Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 08 E 20 Space Mutiny

Sounds like someone owns himself a DX7 keyboard, huh?

Film watched: Space Mutiny

"I have never seen the show. What people do not seem to understand is that the movie was meant to be a spoof on Sci Fi films."
Cisse Cameron, aka Lea

This movie landed almost perfectly in that sweet spot for MSTing material: flawed enough to provide hours of enjoyable riffing, but not a completely unwatchable trainwreck, resulting in one of the most popular episodes. In fact, the Onion AV Club selected this episode for their "Gateways to Geekery" feature as an ideal entry point for newcomers. Mike Nelson and the 'bots had a great time pointing out some cast members' resemblance to certain celebrities, as well as the obvious fact that the actress playing Lea is much older than her character is meant to be (they refer to her as Jansen's "Grandma-daughter").

The copious number of Railing Kills nearly becomes a Drinking Game (and inspires Tom to fill the 'Satellite of Love' with pits and railings), and they also make up numerous fake bodybuilder names for the muscular hero Dave Ryder including Slab Bulkhead, Fridge Largemeat, Bolt van der Huge, Big McLargeHuge, Blast Hardcheese, Smoke Manmuscle, Punch Rockgroin, Roll Fizzlebeef, and Bob Johnson. Kalgan's frequent maniacal laughter is also a source of entertainment, as is the beefy protagonist's oddly girlish battle shouts. Kalgan's red-armored bodyguard ("Lobster Boy") and the death and miraculous "resurrection" of Lt. Lemont round out the riff targets. Oddly enough, the only thing Mike and the Bots don't lampshade is the fact that every single "space" shot in the film is simply a clip from Battlestar Galactica. (Evidently because they didn't know this was the case at the time of filming.)

Space Mutiny was released as part of Vol. 4 of the DVD collections by Rhino Entertainment.

The Segments:

  • Crow and Servo complain about outdated encyclopedias that Mike gave to them.

Segment 1
  • Mike gets the two bots new encyclopedias, they still complain though. Pearl, with Bobo and Brain Guy, are still in Roman prison. She asks Mike to help them escape; in exchange, today's movie would be the last one shown to the SOL. She then asks Brain Guy to bring Mike down, but gets mixed results.

Segment 2
  • The Bots engage in a dogfight outside the SOL while Mike tries to relax with tea and music.

Segment 3
  • Crow announces to Mike that he is a Ballerian, because he is. Meanwhile, at the Roman prison, Bobo tells Pearl he has the key to the locks. Problem is, it's inside him.

Segment 4
  • Influenced by the movie, Servo install railings on the SOL. This inconveniences Crow and Mike.

Segment 5
  • The Bots shows their muscles to Mike. At the Roman prison, the three escape with the help of Brain Guy's brain, and Mike attempting to hit on Flavia. Bobo steals a cheese wheel, but knocks over an adjacent candle.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:

  • Analogy Backfire: When Dave chews out Lea and wishes her father could control her as well as he does this ship:
    Crow: You mean have a mutiny on me?
  • And This Is for...: After Kalgan attacks Lea during the climax:
    Servo: (as Kalgan) That's for not knowing anything about ancient dentistry!
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
  • Awesome McCoolname
    Crow: Slate Fistcrunch!
    Mike: Buff Hardback!
    Servo: Bob Johnson! Oh, wait...
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: "That scene really makes me think... about how much better a root canal would be than this movie!"
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: During an Enforcers chase scene:
    Mike: Hey you know, a lot of people have compared this scene to the climactic chariot scene from Ben Hur.
    Servo: Oh really?
    Mike: Yeah, they usually say, "Ben-Hur was really good. This movie totally sucked."
  • Brain Bleach: Lea's seduction of pudgy, balding middle-aged guard Murray, screaming when he takes off his pants.
    Crow: This is supposed to be an ipecac, right?
    • Her seductive dancing during the club scene can also count.
      Servo: Ugh! She's presenting like a mandrill!
      Mike: I'd rather get a table-dance from Trent Lott.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    David: Listen lady!
    Lea: Doctor!
    David: Doctor!
    Crow: Doctor Lady!
  • Call Back: In the host segments, Pearl asks a guard for moisturizer in a manner similar to that used by the prisoners in Red Zone Cuba.
  • Canada, Eh?: Servo (incorrectly) attributes the film's pseudo-American-ness to this. As mentioned on the film's non-recap page, it was actually made in South Africa. (Though in his defence, the country is never mentioned in the credits.)
    Tom: Well, one thing this movie does well is tossing Canadians around!
    Mike: ...Canadians?
    Tom: Oh, come on, Mike! This movie's ripe with the stench of back bacon!
  • Celebrity Resemblance
  • Comically Missing the Point: Mike points out they could have used the escape rockets to... escape.
    Servo: What's he on about... oh! You mean... to escape from here!
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: When the mutineers assault a dissenter just before killing him, Crow says "Rip his band uniform. Then he'll have to pay for it!".
  • Credits Gag
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Bobo is tortured by having a delicious looking roast mutton waved in front of his face, just out of reach.
  • Double Entendre
  • The '80s: During the end credits, Mike and the bots mock the generic Hair Metal-style soundtrack. Then the bots point out how Mike grew up during the Eighties, and accuse him of being responsible for the movie.
    Crow: Mike, this is your music done by your people, so I blame you for this entire movie.
    • Doubles as Hypocritical Humor since the film came out in 1988: The same year MST3K did, so the Bots really don't have any place to talk.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Bobo's plan for escape is to cough up a key he swallowed and open their locks. Pearl assumes he lifted a key off a guard, but Bobo says that he's swallowed so many things over the years that a key is bound to be in there somewhere. He proceeds to cough up a number of non-food items.
  • Eye Awaken: Former Trope Namer and current page quote.
    Servo: And, his eyes open.
    Crow: An-n-n-nd his eyes open.
    Mike: His eyes open.
    Servo: Eyes open, yeah, yeah, big surprise, he's still alive.
    Crow: Eyes open.
    Mike: His EYES open.
    Servo: Can we just move it along here?
    Crow: Come ON!
    (Kalgan's eyes open)
    Servo: (as Kalgan) I'm sitting in something wet.
  • Funny Background Event: Watch Observer in the background having his hands argue with each other.
  • Groin Attack: "Ow! Why do you hate my groin so much?!"
  • Historical In-Joke: Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds manages to let Bobo start a fire in Ancient Rome while trying to free Pearl. (Emperor Nero was holding a violin recital shortly beforehand.)
  • Hope Spot: After realizing they screwed up with the escape pods, Tom points out that there's still one last pod. Crow dashes it when he reveals Gypsy has it... and she's coming in for a landing.
  • Hurricane of Puns: When one of the Ballerians approaches Alex Jansen, we get a bunch of Santa jokes in a row:
    Servo: Ho-ho, ho.
    Mike: Finally, Christmas comes to Santa!
    Crow: Er, Mrs. Kringle and I have an understanding.
    Servo: Er, it's basically over between us...
    Mike: Want to see me shake like a bowl full of jelly?
    Crow: (aroused) Ho-ho-ho, ho, ho-o-o...
    Servo: Someone DID leave a cookie out for me!
    Mike: I am a right jolly old elf!
    Crow: Let me just check you twice, here...
  • I Have Many Names: (Dave Ryder)
  • I Uh You Too: One host segment has Crow and Servo engage in a dogfight outside the ship, which they decide to end with a mutual high speed suicide landing:
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Relentlessly mocked.
    Crow: Here's a little free advice for the mutineers: Just stop and aim, you idiots!
    Servo: Why is he so impossible to hit? How can they keep missing this slow, giant white thing?
    Mike: Y'know, they shouldn't have set their phasers to miss.
  • Literal Metaphor: During the final battle:
    Crow: Wow! I am on the edge of my seat! *beat* I should probably scoot back a little; I'd be more comfortable.
    Mike: Yeah, you've got a lot more room back there.
  • Long List: The many nicknames for David Ryder.
  • Memetic Mutation: invoked "We Put Our Faith in Blast Hardcheese"
  • Metaphorgotten: During Crow and Servo's dogfight:
    Crow: Eat death, Servo!
    Servo: Eat munchy, crunchy, chocolatey cocoa death, Crow!
    Crow: Enjoy a nice serving of brown betty with... death... but mostly eat death!
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We get to see a brief shot of Crow and Servo in their ships at the beginning of the dogfight and another as they're about to crash land, but none of the bombastic fighting overheard for the bulk of the segment.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: When the Southern Sun crew lead the Ballarians to their quarters.
    Mike: So, we got some Benedictine monks in the floorboards unfortunately. We had set some traps with fresh bread and brandy though.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Again, during the dogfight:
    Crow: Ow! Servo, you just blew a hole through my torso! WHEEEE!
    Servo: Too late for me! Looks like I just took a laser shot to the dome! WAHOOO!
  • Overly Long Gag: The aforementioned many names of David Ryder.
  • Running Gag:
    • See Space Mutiny
    • Kalgan, blow me away!
      • Just one of many references to Kalgan sounding like Calgon.
    • Railing Kill!
    • C'mon skull, pop out of my head!
    • Jokes refering to Lea's age.
    • Sherri's card, and, eventually, Sherri's party.
    • Captain Santa.
    • Aw, man, there's a sale on Power Bars!
    • Kalgan's surprisingly joyful attitude.
    • Comments on the Bellarian's incredibly skinny supermodel bodies.
    • Capt. Devers is either Sting or the Energizer battery pitchman, Jacko.
    • Lt. Lemont's apparent gender-bending & resurrection powers.
    • When do I lift some weights?
    • Can I get a spot?
    • "RAAAAAAAAAAGH!!" [Stops to carefully climb out of the 3-mph go-cart.]
    • Oh, we're going to [X], I must saay! Note 
    • How huge the ship basement is.
  • Santa Claus: The captain looks like the jolly fat man.
    Captain Jenson: [annoyed, glaring at his daughter Lea] Lea...
    Tom: You're getting a lump of coaaaaaaaal...
  • Shout-Out
    • When the mads are in a Roman prison.
    Brain Guy: (Imprisoned without his brain) Pearl, tell me about the rabbits again please.
    • When Crow sees the writer is named Maria Dant­é, he quips "There's gonna be seven levels of Hell in this movie, too."
    • As the guy in glasses falls to his death:
    Mike: The death of Rick Springfield!
    Tom: I just wish that I had Jesse's giiiiiiirl!
  • Soft Water: Subtly done. In a parody of how many railing kills are in this movie, Servo installs railings all over the ship. The sketch ends with Mike tripping over one and falling into a pit. He lets out a good scream on the way down, before we hear him hit water at the end of the fall. He's presumably unharmed.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The booming main theme plays as MacPhearson walks over to Kalgan.
    Servo: Does his entrance really warrant the "dun-dudda-dun-dun-dun"?
    Crow: Nope.
  • Stealth Pun: A person listed in the opening credits is named "Vincent G. Cox".
    • A Bellerian seductively comes up to Jansen:
    Servo: Ho ho, ho.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During the credits, Crow and Servo give one to Mike and The '80s in general.
    Crow: You and your eighties!
    Servo: Your precious eighties!
    Crow: You know, it woulda continued to be The '70s if not for you!
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plotinvoked:
    Devers: Sir, we both know there's only one man here who's capable of combat. A man who's had the training, physically and mentally.
    Commander Jansen: [reluctantly agreeing] All right...
    Crow: (as Jansen) Fetch me my warrior's muu-muu!
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When Ryder shouts out repeatedly "It's gonna blow!", Tom chimes in "If the first ten minutes isn't any indication that this movie's gonna blow!"
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Observer isn't exactly a genius when he's separated from his brain.
  • Voice Clip Song: "We Put Our Faith In Blast Hardcheese"
  • What the Hell, Hero?: "And our hero boldly roasts the disabled guy."
  • Who's on First?: Pearl demanding Observer "bring Mike down" leads to a Hurricane of Puns, thanks to Observer's brain being taken away.
    • Mike gets a pillow case full of down.
    • Mike gets insulted (thus, 'brought down').
      Pearl: I want you to bring Mike Down right here!
      Observer: Dahhh, okay Nice Lady.
    • A rather befuddled CPA named Mike Down is teleported from his modern-era 401K meeting to the Mad's Roman-era dungeon. Pearl bonks Brain Guy harmlessly on the head with a guard's sword for the trouble...Brain Guy did manage to send the movie with no problem, though.
  • Worth It: Crow and Servo destroy the Satellite of Love's escape pods after the film inspires them to have a space battle; when Mike chews them out, this trope is their response.
  • Younger Than They Look:
    Jansen: Can you remember when you were that young?
    Servo: (as Devers) I am that young.
    • Lea in general, thanks to the poor makeup job done on the actress.
    Servo: (as Kalgan) "We have your mother!"
    Mike: (on Lea's dancing) "Don't you just hate it when the chaperones try to dance with the kids?"
    Mike: (on Lea's dancing) "Whoa mama! Or, grandmama."