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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 12 E 05 Killer Fish

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"Yeah, this is just a placeholder. We're obviously not going to call it Killer Fish."

Film watched: Killer Fish (1979)

The Segments:

  • Synthia is poring through the Kingachrome archives for Pod People so that she can extract "Idiot Control Now" out of it. Kinga is still trying to figure out how to convert the song into a playable format for Dr. Erhardt to use.

Segment 1

  • After shushing Crow to keep him from squealing about a secret plan, Jonah starts the Invention Exchange with Alchemy Glue. It holds like magic, but only if you believe. Kinga's Time-Travel Oven cooks food instantly through the magic of temporal science.

Segment 2

  • As the titular killer fish have not appeared in the movie yet, Jonah and the Bots take wild and ridiculous guesses on what kind of fish it-slash-they could be.

Segment 3

  • Apollo 13 parodies may be dated, but that never stopped anybody. Especially not Jonah and the Bots, who narrate the movie's central conflict to the style of Mission Control.

Segment 4

  • The Gauntlet is almost over, and Kinga is convinced that Jonah's going to break. Synthia has also finished converting the song, making it into a refreshing drink that literally puts the song in your mouth.

This experiment contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: While the Mads are watching and riffing Synthia's search for the song, Kinga tells Max that he should consider going into stand-up comedy.
  • Call-Back:
    • When the box of gems gets thrown into the river:
      Tom Servo: And it lands right next to the sunken foot of Reptilicus.
    • "Paul! Your father is in great dangerrr!"
    • Within the episode, Crow does a call-back to the second host segment during "Below The Dam" once the actual "Killer Fish" are on screen, even changing into his Crow-rahna costume. "I Knew It!! Kazam!"
  • Canon Immigrant: Synthia's video diary of the search for "Idiot Control Now" includes a visit to the Bubbulat-r from the Dark Horse Comics tie-in, Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Comic.
  • Advertisement:
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Hi, I'm a gun! See you in the third act!"
  • Composite Character: The crew jokes that villain Paul Diller looks like "if Guy Pearce and Shipwreck from G.I. Joe had a kid."
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Kinga starts trying to find a viable recording of "Idiot Control Now" in the middle of her biggest experiment to give her father the sendoff he wanted.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Kinga and Max try their hand at riffing Synthia's Video Diary.
    Max: Great. Another found footage movie?
    Kinga: Methinks this footage should have stayed lost. [mugs to Max]
  • Fox-Chicken-Grain Puzzle: The third host segment likens the heroes' predicament to one, ending up by having them make themselves into a boat... except for Ollie who they figured the whole time wasn't going to make it. Sure enough, he dies shortly afterward.
    Tom: Why not just leave the fox? Is there any situation where you'd need a fox?
  • Glad I Thought of It: Immediately after Synthia demonstrates the drinkable song, Kinga starts to plan how she intends to market her new beverage.
  • The Mafia: Jokes about Tony and his "brudda."
    Jonah: [As Tony's brother's corpse] Whaddya gonna do? I'm dead!
  • Murphy's Law: Called out by name when Warren proves Too Dumb to Live. He and Hans were diving for the jewels when Hans gets attacked by the piranhas. Warren grabs Hans' harpoon gun to try and pull him back to the dock, pointing the weapon directly at his own chest in the process... and then getting harpooned when Hans accidentally hits the trigger.
    Crow: And Murphy's theory becomes law.
  • Piranha Problem: The premise of the movie.
    Crow: [singing] In the flora and the fauna
    There's a jill-i-on piranha
    Be our guest while we ingest you
    And of all your flesh divest you
    You can spray your poison spray can
    We'll still chew you up like ba-can
  • Poor Man's Substitute: invoked James Franciscus as overarching villain Paul Diller. "It's the poor man's Richard Chamberlain!"
  • Rack Focus: The guys mimic an argument between the director and cameraman near the end of the movie, in order to call out a particularly clumsy (and wobbly) use of rack focus.
  • Running Gag:
    • Jonah and the Bots comparing the set pieces to attractions at Universal Studios. Growler even imitates a tour bus announcer at one point, complete with bus.
    • Diller asking for his drink order to be topped up with Pedialyte.
  • Shout-Out:
    • As this film stars Lee Majors, you know they're going to run his six-million dollar career for all it's worth (which in this film is about $2,000).
    • "Killer Snorks!"
    • Jonah refers to Crow as "Tin Can-uel" during the "Below the Dam" number.
    • One of Crow's lines during the musical number references Dorbees, of all things.
    • To a certain other (much more famous) killer fish:
      Gypsy: But though I don't see barracuda
      Or a school of ahi tuna
      I'll still rip off Jaws 1 and 2 and 3!
    • "Nice job, Wario."
  • Speech Impediment: "Well hey there, hot thstuff! You look thexshy in the thshower!"
  • Spiritual Successor: While the two films are not identical, Killer Fish is a bit like season 9's Devil Fish, mainly because of the marine setting.
  • Stylistic Suck: Kinga and Max's self-congratulatory attempts at riffing.


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