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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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MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
THE UNOFFICIAL EPISODE GUIDE


SEASON SIX: COMEDY CENTRAL, 1994-1995


Episode guide: 601- Girls Town

Last modified on 2016-08-17 18:09:01 GMT. 137 comments. Top.

Movie: (1959) A teen bombshell is sent to a Catholic reform school after she’s framed for a murder.

First shown: 7/16/94
Opening: Preparing for Dr. F.’s big announcement
Intro: Dr. F. unveils the Umbilicus
Host segment 1: Tom “scats” until Mike and Crow have had enough
Host segment 2: Mike explains the “honor system”
Host segment 3: Designing the woman of the future
End: M&TB make good use of the Umbilicus
Stinger: “You tell that boy to go home right now, or I’ll call the police!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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Off we go on season six!
• The stretch between the end of season 5 and the beginning of season 6 was 161 days, the seventh-longest amount of time MSTies had to wait between episodes.
• For me, this is one of those episodes where the movie, and riffing of the movie, are great fun, but the host segments…meh. Nothing really catches fire. Of course, the big news in this episode was the introduction of Umbilicus — the physical link between Deep 13 and the SOL — with its umbuliport, umbilipod and other umbili-named things that would come later, which was connected to Gypsy, until it wasn’t. The science of the thing is, of course, crazy (and how does he eat and breathe?) but who cares? The Brains said the idea was to create a way for more interaction between the SOL and Deep 13, and that it certainly did, though I don’t really think it got off to an auspicious start with the pie gag.
• This episode is not yet on home video.
References One they missed is the reference to the mostly-forgotten TV show “Father Dowling Mysteries.” They also missed “We’re all bozos on this bus,” a Firesign Theatre reference (and one of the first since Joel’s departure).
• There’s a ladies’ room on the SOL?
• The Power Steves are Mary Jo, Paul and writer David Sussman in, I believe, his only appearance on the show. Sussman joined the writing staff for some season four episodes, worked on a lot of season five (including helping to write some of the songs) and the first five episodes of season six, before he dropped off the credits. He remains something of a mystery. If anybody knows David, please let him know we’re trying to find him for an interview. And David, if you’re out there, email us.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: desk calendar, beaker, bulletin board, film canister.
• This episode may have the most Bill Clinton jokes of any show they did, largely because that one guy sort of looked like him.
• Each of the host segments just kind of lays there for me. Segment 1 (“Tom scats”) is pretty much a one-joke bit that goes on too long even though they hurry through it. Segment 2 (“the honor system”) is cute, but we can see the punchline coming down Broadway, and the payoff is nothing special. Segment 3 is just weird.
• As the differs return from segment 2, Mike has to help an engorged Tom Servo into his seat.
• Annoying commercial: My copy is from the ’94 Turkey Day, and featured bumpers featuring Mamie and Adam West. It also features that incredibly irritating (apparently homemade) commercial for a CD featuring comedian Jackie “the Joke Man” Martling.
• Callbacks: “Shut up, Iris!”(Beatniks) “No ,Lupita!” (Santa Claus) “Radar!” (Radar Secret Service) “He’d never touch you, Terry, you’re dirt,” (Teenage Crime Wave) and ”Who’s gonna make, Daddy-O”
• I love Tom’s “..and then he died” bit during Kitten’s confession.
• Cast and crew roundup: Producer Albert Zugsmith also produced the movie in the next episode, “Invasion USA.” John L. Russell was his cinematographer for both movies, and he also worked on “The Indestructible Man.” Makeup guy William Tuttle also worked on “The Painted Hills.” In front of the camera, Mamie, of course, is also in “Untamed Youth.” Dick Contino, of course, is also in “Daddy-O.” Peter Leeds is also in “High School Big Shot.” Gloria Talbott is also in “The Leech Woman.”
• CreditsWatch: New season, several changes: Mike Dodge joins the writing staff (he would stay for the entire season). Tim Scott joins the writing staff (he would stay for five episodes). Contributing writer Colleen Henjum-Williams becomes Colleen Williams. Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. Audio guy Brad Keeley and technical supervisor Tim Scott switch jobs. Production coordinator Ellen McDonough becomes Ellen McDonough Thomas. The post of assistant editor (held by Brad) is gone and now both Brad and Tim are editors. Jann is alone in the position of post production coordinator (last season she shared it with Ellie, and they will share it again later in the season). Interns, for this and the next 11 episodes, are David J. Belmont, Shannon McNelly and Peter Ncolai.
• Fave riff: “Do you know ‘White Light, White Heat’?” Honorable mentions: “The last call shall be answered first…” and “We are knee-deep in a Freudian quagmire here!”

Episode guide: 602- Invasion U.S.A. (with short: ‘A Date with Your Family’)

Last modified on 2016-08-17 18:09:41 GMT. 110 comments. Top.

Short: (1950) A typical suburban family sits down for a rigidly formal and polite dinner.
Movie: (1952) America’s failure to accept “the universal draft” dooms the nation when the Russians invade.

First shown: 7/23/94
Opening: Mike tries to build a robot; it doesn’t go well
Intro: Dr. F. gives the bots a choice: him or a wire mother?
Host segment 1: A date with M&tB
Host segment 2: Tom tricks Crow into a Lois Lane discussion
Host segment 3: M&tB get a visit from “A. Bomb” on the Hexfield
End: Tom thinks it’s all a dream, Mike reads a letter, Frank is on patrol!
Stinger: Now that’s a walk-on!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• I wouldn’t say this is an episode where the short outshines the feature, but I think the two are about evenly matched. The short is an absolute classic but the riffing of the feature is just about as good. And most of the segments are a definite step up from last week’s drab entries.
• This episode is not yet released on commercial home video.
• Again, in the opening, they make very explicit that Mike is not Joel. I remember that killbot caused quite a stir on the MSTie internet. People were trying to make replicas within hours.
• Trace does a great job in the opening. I particularly love “Yat-dat-dada-dada-FACT!”
• This week the Umbilicus is the “Umbilcon” for whatever reason.
• Great little throwaway: As Tom is examining the “mother” we can hear him mutter “…usually have two…”
• The point of the movie seems to be a pitch for what is referred to as “the universal draft,” which apparently means that the military can just waltz into a tractor factory and demand that they build tanks. The goal, of course, is fighting Communism, under which the military can just walk into a tractor factory and demand that they build tanks. Maybe that’s why we didn’t hear too much about “the universal draft” after this.
• Segment 1 is great stuff, just the sort of segment I would include in a “shorts and the host segments they inspired” collection I would love to see Shout! Factory do.
• Annoying commercial: The Odor Eaters featuring “Swamp Foot.” Honorable mention: The “Real Bowl” Comedy Central bumpers, which were distinctly unfunny.
• “It’s a long par five to the nation’s capital” was later reused in MST3K: The Movie.
• I love the neon “stand by” sign in the TV studio. It’s elegant, I’ll grant you, but pretty useless.
• This movie must have been pretty easy to make–just edit together all the stock footage you can find, along with about 20 minutes of actual movie.
• Segment 2 comes before we’ve seen any of the Lois Lanes. It probably should have been segment 3. That aside, it’s lots of fun and has a very casual feel that I like.
• Then-current riff: “Vince Coleman’s final revenge.” Coleman was an outfielder, playing for the Mets in 1993, when he threw a lit firecracker into a crowd of fans in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, injuring three children, and deservedly got into a heap o’ trouble. Honorable mention: “This is all Andrew Guiliani’s fault.” Andrew was the mischievous son of then-New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani.
• That’s comedian and MST3K writer Mike Dodge as the Bomb. Dodge joined the writing staff at the beginning of season six, and this was his only on-screen appearance. Mike’s performance is a little over the top for my tastes, but he didn’t have a lot to work with. May he rest in peace.
• Incidentally, written on the side of the Bomb is “MJ-P” and “2-27.” Feb. 27 is Mary Jo’s birthday.
• One little thing I noticed this time: during the dogfight stock footage, Crow seems to completely blow a line. Very strange, but even stranger is that his mouth movements do not synch up with the flubbed line. Which means he ACTUALLY said something else! Did the Brains actually insert a mistake??
• Cast and crew roundup: Producer Albert Zugsmith also directed last week’s offering, “Girls Town,” and producer-scriptwriter-story writer Robert Smith (neither the guy from The Cure or the NFL star) worked on “Girls Town” as well. Cinematographer John Russell worked on “Girls Town” and “Indestructible Man. Special effects guy Jack Rabin worked on “Robot Monster,” “Rocketship X-M” and “Viking Women.” Makeup guy Harry Thomas also worked on “Mad Monster,” “Project Moon Base,” “The Unearthly,” “Bride of the Monster, “Racket Girls,” “High School Big Shot” and “Night of the Blood Beast.” Production manager Ralph E. Black was a 2nd unit director for “Space Travelers.” Art director James Sullivan also worked on “Attack of the the Eye Creatures” and of course Albert Glasser did the music for many many MST3K movies.
In front of the camera, Peggie Castle also appears in “The Beginning of the End.” Robert Bice also appears in “Teen-Age Crime Wave.” William Schallert (the man who was in everything) was also in “Gunslinger” and “Hangar 18.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments by Kevin Murphy.
• Fave riff from the short: “The less said about this the better!” Honorable mention: “Brother has a tight psychological grip on Junior.”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Well, just keep coming down until you’re not in the sky anymore! Doncha know how to land???” Honorable mention: “So, are you gonna finish the windows?”

Episode guide: 603- The Dead Talk Back (with short: ‘The Selling Wizard’)

Last modified on 2016-08-24 21:56:43 GMT. 157 comments. Top.

Short: (1954) An industrial number showcasing the attributes of grocery store refrigeration units, with the help of shapely model.
Movie: (1957) A paranormal researcher claims he has invented a device that will permit communication with the dead. Oh, it’s true.

First shown: 7/30/94
Opening: Gypsy calls a fire drill
Intro: Dr. F. tries pin-point cigarette marketing on Mike
Host segment 1: Crow’s radio talk show: “The Dead Talk Back”
Host segment 2: M&tB are “The Dead”
Host segment 3: Dr. F. tries his hand at interrogation and Frank quickly cracks; meanwhile, the guitar solo continues
End: Crow is still playing, Tom is acting up, Gypsy starts another fire drill, Mike reads a letter, Dr. F. practices his crossbow skills
Stinger: Woman screams after seeing dead body
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• This is a weird episode, featuring an odd short and even odder movie. It’s fun, but not a favorite of mine.
• This episode was included on Rhino’s Vol. 8.
• Though clearly made in the ’50s, the movie was never released until it was discovered and purchased by a low-budget video company in the 1990s.
• I wonder if the fire drill segment led to the later fire safety PSA that they did.
• It’s the “umbilicon” again in this episode.
• The short is a bit of departure. This is what is known as an “industrial,” quite a different animal from the mental hygiene shorts they’d mostly done up until now. I’m not sure it always works for MST3K, as in this case. This may be my least favorite short MST3K ever did.
• Callback: “Plenty of lip and tongue action” (from the speech short). Frank says “I killed that fat barkeep” (The Beatniks)
• Spaghetti ball bumpers: beaker, film canister, book.
• Then-current reference: “James Farentino visits Tina Sinatra.” Farentino was charged with stalking his former girlfriend, Tina Sinatra, in 1993.
• “Oh, its true!” became a frequent callback in many future episodes.
• Segment 1 features the voice of Trace, one of the few times he ever did a “guest spot” on the show.
• Say what you want, Churchill was right about the Bills.
• The Rhino release of this episode had some encoding problems and was reissued.
• I was never much of a deadhead. I liked ’em, but a little guitar jamming goes a long way for me. Gypsy seems pretty natural as one, though.
• The closeup on Crow’s guitar gives us a close look at the stick that controls Gypsy’s jaw.
• Later in segment 2, Mike is folding Crow’s sensible slacks. He really DID get a lot of wear out of them!
• I had a nice Twitter DM back and forth with Andy LaCasse, who performed the “cheesy guitar solo.”
LaCasse said: “The director [that would have been Jim, he directed the host segments for that episode] kept laughing out loud and asking me if I could make it more grating and irritating. I said I could, and I did!”
He also recalls: “I brought my 1-year-old daughter, Kayla, with me to the studio. The writers whisked her away for a while. Later, the video guys [that would have been Brad and Tim] let her play with the controls on the video editing machine. The scene had already been shot, so I followed Crow’s hands as he played.”
On the technical side, he notes: “I played a cheap copy of a Fender Stratocaster with EMG pickups through a Big Jam Spit Wah pedal straight into the MST3K video editor.”
“My daughter had a great time and the writers adored her,” he concluded. “I had a blast! Definitely a career highlight for me. It’s still on my résumé.”
• Crow is still wearing his Grateful Dead costume when he reenters the theater. Mike removes it.
• No cast and crew roundup this week. Similar to “Teenage Strangler,” this appears to have been a cast that largely never did anything else.
• Creditswatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. Sarah Wisner does Post Production Coordination with Ellen McDonough for two episodes, instead of Jann Johnson. This is the last of three episodes where Tim Scott gets an audio mixing credit. This is the first of five episodes where Brad Keely gets a lighting credit. This is the last time we see Director of Operations Jeffrey P. Young in the credits. (He lasted all of three episodes and I would LOVE to heard THAT backstage story.) “Cosmic Freight Train” written and arranged by: Michael J. Nelson, Paul Chaplin and David Sussman.
• Fave riff from the short: “But don’t put your tongue on it!” Honorable mention: “Wow, that was close. She was mad!”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Well! I’m going home for lunch.” Honorable mention: “…than springtime are you, sir.”

Episode guide: 604- Zombie Nightmare

Last modified on 2016-08-27 20:16:12 GMT. 203 comments. Top.

Movie: (1986) A voodoo queen resurrects a dead teen, who then seeks revenge on his killers.

First shown: 11/24/94
Opening: Crow and Tom are Secret Service agents protecting Mike
Intro: The Mads are into voodoo, so they send a voodoo kit to the SOL
Host segment 1: Crow is reading when Tom runs him down!
Host segment 2: Mike, Crow and Tom enjoy a hot tub
Host segment 3: Crow abandoned his “Batman” screenplay, but neglected to tell Tom and Mike
End: Letters for Adam West, Frank has turned Dr. F. into a zombie
Stinger: Incantation and screaming
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• It’s hard not to like this episode. The movie is big and bold and insane, the riffing is fantastic and the segments have a goofy, happy-go-lucky quality that I like.
• This episode appears on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XV.
• This episode was held from TV while it made the rounds of many college campuses, during the fall of ’94, as part of Comedy Central’s “Fresh Cheese” tour. It was finally shown on Turkey Day ’94.
• I saw it in the University of Pennsylvania’s cavernous Irvine Auditorium. The sound was terrible and the place was about half full. One of the school’s modern and luxurious (at least at that time) screening rooms might have been a better venue. Anybody else see the college tour?
• This ep marks the change from green to the solid blue jumpsuit we saw Mike wear for much of this season.
• Do you think that “Head!” thing was planned? After so many accidental beheadings of Tom, it nice to think they did this one on purpose.
• This week it’s the “umbilicus.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: bulletin board, beaker, book
• Segment 1 is related to the movie — he runs Crow over just like the kids just ran over the guy. But it’s also the beginning of a running gag for season six, in which Tom repeatedly — and cheerfully — smashes Crow in various ways. Unfortunately, this episode, where the running gag begins, wasn’t shown in order, so some of the humor of the running gag was a drained away.
• Tom imitates a Jamaican guy attempting to lure tourists to his jet ski/parasail business. I understand that the cast vacationed together in Jamaica at least once. Maybe that’s where this came from.
• The song Tom is singing at the beginning of segment 2 is “Walkin’ in Memphis,” by Marc Cohn.
• Callbacks: “I’d never touch you, Terry. You’re dirt!” (Teenage Crime Wave)
• Second “Governor and JJ” reference in a few weeks.
• The original film was MUCH gorier. Tia Carrera’s character’s death, to give one example, is far more gruesome than we see here.
• Also, the attempted rape of the Twist N Creme waitress by Jimbo is much more explicit and brutal in the original (the original is on YouTube). There is a huge edit, shades of “Sidehackers,” from the point where Jimbo grabs her and the next scene, where she is wrapped in a blanket telling the cops what happened. That scene also includes the gruesome, explicit and completely deserved onscreen impalement death of that jerk Jimbo. The edit kind of robs us of that cinematic justice.
• I exchanged emails with a representative for Jon Mikl Thor, and he revealed three interesting bits of info.
1. The soundtrack list includes bands called The Things and Knighthawk. They are just Thor in disguise (dull surprise!). 2. A band called Battalion does a song called “Out For The Kill.” That New York City-based band did exist, and even had their own comic book. (Thor co-produced their first album.) Sadly, Thor told us the guitar player of Battalion committed suicide by leaping off a 35-story building in New York City just before their album was to be released, and they were to embark on a U.S. tour. This turn of events ended the band, the release of the album and the tour. 3. A band called Deathmask, reportedly one of the first speed-metal bands, did a song called “I’m Dangerous.” Thor invested a lot of time, money and effort into the band. He helped get them a record deal and then co-produced the record. But, for reasons that are not remembered, the band refused to tour (which is sort of required to back up an album). Without the effort from the band to get out there to promote and tour, Deathmask then faded into obscurity.
• No cast and crew roundup this time: Nobody involved with this worked on any other MSTed movies.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. This is the final episode for the credit: Video Provided by: Fournelle Video Production Services, St. Paul, MN. The second of two episodes where Sarah E. Wisner helped out with Post Production Coordination with Ellen McDonough Thomas,
• Fave riff: “C’mon, turn the tape over!!” Honorable mention: “They’re missing the forest for the trees with this whole sleazy chicks thing.”

Episode guide: 605- Colossus and the Headhunters

Last modified on 2016-09-03 19:15:14 GMT. 97 comments. Top.

Movie: (1960) Maciste leads his people from their destroyed island to a land of warring tribes.

First shown: 8/20/94
Opening: Tom does Crow’s taxes
Intro: Dr. F. invents Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter, the world’s most adorable pet, and sends it to M&tB, much to Frank’s dismay
Host segment 1: A heartbroken Frank sings: “Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter”
Host segment 2: On the SOL, Nummy’s fur is everywhere
Host segment 3: Nummy is sick, Frank is sick, so Mike sends Nummy back to Deep 13
End: Crow wonders: “What does it feel like to get you head chopped off?”, Mike reads letters, while the Mads have been caught by their own creation
Stinger: Exhorting guy gets shot by arrow
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• The last time around I was sort of luke-warm on the riffing of this one but, I don’t know, I guess I was in the right frame of mind or something, but I was laughing my ass off this time. Of course the headline of the episode is Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter and I’m more luke-warm about those host segments, though Frank’s song is terrific. When this first aired, the segments caused an immediate sensation among fans. I also remember some people didn’t quite get the ending, something Kevin addresses forcefully in the ACEG.
References
• This episode is not yet on commercial DVD.
• Having heard of the fans’ growing irritation with CC spokesguy Penn Gillette, they use him in a gag. Folks loved that.
• What’s with our hero’s name? Well, what M&tB are hearing as “my cheesesteak” is actually Maciste. Italians know him well. A strongman character with that name goes back all the way to the 1914 Italian movie “Cabiria.” The character was resurrected when the sword-and-sandal epic Italian movies suddenly became very popular in the late 1950s. Because American audiences were unfamiliar with Maciste, the title character’s name was usually changed to Atlas, Colossus, Goliath, Hercules or Samson (for example, the character Hercules, in the movie in episode 410- HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN, was actually Maciste). What’s odd in COLOSSUS AND THE HEADHUNTERS is that the dubbed English dialog still calls the hero Maciste even though the title says otherwise; nobody (other than M&tB) calls him Colossus.
• Non-Spaghetti-ball bumpers: film canister, bulletin board, beaker, book.
• Callbacks: “Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah!)
• Annoying commercial: Commercial for the now-largely forgotten “Moxy Pirate Show.”
• Interesting commercial: The first “Go to where the cheese is made” contest commercial as the first convention approached.
• I think that’s Kevin as the voice of NMCB in segment 3.
• Mildly dirty riff: “Meanwhile, Sonny’s upstairs with the maid of honor…”
• I’d forgotten the queen’s assistant and her wacky dance just before the third segment. What a great movie moment.
• Once again, no cast and crew roundup. This production is too far removed from any of the other Herc titles we’ve done.
• CreditsWatch: Tim Scott ends his five-episode run on the writing staff. David Sussman ends his 17-episode run on the writing staff (he was also a contributing writer for an ep in season four). Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. The credit “Video Provided by: Fournelle Video Production Services, St. Paul, MN” is replaced by “Video by Jeff Stonehouse.” This continues for the rest of the season. Stoney also gets a lighting credit for the first time, along with Ken Fournelle and Brad Keely. This is the first time Stoney appears in the credits and marks the beginning of his rise to power at BBI. Jann L. Johnson is back sharing Post Production Coordination duties with Ellen McDonough Thomas. And this is the first time “Info Club Coordinator Julie Walker” appears in the credits (she wouldn’t be “Poobah” until later in the season.)
• Fave riff: “This is history’s first really awkward moment.” Honorable mention: “Uh, what’s following them?”

Episode guide: 606- The Creeping Terror

Last modified on 2016-09-11 21:55:58 GMT. 175 comments. Top.

Movie: (1964) A slow-moving alien rug monster manages somehow to catch and swallow many people in a small town with no dialog.

First shown: 9/17/94
Opening: Tom is a security guard
Intro:It’s laundry day in Deep 13, Dr. F. makes the bots pretentious poseurs
Host segment 1: Crow makes a flag for the SOL, and M&tB raise it
Host segment 2: M&tB stick it to “Love American Style”
Host segment 3: Mike sets up his stereo system
End: Crow and Tom want Gypsy to swallow them, Mike reads letters, Dr. F. “presses” Frank about the laundry
Stinger: “My God! What is it?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• I like this episode a lot. The host segments are lots of fun, the riffing is great and while the movie is gray and tedious, at the same time it is TOTALLY OUT THERE. The questions it raises are endless. What’s chained up in the spaceship? Why does the creature look like a Chinese parade dragon? Why did that guy swallow a basketball? Why a full ten minutes of dance hall footage before the the monster arrives? And on and on.
• This episode appears in Rhino’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 1.
References.
• I love how they added a little drool to Servo’s mouth when they show him sleeping.
• There’s lots of narration and little dialogue, but don’t believe the commonly told story that the soundtrack dropped off of a boat into Lake Tahoe. The movie was shot without sound, with a plan to dub in the dialog later, a la “Manos.” But there wasn’t enough money for that when the time came, so the narration was used instead.
• I’m a little surprised that they chose this movie, and I’m very impressed that they did with it, for this reason: this movie easily ranks in the top 5 of The. Most. REPETITIVE. Movies. Ever. Show some dancing. Show the monster. Then some dancing. Then the monster. Over and over and over. I would rank this right up with “The Starfighters” and “Neptune Men” in terms of a movie that shows you the same thing over and over and over. That they managed to stay funny and come up with a different joke (more or less) every time the movie presented them with the EXACT same image again and again and again, is a real achievement.
• I’m doing these in episode number order, but this was not the next episode fans saw after episode 605- COLOSSUS AND THE HEADHUNTERS. Comedy Central ran episode 609- THE SKY DIVERS the following week, then 607- BLOODLUST the next week, then there was a week break before this episode ran. Then there was another two-week break before the network ran 608- CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD followed a week later by 610- THE VIOLENT YEARS. At that point the episodes got back into order.
• This episode aired the same weekend as some 2,000 MSTies from all over the nation were encamped at the Raddison Hotel in Bloomington for the first CONVENTIOCON EXPOFEST-A-RAMA. Unfortunately, the hotel’s TVs did not get Comedy Central, which meant that fans had to find another way to see the episode. I went to the home of a friend who lived in the area.
• This movie has the infamous baby-temperature-taking scene, one of its most commented-upon aspects by bad movie buffs.
• The “Love American Style” bit in segment 2 is sort of meta: a sarcastic premise surrounding a second, intentionally lame, premise. On the plus side, Mike kisses Servo and Crow.
• As Servo notes, it’s a good guess that the director got a pervy little thrill by the image of a woman’s legs (preferably still kicking) being pulled into the monster. I’ve since been told (and I wish I hadn’t) that this is a thing, and the thing is called “Vore.”
• In the ACEG they mentioned that segment 3 was written mostly by Frank, who loves sketches where nothing happens for long stretches. Is Mike’s using a green magic marker on his CD something audiophiles did (or still do?)
• Mike’s line, “another frustrated IBM PC user!” became a widely traded sound file.
• Very neat image with the wringer at the end. Very Joel-like.
• Cast and crew wrap-up: Story and screenplay writer Robert Silliphant also worked on “The Incredibly Strange Creatures…” Special effects guy Clifford Stine also worked on “This Island Earth,” “The Mole People,” “The Deadly Mantis” and “The Thing That Couldn’t Die.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. Jef Maynard is added to the “set design” credit, along with Joel and Trace. Ken Fournelle gets a lighting credit, or any kind of credit, for the last time. He had been involved with the show since season one. Crist Ballas is back to do hair and makeup.
• Fave riff: “We’re the special unit! Helloooooo!!” Honorable mention: “Now, cough, honey.”

Episode guide: 607- Bloodlust! (with short: ‘Uncle Jim’s Dairy Farm’)

Last modified on 2016-09-17 22:44:29 GMT. 137 comments. Top.

Short: (1960) Two city kids learn the what their country cousins do on their dairy farm.
Movie: (1959) When their boat has mechanical trouble, a quartet of college kids seek help on an island, where a big game hunter lives.

First shown: 9/3/94
Opening: Tom is Crow’s therapist
Intro: Dr. F. redecorates Deep 13 for his mother’s visit, but she’s more pleased to see Frank
Host segment 1: Crow’s veg’able stand gets creamed
Host segment 2: M&tB try some square dancing
Host segment 3: Crow ruins Mystery Murder Dinner Theater
End: The bots think Mike is hunting them, Mike reads some letters, Dr. F.’s mom and Frank go out on the town
Stinger: Guy gets an arrow in the stomach
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• The short gets us off to a great start. One of their funniest. But, for me, the movie has so many slow points that it’s hard to stay engaged, even though the riffing is pretty good. Robert Reed’s continual wryness begins to rankle after a while, too. The introduction of Pearl is auspicious, but we wouldn’t see her again for a long time.
• This episode appears in Rhino’s Vol. 1 collection.
References.
• Several notables in this episode, include the first appearance of Mary Jo as Pearl and the redecoration of Deep 13.
• Gypsy says “bitch” supposedly accidentally. The bots want to say it too and Mike surprisingly is opposed to the idea.
• Crow apparently thought it was important to wear his nice dress slacks to therapy. I wonder what that means…
• In segment 1, Mike excuses himself to go “be” Kenny G — one of the first times Mike just sort of “becomes” somebody. This strange ability will help him in later episodes.
• The mayhem in segment 1 is an extension of the running gag begun in 604, which, as I explained, was lost on a lot of people when episode 604 was removed from the lineup for a while.
• I recall after this episode there was much chatter about the fact that they only made one Brady Bunch riff. Some wanted more, others were pleased with the riffers’ restraint.
• Later-to-be-disgraced, now-deceased TV chef Jeff Smith gets a reference and it won’t be the last.
• In segment 2, I like how they go from square dancing to slam dancing in two seconds. Note: Servo loses his head. Also note: The fiddle music is being supplied by the now-somewhat-famous Maria Bamford.
• Callbacks: “MANOS!” “He didn’t steal no bike neither” (Teenage Strangler)
• In the theater, as the bad guy goes on for a while, Mike gets sleepy and leans on Tom’s shoulder.
• Segment 3 is your basic one-joke segment. (see: “Waffles!”) I like the costumes, though.
• Then-current reference: Crow attempts to explain the surprise in the movie “The Crying Game” — then a popular topic of conversation.
• In one riff, they posit the idea of “Scooby Doo, the motion picture.” What a preposterous idea.
• Cast and crew roundup: Costumer Marge Corso also worked on “Earth Vs. The Spider,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Tormented” and “The She-Creature.” Assistant director Leonard Shapiro also worked on “Project Moon Base” and “The Amazing Transparent Man.” Props guy Richard Rubin also worked on “Attack of the Giant Leeches.” Sound mixer Philip Mitchell also worked on “Teenage Caveman” and “The Unearthly.” Score composer Mischa Terralso worked on “The Unearthly,” “King Dinosaur,” “The Violent Years” and “The Sinister Urge.” In front of the camera, June Kenney was also in “Earth vs. the Spider” and “Viking Women.” Walter Brooke was also in “Space Travelers” and “San Francisco International.” Gene Persson was also in “Earth Vs. the Spider.” Troy Patterson was also in “Earth Vs. the Spider.” Bobby Hall was also in “High School Big Shot.” Bill Coontz was a “High School Big Shot” and “The Girl in Lovers Lane.” Robert Reed also appeared in “SST Death Flight.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. Brad Keely drops off the lighting credit after this episode. Andrea DuCane is back doing hair and makeup for three episodes.
• Fave riff from the short: “All the commotion provokes a bull snake.” Honorable mention: “I remember ringing a bell…”
• Fave riff from the movie: “He shot the bear in mid-standing ovation.” Honorable mention: “No cookies! Not now, not ever, never!”

Episode guide: 608- Code Name: Diamond Head (with short: ‘A Day at the Fair’)

Last modified on 2016-10-02 19:57:10 GMT. 106 comments. Top.

Short: (1947) A country family has a fun day at the state fair.
Movie: (1977) A failed Quinn Martin TV pilot follows an undercover agent battling a nefarious villain in Hawaii.

First shown: 10/1/94
Opening: M&tB are living in their own filth
Intro: The Mads obsess over cleanliness, cleaning up the SOL
Host segment 1: The bots thinks Mike is too nice, then they see what it would be like if Mike wasn’t nice
Host segment 2: Then they are shown what it would be like to live with a Crash Test Dummy
Host segment 3: And finally, they are shown what it would like to live with the Frugal Gourmet
End: M&tB have embraced the authentic Hawaiian lifestyle, Tom hulas a letter (then Mike reads it), the Mads are still obsessing
Stinger: “Aaaahhh! Johnny! Down there!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• The short is another gem, and while the movie portion is okay, it’s hit-and-miss. The host segments are very memorable, and I recall they caused a bit of a stir when this show first aired. They caused a great deal of confusion for me: I had never heard of Canadian alt-rockers Crash Test Dummies (NOW I understand why it would be so horrible!–though actually I kinda like that “Superman” song) and I had never seen “This Boy’s Life” (NOW I know a thing or two about a thing or two). I was vaguely aware of the Frugal Gourmet, but not familiar enough to get the “don’t write in” stuff Mike does. Adding to my confusion, I had never heard of “Lovejoy” either. Just not something I had ever run across. So I spent a lot of this episode scratching my head wondering what the hell was going on.
• This episode is featured on Shout! Factory’s Vol. XXIII.
• Lots of props from previous eps are strewn about in the opener, but the smell was apparently coming from from a jester shoe from episode 505- THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.
• Callbacks: Frank references “Outlaw” with his mention of a “disgusting worrrm!” (Others: “This looks like Daddy-O’s room,” and “This is so Mitchell” and ”There’s a lotta money here, Mitchell!”)
• Tom’s o/` With an awful lotta lettuce… o/` is a reference to the musical “Guys and Dolls.”
• Non-Spaghetti Ball Bumpers: beaker, film canister, bulletin board.
• Mike needs to come down an octave if he’s really going to do Brad Roberts.
• That’s Alex Hentiloff, the poor man’s Stuart Pankin, as the government scientist.
• Turns out living with the Frugal Gourmet was more traumatic than the Brains guessed…
• Self-reference: TV’s Frank named that boat!
• The bit at the end is a reference to an old Hawaiian Punch commercial. THAT I recognized!
• Wouldn’t this have been a better episode to do the Quinn-Martin Nature Preserve sketch?
• Slam on the Coast Guard outta nowhere!
• Cast and crew roundup: Set designer George R. Nelson also worked on “The Magic Sword.” In front of the camera, Roy Thinnes was in those awful General Hospital shorts. Ward Costello was also in “Terror from the Year 5000.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. “Controller” Tim Johnson appears for the first time and would remain for the rest of the series.
• Fave riff from the short: “The cows are furious!” Honorable mention: “Men are fools, dear. Remember that.”
• Fave riff from the feature: “Boy, it’s tough when ‘Barnaby Jones’ out-actions you.” Honorable mention: “This is Quinn Martin. We’re not going to series.” “…French, Italian, poppy seed, hot ranch…”

Episode guide: 609- The Sky Divers (with short: ‘Why Study Industrial Arts?’)

Last modified on 2016-10-02 19:54:22 GMT. 179 comments. Top.

Short: (1956) A explanation of why boys should take shop class even if they think they’ll never need it.
Movie: (1963) Conspiracy and adultery abound at a small skydiving school.

First shown: 8/27/94
Opening: Tom’s planetarium show is disrupted
Intro: M&tB and the Mads compete in a swing choir competition
Host segment 1: Mike’s shop class doesn’t go well
Host segment 2: Crow puts himself in a “double jock lock”
Host segment 3: Tom bombs Crow
End: Crow and Tom struggle in their parachutes, letter, the Mads have switched to dodge ball
Stinger: “I don’t know. I feel real free up there in the high blue sky.”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• I love this episode. We now begin our descent into the works of one Coleman Francis. Those wondering how he got the idea he could direct probably need look no further than the extensive list of bit parts he played in Hollywood over three decades. One begins to imagine Coleman, having spent so much time on movie sets, watching actual directors work, that he began to think he could do it himself. How wrong he was. That said, this movie is probably the best of Francis’ oeuvre, which isn’t saying much, but still. You almost get caught up in it. Not quite, but almost. Plus you’ve got a classic short and a series of host segments where poor Crow suffers one hilarious indignity after another. All in all, a winner in my book.
• This episode is featured in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. 1.”
References.
• The Servo in the opening is the one they use in theater (or one like it), just as Timmy the Dark Crow was the Crow they use in the theater. When they paint ’em black they make better silhouettes.
• The swing choir sketch is a classic. I had never heard of “swing choir” growing up. Our choirs were more of the “stand stock still in a robe” variety. But with the advent of “Glee” everybody understands now.
• The achingly funny short was shown at the Museum of TV event in Los Angeles in ’95. I think mentioned in a previous entry that it was really an epiphany for me, since I had never watched MST3K on a big screen with such a large group before. The crowd was just roaring with almost deafening gales of laughter. I’d seldom been in a crowd of people all laughing so hard and loud before. It really was an eye-opener.
• Tom Servo is quite correct about the “I can’t pay you but I can put your name in the credits cast list.” Word is that is exactly what it was.
• Kudos to Jef Maynard for the sawn-in-half Crow. Another great creation.
• My theory on they “why” of this movie is that Coleman guessed that sport skydiving was so novel and exciting to watch, in and of itself, that it would captivate America, and they wouldn’t notice the almost total lack of a plot.
• The ditty “sex for sundries is fun” was an immediate hit among internet MSTies.
• In addition to swing choir, I had never heard of a double jock lock. Apparently none of the bullies in my junior high school had heard of it either, thank goodness!
• I like coffee. It became an immediate catchphrase.
• Callbacks: “He’ll never touch you, Terry.” (Teenage Crimewave) ”Manos!” “No Lupita!” (from Santa Claus). “Why don’t they look?” (Last Clear Chance).
• But beyond all the other internet MSTie sensations that this episode created, far and away the hugest was Petey Plane. For a few days there, it was almost all anybody could talk about in the forums.
• Tom’s dialog in segment 3 (“splash one!”) echoes videos of laser-guided missile strikes that were being shown on TV a lot at the time.
• Jimmy Bryant may have been the only moderately talented person in the entire movie. His stuff is actually kinda good!
• Mike assumes Ike didn’t know this was going on, but since this movie was made in 1963, and he hadn’t been president for years … well, maybe he still might have objected.
• Cast and crew roundup: Cinematographer Austin McKinney was production supervisor on “The Beast of Yucca Flats.” Art director Mike Harrington also worked on “The Incredibly Strange Creatures…” Score composer John Bath also worked on “Red Zone Cuba.” Choreographer Robert Banas was an actor in “Daddy-O. In front of the camera: Titus Moede was in “Incredibly Strange Creatures.” Marcia Knight, Barbara Francis, Alan Francis, Ronald Francis were all in “Beast of Yucca Flats.” Frederic Downs was in “Red Zone Cuba,” “The Hellcats” and “Terror from the Year 5000.” Tony Cardoza produced and appeared in all three Francis films, as well as “The Hellcats.” Eric Tomlin is also in “The Hellcats” and”Beast of Yucca Flats.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon.
• Fave riff from the short: “And not a killer!” Honorable mention: “I can’t get this thing back in my pants, Earl.”
• Fave riff from movie: “This is typical of young directors: too many good ideas — or, in this case, none at all.” Honorable mention: “H.R. Haldemann on drums.”

Episode guide: 610- The Violent Years (with short: ‘Young Man’s Fancy’)

Last modified on 2016-10-10 09:45:46 GMT. 148 comments. Top.

610s

Short: (1952) A family appreciates the modern household appliances electricity makes possible.
Movie: (1956) A neglected socialite leads an all-girl gang on a violent crime spree.

First shown: 10/8/94
Opening: Tom Servo has a new head!
Intro: The Mads unveil their theme music, “Living in Deep 13,” and demand themes from M&tB. Tom is ready
Host segment 1: Now, the Mads are promoting a radio station called Frank
Host segment 2: Tom reenacts a tearful scene from “A Star is Born”
Host segment 3: A rehearsal for Crow’s one man show about Keanu Reeves starring Mike!
End: Mike and Crow reenact the gas station hold-up scene from the movie, they read a letter, the Mads are still turning their cranks to Frank!
Stinger: “So what?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• I said in a previous thread that I consider this my “desert island” episode. I know, it may seem like a weird choice, but for me this episode has it all: (mostly) great host segments, classic short and great riffing of a movie (reportedly) written by Ed Wood. It all works.
• This episode is included in Shout! Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXII.”
References .
• Crow’s reaction to Servo’s new head is just one riotous moment of the brilliant opening bit. This is one of my all-time favorite openings.
• That brilliance is followed by the theme song intro. Frank and Trace are wonderful in Deep 13, Kevin is hilarious and then Trace caps it all off with two more great theme songs. Another classic.
• Tom’s theme song, for those not musically inclined, is set to the famous music of “Carmina Burana.”
• The short continues the fun. The first time I saw this, it took me a little while for me to figure out what the hell its point was. Eventually it’s becomes clear, but it takes its sweet time!
• The short was edited. It was even longer! You can see the full thing at archive.org.
• The term “squishy” immediately entered the MSTie lexicon.
• At one point in the short, Tom predicts the girl will say “oh dear” and then she does, to which he boastfully declares, “Did I call that?” They don’t do that too often and I’m glad, because it feels a little like cheating.
• Coming into the first segment, Tom is teaching mike to singing the “hum-didda-hee-hee” song, made famous in episode 421- Monster A-Go-Go.
• Amazingly there are still several radio stations called Frank. The bit is a local Minneapolis reference to a then-newly introduced country station called “Bob” that had the catchphrase “turn your knob to Bob.” That station was one of the first to have a person’s name. The gimmick has spread throughout the industry since then.
• Non-spaghetti-ball bumpers: datebook, beaker, bulletin board.
• Despite all the talk that Ed Wood wrote this screenplay, his name does not appear in the credits. Apparently the fact that he wrote it is mentioned in his various biographies. One commenter speculated that it may have been a union issue (no director is credited either).
• The “rape” scene was also an immediate sensation on MSTie internet forums. As noted in the ACEG, don’t get your hopes up, guys. This has never, ever happened.
• Segment 2 is really the only clunker in the episode. I remember when it first aired, people were baffled by it. What a parody of a scene from the Barbra Streisand version of “A Star is Born” has to do with this movie is beyond me. Kevin really gives it his all, though, you gotta admit that.
• Callbacks: “He’ll never touch you, Terry. You’re dirt.” (Teenage Crimewave) ”We shot that fat barkeep!” (The Beatniks)
• Stupidest line of dialog (which, even if he didn’t write it, sure sounds like Ed Wood’s writing): “What in the world is a pajama party?”
• Back to brilliance with the end segment. It just gets funnier the longer it goes on.
• Yes, the list of people Frank rattles off at the end is in Ward E.
• Cast and Crew Roundup: Producer Roy Reid also worked on “The Sinister Urge. Cinematographer William C. Thompson also worked on “Bride of the Monster,” “The Sinister Urge,” “Project Moon Base” and “Racket Girls.” Score composer Manuel Francisco a.k.a. Mischa Terr also worked on “The Sinister Urge,” “King Dinosaur,” “The Unearthly” and “Bloodlust!” In front of the camera I. Stanford Jolley was also in “The Rebel Set.” Timothy Farrell was also in “Racket Girls.” Harry Keatan was also in “The Sinister Urge.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. This is the final episode with one Charles A. Zimmerman listed as an editor. He started about three quarters through season five. Crist Ballas is back doing hair and makeup. On “Forrester’s Theme Song” (which the rest of the world calls “Livin’ in Deep 13): Music by Michael J. Nelson; Lyrics by “Best Brains.” So I guess that makes them a collaborative effort.
• Fave riff from the short: “Double bag it, son!” Honorable mention: “I’m squishy and I need to move on it!”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Thousands of men flock to crime scene!” Honorable mention: “Rabbits…with…big…guns…and…good…aim…”

Episode guide: 611- Last of the Wild Horses

Last modified on 2016-10-22 18:43:03 GMT. 110 comments. Top.

Movie: (1948) A cowboy finds himself in the middle of a range war between a powerful rancher and his neighbors.

First shown: 10/15/94
Opening: Mike programs Crow and Tom with regional speech patterns
Intro: Dr. F.. sends a matter transference device to the SOL during an ion storm. It’s “Mirror, Mirror” time!
Host segment 1: The Mirror-Mads sing “Joey the Lemur.” In our universe, Crow and Mike struggle with Mirror-Servo
Host segment 2: Mike and Crow plot strategy, while Mirror-Gypsy and Mirror-Servo do likewise
Host segment 3: Mike and Crow consult The Alternate Universe Manual. In the mirror universe, Mirror-Crow attacks Mirror-Mike while Tom and Gypsy plot strategy
End: M&tB figure out what happened, the Mirror-Mads stop by while a letter is read, the Mads are enjoying their new agony booth
Stinger: Wheelchair Dad laughs
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• Of course, this is one of those episodes where the host segments WAY overpower the movie segments. Internet MSTies went completely insane for about three days after this episode, which parodies the well-remembered “Mirror, Mirror” episode of the original “Star Trek.” It always amazes me when the host segments completely take over (the “Dark Timmy” segments and the “Joel escapes” segments are other good examples). The segments amount to, maybe, 15 minutes of a two-hour time slot. The Brains have to write lean and tight. It’s a tough assignment, but when they pull it off, as I think they did here, it’s an amazing thing to watch. For what it’s worth, the riffing is actually pretty good, but nobody really noticed.
• This episode is included in Shout’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXIII.”
• The whole “Mirror, Mirror” thing overwhelmed the opening segment, which coincidentally dovetailed with a whole conversation we’d coincidentally been having about “coke/pop/soda” and other regional speech patterns on the RATM newsgroup. But some people did notice and were amused.
• The mirror Mads’ delight in “the eight of Chris Lemmon,” a reference to an invention exchange in episode 517- THE BEGINNING OF THE END. I may have asked this before, but I’ve always wondered happened to cause Chris Lemmon’s career to tank. He just fell off the radar.
• The mirror Mads enter the theater from the left and sit in seats on the left (or sinister) side of the theater.
• The riffing by Dr. F. and Frank was a marvelous change of pace, and I guess you could think of it as a bit of a preview of Cinematic Titanic and, now, The Mads.
• As I have noted more than once, Mary Beth Hughes was hot-hot-HOT!
• And while we’re on the subject, both the female leads in this movie kept reminding me of Jessie the cowgirl from the “Toy Story” movies.
• Of course, the mirror Mads’ fun friend Joey the lemur harkens back to a wacky segment in episode 210- KING DINOSAUR. It’s clearly a good-natured dig at Joel.
• Mirror Tom is in full Shatner mode as he enters the theater, until he looks up and says, “Oh, hey a cowboy movie!” Then he’s back to normal.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: beaker, date book, bulletin board.
• Crow’s line, “He’s Black Crowes lead singer thin,” surprised me. Maybe they didn’t think people would know who Chris Robinson is?
• Nice to see Gypsy all dolled up as mirror Gypsy.
• Callbacks: Old Timer Billy Slater (Junior Rodeo Daredevils); “Shut up, Iris.” (The Beatniks), “the Milling About Festival” (Black Scorpion), “Again?” (Fugitive Alien).
• We get an early “I thought you were Dale,” which would be a running gag in season eight.
• Cast and crew roundup: I won’t do the Lippert litany again. Special effects guy Ray Mercer also worked on “Lost Continent,” “Radar Secret Service,” “I Accuse My Parents,” “The Sinister Urge” and “The Beast of Yucca Flats.” Costume designer Alfred Berke also worked on “Lost Continent.” I’m not going to do the whole Albert Glasser litany again, either. In front of the camera, Mary Beth Hughes was also the star of “I Accuse My Parents.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Andrea DuCane is back for a three-episode stint doing hair and makeup.
• Fave riff: “I’m so sick of gingham I could scream!” Honorable mention: “It’s a plot device. It’s very flimsy, so be careful.”

Episode guide: 612- The Starfighters

Last modified on 2016-10-29 21:19:37 GMT. 187 comments. Top.

Movie: (1964) An air force pilot is eager to learn to fly the F-104 jet, and that means mid-air refueling.

First shown: 10/29/94
Opening: Crow tries to log onto the information super-highway
Intro: The Mads have cranial ports; but M&tB have Cowboy Mike’s barbecue sauce and it’s bold!
Host segment 1: While he and Tom reenact the refueling scene, Crow misses a call
Host segment 2: The bots “debrief” Mike
Host segment 3: The United Servo Academy Men’s Chorus performs
End: Crow finally logs onto the information super-highway, Mike reads a letter, the Mads are sharing their thoughts
Stinger: Lady elbows hubby
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• This episode is especially near and dear to me. The movie is JUST. SO. BAD. The riffing is great, considering how little they had to work with, and the host segments are silly and endearing.
• This episode is included in The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 12
• Ah, 1994, the year that most people discovered the “online” world, and we began to hear a certain automotive metaphor. By the way, Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet, but he did coin the phrase “information superhighway.”
A personal story: In 1994 I was working for an electronics retailing trade magazine, and one of the big stories of that year was that some electronics retailers (anybody remember Circuit City?) were just starting to carry computers, though nobody (including my boss!) could really say why, exactly, a consumer would want one. And keep in mind that modems were often not standard equipment on many of the computers that were coming to market at that time. Having been online (mostly on Prodigy and AOL) for a couple of years at that point, I tried to explain that “going online” was going to be the killer app for these things. He had no idea what I was talking about and refused to let me do a story about it. He was fired a few months later.
• BTW — do NOT go to biteme.com. It appears to be doing nefarious things.
• In the comments, several experts explained the “looking for uart at fx1050” prompt–essentially it’s saying that there’s a hardware/software conflict, probably involving the modem.
• I love how Crow starts dancing slightly to the hold music as he waits.
• That’s Kevin as the first tech support voice. The next voice is Jim, I think, then the live voice is Paul.
• “It’s bold!!” became an immediate catchphrase.
• I sometimes note especially “naughty” riffs, but it would be impossible to do for this episode. There are dozens during the refueling scenes. My favorite is: “I think he has whiskey jet.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: datebook, beaker, film canister.
• I once showed this episode to my brother, who was an Air Force pilot. He hated it.
• There was much discussion in online MSTie forums about Crow and Tom, ahem, “refueling.”
• There’s an extreme closeup on the Crow’s phone at one point, and, based on the spray paint flecks on it, I assume it’s been laying around in the prop room.
• Notable theater moment: Mike and Servo get up and dance.
• Those bouncing bombs looked strange to me but several commenters explained that with low-level bombing you need time to get away and the bouncing is designed to give the pilot that time.
• Art riff: “Christo’s latest installa-[boom]…well, good.”
• Random riff: Crow just blurts out: “I hope they blow up Blossom.” (Glad they didn’t.)
• Callbacks: “Shut up Iris.” (The Beatniks), “People seemed to laugh more then:”(Stranded in Space), “Eegah” and “Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah).
• Then-current reference: Tailhook. Honorable mention: “Marilu Henner is replacing Vicky!”
• The topic of corn de-tassling also got a lot of discussion in the forums.
• Segment 2 is great, and I know that many female fans of Mike enjoyed the notion of him being debriefed (tighty whitey alert!)
• Servo does something they rarely do on the show — he takes note of the reel change alert in the corner of the screen and comments on it.
• As if the previous great segments weren’t enough, in segment 3 we are treated to a performance by the United Servo Academy chorus. Kevin wrote both the music and lyrics and I assume spent hours overdubbing himself into many-part harmony. The commenters explained that Mike is imitating Bill McGlaughlin from the local classical music radio show “St. Paul Sunday.”
• Somebody once dissected the lyrics of the song, indicating where every line was stolen from. This has links to almost all them. By the way, if you’d like to hear/see a very nice live version of the song, check out this now-legendary moment from the first JoCo Cruise.
• We get one of the show’s few Cheech and Chong references as Tom Servo imitates Sister Mary Elephant.
• As soon as the character on screen says “poopie suit,” that’s it. Off Tom and Crow go on a long string of scatology, and there’s no stopping them. Mike’s Joel-esque pleas for them to stop fall on deaf ears.
• The “Boogers” incident actually happened, according to the ACEG.
• There is no cast/crew roundup. Nobody involved in this movie worked on any other MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. For interns David J. Belmont, Shannon McNeely and Peter Nicolai, this was the final episode they worked on.
• Fave riff: “You know, it’s all kind of dull until you remember how sharp those wings are.” Honorable mention: “Found him! He was under a pile of blankets in my room.”

Episode guide: 613- The Sinister Urge (with short: ‘Keeping Clean and Neat’)

Last modified on 2016-11-05 18:05:14 GMT. 154 comments. Top.

613s

Short: (1956) A fifth-grade girl and boy demonstrate how to have obsessive hygiene habits.
Movie: (1959) Detectives investigate a murder that they suspect is related to a secret porno operation.

First shown: 11/5/94
Opening: M&tB throw Gypsy a shower
Intro: Frank’s missing and Dr. F. begins to worry
Host segment 1: Frank has become a mad bomber, and gives the SOL a taste of what he’s planning for Deep 13
Host segment 2: M&tB check Frank’s background for clues
Host segment 3: There’s little hope until Mike remembers Frank’s weakness
End: Dr. F. stops Frank’s plan, Mike reads a letter, Frank has been deep-fried
Stinger: “Dirk? No that can’t be Dirk…uh-uh…no…that’s not Dirk…no.”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• I had a lot of people disagreeing with me the last time around, but I watched it again and I am going to stick with the “good-not-great” rating. It’s an Ed Wood movie, so you know it’s going to be good, and the riffing is fine, but the very topical host segments haven’t aged very well and that drags the overall rating down for me. Great short, though.
• You’ll find this episode in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 9.”
References.
• Of course that’s Paul as Huggy Bear and Patrick as Rooster. On the basis of these incredibly brief cameos, they’ll make a re-appearance in next week’s “Urkel” segments. In fact I wonder if these appearances were thrown in just to add two more characters to the bits in the next episode.
• The springboard for the host segments was the spate of “mad bomber” movies that hit theaters in ’94, in particular “Speed,” “In the Line of Fire,” and the now-pretty-much-forgotten “Blown Away.” At the time, I didn’t get most of the references, because I don’t go to the movies a lot and I hadn’t seen them on video yet. I do give Frank credit for capturing the tone most of the villains in these movies had. His evil faces are fun.
• Tom says: “I think these scenes are from a completely different movie” and in fact they are. The pizza joint sequences were shot in 1956 for a film that was to be called “Rock and Roll Hell” a.k.a. “Hellborn.” It was never finished, so Ed used the footage for this.
• This movie has no relationship with what the porn industry — even back then — was really like. Sadly, in about 10 years, Ed would know a lot more about what the porn industry was really like.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: datebook, bulletin board, film canister.
• Callback: During a host segment, Frank says: “You’re stuck here!” (Fugitive Alien).
• Speaking of callbacks, Mike refers to the the grinning car as “Jet Jaguar” and Crow whispers: “How would YOU know?” Fans had been doing that sort of thing for a while, so I guess it was inevitable that the writers would do it.
• Tom falls off his theater seat laughing, at one point.
• Cast and Crew Roundup: Cinematographer William C. Thompson (who was nearly blind when this film was made and required assistance) also filmed “Bride of the Monster,” “The Violent Years,” “Racket Girls” and “Project Moonbase.” Score composer Manuel Francisco a.k.a. Mischa Terr also composed music for “The Violent Years,” “King Dinosaur,” “The Unearthly” and “Bloodlust.”
In front of the camera, Harvey B. Dunn was also in “Bride of the Monster,” and “Teenagers from Outer Space.” Reed Howes was also in “The Phantom Creeps.” Harry Keatan was also in “The Violent Years.” Nick Raymond was also in “The Hellcats” and “Red Zone Cuba.” Conrad Brooks was also in “Bride of the Monster” and “Red Zone Cuba.” Kenne Duncan was also in “Radar Secret Service.”
• Creditswatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. Interns Wendell Anderson, Julie Van Goethem and Sarah Swanson (though in this episode they gave her first name as “Sara”–they fixed it in the credits of the next ep) begin their stints.
• Fave riff from short: “Remember, people like you better when you’re pretty.” Honorable mention: “Don’t touch that!”
• Fave riff: “Well, THERE’S her hat!” Honorable mention: “I’m just gonna ask: Is this a juniper bush?”

Episode guide: 614- San Francisco International

Last modified on 2016-11-12 22:14:09 GMT. 151 comments. Top.

Movie: (1970) Series pilot in which the administrators of a large metropolitan airport must deal with several crises and problems.

First shown: 11/19/94
Opening: Tom and Crow have a political debate on politics
Intro: The Mads are construction workers, M&TB do the old board routine
Host segment 1: It’s Urkel! Hahahahaha!
Host segment 2: It’s still Urkel! Hahahahaha!
Host segment 3: More Urkel hilarity until Torgo has his say
End: Comments on the movie, Tom and Mike read letters, Dr. F.’s ears
Stinger: “My job, my way.”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• Ah, the TV pilot: they usually have great riffablilty and the riffing really clicks here. And that’s good because the Urkel host segments are, for me, a long walk to not much of a payoff. As for the other segments, I do like the political debate at the beginning, and Trace and Frank are hilarious as the shirtless contractors, but the ever-increasing ears bit at the end doesn’t do much for me either (though whoever created the ears deserves kudos).
• This episode is available on Shout Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Vol XXXII.”
• Callbacks: “Shut up Iris.” (The Beatniks) “o/` Laaaa-da-da-daaaa o/` (The Starfighters), “Megaweapon!” (Warrior of the Lost World)
• Perhaps the ultimate “then-current reference:” This ep was made in the heyday, such as it was, of Jaleel White’s rein of terror as wacky neighbor Steve Urkel on TV’s “Family Matters.” He really did loom large on the cultural landscape at that point, and the segments really do take you through the stages of feelings most people had toward him. But topicality has its dangers and this is a classic example.
• Unlike “Code Name: Diamond Head,” this pilot DID go to series, however briefly. Clu Gulagher was the only cast member from the pilot to be asked back. It started airing in 1970 in rotation on NBC’s “Four-in-One.” (The other three series were “McCloud,” “Night Gallery” and “The Psychiatrist”). Pernell Roberts, as was noted by the riffers, was replaced by Lloyd Bridges, and new characters were added. It only ran three episodes.
• Celebrity dirt: Robert Sorrells, who plays the big-eared thug who kidnaps David Hartman’s wife, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 2005. On the afternoon of July 24, 2004, he was kicked out of a Los Angeles bar after an altercation. He returned with a gun and shot and killed one guy and wounded another. Sorrells had reportedly been depressed over the death of his mother and his dog. He was sentenced to 32 years to life, and as far as I know he’s still behind bars.
• Great repeating bit: the kitty noises Crow makes every time somebody jabs a knife into a bag.
• Non-spaghetti-ball bumpers: Beaker, date book, bulletin board.
• Cast and crew roundup: Costume guy Charles Waldo also worked on “Riding with Death.” Makeup guy Bud Westmore did a bunch of MSTed movies, including “This Island Earth,” “Revenge of the Creature,” “The Leech Woman.” “The Mole People,” “The Deadly Mantis” and “The Thing That Couldn’t Die.” Set designer John McCarthy also worked on “Radar Men from the Moon” and “Kitten With a Whip.”
In front of the camera, Clu Gulagher was also in “Master Ninja I.” Van Johnson was in “Superdome.” Walter Brooke was also in “Space Travelers,” and “Bloodlust.” Jim B. Smith was also in “Mitchell.” Frank Gerstle was also in “Atomic Brain.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. One Tim Paulson, who had worked as an editor for a total of 15 episodes in seasons two and three, returns to the editing booth for the remainder of the season. For the record, that’s Mary Jo as Jan in the Pan, Paul as Huggy Bear, Patrick as Rooster, Bridget as Nuveena (though the credits said “herself”), Kevin as Santa, Paul as Pitch and Mike as Torgo.
• Fave riff: “The answer, my friend, is blow it out your ass.” Honorable mention: “You know, Tab Hunter was Troy Donahue at one point.” “If only I had some thread — oh wow!”

Episode guide: 615- Kitten with a Whip

Last modified on 2016-12-03 22:02:09 GMT. 128 comments. Top.

Movie: (1964) A naive senate candidate finds a reform school escapee hiding in his home.

First shown: 11/23/94
Opening: Mike and Tom prepare Crow for a secret mission
Intro: Crow’s mission to Deep 13 ends in failure
Host segment 1: Mike gives Crow and Tom bionic noises
Host segment 2: A kitten with a whip visits on the Hexfield
Host segment 3: Mike hazes himself, much to the Bots horror
End: On the SOL, Mike opens up a Dr. F. piñata and reads a letter, Dr. F. has a Frank piñata
Stinger: “I’ll be a celebrity! And so will you!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• In his introduction on the Shout DVD, Mike acknowledges that this episode is not a fan favorite. I’m sure we’ll find some folks who adore it, and I like it okay, but he’s right, it’s not a standout. The movie is dumb, the characters are dumber, but it is a competent Hollywood product, featuring several recognizable Hollywood stars, a rarity for MST3K. The riffing is somewhere between good and great most of the time. Plus the host segments have several notable moments.
• This episode can be found on the Mystery Science Theater Collection, Vol. XXV.
References.
• This episode was the kickoff ep of the 1994 Turkey Day marathon, the one hosted by Adam West.
• The biggest problem with the movie, of course, is that the senator character is so crushingly stupid, and blows, like, four opportunities to extricate himself from this situation, only to be saved by random chance and the good intentions of strangers, when, let’s face it, he doesn’t really deserve it. But as dopey as the plot may be, it does become a bit engrossing at points. Even Mike appears to get into the poor guy’s predicament at one point when he hollers “Just go, you idiot!” at him.
• The opening segment, with Crow being launched down the umbilicus into Deep 13, only to be met by Dr. F. (or somebody wearing Dr. F’s coat) caused much excitement on the internet. “The Squab is in the hole” was a phrase that was repeated often.
• Who knew Mike smells like rain?
• Callback: “The Crawling Eye!” “Uh-uh, no way…” (Sinister Urge)
• Segment 1 is a slight bit of fluff without a real payoff, but it’s one of those segments that works because the performers are so comfortable with each other.
• Segment 2, well, give Kevin credit for valiantly diving into the role. Again, not much of payoff. Who is working Kevin’s tail?
• The riff “Typical road trip with a headliner,” is a reference to the stand-up comedy road trips many of the cast and writers lived through in their younger days. Four or five comedians would pile into a car and drive from comedy club to comedy club in the upper Midwest, and according to all the reports, whoever the headliner was among the group tended to be a prima donna.
• Segment 3 is hilarious, especially the bots’ reaction. And, I have to admit, I’d completely forgotten it.
• This is another one of those movies from that era of ’50s-’60s sophistication that depict middle-aged couples cheerfully taking in the show at a strip club (another place you see it is TISCWSLABMUZ). I do not think this happened much in real life.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: datebook, beaker, bulletin board, movie canister (a rare four-fer!).
• I definitely hear Bridget among the kids’ voices at the end. Not sure about any others.
• Oh, and I love that the guy who resolves all the plots is named Sgt. Enders.
• Cast and crew roundup: cinematographer Joseph Biroc also worked on “The Amazing Colossal Man” and “SST: Death Flight.” Art director Alexander Golitzen worked on “This Island Earth,” “Revenge of the Creature,” “Leech Woman,” “Mole People,” “Deadly Mantis” and “The Thing That Couldn’t Die.” Set designer John McCarthy also worked on “Radar Men from the Moon” and “San Francisco International.” Joseph Gershenson was head of the music department at Universal Studios, so you’ll see his name on many credits as composer or arranger.
In front of the camera, Ann Doran was also in “Painted Hills.” Patrick Whyte was in “The Mole People.” Leo Gordon was also in “Attack of the Giant Leeches.” Gary Lockwood was also in “Magic Sword.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon
• Fave riff: “Hey! Bingo-balls! Siddown!” Honorable mention: “Dear Penthouse Forum, I’m an average stuffed animal at a small midwestern college…” and “It’s my gin distributor.”
——————-
Next week: we step out of order and do episode 521-SANTA CLAUS.

Episode guide: 616- Racket Girls (with short: ‘Are You Ready for Marriage?’)

Last modified on 2016-12-29 18:17:18 GMT. 139 comments. Top.

616s

Short: (1950) A pair of high schoolers are planning marriage, until a friendly counselor talks them down.
Movie: (1951) A gym owner who manages lady rasslers uses his place as a front for illegal gambling.

First shown: 11/26/94
Opening: Lisa Loeb visits on the Hexfield
Intro: As M&tB try to discourage Lisa Loeb, there are also security problems in Deep 13
Host segment 1: Crow wants to marry Tom, so they take a Cosmo quiz
Host segment 2: Mike throws Crow a depressing bachelor party
Host segment 3: The wedding starts well but ends in rasping
End: M&tB think there’s been too much wrestling, they read letters, Lisa Loeb gets into Deep 13
Stinger: SNAP! “It’s gone!” “Where’d it go?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• If you can put up with the endless rasslin’ footage, this episode is a lot of fun. The host segments are strange, but silly. The short is another classic. As for the movie, well, as Crow notes. “When Ed Wood saw this, it was like when Truffaut saw ‘Citizen Kane’.” The rasslin’ scenes are a bit like the refueling scenes in Starfighters: It’s amazing to see them do riff after riff after riff on scenes where the same thing happens over and over and over.
• This episode is included in Shout’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XV.”
References.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: Beaker, book, bulletin board, film canister.
• When this episode debuted, it was the third of three new episodes in the course of four days. It was Turkey Day heaven.
• That’s Bridget, of course, with a hilarious impression of Lisa Loeb. Loeb told me on Twitter that she loved that sketch.
• And of course that’s Paul, Patrick and Mary Jo as the strangers in Deep 13.
• The whole “boing” thing was a source of much amusement in the online forums following this show. I suspect “boing” is somehow related to being “squishy.”
• Mary Jo returns as Jan in the Pan, late-night style.
• Then-current reference: Short-lived TV show “Models Inc.”
• I really love the message of the movie: that you simply cannot corrupt a really clean sport like ladies wrestling, and attempting to do so will bring down forces on your head that will overwhelm you.
• During the wedding, Frank sings the last few bars of “The Wedding Song,” written by Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary fame.
• Dr. F. channels Prince while officiating at the wedding. Great stuff.
• Callbacks: “Shut up Iris.” (The Beatniks) “No Lupita!” (Santa Claus), “Have you been noticing any odd occurrences? Oh it’s true!” (The Dead Talk Back), “I’m dyin’ in a rush!” (Kitten with a Whip).
• The chase scene at the end, featuring the lovely Ukrainian national anthem, is a very funny few minutes.
• Frank’s “You brute! You brute! You brute” is from “Blazing Saddles.”
• Cast and crew roundup: cinematographer William C. Thompson also worked on “Project Moon Base,” “Bride of the Monster,” “The Violent Years” and “The Sinister Urge.” Makeup guy Harry Thomas worked on “The Mad Monster,” “Project Moon Base,” “The Unearthly,” “Bride Of The Monster,” “Invasion USA,” “High School Big Shot” and “Night Of The Blood Beast.” In front of the camera, Timothy Farrell was also in “The Violent Years.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace. This was Michael D. Parker’s first episode as an intern. It was also Julie Van Goethem’s last (after only three eps, maybe things didn’t work out.) Patrick’s first name is spelled wrong.
• Fave riff from short: “‘I want to marry a man!’ ‘Heh-heh. No, you don’t.’” Honorable mention: “Sometimes there’s a SHPLOINK!”
• Fave riff from the movie: “‘What are you thinking about?’ ‘Playdoh.’” Honorable mention: “There’s some heroin I’ve had my eye on.”

Episode guide: 617- The Sword and the Dragon

Last modified on 2016-12-23 02:12:39 GMT. 112 comments. Top.

Movie: (1956) A Russian hero leads the fight against invading Mongols.

First shown: 12/3/94
Opening: Tom leads Mike and Crow in a game Dungeons & Dragons
Intro: The Mads get a visit from their new neighbors in Deep 12, and ask M&TB to entertain; they soon regret it
Host segment 1: “A joke by Ingmar Bergman”
Host segment 2: M&tB reenact the table cloth making scene
Host segment 3: Ilya Murametz visits on the Hexfield
End: Gypsy’s review of the musical, The Mads have been on a date
Stinger: The wind demon takes a dive
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• Of course, this is the third of the Ptushko Russo-Finnish trilogy, starring a lot of the same people as “Day the Earth Froze” and “Magic Voyage of Sinbad.” Like the other two, it’s based on Russo-Finnish mythology/legend, is a very pretty and clearly very expensive movie and is completely OUT THERE. The riffers have plenty to work with here and the riffing almost HAS to be good, and it is. The host segments are fun…mostly.
• You can find this episode in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXIV.
• When this first aired, it was the fourth new episode in 10 days. MSTies were delirious. It went back to the more typical weekly schedule after this, and within months the show was to go away for quite a while, but this embarrassment of riches was nice while it lasted.
• The opening segment is wacky fun, though “I must take my own life” is probably not the funniest punchline, especially for a sketch about this topic.
• The first time I saw this, when Mike said “Mordor and Rivendell” I said “Those are places!” right along with Tom. What a Tolkien nerd I am.
• In fact the Mads are also very nerdy this week, what with the comic books in plastic bags and the fear of girls.
• That’s Mary Jo (in Deep 13 for the second week in a row) and Bridget, of course, as the girls from Deep 12. Never did find that laundry room, I’m guessing…
• “Supercalifragilisticexpeali-wacky!” is sort of The Capital Steps meets Mark Russell. So, not really funny at all.
• When Servo riffs: “I’m Mike Wallace,” it’s because the writers thought the movie’s narrator really sounded like late “60 Minutes” reporter. But, guess what: Wallace did a lot of things in his career (he was even a game show host) and there’s a reason that voice sounds like him–It really is him!
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: Book, bulletin board, film canister.
• Segment 1 was much discussed in the forums. It moved too slowly for some people. Also, not everybody knew who Ingmar Bergman was, and not everybody was familiar with the Upper Midwestern tradition of “Sven and Ole” jokes. So it took some explaining.
• Callback: o/` “Heeey, it’s the undersea kingdom…” o/`
• Call-forward: a “Legend of Boggy Creek” mention.
• Segment 2 is very silly, and another chance for Gypsy to shine. I love the lyrics to her song.
• As for segment 3, well, let’s just give Kevin credit for committing to the bit. “HAM,” indeed!
• Cast and crew roundup: With a few exceptions, everybody here either worked on The Day The Earth Froze (I’ll call it “Day”) and “Magic Voyage of Sinbad” (I’ll call it “Sinbad”). If they worked on both, I’ll just say “both.” Producer/director Aleksandr Ptushko of course worked on both. Cinematographer Fyodor Provorov worked on “Sinbad.” Special effects director Aleksei Renkov worked on “Day.” Costumer Olga Kruchinina worked on “Sinbad.” Production designer Yevgeni Kumankov was art director on “Sinbad.” Music conductor: S. Sakharov worked on “Day, as did score composer Igor Morozov.
In front of the camera Yelena Myshkova was in “Sinbad.” as were Sergei Stolyarov and Sovol Martinson. Buncha commies, the lot of ’em, I’m sure.
One other note: the voice of Kalin and several other voices in this are provided by the great Paul Frees, who wrote and directed “The Beatniks” and whose voice pops up in several other MSTed movies.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Mike wrote the music for “Supercalafragalisticexpialawacky!!!” The entire staff wrote the lyrics.
• Fave riff: “This baby can handle everything but a three-headed drago-…aw, son of a…” Honorable mentions: “Finland’s annual emotional outburst” and “Kiss your aunt Bernice.”

Episode guide: 618- High School Big Shot (with short: ‘Out of this World’)

Last modified on 2016-12-28 02:34:34 GMT. 133 comments. Top.

618s

Short: (1954) Industrial film aimed at keeping bread truck drivers on the straight and narrow.
Movie: (1959) A high school dweeb agrees to take part in a heist to win the favor of a hot but dumb classmate.

First shown: 12/10/94
Opening: Mike has a headache, and the bots are no help
Intro: Frank clones a dinosaur, while Crow mixes a potion that makes Tom Servo huge!
Host segment 1: M&tB have a suggestion: “specialty breads”
Host segment 2: Crow and Tom egg Mike, and don’t understand what they did is wrong
Host segment 3: Crow and Tom try to break into Gypsy’s diary
End: Mike reads a letter while the bots reenact the end of the movie, Dr. F. gives the dino something to chew on
Stinger: “A million bucks!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• I’d say this one is hit and miss. Admittedly, the short is strange, but it’s a little long and it feels to me like their riffing kind of runs of out of steam toward the end. The movie is just a bit too drab for me, and while the riffing is great in some places, it kind of dies down in others. The host segments are hit-and-miss as well.
• This episode will come out in the spring as part to Shout’s Vol. XXXVIII.
• Suddenly Crow’s arms work, just in time for cymbal practice.
• Mike really does suffer from chronic headaches, as he said in this New York Times piece.
• “Jurassic Park” had been out for more than a year, so a bit about a cloned dinosaur was hardly a brand new idea, but I do like Frank patiently saying “No…no…bad boy…” as Dr. F is devoured.
• Props to Jef Maynard on giant Servo. Movie bad!
• Servo sums up how the short was used with his line right at the end of the short.
• Segment 1 is sort of a state park joke of a segment. Yes, the bread truck driver was kind of a dork. We get it.
• Segment 2 gets off a cute punchline … then keeps on going for some reason.
• Callback: “Might as well have Mitchell for a dad.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: Bulletin board, book, beaker.
• That’s Stanley Adams, the poor man’s Jackie Gleason, as they wry safe cracker.
• Segment three is kind of dud, but I do like the obscure reference to the ’60s TV show “T.H.E. Cat” which I absolutely LOVED when I was kid (so of course it was canceled). Oh and props to Jef again for the great blown up bots in this segment.
• Mayhem in the theater: Tom does a “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” joke once too often and Mike hurls him out of the theater.
• That sounds like Kevin as the voice of the dinosaur at the end. Kind of similar to his killer shrew voice.
• Cast and crew round-up: I am not going to do the Roger Corman litany again. Cinematographer: John Nicholaus Jr. also worked on “Attack of the Giant Leeches” and “Night of the Blood Beast.” Editor Carlo Lodato worked on “Attack of the Giant Leeches.” Makeup guy Harry Thomas also worked on “Night of the Blood Beast,” “The Mad Monster;” “Project Moon Base,” “The Unearthly,” “Bride of the Monster,” “Invasion USA” and “Racket Girls.” Set designer John F. Burton also worked on “The Girl in Lovers Lane” and “12 to the Moon.”
In front of the camera: Malcolm Atterbury is also in “I Was A Teenage Werewolf,” Peter Leeds was also in “Girls Town.” Byron Foulger was also in “The Rebel Set.” Bobby Hall was also in “Bloodlust.” Bill Coontz was also in “The Girl in Lovers Lane” and “Bloodlust!”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. It’s with this episode that Julie Walker stops being called “Info Club Coordinator” and becomes “Info Club Poobah.” Bagpipe music: Peter B. Dysart.
• Fave riff from the short: “Make sure you stock your TRUCK UP, so that you don’t … well, you know…” Honorable mention: “I’m starring in Forever Plaaaaiiiid.”
• Fave riff from the movie: “How’s the German-expressionist date going?” Honorable mention: “I hate it when his face lights up.”

Episode guide: 619- Red Zone Cuba (with short: ‘Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance’)

Last modified on 2017-01-06 02:01:46 GMT. 205 comments. Top.

619s

Short: (1949) Helpful advice to make you a better public speaker.
Movie: (1966) An escaped convict and his two pals take part in the Bay of Pigs invasion, then return home with a plan to get rich.

First shown: 12/17/94
Opening: Tom pumps out tonight’s lotto numbers
Intro: Frank owes the mob $50 large, but they stomp Dr. F. instead; meanwhile M&tB hit the casino
Host segment 1: Frank exhorts the nearly-dead Dr. F.
Host segment 2: Mike is Carol Channing; Dr. F. gets “hope you die” wishes
Host segment 3: Dr. F. lives, dies and lives again, but the mob says otherwise
End: M&tB sing a happy, upbeat song, Dr. F. is feeling better
Stinger: Blind lady playing piano
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• I maintain that this is easily the worst movie MST3K ever did, and is in the running for worst movie EVER MADE (and, yes, I’ve seen “The Apple”). And for that reason, I LOVE this episode. The badness really drives M&tB at great riffing heights. And that doesn’t even count the wonderful, hilarious short. And host segments are a lot of fun too.
• Rhino released this on DVD as a single
References.
• That’s a neat trick shooting the balls out of Tom. I love the way Kevin grunts as he sends each one skyward.
• Slightly unusual: many of the segments take place in Deep 13 rather than on the SOL.
• That’s Mary Jo as the increasingly rare Magic Voice.
• Slam on Denny Dillon outta nowhere! Also Amanda Bearse.
• Carradine was in a HUGE number of movies, but keep in mind that many of them are movies like this.
• Segment 1 is lots of fun. The sight of Frank and mummy Dr. F doing the knee test is worth the price of admission.
• Callback: “Petey Plane!” (Skydivers) “This nose wheel feels mushy,” (San Francisco International), the “Starfighters” music, “I’m dyin’ in a rush!” (Kitten with a Whip). Also, Crow’s: “Hey Posture Pals was the definitive last word on posture!” and “The master says you can’t stay here.” (Manos)
• “I’m a dreamer, Montreal” is a line from the Marx Brothers’ “Animal Crackers.”
• I’m pretty sure that’s Trace as the voice of Jimmy Carter on the phone. I think that’s a guest appearance I may have missed previously.
• Mike again displays his unexplained and preternatural ability to just become somebody, in this case Carol Channing.
• Mike does the knee test in the theater. It doesn’t seem to help.
• I was humming the “happy upbeat song” for days after I first saw this.
• Nice Harpo gookie by Frank at the end.
• Cast and crew round up: Also working on “The Hellcats:” producer Anthony Cardoza. In front of the camera: Tom Hanson, Nick Raymond and Frederic Downs. Also working on “The Skydivers:” producer Anthony Cardoza (also actor), director/screenplay writer Coleman Francis (also actor), score composer John Bath. In front of the camera: Frederic Downs. Also working on “The Beast of Yucca Flats:” producer Anthony Cardoza (also actor), director/screenplay writer Coleman Francis (also actor). In front of the camera: John Morrison and George Prince. Coleman also appears briefly as a delivery man in “This Island Earth.” Nick Raymond also appeared in “The Sinister Urge.” Frederic Downs also appeared in “Terror from the Year 5000.” John Carradine also appeared in “The Unearthly.”
• CreditsWatch: Frank gets a new credit this week and for the rest of the season: script consultant. Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. The music for the “The Bouncy Upbeat Song” was written by Mike. Frank wrote the lyics.
• Fave riff from the short: “Make sure your part is gouged into your skull.” Honorable mention: “Now you’re ready to rub out Sonny Corleone.”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Ho, guys. Step back and think. Are we all gonna fit in here?” Honorable mention: “Why is Phil Silvers rounding up corpses?

Episode guide: 620- Danger!! Death Ray

Last modified on 2017-01-14 16:56:27 GMT. 132 comments. Top.

Movie: (1967) A suave secret agent is on the case after a Europey evil organization makes off with a death ray and its inventor.

First shown: 1/7/95
Opening: Crow has contact lenses, Tom has sneakers on
Intro: Frank is a talent agent
Host segment 1: Servo builds a death ray for peaceful purposes, but can’t resist using it on Crow
Host segment 2: “This is your life, Mike Nelson”
Host segment 3: Crow’s designs for sunglasses seem a bit woman-ey
End: Cambot gets emotional, Frank has a glamour shot
Stinger: John Cameron Swayze intercepts the watch
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• I’m not a big fan of the foreign spy movie episodes, but this one clicks with me. Maybe it’s because the movie is just barely watchable, the riffing is fun and most of the host segments work. The result is one I really like.
• You can find this one on Shout’s “Volume XXVI.”
• This movie’s original Italian title was “Il Raggio Infernale.”
• This was the first episode of 1995. It would be difficult year in MSTiedom.
• Crow’s contact lenses and Frank the talent agent are a great start.
• Callback to Crow’s screenwriting career. That’s Mike as Torgo, of course.
• Mike wears his sailor suit/Tom wears his sneakers into theater.
• Crow’s giggle, every time the movie pretends the toys are real, is so infectious!
• Callbacks: Starfighters music, “This nose wheel feels mushy.” (San Francisco International), “We tampered in God’s domain.” (Bride of the Monster), “I’m dyin’ in a rush!” (Kitten with a Whip).
• Segment 1 is strange, but it ends with the arresting image of Crow’s eyes catching fire. A classic moment.
• Non spaghetti ball bumpers: film canister, book, beaker
• Mike is very funny at beginning of segment 2, warily fending off Tom’s attempt to start the sketch. The segment is JUST long enough.
• Segment 3 is fun too. Perfect progression from slightly woman-ey to VERY woman-ey.
• Nice to see Cambot involved in a segment for once! But he’s sooo sensitive.
• Um, has anybody noticed the HUGE body count in this movie? Sheesh!
• Set designer Arrigo Equini, who was a scene designer for “Secret Agent Super Dragon,” is the ONLY person on this movie who worked on another MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy.
• Fave riff: “Hi. Welcome to Jack Ruby fantasy camp.” Honorable mention: “Look, let’s just put our balls on the table, shall we?”

Episode guide: 621- The Beast of Yucca Flats (with shorts: ‘Money Talks!’ & ‘Progress Island U.S.A.’)

Last modified on 2017-02-03 01:03:40 GMT. 153 comments. Top.

621s1 621s2

Short: (1951) The ghost of Ben Franklin visits a spendthrift teenager.
Short: (1973) An upbeat travelogue tries to lure investors to Puerto Rico.
Movie: (1961) After being exposed to atomic radiation, a defecting Russian scientist becomes a murderous monster.

First shown: 1/21/95
Opening: Mike is wallpapering the SOL, Crow and Tom are no help
Intro: The Mads promote “Proposition Deep 13” while M&tB speak up for the Satellite of Love
Host segment 1: M&tB get a visit from some partiers
Host segment 2: Crow asks: Is it 11:30?
Host segment 3: Crow offers a plea for film anti-preservation, but Mike disapproves
End: Mike’s victory speech, Tom reads letters, Dr. F.’s concession speech
Stinger: The beast is pissed
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• Ah, part 3 of the Coleman Francis trilogy, with the extra special sticky badness of Tor Johnson thrown in. This terrible, terrible movie, the very sharp riffing (especially given what they had to work with in the main feature) plus not one but TWO shorts and some great, memorable host segments, makes for a classic episode.
• This episode can be found on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XVIII.
• Of course the riffing is good in this episode: Mike already riffed on it during his training before his first experiment, as mentioned in episode 513- THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE.
• The political segments managed (mostly) not to offend folks of any particular stripe, but also managed to make some smart satirical observations.
• A rare two-shorter (the last one was in season 3). A nice mix, too: one classic 50s educational short, followed by an industrial. As a side note: I doubt that noted abolitionist Ben Franklin would say “Would you have your slave press my suit?” but I’m willing to overlook that one amid some great riffing. The riffing in the second short has a lot of “fill in the blanks” jokes, as in “A booming economy…” “…is not here.” I don’t think they overdid it, but I think they hit the limit on that one.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: Film canister, book, beaker, bulletin board.
• Callbacks: “This nose wheel feels mushy” (San Francisco International) and, of course, “I’m Cherokee Jack” (and several other references to Red Zone Cuba) .
• Segment 1 seems to come out of the blue. Maybe the mention of rum in the short? By the way, during the sketch Tom shouts “water buffalo!” at the partiers. This was a then-current reference. Read about it here.
• Did anybody notice that the opening of TBOYF is vaguely reminiscent of the opening of “The Dead Talk Back”?
• Another then-current reference: “Marlon Brando arrives for the Larry King Interview.” Honestly, it seemed like a big deal at the time.
• Still another: A reference to the short-lived TV show “The Five Mrs. Buchanans.”
• Like Frank, I like to eat lunch at 11:30. So segment 2 resonates for me.
• At the sight of a coyote, Tom says “Humphrey!” That coyote looks nothing like Humphrey.
• I said in 1997, and I still say today, that the Academy should have had Crow and Mike do segment 3 at the Oscars that year (the year “MST3K: The Movie” came out). It would have brought the house down.
• Frank’s face in the closing is great.
• Cast and crew roundup: special effects guy Ray Mercer also worked on “Lost Continent,” “I Accuse My Parents,” “Radar Secret Service,” “Last of the Wild Horses” and “The Sinister Urge.” Sound guy Titus Moody worked on “Incredibly Strange Creatures.” Score composer Gene Kauer also worked on “Atomic Brain” and “Agent for H.A.R.M.” Producer Anthony Cardoza, worked on “The Hellcats” and “Red Zone Cuba.” Producer Anthony Cardoza and cinematographer Austin McKinney worked on “The Skydivers.”
In front of the camera: Eric Tomlin and Tony Cardoza appeared in “The Hellcats.” Marcia Knight, Coleman Francis, Eric Tomlin, Tony Cardoza, Titus Moody, Barbara Francis, Ronald Francis and Alan Francis, appeared in “The Skydivers.” Coleman Francis, George Prince, Tony Cardoza and Howard Morrison appeared in “Red Zone Cuba.” Tor Johnson was also in “The Unearthly” and “Bride of the Monster” as was Conrad Brooks. Brooks was also in “The Sinister Urge.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. The partiers were Patrick Brantseg, Paul Chaplin, Bridget Jones, Tim Paulson and Mary Jo Pehl. The music heard was “Speed of Sound,” written by Dayton Mercil, performed by a band called Ripcord.
• Fave riff from the first short: “Could you get your stomach off my desk?” Honorable mention: “Oh, and kill your parents.”
• Fave riff from the second short: “I’m having a freakout up to ten years later!” Honorable mention: “Just like everywhere else in the world.”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Some people just burrow straight down, I guess.” Honorable mention: “It IS more suspenseful when you don’t know what’s goin’ on.”

Episode guide: 622- Angels Revenge

Last modified on 2017-02-09 13:42:15 GMT. 168 comments. Top.

Movie: (1979) Seven beauties form a paramilitary vigilante squad to shut down a gang that is selling drugs to teens.

First shown: 3/11/95
Opening: Crow remembers that he has amnesia
Intro: Desperate for ratings, Dr. F. turns M&tB into the cast of “Renegade”
Host segment 1: Crow latest screenplay is a “black-sploitation” film
Host segment 2: Mike does his Fonz, Crow and Tom disapprove
Host segment 3: Aaron Spelling’s house passes by the SOL
End: Tom demonstrates the shame-o-meter, the Mads are Bobby Riggs and Billy-Jean King
Stinger: “Shine your love!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• I’m torn about this episode. The riffing is great, consistently hilarious. The host segments however, are mostly blah. The result is one of those “good not great” entries.
• This was on Rhino’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 2
• I just noticed that there is no apostrophe after “Angels” on the title card, so I have removed it, though it makes the title grammatically confusing.
References. However, here are two I caught that they don’t mention: The much-lamented TV show “The Duck Factory” and Crow’s warning about his “elaborate network of trusses,” a reference to the “Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute,” bit on Saturday Night Live.
• By chance, this was the last episode ever shown on Comedy Central, in late December of ’96.
• When it debuted, it was the first new episode in nearly two months and the beginning of three eps in three weeks as the season came to an end.
• I kind of like the “amnesia” opener, because it’s just silly and doesn’t try to be anything more than that. It also reminds me a little of Scifi Channel-era Crow–and maybe that’s not just a coincidence, since future Crow Bill Corbett joined the writing staff with this episode.
• But the intro, with Dr. F and Frank dressed as Rollie Fingers and Tug McGraw, and transforming M&tB into the cast of “Renegade,” is, as the kids say, random. Maybe it’s because I never watched a single episode of “Renegade” (and in fact had never heard of the show when I first saw this episode). I dunno. It just seemed to go nowhere.
• Segment 1, in which we get yet another reading of yet another spec script by Crow, also kind of goes nowhere. But I will grant that it’s building toward a classic segment in season seven, so I will cut this one some slack.
• Segment 2: Another random concept (Fonzie?). It’s cute and it’s short but I’m left just going: “Huh?”
• Callback to the “rape” scene in “The Violent Years.”
• Segment 3, featuring Aaron Spelling’s house: well, of course mad prop props to whoever built the house. Just gorgeous. It’s a cute idea, and I do appreciate that they don’t belabor it. Still, it’s hardly a laugh riot.
• The classic line, “By this time my lungs were aching for booze,” is such a great payoff for fans who’ve been faithfully watching since the second season.
• The end segments, featuring the shame-o-meter, and a funny bit with Frank and Dr. F dressed as Billie Jean King and the now almost completely forgotten Bobby Riggs, almost save it for me, but not quite.
• Cast and crew roundup: Executive producer Louis George also worked on “Final Justice,” as did producer/director/screenwriters Greydon Clark.
In front of the camera, Jack Palance was also in “Outlaw” and Alan Hale Jr. was also in “The Crawling Hand” and “The Giant Spider Invasion.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. And it is with this episode that the team, struggling to manage their workload as they began working on “MST3K: The Movie,” added “additional contributing writers” Bill Corbett and Drew Jansen.
• Fave riff: “It’s Dworkinfest ’78!” Honorable mention: “Show him the wiener.”

Episode guide: 623- The Amazing Transparent Man (with short: ‘The Days of Our Years’)

Last modified on 2017-02-16 15:04:53 GMT. 99 comments. Top.

623s

Short: (1955) A minister urges railroad workers to stop selfishly getting injured on the job.
Movie: (1959) A mad scientist makes an escaped convict invisible so he can steal radioactive material, but he would rather rob banks instead.

First shown: 3/18/95
Opening: Crow is Tom’s science project
Intro: At Auntie McFrank’s bed and breakfast, Dr. F. demands that M&TB provide some “local color” — and soon regrets it
Host segment 1: Crow learns about “gentle pressure,” but doesn’t practice it
Host segment 2: Frank misses out on “Squanto”
Host segment 3: Mike gets caught playing Rick Wakeman
End: Answering the film’s question, transparent letter, in Deep 13 Frank is still Auntie McFrank
Stinger: Petting the invisible guinea pig
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• In terms of the host segments, this episode feels like the opposite of last week, where the segments were kind of blah. These are mostly inspired. The short is a classic, with very good riffing. The riffing feels like it falls off a bit during the main feature, but it definitely has its moments.
• This episode is not yet available on DVD.
• We begin with a hilarious opening, one that feels very season-fivey, then move on to the legendary B&B segment, as Dr. F asks M&tB for help and very quickly wishes he hadn’t. Trace and Frank are hilarious. And watch Mike: He never blinks.
• Dr. F does not mention the short in his introduction. Not sure he’s ever done that before.
• I loved the “Plan 9” reference. The shot is remarkably similar.
• Callback: “Flag on the Moon.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: Bulletin board, beaker, book, film canister.
• “Gentle pressure” became an immediate catchphrase.
• Interesting commercials on my copy (from the debut): a commercial for their “Little Gold Statue special” and one for “Duckman” on USA.
• Annoying commercial: The “Etiem!” commercial in which the couple, lost in a foreign country, follows a little boy who seems to be saying “etiem!” Turns out he’s taking them to an ATM–they’re saved. Cute the first time, annoying after several viewings. Also: there was one of CC’s “Just say No-J” spots. Good times, good times…
• Segment 3 is random, but very funny.
• Then current reference: the now-largely forgotten movie Squanto, A Warrior’s Tale.
• Although this probably wasn’t his favorite movie, the movie’s director, Edgar G. Ulmer, is well respected in some circles.
• Cast and crew roundup: special effects guy Roger George also worked on “The Human Duplicators.” Special effects guy Howard A. Anderson also worked in “Women of the Prehistoric Planet,” “King Dinosaur,” “12 to the Moon” and “It Lives By Night.” Makeup guy Jack Pierce also worked on “The Brute Man.” Assistant director Leonard Shapiro also worked on “Project Moon Base” and “Bloodlust.” Set designer Louise Caldwell also worked on “Giant Gila Monster” and “Killer Shrews.” Sound guy Earl Snyder also worked on “Giant Gila Monster,” “Killer Shrews” and “The Crawling Hand.”
In front of the camera: James Griffith was also in “Manhunt in Space.” Edward Erwin was also in “Ring of Terror.” Jonathan Ledford was also in “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.”
• Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Additional contributing writers: Ben Bakken, Bill Corbett and Drew Jansen.
• Fave riff from the short: “Get out of my head, Reverend!!!” Honorable mention: “Obey the toaster!”
• Fave riff: “Here. These’ll blow your mind.” Honorable mention: “Doc, that’s not his wrist!”

Episode guide: 624- Samson vs. The Vampire Women

Last modified on 2017-02-23 15:02:00 GMT. 118 comments. Top.

Movie: (1961) Masked wrestler El Santo battles vampire women who believe a young woman destined to become their queen.

First shown: 3/25/95
Opening: A moment of silence
Intro: Frank enjoys some Chinese food, Dr. F not so much; on the SOL the food is confounding
Host segment 1: While playing Stratego, Crow gets a sign
Host segment 2: Torgo the White arrives to take Frank to Second Banana Heaven
Host segment 3: Song: “Who will I kill?”
End: The ‘Bots read their letters to Frank, who visits Dr. F. and pushes the button one last time
Stinger: “Chief, I saw two corpses in the garden.”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (224 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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• And so we come to the end of another era of MST3K. This is the last episode of the fourth consecutive 24-episode season, and pretty much the end of four years of job security for everybody at Best Brains. And of course, it is our bittersweet goodbye to Frank, which in turn is a harbinger of Trace’s farewell to come. It was about this time, March of ’95, I began regularly checking in with Julie Walker with questions like “so, season seven starts in June, right? July?…August??” She didn’t know, and nobody was giving it much thought, because they were headed into movie making. “MST3K: The Movie” had been greenlighted, and it was taking up everybody’s time. It would only be later in the year that the ominous silence from Comedy Central began to be recognized.
• Overall, the episode itself is in the “good-not-great” area for me. The host segments are historic, and very funny. The movie is kind of a cross between “Aztec Mummy” and “Racket Girls,” for better or worse. Last time, I thought the riffing was only so-so, but I have to say that I laughed quite a bit this time so I think I need readjust my rating upwards.
• This episode appears in “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXIV.”
The references.
• The “moment of silence” opening is appropriate and great fun. It’s one of those bits where the idea is simple, but the execution is what makes it work.
• I love when they cut to Deep 13 in the intro and Frank takes a breath to say something, but never gets to say it.
• Lo mein seems to have been on somebody’s mind–Auntie McFrank served it last episode.
• Dr. F’s fortune is very accurate.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers (which seem to have been freshly shot for this episode): Film canister, book, bulletin board.
• One of the most blatant LOTR references ever on this show is the appearance of Torgo (again played by Mike), but not Torgo as we knew him but Torgo “the White.” “Yes, that was the name,” he mutters.
• Callback: “…and a good friend.” (Rocketship XM)
• Trace does a terrific job with the song, but a little pitchy, dawg.
• While in general I love the song, I have to say that the imagery evoked in the line “No cute tummy to drill” is a little off-putting.
• Frank departs with the wonderful “Wave your freak flag high!” speech and a final “Eyukgaee!”–the strange guttural sound he popularized back in season two, but hadn’t really used in a few seasons.
• Cast and crew roundup: Producer Luis Garcia DeLeon also worked on “Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy.” American producer K. Gordon Murray also worked on “Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy” and “Santa Claus.” American director Manuel San Fernando also worked on “Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy.”
• Creditswatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. Additional contributing writers: Bill Corbett and Drew Jansen. Of course, the music for “Who Will I Kill?” was written by Mike, but I never noticed before: the lyrics were written by Bridget Jones!
There were also some farewells with this episode: The were shutting the show down for a while, and people were either departing or heading to the movie studio. It was Tim Paulson’s last show as editor. This was also the last show for post production coordinators Jann L. Johnson and Ellen McDonough Thomas, both of whom had been with the show for years. And finally, interns Wendell Andersson, Michael D. Parker and Sarah Swanson also worked on their last show.
• Fave riff: “Fiends are visiting from Europe.” Honorable mention: “He’s got a full acre of area!”

Next week we will do “MST3K: The Movie” and from there will go on to Season 7.


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