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The Undead

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806 - The Undead
Air Date March 8, 1997
MST3K Director Kevin Murphy
Movie Director Roger Corman
Year 1957
Cast Pamela Duncan
Richard Garland
Allison Hayes
Preceded by 805 - The Thing That Couldn't Die
Followed by 807 - Terror from the Year 5000

I've never known more about what ISN'T going on in a movie.
  — MIke

The Movie



The Undead

A researcher named Quintus (Garland) hypnotizes a streetwalker called Diana (Duncan) in an attempt to record her past-life experiences as a condemned witch named Helene in the Dark Ages. After numerous attempts by Quintus to influence her, Diana's consciousness decides not to alter the course of history and resigns herself to her fate.

Features the memorable character Digger Smolken, as well as the easliy-duped knight Pendragon, the scheming witch Lydia, Satan himself, and Billy Barty as an imp.


  • Features an infamous quote, spoken by Quintus towards the end of the film: "STAY!"
  • Filmed in a converted supermarket, and completed in six days.
  • Inspired by the interest during the 1950s in reincarnation (as was the film The She Creature), especially the book The Search for Bridey Murphy by Morey Bernstein, which was itself filmed in 1956. But by the time The Undead was being made, the popularity of reincarnation was starting to dwindle. Therefore, Roger Corman decided that they needed to change things and added the time travel elements of Quintus and a title change.
  • The "bats" that the imp and witch continually change into were left over from the Corman movie It Conquered the World.
  • If you look closely, the interior set for Scroop's tavern, The Gabriel's Horn, is the same as the Red Dog Saloon from Roger Corman's Gunslinger.

The Episode

Host Segments

  • UndeadHost

    Mike tries to explain the season's plot

    Prologue Mike attempts to bring the viewing audience up to speed on the show's current plot. The Bots, though, keep asking for more context, for what led up to what he wants to explain. Mike ends up bitterly recalling a temp job he once had.
  • Segment 1 The Observers send everyone intelligence tests to determine their fates. Professor Bobo is less intelligent than most mollusks, leading him to prove his intellect by stacking boxes. Crow sleeps through the test, Mike is still stuck in the past, Gypsy does moderately well, and Tom Servo turns out to be smarter than Observer. His brain gets to go to the Enrichment Chamber.

    Servo joins the Observers

  • Segment 2 As a result of his test scores, Servo is invited to join the Observers. He ends up getting chased and expelled after he forgets to fill out his non-existent forms, can't read Pearl's mind, and steals all the spoons.
  • Segment 3 Lydia, the witch from the movie, appears by accident. She can't control her powers, but tries to conquer the Satellite anyway. She ends up stuck in the form of a bottle of bleach.
  • Segment 4 Mike gets Digger Smolken's cover album. He takes popular songs and replaces the words with "rat", "corpse", "filth", and other death references. He has a nice "straight" cover of "Greensleeves".
  • Undead2

    Bridget Jones as Lydia

    Final Segment Crow is a creepy imp while Mike helps Tom expresses his outrage over the fact that Leonard Maltin rated The Undead three stars. Meanwhile, Bobo makes a nice sandwich with rye, lettuce, tomato, a little mayonnaise, and, courtesy of the Enrichment Chamber, Observer's Brain.
  • Stinger The Observers offer you their brains...again.

Other Notes

Guest Stars

Quotes & References

  • "Sir Ray Nitschke!"

The jailor looks a bit like former Green Bay Packers linebacker, Ray Nitschke.

  • "Warriors of the Wuss-Land!"

Possibly a pun on the Italian-Made post-apocalyptic 'B' movie, Warriors of the Wasteland; which Mike would eventually take on at Rifftrax. Or it could also be referencing a song by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

  • "Amongst our weaponry..."

Reference to the Monty Python's Flying Circus "Spanish Inquisition" sketch.

  • "I swallowed a bug."

Possible reference to Marlon Brando in the documentary Hearts of Darkness.

  • "Rivendell...", "I have to help Strider move a couch", "Bought some land on the edge of Mordor, it's really coming back"

All references to the Lord of the Rings trilogy; Rivendell is a part of the Elvish realm, "Strider" was the alias used by Aragorn during his time as a wandering ranger, Mordor being the location of Mount Doom and the base of operations of the dark Lord Sauron.   

  • "Rob!", "Rob, I'm telling Alan what you're doing!"

References to the bald and bespectacled Mel Cooley character (played by actor Richard Deacon) from The Dick Van Dyke Show, whom the character resembles.

  • "Me in white satin..."

Referencing The Moody Blues' most famous song, "Nights in White Satin" .

  • "Okay, just don't try to sell me encyclopedias!"

Reference to the Monty Python's Flying Circus  "Encyclopedia Salesman" sketch.

  • "Sunrise, you better take care..."

Mike purposely misquotes the Gordon Lightfoot song, Sundown.

Memorable Quotes

[A fire is being used as a background for the opening credits.]
Crow: Fire in the projection room! Guess we can't watch the movie!
[Crow darts toward the exit but is restrained by Mike.]
[The movie opens with a flamboyant Satan speaking to the viewers.]
Mike: Satan, the Prince of Cabaret.
. . .
Mike: This guy was never in heaven, he was cast out of community theater!
[Quintus is hypnotizing Diana. A bust of Benjamin Franklin looks over his shoulder.]
Quintus: We breathe as one. We are one.
Servo [as Franklin]: You know, early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Quintus: When I touch you…
Crow [as Quintus]: I think about myself. No, no, no, wait.
Quintus: …we will be one.
Servo [as Quintus]: We'll be me, for convenience' sake.
[As Smolkin the gravedigger slouches around.]
Servo: Smolkin's naked sometimes, Mike.
Mike[cringing] Ohh. Damn you, Servo!
[A knight demands to look inside a coffin in a coach being pulled by a gravedigger.]
Servo [as Knight]: Towest thy vehicle to the curb and showeth me thy driver's license and registration. Did thou knowest how fast thou was driving?
[Satan explains to Quintus how he cannot return to his own time.]
Satan: Thy voyage to this age was down a long, long road…
Crow [as Satan]: Route 666!
Satan: …that tied Diana to Helen. It was a road from living mind to living mind.
Mike [as Satan]: …to sleeping audience.
. . .
Satan: Here you are fixed! Make of a local life what comfort, sport, and joy thou may.
Servo[singing to "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen"] O-ho, tidings of comfort, sport, and joy!
Mike: There. Sure glad I don't look stupid in this.
[Quintus sets upon and subdues an unprepared knight.]
Mike [as Knight][in stilted "medieval" grammar that parodies the knight's own dialogue] Me help! Attacked I am being! Hitting me stop you must! God dear! Bleeding am I! Break my leg think I did you!
Mike: I've never known more about what isn't going on in a movie.
Quintus: STAAY!!

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