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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S06 E19: Red Zone Cuba

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"Speech! Speech!"
"Hey, Posture Pals was the definitive last word on posture!"
The Red Zone is for Cuba and un-Cuba only.

Tom Servo: Well, I see the movie has finally thrown up its hands and said "I just don't know."
Crow: I wanna hurt this movie, but I can never hurt it the way it hurt me.
Mike Nelson: Did they even need to GO to Cuba?

Film watched: Red Zone Cuba, with short Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance

Just as he did in Season 3's Earth vs. the Spider, Professor E.C. Buehler returns to teach the audience an essential factor of public speaking in Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance. This time, he goes into depth about the proper posture and physical positions needed when delivering a speech.

Red Zone Cuba holds the honor of being one of the few films that actually broke the SOL crew, though the Mads don't notice this time due to Dr. Forrester having been beaten to a pulp by mobsters prior to the experiment — and Forrester too busy beating Frank to even notice their "Bouncy Upbeat Song" indicating that they'd finally snapped.

The episode is available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments:


  • It's time for the Satellite of Love Lotto! That is, a "lotto" numbered balls to read off of. The powerball number is "509", and with over two dozen balls drawn, winning and telling who won is improbable.

Segment 1

  • As Mike and the 'Bots prepare for a thrilling high-stakes game of Bingo, TV's Frank is visited by the mob for the matter of him owing them $50 grand, tricking Dr. Forrester into answering the door for him. One painful beating later, Dr. F is bodycasted and bedridden.

Segment 2

  • Mike and the 'Bots continue their wealthy ribald while Frank consoles Dr. F over his injuries... and then helps with his horrible posture.

Segment 3

  • The movie is starting to take a toll on Mike, who thinks he's Carol Channing. Dr. F is sent cards and flowers from many famous pacifistic people who eagerly wait for his expiration.

Segment 4

  • Poor Mike slips further and can't even figure out which celebrity he's impersonating anymore. Faced with his impending end, Dr. Forrester struggles to find the strength to live and eventually does... before the mob comes back for a second round.

Segment 5

  • Mike and the 'Bots have finally been broken by the movie, which they demonstrate with a "bouncy upbeat song" of questionable lyrics. Dr. F makes a full recovery, though he doesn't notice that he's finally won as he's throttling Frank, who may find himself in a bodycast next.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance has examples of:

  • All Women Are Prudes: In talking about "Miss Prim".
    Narrator: She keeps her feet clamped tightly together.
    Crow: 'Nuff said.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Deciding that the gavel silhouette behind the opening credits looks like one of the Nazca geoglyphs, Mike intones "Did ancient Toastmasters make this film?" in the style of Leonard Nimoy's narration on In Search of....
  • Continuity Nod: At the start of the short, Crow huffily declares that "Posture Pals was the definitive last word on posture".
  • Take That!: Toward the end.
    Narrator: Good appearance is easily accomplished.
    Servo: Except by Denny Dillon.
  • Wunza Plot: Invoked in a couple of riffs on the narration.
    Narrator: He's the tired farm horse type.
    Servo: She's an energetic city girl! Can they get along in the suburbs?
    Narrator: He's the rocking horse type.
    Servo: She's a straightback chair type! Can they get along?

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Red Zone Cuba has examples of:

  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: The rest of the world can't wait for Clayton to die, which proves to become difficult, to say the least. Highlighted by the most pacifistic personalities wanting him dead, like Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter and Leo Buscaglia.
  • Bandage Mummy: Dr. Forrester spends basically the entire episode as one after taking an attack meant for TV's Frank.
  • Black Comedy: The subplot of Dr. Forrester being attacked and subsequently hospitalized is full of this.
  • Bowdlerized: The MST3K version thankfully omits the whole "raping the blind-deaf daughter" scene, per the show's "No Rape" policy.
  • Call-Back:
  • Celebrity Resemblance: The riffers remark on how Coleman Francis looks like Curly Howard.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When TV's Frank makes Dr. Forrester fix his posture while still heavily bandaged, Mike and the bots react differently.
    Mike: Eugh! Man, hardly stand to watch!
    Crow: Yeah, his posture's really terrible! The worst!
    Tom: Yeah, poor Frank's got his work cut out for him.
    Mike: [annoyed] We'll be right back. "His posture"...
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    Crow: I think they portrayed 1961 well.
    Servo: Not too hard considering they filmed it in '65...!
  • Determinator: Zigzagged. Dr. Forrester's will to live in the third segment fluctuates, but even after being beaten by the mobsters a second time, he ultimately pulls through in the end.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: This was the second Coleman Francis film featured. In the first, The Skydivers, he goes entirely unmentioned, but by starring here he makes himself a running joke ("Obviously, you don't know who you've captured here — I'm Coleman Francis.", "The Yanquis will pay highly for you, Señor Francis.") and when Yucca Flats subsequently aired, Mike and the 'Bots panic (what's funny is that Mike had used The Beast of Yucca Flats as a warm up for his first experiment The Brain That Wouldn't Die.)
  • Groin Attack: When the Doberman gets its legs caught in barbed wire.
    Servo: OH, MY AREA! OW, OW, OWWW
    Crow: Thanks, now I'm barren!
  • Here We Go Again!: Just when it seems like Dr. Forrester is going to finally die, he gets a second wind, forces himself out of his bed, and makes his way out of Deep 13, armed with the will to live... and runs right into the mobsters again.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: When the film has thunderstorm sound effects, Servo remarks "Wow, it's really coming down." When there's a wide shot, Servo reacts, "WAIT A MINUTE! IT'S BEAUTIFUL [OUT]!"
  • The Mafia: They antagonize the Mads in the host segments, resulting in the subplot of Dr. Forrester's hospitalization.
  • Memetic Mutation: "I'm Cherokee Jack!" would be repeated in later episodes. invoked
  • Mock Millionaire: How Mike and the 'Bots are dressed in the first and second host segments, complete with stereotypical rich accents.
  • Mondegreen Gag:
    • Servo mishears part of the movie's Title Theme Tune as "Mundo Penis".
    • There's also Chastain's name; the bots mishear it as "Justine".
    • Crow misheard "his grandparent meant so much to him" as his "green pants".
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The entire theme of the "Bouncy Upbeat Song"
    Gypsy: [soloing] Have you ever touched a Post-it Note?
    Have you ever looked at boots?
    Have you ever sat down in a chair?
    Have you ever used a paper clip?
  • Napoleon Delusion: The movie drives Mike to believing he's Carol Channing at one point.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The Mads have finally succeeded in driving Mike and the 'Bots into Sanity Slippage with a bad movie... but they're too preoccupied to care, and the Satellite of Love crew recover by the next episode.
  • Negative Continuity: The episode ends with the entire SOL crew being driven insane by the movie as Forrester attempts to kill Frank after being beaten to a pulp twice due to the latter throwing him under the bus. Everything's back to normal in the next episode.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Frank at the beginning when he mentions being in debt to the Mafia... and a hitman is at the door.
    • Dr. Forrester when he's attacked by a hitman who was after Frank.
    • Dr. Forrester again when Frank is trying to feed him eggs and nuts in his hospital bed.
    • The 'Bots when they see Mike's Sanity Slippage.
    • Frank when he overhears the hit-man attack Dr. Forrester again.
    • Frank again, when he realizes Dr. Forrester is recovering, and is mad at Frank for setting him up for the attack.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • Crow's scream for the old man falling down the well goes on and on.
    • Dr. Forrester's "I'm dead/I'm not dead" speech.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • You'd think Dr. Forrester getting beaten to near-death by a mobster (twice!) wouldn't be funny... You'd think that...
      • The goofy cartoon noises as Forrester gets beaten (and the fact that he's clearly being beaten up by a puppet) help.
  • Running Gag:
    • "I'm Cherokee Jack!" and "You shove off!" are running gag riffs by Mike and the 'bots.
    • In the episode itself, references to The Three Stooges (see Celebrity Resemblance above).
    • Noticing that everywhere looks like Cuba ("but don't think about that now").
  • Sanity Slippage: The ending host segment. Crow's laugh is particularly strained and demented.
  • Security Blanket: Attempted: While back in the theater after his stint as Carol Channing, Mike finds himself deciding to put his wig back on to see if it will help make the movie hurt less. He winds up taking it back off when it doesn’t work.
  • Shout-Out: Frank bringing Dr. F hard-boiled eggs and nuts while he's in traction is a reference to the beginning of a famous slapstick routine by Laurel and Hardy first used in their 1932 short County Hospital. Given the grief that Stan puts poor Ollie through in that short, Clayton's agonized groan may be one of This Is Gonna Suck...
  • Smoking Hot Sex: At one point, Griffin and his two buddies are sitting by the side of the road, smoking cigarettes and looking whimsically. Servo suggests that they just made out.
  • Suspiciously Small Army: They get a lot of jokes out of Coleman Francis's inability to put together a convincing invasion force:
    Mike: There's 80,000 of them and seven of us.
    Servo: Ted, you take Havana.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: Why has TV's Frank called up the SOL at the start of the episode?
    Frank: Oh, hi, Mike. Say, have you ever been in deep with the mob for, oh, saaaaaaay... 50 large?