#18. The Final Sacrifice

18. The Final Sacrifice (1990) - Season 9, episode 910
"I wonder if there's beer on the sun?"

Zap Rowsdower and his friend Troy must stop the cult of Satoris from resurrecting the lost civilization of Ziox. Based on a true story.
Famous for:  Generally being considered one of the best episodes of MST3k. And also... for featuring a character named "Zap Rowsdower."

"Rowsdower? Could you put out my head?"

My favorite riff:  There are a LOT of great riffs in this episode, but for my money, none of them are funnier than the five minute scene where Zap and Troy meet Mike Pipper.

The actor playing Pipper is SO over the top, and the voice he has chosen to use is SO ridiculous, that Mike and the Bots just sit there and giggle for at least five minutes. In fact, this might be the single funniest scene in MST3k history.

I can't tell you how many people I've introduced to this episode over the years, and no matter who they are... they ALWAYS lose it during the Pipper scene.

Seriously, if you asked me to name the hardest I have ever laughed during an MST3k episode, I would say it's either the Pipper scene from The Final Sacrifice, or the Serafina/Paul Anka bed scene from Girls Town (which we'll get to later). Just trust me on this one. If you have no other reason to watch this episode, just watch it for the Pipper scene. It's about an hour into the movie.

I've probably seen this scene a hundred times over the years, and it STILL kills me.

"Oooooooooooh what is that? Gimme that, varmint."

"Oooooooooh I needs an eraser!"

Comments:  The Final Sacrifice is generally considered one of the greatest episodes in MST3k history.

In fact, if you took a poll, and you asked a hundred fans what their all time favorite episode was, I'm guessing you'd have a pretty even distribution between three episodes at the top. I'm guessing the three that would dominate the top would probably be this one, Space Mutiny, and then Manos: The Hands of Fate. And all three picks would be solid choices. They aren't MY three personal favorites, but all three are legitimately hilarious.

Mike:  I understand everything up to the word "A"
Crow:  He comes from a long line of great anuses.

Zap:  I'm Rowsdower. Zap Rowsdower.
Crow (as Troy):  Well my name is Bill Shtinkwater.

"My glee club will be looking for me!"

And if you're wondering why I wouldn't personally put The Final Sacrifice in my top three...

True, the Pipper scene makes me laugh harder than just about any other scene in MST3k history. And yeah, Zap Rowsdower is, of course, one of Canada's most beloved action heroes. Every single minutes he's on screen, he's the star.

"Is he a makeupless clown?"

"Sides of his heart are blowin' out like old tires. PYOO! POW!"

But other than those two things... and here's the part where I lower my voice to a whisper... I just don't think this episode is as consistently funny as a lot of the other ones.

I mean, I really do love The Final Sacrifice. And honestly, I'd give ANY of the top nineteen picks on my countdown an A+, if you wanted to see a really good episode of MST3k. From Merlin's Shop of Magical Wonders (at #19), all the way down to Puma Man (at #1), I'd call any of the episodes from here on out an A+.

It's just that, of my nineteen A+ episodes, there just happen to be seventeen of them that I like a little more than The Final Sacrifice. I don't know why. Maybe it's all the dumb Larry Csonka jokes.

In the end, I'd say The Final Sacrifice is probably a wee bit overrated. But only in the sense that it dominates EVERY poll of everyone's favorite MST3k episode, and I don't think it should. I think that other episodes, that are just as good (or better) as The Final Sacrifice, routinely get snubbed.  

But that shouldn't take anything away from how funny this episode is.

Once you get past the first twenty minutes of (groan) Larry Csonka jokes... then you get Troy meeting Zap. And then Mike and the Bots rip the shit out of every single cheap Canadian detail in the movie the rest of the way. And then, as a cherry on top of the sundae, you finish up with Pipper. The whole darn thing is just glorious.

Oh and... by the way... did I mention how much I love Canada jokes?

"Don't you love our healthcare system?"

"What the...? Hey, I had a bead on a goose, eh?"

"Now THAT shot contains too much nostril."

Other personal favorite things about this episode:  First off, I love the repeating joke where... every time they show a closeup of Troy... either Mike or the Bots will drop a dreamy little breathless "Rowsdower!" It's such a simple riff, but it happens SO many times in the movie, that eventually they'll win you over with it.

And of course, it's impossible to describe in writing... but I love the sound they make whenever Troy makes the following face, below.

You're never ready for it, and it always kills me.


And naturally... you have to give it up for this wonderful B-52s riff that Servo pulls completely out of his ass.

"Hey, it looks look their TIN! ROOF! Rusted."

And lastly, I have to point out that I was born in Seattle. And I grew up in Seattle. And as I mentioned before, when you grow up in Seattle, there's almost NOTHING funnier than a joke about Canada. Because Canada is only three hours away from Seattle, those jokes have always been like crack to us. And that's why, if you're a Northwesterner like me, The Final Sacrifice is likely to go down in history as your MST3k Citizen Kane.

As Mike points out very early on in the movie.... damn, this film has the bacony stink of Canada all over it.

Zap (angry): Do you have any idea what kind of people you're dealing with?
Crow (as Zap): They're from Saskatchewan!

Great episode. Hilarious episode. An A+ iconic episode.

And you know... it says something about the quality of Mystery Science Theater that there are seventeen episodes that I like even more.

"If it's any consolation, Mister Pipper, I hates that rabbit too."

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