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The Day the Earth Froze

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422 - The Day the Earth Froze
Air Date January 16, 1993
MST3K Director Trace Beaulieu
AKA Sampo
Movie Director Risto Orko, Aleksandr Ptushko
Year 1959
Cast Andris Oshin
Eve Kivi (billed here as Nina Anderson)
Anna Orochko
Ivan Voronov (billed here as Peter Sorenson)
Short Here Comes the Circus
Cast Emmett Kelly
Preceded by 421 - Monster A-Go Go
Followed by 423 - Bride of the Monster
If you think you know what a sampo is, write it down on a piece of paper, throw it away and try not to think about it. You'll be glad you did.
  — Tom

The Short


Herecomes the circus

Watch and enjoy a wide variety of circus acts - if you dare! The short is a look at the Clyde Beatty circus, featuring legendary clown Emmett Kelly.


The Movie



The Day the Earth Froze

The people of Kalevala are a peaceful hard working people, they have everything they need and want bar the mystical Sampo, a magical mill which will make grain, salt and gold and give prosperity to whoever possesses it.

The only person in Kalevala able to make a Sampo is the smith Ilmarinen, however he cannot make it until his sister Annikki has fallen in love. Annikki eventually falls in love with the young hard working Lemminkäinen.

All is not perfect however. There is a dark dismal land called Pohjola ruled over by a wicked witch called Louhi, and she wishes for a Sampo, but her wizards are unable to forge one. Louhi is advised that only Ilmarinen is able to forge a Sampo. Louhi sends her enchanted cloak to bring Annikki to Pohjola as ransom.


Lemminkäinen runs to Ilmarinen to inform him that his sister has been taken and vows to return her, Ilmarinen agrees to come with him and they set off on a boat constructed of an ancient oak tree.

On arrival Louhi demands they complete a simple task each, Lemminkäinen is asked to plow a field of snakes, which he does with the aid of a steel horse made by Ilmarinen. The final task is set to Ilmarinen; he is to forge a Sampo. He sets to work and, after some failed bargaining for another task, and with the aid of the trolls of Pohjola on the bellows and the fire from heaven itself, he forges a beautiful Sampo, which immediately begins to make gold, grain and salt.

Lemminkäinen and Ilmarinen are reunited with Annikki and they set sail for Kalevala. Lemminkäinen is upset when he is informed that the people of Kalevala will never be able to reap the benefits of the Sampo and dives into the sea to swim back and recover it.


Back in Pohjola, Lemminkäinen releases the mist from the prison Louhi has placed it in and it covers the whole land. When the mist clears the Sampo has gone and Lemminkäinen is on a boat heading back to Kalevala. His boat is wrecked on the ocean surface when Louhi orders that the wind be set free, and the Sampo is destroyed and Lemminkäinen presumed lost.

Lemminkäinen manages to swim back to Kalevala and manages to return a small piece of the Sampo, which Väinämöinen announces will bring great prosperity and joy to the people of the land. Lemminkäinen and Annikki marry and a great feast and dance is arranged. However, Louhi, angry at the betrayal, comes to Kalevala and steals their sun. Returning it to Pohjola, she locks it in a deep mountain cave.

As Kalevala is plunged into perpetual darkness things look very bleak. However, Lemminkäinen is still hopeful, he asks Ilmarinen to forge a new sun, which he begins work on. But wise old Väinämöinen informs him it's futile and that they must go to Pohjola and recover the sun by force. Väinämöinen tells the people this battle will be fought usingkantele and not bladed weapons. The people of Kalevala prepare by cutting trees and bringing all precious metals to Ilmarinen to forge the strings.


When the two people (Kalevala and Pohjola) meet on a frozen lake for battle, Väinämöinen begins playing and the trolls of Louhi begin to drift to sleep. Louhi tries in vain to get them to fight, but she fails and her trolls fall down unconscious. Louhi then sends her magic cape to kill the people of Kalevala but it is beaten down into a hole in the ice. Lemminkäinen marches up to the mountain which contains the sun, and Louhi turns herself into stone in fear. Lemminkäinen slices the stone door of the mountain open with his sword, releasing the sun to shine over the lands of Kalevala.

The film ends with scenes of the people of Kalevala looking to the bright sky in wonder and happiness.


  • “The Day the Earth Froze” was loosely based on the Kalevala (The Songs of Kaleva), the national epic poem of Finland, which Elias Lönnrot compiled from a large collection of Finnish folktales and folk songs and published in 1835.
  • This was the only Finnish film that had a 4-track stereo soundtrack.
  • The American version was heavily edited and included new footage shot by Americans.

The Episode

Host Segments


SOL family portrait

Prologue: It's family portrait time on the SOL, and Crow and Tom just aren't cooperating.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): The Bots continue to misbehave. Joel and the Bots show off Snack-tion, treats based on various ninja weapons, such as ninja throwing cookies and the Five Ladyfingers of Death. The Mads have invested Frank's retirement money in Unhappy Meals, fast food meals that contain unfortunate surprises. Alas, they haven't sold as quickly as Dr. F had hoped.

Segment Two: Inspired by the short, Crow and Tom discuss putting together their own twisted clown act, which turns out to be extremely deranged. However, Joel gets the last laugh.

Unhappy Meals

Segment Three: Joel and the Bots discuss what a Sampo might really be. They come to the conclusion they shouldn't worry too much about it. Finnish viewers, all five of them, quietly crack up as Sampo's nature is genuinely unknown and the film's version is just the popular misconception.

Segment Four: Gypsy performs her amazing one-woman show: "Gypsy Rose...Me!"

Segment Five: Crow and Tom pretend to be imprisoned wind in bags similar to the movie while Joel reads a letter. Joel reads a letter and leaves them in their not-so-nice smelling bags. In Deep 13, Frank puts himself in a bag to sulk about his money, and Dr. F cuts him loose.

Stinger: "What’s going to become of us now?!"


Obscure References

  • "From the land of sky-blue waters..."
The jingle from a Hamm's Beer commercial from the 1950s.
  • "The Secret Storm!"
The Secret Storm was a soap opera that aired from 1954 to 1974.
  • "BLIND Lemminkäinen."
Or, blues guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson.
  • "The Adventures of Fjord Fairlane!"
A reference to The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, a movie starring Andrew Dice Clay.
  • "My name is Annikki" "Annikki in the UK?!"
Pun on the Sex Pistols song Anarchy in the U.K.
  • "Lemminkäinen, very pretty..."
Servo is paraphrasing the song "Lemon Tree," best known for the version recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary.
  • "It's Body Wars!"
Body Wars is a ride at Disney's Epcot Center.
  • "Kind of a goofy Scandinavian 'Double Dare'!"
Double Dare was a game show that aired on Nickelodeon during the late 1980s and early '90s. Reference to the bizarre physical stunts contestants performed for points in addition to trivia questions.
  • "Mark VII! Mark VII! Mark VII, dammit!"
Mark VII Productions, which produced TV series such as Dragnet, had a logo that depicted the words "MARK VII" being stamped into a metal sheet.
  • "Sorry, Sampo's off."
An episode of Fawlty Towers featured the main character driving frantically around town trying to obtain a duck dinner for his snooty guests. When he unveiled what he thought would be duck but turned out to be a cake, there was an awkward silence before he quickly said, "Duck's off, sorry." Cut to credits.
  • "Aguirre, the Wrath of God!"
Aguirre, the Wrath of God was a 1972 film about a Spanish conquistador in 16th-century South America.
  • "Hey look, it's Skylab!"
In 1979, the abandoned NASA space station Skylab re-entered Earth's atmosphere, and much of the debris landed in western Australia.
  • MST3K 422 Promo00:27

    MST3K 422 Promo

    "We'll call her 'Trudy'."
A reference to Local Hero, in which a rabbit is injured and named by protagonist Mac after an ex-girlfriend.
  • "Don't look at it Marion!"

Line shouted from Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood avoid eye contact with the face melting apparitions released from The Ark of the Covenant. This classic adventure film from 1981 was later one of the first films spoofed by RiffTrax.

  • "It's the man who mistook his wife for a hat!"

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is a collection of case histories written by neurologist Oliver Sacks. (The man of the title wasn't a circus performer; he suffered from visual agnosia.)

Video Release

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