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Time Chasers

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821 - Time Chasers
Air Date November 22, 1997
MST3K Director Michael J. Nelson
Running Time 90 Min
AKA Tangents
Movie Director David Giancola
Year 1994
Cast Matthew Bruch
Bonnie Pritchard
George Woodard
Peter Harrington
Preceded by 820 - Space Mutiny
Followed by 822 - Overdrawn at the Memory Bank

(We see Nick for the first time, as the nerdish hero gets off his plane)

This... is not our star, is it? I will not accept this as our star, sorry.

  — Crow

The Movie


Time Chasers 3

Time Chasers

Physics teacher and amateur pilot Nick Miller (Matthew Bruch) has finally completed his quest of enabling time travel, via a Commodore 64 and his small airplane. After being inspired by a television commercial for GenCorp, he uses a ruse to bring out both a GenCorp executive and a reporter from a local paper. To Nick's surprise, the reporter is Lisa Hansen (Bonnie Pritchard), an old high school flame. One trip to 2041 later and Gencorp's executive, Matthew Paul (Peter Harrington), quickly arranges Nick a meeting with CEO J.K. Robertson (George Woodard). Impressed by the potential of time travel, Robertson offers Nick a licensing agreement on the technology.

The following week, Nick and Lisa meet at the supermarket and go on a date to the 1950s. However, another trip to 2041 reveals that GenCorp abused Nick's time travel technology, creating a dystopian future. In an attempt to tell J.K. about how GenCorp inadvertently ruined the future. J.K. dismisses the eventuality, and states that there's enough time to worry about how to fix it before it happens. J.K. sees Nick as a threat to GenCorp, and due to the association with the U.S. Government, considers Nick's actions as treason. Nick and Lisa escape GenCorp and spend the remainder of the film trying to reverse the damage to the future.


Eddie Nelson in the theater

When J.K. catches wind of this, he and Matt try to shoot down Nick's plane, killing Lisa in the process while Nick jumps out before the plane crashes. This ultimately culminates in a fight in 1777 during the American Revolution, the deaths of the present Nick, Lisa, Matt, and Robertson, and the destruction of the time machine before the original demo, thus ensuring that the majority of the film's events never happen in the first place. The film ends with a past Nick (now aware of the danger of his time machine) sabotaging his demonstration, and doing a pitch of how an elderly skydiver would be a better ad campaign for J.K.'s company. Furious about being misled, J.K. fires Matt. Nick deletes the 8 5¼" floppy disks that make time travel possible. At the end of the film, Nick talks to Lisa in the supermarket as he did in the previous timeline.


  • Director David Giancola was only 20 years old when he shot this movie with a minuscule budget of $150,000. The licensing fees paid by Best Brains for its use in this episode helped pull the original movie out of the red.
  • The movie also goes by the name, "Tangents" [1]
  • According to David Giancola, Castleton College provided several free t-shirts for the film with the idea that they would be hot sellers after being featured in a movie. The demand for the t-shirts didn't come until a few years later, when the film premiered on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • J.K. Robertson's office is actually the foyer of a local opera house. [2]
  • Crow's comment that a minor character (played by Vicky A. Bourn) looks like Friends cast member Lisa Kudrow was mistakenly accepted as fact by many MSTies, and Kudrow was listed in the film's cast on the Internet Movie Database for several years. [3]
  • As Nick and Lisa are walking in an alley in dystopian future Vermont, you'll see some nearly-destroyed posters attached to the wall. One of them is for the movie Back to the Future. Nick also has a picture of Marty, Doc and Clara from the third movie's poster art in his house. It's in front of a window in his computer room.
  • The Time Chasers cast and crew had a reunion party to view the premiere of the MST3K episode. While some knew what to expect, some were not pleased at the "savaging" of the original film. Opinions differ, as some took to offense, while some "drank too much beer".
  • Mr. Giancola’s Edgewood Studios has a website here.
  • David Giancola said that Best Brains planned to use Peter Harrington, who played Matthew Paul in the film, in a cameo role, but Harrington's schedule didn't allow for this to happen.
  • The movie receives a 3.5/5 star rating in the Video Movie Guide, making it one of the highest-rated MST3K films. And it won a Gold Award at the Houston International Film Festival in 1994.

The Episode

Host Segments


Crow visits Young Mike

Intro: Tom (and Crow) want(s) Mike to use the phrase "Lost In Space", so that they can reenact Lost In Space.

Segment One: Mike docks the SOL with The Widowmaker and has an unusually neighborly chat with Pearl, Crow joins in.

Segment Two: Tom sends Crow back in time to convince Mike not to take temp jobs in order to make his life better. The blonde, irresponsible slacker Mike of the past proves difficult to reason with.


Eddie Nelson

Segment Three: Crow returns and finds Mike's abusive brother Eddie (also played by Michael J. Nelson) there instead. Servo has now become Eddie's nervous Yes-Man and ashtray. He says that Mike's band ("Sex Factory") was actually doing very well, when Mike got hit in the head, by a girl fan's big hotel room key, and died. Says he got that job since that 'sleepy eyed guy left.'

Segment Four: Crow returns to the past and convinces Crow not to go through with his plan.

Mike & the Bots reenact "Lost in Space"

Segment Five: Crow wants Mike to say 'Gilligan's Island', but backfires. Mike chats up Pearl again, and realizes that another Crow is in 80s Wisconsin, working at the cheese factory he used to work at.

Stinger: "Matt, it's time for you decide if you're gonna be one of my team players or not."

Guest Stars


Quotes & References

Crow: I thought Night Court was on.
"Night Court" was a popular show from the 1980s - early 1990s about an urban city judge and the comedic cases he encounters.

Mike: Co-starring Bruce Springsteen's little brother, Wayne.
The actor shown very closely resembles a young version of New Jersey rock musician, Bruce Springsteen.

Mike: We could send Bob Saget to meet Charlemagne.
Charlemagne was the first Christian king of the Western world and ruled until 814; Bob Saget is a modern day comedian known for starring on the sitcom "Full House" and telling very dirty jokes during his stand-up comedy routines.

Mike: Come to Martin's. WHAT UP?!
"WHAT UP?!" was Martin Lawrence's catchphrase on his 1990s sitcom "Martin".

Crow: They're in Dar es Salaam!
Dar es Salaam is the largest city and former capital of Tanzania.

Servo (singing): "When you get caught between the moon and New York City"
A (butchered) lyric from "Arthur's Theme," from the 1981 film Arthur, starring Dudley Moore.

(A blonde, overweight extra is seen pacing in the background.)
Crow: I see Drew Carey's nemesis Mimi survived the Apocalypse!
Mimi Bobeck was a character from "The Drew Carey Show", known for wearing colorful dresses, garish make-up, and insulting Drew.

Servo: You're gonna give me all your Soylent Green, man!
Soylent Green was a popular dystopian film of the early 1970s, starring Charlton Heston.

Crow: Michael Moore in 30 years!
Michael Moore is a famous (if not infamous) film director whose controversial documentaries includes Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 911.

Servo: What, is this "Ironweed" all of a sudden?
Ironweed was a 1987 award-winning film starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

Mike: That guy needs chinderwear.
A reference to the Mads' invention from episode 505 The Magic Voyage of Sinbad—underwear for people with cleft chins.

(Camera pans to a large, bearded Minuteman soldier.)"Dr. Demento, Patriot."
Barret "Dr. Demento" Hansen is a radio host known for playing funny or silly songs on his show "The Dr. Demento Show".

Tom: "Avante and quit my sight, young executive"
Parody of quote from Shakespeare's Macbeth

(A man rides on a horse, directing soldiers.)
A horse! My kingdom for a horse!
A quote from Shakespeare's Richard III.

(Nick is trying to foil Robertson's attempts to jump back to the present inside the transport.)
Nick: You wanna fly!? Let's fly!
Crow: I gotta million of em,' hot-cha-cha-cha!
A parody of the vocal stylings of the late actor Jimmy Durante.

(Nick is steadily taking his time climbing down from a tree that the transport crashed into.)
Crow: He's climbing an Ent!
Mike: Ommm, hum, get off me.
A reference to Treebeard and the race of Ents from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Memorable Quotes

[The Edgewood Studios logo appears, showing a dog sitting in a movie theater]
Servo [as dog][talking like Scooby-Doo] Rello, I'm Fido Hitchcock, the rirector of ris rilm.
Crow: He's got a bucket of crotch-flavored popcorn.
Mike[groaning] Oh, Crow. So early, too.
[The logo fades out]
Servo[still talking like Scooby-Doo] Redgewood Rentertainment, Rimited resents—
Mike: Okay, stop.
Crow: Cut it out.
[The opening title appears over a CGI computer chip]
Crow: This is like NFL graphics here.
Mike[imitates the "NFL on Fox" theme song]
[As the movie opens, a man flies a propeller plane through some odd visual effects]
Nick: Ha-ha! Nick Miller, you are a genius!
Servo [as Nick]: A crop-dusting genius!
[We see Nick for the first time, as the nerdish hero gets off his plane]
Crow: This... is not our star, is it? I will not accept this as our star, sorry.
[We see Nick ride his bike through a small town]
Mike [as announcer]: Come on down to parallel parking days.
[Nick rides to Martin's Supermarket]
Mike: Come to Martin's. WHATUP?!?
[Nick boots up his computer]
Servo [as the old AOL voice]: You've got mail... pattern baldness!
[During the first scene in 2041]
Mike[derisively] The, uh, future.
[In a 2041 city, a 10-year-old wearing lime-green pants jogs while talking on a cellphone]
Crow: So, in the future, kids become gay agents?
. . .
Servo: So... 50 years from now will be 3 years from now...
. . .
[As Nick, Lisa, and Matt go into a building, a burly-looking woman walks by]
Servo: Hey, look—a lesbian... of the future!
[Cut to inside, where the camera pans down to a fairly typical food court]
Mike: Food courts... of the future!
[Robertson arrives to meet Nick]
Mike [as Robertson]: Hi, I'm Bob Evil!
Robertson: Trust me.
Servo [as Robertson]: Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
[Nick and Lisa are trying to escape Robertson's building while also being chased by his guards. They come to a room with two routes; Nick quickly opens the door of one route and he and Lisa go down the other. The guards come in and see the open door of the false route.]
Guard: Come on, this way! [They run down the false route]
Mike [as Guard]: Even though I see them running the other way!
[Lisa arrives at the airstrip, wearing two kinds of plaid]
ServoTwo kinds of plaid? Boy, I'm a naked robot, Mike, and even I know that's a fashion no-no.
Servo [as J.K.]: I leave for 20 minutes, and EvilCo is in shambles!
Crow [as Matt]: I'm a team player!
[In the dystopian future, an eyepatch-wearing armed survivor leaps atop a smashed car for a better shooting angle]
Mike [as Gunman]: Arrgh! Sixteen men on a dead Dodge Dart!
[The alarm makes a beeping noise similar to a large vehicle in reverse]
Servo: Great, now the garbage truck's backing up!
[Nick and Lisa are shown together in the new, dystopian future]
Servo: I hope they end up together... at the bottom of a well torn apart by animals!!
Crow: The movie really heightens the lack of interest in the film.
Servo: Yeah, I think—huh?
[As Nick and Lisa's plane crashes towards the rocky shore of a lake, the camera pans to the plane's altimeter]
Servo: They're running out of Alt!
[Cut to a view of the speedometer.]
Eddie: And their Miffnots [MPH KNOTS] are goin' down!
Lisa: Nick!
Crow [as Lisa]: I was shaving this morning and got a nick!
[Eddie hits Crow in the head and knocks him on the floor.]
Eddie[irritated] Get up! You're all right.
[After Robertson punches Nick out of the flying plane, Nick somehow manages to hang on with his palms flat against the smooth metal wing]
Crow [as Nick]: Ha-ha! Unlucky for you, I secrete pine tar from my hands!
[After Robertson's time transport crashes into a tree]
Crow: 27 Keebler elves were killed today when a light plane plunged into their tree!
Mike: E.L. Fudge remains in critical condition.
. . .
Mike: Oh, he's trying to get honey like Pooh!
Crow: Oh, he's like poo, all right.
. . .
[as Nick climbs down the tree]
Crow: He's climbing an Ent!
Servo[in a deep, Entish voice] Hoom hom, get off me, hm.
. . .
[Later in that scene, Robertson shoots Nick and kills him]
Crow: He died as he lived: mud-stained and splaying.
[As a static shot of a tree goes on for quite a while]
Servo: Did the tree contribute money to the film? Why are they showing this?
[Nick types in commands to erase the floppy disks containing his time travel software]
Servo: So, eight 5¼" floppies hold the keys to time travel.
Mike: Delete copies of film? Yes. Delete memory of film from mankind's consciousness? Yes.
[As he throws out the last one, the camera pans to a heap of electronics, including one suspiciously long box with a cord coming out of it]
Mike: Hey... even declared war on his surge protector...
[The credits begin to roll; a slow, low-pitched tune comes up]
Mike: Who's playing the chamber pot?!
[The writer credit appears]
Crow: Written? This movie was written? I don't think so.
[Credits display: Mathew Bruch as Nick Miller]
Servo: We serve a delicious bruch every Suh-day.
[The credits display "The Producers Wish To Thank", followed by a VERY long list of people and organizations]
Servo: Wow, they are special thanking the HELL out of this movie!
. . .
Mike: All these people bear... some responsibility, you know.
[The penultimate "thanks" are to "The citizens and officials of Rutland, Vermont"]
Servo: Which means I really, really hate the citizens and officials of Rutland, Vermont. I'm not kidding, Mike. I never liked the citizens and officials of stupid Rutland, Vermont! This is just the nail in the coffin, as far as I'm concerned. Go to hell, citizens and officials of Rutland, Vermont!
Crow: Filmed in Vermont: the other, smaller Wisconsin!

Video Release


  1. IMDB
  2. IMDB trivia
  3. Wikipedia: Time Chasers

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