Saturday, November 21, 2015

GEMINI MAN: The Extras - Riding With Death!

The final entry in the GEMINI MAN adventure begins...

Riding With Death is some sort of conglomeration of two episodes of the show that form a vague TV-movie of sorts. The episodes in question are Smithereens and Buffalo Bill Rides Again. This sort of thing isn't uncommon. The short-lived TV series The Master had its episodes combined into "movies" known as the Master Ninja series. Those were released on video. I used to frequent a video store back in the 1990s that had a shelf of them. So, although I never saw it on a shelf, presumably Riding With Death was somewhere around there.

On July 19, 1997, Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode #814 aired and they riffed on Riding With Death. In fact, if people know GEMINI MAN, then they probably know it from this slipshod movie thing (whatever it is) from the MST3K episode. The episode is very, very funny. One of my all-time favorites. Not only is the riffing top notch but it includes two of the best host Segments ever in Tom Servo's song about the Funky Seventies and the new superhero...  Turkey Volume Guessing Man! Whenever they got a chance to watch something from the 1970s, the team hit it out of the park. (Track of the Moon Beast and Angel's Revenge are also two favorites of mine.) So, I recommend the episode. If you're a fan, you will laugh a lot. If you're not a fan, it might bring you over.

Riding with Death is something I have only seen in the riffed version, which is fine with me. I'm not here to review it. My reviews of the two episodes are here and here. My thoughts are clear: I really enjoy these episodes. The combining of the two for this movie whatchamacallit thing-a-ma-bob tarnishes them a bit with odd inserts, poor dubbing and some strange re-editing of sequences. This entry is going to consist of a few screenshots from the MST3K episode that show odd moments in the new edit. It's the sort of a thing a real GEMINI MAN completist will love. By that, I mean me.

This is the magical button that makes all the shaky re-editing happen.

Colossus: The Sam Casey Project!

The TRANSMIT button shows us images of Ben Murphy.

So, Sam Casey is 18 in the GEMINI MAN? That makes sense.

Wow! Really, Riding with Death? There's no reference to this in the show itself. It also means that the show takes place in the mid-to-late-1980s on some sort of Alterna-Earth where the 1970s went on for ages. Why would they add this? Why not just go nuts and make him a brain surgeon or a Spirit Elemental or Part-Time Batman?

"Abby's a great gal." Hilarious moment in the MST3K episode. But, nowhere in the original. This leads us to Hazy Flashback Screens (TM) and scenes from the original TV movie.

Pilot movie shot tinged a really overdone orange/ red. 

Poorly dubbed lines about Robert Denby lead us into the second half of the episode. And, yes, it is funny.

What is Abby looking at as she isn't actually in Buffalo Bill Rides Again?

She's watching Buffalo Bill Rides Again! Why? Why include her at all? Leonard has a mustache in the second half and they add a badly dubbed line for that too.

Riding With Death is a hilarious episode of MST3K. It is a rotten episode of GEMINI MAN, however. I like to think of it as a Classic Celebrity Roast but done for a TV program. Laugh, enjoy, rewind and return to the start of the show. Sam, Abby and Leonard are waiting.


  1. Hello man!
    Thank you so much for your posts about "Gemini Man". I always loved this wonderful show when I was a kid. To me it's 100% fascinating and interesting. I would love a remake.
    By the way, hours ago I re-watched the first part of the pilot, trying to understand the logic behind Sam's powers and the wrist watch. Unfortunately, English is not my main Language and I didn't catch the explanations, so I ask you some questions if you don't mind:

    1- I always assumed the combination between the special radiation, the laser, the water and other contingent factors related to the mysterious satellite caused Sam's "invisibility". At a certain point, when they recovered his body, Kate Crawford talked about the "field" of the invisibility "extending". Can you tell me what did she mean?
    And why did the Russian satellite fall from space anyway? Who was Royce? Why was he involved?

    2- So let me understand this. Did Kate use electricity to counter effect invisibility? What's the logic behind the cures they applied to Sam at the very beginning? What about the wrist watch? And why only 15 minutes? It seemed to me he had no watch or DNA stabilizer for days before they would come up with a viable solution.

    3- Sam explained the feelings he proves when he uses the wrist watch. Can you please tell me what he said? :)

    Thank you so much!

  2. Tiziano,

    I'm so glad you've enjoyed the "Gemini Man" posts. I do love the show. Thank Heavens for the French and that DVD set!

    Your questions are good ones. And, this weekend, I will re-watch everything and get you some answers. If my answers don't make sense, I'll get you different answers.

    It's a wonderful show. I do wish it would have gone for a full season or more.

  3. Yeah, man! I've heard that the video quality of the French DVD set is very good if not great, but there's the PAL speed-up on that anyway?
    Hopefully Universal will remaster this on HD in the future to come.

    Waiting for your answers.

    1. The French set is pretty good. The PAL speed-up didn't bother me. Anyway, it's good enough until Universal does something with it. Plus, it has all those episodes that were unaired.

      My answers are up! Check the latest post on the blog.

  4. I love this MST3K. It's hilarious, and was my introduction to Gemini Man, which is strange since I consider myself kind of a Ben Murphy stalker, uh, I mean, fan. I agree, this is a good episode to start people off with. And let's face it, Abby was a great gal.

    1. "Gavin MacLeod Mania. Not Gavin MacLeod but an incredible simulation."