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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 (164 votes, average: 3.91 out of 5)

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• 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.
References.
• 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 http://www.davidclarkallen.net/#!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 Replies 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.

       5 likes

  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.

       5 likes

  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”

       3 likes

  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 likes

  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).

       0 likes

  6. swh1939 says:

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

       0 likes

  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….

       2 likes

  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!

       3 likes

  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.

       0 likes

  10. Thomas K. Dye says:

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

       0 likes

  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.

       4 likes

  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.

       1 likes

  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….

       3 likes

  14. Sampo says:

    SWH1939–good catch. Now fixed.

       0 likes

  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.

       2 likes

  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.

       1 likes

  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’ :-))

       5 likes

  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!

       1 likes

  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!

       0 likes

  20. SuperSwift says:

    This one is garbage. Next.

       1 likes

  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”.

       4 likes

  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.

       4 likes

  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!”

       5 likes

  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 mst3kinfo.com. No point in coming here anymore for me. Bye guys.

       3 likes

  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”!

       2 likes

  26. dsman71 says:

    :-)) 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 poopie..im going back into therapy again :sidefrown: :sidefrown:

       4 likes

  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.

       1 likes

  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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sMSzF_HD48 – I wasn’t sure if they ever successfully got it, but they used the best one they could get. :)

       1 likes

  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.

       1 likes

  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.

       4 likes

  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.

       5 likes

  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?

       2 likes

  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…

       12 likes

  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.)

       1 likes

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

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

    http://agonybooth.com/recaps/The_Hellcats_1967.aspx

       1 likes

  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.

       1 likes

  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.

       0 likes

  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”?

       1 likes

  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.

       1 likes

  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?

       2 likes

  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?

       1 likes

  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”

       2 likes

  43. aprilmay says:

    Ross Hagan!

    *swoon*

       3 likes

  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.

       6 likes

  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)

       7 likes

  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!

       1 likes

  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.

       0 likes

  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?

       1 likes

  49. Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    whoops…

    fall FAR from the boozy movie :liquor:

       2 likes

  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.

       1 likes

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