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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S10 E07: Track of the Moon Beast

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Bring your 4x4 down to the track of the Moon Beast.

Film watched: Track of the Moon Beast

"The scene in which Johnny names ingredients in his stew quickly became a running gag and one of the writers' favorite moments from the series. Writer Kevin Murphy stated that his world-weary sigh of "onions..." made Johnny Longbow one of the "best" characters they've ever encountered."
Wikipedia on Track of the Moon Beast

Mike, Servo and Crow prove that the whole silly affair involving a one-dimensional sort-of-a-scientist turning into a lizard creature via a moon rock makes for a great target of mockery. Note that, rather improbably, this is actually the fourth movie the show featured about a guy named Paul turning into a monster, preceded by The Crawling Hand, The Projected Man and Werewolf (1996). Shares many odd similarities with Werewolf, in fact - guy named Paul, Southwestern US, Native American folklore, ditzy girlfriend, confusing reference to Dracula in the dialogue...

The episode is available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments:

  • The 'Bots have just bought a new onion blossomer and are going nuts with blossoming everything they can find on the SOL.

Segment 1

  • Mike and Crow have blossomed Servo's head and are enjoying it with a delicious dip. Pearl has cut Bobo's skull open to use him as a test subject for her new mind-control device and needs some help setting the universal remote for it. The crew use their own remote to control Bobo into freeing them from the SOL, which is foiled when Mike accidentally puts him in sleep-mode.

Segment 2

  • The 'Bots recreate the opening scene from the movie and frighten Mike while he's eating pea pods to no effect. He doesn't even so much as look up when Crow overacts his part and breaks down sobbing.

Segment 3

  • The short and tragic career of "The Band That Played 'California Lady'" is featured on the crew's new segment, SOL's Legends of Rock.

Segment 4

  • Crow and Servo seek to answer the ultimate question: What kind of pajamas does Mike wear?

Segment 5

  • Servo accidentally hits a baby satellite with his bow and arrow set, and Mike helps it back into the wild when its mother arrives. Brain Guy is showing Bobo how to care for his now-exposed brain, and Pearl messes with both their brains for her amusement.

Tropes present in the MST3K presentation of Track of the Moon Beast include:

  • Acting Unnatural: When Mike discovers the 'bots peeping on him, Crow advises acting natural. It takes 2 seconds for both 'bots to crack.
    Servo: TAKE OFF YOUR ROBE!!!
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: After Longbow's slideshow presentation of the lizard myth:
    Longbow: I know what you're thinking...
    Servo: I'm boring and my slideshow eats.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: Bobo's end of the Volleying Insults with Observer in the final segment.
    Observer: You ignoramus!
    Bobo: You stupid-head!
    Observer: Troglodyte!
    Bobo: You dodo-head!
    Observer: Credit risk!
    Bobo: Dummy... hhhhhead!
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Quite a few of the jokes about Johnny Longbone invoke this.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Mike adds "... hair" to Johnny's recipe.
    • Servo precedes the list with "Velveeta, rattlesnake...."
  • Cliché Storm: Played with in-universe with Mike's take on "The Band That Played 'California Lady'." Every troubled rock band issue you can think of shows up.
  • Crying Indian: From the archery scene...
    Crow: (snickering) I swiped these from that Indian when he was crying about the garbage!
  • Deep-Fried Whatever: Crow and Servo order an onion blossomer, and proceed to blossom and deep-fry everything in sight, including a bowling ball, a caulking gun, a plunger ("Mmmm, plunger!") and Mike's wallet. Crow and Mike then deep-fry Servo's head. Servo is alarmed at first (Mike: "Oh come on, you didn't even miss it!"), but then finds that he smells delicious -- or at least the peppercorn ranch dip does.
    • Pearl then addresses the S.O.L. crew as: "Mike, Crow, snack." The next cut to the S.O.L. has Servo wearing his new snack head, while Mike takes a munch of it in the theater.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Quite a few Double Entendres on the subject of Johnny Longbone.
    • "She gets off the ground saying 'What happened?' a lot."
    • After Paul gets a cut on his head from the meteorite:
      Kathy: Oh, no, don't touch it. Let me do that.
      Crow: Words every guy wants to hear.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Following the lengthy explanation of the prank:
    Kathy: Am I forgiven?
    Crow: Only if you stop explaining it!
  • Dull Surprise: As the camera zooms in on a shot of Kathy's "reaction":
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: When Paul awakens with a Catapult Nightmare, Crow says "I'm swimming in a pool! Oh no..."
  • Epic Fail: The prank in the movie was pretty pathetic, but in the host segment parodying it, Mike doesn't even really react at all. Crow, however, completely falls apart over what he perceives as a needlessly cruel prank (while Mike continues to sit there quietly eating pea pods).
    Crow: ...I hate myself.
  • Failed Attempt at Scaring: Played for Laughs in the second host segment when the Bots tries to scare Mike. Mike doesn't even look up, although it doesn't stop Crow from breaking down thinking that he had absolutely scared him.
  • Least Rhymable Word:
    "California Lady" Singer: Singing songs to the sun that's risin', rhymin' words I cannot touch!
    Crow: Like purple and orange!
  • Mondegreen Gag:
    • The gang mishears Johnny Longbow as "Longbone", and follows up with all the jokes you'd expect.
    • They also hear Budd Keeler as "Butt Healer".
  • Native American Casino: The final riff of the film.
    Servo: (as Johnny Longbow) I see... a huge casino!
    Mike: Oh, come on...
  • No Name Given: The members of The Band That Played "California Lady" are, respectively, the fish-lipped guy (the singer), the Eskimo (the other guitarist), and the friendly-looking backup singer. The movie never gives them (or the band itself) any other names, and Mike never calls them anything but The Band That Played "California Lady" during Segment 3's SOL's Legends of Rock.
  • Political Overcorrectness: Spoofed.
    Paul: Guess I blacked out.
    Mike: Excuse me, you African-Americaned out!
  • Preppy Name: Mike makes note of a "Fitzhugh Emerson III" in the credits, saying the name with a preppy New England lockjaw accent.
  • Roadrunner Vs Coyote: One of the crew's gags when Johnny's telling a legend after dinner.
  • Running Gag: Johnny's stew and "California Lady" both get mocked savagely throughout the movie.
  • Sanity Slippage: After the prank (like in the movie) goes wrong.
  • Sex Equals Love
    Crow: And they proceed to do it because they love each other!
  • Shirtless Scene:
Crow: He has a severe allergy to shirts!
Mike: I'm not shirtless enough, I'm gonna take off my skin.
Tom: This is serial shirtlessness!
  • Sudden Anatomy: Gypsy wears a small arm resembling Tom Servo's in the host segment parodying the movie's opening scene.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When Kathy mentions a character who hadn't appeared since the first act.
    Kathy: I borrowed Bud's car.
    Mike: Well find out who Bud is and return it.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Mike gives us a complete summation of the meteoric rise and meteoric-er fall of The Band That Played "California Lady" in a sketch parodying VH1's Legends (complete with Kris Kristofferson impression).
  • With Lyrics: Servo comes up with his own lyrics to "California Lady":
    The Fish-lipped Guy: I'm hung out in Chicago / with a California mind...
    Tom: [as the fish-lipped guy] I forced my skull right through my face, / and refused to wash my stringy haaaaaiiir...
  • Wunza Plot: "He's a cop. He's a rabbi. They're cops. Except for the rabbi."