MST3K Behind the Scenes Facts and Other Trivia

I’ve searched and I can’t find a thread for interesting MST3K show trivia and behind the scenes information. For a show that’s been around for over 30 years, there’s a lot that new fans and even old fans might not know, so let’s let our inner MST3K nerd shine with show facts here! :nerd_face:

I’ll kick it off with an article published last week:

What show tidbits have you collected over the years?

10 Likes

I don’t have the citation, but I’m pretty sure that Beaulieu and Weinstein admitted to boozing their way through one of the early episodes. Possibly Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy? Anyone? :thinking:

8 Likes

I think they said they tried that once, but discovered it wasn’t a good idea.

9 Likes

They all worked in Minnesota at the time.

5 Likes

Beaulieu: It’s a little dangerous to say, “Yeah, we watched television all day, and it’s really hard work.” But you’re watching the movie in second-by-second increments. It becomes an extremely grueling process. Josh will remember this better than I, but there was one movie that caused us to go out and get beer and tequila.

Weinstein: That was [the 1957 camp classic] Untamed Youth. I don’t think it was necessarily worse or better than any other film; I think we were just in a bad mood that day. We went out while we were writing it, got tequila and Mickey’s Big Mouth, and got a little hammered [Laughs]. It didn’t really up the productivity, but it elevated the mood, because it was drudgery.

It’s also discussed in one of the Shout Factory TV Backlot specials, but I can’t keep those things straight to remember which one it is.

12 Likes

“Satellite of Love” comes from a Lou Reed song.

11 Likes

If any current cast or crew have anything that can be shared, please do!

@timryder @mattmcg22 @marshemily2 @Conorjdmcg @OneBradyLady @themwaverly

4 Likes

On that Nerdist interview, where Joel met Jonah, Joel said the “bone” look of the SOL was Trace’s idea, and was inspired by “2001: A Space Odyssey” when one of the hominins tosses a bone in the air, and it transitions into a spacecraft.

8 Likes

And Rocket Number Nine from a Sun Ra song.

8 Likes

I was thinking about starting a thread for morbid trivia related to MST3K films, but this seems like a good place.

First up: Willis O’Brien, who did the special effects for The Black Scorpion and came up for the story for Beast of Hollow Mountain, had his two sons murdered by his ex wife while he was working on Son of Kong.

She was dying of tuberculosis, and shot both of their sons, then shot herself. The bullet didn’t kill her, and instead drained the fluid from her longs. So she lived about a year longer than was expected due to shooting herself.

3 Likes

Here’s one a lot of people probably know, but…

The Dead Talk Back was found unreleased in a warehouse in 1992 and given a very limited VHS release before being on MST3K the next year. The film’s entire notoriety goes to MST3K. Virtually no one would have seen it and likely no one who worked on the film except maybe a few people at the end of the process ever saw it.

8 Likes

The Spahn Ranch was the shooting location for many films and TV shows, including The Creeping Terror (riffed in season six).

About four years after The Creeping Terror was released, The Spahn Ranch became the home of The Manson Family. In August of 1969, the Manson family murdered a Spahn Ranch farmhand, Shorty Shea, and hid his body on the ranch. It wasn’t found until 1977.

6 Likes

What was someone protecting us from by hiding it,and what has been unleashed?

5 Likes

Lana Clarkson, who played Amathea in Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II, was murdered by legendary music producer Phil Spector.

3 Likes

The dead talking back, presumably.

The dead, who will now be talking back.

4 Likes

You’re darn right they talk back. I had to send my ghouls to their room for it last night.

4 Likes

Susan Cabot, one of the Saga of the Viking Women actresses, and star of the Cinematic Titanic-riffed The Wasp Woman, was beaten to death by her son in 1986. He claimed she attacked him with a scalpel and he was defending himself with a weight lifting bar.

He initially said someone with a ninja mask had killed her, because he didn’t think anyone would believe the real story. He had dwarfism and pituitary gland issues, and part of his defense was medications to treat both contributed to the aggressiveness of his attack.

He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served three years probation (he had already served 2.5 years in jail). He died in 2003.

2 Likes

I like the idea of a thread specifically with trivia about the making of MST3K, and I think it’s gone off the track.

8 Likes

MST3K-adjacent: The House on Haunted Hill (riffed by Rifftrax) used the Ennis House as the exterior of its setting. Ennis House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Another house Wright designed was Taliesin in Wisconsin. He built it as a place to live with his mistress, Mamah Borthwick. In 1914, when Wright was away working, an employee attacked Borthwick and her two children with an axe, killing them. The killer then poured gasoline into the house, setting it on fire. As people tried to escape, he killed four more with the axe.

After a bit, the killer tried to kill himself by drinking hydrochloric acid. It didn’t work, but it did so much damage to his throat that he could no longer eat. He slowly starved to death over a matter of weeks while in police custody.

1 Like

I’ve posted my last one. Apologies if I took things off the rails.

1 Like