Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S11E10 "Wizards of the Lost Kingdom"

Go To
"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?: 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • 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?"
  • Catch Phrase:
    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 character 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:
    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.
  • Fan Nickname: They refer to Shurka's ape-like second-in-command as Ape-ula.
  • 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: 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: "Why do wizards have such crappy aim?"
  • 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: 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.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Because the prologue was cobbled together from Stock 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.
  • 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 Shurza 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: 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:
    • Chanting the Trashmen's Surf Rock Ear Worm "Surfin' Bird (Bird Is the Word)" to the tune of the Winkies' "Oh-ee-oh" marching song from The Wizard of Oz during the march of the bird-helmet soldiers at the beginning.
    • The riff about the Suicide Cavern is done in the style of Statler and Waldorf. Doh-ho-ho-hoh!
    • The bots make a Hurricane of Puns a la the Cryptkeeper from Tales from the Crypt
  • 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."
  • 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 "Conquerer" deserves his title is the fact he kills four men without blinking an eye.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Jonah and the bots specifically call out the scrawny actor who plays the phantom warrior as being wholly unsuited to the role.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: