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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S11 E10: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

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"Check in the car! Did you guys leave it in the car?"

Kinga Forrester: Jonah, your experiment is a fantasy quest full of magic and whiny brats, in which the most charismatic character... is a hat.
TV's Son of TV's Frank: I'll tell you who was living in a fantasy world—the people who thought they were making a watchable movie!

Film Featured: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom.

The Segments:

  • Max asks his journal how to make Kinga reciprocate his love. He also finds a giant key, which fits perfectly into a giant keyhole in Moon 13's wall—and which controls a giant metal serpent in the ceiling.

Segment 1

  • Invention exchange time. Jonah invents Verbal Smoke Bombs—excuses and non-sequiturs guaranteed to end any awkward conversation. Kinga invents the Sponsor Clock, by selling the rights to name every hour of the day to major brands.

Segment 2

  • Jonah and the bots speculate about how Kor earned his title "The Conqueror."

Segment 3

  • Inspired by the movie, Tom Servo tries to summon an army of zombies. Jonah the Conqueror sings a song to remind Tom to be a little more patient. Puberty metaphors abound.

Segment 4

  • Jonah and the bots reply to more fan mail: a drawing of Tom Servo with a massive head, wondering where everyone else is, and another drawing of the whole SOL crew trapped in...mind prisons?

Segment 5

  • Jonah and the bots advertise the official Wizards of the Lost Kingdom Suicide Cave play set. Kinga and Max ominously foreshadow that this film... has a sequel...

Tropes featured in the episode:

  • The Alcoholic: Hardly a stretch, since wine appears to be Kor's only motivation. Jonah and the bots crack a few jokes about calling Kor's Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.
  • Angst? What Angst?: invoked The gang notes how creepy it is for Kor to be mugging and cracking jokes after murdering several people.
  • Anti-Climax: The movie is absolutely full of them, and the guys are aware of every one. Right as Kor is about to face off against three armed lizard-men, Jonah gets excited, claiming the movie might finally get a decent action sequence—and they all scatter. When they return with a gigantic warrior, he just knocks Kor down and gets immediately blown up by Simon's magic. Even the final battle against Shurka is a huge letdown.
    Servo: You know, that was magically anticlimactic.
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  • Badass Bystander: When Shurka's soldiers attack a random farm, a George Harrison-looking farmer puts up a surprisingly good fight against them — prompting Crow to wish that guy could have been the movie's hero. "Oh, this guy's a badass! Can we trade Kor for him?" Of course he then promptly gets filled full of arrows. "Ohh. Maybe not..."
  • The Beard:
    Shurka: I intend to rule Axhome. I will need a queen at my side.
    Crow: (as Shurka) You know, to stop the rumors and all.
  • Bridezilla: Because Princess Aura seems to spend all of her screen time judging Simon.
    Princess Aura: You do want to marry me, don't you?!
    Jonah: Child bridezilla!
  • Call-Back: "What would Dick Van Patten do?"
  • Catchphrase:
    Kor: Hold it.
    Servo: (as Kor) That's my catch phrase. Copyright, trademark me.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Within minutes of meeting Kor, Jonah and the bots call him "twitchy Gordon Ramsay" and "fat Sting", and a later close-up on his eyes prompts "Kenneth Brannagh?"
  • Comically Small Bribe: According to Tom Servo, Shurka got the loyalty of the soldiers by giving them Vikings tickets.
  • Companion Cube:
    • The villain's crab-shaped hat is turned into its own separate characterinvoked named Crabby.
    • "You know, they auditioned dozens of waterfalls for this role, but when this waterfall was in the room with Simon, the chemistry was just electric."
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Discussed. When the narration talks about wizards and sorcerers, Jonah asks what the difference is. Crow responds that Sorcery is an inborn talent, whereas Wizardry is a learned skill.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: One theory for why Kor is "The Conqueror": the actual Conqueror had his title stripped for using steroids, so Kor became the Conqueror by default.
  • Dissimile: "It's like The Lord of the Rings without all the fancy, good stuff."
  • Enforced Method Acting: invoked
    Jonah: Whoa, a real, on-camera explosion, no digital effects. See, that guy is actually screaming because he almost got hurt. This is a real outtake.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The score takes a slightly dark turn as Simon and Gulfax intimidate/bully Shurka's dwarf minion into giving them the Ring of Power:
    Jonah: This music means they're the bad guys now.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: The gang notes how the inept fight choreography often has Kor killing mooks simply by shoving them.
  • Framed for Heroism: Another theory for how Kor became "The Conqueror": his "victories" were all a bunch of bizarre coincidences. He fought a dragon that suddenly died from an unrelated heart condition; he fought an evil witch who spontaneously combusted; that sort of thing.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: Tom Servo and Crow are convinced that Simon, once he gets the throne, will become just as evil as Shurka, and have to be overthrown himself:
    Crow: And Simon will be killed in battle by his own son, so that the cycle may begin anew.
    Servo: A throne gained in blood shall be lost in the same.
  • Funny Background Event: During the final Moon 13 segment, Synthia forms a bird-shape with her hands and flaps the wings over and over — like a less-coordinated version of Napoleon Dynamite's sign language song.
  • Fusion Fic: According to Jonah, one scene of the film is "a Gladiator / Little House on the Prairie mash-up."
  • He Also Did: invoked Upon noticing that James Horner scored this film:note 
    Crow: Ah, yes. Braveheart, Aliens, Avatar, and this movie.
    Servo: Yeah, when Cameron was scoring Titanic, he said, "I want that Wizards of Lost Kingdom sound."
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    Kor: Soldiers, be they dead or alive, [...] deserve some respect.
    Crow: So let's go kill us some soldiers, huh? I'm buying.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:
    Tom: So how come wizards have such terrible aim?
    Jonah: Must be all the extra fabric in their sleeves; throws off their movements.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: "I hope your wildest dreams include rose petals, because that's kind of all we've got right now."
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Jonah's "Verbal Smoke Bombs" include such bizarre conversation-enders as "Gotta go, I can't feel my arms!" and "Whoops, the unborn twin I absorbed in the womb is trying to fight its way out of me!"
  • Inferred Holocaust: invoked The movie ends with Simon as the heir apparent. Tom Servo and Crow describe how, obviously, Simon's going to enact a bloody purge of Shurka loyalists, go mad from paranoia, and become a theocratic tyrant.note 
  • The Load: They point out how Gulfax, for all his attention-getting appearance, never does a damn thing throughout the whole movie.
  • Licking the Blade: When Simon fights off a phantom, Crow encourages him afterwards: "Come on. Lick it. First kill. Come on, lick the sword. Lick it."
  • Metaphorically True: Jonah and the bots' last theory for Kor's title, "the Conqueror": that he earned it by doing something much more mundane. Say, by "conquering" a seventeen-platter dinner at a greasy spoon diner, or by "conquering" the high score on Frogger at the local pizza parlor.
  • Micro Monarchy: "Legendary magical kingdom, population: twenty-two."
    Jonah: Help me reign over my lobby-palace and 800 square feet of a kingdom.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg:
    Kor: Soldiers, be they dead or alive...
    Servo: Or middle-aged.
  • Nonuniform Uniform: During the battle as Shurka attacks Axhome: "I've never seen uniforms that are so un-uniform."
  • Ow, My Body Part!: "My lower G.I.!"
  • Put Their Heads Together: Jonah tells Tom Servo and Crow to knock off their Crypt Keeper impressions. When they persist, he knocks their skulls together to shut them up.
  • Rooting for the Empire: invoked When Acrasia (the insect woman) attacks Simon, the bots are evenly split between rooting for Simon and rooting for Acrasia.
  • Running Gag:
    • Many, many jokes featuring "Crabby", the villain's supposedly sentient, wisecracking, crab-shaped hat.
    • Every time Kor draws or sheaths his sword, he cuts himself.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • "Something's happening! I can tell by the music! Oh, maybe not."
    • "Surprisingly upbeat music for a scene featuring a woman being shot in the back with an arrow."
  • Special Effect Failure: invoked "It's less Medieval Times and more Medieval Tim's."
    Crow: He's caught between a rock and a fake place.
  • Sticks to the Back: Kor has his sheath slung across his back, so every time he draws or sheaths his weapon: "Oh, that really cut my back, actually. Oh."
  • Stock Footage: Because the prologue was cobbled together from footage of other Roger Corman-produced sword & sorcery films, the result is a rapid succession of people who look like they should be major characters—but aren't.
    Crow: Jonah, I'm having a hard time keeping track of the characters in this movie. We're two minutes in, and I've seen like 90 people.
    Servo: Maybe this is the menu, and we have to click on one of these to choose the story we want.
  • The Stoner: In the opening minutes, the riffers turn some kind of wizard duel into a stoner's get-together.
    Jonah: Uh, Kev, you're green dude. This is some dank week. [laughs]
    Servo: Can you even hear me when you're green, man? Oh, no, he's gone! That's harsh! [normal voice] And I'm all out of stoner jargon.
  • Super OCD: Jonah jokes that Simon must have OCD, since his clothes are spotless even after all his adventures.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: "Does everyone in this kingdom have the power to spy on each other?" They also naturally point out how Shurka is spying on Simon immediately after a scene where Simon casts a spell to stop him doing that.
  • Take Our Word for It: "Wow. Kor's a good swordsman when it's too dark to actually see what he's doing."
  • Tempting Fate: Every time Jonah and the bots get excited about an upcoming action scene, it just winds up being another Anti-Climax.
    Jonah: Okay. You know, movie, I doubted you before, but Kor the Conqueror versus three wicked-ass demon men? This is gonna be great. Ha ha ha!
    [The demon-men run away instead of fighting.]
    Jonah: And I'm disappointed again.
  • Totally Radical: "This is so lame. I'm gonna go to my room and text emojis or whatever teens do."
  • Visual Gag: When a vine-covered pillar is in the foreground, Crow climbs up it to see if there are any treasure chests at the top.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: The only sign that Kor the "Conqueror" deserves his title is the fact he kills four men without blinking an eye.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: invoked Jonah and the bots specifically call out the scrawny actor who plays the phantom warrior as being wholly unsuited to the role.