The Movie[]

Main article: Phase IV (film)


A group of research scientists in the Arizona desert discover an army of super-intelligent mutant ants. They must stop the ants before they can spread.


  • Won 1975's Grand Prix at the International Festival of Science Fiction Films in Trieste, Italy.
  • Saul Bass is better known for his work as a graphic designer, he designed the opening credits for many legendary movies and designed logos for companies and organizations including AT&T, The Girl Scouts, United Way, Warner Communications, and United Airlines.
  • The original director's cut of the movie included a psychedelic montage ending hinting at what the new world would be like. The 4-minute sequence was cut by the distributor, but the film was found and restored in 2012.

The Episode[]

Host Segments[]

Prologue: Lacking the $30,000 they need to continue experimenting on Joel, the Mads sell his (Joel's) car to raise some short-term cash. Joel reveals that he had $30,000 hidden inside it. The Mads, furious, retaliate by sending him "the ANT movie!"

Segment One: Joel instructs Servo and Crow on Isaac Asimov's robotic laws. The Bots don't like them, and make up some laws of their own. Servo: "Never hollow out a robot and make a fort out of him."

Segment Two: Joel & the Bots discuss the first thing they plan to do when they get back to Earth. (Crow: "I'm going to kill Sandy Frank." Servo: "Well, that's a given.") Joel wants to turn off his water, which he accidentally left running.

Segment Three: The crew of the SOL enjoy a game of "I Spy," which quickly and inexplicably degenerates into a performance of "Wipe Out." Since he's the only one with working arms, Joel takes the drum solo. Mercifully, movie sign intervenes.

Segment Four: Joel programs Crow and Gypsy to recite a new robotic law. It takes a really long time to say, and the credits roll long before they're done.[1]

Obscure References[]

  • "They must have ordered the plans from Mother Earth News."
Mother Earth News is a do-it-yourself magazine with a strong environmentalist bent, founded in 1970.
  • "It looks skinny; must be a Carpenter ant."
Karen Carpenter was a musician (best known for performing with her brother as the popular duo The Carpenters). She died in 1983 of health complications stemming from anorexia. Carpenter ants are a species of ant known for building their nests in wood.


  • A theater clip from this episode was included on the MST3K Scrapbook tape.
  • This episode reveals that Joel used to own a Dodge (most likely a Dart Swinger, since Joel says "Not the Slant-6 Swinger!", as Dodge cars back in the late 50's up to early 70's had the Slant-6 engine).
  • This is the first episode that doesn't start with Joel or anyone on the SOL. Instead, the episode starts on Earth with the Mads, who then give Joel a call.
  • This is also the first episode to mention the possibility of starting a Fan Club, with Joel inviting people to call in and let him know what people think about the idea. It is officially announced 3 episodes later.
  • This was the first time a movie from one of the major Hollywood studios (in this case Paramount) was featured on an aired episode.
  • During this episode, a Pizza 'N' Pasta commercial featuring Trace Beaulieu and Josh Weinstein in character as the Mads was first aired.