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617 - The Sword and the Dragon



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Nick Bellamy - 8 days ago
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This is one of the best movies they riffed on. I could actually watch this without the riffs and be entertained. This and "Jack Frost".


It's SINBAD!!!
Otter Rivers - 17 days ago
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Anyone else notice that one of his sudden "life long friends" looks exactly like Sinbad (Sadko) from "Magic Voyage of Sinbad"???


geebranz
Geebranz - 22 days ago
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Fredrick Stafford - over 8 years ago
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Serious Comment: Nearly 20 years later, every political issue mentioned in the
Supercalifragilisticexpealiwacky sketch is still current and totally unresolved!

Non-Serious Comment: So IHOP waiter Ilja pulls a sword on Crow for asking for a ham substitution, big deal! Just try asking a surly nicotine jonesing Denny’s server at 3am for an extra pack of grape jelly!


About this movie...
Rocket J. Forklift - 9 months ago
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Much of this is covered here and there in the comments below, but just to collect it all for those who don't feel like digging through everything:

This is a Russian film based on a medieval folk tale that's well-known there. There's no Finnish involvement. Presumably, Mike and the gang just assumed it was Finnish because of the resemblance in production to The Day The Earth Froze, which was a Russian-Finnish joint venture based on a Finnish folk tale.

The movie was then dubbed by Roger Corman, who changed various names and details at his own whim. It makes sense to simplify things by calling Nightingale The Robber a "wind demon" and renaming the serpent to a dragon, but Corman did a disservice to Svyatogor the giant by renaming him "Invinsor." Not surprising he wanted to hide that it was the city of Kiev being defended against the Tugar/Mongol horde. Not sure why he felt the need to hide Kahn's name, though. Or change, for example, the story of the man who was caught stealing wood from the prince's forest (but released upon it coming to light that he was using that wood to forge weapons, which he would willingly furnish to the prince's army) into a quarrel over a horse's tail.

Anyway, the movie leans on the assumption that the audience is already familiar with the myth. And then Corman edited and dubbed it. And then the MST crew further edited it for time. So we're clearly missing some things which might explain some of the plot holes.

In the original myth, Ilia is born paralyzed from the waist down, but when the pilgrims heal him with their magic potion (and the magic song that got edited out), he seeks out Svyatogor to fight him. He of course loses the fight against the giant, but then the two become friends and companions in adventure. The giant, with his dying breath, bequeaths Ilia a portion of his superhuman strength. (The sword is not magic, as that is seen as diminishing the hero's earned accomplishments.) The movie changed that. I'd guess in part for time and in part because it was hard enough filming the forced perspective shot for one scene where the giant never comes in contact with the humans, and it just wasn't practical to show a more involved interaction.

Corman got Paul Frees (who did indeed voice Boris Badinov in the original Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon) to do the voice of Khan and several others.

But I still have no idea why Khan waited 15+ years for the kid to grow up before attacking when his men had just told him that Kiev was undefended and ready to surrender. Or how that 15 year gap makes any sense. Or why the guy who found the dungeon key and proof of treachery never told the prince. Or why the traitor never noticed that he'd lost the key. It can't be that Falcon grew up superhumanly fast, because it's clearly been so long since he saw his mother that he utterly forgot her.

Ilia's plan, however, does make sense. His goal is to delay Khan long enough for the prince to gather the army. So he comes up with a scheme where Khan's men have to gather the treasure along miles of road, and then they get punished for trying to withhold it. But I think we missed the part where that actually does allow the army to gather and they do any good whatsoever. Maybe it got cut for time?

Still in all, this is an impressive production with a huge cast, varied and intricate sets, detailed costumes, and (for the 1950s) pretty good effects. As Crow notes, it must have had a massive budget. For all that, it does make for great riffing fodder. And the mistake about Finland gives us that amazing Bergman joke, so I'm happy.


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Nick Bellamy - 6 months ago
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"The Duluth Chamber of Commerce bids you adieu"


"Resistance is useless!"
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So that's where that young Vogon guard ended up. Good to see he progressed in his career.


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Invincor truly was brave. Doing all those dangerous heroic things when all along he was petrified.


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I have to leave a note for myself: this is the Mongol Horde film, not the Gary Lockwood film.


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Kiri T. Unicorn - about 9 years ago
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Tom is a terrible Dungeon Master. NO WAY should a bunch of Level One PCs have a random encounter with a balrog! Have 'em beat down some kobolds first, geez...


Paul Reed - 10 months ago
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Looks like they were using a copy of Call of Cthulhu instead of a D&D manual. :D If Servo had ran *that*, there'd have been plenty of DEEP HURTING.


Teri G - 11 months ago
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The best part of the riffing in this episode is Trace riffing on Ilya. Even just reading through the posted riffs, I can hear him saying the ones that are supposed to Ilya speaking. His impersonations are so memorable, a wonderful voice actor.


William Marcus - almost 2 years ago
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Well, that was fun. It was like watching your little brother in a school play: weird, and cheap, but sort of fun.


Aster the Orca - over 4 years ago
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Ah, my favorite Mike episode (I'll be honest, I'm more of a fan of the Joel episodes. I mean, it's not like I don't LIKE Mike, he's a nice guy, but they're just not exactly the same). This movie is also, actually, not half bad. But hey, even if they riffed a movie that was critically acclaimed by the masses, it'd STILL be funny.
The bit about the pants gets me every time. XD


Charles D. Mercury II - over 3 years ago
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This is one of those strangely underrated episodes.


RedRobotWithAChromeDome - about 2 years ago
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I didn't know they made a GOT movies, Daenerys and her three dragons look way different than the show.


Rafiki - about 2 years ago
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I think that those of us who grew up watching Schlitz ("When you're out of Schlitz you're out of beer!") commercials and Ingmar Bergman movies can best appreciate the COMEDY GENIUS of the Mike-Crow-Servo "...out of pier" bit. Thanks guys - your humor continues to brighten our lives!


D0S81 - over 2 years ago
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film wasnt bad, but i was really hoping i'd get to see the main guy use that damn lemon squeezer he was wearing on his head, the size a that thing,and he didnt juice anything!! what waste.


D0S81 - over 2 years ago
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''if you bear a son, call him falcon, and give him this ring, in fact give him everything he wants and more, money, women, cars, jewellery, a house in malibu, the woiks''
''and if i have a daughter''
''ho hoono no no no, you will have a son, i know you will, because if you don't, then just make sure your not here when i return. i mean really, a daughter she says. what am i to do with a daughter? i already have a wife to do the housework, and the cooking, the cleaning, the darning of my socks, the nagging, and the wiping of mine big fat hairy....face''
''umm, ok dear''
''at a girl''


D0S81 - over 2 years ago
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33:23 ''all for one and one for all!'' ahhhh i know these guys,
it's the three Ruski-teers!


D0S81 - over 2 years ago
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errrr whats with all the finnish jokes? i think this film is russian right?


Klaatu - about 3 years ago
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"Who booked Bergman!?"
EveL Unbound - over 3 years ago
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The Bergman host segment reminds me of an SCTV/Count Floyd sketch...
https://youtu.be/qYV-SiRsSco


And Natasha Femfatal
Klaatu - over 3 years ago
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William Lane - almost 4 years ago
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1:20:10. Every movie with a horse includes a whole bunch of "plop" jokes, yet they miss one of the best opportunities...


changes in history books
Mugh Hungus - almost 4 years ago
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I didn't know Fins invented Rap and Scat ...,.


bath time
Mugh Hungus - almost 4 years ago
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so did Borris bathe ford falcon in Mountain Dew ??


Matthew Boyle - about 6 years ago
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never shall I serve a tyrant? But I will fight for an unelected prince who imprisoned me for years without a trial on mere rumors?


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The girl with the strong jaw and the braids, who gets carried off by the Altai Tatar guys (or Mongols, or whatever they are) at the beginning looks just like the one in 'Magic Voyage of Skinbag' who was bringing water back to town at the beginning of that one.


Princess Thena - over 4 years ago
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"A Joke by Ingmar Bergman:" The BEST host segment ever!


David Vazquez - almost 5 years ago
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Call me a total nerd, but I noticed the main character of the movie is Ilya Muromets.... Ilya Muromets was the name of one of the first and most successful aircraft Igor Sikorsky designed and built, long before he moved to the US and got into helicopters. In fact it was one of the first luxury "airliners".


David Vazquez - almost 5 years ago
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And this film is a Russian/Soviet film, not Finnish! Same with Jack Frost. Where did they get they idea they were Finnish movies? The Soviets and Finns did not exactly get along


Veklorr Vigorr - almost 5 years ago
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Seeing some things in this movie that were definitely echoed in '300'.


Thrillhoser - about 5 years ago
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The Sven and Ole sketch beginning at 22:37, is one of the reasons I love this era of MST3k!
When your out of Schlitz (slits) your out of beer (pier), was the ad line for my dads brand of beer. One of the cheaper brands, it was enough to provide a buzz while watching football.


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A movie like this, with a good/evil moral code set against clearly racialized civilizations, sets off alarms in my head. The Mongols did conquer great parts of Russia, so that context does account for the malice in their representation of East Asia, but that doesn't make this film any more comfortable... Of course, if this were a well-written, fair-balanced film then we probably wouldn't be watching it... Curse you, the Mads! Curse you for making me question my morality for enjoying riffing terrible movies so much that I'm almost glad they were so bad in the first place!


Jinkee Nova - about 7 years ago
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Aaaugh, it's so Russian and all the jokes are about it being Finnish! They probably got confused because the Soviet government didn't allow feelings into the film.


Matthew Kent - almost 5 years ago
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I'm hesitant to reveal that I have this much nerd-knowledge, but in the opening D&D sketch, it actually looks like they're using the 5th edition Call of Cthulhu book (judging from what little I can see of the spine and cover).


Zeitgeist Meister - about 5 years ago
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1:23:55 -- I wish it would Finnish.


S.A. Nathe - over 5 years ago
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another bit of deep hurting


Sean Barry - over 7 years ago
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Oh lord they called their legendary hero Invincor? Ugh.


the sword and the dragon, kinda, at the end a little
Sean Barry - over 7 years ago
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What a real stinkburger! This was like a rancid roadkill, hot moldy feta cheese, sour milk, rotting garbage sandwich on rye bread and slathered in a sauce that smells like beer and dog pee.
The princess has this weird Carrie Fisher/Maggie Gyllenhaal quality. The "grand" scene of the heroes sailing on the open sea looks like it was filmed on a lake in Colorado. The lame fire dragon would have made even Burt I. Gordon laugh. It had a generic, derivative storyline with little depth. Half the time it sounded like they were making up names and stuff as they went along. The editing, writing, music, acting was all A-grade crap. To top it all off, the skit with Nelson in a pink bunny suit was almost too much for my brain to handle. I'm going to go find a dark corner and cry now.


Jane Sproul - over 5 years ago
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Gotta admit, I'm a sucker for the, "WELL HERE I AM, WHAT YOU GONNA DO?'


Plenty of Lip 'n' Tongue Action - almost 6 years ago
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Is is just me, or have they completely lost the whole Sampo storyline?


Snuffy Wuffykiss - almost 6 years ago
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When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer!


Ozzie Olin - about 6 years ago
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I dunno why I chose to put on this episode after returning home from D&D at the comic book store. I've never felt so utterly burned in all my life.


Matthew Boyle - about 6 years ago
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the whole point of having a dragon is to tell the world you have a dragon! Why did you keep it a secret?!!! Dr. Strangelove reference


Matthew Boyle - about 6 years ago
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50 Maria Von Trappes face off against the mongol hoard. I'd pay to see that


James Laramie III - almost 8 years ago
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I love the host segments where Dr. Forester and Frank are on their "dates". Hits a little too close to home though.


Edmund Wolfe - about 6 years ago
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The opening bit hits a little close to home, both the D&D bit and the comics bit. Although Tom's "Those are places" gets me every time.


Joseph Ewing - almost 8 years ago
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The "Joke by Ingmar Bergman" is the only host segment I actually skip past. It's not that it's not that funny, but it's like two minutes of nothing.


Diane - aka Starbreeze - almost 7 years ago
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I wonder why that Mongolian king or whatever he was, let the kid keep his name and I really don't get why he would've let the boy keep a ring that one of his parents probably gave to him.
This baby can take care of everything but a three-headed...son of a....
I love that line.
One other thing I didn't understand was, how are the men suppose to gather around him and look upon his enemy, the prince, when his men are the mountain that holds him up high enough to see his enemy? Huh?


Last of the Wild Ponies - over 6 years ago
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1:22:00 And now it's waning!


Last of the Wild Ponies - over 6 years ago
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54:38 Sounds like he has a zipper in the back of his head.


Last of the Wild Ponies - over 6 years ago
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51:44 Looks more like trahogany to me.


HypnoHelioStaticStasis - over 6 years ago
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WHAT ABOUT IMPROV?!


Bronn K - over 8 years ago
7 laughs

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I love those traveling conveyors of plot contrivances at the 14 minute mark. "Oh, you're paralyzed? Drink this magic elixir. Oh, you're a warrior? Take this magic legendary sword. Anything else we can get you?" And of course someone else (I think?) gives him the mightiest of all steeds.

Over the course of five minutes he's had delivered to his home the stuff that heroes typically have to go on quests for.


Brian T. Kuhn - about 8 years ago
3 laughs

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at 1:28:21 ...wtf did Dr. F and Frank do?


Robert Brown - about 7 years ago
10 laughs

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Say what you will about Michael J Nelson, the man rocks a pink bunny costume.


Walt Bromby - almost 7 years ago
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Bunny Rich!!


Leslie Doesn't Get You - about 7 years ago
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I just moved to a new neighborhood. One of the major streets near my apartment is Del Mar Blvd. Every single time I pass it, I think, Delmar the Elfin King?


Crypto Dentist - over 7 years ago
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For the record, the film is Russian, re-edited by good old Roger Corman.


starman 76 - about 7 years ago
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I've never hit a damned thing, it's astounding!


starman 76 - about 7 years ago
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ah, the golden age of making stuff up


Martha Fredette - over 7 years ago
2 laughs

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Does anyone else remember Woodstock II?


Martha Fredette - over 7 years ago
4 laughs

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If you hold a Finn by the beard, it immobilizes them.


Kelly Slane - over 7 years ago
6 laughs

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Before Leonard and Sheldon, there were Dr. F and Frank.


Sean Barry - over 7 years ago
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Lol the mighty steed is a donkey.


Sean Barry - over 7 years ago
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Man the plots in these fantasy epics are always so generic.


Nicholas Brownlee - over 8 years ago
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I like the line "May you be cursed murdering scum!"...spoken while shooting a fatal arrow, killing the murderer. I don't think that's irony, but I still thought about it for a good 25 seconds.


Brad Gravett - over 9 years ago
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The "Ingmar Bergen Tells a Joke" is one of my most favorite host segments. That and the Supercalifragilisticexpealawacky. I love it when MST3K gets so flat-out satirical.


Teri Gee - over 7 years ago
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So I know that it's supposed to be satire (perhaps even satire of satire), but I find it interesting that Crow's "topical satirical review" is actually still topical. Goes to show that nothing changes.


Dan Rudy - over 9 years ago
10 laughs

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If I had a nickel for every date ruined by an impromptu song about the deficit...


Anita Foster - over 7 years ago
3 laughs

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Where are the ROUS's!! hehehhehe


Scott A. Taylor - over 7 years ago
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I'm just kinda waiting for people in this movie to be yelling for a Sampo


Alex Stefanic - over 9 years ago
5 laughs

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Balrogs are from LOTR, not D&D! NERD RAGE!


Teri Gee - almost 8 years ago
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"Not even a Tugar shall order off the menu!"


narration
Orion Malhotra - almost 8 years ago
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This movie makes me want to narrate my every thought day-to-day. :)


Leslie Doesn't Get You - about 8 years ago
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This one needs more love! And more posted riffs! And more lutefisk (except that's Swedish, not Finnish)! And more dragon (it really does, at that)!


Leslie Doesn't Get You - about 8 years ago
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Yeah, ya know, I just met you two, but you seem like good guys, so I'll go ahead and make a lifetime pledge with ya. All for one and one for all. Oh, uh, what were your names again?


Gal Dagon - over 9 years ago
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The Ingmar Parody was sheer brilliance. But I also enjoyed the silliness of "HAM!"


Desiree Ashcraft - almost 9 years ago
7 laughs

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Mike in a pink bunny costume...nuff said!!!!!!


Rachel Adams - over 9 years ago
9 laughs

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Another wonderful (Russo-Finnish?) film. I loves me some Scandinavia!


Elisa Farrington - about 8 years ago
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This was worth a laugh just for the rabbit drum solo.


Anne Fleming - over 8 years ago
4 laughs

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So there's no dragon? Or did I just sleep through it?


Mike Carmona - over 8 years ago
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Mike is staring into my soul!


spydar59 - about 8 years ago
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Ingmar Bergman's jokes never work in translation.You all should know that by now.But you just can't beat that cinematography.


Carrie is So Very - over 8 years ago
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By the way, does anybody know what deep level Servo was about to achieve in D&D? I can't make it out, though it sounds like it should have a fantasy apostrophe stuck in it somewhere.


Carrie is So Very - over 8 years ago
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Chief Khalin sounds like Boris Badanov because he is: They're both voiced by Paul Frees. That said, I think it's weird that only the Mongol invaders get Russian accents in this Russian folktale. (Then again, this is still Cold War era.) ;)


Rhys Patterson - over 8 years ago
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I just noticed mike says the legend of boggy creek made more sense yet they don't do that episode till the final. Season. Big foreshadowing there


Carrie is So Very - over 8 years ago
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One of the many reasons why this episode is so underrated: the host segments are so well done. So I usually recommend this to my friends who still fast-forward through them. :p ("Yaaah sure you beeeetcha..." -Gypsy)


Mike McCain - over 8 years ago
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What a great episode! Russian-Finni tripe, and some supecala S.O.L/Deep 13 breaks! 'When yer outta schlitz, yer outta beer,' HA!


Bruce Box-Liker - almost 9 years ago
13 laughs

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So his horse starts out as brown, grows up to be black, and is named Chestnut Grey. That's a puzzler.


Gal Dagon - over 9 years ago
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I love it when they make Dr Strangelove references.