Saturday, August 9, 2014

106 - The Crawling Hand

First Broadcast - December 1989
Excellence Level: Silver
Movie Pain: Low - The movie itself makes me laugh
Riffing: Solid, good humor
Skits: Same as above



"No choking. Not allowed!" This is the story of a lucky lad who finds an astronauts arm on the beach. After bringing this souvenir home, he quickly develops dark circles around his eyes and goes crazy (which actually sounds like a typical teenager). Fortunately, a couple of angry kitties come along and save the day! Aack!! Stars Peter Breck (Moon from "The Beatniks") and Alan Hale Jr. so you know it's gonna be good!

Despite the fact that the movie sets itself up for a good spanking, the gang doesn't take full advantage of the opportunities that present themselves: Angry, table slapping scientists; an astronaut who wants "you" to push it and dead dames with plenty of booze in the house-those scenes are funny, but could have been hugely hysterical had the boys at BBI been a bit more relentless in the riff department. The scanty nature of the jokes are apt to make the mind wander, but stick with it, as there are big laughs to be had.

For example: The "Voice on the other end of the phone" bit has been done a few times over the years, but the one in this episode gave me a fit of the giggles and Tom's "Roland Gift" imitation had me doubled over.

Host segments aren't brilliant but there are some cute moments (We learn that disembodied hands and whiplash can be a deadly combination) and I found the invention exchange amusing. I also liked Josh's' intro to the movie (It features a star from the "Hamburger Helper" commercials. Very clever young sir!!).

Of Note: Watch that Crow, he has the hots for the gal in this movie. And Joel & Crow continue the subtle "It's called foreshortening" gag from the "Corpse Vanishes".

Host Segments
Intro: With canned applause, Joel explains the premise of the show. Invention: On the SOL it's the safety saw, while at Deep 13 the Mads make like Reed Richards with the "Limb Lengthener". Segment 1: Bowling and other games. Segment 2: Shatner meets the crawling hand. Segment 3: The Bots wonder; Is a crawling hand really all that scary? Gypsy enters in her giant hand costume. End: Good thing/Bad thing and Larry uses his long arms to strangle Dr. F, "Are you happy Clay, hu? Tell 'em!" No Stinger -But if I chose one? "No rats, not allowed!"


Notable Riffs
* "He looks like a cross between Jerry Mathers & James Dean!" - "Beaver without a cause" - Crow/Servo
* "Dear Skipper: Why haven't you sent help? Signed, The Castaways." - Crow
* "Every time I get a boyfriend, he crushes my windpipe!" -Joel (as Marta)
* "No self-respecting scientist would have his shirt unbuttoned that far." - Servo
* "No zombies. Not allowed." - Servo
* "This corn relish is radioactive!" - Joel
* "What does it mean I am 'stacked'?" - "Uh, 'stacked' means you're really smart." -Marta/Crow
* "Wow; look! She really is smart!" - Servo
* "There are only 4 men left who can handle the lunar rockets!" - "The Beatles?" - Angry guy/Joel
* "Why do you want us to push the red button. You can push it?" - "It's better when you push it." - Doc./Joel
* "No rats! Not allowed!" - "Unless they're on the menu." - Malt shop owner/Servo
* "How do you say moon in Swedish?" - "Hubba, Hubba." - Joel/Servo
* "Hey, it's a beach thermometer." - Joel
* "Hi, I'm Tom Servo." (Loud Scream)
* "Where's the little body, little buddy?" - Servo as Alan Hale Jr.
* "I have touched the unclean thing" - Servo
* "I guess a double scoop sundae is out of the question now." - Joel, as Teen after choking Malt shop owner
* "Not a trace, not a solitary trace." - "Must be a talent meter." - Doc/Joel
* "Norman, get away from the window Norman" - Servo (doing mother from Psycho)


Riffs Explained 
"And the music goes 'round and around and it comes out here" - Joel
Joel's reciting a lyric from the old jazz tune "Music Goes 'Round and Around", which has been performed by Tommy Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald among others.

"W.C. Handy" - Servo
Musician and songwriter, W.C. Handy (1873-1958) is known as the Father of the Blues

Stuff and Nonsense
* Producer Joseph F. Robinson also played the part of the hand. Robinson has produced & Directed a lot of movies (from skin flicks to horror) under a lot of different names. A pal of Ed Wood, he also produced the MSTed Agent for H.A.R.M and Slime People (he appeared as one of the drunks in that flick)

* The Malt Shop owner was played by comedic character actor, Syd Taylor/Saylor. This was his last film appearance. He died of a heart attack, not by choking.

* The assistant Donna is played by Allison Hayes, you might know her as the star of the "50 foot Woman", she's also been in a number of MST3K experiments. The Unearthly (Grace), Gunslinger (bar owner Erica) and the Undead (as the witch Livia)

Available on DVD from



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