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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S07 E01: Night of the Blood Beast

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"Ah, how many times Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie had sex!"
"Night Mother, Moose, Stalker, of the Iguana, Sausage! Blood sausage! Oh well."

Films watched: Once Upon a Honeymoon (short) and Night of the Blood Beast

In Once Upon a Honeymoon, Wilbur, a highly flamboyant guardian angel, is sent to Earth so he can give a little magic to his clients, Jeff and Mary. The happy couple are greatly in love with each other, but they've had to postpone their honeymoon for a year due to Jeff's career as a Broadway composer/songwriter. Before they can leave the house for their romantic getaway, a situation comes up that forces Jeff to improve a song, once again postponing their honeymoon. Seeing how stressed she and her husband are, Mary sings about how great it would be to have a completely redone house with all sorts of high-fashion designer trends, which the unseen Wilbur makes come to life. Of particular notice is Mary's focus on colored phones.

This episode also features two different sets of host segments. The first is a special Thanksgiving Episode to coincide with its debut at the end of Turkey Day '95 and continues the ongoing storyline of Dr. Forrester hosting Thanksgiving dinner in Deep 13. The second is the regular broadcast version. Both versions introduce Dr. Forrester's mother Pearl as the new official Mad for the remainder of the show's original Comedy Central run... and beyond.

The episode is available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments (Turkey Day version):

  • Mike and the 'Bots wish the viewers a happy Thanksgiving and start talking sports up in the SOL. Too bad they don't know what sport they're talking about.

Segment 1

  • Dr. Forrester's Thanksgiving party is in full swing, and he wants to be ruling the world by the time pie's served. Pearl decides to help her son out and provides a movie and a short for the experiment, Night of the Blood Beast.

Segment 2

  • Crow and Servo argue the pros and cons of a classic Thanksgiving debate: Stuffing or Potatoes?

Segment 3

  • Pearl and Crow have a heart-to-heart talk. They get along surprisingly well, though Pearl draws the line at letting him and his friends escape.

Segment 4

  • Mike and the 'Bots sit down to dinner, but they find Crow has slipped down to Deep 13 instead. The guests then shares their prayers of thankfulness, and Dr. F will be thankful when they leave.

Segment 5

  • Mike's getting ready to serve the pie, but Crow and Servo go into another classic Thanksgiving debate: "Pumpkin or Mincemeat?" Meanwhile, the guests down in Deep 13 have become gravely ill thanks to Pearl's deadly recipe for "Turkey Surprise". Noting the bond she's striked up with her son, Pearl announces her plans to stay in Deep 13 for the time being, helping her son kill the annoying Jack Perkins to start.

The Segments (regular episode):

  • Crow and Servo have bought tasers and mace, but Mike's presence is making their trigger fingers twitchy.

Segment 1

  • The SOL is called up by Pearl, who tells Mike and the 'Bots that she's staying in Deep 13 from now on. She treats them to a trombone recital from Dr. Forrester (against his will). Crow unintentionally shows Dr. F up by being a trombone virtuoso.

Segment 2

  • Gypsy sings about wishing for a wide assortment of colored phones. Guardian angels Crow and Servo deliver, no matter how absurd the wish.

Segment 3

  • Pearl wants Dr. Forrester to apologize for... something. When he refuses, she gets violent, then almost turns on the SOL crew.

Segment 4

  • Angry that pregnant women get to be worshiped by everybody without having to do anything, Crow pretends to be pregnant by wearing a maternity gown and sticking peel and eat shrimp to a fluoroscope.

Segment 5

  • As Servo and Mike read a letter, Crow goes into a rant about how he's not exactly thrilled that babies also get worshiped for sitting around doing nothing, either. Pearl, on the other hand, enjoys making her son worship her.

The Turkey Day '95 host segments contain examples of:

  • Acting for Two: During Deep 13’s Thanksgiving dinner, in order to have Crow and Dr. Forrester in the same scene, not only is someone else controlling the Crow puppet, but Crow only speaks when Dr. Forrester isn’tnote .
  • Adaptational Heroism: In Segment 2, the 'Bots have put together a presentation on why stuffing is so much better than potatoes — for example, stuffing rescues children from burning buildings, while in New York, potatoes can only watch as innocents are beaten to death.
    Crow: Give me liberty or give me death! But with dinner, I'll have stuffing!
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the above-presentation, potatoes are supposedly incredibly poisonous, and "nature's bouncing Betty". They also spread typhus and gonorrhea and leap from sinking ships. Mike admits he's pleased not to have to make both — at which point the 'bots subvert the trope, much to his chagrin:
      Tom: ...Both is great!
      Crow: Both is good!
    • They also give the same treatment to mincemeat: "I invade your inland waterways, choking off marine life. I move silently, attaching myself to pleasurecraft. I am mincemeat. I am visited upon you."
  • Back for the Dead: Not only is it heavily implied that Pearl murdered all of the dinner guestsnote  with her "Turkey Surprise", but the special ends with Dr. Forrester and Pearl deciding to kill Jack Perkins.
  • Call-Back: The guests in Deep 13 include Jack Perkins, Mr. B Natural, Pitch and the Kitten with a Whip.
  • Call-Forward: In Segment 3, Pearl talks with Crow about what she should do with the pathetic failure that is her son. Crow suggests to kill him, something Pearl indeed ends up doing to him in the timeskip between the Comedy Central and Sci-Fi seasons.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Pearl's pissed that Frank's no longer around, referencing back to her debut when she and Frank were close friends (while the former was cold to Forrester). Dr. F is also miffed at Frank's departure — because he's the one who invited all the guests over for Thanksgiving in the first place.
    • For what would become a recurring joke, Pearl addresses Crow as "Art", referencing a letter a viewer once wrote to the S.O.L., not knowing Joel calling Crow "Art Crow" was a The Honeymooners reference.
  • Dramatic Irony: Related to the above, Crow’s suggestion to Pearl after hearing her grievances over her son is to kill him, which is in effect Trace Beaulieu pushing for his own murder.
  • Lethal Chef: Pearl's old family recipe "Turkey Surprise" (severely undercooking the turkey and rubbing it with a live turtle) killsnote  all the guests in Deep 13. Except Jack Perkins, who never got to eat, but Dr. Forrester intends to rectify that.
  • Offing the Offspring: During Segment 3, Pearl vents to Crow about how disappointed and frustrated she feels about Clayton. Crow’s advice? Kill him.
  • Take That!: The Turkey Day version has Pitch mention that he's thankful for his new clients: the cast of Friends.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: This version of the episode serves as the grand finale of Comedy Central's traditional Turkey Day" marathoninvoked, with host segments that tied into the framing sequences shot for the rest of the marathon (featuring Dr. F and Pearl dealing with the guest characters the now-absent Frank invited for Thanksgiving dinner). Future airings had a completely different set of host segments, which still established the changes for the seventh season (i.e. Pearl moving into Deep 13).
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Implied: By the time for dinner proper, Jack Perkins had gotten so shitfaced, he needed to leave in the middle of saying grace to "drive the bus".

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Once Upon a Honeymoon contains examples of:

  • Camp Gay: Wilbur the angel was already flamboyant, but the riffing makes him out to be this.
    Crow: Honey, is that a gay man on the Johnsons' roof?
    Servo: Should we get a gay man for our roof, honey?
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Speaking of Reilly, the angel's passing similarity is all the license Crow needs to do endless imitations of the guy.note 
  • Fake Static: When the couple is pitching its completed song to the boss, Servo acts as if the office's speakerphone is going in and out, preventing them from hearing it.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: A few riffs point out how the angels are more concerned with a married couple wanting to go on their honeymoon instead of, say, world peace.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: As the angel disentangles himself from the TV antenna:
    Servo: Hey, now they'll get immaculate reception! [*snort*] Sorry.
  • Mundane Wish:
    Wife: [singing] I wish the faucets wouldn't drip all day!
    Crow: Aim high, sister!
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Describing the bedroom's final redesign.
    Servo: Yeah, sort of a western-y gingham-y Oriental Danish modernesque prairie school sort of thing, huh?
  • Pun: "Oh no, angel dust!"
  • Precision F-Strike: After Mary hangs up on Sonya, Mike gets in a delightful one:
    "Copper-bottomed bitch..." [Suddenly perky] "Another sandwich, dear?"
  • Reality Warper: The crew give the wife this power.
    Mike: [as Jeffrey] I CAN'T STOP SMILING. I'M IN HELL!
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stylistic Suck: Gypsy's singing and Mike's piano "composing" during Segment 2 of the regular episode are both quite literally one-note as a rip on the in-universe songwriter's painstakingly composed score. Subverted in a brief flurry when everyone joins in for the song's last verse (lifted from Duck Soup).
  • What Were They Selling Again?: Pearl acknowledges that the point of this short wasn't clear. Answer: colored phones. Servo comments on it in the end.
    Servo: Wait a minute, what the hell was that about, anyway?
    • The following (non-Turkey Day) host segment does hint that the Brains actually did know what the short was about, with Gypsy singing about wanting various colored phones, among other things.
  • What Would X Do?: "What would Liberace do? ...Hmm, better not do that."

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Night of the Blood Beast and the Re-Cut host segments contain examples of:

  • Ambiguous Syntax: The "Steve" Running Gag happens because the crew misinterpret the hesitant pause in "Steve—Steve and I..." as a pause after a direct address ("Steve. Steve and I...").
  • Black Comedy: A practically dark riff from Crow's end, when John's corpse is returned to NASA, winds up taking Tom and Mike aback:
    Crow: (as one of the Steves) Well, we had to snap him in two like a frozen dog to get him out of the space capsule, but I think you-
    Tom: (as Mike uncomfortably chuckles) Wow.
  • Call-Back: One riff references The Beast of Yucca Flats.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Pearl uses Dr. F’s full name (“Clayton Deborah Susan Forrester!”) while forcing him to apologize.
  • Funny Background Event: Mimicking Jeff, the composer in the short, Mike goes through Segment 2 looking like he's going to blow a vein in his forehead as he agonizes over the score he's "composing", even as Crow and Servo ramp up their efforts to make Gypsy's dreams come true.
  • Historical In-Joke: Upon the discovery of Johnny's corpse in the crashed rocket, Crow voices one of the scientists:
    Crow: (dismissively) Shoulda sent up a dog first...
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Mike's "Ladder that same evening." riff only invokes disappointment from Crow and Tom.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Help, the conductor is having a seizure!"
  • Male Gaze: On two separate occasions, the Bots call attention to the blonde photographer's "undercupping". Mike even puts his finger directly on it!
  • Mister Seahorse: Averted, much to Crow's distress, since he doesn't have a womb.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: As in the Turkey Day version, Pearl moves into Deep 13 and becomes a major character.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Not "disability" as such, but Crow pretends to get pregnant because he thinks people bend over backwards to give pregnant women whatever they want and he's sick of them having all the attention to themselves.
    Crow: Okay, okay, I'm not pregnant! HEY, everybody, I'm not pregnant! That means I don't get a big free ride! "Oh, my ankles are swollen! My back hurts! Carry me, I'm pregnant! Carry me!" Well, I want a cut of the action too, dammit! ... Who wouldn't wanna be pregnant, huh? Who wouldn't want to be a big load on the rest of the world? "Hey, everybody, I'm Queen of the World because I'm pregnant!" Then the whole world is supposed to bend over and smooch your ever-widening ass!
    Mike: CROW! Crow, Crow, Crow...
    Crow: Well, when is it my turn? When is it Crow T. Robot's turn? [*sobs*]
  • Oddly Small Organization: They frequently mention about how NASA seems to be composed of three men and two women, and is practically slap-dash.
    Mike: (as the pickup truck first appears) The rest of NASA rushes to the scene!
    Tom: (in a Southern voice) This was when NASA was family-owned and operated!
    Crow: (dramatically) NASA's fruit truck makes a delivery!
  • Planet of Steves: May actually be the Trope Namer. There's some confusing dialogue that has the crew thinking all the male characters are named Steve.
    "Steve—Steve and I have something to tell you."
    "Steve One, you go that way! Steve Two, come with me!"
    "This has 'Steve' written all over it!"
    [*offscreen crash is heard*] "Steve?"
  • Running Gag:
    • The remarks of how John the astronaut is various degrees of "dead".
    • The blonde photographer being unintelligent.
    • NASA being portrayed as extremely cheap.
    • The Blood Beast being a fiancé meeting hostile in-laws for a shotgun wedding.
    • The aforementioned Steve jokes.
    • Mike and the 'Bots making parrot noises whenever the Beast is talking.
    • Referring to the alien babies as shrimp ("Get the cocktail sauce...").
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Pearl shoots her own son when he refuses to apologize for whatever she says he did. She also turns the barrel of her magnum onto the SOL, prompting Mike and the 'Bots to run for their lives when Movie Sign comes around.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Monty Python's Flying Circus: "They mean to win Wimbledon."
    • The first appearance of NASA's pickup truck causes Crow and Mike to start belting out the Sanford and Son theme.
    • "Hello? We're just looking for an honest man," when one of the Steves holds up a lantern. Greek philosopher Diogenes the Cynic, a contemporary and critic of Plato, used to carry a lantern through Athens by daylight, and when asked what he was doing, said he was looking for an honest man (he also said he never found one).
    • "Kramer! I love him."
    • "Barney's been in a fire!"
    • "Come back here, you var-mink!"
    • After Pearl shoots him, Clayton says "Mother, blood!"