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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S08 E10: The Giant Spider Invasion

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It's a Giant Spider Invasion of savings at Menards!

Film watched: The Giant Spider Invasion

Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy hosted a Bill Rebane Film Festival in 2005 mentioning that, while The Giant Spider Invasion is not a good movie, they can admire the director's ability to get it made.

During the crowd scenes in the MST3K version, Mike and the Bots cheer "Packers won the Super Bowl! WHOOOO!!" This led to a resurgence of interest in the episode among fans in 2011 when the Green Bay Packers beat The Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

The episode is included in the show's DVD box sets 10/10.2. It is also available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments:

Prologue
  • Cheerleader Servo tries to show some team spirit but, rather than giving Servo an S, A, T, E, L, L, I, T, or E, Mike and Crow are only willing to give him MRxL.

Segment 1

  • Pearl, Brain Guy and Bobo enjoy a break from interstellar travel by camping in the woods. She shows off some strange zucchini, and become hypnotized with Brain Guy. They soon send the Satellite the zucchini throw pillows and today's quality experiment.

Segment 2

  • Mike, Crow and Servo find Gypsy hypnotized from the zucchini throw pillows, and she tries to assimilate the three through warm milk.

Segment 3

  • Mike and Servo stay awake from being assimilated through coffee. Crow, meanwhile, stays awake through a cocktail of high caffeine content. On the Mads' side, Bobo remains unassimilated while Pearl and Brain Guy load the Widowmaker with more zucchini throw pillows. He tries to take one of the zucchini away, but the two rope Bobo up. Crow still remains frazzled in the theater, but eventually calms down.

Segment 4

  • Servo freaks out over a clone of himself made by the zucchini. He proves he's the real Servo by rattling off the contents of his underwear collection.

Segment 5

  • With the Bots affected, Mike and Bobo remain the only unassimilated. Mike urges and inspires Bobo to find the Mother Pod, whom he defeats without any difficulty. Because the original Pearl was absent for most of the experiment, she tells Brain Guy to send the movie again, much to Mike and the Bots' horror.


The MST3K treatment provides examples of:

  • Here We Go Again!: After learning that while being controlled by the pods she missed the SOL crew watching the movie, Pearl gets Brain Guy to resend it.
    "Movie sign! Again!"
  • Informal Eulogy: When Crow T. Robot poses as Dan Kester:
    I'd like to say a few words. Uh, this guy's dead... uh, the end.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: What an assimilated Gypsy uses to try to lull the others into helplessness. "Let an evil superconsciousness / swallow you whole..."
  • Just for Pun: While Dan's berating his wife we get this gem:
    Dan: You're so dumb you wouldn't know rabbit turds from Rice Krispies!
    Crow: Snap, crackle, poop.
  • Klatchian Coffee: Crow whips one up to help him stay awake. He's shuddering and stuttering as he describes its ingredients, and he nearly has a heart attack. After that host segment, you can still hear his racing heartbeat in the theater for a few moments.
  • Long List: Crow rattles one off of all the stimulants he's using to stay awake:
    Crow: I-I-I-I'm fine, Mike. I'm fine. I've got French roast, V-V-V-Vivarin, Mountain Dew, Water Joe, Jolt, S-S-S-S-Surge, chocolate-covered espresso beans, M&Ms and I'm listening to Nitzer Ebb and I'm FINE MIKE. Really, I'm fine. I'm fine.
    • Also Servo's CMOA as he lists the exact contents of his underwear collection.
    • At the movie's credits:
    Servo: The film maker gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of the Gobbler, the G. Heilemann Brewing Company, the Doughboy Corporation, Fort Howard toilet paper, Hofmann's Mustard Company, The BoDeans, the American Dairy Association, and the Wisconsin chapter of Wisconsin Dairy Farmers. And the Violent Femmes.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Pod Gypsy has a spiral in her eye as she tries to convince Mike, Tom and Crow to go to sleep.
  • Motor Mouth: Crow after his Klatchian Coffee, it continues in the theater for a couple minutes before he calms down.
  • Mythology Gag: Most likely unintentional, but this isn't the first time Mike, Crow and Tom had to watch the same movie twice. Not to mention the films riffed in the KTMA era that were redone for the national series.
  • Nausea Fuel: Invoked by Pearl when Bobo describes having to suck out the poison from a rattlesnake bite "in a very embarrassing place."
    Pearl: I'll never eat again.
  • Never Sleep Again: The host segments feature an extended parody of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo trying to stay awake to avoid being replaced by pod people.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Mike helps Bobo save Pearl, Observer, and the entire universe from an invasion by zucchini clones. And how does Pearl reward him? By making him and the Bots watch the movie again because she didn't get to see him watch it herself.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Bill Rebane is described as "one of the finest directors ever to come out of north central Wisconsin".
  • Plank Gag: The "portage" scene in the first skit, featuring Servo balancing a canoe on his head and smacking Crow and Mike with it whenever he looks in either direction. It would be his revenge for Mike smacking him around with the same gag back in San Francisco International. As for Crow, well he's a Butt-Monkey.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: Crow calls out Alan Hale for doing exactly this, dropping the line "Repeat what you say to provide exposition?" into one of the pauses in his phone conversation.
  • Rooting for the Empireinvoked: The spiders haven't even appeared on-screen yet, and Mike and the Bots turn on the characters.
    Crow: Go spiders! Go spiders, go, go, go!
  • Rousing Speech: Mike inspires Bobo by appealing to his heroic lineage.
  • Running Gag:
    • "PACKERS! WHOOOO! PACKERS WON THE SUPER BOWL!"
    • There are also numerous redneck/white trash jokes.
    • Space phenomena compared to Linda Hunt.
    • Vance either fantasizing about Langer or having really bad health, along with poking fun at both of their gravelly, cigarette-y voices.
    • During the host segments, characters summing up the current situation before adding 'again" at the end.
    • Dr. Langer's various pantsuits; often comparing her to Johnny Carson or an Elvis impersonator.
  • Shout-Out: "I like you, Dottie. Like!"
    • "(The spider) makes that shark look like a goldfish!" is one in the movie itself; a riff has another character say "A better movie!" in response.
    • Numerous ones to Charlotte's Web.
    • Right before the giant spider descends on the fair, a sign reads "Gleason Days". Servo quips: "How sweet it is!"
    • When seeing the first large spider puppet, Mike quips "I'm a woozle, and my name is Peanut!" Keep in mind this was years before Jeff Dunham's career really took off.
  • Song Parody: "The hills are alive with the stink of that guy / His back brace is smelly..."
    • And later, when a law enforcement official is battling one of the spiders:
    Mike: I injected a paralyzing toxin into the sheriff, but I did not inject a paralyzing toxin into the deputy.
    • Early in the film, a song from Willie Tyler's act is parodied:
    Mike: I love tick-infested hounds, / slaughterin' a deer, / and beer.
  • Special Effect Failureinvoked: As Crow puts it, "Giant Puppet Invasion!"
    • The Giant Spider was also subject to much mockery, between the car jokes, comparing its legs to pipe cleaners and how the thing appears to eat its victims with its butt.
      Servo: Does it matter that the spider ate him with its butt?
      Mike: I dunno, I think it's appropriate for this guy.
  • Spider Tank: Referenced.
    Crow: Soon Hitlerís giant mechanical spiders had pushed past the Maginot Line.
  • Spot the Impostor: When Servo is faced with his pod-duplicate, Mike and Crow ask questions to see which one's real. The clone gets lucky on the first, Servo and the clone collaborate to answer the second, but the pod creature is outed when Mike asks about the contents of Servo's underwear collection.
    Crow: Frankly, I don't know why we need any Servo at all.
  • State Rivalry: invoked Minnesota and Wisconsin's rivalry is front and center for this episode.
  • Stereo Fibbing: Pod-Pearl and Pod-Observer trying to convince Mike and the Bots that the pods were harmless...
    Pearl/Observer: Zucchini/Throw pillows.
    Pearl/Observer: Throw pillows/Zucchini.
    Pearl/Observer: Well, it's a kind of (Zucchini/throw pillow) that you can use as a (throw pillow/Zucchini).
    Pearl: They're throw pillows -
    Observer: Zucchi-
    Pearl: (glares at Observer) They're throw pillows.
  • Take That!:
    • MST3K's creators are fans of the Minnesota Vikings, and make it clear (especially through the "PACKERS WON THE SUPERBOWL!" Running Gag) that they don't think too highly of Packers fans.
      • The Packers had won the Super Bowl a few months before the episode aired, so the wounds were fresh.
      • However, Mike is from Wisconsin (though obviously not a Packers fan), which leads to a lot of jokes at his expense in this episode (see Does This Remind You Of Anything?).
      • When the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2011, the twitterverse exploded with links to a video of the 'íPackers won the Super Bowl! WHOOOO!!íí bit. Bill Corbett tweeted "My god, the Giant Spider Invasion prophecy just came true" (being from Brooklyn, Corbett has no hatred for the Packers) while a depressed Kevin Murphy tweeted, "I humbly submit: [ahem] Packers. [bows deeply, bangs forehead on pile of Schlitz Tall Boys]"
    • At the revival:
    Preacher: Hellfire and brimstone, that is what is in store for you!
    Crow: Dennis Rodman, listening?
  • Technology Marches On: Invoked, when Dr. Langer is using a large adding machine.
    Crow: Divide by 10 in minutes! Add up to 3 columns in an hour!
  • This Is Gonna Suck: "Movie sign! Again!"
  • Wham Line: "Brain Guy, send them the movie... again."
  • Whole-Plot Reference: To Invasion of the Body Snatchers. While camping, Pearl, Brain Guy, and Bobo discover a bunch of pod-like creatures, get duplicated, and send a few up to the Satellite of Love to assimilate Mike and the Bots. Throughout the host segments the rest of the cast try to resist being assimilated, until only Mike and Bobo are left. Mike talks the ape into saving the day, but since Pearl didn't get to watch the others watching the movie, she sends it to them again.
    Mike and the Bots: Movie sign! Again!

VaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAaaaaNCE!

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