I-i-i'm Che-wo-kee Jack!

See, the movie has finally thrown up its hands and said "I just don't know."!
  — Tom Servo

I want to hurt this movie, but I could never hurt is as much as it hurt me.

The Short

Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance



Through liberal use of the knee test, looking good and standing tall, the secrets of public speaking are revealed.


  • This short was part of a series produced in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The subsequent short in the series - Speech: Using Your Voice - had been used in Earth vs the Spider.

The Movie


Red Zone Cuba

In the film's opening sequence, a young reporter asks a train engineer (Carradine) about three men—Griffin, Cook and Landis—who hopped his freight train years back. "He ran all the way to hell," the engineer remarks about Griffin. The title sequence follows, and afterwards the film proper picks up.

During the course of the film, Griffin (Francis) escapes from jail, and runs into Cook (Harold Saunders) and Landis (Anthony Cardoza). The three make their way to an airstrip run by Cherokee Jack who flies the men to a military training facility, where they will be paid to take part in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Having been deceived about the money they were to receive, the three attempt to escape, only to be recaptured and forced to invade Cuba. They are soon captured again, this time by the Communist Cuban forces.

Red Zone Cuba

A lengthy sequence of executions is ended when the three escape again. They abandon their badly wounded superior officer, Bailey Chastain (Tom Hanson), although he begs them to take him along. Desperately he informs them of his family's mine back home that contains pitchblende, tungsten, and other precious metals. They still refuse because they cannot carry him during their escape. They find an airstrip and steal a light aircraft to return to the US.

Back on American soil, the three engage in a variety of crimes to get to the home of Chastain's wife to help her mine the metals her husband had mentioned in Cuba. They throw café owner Cliff Weismeyer (Charles F. Harter) down a well and steal his car; they also hop a train. Eventually, the law catches up with them as they and Chastain's wife Ruby (Lanell Cado) head towards the mine. Cook and Landis surrender and Griffin dies in a shootout with the police. Chastain returns alive and is reunited with his wife. As police collect the belongings Griffin was carrying at the time of death, a voice-over (Francis) somberly intones that Griffin "ran all the way to hell... with a penny and a broken cigarette" as the film ends.


Red Zone Cuba

  • The original title of the movie was "Night Train to Mundo Finé", which translates as "Night Train to the End of the World."  The title was changed to "Red Zone Cuba" for release, which gives the impression that this movie is about the Bay of Pigs invasion, but the movie is supposed to be about fugitives on the run, and the Bay of Pigs invasion is just one of the many incidents that the characters become involved with along the way.  
  • A scene in which Griffin returns to the cafe and rapes Cliff Weismeyer's blind daughter (after throwing Cliff down a well) was omitted in the MST3K version.

The Episode

Host Segments

The Lotto Draw

Prologue: Mike arrives just in time for tonight's Lotto Draw, learning that Tom is a great lotto machine and that you need a lot of lotto numbers.

Segment One: While Mike gets the all important power ball, 509, Frank reveals he's in deep to the mob for 50 large. But thanks to some minor re-direction, Dr. F gets the beating intended for Frank.


Segment Two: Frank tries to convince Dr F that he still has so much to live for and rouses the horribly injured man from his death bed, but questions his posture...

Segment Three: While the strain of the movie causes Mike to believe that he's Carol Channing, Frank reads and relays the mountain of the "hope you die" cards and calls Dr F has been receiving due to his imminent death.

Frank tries to announce Dr F's passing

Segment Four: As the strain of the movie causes Mike to cycle through yet more celebrities he believes himself to be, Frank tries to announce Dr F's passing, but he yo-yos between life and death. At least until the mob come back for a second go at him.

Closing (Segment Five): Mike and the Bots sing a happy perky song to lift their spirits after the movie, while Dr F has recovered enough to "thank" Frank.

Stinger: Blind lady plays the piano.

MST3K cast


  • The movie in this episode is the source of the frequent callback, "I'm Cherokee Jack." In context, the character is a bit of fifth business, an okie who convinces the gang to fly to Cuba. M&TB are bowled over by his pie-eyed delivery of this introductory line. The riff is often repeated when a new character appears unannounced or says something unexpected.
  • There is a full, un-MST'ed version of 'Night Train to Mundo Fine' available on YouTube: click here to listen. (Between this song and his use of rockabilly pioneer Jimmy Bryant in The Skydivers, it can be said that Tony Cardoza picked interesting music for his films.)
  • Cherokee Jack's sign says (presented as shown on the screen, with all misspellings and punctuation intact):
    • SIGNED
    • --Cherokee Jack
  • Starting with this episode, Frank Conniff is listed in the credits under the title Script Consultant.
  • Magic Voice is heard for the last time in a Comedy Central-era episode here, and it also marks the last time she's voiced by Mary Jo Pehl. She wouldn't be mentioned again until Laserblast, where she doesn't speak.


Obscure References

  •  "You must think tall, talk tall, stand tall, and walk tall..." "What if you're Robert Reich?"
Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, Mr. Reich is 4 feet 11 inches tall.
  • "Wouldn't it be loverly?!"
Song from the musical My Fair Lady.
  •  "Do do do DOOOO..... DO do do doooo...."
Tom is humming the theme to My Three Sons, a sitcom from the 1960s with an iconic drawing of three pairs of legs and feet as part of the opening credits.
  • "...Except by Denny Dillon."
Denny Dillon is a comedic actress and improv instructor who spent one season on Saturday Night Live, and later co-starred on the HBO comedy series Dream On. She is not very tall.
  • "John Carradine for Viceroy!" "Sal Mineo for Viceroy!"
Viceroy is a brand of cigarettes. Sal Mineo was an actor best know for appearing opposite James Dean in the film Rebel Without A Cause.
  • "Then I joined the Crash Test Dummies."
The Crash Test Dummies were a 1990s Canadian rock band best known for their hit song "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" and vocalist Brad Roberts' bass-baritone voice. The term is derived from a pair of popular 1980's cultural icons sponsored by the US department of transportation named Vince and Larry who modeled proper seat belt procedures, and spawned toys and TV shows.
  • "This was just after he was drained of life by the succubus."
A succubus is a female demon whose victims (usually men) have their life forces drained by her while they sleep. She is also used as an allegory to describe sleep paralysis.
  • "Drink Night Train, go to the basketball game... throw up under the bleachers..."
There is a drink called Night Train Express. It's a flavored fortified wine that is 17.5% Alcohol By Volume.
  • "Oh, Moe's gonna kill me!"
A reference to Curly Howard from The Three Stooges. Coleman Francis somewhat resembles him.
  • "Going down the road, trying to loosen my load/I got Coleman Frances on my mind..."
A reference to the song "Take It Easy" by The Eagles.
  • "Hey, Petey the Plane!"
A reference to a running gag from an earlier Coleman Francis episode, The Skydivers.
  • "It's a Shining Path fantasy camp!"
The Shining Path is a Peruvian guerrilla/terrorist group.
  • "Hi-Cuba!"
A play off of the popular MST3K catchphrase "Hi-keeba!"
  • "It's either Castro or Stuart Margolin."
Stuart Margolin is actor who is probably best known for playing the conniving Angel on the TV series The Rockford Files. He appeared in Women of the Prehistoric Planet.
  • "Hey, Tony, did you bring the book of questions?"
The Book of Questions is a collection of hypothetical scenarios and ethical questions compiled by biophysicist and ethicist Gregory Stock.
  • "This train is bound for glory, this train..."
Lines from "This Train", a classic tune by Woody Guthrie that has been covered by many artists.
  • "It's Fee Waybill!"
A guy in the movie vaguely resembles Fee Waybill, lead singer of The Tubes.
  • "He's a regular Mycroft Homes."
Mycroft Holmes is Sherlock's brother, who is generally depicted as being smarter and more accomplished than Sherlock. Probably a dig at how the character in the movie is not a brilliant detective.
  • "I guess I'm a dreamer." "...Montreal."
This is a reference to a Groucho Marx joke about a pun on the song title, "I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All."
  • "Fuzzy Thurston is the Fugitive!"
Fred 'Fuzzy' Thurston is a former NFL player, spending most of his career (1958 - 1967) with the Green Bay Packers.
  • "Under the spreading Coleman Francis..."
A sarcastic misquote of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
  • "Apple's Way is different than I remember."
A short-lived series in the mid 1970s, Apple's Way started as a sitcom, then changed into a light drama.
  • "You want a video? We got some super violent Asian triple X cartoons."
A reference to how some Western viewers perceived Japanese animation (Anime) back then: full of over-the-top violence and gratuitous sex/nudity. This perception has changed a bit recently as Anime became more mainstream to Western audiences.
  • "Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Curly?"
A parody of the line "Is this the end of Rico?" spoken by Edward G. Robinson as Little Rico in the 1931 gangster movie Little Caesar.
  • [A character says "Guard."] "It's me, Margaret!"
A reference to the young-adult novel, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
  • "Things you'd say to a guard... things you'd say in a prison... Pass, pass..."
A reference to the game show Pyramid (which started as "The $10,000 Pyramid" and changed its name several times as the top prize grew), in which contestants tried to guess the category that a series of words or phrases given to them by their partner had in common.
  • "You know, I still like this movie better than Havana." 
A reference to the poorly received 1990 film starting Robert Redford.
  • "The Master says you can't stay here."
A reference to "Manos" The Hands of Fate.
An actual book by Jerry Lewis.
  • "Oh, this is the Cuba/Bemidji border."
Bemidji is a small town in Minnesota on the shores of Lake Bemidji; Crow is referring to the landing craft is obviously being on a lake, not the ocean.
  • "It's not without its charm."
Imitating the voice of Simpsons character Moe Szyslak and speaking a line specifically from the episode Flaming Moe's.

Memorable Quotes

[The platoon of seven mercenaries is fired upon and one of them is shot. Griffin checks on him quickly.]
Mike [As Griffin]: Well... I'm pretty sure you're dead.
Crow: They just lost a third of their "force."
[As Griffin runs towards the airplane to escape Cuba, his resemblance to Curly of the 3 Stooges is brought up again by Mike and the bots.]
Mike: Hey Moe! Moe!
Crow: Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Nyyyaaahhhahhhahhh!!
[The scene where Griffin is beating up on Cook quickly jumps to the next scene.]
Mike: AGH! I think my neck got broken in that jump cut!
Tom: See, the movie has finally thrown up its hands and said "I just don't know!"
Crow: I want to hurt this movie, but I can never hurt it the way it hurt me!
[The hunting party of four runs toward the small helicopter.]
Servo: Whoa! Whoa!! Back up and think guys! Are we ALL going to fit in here!?
[Scene where Griffin is running away from the posse hunting him.]
Crow: The male Curly can run for hours on little water.
Mike: Native beaters are used to flush out "The Curly."
[Crow's frustration becomes too much after the appearance of another drab set.]
Crow: I think the location scout was a spaz!
[Mike and the bots exit the theater once the movie ends.]
Crow: I thought they portrayed 1961 quite well.
Servo: Not too hard since they made it in 65!!
Crow: D'OH!

Video Release


  • Commerically released on VHS by Rhino Entertainment in October 1997.
  • Commerically released on DVD by Rhino in April 2002.
    • Re-released on August 16, 2011 as a single DVD by Shout! Factory's Shout Select imprint.