Well. That settles it. Spankings all around, then.
  — Mike as the father


The Short

A Date With Your Family

A Date With Your Family

Synopsis

The short covers the basics for how to ensure you and your family have a pleasant and formal 1950's family dinner.

Information

The Movie

Synopsis

Invasion USA

A host of everyday people in a bar (including a Congressmen, a factory owner, and a TV broadcaster) are polled in a survey. They each state that they think the government/military is getting too involved in their lives and business concerns.

The United States proves to be easy prey to the Communists who have decided to invade. Each of the bar patrons' lives are affected, causing them to re-evaluate their position.

The broadcaster, however, gets lucky with the girl at the bar.

Invasion USA

Ultimately, it is revealed that the invasion is just a hypnotic suggestion planted by one of the other people in the bar.

The movie closes with a quotation from George Washington that is used to imply that the Russians are especially skilled at militarization, and that the United States would be well-advised to put military matters ahead of all else.


Information

  • Both Noel Neill and Phyllis Coates portrayed Lois Lane in the TV series The Adventures of Superman (1952) starring George Reeves, as is mentioned in a few riffs and the third host segment. Noel Neill appeared as Lois in the US Treasury Department-produced short Stamp Day for Superman (also with Reeves) which was used in the RiffTrax Live! Mystery Science Theater 3000 Reunion event.
  • The hypnotist’s opening monologue chastises the “college boy” who “wants a stronger army AND a deferment for himself” and the “businessman” who “wants a bigger Air Force AND a new Cadillac” and “the housewife” who “wants security AND an electric dishwasher.” It’s ironic that these supposedly anti-Communist declarations criticize Americans for behaving like Americans.
    • Then again, the movie’s unwitting subtext is that in order to defeat the Communists, Americans must be more like them—Americans must be constantly willing to sacrifice, to give up personal possessions, hopes, and dreams. At the same time, it features Communists who take control of a factory and force its workers into slavery, which seems decidedly unlike the group behind the "Worker's Revolution". Essentially, the movie's social commentary is somewhat muddled.
  • Shot in seven days on a budget of $127,000, the movie manages to combine a number of wildly disparate elements into a 74-minute tour de force. This is one of the few movies of the 1950s to earn over $1 million at the box office.
  • Peggie Castle later starred in Beginning of the End as photographer Audrey Aimes.


The Episode

Host Segments

Mike builds a robot

Prologue: Channeling his predecessor, Mike builds a robot. The Bots marvel over it, but alas its sole objective is destruction.

Segment One: Mike promises the Bots he won't build anymore robots. Dr. F decides it's science project time, and so Crow must choose between a soft, cuddly Dr. F doll or a stark wire robot mother. After a brief consideration, Crow opts for the latter. TV's Frank is the control group, and is dressed as a pincushion.

SOL "family date"

Segment Two: Inspired by the short, the SOL crew presents their own stilted and awkward "family date". It ends in chaos when Gypsy points out how boring things are.

Segment Three: Tom tricks Crow into giving a ridiculously detailed lecture, comparing and contrasting the two actresses who played Lois Lane on the 1950’s TV series The Adventures of Superman (as they both appear in the movie).

Segment Four: A game of Jenga is interrupted by a visit from "A. Bomb" on the Hexfield. He’s kinda bummed about the trend toward nuclear disarmament, but Mike cheers him up and persuades him on a new "career path", which might not be a good thing.

Dr. F Doll

Segment Five: Traumatized by the movie, Tom is convinced that life is but a dream. He insists that Mike hit him with a huge clown hammer to wake up. Mike reads a letter from a little girl who tells them, "You’re not missing much on Earth!" On patrol in Deep 13, Frank asks Dr. F "Who won the World Series?" Dr. F replies, "I did." Befuddled, Frank says, "D’okay".

Stinger: "Extra! Paper! America invaded! Read all about it!" (said by a random newsboy who appears and leaves the movie just as quickly)

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast

Other Notes

  • This was the first and only appearance of Mike's Robot (whose real/proper name is unknown, although some MiSties have started referring to him as "Blue" for his color, and as a humorous nod to the children's televisions show animated dog).
  • Mike's robot's use of the word "Destroy" was most likely a play on the Doctor Who aliens known as the Daleks use of the phrase "Exterminate", or possibly just the trope of killer robots in general.
  • Writer/Comedian Mike Dodge, who worked on MST3K during Season 6 and later, post-MST3K, with Mike and Kevin on The Adventures of Edward the Less makes his one and only on-screen appearance on the show as "A. Bomb" in host segment 4.
  • The segment on the "Two Lois Lanes" could be seen as a satirical comment on the internet debate over "Joel Vs. Mike," which was raging at the time.

Obscure References

  • "Sylvia?"

A reference to poet Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide by suffocating herself in a gas oven.

  • "There's a rabbit in there!"

A reference to the scene in Fatal Attraction where Michael Douglas' character discovers that Glenn Close's character has killed and cooked his daughter's pet rabbit.

  • "Madame Defarge waits in the living room!"

Madame Defarge was a character in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, who was depicted as constantly knitting.

  • "I'm moving to Fire Island, dear!"

Fire Island, New York has long been known as a center of gay culture.

  • "What, me direct?"

The director's name is similar to Alfred E. Neuman, whose catch phrase was "What, me worry?"

  • "Shouldn't he be guarding Oswald?"

The bartender bears a passing resemblance to Jim Leavelle, who was standing nearby when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald.

MST3K_602_Promos

MST3K 602 Promos

  • "You know, for some reason, I can't help thinking that Bobbie Gentry had something to do with this."

Bobbie Gentry wrote and performed the song "Ode to Billy Joe", which featured the refrain "Billie Joe McCallister jumped off the Tallahatchie bridge."

  • "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when..."

A reference to the ending of Dr. Strangelove, in which the song "We'll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn is played over a montage of nuclear explosions.

  • "...Cruising up and down the coast of Yakutsk..."

Yakutsk is a city in Russia. It doesn't have a "coast", but it is located entirely on the west bank of the Lena River. Yakutsk is a strategic territory in the Asia region of the war-simulation board game Risk.

  • "Hey, Lenny. How 'bout another Manhattan Project? Put it on my tab."

The Manhattan Project was the name given to the United States' project to develop nuclear weapons during World War II. A Manhattan is a mixed alcoholic drink made with whiskey, vermouth, and bitters.

  • "I think I'll go call that weasel Helen Caldicott up..."

Helen Caldicott is an Australian-born physician and author. She became a prominent anti-nuclear weapons activist in the United States during the 1970s and '80s.

Video releases

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