Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN
May 10, 2017 3:50 AM - Season 11, Episode 5 - Subscribe

We're in the Old West! The owner of Rancho Bonito, Jimmy, is losing cattle to the quicksand bog. The local claim an ancient legendary beast is behind the losses, but Jimmy suspects foul play on the part of evil rancher and black marketer Enrique, whose thugs have been bothering Jimmy for a while. Helping him is his partner Felipe, and recovering alcoholic and Mexican stereotype and his son Pancho and Panchito. Matters are pretty tense between Jimmy and Enrique, and it doesn't help when Enrique's girl Sarita takes a liking to Jimmy either, so the two have a dust-up in town. Jimmy decides to leave town in order to protect Sarita. We're two acts down and nearly two-thirds through the movie. We're right on schedule for a traditional third act cowboy movie showdown, right? AND THEN THE CLAYMATION DINOSAUR ATTACKS.... It is no joke, that is exactly what happens in the movie. It's like they really wanted to make a Western, but could only get funding for a monster movie. It is the most stunning, least-telegraphed sudden left turn I've ever seen in a movie, and I'm including Monster A-Go-Go's ending in this. There is a particularly bizarre host segment in this episode where the bots nearly make not just Jonah but even the Mads hysterical with their antics. Episode 1105 is on Netflix.

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Review from Oh, The Horror
Rotten Tomatoes (Critics N/A, Viewers 0%!) - Wikipedia
IMDB (1956, 4.5 stars)
"An American cowboy living in Mexico discovers his cattle are being eaten by a giant prehistoric dinosaur."
Directed by Edward Nassour and Ismael Rodriguez. Written by Robert Hill, Jack DeWitt and Willis H. O'Brien. Starring Guy Madison, Patricia Medina and Carlos Rivas. Special mention to Pascual García Peña, who played Pancho.

Willis O'Brien's credit is "From an idea by," so I presume we have him to blame for the Old Time West Dino Attack. Wikipedia notes that he co-wrote the script under a pseudonym, "El Toro Estrella." O'Brien was a special effects guy, and a mentor to Ray Harryhausen, but sites are saying he did not actually do the effects in this movie.

Kate Micucci, a cartoon voice actor known for playing Sadie on Steven Universe, has a writing credit on this episode.
posted by JHarris (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The episode is good, but the movie is so dull.
posted by drezdn at 5:01 AM on May 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Kate Micucci is so much more than a voice actor. She's also an in-person actor and she's the Oates in Garfunkel and Oates.

And oh man was that movie bad. So long and so boring.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:17 AM on May 10, 2017 [6 favorites]

I missed seeing the Kate Micucci writing credit! Seconding elsietheeel, she's just wonderful in an all-purpose entertainment Renaissance-woman way.

This movie was a real slog for the first hour+, but ultimately came out as a pretty great episode. It's pretty much a given that most FX-intensive monster movies will necessarily have several minutes of boring human-interest subplot that don't really have any bearing on the promised kaiju-wrasslin', and that these scenes are there purely to run interference while the FX team saves the big pyrotechnics for the final act. But man, the terribleness of the stop motion "beast" (That goofy tongue! Those Big Bird feet!) just made the pointless Tex-Mex soap opera buildup seem even more pointless.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:51 AM on May 10, 2017 [4 favorites]

I like when they'll sing parts of songs (I don't remember that in the onld episodes), like Jonah's "I'll never be your beast of hollow mountain" to the tune of "Beast of Burden."
posted by drezdn at 7:08 AM on May 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

There is a particularly bizarre host segment in this episode where the bots nearly make not just Jonah but even the Mads hysterical with their antics.

My favorite part of this--and pretty much the whole episode--is TV's Son of TV's Frank sobbing "WHO MUST WE KILL TO SLAKE THY ANGER?".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:53 AM on May 10, 2017 [13 favorites]

This movie was clearly a major dud, but per the wikipedia, it has a pretty good pedigree - conceived (not executed) by Willis O'Brien, mentor to Ray Harryhausen.

Wikipedia also says that this was the first stop-motion filmed in widescreen and color, which was maybe . . . ambitious.
posted by Think_Long at 8:49 AM on May 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Did not know these things about Kate Micucci! Thanks for corrections.
posted by JHarris at 10:11 AM on May 10, 2017

This one is a slog.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:22 PM on May 10, 2017

Yeah, but it's on record as being the first weird western! That's kinda cool, right?
posted by valkane at 4:32 PM on May 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah, but it's on record as being the first weird western! That's kinda cool, right?

That was literally the only thing that kept my interest in the film itself. The setup was so rote and bland, the hero such a clone of Wholesome Neckerchief Cowboy Guy from Last of the Wild Horses, that I kept hoping for a violent and WTF tonal shift a la Blue Velvet, since it'd been said that there was to be a dinosaur.

Fortunately, the riffs and host segments were solid. Although I can't recall: did they have a "______s of the Ollllllld West" riff? And if not, why not?
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:16 AM on May 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

So that kid's dad made him sit by that shack for at least three hours, right? Could you imagine that in this day and age without even a book. I know I would have wondered off at some point if I was that kid.
posted by drezdn at 6:24 AM on May 11, 2017

Willis O'Brien not only mentored Harryhausen, he's probably best known for his work on a little movie called King Kong.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 6:34 AM on May 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

I had gotten rather far into the new season by the time we watched Reptilicus together and I remember there was a lot of discussion about goofy monsters at the time and I kept telling myself "No, don't mention the claymation dinosaur, they must find out for themselves."
posted by ckape at 10:55 AM on May 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

Notice going up a bit late....

Every week we in MST Club watch that week's episode together in a video sharing room. And with the recent release of Season 11, we've been watching episodes of both the new season and the classic series. This week we're doing this at Times and episodes:


We've sometimes been doing another episode after 11 PM/8 PM, but I've had a lot of work to do lately and may not have time for it. We'll have to see.
posted by JHarris at 1:14 PM on May 11, 2017

We managed to make it into the control room and hack into the computers to turn power back on to the fences, while evading the attacks of intelligent velociraptors. And we couldn't have done it without old timer Billy Slater!
posted by JHarris at 1:16 PM on May 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

Like the payoff was pretty funny but it was a pretty long walk to get there. Jonah and the bots were working hard to keep this one moving. Worth it for the surreal host segment.

I heard they were making an effort to get higher quality prints for this season. I wonder if that's the reason they did this one and not Valley of the Gwangi? Because that seems like an ideal MST3K movie. It's been a while, but from what I remember it's equally corny but a lot more more fun and YES I DO HAVE OPINIONS on the relative merits of mid-century Cowboy Vs. Dinosaur movies what have I become oh god.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 4:52 PM on May 11, 2017 [5 favorites]

"I'm turning this off."
"You can't, we tried that."
"Yeah, we're made out of those special parts."
posted by ckape at 5:52 PM on May 11, 2017 [7 favorites]

In terms of riff call backs so far this new season, I think "Jim Henson's Magnum P.I. babies" is my favorite.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:17 AM on May 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

In terms of riff call backs so far this new season, I think "Jim Henson's Magnum P.I. babies" is my favorite.

That's one I didn't catch the first time through, but loved it the second time I saw it.
posted by drezdn at 6:04 AM on May 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

The host segments in this episode are really good.

And ah, the 50s, where you could have a guy talk about neglecting his child because he's too busy drinking to forget his wife and play it for a laugh. Panchito was the hardest-working person in this movie—the town would fall apart without him.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:04 AM on May 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

Oh...I get it! The real Beast of Hollow Mountain was Mankind!

And also the beast. That lives in the hollow mountain.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:41 PM on May 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

And friendship!
posted by drezdn at 7:48 PM on May 13, 2017

Is someone going to do the next episodes soon?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:34 AM on May 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

What do you mean? I have them scheduled one a week along with the classic episodes. I just posted 1106 STARCRASH a little while ago.
posted by JHarris at 7:10 PM on May 17, 2017

Oh, didn't know it was on a one-a-week schedule, I thought they'd all be going up right away because it's Netflix. Thanks!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 PM on May 17, 2017

Scheduling them out like this lets us watch one a week along with the usual MST Club classic episode. I'm also trying to give Satellite News a chance to catch up with their own new season episode guide, although I think they're going at the same rate?
posted by JHarris at 1:09 AM on May 18, 2017

Yeah, Satellite News is going once a week, too.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:59 AM on May 18, 2017

"It's not Chuck E Cheese ...but there are mice here"
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:45 PM on June 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

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