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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S04 E10: Hercules Against the Moon Men

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Film watched: Hercules Against the Moon Men

The episode is available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments:

  • Crow and Tom Servo have had enough of Joel and run away from home. They get bored of running away and come back by the time Commercial Sign ends.

Segment 1

  • Dr. Forrester introduces DEEP HURTING, his new cinematic method to break Joel through even more dull and boring padding. Joel shows off Super Freak-Out, containing everything one needs for a wild LSD trip.

Segment 2

  • Crow and Servo put Joel through an incredible booby-trap illusion. Lots of jokes involving the word "booby" are involved.

Segment 3

  • Joel gives the 'Bots muscular bodies and suggests some new tough guy names for them.

Segment 4

  • Disgusted at all the miniskirt-wearing men in the movie, the crew put on a song to sing the praises of pants.

Segment 5

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Awesome McCoolname: After getting muscular arms, Joel advises the Bots to adopt "tough guy names," meaning their last name has to be some kind of hard substance, like Alan Steele from the movie. Tom doesn't quite get it.
  • Big "NO!": Gypsy does this when Crows tells her that Walter Pigeon was the original Admiral Nelson in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, since Richard Basehart is just a replacement. With Gypsy being Gypsy over Richard Basehart, she does NOT take it well.
  • Call-Back: Dr. Forrester introduces the concept of DEEP HURTING during the Invention Exchange by asking Joel and the Bots if they recall Rock Climbing from the experiment Lost Continent. Then, in the middle of the sandstorm scene:
    • Unfortunately, although there was very little rock climbing, there was still plenty of invokedPadding with the sandstorm sequence, hence DEEP HURTING.
    • During a horse chase into a canyon, the crew sings the Undersea Kingdom theme song.
  • Distracted by the Sexy/Even the Guys Want Him: At one point Crow says Hercules' outfit makes him "feel funny."
  • Freak Out: Joel's invention. Comes in a box.
  • G-Rated Drug: Joel's invention, "Super Freak Out", manages to send TV's Frank on an LSD trip just by watching it.
    TV's Frank: (dazed) See me... feel me... Touch me!
    • I Am the Noun: Just before the first movie segment.
      Dr. Forrester: Push the button, Frank.
      TV's Frank: I am the button. (wanders off)
  • Heroic BSoD: Joel and the bots have a mini-one during the sandstorm scene.
  • Invisible Holes: Joel, during the booby trap segment. Special Effects Failure abounds.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: invoked Discussed at length in one of the host segments. Crow complains that Alan Steele is just a cheap knockoff of Steve Reeves, and Joel calls the phenomenon "The Wayne Rogers Effect" (named for the actor who replaced Elliott Gould in the TV adaptation of M*A*S*H). Then the discussion gets a little too real when Crow points out that Gypsy's beloved Richard Basehart (from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) was really the poor man's substitute for Walter Pigeon from the original film.note 
  • Overly-Long Gag: The "booby" host segment.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On:
    Crow: I hate movies where men wear shorter skirts than the women!
  • Running Gag: "Hey, it's (insert celebrity name)!"
    • The very Roman-inspired mooks being accompanied by Joel and the Bots quipping "Pizza! Pizza!" (referencing Little Caesars Pizza) whenever they appeared on-screen. Becomes a moment of hilarity when a horde of them mob one character.
      • [Verb] This!: In the course of a fight scene. "Pizza-Pizza THIS!"
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: At the end of the Freak Out segment, Tom can be heard saying "Ngis Eivom" over and over again as he leaves for the theater. This is, of course, "Movie Sign" said backwards.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Invoked. The exact line is "She cleans up real nice."
  • Shout-Out:
  • Squick: In-universe, over Hercules' skimpy clothes.
  • Tempting Fate: Toward the end of the movie, Joel and the Bots start talking about how the movie really hasn't been that bad, and the Mads were really overstating the whole "deep hurting" thing. Cue the sandstorm scene.
  • To the Pain: "SAAAAAAND STOOOOOORM! DEEEEEEEP HURTING!" Translation: the Mads are attempting once again to weaponize invokedPadding.
  • What's He Got That I Ain't Got?!: In the "Tribute to Pants" song, Tom sings the line, implying a bit of pants envy due to having a hoverskirt instead of actual legs:
    Tom Servo: What do they got that I ain't got?
    All: Pants!
    Tom: Well, you can say that again — huh?
  • Widely-Spaced Jail Bars: Hercules escapes from a dungeon cell by bending the bars. Halfway through, Tom Servo points out that Herc has already widened the gap enough that he could easily slip through if he just turned sideways, but Herc just keeps going.