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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. Johnny Ryde says:

    Wilford B. Wolf:

    What I want to know is what is with the disjointed bit with Joel’s invention exchange. Joel starts, and then suddenly cuts back to Deep 13 for a short gag, and then Joel resumes. Was that intentional? Did they have a goof, and used the cut to hide the gaff? A little of both?

    I meant to say… I noticed this when I just watched it. I assumed it was a break in the shot to allow them to hook up the special effects to the “smoking” jacket… But I may be wrong…


  2. Chris Lark says:

    One of the my ALL TIME FAVORITE episodes to be sure. If “Catalina Caper” didn’t hook me on MST3K this one certainly did. And I fully believe that Season 3 & 4 are the greatest of the Joel&TheBots era and perhaps as mentioned earlier the heart & soul of this series.

    FWIW I thought Film Ventures used clips from other films that were maybe in their catalog to generate interest from the audience? I’m just as surprised that other distributors who had the films FVI got the clips from didn’t try to sue the pants off them.

    But what really surprised me about this film is that Miles O’Keefe was actually good natured about their riffing of his film. I still hope that if Shout! re-issues Cave Dwellers that they’ll try to interview him for a Bonus Track.

    And on my own personal list of “Films I’d Like To See Cinematic Titanic &/or Rifftrax Riff On & Release On DVD” “Ator The Fighting Eagle” and “The Iron Warrior” are both still pretty high up on it:)


  3. robniles says:

    Add me to the list of those who lost their MST virginity to this one. Ironically, it hasn’t worked that well for me as a recruiting tool—it’s slow, the riffing’s not quite as sharp as it would soon become, and the hang glider, while one of the greatest/silliest payoffs ever, can feel a little too late for newbies. Pod People takes almost as long to get in gear, but I think I’ve had better luck indoctrinating people with that one. (We’ve done “Best recruiting episodes” in some form, haven’t we?)

    Still, I have a soft spot for this one. Aside from the riffs already mentioned, I love that they get in at least two shots at music from 1986—”What is this, a Heart video?” and Crow’s wonderfully dismissive “The Bangles?”—and Joel reviving “It’s boss!” for two seconds. Oh, and Mila sliding on the wet cave floor. I can’t believe there was no other take they could’ve used.

    Was Thong’s lack of dialogue ever explained in the uncut movie?


  4. CMWaters says:

    This is always one of the fun episodes to go back to when I wanna just randomly grab out an MST3K ep to watch. It may not be the best, but it’s pretty high up there if you ask me.

    Also, Lisa Foster was FIIIIIINE back then.

    Lastly…after seeing reviews for the FOURTH Ator movie (a re-imagining of the series)…I’m thinking they got off pretty easy now as far as the Ator movies are concerned.


  5. FordPrefect says:

    Jerry and Silvia actually make their last appearance at the end of 316 – Gamera Vs. Zigra if I recall.


  6. says:

    One of my favorite episodes! It seems to be more than the sum of it’s parts. Quite a few so-so riffs, but the brilliant ones put it over the top.
    Also the Ator’s Kite scene/Tom’s song was one of my favorite moments of the whole show at the time.

    Fave riffs:
    “I’d shoot Donald Reagan for Lisa Foster.”

    “I don’t believe it, they were too cheap to hire villains for this movie!”

    “Hey now look here you can actually see the driver turn and shoot Kennedy.”
    **There’s a TON of JFK conspiracy riffs in mst3k, wonder who was writing these lines. That driver-shot idea was a pretty obscure meme at the time.

    “How much Keefe is in the movie?”
    “Miles O Keefe”
    – I’ve always wondered if this was both funny wordplay and a drug reference to KIEF, an uncompressed form of Hashish that hippies make. The term was coming into popular use among stoners around the time of this episode.


  7. says:

    During the glider/bombing the castle scene:

    “Alight you dirty rats, Henry Kissinger says Merry Christmas”


  8. Sharktopus says:

    “I’d shoot Donald Regan to prove my love for Lisa Foster” is the kind of multi-layered referential joke you just can’t get anywhere else.

    I’m rewatching Cave Dwellers right now and I don’t think I’ve ever played it on DVD before. (I only picked up Volume 2 within the last year or so – I was never in a hurry to replace those particular videotapes.) The movie doesn’t make any more sense on DVD but wow, you can actually see it! That guy really does look like Bill Maher.


  9. Zee says:

    I like that when Dr. F introduces the movie, he’s only seen the credit sequence- “It looks to be a modern-day Defiant Ones!”


  10. Zee says:

    And as a post-script to all this mole people talk, I believe in their final appearance Jerry & Sylvia are played by Jef Maynard and Joel (!) (during the first Turkey day marathon)


  11. PrezGAR says:

    This was the first complete episode I saw. I had seen a chopped up version of Robot Holocaust (no host segments, no short, one segment of the movie missing) but that was enough to get me hooked. So, when this aired on Lifetime during a Cable Ace Awards weekend, I was ready. I had a VHS tape ready and recorded it.


  12. Cornjob says:

    Great episode. One thing always bugged me about the movie. Is it supposed to be pre-historic or post-apocalypotic? The whole atomic nucleus and nuclear explosion thing makes me wonder if it’s supposed to be post-apocalyptic. Maybe Ator and the old guy were reclaiming/preserving remnants of civilisation. That would explain why there might be a hang glider lying around somewhere, though not why Ator could pull one out his armpit in 2 min.

    Did he have it and the bombs stashed nearby in case he’d need to raid the castle sometime before moving to the ends? Talk about planning ahead. How many other equipment caches did he have and where?

    The well lit highly maintained secret passage always cracks me up.


  13. Sharktopus says:

    You’ve been thinking about this WAY too much, Cornjob. :laugh:


  14. ck says:


    Steve Vil learned almost too late that man is a feeding creature. :pizza:


  15. The graffic novel always gets me because it seems that hardly anyone, even those in the comic business, can get it right. A graffic novel is a self-contained one shot that is usually longer than a regular one shot. A trade paper back or hardcover trade is a collection of previously published material, although some stuff hasn’t been published before. Yet, it seems that nearly everyone calls trades graffic novels and it seems every time I see a listing for a manga trade/collect it is always refered to as {name of series} GN.


  16. Ang says:

    When I started college I moved to a town that did not get Comedy Central so I missed the 6th and 7th season. I had started watching during the 5th season and had only seen those eps and some repeats from season 4. I found Cave Dwellers for rent at Hastings along with a few others and I loved them. I did get to see some eps on the MST Hour during those years but the ones that I rented and watched over and over again hold a special place in my heart because I was so happy to have found them again. Thankfully we did get the sci-fi channel later on I was able to watch again starting with season 8 and have since gotten all the eps on dvd thanks to MST3K Videos and official releases. So to make a long story short…I love Cave Dwellers!

    Fave Riffs:

    “How much Keefe is in this movie?” “Miles O’Keefe”.

    “My my my, I’m the best looking man in the middle ages!”

    “Last night I had a strange dream…about a chick in a black bikini.”

    “Get in a line, the Time/Life photographer is here.”

    “It’s the wango zee tango!!”

    I like the bit too about Sandor the magician who looks like Willie Nelson.


  17. Sharktopus says:

    Y’know, I can’t help but wonder if the writers of the upcoming movie Real Steel (basically Robot Boxing + Over The Top) may have, in some way, been influenced by the Mads’ invention this week. :-P


  18. Tom Carberry says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes of all seasons. This is one I periodically pop into the DVD player and enjoy all over again. The overly long “flashback” sequence shown of Ator’s life comes from the first movie titled “Ator, the Fighting Eagle”. It was available from Netflix (as a DVD) for a while but is no longer available. I was fortunate (if I may use that term) to get it and see it while it was. I think BBI could have done that as a companion piece and done it justice. I also think this movie has the gayest subtext of all the episodes. The sexual tension between Ator and Zor was only amplified by BBI’s brillant riffs. “may I cup your pec”, “come on girls”, and “speedy delivery guy, and does HE have a PACKAGE”.

    Favorite lines:

    No, you’ll get fingerprints all over it. (re: the nucleus)
    This has more pauses than a Pinter play.
    Heff, we’re all out of Evian.
    oooh, Cher at the funhouse.
    While Ator nursed his wounds, I nursed a Scotch.
    Drink it all, sometimes the poison’s on the bottom.
    Champagne makes me giggly.
    They worship the Munsingwear penguin.
    Wicker armor courtesy Pier One.
    It’s Coco the Terrible…Crazy old mime.


  19. california calico says:

    This was my very first exposure to MST3K. I saw *Cave Dwellers* on Lifetime (for the Cable Ace Awards) and thought it was the funniest thing ever because it was so new. Even compared to many other episodes, this one is still strong.

    The movie itself is exactly the kind of movie a UHF station would air on the weekend as part of its “Saturday/Sunday afternoon movie”, and that I would come across it because I was bored and wanted to see what was on TV.

    “Willie Nelson’s a tough audience.” A lot of good riffs in this one.


  20. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I just rewatched this last night, and it’s no wonder that it was one of the first episodes to be released by Rhino. One hilarious riff after another. Someone asked earlier in the thread about why this is such a good ep to introduce a newbie to. IT’S FUNNY! While there are definitely some in-jokes, I think most of the riffs are very accessible to a newer viewer. The joke about Heart (they only show the fat one from the head up now) still makes me cringe! That’s got to be one of the meanest riffs of the series, right?


  21. fathermushroom says:

    I totally understand why this (or any) episode would be a great favorite for those who first encountered MST3K at that time….

    … but I really don’t like this one very much. And I INVARIABLY fast-forward through the slow-motion credit sketch. Way too stretched out for the payoff IMHO.

    I like the girl in the movie though. But the episode puts me to SLEEP.

    Sorry about that.


  22. losingmydignity says:

    A solid ep that I didn’t initially like all that much–but it has grown on me. But still, too many slow patches to be in my “A” category.

    The whole Ator and Wong (sorry, Thong) operating on the chick scene is hilarious. (at least the filmmakers didn’t have her pulling out the arrows on her own which, by the way, would kill you if you ever happen to run into Ted Nugent on a dark, stormy night–do not try to pull out the arrows yourself, you will die) The hang glider stuff too, of course.

    Host segs are great. The slow motion credits send up is probably one of my top ten favorites.

    I think I might have caught the Brains at a mistake. During the scene when they are throwing people in the “snake pit” they riff something like, we’ll throw in Susan Hayward next. Well, it was Olivia De Havilland who starred in the film The Snake Pit, so I’m not sure why Hayward. Unless they’re referencing something that happened in one of Hayward’s Biblical flicks…otherwise seems to be a mistake. Anyone know?



  23. losingmydignity says:

    p.s. did anyone else enjoy one of their best Robert Frost references? (during the fog scene)


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

    >>>I like that when Dr. F introduces the movie, he’s only seen the credit sequence- “It looks to be a modern-day Defiant Ones!”

    Shouldn’t that have been “a pre-Biblical Defiant Ones”? Or whatever one calls the Conan Era.

    Re Charlie McCarthy: Way back when, his catchphrase/threat to his ventriloquist Edgar Bergen was: “I’ll clip you, Bergen, so help me, I’ll mow ya down!”

    In total hindsight, this could have been played with after the “They hit Charlie McCarthy!” line.

    in a Charlie McCarthyesque voice: “They clipped me, Bergen! They mowed me down!”


    Bergen: “Young man, every time you tell a lie, the Devil laughs!”
    Charlie: “Is that right…I sure must keep the Old Boy in stitches!”


  25. “The Hills Have Eyes…but they have glaucoma right now.”

    I started watching MST3K in reruns on Sci-Fi back around 2002, and for Christmas that year I got Rhino’s Vol. 1. As you know, the composition is three Mike episodes, ranging from decent at best (Bloodlust) to still-in-my-top-10 (Creeping Terror), and one Joel episode (the interminable Catalina Caper). The weakness of the Joel episode vs. the Mike ones, coupled with my constant exposure to the Sci-Fi episodes, put me off Joel until just three years ago (right around the time when I got back into the show). The episode that convinced me that Joel was alright? Cave Dwellers. The combination of very nice riffing and the goofiness of the movie just hit me right at the time, and after watching Pod People the next day any disdain for Joel was long gone. For the record, I no longer have a preference between the two, though I probably watch more Mike episodes because of my affinity for Bill’s Crow.

    This is still a highly enjoyable episode, again largely because the movie is really goofy and completely earnest in its goofiness (the spider puppet in the flashback sequence, the invisible villains, the swan helmet, “Thong, the fish is ready!”, the dionaga-esque snake in the snake pit, and on and on and on). The hang glider scene is an iconic one, as is Servo’s “Oh, come on!” Speaking of Servo, what’s the deal with Kevin adding a little chuckle after about half of his lines? It’s kind of distracting, and I hadn’t really noticed it before now (though I haven’t seen every episode yet, and certainly not every season 2). By season 4 that wasn’t anywhere to be heard, so I’m just wondering if it was a nervous tic or something to that effect.

    The host segments are very hit and miss. The foley effects and renaming of mundane objects do nothing for me, but the reenactment of the credits is dumb enough to really amuse me (“YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE”). Frank in particular is awesome in this one (“Daddy? There’s a boy outside. His name is -” “Shut UP”), and his and Forrester’s reaction to JaTB’s response to the movie (“What? Oh, come on, it wasn’t that bad. I liked it.”) is priceless.


  26. Thomas K. Dye says:

    #125: Speaking of Servo, what’s the deal with Kevin adding a little chuckle after about half of his lines?

    I find that the single most annoying aspect of Servo in the third season… his Dr. Hibbert-esque chuckle, and it’s always after his most mildest witticisms, as if he feels like he has to “sell” the joke.


  27. Cornjob says:

    “You’ve been thinking about this WAY too much, Cornjob.”

    Thank You!!
    My mom was a philosophy major. My dad taught phil for two years at Fullerton State. Thinking about things way too much runs in the family


  28. Sharktopus says:

    @ #s 125 & 126:

    Glad I’m not the only one who’s bugged by that. Fake laughter is one of the most annoying sounds on Earth, right up there with nails on a chalkboard and Nancy Grace. On the other hand, I love when there’s genuine laughter by the performers in MST3k and its spin-offs. It helps to know they’re enjoying themselves.

    And Mr Dye gets bonus points for the term Hibbert-esque. :laugh:


  29. Warren says:

    This is above average, not a home run but very enjoyable. It’s reasonably paced and not too slow, there’s some actual plot/action going on, and the whole sword & sorcery vibe makes it watchable. Mike Nelson’s Jupiter is a memorable composition and the host segments are okay. If only Mila wasn’t so distracting :inlove:


  30. Badgerfansam says:

    “Oddest non-sequitur: Joel says, “and…bring me the head of Gallagher!” apropos of nothing on the screen”

    isn’t he saying this as a riff on the John Saxon-type guy saying “Bring me the map!” ? It cuts away right after he says it, but that’s what Joel is riffing on. Of course it has nothing to do with what is on screen at that second, the timing just makes it so…


  31. MikeK says:

    5 stars.

    What is the riff, “I’m the best looking man of the middle ages! My, my my!” in reference to? Crow says it when that snake worshiping guy with the mustache and turban is standing there. I’m pretty sure that it refers to a pro-wrestler, but I can’t think of the man’s name.


  32. ck says:

    Physically the guy looks like The Iron Sheik.


  33. thecorman says:

    I don’t know if anyone’s interested, but I found an interview with David Cain Haughton\David Brandon (The sort-of-evil villain guy) it’s a few years old, but he seems like a very nice, old-school actor; never a bad word to say about anyone. There’s a short paragraph about making Ator (Cave Dwellers).


  34. GypsyJr says:

    Several years ago I was hanging out with a MSTie friend (Hi Linda, if you’re reading this) and we got on the subject of riffs that make you laugh regardless of context. “BAD country singer!” made me do a spittake in the middle of the mall food court.


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

    What’s a remarkable coincidence is that, even though David Cain Haughton is (presumably) not an assassin, years later, DAVID CAIN *was*:

    On another note, I thought it mildly odd that, after the mime fight, there was that brief monologue on how Ator had encountered the mimes before. Even by this film’s standards, it seemed sort of out-of-nowhere.

    #103: Thong is described as a “sage,” or a wise man/monk, so maybe he took a vow of silence.


  36. MikeK says:

    As far as movies that the filmmakers made up as they went along go, I think Cave Dwellers is better than Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.


  37. rainmakerrtv says:

    My most used riff from this one :

    “You know, it’s not just Ator that’s flying … it’s the human spirit!”


  38. Markedman says:

    I think my favorite portion is the banter between the disposable henchmen in the caves with “Cave Dwellers.” Their back and forth is great. I keep hearing the voice of Crow: “I know there’s walking. I know there’s walking.”


  39. crowschmo says:

    Apparently the “ends of the Earth” are just down the road apiece. :-/

    This one is a little slow, but enjoyable all the same. It’s one of those weird ones that CAN be a favorite, but I have to be in the mood for it. So, when the mood is right, it’s hilarious.

    I liked all the host segments, even though, as was said, they’re more cutesy and clever than bust-a-gut funny.

    Loved the foley bit: It’s like they were kind of realistic at first with the sound effects, then just went off somewhere and got totally ridiculous. Hamsters in a box? Water buffalo? Just, add some milk! :-D That one actually did make me laugh. Woman’s scream? Just set fire to TV’s Madame!

    Even though this was kind of a laid back pace, riffing-wise, there was still quite a few lines that I liked.

    Joel speaking of smoking: “But scientists have known for well over a year that it’s bad for you…”

    Joel: “Director of the top half of the photography…”

    Crow: (When old guy says to his daughter, ‘Come over here, my dear’) “Where the camera moved to.”

    Crow: (When old guy says, ‘I wonder if it’s worth the risk of counting on that’) “Or the risk of ACTING.”

    Crow: “This is the part of the film we like to call, she HAD to ask.”

    I liked when they were making fun of all the goofy names during the flashback, making it sound all exotic and mystical :giggle:

    Crow: “Son of Flougmar, keeper of the Seven Keys of Fantoozler.”

    Servo: “Then, he worked out on the charismatic Solo-Flex of Zontar 13.”

    Joel: “Are we still in a flashback?”

    (When old guy tells evil guy that all men are born equal) Joel: “Oh, let me get a pencil – I wanna write THAT one down.”

    Joel: “All we can do is pray, although, we haven’t thought of any gods yet.”

    (When Ator and Dong – I mean, Thong – weren’t sure if Mila was who she said she was, old guy’s daughter) Crow: “If you can look bored and speak haltingly, you’re in.”

    (When they couldn’t find Mila in the fog, then Ator and Thong are suddenly at the caves) Servo: “After exhausting every possibility, the men move on.”

    Servo: “So, let’s recap the action, shall we?”
    Joel: “Uh, nothing really.”
    Servo: “You’re right, let’s move on.”

    Servo: “You know, the reason this scene is so good, is because we CARE about the characters.”

    (As a spaced-out Mila) Joel: “Ator, what’s your dream?”
    Crow: “How big is God?”

    (When those villagers appeared and Ator said, ‘What do you want?’ ) Joel: “Look, you captured US.”

    (Yeah, some village: five huts on stilts!) :silly:

    (When Ator says, ‘We’ll have to fight them’ and Mila says, ‘The THREE of us?’ )
    Crow: “No, just me. You were a BIG help with the snake.”

    Servo: “Nice, well-lit secret passage.”
    Joel: “Well, it’s secret, but they didn’t want to get carried away.”

    And I liked TV’s Frank at the end discussing his and Dr. F’s ‘evilness’.

    “Guess you can say we’re more evil than a 3 dollar bill. Guess you can say the factory’s still open, but we’re making different stuff. Guess you can say we’re buying it wholesale and passing the savings on to you.” :-)

    Oh, and who among us hasn’t made flashpowder from our own filth?

    Goodnight, won’t you?


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

    A relative rarity about this film is that, when the guys “have to” leave the theater (does that transition have a name? “it’s Exit Sign” OSLT?), they comment “it was just getting GOOD.” TWICE. They rarely say such a thing about the movies.


  41. crowschmo says:

    Those winks were just closing parentheses with periods after them. I have to remember to put a space before the period or it come out like this ;-)


  42. MikeK says:

    One more riff:

    “Oh yeah, this is gonna be my regular Saturday night thing,” Crow. This refers to the movie Road House.

    Crow says that during Ator’s hang gliding scene. There’s that close up shot where Miles is moving around in the harness of the hang glider. It kind of looks like he’s doing something else. If you know that line from the movie Road House, you know why the riff is funny.


  43. Tom Carberry says:

    The relevant portion of the interview with David Cain Haughton (Zor) regarding “Cave Dwellers” is below:

    Q: You worked again with Massaccesi a couple of years later on the lighter-hearted sword and sandal fantasy, THE BLADE MASTER (1984) in which you played the maniacal Zor. Do you think that playing Caligula typecast you to play the ruthless ruler in this film?

    DAVID: This film was originally meant to be a kind of remake of Jean Jacques Anaud’s QUEST FOR FIRE. About three days before shooting was due to begin, Miles O’Keefe decided that, after his role as Tarzan with Bo Derek, a second film where he expressed himself through animal grunts might make people think he had a limited vocabulary, and therefore declared he didn’t want to be involved. Massaccesi didn’t seem overly worried, and said we’d start shooting on the Monday as planned. “Shooting what?”, I asked. “A scene in the cave location we’ve already paid for. We’ll make up the story as we go along”, he said with a shrug, “you’ll play the baddie.” I said alright, so long as I had a big wig and a moustache, so that if the result was a disaster I wouldn’t be too recognizable.
    It was a wonderful example of Massaccesi’s (and Italian cinema’s) capacity to improvise…a rough storyline was thrown together, to be developed day by day, with quite a lot of suggestions from the actors. My role was a parody of the villainous villain…a delight!

    Q: What was burly Miles O’Keefe like to be around and what are your opinions of his acting?

    DAVID: He mostly kept himself to himself, and was unassuming. Despite his muscles, he was distinctly nervous about the remotest personal danger involved in any scene he was performing, but he was always friendly and dedicated. Goodness knows what he thought about the mad situation in which he found himself!

    Q: If you had a choice, would you choose to remember or forget THE BLADE MASTER?

    DAVID: As is clear from the above, I remember it with great affection and amusement! I don’t think a situation like that could happen in today’s more industrialized cinema-practice, which is a pity.

    Wow, what a revelation–the movie was improvised?! :)


  44. MikeK says:

    That’s pretty much how Michael Bay made Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, thanks to the writer’s strike.


  45. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    #131 MikeK – I always thought it was a Little Richard reference, although the voice is a bit deeper.


  46. Aaron Hagel says:

    The Movie in the opening credits is called ‘Taur, the Mighty.’


  47. toot-toottoot-toot says:

    Here we go!!! The best episode of season 3 is the first…actually one my all time favorites of the whole series. I love when they did 80s films, especially films like this and Deathstalker. The hang glider scene is one of the best of all time. And I love when they uncover the truck tracks in the field, haha…five out of five all the way!


  48. Pulatso says:

    “Tolkien couldn’t follow this plot!” is still used frequently in my household to denote any overly complicated way of explaining anything.


  49. Ima Pseudonym 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?!

    We now know that Fezzes are cool! Servo made Fezzes cool, before they were cool.


  50. Joseph Klemm says:

    @143 That definitely would explain a lot of things (i.e. the caveman scene at the beginning that has no connection with the rest of the film; the invisible enemies; Ator’s hang glider scene).


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