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603 - The Dead Talk Back



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239 laughs

Comments (93) Best Riffs (249)

another reason to re-watch
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Rosebud - about 1 month ago

After a dozen viewings, I still find new riffs: Narrator to the German guy: "only one thing was on his mind...". Reunification. Zing!


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is telekenis teleportation of the penis?


2 laughs

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


1 laugh

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Veklorr Vigorr - 4 months ago

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.


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Leave Robert Denby Alone! - 6 months ago

'If he tries anything funny just call out' - and what? You'll play that horn thing at him?


The Devil Commands (1941)
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Donald Petkus - 9 months ago

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.


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Thrillhoser - 9 months ago

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


2 laughs

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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?


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CEOs of Golan-Globus - 9 months ago

It just dawned on me after several viewings... the "scientist" sounds a lot like Marvin the Martian.


5 laughs

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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.


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The Princess Elizena - over 1 year ago

This one is so amazing in so many ways! I forgot!


Guitar Solo?!
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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.


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


1 laugh

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Mark Heckman - over 1 year ago

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


2 laughs

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Snuffy Wuffykiss - over 1 year ago

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


Favorite Things That Weren't Mentioned Or Riffed
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Mitchell - over 1 year ago

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!


4 laughs

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Mitchell - over 1 year ago

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!


3 laughs

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Jane Sproul - about 2 years ago

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'?


2 laughs

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HypnoHelioStaticStasis - about 2 years ago

Crow is cute with a beard.


2 laughs

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Christopher Pucknell - over 2 years ago

they're on top form!


2 laughs

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K.T. Robot - over 2 years ago

What is a Philadelphia pint?


2 laughs

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K.T. Robot - over 2 years ago

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


3 laughs

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Teri Gee - over 2 years ago

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.


3 laughs

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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.


3 laughs

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MSTeacher3K - over 2 years ago

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?


2 laughs

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MSTeacher3K - over 2 years ago

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!


6 laughs

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Caleb Fountain - over 2 years ago

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.


4 laughs

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The humanity - over 2 years ago

Its hilarious every time they do the Kermit voice for the scientist


3 laughs

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The humanity - over 2 years ago

This is such an awful film that it's hilarious, especially the wonky scientist.
Crow's solo really gets old fast though...


3 laughs

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Stephen A Nathe - almost 3 years ago

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


8 laughs

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Classicats - almost 3 years ago

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.


4 laughs

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Allison Peepington - almost 3 years ago

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.


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jason roggasch - almost 3 years ago

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.


1 laugh

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Leslie Doesn't Get You - almost 3 years ago

"You can solve murders by just contacting the murdered." Essentially the main premise of the show Pushing Daisies.


2 laughs

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Richard Deakin - almost 3 years ago

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


yaaaawwwnnnn.......
2 laughs

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Sean Barry - about 3 years ago

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


2 laughs

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Joseph Ewing - about 3 years ago

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


4 laughs

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Atom Manhattan - about 3 years ago

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.


6 laughs

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Bruce Box-Liker - about 3 years ago

"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?


2 laughs

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DEATH! - about 3 years ago

Crowster's guitar solo.......Bravo!


6 laughs

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Great Scott - about 3 years ago

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


7 laughs

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Phil Carstens - about 3 years ago

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.


1 laugh

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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!


6 laughs

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Gigantor! - over 3 years ago

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?


2 laughs

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Such as Seals - over 3 years ago

This is my favorite episode btw


3 laughs

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Bruce Ellsworth Reed - over 3 years ago

So round, so firm, so fully packed," talking about the cigarette, but ya gotta love some of these double entendres! @ 00:31:51


10 laughs

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Leslie Doesn't Get You - over 3 years ago

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


4 laughs

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Teri Gee - over 3 years ago

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?


4 laughs

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Such as Seals - over 3 years ago

At 8:51 , Trace makes a really creepy noise that sounds like "Nyeehhheheeeh," when the pizza dominatrix tries to wink and smile. Kills me.


3 laughs

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Such as Seals - over 3 years ago

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


5 laughs

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Punch Rockgroin - over 3 years ago

1:19:20 "And when she came down, her face was split!" 'Bill Cosby Himself' reference!


6 laughs

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Cy O'Nara - over 3 years ago

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!


5 laughs

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Stereo Catz - over 3 years ago

Embalming kind of makes the air-horn unnecessary.


2 laughs

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Stereo Catz - over 3 years ago

59:20 Why do they have a picture of Howdy Doody on the wall?


1 laugh

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Stereo Catz - over 3 years ago

“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.


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Stereo Catz - over 3 years ago

Who keeps mowing the lawn outside!?


4 laughs

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Stereo Catz - over 3 years ago

Poor Jim Kelley four super-bowls four loses. So unless talent scouts get rings Churchill knows some football.


4 laughs

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Joseph Ewing - over 3 years ago

"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.


1 laugh

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Elisa Farrington - over 3 years ago

Well, I won't feel the same way about geodes ever again.


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!"


8 laughs

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Bruce Ellsworth Reed - over 3 years ago

*lol* I love MST! When I have a bad day, I always watch to get a laugh and cheer me up!


6 laughs

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Kelly Slane - over 3 years ago

*with accent* I don't smoke, but if I did, I'd smoke Nelson.


5 laughs

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Mal'te'akh Malithion - over 3 years ago

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


1 laugh

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Ken Beatty - over 3 years ago

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?


5 laughs

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Jeffrey Brandenburg - over 3 years ago

This was one of the greatest series of my teenage years, which would explain a lot... ha


2 laughs

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Colter Matthews - over 3 years ago

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?


8 laughs

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Bruce Box-Liker - almost 4 years ago

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!"


17 laughs

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Frederick Jacob Luebker - almost 4 years ago

"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.


7 laughs

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Mitchell - almost 4 years ago

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.


6 laughs

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Mary Alice Orchard - about 4 years ago

*loud blaring horn* "It's hard for him to make friends, I think"


5 laughs

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Mary Alice Orchard - about 4 years ago

"This?" "Is THIS"


13 laughs

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Super McWonderfull - about 4 years ago

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

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


11 laughs

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Aaron Kuehmichel - about 4 years ago

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


12 laughs

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Raymond Conklin - about 4 years ago

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


5 laughs

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Fancy Pantserton - about 4 years ago

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♫


8 laughs

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Kimono Dragon - about 4 years ago

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.


7 laughs

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Rhys Patterson - about 4 years ago

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


1 laugh

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Peter Privalov - over 4 years ago

Is there a new link to this?


8 laughs

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Scooter Atreides - over 4 years ago

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


9 laughs

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John Harms - over 4 years ago

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.


4 laughs

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Ian Bruner - over 4 years ago

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.


11 laughs

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Cliff Beefpile - over 4 years ago

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.


4 laughs

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Cliff Beefpile - over 4 years ago

So, why can't Mike be a truly world-class dancer? Thoughts?


5 laughs

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Gal Dagon - almost 5 years ago

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


6 laughs

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Sage Harpuia - almost 5 years ago

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


14 laughs

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B - almost 5 years ago

"Here's an interesting gadget." BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!


9 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!"


12 laughs

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


7 laughs

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Rachel Adams - almost 5 years ago

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


5 laughs

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Benji Hollister - almost 5 years ago

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


3 laughs

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bob - about 5 years ago

"Is that a tick on her face?"


21 laughs

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Alex Stefanic - about 5 years ago

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


2 laughs

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Alek Balobeck - about 5 years ago

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