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MST3K 205 - Rocket Attack U.S.A.

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205 - Rocket Attack U.S.A.
0205
Air Date October 27, 1990
MST3K Director Jim Mallon
Running Time 70 min.
Movie Director Barry Mahon
Year 1958
Cast Monica Davis
John McKay
Arthur Metrano
Short The Phantom Creeps - Chapter 2: Death Stalks the Highway
Short Director Ford Beebe
Year 1939
Cast Bela Lugosi
Robert Kent
Dorothy Arnold
Preceded by 204 - Catalina Caper
Followed by 206 - Ring of Terror


[After a car has taken an abnormally long time to park]

"Nobody will be admitted during the breathtaking car-parking sequence! "

  — Crow


The Short

Synopsis

205s

Dr. Zorka continues to elude the authorities, using his invisibility belt and deadly mechanical spider. Military intelligence agent Bob West fights and overcomes Dr. Zorka’s assistant Monk. Bob then pursues an automobile into the hills, believing it is driven by someone who has learned Zorka’s secrets. Jean Drew, plucky girl reporter, accompanies Bob as he searches the abandoned car. Bob discovers a strange disk, which the invisible Zorka has planted in the deserted car. Death by mechanical spider seems imminent for Bob and Jean.

Information

The Movie

Synopsis

ROCKET ATTACK USA FILM

Rocket Attack U.S.A

Released in 1961 at the height of the Cold War, Rocket Attack USA posits the incontrovertible fact that the Russians were, like, totally out to get us. They just released Sputnik, so why not blow up all of New York City? The first 2/3 of the movie follows spy John Manston as he infiltrates a Soviet Union with suspiciously Californian features in the background of every outside shot. Alas, the spy fails (along with his lovely Soviet mole), leaving us to an abrupt storyline change and showing us the everyday lives of ordinary schmoes like you and me who eventually get decimated by the Soviets releasing a nuclear bomb over New York City. The explosion is miraculously contained to the island of Manhattan, leaving the blue-bloods in Westchester County to count their blessings.

Information

  • This experiment contains the first of several refences to the 1988 film Madame Sousatzka which starred actress Shirley MacLaine.

The Episode

Host Segments

Tomhaircut

Joel gives Tom a "haircut"

Prologue: Joel gives Tom Servo a "haircut" and sells him products to keep his head looking good.

Invention Exchange (Segment One): Joel's original invention, the Mexican Jumping Bean Bag Chair, was eaten by Gypsy, so he presents the Candy Adding Machine. The Mads present Water-Polo Foosball when they fill a foosball table with water. The foosball players are all Dr. Forresters and TV's Franks.

Segment Two: The SOL crew discusses the Cold War, and the Charlie McCarthy Hearings. Artist renderings strike again.

Segment Three: The Civil Defense Quiz Bowl...Los Alamos (represented by Crow) versus Oak Ridge (Tom Servo) versus a housewife from Long Neck (Gypsy)!

Table Water Polo

Table Water Polo

Segment Four: The SOL crew meets Joel's Russian counterpart and his really lame robots. Alas, the access ports are not compatible.

Closing (Segment Five): Joel and the Bots are incensed about the movie and pick apart the plot. They read a letter and the Mads are pleased with the crew's reaction.

Stinger: A Russian nuclear bomb attack on New York is imminent, and a blind guy emotionlessly calls out, "Help me."

Other Notes

Guest Stars

Miscellanea

  • Comedy Channel and BBI were getting complaints from viewers that Tom Servo’s head was covering up too much of the screen, so they tried an experiment: they installed a skinnier version of the Executive Snack Dispenser and announced that Servo had received a “haircut.” The experiment would only last two episodes.
  • The first-ever MST experiment to feature a stinger.
  • As Sorri, Mike wears the khaki jumpsuit Joel previously wore in the KTMA episodes.
  • The Hexfield ViewScreen now sports a camera lens-like shutter, replacing the window shade used previously.
  • The opening is adjusted once again with this episode; namely with the final montage replacing most of the BGC-19 Drum Kit scene (which has one small clip that remains in the opening for the remainder of the Joel era); the new scenes include:
    • Sorri Andropolo appearing on the Hexfield Viewscreen (from this episode)
    • Both Invention Exchanges from Catalina Caper: the "Tank Tops" from the MADs and the Tickle Bazooka from Joel.

Callbacks

Obscure References

In reference to Tom's "haircut," and Tom's slight resemblance to Chris "Kid" Reid of hip-hop duo Kid n Play as a result.

  • "I'm standing in a shotgun shack, in another part of the world. But this is not my beautiful house..."

This is a reference to the song "Once In A Lifetime" by Talking Heads.

  • "The general scratches his belly and thinks. His shirts are clean but his officers stink..."

Lyrics from the song "Bombs Away" by The Police (from the album Zenyatta Mondatta). Crow is actually mixing lyrics from different verses.

  • "Daniel Kern did the letters."

In typography, kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between individual letters in order to achieve a visually pleasing layout. The part of a letter that sticks out past the edge of the type block is called a kern.

  • <Credit listing reads:  "Produced and Directed by Barry Mahon"> "Next, in Star Search's opening credit competition..."

Ed McMahon was the host of the talent competition TV show, Star Search.  He was also Johnny Carson's announcer and sidekick on The Tonight Show, where he was known for laughing heartily at Carson's jokes. Tom Servo mimics McMahon's distinctive laugh before saying the above.

  • <Character on the phone: "Yes, sir. Yes, sir."> "Three bags full!"

From the nursery rhyme "Baa Baa, Black Sheep".

  • <Voiceover:  "A top-secret coded message reached the desk of George White"> "It said, 'Drink more Ovaltine'"

Referencing a scene in A Christmas Story, where Ralphie is eagerly decoding a secret message broadcast on his favorite radio show.  The "message", however, turns out to be "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine", and Ralphie is crushed to discover that it is only "a crummy commercial".

  • "It's an ad for Dolphin Temp."

Dolphin Group Companies is a temp agency in Minneapolis.

  • "Oh, great, it's Rip Taylurski."

Rip Taylor is a comedian, known for his flamboyant act and outrageous costumes.

  • "Art Metrano! [humming] Da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da..."

Art Metrano, who has a minor role in this film, was a comedian whose signature bit was humming that song ("Fine and Dandy") while performing inept "magic tricks" like moving a finger from one hand to the other.

Memorable Quotes

Narrator: (intones Somberly after Manhattan is bombed) : Ladies And Gentlemen. We cannot let this be...The End.
SOL crew: Oh yes we can!!

Video Release

Rocketattackdvd

MST3K DVD Cover

Commercially released on DVD by Shout Factory in July 2013 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 27, a 4-DVD set with The Slime PeopleThe Deadly Mantis, and Village of the Giants.

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