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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S08 E22: Overdrawn at the Memory Bank

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Film watched: Overdrawn at the Memory Bank

Overdrawn at the Memory Bank holds the honor of being the only film featured on MST3K that was filmed on videotape. The Brains were also a bit leery about riffing this one, due to Raúl Juliá's tragic death three years earlier being very much on their minds. Nevertheless, they did the episode anyway due to the film's low budget and incoherent Technobabble while managing to avoid any personal attacks on Juliá.

The episode is available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments:

  • Crow suddenly declares that he has a "loved by millions" catchphrase ("You know you want me, baby!", complete with a malfunctioning Laugh Track) and tries to cash in on the hype. He's already got boxes of T-shirts with the catchphrase printed on them placed around the bridge, and is likely just using the catchphrase to justify the order to the suspicious Mike.

Segment 1

  • Mike tries to give himself his own catchphrase, but all his choices are dull and lame. In the spirit of today's film, Pearl starts her own public access channel, Public Pearl TV, having Brain Guy whip up a studio, Bobo serving as director, and Ortega manning the phones so she can start a pledge drive to suck cold hard cash out of the pockets of gullible liberal donors. She also presents clips of upcoming content, such as Mike's stint as Lord of the Dance and "The Nature of Bobo", a wildlife documentary parody where Brain Guy runs commentary as Bobo snacks on fast food. Servo is bitten by the public access bug and eagerly calls in for the Public Pearl tote bag, despite Mike's warnings that Pearl's just going to use his money to send them more bad movies.

Segment 2

  • Inspired by the stock footage of Daisy, the baboon Fingal is doppled into, Crow and Servo have ordered a monkey from "Instant Monkeys Online", naming him "Henry Kissinger" "because of his scalp". Henry promptly broke out of his crate and peed on Mike's shoes, and ultimately starts throwing stuff at him, agitated by his "aggressive" stances. Mike assumes a ridiculous-looking "passive" posture as he tries to bring Henry down from the rafters, and the 'Bots leave him to do that at Commercial Sign.

Segment 3

  • Mike still has objects thrown at him by Henry, his passive stance not working in the slightest, so he resorts to deflecting the thrown objects with a tennis racket. Meanwhile, Pearl announces more new content, such as the upcoming new special, "Pearl! Pearl! Pearl! Pearl! Pearl!" The footage has her singing a romantic duet titled "When Loving Lovers Love" with Brain Guy. The lyrics are touching, if not repetitive. After the preview, Bobo interrupts Pearl to try and sing his own song, resulting in an angered knee to the face.

Segment 4

  • Servo decides to dopple himself into the Nanites' nanoscopic world, solely to mess with them. Unfortunately, he ends in a bad part of the neighborhood, and promptly gets beaten up by two Nanite punks by the names of Mookie and Slicer. Mike plays the role of Apollonia to warn Servo that bringing him back to the normal-sized world is "out of his control".

Segment 5

  • The 'Bots have brought Bobo aboard the SOL to help talk Henry down, only for the monkey to convince him to join him in throwing things. Much bigger things, in fact. Mike is forced to use a blowgun on the simians, but they're unfortunately still in the rafters, making the 'Bots upset with their rough landing. In her studio, the Public Pearl TV scam has been a huge success for Pearl, leaving her rolling in the greenbacks. Servo calls her for another shot at the tote bag, but she tells him that they're out of bags and offers to give him a complientary ashtray instead. She also makes sure to give a cut of the profits to Ortega... a tiny cut, specifically.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 made-for-public-television presentation of Overdrawn at the Memory Bank has examples of:

  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade:
    • Mike sarcastically quips on the wicker furniture Rick props in front of a door to keep out the Fat Man:
      "Yeah, that'll stop the 400-pound guy who smells pancakes."
    • Later, when the Fat Man and his minions actually do break through the barrier with the expected ease, Tom snaps "Pier One promised us that would work!"
  • Affectionate Parody: "Public Pearl" is either this or a Take That! (or perhaps both) to PBS. As this movie was financed by a few PBS stationsnote , if it's a Take That!, it was probably deserved here.
  • Big Eater: How the crew view the Novicorp Chairman.
    Assistant: What are you going to do about this?
    Mike: (as Chairman) EAT. [...]
    Chairman: Fingal! YOU ARE MINE!
    Crow: (as Chairman) With Bearnaise sauce!
  • Brain Bleach: An unfortunate extreme closeup of the Chairman.
    Mike: The most face any screen has ever held!
  • Brick Joke: Over 40 minutes after Fingal asked his mom "...'m I nuts?"
    Fingal: (in startling realization) Wait a minute...!
    Servo: My nuts!
  • Catchphrase: Crow suddenly declares his is "You know you want me, baby!" to justify a huge T-shirt order. Mike tries to pick one out for himself, and fails.
    • Mike: "We're all out of toner!" "Don't run on my wet floor!" "Secretary please read the minutes, uh..." "Let go of it slappy!note "
  • Call-Back:
    • When the Chairman is introduced: "Hey, it's TV's Frank!". Servo even imitates Frank's distinctive throat sound at one point.
    • One of Pearl's network's shows is "Mike Nelson: Lord Of The Dance" based on the opening host segment of the Jack Frost episode, complete with footage.
    • The song that plays before Pearl's show starts is the MST Hour theme.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • The Chairman dispatches a couple trilby-wearing mooks to chase Fingal, causing Mike to declare that they were kicked out of Men Without Hats. Tom first assumes this is because they are lousy musicians or that their hats somehow interfere with their performances. It's about a minute later that he hits the actual punchline: That they couldn't play for Men Without Hats because they DO wear hats.
    • Later, during the end credits, Mike learns that the film has a hotline, which he calls to complain about the numerous plot holes. Mandy, the operator on the other end, says that Mike has no right to complain because he didn't watch the movie all the way to the end, credits included.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    Pearl: And now, a very special preview of a special pledge week special.
    • And, of course, the name of the song that follows: "When Loving Lovers Love".
  • Did You See That Too?: During the movie's opening credits there is an insert of the Chairman rambling off some business jargon, after he's gone Servo asks "Were we just visited by a chubby angel with gin blossoms?"
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Mike calls an Overdrawn at the Memory Bank hotline to complain about the film's evident flaws, only to be greeted with this:
    Mandy: When did you purchase your version of Overdrawn at the Memory Bank?
    Mike: I- I, didn't purchase it, I- I just, uh...
    Mandy: (sarcastic scoff) So you are an unauthorized viewer of Overdrawn at the Memory Bank?
    Mike: I don't thi-, I don-
    Mandy: I am legally required to report this violation of all—!
    Bots: Hang up! Hang up! (Mike hangs up in a panic)
    Servo: Let's get outta here! Run! (the SOL crew race out of the theater)
    Crow: Well, that got us nowhere!
    Servo: Oh, we're in trouble...!
    Mike: That went bad!
  • Earworm:
    • The Instant Monkeys Online jingle. Mike is humming it while looking around to locate Henry Kissinger (the monkey).
      Servo: Get your monkeys - instantly - with Instant Monkeys Online!
    • The music played in the early scenes with Fingal walking around his workplace also seems to be this; Mike hums along the first time it's played, and when it gets played the second time he and the 'bots start singing "Happy Together" over the surprisingly fitting bass track.
  • End of an Era: While seasons 9 and 10 still use the words in their theme songs, this is the last episode that takes place "Somewhere in Time and Space".
  • Epic Fail: In the "Nature of Bobo" clip, Brain Guy attempts to reassert his dominance by charging at Bobo. Bobo simply holds out his fist and Brain Guy rams straight into it, knocking himself out.
  • Fantastic Racism: Some of Mike and the bots' riffs suggest that this movie really seems to have something against anteaters.
  • Forced Meme: Both In-Universe and out.
    • Despite never saying the phrase "You know you want me, baby!" before, Crow tries to convince everyone that it's his beloved Catchphrase. He drops the line multiple times in the opening sketch, with Tom Servo playing a Laugh Track in response every time.
    • Well before this episode, the official MST fan club actually did print a run of Crow t-shirts bearing the line "You know you want me, baby!" and had trouble selling them, because it wasn't a line he actually used in the show. So the opening sketch with Crow trying to sell those shirts and running that Catch Phrase into the ground was (Self-Deprecation aside) the writers working that line into the show in hopes that it would catch on and finally sell those shirts.
  • Gigantic Gulp: Bobo drinks from one during the Wildlife Commentary Spoof "The Nature of Bobo".
  • Inherently Funny Words: "Fingal."
    • "You want to tinkle, Fingal? How 'bout some Pringles, Fingal?"
    • "You make me tingle, Fingal. Fingal, are you single? Give me a jingle."
    • "I've got spurs that Jingle Jangle Jingle."
    • "Please, I can see your little Fingal."
    • "I wouldn't want to bungle or bobble the Fingal dopple."
  • It's Snowing Cocaine: Aram's computer hacking causes a heavy snowfall, indoors. Mike quips, "This is how much pure cocaine you would need to enjoy this movie."
  • Kids Are Cruel: Between the little sexual deviant and the Bratty Half-Pint complaining about how her teacher seems to be something of a hypocrite, Tom muses if it's "Children of the Damned day at the brain institute".
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Pearl is introducing the movie.
    What was [Raul Julia] doing in this piece of ssssurely very quality, quality program.
  • Late to the Punchline: "Oh I get it, 'cause they're wearing hats!"
  • Laugh Track: Servo tries to provide one for Crow's new Catchphrase (see above). The tape player doesn't work very well.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "When Loving Lovers Love"
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Mike pokes fun at Rick taking a bullet this way:
    Mike (as Rick): I don't know, I'm more disappointed than shot...
  • Mondegreen Gag:
    Fingal: Mom... 'm I nuts?
    Servo: "My nuts"?
    • Also:
      Pshychist: Prophylactic Rehab.
      Crow: Retread his condom?
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: According to the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, the crew consciously worked to avoid offending people by insulting the recently late Raul Julia, the only quality actor in the whole film. Even Pearl herself calls him "a very wonderful actor" before asking "what was he doing in this piece of ssssssurely very quality, quality program". The harshest the riffing gets is frequently Lampshading how beneath Julia the film is:
    Crow: Raul, you come right back and be in this bad movie, young man!
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: When Fingal enters "The Place"
    Crow: Hey, a midget rabbi cowboy!
    Servo: Yippie-aye-oy-vey!
  • Offhand Backhand: Bobo delivers one to Observer during the "Nature of Bobo" documentary.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish":
    Fingal: Wait a minute! Why didn't I think of that before. Its so simple. Reverse the access code. He probably thought I'd never try something so simple.
    Crow: If this works, I am going to spank you, movie.
  • Product Placement: The aforementioned "You Know You Want Me Baby!" shirts, made by the fan club.
  • Pun:
    • Mike groans in anticipation of Servo's "Cube-an" joke.
    • Mike's one to talk; his "Figleaf of my imagination" gag went over just slightly better.
    • Servo lets out a stilted, robotic "Ha ha ha that is funny" in response to the movie's very title.
    • When Fingal quotes one of his cinemas to Apollonia: "Here's looking at you kid."
      Crow: Here's looking at U Thant.
      Servo: Here's looking at ubiquitous.
      Mike: Here's looking at Ulysses.
  • Running Gag: Fingal's hatred of anteaters.
    • A lot of fat and food jokes are made about the obese Chairman.
    • The woman taking over Apollonia's shift complaining about how supposedly "fat" she is.
  • Saw "Star Wars" Twenty-Seven Times: Crow as one of the co-workers complains when Fingal "scrolls up" Casablanca.
    Crow: (as worker, Minnesota accent) "But I hate this movie, it's on AMC twice a week!"
  • Screw Yourself: Fingal encounters Rick!Fingal,
    Crow: I'm gonna score with me tonight!
  • Self-Deprecation: The whole sketch about Crow's t-shirts with his Catchphrase (which he's never used before) "You know you want me, baby!" Those were real shirts that the official MST fan club had printed up beforehand and actually had problems selling. The writers were basically poking fun at themselves for trying to force a new catch-phrase on Crow and making a t-shirt that none of their fans actually wanted.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: Bobo eats a burrito when he gives Observer the Off Hand Back Hand.
  • Spectacular Spinning: During the movie, Fingal observes some monkeys cartwheeling down a hill and remarks that it looks like fun. Crow's response:
    Actually, that does look like fun, Mike. If I could do that, I'd basically never stop.
  • Stylistic Suck: "When Loving Lovers Love" is so subtly bad that it's marvelous. The lyrics meander, there's no real hook, and it just drags on and on - the "memories" part which was twice as long as it should have been, the entire overlong "I really don't know why" section, and the fake-out ending (but the song just keeps on going for another fifteen seconds).
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Crow: Wanda Cannon? Now that's a porno name if I've ever heard one... not that I've ever heard one. I don't subscribe to lots of publications or anything.
  • Take That!:
    • When Apollonia/Fingal's Mom avatar dies.
      Crow: Someone beat up George Will!
      Servo: Good!
      Mike: Yes.
    • Specifically averted with regards to the then recently deceased Raúl Juliá, as the Brains went out of their way to avoid anything that could seem like an attack on him and had Pearl specifically call him a "really wonderful actor."
  • Techno Babble: Servo gets palpably annoyed at the cheesy 'future sounding' words and items in the movie, often muttering words in incredulous frustration until he just starts yelling at the movie.
    Servo: Why don't you reconst your flavo-fibes?! [...]
    Fingal: I better call for a medico.
    Servo: Yeah, on the voice-com-flavo-link-synth-aaaagh!
  • To Be Continued... Right Now: Joking about the weird beeping theme music.
    [Theme song beeps play]
    Mike: And now the news!
    [Theme song beeps repeat]
    Mike: [Beat] That was the news.
  • Wildlife Commentary Spoof: Brain Guy attempts to study Bobo in this manner during a clip from the Public Pearl TV program "The Nature of Bobo". The joke is that Bobo is doing some very urbane things.
  • Wondrous Ladies Room: Invoked when Fingal opens a door and sudden finds himself in a sumptuous villa's courtyard, to talk to the Chairman's digital avatar. The 'Bots conclude he's in the Ladies' Room.