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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 03 E 01 Cave Dwellers

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How much Keeffe is in this movie anyway?
-Miles O'Keeffe!

Film watched: The Blade Master aka Cave Dwellers

Like Pod People, this film featured an opening credit sequence that took scenes from a different movie. O'Keeffe was allegedly amused by the show's take on the film and called Best Brains (MST3K's production company) to personally request a copy of the episode. It is one of the most popular episodes of the series. The MST3K version of the movie is available in both VHS and DVD formats. This movie is often cited as the movie you want to introduce somebody to the concept of MST3K and riffing on movies in general.

Compare with Deathstalker and the Warriors From Hell and Quest of the Delta Knights. The Rifftrax and revival series also riffed the original film Ator the Fighting Eagle.note 


It is available on Shout! Factory TV here.

The Segments

  • Joel and the Bots come up with new names for themselves. Favorites include Stockard Channing, Jose Jimenez, Sugar Magnolia and Chuck Woolery.

Segment 1

  • For this week's inventions, Joel comes up with the Smoking Jacket after noting that Smoking Is Cool but its health effects aren't. The Mads engage in robot arm wrestling while the SOL cheers on.

Segment 2

  • Dressing up as characters from today's film, Joel and the Bots make their own Film Ventures International-style opening credits.

Segment 3

  • As the Bots ask Joel about the special names for the lame weapons, he explains the power of Mundane Made Awesome descriptions.

Segment 4

  • The Bots also question the sound effect choices of film, to which Joel segues to a Foley demonstration.

Segment 5

  • Crow angrily analyzes out the continuity problems of today's film to the Mads.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:

  • Hypocritical Humor: "Mockery is the ignorant man's weapon."
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: After Forrester yells at them for cheering for Frank during the robotic arm-wrestling match, the SOL crew cheer for Forrester instead... until Servo lets slip a quick "Frank!" sotto voce.
  • Invisible Monsters: "I don't believe it, they were too cheap to hire villains!"
  • Running Gag:
    • Gypsy's other new name is Mrs. Richard Basehart.
    • Joel getting Thong's name wrong.
    • "Dad?"
    • "No-o!"
    • "It's not a comic book! It's a graphic novel!"
  • Tempting Fate: Servo complains at the end of the episode that this was 'the worst movie' the Mads had ever sent them. Considering some of the films to come, he REALLY shouldn't have said that.
    • This is also a reference to a frequent situation in the writer's room. Often someone would state that the film they were currently writing for was the "worst movie ever" only to be proven wrong in the future.
      • Frank would tell Joel and the Bots that he and Dr. Forrester have it worse than they do: "We have to watch you watching the movie."
  • Shout-Out: Thong being referred as "Gomez" has nothing to do with The Addams Family, but stand-up comic the writers knew.note 
  • Sickening "Crunch!": In the foley sketch, Joel demonstrates to Tom & Crow how to simulate the sound of breaking vertebrae by crunching fresh celery.
  • Take That!: "They're kinda dumb, they're easy to kill: the American Gladiators!"
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Implied with Sandor.
    Zor: Flog him!
    Crow: [as Sandor] Thank you, sir!
  • With Lyrics: During Ator's flying theme.
    Servo: [singing] Ator flies...and so does my heeeeeaaaaaaaart!
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: The reaction by Joel and the 'bots to Ator's modern hang glider.
    Servo: Oh, come on.
    Crow: What the…?!
    (Servo laughs)
    Joel: Terrific. (childlike voice) I'm the luckiest boy in the world! I have slipped the surly bounds of Earth and touched the hand of God!
    Servo: This is a little ridiculous. Okay, so... he kills a deer, he tans the hides, he stretches the skins, he makes an anodized aluminum frame, he learns how to extrude and weld… all in about five minutes, huh? ... learned aerodynamics...


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