On the cutting room floor

Squeezing a movie and host segments into ninety-two minutes is not always feasible. So cuts to the movie are inevitable. Sometimes critical exposition is lost in the process. Perhaps those who have seen unriffed versions could note some of the scenes that didn’t make it to the episode.

Not too long ago, I was writing up an article on the Cheating short for the MST3K wiki. I scrounged up an unriffed copy of the short on YouTube and discovered a couple of interesting things. First, remember the bit where the foley guy calls John? Turns out that’s from the Brains having used a flawed copy. In the undamaged version, you can see John’s hand grip the receiver on the first ring, but he hesitates for a moment before picking up after the second ring ends. There’s also a scene cut where it’s shown that John’s involvement with the student council is causing him to fall behind in his studies. During it, the narrator remarks on how Mary is becoming increasingly resentful over the way John takes her help for granted.


This is a great tie-in to the current live tour too (read up on Joey/Making Contact, though in that the film events were re-ordered for MC, it’s not only a shorter cut)
I had started a thread about cuts for time (I was just out of re-watching Per Aspera/Humanoid Woman clips) that has a couple of good replies, hoping this one gets traction. Though if it decreases the riff-ability I don’t know if I want to know! :slight_smile: An uninformed edit can definitely alter understanding if not done well.


I’ve mentioned this before, but in Moon Zero Two, the relationship between Bill and Liz (the skull cap lady) is established (with her purple hair!). When he and Karminski land on the Moon, he meets up with her at her apartment. She’s flirty and welcoming, but they get into an argument about his ship and whether or not it will last or crash and get him killed. If I remember correctly, she even suggests that she could get him grounded for piloting an unsafe ship and he leaves in a huff. This happens just before Bill and Karminski head out for the first time. So her comment about the heavy load he’s carrying has a double meaning.

There’s another conversation where Clementine brings up the fact that Hubbard can’t expect to make millions on the gem market if he dumps a lot of sapphire out all at once because that will drive the prices way down (she’s a mining clerk, remember). He has an explanation for what he plans to do but I can’t quite remember it (it’s been a year since I watched the movie), but part of it is that they can’t be allowed to let anyone know what they’re doing because of how it will affect the gem market if it’s known.

The flight away from Wally’s claim is a lot longer with them worried about whether or not the bug can make it over some of the rougher terrain (obviously, it does).

Those are what I can remember at the moment. I may have to watch it again. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie without the riffing. :slight_smile:


There’s a cut scene in Puma Man where we learn that Tony was orphaned by a plane crash, though I don’t remember if they specified how old he was when it happened. I don’t think it was a flashback. He was talking to his British mini-firetruck driver pal about it.

You could argue that in a better movie, something worthwhile could’ve come from this. Such as: “Flying killed my parents! I’m afraid to fly but I have to overcome that!” In this reality, however, I think you can safely say that it doesn’t add all that much.


It could be an anime with that title.


I would absolutely watch at least one segment of anime Puma Man, if only to be able to say that I’d watched it.


I google translated your anime title into Japanese, but translating it back to English came out as “I flew and killed my parents! I’m afraid to fly, but I have to get over it!”


“Yah, that’ll happen.”

“That’s different.”

“I suppose.”


I recently saw the uncut Crawling Eye (Svengoolie), and the psychic girl’s connection to the eyes is a lot more clear - they’re trying to kill her cause they think she’s on to them. Clearly some of these movies are worse off for the cuts, but that only makes them more riffable. I say fine; the world isn’t waiting for a director’s cut of Monster a-Go Go.


One that I thought must be problematic, even when I watched the MST version: Hercules and the Captive Women. They really hacked this one to pieces. It’s one of the few that I think their riffs about it not making sense are disingenuous. The movie is perfectly clear when it’s not missing a huge chunk. I can’t remember all the bits they cut out, but here are a few.

There’s a scene with an oracle where the problems they’re facing are a lot clearer. The scene in the throne room with Androcles is much longer and you get the chance to see that Androcles’ control is rather tenuous and that there is a larger problem facing all the Greek kings that they suspect can be solved if they follow the advice of the oracle, but Androcles knows that he is likely to lose his throne if he goes. In comes Herc to break it so no one can take it away from him.

There’s a scene with Herc’s wife in which she begs him not to leave her and he promises that he won’t go on that journey. Then, he’s drugged and taken on board because Androcles knows he can’t make it without him.

The crew Androcles hires stab the water bags so that he’s forced to go ashore and the crew uses this opportunity to mutiny. At this point, Herc bestirs himself to do something and he pulls the boat out of the water, if I remember correctly. However, they end up with just the four of them on the ship when there’s a huge storm that destroys the ship and leaves the Herc floating on the little plank.

I can’t remember after that, but I think there are more scenes also cut on the island of Atlantis. Again, I’ll have to watch it to remember, but that’s barely halfway through and there’s a lot missing.


I watch Svengoolie as well! :sunglasses:


I wonder how much is because they were working with tv edits of the movies.


Devil Fish was a TV edit?


I’m saying that the reason that some of the movies covered by MST3K are a bit chopped up could be because they were working with tv edits.


“This Island Earth” I’m sure has a lot that could be mentioned.


There was actually a significant amount of McDonald’s nonsense we had to cut out of Mac & Me. There was an entire choreographed dance number that didn’t make it in mostly because of time, also because dancing is not easy or all that fun to riff.


But how do you know when to choose purple stuff or Sunny D?


It’s funny when shorts are cut for time since they’re usually included to fill time for shorter movies. Last Clear Chance has a HUGE cut covered by a commercial break where Officer Hal elaborates on Robert Bainbridges’ death, revealing that Robert was actually fleeing from Hal, refusing to stop, then loses control of his vehicle and crashes. They then discuss vehicles and progress since the turn of the century, leading up to the discussion of the super highway, where the show comes back from commercial. A good place to cut to keep from going much darker with the riffing (it’s already dark thanks to the ending).

Out of this World loses a small bit in the middle thanks to a commercial edit. Really not much is lost, other than Bill Dudley touching on information that’s pretty much retreaded later on in the short, including his whole bullshi bullseye checklist.

Mr. B Natural had several edits, including the very moment Buzz meets Mr. B. (I blame a bad print on that), a very large section featuring the moment we actually see the music teacher figure out why Buzz’s face is perfect for trumpet (including a VERY weird moment when Buzz actually speaks to Mr. B in front of him, causing the teacher to react like he just made a huge mistake in getting roped into his crazy world), and the finale where Mr. B signs off (a real shame they left the theater before this). We saw this restored courtesy of the RiffTrax riffing on this, so at least we saw the comedy potential of those lost scenes.

The Home Economics Story, which definitely felt way longer than it was, had much more of the tedium edited out at various points. Even after seeing the short in full, the moments cut are pretty much redundant.


Exactly what I was here to share! I think you got the big points covered. Adrienne Corri is a favorite of mine, so leaving the bulk of her screen time out is nearly criminal!


I was surprised at how much more important her character was in the movie when I watched the whole thing.

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