Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 08 E 12 The Incredibly Strange Creatures

The title actually has appendices!

Film watched: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies

This episode is often credited as the Trope Namer for "Nightmare Fuel", when Mike Nelson quips upon seeing a bizarre laughing clown, "Ah, good old-fashioned nightmare fuel!" Too bad "Santa Claus" beat it to the punch...

The Segments:

Prologue
  • It's walk-a-thon season on the Satellite, with Crow is walking for W.A.L.K.A.T.H.O.N. and Servo for H.E.L.P.I.N.G.C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.T.H.R.O.U.G.H.R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.A.N.D.D.E.V.E.L.O.P.M.E.N.T.

Segment 1
  • Mike receives a H.E.L.P.I.N.G.C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.T.H.R.O.U.G.H.R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.A.N.D.D.E.V.E.L.O.P.M.E.N.T. shirt. Pearl is trying to drop off the Space Children at their home planet, while Brain Guy and Bobo butt heads trying to send today's experiment.

Segment 2
  • Crows and Servo read Mike's aura as a scam, be he doesn't get fooled. He gives 50 cents for their own trouble.

Segment 3
  • Crow and Servo get haircuts, like the one from today's movie. Mike follows suit, so he goes to Shelly the Nanite. She gives one that goes up 70 feet outside the Satellite. He keeps the haircut for a while in the theater.

Segment 4
  • Ortega brings some food to the Satellite, who shocks Mike by his appearance. His complaints leads to Ortega splashing acid on himself.

Segment 5
  • Servo and Crow show off their coaster, "Screaming Lemur", to Mike. The ride itself is broken, incomplete and unsafe. Pearl drops off the Space Children to their parents.


The MST3K presentation provides examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: "Nothing runs like a Bulgarian car.", in reference to a rickety 50s station wagon.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "We take VISA, MasterCard, and dead rats."
  • Broken Record: Mike keeps singing "Take me out to the..." in response to the background music.
  • Call Back:
  • Creator Backlash: It's been reported that Ray Dennis Steckler was not amused by the constant jokes about the manliness of his ex-wife Carolyn Brant.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: After some extended scenes with Jerry, Angela and Harold doing nothing of consequence:
    Crow: Now, wasn't there one point a fortune-teller who killed a doughy middle manager guy, or am I thinking of a different movie?
  • Disney Acid Sequence: A truly bizarre dream sequence in the movie reduces poor Servo to a frightened, whimpering wreck.
  • Expy: Ortega filled the shoes of Torgo in sketches on the Sci-Fi Channel episodes.
  • Initialism Title: Crow claims to have seen the sequel, "TISCWSLABMUZ2"
  • Fun with Acronyms: WALKATHON and HELPINGCHILDRENTHROUGHRESEARCHANDDEVELOPMENT
    • Which stand for "Walkers At Large Kinetically Active Through Hygiene or Nowledge (Yes, Knowledge with an N)", and "Hi, Everyone! Let's Pitch In 'N Get Cracking, Here in Louisiana, Doing Right, Eh? Now Then, Hateful Rich Overbearing Ugly Guys Hurt Royally Everytime Someone Eats A Radish-Carrot Hors d'oeurve And Never Does Dishes. Eventually, Victor Eats Lunch Over Peoria Mit Ein Neusburger Tod".
  • Monde Green: "Schick Outta Shape"
    "The first blade lifts! The second one cuts! It's a Schick outta shape!"
  • Nausea Fuel: invoked During the POV roller coaster sequence:
    Servo: Filmed in Nausea Vision.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Invoked by Mike after a close up of a carnival attraction.
  • Offscreen Crash: The result of Mike riding on Crow and Tom's makeshift roller coaster, "The Screaming Lemur".
    Tom Servo: Maybe we should look into that "track" thing...
  • Overly Long Gag: Servo reciting what HELPINGCHILDRENTHROUGHRESEARCHANDDEVELOPMENT stands for, to the point where Crow just walks off.
  • Product Placement: Parodied, in that, thanks to a heavy case of Monde Green, Mike in the bots are convinced that one of the musical numbers is an advertisement for Schick razors, and add their own bits to make it sound like even more of an advertisement.
  • Retirony: Parodied, as a zombie is about to attack a (young) police officer:
    Crow: Oh, watch this. He's 50 years from retirement, too.
  • Running Gag: "Okay, we get it, there's a carnival that figures prominently into the movie!"
    • Mike and the bots constantly mention how much Jerry resembles Nicolas Cage.
    • M&TB's comments on the alcoholic dancer (played by Ray Dennis Steckler's then-wife) and her "mannish" appearance, along with her partner, a very blond, brush-cut guy. Endless "gender-bender", "Nazi" & "gay Nazi" jokes ensue.
    • Harold & Estrella's weird foreign speech patterns.
    • Jerry's girlfriend's brother is a "shut-in geek/Norman Bates" kind of guy who looks like Ed Grimley.
      • MADISON
    • Jerry's facial structure in general, "He's an Easter Island statue", "He's got a cab-forward face", "...'cuz it doesn't work on ferrets!'", etc.
    • The crappiness of the musical numbers.
    "Never let your book club be your backup dancers."
    • "You feelthy peeg!"
    • "Let me move my condoms."
  • Shout-Out: The HELPINGCHILDRENTHROUGHRESEARCHANDDEVELOPMENT sketch is one to the Johann Gambolputty sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus
  • Spoof Aesop: Following what happens to the drunk who turns down Estrella.
    Crow: The lesson? Have sex with a fortune-telling gypsy if she demands it.
    • Crow also concludes the movie:
    Crow: We hope you've enjoyed No Moral Theater, ladies and gentlemen.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Some riffs come from trying to guess Harold's background.