"Only the good die young."

"Most of us are morally ambiguous, which explains our random dying patterns."

  — Cain and Servo


The Movie

Main article: Gunslinger (film)

Synopsis

After the Marshal of a western town is killed, his widow must take up the position. She is aided by a charming rogue in her quest to restore justice.

The Episode

Host Segments

Playing "Kaboom" with Tom's head

Prologue: Gypsy, Joel, and Crow play "Kaboom" with Tom’s head, which has been replaced with a balloon hooked up to a pump.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Servo's massively swollen head now holds all of the knowledge of man, but all he can do with it is wonder why Manimal was canceled so soon. Dr. F presents The Scanner Planner, inspired by the Scanners movie series, which he proceeds to try out on Frank. Joel and the Bots have new wiffle products: the wiffle cup, wiffle hat, wiffle Claude Akins, etc. Dr. F's scanning causes Tom's balloon head to explode.

The Scanner Planner

Segment Two: Tom, Crow, and Joel are resting in caskets to see what it’s like to be dead. Even though they're never going to die, the Bots discuss what kind of funeral they’d like to have. Tom wants his friends to toss him up and down in a blanket at his funeral. Crow wants a beach funeral, although his final choice is to be mummified and placed next to Joseph Stalin.

Segment Three: Tom sends Joel a message about what he wants for lunch using Gypsy Express, with Crow as the rider and Gypsy as the pony, despite the fact that Tom and Joel are standing a mere 3 feet apart.

Tom and Joel in resting caskets


Segment Four: Tom demonstrates quantum linear super-position so that Joel and Crow will understand how John Ireland is able to go into the attorney’s office and immediately end up on his horse on the street. He also warps time and space at will.

Segment Five: Since Roger Corman made the 1870’s seems so dismal, Joel and the bots discuss how dreadful the 1970’s were. The Bots have deep fried the letters, but Joel is able to read one anyway. Back in Deep 13, Dr. F finally succeeds in working his scanning skill on Frank.

Stinger: Saloon dancing girl: "What about our clothes?"

MST3K cast

Notes

  • The sound effect used when Dr. Forrester is trying to "scan" Frank is the same sound used for Brain Guy sending the movie in the later seasons.
  • Last regular episode directed by Joel Hodgson.
  • This episode aired eleventh during Turkey Day '94.

Callbacks

Goofs

  • Gypsy blows a line in the opening segment but they keep going.
  • Dr. Forrester introduces the feature as their first western. However, the previous experiment can legitimately be classified as a western.

Obscure References

  • "Why did they cancel Manimal?"
Manimal is an action-adventure show about a man who had the ability to transform into several animals. It ran on NBC for 8 episodes in 1983. It was cancelled due to low ratings, and has since become a semi-obscure cultural touchstone for bizarre TV series that were cancelled quickly.
  • "Say, do you want to make people's heads explode? Sure, we all do."
Dr. Forrester is paraphrasing the opening line of a long-running series of TV commercials for International Correspondence Schools which opened with actress Sally Struthers asking viewers "Do you want to make more money? Sure, we all do." Some versions of the commercial had her saying "of course" instead of "sure".
  • "Oh, Spy vs. Spy."
Spy vs. Spy is a long-running comic strip created by Antonio Prohías that appears in MAD magazine. It concerns a pair of spies, Black and White, attempting to kill each other in various over-the-top ways. The two spies wear comically oversized fedora hats, which look like the one worn by the character in the animated opening sequence Servo comments on.
  • "You're a man playing a woman, playing a man."
Summarizing the plot of the musical Victor/Victoria.
  • "Who shot Vivian Valance?"
Reference to western film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Vivian Vance.
  • "Tuesday the Rabbi got robbed..."
A play on the naming convention of a series of mystery novels by author Harry Kemelman which feature the crime-solving Rabbi Small. Each book title describes an event in the Rabbi's life on a day of the week, i.e. Wednesday The Rabbi Got Wet. According to the books, on Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red.
  • "Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, Riding through the glades..."
A reference to a Monty Python sketch about a highwayman character.
  • "With Red Buttons to watch Red Dwarf."
Red Buttons was an American actor and comedian. Red Dwarf is a British sitcom about a group of misfit space travelers.
  • "Been a long time." "Been a long, long, long, long, lonely time."
Quoting lyrics from the Led Zeppelin song "Rock and Roll".
  • "You're not bad." "You're just drawn that way."
Alluding to a line spoken by Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. (Actual Line: "I'm not bad; I'm just drawn that way.")
  • "And the Vikings would have finally captured a Super Bowl title."
Prior to this episode, the Minnesota Vikings appeared in four Super Bowls (1970, 1974, 1975, and 1977), losing each time. They have yet to play in another Super Bowl Championship game.
  • "Guests of Beverly Garland stay at the Beverly Garland Hotel."
In 1972, Beverly Garland and her then husband, Fillmore Crank, opened the Beverly Garland Hotel. It has undergone few brand transitions over the years, and was officially renamed The Garland in 2013. It had a contract with Holiday Inn the year this episode aired.[1]
  • "Oh, look, they have a Fotomat back there." "Yeah, and it's saying, "Ohhhh Noooooo!!"
Fotomat was a chain of photo development drive-thru kiosks located in shopping center parking lots. Their main product was overnight film development, but they were also one of the first companies to offer movies for rent on videocassette.
"Ohhhh Noooooo!!" was the catch phrase of the often mutilated clay figure from Saturday Night Live, Mr. Bill.
  • "And all that glitters is gold..."
Crow is reciting some lyrics from Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.

Video Release

  • MST3K Gunslinger DVD

    The episode was released on VHS in 1998 by Rhino.
  • Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in October 2004 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 6, a 4-DVD set with Teenagers from Outer Space, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and Mr. B's Lost Shorts.

References

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