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Space Mutiny

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820 - Space Mutiny
Air Date November 8, 1997
MST3K Director Jim Mallon
Movie Director David Winters
Neal Sundstrom
Year 1988
Cast Reb Brown
John Phillip Law
Cameron Mitchell
Cisse Cameron
(as Cissy Cameron)
Graham Clarke
Preceded by 819 - Invasion of the Neptune Men
Followed by 821 - Time Chasers

Did you sign Sherry's card?
  — Mike & the Bots (as various characters)

The Movie



The cast of Space Mutiny

The Southern Sun is a generation ship, or a spacefaring vessel that contains a large number of people, whose mission is to colonize a new world. Its voyage has lasted generations, so many of its inhabitants have been born and will die without ever setting foot on solid ground. This does not please the antagonist, Elijah Kalgan, who conspires with the pirates infesting the nearby Corona Borealis system and the ship’s Chief Engineer MacPhearson. Kalgan hatches a plot to disrupt the Southern Sun’s navigation systems and use the Enforcers, the ship’s police force, to hijack the ship and direct it towards this system. At this point, the inhabitants of the Southern Sun will have no choice but to accept his "generosity".

'Thick McRunFast' in Space Mutiny

Kalgan sabotages a key part of the ship just as an important professor's shuttle is on a landing trajectory. The loss of guidance control causes the ship to explode. The shuttle's pilot, Dave Ryder, is able to escape, but the professor dies in the explosion. This sabotage seals off the flight deck for a number of weeks, which gives Kalgan the opportunity to attempt to wrest control. With the Enforcers in his hand, and with the flight deck out of commission, he holds the entire population of the Southern Sun hostage. Commander Jansen and Captain Devers enlist Ryder’s assistance, aided begrudgingly by Jansen’s daughter Dr. Lea Jansen, to regain control of the ship. [1]

As Mike Nelson says in the DVD intro, "It's kinda hard to figure out what the 'mutiny' really is."


"Hey, how about some sugar for Sting and Dolph here?"


  • A prominent member of the Southern Sun's bridge crew is killed during a bar scene in an apparent attempt to make the plot more interesting. However, she is in the next scene alive and well at her console on the bridge. No mention is made of any twins.
  • The space-battle footage is all lifted from the TV series Battlestar Galactica (1978). [2] The SOL crew do not comment on this during the episode, but mention of it was made later on the MST3K section of the Sci-Fi Channel website. The BBI staff apparently did not recognize the footage as being recycled until after the episode aired.
  • Two of Cameron Mitchell's children had bit parts in this movie. His son Chip played the thinly mustached Blake who apologizes for the "scanty" information. His daughter Cammile was the voice of the lead Bellerian, Jennera.
  • Actor James Ryan, who is the object of several jabs by the SOL Crew for his rather well-done (yet vaguely psychotic) performance as one of the two villains, starred in many similarly low-budgeted South African productions like this.
  • The other mutiny leader is played by John Phillip Law, who (like Robert Z'Dar and Joe Estevez) would be in more than one movie experiment during the show's final seasons. Law starred in Diabolik!, the final episode/experiment.
  • Reb Brown and Cisse Cameron are actually married in real-life and were already a wedded couple when Space Mutiny was filmed. Contrary to the SOL crew's jokes, Cameron is actually a few years younger than Brown.
  • Cisse Cameron would later claim that Space Mutiny was intended to be a spoof of science fiction films.
  • About Mike's understandable confusion regarding the mutiny, while Kalgan himself is obviously evil, sites such as TV.Tropes point out that all we really know about the other mutineers is they don't want to spend the rest of their lives on the ship. The only attempt the movie makes to portray this as wrong is a scene saying that leaving the ship before arriving at its predetermined destination would break "the law of the universe," but it then declines to provide any specifics.

The Episode

Host Segments


Crow's a Bellerian

Opening: Crow and Tom think the encyclopedias that Mike has are a little dated.

Intro: Mike gets more encyclopedias, but the bots complain about missing complaining. In ancient Rome, Pearl, Bobo and Observer are thrown in jail. Their attempts to recover Observer's brain so he can observe them to freedom don't go so good.

Segment One: Mike tries to have tea in peace, but is interrupted by the bots fighting in the Hyper-Warp Escape Pods. Apparently they were in the hold, waiting for them to escape with.

MST3k Space Mutiny ships pic 4

The Bots post ship battle

Segment Two: Crow's a Bellerian. Or is he? Bobo's escape plan fails. As usual.

Segment Three: In the spirit of the many safety railing-related deaths in the movie, Servo installs railings, in case OSHA stops by. Typical for Servo, he installs them completely at random. Mike is not pleased.

End: Tom is buff, Crow is not, Pearl and Brain Guy escape jail when a guard accidentally gives back Observer's brain, and Bobo burns down Rome.

Stinger: David Ryder screams.

Bobo burns down Rome


  • The The Nine Billion Names of David Ryder was developed from a smaller running gag during 12 to the Moon. The earliest occurrence may have been the second season opener Rocketship X-M, where Lloyd Bridges is spontaneously described as "Dirk Squarejaw", (click here to see the nicknames given to David Ryder).
  • This episode marks the final appearance of the Ancient Rome setting, where the Mads made their escape from imprisonment and Bobo accidentally burns it down.
  • This episode is regarded by many fans to be the best episode of the Sci-Fi era. Its popularity led to it being included in Turkey Day '13.
  • This was intern Todd Severson’s first episode.


The Nine Billion Names of David Ryder

There's a running gag where Mike and the Bots continually find adjective-fueled names that describe Reb Brown's muscular protagonist Dave Ryder throughout the riffing of the movie. Here's a complete list of the names they use:

Crow: Slab Bulkhead!
Servo: Fridge Largemeat!
Mike: Punt Speedchunk!
Crow: Butch Deadlift!
Crow: Bold Bigflank!
Mike: Splint Chesthair!
Mike: Flint Ironstag!
Crow: Bolt Vanderhuge!
Mike: Thick McRunfast!
Mike: Blast Hardcheese!
Crow: Buff Drinklots!
Servo: Trunk Slamchest!
Crow: Fist Rockbone!
Mike: Stump Beefknob!
Servo: Smash Lampjaw!
Crow: Punch Rockgroin!
Mike: Buck Plankchest!
Crow: Stump Chunkmen!
Servo: Dirk Hardpec!
Mike: Rip Steakface!
Crow: Slate Slabrock!
Servo: Crud Bonemeal!
Mike: Brick HardMeat!
Crow: Rip Slagcheek!
Servo: Punch Sideiron!
Mike: Gristle McThornbody!
Crow: Slate Fistcrunch!
Mike: Buff Hardback!
Servo: Bob Johnson! Oh, wait...
Servo: Blast Thickneck!
Crow: Crunch Buttsteak!
Mike: Slab Squatthrust!
Servo: Lump Beefbroth!
Crow: Touch Rustrod!
Mike: Reef Blastbody!
Mike: Big McLargeHuge!
Mike: Smoke ManMuscle!
Servo: Eat Punchbeef!
Mike: Hack Blowfist!
Mike: Roll Fizzlebeef!

Quotes & References

A reference to the former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, and currently team president of the Miami Heat, known for his severely slicked back hairstyle.
  • "Special effects by Industrial Light and Morons."
A reference to George Lucas' special effects house Industrial Light & Magic, pointing out further what a complete rip-off of Star Wars that whole sequence is (granted, the footage is pulled from the original "Battlestar Galactica" TV series which Lucas later sued when he saw the notable similarities).
  • "Sting, Debbie Reynolds, and God."
Gordon Matthew Thomas "Sting" Sumner is a musician with a slender build and close cropped light colored hair who the Captain Devers character somewhat resembled. Debbie Reynolds is a an American actress with pixie-ish features whose hair is often blonde. Historically depictions of God were often of an older, bearded man similar to how the Commander Jansen character appeared in the film.
  • "Have you signed Sherri's Birthday card?"
Running gag throughout the movie as if they were passing around a birthday card in an office for all to sign.
  • "John Waters!"
John Waters is a thinly-mustached filmmaker who first made a name for himself with intentionally offensive movies such as Pink Flamingos and later created such mainstream ventures as Hairspray.
  • "Drank too much Surge!"
Surge was a heavily caffeinated soft drink marketed by the Coca-Cola Company during the late 1990s.
  • "Death by snicker-snag!"
Snicker-snagging is a playground stunt where a bully pins his victim and dangles saliva over his face.
  • "Without Metrecal, this would not be possible."
Metrecal was a diet product introduced in 1960 and intended as a meal replacement.
  • "Mother Angelica Aerobics!"
Mother Angelica is a nun who founded the Eternal Word Television Network, a cable network specializing in Catholic-oriented programming.
  • "You've got mail!"
America Online was a popular online service in the 90s which provided dial up internet access. The America Online client software used then would announce that users had email by displaying an open mailbox and playing a "You've got mail!" sound.
  • "Oh Gopher, are you lost?"
Burl "Gopher" Smith was the yeoman-purser on The Love Boat. Gopher was played by Fred Grandy, who would go on to represent Iowa in Congress following the series.
  • "This is less subtle than an Annie Sprinkle performance piece!"
Annie Sprinkle is a performance artist known for the bizarre sexual content of her work.
  • "Bennigan's, 1985!"
Bennigan's is a chain of Irish pub themed restaurants that was established in 1976. By the mid 1980s Bennigan's became known as a mid range fern bar.
  • "She's got an armadillo in her trousers!"
A line from the 1984 movie This Is Spinal Tap.
  • "It's Kevorkian."
A doctor in the "Deep Freeze" area of the spaceship is surrounded by dead bodies wearing underwear and wrapped in plastic. He resembles the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the American doctor known for his use of assisted suicide.
  • "God I love Pac-Man."
Commander Calgon is staring at a video monitor that is pulsating light. Crow's quote was made to suggest that Commander Calgon is actually playing a game of Pac Man, a video game created in Japan in 1980.
  • "Whaddya' got for me Rick Astley."
Mike is noting that the crew member who's accessing the computer resembles 1980's pop singer Rick Astley.
Crow makes this reference because as the automatic sliding door opens, it makes a noise much like the crack of a whip.  This is heard in the opening soundtrack to the famed 1960s television show, Rawhide (TV series).
  • "Hey, how about some sugar for Sting and Dolph here?"
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor with a large muscular build and blonde hair who played a number of roles in action films - including Rocky IV and Masters of the Universe.
  • "Stupid Buddhist monk. The Vietnam war has been over for hundreds of years."
Two "Enforcers" are chasing the protagonists down a staircase and have to climb over a burning body when Mike Nelson makes the above comment. This is in reference to the act of self immolation, which was practiced by Buddhist monks in Vietnam as an act of protest against the US occupation and war in Vietnam during the 1960s.
  • "Not since the Fuzzy Zoeller-Lee Trevino collision of 1974 has there been such a horrible golf cart accident."
Both Fuzzy Zoeller and Lee Trevino were professional golfers throughout the 1970s.
  • "Push on, mighty Cushman!"
Cushman is a manufacturer of vehicles for industrial and personal use, such as street sweepers and three-wheelers.
  • "The Honeymooners!"
The explosions of the Pirate fleet upon missile impact reminded Tom Servo of the fireworks seen as part of the opening titles of the 1950s sitcom The Honeymooners, starring Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.
  • "They woke up The Oak Ridge Boys!"
The Oak Ridge Boys are a country music quartet, famous for their 1981 hit "Elvira".
  • "Sounds like Kitaro fell asleep on his keyboard."
Kitarō (aka Masanori Takahashi) is a Japanese keyboardist, regarded by many as a pioneer in the New Age music movement.
  • "A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"
One of King Richard's famous quotes from Shakespeare's play Richard III, in which Richard is typically portrayed as limping and/or walking with the aid of a cane.
  • "Ho ho, ho!'
  • Finally, Christmas comes to Santa."
  • "Mrs. Kringle and I have an understanding."
  • "Wanna see me shake like a bowl full of jelly?"
  • "Someone DID leave a cookie out for me!"
  • "I am a right jolly old elf."
  • "Let me just check you twice, dear."
These are various references to the commander of the Southern Sun, who bears some resemblance to Santa Claus. Some of these riffs make reference to Clement Clarke Moore's poem Twas the Night Before Christmas.
  • "So, this takes place at the Anheuser-Busch brewery...?"
Anheuser-Busch is a major brewer of beers founded by Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch in the 1860s. Anheuser-Busch breweries have been used for films that needed an industrial setting for some scenes - such as V and Robocop 2.
  • "Into a nice sitz bath."
A sitz bath is a form of hydrotherapy, which uses water to relive pains and ailments.
  • "Recommended by top breeders."
This was the tagline used by the makers of Pedigree dog food until 2007.
  • "Any second, Lea's gonna jump on her Big Wheel and give chase."
The Big Wheel was a children's tricycle, popular in the mid-1970s into the 1980s. In 2003, the Big Wheel was re-introduced to the American marketplace under new ownership.
  • "He made a bomb out of soap and Paco Rabanne."
Paco Rabanne is a perfume made by the Spanish fashion designer of the same name.
  • "Graphics by Kenner."
Kenner was an American manufacturer of toys (primarily action figures) whose heyday came during the late 1970s until the mid-1980s.

Memorable Quotes

[repeated line]
Servo (as various characters): Did you sign Sherry's card?
[Mike's encyclopedia is a bit behind the times.]
Crow: It lists Hitler as a "fairly stable veteran of the Great War."
Mike: Oh, come on, they're not that old. They're fine.
Servo: Oh yeah? It mentions the lightbulb as a "charming theory."
Crow: Yeah! And Congress is spelled with an "f." What is it, Congriff?
Mike: Well, I used them when I was a kid. [Blows dust off a volume] They seemed fine then.
Crow: The periodic table has three elements in it, Mike!
Servo: There's a volume for the letter epsilon.
Crow: There's a mailing address for Macchu Pichu.
Servo: It's got a picture of Stonehenge!
Mike: So?
Servo: Under construction?!
Mike: So, what you high-minded encyclopedia snobs are trying to tell me is, you want a new set. Fine, I'll get you another set.
Servo: Oh, anything that's not handwritten on papyrus will do.
[In the opening credits the movie's editors are listed one by one]
Mike: Passed from editor to editor in a desperate attempt to save it!
[Raiders attack the shuttlecraft, in scenes lifted from 1978's "Battlestar Galactica"]
Mike: Special effects by Industrial Light and Morons.
[Lea, wearing a space-age leotard, runs toward the burning shuttlecraft]
Crow [as Lea]: My Buns of Steel videos are in there!
[Shot of the Santa Claus-esque Commander Jansen looking worried]
Servo [as Jansen]: But what of the little children and their toys?
Capt. Devers: Whoever did this knew his way around spaceships.
Cmdr. Jansen: I agree.
Mike [as Jensen]: I don't know if this helps, but ho ho ho.
[Kalgan drives into shot in a vehicle marked "ENFORCER"]
Mike [as Kalgan]: Hey, you guys, I got my dad's Enforcer for the weekend!
[The ship's engineering crew have decided to join the mutiny, with one exception]
MacPhearson: Gentlemen, it seems that we are not all in agreement.
Mike: I disagree!
MacPhearson: Engineer Parsons seems content to spend his remaining years upon the Southern Sun.
Chief Engineer: Then let him do so alone.
Engineer Parsons: This is mutiny! This is treason, which I warn you I must report.
Crow [as Parsons]: I just have to wet myself first.
MacPhearson: Will you allow him to spoil your ambitions for a greater future?
Chief Engineer: We'll not allow that! No!
Servo: The easily led wise council.
[the assembled engineers grab hold of Parsons, shove him onto the meeting table and beat him up]
Engineer Parsons: Let me go, traitors!
Mike [as Parsons]: What I meant was, I totally endorse what you're doing! G-owww!
Crow: Rip his band uniform, then he'll have to pay for it!
Servo: Next, they're going to give him books so they can dump them.
Crow: Death by snicker-snag!
[the engineers pin Parsons to the floor, and MacPhearson stabs him through the heart with his walking stick]
Mike: I'm going to inflate him to 35lbs!
Servo [as MacPhearson]: Okay, moving on to number three on our agenda, "Sherry's birthday party."
MacPhearson: Are there any other of you that wish to confuse freedom... with treason?
Mike: I'd like to confuse bok choi with cabbage, sir!
MacPhearson: Report to the enforcers' bridge.
Servo: Well, at least it's the rare meeting where something actually got done!
[Ryder and Lea are arguing about his effort to save someone from the burning shuttlecraft]
Ryder: Listen, lady!
Lea: Doctor!
CrowDoctor Lady!
. . .
Ryder: I had to eject! I had no other choice!
Servo [as Lea]: That's Doctor I Had No Other Choice!
. . .
[later, Ryder tries to make up with Lea]
Ryder: Listen, uh . . . I understand how you feel.
Mike: It's Doctor Listen Uh I Understand How You Feel.
[Kalgan pushes a mop-haired engineer off a railing]
Mike: Oh, no, the death of Rick Springfield!
Servo: I just wish I had Jessie's Giiiiiiiiiiirl!
[Ryder and Lea jump into an "Enforcer" (resembling a tiny bowling alley floor-polisher) to chase bad-guy Kalgan]
Servo: Herve Villechaize's Death Car.
Mike: Jeez, you could walk on your hands and catch up to the guy!
Crow [as Ryder]: Put your helmet on, we'll be reaching speeds of three!
Kalgan: [laughs evilly]
Servo [as Ryder]: Hit the siren! [plays upbeat tempo circus music]
. . .
Crow [as Kalgan]: We need both horsepowers on this thing!
. . .
[Ryder fires at Kalgan using the Enforcer's side-mounted laser cannons]
Mike [as Bodyguard]: I can't go any faster, I'd have to drop the waxing compound!
[The Sting-like Capt. Devers enters the main control room]
Servo [as Devers][singing] De do do do, de da da da, is all I want to say to you...
[Devers passes Lt. Lamont, who was just killed in the previous scene]
Mike: Hey, wait, she's dead!
Servo: Yeah, she's dead!
Mike: She died!
[Devers sits down with Cmdr. Jansen]
Capt. Devers: Commander Jansen?
Crow [as Devers]: I think it was very nice of you to give that dead woman another chance.
. . .
[Jansen and Devers discuss the report on the space pirates]
Cmdr. Jansen: I think they want to drive us into the neighboring constellation.
Capt. Devers: Helveca?
Mike [as Devers]: Oh, I love that font!
. . .
Cmdr. Jansen: It's very perilous for everyone on board...we do not make wild we keep this Top Classified Secret.
Servo [as Cmdr. Jansen]: Top Super-Duper Maxi-Extreme Ultra Secret.
. . .
[Devers again walks past the formerly-deceased lieutenant]
Mike [as Devers]: 'Kay, look alive, everybod— oh...sorry, Susan.
[Chief engineer MacPhearson hobbles away from a firefight]
Crow [as MacPhearson]: A horse! My kingdom for a horse!
Captain Devers[referring to another character] Sir, we both know there's only one man here who's capable of combat. A man who's had training, both physically and mentally.
Commander Jansen: Alright.
Crow [as Jansen]: Fetch me my warrior muumuu.
[Dave Ryder shakes hands with Lea's father, Cmdr. Jansen]
Mike: We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese.
[Ryder heroically heads off to face Kalgan.]
Mike: There goes a big, brave brick of meat.
[Lea narrowly dodges Kalgan and Ryder's incoming Enforcers]
Servo: Toro! Toro! These cars are made by Toro!
Mike: You know, a lot of people have compared this to the chariot scene in Ben-Hur?
Servo: Oh?
Mike: Yeah, they usually say something like, "Ben-Hur was really good. This one totally sucked."
[Ryder dodges dozens of laser beams fired by Enforcers from about 20' away]
Servo: Why is he so impossible to hit? Why do they keep missing the slow, giant, white thing?
[Director David Winters favors us with another scene set in a possibly-abandoned boiler room]
Servo: Ha ha, good, good, back to the rusting septic system of this FUTURISTIC SPACE SHIP!
Kalgan: I'm going to use this laser on your teeth. It's not unsimilar to ancient dentistry, not that you'd know anything about that.
Servo [as Kalgan]: You're too stupid to know anything about dental history.
Lea: You bastard!
Mike [as Lea]: How dare you insult my knowledge of ancient dentistry!
[View on a vertically-mounted keyboard]
Crow: Wall-mounted keyboards . . . it must be the future!
[Ryder and Lea kiss at the end of the film]
Servo: They married and had a healthy eight-and-a-half-pound pork roast.
[During the long end credits, generic 80s music is playing]
Servo: Okay, okay Mike, be honest with us. This music kind of really gets your blood going?
Crow: Yeah Mike, this is your music done by your people, so I blame you for this entire movie.
Servo: Yeah, it's just like you to make a movie like this. Geez Mike!
Mike: Hey, I hated it too! What're you picking on me for?
Crow: Well, you were a young guy during the '80s, weren't you? This is your world, admit it.
Mike: Uhhh...
[The music slows down to a power ballad style]
Crow: Okay, now this. This here is the kind of music you get all weepy at at the end of a drunken Friday night, sitting there with your hair all feathered, scarfing down uh, cold potato skins.
Servo: Ahh, your attempt to get little Susie what's-her-name drunk on lime vodka ended in humiliating rejection. So you sit there all mushy and sentimental, reciting to yourself the words to some song by Night Ranger. You're pathetic.
Crow: Yeah, now maybe one homely girl feels sorry for you for a second, but then she sees how stinking drunk you are and gets disgusted.
Servo: And, and maybe the first chair trombone player from the high school band comes by you know, and he takes pity on you, tries to drive you home and all. Oh butno, Mike! You wanna swerve home in your cherried-out Dodge Charger!
Crow: Yeah, you wind up wrestling for your keys with the guy, and he drops you - with one punch - and he leaves. And you lie there knowing you got your butt kicked by the leader of the high school band!
Servo: You're pathetic.
Crow: You and your '80s!
Servo: Your precious '80s!
Crow: You know it would've continued to be the '70s if not for you!
Servo: Yeah!
Mike: All right, all right, that's it, that tears it!
[Mike attacks Crow and the three begin fighting on the floor]
Crow: You want a piece of me! It's go time, '80s man!
Servo: Come on cool-breeze! Ow owie ow don't!
[After a while Mike sits up]
Mike: Wait, wait you guys, wait, this isn't us man.
[Pause of a second]
Servo: Yes it is, you hair-feathering freak! Get him!
Crow: No, no, Servo, he's right, he's right. This movie has us turning on each other! It won't end! These credits just won't end! [sobbing]
Servo[sobbing] It's just like the stupid '80s, they never ended either!
Mike: No no, actually they did end Tom, there there, it's okay. See, see there's the copyright, that means it's over.
Servo[sobbing] I'm sorry, Mike!
Crow[sobbing] Sorry, Mike!
Mike: It's all over, you guys. I'm sorry too.

Video Releases

  • Commerically released on DVD by Rhino in November 2003 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 4, a 4-DVD set with Hamlet, Girl in Gold Boots, and Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, the DVD was later pulled in January 2010 due to Rhino no longer obtaining the rights to distribute Mst3k.
    • The DVD features an intro by Mike Nelson, specifically taped for the release.

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