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"But I got a mantis in my pantis."
  — Crow


The Movie

Main article: The Deadly Mantis (film)

Synopsis

A giant praying mantis thaws from prehistoric ice and begins a rampage. A scientist is dispatched to top the creature before it can destroy heavily-populated areas.

The Episode

Host Segments

  • Bobo and Dr. Peanut with the bomb

    Prologue It's business casual day on the Satellite of Love. Tom makes up useless dress codes and implies that Mike is breaking them. Mike counters that they're not a business so the entire exercise is foolish.
  • Earth blows up

    Segment 1 In Deep Ape Bobo and Dr. Peanut are helping theirs friends from the mutant H-Bomb cult (Beth "Beez" McKeever, Bill Corbett and Paul Chaplin) reactivate the nuclear warhead that they worship. Though the apes are struggling at first a helpful suggestion from Mike sets them on the right track and they repair the bomb quickly. Pearl sees this and tells Bobo to start Mike's movie while she flees. Mike begs the nanites to repair The Satellite of Love and only finds one on duty that day. The lone nanite refuses to do it without a work order. After some arguing Mike's work order is found. The nanite repairs the SOL so rapidly Mike doesn't notice the control panel that instantly sprung up on the table in front of him. He steers the satellite to a safe distance seconds before the bomb detonates.

    The SOL listens to space radio

  • Segment 2 Tom puts on a minister's vestments and performs a eulogy for Pearl and the other inhabitants of the planet Earth. Their solemn service is interrupted when Pearl turns out to be alive. She's in her van, The Widowmaker, with a revolver trying to shoot the Satellite of Love. Pearl discovers that Bobo has stowed away on her space van. She hands him a gun but Bobo only manages to shoot himself in the foot twice. Gypsy takes control of the ship and evades Pearl by hiding behind an asteroid.
  • Crow gets eaten

    Segment 3
    Mike dozes off at the wheel of the Satellite of Love. He and the bots (with the exception of Crow, who just mainly sleeps it off for most part of the segment) try to stay awake by listening to the space radio. All the channels they can pick up only play space country and western music, much to everyone's annoyance.

    Pearl survives

  • Segment 4 Tom tries his hand at steering the satellite. He accidentally hits a space creature, much to his despair. Crow goes to check on the blue, blob-like creature (Patrick Brantseg) and brings it inside. The creature proceeds to eat Crow. After several failed rescue attempts Mike gets the creature to regurgitate Crow, though he comes out partially digested.
  • Final Segment Crow serves Mike and Tom a mysterious meatloaf which turns out to be the creature that ate Crow in the last segment. Mike receives a letter from Dr. Peanut who was blasted back to the 22nd century somehow. Dr. Peanut is dating someone who may be Mike's future great granddaughter. Pearl calls to swear she will never give up her pursuit of Mike and the SOL.
  • Stinger Horny Soldier: "She's like a butterfly flying across the lily pond!"

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast

Trivia

  • This marks the first appearance of the bridge steering wheel, which seems to materialize and dematerialize as needed.
  • This marks the first appearance of The Widowmaker, Pearl’s VW astro-bus, during the events of an episode. It had been seen up to this point in the show's new intro, which debuted with Revenge of the Creature.
  • This episode was ranked #98 among backers of the Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 campaign in the Top 100 Poll.

Callbacks

Obscure references

  • "I feel a disturbance... as though a million monkeys cried out at once and then were silenced."

In Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, when Obi-Wan Kenobi senses the destruction of planet Alderaan, he says, "I felt a great disturbance in the Force... as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced."

  • "For every action..." "There is a Jackson!"
Action Jackson is a 1988 police action movie starring Carl Weathers. It's considered one of the last of the classic style blaxploitation films ever made.
  • "In Paraguay, a woman shops. Connection?"
Said in the style of the narrator from The Beast of Yucca Flats.
  • "Summon Queequeg, it's the great white one."
In the book Moby-Dick, Queequeg is the master harpooner of the Pequod, and Moby Dick the sperm whale is referred to as the "great white whale."
  • "Radio Free Mantis"
Sung to the tune of R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe".
  • "John Sununu goes for a haircut."
John H. Sununu was George H.W. Bush's Chief of Staff. He was involved in a highly-publicized travel scandal in which he used military jets and government resources for personal trips. Sununu is also referenced in It Conquered the World, The Starfighters, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (with this exact same riff) and Monster A-Go Go.
  • "Oh no, they let Stan Laurel watch the hut."
Stan Laurel was the thin, simple-minded bumbler from the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.
  • "You know, maybe the army shouldn't have recruited Keith Moon."
Keith Moon was the drummer for The Who, a band notorious for causing major damage to hotel suites with their wild parties. There are several stories of Keith Moon throwing furniture off of hotel balconies and flushing cherry bombs down hotel toilets.
  • "What have you got?" "Rhythm!"
"I Got Rhythm" is an influential jazz standard composed by the Gershwin brothers.
  • "This isn't snow, it's Bon Ami!"
Bon Ami is a brand of scouring powder sold in America for the last 120+ years.
  • "Django Reinhardt was here!"
Django Reinhardt was a Gypsy jazz guitarist. Crow is probably referring to Reinhardt's accident wherein the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burned, after which he played all his guitar solos with only two fingers.
  • "Men, commence tapping the Rockies."
"Tap The Rockies" is a former advertising slogan of Coors Light beer.
  • "You're like the Shirley Muldowney of deep space."
Shirley Muldowney, known professionally as "Cha Cha" and the "First Lady of Drag Racing", is a retired professional drag racing driver, who was famous in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • "Hermey the Misfit Elf is wanted for questioning."
Hermey is the deuteragonist in the 1964 stop-motion Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He would rather be a dentist than a toymaker, and this makes him a social outcast among the other elves and puts him at odds with the Boss Elf. After being threatened with the loss of his job for poor performance and not "fitting in", Hermey quits his job as a toymaker and decides to run away from Santa's Workshop.
  • "I've got a callback for Carousel."
Carousel is a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. A callback is a request for an actor to return for another audition after a successful first audition or screen test.
  • "Charles De Gaulle, security guard."
Charles De Gaulle was a French army officer and statesman who led Free France against Nazi Germany in World War II. He was Prime Minister of France from 1958 to 1959 and President of France from 1959 to 1969.
  • "Damn, another 10,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire."
"Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire" is a line from the Beatles song "A Day in the Life".
  • "It's the Mighty Quinn!"
The Mighty Quinn is a fictional Eskimo character from the Bob Dylan folk-rock song "Quinn the Eskimo".
  • "If everybody had a kayak / Across the Bering Strait..."
Sung to the tune of the surf-rock song "Surfin' U.S.A." by The Beach Boys. The first lines of the song are "If everybody had an ocean / Across the U.S.A. / Then everybody'd be surfin' / Like Californi-a."
  • "He's trading in his Chevy for a Kayak-ak-ak-ak-ak!"
Mike is parodying the Billy Joel song "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)". The original line is "He's trading in his Chevy for a Cadillac-ac-ac-ac."
  • "Charles Whitman lends a hand."
Charles Whitman was a mass murderer who killed or wounded 45 people when he brought a case of long range hunting rifles and shotguns up to the top of the clock tower at the University of Texas and opened fire on the crowd below in 1966.
  • "Ahhh... Pismo Beach and all the clams I can eat!"
Mike is paraphrasing the Bugs Bunny cartoon Ali Baba Bunny.
  • "The USS Walter Payton."
Walter Payton was an all-star halfback in the 1970s and 1980s. His jersey number was 34.
  • "Quick! Poopie suits on!"
Crow is referencing the suits from The Starfighters.
  • Tom: "She has a temp job as Baskerville castle." Mike: "She's a waitress at the International House of Usher."
The Hound of the Baskervilles and "The Fall of the House of Usher" are two suspense tales set in foggy moors of England. They were written by Arthur Conan Doyle (as part of his Sherlock Holmes series) and Edgar Allen Poe, respectively.
  • "What color is that parachute?"
What Color Is Your Parachute? is a best-selling self-help book by Richard Nelson Bolles about career choices and job-hunting. It has been in print since 1970 and has been revised annually since 1975, sometimes substantially. It is one of the most highly regarded career advice books in print, and over ten million copies have been sold worldwide.
  • "She was wearing a good Republican cloth coat..."
"Pat doesn't have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat" is a line from the Checkers speech that then-Vice President Richard Nixon (whom Mike is imitating) gave on September 23, 1952, to defend himself against charges that he had used campaign funds improperly.
  • "Kelsey, throw us the keys."
Kelsey Grammer is a TV actor who got into a car accident while intoxicated the year before this episode aired. He was also charged with drunk driving in 1987.
  • "This is a bug hunt man, a bug hunt!"
A phrase uttered by Bill Paxton in the movie Aliens.

Memorable quotes

Narrator: For every action...
Mike [as Narrator]: There is a Jackson.
[The movie opens with a review of North American defense monitoring stations.]
Narrator: Another radar fence stretches across the long, unfortified border between the United States and Canada...
Servo [as Narrator]: Canada, our mortal enemy.
Narrator: ... the Pine Tree Radar Fence.
Mike [as Narrator]: The natural radar of pine trees protects our northern borders.
[The camera pans by Greenland on a map.]
Crow: You know what? Screw you Greenland!
[A volcano erupts.]
Servo [as the Menards Guy]: It's a magma flow of savings at Menards!
[A museum guard salutes Dr. Jackson]
Mike: Uh, you don't need to salute the paleontologist.
[A Corporal at the Arctic base acts like he's having a nervous breakdown after Marge Blaine appears.]
Crow: Yeah, I think this guy's familiar with dishonorable discharge.
[The rather effeminate-looking General Ford explains to the media that the mantis is real]
General Ford: I want to say at the outset that, contrary to rumor and certain newspaper headlines...
Crow [as Ford]: I'm not gay!
Crow [as Col. Parkman]: But I've got a mantis in my pantis.
Servo: Are we in the Southern portion of the Galaxy?

Video releases

MST3K DVD Cover


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