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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: 1001- Soultaker

Last modified on 2018-01-11 00:16:53 GMT. 207 comments. Top.

Movie: (1990) After they are killed in a car wreck, the spirits of some teens try to elude the “soultaker” sent to collect them.

First shown: April 11, 1999
Opening: The bots are confused about why their “wet T-shirt contest” is so dull; commercial sign malfunctions
Intro: The malfunctions on the SOL get worse; nobody in Castle Forrester cares
Host segment 1: With Gypsy malfunctioning, Mike tries to take command, with the expected results
Host segment 2: Everything goes wrong on the SOL; in Castle Forrester a soultaker has appeared–and it’s TV’S FRANK!
Host segment 3: The mysterious visitor who saved the ship appears on the bridge–and it’s JOEL! He fills in the bots on what he’s been up to, and he and Mike share a tender moment
End: Joel’s completes repairs on the SOL, says hi to Frank, and departs with some uplifting words to M&tB; in Castle Forrester, Bobo and Frank hit it off
Stinger: Mom ogles her daughter (ew!).
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• Season 10 begins with a big episode, and it was especially big for Erhardt and me because, well, we were there. More on that in a minute. Personal stuff aside, I have to say this ep is a pretty good one. Legendary host segments, of course, but also a watchable but supremely dumb (and somewhat creepy — and not in a good way) movie and very strong riffing.
• The stretch between the end of season 9 and the beginning of season 10 was 197 days, the fourth-longest amount of time MSTies had to wait between seasons (not counting the time between season 10 and season 11).
• Paul offers his thoughts here.
• References are here. One small mistake is “Frank Booth cam!” which they mishear as “Frank Booth camp.”
• This episode was included in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XIV.
• This season got a new set of theme song lyrics that incorporate the whole Castle Forrester premise.
• Okay, so here’s the story. BBI invited us to attend the taping and, despite that fact that I couldn’t afford it and couldn’t really take time away from work, I dropped everything and got on a plane. Brian was able to get there ahead of me and witnessed the Castle Forrester scenes being taped. I got there after the taping was over for that day. The next day we both got to watch (and then contribute to) the SOL scenes being taped (the theater scenes had also already been done).
• It was my first face-to-face meeting with Joel (we’d exchanged emails, but had never actually met) and he did not disappoint. Brian and I sat down with him in a conference room for a little while and began to pepper him with some really obscure MSTie-level questions about the show, stuff I knew only Joel could answer. I was a little worried he would find this stuff tedious, but he seemed delighted to delve into it. He then went off to read lines with Paul and, as he notes in his ACEG entry, immediately began rewriting his dialog. I never saw a script, so I don’t know what changed, but he later said he was just making the dialog more comfortable for him to say.
• They were getting ready to shoot the first scene, but there was some sort of delay. Apparently somebody hadn’t shown up. Brian and I were milling about on the set when Jeff Stonehouse turned around and looked at us and asked: “Hey would you want to help us out, here?” It was thus that we became “guest interns,” as you can see if you check out the credits at the end of the show. I was given the job of pulling open and pushing closed the right side door at the back of the set (through which Joel entered). Brian was given the job of controlling a studio light and, later, the left side door. I wrote my name on the back of the door (many others already had) and that little scrawl appears in “The Last Dance — Raw.”
• There seems to be more stuff sitting around in Castle Forrester. To send Mike the movie, Observer puts the movie can into what appears to be the same projector used by Dr. F in “MST3K: The Movie.” He never needed to do this before. And in segment two, Bobo dashes away from Frank, only to bonk his head on the same object Dr. F gets bonked with in “MST3K: The Movie.”
• As the first movie sign goes off, Mike heads straight through the doors and is run over by Cambot. My memory from being on the set is that this was not planned — it seemed to be ad-lib, though I suspect it was a little acknowledgment of Joel being there, since Joel did this in several episodes.
• Callbacks: The appearance of Joe Estevez prompts several callbacks to “Werewolf,” including the use of the word “yannaglachi.” Also: “Aren’t you due on the set of ‘Werewolf’?”
• At one point Mike takes Servo to task for reading in the theater. What was Servo reading?
• Here’s a rare opportunity: A chance to argue about which take they used. They did five or six or more takes of each sketch, and the performers made a point of varying their performances and doing their lines a little differently each time, hoping to get something special. Later on, of course, somebody had to choose which of the takes to use. While I agree with the choices for all the other host segments in this episode, I have to say that I would not have used the take of segment 1 they chose. I think they—specifically Mike—did it funnier in a different take. Just my opinion.
• Joel does a terrific job in his segments and seems completely at home, though he and Mike sort of have to crowd in on that little platform. I’ve stood there, and it’s really not a space for two sets of feet.
• Joel gives props to the band Man or Astroman, which have been playing the MST3K theme song as part of their set for a long time.
• A lot of fans (including me) wished this episode could have featured Joel in the theater. And it was talked about. But ultimately Joel wanted to be part of the writing process if he was going to do that, and he just didn’t have the time to devote to that. It’s too bad.
• When Joel said: “I…don’t really want to…” I was standing about 15 feet away in back of the set and his delivery was so perfect I wanted to bust out laughing. Instead I had to walk quickly away to the far end of the room and chortle into my hands as quietly as possible. It’s lucky I didn’t trip over something in the dark!
• Classic line: “Don’t compare yourself, man. It ain’t healthy.”
• Another St. Blaise mention.
• Movie comment: The laws of physics in this movie are really confusing. Even the riffers begin to notice toward the end. The ghost characters seem to be able to manipulate some things but not others. As Servo says, “A 7-iron knocks him cold but a gun does nothing.” Later they’re capable of pressing an elevator button. They also appear to be subject to some sort of gravity, but not enough to get hurt in a fall. It’s confusing.
• Remember gorditas? I was in a Taco Bell not long ago (don’t ask) and they still have them!
• At one point, a little dog appears and Servo says: “Humphrey!”
• Classic theater moment about midway through the show as Crow gets something in his eye just as the nudity appears about to break out. During that bit, Gypsy makes a comment to Crow, which we can hear in the theater. That’s something that’s never happened before.
• Yet another great “talking over the closing credits bit in which the bots take Mike to task for assuming that a rosy future lies ahead for our heroes.
• Cast and crew roundup: Special effects guy Jerry Kitz also worked on “Space Mutiny.” In front of the camera, Joe Estevez was also in “Werewolf” and Robert Z’Dar will be back in “Future War.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. After taking the last two eps of season 9 off, Mary Jo is back on the writing staff for the entire 10th season. Interns Erin F. Erskine and Josh Huschke begin their run of episodes.
• Fave riff: “I’ve just got to write mom out of this story.” Honorable mention: “The movie’s story arc.”

Episode guide: 1002- Girl in Gold Boots

Last modified on 2018-01-18 16:06:57 GMT. 220 comments. Top.

Movie: (1968) A girl from a rural truck stop goes to Los Angeles to work as a go-go dancer, but soon gets involved with drug dealers.

First shown: April 18, 1999
Opening: Crow explains his WWBSMD bracelet; Pearl has evil plans
Intro: More bracelets; Pearl, seeking board certification from the Institute of Mad Scientists, impresses the visiting inspector
Host segment 1: Crow exacts petty, childish revenge on Mike
Host segment 2: Crow is shakin’ his moneymaker, much to Mike’s dismay
Host segment 3: Mike sings in the rain, causing much havoc
End: The movie has caused M&TB dress like the ugly thug in the movie and chuckle; this fails to impress the inspector — but Brain Guy does!
Stinger: “Oh, God, I wish I had that pretty mind back!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• I have to put this one in the “good-not-great” category–despite some excellent riffing and host segments that are more funny than not–and the reason is the movie. This was our only real foray into the grimy, nasty world of director Ted V. Mikels, and once was enough. There are no real protagonists in this greasy little flick. Even Critter, who comes to despise the world he’s landed in, doesn’t seem to be trying very hard to break away. Even the dark and polluted world of “Manos” seems cheerful after this thing. Bleah.
• Paul’s thoughts are here.
• This episode is included in Rhino’s The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4.
• Despite Paul’s concerns about the mad science story arc, this episode’s opening salvo is actually pretty funny. That’s Paul, of course, as the inspector.
• I love the “I want to give you a hump” bit. Bill plays it perfectly.
• Segment 1 works for me, entirely because of Servo, hand over mouth, going “Ohh!”
• It’s amusing (to me, at least) that beer afficianado Mike is drinking Coors. Maybe he thinks it’s only good for pouring onto bicycle seats?
• Host segment callback: “I didn’t mean to turn you on.”
• This print is chopped to shreds, so much so that it actually starts creating riff material, such as when Buz bilocates into a scene. “I’m back!”
• As a longtime fan of, he’s taught me to notice when a movie suddenly becomes an unintentional documentary, as this one does when our trio arrives in 1967 L.A. and they drive around seeing the nighttime sights. I don’t know L.A. well, but I bet folks who do find it fascinating.
• I particularly like Servo’s lyrics about L.A. of that era: “Charles Manson is walkin’ the streets…”
• Speaking of that scene, I’m a collector of weird Christmas songs, and this movie has one: Larry Cartell’s “I’m a Lonely Cowboy Santa.”
• This is another movie that shows a night club with a GIANT space for the floor show. I assure you, real night clubs jammed every table onto the floor they could manage.
• You know that guy who plays Leo? He was married to Judy Garland for two years. I am not kidding.
• I do not want to know what sort of moneymaker Crow is shaking in segment 2.
• I really enjoy Crow’s exuberant dancing in the theater. Note that his arms move a bit!
• The musician who talks to Critter is Chris Howard, the composer of most of the songs in the movie. He seems embarrassed and he should be.
• Segment 3, with Mike singing “Oh, I Am Sad” (music by Mike, lyrics by Paul) as the ship catches fire, is hilarious. And by the way it’s only the first of several fires on the ship this season.
• Whoa! Slam on Lea Thompson outta nowhere!
• There’s a nice moment in the theater when Joanie yells “Get out!” and Crow promptly gets up and leaves.
• The bit in the theater where Mike produces a pool cue and begins playing pool is cute and kinda Joel-esque. Then he says he’s been saving the sight gag eight years. Hmm. Comments like that used to make the a certain faction of this show’s viewers very upset.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director Ted Mikels was also cinematographer for 1967’s “Catalina Caper.” (Makes sense, right?) Sound guy Sam Kopetsky also worked on “Eegah.” (Also follows.) In front of the camera: Jody Daniels was also in “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. Intern Nick Prueher returns for one more episode. Additional photography (whatever that means): Kevin Galligan. Prop assistant: Julia Pratt (in just this one episode–either she didn’t work out or she owned a very special prop).
• Fave riff: “Honey! Way to play the harmonica with your ass!” Honorable mention: “Suddenly I like the Allman Brothers!”

Episode guide: 1003- Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders

Last modified on 2018-01-25 16:02:39 GMT. 193 comments. Top.

Movie: (1995) A grandfather tells his grandson a pair of stories featuring the legendary wizard Merlin.

First shown: September 12, 1999
Opening: M&tB are into 1920s-era college pranks
Intro: Pearl’s latest IMS assignment makes Servo a despotic ruler, briefly
Host segment 1: “Niche reviewers” Crow and Servo review each other
Host segment 2: Servo acquires a magical spell book, which turns Mike into an infant. Waah
Host segment 3: Mike shows off his collection of Ernest Borgnine childrens’ books
End: Bobo is disguised as an evil toy monkey
Stinger: Little kid sings: “Rock ‘n’ roll martian…”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• I’m doing these in episode number order, but in fact this was the last new episode of MST3K shown until season 11 came along. A rights problem developed with the movie, and the episode was put on the shelf for many months, and it was still on the shelf when the series finale aired in August of ’99. Finally, a few weeks later, it was finally cleared and shown. It WAS nice to get one more episode, but watching it was a little weird.
• But taken on its own, and leaving out the context, this one is pretty much in line with the “very good not outstanding” level of work we’d already gotten in the previous two episodes. The riffing is great, most of the segments are at least mildly amusing and this movie is very watchable.
• Mary Jo’s thoughts are here.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 5
• It’s certainly not the first time we got a movie that was in fact two shorter films slammed together (see “Monster A Go Go” or any number of combo TV episodes) but it’s happening here too. The second half, the one involving poor bedeviled David and the evil monkey, was originally a short film called “The Devil’s Gift.” More about it here. The movie the kid is watching is clips from “The Devils’ Gift.”
• Lots of then-current references in this one, including then-household names like Madaleine Albright, Larry “Bud” Melman and Kenneth Starr.
• Segment 1 is great fun. Very well written.
• Obscure reference: “Mona!” It’s a reference to this commercial.
• I’d forgotten about all the many John McEnroe jokes. The guy does look like him. “Grow some hair, son.”
• Segments two and three are low-key and fun but not hugely memorable.
• In joke: “They just got ‘Barb Wire’ at Blockbuster!” The Pam Anderson movie “Barb Wire” came out, produced by the same movie company, as “MST3K: The Movie.” The cast managed to find out that a shortage of funds meant that only one of the two movies was going to get a wide release and plenty of promotion. “Barb Wire” was the horse they backed.
• LOTR reference: Shadowfax
• It’s not like this movie has any shortage of stupid dialog, but the line “You look like a man who likes his trinkets” takes the prize.
• I wonder who’s running Servo in last bit. Probably Patrick.
• The end segment, with Pearl addressing the camera while Bill and Kevin upstage her with a parody of the vacuuming bit from the movie, is very funny.
• Cast and crew roundup: No crew and only one member of the cast: George Milan was also in “War of the Colossal Beast.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike.
• Fave riff: “Remember to believe in magic, or I’ll kill you.” Honorable mention: “Tonight on ‘Old Lady Gets Killed.'”

Episode guide: 1004- Future War

Last modified on 2018-01-31 23:48:51 GMT. 195 comments. Top.

Movie: (1994) A man who was enslaved by aliens escapes to contemporary Los Angeles, where he is hunted by cyborgs using forced-perspective dinosaurs as trackers.

First shown: April 25, 1999
Opening: The bots calculate how many times a lady Gypsy is
Intro: Pearl conducts LSD experiments on the bots
Host segment 1: Tom makes a pair of legs so he can kickbox, but Gypsy has a leg up on him
Host segment 2: M&tB thank Pearl for not killing them, which puts a crimp in her plans
Host segment 3: Droppy the Water Droplet visits
End: Mike has a biiig chin; Pearl explodes Bobo and Brain Guy’s plans for going on the road
Stinger: The future warrior’s shirt is head-butted right off
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• We’re still in a stretch of good-not-great here, seems to me. A mixed bag of host segments, a movie that is simultaneously watchable and incomprehensible and riffing that kind of rises and falls with the movie.
• Mary Jo’s thoughts are here.
• This episode appeared on the MST3K 20th Anniversary Edition, aka Vol. XIII.
• The opening segment is almost a textbook example of an opening bit. It’s apropos of nothing, takes a silly idea and takes it just as far as they should but doesn’t belabor it. Witty, fun and it’s over.
• The intro segment isn’t a laugh-riot, but Brain Guy and Bobo are hilarious.
• Filmmaker Dave Eddy revealed that this is another movie that kind of collapsed halfway through production and got taken over by another director (him). The original director, Tony Doublin, was battling with the movie’s producer, who felt the fight and action scenes weren’t being done correctly. (He might have been right!) Ultimately Doublin quit and Eddy and his team (dubbed the “Damage Control Unit”) was hired to salvage the movie as best they could. This is the result.
• He also noted that, while they did so, he and some of the crew remarked that it would be great if some day their movie would show up on “Mystery Science Theater 3000”!
• Then-current reference: Kim Wilde. Yes, I know she was actually popular in the ’80s, but at least in ’98-’99 people still remembered who she was!
• The characters cuss a few times and Sci-Fi Channel felt it necessary to insert silences.
• What IS going on with the “car visor cam” effect in some of the shots? (A “gradiant filter” was kindly explained to me in comments.)
• Segment 1 just kind of lays there. I think they’ve attached all the body parts to Servo that are possible.
• The guy with the magazine in the park who gets eaten by a dinosaur is none other than writer, editor, agent and movie fan, the late Forrest J. Ackerman.
• Callbacks: “Warwoolf”; “Tusk!” (Werewolf) “Would you dopple me into that movie, Mike?” (Overdrawn at the Memory Bank)
• Particularly amusing movie moment: the TV cameraman who is clearly holding a cardboard box sloppily made to look a little like a camera.
• Last time around I mentioned that the “Warren Moon impression” joke escaped me. I don’t follow the off-field antics of footballers. It was explained in the comments, as was the Mandy Patinkin reference.
• Segment 2 is a cute idea taken from the movie, but they belabor it a bit.
• On the other hand, segment 3, featuring a visit from Droppy the water droplet, is classic MST3K.
• This movie must have been extra-tough duty: The Brains had to come up with TWO sets of riffs for the same sequence–the one in which the rag-tag band infiltrates the dinosaurs’ lair — which is shown in its entirety TWICE.
• The subject of Joel comes up when Mike tries some forced perspective fun during the closing credits.
• Mike’s big chin is funny in the closer, but Pearl calmly blowing people up when they annoy her is not really a new concept.
• Cast and crew roundup: Robert Z’Dar was also in “Soultaker.” That’s it.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike. Fred Street Post Audio get a special thanks in this and only this episode.
• Fave riff: “An actor prepares…to suck.” Honorable mention: “Z’dont!”

Episode guide: 1005- Blood Waters of Dr. Z

Last modified on 2018-02-08 13:03:59 GMT. 166 comments. Top.

Movie: (1972) A Florida scientist turns himself into a catfish monster and … seems to have some sort of plan after that. But local authorities are on his trail.

First shown: May 2, 1999
Opening: Crow enjoys a nice chaw
Intro: Crow labels his chaw cans; Pearl conducts a maternal love deprivation experiment
Host segment 1: Mike becomes wedged in the bulkhead of Crow’s evil voiceover
Host segment 2: Gone fishin’
Host segment 3: Brain Guy & Bobo demonstrate Crow & Tom’s naked acting theory
End: Crow & Tom show off their specialized food carrying cases; Pearl’s mer-monkey has an admirer
Stinger: “Sargassum! The weed of deceit!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• I really think this one rises above the last few “good not great” outings and is one of the best of the season. Insane movie, great riffing, mostly good segments. I like it.
• Bill’s thoughts are here.
• This episode is included in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XVII
• Don Barton, the man to blame for this movie, talks about his film here. You can also read about a screening/celebration of the movie here. This movie even has its own Web site.
• The opening bit is very funny, but also may be the most disgusting host segment ever. Yuck.
• Pearl’s IMF experiment on the bots is reminiscent of the maternal love sketch in episode 602- INVASION U.S.A., and I’m not sure they did anything the other sketch didn’t do, but the look on Bill’s face as he looks into the “love basket” is priceless.
• The movie has a very familiar plot. We’ve seen plenty of these “mad scientist is ridiculed and dismissed by his peers and plots revenge against them using the very technology they claimed was ridiculous” movies. “Mad Monster” comes immediately to mind.
• I’m assuming the filmmakers got a lot of the score from various PD needle drops. Some of it sounds familiar. Anybody recognize any snippets?
• Another movie observation: Why does the scientist create the elaborate block-and-tackle hammock when THERE’S A LADDER?
• Segment 1 is one of those great “one or more of the bots seize on some insane element of the movie and take it to heart” bits. Great line: “Soon it will be YOU who becomes wedged in the bulkhead of my plan!”
• Riff I didn’t get: “Then I gotta go kill Farley Granger’s wife.” That’s certainly a “Strangers on a Train” reference, but why? Somebody explain.
• By the way, I DO know what Cabela’s is. I just heard “Chavella’s” and was baffled.
• The movie was apparently going for a sort of “In the Heat of the Night” vibe between the sheriff and scientist guy. But it just comes off as offensive.
• Segment 2, well, there’s not a lot going on, but it’s cute.
• M&tB still have their fishing hats on when they head back into the theater.
• Movie continuity mistake: As Leopold attempts to convert the girl into his mate, we first see her hands tied down as he gives her the injection (preventing her from stopping him, of course) but her hands are free seconds later when he dunks her (apparently so the actress could hold her nose).
• Callbacks: “rice a pipple” (Bride of the Monster), “Think I’ll head over to Party Beach and see how The Horror is doing.” (Horror of Party Beach) and “I had such a pretty miiiiind!” (Girl in Gold Boots).
• Slam on Sally Forth outta nowhere!
• Note to the Brains: Catfish Hunter did NOT change his name to Chapstick. He just appeared in a now-nearly-forgotten Chapstick commercial in which it was suggested that he might want to do so. He seems disinclined. So I say Servo’s Catfish Hunter joke stands as funny.
• Segment 3 is fun, but that’s more of Bill than I want to see (no offense, Bill).
• The last third of the movie is dominated by “riding on the running board guy.” His amphibious clown car is particularly funny. “Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, Snork. They’re cops!”
• That’s Paul as “Barnicle” (that’s how it’s spelled in the credits) Bob. Paul was definitely the guest star guy in the later years.
• Cast and crew roundup: Nobody involved with this movie was involved with any other MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike.
• Fave riff: “Thank goodness I have my provolone carrying cases.” Honorable mention: “Jack Ruby at home.”

Episode guide: 1006- Boggy Creek II: and The Legend Continues

Last modified on 2018-02-15 23:05:19 GMT. 201 comments. Top.

Movie: (1985) A smug professor and his students camp out in the rural Arkansas swamp, in hopes of finding a Bigfoot-like creature.

First shown: May 9, 1999
Opening: Crow and Mike’s Cub Scout meeting is crashed by Servo the Brownie
Intro: Now Servo’s a Flemish glass blower; Pearl has a potato-powered evil plan
Host segment 1: M&tB’s flashbacks get fuzzier and fuzzier
Host segment 2: Pearl cooks up a monster legend, complete with haunting, evocative folk song
Host segment 3: Tom takes up whittling in a big way
End: Crow’s tends to his fires; Pearl’s legend biz gets kicked in the ankle
Stinger: “I saw the little creature.” “Nooo!!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• In some episodes, the riffers need a little extra something from the movie to take their riffing from good to great. This is one of those episodes. It starts out as only okay. They keep up with the action with some funny stuff, but it really didn’t have me rolling. But when mountain man Crenshaw arrives, they really have something to work with and they take full advantage of it. The movie itself is stupid but at least it’s watchable. The host segments are mostly good fun. So all in all this one comes out a winner.
• Bill’s thoughts are here.
• References are here.
• This episode was on Rhino’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 5.
• Mike gets the title of the movie wrong in his intro on the DVD version (as he did with his “The Touch of Satan” intro).
• It’s fun to hear Kevin and Bill harmonizing as the sing “On the Wings of a Dove.”
• Gypsy is acting weird again. Did Joel completely fix her?
• The whole IMF accreditation thing was created because the suits at the channel were pushing for a “story arc.” So I only give the Brains partial blame on this. But I have to say that with this episode (or maybe the previous one?) the IMF stuff really starts to feel very invention exchangey. Not sure whether that’s a good thing or not.
• Segment one is a clever idea, one of those segments that practically writes itself in response to something really stupid in the movie.
• Segment 2 is saved by Bill, whose delivery is pitch perfect.
• That’s Kevin’s wife Kathleen’s guitar in that segment. She gets a credit at the end.
• An “s-bomb” got missed by Sci-Fi censors, and Rhino left it in.
• Movie observations: What was that whole “let’s play this out” business when the girls returned to the camp? They walk in and you expect something to happen, but they just say hi and go on with the movie. Play WHAT out?? Also, during the yucky outhouse flashback, I need to point out: If you can hose somebody off, that means you have plumbing. If you have plumbing, why are you using an outhouse?
• I have to say that I don’t really feel the white-hot rage Bill feels toward Old Man Pearce. Yeah, his character is a bit of a jerk, but I just don’t find him that despicable. He’s certainly not the movie’s bad guy. In fact, one of the biggest structural flaws of this movie is that there are no real antagonists (except, perhaps, for the derisive locals).
• Segment 3 is also a lot of fun, a good example of a sketch where they take a simple idea and take it to the extreme.
• Riff that’s a bit of stretch: One of the girls is “Mark Knopfler” because she’s wearing a headband. Sheesh.
• We get another fire aboard the SOL. And not the last one this season.
• That’s Brad Keeley as a tourist kid, in a bit that really goes nowhere.
• Again, no cast and crew round up: nobody involved in this movie worked on any other MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. For interns Erin F. Erskine and Josh Huschke, who started at the beginning of the season, this was their last show until they were called back for one more a few weeks later.
• Fave riff: “Why don’t you take the skin chair?” Honorable mention: “There’s a red scarf floating in the air!…oh, it’s her.”

Episode guide: 1007- Track of the Moon Beast

Last modified on 2018-02-21 23:25:32 GMT. 182 comments. Top.

Movie: (1976) A New Mexico mineralogist is struck by a meteor, and is transformed into a mindless humanoid-lizard monster.

First shown: June 13, 1999
Opening: Crow and Tom are blossoming everything
Intro: Mike attempts to escape using a remote-control Bobo
Host segment 1: The bots rush the Halloween season, and hollow embarrassment ensues
Host segment 2: This week on Legends of Rock: The Band That Played “California Lady.”
Host segment 3: Crow and Tom rig a remote camera, and catch a glimpse of Mike’s disturbing bedtime routines
End: Tom has injured a baby satellite, but soon all is well; Brain Guy and a brain-exposed Bobo bond, much to Pearl’s displeasure
Stinger: “Moon rocks? Oh, wow!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• I like this one a lot. The movie is only marginally watchable and on this viewing I really noticed what a mostly placid, quiet little movie this is, which gives the riffers a lot of elbow room. It’s a classic example (“Teenage Strangler” is another one) of a group of people who got together in a town to make a movie, and didn’t really know what they were doing. The riffing is solid and just about all the segments are a lot of fun.
• This episode is included in Shout’s “MST3K: Volume XXXVIII.”
• Mike offers some thoughts here.
• References are here.
• Once again, props to the prop makers for the exquisitely blossomed objects.
• Servo’s head is still blossomed in theater and Mike crunches on some while watching the movie.
• In his comments, Mike makes reference to the classic moment where Johnny Longbow recites the ingredients of his stew recipe with a level of world-weariness more befitting the reading of a will. From that point on, they just won’t let the stew jokes go.
• The intro segment definitely has a late season 5 feel. It’s been a while since “bringing the satellite down” was the goal of a scheme.
• Mike’s face in segment 1 is classic; complete neutrality in the face of Crow’s increasing embarrassment and humiliation. Those pea pods look good, too. Oh, and this time I noticed that Tom’s arm is taped around Gypsy.
• Segment 2 is another gem, perfectly capturing those nostalgia/biography shows.
• Segment 3 is probably the weakest of the episode, but the Mike’s little puppet show on his bed is worth the price of admission. And I guess this is our one and only look into Mike’s bedroom.
• Fans have tracked down Frank Larrabee, the lead singer (aka the fish-lipped guy) in the band that played California Lady. He still lives in New Mexico and is a professional Appaloosa breeder. Fans who’ve tried to contact him for some backstage remembrances have gotten no replies, Maybe he didn’t appreciate being called “the fish-lipped guy.” No word on the eskimo and the friendly looking backup singer.
• Riffs that made you want to slap them: “His pants are Hagar, and they’re horrible.”
• Cast and crew roundup: Screenwriters William Finger and Charles Sinclair also worked on “The Green Slime.” Special effects makeup guy Joe Blasco did makeup for “Parts: The Clonus Horror” and “The Touch of Satan.” Special effects guy Rick Baker (who was uncredited here) also worked on “The Incredible Melting Man” and “Squirm.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike. A Bill Gibb is listed, along with Brad, as an editor for this episode and three more after it. Ed Dykhuizen and Sarah Lemanczyk begin their stint as interns that continues to the end of the season, except for one episode.
• Fave riff: “I need a wheat penny and a Glock.” Honorable mention: “They shot two klieg lights and a gaffer.”

Episode guide: 1008- Final Justice

Last modified on 2018-03-01 00:37:28 GMT. 219 comments. Top.

Movie: (1984) A Texas sheriff winds up on the island of Malta in pursuit of the criminal that killed his partner.

First shown: June 20, 1999
Opening: Tom considers the unexplored implications of the song “Owner of a Lonely Heart”
Intro: M&tB are plagued by Yes orchestra hits; Pearl encourages humor in the workplace
Host segment 1: M&tB demonstrate to Pearl how repeating the same sequence can be annoying
Host segment 2: Crow and Tom encounter cute little Goosio. It doesn’t go well
Host segment 3: Crow’s report on Malta includes a good deal of slander on the subject of Maltese men
End: Having suffered through a really bad Joe Don Baker movie, Mike assumes it’s his turn to escape. He’s wrong, the poor dope. Meanwhile, Funny Dress-Up Day at Castle Forrester takes a horrifying turn
Stinger: “Yew think yew kin take me? Go ‘head on. It’s yer move”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• I have to put this one in the fair-to-good column. Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid a comparison between this ep and the “Mitchell,” episode and unfortunately this one doesn’t measure up to that classic. The riffing definitely has its moments, but they have trouble sustaining a constant level of funny. The movie itself is serviceable and certainly Joe Don’s character is a bit less gross than it was in “Mitchell,” but it’s also a bit less unintentionally zany. In addition, the segments are more miss than hit this time around, but the final segments save the day.
• Mike’s thoughts are here.
• This episode is included in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XIV.
• Callback: “Stop drinking baby oil!”
• The opening features more Yes bashing. My theory: The only way you could be this anti-Yes is by having BEEN a Yes fan at some point and since repented. I’m looking in Kevin’s direction.
• Last time I said I didn’t understand the riff: “Let’s talk loudly about our SUVs.” Commenters explained it to me.
Segment 1 seems a little picky to me, like they couldn’t find anything else to comment on. The footage reuse is pretty mild compared to similar instances in other movies. All in all, I can’t get behind the premise.
Segment 2 is a bit better, and it explains why Mike takes the time to pointedly refer to Goosio by name during the riffing–he was setting up this bit.
• Of course that’s Mike as the voice of Goosio; Patrick was doing the rather elaborate “technical puppetry.”
• Mike has the broken Goosio in the theater following the segment
• Obscure reference: Perini Scleroso (a hilarious character invented by SCTV’s Andrea Martin).
• Mike, apparently still channeling Joel after his visit, does a very Joelesque bit in the theater when he stands up and appears to be running from the car in the movie.
• Again, I find it amusing that microbrewery aficionado Mike is seen drinking Bud.
• Also in the theater, Servo twice leaps off his theater seat when somebody says “Geronimo.”
Segment 3 goes back to the “pointlessly bash a nationality” thing they’ve had some success with in the past, but I don’t think this works as well this time. Also: Mike knows how to rewire Crow?
• Then-still-slightly current reference: “Christian Slater’s gonna fly tomorrow I better get this back to him.” For those who’ve forgotten, Slater stupidly showed up at JFK airport in December 1994 with a gun in his carry-on and was arrested.
• Yet another fun closing credits bit, as Crow and Tom come up with new gluttonous lyrics for the theme music.
• Nice moment at the end of the last theater segment as Mike leaves early and Tom has to figure a way out of the theater by himself. “What do I do??” He runs left as Cambot pulls away. Somehow he manages.
• The final bit, of course, is the best of the episode and brings the entire episode up from fair to good. A lot of nice little touches in a great parody of Joel’s farewell. One small nitpick, though: “…an escape pod SHE hid…”?? Gypsy did not hide the escape pod in the box of hamdingers. I remember immediately after this episode first aired there was a long nerdy Comic Book Guyesque discussion of this goof on most of the web forums.
• As if the ending bit on the SOL wasn’t funny enough, that bit is further topped by the appearance of Bill’s in full leatherboy regalia. Classic.
• Cast and crew roundup: Executive producer Louis George had the same job on “Angels Revenge,” as did producer/director/screenwriter Greydon Clark. In front of the camera, Joe Don Baker, of course, starred in “Mitchell.” Bill McKinney also appeared in “Master Ninja I.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin.
• Fave riff: “The last thing a sausage sees.” Honorable mention: “I’m glad we skipped the cavity search.”

Episode guide: 1009- Hamlet

Last modified on 2018-03-07 18:48:42 GMT. 284 comments. Top.

Movie: (1961) A dour production of Shakespeare’s play produced for German TV. A prince returns home for his father’s funeral and doesn’t like what he finds.

First shown: June 27, 1999
Opening: Tom Servo is now Htom Sirveaux
Intro: Crow has a name change too; Mike interrupts Pearl’s plan with Three Card Monty — which she loses, allowing Mike to pick the movie. He chooses unwisely
Host segment 1: Crow and Tom’s plan to be the ghost of one of Mike’s dead relatives quickly unravels
Host segment 2: Crow and Tom give Mike a preview of their percussion version of “Hamlet”
Host segment 3: Time once again to play “Alas Poor Who?”
End: Crow and Tom show off their Hamlet action figure, with real soliloquy action; in Castle Forrester, a snotty Fortenbras demands his due
Stinger: Claudius does a double take
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• I’m going to come right out and say that this episode is not nearly as bad as its reputation. Yes, the movie is particularly dour, but Kevin, in his comments on this one, is right: You can’t hurt this thing no matter how hard you try. As happens every time I see this one, I got drawn in to the classic tale, which for me was made all the more fun by the overlay of some pretty solid riffing. The host segments, aren’t bad either. I know plenty of you can’t wait to start trashing this one, but I’m not on board. That said, I don’t have a lot else to say about this one.
• Kevin’s thoughts are here.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4.”
• Callback in the opening host segment: “You think you can take me? Go ahead on.” (Final Justice)
• I like segment 1 a lot. It’s fun, fast and it’s over quick. Really liked it even more this time.
• Segment 2, on the other hand, is a pretty good example of the more-clever-than-funny segment. Clearly they wanted to say something about the many many avant garde stagings of “Hamlet,” and they did say something, but I’m not sure it added up to a comedy sketch.
• Yes, that’s an uncredited Ricardo Montalban doing the voice of Claudius and John Banner, of “Crash of the Moons” and “Hogan’s Heroes,” doing the voice of Polonius. Happily, the Brains noticed. They made two John Banner jokes and one Montalban reference.
• Segment 3, feeling very season two-ish, goes on a little long. But it’s a cute idea.
• Kevin is hilarious as Fortinbras in the end bit.
• Cast and crew roundup: Nobody involved in making this movie worked on any other MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike.
• Fave riff: “Hamlet faxed me a sililoquy!” Honorable mention: “Nice play, Shakespeare.”

Episode guide: 1010- IT Lives By Night

Last modified on 2018-03-15 15:48:04 GMT. 131 comments. Top.

Movie: (1974) A scientist is bitten by, and then begins turning into, a bat.

First shown: July 18, 1999
Opening: Mike quizzes Crow and Tom on colors and the moods they cause
Intro: Pearl tries tactical misdirection so M&tB won’t notice that she’s spraying poison on them, causing mutations
Host segment 1: Mike and Tom can’t deny that they didn’t forget that Crow’s not Mary Tyler Moore
Host segment 2: Finding Mike unconscious and foaming at the mouth, Crow and Tom assume the worst
Host segment 3: Mike seeks Pearl’s opinion on his new moustache, but Crow’s larger ‘stache impresses her more. Tom takes the premise too far, however
End: Tom is dissatisfied by his franchisee kit from the Buddy Ebsen Hat Distressing Corp.; Pearl tortures Bobo and Brain Guy with slides from her many honeymoons
Stinger: Bat guy says “Well?” then convulses.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• This one’s another season 10 good-not-great outing for me. It’s a dumb enough movie, of course. Why on earth would being bitten by an animal turn you INTO that animal? I get the whole werewolf thing, but that’s some sort of supernatural curse. But I don’t think the movie is suggesting that anything supernatural is going on here. Just some sort of weird form of rabies or something? I don’t get it. Anyway, the riffing is fine, the sketches are pretty good, I laughed a lot, but there’s not too much that’s very memorable about this one.
• Kevin’s thoughts are here.
• This episode was included in The Mystery Science Theater 3000 collection, Vol. XXX.
• Lathrop’s (emblazoned on the bots’ hats in the opening) was apparently a local Benjamin Moore-owned chain in the Twin Cities, apparently absorbed by another retailer about a year after this was shot.
• I’m a big Talking Heads fan and Tom’s “Look at these hands!!!” cracked me up.
• Tom suggests he should be called “Bob Huge Hands.” Hmmmm… Is he related to Timmy?
• Apparently this movie was originally titled “Bat People.” This resulted in no end of confusion whenever it appeared on the schedule, as Sci-Fi Channel insisted on calling it “Bat People.” Our rule is that we call the episode whatever actually appears in the title card on the screen (which is why we use the title “Attack of the the Eye Creatures”). So, no “Bat People.”
• By the way, last time around I noticed that the “IT” in the title is capitalized on the title card. Information Technology? So that is now its official title.
• Then-current reference: Mary Slaney.
• There was almost a “Dale” in this one. Looking at our hero’s hands somebody says “…your hands!” and the riff is “So young looking!”
• Callback: “He’s turning into a damned wirwilf!”
• Segment 1 is classic insane Crow, driven even more insane by the Mike and Tom’s taunting.
• Of course, that’s the always-enjoyable Michael Pataki as Sheriff Menacing W. Pervert.
• Segment 2: Eh. Doesn’t do much for me.
• At one point, Crow admires himself in a mirror on a car in the movie.
• Tom briefly hums the “NBC Mystery Movie” theme, once verboten by Joel.
• LOTR reference: “It’s just a balrog.”
• Riffs that made you want to slap them: Mike’s “bat master’s son” joke.
• Segment 3 a little low-key, but Mike’s expressions save it. Note another instance where Pearl calls Crow “Art.”
• The Satellite of Love has a loading dock?
• Nice job from Mary Jo in the ending bit.
• Cast and crew roundup: director Jerry Jameson and cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti also worked together on “Superdome.” Photo effects guy Howard A. Anderson also worked on “Women of the Prehistoric Planet,” “King Dinosaur,” “Twelve to the Moon” and “The Amazing Transparent Man.” Sound guy Rod Sutton also worked on “King Dinosaur” “Hangar 18” and “The Slime People.” In front of the camera, Michael Pataki was also in “Superdome” and “The Side Hackers.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. This is editor Bill Gibb’s last episode; he’d been brought on three episodes previous. The credits say that this was also interns Ed Dykhuizen’s and Sarah Lemanczyk’s last episode; they too started three episodes prior, however Ed himself has posted in the comments to say that this was a mistake and they both actually finished up the season.
• Fave riff: “Well, I do feel closer to you since you opened up to me about your stink.” Honorable mention: “Hunter Thompson, Texas Ranger.”

Episode guide: 1011- Horrors of Spider Island

Last modified on 2018-03-21 19:13:53 GMT. 158 comments. Top.

Movie: (1960) A manager and his all-girl dance troupe survive a plane crash, only to find themselves on an island with a giant mutated spider.

First shown: July 25, 1999
Opening: Crow has a syndicated newspaper column, a la Larry King
Intro: Pearl has moved Castle Forrester to a new neighborhood
Host segment 1: Mike gets himself trapped in the giant spider web Crow and Tom have put up
Host segment 2: Mike is auditioning dancers, and Pearl, Brain Guy and Bobo try out
Host segment 3: M&tB want to know if it’s true that you become languid and sexy when you survive a crash — and there’s only one way to find out
End: Mike has become a giant spider — well, sort of; as Pearl calls in from a rest stop on the way to moving Castle Forrester back, Bobo finds some toys
Stinger: The girls scream from the void
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• This one’s not super great, but I think it’s a bit better than “good-not-great.” You figure that one out. I just think the movie is SOO stupid, and the riffing is really strong and most of the host segments (though I contend they are in the wrong order) are pretty good. I laughed a lot watching it this time, and that’s what counts for me.
• Paul’s thoughts are here.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Volume 11.”
• Larry King’s pointless and rambling column in USA Today was parodied by so many people over the years, so the opening doesn’t really tread any new ground. But their take on it is fun.
• I’m not really sure what the point of the “moving the castle” thing was. It never really gets any traction.
• Probably the biggest downside of this episode is the terribly dark print. I don’t know if it was intentionally shot this way or it’s just a terribly degraded print, but the watchability factor is WAAAY down for this one.
• Naughty lines: “Quit doing your Sharon Stone impression.” Also: “Try crossing your leg now, pal.”
• I believe that the three internal host segments are in the wrong order. I want to think it was a mistake in the editing room, because if this order was intentional, somebody took their eye off the ball. The biggest problem is segment 1, which includes a parody of the “shocking” man-in-a-spider-web image that the movie has NOT SHOWN US YET. I think the order should be segment 2, then 3, then 1.
• Callbacks: Crow mutters “MrXL” after Tom does a cheerleading bit. “He has Torgo area!” (Manos)
• In segment 2, Bill is a riot as the Flashdance girl; and Mary Jo is very funny too — and Beez made a great outfit for her!
• In the theater, Servo passes out twice from the sexiness.
• Segment 3 is silly and fun and doesn’t make a lick o’ sense.
• Late in the movie we get a nice example of “good-natured brawling,” a topic discussed by Joel and the bots way back during one of the Hercules movies. I guess there really is such a thing.
• Crow takes a brief “break” from watching the movie, but soon returns.
• No cast and crew roundup for this episode.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike (his last episode as director). Interns Erin F. Erskine and Josh Huschke, who were interns for episodes 1001-1006, return for this one, which may mean that the Brains produced this one out of order. Rob Brantseg, obviously related to Patrick, is listed as an “art department assistant.” Mike did the music for “Those Little Audition Numbers.”
• Fave riff: “I’m not just wondering if there’s a point to the movie, anymore. I’m wondering if there’s a point to ANYTHING.” Honorable mention: “Settling: The Movie.”

Episode guide: 1012- Squirm (with short: ‘A Case of Spring Fever’)

Last modified on 2018-03-27 12:03:34 GMT. 167 comments. Top.


Short: (1940) In a moment of weakness, a frustrated guy wishes springs never existed … a wish he soon regrets.
Movie: (1976) Electrically supercharged worms attack the residents of a remote Georgia town.

First shown: 8/1/99
Opening: The SOL’s annual safety check reveals a surprising lack of same
Intro: Pearl is throwing a Castle Forrester Fair, and Tom and Crow’s livestock entry surprises Mike
Host segment 1: Crow rashly wishes that Mike didn’t exist and, sure enough, Mikey the sprite appears to grant his wish and enforce Crow and Tom’s somewhat reluctant repentance
Host segment 2: Tom comes down with severe southern belleness
Host segment 3: Mike’s plan to create mutant killer worms instead results in a tasty snack
End: Crow takes a fall from his reeeally high platform shoes; Pearl forces Brain Guy demonstrate the fair’s bungee jump attraction, which has some flaws
Stinger: “You gon’ be da worm face!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• Well, this one is a lot of fun. The short, of course, is golden, just exactly what MST3K is all about. The short itself is great goofy fun and the riffing is top-notch. The movie keeps the momentum going with a watchable and actually kind of creepy little story, with plenty of flaws for the guys to pick at (bad acting, nerdy unlikeable hero; unsympathetic victims, etc., etc.). The host segments also keep things going, and if they’re not hilarious, they at least don’t outstay their welcome.
• Bill’s thoughts are here.
• This episode is included in Shout’s “MST3K: Volume XXXI.”
• Where did they get that standee of Ben Murphy? Bet a fan sent it.
• In his comments, Bill confirmed what many people suspected: that this short had been kicking around BBI for years and was in fact the inspiration for the “Willie the Waffle” sketch way back in episode 317- VIKING WOMEN VS. THE SEA SERPENT.
• Fave riff in the short: “Guns, huh?”
• Many years ago, I mailed a copy of this short to the Springs Manufacturing Association in hopes they would reply with something funny to say about it, or might even know the history or background of the short. I never heard back.
• Callbacks: “Jeeeeeeed!” (The Leech Woman) “The monster called Gamera is destroying the city.”
• Naughty riff: “Mother! That’s private!” Also: “See? It’s not true that I can’t get wood.”
• That’s Patrick as Mikey and Mike’s Socksey.
• One of the things I noticed this time was the proliferation of Klan jokes. A few are appropriate but I think they may have overdone it.
• Obscure: “…letters from Der Weisse Engel…”
• In segment 3, when Mike says he’s “gotta make a rice a verms” he’s mocking the famous Bela Lugosi line from “Bride of the Monster” in which he talks about a “rice a pipple.”
• Also in that segment, notice that somebody was making the little worm wiggle.
• In a discussion of the worst cops, many folks singled out the icky sheriff as the worst or one of the worst. Boy howdy were they right. Wow, what a jerk.
• “Hank Hill’s friend” has a name. It’s Boomhauer. Did they not know or were they afraid people wouldn’t recognize it?
• Yet another credit bit: This time it’s earnestly answering the questions asked in the song.
• Cast and crew roundup: Special effects makeup guy Rick Baker also worked on “The Incredible Melting Man” and “Track of the Moon Beast.” That’s it.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. For some reason Jeff Stonehouse was unavailable and someone named Kevin Galligan was the DP for this episode. Similarly, John Sims was not available and somebody named Clayton Hughes was the boom operator. Ed Dykhuizen and Sarah Lemanczyk were back as interns.
• Fave riff: “Lowly Worm’s worst day ever.” Honorable mention: “Kevin McHale, cross-dresser.”

Episode guide: 1013- Diabolik

Last modified on 2018-04-04 23:37:43 GMT. 231 comments. Top.

Movie: (1968) Super-thief Diabolik performs several daring heists, then sets his sights on a shipment of gold.

First shown: August 8, 1999
Opening: M&tB discover the SOL employee handbook
Intro: Pearl has a new joystick, which leads to re-entry protocol
Host segment 1: Crow and Mike are packed; while Servo disposes of the many extra hims
Host segment 2: In Castle Forrester, everybody is lining up new gigs
Host segment 3: Crow is worried, so Mike sings a reassuring song
End: After the crash, M&tB settle in to their new home with a familiar pastime
Stinger: “Is that stud coming?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (183 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)


• And so we come to the final Sci-Fi Channel episode, and, of course, this is one where the host segments outweigh the movie. Like all the big premise-changing episodes, the host segments are, once again, a marvel of tight, efficient (and funny!) story telling. As for the movie, it’s sort of “Danger Death Ray”/”Double 007” meets “Batman” and, well, yes, it certainly is pretty to look at.
• Last time I called the riffing “steady and workmanlike,” adding that “there’s little that’s memorable.” I’m going to disagree with myself after this viewing. Maybe it was the mood I was in, but I laughed a LOT this time.
• Mary Jo (with an assist from Bill, Patrick and Paul) offers her thoughts.
References. I noticed a couple they missed: “Okay, I’ll go hang with Nova for a while” is a reference to the fact that the woman looks a bit like the female lead of “Planet of the Apes.” Also “Flaming truck at Brixton, 20 minutes late” is a “Fall & Rise of Reginald Perrin” reference.
• While this episode was being made, Jim Mallon stalked the halls with a video camera, documenting the event. The footage was later released on video as “The Last Dance: Raw.” The last time through, I watched it before actually watching this episode, and it is interesting in a couple of respects. First, if it does nothing else, it captures the tedium of TV production. There is a lot of standing around waiting, and this gives us a real sense of that. Second, it gives a brief shot of where I scrawled on the back of the SOL set. Since that object no longer exists, to my knowledge, it’s nice that there’s a record of it. Finally, yes, the MST3K process has been described many times, but there’s nothing like actually seeing people doing it. So, if you haven’t given it a look, it’s worth one. But I doubt you’ll want to watch it again.
• I think a lot of MSTies agree that this was a strange choice for a final movie. We discussed it here.
• But I do have one question for the movie: What is the point of covering your face with a form-fitting mask that doesn’t disguise you at all? As proof of this, I simply have to note that, despite the face coverings, every cop who encounters Diabolik immediately knows who he is.
• There are many, many naughty riffs during the “rolling around in the bed full of money” scene.
• In one scene, the lovely Eva climbs into Diabolik’s car and as she does so we get a very brief glimpse of VERY high (stocking covered) inner thigh. Crow is the only one who reacts, and he does so only very quietly. I wonder if they just couldn’t decide whether to make a big deal out of it or not.
• I assume Esso (now ExxonMobil) paid for the blatant product placement: It feels very phony. Having the service station attendant ask Eva if she wants a tail (Esso stations sold little plush tiger tails that one was supposed to attach to one’s gas intake pipe so that, when the gas cap was in place, it looked as if there was a “tiger in the tank”), and actually say “Tiger’s in the tank, ma’am,” is a little over the top.
• I really like the little explosion sound effect they use in segment 1 as Tom disposes of the extra Toms. It’s a very satisfying little “boom.”
• Callbacks: “Welcome, Dr, Meecham!” (MST3K: The movie) “Ha-ha! I’m useless against your weapons!” (Prince of Space).
• Mike references the “giant fiberglass muskie in Hayward Wisconsin,” a landmark that is also depicted in the movie “Blood Hook,” directed by Jim Mallon.
• Crow’s concern about “traffic accidents” echoes a similar concern by little Akio in the movie in episode 312- GAMERA VS. GUIRON. I wonder who on the staff made that connection.
• During the song, Mike produces Crow’s “mother” from episode 602- INVASION USA. Wonder how much they had to dig in the prop room for that!
• I just want to note that the song in segment 3 is the second time in the series that a song rhymes “Earth” with “Colin Firth.”
• The final bit in Castle Forrester makes a reference to the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” finale, where the cast similarly huddled together and sang “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” Or maybe there’s a law that any TV show connected to the Twin Cities has to end that way.
• That’s the voice of Peter Rudrud as the TV announcer.
• The final bit, in which Mike and Bots settle in and start riffing on “The Crawling Eye,” the movie Joel and the bots riffed in the first national episode, is cute and kind of satisfying. But a lot of fans noticed a little goof: We can’t see the screen, of course, but based on their riffing, it seems that the first thing they see is opening credits. The problem is that “The Crawling Eye” doesn’t start that way. It starts with a cold opening, showing some characters mountain climbing (and then one of the characters is killed). The credits don’t begin until several minutes into the movie. Kind of ruined it for some people. But the bit is such a lovely bit of closure I can’t fault them.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director-scriptwriter Mario Bava was cinematographer for “Hercules” and “Hercules Unchained.” Assistant director Lamberto Bava directed “Devil Fish.” Makeup guy Otello Fava also worked on “Warrior of the Lost World.” Score composer Ennio Morricone also worked on “Operation Double 007.” In front of the camera, Marisa Mell was also in “Secret Agent Super Dragon.” Adolfo Celi was also in “Operation Double 007.” John Phillip Law was also in “Space Mutiny.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. “To Earth” — music by Mike; lyrics by Kevin (so you can blame him for the Colin Firth rhyme).
• Fave riff: “Member FDIC…” Honorable mention: “I’m driving with my whipper.”

Next week we will move on to season 11.

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