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Teenagers from Outer Space

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W-well, what about TORCHAA?!
  — Servo


404 - Teenagers from Outer Space
0404
Air Date June 27, 1992
Running Time 86 mins.
72 mins. (DVD)
AKA The Gargon Terror (UK)
Movie Director Tom Graeff
Year 1959
Cast David Love, Dawn Bender (billed here as Dawn Anderson), Bryan Grant, Harvey B. Dunn
Preceded by 403 - City Limits
Followed by 405 - Being from Another Planet

The Movie

Synopsis

A good idea in search of a budget. Not unlike some Star Trek episodes. Alien products of a Huxley-esque dystopia with a real zest for killing and torture (pronounced TOR-CHA) land on earth along with the suspiciously sensitive Derek. When conflict arises over the plan to colonize Earth with cheap, easy to film lobsters (the alien word for lobster? 'gargon'), Derek escapes to a nearby town and soon meets the friendly yet altogether too trusting Betty Morgan. Why doesn't his appearance cause any problems? Because he looks just like everyone else, and except for the gaffer tape on his turtleneck, Derek's dressed just like everyone else. Speaks English too. Kind of. He needs enough stuff explained to him to remind us all that, yes, he is an alien, because otherwise, you'd forget. Really.

Chaos ensues when the crabby and short-fused Thor (with a similarly stilted delivery, taped up outfit, and lack of vocabulary) follows Derek into town, leaving a trail of prop skeletons in his wake. After Thor is seriously injured in a classic Mannix accident, the lobster left behind by the other aliens starts to grow dramatically. Sadly the budget for this movie doesn't even allow a Flora Gordon style process shot of the lobster until the very end. Instead, someone waves a lobster menacingly in front of the camera.

While the actors in this movie were teenagers once, they certainly weren't when it was filmed.

Information

  • Although Warner Bros. distributed this ultra-low-budget sci-fi film, it was definitely not a Warner Bros. production. The studio needed a genre film to play as the second feature with the Godzilla sequel it was releasing under the title Gojira No Gyakushû (English title: Godzilla Raids Again) (1955) and bought this from producer Tom Graeff.
  • Tom Graeff wrote, produced, directed, edited, and acted in the movie. It’s sort of admirable when a person has enough faith in his vision (however goofy), that he actually gets up off the couch and does something with it. Despite popular belief, Tom Graeff’s stage name was not ‘David Love’ (the guy who played ‘Derek’) but rather ‘Tom Lockyear’ (the guy who played Betty’s reporter friend ‘Joe Rogers’). Not much is known about Harry-Connick-Jr.-look-alike actor Chuck Roberts (credited as David Love), but what is known is he was Tom Graeff's lover at the time.
  • The film's producers could not afford to construct a giant lobster, so only its shadow is seen - cast, no doubt, by a normal-sized lobster. The trim on the aliens' costumes is made from masking tape, and their space boots are men's dress shoes covered by socks. The raygun was actually a Hubley's "Atomic Disintegrator" toy bought at the local dimestore. (Original Hubley's "Atomic Disintegrator" toys are quite valuable today.)
  • The entire movie is an extra on the 2005 PS2 video game Destroy All Humans!. It becomes available once the main story campaign is completed.[1]
  • This is one of eight MST3K movies which used Bronson Canyon for exterior shots. The total: Robot Monster, It Conquered the World, Night of the Blood Beast, Brain From Planet Arous, Earth Vs. the Spider, Teenage Caveman, Teenagers from Outer Space, and Eegah.
  • Not to be confused with the anime-esque role-playing game of the same name.
  • If you really want to know more about Tom Graeff, there's a whole website dedicated to his exploits and his underappricated magnum opus.

The Episode

Host Segments

Prologue: Joel conditions the Bots with electric shocks to stop them from making NBC Mystery Movie jokes every time they see a flashlight.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Crow and Tom Servo did the invention this week, the Scratch-N-Sniff Report Card to take the edge off of bad grades by helping parents remember how rotten their days in school were; it comes in both public and private school versions. The Mads forsee ventriliquism as the wave of the future, and respond with the Resusci-Annie ventriliquist dummy, which works until Annie needs resuscitation.

Segment Two: The SOL crew does a "Reel to Real" segment comparing events in the movie to what would really happen in real life. Joel carries the concept a bit far.

Segment Three: The crew jettisens snacks into space to reenact the feature presentation trailer from General Cinemas.

Segment Four: Crow speculates on the nature of space while Joel and Tom play "Red or Black", until Crow spots a Skull Cruiser! Joel and Tom don't believe him until it crashes into the ship. Alas, the inhabitant turns out to be kind of lame. Tom's Tri-Star pegasus logo turns out to be a cow.

Segment Five: The gang presents a fashion pagent combining everyday wear with duct tape! Crow calls it off when his pictures get a little risque. Letters are read. In Deep 13, Dr. Forrester's date with Resusci-Annie is going well.

Stinger: "The high court may well sentence you to TORCHA!"

Other Notes

Miscellanea

  • This was the first episode to feature the episode title card before the start of the Love Theme.
  • The exterior shots were filmed in Bronson Canyon . The area was a favorite for filmmakers (of all qualities): see also Night Of The Blood Beast, Teenage Caveman, Robot Monster, Eegah, Earth Vs. The Spider....
  • Joel's season 2 green jumpsuit makes its last non-opening credits appearance, modified with red duct tape as one of the outfits he wears in the fashion show.
  • Harvey B. Dunn , who plays 'Grandpa,' also appeared in Bride of the Monster as the cop with the pet bird.

Obscure References

  • "Run, Toto, Run!" and "Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, and you were there..."

References to the film The Wizard of Oz.

  • "Bidi-bidi-bidi."

Often said by the character Twiki in the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

  • "Oh, now Michael Jackson will want to keep him."

A reference of Michael Jackson's purchase of the Elephant Man's bones.

  • "Ray Liotta?" "Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a spaceman."

A reference to the film Goodfellas, starring Ray Liotta.

  • "I see you have a machine that goes 'Ping'!"

A line from the film Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. ('The Miracle of Birth'; view scene here .)

  • "'A Separate Peace!'"

A reference to the novel by John Knowles.

  • "Thrive, Captain, Thrive!"

A parody of the Blues Image song "Ride Captain Ride".

  • "Mort Sahl?"

Mort Sahl is the name of a political stand-up comedian.

  • "I'm not dead yet, I'm getting better.", "Ah, Only a flesh wound!", and "What, behind the flying lobster?"

References to the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

  • "Paging Mister Herman."

A reference to the film Pee Wee's Big Adventure, starring Paul Reubens.

  • "Gee, Davey..."

A reference to the TV series Davey and Goliath.

  • "Excuse me, is that a Sansabelt jumpsuit?"

A reference to advertisements for Bugle Boy Jeans and also a reference to Sansabelt pants ('sans', French for 'without' + 'a belt').

  • "I'm looking for Sarah Connor."

A reference to the film The Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  • "This looks like a nice place to raise your kids up."

A reference to the Frank Zappa film 200 Motels.

  • ""Why do you look like Hoyt Axton?!"

Hoyt Axton was a country singer and actor, best known to MiSTies for recording the theme song to Mitchell.

  • "Xanadu! Stately home of Charles Foster Kane! Cost... no one can say!" and "I'm Charles Foster Kane!!"

References to the film Citizen Kane, starring Orson Welles.

  • "It's the New Zoo Revue, comin' right at you..."

The theme song from the 1970s children's TV show New Zoo Revue.

  • "Earth girls are easy!"

The title of a 1988 film starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis.

  • "I like you Gramps, that's why I kill you last.

A reference to the film Commando, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  • "Uh, Miss Hathaway, Jethro wants to be a rock star."

A reference to the character Mr. Drysdale from the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies.

  • "I'll be taking lunch, Hilga! I-hi-hi-hi!!"

A reference to the ghoulish host of the TV series Tales from the Crypt, the Cryptkeeper.

  • "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

A famous sketch from the TV series Monty Python's Flying Circus.

  • "And that's the way it happened." "I'm Walter Cronkite."

A reference to news anchor Walter Cronkite, who was known for saying "...and that's the way it is" at the end of reports.

  • "Suddenly it's 'Carnival of Souls'!"

Carnival of Souls was a 1962 horror film.

  • "Love is the drug for *him*!"

A reference to the Roxy Music song "Love is the Drug".

  • "Oh, Grover's in there."

A reference to the Sesame Street character Grover.

  • "This is the most unsuccessful prison transfer since Dallas '63."

A reference to the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald.

  • "What is this? A Bergman film all of a sudden?"

The shot is similar to several in Wild Strawberries, a classic Bergman film.

  • "I am the Eggman / Goo goo g'joob"

A reference to the The Beatles song from I Am the Walrus.

  • "I will pet him and keep him and call him George."

A reference to the 1961 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon The Abominable Snow Rabbit.

  • "Shannon is gone, I heard / She’s drifting out to..."

A reference to the Henry Gross song Shannon.

  • "It must be that nice Adam Rich boy, calling for his prescription again!"

​Adam Rich, the youngest cast member from the TV series Eight Is Enough , was a frequent flyer at drug rehab centers , having been through treatment on five occasions by 1991.

  • "Moses... Moses?"

A reference to the Burning bush in the 1956 film The Ten Commandments.

Video Release

  • Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in October 2004 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 6, a 4-DVD set with Attack of the Giant Leeches, Gunslinger, and Mr. B's Lost Shorts.


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