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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives

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

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 301- Cave Dwellers

Movie: (1984) An evil overlord imprisons a wise man in order to learn the whereabouts of a powerful weapon. Ator the barbarian and his pals are determined to rescue him.

First shown: 6/1/91
Opening: J&tB consider new names
Invention exchange: The renaming thing gets out of hand, while in Deep 13, Dr. F loses patience with Frank’s “Mike Douglas Show” recreation; Joel’s invention is a smoking jacket, while the Mads demonstrate robotic arm wrestling
Host segment 1: J&tB reenact the half-screen slo-mo credit sequence
Host segment 2: Joel explains how giving extraordinary names to ordinary things can dress them up a bit
Host segment 3: Joel gives a foley demonstration
End: J&tB rail against the movie, which pleases the Mads
Stinger: “Thong! The fish is ready!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (191 votes, average: 4.69 out of 5)


• This one takes a little while to get going (it doesn’t help that a big chunk of the first part of the movie is flashbacks to the movie this is a sequel of), but once it does, the riffing gets up to speed and it really is hilarious. The host segments are mostly in the more-clever-than-funny variety, but we’re so comfortable with these characters by now, clever is usually enough. The movie, as Joel and the bots note in the ending segment, is a bit of a hard ride, but it’s perfect for our experiments.
• One of the first things Joel says is: “Looks like we’re back on, everybody!” implying that there’s been some sort of break in communication. And, well, there had been, but not that long: The stretch between the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3 was 119 days, the ninth-longest (or second-shortest, depending on how you look at it) amount of time MSTies had to wait between episodes.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 2.”
• It was with this episode that the real heyday of the series began. In the ACEG, Kevin notes it was the first of SEVENTY-TWO contracted episodes (in fact, they’d do at total of 96 episodes from this point before Comedy Central grew weary of them). It was an almost unheard-of situation in the TV business, and you can almost feel them settle in for the long haul.
• That massive contract is perhaps the best evidence of how much CC officials considered this the network’s “signature series.” More evidence: June 1 was the day CC officially went on the air (after two months as “CTV” ): this episode was one of the shows that ran that day.
• Many of the catchphrases that we’d hear again and again are heard for the first time in this episode, including “…later…later…,” “bite me, it’s fun!” “It’s not a comic book, it’s a graphic novel!” “they’re kinda dumb and easy to kill” and “Go to bed, old man!”
• Dr. F. gives the whole “stranded in space” premise a boost by asking Joel, “How did you fare going through the asteroid belt?” (Apparently not well. Jeepers, ow.)
• Tom is wearing a fez.
• The whole “Mike Douglas Show” bit (a decade before “Seinfeld” would explore similar terrain) establishes the “Man in My Little Girl’s Life” as a piece of mental furniture for this show.
• In the invention exchange, Dr. F. is wearing his baseball cap backwards in a homage to the movie “Over the Top.”
• Before, FVI got hold of it, this movie was called “Ator The Invincible.” On video it was titled “The Blade Master.” It was a sequel to “Ator the Fighting Eagle” (1983) and the prequel to “the Iron Warrior” (1986).
• One of the commenters identified the movie that the clips used during the opening credits came from. It’s a sword-and-sandal flick called “Taur: the Mighty.”
• Oddest non sequitur: Joel says, “and…bring me the head of Gallagher!” apropos of nothing on the screen.
• Segment one just kind of establishes the premise then kills time. The credits are moderately amusing, though.
• Segment two feels very season two-ish: very wordy but funny.
• Segment three also feels like something out of early season two, akin to Joel’s zero-gravity or gobos lectures.
• At the end of segment three, Trace does the voice of TV’s Madam, but gets mixed up and makes Crow’s mouth move for a moment. Oops! They keep going.
• Callbacks: “The driver is either missing or he’s dead!” (Phantom Creeps); “Pyuma?!” (Ring of Terror) “I say it’s foggy!” (The Crawling Eye) “It’s the Aztec mummy!” “What’s Your Dream?” (Rocketship X-M)
• Obscure riff: As the cave man eats human heart: “I wanna Barney Clark bar!” In 1983, Clark was the first person to receive a permanent, implanted artificial heart; he lived 112 days.
• Vaguely dirty riff: “It’s the speedy delivery guy and has he got a package!”
• Great wordplay: “I think it’s the Kurds.” “And whey?” “Yes, way!”
• Tom’s little “Ator’s kite” song is great, and Joel’s little harmony at the end really makes it charming.
• I just love that face Joel pulls at the beginning of that final host segment.
• How much Keeffe does this movie have? Miles O’Keeffe, perhaps best known for 1981’s “Tarzan the Ape Man” with Bo Derek, apparently doesn’t take his acting ability too seriously. He reportedly contacted BBI after seeing this episode and told them he loved it.
• Cast and Crew roundup: Art director Massimo Lentini also served that role on the “Escape 2000” and Casiomeister Karl Michael Demer is back doing the credits music as mentioned previously.
• CreditsWatch: Several changes have taken place in the credits. For one, former production assistant Jann Johnson is now production coordinator (while Alex Carr remained production manager–wonder how that worked). That’s intern Christopher Wurst as the moleman Gerry, refereeing the robot arm wrestling. Wurst must have put his foot down during the making of this episode about how hot it was inside the mask: Gerry and Sylvia would never be seen again. Trace and Frank are no longer “Special Guest ‘Villians’ (misspelled)” as they were throughout season two. The lines “Special Effects and Other Fancy Stuff: Trace Beaulieu” have been removed, as has “Additional Visual Effects: Industrial Plumbing and Heating,” which I suspect was just a joke anyway. The “Hexfield Viewscreen Designed and Constructed by: Mark Gilbertson” credit, which began with episode 205, is gone. New to the credits are technical supervisor Timothy Scott and manager of business affairs Heide LeClerc. And in the thank yous: Randy Herget has been removed and Bill W. has been added (probably at the urging of Frank Conniff). The interns were Thomas Alphonso, Cyn Eells, Tom Henderson and Christopher Wurst. Wurst also got a “Contributing writers” credit, along with Briget. Also, the music during segment 1, which he titled “Jupiter,” were written and arranged by Mike. I tweeted him about what “Jupiter” means and he replied, “that may have simply been the name of the tone on the keyboard.”
• Fave riff: “Gomez! I’ve invented the wheel!!” Honorable mention: “I say: You could drive a Mack truck through your cues! Tempo! Tempo!”

181 Replies to “Episode guide: 301- Cave Dwellers”

  1. Kouban says:

    Okay, the stickler in me insists that I reiterate that a prequel is ONLY an installment in a series which is released after but set chronologically before another installment in the same series.
    That said, this is one of my favorite MST3K episodes, partly because I like high fantasy movies, and partly because the host segments are just plain classic. And I could’ve sworn I’d heard Mike’s “Jupiter” tune in a podcast recently, as highly unlikely as that is.


  2. Brandon says:

    It’s season 3 now! The show keeps getting better and better! And now, I present to you, one of the first Joel episodes I ever saw. I used to not care much for this episode, but it has grown on me over the years.

    301- Cave Dwellers

    Opening: J&TB consider new names.
    Invention exchange: Smoking jacket, robotic arm wrestling.
    Host segment 1: Reenacting the half-screen slo-mo credits.
    Host segment 2: Giving extraordinary names to ordinary things.
    Host segment 3: Foley demontration by Joel.
    End: J&TB rail against the movie, the Mads are delighted.
    Stinger: “Thong! The fish is ready!”

    Memorable riffs:
    Servo: “This must be in shoebox format.”

    Joel: “How much Keefe is in this movie? Miles O’Keefe!”

    Crow: “Hey, Grog just threw a bone into the air and it turned into a spaceship!”

    (shot of a sword)
    Servo: “A rear-view mirror?”

    (upskirt shot of a woman)
    Servo: “Saaaayy..”

    Joel: “How come she’s limping?”
    Crow: “Cause she’s got an arrow in her chest.”
    Joel: “Oh, I can see– HUH?”

    Joel: “Come with me… no not you, her!”

    Servo: “Uh-Oh, fog’s covering up the action!”
    Crow: “What action?”

    (Ator gets attacked by invisible people)
    Joel: “Oh I don’t believe this, they were too cheap to hire real actors here!”

    Joel: “Don’t they want their capes back?”
    Crow: “No, there’s invisible blood on them.”
    Joel: “Oh… what?”

    Ator: “The castle of the great one is far away.”
    Crow: “And the end of the move is even further.”

    (Ator kills the giant snake)
    Crow: “I’m coming… Beany… Boy.”

    Joel: “My hubcap’s chaving!”

    Servo: “They hit Charlie McCarthey!”

    Fav. Riff:
    Servo: “You know, they probably shouldn’t have filmed this at Yellowstone.”

    -My copy of Cave Dwellers is a VHS Rhino tape. Damn these things don’t keep for long. The audio and picture is terrible.

    -Servo is still wearing a fez during the host segments.

    -I’m not pervy or anything, but I don’t think Lisa Foster had underwear on underneath that outfit. At one point I swear it looks like you can see… um.. a certain female body part during her first fight scene.
    [NEW NOTE: Keep in mind though, I only have this episode on VHS, where the quality is less superb. And it’s not something I was deliberately looking for, it’s just something I caught during a single viewing years ago.]

    -Segment 1 contains one of the last references to Gizmonic Institute. Not counting the theme song.

    -Servo says “Hi-Keeba!” about 3 times in this episode.

    -Servo comments Cave Dwellers as being the worst movie they’ve ever seen. I’m sure his opinion will change towards the end of season 4.

    Best Segment: Segment 3 is great from start to finish. One of those segments I never get tired of watching. Those poor little hamsters!
    Worst Segment: Segment 1 went on far too long. It’s not even that funny. And all Joel is really doing is just prancing around the set with a fake word, and it’s not like the robots can really do anything in terms of fighting. Have to agree with Servo on this one, “Isn’t this kinda fruity?”
    [Additional Note: Hearing Servo use the word “fruity” threw me for a loop the first time I saw this more than 10 years ago. I just didn’t think that term existed in 1991.]

    Overall: Not season 3’s best, but at least the movie is watchable, and some cute riffs here and there. *** star rating.


  3. Thomas K. Dye says:

    Why does Joel call Thong “Gomez”?


  4. Mr. B(ob) says:

    And let’s not forget, “Ouch, I fell on my 8-sided dice.” Hilarious reference to Dungeons and Dragons when a “gamer-type” looking character is tossed into the snake pit. I love that one.


  5. EricJ says:

    @53 – He, um, looks sort of like Mr. Addams.

    (And for some unknown reason, I keep cracking up at the guys’ blue-collar imitation of the guard who has to throw the girls into the snake-pit:
    “Okay, honey, move it, c’mon, insy-winsy, let’s go…” )


  6. Dalty Smilth says:

    Re: the “Mack Truck” line, my youth group used to do plays in the summer and the director (who’d done some semi-professional productions, including one featuring future Broadway star Ken Page) would always use the term “Mack Truck” any time there was a needlessly long pause between lines during rehearsals. Until I saw this episode, I thought it was just something he’d come up with, I didn’t realize it was professional slang.


  7. Sampo says:

    #48 John Paradox–If you have Thor and the Amazon Women take a look and see if you can spot the footage used in this movie and confirm Revillo. If we have two confirmations I will officially update the FAQ.


  8. Thomas K. Dye says:

    #55: Boy, that’s a stretch, though it’s not the last such stretch MST would make in comparisons by any means.


  9. JCC says:

    Great episode! This is my favorite Joel season, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy when I watch an episode from it, although there are some brutal sodes.

    Lisa Foster is so hot, reminds me a bit of Shirley Manson who was beginning to get popular when I first saw this episode. The Dull Old Guy looks like Bill Maher. The sketch making fun of the FVI credits is a classic.


  10. bartcow says:

    The half-screen credits host segment is probably one of my favorites of the show (top 34, anyway…). Shows what I know, eh? And I started watching the sequel to this one a few months ago (on Netflix streaming, of all things). How much O’Keefe is in Ator III? None. Zero O’Keefe. Pity.

    And not to become one of those creepy message board pervs, but Lisa Foster… .


  11. Laura says:

    This movie is absolutely atrocious. Crap plot, crap actors, snakes that growl (really???), pointless FVI footage, cheap props, no actual villians, the list goes on. The actual episode, however, is pretty good. I love the first segment. They do a much better job of the opening credits. The riffing is good, and I concur with the complaining at the end. How the heck does Ator make the bombs and how does he have the eyesight to make those accurate bombings???? Never mind the handglider that appears out of nowhere. My brain hurts from the effort.

    FYI, Miles looks like Chris Jericho before he became the ultimate awesome hotness that he is today!


  12. klisch says:

    Joel: How much Keefe is in this movie anyway?
    Tom Servo: Miles O’ Keefe.


  13. Matt Sandwich says:

    “Drink it all, sometimes the poison’s on the bottom.”
    “I’m all out of blue stuff.”
    “I’m the best-lookin’ man in the Middle Ages, my my my!”
    “Careful, I just mopped there!”
    “Well… maybe just a little.”
    And of course over-emoting the word “No!”

    For quite a while, I considered this the go-to episode for introducing people to the show. A (then relatively recent) color film that’s entertainingly cheesy on its own merits, a genre that most contemporaries recognized from childhood (I still think it’s absolutely bizarre that there was a pop culture sword & sorcery boom in the late 70s/early 80s), and the fact that there’s just so damn much hokey stuff going on in the movie helps make for some quality riffing. Not to mention a TON of riffs that became staples of the show, including a whole slue that’ve already popped up in the thread.

    There isn’t the slightest whiff of self-awareness in this film, and that makes for a great target. And makes the movie sort of endearing. It’s just so sincere in its fur-clad, wig-sporting, invisible-monster-fighting, cheap mediocrity that I actually find it appealing. Unlike the deadly seriousness of a Coleman Francis movie, for example, that’s grimy, creepy, and off-putting.

    Stringy hair and all (all but the hubcap, that is), Lisa Foster just looks like the quintessential D&D dream girl here. And I always thought the way she squealed when hit by that arrow (“She’s in love!” ) was just adorable. Speaking of creepy and off-putting, I guess.

    And while Foster deserves some credit for the arrow that causes her to limp, the villain really takes the biscuit here. “You do amuse me. And… provoke me.” And that embarrassingly dramatic pose he strikes during the climactic fight scene. Wow. The Brains seemed to relish this sort of performance (for obvious reasons), and identify it with ‘community theater,’ which I’d guess one or more of them had some personal experience with.

    Yeah, I’ve always been hugely fond of this one, and it seems like as good a place as any to set my arbitrary marker for the beginning of the show’s Golden Age. (And I suppose that information about the massive contract they’d just been given lends it a bit of justification, sorta.)

    And I realize how much I put in here about D&D, barbarian movies, etc. But to date myself, I was right there in elementary school as Dungeons & Dragons became a (genuinely baffling) national fad, so that whole movement/subculture/whatever had a pretty big impact on my pre-adolescent mind, and still makes me nostalgic. Bit of a disclaimer, there.


  14. Spector says:

    I agree with Sampo that this one takes a little while to warm up, but once it does Joe and the ‘Bots are in fine form. This episode is widely considered one of the best in the shows history. It’s also obvious by this point that they’ve gotten all the lingering bugs from the first two seasons ironed out. The patter between Joel and the ‘Bots during the host segments, and between Dr. F and Frank, now moves along seamlessly, without any of the lingering awkwardness that at times was evident in Seasons One and Two. Everyone’s comfortable with their characters by now and it shows in their performances. This movie, a lousy “Conan the Barbarian” knockoff, is perfect for riffing. My favorite scenes are toward the end, when Ator suddenly goes hang-gliding, and Joel and the ‘Bots rip him mercilessly. This is one of my favorite episodes, which I’ve also found works well to introduce friends to the show. Four and a half stars out of Five.


  15. dad1153 says:

    Just watched “Cave Dwellers” at work during my (extended) lunch break on my Panny DMP-B500 portable Blu-ray player with wireless streaming (Amazon Prime On Demand). It’s amazing how consistent it is with me regardless of how many times I’ve seen it (as far back as VHS): starts slow (too much talk, not enough O’Keefe even though there’s allegedly ‘Miles’ of him around :reallyangry:) and can barely stay awake through the ‘fake’ credits, gets going after the ‘fishing’ conversation (the arrival of Speedy Delivery Guy’s ‘package’ to the village signals we’ve turned the corner) and, when Ator whoops up hundreds of years’ worth of human discoveries/inventions in one fell swoop (i.e. the handglider), “Cave Dwellers” soars as high as its hero and ends on a strong note (the exchanges between the Mads and SOL captives are priceless). If we were ranking “MST3K” episodes by how well they close an episode on the final two segments “Cave Dwellers” would be in the Top 5, no questions asked. It’s as if the movie’s complete disregard for logic with the glider stunt invigorated the Brains with a shot of riffing Spinach; from ‘Charlie McCarthy’ to the many ‘Nooo!’ exclamations, the last 15-20 minutes of “Cave Dwellers” are, to quote Joel. boss! :-/

    THREE-AND-A-HALF STARS (would be a weak two-and-a-half without the post-glider appearance riff-a-palooza) for “Cave Dwellers,” the beginning of the most consistent and productive run of “MST3K” episodes ever made and almost a step-by-step warm-up (including the credits-from-another-movie schtick) for the magic that comes from outer space (and the Bay Area’s new age musicians) in just two weeks. :soldier:


  16. Chris L. says:

    Boring Old Guy: As Ator nursed his wounds…
    Servo: I nursed a scotch.


  17. schippers says:

    Post with only marginal connection to the ep under discussion:

    If you want to see EVEN MORE of the actor playing the bad guy and the actor playing the dull old guy, check out the movie The Emperor Caligula: The Untold Story. It’s one of dozens of cheap Italian copies of Tinto Brass’s awful (but profitable) film Caligula. Anyway, The actor playing the bad guy plays Caligula, and if I remember correctly, the actor playing the dull old guy plays, um, a dull old guy who advises Caligula. Anyway, it’s kind of fun to see them paired up, two years before this Ator movie was made.

    Man, you gotta love the Italian film industry of the 1960s-1980s: grabbing hold of profitable genres (peplum, cannibals, zombies) and churning out product. Some of it’s even worth watching.


  18. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    YAY! Season 3!!

    This one is good, not great. I love the sword and sandal type films, and if they’re from the 80’s, they’re even sweeter. This movie suffers from too many flashbacks at the beginning and too many awkward pauses in the dialogue. And stupid things like invisible enemies and the hang glider scene. And the John Saxon-y villain’s stupid helmet. Overall, a 4/5.

    (Curious to find out if Season 3 has any 3/5 episodes, or lower…..I’ve only seen the majority of Season 3 once, I just got a complete Season run from DAP Central about a year and a half ago, and watched all the ones I hadn’t seen only about once, so this re-watch will be good for me)

    During the opening invention exchange, Joel has they nice line: “Everybody loves tar. Sure, who doesn’t?”

    As the Bots point out, Host Segment #1 IS fruity. The credits are sorta funny; “the John Saxon-type guy,” for example. (By the way, I think it is a disservice to the great John Saxon to refer to the dude in the swan helmet as a Saxon-type. Just my opinion)

    Host Segment #2 is only okay. There’s a reference to “Jake & the Fatman” which is obscure-ish. (Anyone remember that one? )

    Host Segment #3 is probably the best of the three this episode. It’s humorous and informational!


    Servo: “The Hills Have Eyes! They have glaucoma, though.” —>In reference to the blurry credits.

    Joel: “That’s my spice rack!”

    A catchphrase not yet mentioned I believe, the girl with the hubcap saying “dad” and then CROW mockingly saying “DAD?” in that stupid voice of hers. Dad? dAD? DAD??

    Crow: “Use the handrails. I invented them for a reason.” —>HA! The castle has handrails…

    Joel: “…and bring me the head of Gallagher!” —->jeez, Joel REALLY doesn’t like that guy! :-P

    Servo: “Willie Nelson’s a tough audience.” —->I didn’t think the guy looked like Willie, but this line really had me cracking up!!

    Crow: “I think your cape is FABULOUS!!!

    After an immense amount of fog rolls in, Servo: “We’re getting close to Ridley Scott now.”

    Crow: “On NO! Not a mime!”

    Joel : “I’m the luckiest boy in the world.” —>during the hang glider, I think.

    Servo/Crow: “It’s not a comic book, it’s a graphic novel!” —->Yes, they are, but not always. Sometimes a comic book can become a graphic novel (when single issues of a book are collected into one edition, Watchmen for example) but a graphic novel can never become a comic book. Either way, it’s all sequential art to me. :-D


  19. Jeyl says:

    Confirmed. Clips from both the beginning and ending of the movie are from Taur: The Might. Here are some scenes.

    2:36 is where the ending credits occur.


  20. Joseph Nebus says:

    There’s all sorts of fun stuff here but I wanted to ask about whether I saw something or whether I’m all on my own here.

    When A-tor and Wo-man get to A-tor’s village and he’s trying to rally them to fighting back against the slaver/snake worshipper/whatever guys, there’s one villager who rallies to A-tor’s call, saying, “I will. I want to fight”; the immediate riff is “for my right to party”.

    Anyone else get a Jonathan Frakes vibe off the guy? I don’t know who it is and the last time I tried checking I couldn’t figure out who it was supposed to be, but I’m curious.

    (I imagine if it were Frakes, the Internet would have confirmed this over and over again since who could resist an MST3k/Next Generation link.)


  21. Yipe Striper says:

    This is a 5 star episode to me.



  22. kismetgirl88 says:

    Anyone else wonder what happen to Jerry and Sylvia the mole people and why they stop using them


  23. Sharktopus says:

    I repeat Zee’s question from the first response – What’s with Dr F’s glasses? I had assumed they were part of the Mike Douglas Show bit, but now that I look into it, Mike Douglas didn’t wear glasses. ?:-)

    As a fan of “sequential art,” I want to pontificate on the difference between comic books and graphic novels, but I think we’re all missing the bigger point – those riffs aren’t funny. I’ll admit that there are stretches of this movie where there’s not a lot to work with, but if you’re going to run a gag into the ground through repetition, it should at least have something to do with the movie.

    ANYWAY, I suspect this is the first episode many MSTies saw all the way through, uninterrupted, thanks to it being among the first eps Rhino put out on VHS. My memory’s a bit hazy, but it was probably Cave Dwellers or Pod People for me – both tapes got played a lot back then. (I was aware of the show, and had seen bits and pieces, but I don’t think I’d ever seen a whole episode on TV before they moved to SciFi.) For that reason, it’s difficult for me to make a fair judgment on those episode’s quality, as they’ve become so familiar. Both Cave Dwellers and Pod People feel especially weak to me, but that might be simply because all the novelty has worn away. I can probably play those movies on mute and recite the riffs from memory.


  24. Kali says:

    #72: I think Mike admitted once that the interns simply revolted about getting into those costumes again.


    Anyway, I always assumed (in story) they just man the cameras in Deep 13 and have the self-control from this point on not to step in front of the camera…

    One of my first MST experiences – not the greatest episode, but shows the potential to come.


  25. Sharktopus says:

    I seem to recall one of the Brains saying somewhere that Jerry & Sylvia were retired because the costumes were so very uncomfortable. They were so hot and difficult to see out off that forcing interns to wear them started to feel abusive. Plus, they never really added much to the show anyway.

    So, how could the SOL go through an asteroid belt if it’s in orbit? Huh? HUH? But, is it actually in orbit? Did they ever say it was, or did I just make that assumption, since they call it a satellite? I know, I know, just a show, relax, etc…


  26. Kali says:

    I used to love the Mike Douglas Show – a lot more interesting than some of the talk shows they’ve got now. You had fun on Mike’s show – all the other shows, they’re just trying to plug.

    Here’s an appearance by Moe Howard of the Three Stooges:

    Ted Knight pops up too.

    This is called: how to REALLY get hit with a pie…


  27. Sharktopus says:

    I see a few of you say this a good introductory episode. I must admit I find that suprising. Details, please?

    Did any other of us younger fans first learn what foley is thanks to this episode? (If I had seen Jungle Goddess all those years ago, I would’ve known that Gobo was more than a Fraggle.)


  28. Laura says:


    Yes, thanks to this episode, I first learned about foley. I had never heard of that term before but thanks to MST3K I am that much smarter.


  29. Sampo says:

    #52 Brandon– I KEEP FORGETTING to mention Tom Servo’s fez! He’s been wearing it for a few episodes now. Does anybody know when it first appeared?

    Also another thing I forgot to mention: In segment three Joel says “heavy metal punching bag.” (Even the bots seem confused.) They keep going.


  30. Sharktopus says:

    They’ve said that MST3K has the smartest fans, which may just be true, but it helps that the show teaches us stuff. :chic:

    …Unlike most TV shows, which can actually make you stupider, if not at least painfully misinformed.


  31. Sharktopus says:

    Hey yeah, what is the deal with Tom’s fez? And I’m still awaiting an explanation for Dr F’s glasses.

    And what about Scarecrow’s brain?!


  32. Professor Gunther says:

    “Give my moustache to….”

    That’s one of my favourite moments in the movie. The timing is perfect, just a glorious way for our villain in the “Cher wig” to go. I also love it when he gives Ator a “ping” on the chest with his finger. That HAD to be improvised. :-)

    This one never fails to cheer me up when I need cheering up.


  33. Torgo's Pizza's on my speed dial says:

    Ah, my first visit to the Satellite of Love – via the then-in-syndication MST Hour. Junior year of college, watching my 13-inch color TV in my dorm room on a Saturday night (like usual), when I flipped the channel to the local ABC affiliate and there it was.

    I knew what MST was, but I’d never actually seen it before – or understood how truly funny and sharp this little show was. I don’t think I’d ever laughed that hard in my entire life. From that point on, I was hooked, and I still am to this day.

    Long story short: Cave Dwellers holds a special place in my fanboy heart.


  34. John Ellis says:

    I’ve found that this serves as a great “gateway episode” for those unfamiliar with the series.


  35. Fred Burroughs says:

    Five-and-a-half stars. And speaking of the Mighty Taur movie, I guess its a shame they never did a Joe Robinson movie to torture Joel Robinson, just for irony’s sake. Remember, each man’s fate is pre-determined. Where did Ator learn calvinism? Or did he invent it himself?


  36. Jeff McMahon says:

    Who’s Bill W.?


  37. pablum says:

    One of the best of the series. I can’t heap enough praise upon this episode even with some of its flaws.

    The movie is hilarious. Its also an 80s movie which puts it up at the top for me. I assume the movie was created as a serious piece of film, but it sure does not leave that impression while watching. Quite the comedy. Miles O’Keefe as Ator cracks me up. Whether its battling invisible enemies, getting suckered by his parents’ neighbors and nearly sacrificed to a snake puppet, or making a hang glider and bombs from nothing in what appears to be an instant, Ator is the ultimate Conan the Barbarian wannabe.

    The riffs here hit their mark every time. Well, maybe except for when Joel does what may be the worst line flub of the series during the battle with the samurai warriors. Even that cracked me up because it was so bad. Great work, Best Brains.

    Great on-topic host segments as well. Especially the goofy FVI posterized credits spoof.

    The best part is the show only gets better here on out.


  38. CaveDweller says:

    I think it might be over-stating the obvious to say that this is one of my all-time favorite episodes. ;-) But honestly, one of the biggest reasons I look back on it so fondly is because it was one of the first MST3K episodes I ever saw and was one of the episodes that got me hooked on the show. Sure, the movie itself is terrible and extremly hard to follow (it took me several viewing to fully figure out what was going on), but I have always thought that everything else about this episode was spot-on. It’s also always been one of the first episodes I show to people who have never seen MST3K before. I always figure that if they watch it and don’t say, “What in God’s name is THIS!?!?!” then they have the potential to be an MST3K fan!


  39. mstgator says:

    So, I guess I’m not alone in this episode being my introduction to MST3K. I didn’t have CC on my cable system (we didn’t get it until MST3K had been axed prior to the move to SciFi), but had read plenty of good things about the show, so imagine my excitement when the MST Hour went into syndication in 1995. TV32 here aired it late Saturday nights, and I taped the first episode they showed (which happened to be part 1 of Cave Dwellers). I still have that tape somewhere…


  40. Johnny Ryde says:

    Bill W is the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    #52, I think she’s wearing ’em, but that they’re flesh-colored (which is a very very odd wardrobe choice)…

    BTW, why didn’t they re-do the line that Joel flubbed about the first blade lifting the head and the second blade…?


  41. WeatherServo9 says:

    Seasons three and four were really this show’s heart and soul, and this was a great start. I love this episode so much it makes me want to go build a hang glider. The movie is so goofy and earnest and inexplicable (sword and sandals and giant snakes and nuclear bombs). I imagine the pitch meeting with the studio was quite interesting. This, along with just a handful of other episodes (say, I Accuse My Parents, Eegah, Pod People, Prince of Space and Space Mutiny) will always make me laugh every time.


  42. En4cer45 says:

    What about the opening hey everybody there’s a monolith outside everyones evolving yeah Grog threw a bone in the air and it turned into a spaceship


  43. Larry says:

    LOVE this episode. IMO the real start of MST3K’s golden age. Watched this one over and over when I got the Rhino VHS in ’97.


  44. Steve Vil says:

    This was one of the first episodes of MST I ever saw and it almost killed me.

    I should explain.

    I made myself lunch and sat down to eat it while the episode was on. Some absolutely hilarious joke got me and I almost choked on my pasta. I have since learned to never, EVER eat during MST3K.


  45. big61al says:

    Holy grand slam Batman. Killer Diller. Super Duper A++++. This is a GREAT episode. The host segments of the credits is one of the best ever.


  46. Edge says:

    ‘Who’s Bill W.?’

    Here let me Google that for you:


  47. Apollonia James says:

    I have a special fondness for this episode… when I first moved out of my parents’ home and got my own apartment, without a roommate, and my boyfriend lived an hour’s drive away, I spent a lot of nights trying not to feel quite as lonely as I was. My MST collection was a wonderful way to keep myself company, and this episode was a particular favorite to help me fall asleep. I think it’s due to the low synthesizer soundtrack; very soothing. Anyway, that was about 7 years ago, and to this day I still put on an MST episode almost every time I go to bed. :-)


  48. Brandon says:

    About Dr. F’s glasses. Maybe the regular green ones broke, and they had to resort to just a regular pair for this episode until they were rebuilt.


  49. Agreed that this season and the next one were the heart and soul of the series.

    I always felt like the movie was a little rough to get through on this one, but something interesting happened recently.
    In our last MST3K-watching meetup here in town, we watched Cave Dewllers and then Deathstalker. The room of around 20 people laughed loudly and frequently through Cave Dwellers, and not much at all during Deathstalker. I also found myself enjoying Cave Dwellers more. Go figure.

    And the Mike Douglas Show bit kills me every time.


  50. Matthew Shine says:

    And so, season 3 begins with a bang.
    Cave Dwellers is easily one of my favorite episodes. I’m not really a huge fan of the Swords and Sorcery episodes, the only other S&S movies that even come close to making me laugh this hard is Deathstalker and Quest For The Delta Knights.

    Can someone explain to me WHY exactly did FVI use opening credits from a different movie? Cave Dwellers has Chicken-Head, Pod People has that weird Creature From The Black Lagoon thing, Stranded In Space has that teleportation machine, etc…


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