One of my all-time favorites! This is the very first episode of MST3K that I taped off TV by way of the Mystery Science Theater Hour. That would explain why I didn’t buy this one when Rhino released it on VHS, which I could still kick myself in the butt over.
But yeah, this one’s fantastic. The movie tries so hard to be profound and super-serious, but by putting its heart on its sleeve and going with a somber tone for such a ridiculous story (that “imagine the heart as one cell” analogy is just dumb as hell), it leaves itself WIDE OPEN for a barrage of trademark MST3K wisecracks.
It sets the tone right away with that great opening with the army guys in a trench waiting for a plutonium detonation (Glenn: “You’ll just have to wait it out-” Servo: “For the rest of your life.”). Joel’s riff over the wayward plane is just wonderful: “Oh, no, it’s Amelia Earhart, she picked a bad time to come back!”
But my favorite part of this is the triple riff when Glenn runs out to save the downed pilot while Army command tries to keep him from running out before the detonation can occur:
Servo with an Irish brogue: “Glenn, this is your Father O’Malley. Come back, boy! It’s not worth it!”
Crow with an old lady voice: “Glenn, this is your first grade teacher, don’t do it!”
Joel: “Glenn, this is your mother. If you stop, I’ll make your favorite dish.”
Then we get into the stuff I love: SUPER-DARK HUMOR. And you get as Glenn lies in recovery at the Army hospital. (Why he wasn’t vaporized by the detonation is beyond me, but whatevs.)
SO MANY GREAT RIFFS as a toasty Glenn tries to recuperate from the explosion:
Crow: “Uh, yeah, never drink while you’re under the sunlamp.”
Joel as doctor: “I think we’ll make him into a pinata.”
Servo: “Hey, that’s pasta! He’s the Amazing Colossal Lasagna now!”
Glenn’s fiancee Carol: “How is he?”
Servo as nurse who’s shaking her head: “He’s not. He’s not anything.”
Reporter to Carol: “If you talked about him, it would help.”
Crow: “YEAH, IT’LL HELP TALKING ABOUT OLD PIZZAFACE.”
Carol about Glenn: “He still ribs me about my driving.”
Joel: “RIBS! That’s what I’m hungry for!”
But when Glenn starts growing and becoming amazingly colossal? The episode takes off EVEN MORE!
Joel: “Well, you have an all-night bender and your college buddies play tricks on ya.”
Crow as Glenn: “I’m being held in… Barbie’s Malibu Dream House!”
Servo: “Wait until he sees the toilet.”
Joel: “OH MY GOD, I’M A HUGE DADDY WARBUCKS!!!”
It’s just silly and ridiculous all over the place, like when you see a giant Glenn and Carol just having a random conversation by Carol’s car out in the open, prompting a hell of a lot of great riffs:
Servo: “Who do you think drove?”
Crow: “Hey, don’t laugh, Glenn, we’re on a fault line!”
Glenn: “I don’t want to grow anymore.”
Joel: “I’m a Toys R’ Us kid.”
Glenn: “I DON’T WANT TO GROW ANYMORE!”
Joel: “I’M A TOYS R’ US KID!”
Crow as Glenn stalks off: “Oh, that’s the problem, he was sitting on a bush.”
AND WHEN HE GOES ON HIS BIG UNINTENTIONALLY CAMPY RUN THROUGH VEGAS and throws down the giant cowboy sign and plays with the big crown and grabs a mammoth shoe and launches the huge hypodermic needle (Servo: “And THIS is why lawn darts were taken off the market!”)… I mean, it’s all great.
Even in the movie’s talkier scenes, it feels like this episode doesn’t slow down. A gem of an episode, and it stinks that this one isn’t available on DVD or streaming.