The Starfighters

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The Starfighters
Directed by Will Zens
Produced by Will Zens
Written by Will Zens
Starring Robert Dornan
Richard Jordahl
Richard Masters
Music by Stephen Paul
Cinematography Leif Rise
Edited by Michael David
Distributed by Parade Releasing Organization
Release dates March 25, 1964 (USA)
Running time 78 min (84 original)
Country U.S.A.
Language English

The Starfighters is an American film released in 1964. It was written and directed by Will Zens and stars Bob Dornan. It is the subject of episode #612 of Comedy Central's Mystery Science Theater 3000.


Lt. John Witkowski (Dornan) and his buddy, Lt. York, arrive at George Air Force Base in Southern California to train to fly the F-104 Starfighter, with special emphasis on the complicated mid-air refueling maneuver. Witkowski's Congressman father frequently calls him, concerned about the safety of fighter aircraft, and wants his son to be in the Bomber wing like he was himself in World War II. Witkowski also finds romance in an Iowa girl he is set up with. Witkowski impresses his senior officers with his progressing skills and is among those selected to be transferred to a unit in Europe.


The film was featured in Episode #612 of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Tom Servo summed up: "So basically, according to themselves, the Air Force is a bunch of leather-faced, not-so-bright, heavy drinking, dull-witted speed freaks who poop in their pants and can't make it with women, right?" The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide added: "nothing happens in it."[1]

The film is included in Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Collection Volume 12 from Rhino. It provided several running gags that were repeated throughout the series: humming the jazzy music whenever a plane is seen flying, mentions of the "poopie suit" (an Air Force survival suit designed to help contain body heat in the event of a bailout over water), and the use of the word "refueling" as a synonym for any long, dull scene.


  1. ^ Trace Beaulieu, Paul Chaplin, et al. (1996), The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, Bantam 

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