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522 - Teen-Age Crime Wave
Air Date January 15, 1994
MST3K Director Trace Beaulieu
Movie Director Fred F. Sears
Year 1955
Cast Tommy Cook
Molly McCart
Sue England
Preceded by 521 - Santa Claus
Followed by 523 - Village of the Giants

"Right now it's more of a teenage crime ripple."
  — Crow

The Movie



Teen-Age Crime Wave

A film intended to highlight the then growing problem of juvenile crime.

Terry is a bitter young woman with an abusive childhood, a criminal record and bad taste in blouses. (She is also "dirt"). Jane is a naif who happens to go on a double date with Terry at the same time the latter seduces a doughy bar patron (who is old enough to be her father) in order to roll him. The planned robbery is foiled, and the two are arrested and booked. Jane's parents sell her down the river for her one error in judgement, and the two females are sentenced to incarceration. 

Mike, Terry's gun enthusiast punk boyfriend, who has no reservations about killing to meet his needs, intercepts the car that is carrying the women to their state home and they make their escape. Imagining themselves as a latter-day Bonnie and Clyde, they commandeer a farmhouse and terrorize the family within (a sixty-ish couple, later joined by their son visiting from college) while waiting for an accomplice to arrive with money, guns and transport, after which they will decamp to a remote mountain cabin "so far out in the boondocks no one will ever find us!". 

While waiting, Mike threatens to kill everyone several times and in fact does kill a visiting neighbor, but he doesn't have it so easy either. He must listen to the old man read the bible in a stupefying monotone (the guy reading scripture in the flashback scene from "{The Touch of Satan" was more exciting - almost), he has to sit on hard chairs, and he runs out of cigarettes. Meanwhile Terry tries to seduce the college guy for laughs.

The police intercept the accomplice on his way to the farmhouse and so the youthful criminals must go to plan B; taking a hostage in a car and ending up at the Griffith Park Observatory in LA, which is closed to the public for the Thanksgiving weekend but perfectly accessible for anyone who wants to operate the revolving telescope dome. 

Will the marauding teens pay the price for their depraved actions? Will Jane's claims of innocence be heeded? What is the theoretical limiting magnitude of the Griffith Park Observatory telescope?


  • An advertising campaign tried to promote Molly McCart's short haircut as the next fashion, but it failed to catch on.

The Episode


The escape attempt

Host Segments

Prologue: Mike and the Bots are preparing another escape attempt, while Mike wants to keep things low key, the Bots insist on running through all the required WWII POW escape movie cliches.


Mace Mousse

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Mike continues to try and keep their escape attempt quiet, while down in Deep 13 Dr. F has come up with mace mousse and takes great delight in using Satan's Jockstrap repeatedly on TV's Frank. The SOL crew's liquid rocket pack escape attempt fails due to the fact the LOX tank was filled with the brined samon Lox and not Liquid Oxygen. Crow doesn't get why this should make a difference.

Segment Two: Inspired by the movie, Mike and Bots pay tribute to the important role Doughy Guys played in history.

Doughy guys

A salute to doughy guys

Segment Three: Mike and the Bots create the first deli in space, S.o.l's!

Segment Four: Crow sings the "Mystos!" song while Mike, Tom, and Gypsy act out Mentos-esque vignettes

Closing (Segment Five): While Mike and Crow very briefly discuss the issues raised by the movie, Tom delivers the letters to read. Down in Deep 13, Frank is now dressed as the superhero Doughy Man, which just makes him a more inviting target for Dr. F to mace him again, and again, and again...

Stinger: Jane leaps to her feet and screams "TURN IT OFF!"

Other Notes


Unusual credits: Frank keeps accidently hitting the button and returning the camera to Deep 13, upon which Dr. F keeps macing him.


S.O.L's Deli Names of Actors from Previous Experiments


Obscure References

  • "We're having a crime wave, a teen-age crime wave..."

Reference to the Irving Berlin song "Heat Wave."

  • "Oh, Elvis Costello's backup band."

While Elvis Costello was probably best known for working with his backup band The Attractions, on his first album, My Aim Is True, he was backed up by the band Clover, which would later, tragically, break up and become Huey Lewis and the News.

  • "I'm thinking it over!"

Infamous reply of Jack Benny in a sketch on "The Jack Benny Program" in which he is being robbed. (Benny's stage persona running gag was that he was extremely parsimonious.)

Robber: "Your money or your life!"

Benny: Silence.

Robber: (angered now) "Look Bud, I said your money or your life!"

Benny: (taking umbrage) "I'M THINKING IT OVER!"

  • "Was born in the wagon of a travelling show...."

Opening lyrics to Cher's Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.

  • "Deuteronomy is a hoot..."

"The Book of Deuteronomy" is the fifth book in the Old Testament that describes the Laws passed down by Moses to the Israelites.

  • "I hear the secrets that you keep, when you're talking in your sleep..."

Lyrics from "Talking in Your Sleep" by The Romantics.

  • (Shot of cigarette butts all over the floor.) "Holy cow! Did you have Rod Serling over!?"

Referencing how Twilight Zone screenwriter Rod Serling was quite the chain smoker.


  • "He'll never touch you, Terry. You're dirt."
    • The catchphrase is actually an incorrect version of the quote from the movie: "You're dirt, Terry, he'd never touch you."

See Also

Video Release



Commercially released on DVD by Shout Factory in July 2015 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 33, a 4-DVD set with Earth vs the SpiderDaddy-O, and Agent for H.A.R.M.

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