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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 06 E 20 Danger Death Ray

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Film watched: Danger!! Death Ray

Featured in season 6 of Mystery Science Theater 3000, it's clear Mike and the 'Bots had a blast with this one.

It is available to stream here.

The Segments:

Prologue
  • Crow shows off his new contact lenses. They require constant moisture, but it's a small price to pay for 20/20 vision.

Segment 1

  • Frank has opened up a talent agency, and while he's not interested in Crow's screenplays, he wants to book Mike for a tour of Anything Goes. Dr. Forrester kills the deal and shuts Frank down.
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Segment 2

  • Servo has finished building his death ray "for peaceful purposes", but he can't resist blasting Crow with it.

Segment 3

  • Servo hosts a "This Is Your Life" special, with Mike as the special guest. He's reunited with Crow, several times over.

Segment 4

  • Inspired by the movie, Crow presents his new pair of "manly" Italian sunglasses. They're for men, as he insists. Definitely nothing woman-y about them.

Segment 5

  • Before Mike can read a letter, he has to console Cambot over all the innocent video cameras that were destroyed in the movie. Frank shows off his glamour shot photo to Dr. F.

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The MST3K presentation provides examples of:

  • Bond One-Liner: Generally averted, much to the annoyance of Mike and the 'Bots.
  • Call-Back:
    • Servo's love of Macintosh computers from Gamera Vs. Barugon.
      Mike: [dismissively] Macintosh equipment.
      Servo: [brightly] Ooh, Macintosh! Nice tube amp, good quality... [Bart Fargo smashes the transmitter] HEY!
    • Mike: "That nose wheel feels mushy."
    • Mike's very familiar with sailor suits, as seen in Outlaw.
  • Celebrity Resemblance:
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Tom Servo builds his own Death Ray for peaceful purposes and then uses it on Crow. Crow does have to admit that it was Actually Pretty Funny... that is, until his head catches fire.
  • Continuity Nod: At the airport, Mike and the Bots hum a piece of music from The Starfighters.
    • Crow's script "Earth vs. Soup" has been mentioned before in past episodes and would be mentioned again in later ones (it even gets made (sorta) in a later one). His other script, "Peter Graves Goes to the University of Minnesota" is also brought up.
    • Advertisement:
    • Mike's sailor suit (which he always wears when performing, whether the role calls for it or not) was last mentioned in Outlaw of Gor.
  • Corpsing: Trace Beaulieu loses it during the helicopter landing scene.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    Lucille: [to Bart Fargo] Come as quick as you can.
    Mike: [as Fargo] That's what I usually do.
  • Hand Wave: When a viewer asks Servo why his head can't be seen through in the theater (note, the puppet used is actually painted black):
    Tom Servo: Chuck, it's because of physics.
  • Hollywood Atlas:
    Crow: What country is this taking place in?
    Mike: Europe.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Mike chastises Frank for refusing to produce Crow's scripts, saying he wants nothing to do with him, until Frank reveals he's booked him to tour in Cole Porter's Anything Goes for a hefty sum, after which Mike is seen wearing a sailor suit and singing songs from the musical. (At least it's appropriate this time, and not, say, Oh! Calcutta!)
    • When Mike enters the theater still wearing his sailor suit, Servo castigates him, telling him, "Look at you. You look ridiculous." This while Servo is still wearing a Reebok on his head.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Subverted when Mike elicits laughs from the bots with "Lattice in!"
  • Inherently Funny Words: "Bart Fargo Bart Fargo Bart Fargo Bart Fargo!"
  • Insistent Terminology: Crow's manly sunglasses are for men. Especially the pink rhinestone-studded glasses with heart-shaped lenses with the word "WOMAN" on top.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Forrester: Frank... you look like a slut.
    TV's Frank: [gleefully] Do I, really?
  • It Will Never Catch On: Frank refuses to get involved with Steven (Spielberg), David (Geffen), and Jeffrey (Katzenberg)'s project — he hadn't seen any of their resumes and has no idea what they've done.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: invoked Crow's constant giggling during the Special Effects Failure.
  • Police Are Useless:
    Mike: THERE! We made them swerve slightly.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "And the way you dove out that window, just terrible."
  • Running Gags
    • "DANGER! [fill in the blank]"
      Servo: DANGER! Twist tie!
      Servo: DANGER! Small talk!
    • Mocking the DEATH ray being used for only peaceful purposes.
    • Mike and the 'Bots singing along with the soundtrack and adding lyrics from similar tunes where appropriate.
    • Jokes about Scarface and his resemblance to a certain president:
      Mike: Abe Lincoln is Timecop!
      Crow: I want Jefferson Davis DEAD! I want his family DEAD!
      Mike: Ohh, I've got a rail-splitting headache!
    • The Special Effects Failureinvoked leads to open giggling by the crew.
      Mike: Honest-to-goodness REAL, NOT toy helicopter.
      Mike: [on seeing the toy submarine] The Ti-D-Bowl Man is doing pretty alright for himself!
      Servo: They're coming up for more baking soda.
      [Crow openly giggles at length]
      Mike: Ah, the ocean is beautiful in this side of the tub.
      Servo: This set is at least three box tops.
      Crow: Special effects by Billy!
      Mike: These are NOT toys!
    • A dramatic drumroll followed by Servo quipping, "THIS MAN will compete...!"
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Lampshaded.
    Servo: ["bup-a-dup-a-da-da" is playing] This isn't appropriate right now. His friend is dying over there.
  • Squick: Invoked. Mike and the 'bots reaction when the characters order a double Cointreau at the bar. For the uninitiated, Cointreau is an orange liqueur that may be tasty in a margarita, but straight is pretty bitter, especially neat. Although for what it's worth, Bart Fargo seems to have ordered that bottle specifically so he could take a good look at the villain about to attack him in the reflection. It doesn't seem as if he actually finished his drink.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The first time the opening riff of the "Watermelon Man" sound-alike plays, Mike sings along with the equally sound-alike "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?" by The Lovin' Spoonful.
    • And of course, the reference to "Watermelon Man" itself, with a direct nod at one point to its composer, Herbie Hancock.
  • Stylistic Suck: "Yes, Mike Nelson, this is your life!" Servo hosts; the only person they could find from Mike's past is Crow.
  • Take That!:
    • The whole "Frank is a Hollywood agent" reflects the dealings Best Brains were having with interested parties from La-La Land.
    • Segment 4 suggests that Italian-style sunglasses might come across as a little woman-y for American tastes, but they're for men, Crow insists.
  • Tearjerker: For Cambot, at least. Fargo's camera-destroying at the end of the film causes Cambot to start crying, blurring our view of the last host segment.
  • Technical Pacifist:
    Servo: Ah, so it's a peace-loving DEATH RAY.
  • Throw It In!: invoked Crow's eyes and head weren't supposed to blaze as they did, but Trace Beaulieu's improvised screaming was so funny they kept the take.note 
  • Tongue Twister: "BartFargoBartFargoBartFargo..." On one of the instances, Crow messes up and laughs.
    Crow: I just like doing it! [sighs]
  • Your Head A-Splode: After being shot in the head with Servo's death ray.
    Crow: I gotta admit, it is pretty funny... [everybody laughs... until Crow's eyes and head completely burst into flame, causing him to scream and laugh at the same time]


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