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"Well, they're out of fumar, now what do we do?"
  — Mike


The Movie

Synopsis

Harmagent

Agent for H.A.R.M.

East Germany, 1966: the Cold War is raging, and scientist Dr. Jan Stefanik has a secret biological weapon. He defects, clutching an ordinary briefcase containing "spore-forming meteorite fragments" closely pursued by the Red Army. He makes it to the US, but not before his companion is killed by a double agent with a gun that shoots instant-flesh-eating spores into his face. Now Stefanik resides in a beach house/laboratory outside San Diego where he is independently working on a spore antidote. Living with him is his bikini-clad archery-expert niece Eva (Bouchet), whose existence he was unaware of until recently.

Agentforharmfilm

Agent for H.A.R.M.

Just across the border in Mexico, a team from the Biological Warfare Commissariat of his former country has established operations, headed by the villainous Malko. They are planning to attack America, and they are determined to obtain Stefanik's spore antidote formula.

Enter the hero, Adam Chance (Mark Richman), Agent for H.A.R.M. (Human Aetiological Relations Machine). Adam is dispatched by his boss Jim Grant (Wendell Corey, also seen in Women of the Prehistoric Planet) to investigate the murder of Stefanik's lab assistant. Adam soon arrives at the beach house and flirts with Eva. Stefanik welcomes Chance by serving him a cocktail in a test tube. Meanwhile, Eva is secretly talking to someone through her portable record player. Chance proceeds to battle the bad guys while wearing a canary yellow cardigan and welding goggles and riding a moped.

Information

  • Produced as a television pilot for a new spy series, it was given a theatrical release instead.
  • H.A.R.M. stands for "Human Aetiological Relations Machine." "Aetiology" is a British variant of "etiology," which is the branch of medical science concerned with causes and origins of diseases. This full wording is seen at the top of the world map in the very last scene of the movie. [1]
  • The four-plex where this was filmed in Santa Monica can be seen here, thanks to Google Street View. The neighborhood has built up since 1966, though, and the building in question was demolished sometime after 2008, and replaced with a blue building in 2014.
  • As an example of the low budget the production had, all filming seems to have been done in Santa Monica, Malibu, and the Malibu hills. It is unclear whether or not shooting in San Diego (where the movie is supposed to take place) would have cost much more.

The Episode

Host Segments

  • Harmagenthost

    Mike on trial

    Prologue Servo and Crow are extreeeeme! If you can call yoga and stamp collecting extreeeeme! Mike chooses rice. They learn that some things are hard to make extreme.
  • Segment 1 Mike is still not extreme until he disappears. He has been taken to a mysterious location where he is to be put on trial by the Intergalactic Tribunal for blowing up Deep Ape, The Observers' homeworld, and the Camping Planet. And a failure to yield. Mike inadvertently chooses Professor Bobo as his lawyer and Pearl as his prosecutor because the judge doesn't understand sarcasm.
  • CrowMikeTrail

    Crow speaks at Mike's trial

    Segment 2 Crow tries to bake a power saw into a torte. The trial continues below, with Pearl imaginatively using props to make her point. Bobo gives special attention to the word "panties" and then declares his disdain for Mike.
  • Segment 3 Bobo calls on the Bots as character witnesses via video depositions. Tom's deposition never gets past the guest stars. Crow's is rendered incomprehensible due the constant bleeping for expletives. Bobo accuses Gypsy of hearsay in her (harmless, even helpful) deposition.
  • Segment 4 Tom and Crow search for legal loopholes to help Mike. Meanwhile, Brain Guy takes the stand as a witness to describe the destruction of his world, and takes the dramatics a bit far. Somehow, Bobo manages to poke a hole in his testimony using his deep and abiding love of... pie. Yes, pie.
    BoboMikeTrial

    Bobo at Mike's trial

  • Final Segment The Bots hold a candlelight vigil, awaiting Mike's execution. Ortega is a witness, although his testimony is somewhat limited. Bobo calls a Little Amish Boy to the stand, who denies Mike's crime; Pearl's cross-examination deteriorates into an argument over the pros and cons of Amish fudge. The judge reaches a verdict: Mike is guilty and is sentenced to death. However, since Mike is basically a likable guy, his sentence is commuted to 800 hours of community service.
  • Stinger A scientist is knocked almost unconscious.

Other Notes

Guest Stars

Trivia

  • During the Host Segment in which Observer is testifying, the Judge is played by Paul Chaplin, who is a significantly smaller man than Bill Corbett.
  • Tom's list of celebrity guests in Host Segment Three recalls the running "tributary" gag from Experiment #801 Revenge of the Creature.
  • First episode directed by Michael J. Nelson.
  • Unusual credits: Mike can be heard picking up trash through the credits.
  • Patrick Brantseg's first appearance as Gypsy.
  • This episode includes the first mention of Mike's love of bleached and enriched rice, which would carry on into the last episode of the series.

Callbacks

Obscure References

  • "Titles by e.e. cummings and k.d. lang."
Both e.e. cummings, the poet, and k.d. lang, the singer, were known for spelling their names without capital letters.
  • "Tonight on Michael Collins, P.I...!"
Michael Collins was an Irish revolutionary and I.R.A. soldier; he was shot and killed during the Irish Civil War in 1922, a few weeks before his 32nd birthday.
  • "Mr. Peepers, P.I."
Mr. Peepers was an early NBC sitcom (1952-55) starring Wally Cox as the title character, a junior high school science teacher.
  • "I didn't know Section 8 built beach houses."
Section 8 is a program, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, that provides assistance with paying rent to low-income people.  Most beach houses do not accept Section 8 payments, however. 
  • "I drink a lot, how come I never made the Dewar's Profile?"
A reference to a series of magazine ads Dewar's Scotch produced. The dignitaries profiled include LeRoy Neiman, Jememiah Tower, and Jerry Orbach.
  • "PBR me, ASAP!"
​:An old advertising slogan for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, which (at the time) was marketed as a low-cost beer for hard-working blue-collar types.
  • "Now, we're going to hear the word "Panties" a lot during this trial so let's get them giggles out right now! Panties...panties...panties...panties.....PANTIES...PANTIES....PANTIES!!"
Bobo is "reenacting" one of the courtroom scenes from Anatomy of a Murder.
  • (As Dr. Stefanik picks up a syringe) "I'll have to go under my tongue with this one..."
​Long-term intravenous drug users start running out of non-collapsed or scarred veins after a while, which necessitates locating un-used veins in unusual places on the body.
  • (singing) "Close the window, come alive..."
​A line from the 1977 song We're All Alone; sung by Rita Coolidge and written by Boz Scaggs.
  • (singing) "You don't have to be rich to be my girl..."
The above is a line from the song Kiss, by Prince (who is frequently referenced whenever the petite villain appears).
  • "Well, that's the last Taco John's we'll see for a while."
Taco John's is a Mexican-ish fast food chain in the Midwest.
  • "NAFTA's really workin'!"
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was an economic policy implemented in 1994 between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, which eliminated tariffs and other trade barriers between the three countries.
  • "He's got a wrist harmonica in case he runs into John Popper!"
John Popper is an American musician known for his harmonica-playing.
  • "Perhaps, much like Linus, I can wrap my cardigan around the tire."
A reference to the character Linus from the Peanuts comic strip, who would often employ his security blanket in unexpectedly useful ways.
  • "He made his own gravy!"
A reference to a series of 70s-era Chuck Wagon commercials which promoted making its own gravy as a feature of the dog food.
  • "Da da DA DA!"
At several points, Mike and the bots hum the first few bars of the main James Bond theme, as a sarcastic comparison of the action-packed Bond movies to this far more action-less movie.

Memorable Quotes

[The opening credits, and the crew are speculating on the source of H.A.R.M.]
Mike: Oh, that stands for Huge Angular Red Marshmallows.
Crow: Hirsute Astronauts Revile Massachusetts
Servo: Heuristic Analog Rental Meat.
[Adam Chance karate-chops a piece of wood while a beautiful female student watches.]
Mike [as Adam]: Solid balsawood, baby!
. . .
[After tumbling with the woman and firing into a target, he shows her the deadly results.]
Adam: This could've been you, and don't you forget it! Better go back to the judo range.
Mike: The judo range?
. . .
Servo [as Adam]: Meet me at the karate rink later.
. . .
[Adam turns to his pupil as he leaves on a motorcycle.]
Adam: Judo range!
Crow [as Adam]: Then go practice your skeet kendo and bring your aikido rifle, too.
Mike [as Student]: Gotta get into my judo bikini.
Adam: You think you can't get hurt, Doctor, because this is America? Apple pie and all that jazz?
Crow: And hula hoops and dungarees?
Adam: Well, my job is to keep the apple pie on the table, and nobody asks me how I do it!
Mike [as Dr. Stefanik]: I'll just need an hour to figure out your metaphor.
[Mike returns to the theater after choking Bobo within an inch of his life.]
Crow: Mike, why were you choking the monkey?
Mike: Because Bobo is such... HEY!!
[After a lip-lock with Adam, Ava invites him for a moonlight swim.]
Ava : Are you coming, or do I swim alone?
Crow [as Adam]: Yes, and yes.
[Crow records a video-testimony for Mike's trial]
Crow: This thing on? Okay. Hi! I'm Crow T. Robot and I'm here to tell you that Mike Nelson is innocent. Mike Nelson is 200 % [bleep]ing not guilty. And if you [bleep]s don't[bleep] find him innocent, then you can just [bleep]ing kiss my fat [bleep]ing [bleep]. And that [bleep]ing goes for your bull[bleep] court system, too! Mike, I'm so [bleep]ing sorry I couldn't [bleep]ing be there for this [bleep]ing [bleep]y really bogus trial, man. But let me [bleep] tell ya something, Nelson. If I was there, I'd [bleep]ing kick everyone's fat stupid [bleep]ing behinds and then cram it up their [bleep]ing [bleep]. Anyway, Mike, buddy, I hope this [bleep] helps. Take care, Mike.
[As Ava is hurriedly packing her suitcase, Adam enters the room]
Mike: Here's the wind up....
[Adam smiles smugly to himself]
Mike: ...and there's the smarm!
Tom: He maintains an applicance. Duh-dah DA DAAAAAAAAA!
[Adam faces down an oncoming plane on his motorcycle.]
Mike [as Adam]: Stop! Or your propeller will grind me to hamburger!
Tom: Stop! Or I'll Agent for H.A.R.M. you!

Video Release

  • AgentforHarmDVD

    MST3K DVD Cover

    Commercially released on DVD by Shout Factory in July 2015 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 33, a 4-DVD set with Daddy-O, Earth vs the Spider, and Teen-Age Crime Wave.
  • The DVD includes a theatrical trailer and an interview with actor Peter Mark Richman.

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