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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 05 E 10 The Painted Hills

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Films watched: Body Care and Grooming (short) and The Painted Hills

The short Body Care and Grooming teaches college students of all ages the importance of conformity and obsessive grooming in their dating lives.

The episode available on the MST3K YouTube page here and on Shout! Factory TV here.

The MST3K presentation of The Painted Hills has examples of the following tropes:

  • Anachronism Stew: "Is this the real old west, or the Roy Rogers old west where they had electricity and cars?"
  • Artistic License – History: The only things Crow's term paper got right were that Rutherford B. Hayes was a lawyer, served in the Civil War, was President, ended Reconstruction, and eventually died.
  • Big "NO!": We get one out of Forrester when he's trying to revive Frank from a heart attack.
  • Call-Back: The "Reel Life vs. Real Life" music appears as demo music for the Back-Talk.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Servo dubs the snow covered Taylor Michael Mc Donald.
  • Death Is Cheap: After failing to revive Frank in the closing segment, Dr. Forrester decides to just go out and get him a new heart. This is despite the fact that Frank has been dead from heart failure for almost two hours at that point.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Invoked when Shep gets sick from the poison; Servo keeps making riffs that Shep's a goner, provoking Crow to get deeply offended. Even Joel calls out Servo for going too far in his callous riffs about a dying dog.
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  • Mondegreen: While reading the credits, Joel and the Bots are surprised to learn that "Pile-on Pete" is actually "Pilot Pete".
  • Never My Fault: After Frank's heart gives out due to Dr. Forrester, who was using it as his own personal generator, running too many appliances at the same time, Dr. Forrester decides to blame Frank.
  • Running Gag:
  • Sanity Slippage: At one point, Tom straight up melts Crow down to form him into a gold ingot, despite Joel stating that Crow is only painted gold. What's worse, Tom very clearly is armed with a pistol during the entire segment.
    Tom Servo: (manic) Oh, you'd like me to believe that, wouldn't you, Mr. West'?!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Downplayed: after getting fed up with the debate Crow and Tom have with him over Lassie's actions in the filmnote  at the end of the episode, as he throws it over to the Mads, Joel announces he's going to bed.
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  • Squick: Joel and the bots give a collective "Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!" when Pilot Pete says he's as irregular as they come. invoked
  • Snap Back: Through the simple act of extruding him, Joel restores Crow from his melted down state just in time to resume the film following the commercial break.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Invoked, Joel's answering machine allows anyone to record backwards messages for subconscious reminders.
  • They Fight Crime!: Invoked in Body Care and Grooming;
    Servo: Body Care! And Grooming! They're cops!
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Lampshaded by Dr Forrester.
    Dr Forrester: Frank's dead again.
  • Toilet Humor: The crew's use of the name "Pile-on Pete".
  • Unnecessary Makeover: In Universe, In the second Host Segment, Crow and Servo have a debate over whether the girl from the short is more attractive sloppy or clean, with Gypsy moderating and Joel deciding the outcome.
    Crow's argument: I like her sloppy. While her well-groomed — in other words, square — classmates were listening to Pat Boone and Patti Page, she was at the local jazz club, groovin' to Miles, Monk and Coltrane. While her classmates were struggling to make it through an issue of Reader's Digest, she was the only woman on campus who can freely quote Henry Miller. She may be sloppy, but she fits deeply into my idea of paradise.
    Servo's argument: I like her clean, 'cause it just shows that she wants to change the system from within. Sure she's a seething cauldron of passion, but she wears clean underpants, and she knows where her shirt is in the morning. Call her what you will — a Scoop Jackson democrat or a Jacob Javits republican — either way, she's the stuff that dreams are made of.
    Joel's verdict: Both of these issues are complex, and there are no easy answers, but Crow's right.
    Servo then argues against Joel's verdict, stating that the subject of cleanliness and grooming is important to him, and proposes a more effective way to resolve the issue: "A spitting contest!"


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