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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S07E06 "Laserblast"

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Terrible name for a laser eye surgery, scares away the customers!
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Film watched: Laserblast

Laserblast was featured on MST3K in what would be the last episode of its final season on Comedy Central (before moving to the Sci-Fi Channel). As such, the MST3K episode itself was something of a series finale as the staff wasn't sure it would be saved from cancellation. It also marked the final episode with Trace Beaulieu, who portrayed both longtime nemesis Dr. Forrester and the voice of Crow T. Robot.

Available to watch here.

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The Segments:

Prologue
  • Crow and Servo start up today's episode by introducing the "beyond thunderdome" zinger, as a bound and gagged Mike is unable to stop them.

Segment 1

  • Dr. Forrester calls the crew to inform them that the funding for his experiments has been cut and he's moving out of Deep 13 to live with Pearl, so he disconnects the Umbilicus and lets the Satellite of Love fall to its demise in Earth's atmosphere (and adds one more bad movie on top of it) while he packs up his stuff. The 'Bots are able to activate the rocket thrusters and escape their decaying orbit, though they are without any control as the SOL drifts off into deep space.

Segment 2

  • Crow finds a MONAD satellite and brings it to the bridge. Mike and the 'Bots proceed to mock MONAD with their "imperfect" ribbing before shooting it out the airlock.
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Segment 3

  • The SOL is suddenly stopped by a field of Starbabies. One of them gets stuck on the ship, forcing Mike and the 'Bots to begin a celestial diaper change.

Segment 4

  • As the SOL moves towards a black hole, Mike, dressed up as Captain Janeway, steers the ship back on course. It works, and then Mike gets really creepy.

Segment 5

  • The SOL finally stops its journey at the edge of the universe, leaving Mike and the 'Bots to ascend as points of pure energy. Back in Deep 13, Dr. Forrester finds himself aging rapidly, then bedridden with a monolithic videotape of "The Worst Movie Ever Made", and finally being reborn as a star child. All of this makes Pearl happy, much to his chagrin.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation contains examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: "Good shooting, Xanthar!" "Thanks, Denise."
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Mike and the 'bots become pure energy after reaching the end of the universe.
  • Bound and Gagged: Mike, by the Bots in the opening segment.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: One of the deputies looks a bit like a fatter version of Hank Williams Jr.. The MST crew do NOT let this go without comment, see Running Gag, below.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    Gypsy: Don't worry! Mike can help us! He's kind of smart... and his arms work... and everything!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Invoked by Crow as a Running Gag, comparing Billy's drab The Stoner teenage life with Mike's.
  • Evil Is Petty: There's the stuff in the actual movie, where Billy just uses the laser gun to murder the various jerks who make his life miserable. There's also the stuff Mike and the Bots talk about when he finds it and learns what it does.
    Mike: Yeah, I think you are gonna detail my van for $75!
  • Expy: MONAD, a parody of Star Trek: The Original Series' NOMAD.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "Hey, Ford stands for Fix Or Repair Daily."
  • I Lied: After Forrester tells Mike and the 'Bots he's going to cut the SOL loose, sending them to their deaths:
    Mike: You can't do that! We've done everything you've ever asked! We watched every bad movie you sent up here!
    Forrester: Sorry. Buh-bye.
    Crow: You said you'd let us get back to Earth!
    Forrester: Did I say that? Hmmm. Well, maybe I did. What do you want? I'm evil!
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Pearl is dressed as a trucker, stating she's happy she never sold the "big rig". The Colossal Guide states that she resembles what cigarette companies call a "virile female".
  • Logic Bomb: Subverted: Mike and the 'Bots try to disable MONAD with one of these but it doesn't work. So they simply throw him out the airlock, though not before taunting him over it until he cries.
  • Mission Control: Mike takes on this role — headset, coffee, cigarettes and all — while walking the 'Bots through changing a space baby's diaper.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "I'm gonna drink the hell out of this Coke!"
  • Oh, Poopie!: Dr. Forrester's last words in the series as Pearl cuddles his star child self and looks forward to raising him through his second childhood.
  • Oral Fixation
  • Product Placement: The film features a lot of characters purchasing and drinking Coca-Cola, something which do not go unnoticed by Mike and the Bots.
    Mike: Pepsi gave them big bucks to place Coke in this movie.
    • Destroy the Product Placement: One infamous moment from the movie involves Billy using his laser cannon to blow up a billboard advertising "Star Wars". Most likely a jab at the film from producer Charles Band, though for what reason is anyone's guess.
    Mike: There's just a sign that says "Star Wars?"
    Servo: Reminding one of the movie "Star Wars."
  • Regional Riff: The film uses a few bars of what sounds like an Injun Country riff when Billy blows up Chuck's car after the party. Crow is confused:
    Crow: That was Cochise's Charger?
  • Running Gag:
    • The tubby sheriff looks like Hank Williams Jr.: "Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?"
    • References to Leonard Maltin's 2½-star review of the movie, culminating in the guys spending the credits comparing the score to other movies in one of Maltin's books, coming to the conclusion that Maltin apparently considers Laserblast to be a better movie than Hannah and Her Sisters, Taxi Driver and Being There and as good as Unforgiven and Sophie's Choice.
      • The criticism Maltin got about the reviews went mainstream, and subsequent editions of his annual review books dropped the movie's rating, though it has been brought back since then.
      • Incidentally, Maltin also gave 2½ stars to The Incredibly Strange Creatures and three full stars to Devil Doll, both of which were also riffed in MST3K.
    • Jokes at Eddie Deezen's expense, culminating in Mike and the 'Bots urging for Billy to kill Deezen's character only to regret it when he finally does and Deezen is replaced by an even more annoying hippie.
    • Jokes about Billy's unimpressive Seventies lifestyle and how familiar it must be for Mike.
    • Servo does a riff based on the Charlie Daniels Band's "The South's Gonna Do It Again," and Mike tries to ask Servo just what the South is going to do again.
    • Using Jim Carrey's catchphrases from The Mask when Billy turns green-faced and evil.
    • Whenever Billy's mom comes up the crew has another character claim she's unusually heavy instead of unhealthily thin.
  • Sanity Slippage: Mike dressing as Capt. Janeway. Although s/he saves the S.O.L., s/he indulges herself with some "Proud Mary" afterward, Tina Turner-style.
  • Series Fauxnale: At this point, Comedy Central had canceled their run and they weren't sure about their future so they set this up to be a Series Finale. Fortunately, the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) rescued it from cancellation and gave it three more seasons.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The final scenes with Dr. Forrester are a parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    • Road House
    • Star Trek: MONAD, Mike & the 'Bots falling into Trek mode when they take control of the Satellite of Love, and Servo imitating Scotty when he saves the satellite from falling into the atmosphere.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: Mike shows up in one sketch dressed as Captain Janeway. Things somehow drift into him singing "Proud Mary" in the style of Tina Turner.
      Crow: "Tom... just back away slowly... very slowly... now RUN!!"
    • A shot of a beach ball at a pool party leads to a joke about Rover.
    • "Can't we just get beyond Thunderdome?"note 
      • In-Joke: Best Brains had been using that line for years, and in the "finale", they wanted to somehow work it into the show.
    • Shots of the possessed Billy sporting a green face naturally invite references to The Mask.
    • Tom references Ivory Soap's slogan when mentioning his worry over potentially being "99 and 44/100%" pure energy.
      • It could also be a reference to Ronnie Milsap's song "Pure Love", given Tom spends the entire episode making shout-outs to other country music songs. (Of course, that song was itself also referencing Ivory Soap's slogan, so...)
  • Special Effects Failure: In-Universe:
    Mike: Oh no, his car turned into a sedan and crashed and exploded!
  • Straw Critic: The episode ends on a takedown of film critic Leonard Maltin both vicious and tongue-in-cheek, combing through his Movie Guide and pointing out the various critically acclaimed movies given a worse rating than the 2½ stars Maltin gave Laserblast.
    • Maltin was mocked again for his positive review of The Undead, which the show lacerated in Season 8. He was a good sport, though — appearing As Himself in Season 9's Gorgo to help Pearl finally find a movie that would finally break the SOL's will.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Happens to MONAD.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: In-universe, Mike and the 'Bots seem unsure if Mike London is a man or a woman. They also compare him to Gertrude Stein and "Michael Caine's puffy sister".
    Mike: [as Tony looks inquisitively at London] Are you a woman?
    Crow: [as London] Hmm, you're right, this data proves I'm a woman!
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Invoked:
    Mike: Oh, Springfield. There's one in every state.
  • Wholesome Cross Dresser: Mike becomes Captain Janeway. While the 'Bots are initially disturbed, they find hir to be confident in command but yet still being feminine — until s/he channels hir inner Tina Turner.

Pearl Forrester: Another chance to do it right! Isn't this wonderful, baby?
Star Child!Clayton Forrester: Oh, poopie.

Van Hippie: Faaaaar out!

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