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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 02 E 02 The Sidehackers

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Film watched: The Sidehackers

The film is particularly notorious for containing a brutally graphic depiction of a rape/murder — a little tidbit Best Brains were unaware of and unprepared for when they elected to feature the movie. So horrified were they, in fact, that they altered the process for screening films; from this point forward, all potential movies would be screened in their entirety before being chosen for inclusion on the show.


Is is available on Shout! Factory TV here.

The Segments:

  • Joel bathes the 'Bots and tries to tuck them into bed, but they refuse to go quietly.

Segment 1/Invention Exchange

  • Joel has invented Gretchen the Slinky, while Dr. Forrester produces the Slinky tube, which lets him be in two places simultaneously.

Segment 2

  • The SOL crew chart out just what is involved in the activity of sidehacking.

Segment 3

  • In order to produce recognizable commentary and play-by-play analysis for a sporting activity, it must have a working and understood terminology behind it, as Joel stresses.

Segment 4

  • J.C. and Cooch from the film visit the SOL, where Joel has created Rommel hats for Tom and Crow.

Segment 5

  • Joel sings original ditty "Only Love Pads the Film" with the 'Bots. Frank gets his first time to push the button down in Deep 13.

The MST3K treatment provide examples of:

  • And Now For Something Completely Different: This is the only movie to feature a riff by Cambot. He does an info-crawl (a la ESPN) during one of the race scenes stating how poorly edited and boring it is.
  • Call-Back: Several in future experiments, such as:
    • "That's a #5!"
    • "He hit Big Jake!"
    • "Chili Peppers burn my gut!", a callback that's used A LOT.
  • Darker and Edgier: Downplayed, but possibly due to the controversy surrounding the movie, the IFC airings played this episode with a TV-MA rating, while many of the other episodes in the series reran with TV-PG or TV-14 ratings on the channel.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: invoked
    • Joel and the Bots don't take too kindly to J.C. going after Nero when he tries to calm him down during the dinner scene, especially since, prior to the latter half of the line being muted for TV, J.C. had called Nero a very offensive term.
      Joel: Oh, real- (along with Crow and Tom) shut up!
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    • When J.C. begins to harass Paisley, Joel and the bots boo and jeer. Then he punches her in the gut, and Joel stands to his feet, throws his hands in the air in disgust and yells, "Oh, that's it! That's it!"
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Goofy "hip" motor-sport flick about side-hacking becomes a disturbing, gritty rape/murder/revenge flick with a Downer Ending. This is the reason for Best Brains picking the thing and regretting it later. This is lampshaded by the Bots in a last segment.
    Tom: 'Joel, why was the movie so bad?
    Crow: Yeah. It was cool in the beginning with the side-hacking... then it went right down the drain and they had to pad out the rest of the film with all that killing.
    (Joel intros his new song "Only Love Pads The Film")
  • Never Heard That One Before: Joel and the 'bots see the "prison joke" story's punchline coming a mile away.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Segment 4 uses a musical sting from the movie to underscore all the sad descents into remembering Rita. Unfortunately, they were forced to cut most of the times it appears due to the violence involved.
  • Padding: Only love pads it. invoked
  • Running Gag: Calling Rommel a Magnificent Bastard, often adding, "I read your book!"
  • Trilogy: The first of three episodes that center around motorcycle racers or gangs, the other two being Wild Rebels and The Hellcats. Strangely, all episodes played during season 2.
  • Wham Episode: From a production perspective: it was this film that made Best Brains realize they need to screen the films they select for the show in their entirety from then on.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Crow gives an offhand comment to explain Rita's absence; this is because the scene in which she was raped and killed had to be cut for obvious reasons.
    Crow: For those of you playing along at home, Rita is dead.
  • With Lyrics: "Nothing lasts forever / only love / pads the film."


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