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Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 03 E 03 Pod People

Isn't that Nia Peeples' brother?

"Your film today is called Pod People. It has nothing to do with Pods. It has nothing to do with People. It has everything to do with hurting."
Dr. Forrester

"You have to wonder why this race of aliens ever came to Earth. They appear, they stand around looking at us, whimpering; then all of a sudden, at the least sign of any questioning or concern, they start killing us! I mean, excuse me - what do you want? Have you been helped?"
Paul Chaplin, MST3K writing staff

Film watched: Pod People

Naturally, this trainwreck provided perfect fodder for a thorough riffing by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew. In particular, much fun was had at the expense of the fictional pop band's performance of "Burning Rubber Tires", whose unintelligible lyrics prompted Joel and the bots to misinterpret the chorus, "Hear the engines roar now", as "idiot control now", among others. In addition, the lead singer's after-song gesture of making the OK sign, smiling, and saying, "It stinks" became a recurring in-joke on MST3K. (The OK sign makes more sense in Spain, where the film was made, because the gesture is similar to "the finger" there.) This is also the first episode that showed Crow's legs.

The Segments

Prologue
  • Crow practices his one man show. Servo also does so, but starts crying.

Segment 1
  • Joel shows off his new guitar chord, which blows up his guitar. The Mads present the Public Domain Karaoke machine.

Segment 2
  • Joel and the Bots perform "Idiot Control Now". It stinks.

Segment 3
  • Joel sets ups a wall of synths for him and Crow to make New Age Music. They perform as "Music From Some Guys in Space".

Segment 4
  • Joel does magic things, while the Mads are understandably confused.

Segment 5
  • Joel sings "Clowns in the Sky", while packing for a future experiment. The Mads think it stinks.


The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:

  • Berserk Button: Joel will put up with a lot, but don't do an Anthony Newley impression around him.
  • Big Eater:
    Tommy: Now we can play.
    Crow: (as Trumpy) Like hell, more food!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At one point, Servo directly apologizes to the audience for the film's convoluted plot. Considering the quality level of most of the movies on this show, this should tell you something.
  • Catch Phrase: "I'm a Virgin" and "It stinks!"
  • Continuity Nod: Joel's old grey jumpsuit from the KTMA season makes an appearance on a clothing rack during the Mind Screw host segment.
  • Face on a Milk Carton:
    Joel: (as Tommy) Hey what gives? I'm on the milk carton.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: If some of the voices sound familiar, it's because they're the same dub actors from Escape 2000, aka Escape From the Bronx.
  • Losing Horns: Mockingly imitated by Joel and the 'bots after Rick's "It stinks!"
  • Meanwhile, Back at the...: "Meanwhile, in yet another movie..."
  • Mind Screw: The third host segment. Judging by the Mads' reactions, it's even one in-universe.
  • Notable Original Music: "Idiot Control Now!" and "Clown in the Sky".
  • New Age Ambient: Parodied with Music From Some Guys in Space.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Exploited by the mads' invention, a karaoke machine that only plays public domain songs.
  • Running Gag: "Chief?" "McCloud?"
    • With a name like Smucker's...
    • And Trumpy's name would continue to be invoked in the future as well.
    • Crow giving Trumpy a voice based on that of The Elephant Man.
    • Commenting on one of the poachers looking like a Renaissance festival reject. Huzzah!
    • "(X) on drums"
    • Servo, imitating the alcoholic Uncle Bill, keeps offering Rick a laundry list of drinks.
    • "And in yet ANOTHER film"
    • Which film we're currently in (A, B, C or D for dumb)
  • Shave And A Haircut
  • Shoot the Money
    Crow: Look, we rented the van, we're gonna film it!
  • Shout-Out: Joel and Servo quote the song "Tommy Can You Hear Me?" at two different parts when Tommy's mother is shouting for him. (Later, Servo also misquotes "Go to the Mirror!", which is from the same Concept Album.)
    • Later, while Trumpy sends objects flying around Tommy's room:
    Servo: Someone should take this kid out and hit him with a (singing) sledgehammer!
  • Shower Scene: One of the doomed backup singer/campers takes a shower (inexplicably while wearing a towel on her head) as Trumpy's mom runs amok. Joel and the 'bots lampshade her decision to bathe while in a horror movie:
    Joel: (singing, as Kathy): Hmmm-hmm-hmm-hmmm, I'm in the shower/Nothing will happen tooo meeeee!
    Crow: Doo-de-dooo-de-dooo, I'm naked and all alone in the shower and totally vulnerable and somebody could kill me, doo-de-doo-de-dooo...
    Servo: It's probably likely at this point in the film...
    Crow: My brain fell out, doo-de-doo-doo....
    Sharon: Where's Kathy?!
    Servo: She's Zestfully dead.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: "Clown in the Sky".
    Joel: Y'know, guys, it always hurts to close it all up, strike the set, wipe off the greasepaint, napkin up the blood and entrails, and move on to another town.
    Crow: Uh-oh. I smell a song.
  • That Was Not A Dream
    Tom: (As one of the girls who is waking up) Oh, I had the most horrible dream. I dreamt that I was a crappy actress in a bad... sci-fi... film... Wait a minute...
  • Worst Aid: Lampshaded by Joel and the Bots.
    Rick: She isn't dead, is she?
    Brian: Don't think so, but she's in bad shape. Grab her legs.
    Crow: Yeah, move her spine around a lot!
    (The MST3K gang make cracking noises.)
    Crow: Dope.
    • Tommy's mother isn't much better:
      Mother: A good night's rest, and she'll be right as rain!
      Joel: Yeah, that's what cures a crushed spine.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Idiot Control Now" consists of Mondegreens of the "Burning Rubber Tires" song from the film.
  • You're Not My Real Father: Said by Crow after Joel finishes up singing "Clown in the Sky".