Monday, August 25, 2014

805 - The Thing That Couldn't Die

First Broadcast - 4 pm Saturday, March 1st 1997
#28 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Platinum
Movie Pain: Low - A goof-fest with a dumb ending
Riffing: Hilarious
Skits: Solid, good humor


Jessica's a kooky gal with a stick and special powers. One day, while using her stick to find water for her shrill Aunt Flavia, she stumbles upon the burial site of something "evil". Jessica is very sensitive about "evil"- if she thinks you're evil she'll yell and make a tree fall on you. Anyway, despite Jessica's warning, Flavia and her gang dig away and find an "evil" box which houses an "evil" head. Soon after there's murder n' mayhem, all of which leads to one of cinemas most feeble endings.
     
Oh man this was a funny one simply because the movie offers up so much wonderful stupidity for M&TB to play with. The way Aunt Flavia pronounces the word "treasure" as "traysure", her relationship with the Professor... In fact her very name inspires gales of laughter. Servo humming the Allman Brothers song "Jessica" over and over is also very funny and big dumb Mike added to the festivities as well (That's "big dumb Mike" the actor. Not "big dumb Mike" the riffer).
     
Host Segments are cute and act as the introduction of the "Observers". Paul was notable as the Observer on the SOL. His deadpan arrogance -the way he pities Mike's condition as a human- was a delight. Add in the razor sharp work in the theater and you got an episode that's not evil in the least.

Host Segments
Intro: Crow is financing Servo's art career. Segment 1: We meet the all powerful Observers. But even Gypsy doesn't think they make sense. Segment 2: An Observer observes Crow & Mike, and suffers the consequences. Segment 3: Finnegan (from Star Trek) keeps punching Mike, as do several others. Segment 4: Crow's brilliant Civil War documentary. End: Tom's evil plan. Bedtime for Bobo and Pearl. Stinger: Nothing but Observers: But if I chose one... Professor bends down and says, "Wait, I want to see that stick" (though you cant argue against Jessica wishing a tree would fall on her family and friends)

Do you think this guy ever dated Jan in the pan?
Notable Riffs
* "A formidable force: the octogenarian, the drunk, and the wuss." - Mike
* "But Jessica doesn't charge anything." - "And the Devil's built right in!" - Aunt Flavia/ Servo
* "Did you may-sure the tray-sure?" - Mike as Flaviia
* "Evil book, evil sofa, evil rhododendron." - Servo as Jessica
* "Gidget, have you lain with the horned one again?" - Mike
* "Call me an empiricist, but I need to see the water" - Mike as Gordon
* "Here comes the bride, she's out of her frigin' mind!" - Mike
* "Here's the windup, and the scream" - Servo
* "I found some 'This Island Earth' music" - Mike as Jessica
* "Nothin' like smokin' a slim-jim." - Crow as Boyd
* "Oh no, she's getting squishy" - Crow
* "So, she's kind of a Ouija-Broad." - Servo
* "They've beamed onto the planet O.K. Corral." - Crow
* "This is no time for your damn haiku's" - Servo
* "I just noticed, that window treatment is evil" - Crow
* "There's a thick yellow stain on my back brace!" - Crow (singing)
* "Mike, Insert me into her cleavage, then get lost" - Servo as the head
* "Next time punch holes in here for Gods sake" - Mike as the head
* "You're all evil and I hope you all have snacks." - Servo as Jessica 
* “He’s a geometrical savant” - Servo on Mike’s perfectly shoveled square hole.
* “Wouldn't it be funny if she found Divine?” - Crow as Jessica is walking around with her divining rod

Riff Explained
"I dreamed I was in a Hollywood movie, and I was the star of that movie" - Servo
Said when Jessica wakes up after having a vision: This is a lyric from the strange song "Spill the Wine" by War

"I love it when she dresses like Billie Burke" - Servo
Burke was the actress who played "Glinda, the Good Witch" in the movie "The Wizard Of Oz"

Stuff & Nonsense
* Bit actor Robin Hughes played the part of the head, you might remember him as another satanic figure in an episode of the Twilight Zone called the "Howling Man". (He was also a finger headed guard in "Mole People")

* Scottish born, Will Cowan, is best known for the musical shorts he directed for Universal International from the 40's to mid 50's. He also Directed Donna Martell -of Project Moonbase  fame- in a couple of the Tex Williams musical westerns (Girl From Gunsight, Western Courage). And though she could sing, Martell said her voice was dubbed in most of these shorts. This was Cowans first and last directorial job on a full length motion picture.


Available on DVD: Volume 29

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