Experiment K18: The Million Eyes Of Sumuru

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The KTMA SeasonMST3K Story: A “previously on Mystery Science Theater 3000” segment is presented where we see flashbacks to Joel floating naked in space while the Bots discuss the ramifications. The Mads are finally able to get Joel back and take the opportunity to mock him. When movie sign comes, Joel says he “can’t wait” to get his hands on the Bots. Ultimately, Joel fits the Bots with “Idio-probes” as punishment. They still don’t seem very remorseful. They do, however, fess up that Gypsy got caught in the “spiral-on-down” and they left her there. Joel frees her with a “Robo-Purge” button. Almost an hour into the movie, Servo mentions that he has to “make brownies for the pine wood derby” and won’t be able to watch the rest of the movie (although he can come out of the kitchen for the host segments). Joel tries to do a Courtroom sketch, but the Bots cause it to degenerate quickly into a wacky stream-of-consciousness piece. Later, the Bots question Joel on how he could survive in Space for the five weeks since they had left him there. Joel responds with an acoustic rendition of the section of the MST3K theme about reminding oneself “it’s just a show.” After the movie, Joel has to move Servo’s mouth for him, since it’s broken. Joel also mentions that there are nine hundred members of the fan club so far and again gives information on joining before sending it back to Earth.

The Million Eyes Of Sumuru Story: The death of a secretary to an Eastern dignitary indicates danger for President Boong, leader of an Eastern nation. CIA Agent Nick West is contacted to look into the death. Along for the ride is West’s buddy, millionaire Tommy Carter. Initial investigations lead the two to Sumuru’s villa, where Carter learns that Sumuru is placing her operatives all over the world by having them marry or become the girlfriends of prominent men. When they are discovered, Carter and West find themselves framed for murder and on their way to the Orient to continue the chase. As soon as they arrive, West is kidnapped by Sumuru and blackmailed into joining her in a scheme to get close to President Boong by impersonating a new member of Boong’s staff and arranging for the President’s assassination. While Sumuru “distracts” West for a while, the first attempt is made, but it is foiled by the use of a double, who is killed in the President’s place. West is taken to Sumuru’s headquarters while Carter, with the help of defecting Sumuru Agent Helga, puts together a rescue. Carter and the authorities storm Sumuru’s headquarters, rescue West and blast the place to the ground, leaving Sumuru defeated and apparently dead.

MST3K segments written by Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Josh Weinstein, Jim Mallon & Kevin Murphy;
additional writing by Brian Funk
MST3K segments directed by Todd Ziegler
The Million Eyes Of Sumuru written by Kevin Kavanagh
from a story by Harry Alan Towers
based on the stories by Sax Rohmer
The Million Eyes Of Sumuru directed by Lindsay Shonteff
The Million Eyes Of Sumuru music by John Scott

MST3K Guest Cast: none

The Million Eyes Of Sumuru Cast: Frankie Avalon (Tommy Carter), George Nader (Nick West), Shirley Eaton (Sumuru), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Colonel Baisbrook), Klaus Kinski (President Boong), Patti Chandler (Louise), Salli Sachse (Mikki), Ursula Rank (Erno), Krista Nell (Zoe), Maria Rohm (Helga), Paul Chang (Inspector Koo), Essie Huang (Kitty), Jon Fong (Colonel Medika)

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey

Notes: Servo mentions that “it feels so good when the pain stops”, indicating that Joel has overcome his problem with the Bots not feeling pain.

In host segment 2, you can see Josh’s hand as Joel picks up Tom Servo.

Frankie Avalon was already a well-known singer when he attained pop icon status alongside Annette Funicello in the “Beach” series of movies of the 1960s. By the time Avalon appeared in The Million Eyes of Sumuru, his acting career was already well into its downswing. He would appear in only a few more films, with his last real acting role coming in the 1987 “Frankie and Annette reunion” film Back To The Beach.

George Nader’s career included many TV and film appearances from 1950 through 1971, mostly in small roles and leads in “B” movies. In addition to The Million Eyes of Sumuru, he appeared in films MSTied in episodes #107 – Robot Monster and #420 – The Human Duplicators.

Shirley Eaton is best known for being painted gold as Jill Masterson in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964). Her short career also includes several entries in the “Doctor” and “Carry On” film series and the Mike Hammer film The Girl Hunters (1963). She again played Sumuru in the film Die Sieben Männer der Sumuru a.k.a. The Seven Secrets of Sumuru (1969).

Wilfred Hyde-White is perhaps best known as Colonel Pickering in the 1964 film My Fair Lady, but his career spanned six decades. His genre work includes appearances in the pilot for the original Battlestar Galactica and a recurring role on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Klaus Kinski’s career began in the late 1940s and is marked by highlights such as Doctor Zhivago (1965), Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979) and Fitzcarraldo (1982), but also countless cheap, “sub-B” films done purely for money (like this one). After appearing in over 130 films, Kinski finally made his directorial debut with 1989’s Paganini, two years before his death.

Director Lindsay Shonteff also helmed the film MSTied in episode #818 – Devil Doll.

The Million Eyes of Sumuru producer and “story” provider Harry Alan Towers also produced the films MSTied in #323 – Castle of Fu Manchu and #519 – Outlaw. Towers’ many producer credits (including a great deal of genre work) date back to the 1957 TV series The New Adventures of Martin Kane. Recent productions include a new take on the Sumuru story with 2003’s Sumuru.

Notable Riffs: “You know, if this is truly a Chinese movie, are we gonna want to see another movie right away, again?”
“This is a hard role for Frankie. He’s working without Annette.”

The Million Eyes Of Sumuru original release date: 1967