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TV movies of the '70s: does anybody else here wish MST3K had done more of them? I really had to force myself to watch the episodes where they do '70s TV movies at first, because of my bad memories of them from when I was in high school and college, but once I saw "Riding With Death" I suddenly realized how much I loved watching the SOL Crew ripping into those horrid, cheesy TV movies that traumatized me so much in my adolescence. "Riding With Death" and "Code Name: Diamond Head" have gone on to become my favorite Experiments.


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So, I'm watching Experiment 818, "Devil Doll", now, and I'm just wondering... was William Sylvester's general career arc one of playing in the British equivalent of Grade "B" sci-fi/horror/suspense flicks, with his one breakout role as Dr. Heywood Floyd in "2001" being the exception? I mean, there's "Devil Doll", there's "Gorgo" (Experiment 909), there's some war pictures in the '50s and a spy movie or two in the '60s, and then there's "Riding With Death" (Experiment 814). I remember thinking he was really good in "2001" and expecting to see more of him, but then in the '70s he seemed to drop off the face of the Earth, until I saw him in the MSTified version of "Riding With Death".

Plus, he was American -- how the hell did he wind up in British "B" movies?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Sylvester


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Hey now, gang! I just got a note back from Best Brains, answering the note I sent to their contact address about the idea for the riff T-shirts. "Barbbb" wrote back that she, herself, thought they were quite nice:

"Hi Michael,
Thanks for the tee designs and suggestions! I will pass them by Jim. I guess I like the concept but the riffs you picked might be have to be changed to appeal to a broader gang o' fans. Tee's have to be ordered in so many sizes that it gets expensive to produce shirts unless they sell really well. We've been a little conservative and have introduced only a few new shirts in recent years. Anyhoo! Let me see what we can do.

Barbbb"

So, everybody, think good thoughts!
Thanks!


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The evidence mounts for the "ruling" capabilities of Season 8: Experiment 807, "Terror From The Year 5000". Everything about it is made of awesome: the movie (bad), the riffing (fast'n'furious) and the host segments (The Observers do the Ink Spots? Whoda' thunk it?). You name it, and it kicks.

THE MOVIE: Yet another Nicholson/Arkoff turdmuffin from American International, one of those rare Nicholson/Arkoff turdmuffins I never got to see on the Count Gore DeVol Show back in high school. The old scientist acts as if he's on Valium. The fiancé is such a greasy little piss-ant that I can't believe the scientist's hot daughter is engaged to him. The museum curator is such a stiff that I can't believe the scientist's hot daughter throws over her greasy piss-ant fiancé for him. Oh, yeah, and guys... the nurse/mutant chick from the Future is stacked. Shame about her face.

THE RIFFING: This is one Experiment I actually didn't catch when it first aired, so I'm actually seeing this one for the first time, so it's going to take me another viewing or two to pick out my favorite riffs. Still, as it's a Nicholson/Arkoff American International turdmuffin, Nelson and the Bots totally tear into it. I love how once they discover a character resembling Jimmy Carter -- in this case Angelo The Peeping Caretaker -- they run with it like a big dog. I also loved how they went to work on the museum curator -- Sergeant Carter/Gomer Pyle gags galore -- and really ripped the shit out of Victor, the Scientist's daughter's weasely little piss-ant fiancé. I also got a huge kick out of how they totally piled onto the scenes involving characters blithely diving into

HOST SEGMENTS: Couldn't stop snickering and snurfing at the Observers trying to explain their pointless food nuggets, or at Crow traveling back into the past to let Nelson's family know he's OK and ending up hooking up with his girlfriend. The yodeling was hysterical, except that Murphy really can yodel like a sonofabitch. The Observers crooning that old Ink Spots-ish number really killed, even if I could tell that one Observer was lip-syncing to a prerecorded Murphy vocal track. God damn, that dude can sing; he doesn't fool around. I don't recall Murphy's bio in the episode guide mentioning any musical training, but I still wonder if maybe he was in a band or something in school, because the dude really can belt it.


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So, a few threads back, we were discussing what stuff we'd like to see for sale at the MST3K Store; we had some cool ones -- die-cast models of the 'Bots, Gizmonic Institute janitors' jumpsuits, little models of the SOL -- but I had one idea that just wouldn't quit clanging around in my head, an idea for something simple, elegant, inexpensive, and something so cool that you'd have to be a true hardcore to get it: plain black T-shirts with classic MST3K riffs in bright, bold, large type with a little MST3K "planet" logo at the bottom, very small, like a colophon (as we call it in the graphic design biz).

Anyway, I had a couple of hours free this afternoon, so I broke out Illustrator and very quickly mocked up some designs for MST3K Riff T-Shirts. I'd like to invite everyone to have a look at:

http://www.sinkers.org/mst3k_riff_t-shirts_comps/riff_t-shirtcomps01.jpg
http://www.sinkers.org/mst3k_riff_t-shirts_comps/riff_t-shirtcomps02.jpg
http://www.sinkers.org/mst3k_riff_t-shirts_comps/riff_t-shirtcomps03.jpg

...and tell me if any of you would pay actual money for one of these. My next step, I suppose, would be to hit mst3k.com and try to find a contact address where I can email these proposed designs and see if BBI thinks it'd be worth it. I'm thinking... plain black T, two ink colors, no fancy color work or halftones, it'd be really cheap to produce, and I'll bet they'd clean up on all us hardcore MST freaks out here who like throwing their favorite riffs around.


Cliff Beefpile - almost 10 years ago
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I was just commenting on one of the films ("Riding With Death") and noted that Tom Servo's little trucker body was one of my favorite sight gags of the whole series. How's about yours? Just off the top of my head I can think of:

1. Servo's trucker body
2. Crow's footie pajamas
3. BIG Servo
4. Any time Crow was without his 'hair' in the theater
5. Frank's "I'm A Virgin" t-shirt
6. When the SOL and Castle Forrester came down with 'Hockey Hair'
7. Re-enactment of the "Cave Dwellers" credit sequence
8. When the Nanites went to war with Mike's eyebrow mites
9. The BIG Head
10. Joel or Mike interacting with the onscreen action


B - over 9 years ago
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I love it when Tom sings over the music in the movie. Two of my favorites are the smooth jazzy "Best that you can do/Best of my love" during Time Chasers and "Wings of a Dove" during Boggy Creek II. Do you folks have favorite Tom singing during the movie moments?


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Knowing about Hodgson's career in stand-up, as a prop comic, I did some rummaging around on YouTube and found this footage of his appearance on Saturday Night Live, circa 1983. If you squint, you can see the germs of an idea for MST3k in this Godzilla Vs Megalon-themed bit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay9JTk9Grdo


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I've always thought it was interesting that a large majority of the viewer letters that Joel and Nelson read on the air were from kids -- many of them very young kids -- even though when you listen to all the sex, drug, music, literary and obscure cultural references in the riffing, it's obvious that MST was aimed at adults -- especially adults old enough to remember "Gilligan's Island", "Mannix", or all those old Quinn Martin detective shows, and who dig bands like The Mothers Of Invention or The Cramps, or who collect the Norton Records Anthologies, or dig '60s garage bands or old rockabilly, or who like movies by Russ Meyers or Ray Dennis Steckler.

It kind of reminds me of when I was about nine or ten years old, and was first getting heavily into Looney Tunes cartoons. I was totally digging the slapstick and sight gags, but it wasn't until I was a young teenager that I realized that they were really aimed at adults, and that there was a whole different level of humor that was going right over my head when I was a young kid. For instance, it wasn't until I was about fifteen, and starting to really get into Humphrey Bogart, that I finally understood the "Treasure Of The Sierra Madre" reference in this one Bugs Bunny cartoon, the one with the little baby penguin, where Bogart keeps walking into the shot and asking Bugs, "pardon me, but could you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?"

I was already in my early thirties when I got into MST3K, toward the end of Season 2, but I think it'd be interesting to hear from some of the long-time MST3K fans who first got into it when they were eight or ten years old, then perhaps got the DVDs when they were in college and watched those old episodes again as young adults.


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OK, gang; you know you couldn't escape it. It was just a matter of time before I got around to it: The Experiment 820, "Space Mutiny" Drinking Game! This one's relatively simple, really:

-Whenever a guy is shot by a laser gun and falls over a railing to his death, take a drink.

-Everytime the bad guy laughs that stupid exaggerated evil laugh, take a drink.

-Every time Biff Beefpile (or whatever his name is) screams, take a drink.

-Whenever Mike or the Bots blurt a silly fake macho name for the hero -- Biff Beepile, Chunk Bulkslab, whatever -- take a drink.

-Whenever a chase scene in those stupid-assed little cars that look like poorly-disguised floor-polishing zambonis takes place, take a drink.

-Whenever Mike or the Bots make a reference to weightlifting, take a drink.

-Whenever Servo does a reference to Susan Powter or that big blond rugby player from New Zealand who used to do Eveready commercials in the '80s ("Oy!") or sings a line from an old Police song, take a drink.


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Alriiiiigghhht! Another entry in the "Worst Credits Design Ever Sweepstakes": Experiment 820, "Space Mutiny"! Looks like somebody just got a new Commodore 64. Jeezus, this is bad... As Joel did during the opening credits to "Monster A Go-Go", I can sense an air of incompetence already. Congratulations, opening credits to "Space Mutiny", you're in grand company.


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Played "Satellite of Love" on the radio for y'all tonight. Live version from 1983 in Italy. Good times.


j davis - over 9 years ago
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Today is our sixth wedding anniversary and my Husband made me the best card ever! It's so nice to be married to someone who understands my MSTie addiction! I even hear it in Crow's voice- http://i49.tinypic.com/2dtafx1.jpg


Colleen Hewson - over 9 years ago
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Does anyone know which episode the phrase "so stay in London Lembeck" is from?


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In case anyone here hasn't figured it out, I'm a hardcore Deadhead... and I remembered that tonight was the anniversary of one of the best shows I'd ever been to, at the Baltimore Civic Center on April 19, 1982. So, I thought it'd be fitting if I marked this occasion by cueing up a double feature of Experiment 603, "The Dead Talk Back", along with my bootleg soundboard footage of the infamous Dead gig in Edgar Allan Poe's hometown, thirty years ago tonight -- when, as any Dead freak will tell you, was the night we heard... The Dead Talk Back. The "space jam" that night was off the hook, the intensity mounting, and mounting, until it reached a stratospheric peak, and then... the Movie Sign light came on -- and it was like Jerry willed it! ...oh, uhh... sorry about that...

But, aaaanyway... while I won't speak for any other Deadhead, I'm one of those old Heads with a sense of humor, and who doesn't take himself too seriously, so I got a huge-ass kick out of the host segment with Nelson, Crow and Servo as "The Dead". Still, I had to take issue with one thing: the casting of Crow as Jerry Garcia -- because any Deadhead will tell you that Garcia was actually shaped a lot more like Servo.

So, I'd like to invite any of my fellow Deadheads who might be hanging out here to kick back, twist up a fattie and crank up Baltimore 04.19.82 -- and MST3K Experiment 603.

"Hey...HEY! That's my Jerry hair!" --Crow T. Robot


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Battered old prints of old movies which have been cut up and spliced back together: God, how I love 'em... especially "Racket Girls", where there's this one scene where they had to cut out a bunch of damaged bits and splice it back together, and it's chopped up so badly that you can't even figure out what the characters were saying to each other -- just these disjointed fragments of words and phrases rendered meaningless -- and, of course, the Bots are all over it.

There's a great "chop" in "Assignment Venezuela", too; the rest of the print is in pretty good shape, except for this one spot where the "chopped" footage was apparently fairly long, and cuts out the end of a key piece of dialogue, so it goes something like "...riding through the streets of Maricaibo gave me the feeling of --" (CHOP) and Nelson jumps in with "...being sucked through a time portal!"


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Well, I'm watching "Warrior Of The Lost World" for the third time, and I'm finally starting to like it. When I first saw it, I figured I was going to just put it in the backup pile; then I watched it again a couple of days ago, and I started getting into the riffing a bit more. So, now I'm watching it again right now, and I'm actually really digging it. There's just so much to hate about this picture -- the crappy synth-pop score, the crappy synthesizer sound effects, the supposedly advanced computers with really crappy graphics, that supposedly super hypersonic motorcycle never looks like it's really going that fast and looks like a regular old street bike with a really tacky aftermarket fairing bolted on, the monotone mumbling of the Paper Chase Guy... not to mention how it blatantly rips off huge chunks of "Mad Max", "THX 1138"* and little bits of "Then Came Bronson" -- and does a piss-awful job of it at that.

On the upside, I'm totally getting into the way the Crew are booing and hissing and jeering the hero. He's really annoying as hell, and poorly acted, and I'm really hating him as much as Joel and the Bots are.

Oh, and let's not forget... Megaweapon. Hot damn, man, I really want me a Megaweapon. I'd take that bad boy for a ride around the Beltway and crush me a few SUVs, then maybe head around the north side of the loop and catch the spur onto I-270, head up towards Rockville and Shady Grove Road and flatten some of those tacky new office parks up there, and... well, anyway.

Long story short: "Warrior Of The Lost World" is really starting to grow on me.


Brian Fry - over 9 years ago
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For all you gamers out there who have played Borderlands, I would like to point out the BEST reference to MST3k i have ever seen. There as an Achievement called "Can't We Get BEYOND Thunderdome?", which of course is a reference to Servo's comeback from "Laserblast". Just putting that out there for ya :)


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Just in case anyone's forgotten, the Moon's closest perigee (low point in orbit) in quite some time is supposed to occur tonight; this would be a perfect evening for a celebratory viewing of Experiment 410, "Hercules Vs. The Moon Men", one of whose major plot points is the Moon coming very, very close to the Earth, at which point cataclysm ensues.


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I just now noticed something while watching "Fire Maidens Of Outer Space (416)" for, like, the sixth time...

There's a shot during the sacrifice scene where the monster appears during the (shudder) liturgical dance. The way the monster's appearence is shot, he's strongly backlit by the fire and the light in the room as he enters from the hallway; we see him from behind, and cleanly silhouetted.

So, aaaaanyway... as he enters the shot, silhouetted, he appears in almost the same scale as Joel and the Bots, and I was just wondering if I was the only one here who thinks that in that shot, the monster looks as if he was coming out of the theater seats and walking into the movie -- and who thinks it makes that part of the movie even funnier.

Just wondering...


Zap R. - over 9 years ago
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Do you have a favorite recurring joke,inside joke, or even a vague refrence you just can't believe they squeezed in? Everytime I hear "Skipper!!!...Gilligan!!!" it cracks me up,never gets old. And some times they make some really funny jokes that I gotta figure not everyone gets(so explain if you need to).


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Y'know how during the opening credits to "The Thing That Couldn't Die", one of Crow's riffs mentions how the musical director "...just dropped a needle and now he's off eating a Mallow Cup..." Well, Crow's more right than we think.

Next time you get a chance, check out Experiment 805; note that every time the severed head appears in a scene, you hear the same music that flares up in "Creature From The Black Lagoon" whenever the Creature appears: Dah-dah daaaahhhhhh-dah, DAH-DAH DAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

Just saying. I mean, is that frickin' cheap, or what? That musical director apparently really did "drop a needle".


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"The Beatniks": it JUST DIDN'T CARE.
Check out the very beginning of the hotel room scene at around 01:00:45. B'wahh ha ha ha ha ha, the frickin' mic boom's in the shot, you dopes!

They JUST DIDN'T CARE.


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As long as I've opened the subject of drinking games based on a certain few Experiments, I figured I might as well go all-out and actually write down the ingredients which Crow & Servo call for in their famous "Killer Shrew" cocktail, from the host segment in Experiment 407, "The Killer Shrews" -- on the outside chance that anyone else might also be curious.

So, anyway... in a standard-size blender pitcher, combine:
-Chocolate ice cream
-Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries
-Peanut M&Ms
-Mrs. Butterworth's
-Circus peanuts
-Marshmallow Peeps
-Sweet Tarts
-Vanilla frosting
-Good'n'Plentys

Pour into a plastic tulip glass, and garnish with a wind-up shrew.

OK, so, now... inasmuch as everybody's tastes vary, I'd personally make these changes in my own variation of the Killer Shrew:

-Cut way back on the Marshmallow Peeps. I've never been crazy about Peeps; I liked them at Easter when I was a very young boy, but got tired of them quickly as they're pretty much pure sugar, and essentially flavorless. Crow & Servo call for an entire package, but I'd use maybe four Peeps, tops. I've never liked heavily sweetened drinks, myself.

-For the same reason, I'd cut way, way back on the vanilla frosting and Mrs. Butterworth's. It looks as if Joel is using almost half a can of that pre-mixed vanilla cake frosting and almost half that bottle of Mrs. Butterworth's. Whoooaaa, Nellie.

-Crow & Servo have Joel emptying almost an entire 2-liter bottle of Mr. Pibb into the pitcher. As much as I really dig Mr. Pibb, I'd only use maybe half to two-thirds of a pitcher so the final product isn't too heavily carbonated -- and, of course, to make room for the booze.

-Once everything else goes into the pitcher, it's time, of course, for the booze. Considering the recipe, I'm thinking this would be a really good vodka drink as vodka is pretty much flavorless and odorless, and wouldn't affect the delicate balance of sweel flavors. I'm not sure how many glasses can be served from one pitcher, but I'd go with a jigger of vodka per person.

-At this point, it's time to serve. Crow & Servo call for the drink to be garnished with a fake wind-up toy shrew. This doesn't seem quite practical, as it's a wind-up mechanical toy with moving parts inside. Personally, I'd substitute one of those little fake rubber mice from the practical joke shop.

"Booze is for healing!" --Crow, Experiment 407.


Benji Hollister - over 9 years ago
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haha this happens to me all the time.....mstie problems


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Mary Jo Pehl posted this on Facebook today, and I figured I'd share:

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/db8cf12b0d/mystery-science-andre-3000

I thought it was kinda cute.


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The United Servo Academy Airmen's Chorus: how the hell did they DO that? Never mind that Murphy's voice isn't half bad... how the hell did they DO that?! I'm sure Jef Maynard put in a couple of all-nighters on that one...!


Andy Jones - almost 10 years ago
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INSTANT CLASSICS. Some episodes grow on you, some flower complete in your head in perfect crystalline hilarity... 523 - Village of the Giants is one such Instant Classic. Host segments, riffing, bizarre source movie, it's all there, flawless. Utterly, utterly perfect. I loved every second.


Matthew Eickhoff - almost 10 years ago
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If you wanted to introduce someone to MST3K, which Short would you pick to really have them laughing and wanting more?


Crosby Ferguson - almost 10 years ago
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We should really get Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie uploaded to the website too. Just a suggestion...