801. Revenge of the Creature (1955)

Universal Monsters. A world unto itself. Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Wolf Man (1941), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). And those are just the originals. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Revenge of the Creature (1955). The followups are endless. Universal knew what they had. “A Planet Where Apes Evolved From Men”, SOL Repair, Contraband Vanilla Pudding, A Nice Cup Of Expresso, Pearl Forrester. “He kinda looks like Martin Van Buren”, “Wonder if he works for scale”, “It’s a success we made him afraid of flagpoles.” “Nothing on tonight just The Fish Channel” or “Hey no pictures… No pictures”?

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I liked this movie except for that one idiot with the rat in his pocket.

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He’s awful. His first and last movie.

Clint Eastwood 2D GIF by Gorillaz

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Another rough one for me. I might even say the worst of the SciFi Era. Nothing wrong with the riffs, but… dear Lord this movie. John Agar and Aquatic Ken Doll trying to out-smarm one another while they fight over an also-colorless female lead like she’s the last order of Happy Hour buffalo wings. Also all that torture of The Creature, which just goes on… and on… and on…

The transition to the new Crow, the new Pearl, and the new onset stylistic flourishes is also jarring and awkward much of the time. Though I feel silly even mentioning that. I didn’t even see most of these episodes until many years after the show was canceled. And when I did, they were out of order so I got the more polished, confident-feeling stuff first.

I swear, I do have nice things to say about this season. Just… not recently. Sorry. :upside_down_face:

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Yeah, that is a big turn off with this episode. I’m rooting for the poor monster!

One of our cheapo movie channels, which normally shows SyFy Channel crap, actually showed some of the old Universal horror movies not long ago, including this one. While this is nowhere as good as the original Creature, it’s not really a bad film, but the smarm is strong with this one and we spent a lot of time berating the “scientists” for how they treated that poor thing. I’m surprised they didn’t shoot him into space and make him watch cheesy movies.

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say scientist lady deserves Agar (I’m not sure anyone deserves that), but I’d seriously consider making her sit through a dinner date with him to make her think about research ethics.

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Once they started with the Tributary to the Amazon riffs, I knew things were going to be okay.

Allegedly the concept for the Creature came about when director Jack Arnold heard a story from Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa about a tribe deep in the Amazon Basin which regularly offered up a young maiden to a fish man for unspeakable purposes. Or maybe one of them had read The Shadow Over Innsmouth and decided it needed to be tarted up.

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Chalk me up for another one rooting for the monster after the way they treat it. Were we supposed to feel contempt for the scientists or are we supposed to consider them heroes?

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Typically not anyone’s favorite film or episode - though it marks the start of a new era.

For me, the film at least is a great time capsule of Florida in the 1950s, and if you have the ability to watch the 3-D version, it adds a bit more hokey fun.

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Clint Eastwood’s big splash.

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Well, it’s not like she’d be allowed any opinions of her own. Once a man was present. So even if she could form the opinion that they should be nicer to the Creature, no way would she be permitted to articulate that. Unless she was a villain, of course.

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This is one of the few from Season 8 that I don’t go back to often. Bill’s brand-new Crow is a touch aggressive to my ears and the movie isn’t quite hokey enough for me. The bit that sticks with me is :notes: I’m the Creature!! :notes: when it’s swimming. Hmm. Methinks it might be time for a rewatch.

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Still better than Pink Cadillac.

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I’m partial to Pink Cadillac (1989). A guilty pleasure maybe. Of the tacky selections in the late 80s/early 90s, I’d choose it versus Leonard Part 6 (1987), Ghost Dad (1990), Oscar (1991), Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), Cop and a Half (1993), or Junior (1994). Yes Bernadette Peters is annoying but so is Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). Pink Cadillac is what it is. Low rent, kinda silly, formulaic, and enjoyable if you’re along for the ride. Now Clint’s Orangutan pictures a decade earlier? Those make Pink Cadillac look classy.

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@optiMSTie Hate to tap you on this my friend. You bumped into it when diving into The Leech Woman (1960).

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And so begins the Sci-Fi Channel era. There was some nervousness going into this one, because you wanted to see them unequivocally hit a home run here. There really shouldn’t have been nervousness.

Yeah, Bill Corbett’s puppeteering would improve over time, but the vocal quality and character choices? Loved them. And Bill would keep defining and interpreting the character on his own terms, offering up his own unique take on Crow rather than trying to ape everything Trace Beaulieu did.

SPEAKING OF APE, we also get the first appearance of Kevin Murphy as Professor Bobo. Murphy goes headfirst into any onscreen role in MST3K, and his Bobo is no exception. It would be interesting to see those changes between Bobo at this point and Bobo at Diabolik.

Me, I love the Sci-Fi era triumvirate of Mads, but at this point, we had no idea things were going to go that way. That’s especially true because of how Bobo didn’t appear in the new theme song arrangement (a joy as always) and how it promised an endless chase.

And that endless chaser, Pearl? Mary Jo Pehl brought it. Just as Bill’s Crow was going to be a different flavor of Crow than Trace’s, Pearl Forrester’s approach to being the Head Mad was not a carbon copy of Trace’s portrayal of Clayton Forrester. As it should have been.

What I dug about this first episode was that it seemed to keep the universe of MST3K wide open with all the visiting aliens and adventures and shenanigans. It was a case where things were tweaked and adjusted and reshuffled (case in point, the Nanites, another quirky and welcome addition), yet remained ever so quintessentially MST3K.

It was just fantastic to see the gang back at it, to see Mike, GPC, Servo, and Crow demonstrate why this was and continues to be the go-to show, the Once and Future King.

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As for the theater stuff?

LOVED IT. They hadn’t lost a damn beat.

I especially dug how a memory-impaired Crow was genuinely excited for the movie, only for Mike to complain about how they’ve been doing this for years in captivity.

What was really exciting was that the movie in question was a Universal Monster movie! We got the Gillman! Yeah, it was a lesser sequel, sure, but it was a rush to see the guys take on a whole different class of bad movie.

And they waste no opportunity hammering all the dumb tropes, cliches, and blandness on display. John Agar HAD to be in this so that the guys could swing away on this movie with everything they had.

It’s got a running gag that I love so very much, the Tributary to the Upper Amazon. In typical Crow fashion, he rams the joke into the ground long after the moment is over, but it’s so damn funny when he does, when we’ve long traveled away from the Upper Amazon.

As is usually the case, we get our best material when stuff happens and all hell breaks loose, and this movie’s no exception: “Henry Rollins to the rescue!” But even when it ISN’T getting action-y, we still get that razor-sharp wit we’ve come to expect from MST3K: “Everyone’s drifted over to the World of Barnacles Exhibit…”

The movie isn’t excruciating, although it doesn’t really give us a hero to root for in the form of John Agar. But we DO get Clint Eastwood making his debut!

Fun, fun stuff, and a promising sign of what was to come.

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A pronounced arc to Professor Bobo in the Sci-Fi years. Is it me or did Bobo lose intelligence from 801 to 1013?

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Dramatically so.

It’s almost like we see a parallel loss of efficacy when Brain Guy is separated from Observer World.

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True. Mike Destroyer of Worlds heaved both into a tailspin.

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I know I’ll take heat for this, but Bill Corbett was my favorite Crow. Maybe it’s because I discovered the show during season 8. Please remember he had ZERO puppeteering experience prior to this, and yet he became quite effective even by the end of this one. I loved his East Coast/ wise guy mentality (I’m an east coast guy myself). And Crow’s fits of rage under Bill’s puppeteering always cracked me up! See Crow as a Solarite or Bellarian.:rofl:

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