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Devil Doll

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818 - Devil Doll
0818
Air Date October 4, 1997
MST3K Director Kevin Murphy
Movie Director Lindsay Shonteff
Year 1964
Cast Bryant Haliday
William Sylvester
Yvonne Romain
Preceded by 817 - The Horror of Party Beach
Followed by 819 - Invasion of the Neptune Men


“Look! There’s the proof: There’s no God. Not a single God…”


The Movie

Synopsis

Devil doll

Devil Doll

Ventriloquist/hypnotist The Great Vorelli has an amazing dummy named Hugo. Vorelli's act with the dummy is intense, complete with harsh insults and threats. Hugo is scary enough just sitting there, but when he walks and talks on his own and threatens the audience with a knife, yikes! And yet people applaud! People applaud when Vorelli convinces a guy he's about to be shot too!

After Vorelli meets beautiful heiress Marianne Horne, he hypnotizes her, causing her to suffer from a severe fever that spirals into a baffling coma. Marianne’s boyfriend Mark, a newspaper reporter (2001's Heywood Floyd, Riding with Death's Leonard Driscoll, Gorgo's Sam Slade), is suspicious and starts investigating Vorelli’s past. He discovers that a man named Hugo was killed several years earlier during one of Vorelli’s shows in Berlin. Apparently Vorelli stole Hugo’s human soul and transferred it into the body of the dummy.

Marianne awakens from her coma, and announces she will marry Vorelli. The triumphant hypnotist brags to Hugo about his plans for Marianne and his plot to transfer her soul into a female dummy. A violent confrontation between Hugo and Vorelli results in a chilling climactic switcheroo.

Information

  • Like the ventriloquist dummy in the similar segment of Dead of Night (1945), the doll's name is Hugo.
  • According to executive producer Richard Gordon, the theater in which The Great Vorelli performs was not open to the public at the time and was scheduled to be demolished. The film crew was able to shoot inside the theater for the show and backstage scenes before the deadline for the building's demolition.
  • The dwarf who portrays Hugo the Dummy was performed by a woman even though Hugo is a male dummy.
  • Sidney J. Furie was originally supposed to direct, but he left for another project before shooting began, and it was assigned to Lindsay Shonteff. Furie, however, was a friend of Shonteff's and helped Shonteff with the direction of the picture when he ran into problems.

The Episode

Host Segments

Devilhost

Crow and Tom have a dorm party

Prologue: It's Friday at the dorm! Mike and the bots have an open window frathouse party. Just a window. No music or booze.

Segment 1: Mike wants Tom to send the window back to the store, but a delusionally drunken Crow smashes it, shouting “Debbie!”

Meanwhile, in Rome, Apearlo and Brainguyus liven up a dull Roman party with - pants!

Segment 2: Crow expresses interest in Pitch’s line of devil dolls. Mike disapproves.

Devildolltrail

Mike as Hugo

Segment 3: The bots have set up a British pub, with an impossibly stout ale on tap.

Segment 4: Pitch helps Crow transfer Tom’s soul. Mike disapproves.

Segment 5: Tom's soul has been transferred into a giant toaster strudel with great gams. Crow has dressed Mike up as Hugo and built a cage around him. Mike disapproves.

Meanwhile, at the Lesser God Day celebration at the Coliseum, Apearlo and Brainguyus suddenly see a familiar face - Bobo!

Stinger: Argh! Look out, Vorelli! Hugo's kicking your ass!

Devil Doll

Pitch helps Crow transfer Tom’s soul

Guest Stars

Trivia

Callbacks

Quotes & References

  • "George Stephanopoulos has really sunk low."

George Stephanopoulos was both Bill Clinton's Senior Advisor and Communications Director. He currently works as political correspondent and news anchor for ABC News.

  • "Am I a mod or a rocker?"

Question posed to Beatles guitarist George Harrison (with appropriate syntax adjustment) during a press conference in the film "A Hard Day's Night". "I'm a mocker", was his Solomonic reply.

  • "Let's all go to the lobby, let's all go to the lobby..."

Referencing a famous short film shown in theaters during intermissions to boost concession sales.

  • "A dummy? Drinking wine?" "Spo-Dee-O-Dee?"

Reference to Stick McGhee's much-covered blues song "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee."

  • "Hey look! She has Hasidic wallpaper!"

Marianne's wallpaper appears to have the Star of David patterned all over it. It is the most prominent symbol of Hasidic Judaism.

  • "Kubrick saw this scene and said: "We found our Heywood Floyd!"

As mentioned earlier, William Sylvester was the actor who played Dr. Heywood Floyd in 2001: A Space Odyssey. But this riff also references the film's director Stanley Kubrick. (Though Tom mispronounces his name as "Q-Brick.")

Refferring to the mid-60's gothic soap opera about a vampire named Barnabas Collins living in the present day. A movie adaptation was made featuring Johnny Depp as Barnabas.

  • "Hey hey! A Julie Kavner doll!"

Julie Kavner is being referenced here as the doll ressembles her appearance as Brenda Morgenstern on the 1974 television series Rhoda. She is more remembered as the voice of Marge Simpson.

  • "Leave Robert Denby alone!"

A callback to the villain (sort of) in Riding With Death.

  • "When does Mr. Lifto come out?"

A performer in the Jim Rose Circus, who lifted objects with his...well, let's just say without his hands.

  • "Hey Vorelli! I just had this corner all Feng Shui'ed!"

Feng Shui is both a philosophy and a term used to describe achieving a sense of balance and polarity with one's surroundings. (Crow weirdly pronounces it as "Fang Shweed!")

Memorable Quotes

[Scene: An exterior shot of a boring office building in England]
Crow: Oh! "Federated Incorporated Industries Limited".
Servo: Modern architecture—efficient and beauty-free.
[Later in the same shot]
Crow: Meanwhile, at Stifle-Joy Co....
[Mark English makes a phone call, slowly dialing a rotary phone]
Servo: So, how many hours have rotary phones added to movies over the years?
[The Great Vorelli on stage with a volunteer]
The Great Vorelli: Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm going to suggest to this man that his life is in danger...
Servo [as the Great Vorelli]: Then I'll be right back.
The Great Vorelli: That he may die at any moment.
[The Great Vorelli turns to the volunteer]
Crow [as the Great Vorelli]: Your life is in danger and you may die at any moment. THANK YOU!
[On stage, ventriloquist dummy Hugo whines about wine]
Hugo: I want some! Give it to me! I know what wine is! I've had wine before. I want some wine! Why shouldn't I have some wine?
Mike [as Hugo]: All I want is my fair share! All I want is what's coming to me!
[During Vorelli's act, Hugo gets up and crosses to the refreshment table, where Vorelli is eating ham.]
Crow [as Hugo]: You think he likes ham? Wait 'til you see me like ham!
[Vorelli takes control of Hugo after Hugo attempts to knife him.]
Vorelli: Say you're sorry!
Servo [As Hugo]: Look Vorelli! Jump up my wooden butt!!
Hugo: I...am...sorry...
Mike [As Hugo]: You're...all...so...UGLY!! Ha ha ha!
Hugo: Ladies...and...gentleman.
Vorelli: And me?
Mike [As Hugo]: Yeah what's up Ron? I mean..."The Great Vorelli!"
Hugo: I...
Servo [As Hugo]: ...Need...Changing!
Vorelli: Yes!? SAY IT!!
Hugo: I...Am sorry.
Vorelli: "Master!!"
Mike [As Hugo]: Look I don't even want the damn sandwich anymore alright!?
Hugo: ....Master!
Servo: So his act is to get up there and bicker with his doll!
[German dancer and former Vorelli assistant Mercedes tells the two reporters about the original Hugo]
Mercedes: He did not move for t'ree months — just lay there and...looked at the ceiling. Then...he died. He died.
Mike [as Mark]: Did he live?
[The Great Vorelli holding a knife looking at Hugo in the cage]
The Great Vorelli: Hugo...
Mike [as the Great Vorelli]: Have you been shaving your legs with this again?
[The Great Vorelli is seducing a woman in direct line of sight of his dummy]
Mike [as Hugo]: Please cover my cage...
[Mark English (played by William Sylvester) is sleeping]
Servo: You know, Kubrick saw this scene and said "We found our Heywood Floyd!"
[Hugo sits in his cage while The Great Vorelli answers the door]
Hugo: Attica! Attica!

Video Release

  • Devildolldvd

    MST3K DVD Cover

    Commercially released on DVD by Shout Factory in November 2010 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 19, a 4-DVD set with Robot MonsterBride of the Monster, and Devil Fish.

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