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Roy Forge Smith, a veteran production designer who worked on the classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and two seasons of “Ghost Whisperer,” has died. He was 87. His friend and collaborator John Gray said Smith died February 6 but gave no other details.
Longtime MSTies might recall his production designer credit in the movie in episode K20- THE LAST CHASE.
Movie: (1979) Seven beauties form a paramilitary vigilante squad to shut down a gang that is selling drugs to teens.
First shown: 3/11/95 Opening: Crow remembers that he has amnesia Intro: Desperate for ratings, Dr. F. turns M&tB into the cast of “Renegade” Host segment 1: Crow latest screenplay is a “black-sploitation” film Host segment 2: Mike does his Fonz, Crow and Tom disapprove Host segment 3: Aaron Spelling’s house passes by the SOL End: Tom demonstrates the shame-o-meter, the Mads are Bobby Riggs and Billy-Jean King Stinger: “Shine your love!” (239 votes, average: 4.66 out of 5)
• I’m torn about this episode. The riffing is great, consistently hilarious. The host segments however, are mostly blah. The result is one of those “good not great” entries.
• This was on Rhino’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 2
• I just noticed that there is no apostrophe after “Angels” on the title card, so I have removed it, though it makes the title grammatically confusing.
• References. However, here are two I caught that they don’t mention: The much-lamented TV show “The Duck Factory” and Crow’s warning about his “elaborate network of trusses,” a reference to the “Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute,” bit on Saturday Night Live.
• By chance, this was the last episode ever shown on Comedy Central, in late December of ’96.
• When it debuted, it was the first new episode in nearly two months and the beginning of three eps in three weeks as the season came to an end.
• I kind of like the “amnesia” opener, because it’s just silly and doesn’t try to be anything more than that. It also reminds me a little of Scifi Channel-era Crow–and maybe that’s not just a coincidence, since future Crow Bill Corbett joined the writing staff with this episode.
• But the intro, with Dr. F and Frank dressed as Rollie Fingers and Tug McGraw, and transforming M&tB into the cast of “Renegade,” is, as the kids say, random. Maybe it’s because I never watched a single episode of “Renegade” (and in fact had never heard of the show when I first saw this episode). I dunno. It just seemed to go nowhere.
• Segment 1, in which we get yet another reading of yet another spec script by Crow, also kind of goes nowhere. But I will grant that it’s building toward a classic segment in season seven, so I will cut this one some slack.
• Segment 2: Another random concept (Fonzie?). It’s cute and it’s short but I’m left just going: “Huh?”
• Callback to the “rape” scene in “The Violent Years.”
• Segment 3, featuring Aaron Spelling’s house: well, of course mad prop props to whoever built the house. Just gorgeous. It’s a cute idea, and I do appreciate that they don’t belabor it. Still, it’s hardly a laugh riot.
• The classic line, “By this time my lungs were aching for booze,” is such a great payoff for fans who’ve been faithfully watching since the second season.
• The end segments, featuring the shame-o-meter, and a funny bit with Frank and Dr. F dressed as Billie Jean King and the now almost completely forgotten Bobby Riggs, almost save it for me, but not quite.
• Cast and crew roundup: Executive producer Louis George also worked on “Final Justice,” as did producer/director/screenwriters Greydon Clark.
In front of the camera, Jack Palance was also in “Outlaw” and Alan Hale Jr. was also in “The Crawling Hand” and “The Giant Spider Invasion.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. And it is with this episode that the team, struggling to manage their workload as they began working on “MST3K: The Movie,” added “additional contributing writers” Bill Corbett and Drew Jansen.
• Fave riff: “It’s Dworkinfest ’78!” Honorable mention: “Show him the wiener.”
The guys at the MST3K Revival League interviewed me for their podcast and it went live today.
As I said on Facebook, if you want to understand why I am not a public speaker, and if you want to hear me say “uh” about 400 times (or want to hear me COMPLETELY lock up while I try to think of the title “”Soultaker”), enjoy!
Mike did all kinds of characters and celebrity impressions on the show over the years. What do you think were some of his best? Or what impressions do you wish he’d tried? Personally, I loved his Morrissey
I talked about this in the episode guide entry for “Wild World of Batwoman” but his look of guileless delight as a clearly mustachioed Crow arrives with soup is one of my all-time favorite Mike faces.
Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!!! If not, you might want to check out the MST3K marathon on Comet TV this Sunday. Last of the Wild Horses, Robot Holocaust, Eegah!, Night of the Blood Beast, “Manos” The Hands of Fate, and Beginning of the End.
Short: (1951) The ghost of Ben Franklin visits a spendthrift teenager. Short: (1973) An upbeat travelogue tries to lure investors to Puerto Rico. Movie: (1961) After being exposed to atomic radiation, a defecting Russian scientist becomes a murderous monster.
First shown: 1/21/95 Opening: Mike is wallpapering the SOL, Crow and Tom are no help Intro: The Mads promote “Proposition Deep 13” while M&tB speak up for the Satellite of Love Host segment 1: M&tB get a visit from some partiers Host segment 2: Crow asks: Is it 11:30? Host segment 3: Crow offers a plea for film anti-preservation, but Mike disapproves End: Mike’s victory speech, Tom reads letters, Dr. F.’s concession speech Stinger: The beast is pissed (202 votes, average: 4.47 out of 5)
• Ah, part 3 of the Coleman Francis trilogy, with the extra special sticky badness of Tor Johnson thrown in. This terrible, terrible movie, the very sharp riffing (especially given what they had to work with in the main feature) plus not one but TWO shorts and some great, memorable host segments, makes for a classic episode.
• This episode can be found on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XVIII.
• Of course the riffing is good in this episode: Mike already riffed on it during his training before his first experiment, as mentioned in episode 513- THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE.
• The political segments managed (mostly) not to offend folks of any particular stripe, but also managed to make some smart satirical observations.
• A rare two-shorter (the last one was in season 3). A nice mix, too: one classic 50s educational short, followed by an industrial. As a side note: I doubt that noted abolitionist Ben Franklin would say “Would you have your slave press my suit?” but I’m willing to overlook that one amid some great riffing. The riffing in the second short has a lot of “fill in the blanks” jokes, as in “A booming economy…” “…is not here.” I don’t think they overdid it, but I think they hit the limit on that one.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: Film canister, book, beaker, bulletin board.
• Callbacks: “This nose wheel feels mushy” (San Francisco International) and, of course, “I’m Cherokee Jack” (and several other references to Red Zone Cuba) .
• Segment 1 seems to come out of the blue. Maybe the mention of rum in the short? By the way, during the sketch Tom shouts “water buffalo!” at the partiers. This was a then-current reference. Read about it here.
• Did anybody notice that the opening of TBOYF is vaguely reminiscent of the opening of “The Dead Talk Back”?
• Another then-current reference: “Marlon Brando arrives for the Larry King Interview.” Honestly, it seemed like a big deal at the time.
• Still another: A reference to the short-lived TV show “The Five Mrs. Buchanans.”
• Like Frank, I like to eat lunch at 11:30. So segment 2 resonates for me.
• At the sight of a coyote, Tom says “Humphrey!” That coyote looks nothing like Humphrey.
• I said in 1997, and I still say today, that the Academy should have had Crow and Mike do segment 3 at the Oscars that year (the year “MST3K: The Movie” came out). It would have brought the house down.
• Frank’s face in the closing is great.
• Cast and crew roundup: special effects guy Ray Mercer also worked on “Lost Continent,” “I Accuse My Parents,” “Radar Secret Service,” “Last of the Wild Horses” and “The Sinister Urge.” Sound guy Titus Moody worked on “Incredibly Strange Creatures.” Score composer Gene Kauer also worked on “Atomic Brain” and “Agent for H.A.R.M.” Producer Anthony Cardoza, worked on “The Hellcats” and “Red Zone Cuba.” Producer Anthony Cardoza and cinematographer Austin McKinney worked on “The Skydivers.”
In front of the camera: Eric Tomlin and Tony Cardoza appeared in “The Hellcats.” Marcia Knight, Coleman Francis, Eric Tomlin, Tony Cardoza, Titus Moody, Barbara Francis, Ronald Francis and Alan Francis, appeared in “The Skydivers.” Coleman Francis, George Prince, Tony Cardoza and Howard Morrison appeared in “Red Zone Cuba.” Tor Johnson was also in “The Unearthly” and “Bride of the Monster” as was Conrad Brooks. Brooks was also in “The Sinister Urge.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. The partiers were Patrick Brantseg, Paul Chaplin, Bridget Jones, Tim Paulson and Mary Jo Pehl. The music heard was “Speed of Sound,” written by Dayton Mercil, performed by a band called Ripcord.
• Fave riff from the first short: “Could you get your stomach off my desk?” Honorable mention: “Oh, and kill your parents.”
• Fave riff from the second short: “I’m having a freakout up to ten years later!” Honorable mention: “Just like everywhere else in the world.”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Some people just burrow straight down, I guess.” Honorable mention: “It IS more suspenseful when you don’t know what’s goin’ on.”
Well, here’s a pleasant thing to report that we rarely get to do: MST3K season 11 star Felicia Day gave birth to her first child, daughter Calliope Maeve, on Jan. 30.
Felicia was tweeting within 12 hours: “”Oh yeah Calliope Maeve has hit the world. Currently wearing a onesie that says ‘Bard in Training’.”
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