Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 03 E 03 Pod People
"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."
"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?"Film watched: Pod PeopleNaturally, 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.
— Paul Chaplin, MST3K writing staff
- The Bots start up the episode by performing their one bot shows, with Servo as the son of a poor Filipino merchant.
- For this week's invention exchange, Joel shows off his hot new guitar chord, while the Mads present the Public Domain Karaoke machine.
- Joel and the Bots perform "Idiot Control Now". It stinks.
- Crow gets introduced to the wide world of new age music with Joel's wall of synths. They perform as "Music From Some Guys in Space".
- "Trumpy" does magic things on the bridge, while the Mads are understandably confused.
- While packing for a future experiment, Joel sings about the "Clowns in the Sky". The Mads think it stinks.
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: According to Kevin Murphy in the MST3K Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, the producers of NPR's Music From the Hearts of Space series enjoyed the "Music From Some Guys in Space" host segment and even sent them a few CDs of new age music.
- 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!"
- "Trumpy, you can do magic things!"
- 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.
- Kneel, Push, Trip: The film opens with a scene of some unpleasant poachers. When one of them crouches down behind the leader, Joel gets excited and stands up so he can pretend to push the leader over.
- 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.
- Not So Stoic: Joel gets annoyed when Servo does his impression of Anthony Newley.
- 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...
- Pepperidge Farm remembers...
- 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 MoneyCrow: 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.)
Servo: Someone should take this kid out and hit him with a (singing) sledgehammer!
- Later, while Trumpy sends objects flying around Tommy's room:
- 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.
- And then, when the inevitable happens....
- 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 DreamTom: (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.
- Tommy's mother isn't much better:
- 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".
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