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603 - The Dead Talk Back



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255 laughs

Comments (97) Best Riffs (255)

'Only women bleed'
Klaatu - 27 days ago
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If you'll notice, Hope Byington @ 29:03 looks like Alice Cooper!
But that's not very fare to Alice


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Does anyone know what is happening at the beginning at the movie? Someone is sneaking up on some people kissing in a car somewhere. Why? Even after watching it several times, I can't figure out why on earth this is relevant at all, and it's driving me crazy! Did anyone catch something I missed?


Guitar Solo?!
1 laugh

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It bears mentioning that (Crow's cute little Stratocaster notwithstanding): that was a paint-peelingly boring SYNTH solo. I didn't hear ~any~ actual guitar notes. A few of BestBrains know 'cowboy chords' on guitar, but none of them play single-note lines; keyboard is a little more accessible for that to 'hobbyist' musicians.


WORST DEFINITION OF METAPHYSICIAN EVER
Kelly Slane - 3 months ago
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"In brief, a metaphysician is either a philosopher whose area of expertise is the study of the fundamental nature of reality and existence and/or, more esoterically, a practicing healer/adviser that changes physical reality by working with the principles and powers and ‘things’ that underlie it, and especially the mind or psyche."
Quote from an actual modern person who answers to the title of "metaphysician".
Speaking from someone currently taking a philosophy class, I'd say for the philosopher its basically the mind-body argument. Which exists, do both exist, what's more important, etc. Every philosopher will have a metaphysical position, i.e. where they fall on the mind-body argument, and SOME OF THEM DEFINITELY BELIEVE YOU ARE DEAD WHEN YOU DIE. They would be the materialists, those who fall on the body side of the argument.
So: there exist Metaphysicians who would HUGELY debate the "Metaphysician" in this film.
(Philosophy is awesome, everyone should take at least one class in it!)


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"she didn't like boyfriends"
WTF does that mean?


Joshua Pray - 7 months ago
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If any revolution is to be televised, it is definitely the selling revolution.


S.A. Nathe - 8 months ago
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i can't LAUGH this one, it's right up there with Dr. Z, and a few others that have little about them that actually appeal to me, even with the riffing


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There's so much pausing in this movie's dialogue it's almost like it was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn! Boom!


another reason to re-watch
Rosebud - 10 months ago
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After a dozen viewings, I still find new riffs: Narrator to the German guy: "only one thing was on his mind...". Reunification. Zing!


Veklorr Vigorr - about 1 year ago
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This copy is a bit low quality. Kinda wish we could get one with a better sound quality so we can hear that sweet, sweet guitar solo better.


Allison Peepington - over 3 years ago
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This episode is one of the reasons i love this site. I did not get to see it before the show went off the air. after finding it online years later i have to say it is now one of my favorites.


K.T. Robot - about 3 years ago
2 laughs

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What is a Philadelphia pint?


Jane Sproul - almost 3 years ago
3 laughs

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Not saying that the music clerk was a *good* husband, of course, but 'miserly'? How much money does he even have? And does it really matter as much as 'mental torture'?


Mark Heckman - about 2 years ago
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When Renee is changing clothes and in her negligee, Mike says "So round, so firm, so fully packed." Kind of a throw away line and not all that funny. But it's actually a line from a John Hartford song called "The Golden Globe Award". Listen to that song and the line instantly becomes a classic...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gw3Dc-EXmo


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is telekenis teleportation of the penis?


Scooter Atreides - about 5 years ago
9 laughs

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Call me weird, but I think the Selling Wizard girl is hot :)

But then, I thought the same about Judy--the "squishy" girl from Young Man's Fancy :D


Favorite Things That Weren't Mentioned Or Riffed
Mitchell - over 2 years ago
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Favorite thing #1- When the cops lead the photographer away from his photo shoot for questioning- his model, who never says a word, continues to pose there as if she's just going to wait for him to return. She may still be there for all we know!


Gigantor! - about 4 years ago
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I was surprised to discover that Aldo Farnese ("Henry Krasker") died at the age of 57 in 1994-- a year after the movie was released! He was only twenty years old when it was filmed, in 1957. (He could've passed for middle-aged, IMHO.) Weird, huh?


yaaaawwwnnnn.......
Sean Barry - almost 4 years ago
2 laughs

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This one's pretty tedious, thank Jebus for Mike n Bots, but I'm gonna have to watch the second half tomorrow night.


Leave Robert Denby Alone! - about 1 year ago
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'If he tries anything funny just call out' - and what? You'll play that horn thing at him?


Mitchell - over 2 years ago
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Favorite thing #2- When the photographer first starts to run (in the thrilling chase scene) the cop who doesn't run grabs the arm of the other cop- apparently for no other reason than to slow him down and give the photog a head start. Nice blocking!


Stereo Catz - about 4 years ago
5 laughs

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Embalming kind of makes the air-horn unnecessary.


The Devil Commands (1941)
Donald Petkus - over 1 year ago
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Boris Karloff played a scientist trying to use technology to communicate with his dead wife.It is a much better film exploring the concept of talking with the dead. Of course, today's offering was low budget, but they could have put more effort into the script.


Leslie Doesn't Get You - over 3 years ago
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"You can solve murders by just contacting the murdered." Essentially the main premise of the show Pushing Daisies.


Thrillhoser - over 1 year ago
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One of my favorite movies! Really great riffing and incredibly silly story, also amateurish acting. Its one of the best for the MST3K treatment. :)


CEOs of Golan-Globus - over 1 year ago
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It just dawned on me after several viewings... the "scientist" sounds a lot like Marvin the Martian.


Fancy Pantserton - almost 5 years ago
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Coulda swore the scruffy private eye at the beginning said "Have you been hearing odd stories about Chuck Barry? Telepathy? The Fourth dimension?" ♫All of these things are unlike the others♫none of these things can be called the same♫


MSTeacher3K - over 3 years ago
3 laughs

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Watching the detective light a cigarette while interviewing witnesses at the boarding house got me to thinking: most old movies show people smoking frequently, and in every kind of scene. But why? Did the actors do so as part of their character development, or were people so addicted to nicotine that they literally couldn't wait to smoke?


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Contrary to first impressions, this movie does actually have something of a plot. It's chopped to pieces, and those pieces are shuffled out of order, and then spaced out with enough padding that they kind of get lost, but it is all there. I'll see if I can explain. Note that this will, of course, include spoilers. I suggest watching the movie first.

The kid is an irresponsible skinflint. Twice in his life, he's gotten married only to have his wife file for divorce within a matter of weeks. Both times, the women said he was impossible to get along with and maddeningly tight-fisted.

His uncle dies. The will says he's due for a significant inheritance, but that the money is to be kept in trust. If the kid stays out of trouble until a certain date, he'll get the money. But if he slips up, no dice.

The kid moves in to the boarding house, meets the model, and has a fling with her. They go off on a drunken trip to Vegas or somewhere and get married. As usual, it doesn't last.

But she knows that if word gets to his parents, he'll lose his inheritance. She uses that as leverage, demanding he give her money or else she'll tell. She asks for $5, then $10, then more.

He snaps. He gets out the old crossbow he had from hunting with his dad in years gone by, makes an improvised bolt out of a curtain rod, and shoots her.

(The photographer drops by, sees the body, and runs, breaking off the heel of his shoe in the process. This becomes a red herring.)

The police question the kid. He admits that he gave her money, but insists that they got along really well and it wasn't a big deal. They counter by telling him they've read the divorce papers showing his ex-wives describing him as miserly and impossible to get along with. It's a direct contradiction, but it's far from proof.

The "psychic" detective sets up a pseudo-scientific seance. The first demonstration gets the photographer to confess that he'd seen the body and run. The second goes on longer. The girl dressed as the victim sits up in her coffin. It's supposed to make the kid nervous, convinced that he's about to be outed as the murderer and perhaps even subjected to some kind of supernatural revenge.

He doesn't buy it. Instead, he jumps up, declaring "Ah-ha! I knew I couldn't have actually killed you!" (It's not clear exactly what he was thinking or feeling. Likely, he snapped when he killed her, felt guilt over the crime, and tried to convince himself that it hadn't really happened and somehow it would turn out okay.)

Everyone looks at him, and he realizes it's over. He confesses to the whole thing. The seance is revealed to have been a scam from the start. Just a psychological trick to sweat out the confession. The kid is arrested, and everyone else goes on with their lives.


Snuffy Wuffykiss - about 2 years ago
2 laughs

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So... The dead don't talk back.


Bruce Box-Liker - almost 4 years ago
6 laughs

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"Your methods have not always been -- and I use this term loosely -- orthodox."

I keep rolling this line over in my mind, and it just baffles me. He's loosely using a term to express what he does not think his methods were? So his methods were only "loosely" not orthodox?


Phil Carstens - almost 4 years ago
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So, he shot her with a sharpened curtain rod? And the investigators didn't notice? You'd think they would. Then they could search everyone's rooms and find out which has the missing curtain rod.

Boom, I'm smarter than this movie's cops.


Leslie Doesn't Get You - about 4 years ago
10 laughs

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Wait, horizontal shelving? Really, film short? As opposed to... what, exactly?


Teri Gee - about 4 years ago
4 laughs

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Are we supposed to know what's going on with the people in the cars at the beginning of the movie? I just don't get what's going on. Does it actually tie in to the rest of the movie at any point or is it like the random murder at the beginning of The Beast of Yucca Flats?


Bruce Box-Liker - over 4 years ago
8 laughs

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This is one of those terrible stories that only knows how to do an impression of a murder mystery; they had seen enough mysteries to know that they consist of a lengthy investigation followed by an unveiling at the end, but it hadn't occurred to them that the two should be related.

And what was the thought process that went into the gambit at the end? "I bet we can trick the murderer into admitting guilt by making him think he's only admitting to *attempted* murder!"


John Harms - about 5 years ago
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I've never seen so many unneeded scenes in a movie before. Going into the music store to show the bongo players, the drawn out interrogation of Kruger... I just shook my head as the both passed.


Cliff Beefpile - over 5 years ago
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So, why can't Mike be a truly world-class dancer? Thoughts?


Sage Harpuia - over 5 years ago
6 laughs

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... Why would Winston Churchill care about American Football?


10 laughs

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I love all the Ed McMahon references at the end of the short... "Ed McMahon's Budweiser Ice Cream!" "Hi-yooooooooo!"


Alex Stefanic - almost 6 years ago
21 laughs

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Crow's guitar solo....'nuff said.


Caleb Fountain - over 3 years ago
6 laughs

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Criminal Procedure by Mike and the Bots:

"So help me, lieutenant, if you would have let me handle that man my way, I would have knocked it out of him." -- "It's too bad, but they don't do that anymore." -- UH, YES THEY DO.

"You can't hold a man, or convict him, because he buys a new pair of shoes." THAT'S THE BASIS OF OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM.

All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten; all I really need to know about Criminal Procedure I learned on MST3k.


The Princess Elizena - almost 2 years ago
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This one is so amazing in so many ways! I forgot!


Super McWonderfull - almost 5 years ago
14 laughs

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45:20 .......... CROW IS : JERRY GARCIA

And a little to well if I might add. The 2 hour long guitar solo is
very accurate.


"Turn on your ~Spot~light...."
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Crow foreshadowing the Grateful Dead schtick during the short. That is all.


Richard Deakin - over 3 years ago
2 laughs

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Crow Garcia's guitar solo is even better and Looongerrr than Ted Nugent's 'Stranglehold" Woow! THE ENO lol


K.T. Robot - about 3 years ago
2 laughs

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I love how the movie works actual peoples names into the movie...really smooth.


Rhys Patterson - almost 5 years ago
7 laughs

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That initial silhouette of the selling wizard reminded me of the ark of the covanent. It was treated almost the same too... Only it would like keep nazis from melting...maybe


Atom Manhattan - almost 4 years ago
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1) Crow's rocking out with the guitar in the Garcia getup...probably my favorite bit of all time.
2) this was easily one of the worst movies ever. Horrible script/characters/directing/acting on an epic level...this flick is just one huge @#$%ing train wreck.


A Lush Cocktail Rescue - about 4 years ago
3 laughs

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Every police scene in this episode makes me laugh like an idiot.


Mary Alice Orchard - almost 5 years ago
5 laughs

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"This?" "Is THIS"


Benji Hollister - over 5 years ago
6 laughs

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the props used in the beginning by our "scientist" are hysterical. I love when they all crack up together


Alek Balobeck - almost 6 years ago
2 laughs

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Why are so many of these episodes all wobbily? Is there a reason?


Mal'te'akh Malithion - over 4 years ago
5 laughs

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"Why am I always subjected to the works of the devil?!" Because nobody LIKES you.


HypnoHelioStaticStasis - almost 3 years ago
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Crow is cute with a beard.


Christopher Pucknell - about 3 years ago
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they're on top form!


Teri Gee - over 3 years ago
4 laughs

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Every so often there's a scene where I wish I could have been there to see how they filmed it. In this case, I would love to have seen the fire drill. You had three people down in the trenches, Mike up top, and the whole crew walking across the set...and then, what? Did they stop filming and move everyone over to walk across the set again? Or did they keep the camera rolling and quietly run Gypsy around while Mike walked around back so they could walk across again? Or is the trench enough space to move Gypsy over behind the counter? I just think it would have been interesting to see.


Ken Beatty - over 4 years ago
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I think I have had the laugh button for the episode work like twice out of the almost dozen times I have tried. A bunch of times it actually reduced the number of laughs. This time the number just stayed the same....anyone else see this?


MSTeacher3K - over 3 years ago
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On the 'bots' radio show, Winston Churchill sounds more like JFK. I'm pretty sure it's Trace doing the voice, but he has no British accent at all!


Stephen A Nathe - over 3 years ago
3 laughs

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god, this is just a boring movie....


Stud Cumming doesn't care - over 3 years ago
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I think one of my favourite parts of this episode would have to be Dr. Forrester's reaction to Frank spilling his guts and confessing to everything.

Oh, and he looks good in a fedora.


The humanity - over 3 years ago
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This is such an awful film that it's hilarious, especially the wonky scientist.
Crow's solo really gets old fast though...


Aaron Kuehmichel - almost 5 years ago
11 laughs

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The Grateful Dead sketch gets me every. Single. Time. Classic! This episode deserves more 'Laughs'!


The humanity - over 3 years ago
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Its hilarious every time they do the Kermit voice for the scientist


Classicats - over 3 years ago
8 laughs

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The Dudley Do-right/Kermit the Frog-style voice the guys do for the bespectacled "medium" makes me laugh every time. It doesn't even seem to matter what they're saying; I still crack up.


Great Scott - almost 4 years ago
6 laughs

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47:45, the return of Crow's sensible pants?


jason roggasch - over 3 years ago
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Man im dyin for a Nelson. And i dont even smoke. Cigarettes. I am suffering from a serious head injury so thats what happened with that '' joke''. Im as much a victim as you are . Think about it wont you.


Cy O'Nara - about 4 years ago
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Did anyone notice Nelson, Tom and Crow singing "Atmospheres" (the weird voice chorale in 2001: A Spade Odyssey when the monolith appeared to the apemen)... while they showed the first silhouette of the The Selling Wizard?
"Brilliant...and sophisticated!!!" ~ says I.B. Snooty of the London Philharmonic.
MST3K deserves the Nobel Prize for ...umm... Crackupitude!


A Lush Cocktail Rescue - about 4 years ago
2 laughs

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This is my favorite episode btw


Joseph Ewing - almost 4 years ago
2 laughs

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Does anyone know the relevance of Tom's line, " "He's tacking into the wind"? at 1:17:49?


DEATH! - almost 4 years ago
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Crowster's guitar solo.......Bravo!


Mitchell - over 4 years ago
7 laughs

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Could this film be sued for false advertising? Shouldn't they at least have to put up a disclaimer that in fact, throughout the entire film, NO dead EVER talk back? Or talk at all. Or even mumble.


4 laughs

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I'm surprised (as both a HeadDead and a MYSTie) that TV's wisecracking Crow lost the beard and hair each time they went back in the theater; all 3 of them usually have any skit's wig on when they go back to a movie (remember Mike's beehive? Crow and Tom's hockey hair?)....."The Skinny Bot Rocks!"


Bruce Ellsworth Reed - about 4 years ago
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So round, so firm, so fully packed," talking about the cigarette, but ya gotta love some of these double entendres! @ 00:31:51


A Lush Cocktail Rescue - about 4 years ago
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At 8:51 , Trace makes a really creepy noise that sounds like "Nyeehhheheeeh," when the pizza dominatrix tries to wink and smile. Kills me.


Linda Televangelista - about 4 years ago
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1:19:20 "And when she came down, her face was split!" 'Bill Cosby Himself' reference!


Stereo Catz - about 4 years ago
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59:20 Why do they have a picture of Howdy Doody on the wall?


Stereo Catz - about 4 years ago
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“Where did he find it?” Through telepathy he told me he found it behind the garage. He had to use telepathy because as you saw he didn’t say a word since he came in.


Stereo Catz - about 4 years ago
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Who keeps mowing the lawn outside!?


Stereo Catz - about 4 years ago
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Poor Jim Kelley four super-bowls four loses. So unless talent scouts get rings Churchill knows some football.


Joseph Ewing - about 4 years ago
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"So? Big deal. My stools float." I can't believe I never got that joke until now. Haha. That's one of the best lines in the episode.


Elisa Farrington - over 4 years ago
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Well, I won't feel the same way about geodes ever again.


Bruce Ellsworth Reed - over 4 years ago
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*lol* I love MST! When I have a bad day, I always watch to get a laugh and cheer me up!


Colter Matthews - over 4 years ago
2 laughs

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I've always wondered this: Why did Dr. Forrester say to Mike "Your first short film"? This certainly wasn't his first short, that was "Is This Love?" and it wasn't even the first short of the season, that being in the previous episode "A Date with Your Family". It's such an odd way to introduce the short. Anyone else agree?


Gal Dagon - over 5 years ago
5 laughs

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I love the sketches in this one. Both the fire drill and the Jerry Garcia parody had me in stitches.


Kelly Slane - over 4 years ago
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*with accent* I don't smoke, but if I did, I'd smoke Nelson.


Rachel Adams - over 5 years ago
7 laughs

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The interrogation scenes in this are so great. They really know how to extract information.


Frederick Jacob Luebker - over 4 years ago
17 laughs

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"Leon, what are you doing down there?"
"Mom, I'm talking to the dead!"
"Did you look for a job today?"
"I put in some applications... lay off!"

Ive been there, man. Minus the talking to the dead part.


Kimono Dragon - almost 5 years ago
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Clearly a top 10 MSTie. Bad flick, great riffs, hilarious sketch, and an almost painful short. When outsiders ask about MST3K, I can direct them to this.


Jeffrey Brandenburg - over 4 years ago
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This was one of the greatest series of my teenage years, which would explain a lot... ha


Cliff Beefpile - over 5 years ago
11 laughs

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And what the hell is with that guy's hair!? It's like he walked into Supercuts and asked for the Bride of Frankenstein special.


Raymond Conklin - almost 5 years ago
12 laughs

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Crow's literal riffing rules! His jam-band solo guitar riffing, along with his hairy get-up, are priceless.


Mary Alice Orchard - almost 5 years ago
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*loud blaring horn* "It's hard for him to make friends, I think"


12 laughs

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This movie feels like the lovechild of Coleman Francis and Ed Wood.


Peter Privalov - about 5 years ago
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Is there a new link to this?


Ian Bruner - over 5 years ago
4 laughs

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I actually somewhat like this one. There's just enough cheese factor to not take seriously so you can enjoy it, and you can kinda tell that the actors had a bit of fun doing their parts.


B - over 5 years ago
14 laughs

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"Here's an interesting gadget." BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!


bob - almost 6 years ago
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"Is that a tick on her face?"