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602 - Invasion USA
0602
Air Date July 23, 1994
MST3K Director Kevin Murphy
Movie Director Alfred E. Green
Year 1952
Cast Gerald Mohr
Peggie Castle
Dan O'Herlihy
Phyllis Coates
Noel Neill
Short A Date with Your Family
Preceded by 601 - Girls Town
Followed by 603 - The Dead Talk Back


Well. That settles it. Spankings all around, then.
  — Mike as the father


The Short

A Date With Your Family

Date-with-your-family

A Date With Your Family

Synopsis

The short covers the basics for how to ensure you and your family have a pleasant and formal 1950's family dinner.

Information

The Movie

Synopsis

Usainvastionmovie

Invasion USA

A host of everyday people in a bar (including a Congressmen and a factory owner and a TV broadcaster) are polled in a survey. They each state that they think the government/military is getting too involved in their lives and business concerns.

The United States proves to be easy prey to the Communists who have decided to invade. Each of the bar patrons' lives are affected, causing them to re-evaluate their position.

The broadcaster, however, gets lucky with the girl at the bar.
Invasionusa

Invasion USA

Ultimately, it is revealed that the invasion is just a hypnotic suggestion planted by one of the other people in the bar.

The movie closes with a quotation from George Washington that is used to imply that the Russians are especially skilled at militarization, and that the United States would be well-advised to put military matters ahead of all else.


Information

  • The hypnotist’s opening monologue chastises the “college boy” who “wants a stronger army AND a deferment for himself” and the “businessman” who “wants a bigger Air Force AND a new Cadillac” and “the housewife” who “wants security AND an electric dishwasher.” It’s ironic that these supposedly anti-Communist declarations criticize Americans for behaving like Americans.
    • Then again, the movie’s unwitting subtext is that in order to defeat the Communists, Americans must be more like them -- Americans must be constantly willing to sacrifice, to give up personal possessions, hopes, and dreams. At the same time, it features Communists who take control of a factory and force its workers into slavery, which seems decidedly unlike the group behind the "Worker's Revolution". Essentially, the movie's social commentary is somewhat muddled.
  • Shot in seven days on a budget of $127,000, the movie manages to combine a number of wildly disparate elements into a 74-minute tour de force. This is one of the few movies of the 1950s to earn over $1 million at the box office.
  • Peggie Castle later starred in Beginning of the End as photographer Audrey Aimes.


The Episode

Host Segments

Mikebuildsrobot

Mike builds a robot

Prologue: Channeling his predecessor, Mike builds a robot. The Bots marvel over it, but alas its sole objective is destruction.

Segment One: Mike promises the Bots he won't build anymore robots. Dr. F decides it's science project time, and so Crow must choose between a soft, cuddly Dr. F doll or a stark wire robot mother (It goes about as well as you'd think). TV's Frank is the control group, and is dressed as a pincushion.
Solfamilydate

SOL "family date"

Segment Two: Inspired by the short, the SOL crew presents their own stilted and awkward "family date". It ends in chaos when Gypsy points out how boring things are.

Segment Three: Tom tricks Crow into giving a ridiculously detailed lecture, comparing and contrasting the two actresses who played Lois Lane on the 1950’s TV series The Adventures of Superman (as they both appear in the movie).

Segment Four: A game of Jenga is interrupted by a visit from "A. Bomb" on the Hexfield. He’s kinda bummed about the trend toward nuclear disarmament, but Mike cheers him up and persuades him on a new "career path", which might not be a good thing.

DrFDoll

Dr. F Doll

Segment Five: Traumatized by the movie, Tom is convinced that life is but a dream. He insists that Mike hit him with a huge clown hammer to wake up. Mike reads a letter from a little girl who tells them, "You’re not missing much on Earth!" On patrol in Deep 13, Frank asks Dr. F "Who won the World Series?" Dr. F replies, "I did." Befuddled, Frank says, "D’okay"

Stinger: "Extra! Paper! America invaded! Read all about it!" (said by a random newsboy who appears and leaves the movie just as quickly)

Other Notes

  • This was the first and only appearance of Mike's Robot (whose real/proper name is unknown).
  • Writer/Comedian Mike Dodge, who worked on MST3k during Season 6 and later, post-MST3k, with Mike and Kevin on The Adventures of Edward the Less makes his one and only on-screen appearance on the show as "A. Bomb" in host segment 4.

Guest Stars

Obscure References

  • "Sylvia?"

A reference to poet Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide by suffocating herself in a gas oven.

  • "There's a rabbit in there!"

A reference to the scene in Fatal Attraction where Michael Douglas' character discovers that Glenn Close's character has killed and cooked his daughter's pet rabbit.

  • "Madame Defarge waits in the living room!"

Madame Defarge was a character in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, who was depicted as constantly knitting.

  • "I'm moving to Fire Island, dear!"

Fire Island, New York has long been known as a center of gay culture.

  • "What, me direct?"

The director's name is similar to Alfred E. Neuman, whose catch phrase was "What, me worry?"

  • "Shouldn't he be guarding Oswald?"
The bartender bears a passing resemblance to Jim Leavelle, who was standing nearby when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald.
MST3K 602 Promos01:03

MST3K 602 Promos

  • "You know, for some reason, I can't help thinking that Bobbie Gentry had something to do with this."

Bobbie Gentry wrote and performed the song "Ode to Billy Joe", which featured the refrain "Billie Joe McCallister jumped off the Tallahatchie bridge."

  • "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when..."

A reference to the ending of Dr. Strangelove, in which the song "We'll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn is played over a montage of nuclear explosions.

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