Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 08 E 12 The Incredibly Strange Creatures

Go To
The title actually has appendices!

Film watched: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?

This episode is often credited as the Trope Namer for "Nightmare Fuel," when Mike Nelson quips upon seeing a bizarre laughing clown, "Ah, good old-fashioned nightmare fuel!" Too bad "Santa Claus" beat it to the punch...

The Segments:

  • It's walk-a-thon season on the Satellite, with Crow walking for Walkathon (that is to say, W.A.L.K.A.T.H.O.N.) and Servo for Helping Children Through Research And Development (which is actually, you guessed it, H.E.L.P.I.N.G.C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.T.H.R.O.U.G.H.R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.A.N.D.D.E.V.E.L.O.P.M.E.N.T.).

Segment 1

  • Mike receives a H.E.L.P.I.N.G.C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.T.H.R.O.U.G.H.R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.A.N.D.D.E.V.E.L.O.P.M.E.N.T. shirt. Pearl is trying to drop off the Space Children at their home planet, while Brain Guy and Bobo butt heads trying to send today's experiment.

Segment 2

  • Crow and Servo read Mike's aura as a scam, but he isn't fooled. He gives them 50 cents for their trouble.

Segment 3

  • Inspired by the movie, Crow and Servo get beehive hairdos and convince Mike to get one too. He asks for Shelly the Nanite at the Bots' recommendation, but she ends up giving him a hairstyle that goes up 70 miles outside the Satellite. He keeps the haircut for a while in the theater before realizing to his annoyance that it's merely taped onto his head.

Segment 4

  • Crow hires a catering service run by Ortega, much to Mike's disgust. He wows the Bots with his meals, but Mike's constant jabs at his personal hygiene leads to him splashing acid on himself.

Segment 5

  • Servo and Crow show off their coaster, "The Screaming Lemur," to Mike. The ride itself is broken, incomplete and unsafe—something the Bots refuse to acknowledge until after Mike takes his first (and last) ride. Pearl drops off the Space Children to their parents.

The MST3K presentation provides examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: "Nothing runs like a Bulgarian car," in reference to a rickety '50s station wagon.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "We take VISA, MasterCard, and dead rats."
  • Broken Record: Mike keeps singing "Take me out to the..." in response to the background music.
  • Call-Back:
    • "I thought I was Dale!"
    • When Jerry is walking alone, Servo sings "Night Train to Mundo Fine".
    • As Estrella and Ortega are getting strangled to death by the eponymous zombies, Mike lets out a "VaaAAAAAAANCE!"
  • Developing Doomed Characters: After some extended scenes with Jerry, Angela and Harold doing nothing of consequence:
    Crow: Now, wasn't there one point a fortune-teller who killed a doughy middle manager guy, or am I thinking of a different movie?
  • Did You See That Too?: Crow's reaction upon seeing the weird ticket-selling monkey:
    Crow: Did you guys just see that or did I imagine it?
  • Disney Acid Sequence: A truly bizarre dream sequence in the movie reduces poor Servo to a frightened, whimpering wreck.
  • Dung Fu: Bobo gets some measure of revenge on Observer.
    Bobo: How 'bout a little game of catch?
  • Expy: Ortega filled the shoes of Torgo in sketches on the Sci-Fi Channel episodes.
  • Funny Background Event: While Pearl is explaining to Mike that she has to take the Space Kids home, Billy and Darlene are behind her encouraging Scooter to throw up.
    • Which stand for "Walkers At Large Kinetically Active Through Hygiene or Nowledge (Yes, Knowledge with an N)", and "Hi, Everyone! Let's Pitch In 'N Get Cracking, Here in Louisiana, Doing Right, Eh? Now Then, Hateful Rich Overbearing Ugly Guys Hurt Royally Everytime Someone Eats A Radish-Carrot Hors d'oeurve And Never Does Dishes. Eventually, Victor Eats Lunch Over Peoria Mit Ein Neusburger Tod".
  • Initialism Title: Crow claims to have seen the sequel, "TISCWSLABMUZ" 2.
  • Monde Green: "Schick Outta Shape"
    "The first blade lifts! The second one cuts! It's a Schick outta shape!"
  • Nausea Fuel: invoked During the Shaky Cam POV roller coaster sequence:
    Servo: Filmed in Nauseavision.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Invoked by Mike after a close up of a carnival attraction.
    • Played straight by Servo when he freaks out during the Mushroom Samba sequence.
  • Offscreen Crash: The result of Mike riding on Crow and Tom's makeshift roller coaster, "The Screaming Lemur".
    Tom Servo: Maybe we should look into that "track" thing...
  • Old Shame: invoked Mike feels the size of the word "presents" in the opening credits indicates the studio was sheepish about this movie.
    • Turns into a Brick Joke at the end of the film: "The camera pulls away as if to say, 'Sorry, everyone— we're really sorry.'"
  • Overly Long Gag: Servo reciting what HELPINGCHILDRENTHROUGHRESEARCHANDDEVELOPMENT stands for, to the point where Crow just walks off.
  • Product Placement: Parodied, in that, thanks to a heavy case of Mondegreen, Mike in the bots are convinced that one of the musical numbers is an advertisement for Schick razors, and add their own bits to make it sound like even more of an advertisement.
  • Retirony: Parodied, as a zombie is about to attack a (young) police officer:
    Crow: Oh, watch this. He's 50 years from retirement, too.
  • Running Gag: "Hey, look. A carnival. Wow."
    • Mike and the bots constantly mention how much Jerry resembles Nicolas Cage.
      Crow: (as Jerry) Where's Elizabeth Shue?
    • M&TB's comments on the alcoholic dancer (played by Ray Dennis Steckler's then-wife) and her "mannish" appearance, along with her partner, a very blond, brush-cut guy. Endless "gender-bender", "Nazi" & "gay Nazi" jokes ensue.
    • Harold & Estrella's weird foreign speech patterns.
    • Jerry's girlfriend's brother is a "shut-in geek/Norman Bates" kind of guy who looks like Ed Grimley.
      • MADISON
    • Jerry's facial structure in general, "He's an Easter Island statue", "He's got a cab-forward face", "...'cuz it doesn't work on ferrets!'", etc.
    • The crappiness of the musical numbers.
      "Never let your book club be your backup dancers."
    • "You feelthy peeg!"
    • "Let me move my condoms."
    • Riffs and eventually irritation about the many carnival exterior shots.
      Mike: There's a carnival that figures prominently into the movie! We get it!
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spoof Aesop: Following what happens to the drunk who turns down Estrella.
    Crow: The lesson? Have sex with a fortune-telling gypsy if she demands it.
    • Crow also concludes the movie:
    Crow: We hope you've enjoyed No-Moral Theater, ladies and gentlemen.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Lampshaded by Crow, when an audience member phones in his reaction to the eponymous zombies:
    Crow: I have fear!
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The crew either identify the dancing couple as this...
  • Transgender: Or this.
    Crow: Starring Hank and Larry!
  • Verbal Tic: The Nanite who cuts Mike's hair ends virtually every sentence with "Er...?"
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Some riffs come from trying to guess Harold's background.


Example of: