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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives

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

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 1101- Reptilicus

Last modified on 2018-04-12 23:36:29 GMT. 226 comments. Top.

Movie: (1961) When Danish scientists discover a piece of an ancient dinosaur, they dig it up and inadvertantly bring it back to life.

Opening: Jonah Heston, a space trucker/rebellious Renaissance man, returning to Gizmonic Institute with a load of meteors, receives a phony distress call from Moon Base 13 on the dark side of the moon. Jettisoning his load, he lands and is immediately captured and brought to the underground lair of Kinga Forrester, daughter of Clayton Forrester, granddaughter of Pearl Forrester. With her is her chief henchman, who calls himself TV’s Son of TV’s Frank, but whom everyone just calls Max. Kinga announces that she is restarting her family’s greatest experiment, Mystery Science Theater 3000
Intro: Jonah introduces Tom and Crow and demonstrates Gypsy’s new voice and flying rig. Also Tom can FLYYYY … but only in theater. Crow wants an improvement. Kinga introduces herself, Max does as well, and then explains the premise. Jonah shows off his invention: a bubble fan. Kinga introduces the movie
Segment 1: Jonah & the bots sing “Every Country Has a Monster”
Segment 2: Tom Servo clones himself
Segment 3: Jonah reads letters
Closing: Jonah creates a tiny Copenhagen for Gypsy to destroy; Kinga is not impressed
Stinger: Petersen gets nutzoid
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• The new door sequence, as near as I can tell is:
6—Laundry room
3— Bedroom
1—Workshop (aka “the fab lab”)
• For the record, MSTies had to wait 6,424 days since the debut of episode 1003- MERLIN’S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS for the arrival of season 11.
• The new lyrics to the theme song (please correct if I have something wrong:
Har Mar Superstar: In the not-too-distant future, Next Sunday A.D.
There was a guy named Jonah, Not too different from you or me
He worked at Gizmonic Institute, Just another mug in a yellow jump suit
A distress call came in for him at half past noon
That’s when an evil woman trapped him on the dark side of the moon.
[Kinga] I’ll send him cheesy movies, the worst I can find
He’ll have to sit and watch them all and I’ll monitor his mind
Now keep in mind that Jonah can’t control when the movies begin or end
So he’ll have to keep his sanity with the help of his robot friends
Cambot, Gypsy, Tom Servo Crowwww
[Har Mar Superstar] If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes and other science facts
Just repeat to yourself: “It’s just a show, I should really just relax”
for Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Other thoughts and observations
“Turn down your lights (where applicable) returns. The previous episode to have was episode 402- THE GIANT GILA MONSTER, from June of 1992.
• That’s Erin Gray and Will Wheaton as the Gizmocrats. A lot of people saw that opening and wondered if it was going to be a regular thing. It wasn’t. Just a one-off. Thanks to Erin and Will for doing it.
• The little device that taps into Jonah’s ship plays a little mechanical version of the theme song, and Jonah says it “sounds familiar.”
• The little Gizmonic Institute flyover is very much in the style of the old miniature set pieces.
• The giant clown hammer, too, looks very familiar.
• When the doors slide open on Moon Base 13, it is the complete antithesis of the old Deep 13. Deep 13 was a lonely, quiet place with few inhabitants. Jonah walks in one what could be a rave: a full band in mid-song and plenty of henchman to send him on his way.
• It appears that the old Umbilicus has been re-attached to the SOL — interesting that something from post season 5 would appear. Somewhere Mike is smiling.
• Robot roll call is also quite different: No little sayings. Cambot is always shown on Jonah, Gypsy enters from the right, Tom enters from the left and Crow leaps up onto Jonah’s back.
• Joel plays “Ardy,” the “movie in the hole” guy. The whole liquid video thing he controls is a bit baffling to me.
• The riffing begins slowly but eventually picks up steam.
• This movie was cut quite a bit—in fact there were TWO songs, both of which were cut. This one and this one.
• The Carvel ice cream jokes seem overdone to me. There, I said it. I’d say it again if I had to.
• Callbacks: “I’m squishy” (Young Man’s Fancy), Killer Shrews were mentioned.
• At one point there’s a bit of a drum beat in theater when Jonah does a riff on “Monster Mash.” A bit of a departure…
• The only Trump reference I caught: “Yooge! Yooge!”
• I guess all the coverage of the relaunch led to the arrival of letters, even before the show had arrived on Netflix.
• Isn’t it nice to have Rebecca (the new voice of Gypsy) there for harmonizing purposes?
• Fave riff: “How about Reportacus Shutupacus?” Honorable mention: “It’s just a sign that says ‘Made you look’!” and “…not even attempting to get a job.”

Episode Guide: 1102- Cry Wilderness

Last modified on 2018-06-01 20:39:36 GMT. 208 comments. Top.

Movie: (1987) A young boy, alerted by Bigfoot that his forest ranger father is in peril, travels to the woods to save him.

Opening: Gypsy is working on some overhead wiring and is dropping objects on J&tB. Crow tries to catch one and fails.
Invention exchange: Jonah uses a theramin for Thanksgiving music; the Mads have rotating Carvel Ice Cream characters.
Segment 1: The bots are laughing raccoons and Jonah is a laughing dad
Segment 2: Jonah explains how the movie got made
Segment 3: Brain Guy, Bobo and Pearl visit Kinga and Max
Closing: Crow & Tom, wearing a Red Hawk disguise, try to trick Max into giving them the keys to Jonah’s ship.
Stinger: Big game hunter guy chows down.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• Jonah explains that he is required to act out the show open each time. I have to say I don’t really get it, but then I don’t really get the whole “liquid video” thing.
• This episode features the first appearance of Rebecca Hanson as Synthia, the clone of Pearl. She was a big hit during the 2017 live tour.
• Interesting riff: “This looks like a state park.” In the ACEG, Mary Jo denigrated this very type of riff. Did Joel and the writing team know that?
• There is a long quiet space of no riffing during Red Hawk’s monolog
• Increasingly obscure riff: “I also have dental practice in Minnesota.”
• Callbacks: “Rowsdower?” (Final Sacrifice), a mention of an interociter (This Island Earth).
• This film shares a writer and several cast members with the 1977 Brigham Young biopic “Brigham.”
• The film was Jay Schlossberg-Cohen’s only full feature. According to his website, he once served as director of the Maryland Film Commission and now works as a fine artist.
• Puppeteer Grant Baciocco shared a story about a connection to Cry Wilderness on the MST3K Discussion Board:
“When we were filming this, I instantly realized that the cinematographer listed in the credits lived upstairs from me in my first apartment. By chance, I saw him walking down the street a couple months ago and told him they’d be riffing this film and he flipped out. He said, “I didn’t think anybody remembered that film.” He said it was the first project he worked on in Hollywood and the whole crew thought that the director was going to be the next Spielberg … until they started filming.
Grant also revealed he was Kevin’s virtual hands in the grooming of Patton.
• Fave riff: “Wikipedia, the print edition, at last.” Honorable mention: “Let’s head out to supercuts, son. I’m buyin.’”

Episode Guide: 1103- The Time Travelers

Last modified on 2018-04-28 02:35:46 GMT. 113 comments. Top.

Movie: (1964) A group of scientists create a portal that takes them to a barren, mutant-inhabited Earth.

Opening: J&tB are playing a game of “Never Did I Ever”
Invention exchange: Crow has Dr. Crow’s Old Edible Silica Packets; The Mads have the Afterlife Alert
Segment 1: Gypsy leads a time portal safety drill
Segment 2: Jonah introduces some new robots. Crow and Tom hogpile them
Segment 3: Dr. Varno and Larry visit on Rocket Number 9
Closing: The bots are delighted to have time travel dopplegangers; Kinga is seeking anniversary dollars
Stinger: Danny is diggin’ it.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• To me, it’s with this episode that everything seems to fall into place after a couple of episodes that were cute and clever and diverting but not really ha-ha funny. I laughed a lot during this one.
• Note that Max is wearing an amulet on a chain around his neck that looks like the one the little kid wore in the previous episode.
• This movie was made in an interesting era when the writers knew what lasers were, but the actors still didn’t know how to pronounce them.
• Tom pushing the rocket up is probably the best use so far of his flying abilities
• Callbacks: mention of an interociter (“This Island Earth”), “It stinks!” (Pod People).
• With Joel in segment 3 is show writer Elliott Kalan. A very funny guy but, this was not his best performance. More wry than funny, though Joel’s takes to the camera almost save it.
• An interesting tidbit: director Ib Melchior (who co-wrote the movie in episode 1101- REPTILICUS) came up with a comic book series, “Space Family Robinson,” which Melchior believed was the inspiration for “Lost in Space.” Considering that Joel took his character’s surname of Joel Robinson, it’s reasonable to think Ib might have had an influence (consciously or unconsciously) on MST3K’s first test subject’s name.
• This movie was produced by Samuel Z Arkoff, whose other riffed films include “I Was a Teenage Werewolf,” “The Amazing Colossal Man,” “Viking Women,” “War of The Colossal Beast,” “ She-Creature,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Terror from the Year 5000,” “It Conquered the World” and “Viking Women.”
• Cast and crew roundup: Merry Anders was in “Women of the Prehistoric Planet.” John Hoyt was in “Lost Continent.” Forrest Ackerman also appeared in a “Future War.” Steve Franken was in “Avalanche.” Makeup artist Marc Snegoff was also the makeup artist in “Agent of H.A.R.M” and “Catalina Caper” (which he also acted in). Script supervisor Hannah Sheel was also the script supervisor on “The Bat People.” Reynold Brown did the poster art for “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die,” “Teenage Cave Man,” “Viking Women,” “I Was A Teenage Werewolf, “Revenge of the Creature” and “This Island Earth.”
• Fave riff: “And which part of the human centipede do YOU want to be?” Honorable mention: “Bechdel test score: zero” and “I have a slinky and a Dilbert calendar.”

Episode guide: 1104- Avalanche

Last modified on 2018-06-01 20:41:07 GMT. 134 comments. Top.

Movie: (1978) Vacationers at a winter resort struggle to survive after an avalanche hits.

Opening: Crow and Tom are working on their “Mad Bots” script
Invention exchange: Ardy in Moon 14 has some concerns; J&tB have the mouth vacuum; the Mads have the Don La Font-aine 3000
Segment 1: Crow and Tom are impressed with Rock Hudson’s romantic moves. Jonah tries to talk them down
Segment 2: As J&tB play Marco Polo, Neville La Roy visits and he and Kinga sing “Our Love Is on Wings (You Can’t See)”
Segment 3: J&TB decry deliberately stupid hybrid B-movies
Closing: Night club singer Gypsy sings a wintry medly
Stinger: Collateral avalanche damage
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• Several new things in this ep: Joel as Ardy in Moon 14 (other than saying “movie in the hole!”) and the first mention of Kingachrome.
• Movie thoughts: Did Rock and Mia just assume there would be chemistry and not even try to create it? Also interesting and vaguely related: J&tB carefully avoided any riffs on Rock’s, um, lifestyle.
• Jonah’s invention triggered my gag reflex.
• Steve Franken in two out of the first four movies? What are the odds?
• In the theater, Crow and Tom control drones which carefully block the naughty bits of a naked lady, similar to the umbrella bit in episode 403- CITY LIMITS.
• Also in the theater J&tB produce cymbals.
• As the helicopter flies in, they do a M*A*S*H-style description of the movie, one that is taken WORD FOR WORD from the synopsis in the IMDB. I know because I also stole MY synopsis, above, from there, but I rewrote mine a little.
• Neil Patrick Harris pops up out of the blue in a sort of “Dr. Horrible” reunion with Felicia Day. The lyrics by Joel, Elliott Kalan and Robert Lopez. The music is by Robert Lopez, arranged and produced by Stephen Oremus.
• Interesting “Simpsons” reference: “Feels like I’m wearing’ nothin’ at all! Nothin’s at all!” How many Simpsons references were on MST3K, even though “The Simpsons” referenced MST3K several times?
• The credits do not say who wrote Gypsy’s song, so I am guessing it was another great song from Paul and Storm.
• What sort of musical instrument in Jonah playing during Gypsy’s song?
• The TripAdvisor bit is very funny.
• Callback: “We want to hear California Lady!” (Track of the Moon Beast).
• Phrases from the legacy show: “Commercial sign,” “He died as he lived…” and “You look at it, I’m bitter.”
• Cast and crew round-up: As noted, Steve Franken was also in “The Time Travelers.” Stuntman Freddie Hice also did stunts for “Alien from LA.” Behind the camera, producer Paul Rapp was assistant director on “High School Big Shot.” Producer Roger Corman’s other riffed films include “Gunslinger,” “It Conquered the World,” “The Undead,” “Viking Women,” “Teenage Cave Man,” “Swamp Diamonds” and “The Sword and the Dragon.” Editor Larry Bock also edited “Final Justice,” in which he also had a cameo as a drunk. Production designer Sharon Compton was an actress in “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II.” Special effects artist Roger George also did special effects on “The Human Duplicators” and “The Amazing Transparent Man.” Script supervisor Sandy King also supervised the script for “The Incredible Melting Man.”
• Fave riff: “1978, you have so many crimes to answer for.” Honorable mention: “o/` Rock rock rock rock rock ’n’ roll search team. o/`”

Episode guide: 1105- The Beast of Hollow Mountain

Last modified on 2018-06-01 20:42:27 GMT. 120 comments. Top.

Movie: (1956) An American cowboy living in Mexico discovers his cattle are being eaten by something, and eventually he finds out what it is.

Opening: Painting day on the SOL
Invention exchange: Jonah has the Disco Cannon; Kinga asks “What if the Titanic had hot water?”
Segment 1: Tom and Crow describe their ideal monster movies
Segment 2: Tom unveils his new fashion line, “The style of Hollow Mountain”
Segment 3: Tom and Crow are festival creatures making Jonah and the Mads increasingly distraught
Closing: How movies would be improved if characters were eaten by dinosaurs
Stinger: Sarita speaks softly and throws a big stick
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• This one was pretty good. I laughed a lot. The movie is one of those incredibly stupid but watchable bits of nonsense and the riffing and host segments are generally where they should be. The festival creatures sketch is a riot.
• Callbacks: “Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah!), “This is where the fish lives” (The Touch of Satan).
• Speaking of callbacks, what about “milling about”—a phrase used during season one to describe a Mexican town? Did Joel resurrect that one?
• Many many years ago, in the early days of the web, I stumbled upon a homemade site that celebrated (a little too much, it seemed to me) movie characters caught in quicksand. I forget if this one was included, but it should have been.
• Crow makes a reference to “special parts.”
• I love the running gag of Margaritathe maid dashing off to see her favorite TV show
• Crow sings a version of the theme song. Tom says “Meta!!”
• Cast and crew roundup: Co-director Edward Nassau supervised the dinosaur sequences in “The Lost Continent.” Producer Edward Nassour was animation supervisor on that movie as well. Willis O’Brien, who did design work, worked on “The Black Scorpion.” Writer Willis H. O’Brien was supervisor of special effects for “The Black Scorpion.” Margarito Luna was a crane operator for “The Black Scorpion.” Composer Raul Lavista was musical director on “Samson vs. the Vampire Women. Visual effects artist Jack Rabin was special photographic effects creator for “The Saga of the Viking Women,” “Rocketship X-M” and “Invasion USA.”
In front of the camera, Mario Navarro, Pascual Garcia Pena, Roberto Contreras were in “The Black Scorpion.” Guillermo Hernandez was in “The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy” and “Samson vs the Vampire Women.” Margarito Luna was in “Samson vs the Vampire Women.”
• Fave riff: “Has anyone seen my accent” Honorable mention: “I mind! Get this gringo off me!”

Episode Guide: 1106- Starcrash

Last modified on 2018-06-01 20:44:56 GMT. 144 comments. Top.

Movie: (1978) An outlaw smuggler and her alien companion are recruited by the Emperor of the Galaxy to rescue his son and destroy a secret weapon owned by the evil Count Zarth Arn.

Opening: J&B are playing spin-the-bottle
Invention exchange: Kinga takes the salsa-filled sombrero to the next level with the Band-Eat-O; Jonah has BB-Servo
Segment 1: Crow has a new screenplay: “World War Space”
Segment 2: Jonah becomes Ackton and the bots are impressed
Segment 3: Venture capitalist Freak Masterstroke visits
Closing: J&tB are playing Starcrash and the Torpedo Sketch
Stinger: Acton is pleased
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• I liked this one a lot, and I laughed almost continuously. Amazingly, this was the first time I’d ever seen this movie (many of the commenters seemed INTIMATELY familiar with it). It is a painfully obvious observation but … what a dumb and completely incoherent movie.
• Great song in the theater: “A Stranger’s UFO.”
• Callbacks: “Chili peppers burned his gut.” (Sidehackers); crappy effects are powerless against me (Prince of Space ), “Pumaman?”
• A notable comment/question on Twitter: No riffs about Marjoe Gortner? Do they not know who Marjoe was? A good question.
• I guess the big news for this one is Seinfeld’s appearance. Joel really called in some favors with the stunt casting. And this one, while a bit random, works. The performance: GOLD, Jerry! GOLD!
• The many names of the spaceships would be a great Ward E list.
• Patton says: “It’s moon o’clock and 200 degrees below zero.” Is that a KTMA reference?
• Two PG-rated moments for this usually G-rated show: “Well, I DID just save you…” and the use of the term “titty-twister.”
• Jonah removes Tom’s head in the theater when he won’t stop the spaceship names.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director Luigi Cozzi did the story for “Devil Fish.” Caroline Munro was also in “At the Earth’s Core” (later this season). Omero Capanna was also in “The Pumaman.” Behind the camera: Cinematographer Paul Beeson was director of photography for “Moon Zero Two.” Assistant director Goffredo Unger was an actor in “Devil Fish” and “Hercules Against the Moonmen.” Special effects director Germano Natali also did special effects for “Devil Fish.
• Fave riff: “That’s the thing about this movie: it’s not afraid to take its time to aggravate you.” Honorable mention: “That’s not the part I would have started with, but yeah go ahead.”

Episode guide: 1107- The Land that Time Forgot

Last modified on 2018-06-01 20:46:04 GMT. 148 comments. Top.

Movie: (1974) During World War I, a German U-boat sinks a British ship and takes the survivors on board. After veering off course, the submarine arrives at the unknown land of Caprona, where the crew finds dinosaurs and neanderthals.

Opening: It’s Gypsy’s birthday!
Invention exchange: J&tB have “M. Night Shyamalan Living” Magazine; then they accuse the Mads of stealing all their inventions
Segment 1: J&tB are playing submarine
Segment 2: The Mads introduce the Moon 14 Mesozoic Ranch Dinosaur BBQ
Segment 3: Crow is worried about turning into a human
Closing: Jonah sends a message in a bottle?
Stinger: Carried off by a pterodactyl
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• This one was diverting, I’ll give you that. The movie is SO odd. And the funny riffs, while not a gusher, flowed steadily. I’d call this one good not great.
• Jonah calls the screen that comes down behind him the “Jet Screen.”
• Apparently the main spot where they cut the movie for time was the third time the sub changed hands, when the Americans regained control of the ship. Ardy says that’s what he’s seeing in the fluid leak.
• Is there a name for that cute little squid? I hope we see more of him.
• Callbacks: “Hikeeba!” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet) was said a couple of times. Also: “He said ‘area,'” a callback to the, I think, Bridget-inspired riffs about “areas.” Also: “Packers!” and “Watch out for snakes!”
• The whole “stop repeating what I say,” gag is a nice running bit.
• “Jingle’s self aware, now it’s doin’ what it wants to…” is a great topper to a bit that had been going on a little long.
• Increasingly obscure riff: When a caveman is shown, they make a car insurance joke, a reference to the nearly-forgotten Geico commercials that got spun off to a short-lived TV show. Also: “Double rainbow!” a reference to once-popular a viral video.
• Cast and crew roundup: Many people involved with this movie were also involved with “At the Earth’s Core,” which I will just call “ATEC.” Doug McClure was also in “ATEC” and “SST- Death Flight.” Keith Baron, Godfrey James and Bobby Parr were all also in “ATEC.” Behind the camera, producer John Dark also produced “ATEC.” Max Rosenberg also produced “ATEC” and “The Incredible Melting Man. Milton Subotsky also produced “ATEC,” editor John Ireland also edited “ATEC” and art director Bert Davey also art directed “ATEC.” Special effects supervisor Derek Meddings also did visual effects for “Revenge of the Mysterious from Mars” and “Invaders from the Deep.” (Hooboy!)
• Fave riff: “Don’t tickle the wall clown!” Honorable mention: “Classic no-look pass.” “It’s Crosby, Crosby, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.”

Episode guide: 1108- The Loves of Hercules

Last modified on 2018-06-04 20:53:05 GMT. 83 comments. Top.

Movie: (1960) Herc gets involved in palace intrigue in the nation of Ecalia.

Opening: J&tB are binge-watching “Wings”
Invention exchange: Tom Servo has the fried turkey dunk tank; the Mads have the Mexican jumping bean beanbag chair
Segment 1: Jonah, tied to a wall, endures People’s Throwing Court
Segment 2: J&tB discuss the political correctness of mythologies
Segment 3: A new robot, M. Waverly, invades J&tB girly Hercules party
Closing: Everybody is vocalizing
Stinger: Here boldly defeats the hydra
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• This one has to take any fan back to the heyday of the show, when Herc was a freqent guest. The blend of classic “sword and sandal” stuff with the whole Jayne Mansfield thing is an odd combination. Still the riffing adds up to another good-not-great outing.
• I have to say, I was struck by the choice of “Wings,” of all the TV shows in the TV show universe. I have, more than once, compared MST3k and it’s loyal following with what I have always assumed is a lack of same for “Wings.” Was I wrong? Is there a deeply devoted “Wings” fanbase out there?
• Love the “ooteeni” cries
• The big news, I guess, is the oh-so-brief appearance of M. Waverly, the first new robot in ages. I think I would have liked him. May he rest in peace. I spoke to Joel on the phone a while back, before this episode aired but after word had leaked out about him. He confessed a certain amusement at fans that quickly glommed on to M. Waverly. “Don’t get too attached,” he said with a chuckle.
• The catapult sketch doesn’t quote work. It’s hard to see what exactly the catapult is throwing.
• We get another state park joke, but this one is funnier.
• I like the phrase “incompetent people trying as hard as they can.” Could that be the perfect description of an MST3K movie?
• Movie observation: Some of the characters call Achilles “Achilles” and some call him “Aculo.” Huh?
• Cast and crew roundup: Giulio Donnini also appeared in “Danger: Diabolik,” “Antonio Gradoli” was also in “Operation Kid Brother,” Cesare Fantoni was also in “Hercules Unchained,” Gianni Loto was also in “Hercules Unchained,” “Lidia Alfonsi was also in “Hercules,” Carolyn de Fonseca dubbed the voice of Queen Samara in “Hercules Against the Moon Men,” America Santarelli was also in “Hercules and the Captive Women.”
Behind the camera: Sandro Continenza also wrote “Hercules and the Captive Women,” cCostume designer Maria Baroni also worked on “Hercules Unchained,” mMusical director Carlo Franci was the composer on “Hercules Against the Moon Men,” Claire Guibert, who dubbed Jayne Mansfield’s voice, also did dub work for Fay Spain on “Hercules and the Captive Women.”
• Callbacks: “Time for go to bed” (“The Unearthly), “Any fruit to declare?” (Warrior of the Lost World).
• Fave riff: “I saw it in the window and just had to have it.” Honorable mention: “Barricade by committee always ends like this,” “I’m gonna give you and your dungeon the worst Yelp review ever! I was barely flogged!” “Oh … you may not want to go in there yet.”

Episode guide: 1109- Yongary Monster From the Deep

Last modified on 2018-06-06 23:29:51 GMT. 147 comments. Top.

Movie: (1967) Earthquakes in Korea turn out to be the work of Yongary, a prehistoric fire-breathing reptile who’s headed for Seoul.

Opening: J&tB are having their weekly dream journal meeting
Invention exchange: J&tB demonstrate their tiny desks; The Mads have Hitler Coffee
Segment 1: J&tB discuss astronauts and the music they like
Segment 2: Tom explains his monster-themed club, Yongary Nights
Segment 3: J&tB discuss what monster they’d like to be friends with
Closing: J&tB and The Mads sing “Push Past the Hurting”
Stinger: Monster a-go-go
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• Capsule!
• A pretty good episode, with lots of great riffing and some mostly decent host segments. This sort of thing is right up their alley.
• The “music the astronauts like” sketch just sort of peters out. Thank goodness for movie sign.
• Another little bit of nomenclature from Max: The thing projecting onto the surface of the moon is called the “Iron Butterfly.”
• J&tB are very musical in the theater this time. Lots of singing.
• Callbacks: “I’m huge!” and “Thunderbirds are go!”
• The song they sing at the end is another great ditty by Paul & Storm.
• There was a bit more chuckling among the riffers in the theater this time. Maybe they just thought it was funnier.
• Cute moment the theater when something that looks eerily like the movie sign light goes off, and triggers Jonah and the bots.
• Movie question: What happened to the U.N. experts that were supposedly coming? Did they ever arrive?
• Cast and crew roundup: Just one this time: Macao Yagi, who built Godzilla and Gamera’s suits, supervised the construction of the Yongary suit.
• Fave riff: “I’M UPSIDE DOWWWWWWWN!” Honorable mention: “Everyone grab one thing. Doesn’t matter what the thing is! Just take it!” “Welcome back to Speaking Spectacles. I’m your host, Glasses McFancyHair.”

Episode guide: 1110- Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

Last modified on 2018-06-14 11:11:48 GMT. 138 comments. Top.

Movie: (1985) In a fantasy kingdom, a wizard’s son and a warrior battle an evil wizard.

Opening: Max makes a fascinating discovery
Invention exchange: J&tB have Verbal Smoke Bombs; The Mads have the Sponsor Clock
Segment 1: Reasons Kor got the name “conquerer” and explanations for Kor’s face after killing four guys
Segment 2: Jonah sings “The Magic Inside of You”
Segment 3: J&tB read some viewer mail
Closing: Jonah shows Tom the “Wizards of the Suicide Cave: A Place that Feeds on Fear” play set
Stinger: The bowl explodes
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• The first time I watched this one, I really didn’t like it. The movie is just soooo cheap. But this time through, I found myself laughing quite a bit. I’m definitely upgrading my opinion. But, ugh, this movie.
• The whole mysterious key plot in Moon 13 starts with this episode. I’m not quite sure it works, but, like with this episode, I’m giving it another chance.
• Chris Hardwick has gotta be happy for namecheck.
• One of the things people gripe about with the relaunch is that it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between Tom’s and Crow’s voices. I usually don’t have that problem, but if you wanted to cite a good example of that, look no further than the numerous Cryptkeeper impressions in this episode, which both Tom and Crow seem able to do quite easily and interchangeably.
• There’s no credit for “The Magic Inside of You,” so I have to assume it’s another Paul and Storm gem.
• Callback: “…tampered in God’s domain.” (Bride of the Monster)
• Jonah mentions Dr. F and Frank and Joel and Mike. I know, I know, it’s just a show, but should he know about any of that? Maybe the bots told him?
• No Rowsdower reference? Seemed pretty obvious to me. Maybe they decided it was too obvious?
• Cast and Crew Roundup: Thom Christopher was also in “Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell.” Roger Corman … well, that’s all I need to say.
• Fave riff: “Ralph Maccios assemble!” Honorable mention: “I would face a thousand cyclops brides before I swam through whatever that is.” “Oh they’re showing ‘Little House on the Prairie.’”

Episode guide: 1111- Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II

Last modified on 2018-06-22 13:21:29 GMT. 135 comments. Top.

Movie: (1989) In-name-only sequel to the previous movie. Three kingdoms have been overtaken by three evil lords and only Tyor, a teenage boy with magical powers, can restore peace to the land.

Opening: It’s raining and nobody can go out and play
Invention exchange: J&tB have GIF Notes; the Mads have Punt Bunnies
Segment 1: Dark One’s Renaissance Inn and Grille franchise video
Segment 2: Jonah explains the ’80s wizard comedy craze
Segment 3: Grandma Pearl and crew visit and Kinga’s getting married!
Closing: Jonah suggests good movies to counteract various aspects of a bad movie
Stinger: Tyor gets a popeye arm
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• What’s funny (to me at least) is that this movie feels less cheap than the last one, despite being a sequel. But the story makes even less sense than last week’s movie. The riffing is solid, if not always hilarious. The host segments are hit and miss.
• Great to see Pearl, Brain Guy and Bobo again. I thought this appearance was more relaxed and funny than the last one.
• Grant Baciocco provided the voice of the punt bunny (uncredited).
• I had to look up “eggplant emoji.” I am terminally out of it.
• The segment in which Jonah explains the “’80s wizard comedy craze” seems like a long walk for a very little joke, as Johnny Carson once said.
• I’m guessing, based on Ardy’s mea culpa, that the brief shot in the beginning with people going underwater was longer and involved Carradine battling a sea monster.
• Callbacks: “Time for go to bed!” “The Chicken of Tomorrow.” Also a callback to an earlier season 11 ep: “Use that amulet to contact Big Foot.”
• The setup for the season finale continues, with Kinga dreaming up a wedding scheme.
• Of course, one notable star is Lana Clarkson, who in 2003 was killed by record producer Phil Spector.
• This movie re-uses footage from “Barbarian Queen” (with Lana Clarkson) and “The Warrior and the Sorceress,” (with David Carradine).
• Cast and crew roundup: Director Charles B. Griffith also wrote “The Undead,” “Gunslinger” and “It Conquered the World,” in which he also appeared. Mel Welles also is in “The Undead.” W.T. Zacha was wardrobe supervisor for “The Unearthly.” And we do not need to run through the Roger Corman litany again.
• How many Carradines does this make? Two at least…
• Fave riff: “I’d be more terrified if they both weren’t wearing relaxed-fit Dockers.” Honorable mention: “I’m forming a Stockholm Syndrome situation with David Carradine’s legs.”

Episode Guide: 1112- Carnival Magic

Last modified on 2018-06-27 20:53:43 GMT. 127 comments. Top.

Movie: (1981) A clairvoyant magician and his talking chimp become a carnival sensation.

Opening: Tom is giving a TOM Talk
Invention exchange: Kinga announces her wedding; J&tB have Yeasta Pets; The Mads have Flavor Sweat
Segment 1: Carnival barker Tom presents “Markov & Alexander.”
Segment 2: Highway patrol Tom & Crow exchange cop-code radio calls
Segment 3: PT Mindslap and the Great Space Circus Show visit, but Kinga and Max chase him off
Closing: Kinga and Max narrate the disturbing carnival parade
Stinger: Sad cop sitting on his car gets towed away.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• The first time I saw this, having heard horrible things about it for years, I felt it really lived up to its billing. I wrote: “Just … whew!”
I noted that it reminds me very much of “Carnival of Souls” and I still think so. Both have that “locals hired to act for the first time in their lives” air to them. But I didn’t LOATHE it like some people do, and no way is it the worst movie MST3K ever did. It actually has a stinky charm, like bad meat or good cheese, as the saying goes.
• Clearly the big news for this episode is the appearance of Mark Hamill — he even sings! If you’d told me in 1998 that I would be typing that, I’d have said you were crazy.
• The credits say “The Great Space Circus Show” lyrics were written by Joel, Elliott Kalan and Robert Lopez, and it was arranged and performed by Stephen Oremus.
• “Who’s the guy on the bridge for a moment in segment 3?” many people, including me, asked. The character is actually in the credits as as Matt Claude Van Damme. He’s played by associate producer and writer Matt McGinnis. In the comments, somebody said McGinnis said on Twitter “it’ll be revealed but it’s hush hush, like Gypsy’s payload.” FYI, he’s also a Skeleton Crew cameraman in a later episode.
• One of my problems with the re-launch, especially early on, was the chemistry between Kinga and Max, which I felt was a little awkward. But I have to say they have a nice chemistry in the opening.
• Following last week’s appearance by murdered actress Lana Clarkson, let’s also note that the director of this week’s movie, Al Adamson, was murdered in 1995.
• Cast and crew roundup: Just one: producer Elvin Feltner also produced “Teen-Age Strangler,” another movie with a “locals hired to act for the first time in their lives” air.
• Classic riff: “Put your shoes on, honey, we’re almost at Grandma’s.”
• Callbacks: “Watch Out for Snakes!” (Eegah).
• Fave riff: “Two words: cattle prod.” Honorable mention: “Polov!” “Did he just pitch them a ‘Planet of the Apes’ sequel?”

Episode guide: 1113- The Christmas that Almost Wasn’t

Last modified on 2018-07-05 19:45:52 GMT. 102 comments. Top.

Movie: (1966) Santa has to get a job — as a department store Santa — to earn money to pay his overdue rent bill.

Opening: Jonah wants to sing a Christmas carol, but picks the one song people don’t know the words to
Invention exchange: Kinga still plans to marry Jonah, but Synthia isn’t helping; J&tB have the Re-Gifter; the Mads have “Humbug FM”
Segment 1: J&tB review classic Santa toys
Segment 2: J&tB try to explain the creepy toys
Segment 3: Santa and Baby Whipple visit
Closing: Christmas slide show
Stinger: Hohohohoho, hey Sam, this is fun! Hohoho!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• Overall a pretty good episode, and a nice addition to the stable of MST3K/Rifftrax/Cinematic Titanic Christmas movies to choose from every year.
• There’s a brief reference to the upcoming wedding, and a reminder that Synthia is there. Setting things up for the next episode.
• Instead of a medley of tunes from the legacy series, during the breaks the Skeleton Crew plays its version of “Patrick Swayze Christmas.”
• I love a good running gag. I really do. They can be frustrating, at times, to some viewers, but I think it usually works if the underlying joke is funny. That’s the problem, I think, with the “I’m a baby” running gag (of which there were, by my count, 20 mentions). The original joke just doesn’t land for me. I don’t think he looks at all like a baby. Sorry…
• The scene with the kids pouring out of houses to give Santa money must have felt very familiar to Joel.
• At one point, when it looks like something on the screen is going to explode, the riffers run for their lives…they quickly return.
• The line “fightin’s outta style,” had to have come from Firesign Theatre fan Joel.
• Segment two is a cute idea, hampered by the low-res images from the movie that were shown. A little hard to make out.
• Obscure reference: “Omar comin’!” (Fans of “The Wire” got it.)
• Is it me or were there a noticeably large number of “Dune” references in this one, for some reason?
• I love Joel’s completely offhand Santa. He’s not even trying to do a different voice.
• That was Elliot Kalan as Baby Whipple.
• Actor Salvatore Furnari was also in “Hercules & the Captive Women.” and Rosanno Brazzi played Don Lamanna in “Final Justice.”
• Classic riff: “They’ve created their own Thunderdome.” “Jonah, can’t we get beyond Thunderdome?”
• Fave riff: “You can always tell when a building used to be an i-Hop.” Honorable mention: “Wow this tea kicked in fast!” and “You sure you’re not confusing children with spiders?”

Episode guide: 1114- At the Earth’s Core

Last modified on 2018-07-12 20:15:19 GMT. 94 comments. Top.

Movie: (1976) A Victorian-era scientist and his assistant take a test run in their Iron Mole drilling machine and end up in a strange underground world.

Opening: J&tB are having a pre-nuptial heart-to-heart, but then Jonah introduces Growler
Invention exchange: With nobody coming to her wedding, Kinga turns to the Observer Hive Mind Manager. The bots have permanent temporary tattoos; The Mads have the Rip Taylor urn cannon
Segment 1: Jonah gives the bots a steampunk makeover
Segment 2: Crow’s a Mahar
Segment 3: Doug McClure visits and offers Max some romantic advice
Closing: As the wedding draws near, Pearl, Bobo and Brain Guy appear to give their blessing, but in the midst of the vows, Max has other plans.
Stinger: “He died as he lived…”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• Lots going on in this one. First of all, there’s the movie. This is the second movie this season that was adapted from an Edgar Rice Burroughs story and stars Doug McClure (“Land that Time Forgot” was the other), and this one is even more OUT THERE. And more riffable, I think. The riffing is very solid; I laughed a lot. But the big headlines are in the host segments, with a new bot that did NOT immediately get stomped to bits, another big-name guest star, the return of several legacy-era characters (and performers), a giant crowd and the big question: what happened to Jonah?
• The bots mention Joel and Mike and suggest a combination of the two would be T.J. Miller. Hmmm…
• One thing about the movie: Nobody mentioned a KingaChrome spill but there were two or three very jarring jumps in the action.
• Joel McHale pops up and, just as he did on “The Soup,” he totally commits to the bit. In a season full of guest stars, he held his own.
• I’d love to know who wrote the “smelting” song to go with the opening theme music. It’s very funny.
• So, the first time I was watching this, when the Hive Mind Manager started talking, I’m going: “That voice is SO familiar!” Then all at once it hit me: PAUL! He does a great job and it was great to see him.
• Incidentally, Russ Walko did the very Rowlfy voice of Growler. I could get used to him…
• So, when the monster lunges down at Jonah, the view cuts to a wide shot and it’s unclear if Jonah was eaten, or escaped or something in the middle. I assume season 12 will find him making a miraculous recovery…
• As a kid who grew up in the Philadelphia area, I enjoyed the reference to the giant heart you can climb through at the Franklin Institute. It’s still there!
• Classic riffs: “Gamera is friend to all the children,” “And the crowd goes wild! Yay!” “Climb up to mouth level!” “He died as he lived…” “Football practice!” and a mention of a character’s “area.”
• Callbacks: Pearl sings a few bars of “When Loving Lovers Love.”
• More in-theater beat box fun as J&tB go all “Ballroom Blitz.”
• Nice visual riff: a “Fantasia” riff with Tom in Mickey ears.
• The Observer wedding guests were: Patricia Adams, Mike Aronow, Kyle Bacon, Jordan Brown, Andrew R. Brunner, Nick Carlson, John Cookson, Jason D’itri, Larry Dunn, Zachary A. Forsyth, Tony Goggin, Dave Goldblatt, Spencer Goldrich, Jonathan Gorbach, Laura Gorbach, Ike Haldan, Jason Kirk Harder, Larry Hastings, Jeff Hill, Adam King, Darcy Madi, Guillermo Martinez, Juan Martinez, Colin McRavey, Andrew M. Minoff, Amber Oliver, Paul Denver Reynolds IV, Kathryn Rice, Joe Sherman and Ben Tobin. This beats the number of people in the pancake breakfast host segment in episode 913- QUEST OF THE DELTA KNIGHTS.
• Cast and crew roundup: Since so many of these are for “Land that Time Forgot,” I will call it LTTF. Doug McClure was also in LTTF and SST- Death Flight. Caroline Munro was also in “Starcrash.” Keith Baron, Godfrey James and Bobby Parr were in LTTF.
Behind the camera: Director Kevin Connor also directed LTTF. Producers John Dark and Milton Subotsky also produced LTTF. Max Rosenberg also produced LTTF and “The Incredible Melting Man.” Editors John Ireland and Barry Peters also edited LTTF. Art director Bert Davey also art directed LTTF. Cy Grant did voice work on “Revenge of the Mysterons.” Cinematographer Alan Hume was also cinematographer on LTTF. Production designer Maurice Carter was also production designer on LTTF.
• Fave riff: “I dreamt I as a protocol droid.” Honorable mention: “Back to the warehouse!” and “This Petco adoption day is now what I thought it was gonna be.”

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