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"What's a giant eye going to do, pick you up and wink you to death?"
  — Joel


The Movie

Synopsis

On the Swiss mountain Trollenberg, one of three student climbers is suddenly killed, his head ripped from his body. Two sisters, Anne (Munro) and Sarah Pilgrim (Jayne), a London mind-reading act, are travelling by train to when Anne faints as the train passes the mountain. Upon waking, Anne insists that they must get off at the next stop.

UN troubleshooter Alan Brooks (Tucker), in the same train compartment as the sisters, goes to Trollenberg's observatory, where Professor Crevett () explains that, despite many climbing accidents, no bodies are ever found; an always-stationary radioactive cloud is regularly observed on the mountain's south face. Brooks learns that similar incidents took place in the three years earlier, before a similar radioactive cloud vanished without a trace. Local rumours circulated that something was living in the mist.

Anne is giving a mind-reading demonstration at the hotel when she "sees" two men in a base camp hut on the mountain: Dewhurst (Stuart Saunders) is asleep when the other man, Brett (), under some kind of mental compulsion, walks outside. Meanwhile, the cloud has enveloped the hut. Anne suddenly faints again, and Brooks phones the hut but no one answers.

A rescue party ventures to the hut looking for both men. Anne, in a trance-like state, urges the rescuers to stay away. Inside the hut, the group discover that everything is frozen solid, despite the hut being locked from the inside. Dewhurst's body is found under the bed, its head missing. A arrives and circles overhead, and a man is seen off in the distance. At his location, the first rescuer there finds a with a severed head inside. He is quickly set upon and killed by Brett, who later attacks and kills a second rescuer.

Crawlingeyemovie

The Crawling Eye

Now at the hotel, Brett storms in and launches an attack on Anne. The men manage to subdue him, and during the struggle Brett sustains a severe head gash, but no blood flows from the wound. Brett is heavily sedated and locked away. Brooks recalls a similar incident in the Andes that followed a similar pattern: a man murdered an elderly woman who allegedly possessed psychic abilities just like those displayed by Anne. The killer's body was discovered to have been deceased for at least 24 hours prior to his murder of the old women. Brett escapes his improvised cell and resumes his hunt for Anne, this time armed with a small hand axe. Before he can reach Anne, he is quickly shot and killed by Brooks.

The cloud has begun to move down the mountainside towards the hotel, so the group retreats to the heavily fortified observatory. As they enter the cable car, a mother realises that her young daughter is missing. In a thickening mist a giant, multi-tentacled creature with a single huge eye appears at the hotel, smashing down the front door. Brooks manages to rescue the child from the lobby, both of them narrowly escaping its grasp. They return to the cable car, but the delay has given the thickening mist a chance to reach the car platform. The transport motor begins to freeze, starting and stopping, the cable slipping, but the cable car arrives safely. The single cloud has now split and become four while converging on the observatory.

MST3K1X01CRAWLINGEYE

"What's a giant eye going to do, pick you up and wink you to death?"

Hans (), who left the hotel, suddenly turns up at the observatory. Once inside, he begins exhibiting the same obsession with Anne. Hans tries to strangle her, but the group can only stop him by killing him. As the tentacled monsters near the observatory, everyone makes to combat them. By radio, Alan orders an aerial firebombing raid against the observatory, which has a reinforced concrete roof and walls that can withstand the assault.

Journalist Philip Truscott (Payne) strikes one of the creatures with a Molotov cocktail, setting it ablaze. He is caught from above by one of the tentacled monsters on the observatory's roof. With another Molotov cocktail, Brooks sets that one ablaze, forcing the burning creature to release Truscott. Later, Truscott does the same as another one-eyed monster manages to breach a thick wall, trying to get at Anne. The aerial firebombing assault begins and is successful at torching the remaining creatures. [1]

Information

  • The Trollenberg Terror was adapted for the screen by Jimmy Sangster from the popular BBC TV serial by Peter Key. The Trollenberg Terror was retitled The Crawling Eye when it was released in the U.S. on a double bill with The Cosmic Terror.
  • The Trollenberg Terror was the final film produced by Southall Studios, one of the earliest pioneer film studios in the UK, and was one of the last films released by Distributors Corporation of America.
  • Mitchell's role was originally meant to be played by Aaron Diffring , but Diffring pulled out of the part at the last minute
  • A year before he did this movie, Forrest Tucker starred in a movie called The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas where he confronted psychic Yetis.
  • John Carpenter has said that this film, with its creatures hidden in the clouds, was the inspiration for his film The Fog (1980).
  • The film itself was parodied in the first season of the Warner Bros. cartoon Freakazoid! as "The Cloud."
  • The Crawling Eye monster literally makes a cameo appearance in Stephen Kings 's horror novel It. The children run into the creature in the sewers during a 1958 segment of the novel.
  • Was nominated in the Golden Turkey Award series for Most Idiotic Ad Lines in Hollywood History for, "The nightmare terror of the slithering eye that unleashed agonizing horror on a screaming world!" It lost to Kwaheri.
  • As Mike Nelson, Crow, and Tom Servo settle in their new apartment on Earth at the very end of the final MST3K episode, 1013 Diabolik, The Crawling Eye comes on the television as Mike and the bots sit down to watch, bringing the show full circle. Crow comments that the movie looks familiar.

The Episode

DrFepisodeone

"It's so hard to find a spot I haven't hit."

Host Segments

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Joel explains the show and demonstrates the Electric Bagpipes. The Mad Scientists are introduced. Dr. Forrester injects Dr. Erhardt with an antiperspirant developed from dogs. It has some unexpected side effects.

Episodeone

Joel plays Amazing Grace and Whole Lotta Love

Segment Two: Joel explains to the bots why it's a big deal for a human to lose a head.

Segment Three: Gypsy uncoils herself.

Segment Four: The bots are more horrified by Forrest Tucker than the giant eye. Joel explains why giant eyes are scary.

Gypsyepisode1

Gypsy uncoils herself.

Ending Segment: Joel makes RAM chips, and will give the bots one only if they can tell him a good thing and a bad thing about the movie. Gypsy, of course, didn't see the movie, so Joel asks her what 2+2 equals. Gypsy answers Richard Basehart, but Joel gives her a RAM chip anyway because she answered.

Trivia

  • Although this was the first show produced, it may have been the 2nd show to air on The Comedy Channel [2]
  • First occurrence of the Richard Basehart running gag.
  • Tom walks into the theater by himself in the first movie segment, just as he often did during the KTMA episodes. Joel carries him in after the first and second host segments, and Tom seems to like it.
  • BBI was using a “thinner” bluescreen level than they would use later; the result is that Crow’s “net” seems to vanish, and you can see some odd gaps between Servo and the theater seats.
  • Though the opening credits contain a clip of the titular monster from this movie, they use shadowrama at the bottom from the next episode.
  • This is the first and only time that Joel opens the outside theater doors by hand.
  • There are no buttons on the table during the host segments that Joel usually pushes to send the show into a commercial break. Here he just slaps the table.
  • This was the first show to be fully scripted, previously the actors just ad-libbed.

Goofs

  • Joel blows a line in the the theater: “Pick up some ice and some cubes.” They just keep going.
  • You can see the shadows of the puppeteers on the wall during the second host segment.
  • During the theme song, we see Joel (as the lyrics say) “working” and “cleaning up” but in these shots we can see that he’s in Deep 13 and on the SOL. We never actually see him working at Gizmonic Institute.
  • During the opening theme, you can spot Jim’s head sticking up–it’s during the section where Joel sings “…to make his robot friends…” You can also spot the PVC pipe that was used to work Crow.

Riffnotes

Invention Exchange

  • The songs that Joel plays on his electric bagpipe are Amazing Grace (one of the most well known English hymns written by poet John Newton, first published in 1779) and Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, released as a single in May 1969. It was the first track on their second album Led Zeppelin II, released in October '69.
  • "Sail on silver bird!": Dr. Forester is quoting the Simon and Garfunkel song Bridge over Troubled Water which was the second song in their 1970 album of the same name.
  • "The serum rushes through the bloodstream like a Porsche Targa 911.." The Porsche 911 was first manufactured by the Porsche motor vehicle company in 1963. Variations of the model have been made throughout the years to present.
  • "Someday you'll be ready for the Nobel Prize" "Maybe for fiction" the Nobel Prize is an annual international award that gives recognition to various fields in scientific and cultural fields. It was first awarded in 1901 and named after Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.
  • "I had to clean a Flubber spill once there" Flubber is a floating rubber (hence the name "Flubber"). It's a fictional compound that was central to the plot of Disney's 1961 film The Absent-Minded Professor.
  • "... And worst of all it stars Forrest Tucker": Forrest Tucker (February 22, 1919 – October 25, 1986) was a film, stage and television actor from the 1940s until his death in 1986.

Movie Part 1

  • "This must be a Paramount Picture" The mountain in the opening shot of the film vaguely resembles the logo to Paramount Pictures, who has been using the logo since 1914.
  • "It's a bad Cary Grant up there isn't it?" One of the two actors in the mountain climbing scene vaguely looks like actor Cary Grant (1904-1986) a well known actor who was active from 1932 to 1966.
  • "Oh he got that hat from Mike Nesmeth" The actor whom Tom identified as resembling Cary Grant is wearing a hat similar to that of musician Mike Nesmeth during his time with the rock band known as the Monkees
  • "Oh Forrest Tucker, he's from F-Troop!" F-Troop was a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1965 to 1967. It followed the misadventures of the soldiers at Fort Courage, Kansas during the days of the American Frontier. Forrest Tucker, the star of the experiment, played the role of Sergeant Morgan O'Rourke on the series.
  • "Duncan Sutherland. Duncan... What a yo-yo!" the Duncan Toys Company founded in 1929 is best known for their line of yo-yos.
  • "Lets see... Gemini, you'll be attracted to a crawling eye. Leo figures prominently" Tom is riffing off a horoscope for those of the Gemini astrological sign. Those born between May 20 and June 21 are Geminis. Leo is another sign for those born between July 22 and August 22.
  • "I am mount Svengali... you will do as I say" Svengali is a fictional character featured in George du Maurier's 1895 novel Trilby. The character was a hypnotist.
  • "You're Sargent O'Rourke from F-Troop" One of the many references in this episode pertaining to Tucker's role in F-Troop.
  • "It's red dye number 7" There is actually no such thing as Red Dye #7. Tom is likely referencing Amaranth aka Red Dye #5, a dye that is used in food products and cosmetics.
  • "We're going to Geneva" "That's a big convention town isn't it?" the Geneva Conventions were treaties and protocols that established international law for the humanitarian treatment of war. Originally set out by the United Nations in 1949 following the end of World War II.
  • "It's Mister Hainey!" Joel thinks that Mayor Klein (played by Frederick Schiller) resembles the character Eustace Haney from the sitcom Green Acres (1965-1971). Mr. Haney was played by actor Pat Buttram (1915–1994).
  • "I bet she could eat corn through a picket fence" An insult dating back to the days of the American Frontier, usually referring to someone who has buck teeth. Crow says this about actress Jennifer Jayne (1931-2006) who plays the role of psychic Sarah Pilgrim in the film during a scene where she gazes at the mountain. It sounds pretty harsh an insult considering that Jennifer doesn't have buck teeth.
  • "Was he on F-Troop?" Another Forrest Tucker reference. He was, indeed, on F-Troop.
  • "Who's the tomato?" is a slang term referring to a beautiful young woman. It was commonly used in the 1920s.
  • "It was a trick knot" Trick knots are used in magic tricks, jokes and puzzles. They appear to be stable knots but can become undone easily.
  • "Look the all-weather channel" The Weather Channel was founded in 1982. It is an all weather network that provides regional and global weather forecasts as well as weather related programming.

Host Segment #1

  • "I figured it would have a Julie Andrews quality" Julie Andrews is a stage and screen actress who is best known for her singing roles such as the playing the title role in the 1964 Disney film "Mary Poppins" and 1965's "The Sound of Music".
  • "You mean like Edna St. Vincent Millay?" "What a body!" American lyrical poet, playwright and feminist Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). Apparently Tom and Crow find her attractive.
  • "What about head games?" "And head trips" "And what about head cheese?"
    • Head Games is a euphemism referring to playing deluding someone
  • Head Trips is a euphemism for being high
  • Head Cheese is a European cold cut made out of the head of cow, pig, or sheep.

Movie Part 2

  • "Hey it's F-Troop" *whistling* Yet another F-Troop reference. This time Joel also whistles the theme song.
  • "Meanwhile, back at Daniel Boone's house..." Daniel Boone (1734-1820) was a frontiersman during the days of the American Frontier. His travels and exploits has made him a folk hero in American culture.
  • "I'll call Weight Watchers" Weight Watchers, founded in 1963, is a company that specializes in weight loss programs, diet foods, and exercise products.
  • "Rosebud." Rosebud was the sled owned by Charles Foster Kane in the 1941 Orson Welles film Citizen Kane. In the film when Kane is on his death bed, his final words are "Rosebud" as he drops a snow globe to the ground, not unlike the one seen in this scene of the Crawling Eye.
  • "It was a bizarre dream and you were all there. Fannie Flagg, and Groucho and Carl Sagan and it was a Dick Cavett PBS special."
    • Joel is referencing the final scene of the 1939 film version of the Wizard of Oz where the character Dorothy Gale (played by Judy Garland) woke up to find her family gathered all around her.
    • Fannie Flagg, born Patricia Neal, is an American actress, comedian and author. She is best known for her long running appearances on the Dating Game from 1973 to 1982, and her 1988 novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.
    • Groucho Marx (1890-1977) was an American comedian and film actor and part of the Marx brothers.
    • Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences.
    • Dick Cavett is an American talk-show host. He had his own show on the Public Broadcast Service aka PBS between 1977 to 1982.
  • "He prescribed those for Elvis" Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was a rock and roll musician. In the later years of his career until his death the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" was on many drugs, both prescribed medication and illegal recreational drugs.

Host Segment #2

Movie Part 3

Host Segment #3

Movie Part 4

Host Segment #4

Quotes

[Two mountain climbers have just spied the corpse of another.]
Mountaineer: His head! ... It was torn off!
Servo: You say that like it's a bad thing.
[The train carrying some of the main characters arrives in Trollenberg.]
Servo [as Conductor]: Trollenberg, home of the Crawling Eye. All stops lead to a bloody death.
[A woman stares blankly at a mountain as bizarre music plays.]
Joel [as mountain]: [deeply] I am Mount Svengali. You will do as I say.
Joel: What's a giant eye going to do, pick you up and wink you to death?
[A woman is feeling faint after the giant eyes attacking the observatory have been killed and set ablaze by an air strike.]
Man: Let's get you outside and have some fresh air!
Servo: I don't think outside is the best place for fresh air right now.

Video release

  • Mst3kcrawlingeyedvd

    MST3K DVD Cover

    Released on DVD by Shout! Factory in March 2010 as part of Vol. XVII, along with The Beatniks, The Final Sacrifice and Blood Waters of Dr. Z. The set has been out of print since 2017.
    • The DVD includes an introduction to the episode by Joel Hodgson as a special feature, plus the original theatrical trailer to the movie.
  • Digitally available through Shout's official Youtube channel (with annotations), Shoutfactorytv.com, Youtube, Amazon Instant Video, RiffTrax, iTunes, Vudu, and VHX.