|“||“Look! There’s the proof: There’s no God. Not a single God…”||”|
Ventriloquist/hypnotist The Great Vorelli has an amazing dummy named Hugo that can apparently walk and talk without Vorelli operating him. Vorelli's act with the dummy is intense, complete with harsh insults and threats.
After Vorelli meets beautiful heiress Marianne Horne, he hypnotizes her, causing her to suffer from a severe fever that spirals into a coma. Marianne’s boyfriend Mark, a newspaper reporter (William Sylvester), is suspicious and starts investigating Vorelli’s past. He discovers that a man named Hugo was killed several years earlier during one of Vorelli’s shows in Berlin. Apparently Vorelli stole Hugo’s human soul and transferred it into the body of the dummy.
Marianne awakens from her coma, and announces she will marry Vorelli. The triumphant hypnotist brags to Hugo about his plans for Marianne and his plot to transfer her soul into a female dummy. A violent confrontation between Hugo and Vorelli results in a chilling climactic switch.
- Like the ventriloquist dummy in the similar segment of Dead of Night (1945), the doll's name is Hugo.
- According to executive producer Richard Gordon, the theater in which The Great Vorelli performs was not open to the public at the time and was scheduled to be demolished. The film crew was able to shoot inside the theater for the show and backstage scenes before the deadline for the building's demolition.
- The dwarf who portrays Hugo the Dummy was performed by a woman even though Hugo is male.
- Sidney J. Furie was originally supposed to direct, but he left for another project before shooting began, and it was assigned to Lindsay Shonteff. Furie, however, was a friend of Shonteff's and helped Shonteff with the direction of the picture when he ran into problems.
Prologue: It's Friday at the dorm! Mike and the bots have an open window frat house party, which consists only of a window - no music or booze (though the window can be cleaned from the inside!).
Segment 2: Crow expresses interest in Pitch’s line of devil dolls. Mike disapproves.
Segment 3: The bots have set up a British pub, with an impossibly stout ale on tap. Tom and Crow crank English stereotypes to the extreme.
Segment 4: Pitch helps Crow transfer Tom’s soul. Mike disapproves.
Segment 5: Tom's soul has been transferred into a giant toaster strudel with great legs. Crow has dressed Mike up as Hugo and built a cage around him. Mike disapproves.
Meanwhile, at the Lesser God Day celebration at the Coliseum, Pearl and Brain Guy recognize the featured strong and brave Gladiator - Bobo!??!
Stinger: Hugo kicks Vorelli's ass.
- As the Roman Times segment begins, Kevin Murphy is singing “And now to Eden” from the Star Trek episode “The Way to Eden.”
- The window bit obliquely refers to Andersen Windows, which were novel for allowing the outside portion to be pulled inside and cleaned, though the feature is now common in other brands.
- "Does this bug you? Does this bug you? I'm not touching you!" (The Castle of Fu Manchu)
- "Pants!" (Hercules Against the Moon Men)
- The appearance of William Sylvester prompts several “Robert Denby” riffs. (Riding with Death)
- Pitch returns. (Santa Claus)
Quotes & References
- "George Stephanopoulos has really sunk low."
George Stephanopoulos was both Bill Clinton's Senior Advisor and Communications Director. He currently works as political correspondent and news anchor for ABC News.
- "Am I a mod or a rocker?"
Question posed to Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (with appropriate syntax adjustment) during a press conference in the film A Hard Day's Night. "No, I'm a mocker", was his Solomonic reply.
- "Let's all go to the lobby, let's all go to the lobby..."
Referencing a famous short film shown in theaters during intermissions to boost concession sales.
- "A dummy? Drinking wine?" "Spo-Dee-O-Dee?"
Reference to Stick McGhee's much-covered blues song "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee."
- "Hey look! She has Hasidic wallpaper!"
Marianne's wallpaper appears to have the Star of David patterned all over it. It is the most prominent symbol of Hasidic Judaism.
- "Kubrick saw this scene and said: 'We found our Heywood Floyd!'."
As mentioned earlier, William Sylvester was the actor who played Dr. Heywood Floyd in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This riff also references the film's director Stanley Kubrick (whose name Tom mispronounces as "Q-Brick").
- "Later, on the set of Dark Shadows..."
Referring to the mid-60's gothic soap opera about a vampire named Barnabas Collins living in the present day. A movie adaptation was made featuring Johnny Depp as Barnabas.
- "Hey hey! A Julie Kavner doll!"
- "Leave Robert Denby alone!"
A callback to one of the villains in Riding With Death (in which William Sylvester also co-starred).
- "When does Mr. Lifto come out?"
A performer in the Jim Rose Circus, who lifted objects with chains connected to his genitals, nipples, and other body parts.
- "Hey Vorelli! I just had this corner all Feng Shui'ed!"
Feng Shui is both a philosophy and a term used to describe achieving a sense of balance and polarity with one's surroundings (Crow's pronunciation of "Fang Shweed!" is uncommon).
- [Scene: An exterior shot of a boring office building in England]
- Crow: Oh! "Federated Incorporated Industries Limited".
- Servo: Modern architecture—efficient and beauty-free.
- [Later in the same shot]
- Crow: Meanwhile, at Stifle-Joy Co....
- [Mark English makes a phone call, slowly dialing a rotary phone]
- Servo: So, how many hours have rotary phones added to movies over the years?
- [The Great Vorelli on stage with a volunteer]
- The Great Vorelli: Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm going to suggest to this man that his life is in danger...
- Servo [as the Great Vorelli]: Then I'll be right back.
- The Great Vorelli: That he may die at any moment.
- [The Great Vorelli turns to the volunteer]
- Crow [as the Great Vorelli]: Your life is in danger and you may die at any moment. THANK YOU!
- [On stage, ventriloquist dummy Hugo whines about wine]
- Hugo: I want some! Give it to me! I know what wine is! I've had wine before. I want some wine! Why shouldn't I have some wine?
- Mike [as Hugo]: All I want is my fair share! All I want is what's coming to me!
- [During Vorelli's act, Hugo gets up and crosses to the refreshment table, where Vorelli is eating ham.]
- Crow [as Hugo]: You think he likes ham? Wait 'til you see me like ham!
- [Vorelli takes control of Hugo after Hugo attempts to knife him.]
- Vorelli: Say you're sorry!
- Servo [As Hugo]: Look Vorelli! Jump up my wooden butt!!
- Hugo: I...am...sorry...
- Mike [As Hugo]: You're...all...so...UGLY!! Ha ha ha!
- Hugo: Ladies...and...gentleman.
- Vorelli: And me?
- Mike [As Hugo]: Yeah what's up Ron? I mean..."The Great Vorelli!"
- Hugo: I...
- Servo [As Hugo]: ...Need...Changing!
- Vorelli: Yes!? SAY IT!!
- Hugo: I...Am sorry.
- Vorelli: "Master!!"
- Mike [As Hugo]: Look I don't even want the damn sandwich anymore alright!?
- Hugo: ....Master!
- Servo: So his act is to get up there and bicker with his doll!
- [German dancer and former Vorelli assistant Mercedes tells the two reporters about the original Hugo]
- Mercedes: He did not move for t'ree months — just lay there and...looked at the ceiling. Then...he died. He died.
- Mike [as Mark]: Did he live?
- [The Great Vorelli holding a knife looking at Hugo in the cage]
- The Great Vorelli: Hugo...
- Mike [as the Great Vorelli]: Have you been shaving your legs with this again?
- [The Great Vorelli is seducing a woman in direct line of sight of his dummy]
- Mike [as Hugo]: Please cover my cage...
- [Mark English (played by William Sylvester) is sleeping]
- Servo: You know, Kubrick saw this scene and said "We found our Heywood Floyd!"
- [Hugo sits in his cage while The Great Vorelli answers the door]
- Hugo: Attica! Attica!
- Commercially released on DVD by Shout Factory in November 2010 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 19, a 4-DVD set with Robot Monster, Bride of the Monster, and Devil Fish.
|preceded by: Season 7||MST3K Season 8||followed by: Season 9|
|801||Revenge of the Creature||1997-02-01||809||I Was a Teenage Werewolf||1997-04-19||817||The Horror of Party Beach||1997-08-16|
|802||The Leech Woman||1997-02-08||810||The Giant Spider Invasion||1997-05-31||818||Devil Doll||1997-10-04|
|803||The Mole People||1997-02-15||811||Parts: The Clonus Horror||1997-06-07||819||Invasion of the Neptune Men||1997-10-11|
|804||The Deadly Mantis||1997-02-22||812||The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies||1997-06-14||820||Space Mutiny||1997-11-07|
|805||The Thing That Couldn't Die||1997-03-01||813||Jack Frost||1997-07-12||821||Time Chasers||1997-11-22|
|806||The Undead||1997-03-08||814||Riding with Death||1997-07-19||822||Overdrawn at the Memory Bank||1997-12-06|
|807||Terror from the Year 5000||1997-03-15||815||Agent for H.A.R.M.||1997-08-02|
|808||The She-Creature||1997-04-05||816||Prince of Space||1997-08-16|