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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S08 E17: The Horror of Party Beach

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"HAHAHahahahaaaa... horror."
"The 'Horror Of Party Beach' is Cyndi's cheese dip."

Film watched: The Horror of Party Beach.

The episode is available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments

Prologue
  • Servo has become a Ghitu monk and is practicing his chanting while Mike tries to recap the situation.

Segment 1

  • Mike pulls the plug on Servo's stereo-sound enlightenment. Down on Earth in Roman Times, Pearl and Brain Guy are still in the middle of their confrontation with the Roman governor Callipygeas and his wife Flavia and are trying to pass themselves off as gods. They are skeptical until they see the Mads asking the crew for advice and accept their divinity.

Segment 2

  • The crew have themselves a "Manly Beach Dance". Crow and Servo immediately regret it once they see Mike in his incredibly-tiny bathing suit.

Segment 3

  • The Romans ask (as in demand) that the Mads play some music worthy of the gods.

Segment 4

  • Servo has gone into business as a paperboy. His headlines are so up-to-the-minute that Mike's every move makes the front page.

Segment 5

  • The crew puts on a rousing rock number to share with kids the wonders of sodium. Down on Earth, Brain Guy and Callipygeas are bonding over dinner. Pearl and Flavia, much less so.


The MST3K episode provides examples of:

  • All Men Are Perverts: When the monsters attack the girls' slumber party:
    Mike Nelson: They don't even know what panties are, yet they feel compelled to raid.
    Crow: Every male of any species has the biological urge to panty raid.
  • Angst? What Angst?: invoked Crow provides the page's quote:
    Crow: First, you deny the grief, then PARTY!
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Servo becomes a Ghitu monk and attempts to achieve transcendence through an Ethereal Choir, at least until Mike disconnects the speakers.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In-Universe with the "Look Polish?" sign. So much so that Mike and the 'Bots get sidetracked for a few moments trying to figure out what the point of the sign was.note  It doesn't help that they pronounce it, not like the stuff that makes things shiny, but as in 'something from Poland', like maybe Polish sausage.
    Crow: Maybe it means, "Look! Polish!"
  • Brick Joke: The opening segment has the Ghitu monk bit and then it's dropped. Much later, the monsters are being destroyed and the noises they make sound like an Ethereal Choir.
    Crow: Now they got Ghitu monks.
    Servo: Great! (chants)
    (Mike stares at him)
    Servo: ...Sorry.
  • Call-Back:
    • Flavia is named for a character in the previously riffed The Thing That Couldn't Die.
    • They revisit the confusing sign above when several characters hear another approaching: "He's coming! Look Polish, everyone!"
  • Camera Abuse: Crow attacks Cambot after being called "a golden spider-duck."
  • Cast Full of Gay. The beach dancers are a little... well, a lot effeminate.
    Crow (as dancer, lisping): I am ssso Twila Tharp!
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: One of the bikers wears a beret, so Crow makes him out to be this (shortly after making him out to be Jean-Paul Sartre).
    "It made sense to surrender. The Germans were very, very mean."
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: As The Del-Aires sing:
    Servo: Never touched a woman / We make the saints cry...
  • Dawson Casting: Invoked by the crew on Elaine.
    Mike: (as Elaine) I don't like slumber parties now that I'm in my forties.
  • Ending Fatigue: invoked The crew, late in the film, screams at the movie to finally end.
    Mike: [as THE END mercifully appears] Well, end more! It's not ending enough!
  • Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: Servo goes newsboy for one host segment, selling incredibly up-to-date papers with headlines like "Mike Buys Another Paper From Servo," and "Mike Getting Fed Up With Newspaper Gag." Also invokes The Tape Knew You Would Say That.
    • During the riffing:
      Tom: The birth of a media empire.
      Mike: "Rusty" Murdoch.
  • Flashback Cut: Brain Guy has one queued up to explain why they're in Rome. Turns out the flashback was to a few seconds ago, and Flavia's still wondering why the guards haven't seized them yet.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Invoked with the two drunks.
    Mike: The French would love these guys.
    Crow: "Genius!"
  • God Guise: Pearl and Observer are mistaken for gods.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: The crew doesn't fail to notice that Elaine's grunting as she's stumbling toward the car sounds... like something else. Servo starts grunting himself, to the dismay of Mike.
    Crow: (snicker) Servo! Come on!
    Mike: Yeah, okay...
  • Just Smile and Nod:
    Tom: (as Eulabelle) Just smile at the stupid white people.
  • Little "No": When the monster's weakness is revealed to be sodium, Mike can do little but give out a frustrated and annoyed "No."
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Pearl comes up with divine names for herself and Observer: "Apearllo and... Brain...guy...ius."
    Observer: [resignedly] ...Braingaius, yes. How imaginative.
  • Lip Lock: Referenced repeatedly on female lead Elaine, who seemingly alone out of the rest of the cast had to be ADR'd:
    Crow: "Why am I dubbed?"
    ...
    Mike: "I'd say something, but the guy who dubs me is on break."
    ...
    Elaine: They really are the living dead!
    Crow: "Living dubbed."
  • Long List: Crow's "You kids and your..." list from the final segment.
    Crow: ...with your Pong and your Volkswagen Golf leases and the kids with the pierced I-don't-know-whats...
  • Look Behind You: "Look, a huge distracting thing!" Partly subverted since Mike doesn't fall for it, but Servo runs away anyway.
    • Servo tries again later ("Mike, look behind you! It's a giraffe with the head of Larry Hagman!") and succeeds this time. Hilariously, he even ANNOUNCES that he's going to distract Mike and get away as part of his rapid-fire newspaper headline gag.
  • Male Gaze: Once again defied.
    Crow: (as the camera lingers a little too long on a female beachgoer's bikini bottom) Miss, could you clear the shot, please?!
    Mike: (disgusted) Oh, right in my—
  • Mighty Whitey: Hank adopts a rather pronounced Southern voice whenever he talks to Eulabelle. Mike and the Bots naturally take it farther.
    "Any news on the War Of Northern Aggression, Eulabelle?"
  • Monster Misogyny: With at least twenty-four on-screen female deaths and only three male deaths, Mike and the Bots couldn't help but take notice.
    "You think a lot of guys who make movies have issues with women?"
  • Mr. Fanservice: Mike's "Manly Beach Dance" can be this to certain MSTies.
  • Padding: Invoked: Mike and the bots get fed up with how long it takes the heroes to figure out that sodium is the key to fighting the monster, even though the audience has figured it out already. It leads to Crow's fantastic line "It was your plot point!"
    • Mike even mimes tugging on the actor's shirt to get his attention.
  • Police Are Useless: During a montage of monster attacks and the ongoing investigation:
    Crow: We offer this shot of a guy leaving a building as proof of how hard they're working.
  • Previously onů: Spoofed at the start of the episode (see Flashback Cut above).
  • Screaming at Squick: Crow's reaction after the "manly beach dance" host segment, in which Mike's trunks are so small as to be invisible.
    Tom: We'll be right back. (laughs nervously)
    Crow: (shakes his head sadly) Part of me will never be back. Part of me is gone forever.
    Tom: (pityingly) Aw, honey...
  • Servile Snarker: The SOL crew make Eulabelle out to be this, given that she's the only character in the film with any competence.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Jean-Paul Sartre's motorcycle gang" at the beginning ("I believe in the existentialist outlaw as hero, that is why I travel with these men"), AKA "Johnny Mathis and the Conan O'Briens."
    • When too much time is spent watching two drunks do absolutely nothing that advances the plot, Mike quips, "Vladimir and Estragon: The Sitcom."
    • While performing music for Callipygias and Flavia, Pearl and Brain Guy briefly play the melody of Jacques Brel's "Le Moribond" (also known by Terry Jacks' English-language cover "Seasons in the Sun")note  before swinging into Aaron Copland's "Hoedown", as was used in The Beef Council's memorable 90's ad campaign which Brain Guy and Servo both reference:
      Servo: "Beef: It's what's for Movie Sign!"
  • Story Arc: The first full episode of the Roman times arc after the previous episode ended on a cliffhanger. They'll remain on ancient Earth for another four episodes.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Brain Guy's nigh-omnipotence allows him to try to pass himself and Pearl off as gods. "Behold! From nothing, I produce this... spoon." And then "this... bigger spoon." The locals are only sold when they spot "Apearllo" talking to the "Average-Looking Man God, Golden Spider-Duck, and Squat Crimson Pig."
    Servo: (to Mike, chuckling) She called you a crimson pig!... (Beat) ... HEY!
    • Mike's more than pleased to be called average-looking, grinning and generally acting like it means he's a Chick Magnet ("She thinks I'm average-looking!") Hilariously enough, Flavia was played by Mike's real-life wife Bridget Jones.
    • Crow, on the other hand, is enraged at being called a "Golden Spider-Duck", even assaulting Cambot and screaming alternative names at Flavia as everyone else, Mads included, cracks up.
      Crow: Hey lady, try Proud Prancing Reindeer or Rutting Stag or something! [...] Golden Spider-Duck! How about Lean and Virile Bull, or Slender Love Machine?!
  • Toilet Paper Substitute: When the monsters shuffle awkwardly through some bramble, a riff has one mention not to use poison ivy as toilet paper.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: invokedDuring the beach dance. "Hey, why is that girl tople... oh no, that's a... well, is it?"
  • Volleying Insults: Pearl and Flavia exchange barbs during the final host segment. "Your plainness must afford you a peaceful anonymity. You're lucky." "Tell me, is that pile of straw on your head easier to care for than real hair?" Things escalate from there.
    Pearl: Must be fun to be a SLUT, though!
    Flavia: Not as much fun as being a boozed-up old HAG!
    • Reality Subtext: The funniest part is that Mary Jo and Bridget are lifelong close friends. invoked



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