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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 04 E 07 The Killer Shrews

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Films watched: Junior Rodeo Daredevils and The Killer Shrews

Killer Shrew! Killer Shrew!
K-I-double L-E-R-Shrew!
He's scary and tough
If that ain't enough
He's augmented with bath mats and stuff!

Junior Rodeo Daredevils is a short about the death-defying rodeo stunts done by children after a prank on "Old-timer Billy Slater" went horribly wrong.

This episode was released on DVD along with another "lost" short as an extra: Assignment: Venezuela, the story of an American oil company employee trying to adjust to being sent to work in Venezuela while trying to make everything sound good to his wife and kids back in the States.


The episode is available on Shout! Factory TV here.

The Segments:

  • It's present time on the Satellite of Love. Gypsy gets a The Little Mermaid bath set and Servo a spiffy new race car. Crow gets a pair of sensible brown pants, which leaves him disappointed.

Segment 1/Invention Exchange

  • Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank intend to destroy the world with a nuclear warhead launched into the Earth's core. Joel presents his line of Edgar Winter Babies, which combined with his common sense somehow gets the Mads to abandon their plan.

Segment 2

  • Joel decides to do his own impression of Will Rogers and soon goes into a random tangent of celebrity impersonations. The 'Bots are confused and ashamed for him.

Segment 3

  • You've seen the movie, now play the new Killer Shrews board game where you can have even less fun. Crow and Servo admit it's a stupid thing they made, but Joel's proud of them for trying regardless.

Segment 4

  • The 'Bots have Joel mix up their new hyper-sweet Killer Shrew drink. One sip and Joel's on the floor, but Frank goes off on a wild sugar-bender.

Segment 5

  • Joel reads a fan letter as "killer shrews" (played by Crow and Servo) attack him. Frank has finished his Killer Shrew drink and is nursing a bad bellyache, so Dr. Forrester gives him just the thing for it - an ipecac.

The MST3K presentation provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: The entire film's cast gets flanderized into this by the crew's riffing. note 
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Joel completely ruins the Mads' super-dramatic attempt to "crack this puny planet as though it were a china cup," by asking, "What do you get out of it?" Unable to answer the question, Doctor Forrester shuts the whole thing down.
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  • Gone Horribly Right: The Bots engage in some Art Therapy to deal with the boring film by creating a Killer Shrews Board Game. It backfires horribly when they and Joel try to play, and they realize that their game is even more boring than the movie it's based on (the game pieces are bolted down so they can't move around the board, the instruction cards they draw consist of either "Contemplate Shrew" or "Have Another Drink", etc.).
  • Noodle Implements: When instructing Joel on how to make a Killer Shrew brew, Crow mistakenly lists wax lips as one of the ingredients. Tom reminds him that this goes in a completely different drink known as the Vulcan Mind Probe.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: "The Killer Shrew", a drink that combines about twelve different types of sugar in a blender (chocolate ice cream, Captain Crunch with Crunchberries, peanut M&Ms, Mrs. Butterworths syrup, circus peanuts, Mr. Pibb, Marshmallow Peeps, Sweet Tarts, vanilla cake frosting, Good'n'Plenty, NO wax lipsnote , and garnished with a wind-up shrew). Joel has one taste, goes into diabetic shock and passes out. Frank, on the other hand, goes hyperglycemic, singing "Ladies' Night" and attempting to dance with Dr. Forrester.
  • Prop Recycling: Thus begins the epic journey of Crow's sensible brown pants. invoked
  • Running Gag: Rook plays Dixieland Jazz.
    • In "Junior Rodeo Daredevils":
      Joel: And the crowd goes wild!
    • invokedThe Mondegreen due to the accents and muffled dialog. Also see The Unintelligible.
    • Lots of jokes about the fact that the supposed giant shrews are obviously dogs.
  • Shout-Out: Several, but the "Will Rogers" sketch is chock full of them. Joel's attempt to impersonate cowboy humorist Will Rogers after watching the short ends up devolving into random quotations from Mark Twain, Casey Stengel, Alexander Woolcott, Macgruff the "Take a Bite out of Crime" Dog, Nikita Khruschev, Garrett Morris, Dion ("Abraham, Martin and John"), Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign, and Dr. Seuss.
  • Slurpasaur: J&TB frequently lampshade this about the shrews (dogs with weird stuff on them).
  • Spin-Off Babies: Parodied with Joel's Invention Exchange - Jim Henson's Edgar Winter Babies! It's enough to convince the Mads not to cleave the Earth in two.
  • Take That!
    Tom Servo: [After reading the title card] Starring Joan Collins and Jackie Collins!
  • The Unintelligible: The head scientist and his daughter have very thick accents, which Joel and the bots mock to no end.
    Dr. Marlowe: Radford?
    Joel: Rapid? Rapture?
    Dr. Marlowe: Radford, could you please step over here? I'd like you to meet someone.
    Joel: Rapid Bathroom?
    Tom: Yes; this is our resident novelist, Rapid Bathroom.
  • Unsound Effect: Tom's "Bristle, bristle", while dressed as a cactus.
  • With Lyrics: "You're gonna die from shrew bites, you're gonna die from shrew bites..."


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