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Invasion of the Neptune Men

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819 - Invasion of the Neptune Men
0819
Air Date October 11, 1997
MST3K Director Michael J. Nelson
AKA Uchu Kaisoku-sen
Invasion from a Planet
Movie Director Koji Ota
Year 1961
Cast Sonny Chiba
(as Shinichi Chiba)
Preceded by 818 - Devil Doll
Followed by 820 - Space Mutiny


I know a song about stock footage, it goes like this. Da da da DA da DA! EAT IT MOVIE! Take this stupid little cockroach of a film, roll it up SO tight, and ram it up your--(sobs)"
  — Tom


The Movie

Synopsis

Neptunemen3

Invasion of the Neptune Men

Slow-moving aliens from the planet Neptune, wearing nosecone-shaped space helmets, attempt to invade Earth in a winged rocketship. But they are thwarted by a mysterious superhero called "Space Chief," who flies around in a rocket-propelled car. [1] No relation to Prince of Space. We swear.

HitlerBuilding

The infamous billboard dubbed "The Hitler Building"

As with the Gamera movies and Time of the Apes, very young and apparently orphaned Japanese children have unfettered access to all sorts of things that would be completely off limits in America and which, hopefully, are off-limits in real world Japan.

Information

  • Many of the invasion scenes in Tokyo were edited from World War III Breaks Out (1960). The appearance of a giant billboard of Adolf Hitler has led some viewers to believe that the stock footage is taken from documentary footage of World War II Japan.
  • One of the boys owns a toy Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet 1956). [2]

The Episode

Host Segments

BoboNeptuneMen

The Mad Goth, AKA Bobo, arrives in Roman Times

Prologue: Tom and Crow are disgusted to learn about eyelash mites and decide to get rid of the ones Mike has.

Segment One: The Bots send the nanites to destroy the mites, scorning Mike like it was his idea when things go south. Meanwhile, The Mad Goth, AKA Bobo arrives, making Pearl and Brain Guy want to commit suicide, until Brain Guy convinces Pearl to save Bobo by telling her that Bobo ruining time and space would mean the end of Chicken in a Biskit.

Neptunemen

The Bots attempt Noh theater

Segment Two: Mike confuses the bots by telling them about Noh Theater.

Segment Three: Tom comes down with a bad case of Roji Panty complex. Meanwhile, Pearl and Brain Guy unsuccessfully make Bobo remember who he really is.

Segment Four: Mike and the Bots are going to lose their sanity when they get a visitor - Krankor!
Neptunemen2

Krankor visits the SOL

Closing (Segment Five): Mike and the Bots read suggestions from the suggestion box, all insulting Japan. Meanwhile, Pearl and Brain Guy hit Bobo with a giant slate of rock, making him remember who he is, resulting in him, Pearl, and Brain Guy getting thrown into the dungeon.

Stinger: "Aaaah! What's that?"

Guest Stars

Trivia

  • The "Noh Theater" segment is referenced in The Grudge Rifftrax episode.
  • This was Jill Roozenboom’s last episode as Production Manager. It was also intern Meshach Weber’s last episode.
  • The production staff and cast was extremely disapproving of what appeared to be genuine WW2 bombing footage being incorporated into what was essentially a sci-fi film, an attitude that was given free rein in the more-merciless-than-usual riffing.
  • Kevin Murphy cited this as one of the worst movies ever shown on the series. He called the film's director "reprehensible" for using actual WW2 footage in what was basically a children's film.

Callbacks

Quotes & References

Speed Racer is a 60's anime series about a crime-fighting auto racer (which was a modest success in its native Japan and is actually a much bigger staple of American pop culture); Shonen Knife is an all-female Japanese rock band; Sailor Moon is an anime about a team of teenage heroines who wear sailor suit-esque costumes (which was a really big deal in both Japan and America, having received two revival series since this episode was made, one live actionand one animated ).

  • "He was trained in karate by Bruce Lei...bowitz".

An implication that Space Chief's karate moves aren't quite as impressive as those of kung-fu movie legend Bruce Lee.

  • "Paul is a dead man!  Miss him, miss him!"

A reference to the bizarre conspiracy theory that emerged in the late 1960s that musician and member of The Beatles, Paul McCartney, had in fact died and been replaced with a double.  The Beatles supposedly "told" their fans this using hidden messages and backwards masking on their later albums.  (Paul is Dead)  (This specific reference is to the message you can supposedly hear if you play the end of "I'm So Tired" from the White Album backwards.)

  • "Thomas the Tank Engine was very cross with Japan and felt he must resort to carpet bombing."

Based on the children's TV series of Thomas the Tank Engine, and another trademark MST3K instance of basing a whole bit around something's vague resemblance to something else. In this case the Neptunians' ship.

  • "Enjoy music from "Triumph of the Will."

Triumph of the Willwas an infamous Nazi propaganda film from 1935.

  • Servo:"They took out the Hitler Building! Where's everybody gonna go to see Hitler memorabilia?"
  • Crow:"All the Hitler rides and games! The Hitler salt and pepper shakers..."
  • Mike:"That great restaurant, The Bunker, it's gone, you sons of a...!"
  • Crow:"What's next? The Mussolini Mall?"
  • Servo:"Followed by the Pinochet Petting Zoo?"
  • "Hey, guys, it's turning into The Magnificent Ambersons!"

The Magnificent Ambersons was a 1942 film by Orson Welles, starring Joseph Cotten.

  • "It's been a hard day's night..."

Shots of the Japanese boys running down a flight of stairs inspire this reference to the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night. A similar scene appears in the group's film of the same name.

  • Kid - "I want to show you something really big." Mike - "It's Crystal Gayle's curling iron."

Crystal Gayle is a singer known for her extremely long hair.

  • "Space Chief is actually Racer X, Speed's brother!"

Another Speed Racer reference. The mysterious Racer X was indeed secretly Speed's older brother. Not so secret to the audience, as the narrator would point his true identity out in every single episode (as Mike does here).

Memorable Quotes

[Dr. Tibana examines a sample under a microscope]
Tibana: So, then—the Rogi-Pani Complex.
Mike: The "Roji-Panty Complex"?
Servo & Crow [as the Neptune Men]: HA. HA. HA. HA. Your costume is ridiculous.
[In an extremely poorly staged fight scene, Space Chief goes through an elaborate display of martial arts as the Neptune Men stagger around awkwardly and tumble to the ground.]
Servo: That guy just fell down, for cryin' out loud!
. . .
Crow: They're being defeated by a wispy bachelor.
. . .
[The Neptune Men retreat into their ship.]
Crow [as Space Chief]: Aw c'mon, I wanna jump around while you fall down more!
[The Neptune Men approach Earth]
Mike: Shoot at Earth all you want, just get Bill Maher.
[As the Neptune Men demolish Tokyo]
Servo [as the Japanese]: Oh, let's call our friends the Koreans! Oh, oh no—the Russians! Well, no. The Chinese! Oh, well, I guess not.
[The Neptune Men endlessly strafe Tokyo]
Mike: I never thought I'd say it, but suddenly Independence Day seems a richly-nuanced movie.
[After about 20 minutes of scenes depicting the kids running around a military base]
Crow: So whatever happened to Space Chef?
Mike: That's "Chief."
CrowChief Chef?
Crow: Y'know, Space Chief should try going into space sometime!
Servo: Yeah, he's more like Lower-Atmosphere Chief.
Mike: Barely-Off-The-Stupid-Ground Chief.
[The attack on the city includes stock footage of a building with a giant picture of Hitler being blown up]
Crow[royally confused] What the...?
Servo: They took out the Hitler Building!!! Where is everyone going to see Hitler memorabilia?
Crow: All the Hitler rides and games! The Hitler salt and pepper shakers!
Mike: The great restaurant "The Bunker"! It's gone! You sons of...
Crow: They blew it up!
. . .
Crow: Say, Mike—was there a Hitler Building where you grew up?
Mike: Not, uh...no. No.
Crow: Sure?
Mike: ...Yeah.
. . .
[Another spaceship begins to dive]
Crow: What next? The Mussolini Mall?
Servo: Yeah! Followed by the Pinochet Petting Zoo!
[Nearly a full 8 minutes after "Space Chief" joins the battle, the "spaceships" are still diving and firing at each other]
Crow: So, d-do either of you guys know any songs about stock footage that would get us through this?
Servo: Oh, I know a song about stock footage! It goes like this: Dih-dih dih dih dih dih... [thundering] EAT IT, MOVIE!
Crow: Whoa! Whoa!
Servo[still ranting] TAKE THIS STUPID LITTLE COCKROACH OF A FILM, ROLL IT UP SOOOOO TIGHT, AND THEN RAM IT RIGHT UP YOUR [begins sobbing]
[Shot of a radar screen, as the scientists count down]
Scientist: Ten, nine, eight...
Crow: Yeah, yeah, right—one.
Scientist: Seven, six...
Crow: One!
Scientist: Five, four...
Crow: ONE!!!
[The Neptune Men's fighter ships strafe the children's car]
Servo: Space Chief's off having a couple Sapporos with Jet Jaguar and Prince of Space.

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