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Future War

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1004 - Future War
Air Date April 25, 1999
Movie Director Anthony Doublin
Year 1997
Cast Daniel Bernhardt
Robert Z'Dar
Travis Brooks Stewart
Preceded by 1003 - Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders
Followed by 1005 - Blood Waters of Dr. Z
You know, I could point out that it’s not the future, and there isn’t a war, but you know me: I don't like to complain.
  — Crow T. Robot

The Movie

MST3k FW Dinosaur

Thumbless Dino Attack!


A race of off-camera, thumbless, time-traveling alien "Masters" kidnaps thumb-bearing humans from Earth's future to use as slaves and takes dinosaur puppets from its past to use as trackers of those who escape.

One of their victims, the Runaway (Daniel Bernhardt) escapes in a "Neutrogena bar" from another movie and arrives in late 1990's Los Angeles. There he must elude the cyborgs and their puppets, the police, and the Feds, befriended by a drug-dealing-hooker-turned-novitiate (Stewart) who runs a halfway house for Weight Watchers dropouts.

Turns out the novitiate has some doubts about staying in the program. If she succeeds, will her role as a member of the Catholic clergy be any less harmful to society than her prior professions?


Future War

Mike and the 'bots riff on "Future War"

  • During filming, producer Dave Eddy and some other crew members remarked that it would be great if the film someday appeared on MST3K, which it ultimately did.
  • A "Damage Control Unit" was formed to salvage the film when the producers were disappointed with the work of the director, Anthony Doublin.
  • One of the movie's taglines: "Past Predator, Present Alien, Future Terminator"
  • Bernhardt would later go on to have a successful movie career as a stuntman/low grade DTV action star, and he also appeared in The Matrix Reloaded as Agent Johnson, a leader of the Agents program (that film later got riffed by RiffTrax).  His longest continuous work was as the character 'Siro' in the live-action Mortal Kombat TV show "Mortal Kombat: Konquest" for one season in 1998.
  • Shot in 1994 but not released until 1997, making it the most recent movie to be featured on the show in terms of release date. The second most recent to be shown on the show was Experiment #821 Time Chasers.
  • The older gentleman walking in the park who is killed by one of the dinosaurs is Forrest J. Ackerman, noted film memorabilia collector, b-movie historian, and editor of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine (usually abbreviated to "Famous Monsters").  Ackerman died in 2008, but as of 2013, Famous Monsters is still published on a bi-monthly basis.  A copy of the magazine can be seen in his hands as he meets his puppety demise.
  • In 2014, the film's composer Arlen Boll made the theme song for this film available as a single on iTunes.

The Episode

Host Segments

  • Prologue: Using a computer spreadsheet program and Diane Feinstein as a baseline, Crow tries to calculate how many times a lady Gypsy is. Gypsy is disappointed that she is only 2.7 times a lady; turns out Mike is eight times a lady.
  • Segment One: Pearl is conducting LSD tests on the robots and monitors their hallucinations. To augment the effect, Bobo and Brain Guy have formed an acid rock band called Narcotic Casserole. Servo has his usual delirium; Crow has a harrowing experience in which he sees Mike eating a Snickers candy bar, not a Milky Way. Crow is also somewhat surprised to learn that Mike is not a clown.
  • Segment Two: Tom makes a pair of legs so he can kickbox. He challenges Gypsy to a fight, but she has a singular, misshapen leg of her own and instantly takes out Servo.
  • Segment Three: Mike, Crow and Servo realize they've never really thanked Pearl for not killing them. They take a moment to thank Pearl, interrupting her attempt to kill them.
  • Segment Four: Crow is Droppy, The Water Droplet, an emissary from the National Water Council, who has come to share just a few thousand of the many uses for water.
  • Segment Five: Mike has a giant Robert Z'Dar-esque chin. The bots chide him for being so insensitive to all the people with large prosthetic chins. MIke doesn't really care. Down in Castle Forrester, Bobo and Brain Guy inform Pearl that Narcotic Casserole is leaving to tour with Moby Grape. Pearl gives them each exploding tracking collars. You can guess the rest.
  • Stinger: Robert Z'Dar and Daniel Bernhardt kick-box and Bernhardt's shirt somehow slips off.[1]

Pearl's Drug Experiment

Obscure References

  • (After a title card saying "A David Hue Production" is shown) "In association with Bob Tet Offensive Productions."

Much of the fighting that occurred during the Tet Offensive took place in and around the city of Hue.

  • "Dustbusters Galactica"

A pun on "Battlestar Galactica"

  • "Chuck Wepner's point of view!"

Boxer Chuck Wepner challenged Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title in a 1975 bout that loosely inspired the first Rocky movie.

  • "Mink Stole!"

Mink Stole is an actress best known for her collaborations with director John Waters.

  • "Damn Bumpasses' dinosaurs!"

The Bumpasses were the family of "hillbilly neighbors" with out-of-control dogs in A Christmas Story.

  • "I want cars posted all along this route!" "Make 'em all Tercels!"

The Tercel was a compact car built by Toyota during the 1980s and 1990s.

  • "This is Boris Becker reporting live!"

Boris Becker is a German tennis player.

  • "Just call me Bruce Boxliker!"

A punning reference to actor Bruce Boxleitner.

  • "They were transferred to a Costa Gavras film."

Costa Gavras is a Greek-born film director who specializes in dark political thrillers.

  • "Reminds me of the time Chief Gates chunked all over headquarters."

A reference to former LAPD chief Daryl Gates.

  • "Based on a play by Terrence McNally!"

Playwright Terrence McNally is known for exploring gay issues in his works.

  • "He *is* Tom of Finland."

Tom of Finland was an artist known for the overt homoeroticism of his work.

  • "Thank you, Soloflex!"

The Soloflex was a piece of home fitness equipment that was heavily advertised on cable TV during the late 1980s and early '90s.

  • "Dee Snider's dance belt!"

Dee Snider is the lead singer of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister.


The advertising slogan for Surge, a heavily caffeinated soft drink marketed by the Coca-Cola Company during the late 1990s.

  • "It's a Fixx video without the music."

The Fixx was an '80s pop group best known for its song "One Thing Leads to Another."

Night of the Lepus was a 1972 movie about giant mutant rabbits.

  • "In fact, everybody cut footloose"

A lyric from Kenny Loggins's song Footloose, from the movie of the same name.

The actor on-screen vaguely resembles Rhames.

  • "I don't follow you, my friend. No way."

Observer, in his hippie persona, quotes this line from the "made-for-TV hippie" in San Francisco International.

  • "Casablanca!  Could you dopple me into that, Mike?"

Crow, noting the marquee on a movie theater in the shot, refers to Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, which relied heavily on the better film as a plot device.

  • "This is because Joel stopped by recently, isn't it?"

A reference to the fact that Joel Robinson made an appearance in the season premiere, Soultaker.


  1. Satellite News

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