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Sampo & Erhardt

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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: 106- The Crawling Hand

Movie: (1963) An astronaut’s capsule crashes in the ocean and his severed hand (controlled by an unknown alien force) washes up on a beach, where it is found by a moody teen. Soon both are on respective rampages.

First shown: 12/16/89 (unconfirmed)
Opening: Joel explains the premise
Invention exchange: Joel demonstrates his scary safety saw; the Mads demonstrate the limb lengthener
Host segment 1: J&tB bowl, then Crow and Tom don’t want to play any more games with Joel
Host segment 2: J&tB do Shatner with their own crawling hand
Host segment 3: The bots: Why is a dismembered hand scary?
End: Good thing/bad thing, letter, Larry’s limbs are still lengthy
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (126 votes, average: 3.84 out of 5)

• Not too much to say about this one: bad print of a talky black and white teen scifi thriller (with a notable cast); riffing is adequate but not outstanding; host segments are relatively weak, particularly segment three, where the arrival of Gypsy in a giant hand costume is a “WTF” ending to a labored bit.
• This episode was released by Rhino as a single.
• References.
• THIS episode, not episode 104, is the REAL first time for the opening segment. It’s also the first episode where we can see buttons on the table. Joel explains the show’s premise slowly, like he’s talking to kindergarteners. He makes a point of gesturing to the buttons when Deep 13 calls. However, there are still no Bots are on the set during the invention exchange.
• This show is the first time we see Joel pop a grape into his mouth after tapping the buttons. Joel would later explain that the point of the bit was that the Mads were doing a behavior modification thing by rewarding him with a treat for pushing the button.
• Joel starts to mention the “vacuflowers” during the invention exchange. Vacuflowers were mentioned, I am told, in the first few KTMA eps, unfortunately fan copies of those episode don’t exist.
• Segment 1 is a re-do from episode K14 – MIGHTY JACK.
• Crow’s arms work during segment 1 and even Joel is surprised to learn that he can smell.
• The theater seats are, again, green.
• The role of moody teen Paul Lawrence is played by moderately successful teen idol Rod Lauren. His real name was Roger Lawrence Strunk, and in later life he became known as “the O. J. Simpson of the Philippines.”
In 1964, Lauren went to the Philippines to make a movie, and met Nida Blanca, a then-rising Filipina film star. The two became a couple and he married her in 1979 and moved permanently to Manila. Blanca eventually became a huge star in her native land. She would appear in more than 100 comedy, drama, horror and action films and in more than a dozen television shows, and was a beloved show business personality.
On Nov. 6, 2001, Blanca’s body was found in a parking garage, stabbed to death. The crime stunned the nation, and sparked a media frenzy in the Philippines. Suspicion immediately fell on Strunk: Authorities believed he hired an assassin to kill his wife because she had threatened to divorce and disinherit him. Philippine justice dragged on for a year or two (the alleged assassin and his cohort at first admitted the crime, then recanted claiming the confessions had been extracted by force) and Strunk was about to be charged at last when word came that Strunk’s mother in California was terminally ill. In a move that stunned many, authorities allowed him to return to the U.S. to be with her. She died not long after he returned home, and, a little while later, to nobody’s surprise, he announced he would not return to the Philippines, where he’d been charged in absentia. Philippine officials mounted an extradition effort, but their presentation to a U.S. magistrate was a contradictory mess, and the judge denied it. He lived a low-profile life after that, but died July 11, 2007, from a fall from second-floor motel balcony (which many observers assumed was a suicide). He was 67.
• What’s “murder ball” in the context of bowling? Or did Joel want to play a completely different game?
• Crow’s apparently still sensitive about the whole “foreshortening” lecture Joel gave him several weeks ago, because he’s still harping on it.
• This episode also has the first appearance of a “I thought you were Dale!” joke, which would become a staple of season eight.
• This episode also gives us the deathless line: “Dames like her always keep beer around.”
• Trivia: Producer Joseph F. Robertson provided his own hand as the titular character.
• Stinger: Paul and the grumpy old man exchange awkward looks after Paul’s failed murder attempt.
• Cast and crew roundup: producer Joseph F. Robertson also produced “The Slime People” and “Agent for H.A.R.M. ” Associate producer Edward Finch Abrams also worked on “The Slime People,” as did associate producer Donald J. Hansen. Special effects guy Charles Duncan also worked on “The Slime People” and “The Phantom Planet.” Makeup guy Don Cash also worked on “Rocketship X-M.” Sound guy Earl Snyder also worked on “The Amazing Transparent Man,” “The Giant Gila Monster” and “The Killer Shrews.” In front of the camera: Peter Breck will be seen again in “The Beatniks.” Tristram Coffin was in “The Corpse Vanishes” and will be seen again in “Radar Secret Service” and “The Brute Man.” Jock Putnam was also in “The Slime People.” Ross Elliott will appear again in “The Indestructible Man. Alan Hale Jr. will be seen again in “The Giant Spider Invasion” and “Angels Revenge.”
• We’ll meet Allison Hayes again in “The Unearthly,” “Gunslinger” and “The Undead.” Peter Breck will appear in “The Beatniks.”
• CreditsWatch: Melanie Hartley is still additional production assistant, and Jim Erickson is the entire additional production staff. Again, the post production audio was provided by Rich Cook of TeleEdit in Minneapolis.
• Fave riff: “Wow! Look! She really IS smart!” Honorable mention: “And then the tape ran out.”

Joel Did a Reddit AMA Today

And here it is.

Titles on Vol. XXXII

They are:



520- RADAR SECRET SERVICE (with short: “Last Clear Chance”)


The set comes out in March. More details when we get them.

Three Episodes on Vimeo

Here’s the latest news from Vimeo:

Just in time for Turkey Day, Vimeo today announced the release of three newly cleared episodes of cult comedy series “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ to Vimeo On Demand.

The newly released episodes include:

· Jungle Goddess, the tale of two pilots in search of a missing heiress and her father’s reward money. They track her down in the African jungle where she is doing just fine, thank you.

· The Painted Hills, based on a novel about a kindly prospector who is murdered and his faithful pup takes on the perp.

· The Screaming Skull, wherein a neurotic woman is driven to distraction – if not destruction – by the ghost of her new husband’s previous wife.

The release expands upon Vimeo’s partnership with Shout! Factory launched earlier in the year, which gives fans of the beloved show the option to buy the entire collection for $300 (a savings of $500), buy individual titles for $9.99 or rent individual titles for $2.99 each. Fans who purchase the collection – now containing 83 episodes – will also receive any additional newly cleared episodes added between now and September 15, 2015. Anyone that previously purchased the MST3K Collection on Vimeo On Demand will automatically receive the newly cleared episodes.

As part of today’s announcement Vimeo and Shout! Factory have unveiled a dedicated website to rent and download MST3K episodes.

New RiffTrax VOD Feature


Download or stream it here, and abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Bill Interview

David Mello of interviews Bill, who discusses the upcoming live show and his “Super-Powered Revenge Christmas.”

Joel Interview

The “Pod People” podcast interviews Joel about the proposed MST3K reboot, the upcoming web series “Other Space” and other science facts. Listen to it here.

Magic Voice Gets a Mention

We haven’t see this too often. A piece by Molly Fitzpatrick at, pegged to the passing of Carol Ann Susi, who provided the voice for the unseen Mrs. Wolowitz on “The Big Bang Theory,” lists beloved TV characters that were heard and not seen, and, wow, Magic Voice makes the cut! (As the commenters in the story point out, how Molly could have left out Carlton the door man, we’ll never know.)

This is the first time (that I can remember) Magic Voice was ever the focus of a media mention. By the way, the story credits Mary Jo but, for the record, Jann Johnson and Alex Carr did it before her, and Beez McKeever did it after her.

Thanks to Paul for the heads up.

Weekend Discussion Thread: Which Dinner/Party/Gathering in a MSTed Movie Would You Like to Be Invited to?

Holiday gatherings are happening and alert regular Sue suggests:

We’ve had “which party in a MST’ed movie would you most like to be invited to” and “Which MST characters would you invite for Thanksgiving,” but how about “Which dinner or meal in a MSTed movie or short would you most like to be invited to?”
The food in “Young Man’s Fancy” sounded pretty good — ham steak (although it looked like some other kind of meat altogether), potatoes, buttered beans, and cherry pie with whipped cream. The big downside would be listening to Alexander Phipps go on and on about electricity and Judy being squishy.

Your pick can be any kind of gathering, but I’m going to go with the snarky dinner in “It Conquered the World.” I’d just have to have some 3×5 cards with rude observations on them.

What’s your pick?

New Short from RiffTrax


Yes, the “At Your Fingertips” series returns.

Download or stream it here.