Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 10 E 04 Future War

Film watched: Future War

"There's a moment in this movie which is kind of heartbreaking. There's a brief scene where a television news reporter is doing a live remote stand- up. His cameraman is using a pretend card-board camera; its a taped-up box with a lens apparatus taped to it. That made us sad."
Mary Jo Pehl, The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide

Interesting note of trivia: while Future War was produced and completed in 1994, it never saw a video release til 1999, the same year as the MST3K episode airing, technically making it the most recent experiment from a release date standpoint, beating out even Werewolf.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment of this movie contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Servo reads the title as "Future Wax" before it appears entirely onscreen.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: While Mike is trying to demonstrate Forced Perspective to the (unimpressed) bots, a real giant Tom Servo appears in the theater to frighten them away.
  • Blatant Lies: Crow could point out that it isn't the future and there is no war, but "You know me, I don't like to complain."
  • Call-Back:
  • Captivity Harmonica: "Well, I suppose one of us has to play harmonica."
  • The Chick: In the opening segment, Gypsy wants to know if she's "once, twice or three times a lady". She finds out she's 2.7 times a lady, which isn't bad since Gillian Anderson is only 2.9 times a lady. Crow claims the rating machine has determined Mike is 8 times a lady. Mike's not amused.
  • Continuity Nod: Crow surmises Mike's strange behavior during the end credits is due to Joel's recent visit.
  • Culture Equals Costume: Every time the beret-wearing character appears, Mike and the bots either sing something in French (e.g., 'Alouette'), or utter a phrase in French (such as "Vive la Résistance!").
  • Curse Cut Short: When Crow sees the credit for composer Arlan H. Boll, he responds "Yeah, Arlan H.Bollshi—" Mike cuts him off just in time.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Water: Nature's liquid."
  • Dynamic Entry: "It's Super Pope!"
  • Fake Band: Bobo and Brain Guy's Psychedelic Rock duo, Narcotic Casserole.
  • Fridge Horror/Fridge Logic/Hand Wave: invoked Giant Servo evokes the first from Servo and Crow, the second for the viewer, and the third from Giant Servo himself.
    • Fridge Logic also factors into a riff about the train scene: "Why are we on this train?"
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!:
    Tom Servo: It's Jean-Claude Van Damme!
    Mike: Nah. He's more like Jean-Claude Gosh Darn.
  • Intoxication Ensues: As part of her Mad Science, Pearl doses the 'bots with hallucinogens, and Mike uses a screen to see what they see. Crow misidentifies Mike's Milky Way for a Snickers bar and freaks out, while Servo sees the same distorted, gibbering nightmare he sees every day. Crow is also surprised to learn that Mike isn't a clown.
  • I Read That As:
    • Before the final letter shows up, Servo reads the title as Future Wax. Which makes about as much sense as the actual title, honestly.
    • When Sister Ann is writing the ABCs on the chalkboard, Servo predicts she's trying to write the word "ass."
      Servo: Ass— asswi— assho—
      Crow: It's not even ass, Servo!
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Taking a cue from the movie, Mike and the 'Bots call Pearl to thank her for not killing them, interrupting her attempt to shoot the SoL with a missile. They feel quite betrayed afterward.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: During the Container Maze scene.
    Crow: He's boxed in.
    Mike: Well, I'm card-bored.
    Servo: Shut up, you two.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Mike wears a big, fake chin mocking the cyborg's from the movie. Crow and Servo are unimpressed.
  • Long List:
    Crow: Hello, I'm Droppy The Water Droplet. Did you know that there are literally tens of thousands of uses for water? Here are just a few thousand...
    Mike: Are these in any sort of order, or...
    Crow: Sir, we have a lot of these to get through, so if you'll just hold your water...
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe, Mike and the Bots seize on an off-hand reference to Fred Burroughs (one of Sister Ann's friends) as the basis for a Running Gag hyping him as a badass. This culminates in a dramatic scene of the Runaway working out in his jail cell, with Crow announcing "Ladies and gentlemen... Fred Burroughs!"
  • No Budget: Invoked a few times by the cast, both in and out of character (see Mary Jo's page quote). The lack of stained glass in the storeroom-turned-"church" caused Servo to snark the district had a loser cardinal.
  • Nuns Are Funny: Much like Girl's Town, the crew gets a lot of mileage from Ann training to be a nun and the Catholic Church in general.
  • Retirony: After one of the dinosaurs is killed early in the movie.
    Mike: He was three days from retirement! NOOO!
  • Running Gag:
    • "Fred Burroughs!"
    • Ann's sizeable halfway house roommates prompt a lot of fat jokes.
    • The beret-wearing guy, as mentioned above in Culture Equals Costume.
  • Say My Name: "FRED BURROUGHS!"
  • Shout-Out:
    • Crow's Droppy the Water Droplet is very similar to his Willy the Waffle (all based on Coily the Spring Sprite from A Case of Spring Fever.)
    • Brain Guy burns his guitar a la Jimi Hendrix. Bobo takes advantage of the situation to roast some marshmallows over it.
  • Sudden Anatomy: When Tom challenges Gypsy to a kickboxing contest, Gypsy manifests a foot (attached to a length of her usual black tubing) and sends him flying.
    Servo: I thought you didn't have legs either!
    Gypsy: Just made it today. Neat, huh?
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When The Runaway obviously removes his own shirt during the final battle:
    Servo: "My shirt was knocked off. It was knocked off, I swear!"
  • Take That!:
    • When a couple of kids are shown playing Association Football, Mike comments that soccer is the only thing more boring than this film, and that the last thing he wanted to see was soccer in the film.
    • The Bots' lady multiplier is said to have used Sen. Dianne Feinstein as its comparative baseline, since "she's exactly one time a lady."
  • Unfortunate Names: Tom notes that K.Y Lim has unfortunate initials. K-Y is a brand of personal lubricant.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The absurd amount of plaid and flannel in the actors' wardrobe and the technology firmly places Future War in the mid to late 1990's. Even Mike and the Bots call out the amount of plaid in the movie and the episode came out in 1999.