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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 03 E 22 Master Ninja

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- Joel Robinson

Film watched: Master Ninja

MST3K writer Paul Chaplin noted in the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide:

"All told, we covered four hour-long episodes of this show. Of those, two plots involve small towns in America's heartland ruled by vicious, murderous industrialists working hand in hand with El Salvador-style police. Understand, I too have misgivings about unfettered capitalism. I'm just not sure this kind of thing exist. I think it's Hollywood's idea of the Midwest. I may be wrong. If any of our viewers know of places where shopping-mall developers routinely kill until their semi-secret graveyards are filled to bursting, I'd like to hear about it. If you yourself live in a town like that, for God's sake let us know! Maybe MST can help."


The Segments:

  • Crow shows off his muscle car to everyone else.

Segment 1

Segment 2

  • Crow tells Joel and Servo his conspiracy theory on the van Pattens and their evil plan to take over the entertainment industry by getting cast in movies and TV.

Segment 3

  • Servo and Crow fight as ninjas, but Joel jumps into the fray as a typical American. Gypsy also joins as... Gigi.

Segment 4

  • Joel shows of his line of gag nunchaku, which leads to a contest for more ideas.

Segment 5

  • The Bots start singing the "Master Ninja Theme Song" while Joel reads a letter from the USS Missouri, thanking them for the entertainment during the Gulf War. Frank soon smothers Dr. Forrester. The "Master Ninja Theme Song" continues to the credits.

This episode contained the following tropes:

  • Artistic License – Biology: Well, zoology, more specifically. Joel and the bots keep calling the hamster a gerbil.
  • Artistic License – History:
    (McAllister is remembering the war and his discharge)
    McAllister: "Something about the tranquility..."
    Joel: The tranquility of post-war Japan?
  • Body Double: Very obviously so. The MST3K crew doesn't fail to notice this.
    Crow: It's Lee van Petite!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A backward glance from Claude Akins' character is turned into this.
    Joel: You know, say what you want, but Claude Akins has a nice rump.
    Crow: [as Claude Akins] You guys talkin' about my butt? Ah, you crack me up. I've seen your show.
  • Call-Back:
  • The Conspiracy: THE VAN PATTEN PROJECT!
  • invoked Fan Nickname:
    • "Queen Latifah" — Okasa, because of the metallic veil on his ninja outfit.
    • "Jack Perkins" for Charlie, the dancing club owner.
  • Leitmotif: Parodied in one sketch.
  • Mega-Corp:
    Joel: ConHugeCo, welcomes you.
  • Notable Original Music: MASTER NINJA THEME SONG!
  • Running Gag: Accidentally referring to something that happened in an earlier episode of Master Ninja instead of earlier in the movie (as Master Ninja was re-packaged as a movie from a failed TV pilot).
  • Tempting Fate:
    Crow: I've got a bad feeling about that knickknack shelf.
  • Vorpal Pillow: Attempted by Dr. Forrester on Frank after the invention exchange ends, but he doesn't succeed.
  • With Lyrics: When Max is chased by the Sheriff:
    Servo: Here come your TV car chase
    It's the TV car... chase theme, hey!
    And your TV car chase
    Your TV car chase... theme, ha!
    TV car chase!
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: How they interpret McAllister's reaction to Max's attempt at a kiai.


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