501. Warrior of the Lost World (1984)

Paper Chase Guy made other crappy movies. So I hope we’ll get to visit with him again someday. (R.I.P.)

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I think that one guy looks more like Avery Schreiber.

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He’s in there now. I ran across one spot he’d squeeze into.

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This one fits somewhere in the middle for me. Not a favorite, but solid. The paper chase guy and his annoying bike are negatives. Persis Khambatta ,Donald Pleasance, and Megaweapon are positives. Overall a decent start to season 5.

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Antiheroes are a tricky sort of protagonist to pull off. Their motives are by nature more selfish than with a traditional hero. Yet they must possess at least a few redeeming traits so that audiences can sympathize. Probably the best-known example of an antihero done right is Han Solo. The primary issue for this post-apocalyptic film is that the nameless protagonist remains unlikable throughout and always needs to have his arm twisted to do any good.

Except we don’t really get a solid impression of either side possessing moral superiority. The designated villain organization possesses some overt trappings of evil. They have Donald Pleasance as their Blofeld-like leader, their mook troops wearing black uniforms, and their insignia looks like a Nazi armband with an omega in place of a swastika. Subtle it is not. But that’s all we really get. Meanwhile, the designated hero organization is very mystical, and that’s about it. I suppose you could see the absurd casualty ratios as an indicator as to who is in the right. Designated hero deaths are virtually nonexistent on account of the inability of the black-clad mooks to hit the broadside of a barn inside the barn. Even the Star Wars franchise can be bothered to kill off a few name characters from the protagonist side.

Another annoyance comes in the form of the lead protagonist’s motorcycle, which is equipped with a KITT-like AI. Only instead of William Daniels, its voice is high-pitched and squealy and speaks by repeating the same sentence two or three times. It’s quite satisfying to watch it get crushed under the weight of Megaweapon. Megaweapon is the real hero.

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This has long been one of my favorite episodes. It is one of those movies that could have been good if it were more competently made, and post apocalyptic sci-fi movies are the MST3K sweet spot for me. Putting Donald Pleasance in your otherwise crappy movie seems to have been the thing to do during the '80s, making him simultaneously the most under-rated and over-rated actor of the era.

The mumbling Paper Chase Guy, and his ultra annoying motorcycle are just bad all around, yet they are our heroes? At least Megaweapon is there to crush one of them. Go Megaweapon! Yes, you may just be a very slow dump truck with some spikes and tubes glued on here and there, but you are our true hero. Megaweapon has more emotional range than Paper Chase Guy, and if anyone is fighting the good fight against all odds in this film, it is Megaweapon.

The host segments are fun, especially the phone call from Megaweapon, but this is an episode where the movie and riffing really shine through for me. Tom’s riff of all the actors at the end is simply the icing on the cake, and I just want to stand up and applaud with a hearty “Bravo!” every time I see it.

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I guess it also helps that I have my Warrior of the Lost World mini-poster, signed by Joel, hanging next to the TV in my office to remind me of how much I like this episode:

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Me: “Hi, Mr. Hodgson. I’m your biggest fan. Please write, ‘Da dow da da dow!! Pew pew pew!’ and then sign your name underneath. And please write each word in a different color of these twelve metallic pens. Don’t worry. They hardly ever explode so long as you give them a good shake every thirty seconds or so.”

Joel Hodgson: “Uhhh… yeah. Security, a little help here please?!”

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I had it signed at Cinematic Titanic event, Joel was nice of course, but the really fun part was that my wife and I were at the end of the very end of the line, and Gruber was hanging out with us for half the time we were standing in line.

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A fitting ode to your love of the episode. I have Joel’s signature on a 2015 Kickstarter Poster, The Mystery Gift from 2015, a Green Spring Snake from the Watch Out For Snakes! Tour, and on the Coffee Table Book. I’ve never had him sign anything for me in person. I hope to one day have that chance. Congrats! :heart_eyes:

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Not to in any way imply that the Paper Chase Guy is a likable protagonist in any way … but its not entirely true that he has to be forced to do decent things all the time. He could have ditched Jimmy Carter’s daughter the second her back was turned, or clobbered her when they were in the tunnel and she wasn’t paying attention, and took off but he didn’t. He didn’t have to go fight all the six different movies being shot in the Curry powder arena, but he did. He could have just driven off and abandoned Jimmy Carter’s “New Way” army when they attacked, but he didn’t. He could have took off when Megaweapon showed up, but he stayed. And so on.

So while he’s certainly no Han Solo in terms of striking a balance between anti-hero and hero, he isn’t quite as bad as all that.

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Plus I’m pretty sure that most of his bad mood stemmed from that Post-Apocalyptic thing where you have to pull your own wisdom teeth and there’s no painkillers around afterwards to help you cope.

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Someone else made the anti-hero, and forced to do good comments. My point was that the two characters are just plain badly done. Bad acting from Paper Chase Guy, bad conceptualization and voice acting for the annoying bike, bad writing for both, just bad, bad, bad. I get Paper Chase Guy’s motivation isn’t necessarily bad, he just wants to get laid, and there are not a lot of hot chicks around during the apocalypse. And definitely not a lot of hot chicks willing to smash faces with him (I don’t think you can call what they did on film “kissing”).

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