Title: 804 The Deadly Mantis
MightyJack - August 30, 2005 11:30 PM (GMT)
Link to review: 804 The Deadly Mantis
Story: Big bug escapes the ice and attacks the world
Stars: William Hopper
MJs Grade A
Torgo - September 10, 2005 05:07 AM (GMT)
804-The Deadly Mantis
Premise: And exposion in the southern hemisphere causes a sets giant praying mantis free in the north poll (?) and it attacks an American plane, leaving nothing but wreckage and no sign of life. Giant footprints in the snow confuse the silly inhabitants of the 50's, until a piece of it's spir shows up. Then the average 50's young, handsome scientists shows up and finds out what it is. Meanwhile, the mantis attacks a bunch of eskimos. Attack jets are immediatly set out to kill this creature before the eskimo is put on the endangered species list. They, of course, fail (given the pathetic Army we always have in these movies), so the mantis hits Washington DC to put his name on the ballet for Presedent in 2004. But the mantis is from the North Pole and therefor not an American, so he can't run. This pisses the mantis off and he goes on a rampage. Many politicians killed, none are missed. But now it's heading for New York! Who will stop this deadly fiend before somebody we care about dies?
What makes this movie bad?: Besides the 50's cheese and corny diologue, the movie is actually pretty good. No Oscar winner (although I wouldn't call that an insult) but it's watchable. One thing I liked was the way they killed the mantis. Instead of using some scientific device or far fetched explaination like they usually do, they just shoot the hell out of it.
The mantis effects are actually pretty good for puppetry. The designs in Son of Godzilla were better though. The flying effects kick major ass for the 50's and still hold up rather well even today.
That's pretty much all there is to say about the Deadly Mantis.
Episode Review: This was a fun episode to revisit. Why you may ask? Because this was the first episode that I was ever exposed to! I remember back in 1997 when I saw a comercial on the Sci-Fi channel for a show called Mystery Science Theater 3000, and this week they take on THE DEADLY MANTIS! I was like "Cool. A big ass monster movie." I was really into Godzilla back then (still am), but what really caught my eye were the little theater seats at the bottom with a guy and two puppets sitting in them. "What a clever idea" I thought, I loved the idea of people in the TV watching the movie with me. I planned on watching it but by the time that day came along, being the ignorant kid that I was, I forgot copletly about it until I opened the TV guide and shouted "Oh yeah!" I managed to make the last theater segment and the hillarious last host segment (which probably won me over on the show in the first place). I'm not sure what my first complete episode was, however. It was either this one, which I remember seeing on a rerun, or Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies. Either way, it was love at first sight.
The riffing is pretty good in this one (although, listen for two riffs that were borrowed from Mystery Science Theater 3000: the Movie, even though one of those riffs is a variation and another I remember hearing in Monster A-Go-Go also, so..............................what was my point again?). They get some great jabs throughout the episode. I especially liked the riffs on the old guy. "Who are you men and where's my soup?" The car scene is great too. "Present tongue!"
The host segments are top notch. Tom Servo's failed Business Causual Day always makes me smile. The next segment brings the Planet of the Apes spoof to a brilliant conclusion. Absolutly hillarious, and my Honey Beez is back in another cameo. It also puts the show into one of my favorite parts of Season 8, the story arc host segments. From the Planet of the Apes to the Planet of the Observers to the Camping Planet to Ancient Rome, these were fun from begining to end. The next host segment sees Pearl dropping in on her own funeral. It was awsome seeing her and Gypsy face off like that. The middle segment is pretty good, the songs are funny. Segment three where Tom hits an alien with the satilite provides some great laughs as well. The final segment is one of my favorite segments ever. Like I mentioned above, it's probably why I became a fan in the first place.
Good riffing, great host segments, watchable movie, and my first episode get this one high points in my book.
*** 1/2 out of ****
Best Riff: "He's flipping us off!" - Crow
crowcreature - October 29, 2005 01:51 AM (GMT)
This was an okay episode. It was so boring to watch. Some good riffing. And some good host segments. I fell a sleep during this episode, woke up, and turned it off. A B+ from me!
TheSynapZe - July 2, 2006 04:39 AM (GMT)
I'm with crowcreature. There were some excellent jokes in this one, but the movie was just too bland and generic to be memorable. A B+ from me.
The host segments, while not based on the movie in any way, were pretty good though. I liked the "high speed chase through space" concept. And how they couldn't find a non-Country music station, that happens to me on all of my road trips. That's what my complete collection of Weird Al CD's are for. It was good to see the origin of that blue monster who gnaws on Crow during most of the opening credits for Season 8 too.
Finally, this ep's on youtube.com currently. Catch it!
P.S. I can't believe it took the gang until the last act to use the "This is a bug hunt!" line.
Red-Tom - June 14, 2008 08:30 PM (GMT)
There are definitely some A-Class riffs in this one! Though it isn't one of the more memorable MST3K's, it certainly delivered a good bunch of laughs. The real problem was that the movie was so damn boring and slow. They got a hold of one of its claws and like 20 minutes of the film was devoted to it. I mean who cares what it belonged to, why not just get off of your asses and find it?! But in the ways of host segments, I'd say this was one of the finer episodes. Definitely not a bad one at all
:Servo: :Servo: :Servo: :Servo: out of 5 Red Toms
Fatty Ding-Dongs - December 21, 2009 07:00 AM (GMT)
Pretty standard '50s sci-fi movie. What was it with movies about big stuff back then? Some sort of national inferiority complex? I do like the "well, it's big and scary so let's destroy it without bothering to study it" motif, also. I wonder if this movie wasn't the "Independance Day" of it's time. It seems very Roland Emmerich.
The riffing is on point though. Lots of good rips, although I think they let the horny Air Force guys off the mat a little easy.
And I enjoy the host segments more when they sort of tell a story, which this one does, until the goofy monster eats Crow. That was...well...kinda dippy.
JustinT - January 6, 2010 09:47 PM (GMT)
I hadn't seen this since it first aired and I found it a real winner. The riffs were great. I remembered the host segments well with Future Ape Earth blowing up thanks to Mike's friendly advice on how to fix the bomb. Fun stuff. The only one I found weak was the alien eating Crow. That was stupid silly.
I really love the Internet for being able to see all these episodes that aren't on DVD. It's a wonderful thing.
JustinT - July 13, 2011 04:10 AM (GMT)
Now were talking, I loved giant monster movies growing up. From Godzilla and King Kong to ones like Them! and this movie. In fact, I saw this movie was I was younger uncut one Saturday afternoon.
I had not watched this episode in a long time, but my best friend picked it for our MST3K viewing and boy were we glad he did.
This movie isn't that bad, its goofy, cheesy 50's fun. Sure the so called science in this movie is crap, no way a insect could ever grow that big, even if it was prehistoric.
It's not a great movie by any means but it's fun to watch, not painful. Plus the special effects for the Mantis are pretty good for the time period.
But what really makes this episode awesome is the riffing. OMG the riffing was outstanding. My friend and I were laughing so hard from some of the riffs we were gasping for air as we nearly fell off the couch. Mike and the Bots were on fire in for this one. So many great riffs, but the one that left me laughing the most was this classic
Crow as Col.Joe "But i've gotta a mantis in my pantis."
The host segments were decent. I did love the parody from the Apes movies as Earth gets blown up (loved Crow's use of a classic Star Wars line afterwards) and I loved how Gypsy outmanuvered Pearl after Pearl dissed her when they were trying to escape her. I also loved the "turn your crank to Frank" reference when they were trying to find a radio station while driving.
Overall, another awesome episode from early Season 8.
My Grade: A
NosferatusCoffin - July 13, 2011 03:05 PM (GMT)
Yeah, Mantis is very solid episode. Good riffing, enjoyable cheesy movie and pretty good host segments. The movie fit right in with the plethora of 50's B&W movies that dominated the early part of Season 8 and helped make it one of the best seasons of the show's run.
The best riffs for me (as with MJ) were the ones on Professor Gunther. The "When's Jell-O?" and "Who are you people and who is going to drive me home?!" are gold. And the song during the Turn Your Crank to Frank segment, "When You Killed Me, I Died." is absolutely killer. It still kills me when I hear it.
buffypython - August 14, 2011 03:02 AM (GMT)
I found a bit of trivia not mentioned on MightyJack's review.
28 minutes and 15 seconds into the episode, based on this video
, I noticed that the front of the research facility in D.C. looks a lot like the establishing shot of the Jeffersonian Institute on the FOX series Bones
. I looked up which building was used on Bones
and discovered it's the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. I don't have definitive proof it's the same building used in The Deadly Mantis
, but it looks way too similar.
BIG61AL - March 4, 2012 03:32 AM (GMT)
HA! Mike blows up a planet...good going Mr. Relson. Great, we start right out the box with stock footage.....
:Mike: Yellow snow Sir...can I eat it.
Pearl is Wild Haired and taking pop shots at the SOL. I love that "Nasty" air freshener.
:crow: I think guy is familar with dishonoable discharge.
I gotta admit the Mantis model is pretty good. Way better than the VW disguised as a spider.
A flame thrower in the Artic. Really?
:Mike: Dan Fouts fighter pilot
That is the line that totally endeared me to the show. That was one those lines where you got or you didn't. That joke was for me. i got it.
I got a mantis in my pantis. That is a frigging great Line!
WOW The news was fast in the fifties....A bus accident is already being reported in just 5 minutes.
HAHA Crow gets digested!!!
Victor two five victor
dixie three five bravo
sierra zero lima
mike sierra tango three kilo
Really - you can't control your libido, there a giant dead bug that you just killed but all you want to do is swap some spit.
This a great episode...I was busting out laughing a lot.
Easy choice for a final grade A+