|“||"It's a civilization of elderly great-aunts."||”|
|— Tom Servo|
- This article is about Episode 803. For the Mads' Mole People assistants, see Gerry and Sylvia.
SynopsisA narration by Dr. Frank Baxter, an English professor at the University of Southern California, explains the premise of the movie and its basis in reality. He briefly discusses the hollow earth theories of John Symmes and Cyrus Teed among others, and says that the movie is a fictionalized representation of these unorthodox theories.
Archaeologists Dr. Roger Bentley and Dr. Jud Bellamin find a race of Sumerian albinos living deep under the Earth. They keep mutant humanoid mole men as their slaves to harvest mushrooms - their primary food source since mushrooms can grow without sunlight. The Sumerian albinos' ancestors relocated into the subterranean after cataclysmic floods in ancient Mesopotamia. Whenever their population increases, they sacrifice old people to the Eye of Ishtar, which is really natural light coming from the surface. These people have lived underground for so long that they are weakened by bright light which the archaeologists brought in the form of a flashlight. However, there is one girl named Adad who has natural Caucasian skin who is disdained by the others since she has the "mark of darkness." They believe the men are messengers of Ishtar, their goddess.
When one of the archaeologists is killed by a mole person, Elinu the High Priest realizes they are not gods. He orders their capture and takes the flashlight to control the Mole People, not knowing it is depleted. The archaeologists are then sent to the Eye just as the Mole People rebel. Adad goes to the Eye only to realize its true nature and that the men had survived. They then leave for the surface. Unfortunately, Adad dies after reaching the surface, when an earthquake causes a column to fall over and crush her. 
- The original ending had Bentley and Adal blithely strolling away together, headed for wedded bliss. The studio insisted that a new ending be shot two weeks after filming was completed because they were reluctant to imply an interracial relationship (as Adal was a Sumerian).
- The humps for the mole people were created by stuffing newspapers into the the backs of the actors' costumes. During the filming of the climatic slave revolt, an otherwise perfect take had to be redone due to some of the newspapers getting dislodged and visibly appearing on the set floor.
- Shot in 17 days.
- This movie was the inspiration for The Dickies' song "Attack of the Molemen".
- The intro by Dr. Frank Baxter was intended to lend some semblance of credibility to the movie, though Baxter was an English professor.
- This film stars three performers from previous films: John Agar and Nestor Paiva were also seen in Revenge of the Creature. Hugh Beaumont had appeared with Cesar Romero in Lost Continent.
- Clips of The Mole People likewise appear in The Wild Wild World of Batwoman, which aired as a prior experiment.
- Was nominated in The Golden Turkey Awards series for Worst Rodent Movie of All Time (the Medved brothers having made the common mistake of believing that the hunchback slaves were the titular Mole People). It lost to The Food of the Gods.
Prologue: Crow claims he's a space child because he has replaced his normal inanimate eyes with glowing balls. His "Supreme Leader" orders him to enslave Mike, Tom and Gypsy, but he can't get it together and naturally, they remain un-enslaved.
Segment One: It's Lawgiver Daze! Pearl Forrester forces her simian charges to honor her with a celebration and parade. Professor Bobo, uncomfortable doing any of it, ends up kneeling before her begging to be killed. The S.O.L. is ordered to make baked goods for the event. Servo makes a variety of similar-looking but differently-named folded pastries. Crow makes a mile-high meringue pie that is actually a mile high. He climbs up to slice the pie for Mike, but loses his balance and falls one mile down, landing painfully.
Segment Two: Mike dresses up as the "Gesture Professor" from the prologue of The Mole People. The 'Bots have to talk Mike down to the point where he's trying to give a little levity and then he gets "jumped all over". He then finally apologizes to them about the skit. (Mike: "We'll be right— [into character] —down, down, down...–"
Crow & Servo: [O.S.] "Mike!")
Segment Three: Tom tries to play the mandolin and sing a ballad about what he’s been up to for the past five hundred years, but cannot properly tune the instrument. After getting the tune right, Tom then does proceed to his song, only to have one of the mandolin strings snapping and hitting Mike's eye. Tom finally gives up shortly before Movie Sign.
Segment Four: Crow, the archeologist, searches for evidence of a previous Crow and has a breakthrough. As Mike talks it out with Crow's 500-year loneliness, he goes through a short state of realization and suddenly remembers Mike. (Crow: [O.S.] Get me a spot, will you!?)
Segment Five: Crow believes there’s life beneath the floorboards of the SOL, and he’s right. (Mike: "Well, we better call Orkin!") On Earth, the Lawgiver is presented with a hunky gift - a speechless human named Howard.
Stinger: Nestor Paiva reaches his limit
- The 1st host segment features the first of several instances where Crow falls from a great height.
- Though it's only visible for a brief instance, the Polaroid in Host Segment 3 is indeed a picture of Crow.
- Features a special guest star: Robert Smith, a star running back of the Minnesota Vikings. Celebrity guests were extremely rare during the original run of MST3K (see also Leonard Maltin).
- The Mole People had been considered as an experiment for the entire run of the show. Gerry and Sylvia, Dr. Forrester's camera crew and go-fers during the first few seasons of the show, were inspired by the creatures in the film.
- Referring to Lafarge exclusively as "the load."
- Mike's "Going down, down, down..." and the Bots telling him to stop.
- How Bentley (John Agar) supposedly never stops talking.
- Adad appears to be playing a banjo. Servo substitutes hillbilly music accordingly.
- The albino guys being compared to elves, or Smurfs or other small races.
Quotes & References
- "It's a jump to the left."
A reference to the song "The Time Warp", in which one chorus presents the instructions to the dance given by the Criminologist in his office at his desk (the character of The Criminologist in The Rocky Horror Picture Show was inspired by the heavy-handed narrators in old sci-fi movies like this one).
- "Oh, these are the people who make that nice Mexican sauce!"
Molé sauce (or simply molé --- "molé sauce" is redundant) is a concoction made from peppers, spices, and unsweetened chocolate. Molé comes in a myriad of varieties.
- "Mike, I don't love you anymore because the mountains are crumbling [possibly mumbled: 'into the sea'?]"
Could be a reference to the Led Zeppelin song "Thank You" ("If the mountains should crumble to the sea, there would still be you and me.") which in itself is probably a reference to the Ben E. King song "Stand By Me" which also talks of mountains crumbling into the seas.
- "Oh, Pilate's favorite! What I wouldn't give to be spat upon!"
Paraphrase of "Ohh! What wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face! I sometimes hang awake at night dreaming of being spat at in the face." from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
- "Earthquake, shut up already, damn!"
A parody of the song "Housequake" from Prince's 1987 album Sign 'O' the Times.
- "It's baby Jessica! She's digging her own way out!"
A reference to Jessica McClure, a toddler who was trapped in a well in Midland, TX on Oct. 14, 1987.
- "Thank you, Hannah Arendt."
Hannah Arendt was a political philosopher who books were largely concerned with totalitarianism. She is chiefly remembered for her coverage of the trial of Adolf Eichmann for war crimes, during which she coined the phrase "the banality of evil".
- "I love my BluBlockers!"
One of the most obscure references. Servo is referencing an old BluBlocker sunglasses cable television commercial featuring an impromptu rap by MC Dr. Geek, who was a quirky Venice Beach persona.
- [The film begins with an introduction from Professor Frank C. Baxter of the University of Southern California.]
- Baxter: This is science fiction of course. It's a fiction, it's a fable.
- Mike: It's a fabulous funny freak-out.
- Baxter: But I think if you study this picture and think about it, when it's over...
- Crow: You'll feel dirty.
- Baxter: You'll realize that this is something more than just a story told.
- Servo: It's a story botched.
- Baxter: It's a fable with a meaning and a significance for you and for me in the 20th century. Thank you, and goodbye.
- Mike: Peanut nostrils happy clams.
- [The opening credits scroll out of a huge crater]
- Mike: Mt. Pinatubo erupted yesterday, spewing movie credits all over the Southern Hemisphere.
- [Dr. Bentley and his crew find a suitable camping site on the summit of Mt. Kuitara]
- Bentley: We'll make camp here!
- Crow T. Robot: Then we'll dig our graves over there!
- Moleman: My name is Hans. Drinking has ruined my life. I'm 31 years old!
- Moleman: No one's gay for Moleman.
- Commercially released on DVD by Shout! Factory in March 2013 as part of Volume XXVI, a 4-disc set along with The Magic Sword, Alien from L.A., and Danger!! Death Ray.
- The DVD includes the Ballyhoo Motion Pictures feature Of Mushrooms and Madmen: Making The Mole People and a theatrical trailer.
- This episode was also included as an extra on Shout! Factory's Blu-ray of the unriffed movie in February 2019.
- Uploaded to the official YouTube channel in August 2016.
|preceded by: Season 7||MST3K Season 8||followed by: Season 9|
|801||Revenge of the Creature||1997-02-01||809||I Was a Teenage Werewolf||1997-04-19||817||Horror of Party Beach||1997-09-06|
|802||The Leech Woman||1997-02-08||810||The Giant Spider Invasion||1997-05-31||818||Devil Doll||1997-10-04|
|803||The Mole People||1997-02-15||811||Parts: The Clonus Horror||1997-06-07||819||Invasion of the Neptune Men||1997-10-11|
|804||The Deadly Mantis||1997-02-22||812||Incredibly Strange Creatures...||1997-06-14||820||Space Mutiny||1997-11-08|
|805||The Thing That Couldn't Die||1997-03-01||813||Jack Frost||1997-07-12||821||Time Chasers||1997-11-22|
|806||The Undead||1997-03-08||814||Riding with Death||1997-07-19||822||Overdrawn/Memory Bank||1997-12-06|
|807||Terror from the Year 5000||1997-03-15||815||Agent for H.A.R.M.||1997-08-02|
|808||The She-Creature||1997-04-05||816||Prince of Space||1997-08-16|