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The Brute Man

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702 - The Brute Man
Air Date February 10, 1996
MST3K Director Kevin Murphy
AKA The Brute
Movie Director Jean Yarbrough
Year 1946
Cast Rondo Hatton
Jane Adams
Tom Neal
Peter Whitney
Preceded by 701 - Night of the Blood Beast
Followed by 703 - Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell

(Over a dedication in the opening credits)

Dedicated to the chickens who lost their lives in the great chicken war.

Wait a minute! Men and women breeding better poultry? What kind of sick experiment is this?

  — Crow and Mike

(A newspaper headline reads "Philanthropist laid to rest")

Ah, look at that. "Philanthropist laid." It's always the philanthropists... rock stars and philanthropists.

  — Servo

The Short


The Chicken of Tomorrow


We learn what is being done 'today' to create the Chicken of Tomorrow (complete with the growth process of the chicken), with a side mention of how important gas stations and oil are to the poultry industry.


  • The short is narrated by Lowell Thomas, the famous American journalist, traveler and radio announcer (and also the inspiration for Arthur Kennedy's character in Lawrence of Arabia).

The Movie



The Brute Man

Hal Moffat (Fred Coby before disfigurement, Rondo Hatton afterwards) is taking wholesale revenge by murdering those he holds responsible for his condition (his former college buddies and a professor of chemistry) and sundry others (delivery boys, store clerks, etc.). While on the run from the cops, he's befriended by Helen Paige (Adams), a blind, utterly naive piano teacher with a one-song repertoire. He develops a warmth for her that inspires him to add robbery to his murders so she may be provided with the money for an operation to restore her sight. The authorities, led by Noel Coward and a comedy-relief police lieutenant, are assigned to apprehend him.


  • Rondo Hatton, who played the monstrous "Creeper" in this film and in House of Horrors (1946), was actually handsome as a young man, but later in life became disfigured by acromegaly, a form of gigantism brought about by unnaturally high levels of human growth hormone produced by a disease of the pituitary gland. Hatton passed away before the film was released. Universal was so embarrassed by its shameless exploitation of Hatton's disfiguring illness (which led to his death) that it sold all rights to the finished film to "B" studio Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC).


The Episode

Host Segments


Servo in an egg

Prologue: Tom has become heavily involved in real estate, buying a duplex in Philadelphia with his agent Sherrie. He is convinced he needs no money to actually buy one.

Segment One: Pearl is going out on a date with the oily Sandy and puts Art in charge. The rest of the SOL crew is somewhat dismayed, especially after Crow takes his power too seriously.


Pearl's date with Sandy

Segment Two: Tom is inside an egg so that he and Crow can make an educational film. Mike decides that he will miss Tom too much over his twenty-one day gestation period, and attempts to remove him from the shell; instead, he slips and Tom ends up all over the floor.


Tom makes Matthew hang up

Segment Three: Mike calls his old girlfriend Carla and tries to get her to help him escape, but she puts her little boy Matthew on the phone. Then Tom makes Matthew hang up because he's expecting a call from Sherrie.

Segment Four: Crow wants Mike and Tom to help him sing "The Crimes of Tom Dooley", except they will substitute Republican presidential candidate Tom Dewey because a character in the film vaguely resembles Dewey. Mike and Tom aren't that into it.


Dewey vs. Dooley

Segment Five: Tom closes on his duplex and ends up being the worst landlord ever as Mike reads letters. In Deep 13, Dr. F turns Pearl’s date into a chicken of tomorrow.

Stinger: The crotchety grocer says, "Creeper, Creeper, Creeper! YOU give ME the creeps!"

Other Notes

Guest Stars


  • “Oh, it’s true.” (The Dead Talk Back)
  • Pearl calling Crow "Art"
  • When Crow sees the “23” on the Creeper’s lair: “Hey it’s KTMA!”

Obscure References

  • "I've seen the episode where the eggs start coming too fast and she puts them in her mouth!"

Referencing a classic I Love Lucy episode where she is working on an assembly line wrapping chocolates.

  • "Et tu, Brute Man?"

A play on Julius Caesar's legendary final words, Et tu, Brute?.

  • "It's Goofus and Gallant!"

Goofus and Gallant are two characters who regularly appear in the magazine Highlights for Children.

  • "I'm being followed by a brute shadow..."

A parody of the Cat Stevens song "Moon Shadow".

  • "Professor Cushman was laid to rest in a tiny, battery-powered car!"

A reference to Cushman, a company that manufactures golf carts and parking-patrol vehicles.

  • "Exit stage left, even!"

​A signature line from the Hanna Barbara character Snagglepuss .

  • "They forgot my Fruit Brute cereal!"

Fruit Brute is a breakfast cereal made from 1975 to 1983 and revived in 2013, part of the same "Monster Series" as Count Chocula.

  • "He's Big Head Todd *and* the Monster!"

A reference to the band Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

  • "Hey, it's KTMA!"

​KTMA was channel 23 (UHF) in Minneapolis, birthplace of Mystery Science Theater (but you knew that already ).

  • "He was the athlete and I was the scholar.""Let's make lots of money!"

Crow is quoting the song "Opportunities" by the Pet Shop Boys. The riff plays on the similarities to the lyrics: "I got the brains. You got the looks! Let's make lots of money!"

  • "It's the Cheyenne Social Club!"

The Cheyenne Social Club was a Western comedy film starring Jimmy Stewart as a man who inherits a bordello.

  • "Oh great, all my Gallery mags are in here!"

Gallery is a pornographic magazine.

  • "Steelies!"
MST3K 702 Promo00:33

MST3K 702 Promo

"Steelies" are a type of marbles.
  • As the Creeper walks down the street after murdering the jeweler, Crow hums the first few bars of the Sesame Street theme song.
  • "Let me put it this way, have you ever seen 'Chained Heat'?"

Chained Heat was a 1983 exploitation film set in a women's prison.

  • "Rick Astley is selling newspapers!"

Rick Astley is a British pop singer, and more recently the subject of the RickRoll Internet meme and phenomenon.

  • "And now...The End is near. So I face the final curtain!" "For what is a man? What has he got?!"

Lyrics from the Frank Sinatra song My Way.

Video Releases

  • Brutemandvd

    MST3K DVD Cover

    The Chicken of Tomorrow short was included on Shorts Vol 1, released by Rhino Entertainment on VHS in July 1998, and on DVD in February 2003 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 2, a 4-DVD set with Cave DwellersPod People and Angels Revenge.

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