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The Human Duplicators

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420 - The Human Duplicators
Air Date December 26, 1992
Movie Director Hugo Grimaldi
Year 1964
Cast Richard Kiel, Hugh Beaumont, George Nader, Barbara Nichols
Preceded by 419 - The Rebel Set
Followed by 421 - Monster A-Go Go

The Movie


In 1965, a "huge, untalented alien" in gold lame (Dr. Kolos, played by the mumbling, monotonic Richard "Eegah" Kiel) travels to Earth (well, southern California) in a "Christmas ornament" to carry out his micromanaging bosses' "Galaxy Domination Program". He commandeers the aid of distinguished retired cybernetic physicist Professor Dornheimer (George Macready) and gets busy making android duplicates of key scientists in the basement lab/ recording studio of Dornheimer's criminally overdecorated mansion, killing or imprisoning the originals.

A government physicist, Dr. Munson (Walter Abel), who is actually an android, walks into a secure government facility in broad daylight to steal ordinary off-the-shelf transistors for use as android components. In making his escape he is undeterred by four bullets in the back (the guards got their training at the NYPD Police Academy). Later, his corpse is located at the bottom of a cliff; cause of death: electrocution, some time before the robbery. The National Intelligence Agency sends light-hearted agent Glenn Martin (George Nader, who was also in MST's Robot Monster) to investigate.

Martin links "android" with "Dornheimer", whose house is nearby the site where Munson's body was discovered.. He impersonates a magazine reporter and interviews the cyberneticist at his home. Unable to find out much, he breaks in at night and discovers the android operation before being caught, imprisoned and duplicated himself. The android Martin returns to NIA headquarters, arousing the suspicions of his nasal-voiced secretary/colleague/love interest, Gail (Barbara Nichols). She begins to tail him.

Kolos, meanwhile, develops tender feelings for the blind, birdlike Chopin-playing niece of Herr Professor, Lisa (Dolores Faith, who played Zetha in MST's The Phantom Planet). He daringly deviates from his strict bosses' project plan by failing to have her duplicated according to standard procedure.

It turns out the androids have a design defect. They start back-sassing Kolos and even take him prisoner, although he doesn't put up much of a struggle. They seize Lisa and prepare to duplicate her, which, we infer, is an unpleasant experience for the subject. Martin, in the basement, is furiously working to saw through the bars of his cell with something like dental floss.

Will Agent Martin escape the cage where he and Dr. Dornheimer have been confined? Will the polychromatic aliens succeed in their "Galaxy Domination Program" and op-art installation? Will the androids rebellion pose a threat to Earth even worse than the aliens?

Curiously, the term "mechanical brain" is used a number of times. Somehow the scriptwriter could not make the leap to "electronic", although that is clearly what is meant. Don't miss one of the looniest fight scenes ever in the anticlimactic final clash between the androids (on one side) and Kolos and Martin.

Finally there is the "shocker" ending - is Dr. Kolos really who we think he is? And what is it the 'bots "want the world to know"?

Hugh Beaumont (whose last film this was) and former welterweight boxer John Indrisano round out the cast.


  • In addition to MST3K, The Human Duplicators was also featured on the original incarnation of the TV series Elvira's Movie Macabre, as well as Elvira's home video series for Thriller Video.

The Episode

Host Segments

Prologue: The Bots make suggestions to Joel about ways they could be improved. Gypsy wants a cab forward design, Crow wants more capacity to love, and Tom has a few suggestions for himself.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): The Mads have the sillies because of their ridiculous invention, the William Conrad Fridge Alert. Joel demonstrates his awesome-looking beanie chopper, which unfortunately doesn't live up to expectations.

Segment Two: Joel asked the Bots make spaceships from ordinary household items. Gypsy's shows her resourcefulness, Tom's shows his slackerness, and Crow's shows his workmanship. Joel makes one too, and Crow is insulted.

Segment Three: Tom Servo takes a cue from the movie and duplicates himself many times over. Things don't work out as planned when his duplicates refuse to do his bidding. Joel takes Tom away for a time-out when the duplicate toms suddenly turn on an undefended Crow.

Segment Four: A grumpy government agent-esque Hugh Beaumont revisits via the Hexfield Viewscreen.

Segment Five: Crow and Tom come out of the robot closet after reading through "Robot Nation". Joel is unsurprised. A letter is read and Tom calls out the MST3K Info Club address. William Conrad actually shows up in Deep 13.

Stinger: Two doppelgangers are laughing as they choke each other

Other Notes

Guest Stars

Obscure References

  • The Dutchess and the Dirtwater Fox are calling.

The Dutchess and The Dirtwater Fox is a comedy western from 1976.

  • Oh, George Nader...he's untalented at any speed."

Unsafe at Any Speed is a 1965 book written by Ralph Nader documenting automotive companies' reluctance to research or incorporate basic saftey features and certain fatal design flaws in a number of popular specific car models.

  • He must have read "Getting To Yes"

Getting to Yes was a best selling guide to business negotiation techniques.

  • Calling Scott Tracy

Scott Tracy was a puppet character on the Gerry Anderson show Thunderbirds.

  • I'm here for the Mr. Drysdale audition.

Mr. Drysdale was the exasperated banker played by Raymond Bailey in The Bevery Hillbillies.

  • It's the office of Daniel Ellsberg's electrician.

Daniel Ellsberg was a RAND corporation military analyst who leaked documents from the Pentagon (known as "The Pentagon Papers) in 1971 which proved that the Johnson administration's true estimates of the casualties, cost and length of the Vietnam war were several times greater than those released to the public. An effort was made to discredit Ellsberg, including an attempt to gain access to confidential records in his psychological therapist's office.

  • Stop in the name of Tom Bodett!

Tom Bodett was the spokesman for the Motel 6 motel chain. He repeated their slogan "We'll leave the light on for ya" in every commercial.

  • Doctor Munson Honeydew!

Dr. Bunson Honeydew was a mad scientist/inventor character on The Muppet Show.

  • Knew your father, I did!

Referenceing the MST3K mainstay Mr. B. Natural.

  • Mr. Martin, Glenn Martin. Crow:...Glen Ross

A pun on the title of Glengarry Glen Ross, a 1984 drama by playwright David Mamet.

  • I deny them my essence.

A quote from Gen. Jack Ripper in Dr. Strangelove. General Ripper is paranoid delusional, believing Russians have tainted his "essence" with fluoridated water and that women wish to steal his essence from him.

  • 'Uh...I gotta go to the bathroom and get a gun out of the toilet.

A reference to the assassination plot in The Godfather.

  • Timothy, Timothy, Hungry as hell, no food to eat.

Taken from the lyrics to "Timothy" by The Bouys. The song is about three men trapped in a collapsed mine who resort to cannibalism (though Joel would claim in Experiment #421 Monster A-Go Go that Timothy was a duck).

  • Crow (quietly): It Stinks.

A line from season 3 episode, Pod People.

  • If you don't look good we don't look good

This is the old slogan of Vidal Sasoon hair care products.

  • To think like a hu-man, to be the hu-man

Quoted from episode 107's movie Robot Monster.

  • ...and when I say there was no cannibalism in the Navy, I mean there was some.

Quoted from a Monty Python's Flying Circussketch in the episode "The War Against Pornography".

  • Fresh from Kent State

In 1970 several members of the National Guard killed 4 unarmed civilians during an anti-war protest.

  • It's the Android Sisters. It's true.

A reference to the Andrews Sisters, a popular vocal jazz trio in the 30's and 40's, their most famous song was Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

  • "We serve fun at Shakey's!" "Also pizza!"

The Shakey's Pizza chain was popular in the United States during the 1960s and '70s, but its restaurants are now found mainly in Southern California and Asia.

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