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The Starfighters

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Does anybody know a song about stock footage that can get us through this?
Yeah, I know a song about stock footage, it goes like this, "Da da da da da, EAT IT MOVIE!!!
  — Crow and Tom

612 - The Starfighters
Air Date October 29, 1994
Movie Director Will Zens
Year 1964
Cast Robert Dornan, Richard Jordahl, Richard Masters
Preceded by 611 - Last of the Wild Horses
Followed by 613 - The Sinister Urge

The Movie



Tom and Mike dance during The Starfighters

A movie about planes that, sadly, also has actors in it. Refueling is prominently featured. This movie is viewed as the most uneventful movie they've ever had to watch.  Ostensibly, the film is supposed to be about the day-to-day lives of men training to fly state-of-the-art jet fighters (for the time, at least), and on that level one could argue it succeeds, somewhat.  As a film intended for the amusement and entertainment of an audience, it falls dramatically short.  A surreal sub-plot involves Lt. Witkowski's father (a Congressman) constantly harassing him while on duty and offering to pull political strings to get him transfered to a safer part of the Air Force and there is also what loosely passes for a 'romance' (Witkowski is introduced to a random woman who lives near the training base and nature takes its course, apparently).  An attempt at drama is made by introducing the suspense of a crash, but as this is done almost entirely off-screen it has little impact on the story.  Ultimately, as viewers will soon discover, the film is weighted in favor of showing you that sweet, sweet stock footage. 


  • Robert Dornan, who plays young Lt. John Witkowski, is the former congressman from California who unsuccessfully vied for the 1996 Republican nomination for President, then lost his House seat in a hotly contested race the same year, losing by less than a thousand votes.

The Episode

Host Segments


The Bots "debriefing" of Mike

Prologue: With his seriously impressive (by 1994 standards) computer, Crow attempts to access the wonder that is the information superhighway using state of the art (by 1994 standards) dial-up. When his talked up tech skills crumble when he's unable to connect, Mike and Tom have to restrain him from smashing the computer/himself.


"Is it bold?"

Segment One: As Crow suffers through the queue waiting for technical support, the Mads attempt to introduce their new cranial ports, but are enticed by Cowboy Mike's Red Hot Ricochet Barbecue Sauce, until they discover that the SOL crew has misrepresented its claimed boldness.

Segment Two: Inspired by the film, Crow and Tom reenact the spectacle that is... "refueling". Unfortunately Crow's on-hold tech support call finally reaches a human in the middle of it and he can't "disengage" in time.
MST3k- Tom Servos chorus seen in The Starfighters

The United Servo Academy Men's Chorus

Segment Three: The Bots "debriefing" of Mike is a little too literal.

Segment Four: The United Servo Academy Men's Chorus perform a stirring tribute to flight.

Closing (Segment Five): Crow finally gets to experience the wonder that is the information superhighway, but finds the wonder has been overstated a tad as Mike reads a letter, while the Mads finally get to show off their new cranial ports.

Stinger: Wife's killer elbow teaches Hubby whose boss.

Obscure References

  • "Robert Dornan, the Congressman?" "Couldn't they get Rush Limbaugh?"

As noted above, Robert Dornan was indeed a member of the House of Representatives, from California, and had the reputation of being one of the most vocally (or idiotically, depending on your politics) conservative members of Congress.

  • "Gotta go, Reagan fired us."

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers who had gone on strike two days previously.

  • "It's Budgie the Helicopter!"

Budgie the Little Helicopter is a character created by Sarah, Duchess of York for a series of children's books.

MST3K 612 Promo-000:43

MST3K 612 Promo-0

  • "Here, the Air Force escorts Sununu to a golf game!"

Yet another reference to John H. Sununu's misuse of government planes for personal use.

  • "His name is Gein!"

​A reference to murderer, cadaver thief, and suspected cannibal Ed Gein of Plainfield, WI.

  • "We got a great big convoy, truckin' through the night..."

​A line from the C.W. McCall song 'Convoy ', which was an impetus for the C.B. radio craze in the 1970s.

  • Poopie (or Poopy) Suits

Poopie Suit is a nickname for a water survival suit. Its nickname stems from the odor that it acquires after extended use. It comes with a neck gasket and does not, by design, breathe. At all. Also, that really is the nickname for that particular piece of flight gear--not a 'sanitized for Hollywood' version. However, they did avoid using its other nickname, "the body condom".

Video Release

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