|“||Well. That settles it. Spankings all around, then.||”|
|— Mike as the father|
A Date with Your Family
The short covers the basics for how to ensure you and your family have a pleasant and formal 1950's family dinner.
- Narrated by Hugh Beaumont.
- This short was included on Shorts Vol 1, released by Rhino Entertainment on VHS in July 1998, and on DVD in February 2003 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 2, a 4-DVD set with Cave Dwellers, Pod People and Angels Revenge.
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.
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.
- 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.
Segment One: Mike promises the Bots he won't build anymore robots. Dr. F decides it's science project time, 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, dressed as a pincushion.
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 unhappy 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.
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 dispassionate newsboy who appears and leaves the movie just as quickly)
- Michael J. Nelson - Mike Nelson
- Trace Beaulieu - Crow T. Robot / Dr. Clayton Forrester
- Kevin Murphy - Tom Servo
- Frank Conniff - TV's Frank
- Jim Mallon - Gypsy
- 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 television 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 with Mike, Kevin, and Bill on The Adventures of Edward the Less and The Film Crew makes his only on-screen appearance on the show as "A. Bomb" in Host Segment Four.
- 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.
- Mike and the Bots incorrectly identify the uncredited actress portraying the First Airline Ticket Agent as Phyllis Coates. During the scene in which the character appears, Servo comments that "Lois Lane got a fro" when the actress is on screen, and during Host Segment Three, the actress's photo is used on the chart comparing the two Lois Lanes. Phyllis Coates (sporting blond hair) appears later in the movie as Mrs. Mulfory.
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 the film 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.
- "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 the film Dr. Strangelove, in which the song "We'll Meet Again" sung 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.
- Commercially released on DVD by Shout! Factory in March 2017 as part of Volume XXXVIII, a 4-disc set along with Colossus and the Headhunters, High School Big Shot, and Track of the Moon Beast.
- The DVD includes the Ballyhoo Motion Pictures feature Zugsmith Confidential and a theatrical trailer.
|preceded by: Season 5||MST3K Season 6||followed by: Season 7|
|1994 - 1995|
|601||Girls Town||1994-07-16||609||The Skydivers||1994-08-27||617||The Sword and the Dragon||1994-12-03|
|602||Invasion USA||1994-07-23||610||The Violent Years||1994-10-08||618||High School Big Shot||1994-12-10|
|603||The Dead Talk Back||1994-07-30||611||Last of the Wild Horses||1994-10-15||619||Red Zone Cuba||1994-12-17|
|604||Zombie Nightmare||1994-11-24||612||The Starfighters||1994-10-29||620||Danger!! Death Ray||1995-01-07|
|605||Colossus and the Headhunters||1994-08-20||613||The Sinister Urge||1994-11-05||621||The Beast of Yucca Flats||1995-01-21|
|606||The Creeping Terror||1994-09-17||614||San Francisco International||1994-11-19||622||Angels Revenge||1995-03-11|
|607||Bloodlust||1994-09-03||615||Kitten with a Whip||1994-11-23||623||The Amazing Transparent Man||1995-03-18|
|608||Code Name: Diamond Head||1994-10-01||616||Racket Girls||1994-11-26||624||Samson vs. the Vampire Women||1995-03-25|