Tuesday, August 12, 2014

205 - Rocket Attack U.S.A.

With Short: The Phantom Creeps part 2

First Broadcast - 7 pm Saturday, Oct 27th 1990
Excellence Level: Silver
Movie Pain: High - A cheaply made downer
Riffing: Solid, good humor
Skits: Hilarious

One inept man with a mission gets everyone killed:  Experiment #205 Opens with another "Phantom Creeps" short, which offers more of the same thing we received in part 1. There are a few funny moments but the Bela imitations have already become redundant. By the time we get to part 3 next week, the gang will have run completely out riff steam and the series with be quickly retired.

The feature film is a cold war drama which has our hero sneaking into the USSR to stop a missile launch. While in Russia, he falls for his wooden contact (Tanya) then fails in his mission and everybody dies. The end

This experiment gets off on the right foot with a Buddy Holly reference then sputters between the okay (Swipes at the entertainment in the Russian restaurant wasn't as funny as it could have been) and the outstanding (Mocking the narrator is a laugh riot and Tanya's relationship with the American spy and a "Tor-Lite" Russian is a scream). There's also a funny scene with Johnny the spy, where Servo has him saying, "Hey, there's a commercial behind this bush", before they cut to a break.

The host segments are real standouts. I got a kick out of the Water Polo table with mini Frank’s and Forrester’s, and the "McCarthy" hearings features some brilliant comedic writing.

Of Note: In addition to the introduction of the "Stinger" (shows us an odd moment with a Blind Man) we get also to see Servo with a haircut.

Host Segments
Intro: Servo gets a hair cut and Joel starts selling him hair care products. Invention: Gypsy ate Joel's "Mexican Jumping Beanbag Chair", so he has to show the Candy Adding Machine instead. The Mads play Water Polo Foosball. Segment 1: The Charlie McCarthy hearings. Segment 2: Civil Defense Quiz Bowl. Segment 3: This funny skit has Joel meeting his Russian counterpart (played by Mike Nelson). End: The crew of the SOL are not happy about the movie and let the Mads know it! Stinger: Blind man sez, "Help Me"

Notable Riffs
Creeps Riffs
* "Is 'creep' a verb or a noun?" - "I think it's a French pancake." - Joel/Crow
* "Plots out of order?" - Servo
* "Fresh delicious tree ripened girl." - Servo
* "Stunned!? He took 6 bullets!" - Crow
* "This is great! I can pick my nose and sing to the radio and no one will see me!" - Servo as Bela
* "You know, for a robot, he's got a really flat butt." - Crow

Rocket Riffs
* "Hmmm Crickets, I think I'll name my band that." - Joel
* "The best man just had to do it." - "The groom or the bridesmaids just wouldn't do."- Narrator/Crow
* "Hey, there's a commercial behind this bush." - Servo as Johnny
* "What are your plans." - "Uh, you just burned my plans."- Tanya/Servo as Johnny
* "You were being saved for the big one." - "Me." - Johnny/Crow
* "What a set up" - "They are nice aren't they." - Johnny/Joel as Tanya
* "Suddenly Ivan tells a salty joke involving an elephant and a ladder, I can't repeat it but the punch line is... "what, and give up show business?" - Servo as Narrator
* "Oh, You taste like a fat drunk Russian." - Crow as Johnny
* "It must be a stealth missile, there's no shadow." - Crow
* "Could you say that a little more woodenly?" - Crow as Johnny
* "Why don't you and Helen take in a movie?"- "Because Helen's my imaginary friend, she's not real..." - Wadkins/Joel as Mrs. Wadkins
* "Give him this." - "It's raw pork. He'll know what it means." Agent Steele/Crow
* "You sound like a manure salesman with a mouthful of samples!" - Joel
* "Special agents are called in to slow the film down and grind it to a screeching halt." - Servo
* "We've whipped the problem of skin friction on the warhead..." "Uh, are we talking about the same thing here, buddy?" - Government guy/Crow
* "Even Rod Steiger must die." - Joel (Steiger won an Oscar for his role in a film called the "Pawnbroker". Note the sign when Joel makes this comment)

Riffs Explained
"Schaper always leaves you laughing, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha" - Servo
Tom says this when the little spider bomb crawls on screen. This was heard in an old commercial for a line of children’s games. One of them being "Cootie" (now manufactured by Milton Bradly). Kids roll dice to see who will be first to build a (cootie) bug.

Stuff & Nonsense
* Director Barry Mahon was a war hero who flew 98 combat missions before being shot down and captured by the Germans. He was the inspiration for Steve McQueen's character in "The Great Escape". In 1972 Barry co-directed the infamous -"Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny"- which was tackled by Rifftrax.

* "Just shakin' the Boss, Bu... I mean, Bush Boss". Joel flubs this old riff (Taken from "Cool Hand Luke") and they don't edit it out. Wise choice as an old line earns a fresh laugh.

Available on DVD: Volume 27