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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S09 E10: The Final Sacrifice

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"Oh c'mon, one more sacrifice before we go?"
"Okay, but this is The Final Sacrifice!"

"You know what? You lose me straight away when your movie's protagonist is named 'Zap Rowsdower'. The second I hear him identified as 'Zap Rowsdower' I am squeezing past you and climbing over your legs and muttering 'excuse me' and I am getting the hell out of the movie. Only this time I couldn't because I was at work and I'm hourly and I had used up all my vacation and sick time. How about Plink Holmgren? Or Pow Flowhauer?"
Mary Jo Pehl, The Amazing Colossal MST3K Guide

Film watched: The Final Sacrifice

The Segments:

  • While Gypsy works on the SOL's power, Crow and Servo take the blackout as a time to loot. Their spoils are underwhelming though.

Segment 1

  • Pearl starts her campaign of world domination by going at it one person at a time, but runs into a few roadblocks along the way— the first person she asks to rule over has impenetrable defenses (he tells her "no") while the second person she asks is Servo.

Segment 2

  • Mountie Servo sings a tribute to Canada as response to the Canada-bashing, which Crow and Mike ruin with their own improvised lyrics. They encourage Servo to lighten up and join in the bashing, but he takes it entirely too far and ends up having a breakdown over being a "disgrace to my uniform".

Segment 3

  • Castle Forrester and the SOL are infected with hockey hair, leaving Bobo bedridden, the Bots annoyed, and Mike unaffected since he'd already had a case of hockey hair in his youth. Brain Guy, meanwhile, finds his new hairstyle an improvement.

Segment 4

  • The Bots decide to let the hockey hair as it is, only to find Mike inflicted with Grizzled Old Prospector syndrome. He gets better after Commercial Sign.

Segment 5

  • Crow and Servo start up their own cult and invite Mike for baking and watching TV dramas, to his horror. Pearl is successful getting a new approach in personal domination, only to be usurped by Travelers, Inc.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of The Final Sacrifice has examples of:

  • Ambiguous Syntax: Played for laughs: After the opening credits for the movie, the very first thing shown is a time card reading "Seven Years Later". So, naturally:
    Tom Servo: Seven years after the credits?
    Mike: I... guess?
  • A-Team Firing:
    Mike (as Rowsdower): D'oh, I shot in between them. I got confused!
  • The Alcoholic: How the crew portray Rowsdower:
    Crow (as Rowsdower): Hm, I wonder if there's beer on the sun.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Zap & Troy: The Legendary Journeys.
  • Berserk Button: When the Mads find out they gave a guy a whole feast for no reason, Bobo gets pissed.
    Bobo: (grabbing the guy's mouth) GIVE ME BACK MY FOOD!
  • Book Ends: Servo is the last one to enter the theater when the movie starts (because Pearl was trying to rule him) and the last one to leave when the credits end (because he was still humming and didn't notice Mike and Crow had already left).
  • Brain Bleach: Crow has this reaction during his pitch of Zap & Troy: The Legendary Journeys when Mike the TV Executive suggests that Rowsdower go full-frontal a couple times a season.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: During the opening credits, Tom briefly takes on a Canadian accent:
    Servo: Hey, Ron Anderson here, just gotta nip down and make that movie real good then.
  • Broken Aesop: After Mike and Crow interrupt Tom's increasingly frightening "Canada Song".
    Mike: Mustn't hate, mustn't hate...
    Crow: At least not so overtly.
    Mike: Exactly. Must disguise our hate, just a little.
  • Broken Record: Crow comments on the soundtrack to the film:
    Crow: Man, "Beethoven's 5th" just can't get started here.
  • Callback
    "He's gonna turn into a warwilf!"
  • Catchphrase: "Rowsdower!"
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Many of the riffs remark on the fact that Troy's father looks like NFL player Larry Csonka. Also, Rowsdower does look a bit like Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
  • Credits Gag: A rather lengthy one as Crow attempts to discuss pitching the movie as a television series and Mike gets deep in character and actually acts like a real live executive...complete with meddling.
  • Curse Cut Short: Servo's Canada song ends with the line "Your country's just a giant piece of sh—", but both Mike and Crow stop him before he can finish.
  • Curse of The Ancients: After Mike catches "Grizzled Old Prospector Syndrome."
  • Dynamic Entry: When Rowsdower bursts into the room in one scene:
  • '80s Hair: Turns out "Hockey Hair" is caused by an airborne virus. Who knew?
  • Epic Fail: Mike every time the camera cuts to Troy (who was given a knife to cut the rope around his wrists) during the film's climax.
    "I dropped it."
    "I cut both my wrists."
    "I somehow swallowed the knife."
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: When Rowsdower ends up threatening Troy with a club:
    Crow (as Troy): Wait, it's me!
    Servo (as Rowsdower): I know!
  • Executive Meddling: invoked Parodied in Crow's pitch for Zap And Troy: The Legendary Journeys.
    Crow: But the main character—
    Mike: Has a friend— a girl! Hell, he's a girl too. There's a bunch of girls. There's a goofy girl, a serious girl, a loose girl— everyone in the damn series is a damn girl!
    Crow: But Rowsdower...?
    Mike: A big hairy girl!
    • And later,
Crow: Okay, The Final Sacrifice: The Series
Mike: The name goes.
Crow: What?
Mike: Never liked the name. The name goes. It's banal.
Crow: But if you’re hoping to connect the series with the movie, Mike—
Mike: I need something like, oh, Night Mistress.
Crow: Night Mistress.
Mike: Yeah, or Cloochie and the Lieutenant, something that’s gonna seduce people, really connect with 'em. We’ll work on that.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    Crow: We're going to make you drink something other than beer!
  • Heroic BSoD: Mike suffers this when he learns Crow and Servo have entered a Muffin-y, Calista Flockhart, Swoosie Kurtz kind of cult, instead of the usual animal sacrifice sort.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:invoked Servo's "Canada" song predates "Blame Canada".
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Mike and the bots interpret Rowsdower's heavy breathing after a chase sequence to be this.
    "Hold on, I'm having a series of elaborate heart attacks."
  • Ho Yay: In-Universe, between Troy and Rowsdower.
    Rowsdower: [to his car] "Come on baby, don't let me down!"
    Servo (as Troy): "I won't, Rowsdower!"
    • During the skit where Mike gets Grizzled Old Prospector Syndrome, Tom asks Mike if he's been kissing any prospectors. After pondering briefly, Mike denies it, though he apparently did kiss a surly truck farmer (in a Continuity Nod all the way back to Joel's day and the short in Episode 507).
  • I'm a Humanitarian
    Troy: Did you know him (Troy's father)?
    Tom (as Mike Pipper): Know him? He was delicious!
    • Later, Mike (as Pipper) states that he "jerked" Troy's father (as in dried meat). It's hard not to imagine the alternate use of that verb.
      Mike: You know, if you hit a Rowsdower you get to keep it.
      Crow: The meat's a bit gamey, but it's good for sausage.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: During the climax, Rowsdower shoots at one of the mooks and misses:
    Mike: D'oh, I shot right inbetween 'em, I got confused.
  • Inherently Funny Word: "Rowsdower!"
  • Inkblot Test: When Troy is rummaging through drawings:
    Servo: Hmmm, devil... living room... dining room... kitchen... another devil.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Taking a cue from Mike & Crow's ribbing of Canada during his song of tribute, Servo tries his hand at poking fun and immediately starts calling for Canada's fiery destruction instead.
    Servo: *crying* I have no sense of proportion, I'm a disgrace to my uniform!
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Mike gets cut off preemptively when he tries to make a pun about people "just dying to get into" a cemetery. Note, though, that Mike did the same joke in season 5's The Atomic Brain and was able to finish the joke.
  • Lightbulb Joke:
    Crow: Hey Mike, how many geeks does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    Mike: How many?
    Crow: ...I don't know; that's why I'm asking.
  • Memetic Badass/Memetic Loser: In-universe; Mike and the bots mix open disdain for Rowsdower with turning him into a great warrior.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Tom and Crow are really bad looters (then again there isn't much to steal on a satellite where a guy and a couple of robots live). Crow stole his own television, and has plans to go back after his blender; Tom got Mike's recycling.
  • Mondegreen Gag
    Troy: The map is real!
    Mike: Map Israel? I believe Israel's been fairly well-mapped...
  • Moose and Maple Syrup: The movie itself was set in Canada, but doesn't use any of the stereotypes. The MST3K episode makes numerous jokes that fit this trope exactly, however, culminating in a song about Canada that is nothing but mocking the country using every stereotype imaginable.
  • Noodle Incident: How Mike got Grizzled Prospector Syndrome.
    • It involved kissing a surly Truck Farmer.note 
    • Pearl once beat the tar out of a man who tried to steal her purse at a theater in Branson, Missouri.
  • Painful Rhyme: Mike falls victim to this when he and the Bots are singing along to the credit music.
    Crow: (singing) He comes to save the day in a broken truck~
    Mike: (singing) With a stinky denim jacket on his back~
    Crow: (singing) He couldn't help this movie, which really sucked~
    Mike: (singing, weakly) But at least we didn't have to see him... play hacky-sack...
    Servo: What?!
    Mike: I'm sorry, I panicked!
  • Running Gag: Rowsdower!
    • The various geeky extracurricular hobbies attributed to the kid.
      "And so it is with a heavy heart that I must resign from Chess Club..."
      "This is just like that time I almost missed the Teens Encounter Christ bus!"
      "I haven't been this tense since Mock U.N.!"
      "My glee club will be looking for me!"
    • Adding in strained grunting whenever the very skinny Troy picks up or lifts pretty much anything.
    • "Seven years later..."
    • As mentioned in Celebrity Resemblance, they bring up Larry Csonka too many times to count.
    • Pipper's similarities to Yosemite Sam
    • Satoris' army of goons are apparently French-Canadians. Mike & The Bots give them French names and phrases.
      Mike: "Zut allors!" "Je suis mort!" "Gilles, no!" "Not Etienne!"
    • Rowsdower's alcoholism.
    • The goons being compared to either BDSM Gimps or executioners.
    • Occasional Canadian accent impersonations.
      Servo: "Hey, Ron Anderson here, just gotta nip down and make that movie real good then."
      Mike (As Goon): "Uh, you gonna hit the brakes now or what?"
      Crow: (After Rowsdower instructs Troy concerning getting the truck out of the mud) And I'd like to thank Dan Aykroyd for doing that last line!
  • Shot in the Ass: As it's very unclear where Troy shoots Satoris in the film's climax, Mike and the 'bots assumed he was shot in the butt. Later extended when Satoris catches fire seemingly because of it note , and the 'bots suggest shooting Mike in the butt to find out if this is a reliable method for setting humans on fire.
    Servo: "Ow! You shot my butt! What the hell? You shot me in the butt!
  • Shout-Out:
    Mike (as Pipper): And remember, if the ladies don't find you handsome, at least you should be handy.note 
    • Mike also refers to "Troy and Rowsdower: The Legendary Journeys" during the end credits.
    • They reference Tom Waits when Mike Pipper shows up. Servo quips "I'd like to sing something from Bone Machine."
    • While Rowsdower is on his knees surrounded by Satoris' gunmen, Servo quips "Look into your heart, eh!", riffing on the memorable scene from Miller's Crossing where an about-to-be-executed Bernie Bernbaum pleads for his life in the titular woods.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: "A horse! My six-pack for a horse!"
  • Song Parody: "We Will, We Will Rowsdower!"
  • Stalker with a Crush: The hosts imagine Troy as one of these, writing badgering letters to Counselor Troi and Agent Scully, by those names.
  • Stealth Pun
    Mike (upon learning a character's surname): Oh! He's a Pipper! (beat) Wouldn't you like to be a
    Tom: NO.note 
  • The Stoic: Parodied:
    Aunt: Now Troy, we've talked about this before. I don't want you to cry about what is past.
    Mike: (as aunt) No emotions, we've discussed that.
  • Stupid Crooks: Crow and Servo go on a looting spree once Gypsy shuts off the Satellite's power. Crow steals his own TV, while Tom breaks into Mike's room to rob him of his recycling.
  • Take Over the World: While this has always been Pearl's goal, here she comes up with another scheme: to take over the world one person at a time! She fails in ruling one person.
    • Except for some geeky guy in the end (played by Paul Chaplin). He stated he belonged to the "Traveler's Group" but the Mads tie him to a chair and put some sort of brainwashing gizmo on his head.
    • This is also the goal of Satoris and his evil prehistoric cult of Canadian BDSM Luchadores.
  • Take That!: To Canada. Servo takes his Take That! too far, though.
    Servo: ♪Oh, I wish I was blowing up Prince Edward Island / And going on to bomb Ontario! / The destruction of Canada and all of its culture / Is by far my fav-o-rite scenario!♪
    Mike: OK, well that's a little strong....
    Servo: No, no, you were right Mike, this is much more fun! ♪Just where the hell does Canada get off sharing a border / With countries far superior to it?♪
    Crow: Yikes!
    Servo: ♪Why, you lousy, stinking, francophonic, bacon-loving bastards, / Your country's just a giant piece of sh—♪
    Crow: Woah, woah, woah!
    Mike: Okay! I think that is enough!
  • That Poor Plant: Invoked: Servo greets the sight of a withered house plant with a desperate "Water me!"
  • That Was Not a Dream: "Wow, I dreamt I was stuck with this chunky backwoods loser named Rowsdow—Aah!"
  • Thememobile: "Rowsdowermobile, awaaaaay!"
  • There Was a Door: As the villains were using a chainsaw on Troy's door.
    Servo (as Troy): It's open! Jeez.
  • Title Drop
    Servo: Oh, please just one more sacrifice!
    Mike: Alright, but this is The Final Sacrifice!
  • Unfortunate Names: Referenced in the film.
    Crow: He comes from a long line of "Great Anuses"note 
    Crow: Oh, yeah? Well, my name's Bilge Stinkwater.
  • The Virus: Bobo eats a bad can of Canadian bacon and causes hockey hair in everyone. Mike turns out to be immune since he already had it... but this makes him vulnerable to Grizzled Old Prospector Syndrome.
  • With Lyrics: Mike and the bots add lyrics to the ending theme music for The Final Sacrifice.
    Tom: Oh baby, Rowsdower saves us and saves all the world.
    Crow: He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
    Mike: With a stinky denim jacket on his back.
    Crow: He couldn't help this movie, which really sucked.
    Mike: But, at least we didn't have to see him... play... hacky-sack.
    Tom: (talking) What?
    Mike: (talking) I'm sorry, I panicked.
    • During the flashback sequence before the climax of the film, Servo adds chants to the background music ("Hi-yi-ya, hey! Hi-yi-yi-yi-ya, hey!").
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: After Pearl tells Brain Guy to send up the movie.
    Brain Guy: Mike, your movie today is, if one can measure these things, the worst thing to ever come out of Canada!
  • You Look Familiar: In-Universe and parodied: Pearl can't quite place who Tom Servo is when Observer summons him to the castle to be "ruled".