Experiment K20: The Last Chase

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The KTMA SeasonMST3K Story: Dr. Forrester is experimenting on Dr. Erhardt, attempting to prove cold fusion is possible, but only in the human mouth. The experiment seems to be a success (and tastes like Peach Fizz), but Dr. Erhardt says it was just the dry heaves. In frustration, they send Joel the movie. When Joel tries to teach the Bots about conscience, they don’t seem too keen on it. He tries to use a conscience module on Crow, but accidentally uses paranoia instead. Joel later takes some time to announce the 1000th fan letter has been received and shows off the Devil Dog hat that was given as a prize. They read a letter from a fan who enjoyed seeing Joel hit Servo in the head, so he does it again. The final letter of the day compares MST3K favorably to a children’s show featuring Commander Paul (then Commander Dave, then Commander Tom). On that positive note, Joel and the Bots say goodbye.

The Last Chase Story: A deadly virus has wiped out most of the population of the eastern United States. Due to the dangers of spreading the disease, automobiles and other gas-powered transportation have been outlawed. Twenty years after the plague, ex-race car driver Franklin Hart still finds himself yearning for the freedom of the open road, even as he lectures in support of the Mass Transit Authority. Feeling burned out, Hart loses control during a lecture and openly denounces the government. In punishment, he is “retired” and decides the time has come to leave for California. When Hart runs, he escapes the authorities with the help of a young teen named Ring. Together they begin the journey. Hawkins, leader of the Authority, sends a retired fighter pilot, Capt. J.G. Williams after them in one of the few remaining airplanes. Williams catches up with the fugitives and strafes them, wounding Hart. Hart suddenly wakes to find himself in an Indian village populated by refugees from civilization. Hart and Ring find some comfort there, but are eventually flushed out when an assault team attacks the village. Hawkins next reveals a massive, Cold War-era laser, which he hopes to use to destroy Hart and the car. Williams, however, has other plans. He meets Hart on the road in an odd game of “Chicken”, which Hart wins. Williams by now has had a complete change of heart is only bluffing them in order to keep flying. As Hart and Williams approach the laser, Williams sees it and warns Hart. When Hart refuses to get off the road, Williams recognizes that the only way to stop the laser is to sacrifice himself, which he does by flying straight into it. With the laser out of commission, Hart and Ring are free to complete their journey to California, a symbol of freedom to all of America.

MST3K segments written by Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Josh Weinstein, Jim Mallon & Kevin Murphy
additional writing by Brian Funk
MST3K segments directed by Vince Rodriguez
The Last Chase screenplay by C.R. O’Christopher and Roy Moore & Martyn Burke
The Last Chase story by C.R. O’Christopher
The Last Chase directed by Martyn Burke
The Last Chase music by Gil Melle (credited as Gil Mellè)

MST3K Guest Cast: none

The Last Chase Cast: Lee Majors (Franklyn Hart), Burgess Meredith (Capt. J.G. Williams), Chris Makepeace (Ring), Alexandra Stewart (Eudora), Diane D’Aquila (Santana), George Touliatos (Hawkins), Harvey Atkin (Jud), Ben Gordon (Morely), Hugh Webster (Fetch), Deborah Burgess (Miss Rawlston), Trudy Young (Mrs. Hart)

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey

Notes: Lee Majors is, of course, The Six Million Dollar Man. He’s also The Fall Guy and the ex-Mr. Farrah Fawcett(-Majors), but that’s beside the point. To most people he will forever be the original Steve Austin, lead of the classic 1970s TV Show. He has returned to that role several times, including The Return of the Six-Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987) and Bionic Showdown (1989). Although never again reaching the heights of stardom, Majors continues to work steadily, including television shows like Son of the Beach and voice-over work on Family Guy and the best-selling video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Burgess Merideth also appears in the movie MSTied in #K13 – SST – Death Flight.

Chris Makepeace is best known for two other (and much, much better) coming-of-age type roles (Rudy “Wudy the Wabbit” in 1979’s Meatballs and Clifford Peache in 1980’s My Bodyguard). He also appeared in the Reefer Madness of the paper RPG set, Mazes and Monsters (1982).

Notable Riffs: “We can rebuild this movie. We have the technology.”
“I knew there was an oil shortage, but not an Oil of Olay shortage.”
“He’s going to wax philosophical.”
“Oh, Canada. That explains why it sucked.”

The Last Chase original release date: 1981