Saturday, August 23, 2014

617 - Sword and the Dragon

First Broadcast - 7 pm Saturday, Dec 3rd 1994
#40 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Platinum
Movie Pain: Low - Delightful, spirited historical adventure
Riffing: Hilarious
Skits: Solid, good humor

A 'heavy set furry old guy' saves the day! Finally, a hero I can relate to: Ilya, a man as meaty as Mike Nelsons head, uses the magic sword of Invincor to defeat the Tugars and their dragon.
This is another of the Russian films by Aleksandr Ptushko and oh how I luvs 'em. Beautiful and goofy at the same time (Dig that 'large cheeked' wind demon), and so much fun. The Best Brains covered 4 of these and this is the first for Mike. While it's not as riff relentless as "The Magic Voyage of Sinbad", it's still worthy of high praise.
The biggest laughs come at the start; Crow's line about Ilya's body consisting of "Just a Torso", to a battle scene, where a man is attacked by a pitchfork as Servo chimes in with a little music from "Green Acres" -The Chores!- The humor levels take a slight of a dip in the middle of the episode but finish up strong (we see bodies strewn across the battlefield and Mike responds... "The mass effects of watching Pauly Shore's last movie")
Coupled with weird sketches like, "Bergman presents a Joke" and the humorous "Mads on a date". It's all pretty funny, and it's wrapped around a film I enjoy watching as well.
Of Note: In another riff that pre-dates a future experiment; Servo quips... "The Legend of Boggy Creek had more depth"

Host Segments
Intro: Crow and Mike can't get into the whole D&D thing, tho Tom really digs it. Segment 1: The Mads are organizing their comic books when some girls stop over. M&TB provide the entertainment. Segment 2: A Bergman like Sven and Ole joke. Segment 3: Gypsy sings like they do in the movie. Segment 4: Ilya's house of pancakes. End: Gypsy the reviewer. The Mads think they're so cool. Stinger: Ilya knocks the wind demon out of his tree.

Notable Riffs
* "Let us, the nasty do." - Servo
* "Take a picture why don't ya!" - Crow as Ilya
* "...with hands I can not lift to help them." - "I bowled last night and I'm pretty stiff." - Ilya/Mike
* "Listen well, son of misery." - "You know my dad?" - Tugar/Servo
* "I should warn you, I'm just a torso." - Crow as Ilya
* "Uh, hold on, I'm having a montage." - Mike as Ilya
* "Why are you older than me, son?" - Mike 
* "Chestnut Gray is like the Chevy suburban of horses."- Crow
* "Oh yuk, he was eating crackers!" - Crow on the wind demon
* "You know, it would be easy to grab the wrong whiskery fat guy." - Mike
* "So, they "walked" from China to Finland?" - Crow
* "Honey can I do this one thing." - Servo as the Prince
* "He lies!" - "I saw him wet them on the field of honor!" - Ilya/Servo
* "He fights for Dolly Madison!" - Mike
* "Isn't he suppose to bathe him in Mountain Dew?" - Crow
* "If you bear a son..." - "Let me know who the father is" - Ilya/Crow
* "I hate this! It does not make me feel pretty!" - Crow as the Prince

Riff Explained 
"Where are the R.O.U.Ses?" - Mike
This comes from the book & movie, "The Princess Bride". R.O.U.Ses are the "Rats Of Unusual Size".

"Now I don't want..." - Mike
Before the "ROUS" riff, we see the heavenly skies and Mike says the above words in a strange voice that sounds very much like comedian Emo Philips. JJB3K wrote to tell me that Mike is actually imitating recording artist Chris Isaak. The shot of the clouds is reminiscent of the video for Isaak's "Wicked Games", which is what Mike is singing ("No, I-I-I-I don't want to fall in love with you...")

Stuff and Nonsense 
* Ilya Mourometz was a real person who lived during 10th or 11th century. He was a bogatyr -"warrior"- who fought in the service of Prince Vladimir (The last Scandinavian to rule Kiev). Ilya's legend looms so large in Russia that he has been the subject of a Reinhold Gliere Symphony, as well was the inspiration for the four engined bomber plane built by Igor Sikorsky.

* Paul Frees, director of "The Beatniks" provided the voice of Kali, while "60 Minutes" reporter Mike Wallace did the narration

Available on DVD: Volume 24

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