1206. Ator, The Fighting Eagle (1982)

“This is the part of the film we like to call “she had to ask.””, “Jeez, Tolkien couldn’t follow this plot!”, “Again?” “No!!!” These are the jokes I hear when thinking of Ator, The Fighting Eagle (1982). Yes they are riffs from the sequel yet the spirit lives on and those flashbacks are “with us always.” Secret Plan, Swiss Army Cheese, Totino’s Pizza Roll Popper, Ator’s Training Sequence, Kiog the Bear Cub. “Ah, finally, I can yell “Fire” in a crowded theater”, “Remind me again, how much Keefe is in this movie?”, “And this woman could be yours if The Price Is Right.” “The Hills Are Alive With The Fighting Eagle!!!” or “Oh, hush”?

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There are two more Ator movies. We’re halfway there.

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I find this one of the more tolerable Pecs & Pulchritude movies that have been screened on the show, in part due to how there not much in the way of attempts at comic relief. The Spider God puppet is still pretty sad, though.

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Only one of the remaining two stars Miles O’Keeffe, though. Here’s a still from it - spot the anachronism?

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That’s why we do both of them, and get O’Keefe to guest star in the fourth episode so the crew can ask him where the hell Ator is.

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Ator flies and so does my heart! In his kite made of string and sticks and bamboo, I fly along with you!

Hey, wait a minute. He doesn’t fly in this one. What kind of fighting eagle is he?!

I’d say this one’s a better movie than Cave Dwellers, but being worse might give that episode the edge. The problem with this one is that I’m not sure what memories are from MST3K and what’s from the Rifftrax version. I don’t think the Jonah version dives as deep into the sister-wife riffs, but that’s about all I’m sure of.

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As was said from some other source (I forget who), but it’s great - as it was with Mac and Me after Pod People - we get another bit of loop-closing with Ator getting riffed after Cave Dwellers, serving as the closing episode of Season 12. And to think that there was a time when it seemed like this was going to be the series finale of MST3K after Netflix got axe-happy.

Love that we get more of Synthia and Dr. Erhardt here, AND Dr. Donna St. Phibes! With Kiog in tow, no less!

I will say, when it comes to Mads moments, Felicia Day hits it WAY out of the park with her chilling monologue about how she’s watching us and that we’re all alone, even if that is contradictory as Max pointed out. Complete with spooky music, too! (Used to great effect over the ending credits as well.)

That ending moment of Kinga and Max being forced to watch the entirety of the MST3K canon? Starting with Mr. B Natural? [chef’s kiss]

I like the riffing of this episode. It faces the unfair distinction of being weighed against an all-timer in Cave Dwellers (just as it was with Final Justice always getting compared to Mitchell), but it’s plenty of fun, too. The “Bonjour” Beauty and the Beast riff is something brilliant.

The episode finds its most brilliant moments at its cheapest, like when Ator has the fight against the shadow warrior and, of course, that big ol’ spider monster puppet Snufflelantula thing.

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Hi, Ho! Kermit thee knight here…

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And then Kinga and Max blew up Moon 13, and the Boneheads were never seen again, as far as we know. Oh, and during that time, a bit of Kinga’s hair disintigrated, so she then got a new haircut.

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Oh, they were rescued by Gerry and Sylvia, and now all of them are forming a union so the Forresters can never take advantage of them again.

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But before that, we got Growler copping an attitude as he was being put onto the Deep Hurting spacecraft!

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Still trying to figure out that segment of the movie. It’s so quickly resolved, too.

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What did he even do to deserve this?! Any guesses?

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He was just too awesome, and they couldn’t properly accept that.

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My favorite part is the villain constantly covered in tarantulas! Even though I am arachnophobic, for some reason tarantulas are the exception.

black and white spider GIF by James Guthman

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You need to be introduced to the jumping spider!

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I love this episode. It’s such a great way to end The Gauntlet! Retroactively: I’m now relieved it’s not the finale finale. :smiley:

After the first time I watched this: I had to put on Cave Dwellers for the “full circle” connections. I smiled when they got to the lengthy montage that now had call-forward context! :slightly_smiling_face:

Features one of my all-time favorite riff exchanges from the Netflix era:
Servo: Remind me again: How much Keefe is in this movie?
Jonah: Oh hush!

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Some attempts on cashing in on a trending blockbuster are more obvious than others. Take the final movie screened in this season. It pretty much copies the plot points of the 1982 movie Conan the Barbarian, filling it out with results from a D&D random encounter table. Granted the basic premise is as old as the hills and has been done a zillion times. But you’d think they could have filed off the serial numbers of their knockoff a little better.

But that’s hardly the only issue. The fight scenes are lackluster, with it being obvious that the combatants are deliberately striking the weapon of the opponent rather than aiming at the actual opponent. Just like when you did stick sword fighting as a kid. As is often the case in these Pecs & Pulchritude movies of the 1980s, the production values are pretty sad. Especially with the so-called Spider God that gets realized with what looks like oversized pipe cleaners and a web that’s obviously rope. Even so, it manages to be entertaining in a mindless sort of way.

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I for one will just never get over how Ator was in love with who he thought was his sister and everybody else was apparently totally chill with that….

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Ator, The Fighting Eagle. Brought to you by Folgers.

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