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Mystery Science Theater 3000 presents:

#804:
The Deadly Mantis

This is one of those movies that is archetypal for our show: an insect grows to Brobdingnagian proportions because of nuclear or atomic radiation. William Hopper (AKA Paul Drake from Perry Mason) is a noted entomologist sent to an army base at the North Pole to investigate. He brings along his photographer lady friend, she falls in love with the guy in charge of the army base, and they all get attacked by said giant - and deadly - mantis. For some reason, when insects get enormous, they also have some sort of vendetta against humans.

We have yet to do a movie in which a giant insect is giant and lives peacefully side by side with humans. Sure, there might be some friction over a gardening implement borrowed and not returned but they work it out. Or at least a giant anything who just minds his own business and doesn't get in anyone's way. Anyhoo, the deadly - and giant - mantis gets trapped in a tunnel in New York and is killed. Guy and Gal are in love; Gal gives up her silly old career to be Mrs. Guy. And Bridget and I agree that Paul Drake is fine!

Prologue: Its casual day on the SOL. Crow and Mike refuse to participate. The high strung Servo gets upset.
Segment One: Some neighborly mutants drop by Ape World to drop off a doomsday bomb for Bobo, Peanut and Pearl. There's some trouble getting it to detonate so Mike helps them out. All assumed dead.

Segment Two: Mike and the 'Bots conduct a rather brief and empty memorial service for Pearl. Suddenly Pearl shows up - with Bobo in involuntary tow - and is in mad pursuit of the SOL.

Segment Three: Mike, Crow, Servo and Gypsy drive long hours into the dark night of space, trying escape Pearl. The only thing they can get on their radio are AM country stations.

Segment Four: Servo drives for a spell, hits a creature, brings it on the SOL to revive it, and it eats Crow in a demonstration of affection.

Segment Five: Crow makes a meat loaf. The gang receives a letter from Peanut, who is alive after all, and doing quite well in Wisconsin. Pearl, with her unwitting accomplice Bobo, remains in hot pursuit of Mike and The 'Bots. Bobo wants to stop for sweet corn. Mike congratulates Crow on the meatloaf, then asks whatever became of the creature they hit with the SOL...

In host segment five, Kevin, playing Bobo, and I had to switch places when I allow him to drive. I have a problem laughing during takes in the first place, and this was a really difficult scene. The cab of the VW is small in the first place, and I'm not, so it really cracked me up to be trying to switch places with this gorilla! For that day I learned to forgo the notion of personal space.

- Mary Jo Pehl


Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie/episodes availability on video and on DVD or even books

The best book for looking up movie titles and descriptions is the Movie / Video Guide by Leonard Maltin.
The last time I checked, The Deadly Mantis is still available on video. But if for some reason a film of this quality isn't available on videotape, you can still get Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie while supplies last...

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