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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 509- The Girl in Lovers Lane

Movie: (1960) A whiny runaway is befriended by a world-weary drifter, but the duo’s arrival in a small town spells trouble for a local waitress.

First shown: 9/18/93
Opening: Tom and Crow are retrofitting themselves with bellybuttons; Joel approves
Invention exchange: The Mads present evil baseball promotions, Joel presents “Don Martins”
Host segment 1: J&tB sing “What a Pleasant Journey”
Host segment 2: The bots want to reenact the pool hall scene
Host segment 3: Crow is Crow Elam
End: Furious about the ending of the movie, the bots devise new endings, Joel reads letters, Frank devises endings too
Stinger: “Are you waiting for a bus?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (82 votes, average: 4.61 out of 5)

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• This is what I used to call a “little” episode. The movie has a very narrow scope. The host segments are fun but nothing spectacular. The riffing is decent but workmanlike. It’s good, not great. But, like practically every episode, it has its moments…
• This episode is included on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XV.
• Once again they’re doing stuff to the bots in the opening segment. This time it’s belly buttons. I do love the way Joel thinks it over and decides to go for it.
• Something I never noticed before: In the opener, when they turn on the electric drill, the lights dim a little for a second. A great subtle little touch.
• The baseball promotion invention exchange is as dark as Frank predicts it will be, at least for any baseball fan. I’m old enough to remember when my dad took me and my two brothers to “bat day” at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia: every kid got an actual regulation wooden bat, and yet we behaved. I suspect there’d be mayhem in the stands if they did that today.
• Why does Joel’s jumpsuit come equipped with ONE kneepad?
• One of the best things about this episode is the songs. The song Tom makes up to go with the movie’s theme during the credit sequence is just marvelous. Joel and Crow add a line or two, but of course it’s dominated by Tom.
• This episode also features the “Camera three get off the tracks!! Arrgghhh!” sequence, which was later used in promos for the show.
• The other great song: “What a pleasant journey.” What can you say? One of the funniest songs of the series. The impression they’re doing, by the way is sort of a vague Woody Guthrie.
• The Mary Jo influence: Mentions of Appleton and Circle Pines.
• Callbacks: o/` “Leather coat…” o/` (The Beatniks) “To live like the E-lam…” (Robot Monster) “You’re stuck here!” (Fugitive Alien)
• One I didn’t get lat time around: Her neck looks like Randy Johnson’s. Commenters explained it to me.
• Elam does look like Garrison Keillor, which they point out at least twice.
• There are several references to the “This Side of Paradise” Star Trek episode again.
• Crow notes that Jack Elam was a fine character actor, “and for all I know he still is.” He was indeed still alive when this episode first aired … not so much now, sadly. He passed in 2003.
• I lost count of the “Carrie, you’re so very…” riffs, which did NOT get funnier with each iteration. For those who have no idea what it’s about: Check it out here.
• Yes, the truck driver does look a little like Gene Kelly, if you squint. I counted SIX riffs to that effect.
• The bots are upset about the ending of the movie in the final sketch, and there is also some outrage expressed in the ACEG, but J&tB don’t seem that upset in the theater when Carrie’s brutal and completely undeserved murder actually occurs.
• Cast and crew roundup: Art director Dan Haller also worked on “Attack of the Giant Leeches” and “Night of the Blood Beast.” Set designer John F. Burton also worked on “12 to the Moon” and “High School Big Shot.” Score composer Ronald Stein also worked on “It Conquered the World,” “Attack of the the Eye Creatures,” “Gunslinger,” “The Undead” and “The She-Creature.” In front of the camera Brett Halsey is also in “Revenge of the Creature.” William Coontz is also in “Bloodlust,” and Patricia Dean” is also in “Beginning of the End.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Joel. The music for “The Train Song” a.k.a. “What a Pleasant Journey” was by Michael J. Nelson; the lyrics are by Frank Conniff.
• Fave riff: “This is a great date. I always wanted to be nuzzled by a hobo.” Honorable mention: “Did his head just turn into a big sucker?”

129 Replies to “Episode guide: 509- The Girl in Lovers Lane”

  1. Uranium - 235 says:

    DISH OF ICECREAM

       2 likes

  2. Uranium - 235 says:

    Oh eh, I want to add that my biggest problem with this movie isn’t that it’s too dark – it’s just that it’s really not that bad. I cared about the characters, the story, the acting was decent, it was all around a fine movie on its own.

    Now, that said, since it was also a ‘dark’ movie (read: drama, suspense I guess), it was just too easy to get lost in the movie.

       0 likes

  3. RockyJones says:

    #51…

    “don’t tempt me!”

       1 likes

  4. NormalView82 says:

    The thing I love about this episode is that most of the riffs are in character. That is, Joel and The Bots developed specific voices for each character and speak for them, and keep a continuity with running gags and phrases. Oh, how I love the beating of a dead horse!

    I also find myself getting so involved in the story that I don’t even notice the riffs in some scenes. Carrie is just so lonely and sad…

    While not a favorite per se, I still watch it more than Hamlet or The Dead Talk Back.

       0 likes

  5. Finnias Jones says:

    After Bix and Danny disembark from the train they hitchhike and are picked up by a truck. Shortly after, Bix asks “What town is this?” Truck driver replies, “Sherman, nice little town” (00:16:50) Jump cut to Peggy shakin’ her booty in the diner…

    What a miserable town this Sherman (California?) is. Everyone living there (besides Carrie) is a slut, a prostitute, a pimp, a pool-hall hoodlum, a pervert, or an ineffectual lawman. They’re like a town full of vampires awaiting a delivery of new meat. Carrie’s over-protective father, himself a part-time drunk and leader of the finale’s lynch mob, is so clueless about human nature that while he’s immediately suspicious of the morally upright drifter Bix dating his daughter, he regularly employs the mentally unstable Jesse to procure supplies for the diner, allowing the creep to stand there staring at his virtuous daughter.

    And though I was outraged at her death the first time I watched this episode, knowing Carrie’s fate allowed me on repeat viewings to see that, well, she’s a bit clueless herself. Not deserving of a rape/murder, but still, a little stupid. (Ha, a joke there, see? “Little Stupid”)

    One could also view the film as a homo-erotic tale of two men in the closet, on the road, looking for adventure, both attempting to get laid (by women), but not, and going back home at the end, together. Bix considers Danny’s girls too dirty, while he sees his own prospect as too clean. Classic madonna/whore complex.

    From the break-up scene:
    Bix (01:13:44) I don’t know what I want. Maybe you’re it, I just don’t know.
    Carrie (01:14:07) I tried to give you a reason to stay, but you wouldn’t let me.
    (Her delivery of this line breaks my heart)

       8 likes

  6. Yael Cabble says:

    I would like to say, nice post. Im not sure if it has been addressed, but when using Safari I can never get the whole page to load without refreshing many times. Could just be my laptop. Appreciate your work

       0 likes

  7. The one part of this episode that consistently cracks me up is the final host segment, in which Crow and Tom try to come up with a new ending for the film. Crow eventually blurts out that you should never love a pygmy “because they’re immortal… and they can fly… and YOU CAN’T FLY!”

    The statement is a complete non sequitur with a lunar dream logic all its own, and Crow’s over-enthusiastic acting in the sequence is perfect.

    The film itself is odd. It feels like one of those dramas from the 1980s where a preppy company man would fall into the orbit of an edgy Ray Liotta type and embark on a night of wanton violence. It’s inarguably a love story between two men – the woman was doomed to die, because she was The Other – at a time when that kind of thing was verboten in the cinema. It feels like the kind of thing that should have a huge cult around it, but it just slipped through the net.

    That comment above, by “Yael Cabble”, is basically comment spam, isn’t it? Not a sausage about the episode, and his name links straight to a site selling things.

       4 likes

  8. Emily says:

    I never saw this episode until I got it on DVD a couple months ago. I was spending the weekend at my mother’s and we watched this one together. At some point I was thinking to myself that “Big Stupid” was kind of hott in a 1950s-bad-boy way, and then my mother says out loud, “That guy looks like my dad.”

    Now, her dad (my grandfather, obviously) died long before I was born, but still … EEEEEGGGHHH!!

    Besides that, though, I love this episode.

       6 likes

  9. SuedeKnight says:

    Just for the record, I, too, throw my support behind the Randy Johnson line. It’s freakishly accurate, although I have to wonder how the heck that particular thought surfaced among the writers. I mean it’s true, but it was a “where did THAT reference come from?” moments.

       1 likes

  10. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #43: Would you like a Coke?

    The way Bix frequently referred to Danny as Danny Boy, I’m surprised Servo didn’t go on about how the pipes were calling.

    Joel and the Bots frequently used the word hobo when referring to Bix. I’m not sure you could get away with saying that on TV anymore.

    Host Segment 2 has always struck me as being more like a Mike-era sketch.

    Does anyone know if the egg trick Joel and Tom attempt in Host Segment 3 is real or something they made up?

    Quote from the back of the Shout Factory DVD: “Join hosts Joel Hodgson, Servo and Crow as they send up the movie that divided the MSTie nation.” Huh? Judging from the previous comments, GiLL is nowhere near as divisive as Hamlet.

       2 likes

  11. robot rump! says:

    this is definitly a top shelf episode for me. the ‘Camera 3’ riff, ‘Pleasant Journey’ and Jack Elam are all pure gold. i may be in the minority but bathtub hooker lady…reeaAAWWWrrr. it was funny, when i showed my folks this, right after the bots ask if they even thought about letting Carrie
    (you’re so very) live, my folks got in this big discussion about ‘yeah why not?’ and missed the whole last part of the host segment then wondered what the crap Dr. F and Frank were doing.

       3 likes

  12. Dan in WI says:

    The belly button opening had a couple gems of quotes.
    Crow “And there’s a good chance we’re doing something incredible stupid” Tom “Again”
    And Tom’s request for lint was great too.

    The Mads’ invention has to be in my top five all time. I do love baseball and this is right up my alley. It too opens with a couple classic quotes. It reminds me of the build up to the William Conrad Fridge Alert build up.
    Clayton “How can we as evil scientists hope to dilute or even destroy this great summertime event?”
    Frank “OOOh boy. This is going to be dark.” Clayton “Thanks”
    Clayton “But we made it evil and hurtful. Like we like to do.”
    The promotions:
    Colorless Odorless Toxic Gas Night: Not sure how they are going to distribute this one.
    Slide Whistle and Brass Knuckle Night: To put this over the top they should still give the slide whistles to kids but give the brass knuckles to adults!
    San Diego Chick and Crossbow Night
    Fiberglass Insulation Night
    Used Syringe Night
    Peppermint Schnapps and Tire Iron Double Hitter: Nice use of the “double hitter” here.
    Now I wonder, with promotions like these I wonder if there weren’t some St. Paul Saints regulars on the writing staff. These promotions definitely have more of that minor league/independent league taste to them.

    After all that I have to say the SOL invention falls flat. Don’t get me wrong it is cute and I love the Mad Magazine references. But it just can’t compete with the baseball promotions.

    This really is a good episode. The naïve Danny riffs while not home runs are a series of doubles. Very solid workmanlike riffing.

    Why do you suppose Joel objected so strongly to Tom’s “kiss by grits” riff?

    I get a kick out of Tom’s verse of the train song about the lunch he had at the diner.

    Crow as Jack Elam reminds me a lot of the countless times Bill Corbet would go on to do those skits. (like the Bellerian for example)

    The rewriting of the ending reminded me a lot of the summation of Rocket Attack USA.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Big Stupid “I bet you have a lot of boyfriends.” Joel as Keri “No I’m saving myself for the right oily drifter.”

    Crow as Danny “Is it okay that I wet my pants.”

    Big Stupid “Well who’s asking you to?” Crow “Third base.”

    Big Stupid “She died so easy.” Crow “Like she done it before.”

       2 likes

  13. Fred Burroughs says:

    I think this one falls in the category of Kitten With a Whip: semi-likeable characters making dumb choices over and over again. Someone please slap them. That said, GiLL has much more sympathetic characters, in Big, Carrie, and Danny, and even Dad. All portrayed very well, I might add, but that makes their overly dumb choices so frustrating. Danny: Just go home already! Big S: stay in town, you have a girl, a job and respect for the first time in your life, moron! Carrie: don’t fall for the first drifter you meet, are you crazy?!? Sherman does have the feel of a real small town, where naivete abounds; although I don’t get where a town population 200 can support a pool hall with gang life and a brothel.

    I especially loved the “Hobo/Oily Drifter” jokes at Big’s expense. And the trucker looks like Gene Kelly in “Summer Stock;” it’s because of the baseball cap. He was the first non-baseball player to look cool in a cap.

       2 likes

  14. Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    “Should I have not put my head in his lap, Big Stupid? Was that wrong?”

    An excellent episode, and no, not as depressing as High School Big Shot…(or The Incredible Melting Man, The Violent Years, Invasion U.S.A., Red Zone Cuba…)

       1 likes

  15. Tom Carberry says:

    The Girl in Lovers Lane stars, in a supporting role, one of my favorite character actors, Jack Elam. Crow’s imitation of him with his box of condiments, that nasty looking suit jacket, and of course his wandering eye was so spot on I nearly wet myself the first time I saw it. William Scott Elam was born in Arizona in 1920, and died of congestive heart failure in Ashland, Oregon in 2003. As a child he worked in the cotton fields. He attended Santa Monica Junior College in California and subsequently became an accountant and, at one time, manager of the Bel Air Hotel. Elam got his first movie job by trading his accounting services for a role. In short time he became one of the most memorable supporting players in Hollywood, thanks not only to his near-demented screen persona but also to an out-of-kilter left eye, sightless from a childhood fight. He appeared with great aplomb in Westerns and gangster films alike, and in later years played to wonderful effect in comedic roles.

    Favorite lines:

    War-torn Wisconsin.
    Like father, like bum. Think about it won’t you.
    “Oh stop it Carrie, for goodness sakes, he’s as harmless as a pup.” Yeah, Cujo.
    Delivery man always rings twice.
    Oh, he looks good in a choker.
    I’m gonna take some money out of the till for booze, ok Honey?
    You brought your tackle box, no wonder I’m upset.
    Oh, this is a great day. I always wanted to be nuzzled by a hobo.
    That’s the last time I hire a pimp.
    You know, being with a hooker is just too much of a commitment for him, he can’t handle it.
    Why do all prostitutes dress like Joan Blondell?
    You know, once again, Big [Stupid] has saved Danny from a heterosexual experience.
    [of Jack Elam] What an odor, urine and Brussels sprouts maybe?
    They’re in the Land of the Lost. Watch out for sleestaks.
    He’s taken on a real Torgo quality.
    “Don’t pass out on me now.” Not yet, no, no, no, no, no. Don’t pass out on me now.
    “I didn’t know we had a celebrity in town.” You’re Scott Thorsen.
    That was one weird ass movie.

    Final Thought: Bix and Danny’s relationship was unsettling, and Bix’s relationship with his would be girlfriend, Carrie, more so. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

       6 likes

  16. water says:

    “robot rump! says:
    July 5, 2012 at 8:38 am
    this is definitly a top shelf episode for me. the ‘Camera 3? riff, ‘Pleasant Journey’ and Jack Elam are all pure gold. i may be in the minority but bathtub hooker lady…reeaAAWWWrrr. it was funny, when i showed my folks this, right after the bots ask if they even thought about letting Carrie
    (you’re so very) live, my folks got in this big discussion about ‘yeah why not?’ and missed the whole last part of the host segment then wondered what the crap Dr. F and Frank were doing.” Totally agree with you robot rump :)

       0 likes

  17. trickymutha says:

    Why do I think about this episode every time I watch “Rumble Fish?”

       1 likes

  18. Cubby says:

    I’m old enough to remember when my dad took me and my two little brothers bat day at Connie Mack Stadium in Philly: every kid got an actual regulation wooden bat, and yet we behaved. There’d be mayhem in the stands if they did that today.

    I don’t know if it’s real or if it was a joke, but I remember someone telling a story about Bat Day at Yankee Stadium. They talked to an official in the promotions department, and questioned the wisdom of giving everyone under the age of 18 a regulation bat. The official’s response was, “Well, then it’s a fair fight!”

       5 likes

  19. jjb3k says:

    “There. There’s your damn rings.”

    This isn’t one I put on frequently, because the movie becomes such a downer at the end. But I’m always surprised by how well the riffing holds up, even when the movie is trying to depress the hell out of us. I still crack up every time I hear “You LOVED her?!” “That’s great!”

    “Camera three, get off the tracks…camera three, OH MY GOD — ” Definitely up there with the all-time greatest riffs. So perfectly timed.

    The Train Song gets stuck in my head for hours at a time. Crow’s delightfully dark line is a thing of beauty. “Within a matter of dayyyys, all of our skin will fall off!” And then they all turn from Woody Guthrie into Gary Numan for no reason. I love it. :)

    This is one of those movies where the characters’ actions keep making me clutch my forehead and go “You idiot!” Danny asking for change for a fifty as soon as he walks into a pool hall full of street thugs has to be one of the dumbest things anyone’s ever done in a MSTed movie. I like Servo’s idea – “All right, I’m gonna kill you, see, and then wrap you around my body for armor!”

    Count me in as another fan of bathtub lady. “Are you waitin’ for a bus?” If you want me to be, sure! :D

    “…He gave me his fist in my face.”
    “Did he swing it there or just place it gently?”

    God, Jack Elam is creepy in this movie. When Carrie’s friend says “He’s as harmless as a puppy!” and Servo chimes in “Yeah, Cujo!”, it’s dead-on accurate. Seriously, how can nobody in this town realize that this guy’s a sleazeball?

    I love Crow and Servo rewriting the ending. “Oh! Oh, and the lesson is, never love a pygmy!” “…’Cause they’re immortal! And they fly! And you can’t fly!” Frankly, I like their ending better. :)

       3 likes

  20. lancecorbain says:

    Yeah, definitely a middler-not a favorite, but not a least favorite either. In defense of their endless repetition of the “Carrie, you’re so very…” joke, that commercial was in HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY rotation at one point, almost impossible to escape from, so it kind of reflects that. ;)

       0 likes

  21. Of no account says:

    Ugh. Sorry, just can’t stand a movie that has no sci-fi/fantasy aspect to it. If the movie’s goofy enough or the riffing is good enough to make up for it, maybe. Then add in the ending of this one? ..yeah, not happening. This one is near the bottom of my list, just above Hellcats, Sidehackers, & Kitten with a Whip (the absolute BOTTOM of my list).

       0 likes

  22. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Have we done a Weekend Discussion question like, “Which MSTed movies would you re-write the ending to, and how?”

    Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing a remake of this one using the ‘bots ending.

       2 likes

  23. Colossus Prime says:

    I love this episode mostly because as pointed out the movie is actually kinda good. And the woman in the bathtub is smokin’ hot.

    My favorite riff has to be:
    Bix: See that?
    Tom: Boom mic, picks up everything we say.

    It is just so out of the blue and dead pan. Love it.

       3 likes

  24. Mike Sh. says:

    I’ve always thought that “Big Stupid” is not nearly as idiotic a name as “Bix Dugan”.

       3 likes

  25. Neptune Man says:

    I haven’t watched this episode yet, but everyone says it so depressing (including Paul Chaplin, who remarked that the ending made him angry) that I don’t know if I have the stomach to endure it. Is it more depressing that High School Big Shot?

       0 likes

  26. Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    This says a lot about my maturity level, but if there ever comes a time where I don’t at least chuckle over “Poopie Day”, I think I will have lost my will to live.

       6 likes

  27. Professor Gunther says:

    I’ve only seen this episode once (fairly recently, though), so I won’t say too much about the episode itself until I’ve seen it again. With all due respect, however, I have to say that I simply CANNOT see this as a good movie. I mean, it TRIES, and I rather like some of the characters (and the girl in the tub IS Very Hot), but the execution? Well, that’s obviously one of the reasons it was selected as an episode. (Talk about over-acting! This movie puts the melos–as in music, incredibly sappy music–in melodrama.) I like the outdoor scenes that are so obviously filmed on a soundstage, though. It adds to the verisimiltude.

    For those of you who think this is a good movie (or maybe sort of a good movie), though, I should point out that because I watch MST3K episodes more than I watch real movies, I REALLY don’t trust my sense of what’s good or bad. For example, I’m now of the opinion that two hundred years from now (maybe less) The Beast of Yucca Flats will be perceived as an art film (with its striking cinematography and daring use of off-camera sound). (Of course, it might be perceived as a BAD art film, but it will still be required viewing in college courses, and they’ll be difficult exams on it, and all those good things.) My aesthetic sense is probably more messed up than Jack Elam’s character!

    [For what it’s worth, just listening to the last fifteen minutes of this episode as I typed the above has reminded me of how on-the-case the riffing is.]

    “Please let me through, I’m a hobo!”

       1 likes

  28. Mitchell Rowsdower Beardsley says:

    I hate to say it, but this is my least favorite Joel episode. I guess one had to be it. And it’s the only Joel ep. I purposely didn’t buy on DVD. I never watch this one. The characters are stupid, ‘Big Stupid’ isn’t funny, and the whole movie is just dull.

    But Crow as Jack Elam was great.

       1 likes

  29. Vicki says:

    This is one of the first episodes I remember viewing and so it kind of sticks with me and makes me love it more. I always think of this movie when I see Jack Elam (like last night on a Twilight Zone episode)

    I love Big Stupid and drunk dad. The last segment is good because Carrie didn’t deserve to die.

       2 likes

  30. big61al says:

    A very good episode with lots of classic lines. Big Stupid….HA! :eek:

       1 likes

  31. Sharktopus says:

    I personally find this experiment above-average in the funny department, but the movie just gets so damn dark that I tend not to watch it very often. Which, now that I think about it, tends to make it a pleasant surprise. But, boy oh boy, the songs, the Invention Exchange, and Crow as Jack Elam are all hysterical. I’m giggling just thinking about it. In fact, lemme just hit up Google image search for a sec… and… oh, perfect!

    http://gifsoup.com/webroot/animatedgifs7/2477574_o.gif

    A big thumbs-up to whomever created that gif. :laugh:

    “Poopie Day? What, are you gonna give the kids poop?”

       7 likes

  32. frankenforcer says:

    This is one of my absolute favorites. For years I was more of a Crow fan than Tom simply because his design was alot more visually impactful for me as a kid (my daughter is the exact same way now) it was with this episode and Toms amazing song that I started to realize just how comedically talented Kevin as Tom was and slowly started to gravitate toward being a fan of both as opposed to one over the other.

    Camera 3 had me laughing so hard I peed a litte. I would have been embarrassed but when I showed this episode to my friends we had to stop the DVD due to laughing a two of them had to run to the bathroom, it’s just an amazingly well done riff that fits exceptionally. It makes sense why it became a staple of their commercials for CC.

    What a Pleasant Journey is my favorite song Joel and the Bots did during his time and again Tom steals it for me “mmmm, this Tuna Melt Sammich”. I swear Kevin could sit in front of a camera and do lines with the word sammich in them and I would never get tired of hearing him say it… classic and hilarious for me.

    The movie is a favorite and their riffing I find on point the entire time. Big Stupid lives up to his name as does Dummy (Danny) Jack Elam is creepy good, Crow is an Elam that needs to be seen to be believed.

    I may have said this before but Carrie’s death didn’t really bug me. I never really found her that good or interesting a character. But that’s me, and based on how they acted on the show to find out in the ACEG how much they were angered by it sort of surprised me as it never even registered to me at the time. Still really doesn’t

    But Girl in Lover’s Lane is only surpassed by Mitchell as the best of Joel in Season 5 and makes me sad as always when these episodes start fast approaching. But they gave Joel some of his best movies in the lead up to his farewell.

       6 likes

  33. HeatUpTheDeathRay says:

    Despite the fact that this one generally isn’t thought of amongst the top tier, I’ve always enjoyed it.

    I used to watch this episode a lot while getting ready in the morning back in the mid-to-late ’90s, when I was in high school. I’m not quite sure why this episode held such appeal to me then–could be the vaguely ‘beat’ atmosphere to the whole thing, since I was very into the Beat Generation at the time, or it could be the thinly veiled homoerotic relationship between Big Stupid and Danny–but it was a consistent favorite episode to pop into the VCR in the mornings. Oddly enough, it seemed to be a favorite episode only during that time. I don’t really recall enjoying it as much in the evenings, or on weekends. It’s just sort of frozen in my memory as a nice, gentle way to begin the day while I was brushing my teeth and ironing clothes.

    Perhaps that could be a weekend discussion topic: does anyone else have an episode or episodes they always seem to turn to during a particular time of day? In the morning, before bed, on getting home from work, while making dinner, etc.

       5 likes

  34. Lee Harvey Osmond says:

    Jeez, talk about a polarizing episode, no? I haven’t read every comment, so maybe I’m just talking out of my butt here, but I’m seeing plenty of people either saying they loved it and consider it one of their favorites or that it’s horrible and ranks near the bottom. Well, count me in with the former! I LOVE this one! It might even be my favorite of the entire series (I laughed harder at Incredible Melting Man the last time I watched it, so Lovers Lane might just be No. 2 now. It was my favorite for awhile though!). My dad likes to say that the best episodes are the ones where the movie isn’t too bad and actually kind of watchable with good riffing on top of it, and to both of us, this episode is probably the best example of that.

    I’m not sure where most people are coming from when they say the ending just ruins the episode or makes it unwatchable as a whole. That’s a bit sensitive, no? It is incredibly sad and pretty depressing, and perhaps not even very well executed or thought out even, but like really? Does every movie need to end on a happy note? Or am I just misunderstanding something here? I mean maybe I’m just a sick creep or I’m just looking at it all wrong, but it’s only a movie guys, jeez.

    Or maybe I’m just dumb.

    A damn near perfect episode and one of the best pieces of evidence that Season 5 is the most solid and funniest of them all, 5/5.

       3 likes

  35. Matt D says:

    Good ep. The first bit about belly buttons features one of my favorite “I find the vocal inflection funny when no one would” lines. The way that Trace says the line, “Sure,” after Tom asks him to make sure to put some lint in there is priceless. I don’t even know why, but it is.

    If I could rate the episode, I would give it a three and a half…if I could.

       2 likes

  36. Jeff McMahon says:

    I can’t find the answer, so: can someone explain the Randy Johnson line? Thanks.

       0 likes

  37. Yipe Striper says:

    I know that legal action my be pending after this, but i own this ep on dvd and i’ve never seen it.

    after the review above, i may never see it. i may wait for a sick day so i can give it the attention it warrants.

       1 likes

  38. agrob says:

    I dug this one.

    Wasn’t this the one with a 2001 pinball machine? I had a landlord who had one just rotting in his garage (along with a Joust cabinet and a Genesis cartridge dumper). Always bugged me.

       0 likes

  39. Dan in WI says:

    Jeff Mchahon #86> See posts #9 and #20

       0 likes

  40. casterberus says:

    Aw, I love this episode!

    First, “Camera three, get off the tracks!!!” = AWESOME.

    Second, they totally had me at “Big Stupid.”

    Third, Crow IS Jack Elam!

    And many, many more.

       2 likes

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

    #5: since as he says during one scene ‘I don’t have a problem hitting dames’

    IIRC he says he “don’t like” or “hates” hitting dames, which isn’t entirely the same thing. Tragically, for the time period, even that could debatably be considered a relatively progressive perspective on male-female interaction. The female screenplay writer (“Jo” is usually a female name) thought it was okay for her co-protagonist to say that, and, to be “fair,” all he did was SAY it, in a moment of ANGER over how she took advantage of his friend, he didn’t actually hurt Sadie, did he? (don’t entirely recall) Seriously, she betrayed Danny’s trust (such as it was), I think a certain amount of hostility on Bix’s part over such treatment of the kid who was probably the first person in years to show he himself any trust and respect was inevitable. I don’t think he started out talking mean to her right away, did he?

    I’m not “defending” the fictional character’s remark, I’m just saying context can be important.

    Honestly, I found Joel’s “She’s a prostitute, you can’t really shame her” remark more offensive. Bix was a (presumably) uneducated ruffian in a, for lack of a better term, lifestyle (hobodom) that didn’t exactly lend itself to civility during, again, an era which didn’t always regard mistreatment of women (certainly not of prostitutes in particular) as a very serious matter. What’s Joel’s excuse? That’s a rhetorical question, btw.

    ===

    BTW, in case anyone finds it enlightening (there’s always that CHANCE, isn’t there?), here’s something I heard on a TV show I don’t remember the name of:

    A HOBO is a migratory worker.
    A TRAMP is a migratory NON-worker.
    A BUM is a NON-migratory NON-worker. You lay a bum down somewhere, he’ll be there til he dies.

    Like Bix said at the diner, they weren’t BUMMING a meal, they had MONEY, so a little respect was due. Hobos don’t “expect” to live off of handouts, they’re prepared to work to earn their keep. So, you know, there’s that, anyway. So if you ever call a hobo a tramp or a bum, you can reasonably expect him to consider it an insult. In case that ever comes up.

       4 likes

  42. Chuck says:

    Why do all the prostitutes dress like Joan Blondell?

       2 likes

  43. Cheapskate Crow says:

    This was the only episode that I think the movie was good enough for me to care about the characters and I am still angry about the death of Keri, like Paul mentioned in the ACEG. Everybody’s already listed the best lines but there is one particular plot hole that really annoyed me in this movie. Big Stupid is supposed to be the experienced and wise hobo master. Why in the name of Mr. B. Natural did he not tell Danny that getting change for a 50 in a shady pool hall was probably not a good idea? This really was a dirty and depressing town, no wonder Keri never found a boyfriend.

       1 likes

  44. GregS says:

    I like the episode, but the “Carrie, you’re so very…” riffs soon become almost overwhelmingly annoying.

       5 likes

  45. Sharktopus says:

    Did you see me groin that guy in the knee, Big?

       4 likes

  46. sol-survivor says:

    I found the uncut movie on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21TiF1RvGsY It’s pretty obvious what Jesse does to Carrie but they don’t exactly show it (unlike the uncut Sidehackers). And when Danny and Gene Kelly find out about the murder the guy checking the tire does say there was a rape and murder. In the MST3K version Tom’s riff covers up the word rape. I’m assuming that was on purpose.

    Another possible alternate ending: Peggy feels remorse for pooh-poohing Carrie’s fears about Jesse and teams up with Bathtub Girl. They become vigilantes and clean up the town. They then buy the diner from Carrie’s Dad and hire the other girls from the brothel as waitresses. Trouble ensues when Sadie gets confused about the diner’s new slogan “Have it your way”. :shock:

    “You know, Danny should come with his own tote.”

       5 likes

  47. agrob says:

    >93
    Maybe he didn’t expect Danny to be that massively stupid. Like, I don’t often warn people “Don’t break a hundred for $99.75 in front of a gang so you can play Galaga.” I expect people to know that much.

       6 likes

  48. pondoscp says:

    Sampo’s Theorem in full effect here: this one is easily in my top 20. These first half of season five episodes are such a mixed bag for me. I regard some as absolute classics, some of the best of the whole series (WOTLW, I Accuse My Parents, GiLL, Mitchell) and others as sort of duds (Secret Agent Super Dragon, Operation Double 007, The Painted Hills). But such is the theorem.
    Girl In Lovers’ Lane was one of the first episodes I saw when getting back into MST3K about 5 years ago. I had not seen it during it’s original run, and I found it to be a real treat, what I had missed for so many years. Yeah, this movie’s messed up, but that’s what makes it so riffable. And we wouldn’t have that classic closing segment where the bots come up with alternate endings! It is, after all, only a movie, and one I didn’t find engaging enough on it’s own to become upset over. It was more of a “what just happened? what a stupid movie! Oh, that’s why they picked it.” But, much like my beloved Sidehackers, some people do not like this movie very much at all. And I understand; violence towards women in movies or tv is too much for some, even in it’s silliest forms. I have things that I have aversions to as well, so I get it.
    But when it comes to the 200-odd MST3K episodes, I have a love for them all, from K04 to 1013. Why, I’ll even give Batwoman a spin every once in a while. :)
    Watch every episode. Watch them many times. Join Us. There is good in every episode. Don’t deny yourself finding that good.

       10 likes

  49. Rachel says:

    Not one of my favorites. I thought the movie was depressing (even before Carrie got killed), and I didn’t like any of the characters – especially Big Stupid. Maybe because he looks like a younger, skinnier version of an abusive old boss.
    But I do like the song they do at the beginning. ;-)

       0 likes

  50. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    Under the “Not even a current reference then” file, “Quisp & Quake are calling.”
    Were these cereals even still around in the 1990’s?
    I remember when they came out, first in separate commercials, then together, finally in a monumental vote of “Who do you loke more ??”
    Quake lost and was pulled form the shelves, but Quisp puttered on for a few more years. However, I think they were both gone by 1980.
    Never a big seller, they were sort of Captain Crunch in different forms.

    Amazing how much of our youthful memories revolve around cereal. Honeycomb anyone?

       4 likes

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