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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 05 E 16 Alien From LA

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Film watched: Alien from L.A.

Targets for jokes included the ridiculous Australian accent employed by Gus, Kathy Ireland's squeaky voice and lack of acting talent, the fact that the film is trying to convince audiences that Kathy Ireland look like anything other than one of the top supermodels of her era, the design of Atlantis, which evoked numerous films such as Blade Runner and the Mad Max series, Charmin's name, and much, much more.

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The episode can be streamed here.

The Segments:

Prologue
  • Crow is drilling his new recruits at Fort Satellite of Love's boot camp. Mike field-strips Tom.

Segment 1/Invention Exchange

  • The Mads show off the Vend-a-Gut, for those people who have $150,000 worth of quarters to spend on a new internal organ; Dr. Forrester removed Frank's liver for the demonstration. Mike equipped his refrigerator with Fridge Udders which dispense whole milk, skim milk, chocolate milk, and crushed ice, but Crow gets flattened when he tries to go fridge-tipping.

Segment 2

  • Crow desperately tries to remember a model who Kathy Ireland reminds him of; she had a band sing to her and modeled underwear. Mike tries to guess, showing off an impressive knowledge of models of the past and present, but it's Tom who eventually gets it: Clara Peller, the "Where's the Beef?" lady.
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Segment 3

  • Mike serenades Kathy in "My Wild Irish Ireland". Tom plays Kathy.

Segment 4

  • Crow and Tom introduce Mike to the Kathy Ireland Fabulous Range of Emotions Acting Guessing Game by Hasbro. Every answer is Dull Surprise.

Segment 5

  • The fan letter runs Mike and the 'Bots through the wringer with questions; they answer the majority of them with "just cuz". Frank is still trying to purchase his new liver, but Dr. F distracts him by asking what 411's phone number is, forcing him to start over.

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The MST3K treatment provides examples of:

  • Artistic License – Military: Crow pretending to be a drill sergeant demands to be called "sir" but sergeants are not addressed as such in the U.S. military due to not being commissioned officers. Justified as Crow probably doesn't know how the military actually works and is just copying what he sees in movies.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Lack of options aboard the SOL means that even a gumball machine robot wearing a wig is starting to look pretty good to Mike during the song:
    Tom: (falsetto) Oh Mikey, oh Mikey, it's you that I likey!
  • Bawdy Song: Crow's verse of "My Wild Irish Ireland". Mike tells him no improv.
    Crow: I'd like to come over and roll in your clover
    And kiss your blarney stone!
  • Big "SHUT UP!": At one point in the film, Mike and the bots simultaneously shout "SHUT UP!" at Kathy Ireland when she was begging Gus to let her go with him.
  • Chick Flick: Mike and Crow get into an argument during the credits and accuse each other of watching these, among them Fried Green Tomatoes, Mermaids, and Steel Magnolias. At one point, they debate whether Madame Sousatzka qualified as one.note 
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Though Mike and the 'bots are enchanted by Kathy's appearance, her nasally voice quickly becomes a Berserk Button.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Crow channels R. Lee Ermey as the drill sergeant of Fort Satellite of Love.
    Crow: ...or SIR, to you toilet water-guzzling little mama's boys!
  • Dull Surprise: The Trope Namer. One of the skits has the 'Bots make Mike guess Kathy Ireland's range of emotions based on a stack of still shots from the film. Guesses include "soul-wrenching sadness mixed with horror in the face of the void" after learning of the death of her father; "Churchillian determination" when she decides to get her life back together; and "shock and horror" after falling hundreds of feet down a hole. They're all wrong; the correct answer for every single one is "dull surprise."
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Lampshaded at the end of the film when the Hollywood Homelyinvoked Wanda, now clad in a bikini (but still played by supermodel Kathy Ireland), turns around and faces the camera:
    Crow: [gasping] She's not wearing glasses!
  • Gun Stripping: Parodied: in the first host segment, Mike has to strip and reassemble Tom blindfolded while Drill Sergeant Crow T. Robot yells at them both.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Mike's invention, Fridge Udders, has... teats! The 'Bots can't believe they're allowed to even say it... so they say it as many times as they possibly can.
  • Kubrick Stare: Mike does the 'tilt your head downward' stare in the opening segment in reference to the Trope Namer, in this case the iconic shot of Vincent D'Onofrio's Private Pyle in Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket.
    Dr. Forrester: Ah, Mike, I see you've decided to go psycho. Godspeed.
  • Mondegreen: The very last words of the film are Wanda saying "Crazy!" when she meets up with Charmin's Identical Stranger (or possibly Charmin himself somehow, it's not clear). Tom and Mike hear it as "Frazy!" and wonders what the hell that's supposed to mean.
  • Never Say That Again: Word for word:
    Servo: Are they in Captain Ron's boat?
    Mike: Never say that again.
  • Rapid-Fire "Shut Up!": In one scene, Kathy Ireland's character follows Gus, talking constantly. In that scene, Mike and the Bots chime in with a Big "SHUT UP!". The next time Kathy Ireland and Gus appear, she is still babbling at him, so Mike fills in "Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up...".
  • Running Gag:
    • Mike and the Bots ripping into Gus' supposed Australian accent.
    • Kathy's squeaky voice presents substantial fodder for riffing.
    • Mike and the Bots' characterization of Wanda as Too Dumb to Live.
    • And the fact that it's Kathy Ireland. Her day job is remarked on early and often.
      Wanda wakes from a Catapult Nightmare
      Servo: ...Swimsuit issue!!!
  • Semper Fi: While field-stripping and reassembling Servo, Crow has Mike recite the Rifleman's Creed, or something close to it:
    Mike: This is my robot. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
  • Shout-Out:
    • The whole opening host segment is one big shout-out to Full Metal Jacket: Crow imitates definitive Drill Sergeant Nasty Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, berating Mike while the latter attempts to field-strip Servo (who just wants to get it over with so he can watch Sisters). After the first commercial break, Mike pulls an impressive Kubrick Stare/Slasher Smile combo a la Private Leonard "Gomer Pyle" Lawrence.
    • Crow's drill sergeant schtick also works in some Marine Gunnery Sgt. Emil Foley from An Officer and a Gentleman:
      Crow: I don't believe I was addressing you, may-o-naise!
    • At one point the Bots quote the beginning monologue from "Computer Blue" by Prince and the Revolution.
    • Upon Wanda's arrival in Atlantis, Mike and the Bots start singing "Underground" by Tom Waits from his album Swordfishtrombones. Joel had previously sung the same song with the Bots in Fugitive Alien II.
  • Slasher Smile: Mike has a damn impressive one, to go along with his equally impressive Kubrick Stare, after the first commercial break. "Hello, Joker..."
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Mike starts staring at Servo goo-goo-eyed when Servo sings with Kathy Ireland's squeaky voice.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: The guys let out groans when they realize this is a Golan-Globus production.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Invoked: this is their Alternate Character Interpretation of Wanda.
    Crow: (as she puts her ear to a door) Um, this door sounds brown!
    Mike: (as she examines a photograph) Hello? What're you doing behind that glass? You look so small.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Defied: Mike pauses the "Kathy Ireland Fabulous Range of Emotions Acting Guessing Game" in order to ask how many more cards they have left. When Crow responds with an unsure "60 or 70":
    Mike: (whistles; grabs the whole pile from under the table) Well, we better get started.



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