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Sampo & Erhardt

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Sci-Fi Archives

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

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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And be sure to visit Cinematic Titanic by Joel Hodgson and other original MST3K cast members.

And don't forget about, the place to download DVD commentaries by Michael J. Nelson.

And check out the official web site of Joel Hodgson.

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Joel Appearance in R.I./Joel Interview

Joel will appear at the Greenwich Odeum, 59 Main St, East Greenwich, R.I., for two nights this weekend.

On Friday, Sept. 18, at 8 P.M. there will be a “Mini-Marathon Double Feature” where he will host two of his favorite MST3K episodes, followed by a Q & A session with Joel.

On Saturday, Sept. 19, at 8 P.M. Joel will present “Riffing Myself” and “Joel’s Favorite Shorts. There will also be a VIP meet-n-greet reception at 6:30 P.M.

For more info, go here.

Speaking of Joel, he was interviewed by Stefan Blitz of

Mary Jo to Perform in Minneapolis

Mary Jo will present “One Across: My Life As A Former Crossword Puzzle Clue” at the Bryand Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St. in Minneapolis Thursday through Saturday, Sept 17-19.

More info here.

Two RiffTrax Studio Versions

RiffTrax has released the studio versions of two titles you’re familiar with.


The studio version is now available for download or steaming.


The studio version is now available for download or streaming.

Weekend Discussion Thread: Turkey Day Picks?

On his Facebook page, Joel has announced that Turkey Day is ON for this year, and he is asking for you to vote for what episodes you’d like to see. I assume he wants no more than six, since that’s been the number of episodes shown in the last two years.

You CANNOT vote for:
Space Mutiny, I Accuse My Parents, Werewolf, Final Sacrifice, Cave Dwellers, Mitchell, Magic Voyage of Sinbad, Giant Spider Invasion, Lost Continent, Laserblast, Pod People, and Pumaman because they have been shown in the two previous Turkey Day webcasts.

Remember, you need to vote on Joel’s page. Whatever you write here won’t be counted.

BUT: tell us who you voted for, and why! Me, I don’t have six picks, but I’d love to see “The Violent Years” included.

Episode guide: 322- Master Ninja I

Plot: (1984 TV episodes; 1991 combined movie) An occidental ninja, searching for his long-lost daughter, joins forces with a mush-mouthed drifter to help save an airport, and then a nightclub, from thugs, while evading the ninjas who have been sent to kill him.

First shown: 1/11/92
Opening: The bots build a model muscle car, and it’s a bad influence on Gypsy
Invention exchange: The Mads demonstrate their boil-in-a-bag IVs, while J&tB show off their pop-up books for adults
Host segment 1: Crow presents “The Van Patten Project”
Host segment 2: J&tB brawl to Master Ninja’s many theme songs
Host segment 3: J&tB explore other kinds of nunchuks
End: Song: J&tB sing the “Master Ninja Theme Song” while Joel reads a letter; Frank gets even with Dr. F
Stinger: “To them it’s some kind of ritual”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (151 votes, average: 4.57 out of 5)

• I’m going to fall back on the “good-not-great” assessment for this one. The movie is reasonably watchable while being very riffable (did nobody have the nerve to tell Timothy to slow down and enunciate?). Most of the segments are fun (though the nunchucks one goes nowhere), and the stupidity of the movie brings out some solid, if not dazzlingly brilliant, riffing.
• This episode was included in Shout’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XX.”
• The exact year of this “movie” is unclear. Trans World Entertainment came out with VHS tapes in 1985 that featured these two episodes and it’s called “Master Ninja I,” but I don’t know if they’d been stitched together to form a movie, or whether Film Ventures International did that when they came out with their version in 1991. In the end I decided to go with the copyright date on the screen.
• These two episodes aired on NBC on Jan. 20 and Jan. 27, 1984. The series was called “The Master.” The individual episodes were titled “Max” and “Out-of-Time-Step,” respectively.
• In the invention exchange, the script does not call for them to open the “Naked Lunch” book–so the prop guys didn’t bother making something that opens. Unfortunately, that makes it not look very much like a book.
• Callback: “He learned too late that man is a feeling creature…” (It Conquered the World) “I’m a ninja warrior!” (paraphrase of a line from “Viking Women.”
• Crow’s crack about “check your career!” came before Timothy became a very successful and award-winning director.
• In the first barroom scene, after being harassed by the sheriff, Lee proceeds to trash the place. Why? What did the owner of the bar do to Lee to deserve all that damage? Does the sheriff own the bar? If so, it’s not established.
• I like the way Crow ZOOMS out of the theater as he heads into the segment 1, hurrying to prepare his presentation.
• One small problem with segment 1: Timothy is not Dick’s son. He’s Dick’s half brother.
• In the theater segment after segment 1, Crow’s net falls off. They keep going.
• They mispronounce Clu Gulagher’s last name twice.
• We get another reference to “Bonnie, your Time/Life operator.” This commercial must have permeated somebody’s consciousness.
• Once again there’s a bit that makes a reference to a portion of the movie we haven’t seen yet. At the end of segment 2 we see Frank, with top hat and cane, saying “It’s show ti-…” We have no idea what he means until we return to the movie and get the second plot about the aging hoofer.
• The second episode—er, I mean, portion—of the movie presents yet another modern night club with an enormous dance floor on which dancers perform but do NOT take off their clothes (see “Flashdance” as the prime example). I contend such places DO NOT EXIST. Most night clubs, if they have live shows, have a TINY stage so they can jam as many tables in as possible. And NOBODY dances in a night club and keeps their clothes on.
• Segment 3 features yet another plea for people to write in, (remember “ways to off Gaos”?) and once again we never hear anything more about it. Did nobody write in?
• Cast and crew roundup: These people all also worked on “Master Ninja II”: executive producer Michael R. Sloan, episode director Ray Austin, special effects guy Phil Cory, stunt coordinator/ninja choreographer/co-star Sho Kosugi, stunt coordinator Gary Charles Davis and theme song composer Bill Conti. Sound guy Glen Glenn (creative parents, Glen!) not only worked on Master Ninja II, but also “The Corpse Vanishes” and “Hangar 18.” And our old pal Karl Michael Demer is back with more “music.” In front of the camera, of course Lee and Timothy and Sho Kosugi will be back. In addition we’ll meet Clu Gulager (who they call “Gallagher” all through this) in “San Francisco International.” And Bill McKinney (who did a nice interview on the Shout! Factory DVD) will be back in “Final Justice.”
• CreditsWatch: Frank’s name appears along with Mike in the “additional music” credit. There’s also an additional contributing writer: Mike Gandolfi. Trace and Frank are still “villians” and Dr. F’s last name is still “Forrestor.”
• Fave riff: “Hey mister, your ninja’s dragging!” Honorable mention: “I just passed wind in my suit. I ask you, as a point of honor, give me a second.”

RIP Martin Milner

Martin_Milner_2 Carlsbad, Calif.–Martin Milner, whose wholesome good looks helped make him the star of two hugely popular 1960s TV series, “Route 66” and “Adam-12,” has died at his home here Sept. 6. He was 83.

Longtime MSTies will remember his performance as Lyle Kingman in the movie in episode K13- SST: DEATH FLIGHT.

His AP obit is here.

Thanks to Timmy for the heads up.

RIP Sergio Ciani (aka Alan Steel)

AlanSteel1 Ostia, Italy — Italian actor Sergio Ciana, sometimes billed as Alan Steel, died in his sleep at his home here Sept. 5, two days short of his 80th birthday. MSTies will recall that he played Hercules (really Maciste) in the movie in episode 410- HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN and also had a small role in the movie in 408- HERCULES UNCHAINED. So far only Italian web sites are reporting it, but when an English obit is posted we’ll update with a link.

Thanks to Bobbie for the heads up.

What to Binge This Weekend? Of Course!

Ethan Alter of Yahoo TV has a suggestion of what to binge this weekend, and it turns out to be our favorite cowtown puppet show.

Thanks to Paul for the heads up.

Weekend Discussion Thread: A Movie Element that Actually Impressed

Alert emailer “Torgo02” wonders:

I am curious if anyone has instances where some detail presented in the movie really impressed them. My as “twice and a half times sixty” (i.e., 150). The Sumerians used a base-60 number system. I have always been impressed that the writers incorporated this fact. As for the accuracy of the rest of the movie, well…

My pick would be the sets in “Magic Voyage of Sinbad” especially the Indian scenes. It’s actually pretty impressive.

Your choice?

Trace On ‘Svengoolie’

The great Svengoolie recently posted on his Facebook page:

Sat. nite- it’s William Castle’s “Night Walker” with Barbara Stanwyck! A new show, AND a special appearance by our friend Trace Beaulieu! MeTV 10 p.m. e/p, 9 c, check local listings.