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

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SEASON TWELVE, “The Gauntlet:” NETFLIX, 2018

Episode guide: 1201- Mac and Me

Last modified on 2019-10-26 01:18:25 GMT. 77 comments. Top.

Okay, off we go with :::makes gesture::: The Gauntlet.

Intro: Joel, ever the trend spotter, picks up on the “binge watching” zeitgeist and offers us fewer episodes than last season, and instead gives us shows that blend into on another and become one giant riff. Let’s begin.

Movie: (1988) In this blatant ripoff of E.T. filled with shameless product placement, a family of aliens is transported to Earth, much to the surprise of a newly arrived California family.

Opening: The bots have rigged “Back Up Travel Cambot” to a pneumatic system. Jonah, feared dead at the end of last season, is alive! And nobody cares to hear about his miraculous escape. From Moon 13, Max and Kinga introduce the “Gauntlet” concept.

Invention exchange: The Mads have created a smartness drug with terrible side effects. J&tB have created a cross between Spam and Pez, Spez.

Segment 1: Jonah tries to communicate by whistling. Max and Synthia and Crow and Tom try their best.

Segment 2: Crow and Jonah and Gypsy present a birthday party at McDonah’s. Kinga and Max try to join in.

Closing: J&tB are complaining when all three are sucked up and deposited in Moon 13. The Mads need Jonah to create six more holes for film canisters.

Stinger: The alien family goes shopping.

The new normal: Two internal host segments instead of three. For the first time, Crow and Tom get sucked up in the vacuum tubes.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 3.78 out of 5)


• We used to do a regular item in the ep guides called “CreditsWatch.” It was created when there were a total of a couple dozen employees at BBI and the end-of-the-show credits lasted about 30 seconds. Maintaining that feature now would be a full-time job, because each credit list contains HUNDREDS of people and goes on for several minutes.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad the show is providing work and paychecks for lots of hard-working and creative people, but you have to admit, of all the changes the show has undergone since it was acquired by ShoutFactory, the sheer population of the cast and crew is the most dramatic.
In fact, I have a challenge for anybody who wants to take it on: compile me a list, for every S11 and 12 ep, of every person in the credits who has the word “producer” in his or her title. Each ep appears to have DOZENS. In SKYDIVERS, there’s a riff during the movie’s credits that it’s a “I can’t pay you but I’ll put your name in the credits” credit list. Thanks to Kickstarter, these shows have a “I CAN pay you and in the credits you’ll be a producer” credits lists.
Not a criticism, just an observation.
• There’s a good deal of manhandling going on between Kinga and Max, but they also seem to have become a little more equal.
• When word got out that “Mac and Me” was to be riffed, I was amazed at the fan reaction. Sure, I’d suffered through it before, but I mostly remembered that it was stupid. But for a lot of MSTies, it was like they woke up on Christmas morning to the exact thing that they had asked Santa for.
• “Flush them the movie,” Kinga says. That’s new.
• This movie gave us an already-familiar catchphrase: “Pretty nice!”
• The product placement is relentless. Coke pops up early, McDonalds a little later.
• Naughty riff: Spiderman me, mom.”
• Callbacks: Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah.) McCloud! (Pod People.)
• Whoa, slam on Jugaloes outa nowhere!
• One of the movie’s strangest moments: the doctor, without consulting the mom, gives Eric a bottle of sedatives.
• Eden Prairie gets a shout out.
• A minor detail about the movie: It features the first professional performance by Jennifer Anniston. She was an uncredited crowd member and made $400, she says in this brief interview.
• Cast and crew roundup: Cinematographer Nick McClean was the assistant camera man on THE TOUCH OF SATAN. Production illustrator Mentor Huebnor was production illustrator for “Marooned,” which was riffed on MST3K as SPACE TRAVELERS.Sound editor Frank McKelvey was the composer of THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK II. Re-recording mixer Don Digirolamo was stereo sound consultant on STARCRASH.
• Fave riff: “I wanna see the movie this composer THOUGHT he was scoring.” Honorable mention: “This is like a Pixar movie, in that exists and has a title.”

Episode guide: 1202- Atlantic Rim

Last modified on 2019-10-31 18:21:12 GMT. 74 comments. Top.

Movie: (2013): When giant monsters crawl out of the Atlantic Ocean and attack the Eastern Seaboard, the U.S. government is forced to trust a trio of mischievous soldiers who specialize in piloting gigantic robots, to defend America.

Opening: Intruder alert at Gizmonic Institute! Meanwhile, in the invention exchange, Growler helps out as J&tB show off their inflatable air dancer organ. Max demonstrates “supposi-stories.”

Segment 1: With the bots dressed in mech suits, the Mads demand a new song in the spirit of “Every Country Has a Monster.” Growler and M. Waverly and Gypsy help with “Get in Your Mech.”

Segment 2: Dressed like they are at an awards dinner, J&tB explain how they got their medals.

Close: Jonah wants to do some day drinking, but the bots suggest they pour out a little — actually kind of a lot.

Stinger: Red tells his tale. Buh-boom!

The New Normal: Growler and M. Waverly, once considered one-hit wonders, are now fixtures, including making regular appearances in the theater.
In pretty much every episode this season, M. Waverly is brought in in Gypsy’s bucket (which the never-explained ‘payload’ was in in season 11). Then he gets out in front of the theater seats, gives a riff and leaves. Growler comes in, riffs and leaves. Near the end, Waverly comes back, does a riff, then gets in the bucket and is taken out of the theater by Gypsy.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 3.78 out of 5)


• I cruised through the comments from the “rough draft” and I want to compliment everybody on their observations and opinions. There was some very thoughtful and even insightful commentary and not a lot of cross-talk and personal back and forth. Kudos.
• I know a bit about old bad movies but I don’t really keep close track of the new bad ones, so while I had heard of “Pacific Rim” and that it was bad (some commenters took issue with that view, but I can’t weigh in because I’ve never seen it), I had not heard of Asylum. But apparently others had, because I recall the announcement that one of theirs was going to be riffed filled some MSTies with trepidation.
• In the rough draft I asked what that “intruder alert” was about? A helpful commenter explained that it was Dr. Erhardt liberating Dr F. and Frank’s ashes? Oh. I should have figured that out. Duh.
• A bonehead (Deanna Rooney, Jonah’s wife btw) helps out Max with invention exchange.
• A bit of self-referencing going on in this episode: At movie sign, J&tB are sining “Patrick Swayze Christmas.” Later Max says: “It stinks! And not in the joke way.” Still later, in the theater, they say a minor character in the movie looks like “Joel Hodgson.”
• The song was another gem from Paul & Storm.
• Callback: “Packers!” (Giant Spider Invasion.)
• Catchphrases: “Bull butter!” and “Buh-boom!”
• Cast and crew roundup (very few this time): Writer Thunder Levin was the still photographer on “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II.” That’s it.
• Fave riff: “This one’s more of a landscaping issue.” “What with the streets clogged with corpses and all…”

Episode guide: 1203- Lords of the Deep

Last modified on 2019-11-06 16:17:59 GMT. 76 comments. Top.

Movie: (1989) The crew members of an undersea laboratory weren’t expecting an attack from the inhabitants of an undiscovered world.

Opening: Jonah is in Moon 13, working on the containment vessel. The boneheads are chasing the Crow and Tom around. Jonah is scooped up and deposited on the SOL.

Invention exchange: J&tB unveil the hand dryer air hockey table. The Mads have invented motion-capture drone probes.

Segment 1: Crow and Tom have invented a goop that causes Jonah to relive shameful memories.

Segment 2: Tom and Crow settle a dispute through rhyme. Meanwhile, Kinga and Max tease a post-movie segment

Closing: After some discussion of the movie by J&tB, we switch to Moon 13, where we meet Donna St. Phibes of the Habitat for B-Movie Monsters. She has brought along a Lord of the Deep.

Stinger: The alien gets friendly.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 3.78 out of 5)


• J&tB have a fanboy conversation about “Dr. Who.”
• The “Trippy Blob” song (which I very much liked) was written by Paul and Storm.
• I believe this is first time in the history of the show that an episode has opened with the host and the bots on the same set as the Mads.
• The Boneheads were played by Tim Ryder, Zach Thompson and Deanna Rooney.
• Yet another self-reference.
• Callback: Buh-boom (Atlantic Rim).
• Cast and crew roundup: In front of the camera: Bradford Dillman did voice work on “The Atomic Brain.” Behind the scenes, writer Howard R. Cohen also wrote “Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell.” Cinematographer Austin McKiney was also cinematographer on “The Skydivers,” production manager on “The Incredibly Stranger Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies” and editor/assistant director/production supervisor on “The Beast of Yucca Flats” and executive producer Roger Corman, well, you know. Quite a few of the crew on this film also worked on “Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II,” including production designer Kathleen B. Cooper, art director Roy Meyers, set decorator Ildiko Toth, assistant director Jonathan Winfrey and prop maker Peter Flynn.
• An interesting sidenote: this ripoff of “The Abyss” feature a few crew members who worked on “The Abyss,” including special effects makeup artist Roy Knyrim, model maker Steve Cotroneo and prop maker Crit Killen.
• Is it me or were there a lot of Seinfeld references in this one?
• Fave riff: “I like my oxygen fat.” Honorable mention: “The ‘excuse me while I get my phone and go into the bathroom for like 10 minutes.’”

Episode guide: 1204- The Day Time Ended

Last modified on 2019-11-17 17:02:44 GMT. 73 comments. Top.

Movie: (1979) An unsuspecting family spend the night at their newly built solar-powered house and are confronted by concepts.

Open: J&tB are still hanging out in Moon 13. Jonah is still at work on the containment vessel and the bots are just making mischief. Max seeks assurances from Jonah, and gets them, giving Max a good feeling.
Back on the SOL, J&tB are having’ a cup o’ joe, while the Mads drink from empty mugs.

Invention exchange: J&tB present the Fortune Meal. Meanwhile, the Mads show off their spray-on mustard gas.

The Mads tell Ardy to flush the movie, but he is busy suiting up Bonesy the dog, so he can go walkies.

Segment 1: J&tB are rugged men of a certain age until interrupted by hill bikers.

Segment 2: Script writers Jonah and Crow get help from Prof. Harold Servo, along with Growler and M. Waverly and, later, Max and Kinga.

Close: J&tB are losing it. Meanwhile, Max & Kinga are visited by Dr. Lawrence Erhardt, who gives them a mission.

Stinger: The little green guy pleases Jenny.

• Callbacks: “Pretty nice.” (Mac and Me). “Bah-boom!” (Atlantic Rim). “Knew your father I did.” (Mr. B Natural). The movie “Avalanche.”
• The great “concepts” song is another winner from Paul & Storm.
• Nice to hear a Flash Bazbo reference.
• Kinga’s mom was Kim Catrall? Of course! (That comment was meant to be sarcastic. There was a bit of a fan grumble by fans who noted that Dr. F never once mentioned Kim and that it was Crow who was in love with her.)
• The voice of Bonesy was the great Ivan Askwith. A commenter says Bonesy previously appeared in the first issue of the comic book series, though he did not talk.
• Cast and crew roundup: This one has many connections to “Laserblast.” Writer J. Larry Carroll was a producer on “Laserblast.” Steve Neill, a producer who was also credited with the original story, did the special effects makeup for “Laserblast” and played an alien. Producer Charles Band also produced “Laserblast.” Producer/director of visual effects Paul Gentry also did the laser effects and still photographer on “Laserblast.” Composer Richard Brand also did the music for “Laserblast. Makeup artist Ve Neil was also makeup artist on “Laserblast.” Sound mixer Joel Goldsmith also did music for “Laserblast.” David W. Allen, who did dimensional animation and was a technical advisor to the special visual effects unit, also did animation effects for “Laserblast.”
Also, director John “Bud” Cardos also directed “Outlaw of Gor.” Property master Michael F. Hoover was also special effects technician on “Cry Wilderness.” In front of the camera, Robert Contreras also appeared in “The Black Scorpion” and “The Beast of Hollow Mountain.
• Fave riff: “Don’t talk to the Lovecraftian obelisk, dear.” Honorable mention: “Uncle Owen, a Star Wars story.”

Episode guide: 1205- KILLER FISH

Last modified on 2019-11-22 21:54:58 GMT. 49 comments. Top.

Movie: (1979) A treacherous gang of jewel thieves attempt to recover treasure from piranha-infested waters.

Opening: As Ardy and Synthia search for “Idiot Control Now” in the files, and Bonesy still wants to go walkies, Max and Kinga find themselves riffing the whole thing.

Invention exchange: J&tB present Alchemy Glue. The Mads unveil the Time Travel Oven.

Segment 1: What fish is attacking the characters?

Segment 2: Jonah has a logic puzzle to figure out how the characters get to shore.

Closing: As the Mads prepare to show the final film, Synthia has at last created the liquid version of “Idiot Control Now.”

Stinger: “That’s it. Laugh it up. It’s art.”

• The Boneheads were Tim Ryder and Zack Thompson.
• This movie has the most big-name stars since SPAVE TRAVELERS.
• MWaverly and Growler join the fun for segment 1, and again as everybody sings “Below the Dam” (by Paul and Storm).
• A fish on a stick appears from the left.
• Growler offers blood sausage
• “Idiot Control Now” has clearly been completely re-recorded with modern audio equipment. Our guess is that Joel decided that the original monaural version from 1991 would not be pleasing to modern ears. Howevver, a commenter suggested that it might be because Kevin’s, Trace’s and Jim’s voices can be heard on the original track.
• Callbacks: Mention of “Avalanche.” Mention of “Reptilicus.” “Paul, your father is in great danger.” (Cry Wilderness.”) “It stinks!” (Pod People). Mention of “Yongary.”
• Cast and crew roundup: Lee Majors was also in the KTMA episode “The Last Chase.” James Franciscus was in KTMA episode “City on Fire” and “Space Travelers.” Gary Collins was also in KTMA episode “Hanger 18.” Behind the scenes, editor Roberto Sterbini also edited “Devil Fish” under the name Bob Wheeler. Second unit director Ignazio Dolce acted in “Hercules and the Captive Women.” assistant director Joe Pollini (credited as Giuseppe Pollini) was the first assistant director on “The Pumaman.”
• Fave riff: “I wonder how they spell “Nyehehheh” in the script.” Honorable mention: “I’m off to stock Hawaii with wolverines.”

Episode guide: 1206- Ator, the Fighting Eagle

Last modified on 2019-12-03 21:37:37 GMT. 67 comments. Top.

Movie: (1982) After his village is destroyed by the Spider King’s forces, a warrior seeks vengeance.

Opening: Synthia has delivered the song to Dr. Erhardt.

Invention exchange: J&tB have come up with the Swiss army cheese wheel. The Mads have created the Totino’s Pizza Roll Popper.

Segment 1: J&tB re-enact Griba’s fighting lessons.

Segment 2: Kiog the bear visits and ends up on Moon 13

Close: J&tB are in Deep 13 and are loaded onto a transport to Earth to begin a live tour. Jonah leaves the last movie capsule with Kinga, instructing her to put it in place. When she does, the entire containment vessel descends into a tunnel leading to … a riffing theater, with “Mr. B Natural” playing.

Stinger: Griba’s rule #2: surprise.

• Josh makes his second appearance this season.
• J&tB sing a verse of a parody of a song from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The authors of the song are not named in the credits.
• The eight bars of “There’s a cut on my hand” was written by Elliott Kalan and Patton Oswalt.
• Kinga breaks the fourth wall with a classic “monologuing” speech.
• The tour bus is called “Deep Hurting.”
• The song “Your Show Stinks,” sung during the credits, was written by Paul & Storm, a song that includes a reference to a “hamdinger.”
• What was the point of MWaverly retrieving his backpack? Will we ever know, or am I missing something?
• Callbacks: How much Keefe is in this movie? (CAVE DWELLERS)
• Cast and crew roundup: director Joe D’Amato also directed “Cave Dwellers.” Gregory Snegoff, who provided the (uncredited) voice for Miles O’ Keeffe in the English language version of this movie, also did so in “Cave Dwellers.” Carolyn De Fonseca, who voiced Indun, also did voices in “Secret Agent Super Dragon,” “The Loves of Hercules” and “Hercules Against the Moon Men.”
In front of the camera: Miles O’Keeffe also portrayed Ator in “Cave Dwellers.” Nello Pazzafini was also in “Danger!! Death Ray” and “Secret Agent Super Dragon.” Bruno Biolotta was also in “Warrior of the Lost World.”
• Fave riff: “Very hard to ignore that man outside being killed by an elephant.” Honorable mentions: “Sir, this is plastic, and I don’t think — okay, see you in a bit,” “And remember, the winner gets to experience unanesthetized childbirth” and “Slippers for cats.”

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