Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SIDEHACKERS
January 14, 2015 2:08 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

(Color, Exploitation, Sports, Motorcycles, Ross Hagan) A.K.A. "Five The Hard Way." "HARD RIDERS! Mounted on Burning Steel! ...with only their leathers between THEM and HELL!" Rommel has it all: a silly girlfriend, a field of wheat to frolic with her in, a job as a garage mechanic, and sorta-quasi-semi footnote-level fame as an uncertainly-ascending star of sidehacking races. (Sidehacking is a bizarre form of motorbike racing that must be seen to be believed.) His dusty perfect world crashes down upon contact with the villainous J.C. and his gang, leaving him with one purpose in life: REVENGE. One of the best jumping-on points to Mystery Science. YouTube (1h37m) First aired September 29, 1990.

Satellite News - MST3K Wiki - Club MST3K - Daddy-O
Note: Annotated MST3K has yet to cover this episode.

IMDB, as "Five the Hard Way" (1.6 stars)
"Motorcycle racer Rommel seeks vengeance against JC, a madman who murdered the sidehacker's fiancee."
Directed by Gus Trikonis. Written by Larry Billman and Tony Huston. Starring Ross Hagen, Diane McBain and Michael Pataki.
posted by JHarris (17 comments total)
Sidehackin' is the thing to do, and it doesn't hurt to have a low IQ.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:29 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

This was, if memory serves, the first MST3K I ever saw, spending the weekend at my Dad's house being mostly bored. By the time they got to the host segment with the color commentary I was hooked for life.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:49 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Charles Beesley wrote in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film (under the entry for Five the Hard Way):
A competition cyclist (Ross Hagen) seeks revenge for the sex slaying of his fiancee (Diane McBain). The man responsible is Michael Pataki (Grave of the Vampire). He and his boys prepare for a confrontation with Hagen and friends Crapout (Hoke Howell), Nero (Edward Parish) and Jake (Robert Tessier). When the title was later changed to The Sidehackers, most people drew a blank. Director Trikonis was a Shark in West Side Story.
Mary Jo Pehl wrote in The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide:
This was the first movie to show the brutal reality of sidehacking--dull, boring and stupid. This film is an amalgam of vile scenes Scotch-taped together to form a moving picture. A gang of sidehackers, led by sidehacking champion Rommel, doesn't like another gang of sidehackers, led by the volatile J.C. J.C.'s girlfriend tries to seduce Rommel and, when rebuffed, claims he tried to rape her. In retaliation, J.C. kills Rommel's girlfriend. There's a whole lot of avenging going on. The film nicely balances such scenes as a man punching a woman in the stomach with a couple in love frolicking the meadow, so there's something for everybody. But frankly, there just wasn't enough sidehacking.
Infamously, after they selected this movie to riff, they discovered in the writer's room that it contains a graphic rape and murder scene. They were horrified and cut that bit out of the episode. They nodded to the change by having Crow remark, "For those of you playing along at home, Rita is dead." By the way, the word is it was originally called Five the Hard Way because it was trying to trade off of the name of the Jack Nicholson movie Five Easy Pieces.

Host segments:
Pre: Joel tries to put the 'bots to bed.
Invention exchange: Both Slinky themed. Joel's is the adorable Gretchen the Slinky, who does her impression of the Sixties. Dr. Forrester splits his top and bottom half apart, connected by a Slinky middle.
1: Joel and company sing the song they cooked up about Sidehacking. "Sidehackin's the thing to do/and it doesn't hurt to have a low IQ."
2: Joel and the 'bots provide a stream-of-consciousness color commentary for sidehacking footage from the movie. The references fly by quickly, so pay attention.
3: The guys are visited by J.C. and Gooch ("That's Gooch!") on the Hexfield, played by Mike and Frank. "I will! I will kill him! I will kill him! I will!"
Post: Another song! "Only Love Pads The Film." Great host segments all around this time.
posted by JHarris at 2:49 PM on January 14, 2015

Time for this week's showing is tomorrow (Thursday) at 7 PM Eastern. Link will appear here before the show. Hope you can make it! This is one of my favorite episodes.
posted by JHarris at 2:50 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

By the way, the word is it was originally called Five the Hard Way because it was trying to trade off of the name of the Jack Nicholson movie Five Easy Pieces.

Oh wow. The insult!!!

I watched this a couple weeks ago just for kicks! It was funnier than I remembered-- maybe one of my favorites. "Your lips... are DRUGGED!!" Followed by "the grass... is... DRUGGED!!!" Ah, I was a-laughin'.

Oops, I guess I'm early... I'll chime in after the showing.
posted by stoneandstar at 3:04 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sidehacking is the thing to do :)
posted by hobgadling at 5:03 PM on January 14, 2015

Hi keeba!
posted by valkane at 5:28 PM on January 14, 2015

stoneandstar, my opinion is that MST3K is immune to spoiling. Calling forward jokes just makes 'em funnier. Riff away!
posted by JHarris at 5:52 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

This week's room is at: It's up now.

This week our short rotation is entirely MST3K, including all three General Hospital episodes they did. I think we're just about out of shorts actually. Anyone have ideas for other related pre/post roll material to add for following weeks?
posted by JHarris at 11:05 AM on January 15, 2015

Looks like something's wrong, that room is empty right now.
posted by hobgadling at 3:17 PM on January 15, 2015

Try now. I was getting poor Flash and Firefox performance, and a Windows audio thread was taking up nearly 300 MB of RAM. I ended up restarting the machine, which because of Windows and Firefox updates and of course all the startup software wanting to load took 20 minutes total gah.
posted by JHarris at 3:22 PM on January 15, 2015

Whew. Don't go seeking out that deleted scene. I wish I hadn't indulged that particular curiosity. It's godawful.
posted by tomboko at 5:28 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks tomboko. I'll keep those sanity points safely in my brain.
posted by JHarris at 5:53 PM on January 15, 2015

"Side-hackin' is the thing to do" is routinely sung in my house, often when discussing things to do.
posted by Crystalinne at 7:09 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

We had the regulars tonight, plus a couple of relatively rare showups, I think the total unique viewers was up to 9. It was a great watching of a great episode, and even Firefox's stealth re-enabling of hardware acceleration on my machine causing freezeups for me couldn't dampen things. A success!

I noted in the showing: Rommel's garage has a porn room. Or maybe really a bathroom, but its walls are covered with porn. I was remarking, this suggests activities on the part of Rommel and his partner that I really didn't want to consider.

Next week is 203 JUNGLE GODDESS. "Really?" you may ask. But before you speculate any more: A. it's a 50s Lippert black and white movie and so content will be very tame, B. titular "goddess" is really a white woman worshiped by natives because she's white, and C. aren't A and B enough? You should be sure to have ready hamburger sandwiches and french fried potatoes for consumption during the episode! See you next week.
posted by JHarris at 9:04 PM on January 15, 2015

It was indeed a phenomenally great watching of a phenomenally bad movie. Thank you JHarris for hosting! And shout-out to all the great Misties who showed up!
posted by valkane at 7:31 AM on January 16, 2015

I will! I will thank him! I will thank him! I will!

Yes, thank you JHarris!
posted by tomboko at 4:44 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

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