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This movie stops at nothing... and stays there!
  — Tom Servo


The Shorts

Synopses

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Money Talks! Having trouble saving money, a kid gets advice from Ben Franklin himself.

Progress Island, U.S.A. Modern Puerto Rico has a lot to offer.

Memorable Quotes

[Scene where Benjamin Franklin first visits William.]
Ben Franklin: You must learn how to manage your money.
William: What money?
Mike [As Ben Franklin]: Don't smart mouth me BOY!
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[Benjamin Franklin looks over William's floor plans.]
Ben Franklin: Judging from these drawings, you'd like to be an architect someday.
Servo [As Ben Franklin]: Forget it "Soda Jerk!"
[William writes down what Benjamin Franklin is teaching him.]
William: Plan... My... Savings...
Servo [As William's "mother."]: William! What are you doing in there? You're not talking to 'The Founding Fathers' again are you!?
William: That's important! To keep a budget "flexible."
Crow [As William]: "Like Gumby.

Information

  • Released in 1973, Progress Island U.S.A. is the most recent short to be featured on the show to date.

The Movie

Main article: The Beast of Yucca Flats (film)

Synopsis

Tor Johnson in The Beast of Yucca Flats

A Russian scientist is changed into a brute by radiation and briefly menaces a family in the desert.

The Episode

Host Segments

Mike & the Bots wallpaper the SOL

Prologue: Mike and the Bots are wallpapering the SOL. The patterns aren't matched up, mostly because they're not the same pattern. Gypsy does not react as expected.

Segment One: Proposition Deep 13 proposes to speak for the Mads in the form of the feature film's overt badness. Candidate Mike Nelson responds for the SOL with a stirring speech from Tom Servo and fanfare from Crow's horn. However, the fact that the film is from Coleman Francis causes some backpedaling from Mike and the gang.

Crow's film anti-preservation presentation

Segment Two: The SOL's nice quiet afternoon is interrupted by a visit from some noisy teen party-ers. Crow takes them up on their offer to join the festivities.

Segment Three: Crow wants to know if it's 11:30 yet. There are many times at which it is not 11:30, as Mike constantly tells him.

Segment Four: Crow offers a plea for film anti-preservation to help bad films deteriorate more quickly. Mike disapproves, but Crow doesn't care.

Crow wants to know if it's 11:30 yet

Segment Five: The Bots read letters of congratulations, and Mike gives his victory speech after defeating Proposition Deep 13. Dr. F gives his concession speech. He then slaps Frank. A lot.

Stinger: The beast is very pissed off.

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast

Trivia

  • Unusual credits: Dr. F can be heard repeatedly slapping Frank as the credits play.
  • The host segment in which Crow keeps asking if it's 11:30 yet is an inside joke, aimed at Frank Conniff. He reportedly often skipped breakfast, so he'd frequently interrupt writing sessions by asking if it was time to break for lunch.
  • The comic book Crow is reading in the second host segment is the DC Comic Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld Vol. 1 #2 (from 1983).
  • The Beast of Yucca Flats had been mentioned during the first host segment of Episode 513 as part of Mike's training in the art of riffing, where it was claimed to be a "cake walk" compared to the movies they usually watch. That assessment is contradicted by the SOL crew's despairing reactions to the film in this episode (though it is possible that Servo and Crow chose not to watch it when training Mike).

Callbacks

Obscure References

  • "Proposition Deep 13"

A reference to the "Culture War" speech during the 1992 Republican National Convention, in which terms like "counter-culture" and "Contract with America" were employed.

  • "Need I describe how he stood with us before the goons of Peabody Mining?"

The Peabody Award is awarded for excellence in storytelling in television or radio. MST3K won one in 1993 (a video of the award presentation can be found here).

  • "Will our mystery guest enter and sign in, please?"

The phrase used on the game show What's My Line? to introduce the celebrity guest round.  

  • "Helter Skelter. Very nice."

A song by the Beatles, also infamously known as the phrase ("Healter [sic] Skelter") that the Manson Family wrote in blood on Rosemary LaBianca's refrigerator after murdering her. It subsequently became the title of the all-time best-selling true crime book (co-authored by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi) about the Manson Family killings.

  • "Benjamin Franklin was tried in the 8th Circuit Court on stalking charges. In a minute, the result of that trial."

A reference to the voice-over that ended most episodes of the TV police procedural Dragnet.  

  • "Feel the glory of the Royal Scam!"

A misquoted line from the Steely Dan song "The Royal Scam".

  • "Why do I conk my hair?"

In period African-American slang, the verb "conk" refers to processing one's hair.

  • "It's the KGB Mr. Benny!!"

Referring to African-American comedian Eddie "Rochester" Anderson who was a regular cast member on The Jack Benny Program as Benny's valet. The KGB were the main security and intelligence gathering agency of the former Soviet Union.

  • "Time for go to ground transportation."

A callback to the line "Time for go to bed", delivered by Tor Johnson in The Unearthly.

  • "It was a dark and boring night."

A play on the infamous line "It was a dark and stormy night", first written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, often cited as a prime example of trite writing.

  • "It's Trudy."

A Local Hero reference; the protagonist named a rabbit he hit with his car "Trudy", after his ex-girlfriend.

  • "A phrenologist would have a field day with Tor's skull!"

Phrenology was a pseudoscience popular in the 19th century that held it was possible to determine a person's mental abilities and personality traits by feeling the shape of their skull.

  • "Father McKenzie. Darning his socks in the night when no one is there..."

Alluding to some lyrics from The Beatles song "Eleanor Rigby".

  • "The Killer's in Memphis, marrying his 12 year old cousin."

Jerry Lee Lewis, aka "The Killer", married his cousin who was 13 at the time.

  • "They're vacationing at The Most Dangerous Game dude ranch!"

"The Most Dangerous Game" is a short story by Richard Connell in which a human being is hunted for sport. It has been adapted for film several times, and the same basic premise was used by Bloodlust!.

  • "Bit of a ripoff, huh?" "Coleman only steals from the very best."

The shot of the guy running from the plane piloted by someone shooting at him is almost identical to an iconic shot from Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest.

  • "He's got a high albedo."

Albedo is a measure of the reflecting power of a surface, commonly used with planets. Also a play on having a "high libido."

  • "Now the rabbit eats Tor and becomes The Night of the Lepus!"

Referring to the 70's movie Night of the Lepus which featured giant mutated rabbits. When Mike Nelson replaced Joel on the SOL, Night of the Lepus was one of his training films (along with Beast of Yucca Flats) as referenced in The Brain That Wouldn't Die. Night of the Lepus would later be used by RiffTrax.

  • "Tor could have been contender, instead bum, which am."

A reference to Marlon Brando's legendary "I could have been a contender, instead of a bum, which is what I am" speech from the film On the Waterfront.

  • "Tor is posing for a Rubens painting."

Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens is now best known for his nude portraits of full-figured women, to the degree that the word "Rubenesque" has entered the language as a term for a voluptuous woman.

  • "The dingoes took my baby!"

A quote from the Australian movie Evil Angels (titled A Cry In the Dark outside Australia and New Zealand) starring Meryl Streep, about Azalia Chamberlain, a 9-month-old baby who disappeared during a camping trip. Her parents stated that she was taken by a pack of dingoes, though many people at the time believed that they had killed their infant daughter. The line is often mis-quoted as "The dingo ate my baby".

Video releases

MST3K DVD Cover

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