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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 09 E 07 Hobgoblins

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Film watched: Hobgoblins

"Can you catch a venereal disease from a movie?"
Tom Servo

While Hobgoblins is probably not the worst movie to ever be screened on Mystery Science Theater 3000, it is one of them, and possibly the sleaziest.

Though director Rick Sloane requested that his film be featured on the show, it suffered some of the harshest riffing ever. The Mads removed the film case from the Ark of the Covenant. The bots tried to flee the theater during the opening credits. Crow set up a hotline for people traumatized by the movie. Mike and the 'bots tried to escape again by replacing themselves with cardboard cutouts in the theater and the bridge (it nearly worked, too). Crow impersonated Sloane during the end credits claiming he was "high on crack" and had "[his] brain replaced with rat droppings". Servo tried, and failed, to go back in time to prevent the movie from being made.


The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode of this movie contains examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Rick Sloane, the director of Hobgoblins, loved MST3K's riffing of the film. He even submitted the film to them.
    • Sometimes the cast of the movie actually does some good lines:
    (Nick grabs a grenade from his van and is about to throw it inside the home to kill the Hobgoblins)
    Amy: "Oh my God, what do you call that?!"
    Daphne: "Urban renewal!"
    Crow (as a car is pulling up): "Ah ha! And what brisk witticism will this chappie have to offer?"
    • Also: (While being given fake IDs by the bouncer)
    Kyle: "Hey, this says I'm 40 and handicapped!"
    Road Rash: "What's the matter? You got a problem with that, Junior?"
    Kyle: "No... I'll limp."
    Crow: "Ha, ha, funny."
  • Bad Butt: The intended effect of the Club Scum scenes is quite muted by the lack of payoff for any of the implied threats and promised nudity.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: One that looks suspiciously like a school gym or cafeteria dressed up to resemble a bar, at that.
    Servo: "Club Scum", eh? So why are there lunch ladies back there serving tater tots?
  • Bait-and-Switch: During one of the host segments, Bobo calls Crow's newly-created "Hobgoblins Crisis Hotline" to ask for advice about his crush on "a woman very close to me— a woman not of my species", with whom he is obsessed despite the fact that she abuses him. This is coupled with sneaky looks at an oblivious Pearl in the background. It turns out he's talking about a chimpanzee named Emily.
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  • Be a Whore to Get Your Man:
    Crow: "Yes girls, this is the only way to make your boyfriends like you."
  • Cardboard Pal: Mike and the 'bots try to trick the Mads by placing cardboard cut outs of themselves in the theater, along with a tape recorder playing some poorly acted generic riffs ("That's stupid") and escaping. In the host segment, we see they did the same on the bridge. Only Observer wasn't fooled.
    • During the movie's closing credits, they used another cutout for their faux interview with Rick Sloane.
    • Notably, the cardboard cut-outs are based on the silhouettes of Mike and the bots that appeared on the back of Rhino VHS releases of Mystery Science Theater 3000 at the time (the "Pointing Mike" cut-out being the most obvious).
  • Cartoon Bomb: Pearl uses a pair to blow up Bobo and Brain Guy at the end of the episode. She really doesn't want anyone jumping on the couch.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Much is made of Nick's military service. Naturally, when Nick runs away from the hobgoblins the second he realizes they're dangerous, Crow riffs "Oh, Nick's in the French army, I see."
  • Chekhov's Gun: M&TB initially complain over the seemingly pointless "rake fight" scene early in the film, but then Crow notices that the scene may have actually had a purpose when Kevin grabs the same rake to fend off one of the Hobgoblins.
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  • Comically Missing the Point: Crow and Tom in response to Roadrash's sudden pull out of a sign to indicate his approval of Amy's "stripping".
    MC: Well, what do you think folks? Is she a Hit or a Miss?
    Roadrash: *Pulls out large premade sign that says "Hit"*
    Tom: "Hits"?
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Crow makes a documentary that initially is supposed to counter the movie's portrayal of women and show how to treat the fairer sex with respect. Because Crow couldn't actually find any women, though, it turns into a conspiracy video.
    "We begin to ask ourselves: 'where are all the women?' The overheated references in poetry, the images that dominate our media—is it all an elaborate fraud?"
    • Complete with a grainy black & white photo of a woman in a fur coat that looks an awful lot like a screencap from the famous "Patterson Bigfoot Film". Here's "Crow's Woman" & "Patterson's Bigfoot" for comparison.
    • One person (who suspiciously looks and sounds like Crow with a fake handlebar mustache) claims he met a woman. Then married her.
      Crow: "Did you have any children?"
      Crow!"Man": "I DON'T REMEMBER!"
      • Mike points out that Pearl is a woman.
        Crow: ... Okay, so one woman exists! Does that mean all women exist?!
  • Cool Car: Subverted with Kevin's car.
    Crow: Paint my muscle car prune color, please!
  • Disproportionate Retribution/Cool and Unusual Punishment: Pearl uses this movie to punish Mike and the 'bots for jumping on her rent-to-own furniture.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Both Bobo and Brain Guy are horrified by the prospect of forcing Mike and the bots to watch Hobgoblins. Bobo Screams Like a Little Girl every time "the movie" is even mentioned.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lampshaded.
    • The lyrics to "Kiss Kicker" contain the word "shit", however the singing is so garbled nobody noticed.
      • It's right before Mike's "Jean Paul Sartre" riff.
      SINGER: "....shoooovvellll...more shit!...."
      MIKE: "Jean-Paul Sartre and the Heartbreakers!"
    • Also, when the bouncer holds up a sign saying Amy is a "hit."
      Crow: They should really add an 's' to that.
      Tom: "Hits?"
  • A Handful for an Eye: During the rake fight, Crow suggests "Throw some Miracle Gro in his eyes!"
  • Hidden Depths: At the beginning of Crow's "where are women?" video host segment, Mike is reading Bleak House.
  • Insecurity System:
    Mike: "Tell me again why they have an elaborate security system but they don't lock anything?!"
  • Leitmotif: Poorly done and inconsistently rendered, but there's a recognizable musical sting that plays when the Hobgoblins are active.
  • Logic Bomb: "Okay, so one woman exists. Does that mean all women exist?"
  • Made of Iron:
    Crow: So the only side effect of [Nick's] complete immolation is... mild redness and irritation?
  • Makeout Point: Upon witnessing the movie's depiction of this, Servo thinks they must have public funding.
  • Mickey Mousing:
    Crow: Their garden tools make little Casio sounds.
  • Mondegreen: Used mercilessly during "Kiss Kicker", with the SOL crew coming up with, among others, Swiss Knickers, Fish Picker and Pig Licker/Pig Liquor.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: When Pearl and Bobo Failed a Spot Check on the Cardboard Pals, a frustrated Brain Guy gives a rare complimentary version of this trope. Mostly out of fear of Pearl's wrath.
    Brain Guy: Listen you idiots!
    Pearl: (gives him a Death Glare)
    Brain Guy: And Pearl, you of course too.
  • My Girl Is a Slut:
    Crow: So, Mike, I learned from today's movie that Daphne was a slut, and Amy wasn't fun until she became a slut.
    Mike Nelson: Well, that's the fun message of today's movie!
  • Nausea Fuel: Invoked. Mike and the bots get audibly disgusted whenever Daphne is sex-crazed.
    Daphne: (singing) Everybody have sex tonight!
    Tom: Everybody throw up tonight.
  • Parody Assistance: Hobgoblins director Rick Sloane personally submitted the film to MST3K.
  • Running Gag: Whimpering whenever the young security guard is on the screen.
    • During the second half, Mike and the bots claiming the movie is actually pretty good, citing multiple "car pulling into the driveway" shots as inspired.
    • M&TB repeatedly getting the name of the Club Scum bouncer wrong. For what it's worth, it's "Road Rash".
  • Screw This, We're Outta Here: During the opening credits, Servo and Crow repeatedly try to make a run for it, with Mike chasing them down to bring them back to their seats.
    • Later on, the movie was getting so bad that Mike resorted to a Cardboard Pal plan to try to fool the Mads. By the time it failed, we see that he and the 'bots had changed into Hawaiian shirts and packed a lot of luggage for a vacation.
  • Ship Tease: When Bobo calls Tom & Crow's "Hobgoblins Crisis Hotline" for advice about the crush he had on "a woman... (looks at Pearl behind him) a woman not of my species"note , squicking the 'Bots horribly.
  • Shout-Out: Pearl refers to Bobo and Brain Guy as "Pinky" and "Brain".
  • Stable Time Loop/You Can't Fight Fate: Servo's attempt to erase the existence of Hobgoblins by going back in time and kicking Rick Sloane in the shins ends up being the latter's inspiration for the movie.
    • Tom explains this while dressed in a leather jacket and sunglasses while holding a machinegun; Mike explains that he thought that Tom was going to "terminate" Sloane.
      "That bastard! I'm gonna go back and kill him."
    • Appropriately enough, Rick Sloane's admiration for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Hobgoblins inspired him to create the sequel. According to an interview with Rick Sloane, he enjoyed the riffing until he got to the part with the faux-interview attacking him personally at the end: "I had never seen them rip apart any other director before on the show." Sloane had clearly not seen episodes like Mitchell or the three-movie ouevre of Coleman Francis, where creators involved with the original movies were savaged.
  • Stylistic Suck: The prerecorded riffs that accompany the Cardboard Pals in the theater are very stilted and generic when compared to the gang's usual quips. This carries out into the following host segment, where they sing an equally uninspired song.
    Hobgoblins, hobgoblins / What do you do with those hobgoblins? / They're over here / They're over there / Those darn hobgoblins are everywhere!
  • Team Dad: Mike shows shades of this. For example, in the middle of the film, Servo pretends to bounce on the sofa that a couple of the characters have fallen asleep on, just like in the first host segment, and goes "Whee, this is fun, this is fun! No, it's not, no, it's not" and Mike consoles him. Awww.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Mocked by Crow.
    Crow: "Chord, chord, chord, chord, chord, other chord."
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Pearl's reaction when she sees Mike and the 'bots bouncing around on the couch and squirting juice boxes.
  • With Lyrics: "It's The '80s! Do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan!"


Example of: