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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S09 E11: Devil Fish

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The story of Aleister Crappie!

"Every time I meet a guy, he's either married, gay, or getting killed by a giant octopus!"

Film watched: Devil Fish

The episode is available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments:

  • Mike comes to a startling revelation that there is a secret government conspiracy that seeks to erase all trace of his existence... then the 'Bots find his missing wallet and everything's fine again.

Segment 1

  • Due to a mix-up in the phone book, people have been calling Castle Forrester for cruise ship reservations. Pearl is glad to take the money, but now she has to fool the two guests who boarded before they "left port" into thinking they're actually on a cruise ship. The SOL crew is assigned ice to make ice sculptures: Servo makes himself a drink, Crow makes a perfect replica of Michelangelo's David, and Mike makes a puddle after trying to weld his ice with a blowtorch.

Segment 2

  • Servo and Crow wonder if dolphins are really as smart as they say, so Mike places a call down to Sea World to ask. Turns out, they are indeed very smart - and they do NOT like being mocked.

Segment 3

  • An electrician has come up to install new outlets. They apparently don't like being mocked either, which the crew learns harshly when the dolphins come back.

Segment 4

  • Pearl's guests are confused as to why Mike and the Bots keep cutting into the movie, so Pearl adjusts the camera to make them look more Italian. The filter accidentally gets turned up too high and things get very racially insensitive.

Segment 5

  • As Mike and the 'Bots debate ideas for other cross-breed monsters like the Devil Fish, Pearl's "cruise ship" is serving dinner. Things soon get violent.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Devil Fish has examples of:

  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole:
    • A tiny one, but when the sheriff declares the lab assistant's death a murder rather than a suicide, Mike and the Bots joke about it as if he decided it on a whim. However, the scene where the cops investigate the crime scene and point out some good reasons why it's probably staged as a suicide, along with the murder and coverup scene, featured a lot of female nudity and apparently had to be cut from the episode.
    • The editing of the uncut version is a lot less incoherent and random than the MST version. The Brains used an international video print of the film that was significantly reedited from the original, leading to a lot of bizarre and unmotivated cuts and transitions between scenes.
  • The Alcoholic: Referenced numerous times.
    Mike: "Come on, beer, get in my mouth. Come on!"
    Crow: "You know, after this beer, we should have a beer sometime."
    Servo: (as the Devil Fish) "I'm a recovering alcoholic. I can't eat that guy."
    Servo: "Say goodbye to the beer for me!"
  • Beyond the Impossible: Using just four ice cubes, Crow somehow sculpts an exact replica of Michaelangelo's David, and larger than the original to boot. Naturally, most of it is off-screen, so we have to take everyone's word on how impressive it is.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Blowie the dolphin makes the usual clicks and whines, but apparently Mike and the 'bots can understand him.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: At one point, Bob says "I knoooow!" (which was also used as the stinger). But he says it differently than the rest of his lines in the movie. Tom observes: "Was this guy dubbed by J. Peterman?"
  • Call-Back:
  • Celebrity Resemblance: The crew notes Miller's resemblance to Lou Reed.
  • Censor Box:
    • The MST3K logo was used to cover up a surprise guest appearance by Peter's balls. "Dah! Incoming!"
      Servo: (as Peter, giggling) I hung one out for fun!
    • They're less offended by one shot of the leads with his crotch framed by a harness. Mike announces, "Yep, yep, we have bike rack!" Servo responds with an enthusiastic "Woo!"
  • Comical Overreacting: Mike goes into full-blown Government Conspiracy mode when he misplaces his wallet.
  • Devious Dolphins: At one point, Mike and the bots decide they dislike dolphins. They call Sea World in order to mock Blowie the Dolphin over the phone. And then a dolphin warship appears outside and fires at the Satellite of Love, and doesn't leave until Mike apologizes to Blowie.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Mike is also given four ice cubes with which to make a sculpture.
    Mike: I, uh, I tried to weld mine, and, uh, [gestures to small puddle].
  • Doomed Hometown: Parodied.
    Mike: I'm sorry for the electrician crack. My father's village was attacked by electricians.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: The movie ends with a small joke. Crow and Servo decide to laugh for the duration of the end credits in response.
  • Fan Disservice: Mike specifically complains about the repeated close up butt shots on Miller during his underwater fight with Peter. You could probably count Stella (aka Skeletor)'s entire existence, too.
    Crow: Well, it's a nice butt, Mike.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Mocking the movie's distinctly Euro feel, Servo says "If I don't come back, adopt a single currency, eat snails, and don't shave your armpits" when Peter goes into the water for the last time. Peter survives unscathed, but evidently Europe decides his suggestions are worth implementing anyway.
  • Freudian Slip: "That's six degrees off the port beer, I mean, bow!"
  • Funny Background Event: Bill Corbett as Brain Guy as Isaac from The Love Boat in the last segment.
  • Furry Reminder: As expected, Captain Bobo devolves into a rampaging ape, forcing Observer to tranquilize him.
  • Gonk: Mike and the Bots repeatedly joke at how ugly Miller the Killer is, with Crow even speculating his sheer ugliness fuels his boat.
  • Hayseed Name: As the devil fish attacks boats in the Everglades, Crow remarks that "a lot of guys named 'Bo' died that day.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Servo jokes about the Devilfish having "eleventacles." Mike groans audibly. He also groans at Servo's "We're experiencing tentacle difficulties!".
  • Noodle Incident: One has to wonder how exactly Pearl "left port" and stranded all the other guests who'd booked a cruise with them. She shuts down the question quickly and decisively.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Dolphins. Never piss those guys off, especially not any named Blowie.
    "Dolphin warbird decloaking off the port bow!"
    • Ditto for electricians, though largely because they have an alliance with the dolphins.
  • Overly Long Gag: Crow and Servo laugh over the entire end credits; you get tired of it after a bit but it loops back around to being funny again.
  • The Red Stapler: Parodied — supposedly the film was so widely seen that its dopey electrician character created a negative stereotype of electricians. Rick the electrician, sent up to repair the SOL during Segment Three, mentions that guys like him have been getting a hard time from people ever since Devil Fish came out. Mike proves their point by insulting him — until Rick reveals that the electricians have formed an alliance with the dolphins for protection, forcing Mike to apologize as the ship comes under attack by the dolphins yet again.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Pearl turns up the "Italian Stereotype" vision mode on Mike and the Bots until they become full-on pizza-spinning, loafer-wearing, gondola-riding ethnic slurs.
    Mike: (Mario voice) Pearl! You-a make-a broad stereotype!
    Gondolier!Crow: (singing) O solo mio!
    Grandma!Servo: Antony! Antony!
  • Running Gag:
    • References to beer and the Italian actors faking American accents. note 
      Servo (as Peter): "Of course I am American and not European. I drive a truck!"
    • Cortez gets some riffs as a steroid-popping bodybuilder.
    • "As seen on TV."
    • Ragging on the Coast Guard for being in the movie.
      Mike: The Coast Guard was in this, I wonder if they'd be in my brother's wedding video?
  • Self-Deprecation: According to Pearl, the guests were fine with the movie segments, but they were confused by the breaks caused by the host segments (aka "Whatever it is you do up there").
  • Shout-Out:
  • Take That!: "Still a better edited movie than Batman & Robin."
  • Timmy in a Well: How Cambot alerts Mike and the 'bots to the Italian filter.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Invoked word-for-word by Pearl on Bobo acting as Captain during dinner.
  • With Lyrics: At one point, Tom croons "Devil Fish in looooooooove" along with a particularly moody piece of soundtrack music.
  • With This Herring: To help pass off Castle Forrester as a cruise ship, Pearl asks Mike and the bots to make her some ice sculptures. To accomplish this, she gives them a single tray of drink-sized ice cubes.

Peter: I knoooow!