Monday, April 16, 2007


So every once in a while Rob and I both get a "Mystery Science" line or movie stuck in our heads and we just can't help occasionally having deeply weird, intense conversations about it.

Recently, the movie is, once again, "The Final Sacrifice," starring the completely bizarre Canadian antihero Zap Rowsdower. Rowsdower's life seems to consist of a) having once been in a stupid cult that made them all get weird arm tattoos, b) trying to atone for having been in said cult by helping weird kid whose dad was killed by cult, and c) having a totally wicked case of hockey hair.

And the best line? "So, 'Rowsdower'... is that a stupid name, or ---?" (see it in this great "Rowsdower" video montage.) Filmed entirely on location in scenic southern Alberta!

Rowsdower even made it into the Urban Dictionary, where they use it in a great sentence: "yeah, that hick kid Dan's cousin came down from BC...what a fucking Rowsdower!"

Here's a classic clip with Rowsdower and the kid, where Rowsdower sets his own truck engine on fire trying to start it. While drinking. Because Rowsdower is always drinking. As would you if your name was "Zap Rowsdower."

And here's Mary Jo Pehl's (Pearl Forrester on MST3K) wonderful summary of the movie, and how the hero's name alone was enough to make a normal person walk out of the film.

Excerpt: "You know what? You lose me straight away when your movie's protagonist is named 'Zap Rowsdower'. The second I hear him identified as 'Zap Rowsdower' I am squeezing past you and climbing over your legs and muttering "excuse me" and I am getting the hell out of the movie. Only this time I couldn't because I was at work and I'm hourly and I had used up all my vacation and sick time. How about Plink Holmgren? Or Pow Flowhauer?Just between you and me and the wall, I think a major error was made in their film archetype-ology. Zap was clearly supposed to be the intermediary guy; the hard-drinking, tough-but-lovable, car-won't-start sidekick to the hero.However, we were short one hero, and its not till the end of the movie that you realize that Troy and Zap's journey isn't to bring Troy to the hero (to whom Zap should be the sidekick), but in fact, Zap is the hero. Excuse me... sorry... can I just squeeze by you... watch your pop..."


Annie said...

Rowsdower and The Final Sacrifice is this HUGE joke in my family but most other people don't know about it. When I woke up this morning and DHAK loaded up as my home page, it was quite a thrill to see his name there ;).

A few months ago I was watching that creepy Discovery Channel show "I Shouldn't Be Alive" and one of the actors looked very, very familiar. I watched the credits at the end and, lo and behold, it was indeed the kid from The Final Sacrifice. There can't be too many people out there who would make the connection!

Kyle said...

I wish they'd release that one on DVD, I would buy it in a second. Rowsdower saves us and saves all the world!

Midge said...

Hi, Gael!

Mary Jo Pehl here! A friend of mine connected me to this blog entry, and I laughed out loud recollecting that movie. I must have been REALLY bugged to be so unequivocal and unforgiving about it!

My "connection" tells me you're a former Minnesotan?!?!


Gael said...

Mary Jo! I'm honored to have a note from you! You were hilarious on MST3K, and every time I watch, I bow down before the incredibly layering effect that was your eye shadow. Pretty much a hyped-up version of what we were all going for in the 1980s, sad to say.

I am a former Minnesotan indeed. Lived there my whole life until 2001, when we moved to Seattle.

Is your connection Mike Parker? He's a pal of ours.

Your comment made my day! Thanks!

SJG said...

Oh my God, do I love calling "Rowsdower!" like the kid in the movie any time I see someone aimlessly wandering around. ... I thought I was the only one obsessed with the oddness of that name. Knowing there are others makes me feel an absurd sense of community...

...I also can't forget the oddness of the moment during the movie in which the little kid has wordlessly bared his teeth as his squints into the sun, and one of Mike's bots captions it with a startlingly feral growl. Best line ever.