertain if the riffs were scripted or not. This moment actually lead me in the direction of believing it was all unscripted. It’s played with startling realism as Crow and Joel share an uncomfortable silence (at least that’s how I perceived it, and time and additional viewings have done little to change my perception even now knowing that it was, in fact, scripted).


  • 6
    swh1939 says:

    Sampo, you wrote Richard Podolor (misspelled “Podlor” in the credits) then later you wrote Polodor.


  • 7
    Alex says:

    Not one of the best, but still a pretty enjoyable episode. Real shame most of the staff were gone because I’d LOVE to see what type of skits they’d make based off this movie.

    I haven’t gotten the DVD from Rhino yet (I should before Amazon runs out), but I ceartainly hope to get it sometime, especially to see what the uncut version is like. Yes, I take my risks….


  • 8
    David J says:

    At the Cinematic Titanic release party in Minneapolis, all the Titans except Trace did some of their best stand-up routines. Joel’s act included several of his prop comic gags including the sign language translator. His actual routine involved him demonstrating it himself and then having audience members speak into it. No matter what they said, the translator would “malfunction” and the middle finger would pop up. It’s fun not to have to tone down an amusing gag for television!


  • 9
    Rachel says:

    This is one of those that immediately self-erases from my brain after viewing. I do fondly remember a bit at the closing credits where Servo, out of nowhere, starts singing ‘Hellcats, wearing Halston ensembles’ to the tune of the insipid theme song. I still like to sing that on occasion.


  • 10
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    Correction: Fredric Downs was the pharmacist (“Sex for sundries is fun!” ) in “Skydivers.”


  • 11
    Fred Burroughs says:

    Pretty good episode, in spite of the biker party scenes trying to break the disgust-ometer (thank you Monty Python). This is one of the few experiments where I never did catch up with what is actually going on, vis-a-vis the plot. I know the biker gang is involved in drug-running somehow, and some mobsters, and some local jail, and the local bar, and some member of the gang are mad over the death of other members, but who and why? WHY? I did pick up that the biker gang turns and Ross Hagen fights with them on the same side against The Man at the end. Still very nonsensical that mobsters with guns lose against stoned unarmed bikers. They could have easily shot them all and no one would care. No one.

    Also, a big thank you for explaining why so many familiar faces turn up in this movie; it was bugging me that I couldn’t identify which movies they were from. I recently was watching the very beautiful movie The Sand Pebbles with Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough, and saw Gus Trikonis as one of the sailors. I knew I had seen him before, but in what? Sidehackers and Hellcats, of course! Imagine my horror.


  • 12
    Daniel says:

    Earlier episode I saw after falling in love with the show (thanks to Rhino releasing it in the VHS days). Remember falling asleep during this one much more than other episodes. The audio quality is lacking and the plot jussstttt dddddrrrraaaagggggggssssss ooonnnnnnn….

    Remember loving the bar scene (the one where everyone’s depressed, then everyone’s high and drunk, then they’re depressed, then they’re crazy again, and scene.) My favorite joke first time I saw it was when they threw trumpet guy (at the picnic–you remember, right?) into the water, then he gets up all pissed-looking and shouts in a very Disney Character way: “(Gibberish Gibberish Gibberish)”–after which Crows asks for clarification, and Tom just spatters gibberish again.

    Truth be told, he wasn’t all that bad of a trumpet player.


  • 13
    MPSh says:

    Speaking of the shrieking trumpet player, does anyone have any idea was he said after being thrown in the water. It sounded to me something like “I’m only human” or something….


  • 14
    Sampo says:

    SWH1939–good catch. Now fixed.


  • 15
    Matthew Shine says:

    Not one of my favorite episodes, probably because I’ve never been a fan of the biker films and the host segments are just clips we’ve already seen, not that it’s a bad thing, but I would have loved to see something original.
    However, there was one riff that can get me laughing to this day:
    Ugly Biker: “Roses are green and violets are red…”
    Joel: “I like to shoot heroin right into my head.”
    And the stinger is one of the funniest I’ve ever seen. I think that guy’s saying something like “HEY! YOU CRAZY GUYS ALL TRIED TO KILL ME!” but he was too stoned to remember his line.


  • 16
    Johnny Ryde says:

    Anthony Cardoza pops up in front of the camera, too. He’s the artist painting the random girl in the bikini. Actually, that whole scene is fairly random.

    I’m going to agree with the rapidly forming conventional wisdom here. I hadn’t watched this one in years and I had a not-so-positive memory of it. But watching it last night, I was pretty entertained. This is the first time I’ve watched the Season Two biker movies close together and I can’t say I have a favorite. They’re all pretty good for my money.

    Speaking of GIRL IN GOLD BOOTS, the bad guys in this movie must go to the same Paneling World store as the bad guys in GiGB. The set of their office looks virtually identical to the office in GiGB, minus the pool table.

    I can’t watch this one without rewinding the “trumpet guy yelling gibberish at everyone. Can anyone figure out what he’s saying. Something about the other people being children, but I can’t make it out over the sound of my own laughing.

    Of all the plots in all the experiments, this one has to be the most random and winding. I mean, I understand the basics. Ross Hagan infiltrates the biker band in order to find the drug dealer guys who killed his brother… but that’s covered in about five minutes and the rest is just random scenes that go nowhere.


  • 17
    dad1153 says:

    I know this one is reviled among many a MiSTIie circle because of the flashbacks (as if the experiment isn’t worth thinking of as remotely good because The Brains couldn’t be bothered to write/perform host segments) but I’ve always found “The Hellcats” an amusing middle-of-the-road experiment that’s neither forgettable or memorable. Ross Hagen has screen presence and acting chops, so he’s perfect riffing fodder (jokes bounce off of his character really well) that still manages to have dignity at the end of the episode (unlike Joe Don Baker or Sid Melton, whom you personally feel hatred toward when their riffed movies end). Since Cardoza produced “Hellcats” it’s also a comparison piece to the Coleman Francis-directed movies, and just how that guy was able to insert his particular brand of nihilism into the flicks he directed. Here, despite having bikers, cops and death (the strangulation of the girl is pretty disturbing even though Joel and the Bots try to make light of it) there is an innocence and cheerful attitude about the thugs and the gangs that is only a few notches removed from a Scooby Doo cartoon (example: the conveniently-placed saw). When the bikers gang-up on the tie-wearing thungs on the docks (and a handful of similar scenes) “Hellcats” is closer to “Catalina Caper” than “Skydivers.”

    THREE STARS (out of five) for “Hellcats,” the perfect balance between pretend-nihilism (which overwhelemd “Sidehackers” ) and filmmaking incompetence (“Wild Rebels” ) of the Season 2’s ‘biker’ trilogy. Favorite riff: (during the psychodelic credits) ‘Backgrounds illustrated with the Technicolor yawn’ Big Smile


  • 18
    Mac says:

    I don’t know if you can call any of Cardoza’s appearances before the camera “performing”, but he’s in “Yucca Flats” too, as one of the Russian agents who’s tracking down Javorsky. I also believe he’s the lost link between Ed Wood and Coleman Francis. It’s been a long time since I read Nightmare of Ecstasy, but I recall that Tony C is quoted in the book as saying that Ed convinced him to go into movies. Thanks, Ed!


  • 19
    Laura says:

    I need to be clear here: Sampo, I do know what a typewriter is. I first learned how to type on one because my vo-tech high school teacher (who was the female reincarnate of Hitler. That’s not an exaggeration) was opposed to computers.

    Anyways, I do rewatch this one from time to time and I’m glad the reason why it was a clip episode was explained in the guide. I still don’t get the plot at all. Apparently when your fiance is gunned down in front of you, you’re supposed to join his brother and join a biker gang. Gee, thanks!


  • 20
    SuperSwift says:

    This one is garbage. Next.


  • 21
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    Five Stars for me! Like the rest of Season Two, I love The Hellcats. The characters in the movie engage in really goofy, sleazy behavior and it’s prime riffing material. When Joel and the ‘Bots riff on all the characters at the beer and drug fueled bash at the inn it slays me. “Patches” always makes me laugh. The “going for a drag (scrape)” scene with aoll the great riffs never fails to get me to laugh.

    Note, I still cannot make out what the character with the trumpet exclaims after being pushed in the water even after dozens of viewings over 20 years and Tom Servo’s making fun of that unintelligible jabber is still funny.

    Favorite riffs: “Great, take off your jacket, Ross, you wouldn’t want anything thick and leathery between you and the road”, “Remember me from the blanket?” and one of my all-time favorites, “Look, it’s the Doublemint Twins, one of them has already been chewed”.


  • 22
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    It looks as if I’m not as much in the minority on this one as I thought I’d be; I LIKE this episode. It’s my favorite genre (Really Awful), it’s got a stupid, pointless plot, and it’s got Tony Cardoza and Tom Hanson. If only it had been directed by Coleman Francis, it would have been perfect. There’s the suggestion of some tremendously ugly stuff going on, but it somehow ends up with a feeling of absurdity rather than real darkness. I don’t find it nearly as disturbing as Sidehackers.

    I can only imagine how sticky and disgusting the floor of Moonfire Inn must be. Lots of squick there.


  • 23
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    And for those of you wondering what the trumpet player actually says, it’s, “I bet all of you were only children!”


  • 24
    MitchellRowsdowerBeardsley says:

    I must be from another planet. This is a top 5, maybe top 3 episode for me. No doubt about it. I was gonna revile Sampo for saying it’s not a standout episode, but from the comments here – I guess there’s not much reason to post here anymore. If you think Hellcats would be better if Francis Coleman was involved – I just – I gotta go.

    Thanks for the memories No point in coming here anymore for me. Bye guys.


  • 25
    pondoscp says:

    As with any episode of MST3K, there are hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments. For me, most of those happen within the first ten minutes of this one. “Hellcats” has actually triggered flashbacks in me (don’t watch this one really late at night!). Is this the “losing my dignity” episode? Yuck. Because of the ick factor involved in this one, I tend to skip it, for my health if nothing else. 3 stars; bring on “King Dinosaur”!


  • 26
    dsman71 says:

    Big Smile another episode I love from this Season…despite the flashback segments I really like this episode.. this entire season I really enjoy the vibe of the show and was a lot of fun…I watched this episode with my girlfriend at that time and had a LMAO fest. We were snuggling on the couch.and just laughed…..I love that scene that was used as the stinger…
    Ross Hagen in later years was in a movie called Dinosaur Island which shows he never really made it past Z grade schlock
    Its easy to see why ‘I dont fink on soul bruthuh’ made Frank LOL after every take..I still laugh at that poopie part…
    Laughing at going back into therapy again Side Frown Side Frown


  • 27
    pondoscp says:

    PS: Quentin Tarantino must be a fan of this movie; Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill has stolen her look from this flick.


  • 28
    MiqelDotCom says:

    You can see Trace’s face start to crack up when Frank says “i don’t fink on soul brotha”(?) – There are a ton of takes of this scene on the Poopie tape, Frank can’t quit laughing. Skip to 3:40 on this vid to see it – I wasn’t sure if they ever successfully got it, but they used the best one they could get. Smile


  • 29
    big61al says:

    there was a plot? I got lost right after the movie started. There should be an mention of sonny west being a member of the cast. He was a friend/bodygaurd of Elvis. That alone makes him more famous then anyone else in the film.


  • 30
    fish eye no miko says:

    Kids, in segment one, that thing in front of Tom was known as a “typewriter.” It had a REALLY slow internet connection.

    LOL!! That was awesome, Sampo.


  • 31
    Sharktopus says:

    @ #18, Mac: Yup, Ed Wood convinced Tony Cardoza to get into the movie producing business, which means Ed was indirectly responsible for Coleman Francis’s career. I love Ed Wood, but that was easily his greatest crime against cinema. (By the way, I highly recommend Rudolph Grey’s book about Ed Wood, “Nightmare of Ecstasy,” which Mac mentioned.)

    As for The Hellcats, there a still a few episodes I haven’t seen yet and a few more I’ve only seen once and don’t remember much of, so I don’t really have the authority to say “WORST. EPISODE. EVER.” but that’s how I feel about this one. For those of you who love this one, let me explain: The riffing is quite strong, I must admit, and I’d gladly wathc Hellcats all day long than subject myself to an hour of today’s most popular television, but as I’ve stated before, I find the trio of Season Two “biker flicks” just too unpleasant to enjoy, and Hellcats is by miles the ickiest, slimiest, grodiest of the three. Add in the extremely lame flashback segments (I don’t care what the Brains’ excuse was – they bring dopwn the quality of the episode.) and it all adds up to my first – and probably only – One Star rating. True, there are some weaker eps from Season One, but I feel that Robot Vs Aztec Mummy and Mad Monster get graded on a curve as early experiments. Hellcats follows of the heels of some classics, so it doesn’t get any curve from me.

    As always, Sampo’s Theorem is in effect, and your mileage will vary. I’m a Hamlet lover, so who am I to judge?

    I do love the “We all have bad colds” intro, however. I like to think of that as a tacit acknowledgment that the episode is sub-par, or at least an apology for the flashbacks.


  • 32
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>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

    Wouldn’t it have been simpler to just change the dialogue?


  • 33
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #24: “I was gonna revile Sampo for saying it’s not a standout episode, but from the comments here – I guess there’s not much reason to post here anymore. If you think Hellcats would be better if Francis Coleman was involved – I just – I gotta go.”

    Hm, wonder what HE wanted…


  • 34
    MikeK says:

    Sampo, why are you making assumptions about the people posting here? Did we really need an explanation for Family Ties and typewriters?

    Anyway, I too like this movie above all of the three biker movies. I also admit that I also tend to dismiss this episode due to the flashback host segments; clip shows are just plain wrong. The only good flashback of the three is the second one, with the “zero gravity humor lesson”. The riffing during the movie is good. I like the numerous callbacks to Sidehackers, specifically Crow muttering, “Chili peppers burn my gut,” and the variations on that same riff.

    Hellcats is, to me, a pretty good movie considering the company it’s in. Ross Hagen is better here than he was in The Sidehackers. The biker gang far and away more likable than the one in Wild Rebels. The villains, the mob guys in this case, are bad news, but they’re still not as icky as J.C. in The Sidehackers. The women in this movie are all better looking than the ones in The Sidehackers and Wild Rebels as well. The Hellcats themselves redeem themselves at the end of the movie by saving Ross and his dead brother’s fiancee and turning in the mob guys. Overall, this is a much better episode of MST3K than I gave it credit for.

    4 stars (It would 5 but for the flashbacks.)


  • 35
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Plotwise, if any explanations for various points exist, they can probably be found here:


  • 36
    MSTJon says:

    I was never a huge fan of this one, I prefer Sidehackers, but I watched this again and forgot how good this ep is. I think it is a case of the host segments overtaking my memory. Personally I think the riffing during the “Mass Confusion” could be their best 3 minutes ever.


  • 37
    Rich says:

    I haven’t seen this episode, but I have seen “Poopie” many times. Until today, I never understood what Frank said. The closest I came to understanding it was “I don’t think I’m soul bruthuh.” It was difficult watching Frank blow it over and over again. It sounded like he had raisins in his nose or a bad cold.


  • 38
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>Until today, I never understood what Frank said. The closest I came to understanding it was “I don’t think I’m soul bruthuh.”

    Similarly, although I thought it was supposed to be “I don’t think so, soul brother.”

    I think it’s from “Mod Squad”?


  • 39
    Johnny Ryde says:

    I just realized what this movie (and gang) needed: a poetry-spewing gang-leader. None of the actual bikers are in any way memorable. I just watched it last night and the only individuals I remember are the guy who had a bad trip for two days(!) and the chick who put her bra on the coffin. Names — if these characters had any — completely passed me by.


  • 40
    Creeping Terror says:

    @3: This is DEFINITELY not the first Daleism in the show. There are several in “The Crawling Hand” (including in a host segment, which is replayed in this episode as Tom Servo’s flashback).

    @23: THANKS for the translation!

    @34: I was 15 when the show ended. I didn’t need the typewriter explanation, but I did need the “Family Ties” reference explained.

    @38: I’ve always thought Frank was saying, “I don’t think so, soul brother,” too. But I don’t see how that (or any other suggestion here) is funny. Maybe I need someone to explain that reference to me, too.

    Like others, I was also pleasantly surprised by this movie, probably because it has many of the same faces as “Sidehackers,” but much less sleaze. (The movie tries to be all sleazy by throwing some hippie debauchery in the mix, but the fact that you never see anything more than a guy without his shirt on–or a girl in a bikini–shows you how tame the whole affair really is.)

    The music for this movie is actually manageable–probably one of the best scores in an MST3K movie. Yes, it styles are ALL over the map, but most individual pieces of music are OK to good.

    But the flashbacks are STUPID. This is a clip show and there’s no way around that. I agree with MikeK (#34) that “clip shows are just plain wrong.” They’re a lazy way for TV show creators to meet their yearly quota. I’m not allowed to recycle my previous work in my job… why should TV writers do it?


  • 41
    Sharktopus says:

    Google searches for “I don’t think so/on, soul brother” just yield references to this episode. Can we get a final ruling from Sampo on this?


  • 42
    MiqelDotCom says:

    among the many fine riffs in this ep …

    Joel & Tom “I hate to shoot a butt like that”
    Crow (enthusiastically) “I’ll do it!”

    “Poorly designed buildings burn my gut”

    Sheriff (calls out) “Dick!”
    Jailer “Did you call me Sheriff?”
    Joel “No, I called you DICK”


  • 43
    aprilmay says:

    Ross Hagan!



  • 44

    “I don’t fink on no soul brother”

    It is a line from the Mod Squad. IIRC, Linc spoke the line, and one fall it was used in all the ads for the show.


  • 45
    Cubby says:

    I can definitively state that “I don’t fink on soul brothers!” is from Mod Squad. Linc says this to Tige Andrews early in the first episode (the pilot). If there was a way to embed it in the comment, I’d do so.

    That’s what Frank is saying – if you have the DVD, you can hear the “ffff” in “fink” clearly.
    (“I don’t think on soul brother” doesn’t even make sense as a sentence)


  • 46
    Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    “Mass confusion! I can’t take no more of this! No no no no no!” YES!!

    I like this one! It’s pretty unintelligible, but it’s like that WAY too drunk guy at your party; as long as you can get him outside before he pukes or starts a fight, he’s harmless. It tries to be a semi-serious crime drama, but it trips up on the amateur acting and general goofiness…

    And what’s up with the print?! Did someone spill beer all over it?

    13 & 23: I’ll weigh in with “I’ve known you since you were children!” Tho I’m not sure what the hell that has to do with anything…thoughts?

    40: I’m usually opposed to “flashback” episodes on principle…but I started watching MST3k around Season 4 on CC, so it was my only exposure to the Season 1 skits until the internet (reruns began with Season 2 for some reason); so I’ll pass. I remember being so surprised how “plain & yellow” the early set was, and Tom “before his voice changed.”

    That better be beer!


  • 47
    Spector says:

    Not as good as “Wild Rebels” or “Girl in Gold Boots”, definitely better than “Sidehackers”. The riffing is pretty good for the most part but as noted the host segments were re-runs and thus didn’t add to this flick. Overall an OK episode. 3.5 stars out of 5.


  • 48
    Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    I just realized I referenced beer and drinking about 3 times in my last post…guess the skunky apple doesn’t fall from the boozy movie Liquor

    Does anyone know why CC didn’t run Season 1 reruns? Sampo?


  • 49
    Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:


    fall FAR from the boozy movie Liquor


  • 50
    fathermushroom says:

    I always found the faux debauchery at the Hellfire Inn absolutely revolting. That guy who makes his beer can, um…. reach a moment of ecstacy all over him….. ewww.

    Or that guy (same one?) who licks his lips and stuff when he leers at women.

    Yuk yuk yuk. I just wanna take a shower after this one.

    ALSO: Anyone but me notice, that Ross is making out with his dead brother’s fiance in one of the party scenes? Unmistakeable. I realize they were posing as an actual couple, but I’d think that’d be a bit weird to actually carry off.

    Not crazy about “Hellcats” but I do watch it once in a while.


  • 51
    Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    Re: Sampo….never mind! I did a little of my own research! Seriously dude, thanks for all you do anyways! Yes

    BBI made an informal agreement with CC back in ’91 to not air any further Season 1 reruns due to collective embarrassment; quoth Jim Mallon “It’s like if someone wanted to judge you based on the work you did in kindergarten.” If you replaced “work” with “poetry” and “kindergarten” with “high school,” I guess I can see where they were coming from. For those who would like to brush up on their history (myself incl.) check out


  • 52
    Briizilla says:

    4 stars. A pretty funny episode which gave us IMO the funniest poopie moment: ‘I don’t fink on soul brotha.’ Great riffing throughout, however the movie is putrid, the drunken bacchanalia is almost unwatchable. In fact, last night was the first time in about 5 tries I’ve managed to make it through to the end. Anyone else think this is the worst movie they’d done to up to this point?
    ‘now let’s see about getting this young lady some heroin’


  • 53
    crowschmo says:

    Oh, the Hellcats in Whoville – they spanked the denfanklers, they blew the fantoozlers and cranked the grauflanklers.


  • 54
    i'm not a medium, i'm a petite says:

    I concur with Dark Grandma of Death @23. In the stinger, the bugle boy is saying “I bet all of you were only children”… in the sense that each is an only-child and thus bratty and ill-behaved.


  • 55
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    Bombastic Biscuit Boy #46, the trumpet player says, “I bet you all were Only children,” as in, no siblings, so not being used to dealing with other people’s habits. Think in terms of a stinky guy being thrown into water by other people who can no longer stand to be around his stench. (Then look at all these people and think how they all must smell, and how VERY stinky the trumpet player must be and try not to vomit…but I digress.)


  • 56
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    Okay, Medium, your suggestion of bratty only children makes more sense than mine, but I still can’t get past the idea of the stench being a motive in tossing the guy in the water. Maybe it’s just all that beer being hurled around.


  • 57
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    In other words, hijinks vs hygiene!

    ( Wish I’d thought of that an hour ago.)


  • 58
    trickymutha says:

    Violets are blue, roses are red- I like to shoot heroin in my head.


  • 59
    Steve Vil says:

    I like this episode and the flashbacks didn’t bother me since I first saw this episode when Rhino released it and hadn’t seen any of the eps the flashbacks were originally from yet (I missed a lot of early MST). Favorite riffs: “From now on, Steve’s death will be represented by the oboe” & “It’s not like Steve to run off and die!”


  • 60
    i'm not a medium, i'm a petite says:

    Dark Granny O’ Death, et al. It seemed like a natural for me… when I was a kid ( about the time this movie came out. srsly ) being an only child had a material social stigma assocated with it. Single child households were not as common then as they are now, and we felt bad for only children and expected them to behave badly.


  • 61
    bad wolf says:

    Almost an idea for a weekend discussion board: what was the trumpeter dumped in the water saying?

    My guess: “I was in the band Somebody’s Chyldren!”


  • 62
    Kouban says:

    I’d always thought Frank’s line that he kept flubbing was “I don’t think so, un-soul brother.”


  • 63
    TarlCabot says:

    No. Just no. I can’t get through this episode. Much like Castle of Fu Manchu, my brain starts to shut down halfway through the movie. And the riffing, save for the first few bits at the bar, do NOTHING to keep my interest.


  • 64
    losingmydignity says:

    Well, another special one for me obviously. This is the first episode I glimpsed on TV. It was late at night, I was visiting my family and because I didn’t have cable was switching through the channels with the sound low. Suddenly I saw a 60’s motorcycle movie on. Excitement! Because when was the last time I’d seen that kind of film, even a 60’s film, on TV?
    Then I noticed the silhouettes. Turned up the sound a little more, but couldn’t really catch much of what they were saying except they were mocking the film. Made a mental note to check and see if it was a TV show or what later. The rest is MSTory.

    Also the first ep I bought on DVD. Watched it on New Year’s Eve for the first time some ten years ago. It is now a New Year’s Eve tradition to watch it.

    The non de plume business is obvious…

    But how does it hold up as an ep? I’ve never thought this their best work or anything. Basically, I think the first half is great. Right up there with the best of Season Two. Then something happens. It’s almost as if half the writers left and poor Mike was working by himself. Or maybe the film is to blame. The last twenty minutes in particular give them little to work with. Also, the host segments don’t help much.

    So it’s half an great episode. The bar scene is still one of my favorite parts. I love the music and vibe of the first half of the film. And the music. Not so much “I can’t take a chance on losing my baby” as the theme song which the Hellcats themselves hardly live up to. I always make up my own words each time like:

    Hellcats, can’t remember my name
    Hellcats, can’t get into their game
    Hellcats, what’s that sound?
    They like to run around
    Like Hellcats….wa wa wa wa

    I don’t think Quentin T. stole from this film as a poster suggested. He’s a big fan of the much more sleazy seventies Swedish exploitation film They Called Her One Eye (it goes by other titles) though its possible the Swedes saw and stole from Hellcats. Who knows…

    Long time favorite riff: “I hope that’s beer!”



  • 65
    Sharktopus says:

    “I don’t fink on soul brothers.” Once again I say, thank you, the ’70s, for being you. Grin


  • 66
    Brandon says:

    209 – The Hellcats

    Plot: A bunch of drinkers and druggers party and race and… I don’t know…

    Host Segments:
    Opening: J&TB have colds.
    Invention Exchange: Joel’s sign language translator. Dr. F and Frank are still riding their hobby hogs.
    Segment 1: Tom’s flashback: J&TB do Shatner with the crawling hand (from #106)
    Segment 2: Crow’s flashback: Zero gravity humor lesson (from #201).
    Segment 3: Joel’s flashback: Binocular matte lesson (from #203).
    Ending: Gypsy writes to Richard Basehardt.
    Stinger: Trumpeter shouts something out.

    Memorable riffs:
    Servo: “Oh, smart. They’re in the middle of nowhere, making a drug deal out in the open, while a car passes by!”
    Joel: “Why do you think they call it dope?”

    Crow: “Let’s park the Barbiemobile right here!”

    Servo: “Hey, he’s the guy from the beginning of the film! Detective Plotpoint!”

    Woman: “Are you hot?”
    Servo: “Nah, it’s the humidity.”

    Crow: “Her back looks like a Klingon’s forehead.”

    Crow: “Hey, can we borrow your towel?”

    Crow: “Mass confusion. They’re talking about the plot, Joel.”

    Crow: “I just don’t get algebra, Man!”

    Fav. Riff:
    *girl finds boyfriend dead in her car*
    Girl: “NOOOOOO!”
    Joel: “My seat covers!”

    Best segment: I like season 3’s flashback. That’s one of my fav. Host segments from season 2. It was good to see it again.
    Worst Segment: The flashback to 201. That particular segment just doesn’t work.

    -Ew. In the opening bit, Crow coughs up… something that actually bounces off the desk. Looks like a small creature or something. Also, Joel makes Crow blow his nose into a tissue. Even though in season 1 he was unaware that Crow could “smell”.

    -Joel still has the season 1 mug.

    -Satellite News mentions there being no dialogue during the opening segment. Strange, I counted at least 8 lines.

    -We finally get to see Joel’s invention from the previous episode which he never got to present.

    -The Poopie reel includes some funny outtakes from the invention exchange. Gotta love Frank repeatedly blowing the line, “I don’t think I’d so brother.”

    -There are two people involved with this movie with the last name “Tomlin”. Can you say “nepotism”? And are they related to Lilly Tomlin?

    -J&TB seem to be paying closer attention to the credits, and connecting writers or producers to earlier films. They really didn’t do this much later.

    -I’ve heard fans critisize the use of a season 1 clip for one of the flashbacks. I don’t know why. I know some comment that Servo’s voice being different in the flashback might confuse viewers. Why would it? Servo specifically mentions that the flashback takes place a year before his voice changed!

    -Wow, there’s two MASH-related riffs in just one minute. Servo mentions Sally Kellerman at one point. Then later, Crow references Father Mulcahey.

    -Somehow, the music played at the party sounds like a weird 60s instrumental version of Roy Orbison’s “Anything You Want” to me. Even though Orbison didn’t write that song until years later. Some of the music in another scene also sounds like music from Catalina Caper.

    -Uh… Gypsy seems really stoned in the closing segment.

    Overall: I’ve heard plenty of negative comments about this episode. I think the riffing is pretty funny, and the flashbacks add a nice touch. But, “cheater episodes” are usually hit or miss for people. The movie itself is the only weak part of the episode. It’s really not enjoyable to watch at all. No real plot to speak of, not to mention a couple of slightly disturbing moments. I’ll just give this two stars: **


  • 67
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>the trumpet player says, “I bet you all were only children,” as in, no siblings, so not being used to dealing with other people’s habits

    That’s actually sort of high-concept for this movie. Wink


  • 68
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    @27 pondoscp: as losingmydignity @ #64 said, Tarantino took inspiration for Hannah’s eyepatch in Kill Bill from Swedish revenge movie They Call Her One Eye aka Thriller: A Cruel Picture but I will go on to add he also took influence on that from Jack Hill’s Switchblade Sisters. He also took liberally from Japanese revenge film Lady Snowblood. Knowing he’s a rabid film geek, I’m sure he’s come across The Hellcats. He’s probably got a 16mm print of it. OH, and I can’t say for sure, but I think Tarantino is an MST-hater, just like Harry Knowles and Rob Zombie. But none of this is either here, nor there….

    THE HELLCATS! What a mediocre episode. After a some triumphs, this one falters. I blame the lackluster Host Segments, despite #2 & 3 being funny segments, they are still recycled and therefore, kinda boring. Also, the movie itself is a chore and a bore. I think my mathematical equation about MST biker movies from Season 2 holds up, WILD REBELS>SIDEHACKERS>HELLCATS. With all that said, it’s not the worst of the season (that’s still Ring of Terror) and I’ll give it a generous 3/5 rating.


    as Dan in WI way up at #3 said, we have a callback to SPACOM during the opening.

    Joel calls to two cops “Sgt. Exposition and Det. Plotpoint.”

    Joel: “If this is a “Slatzer” film, it might be really bloody.” (a pun about “slasher” films)

    Joel: “I’m a stranger to my own soul.”

    Refering to the jukebox, Servo says: “It’s Question Mark before The Mysterians,” reference to great 60’s Michigan garage rock band ? and the Mysterians, credited as the first Latino band to hit it big in America as well as being punk rock pioneers. They took their name from 1957 Japanese sci-fi films, The Mysterians aka Earth Defense Force, released by Toho Studios who did all the Godzilla movies, of which we get two at the end of Season 2. It all comes back around.

    Crow: “He’s got really nice skin, for a junkie.”

    I like when Servo sings, “I’m losing my dignity.”

    Crow shouts, “I’m Huge!” at one point. That’s not a first, is it?

    Love that drug humor. Crow: “While dad’s not looking, Conky(?) tokes up.”

    At the end, after Ross Hagen punches that dude in the face, Joel says: “And that’s for putting me in a movie.” Is the guy he punches the director or not? I am confused.

    At the end, Joel reads a letter from Italy. Servo responds by saying “Hiroshima, mon Amour” which is a reference to the great 1959 film of the same title. Too bad it’s a FRENCH film. OOOOH, too bad Servo, better luck next time…….


  • 69
    Creeping Terror says:

    @45: You’re right that, “I don’t think on soul brother” doesn’t make sense. But to someone who wasn’t alive in the 1970’s, “I don’t fink on soul brother” doesn’t either. It’s one of the reasons why I prefer the later seasons of MST3K to the earlier ones. During the Joel era the episodes are often packed with old timey references that don’t resonate with my generation.


  • 70
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    “But to someone who wasn’t alive in the 1970?s…”

    Oh, now I really DO feel like Granny o’Death! (nice nickname, Medium, thank you!)

    Don’t give me no jive-talkin’…..


  • 71
    Cubby says:

    @69: Well, considering Clarence Williams III actually declared that in 1968, so it’s older than you think. It’s also interesting to learn that the verb “to fink” and/or “soul brother” are lost on The Kids Today.

    During the Joel era the episodes are often packed with old timey references that don’t resonate with my generation.

    This is where we run smack up against one of the guiding principles of the Joel Era, if not the entire run of the show: “The Right People Will Get It.” (And are you sure it’s your generation, and not just you?)


  • 72
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    Even when the show was new there were references to things from long before the show was made and even before any of the cast or writers were born. It’s what many of us in the original fan base loved about the show, the eclectic, well-read nature of it. If you didn’t like that sort of thing or get any of the references you probably didn’t like the show then or now.

    References were so wide-ranging even if you saw everything they joked about you couldn’t remember it all. The jokes were the results of the memories of many different people, not just one and the result added up to more than any one or two writers could possibly have done on their own. I watched Mod Squad as a kid, but I didn’t remember where the “I don’t fink on soul brothas” reference originated. I’ve been trying to figure it out for 20 years! It’s a throw-away line from one episode of a show that was years old even when the MST3K episode was new. Thanks to those who finally cleared that up here.

    I’m roughly the same age as Joel Hodgson and much of the original cast of the show, so I will admit that some of the references on the show got “inside my head” early on which is one reason I got hooked on the show so easily. But it was the intellectual and wide-ranging nature of the humor as well as its affection for cinema that also played a part. I’m a history buff so sketches like those in Rocket Attack USA were near and dear. I’m a cinema buff so when they started talking about Kurosawa or Leone that also was something much appreciated.

    Some (note, I said SOME, not all) of the comments I see in these discussions from (mostly) newer fans often indicate a lack of cognizance of the fact that the MST3K shows themselves are roughly 10-20 years old now. And even when the shows were new 20 years ago there were jokes that were in some respects, “dated”. That’s part of what made the show great and what makes it timeless. If you’re looking for edgy, current, topical humor, MST3K was never the show for that and if that’s what you’re seeking then you’re watching the wrong show. The show is old, the original cast and fan base are getting old, but “hip” was never what the show was about even when it was new. MST3K is a lot more like SCTV than say Saturday Night Live. As the MST3K fan base has grown clearly there are people who watch it and find it amusing, but based on their complaints they don’t really “get it” fully. That’s fine, it means the show has survived much longer than anyone probably expected and it’s why the DVDs sell well enough that we keep getting new sets. However, it does make for some odd and unexpected comments in these discussions sometimes. The next closest analogy I can think of is The Simpsons in its glory days. The show worked on two completely different levels, one where the dark, sardonic mult-layered jokes caught the brighter viewers and one where the simpler, sillier jokes and gags held the interest of a wider, mass audience.


  • 73
    toot-toottoot-toot says:

    First MST3K DVD I ever owned! I, too, am glad to see Sampo’s change of heart on this episode. Yes, the retread host segments aren’t the best, but I’m not a fan of those early season host segments anyway…it’s all about the movie riffing with me, and the riffing was top notch for this movie. I always scratched my head reading the last review because I believe it was said that this may be one of the worst, if not THE worst episode of the series. Aside from season one (except for Women of the Prehistoric Planet), I’d have to give Castle of Fu Manchu that honor, in my opinion- the ONLY episode I’ve never been able to sit through in one sitting.


  • 74
    Smoothie of Great Power says:

    I’ve seen this one about 4-5 times since I bought the DVD and should re-watch it again because I really have no memory of it anymore other than the host segments and the movie’s theme song. Though I never even did attempt to try and figure out just what the heck was going on, either.


  • 75
    rcfagnan says:

    Mass confusion? They’re talking about the plot! This is a “meh” episode for me. Not a bad show by any means, but not a particularly memorable one either.


  • 76
    Dalty Smilth says:

    Some of my favorite riffs:

    “You gettin’ this Zapruder?”

    “Utah. I can’t believe it, I’m still in Utah.”

    “These are great lyrics! You have real talent!”

    “I’ll give *you* an emotional memory!”

    “Adding dice really speeds up the game, Kasparov!”


  • 77
    MikeK says:

    I just thought of something about the movie’s “plot”. The story seems to be one of revenge. The revenge, however, plays out completely by accident. There was no action of the part of Monty (Ross Hagen) or Linda (Dee Duffy) to initiate this revenge. They were fortunate enough to be captured by the mobsters, and took action then, but there was almost no effort from them prior to that.


  • 78
    aprilmay says:

    Good episode, although I think Sidehackers was better. They both have Ross Hagan, so that’s a definite plus. Haven’t seen it in a while since I have it on VHS and my VCR is dead.

    Joel’s sign language translator is probably in my top five of invention exhanges. Its so clever.

    Also love Joel’s take of The Girl from Ipanema

    Oh yeah, and I’m losing my dignity!


  • 79
    pondoscp says:

    @68 – I’ve heard that Tarantino is a MST hater too, along with his buddy Eli Roth. But those guys do seem to love the movies featured. Supposedly, Tarantino owns a print of “Manos”!

    This week’s discussion has been one of the best in a while. Very interesting posts, and the whole “I don’t fink on no soul brother” debacle I’ve found fascinating. You all are going to make me watch this episode again and appreciate it more!


  • 80
    Johnny Ryde says:

    I forgot to mention my favorite part of the movie: when they tie Ross Hagan’s knees to the table. WTF was that about?


  • 81
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #79: “But those guys do seem to love the movies featured.”

    What they may not realize is that, if not for MST3K, a lot of those movies wouldn’t be nearly as well known as they are now. Many of the episodes that I find super-enjoyable feature movies that I’d have never watched (at least not til the end) on their own.


  • 82
    JCC says:

    Love the biker party sequences the most “I gotta admit it looks like a fun party”. I have to wonder how much of it was method acting versus genuine biker bacchanalia. There’s a shot of some rabid greasy looking guy egging on Six Pack (who looks like John Doe from X) to spray some biker chick with beer and when Joel sees this guy he violently shidders and shouts “EEEWWW!” Hilarious.

    Does anyone elses Rhino DVD have warped video tape looking glitches at the top of the screen every so often?


  • 83
    JCC says:

    I’m going to add that I always thought Frank said “I don’t think I’m sold, brotha”. BOY IS MY FACE RED!!![/Joel Pilot Pete Shame]


  • 84
    losingmydignity says:

    Forgot to mention special thanks to Sampo for all the band/music info. Interesting that the soundtrack listing someone gave a link to mentions the Arrows as doing the main theme. Interesting, too, that one of the guys in Somebody’s Chyldren is named David Allen as there is, of course, the much more famous and vastly superior David Allan and the Arrows who contributed much to the motorcycle genre–in fact as far as I know he created the genre with the score for Roger Corman’s fun but turgid Wild Angels, released a year earlier than Hellcats (and Hellcats would not have existed probably without the success of Corman’s film). Anyway a strange coincidence or rip off that there is a band called The Arrows on the Hellcats soundtrack? I can’t believe it’s the other David Allan’s Arrows (confusing isn’t it?)

    I would love to get my hands on that soundtrack.


  • 85
    losingmydignity says:

    Sorry, meant torpid not turgid…


  • 86
    bdtrppr6 says:

    as much as i like some of tarantino’s flicks(roth’s not so much), the fact that they don’t like mst lessens them in my eyes. i mean, come on, how can you not appreciate the fact that mst exposed thousands of people to some of the most obscure crap that would not have been seen, much less ever appreciated in any way? tarantino is good when he’s on, but he’s really a pretentious hack. flame me if you will, but his batting average isn’t that good. to me, roth seems the coattail rider type for some reason. like he’s doing it because it’s “controversial”.


  • 87
    Creeping Terror says:

    I love how there was actually more discussion and controversy about Frank’s “I don’t fink on soul brother” comment than there was about the incoherent shouting in the stinger. I didn’t see that one coming.


  • 88
    Shark says:

    In my top 5 episodes for sure – love this one!


  • 89
    MikeK says:

    I don’t know how people heard Frank say anything but, “I don’t fink on soul brothers.” Question It’s been clear to me the few times that I’ve watch The Hellcats. It’s also easy to come to that conclusion, considering the context in which it was said.


  • 90
    pondoscp says:

    @86 – Exactly. The MST haters don’t seem to understand that we don’t hate these movies, we actually like them and just roast them. How else could we be sitting through them over and over again for 20 years? And without MST, many of us would have never seen or heard of some of these flicks. I’d be willing to bet money that Tarantino had not heard of “Manos” before MST discovered it. On a side note, I can’t wait to see what Elvira does with “Manos” when she gets around to showing it in a few weeks. (PS – Manos is not a misspelled word, spell check! lol)


  • 91
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    I figured that Frank was saying, “I don’t fink on soul brothers”, but now I finally know what he was referencing. It’s been years since I’ve seen “Mod Squad”.

    As for the movie, yes, it’s pretty bad, but at least the bikers are shown as stupid and misguided, rather than stupid and evil like the other MSTed biker movies. And the “Courageous Cat” music does bring back fond childhood memories.

    Interesting how the bikers instantly stop fighting just because newcomer Ross tells them to. “It’s Ross Hagen, the Prince of Peace!”


  • 92
    underwoc says:

    Like many this week, I’m also happy to see the show of grudging support for this episode. I’ve always preferred this film to the other season 2 biker filcks (tho Wild Rebels isn’t far behind – it’s got the same sixties social-conciousness-obscured-by-insane-goofiness feeling that Mad Magazine had in it’s late sixties heyday. Yes, it has some icky scenes (the goons playing chess and giggling at a girlie-peep keyring while their love-slave(?) suffers heroin withdrawal comes to mind), but it doesn’t cause me the same visceral revulsion as the the ugly scenes in Sidehackers or Girl in Lover’s Lane. Wild Rebels is a close second, but this one leads the pack.

    And we should all be fortunate the Brains avoided The Pink Angels – now that’s an icky biker flick…


  • 93
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    What’s sort of mindboggling is that for almost every film MST3K riffs (and I’m thinking more specifically of the without-SF/fantasy-element films like “Teenage Crime Wave,” “The Girl in Lovers Lane,” “The Violent Years,” and this one, among many others), there are DOZENS more of the same (non-)genres that probably could be rendered just as entertaining by riffing if only they had the chance. But MST3K never dug them up, and so they languish in obscurity still.


  • 94
    Warren says:

    This one’s not bad, it was never a favorite but it’s watchable. I always wondered what the artist-dumped-in-the-water was babbling, now I know. And knowing is half the battle. Maybe someone can help me, the odd instrumental music that plays when the character (who they said looked like Buck Henry) is lying on the floor having a bad trip, I swear I’ve heard that music in some other show or movie but I can’t place it. It’s been bugging me, really bugging me.
    #82 My Hellcats dvd doesn’t have any tape-like glitches, though my Hobgoblins dvd did have one, that was a horizontal line across the top of the screen. I checked one of my sci-fi channel tapes with Hobgoblins and it didn’t have that line glitch. Finally, I remember the actual electric typewriter that my family had. It was a bulky, heavy thing with its own large carrying case.


  • 95
    Cornjob says:

    Is it just me or does the Hawaiian music played during the gratuitous strangling have a tune similar to the muffled Pork Song (quality, freshness, and flavor) from the Rifftrax Holiday shorts special?


  • 96
    Sharktopus says:


    Maybe, just maybe, some of us have never seen that episode of The Mod Squad? Big Frown

    I never before considered “fink” as a verb.


  • 97
    MikeK says:

    I’ve never seen the Mod Squad at all. There were reruns when I was a kid, but I never had any interest in that show.


  • 98
    Cubby says:

    @96: Well, then you learned something this week, didn’t you? Smile


  • 99
    frankenforcer says:

    Great episode, one of my favs. for Riffing alone. But also endearing is in the Invention exchange. Just before it cuts, you see Trace starting to corpse. It’s just a smile, but if you’ve seen the Poopie track. You know how hard it had to be for him just to keep from laughing. His smirking to fight back laughing, just made that segment endearing.


  • 100
    JiminySaidJohnny says:

    You know, until I saw the original trailer for this movie that was included as an extra on the MST3K DVD, I never knew this movie was supposed to be all about the “biker chicks”. I guess it was just the way they wanted to market it back then… I like this episode a lot, even with it’s underhanded marketing ploy (that had nothing to do with the MST version.)


  • 101
    Sharktopus says:

    @ Cubby,

    I almost always learn something from these episode guide entries. In fact, I can’t imagine any non-educational TV show that has taught me nearly as much as MST3k. Chic


  • 102
    rainmakerrtv says:

    The “Don’t fink on soul brothers” line shows up in later episodes, notably as part of Chocolate Jones & The Temple Of Funk for “Angels Revenge”.


  • 103
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    And think of all the educational shorts you’ve seen thanks to MST, Sharktopus. I bet you’d never have considered the world of Home Ec and/or Industrial Arts without it!


  • 104
    Sharktopus says:

    Y’know, I wish I actually had taken more “industrial arts” classes in high school. That particular short makes a lot of good points. A fat lot of good AP English, Bio, and American History have done to get me a good job… The Home Economics one, however, is clearly propaganda aimed at keeping wimmins “where they belong.” *spits tobacco juice loogie*

    And as Paul mentioned in the ACEG – only half-jokingly, I think – I now know to clip my toenails after showering when they’re softer.


  • 105
    Richard the Lion-footed says:

    By luck I got this from Netflix last week and we watched it after Elvira Saturday night.
    I commented that this had Coleman Francis written all over it and was surprised when his name was NOT in the credits.
    Now I learn that it was his minions and not the evil overlord who spawned this evil.

    They just don’t make movies like this anymore, except on the SyFy channel.
    While I agree that Sidehackers was a better movie, I felt that this one was more of a challenge to The cast and crew
    of Best Brains. They did better with the little they were given.

    I would not chose this as an introduction to MST3K, but it is a good example of how they rose to a challenge.


  • 106
    Seneca says:

    This is an episode that works best when you’re in the mood for some action. Crank up the sound, turn down the lights, make yourself comfortable. It’s way better than Wild Rebels, I think.


  • 107
    Duck 182 says:

    Didn’t totally scan all the posts but I thought I’d share a bit of info for you. The Group “Somebody’s Chyldren” Also did music for Mae West’s lp, “Way Out West”.


  • 108
    Pemmican says:

    This episode gets a lot of flack for the Brains’ inconsistent writing efforts, but I think that it’s still goofy and pretty watchable. It would make a good ‘intro’ episode for the uninitiated: Non-sensical, in color, has Ross Hagen; with riffs not quite on par as some of the watershed eps. “That sounded like Steve taking a slug from a .30 ought 6…” compared to “It’s not Lysistrata, but I like it!”


  • 109
    Sean says:

    Am I crazy, or is the tall, lanky, spastic, thrashing, hippie/biker (who is featured prominently during the dive bar dance montages), the actor who would be later known as The Master from Manos?



  • 110
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #105: I commented that this had Coleman Francis written all over it and was surprised when his name was NOT in the credits.

    Didn’t he only do black-and-white films?


  • 111
    Into The Void says:

    This is an episode that works best when you’re in the mood for some action.Crank up the sound, turn down the lights, make yourself comfortable.It’s way better than Wild Rebels, I think.

    Agreed. The 1%’er biker flicks MST riffed were some of the first episodes I stumbled upon back in the early ’90s …there are so many of ’em it’s unfortunate the BB gang never returned to the genre, although perhaps fair to suggest they simply chose to distance potential negative perception of the show via abstaining from a genre that existed to glorify and/or exploit sex/drugs/violence stereotypes of ‘outlaw’ bikers (hey, Fonda and Hopper weren’t bad guys, they were murdered by the REAL bad guys, ha!)

    I was a musician playing in heavy/stoner metal bar bands back then, so natch I had a lot of fun with those MST biker movies ’cause in some ways those characters weren’t so far removed from the circles I ran in at the time. The Hellcats title theme reminds me of tv’s 1960s “Monkees” opener, too, albeit with more canned psychedelia.


  • 112
    Bruce Boxliker says:

    As this is one of my (if not THE)least favorite MST3k episodes, I hadn’t watched it in years. I watched it last night, and it’s not as bad as I remember it being. At least the movie doesn’t infuriate me like some of the teen crime movies do (Kitten with a Whip especially). The riffing’s not bad (some of it feels more like season 1 or even KTMA quality, though), and some of the lead-ins to the flashbacks are amusing. The invention exchange segment is the best thing about this episode.
    Although, as Sharktopus said, even the worst MST3k is 1000x better than anything else on TV, past or present.
    That said, only 3 more until my favorite Joel episode.

    Johnny Ryde:
    I forgot to mention my favorite part of the movie: when they tie Ross Hagan’s knees to the table.WTF was that about?

    Seriously. They should have tied his FEET to the table leg. Amateurs.


  • 113
    snowdog says:

    I’m a big fan of the cheesy biker eps. Ross Hagen is my other “boyfiend” named Ross. Although I could have done without the flashbacks, I still crack up when they show the “Lucy Cam” (“OHHH Rickyyyy! I was never really funny!”). One thing I noticed on this go-round was that, if you watch Trace closely when Frank says “I don’t fink on soul brother”, he really is on the edge of cracking a smile. They do cut away at the very last moment.


  • 114
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    I need to rewatch this one, I have dismissed it for years like others due to it being a clip show episode. Which begs the question, do any current TV shows do clip shows anymore? I can’t remember seeing one for the longest time now. They were always lame, if they have gone away completely, I think that is a good thing.


  • 115
    senorpogo says:

    I can’t read or hear Hellcats without having the theme get stuck in my head. For me, it’s the catchiest MST song.


  • 116
    jjk says:

    Cheapskate Crow:
    I need to rewatch this one, I have dismissed it for years like others due to it being a clip show episode.Which begs the question, do any current TV shows do clip shows anymore?I can’t remember seeing one for the longest time now.They were always lame, if they have gone away completely, I think that is a good thing.

    Unfortunatley, no they haven’t gone away. A recent episode of The Blacklist was basically a clip show. A few new scenes to set up clips from past episodes.


  • 117
    Into The Void says:

    “I don’t fink on soul brother”

    ha, yeah!

    “I don’t fink on soul brother(s)”


  • 118
  • 119
    Mitchell 'Rowsdower' Beardsley says:

    I’m pretty shocked by the comments here. Hellcats is one of the first episodes I ever saw and my mind exploded when they did the “That sounded like Steve taking a slug from a .30 ought 6…” – hilarious.

    This is a top 5 all-time episode to me.


  • 120
    pondoscp says:

    Another classic episode from Season 2. Granted, it’s full of flashbacks, but they’re awesome flashbacks. And the movie itself can Cause a flashback, if you know what I mean…
    Ever hallucinate when you’re sick? Then this is the episode for you.
    I like it.


  • 121
    Sitting Duck says:

    The Hellcats passes the Bechdel Test. The are multiple non-male conversations between the female members of the gang.

    This is probably in the top ten among MST3K movies in the department of inappropriate music selections for the soundtrack.

    Can anyone clarify whether it was the Hellcats who were the art gang that harassed the hack painter or the rival gang?

    Brandon #66: There are two people involved with this movie with the last name “Tomlin”. Can you say “nepotism”? And are they related to Lilly Tomlin?

    If so, she’s probably disowned them.

    Favorite riffs

    Now how much would you pay for this Ginsu switchblade? Wait, there’s more! You get the bread knife, the Uzi automatic, the love beads, a pair of gloves, some guy’s keys. You know, professional low life scum would pay $9.99 for this stuff.

    Don Fido is mad.

    And now Red in The Silent Spot. Red plays a guy about to get gunned down. Let’s watch.

    Steve’s dead now. From here on in, Steve’s death will be represented by the oboe.

    I’ll just blend in with the crowd here. Fortunately, I’m wild on the inside. I don’t need these hippy threads.

    Be on the lookout for art gangs.

    Burn the Good Humor Man, he’s out of Creamsicles!

    Friends don’t let friends drive pink motorcycles.


  • 122
    Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    I have a love-hate relationship with this episode.

    The movie itself is really painful but the riffing is excellent. It’s just that a good 90% of the film is watching people get drunk/high. It’s not a very good beginner’s episode.

    “It’s not like Steve to just run off and die”


  • 123
    Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    other favorite riffs:

    “Yeah Ross, take off your jacket. You wouldn’t want anything thick and leathery between you and the road”

    “Oh my god, it’s just his legs!”

    “Hey, it’s Officer Plot Point”

    “Please stop the music I hate Flamenco!”

    “Even little Cindy Lou Hellcat…”

    “What do ya think of pointillism, creep?”


  • 124
    Cornjob says:

    In one host segment a robot refers to something called a “cropisator” or “crofisater”. This term was used in the menu song for Missile to the Moon. Does anyone know what a cropisator is?


  • 125
    Ian L. says:

    Trivia: The stock music in this film was provided by Robert Mersey, Ib Glindemann, and the team of William Loose/Emil Cadkin. Some of these tracks can be listened to on the Associated Production Music website.


  • 126
    Yipe Stripes says:


    not far off…


  • 127
    CJBeiting says:

    Interesting how the bikers instantly stop fighting just because newcomer Ross tells them to. “It’s Ross Hagen, the Prince of Peace!”

    And I loved the follow-up, “Before the cock crows three times, chili peppers will burn my gut.”


  • 128
    pondoscp says:

    “Several times the bots reprise bits of the Weiner Man song. Is this the last time we hear it?”

    I’m watching Daddy-O right now, and I just heard Crow recite the Weiner Man song. So Weiner Man continues into at least Season Three.


  • 129
    thequietman says:

    I accidentally watched this one instead of “Wild Rebels” two weeks ago. Even after watching “Wild Rebels” I still found this one the most enjoyable of the biker film trio. Sleazy enough to make you go ‘eww’ (as several others have mentioned, I hope that’s beer!) but not depressing enough where you have trouble laughing at the riffs. So I liked it, in spite of the clip show host segments. Honestly, the “I don’t fink on soul brotha” exchange is worth the price of admission.

    Fave riffs:
    Shep, one day this’ll all be yours!

    Steve’s got a problem. His problem is ‘down there’. And now he must break the news to Eliza…

    Spazzy. Died of a broken neck shortly after the filming of this movie.


  • 130
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    I probably mentioned this before but I am pretty sure there is a callback to Wild Rebels in this. “That square bugs me, he really bugs meee!”
    I seem to recall that they did a call back to that almost in every episode after 207 (Wild Rebels), right up through 302 of the next season, but not in 301.


  • 131
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #112: Well, exactly. They ARE amateurs and that’s why they did it wrong. Incompetent minions are often the backbone of Good Triumphing Over Evil.

    In case anyone’s interested in learning more about the genre, offers several books on Biker Films. The most notable include:

    Sleazy Riders: A Guide to the Sleaziest Biker Flicks Ever Made, by Wyatt James

    The Big Book of Biker Flicks: 40 of the Best Motorcycle Movies of All Time, by John Wooley and Michael H. Price

    High on the Hogs: A Biker Filmography, by David Stidworthy

    Obviously there are bound to be multiple websites on the topic as well, but checking for books was much quicker. Wink


  • 132
    Sampo says:

    In one host segment a robot refers to something called a “cropisator” or “crofisater”. This term was used in the menu song for Missile to the Moon. Does anyone know what a cropisator is?

    That’s classic nonsense double-talk. It’s made-up words that are meant to sound technical but mean nothing. Example: The boss will demand his Jeep, and Sgt. Bilko will say he can’t give it to him because the Jeep’s “cropiscator has a bad franistan” or something like that.


  • 133
    Cornjob says:

    Thanks for the response. I had throat surgery a few years ago. After not sleeping for two weeks I had some very vivid half waking nightmares that felt a bit like I was having a psychotic episode. The made up word cropisator was a prominent part of the dreams. I wondered what the heck (if anything) it meant since.


  • 134
    ready4sumfootball says:

    “Just about every TV show has a cheesy clip episode…”

    Not every show. A lot of the best shows from the 80s and 90s maybe, but I think it was only a trend during those years right before DVD and now that episodes of TV shows are more accessible they don’t really do it a lot anymore.


  • 135
    Sitting Duck says:

    Something of note. When Crow does his diary entry, he starts it off with, “Dear Kitty.” IIRC this is how Anne Frank started off the entries of her own famous diary.


  • 136
    John Cameron Trade Rat says:

    Matthew Shine:
    Not one of my favorite episodes, probably because I’ve never been a fan of the biker films and the host segments are just clips we’ve already seen, not that it’s a bad thing, but I would have loved to see something original.
    However, there was one riff that can get me laughing to this day:
    Ugly Biker: “Roses are green and violets are red…”
    Joel: “I like to shoot heroin right into my head.”
    And the stinger is one of the funniest I’ve ever seen. I think that guy’s saying something like “HEY! YOU CRAZY GUYS ALL TRIED TO KILL ME!” but he was too stoned to remember his line.

    Eh, close enough.


  • 137
    Cornjob says:

    Tony Cardoza was really emoting in his Cameo. Did someone put something in his coffee that day?


  • 138
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:


    Well, if that was an intentional reference on the Brains’ part, that’s, uh…that’s just creepy and inappropriate. IMHO.


  • 139
    Alex says:

    Sampo, just a correction:

    I’m not sure why you’re saying Joel is wearing a different jumpsuit starting with this episode, because it’s the same teal jumpsuit he started wearing in the last episode up until 211.


  • 140
    Dish of Ice Cream says:

    I liked this episode. I’ve only seen it 1 or 2 times before but the excellent riffing and the goofy incompetence of the movie (only showing the reactions to the motorcycle race, the sound issues making everyone incomprehensible) make it fun.
    I love the cut away or insert shot jokes like “I’m huge” which shows up here. But my absolute favorite is the one right near the beginning with the geeky motorcycle guy looking bewildered with the riff “I’m a stranger to my own soul.”


  • 141
    mnenoch says:

    This is a fun episode although the movie is a bit slow. Still my favorite of the “biker” movies is Wild Rebels. The opening bit with the mad’s is just hilarious and they can barely hold it together.