Monday, August 25, 2014

801 - Revenge of the Creature

First Broadcast - 4 pm Saturday, Feb 1st 1997
Excellence Level: Bronze
Movie Pain: Medium - Slow moving creature feature
Riffing: Chuckle-Fest starts slow, picks up at the end
Skits: Induced mostly smiles

Frighteningly tight swim trunks (usually worn by John Agar) star in MST3K's relaunching on the Sci-Fi network. I remember the excitement and anticipation leading up to this episode - and while I didn't find it a classic, there were classic moments. As when Tom reacts to the sight of birds lined up on a tree branch, by singing the schoolchildren’s song heard in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (I do so love the pop culture references).

The eighth season would see the show lose another of its kingpins, Trace Beaulieu. His gigantic shoes were filled by Mary Jo Pehl -playing new head Mad Scientist, Pearl- and Bill Corbett, lending his voice and hands to the character of Crow. Bill made Crow crankier, which was pretty darn funny. But MJP had the impossible task of replacing the irreplaceable Dr. Clayton Forrester and it took me a while to warm up to her. As the show progressed she -joined by Bill (as Brain Guy) and Kevin (as Professor Bobo, introduced here), would become memorable Mads in their own right.

By network mandate, the host segments now have an ongoing story line. And while they run a bit long, they furnish some cute moments. The theater riffing, if not their best, is serviceable and picks up in the final half hour with laughs inspired by Chris the dog and "Globe on a stick".

Host Segments
Intro: Mike, Servo, and Gypsy return to the SOL and find Crow there. They soon discover that apes rule the Earth. Segment 1: Professor Bobo sends the guys a movie because the Lawgiver told him to. Segment 2: Nanites help with ship repairs. Segment 3: Phil the alien comes looking for Servo. Tom owes him some French Vanilla pudding. Segment 4: Crow makes Mike a tiny cup of espresso. End: We learn that Mike's descendants are responsible for all this monkey business on Earth. We meet the Lawgiver and it's Pearl Forrester, who vows to carry on the work of her son. Stinger: John Agar swims with his stick.

“This guy’s bad, this is his first and last movie” – Crow on Clint

Notable Riffs
"Yeah, go put on your sports bra." - Crow
"Hey can I get a Latte out of the back of your head?" - Crow
"Everybody's drifted over to the world of barnacles exhibit." - Crow
"Thank God the milkmen showed up!" - Mike
"A parade of tiny upsetting shorts." - Mike
"Do you need any milk, sir!" - Crow
"What are you doing for dinner tonight?" - "Eating not with you." - Agar/Servo
"No you can't cash a check here sir, this is the commercial window." - Mike
"It's a success - we've made him afraid of flag poles!" - Mike
"Somehow this is going to get me into tiny swim trunks." - Crow as John Agar
"Look what we found, a sand dollar!" - Crow
"Please don't attach me to a block and tackle and throw me into a padded palm tree! Nooooo!" - Mike
"Thrill to the moderate pace of the chase!" - Mike
"Even though it didn't figure in the final scene, I'm glad they checked their flashlights anyway." - Crow
"The disorganized, short-lived, badly botched and thoroughly ineffectual Revenge of the Creature!" - Crow
"Doesn't it even occur to them to check for a zipper?"
"Let's see, which part of John Agar haven't I seen?" - Mike
"Good thing they enlisted the help of the Joads." Servo

Riffs Explained
"Ah, the Schmenge's at Seaworld..." - Servo.
The Schmenge Brothers are the leutoinian kings of Polka! Played by John Candy & Eugene Levy on the comedy show SCTV.

Stuff and Nonsense
* Watch for Clint Eastwood uncredited film debut as a lab assistant.

* And that's Big Stupid (Brett Halsey) from "Girl in Lovers' Lane", who has his head crushed by the creature at the end of the movie.

* With a new era comes a new Robot Roll Call. Those hard to hear voices are saying... 
Cambot: You're on!
Gypsy: Oh, my stars!
Tom Servo: Check me out!
Croooow: I'm different!

Available on DVD: Volume 25

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