Monday, August 25, 2014

803 - The Mole People

First Broadcast - 4 pm Saturday, Feb 15th 1997
Excellence Level: Bronze
Movie Pain: High - About as exciting as watching someone dig holes
Riffing: Chuckle-Fest
Skits: Very negative, induced mostly smiles

Many MST alumni are present in this movie. Hugh Beaumont -minus the Beaver- is still climbing rocks. John Agar and Nestor Pavia are back from "Revenge of the Creature". Nestor plays a load and Agar -thankfully- has no reason to don the ultra-tiny shorts, opting instead for another weapon of terror... A Flashlight!  Toss in Alfred (Batman's butler) as an evil albino and a jittery Professor who introduces the film and you have yourself a winning cast folks.

Humor wise, it runs hot and cold, but mostly cold. There were several long stretches where I wasn't laughing at all. The scene where the cast descends into the land of the Mole People was so painfully drawn out; it took all of M&TBs riff strength to wake things up. The hot stuff includes - The guy's irritations at know it all Agar, zapping the load and the quips during the ceremonial dance.

Host Segments? are pretty weak and rather negative in tone: Mike is belittled for attempting a skit (an actual visit from the "Gesture Professor" would have been a hoot!) Servo makes a go of being a folk guitarist, and winds up in tears for the effort, and Pearl is generally overbearing throughout. While negative humor can be a hoot and was used often in the series - here it was just a downer; neither funny or fun. 

Overall: This is a toughie to grade because there are highlights, but there are also a few too many dead zones - so a Bronze award it is.

Host Segments
Intro: Crow's a powerful star child. Segment 1: It's Lawgiver daze on Ape Planet. Segment 2: The bots give Mike a hard time over his Gesture Professor bit. Segment 3: Servo's a frustrated folk artist. Segment 4: Crow discovers an ancient civilization. End: Mike finds a couple of pale guys under the floorboards. Bobo gives Minnesota Viking RB Robert Smith to Pearl. Stinger: Watching the Load flee in terror.

The Gesture Professor!
Notable Riffs
* "It must be humiliating to be tortured by a Smurf?!" - Mike
* "Avalanche footage, run!" -Crow
* "A flashlight! Now all we need is a tent, some s'mores, and some outside." - Crow as Priest
* "Guards, sixty lashes." - "Make them long, beautiful Maybelline lashes." - Fingerhead/Servo 
* "It's Baby Jessica. She's digging her own way out!" - Mike
* "They're really Jello-mold men." - Crow
* "This is for all those years of Whack-a-Mole." - Servo as mole
* "Virgil Vogel, vestal virgin." - Servo
* "Watch, they'll get crushed by a giant dog chasing a Frisbee." - Mike 
* "You really ought to have those moles looked at." - Servo
* "Down down, the very nipple of the world" - Servo
* "Oh I think he's over flossing" - Mike
* "This movie is just ropes and asses" - Mike
* "Wait!" - " Your the only Load we have!" - Agar/Crow
* "He died as he lived, a total load" - Crow
* "I'm gonna go whip the Mole" - Servo
* "I brought you a big delicious pan of smarmy" - Mike as Agar
* "Thanks for the bucket of cold water Clorox face!" - Mike as Agar
* "Now her head starts spraying water and kids run through it" – Bill (Concerning head-dress of a dancer)

Riff Explained
Their Chef is Stanley Owsley" - Servo
Said during a mushroom dinner scene. Owlsley was a chemist from San Francisco who manufactured and distributed LSD in the 60's. He hung with the "Grateful Dead" and helped design their lightning bolt/skull logo.

Stuff and Nonsense
* In addition to acting, Hugh Beaumont was a Methodist Lay Minister and he owned a Christmas tree farm in Minnesota. Hugh was married to actress Katharyn Adams. She can be seen in Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur, playing the part of Mrs. Brown, the young mother.

* The Mole holes were built above the stage floor and were worked from below with hydraulics. Actress Cynthia Patrick (Adel), nearly had her little toe sliced off on a piece of the underlying set when she was pulled into the pit. And when Adel falls to her death at the end; that was a stunt double, who was a man! Cynthia said he was short, stocky and had a big posterior.

* Also; you too can have your very own "Mole Person". Mole Men action figures are sold in sizes of 8' or 12' inches and come complete with mushrooms and harvest bag. Cool beans!

Available on DVD: Volume 26

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