1101. Reptilicus (1961)

Reptilicus Premiere Post-Screening Q&A with Joel, Jonah, Felicia, Baron, and Hampton on YouTube.

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Trailer.

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I really approached this episode with much trepidation! Could they really pull off reanimating the series and keeping the past quality? I happy to say yes, and yes! While it’s not my favorite season 11 episode it’s iconic for relaunching the series. Some great moments here! The opening with Will Wheaton and Erin Gray, the “every country has it’s monster” rap. The riffing is rapid fire in season 11 and that took some getting used to. But the show was back! And it was good!

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The joking was shockingly excellent and I positively sensed the flavor of Comedy Central Joel Era MST within. I was completely at ease with The Return once I saw it. The riffing callbacks, the infectiousness of seeing it again, how the energy poured off the screen. Hole In One.

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Reptillicus, oh Reptillicus, how fortune has shined (shown?) upon us all! This was it, this was the moment that MST3K was real again, and not just some opium-tinged dream of the distant past. I don’t want to diminish what the Film Crew, Rifftrax, and Cinematic Titanic did for us. They were, and Rifftrax still is, great endeavors to keep movie riffing alive and relevant. They just weren’t MST3K.

As for the episode itself, it gets off to a pretty good start, providing us with Jonah’s origin story. We get even more background, and a taste of things to come with the invention exchange. All good stuff, before we finally get to the movie. On the first viewing I was thrown off by the voices of the bots, I had trouble telling who was who. Not really because they sound alike, but because both voices were new. I even had trouble picking out Jonah sometimes. Since then, I have gotten in enough viewings to appreciate the riffs, which are a bit slow compared to later episodes in the season. Honestly, I need to watch this episode a few more times, as I am mostly blanking on the good riffs, although I remember laughing at some D&D based riffs.

The movie is actually watchable, but still very riffable. I think we are seeing this a bit more often with the the rebooted seasons, although there are still some real bad ones (Munchie!) . The thing that really sold me, however, was the second host segment. Jonah’s flawless delivery of “Every Country Has a Monster” was an instant classic, and catapulted this episode straight to my Top 10 list, where it still resides.

There isn’t much more I can say, this episode holds a special place in MST3K history.

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Seeing Mst3K after so many years gave me goosebumps! Even with a new host and new voices for the bots it definitely captured the spirit of the show. I’m so glad Joel decided on a reboot! It’s definitely been worth it!

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This is one I’ll need to watch again to get a better feel for it, which is true of all of S11 and S12. But it had the riff that made me feel like MST3K was truly back: “I won a parking ticket!”

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For the most part, it’s a typical kaiju film of the era that hits all the standard beats. But there are some details which help it stand out. First off are the two estrogen-addled daughters of Professor Martens, who appear ready and willing to hump anyone with a Y chromosome. The security guard Petersen is an odd character who looks as if he were yanked off the Hee Haw set. Apparently, the actor Dirch Passer is some sort of celebrated comic in Denmark. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and presume this was just a low point in his career.

But the true inanity comes from the kaiju itself and how its existence is based on a total misunderstanding of reptilian regeneration. In essence, Repitilicus came into being when a frozen fossil of a tail was brought up to room temperature and the rest of the reptilian organism grew out from that. This approaches Carbon-14 dating being able to tell that something’s from the future in its complete ignorance of science. Better just to sit back and enjoy as Copenhagen gets leveled.

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It was six years ago today that Kickstarter backers got access to Reptilicus.

I took my iPad to a local brewery, ordered a flight and watched.

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“STONE HIM!!”

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Season 11 provoked mixed emotions in me.

Glad MST3K was back.

Disappointed that the timing of the riffs in season 11 were SO WONKY. It spoiled the illusion they were watching the film with us. They have since improved greatly.

Glad they had money….but felt the Netflix seasons on the whole felt too slick, too glitzy, too Hollywood. One of the things I loved about the show was the homespun cow town outside the mainstream feel. It reminded me of the SF/monster film host shows local channels used to have when I was very young.

That said, while I had these mixed feelings and while I don’t feel this was the best of the initial comeback season, it did hold me interest.

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I think back to the Episode 1301 preview for backers a week before it all dropped on Netflix. I had gone on a trip to Cleveland to meet the remaining cast and crew of Night of the Living Dead (1968). And that Sunday I was driving first to Detroit to return my friend to Canada then heading home. I drove to Indiana as fast as I could knowing at midnight the trial ended. I couldn’t be happier pulling in the driveway at 9:20 pm. I instantly turned on the computer, clicked on the backer link, and dived right in enjoying every second. Then to realize it was 12:00 Pacific Time. So I watched it again!!! LOL!!!

I’m still very fond as it was one of those rare films I saw before being riffed. It was 2 years before and I said unknowingly, “This could be an experiment.” And when the Season 11 Trailer dropped and I spied the creature, I grinned as if someone heard me. This and how beautifully it brought back the show are why I hold on to this as a personal fave.

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My wife found these, it seems like something out of a first draft of “Every Country has a Monster.”

I’m not sure what it says, though.

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My Japanese isn’t good enough to do the whole thing (before the heat death of the universe), but the top is pretty easy and it says “映画に見るモンスター世界地図” (“Eiga ni miru monsutā sekai chizu”), which means roughly “Movie watching monster world map”.

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Awesome, thanks!

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Great line.

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Reptilicus figured prominently in the Season 11 Trailer.

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Think of how much faster Hamlet would’ve ended if someone had summoned Reptilicus instead of that darned ghost.

And the body count would probably have been about the same. :stuck_out_tongue:

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And there would be running scenes. BRILLIANT!

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