604. Zombie Nightmare (1987)

Inspired by BruceLeePullen.

One of the best MST3K episodes of all time. Also, Adam West.

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There should have been an Odd Couple riff in the scene which I think deserved to be the stinger. Because it’s garbage.

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*Eats Spaghetti Menacingly*

“No, Oscar. It’s not spaghetti, it’s linguini!”

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Shawn Levy is now a highly accomplished director and producer. You know Stranger Things? He’s not only one of the executive producers, but has directed multiple episodes. Most notably “Dear Billy”.

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Sadly, this is on my list of episodes I can’t think about too much because I know (as we all do) something about what was edited out. Ditto Sidehackers. That’s just my hangup though, it is a fantastic riff of a delightfully bad movie. The coroner really makes it; he is just like one of my doctors (only not quite as crusty).

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Maybe they thought they’d gone back to that particular well enough by then. :spaghetti:

Also, the Twist 'N Creme still exists. ROAD TRIP!!!

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I hear the remains of the Ziox cult runs the place now. Turns out their true destiny was restaurant management all along.

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Well, restaurants are generally Hellscapes owned and operated by sadistic demons who despise humanity, so this checks out.

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Trivia about Jon Mikl Thor and the bands featured in the soundtrack, from Satellite News:

  • The soundtrack list includes bands called The Things and Knighthawk. They are just Thor in disguise (dull surprise!).
  • A band called Battalion does a song called “Out For The Kill.” That New York City-based band did exist, and even had their own comic book. (Thor co-produced their first album.) Sadly, Thor told us the guitar player of Battalion committed suicide by leaping off a 35-story building in New York City just before their album was to be released, and they were to embark on a U.S. tour. This turn of events ended the band, the release of the album and the tour.
  • A band called Deathmask, reportedly one of the first speed-metal bands, did a song called “I’m Dangerous.” Thor invested a lot of time, money and effort into the band. He helped get them a record deal and then co-produced the record. But, for reasons that are not remembered, the band refused to tour (which is sort of required to back up an album). Without the effort from the band to get out there to promote and tour, Deathmask then faded into obscurity.
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First episode I ever saw.

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I think this film might have the most crime-infested city of all the films we’ve seen.

Though I do wonder if the teen gang in this is more lame than the delinquent gang in Village of the Giants, or not. At least Beau Bridges doesn’t do disgusting pick-up lines like Shawn Levy in this one.

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Of all the slasher flicks featured on MST3K, this probably sticks closest to the standard formula, as a group of nihilistic teens are slaughtered by an unstoppable supernatural killer. The crime that warranted this extreme response was that they were responsible for a hit and run that killed good kid Tony. Aside for the psychotic Jim, the experience had them on edge. Mind you, this is more due to them worrying about getting caught rather than any remorse. Too bad for them Tony’s mom is owed a favor from a voodoo practitioner.

Probably the only good thing to say about the movie is that its approach to zombies goes back to their mystical roots rather than be another Night of the Living Dead rehash. Its biggest problem is one common to slasher flicks in that none of the characters are particularly likable. The plight of the teens inspires reactions ranging from apathy to contempt. I suppose the mom is sympathetic, but she pretty much disappears once the rampage starts. The cops are varying flavors of useless, from the overtly crooked captain (portrayed by Adam West) to the jaded cynic crime lab tech and the babyface rookie detective. The last one is presumably meant to be our viewpoint character but doesn’t work well on account of him being an ineffectual chump. His insensitive treatment of the waitress Jim attempted to rape doesn’t make him very endearing either. About the only thing he does is blunder along and witness both the slaughter and his boss getting dragged down to Hell.