Thursday, August 14, 2014

320 - The Unearthly

With Shorts: Posture Pals & Appreciating Our Parents

First Broadcast - 10 am Saturday, Dec 14 1991
Excellence Level: Tin-Foil
Movie Pain: High - Lackluster
Riffing: Super shorts, sub-par on the movie
Skits: Induced mostly smiles



Tor Johnson makes his MST3K debut... Life is good -  The shorts in this experiment are among the best ever. "Posture Pals", which is about some kids with scoliosis who covet a 'Burger King" crown. And "Appreciating Our Parents", which is a look at the enlightenment of a boy named Tommy. Both offer up big belly laughs and are the strength of this experiment.

The "Unearthly"? Well that's about John Carradine and his obsession with glands. The riffing on the feature was rather subdued (matching the movie?), it took a few viewings, for example, before I picked up on the "Things" running joke. The material picks up in the final segment and making fun of Tor Johnson gives the gang some fodder to mine for laughs. ("Kitty" sez Tor as he pats a dogs head). All told though, it's not a real knock-out for me.

Host Segments
Intro: The bots present, "America's Goofiest Home Video". Invention: The mads create Hard Pills to Swallow. On the SOL it's Celebrity Home Appliances. Segment 1: Crow thinks about all the things Gypsy does on the SOL. Segment 2: The many faces of Tor Johnson.Segment 3: The Unearthly game. End: J&TB talk the lingo, Frank eats good grub. Stinger: Tor sez, "Time for go to bed"

MST Hour Segments
Part 1: Decked out in Frank’s black uniform, Jack introduces the film and later, in speaking about Tor Johnson, confesses that he likes the hulking giant and is suspicious of thin people (like John Carradine) because they remind him of Satan. Perkins disrobes during the end credits. Part 2: Standing next to test tubes etc, our host reveals his dark side and gives the recap. In seg 2 Jack wonders what leads a mad scientist down the path of madness and plays with his lab equipment during the credits.
Notable Riffs
Posture Riffs
* "You can see that this boy needs help" - "He's a loser and the kids let him know it - Narrator/Joel
* "Amazing physique for an 8 year old" - Servo
* "Thank you thank you very much, I'm wearing a lovely pant suit!" - Crow as actress accepting award
* "And what gives Jane her worried frown?" - "Valium?" - Joel
* "With hollow chest and tired head..." - "She should just go home to bed - Narrator/Crow
* "Their chances of being cool are ruined for life." - Crow

Parent Riffs
* "Clothes scattered about, toys on the floor..." "Beer cans everywhere." - Narrator/Joel
* "Everything is neat and straight" - "Except for his mind." - Narrator/Joel
* "Tommy's the Lathe of Heaven." - Joel
* "There's so many things a boy likes to have money for" - "Like play the numbers." - Joel
* "She's in what we call, a rut." - Crow
* "After a week or so of trying..." "Tommy gives up." - Crow
* "Yeah what is with you today Tommy!" - Joel

Unearthly Riffs
* "Tor wants 'Fats Waller' now." - Joel as Lobo
* "Tor like new lunch box." - Servo as Lobo
* "Wait, don't leave Tor hanging, what happen to Ferdinand." - Servo as Lobo
* "This is Conway's assistant." - "Yeah the Milkman found her." - Mark/Joel
* "Pulse normal... Heartbeat faint but regular... Respiration steady... Reactions, none..." "Wait a minute -- that's me!" - Sharon/Joel,as John Carradine
* "This Brown-'N'-Serve is alive! ALIVE!!" - Crow, as John Carradine

Riffs Explained 
"Are we not men" - Joel
This was a lyric and the title of an album by 80's new wave group Devo. Said while Carradine wears some spacey glasses.

"Cripes I turned her into a Sleestak!" - Crow
A Sleestak was a hissing lizard like creature from the Saturday morning adventure show The Land of the Lost (1974-77). Which told the story of a family lost in a world of Dinosaurs and hairy little cave boys.

Stuff and Nonsense
Sally Todd was Playboys Miss February 1957 and can be seen as a Viking woman in show #317. For more pics and info visit "Brian's Drive-In Theater"

* One of those monsters in the basement was Tor Johnson's son, Karl.

* Marilyn Buford (Dr. Sharon Gilchrist) was crowned Miss America in 1946.

* Did the character Danny seem like he was drunk? In an interview with Tom Weaver, Arthur Batanides said that the cast were very loose on the set, horsing around and driving the director crazy. He admitted, "That was one of the few shows where I drank on the job." Can we blame him? Ha Ha



Available on DVD: Rhino Collection Volume 3


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