Saturday, August 23, 2014

620 - Danger! Death Ray!

First Broadcast - 7 pm Saturday, Jan 7th 1995
Excellence Level: Silver
Movie Pain: Medium - Loads of boring fisticuffs
Riffing: Repetative but solid
Skits: Hilarious

I watched this movie only moments ago, and I have no recollection of what I just saw. My memory of it rests in a foggy miasma of flying fists and plastic toys. I believe there was this bland nondescript secret agent named Brett or Bert or... no, Bart, Bart Fargo, who is in hot pursuit of a kidnapped scientist and his "peaceful" death ray. But who knows, nothing is clear to me because unlike most spy thrillers, watching this movie was like staring at cork-board for 2 hours, nothing happens of any interest.
Super Dragon was smooth and had a talking table. Operation 007 gave us that hypnotism thing and a villain who watched movies on a girls back. Spy films should be cool breezy fun with lots of neat gadgets. But aside from the laughable FX, which include a cheap toy submarine and helicopter, Death Ray is bo-ring! Clogged with endless slug fests and a final gun battle that drags on and on and lacks any tension what so ever.
Still, being the pros they are, Mike and the bots manage to entertain even if the movie can't. They giggle over the toys and tease the catchy theme song. They mock the title with great zest and do a ripping good job of making fun of the way everyone looks in this flick -From a frog faced man to Abe Lincoln & Jerry Reed-
The Host Segments are a good display of the casts comedic chemistry. Frank is cool as an agent (He gets Mike back in a Sailor suit and Torgo has an appointment, yay). Crow catches fire and breaks into a hysterical scream that's pretty funny. The quick banter during the sunglasses bit is cute and even Cambot gets some attention. Plus, Dr. Forrester's final line at the end... delicious; it's quick, pointed and funny.
As a spy flick, "Danger! Death Ray!" is a whole lotta snoresville, but the BBI masterminds don't let me down and they make this a better episode than it deserves to be.

Host Segments
Intro: Crow has contact lenses. Segment 1: Frank's an agent and Torgo wants his help. Segment 2: Servo uses his peaceful death ray on Crow. Segment 3: Mike Nelson, this is your life! Segment 4: Crow's line of shades for men. End: Cambot cries and Dr. F receives a glamour shot of Frank. Stinger: Strange edit with a watch

Notable Riffs
* "If Michael Caine and Andre the Giant had a child" - Mike
* "Sure it's phallic, why wouldn't it be" - Mike
* "He hit Benny Hill" - Mike
* "Get this toy out of here quick!" - Mike
* "Don't go up there, you'll become a toy" - Mike
* "Danger! Twist tie!" - Servo
* "This must be a massive organization to throw away a dollar fifty helicopter like that" - Crow
* "Just a few more hours on board Mr. Carmichael" - "Then we'll be married" - Froggie/Mike
* "Danger! Small talk!" - Crow
* "Abe Lincoln is, Time Cop!" - Mike
* "I'd like to sleep with that painting" - Crow
* "Oh, I've got a rail splitting headache" - Mike as Lincoln
* "Uh, sir, there's a nipple on your face" - Mike
* "The door's unlocked" - "And so am I" - Blonde/Servo
* "His name is Luka" - Servo, as Bart slaps a bad guy
* "It better be a damn good bonk" - Crow
* "I'm Charleton Chew" - Crow as Carver
* "Oh no, one of the 3 Tenors is down" - Mike
* "I'm going to give you laser eye surgery" - Mike

Riff Explained
"...You'll no longer be able to think or act independently" - "You'll become Michael Huffington" - Doctor/Crow
Huffington was a Republican congressman from California (1992-94) who was criticized as being a puppet of his wife, Arianna (who sometimes even showed up to debate his opponents in his place). In 1994 he spent an amazing $30 million in a failed bid to become a Senator (which he says he never wanted, but agreed to run anyway)

Stuff and Nonsense
Nello Pazzafini (who is listed in the credits under the name Ted Carter and played bad guy Frank) can also be seen playing the High Priest in "Cave Dwellers" (credited under the name, Robert Black). Like Frank Brana (Pod People) Pazzafini performed in hundreds of movies, many of them Spaghetti Westerns. In fact Brana and Pazzafini acted together in 5 westerns, including "La Resa Del Conti" (Account Rendered) which starred the Master Ninja, Lee Van Cleef.

Available on DVD: Volume 26

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