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

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This Date in MSTory

1908: Lawrence W. Butler, who did the special effects for the movie in episode 401- SPACE TRAVELERS.
1908: Robert Farfan, assistant director of the movie in episode 423- BRIDE OF THE MONSTER.
1909: John Burton, set decorator for the movies in episodes 509- THE GIRL IN LOVERS LANE, 524-12 TO THE MOON and 618- HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT.**
1921: Gene Kauer, musical score composer for the movies in episodes 518- THE ATOMIC BRAIN, 621- THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS and 815- AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.
1923: Peter Davies, sound re-recordist for the movie in episode 416- FIRE MAIDENS FROM OUTER SPACE.
1931: Bruno Mattei a.k.a. Gilbert Roussel, assistant director for the movie in episode 911- DEVIL FISH.
1941: Paul Anka, who played Jimmy Parlow in the movie in episode 601- GIRLS TOWN.*
1941: Jerry Whittington, electrician for the movie in episode 1012- SQUIRM.*
1944: Lee Dichter, sound mixer for the movie in episode 1007- TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST.*

1968: Thomas Haisch (age 71), set decorator for the movie in episode 206- RING OF TERROR.
1972: Eddie Carmel (age 37), who played the closet monster in the movie in episode 513- THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE.
1995: Fernando Cicero (age 64), who had a role in the movie for episode 408- HERCULES UNCHAINED.
2000: Max Showalter a.k.a. Casey Adams (age 83), who played Lt. Dick Chasen in episode 409- THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN.
2000: Nan Leslie (age 74), who played Trinka in the movie in episode 417- CRASH OF MOONS.
2002: Willy Mattes (age 86), musical score composer for the movie in episode 1011- HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND.
2007: Ingmar Bergman (age 89), whose supposed joke was told by Mike and the bots in a host segment in episode 617- THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON.

1994: Episode 603- THE DEAD TALK BACK (with the short THE SELLING WIZARD) first shown.

1980: The movie in episode K19- HANGAR 18 is reviewed in Variety.

This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce This Date in MSTory items in any form without express written permission from the authors.
* = According to the IMBD this person is alive. If you can supply evidence that he or she has died, and when, please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a birthday, the IMDB indicates that the person has died, but the IMDB does not have a full death date (probably just a month and year or just the year he or she died). If you can give us the exact date (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a death date, the IMDB does not have this person’s full birthday. If you can provide it (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.

UPDATE: Vol. 33 Reviews

Into the news desk first is our pal Bruce Westbrook.

UPDATE: The official release date was yesterday, so…

Kyle Anderson at has a review.

Adam Frazier at has one too.

So does Jamil Scalese at

As does Matt Hinrichs at

Did I miss any?

Weekend Discussion Thread: Eps Your Significant Other Enjoys

Alert reader Rick suggests:

Significant others. Don’t we love them? And, do they love our obsession with MST3K? My girlfriend of seven years was a MSTie Turkey Day fan in college, but beyond that had been away from the show until we met. She now is the proud owner of her own top 10 episode list (and beyond) and embraces my passion. Her number 1 episode: Angels Revenge.
So, what experiments does your significant other like? Or, are they more obsessed than you, or, not interested?

My wife is hearing impaired, and it’s hard to read a puppet’s lips or read the lips of a guy who has his back to you. So she’s not a crazed fan, but she likes the host segments (especially the Deep 13 segments) and definitely enjoys the ones that are being closed captioned by Shout. She particularly likes The Movie.

What’s your special person think?

New Shorts from RiffTrax…


Double the pleasure, double the fun. It’s two shorts from Bridget and Mary Jo in one. Stream or download them here.

Episode guide: 314- Mighty Jack

Movie: (1968 TV series; 1987 compilation movie) A top secret organization, called Mighty Jack, makes use of a giant submarine, called Mighty Jack, to battle terrorist organization Q.

First shown: 9/21/91
Opening: Something horrible has happened on the SOL … face!
Invention exchange: The Mads show off the formal flipper; J&tB demonstrate ear-shaped earmuffs
Host segment 1: The bots show Joel their Mighty Jack pet food commercial
Host segment 2: The bots put Joel in the blinding light compartment
Host segment 3: Joel goes off the deep end while suggesting underwater movie ideas
End: J&tB sing “Slow the Plot Down!” and Frank’s quoting Melville, arr.
Stinger: He died as he lived … lovin’ his work.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (116 votes, average: 4.12 out of 5)

• I’m going to put this in the “good-not great” column. The Brains are on such a roll at this point in the season that even a bolus like this movie can’t stop their momentum. There are a few slow/quiet patches in the riffing and segment 3 is a bit strange, but there’s a lot more to like in this episode than dislike.
• This episode appears on Shout Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXII.”
• For one of of only two times until he would leave the show, Joel is NOT wearing the standard maroon jumpsuit he’s been wearing since episode 212. Our jumpsuit list in Ward E calls it “pastel green,” dsman71 calls it “teal.” You make the call.
• The opening is a lot of fun. “I’m blind! That thing cut me!” cracks me up every time.
• Jerry the Mole person gets another mention.
• Then-hot phrase: “Hello, Federal!”
• At the beginning of the invention exchange, you may be wondering why there is Velcro on the bots’ heads. You soon find out.
• Tom’s little speech about winter sounds like it’s from something. Anybody recognize it?”
• Yikes, those awful pictures at the beginning of the movie. Bleah.
• Yes, Joel, the joke was a little racist, or at least languageist.
• Callbacks: Puma? (Ring of Terror) Also: “That’s pretty good!” (Sidehackers) “Glenn Corbett! (Stranded in Space) “Hikeeba!” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet) “You’re stuck here!” and “He tried to kill me…” (Fugitive Alien) and “It’s Gamera!”
• Segment 1 is just so conversational and laid-back, it’s a great example of their unique style of humor.
• Obscure riff (for me, at least): Riffing on the horn stuff in score, Servo rattles off the names of several horn players I recognized. But Teo Macero I had not heard of.
• Segment two is a real gem, one for the highlight reel. “You have GOT to be KIDDING me, Crow!”
• You can tell this episode was written only a few months after the end of the first Gulf War. It features a lot of buzzwords and phrases from that era, including “collateral damage” and “baby formula factory.”
• Vaguely dirty riff: “I was just daydreaming.” Also: Movie: “Full thrust!” Crow: “Really!?”
• Regional riff: There’s a reference to Tommy Bartlett, the Wisconsin impresario responsible for several attractions in the Wisconsin Dells. You pretty much have to have vacationed in the Midwest to get that one.
• Like “Time of the Apes” and “Fugitive Alien” before it, this is the first and last episodes of a TV series season, with a little connecting filler thrown in. Initially I, like Crow, could barely even remember anything that I had seen. The movie seemed to self-erase in my memory as I watched it. It took many viewings to get any sense of what the damn thing was about, or for any of it to stick in my memory.
• Joel follows right up on the “Earth vs Soup” bit from last week.
• Joel mentions Shake-a-Pudd’n. I loved Shake-a-Pudd’n. Or maybe I just loved the commercials. I forget.
• The “Slow the Plot Down” song is a classic. Note the way the camera rocks slightly as they sing. Makes me a little nauseous.
• There really isn’t a cast and crew roundup this time. There were a few people who were in other episodes but they were all mentioned already in previous episode guide installments.
• CreditsWatch: Mary Flaa completes her two-episode stint as hair and makeup person, and was never seen or heard from again. Trace and Frank are still guest “villians” (misspelled) and Dr. F’s last name is still spelled “Forrestor.”
• Fave riff: “Meanwhile, back on the Greasy Bastard…” Honorable mention: “Oh, my aching imperialist dogs!”

RIP Van Alexander

LOS ANGELES–Van Alexander, the three-time Emmy-nominated composer and band leader who co-wrote “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” with Ella Fitzgerald and went on to score dozens of films and TV shows in the 1950s and ’60s, died of heart failure Sunday, July 19, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center here. He was 100.
MSTies will remember his work as the musical score composer for the movie in episode 601- GIRLS TOWN.

Variety has the obit.

Thanks to my angels of death, Duane and Paul, for the heads up.

Now Available from RiffTrax…


Stream or download it here.

Weekend Discussion Thread: MSTed Movies You Saw Before MST3K

We did something very like this a number of years ago, but let’s do it again anyway. Alert regular Susan suggests…

Another suggestion: MST’ed movies you saw **before** they were riffing fodder, and what you thought of them.
My contribution would be memories of a very wimpy child. I saw “The Mole People” and “Teenagers from Outer Space” on the old 1960s Saturday afternoon b&w TV horror movie wastelands. TfOS scared the *** out of me with that skeletonizing ray gun! When I saw the movie again decades later on MST3K, I’d completely forgotten about it and was shocked to see scenes that I remember as being frightening looking so cheesy now. But, hey, I was just a little girl.

I’ve loved cheesy giant bug movies since I was a kid, and as a little boy “Beginning of the End” RIVETED me. I also remember “Kitten with a Whip” seeming VERY sexy to me! Smile

Do you have any memories?


…to Timothy Van Patten for today’s Emmy nomination in the “Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series” category for the “Eldorado” episode of “Boardwalk Empire.” Van Patten, of course, played Max Keller in episodes 322- MASTER NINJA I and 324- MASTER NINJA II before going on to a stellar directing career.

Restored ‘Manos’ Due in Fall

According the Synapse Films Facebook page:

SYNAPSE FILMS ART REVEAL for our upcoming edition of MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE! Cover art created by the awesome Joel Robinson, a man we’ve known for years and we’ve finally had the opportunity to work with. More details to come, but we’re fast-tracking this one as an October “Halloween” release. Once everything is coordinated for the sellsheet, etc. we may make the formal announcement next week, with extras, pre-order cut off, and street date details! To all the “Manos” restoration Kickstarter supporters out there… we are working RIGHT NOW to get both the DVD and BLU versions finished well before the “public” street date, so that all those that donated to Ben Solovey’s Kickstarter campaign for his restoration will receive their copies well ahead of everyone else. Stay tuned! For more information on Ben Solovey’s restoration efforts, please visit his site at: