Movie: (1971) An aimless young man encounters a rural family that seems to have some secrets.
First shown: 7/11/98
Opening: The bots seek wassail from Mike
Intro: Mike finds a wassail loophole; Steffi the babysitter is left in charge
Host segment 1: Mike learns that walnut ranching is hard work
Host segment 2: Crow tries a test to see if he’s a witch
Host segment 3: Grandma Servo attacks
End: Crow sells his soul to Stan; storytime with Steffi
Stinger: “This is where the fish lives.”
• This is a pretty unremarkable and meandering movie, and it’s one of those episode that I remembered as being kind of dreary and not terribly funny, but on rewatching it I found myself laughing quite a bit. The segments are mostly the usual random silliness, but of course they are livened by the appearance of the totally awesome (and deadly) Beez.
• Paul, who at this time was doing a lot of the writeups, offers his thoughts.
• This ep was included in Rhino’s The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 5
• The movie is directed by a guy named Don Henderson. The director and star of the movie “Billy Jack,” Tom Laughlin, occasionally used the pseudonym Don Henderson. Because that, a number of MSTies, including our own Daddy-O, became convinced that Laughlin was the director of this. I was never convinced, and more than a little uneasy about his claims, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Laughlin passed away a couple of weeks ago and I scoured the obituaries about him and found zero evidence to back up this belief. We have removed any reference to it in the page for this episode in Daddy-O’s Drive-in Dirt and we apologize that the falsehood appeared on our site for so long.
• On the Rhino DVD, Mike does a little introduction and calls it “A Touch of Satan,” and makes a little riff on that. But it’s THE Touch of Satan. Kinda ruins the joke.
• Beez’s stint as Steffi the babysitter had a huge reaction from fans, especially young male ones. There was much hopeful conversation about whether she would be a permanent cast member.
• You sometimes wonder what sparks a segment. How did “wassail” come up?
• In segment 2, Mike climbs a ladder and we can see that he is wearing some pretty fruity sandals, if you ask me.
• Several shots of flowery meadows sparks an attack of Tom’s hay fever. Kind of reminds me of when Josh sneezed in the theater back in season one.
• Callbacks: “Stay!” (The Undead) and “You been hittin’ the BOOZE again!” (Giant Spider Invasion).
• In segment 3, Mike, who last week was reading “Bleak House,” is this week reading Henry Kissinger’s “Years of Upheaval.” Where is he getting these books?
• That’s Paul as the voice of Stan Johnson.
• Cast and crew roundup: Special effects guy Steve Karkus also worked on “Parts: The Clonus Horror.” Makeup guy Joe Blasco also worked on “Parts: The Clonus Horror,” and did special effects for “Track of the Moon Beast.” In front of the camera, Robert Easton was also in “The Giant Spider Invasion” and did voices for “Invaders from the Deep.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. This was Dan Breyer’s and Scott Bowman’s last episode as interns, and Nick Prueher’s first.
• Fave riff: “Get off the road, mangoat!” Honorable mention: “I sure hope he said peanuts.”