MST3K
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Send them a movie. Something hurtful. Something lancing....searing....excruciating....something English.
  — Pearl Forrester


Sorry I killed you, Mike.
  — Crow T. Robot


The Movie

Synopsis

The Projected Man

Dr. Paul Steiner (Bryant Haliday) and Dr. Christopher Mitchell (Ronald Allen) work on a projection device that enables them to transmit any object within a few miles of the machine. While they find the device works with inanimate objects, the living creatures they use it on always die. When Dr. Patricia Hill (Mary Peach) arrives, she helps them fix the error, making Steiner think the problem has been solved. Meanwhile, Dr. Blanchard (Norman Wooland), Steiner's boss and head of the institute he works for, is being blackmailed by Mr. Latham (Derrick De Marney), who wants credit for Steiner's discovery. He forces Blanchard to demand Steiner to give a premature presentation to Professor Lembach (Gerard Heinz).

ProjectedMan2.jpg

Steiner, Mitchell, and Hill feel they are ready to present, but at the event, Blanchard secretly sabotages the machine with acid, causing an explosion. The funding for Steiner's project is rescinded.

Mitchell later discovers that the device has been tampered with. Steiner goes to Blanchard's house, where Lembach and Latham are having dinner. He presents the men with the evidence that his machine was deliberately tampered with, and Lembach allows him to have another chance. Steiner decides to try to project himself to Lembach's house, and, with help from his secretary, Sheila (Tracey Crisp), he begins the procedure.

Right then, Mitchell and Hill return to the laboratory. The two try to convince Sheila to stop the projection, but as she is inexperienced with the device, she instead ends up projecting Steiner to somewhere else. He ends up at a construction site, where a band of thieves are attempting to break into a furrier's. It is learned that an error in the projection has given Steiner the ability to kill people by touching them, and has mutilated one half of his body. Steiner kills the criminals, and then enters a store, where he steals a pair of rubber gloves and a coat. He then breaks into the institute, where he finds Latham and kills him. He also destroys the building's power supply, alerting Hill and Mitchell that something is wrong. By this time, Inspector Davis (Derek Farr) has discovered the bodies of the criminals and is determined to stop Steiner.

Projectedman3.PNG

Sheila is kidnapped by Steiner, who interrogates her in her apartment. She reveals that it was Blanchard and Latham who plotted against him, angering Steiner. Before leaving, Steiner sets Sheila's apartment on fire with her inside and goes to ambush Blanchard in his home. Sheila survives the fire.

When Blanchard returns home, he is killed by Steiner. Meanwhile, Davis has examined Latham's body and realizes that the electric marks left on Latham were the same as the criminals at the construction site. Steiner shows up at Hill's house, where he finds her and Mitchell. Steiner demands that they tell him where he can find more electricity, which he now needs to survive. Hill and Mitchell try to convince him to return to the laboratory so they can try reversing the projection, but Steiner rebuffs them and leaves toward a power plant.

Davis, Hill, and Mitchell find him at the power plant. Davis tries to kill Steiner but bullets do not harm him. Dr. Hill again tries to persuade Steiner to return to the laboratory. Steiner is eventually convinced, and goes with them. When they arrive at the lab, Steiner tricks everyone and begins destroying things. With the laboratory on fire and the projection device wildly out of control, Steiner is hit by the projection device's laser, causing him to disappear as the fire rages on.[1]

Information

  • London's Battersea Power Station, most famous for appearing on the cover of the Pink Floyd album Animals, can be seen in this film.
  • As noted on the official website at the time, this was the first experiment in which the monster was named "Paul". Subsequent instances of this would include Experiments #904 (Werewolf) and #1007 (Track of the Moon Beast).

The Episode

Host Segments

“Stop with the whispery hissing! You sound like a Brian Eno record!”

Opening: The Satellite of Love has exited the wormhole, and is back orbiting the Earth, present day. Mike shows off his latest Shatner impersonation. Tom can't handle (what he thinks is) another parallel Earth.

Segment 1: Pearl, Bobo, and Brain Guy arrive at Castle Forrester. Pearl shows off her new organ-playing skills (cheered on by the SOL crew) and declares the place, "so freakin' cool"!

Segment 2: Crow and Tom have invented a "projecting machine" which they use to "project" Mike’s most precious possessions, including his class ring, his St. Blaise medal from his grandma to protect his throat and love letters from Denise that she wrote right before she died. Mike suspects that the device actually destroying his possessions and tricks the Bots into "projecting" Tom's autographed photo of Shirley Jones.

Segment 3: Mike is on the phone with Lembach. He tries to convince Lembach to stay a little longer. He bribes him with pie and a trip to Shenanigans. Lembach is staying!

Meanwhile, in Castle Forrester, Pearl learns more about her family history. Apparently odd experiments run in the family.

Segment 4: Crow’s experiments in "projectedness-itivity" have given him the Touch of Death, and he accidentally kills Mike, forcing the bots to drag Mike into the theater. Luckily, Crow resuscitates him by shaking his hand.

Segment 5: It's Grant Day! Tom and Crow compete for funding from Mike’s new foundation, Michael J Nelson: The Foundation. Tom asks for $50, but can't remember if he got distilled water or not and the project is denied. Crow wins the $50 for his project: "to buy two new leaf blowers and a hat".

In Castle Forrester, Pearl has (after a gentle reminder by Brain Guy and Bobo) rediscovered her mission: taking over the world.

Stinger: Lembach is staying! And there is much rejoicing!

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast

Trivia

  • First appearance of Castle Forrester.
  • On the debut airing of this episode, the audio of Mike & the Bots in the theater was overly echo-y. This was a technical error due to changes in the show's audio mixing capabilities. It would be fixed when the episode re-aired several months later.
  • Curiously, the Universal Studios logo in this print of the film uses the music theme from the American International Pictures logo (composed by Les Baxter) from 1960 to 1963, despite the latter studio not having anything to do with this film's production. It is absent during the logo on the Blu-ray release of the film, which simply uses the opening title music instead.

Callbacks

  • "Mitchell."
  • "And bring me some ham." (Devil Doll)
  • "You're an ugly, stupid little doctor." (Devil Doll)
  • "You ugly little dummy." (Devil Doll)

Obscure References

  • "Fabergé presents!"
  • "The Incredible, Edible Earth!"
A Fabergé egg is a jewelled egg created by the House of Fabergé, in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire. Of the 69 known Fabergé eggs, 57 have survived to the present day. Secondly, "The Incredible, Edible Egg" is the long-running marketing slogan for the American Egg Board.
  • "Is this The Rite of Spring? Should we be rioting right now?"
The opening percussion in the movie's soundtrack is similar to that of Igor Stravinsky's ballet and orchestral concert work The Rite of Spring. When first performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on May 29, 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation, and a myth now persists that there was a "riot" despite the lack of any evidence and witness statements that there was no violence. [1]
  • "Like Cris Collinsworth?"
  • "And without a receiver." "So, not like Cris Collinsworth."
Cris Collinsworth is a sports broadcaster and former NFL player who was the wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals during the 1980s.
  • "What's the principle you employ?" "Mr. Weatherbee, as usual."
A play on words (principle, principal) presumably referring to Mr. Weatherbee, the principal of Riverdale High School in the Archie Comics universe.
  • "Are we not blokes?"
A reference to Devo's debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, which is itself a reference to The Island of Doctor Moreau, wherein "Are we not men?" is a rhetorical question used to reinforce the Law of the Beast Folk. For example, the first law recited is, "Not to go on all-fours; that is the Law. Are we not men?"
  • "Is she breastfeeding him all of a sudden? What is she, Tori Amos?"
Tori Amos is a singer-songwriter whose popularity peaked in the 1990s. The liner notes of her album Boys for Pele include a photo of Amos breastfeeding a piglet.
  • "Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage."
Lyric from the 1995 song "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" by The Smashing Pumpkins.
  • "Gloria?" "G L O are I A"
Lyric from the chorus of "Gloria", a rock song written by singer-songwriter Van Morrison, and originally recorded by Morrison's band Them in 1964.
  • "Gloria?" "in excelsis Deo"
Often abbreviated to "Gloria in Excelsis" or simply "Gloria", "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Latin for "Glory to God in the highest") is a Christian hymn known also as the Greater Doxology and the Angelic Hymn/Hymn of the Angels. Additionally, it is one of the one of the church cantatas written by the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
  • "Gloria?" "I hear they got your number"
"Gloria, I think they got your number" is from the chorus of "Gloria", singer Laura Branigan's 1982 signature song.
  • "Smell the glove!"
The fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap is shown in the movie This Is Spinal Tap releasing an album titled Smell the Glove.
MST3K_901_Promo

MST3K 901 Promo

  • "The English Harvey Dent."
Harvey Dent is the real name of the Batman villain Two-Face, who the Projected Man resembles, being horribly mutilated on one side of his body.
  • "High Plains Matron!"
High Plains Drifter is a 1973 Western film starring Clint Eastwood as a mysterious stranger who metes out justice in a corrupt frontier mining town.
  • "Oh, Warriors, come out and PLAY-AY!!!"
This is a line from the 1979 action thriller film The Warriors.
  • "Big man, pig man! Ha, ha, charade you are!"
This lyric comes from the song "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" from the 1977 Pink Floyd album Animals.  The song is referred to several times during the scenes at Battersea Power Station, probably inspired by the fact that the cover of Animals features a photo of the power station (with a pig floating between its spires).

Memorable Quotes

[Pearl complains to Brain Guy about the mysterious whispering in the castle.]
Observer: Well, it's not me, Pearl! I'm sensing the presence of several disembodied souls… [increasingly melodramatically] wandering these dark halls in search of surcease, an end to their endless night… a howl of quiet desperation… towards an indifferent universe. Nepenthe! Nepenthe!
Pearl: You are so gay.
Observer: I could be wrong.
[Steiner turns on the projecting machine, making numerous high-pitched sci-fi noises]
Man: What's he doing?
Crow: Oh, he's just doing his patented incredibly-annoying sound effect routine!
[Dr. Hill narrowly avoids colliding with a car outside a laboratory]
Dr. Hill: You better watch where you're going!
Dr. Mitchell: Pretty you may be!
[A security guard approaches the woman's car and murmurs something]
Crow [as Guard]: Uh, he said "Pretty you may be!", ma'am. I'm not sure what he meant!
. . .
[Dr. Hill drives away]
Servo: Uh... driving she may be!
[Dr. Hill is parking her car]
Crow: Ah parking! What a great way to establish character and create tension!
[The car's engine makes odd noises]
Mike: An exhaust system she may need!
[British scientists Steiner and Mitchell are about to project Dr. Hill's dematerialized watch. All three are dressed in white lab coats and wearing space-age protective goggles.]
Prof. Steiner: Laser Preheat!
Dr. Mitchell: Laser Pre-Heat… in!
Crow [as Prof. Steiner]: Grease and flour cake pans!
Prof. Steiner: Laser Emission Relay.
Dr. Mitchell: Laser Emission Relay… on!
Servo [as Prof. Steiner]: Bottom falling out of… plot! Movie… sucks!
Mike: Are we not blokes?
Prof. Steiner: Relay One.
Dr. Mitchell: Relay One… in!
Servo [as Prof. Steiner]: Really dumb scene… end!
[Virtually identical re-creation of projection scene.]
Crow: Yes! It's the same thing you've seen before! Only it's... happening again!
[A thief goes looking for his accomplice Gloria.]
Thief: Gloria?
Mike [as Thief]: G-L-O-R-I-A?
Thief: Gloria!
Servo [as Thief]: In excelsis Deo!
Thief: Gloria!
Crow [as Thief]: I hear they got your number.
[Police are investigating Latham's murder.]
Inspector Davis: Can I get on?
Servo: [as Dr. Mitchel] Well, he's dead, but knock yourself out.
[The movie ends with Paul destroying the laboratory, and eventually himself with the projection laser]
Crow: Well, this is kind of an ambiguous ending. Is this film horrible or did it merely suck?
Servo: Yeah! Now that I have seen it, do I want to kick a dog or a cat?
Crow: Do I want the director just killed or should he be tortured first?
Mike: Crow!
. . .
[The last shot of the movie shows the screen covered in flames.]
Crow: Ah, so the movie and all the actors in it roast in Hell!!
[Mike and the 'bots cheer loudly]

Video releases

MST3K DVD Cover

References

  1. Tamara Levitz, “Racism at The Rite” in The Rite of Spring at 100 (Indiana University Press, 2013)
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