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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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In Memoriam, 2017

Our annual farewell…

Weekend Discussion Thread: Useless Technological Advances

Alert regular John writes:

It’s going to be 2018 soon (remember when 2000 was considered the far future?) and we’re living in an age of amazing technology. But, as Crow once quipped in the short ‘Design For Dreaming,’ “Just because it’s futuristic doesn’t mean it’s practical.” In that frame of thinking, what are some advanced/futuristic technologies from MST3K movies that just look like more trouble than they’re worth? M
y choice is the atomic hearing aid from ‘Wild World Of Batwoman’. Yeah, I wanna put THAT thing in my ear.

I’m going to have to go with rocketships that land on their tails. NASA, a while back, proved that it CAN be done. But it seems like energy that could be expended somewhere else.

Your pick?

Episode guide: 912- The Screaming Skull (with short ‘Robot Rumpus’)

912s

Short: (1956) A Gumby cartoon. Gumby builds robots to do his chores for him.
Movie: (1958) Newly married headcase Jenni sees human skulls everywhere in her new home.

First shown: 8/29/98
Opening: Tom has become a beautiful butterfly
Intro: Tom’s still a butterfly, but you can’t really tell; Pearl, Observer and Bobo pull a not-so-fast one on M&tB
Host segment 1: The bots try to work through the pain of the Gumby short
Host segment 2: The bots try to scam a free coffin
Host segment 3: Crow, disguised as a screaming skull, freaks Mike out
End: The coffin arrives from Coffins Etc.; Bobo fails to pull an even-less fast one on M&tB
Stinger: Hubby flings his stool.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (281 votes, average: 4.38 out of 5)
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• This is another one of those episode where the spectacularly funny short outshines some decent riffing on a drab, dull movie. I wonder how it even came up that they would be able to use this cartoon. The segments are hit and miss, but a couple of them are real classics.
• Bill’s thoughts on the episode are here.
References.
• This episode is featured on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXXI.
• This was the last episode of the show broadcast on Sci Fi Channel, January 31, 2004.
• Nice build on Servo in the opening segment; kudos to whoever did it.
• Watch Mike as Servo explains his metamorphosis. His reactions are great.
• The opening bit in the castle is one of those long-walk-for-a-little-bit gags, but I have to admit everybody’s costumes are pretty funny.
• I wonder why Pearl didn’t mention the short in her intro.
• M&tB are still wearing their costumes as they enter the theater.
• The short is simply sublime, hilarious from start to finish. The reaction by fans was overwhelmingly positive, with a lot of calls for more cartoons.
• Fave riff from the short: “Thank goodness for the internal genitalia!”
• Alex Nicol, who plays unhinged gardener Mickey, was also the director. So I think you can pretty much blame him for this movie.
• Again, another nice build for segment 1. And the segment is hilarious, a rare look at the world through the eyes of the bots.
• Last time around I wrote a long plea for somebody to explain the movie to me, and I got several good responses. As I understand it, we are to believe that, in addition to the skulls evil hubby Eric was placing around the house, the ghost of Eric’s dead first wife was capable of conjuring up tangible, corporeal objects (see the skeleton in the wedding dress, which is clearly a physical object–though it is transparent as it runs around the garden) in revenge for what we assume was his murder of her?
• This may not be the worst print of a movie they ever riffed, but it’s up there.
• That’s Barb Tebben as the as operator at Coffins Etc.
• Arty riff: “Pinched lady at Giverny.”
• Jenni disrobes down to her underwear at one point, and I think the movie was trying to titilate the audience a bit, but jeez-louise that is the least sexy bra ever.
• Segment 3 is an all-time favorite, one of those Looney Tunes-style segments that works perfectly. I particularly like the way Mike keeps screaming in horror as he carefully selects just the right golf club.
• Also note, right at the end of the sketch, Mike’s elbow accidentally(?) brushes against Servo’s head — and of course it immediately falls off.
• That’s Patrick in the closing bit as the delivery guy. His “this must be a great place to work” comment is probably something they heard at BBI a lot.
• I have to assume Kevin was boiling in that costume inside a costume.
• And the episode closes out with a little blast from the past: a forced perspective gag. Paging Joel…
• Cast and crew roundup: Executive producers Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson worked on too many MST3K movies to name. In front of the camera, Peggy Webber was in “Space Children.”
• Creditwatch: Directed by Kevin. Andrea DuCane couldn’t do hair and makeup this episode (the only episode in season 9 where she didn’t) so Mary K. Flaa took her place. Barry Schulman, who renewed them one last time just before getting canned, gets a special mention in the credits.
• Fave riff: “Wow, too bad. So…some?” Honorable mention: “GET A BOX!”

RIP Bill Agee

SEATTLE — Bill Agee, who will be best remembered as one of the youngest CEOs of a major corporation (auto parts maker Bendix Corp.) until allegations about his personal life overshadowed his career, died in a hospital here Dec. 20 of respiratory failure. He was 79.

But for MSTies, he will be remembered for his one and only acting role as doomed Frank Dixon Jr. in the short “Last Clear Chance,” which was featured in episode 520- RADAR SECRET SERVICE.

His New York Times obituary, here, does not mention his brief film career.

Thanks to Duane for the heads up.

Weekend Discussion Thread: Christmas MST3K Traditions

Our pal Timmy writes:

To quote a TV special shown every year at this time, Christmas time is here. Every year, I watch my DVDs of all the Christmas related shows (from MST3K, Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax). Its an annual tradition with me. So what are your annual Christmas traditions with the show? Have a wonderful Patrick Swayze Christmas everyone.