"What's a giant eye going to do, pick you up and wink you to death?"
  — Joel

The movie

Main article: The Crawling Eye (film)

A Swiss village in the Alps is terrorized by giant eyes from outer space.

The Episode

"It's so hard to find a spot I haven't hit."

Host Segments

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Joel explains the show and demonstrates the Electric Bagpipes. The Mad Scientists are introduced. Dr. Forrester injects Dr. Erhardt with an antiperspirant developed from dogs. It has some unexpected side effects.

Joel plays Amazing Grace and Whole Lotta Love

Segment Two: Joel explains to the bots why it's a big deal for a human to lose a head.

Segment Three: Gypsy uncoils herself.

Segment Four: The bots are more horrified by Forrest Tucker than the giant eye. Joel explains why giant eyes are scary.

Gypsy uncoils herself.

Ending Segment: Joel makes RAM chips, and will give the bots one only if they can tell him a good thing and a bad thing about the movie. Gypsy, of course, didn't see the movie, so Joel asks her what 2+2 equals. Gypsy answers Richard Basehart, but Joel gives her a RAM chip anyway because she answered.

Obscure references

  • The songs that Joel plays on his electric bagpipe are Amazing Grace (one of the most well known English hymns written by poet John Newton, first published in 1779) and Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, released as a single in May 1969. It was the first track on their second album Led Zeppelin II, released in October '69.
  • "Sail on silver bird!": Dr. Forester is quoting the Simon and Garfunkel song Bridge over Troubled Water which was the second song in their 1970 album of the same name.
  • "The serum rushes through the bloodstream like a Porsche Targa 911.." The Porsche 911 was first manufactured by the Porsche motor vehicle company in 1963. Variations of the model have been made throughout the years to present.
  • "Someday you'll be ready for the Nobel Prize" "Maybe for fiction" the Nobel Prize is an annual international award that gives recognition to various fields in scientific and cultural fields. It was first awarded in 1901 and named after Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.
  • "I had to clean a Flubber spill once there" Flubber is a floating rubber (hence the name "Flubber"). It's a fictional compound that was central to the plot of Disney's 1961 film The Absent-Minded Professor.
  • "... And worst of all it stars Forrest Tucker": Forrest Tucker (February 22, 1919 – October 25, 1986) was a film, stage and television actor from the 1940s until his death in 1986.
  • "This must be a Paramount Picture" The mountain in the opening shot of the film vaguely resembles the logo to Paramount Pictures, who has been using the logo since 1914.
  • "It's a bad Cary Grant up there isn't it?" One of the two actors in the mountain climbing scene vaguely looks like actor Cary Grant (1904-1986) a well known actor who was active from 1932 to 1966.
  • "Oh he got that hat from Mike Nesmeth" The actor whom Tom identified as resembling Cary Grant is wearing a hat similar to that of musician Mike Nesmeth during his time with the rock band known as the Monkees
  • "Oh Forrest Tucker, he's from F-Troop!" F-Troop was a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1965 to 1967. It followed the misadventures of the soldiers at Fort Courage, Kansas during the days of the American Frontier. Forrest Tucker, the star of the experiment, played the role of Sergeant Morgan O'Rourke on the series.
  • "Duncan Sutherland. Duncan... What a yo-yo!" the Duncan Toys Company founded in 1929 is best known for their line of yo-yos.
  • "Lets see... Gemini, you'll be attracted to a crawling eye. Leo figures prominently" Tom is riffing off a horoscope for those of the Gemini astrological sign. Those born between May 20 and June 21 are Geminis. Leo is another sign for those born between July 22 and August 22.
  • "I am mount Svengali... you will do as I say" Svengali is a fictional character featured in George du Maurier's 1895 novel Trilby. The character was a hypnotist.
  • "You're Sargent O'Rourke from F-Troop" One of the many references in this episode pertaining to Tucker's role in F-Troop.
  • "It's red dye number 7" There is actually no such thing as Red Dye #7. Tom is likely referencing Amaranth aka Red Dye #5, a dye that is used in food products and cosmetics.
  • "We're going to Geneva" "That's a big convention town isn't it?" the Geneva Conventions were treaties and protocols that established international law for the humanitarian treatment of war. Originally set out by the United Nations in 1949 following the end of World War II.
  • "It's Mister Hainey!" Joel thinks that Mayor Klein (played by Frederick Schiller) resembles the character Eustace Haney from the sitcom Green Acres (1965-1971). Mr. Haney was played by actor Pat Buttram (1915–1994).
  • "I bet she could eat corn through a picket fence" An insult dating back to the days of the American Frontier, usually referring to someone who has buck teeth. Crow says this about actress Jennifer Jayne (1931-2006) who plays the role of psychic Sarah Pilgrim in the film during a scene where she gazes at the mountain. It sounds pretty harsh an insult considering that Jennifer doesn't have buck teeth.
  • "Was he on F-Troop?" Another Forrest Tucker reference. He was, indeed, on F-Troop.
  • "Who's the tomato?" is a slang term referring to a beautiful young woman. It was commonly used in the 1920s.
  • "It was a trick knot" Trick knots are used in magic tricks, jokes and puzzles. They appear to be stable knots but can become undone easily.
  • "Look the all-weather channel" The Weather Channel was founded in 1982. It is an all weather network that provides regional and global weather forecasts as well as weather related programming.
  • "I figured it would have a Julie Andrews quality" Julie Andrews is a stage and screen actress who is best known for her singing roles such as the playing the title role in the 1964 Disney film "Mary Poppins" and 1965's "The Sound of Music".
  • "You mean like Edna St. Vincent Millay?" "What a body!" American lyrical poet, playwright and feminist Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). Apparently Tom and Crow find her attractive.
  • "What about head games?" "And head trips" "And what about head cheese?"
    • Head Games is a euphemism referring to playing deluding someone
  • Head Trips is a euphemism for being high
  • Head Cheese is a European cold cut made out of the head of cow, pig, or sheep.
  • "Hey it's F-Troop" *whistling* Yet another F-Troop reference. This time Joel also whistles the theme song.
  • "Meanwhile, back at Daniel Boone's house..." Daniel Boone (1734-1820) was a frontiersman during the days of the American Frontier. His travels and exploits has made him a folk hero in American culture.
  • "I'll call Weight Watchers" Weight Watchers, founded in 1963, is a company that specializes in weight loss programs, diet foods, and exercise products.
  • "Rosebud." Rosebud was the sled owned by Charles Foster Kane in the 1941 Orson Welles film Citizen Kane. In the film when Kane is on his death bed, his final words are "Rosebud" as he drops a snow globe to the ground, not unlike the one seen in this scene of the Crawling Eye.
  • "It was a bizarre dream and you were all there. Fannie Flagg, and Groucho and Carl Sagan and it was a Dick Cavett PBS special."
    • Joel is referencing the final scene of the 1939 film version of the Wizard of Oz where the character Dorothy Gale (played by Judy Garland) woke up to find her family gathered all around her.
    • Fannie Flagg, born Patricia Neal, is an American actress, comedian and author. She is best known for her long running appearances on the Match Game from 1973 to 1982, and her 1988 novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.
    • Groucho Marx (1890-1977) was an American comedian and film actor and part of the Marx brothers.
    • Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences.
    • Dick Cavett is an American talk-show host. He had his own show on the Public Broadcast Service aka PBS between 1977 to 1982.
  • "He prescribed those for Elvis" Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was a rock and roll musician. In the later years of his career until his death the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" was on many drugs, both prescribed medication and illegal recreational drugs.

Behind the scenes

MST3K cast

MST3K crew



  • The Shout! Factory DVD & digital release of this episode lacks added sound effects on the first host segment, including Dr Erhardt playing music on the organ and the Movie Sign klaxon.

Movie Edits

As with most of the riffed movies, The Crawling Eye was altered to fit the television format and had many scenes cut or trimmed to reduce the overall film length to fit within the desired time-slot. Footage cut from this film includes:

  • A scene in which Crevett discusses Anne's visions with Sarah and encourages her to take Anne and leave. During the scene, Alan notices Phillip eavesdropping from the top of the stairs.
  • The lab calling Crevett to inform him that the cloud has moved to the hut where Dewhurst and Brett are staying.
  • The first shot of Dewhurst's headless body being pulled from under the bed, leaving a trail of blood.
  • A scene revealing that the phone line to the hut had been severed, with Alan explaining it could be due to extreme cold. This is referred to later in the film when the phone lines in the village are also cut, and again in the lab when Alan determines that the creatures need the cold to survive.
  • The scene in which Anne sneaks out of the hotel heading for the cloud.
  • A scene where Alan and Crevett tell Phillip about a psychic in the Andes being killed by a zombified man during the past incident, explaining why Brett and Hans try to kill Anne in a similar fashion.

Video releases




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