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Episode guide: 908- The Touch of Satan

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.”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (226 votes, average: 4.44 out of 5)

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• 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.
References.
• 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.”

164 comments to Episode guide: 908- The Touch of Satan

  • 1
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    This song is the public domain, that’s why we used it twice.

    5 stars easy, one of my faves. Infinitely re-watchable. The subject film is bad, but not obnoxious and off-putting. Plenty of room for the riffs to move around in. Host segments are mixed, from average to good.

    Thoughts and favorite riffs more or less scribbled in order.

    On the DVD intro, Mike gets the name of the film wrong, insisting and riffing off the fact that it is A Touch of Satan when obviously it is THE Touch of Satan.

    Like the last bit of the wassail song.. and severe financial penalties will come to you

    Grudging respect for the Babysitter Stephie bit. I don’t enjoy it, but it is very well done.

    Brain Guy and the time out, No Chew, Commune with the gossamer narthex

    Who did the voice of the doomed farmer, couldn’t figure it out, seems very familiar

    So did Ton Laughlin direct this film or not ? Wikipedia says YES, IMDB says NO.

    The breakfast table seen pre-credit, are they telegraphing things that they know because they’ve seen the film ?

    Emby Mellay: not a name, a bad Scrabble hand ( Pig Latin for Bem Amell ? )

    Open credit sequence is very strong

    What do you get when you fall from grace, you only get cast into perdition

    The “So long foul deceiver” triple

    Anne Heche at Ellen’s Café

    How the heck do you even spell Fromikidal ?

    Lots of 70’s humor.. Watergate and whip inflation now !

    The conductor triple : Herbert Von Karajan / Drop me off at Tanglewood / Fritz Kreisler wore a shirt like that

    Signed copy of the Necronomicon, you guys scare me Ha Ha Satan

    Pitchfork bug ( a variation of slug bug )

    $115.55 – $8.89 = $6.66

    Barney Fife Voice: Andy I think there’s a demon in the car

    That he can’t prove a negative is just stupid… prove he’s not a frog ? of course he can.

    This song is the public domain, that’s why we used it twice.

    Sell your soul to Stan was pretty decent, especially when it gets bundled into a collateralized soul obligation.

    No Bark

       1 likes

  • 2
    Finnias Jones says:

    What do you get when you fall from grace?
    You only get cast into perdition…

    This episode came up a few times in our recent Favorite Credits Sequence discussion, and deservedly so. Its leisurely paced opening credits are typical of 70′s films, giving M&TB time to do a whole run of Satanic-themed jokes and songs.

    The movie is a creeper: it slowly sneaks up then pokes you with a pitchfork. Leather-faced Lucinda still scares me. Melissa “Two Sheds” Strickland is a cutie with over-plucked eyebrows and a gentle way about her. When I first heard Mike squeak out “The Trees” by Rush (from Hemispheres, 1978) and Crow refer to Luther as “Herbert von Karajan,” I knew this one was a winner. And Beez the Babysitter is awesome. I always liked this episode, but now I love it. 5 stars.

    The subtle genius of the film is that Luther and his wife (NOT Melissa’s parents, made clear in the flashback, though their actual relationship is never explained) have seen this all before. They are all too aware of Jodie’s role as the latest meat puppet for Melissa. I’m not sure if she seduced him hoping to save herself or not, but her constant advocating for the devil did ultimately persuade Jodie to offer his soul in order to stay young and beautiful with her. A tragic ending, and sort of pro-Satan, but for the early 70′s that’s par for the course.

       3 likes

  • 3
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    ( jeez there’s like a dozen typos in my post sorry guys )

       1 likes

  • 4
    bigzilla says:

    #2 – that song is probably my favorite part of the whole episode. Sometimes I just find myself singing those lyrics. Otherwise though this isn’t one I see a whole lot.

       0 likes

  • 5
    Truck Farmer says:

    I give this 4 stars out of 5, and I give Beez 10 stars out of 5 Alien

       2 likes

  • 6
    DON3k says:

    Man, this would have been a lot more enjoyable had it gone the direction of your usual Farmer’s Daughter-type tale. Satan’s Daughter is just not nearly as enjoyable.

    Did I miss where they explain the arrangement of the family? Was the mom-type-lady really her daughter? Or just some other relatives? I’m confused.

    Oh, and that was no ordinary Maverick seen in the movie. It was a ‘Grabber’ edition. Nicer trim and paint package, dual-scoop hood, bucket seats, 302 engine, floor-shifter. Like a Mustang in a smaller package.

       3 likes

  • 7
    Rob Willsey says:

    The Cecilia Bartoli and Von Karajan references are brilliant and hilarious. And it’s always nice to see dirty back-brace guy.

       1 likes

  • 8
    Not Merritt Stone says:

    Zaa!

       6 likes

  • 9
    klisch says:

    This is a good one, plain and simple. My first viewing of this episode I completely forgot about the riffing and paid more attention to the story (this hasn’t happened often) to see how it ends. The 2nd time around the jokes were icing on the cake. Four stars.

       1 likes

  • 10

    Killer grandma, locked in a barn… Something’s not right here!

       1 likes

  • 11

    Beat me to the zaa.
    You didn’t…”call” him, did you?
    Or “mail” anything?
    This is where my tongue lives.

    I adore the This is where the fish lives, it’s one of those classic moments where all Mike and the bots have to do is laugh. I wonder what was going through Ms. Mellay’s head when she said it.

       3 likes

  • 12
    Fart Bargo says:

    A great film to riff and M&TB did not disappoint. I am embarassed to admit it, but I use to roll in a car simular to Jody’s, was about the same age and lived in northern California where the movie seems to be filmed. Finally, I use to date a devil spawn as well!

    One of the best riffs ever “I sure hope he said peanuts.” was so unexpectant, it really floors me still. It really puts Bill’s personal stamp on Crow.

    In closing, ZAAAAAA!

       3 likes

  • 13
    Colossus Prime says:

    All of the host segments are absolutely rocking. Beez is gorgeous, and I’m a sucker for dark nail polish. Everything about the Wassail song is hysterical. Beginning to end the opening segment is fantastic with Beez (who’s gorgeous) interacts perfectly with Brain Guy and Bobo (Steffi: Go lie down. Bobo: Oh, ok!). “Get these rocks off me, I’m a tiny frog,” is priceless. The crazy grandmother bit is gut splittingly funny, the mumbling sounds are giggle inducing (“The other one doesn’t kill people though, this one does. That’s how I tell them apart.”). Crow selling his soul to Stan was nice and subtle but pleasantly goofy. Oh, and Beez is gorgeous. Smile

    Jodie is a phenomenally stupid and ignorant man. I love his argument that the Devil isn’t real because he doesn’t believe in it. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t believe in the Devil,” it’s another to so aggressively insist that it’s a fact. Seriously, his reasoning for why she can’t be possessed by the Devil is, “Just like those people in the store, they believe you’re a witch so it’s true for them. Well I don’t, so you’re not.” Head slapping ignorance at its best.

    Melissa is kinda cute. And it’s been brought up once now, but to help drive home the confusion; who the heck are Luther and Molly? They’re not Melissa and Lucinda’s parents but their last name is Strickland. I don’t remember anything mentioned during the “Deleted Scenes” discussion, but does anyone have input on this now?

    So many great riffs. Seriously this is up there with the Pumaman:

    Melissa: She’s my great grandmother.
    Mike: She’s not that great.

    Melissa: I said Jodi’s agreed to stay a few days.
    Luther: We heard you the first time.
    Mike: We weren’t interested then either.

    The incredulous way Tom says, “What? What?” after Lucinda is forced to stop stabbing the sheriff.

    Crow: Maybe if Amish used buttons they wouldn’t be so irrational.

    Mike: Now we just have to watch out for my other grandma, she’s really crazy.

    Mike: Good, so we’re both in the clutches of the devil because you wanted seconds.

       3 likes

  • 14
    Emily says:

    Oh I LOVE this episode—one of my favorites, although I have about 20 or so “favorite” eps. I usually don’t like 70s movies, even as riffing material, but I always like the darker movies they do, and you can’t get much darker than freakin’ SATAN. Twisted

    I don’t know why but the forced, cheerful “I saw a robin today!” riff during the tense dinner scene always cracks me up.

    Host segments leave me “Meh” more often than not, but Servo’s pokey grandma is cute!

       2 likes

  • 15
    trickymutha says:

    “when sore throat pain strikes”…and from that riff, well we have a ***** episode. I have watched this one about 6 times with 4 different people and we all agree this is a gem. The only thing that has made me laugh as hard lately as this episode is the South Park movie. (and Colbert, Daily Show, Shatner at the Olympics, Simpsons, and several other MST episodes)

       1 likes

  • 16
    John Seavey says:

    I adore this episode to bits. It almost feels like it was literally made for Mike and the bots to riff on; the long, pregnant pauses between each line are just perfectly timed for them to add snarky comments without missing anything the actors say. Take the “This your car?” “Mind if I skip rocks across it?” bit, for example. It feels like the actor was the straight man setting up that joke.

    And there are so many great bits. “Oh, well, excuse me, Miss ‘This is where the fish lives!’” “Nope. They won’t catch me until I kill again.” “Oh, he turns off the world, alright.” and of course, the moral of the movie, “You know, my mother had a saying. ‘It’s just as easy to fall in love with a woman who’s not possessed by Satan.’”

    A regular in the rotation, five stars.

       3 likes

  • 17
    Trilaan says:

    One of the episodes that makes me think the Brains are of the school of thought that confuses witchcraft and related pagan religions with Satanic beliefs and practices. Which is a shame because I’d rather think better of them than blind adherence to outdated beliefs of Christian fundamentalism.

    That being said, this is a solid episode and I very much enjoy the playful antics of Grandma Rawhide-Chew.

       1 likes

  • 18
    silentseason says:

    I love this episode!! It just drips of 70′s banality. When it came out I was really enjoying new MST3K ep’s as they aired.

    Favorite riff: “Let me get out my guitar and practice Sister Golden Hair”

       0 likes

  • 19
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>makes me think the Brains are of the school of thought that confuses witchcraft and related pagan religions with Satanic beliefs and practices

    I think they were just playing along with the movie.

       3 likes

  • 20
    Droppo says:

    I love this episode. One of my favorite of the whole Sci Fi era.

    Reasons why I love it:

    1. Sorry to Pearl fans: but, it has no Pearl. And given that I loathe her character, it makes for the rare Sci Fi ep where I don’t have to fast forward any segments. Beez was very funny and I loved Brain Guy’s “because I want to” line.

    2. The movie. Awkward silences, laugh out loud dialogue, poor acting and an awful story. Perfect.

    3. The riffing is top notch throughout.

    4.5 stars from Droppo.

       2 likes

  • 21
    GizmonicTemp says:

    The host segs are a bit weak for me, but this is a decent, albeit very spooky episode. I have it at a B+, but while watching it last night, I wasn’t that thrilled. It will be moving down soon.

    Check out my full review by clicking my name above.

       1 likes

  • 22
    Hugh Mann says:

    Segment 3 had some fantastic lines from Servo.

    “I have two grandma’s, Mike, I always have. This is the one who kills people, that’s how I tell them apart.”

    “What’s that, Grandma? Big? Slow? Tempting target? Believe me, I know, but you just can’t.”

    Maybe I’m just a sucker for badly filmed, painfully paced, melodramatic 70′s movies with the obligatory dreary ending, but this one has been a favorite of mine for a while. It seems like any episode without a huge hype surrounding it was much easier to watch and enjoy without waiting for “ROFL moments”. However, the riffing WAS pretty solid in this one and M&TB seemed to be having fun with it.

    “I love the yelling channel.”

    “Nice door. I’d like to see it crumpled up next to my bed in the…oh, wait…”

    “DIE! DIE! DIE! I mean, hello.”

       2 likes

  • 23
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    Funny riffs, but not some of my favorite host segments (e.g., Wassail) and the movie is just so dismally dull with a dumb, oft repeated general premise. An average episode for me. I do like “this is where the fish lives”. One of the greatest “huh?” pieces of dialogue in any low budget movie ever!

       0 likes

  • 24
    jjb3k says:

    I haven’t commented on an episode guide in a while, but I’m back!

    This is one of those handful of SciFi episodes that can make me laugh just as hard as a good Season 4-7 Comedy Central episode. The movie’s never-ending supply of pauses gives Mike and the bots plenty of time to fill in their own jokes, and there’s so much to work with. It reaches its zenith in the flashback sequence, where it’s just one gut-buster after another (“Yea…” “Team”, “It’s people saying ‘burn the witch’, are you deaf?”, “Oh, and go Packers, too, but mostly burn the witch”, “Well, I don’t comb my hair with rat bones!”, etc.) It also gives us my all-time favorite religious themed riff: “Pay attention to the word of God” “For he loves you, and he may kill you if you don’t.” That about sums it up, doesn’t it?

    Beez as Steffi is hilarious. I’m guessing Mary Jo was off in LA to film the Leonard Maltin stuff for next week, which would explain Pearl’s absence here. Leave it to the Brains to devise a clever way to fill in the gap in the cast. “No! No bark!”

       0 likes

  • 25
    Apollonia James (yeah, right) says:

    I sure love the Yelling Channel… LOL

       4 likes

  • 26
    Kevin says:

    So little to say about such a Fantastic Episode, Sampo? People may have to watch it more than once, but I count this as Mystie Masterpiece. The riffs are phenomenal the whole way through and I for one found the host segments superb, which is a rarity. I still sing the Bot’s version of Wassail during the holiday season; Oh who am I kidding? I sing it all year long:

    “Love and Joy come to you,
    Unless you can’t provide the Wassail,
    Then severe financial penalties shall come to you,
    And severe financial penalties to you.”

    Crow: “Talk Quicker!” ’nuff said

       1 likes

  • 27
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    “What do you do when you fall from grace?
    You only get cast into perdition.”

    Many of my favorite riffs come from early in the movie, during the opening driving sequence: “Get off the road, Man-goat!” “Hasta luego, Maverick-driving Clutie!” I also love all the “continuing dialog” riffs: during the evening scene between Jodie and Melissa at the pond, with Servo picking up on the whole “Stop it!” exchange, and the “Stay here!” routine between him and Mike shortly thereafter Then there’s my favorite; when Robert Easton’s character comments about the woman losing her “young’un”, Mike adds, “Lost her at Gymboree.”

    I fall into the “Sometimes you have to let Art flow” camp when it comes to these movies & their plots, but I am really lost with this one. So Melissa saved her sister, but then she herself burns her at the end of the movie? The devil refers to Lucinda as a witch, and Melissa herself says, “Burn, Witch!” toward the end, so was Lucinda really supposed to be a witch, and if so, when did she become one? What exactly was Melissa’s purpose in calling Jodie; was it to save herself from Satan? If so, that didn’t work out so well. Who exactly are Luther and Molly, and are they really Satan’s minions, or are they decent farm folk who just happen to live with an old witch and her even older sister? Seriously, a very WTF sort of movie.

    “Good, so we’re both in the clutches of the devil because you wanted seconds!”

       1 likes

  • 28
    ck says:

    Well, I’ve seen this more then once but I have to admit
    I’ve been no more successful then Crow in spotting Clu
    Gulagher. No wait, perhaps he’s cleverly disguised as
    the old farmer with the cow fetish at the beginning! Hmm?

    Oh, and another point, since Joel made Tom Servo, why did he
    make two TS grandmas and apparently no TS grandpas?
    Think about it, won’t you?

       0 likes

  • 29

    Just a quick note on my favorite bit, and it’s in the host segments:

    Steffi: Yes, Brian?
    Observer: No, it’s Brain. I mean, Brain GUY. I mean… OBSERVER! Oh, never mind.

    A friend of mine and I kind of get a little irritated…. the movie clearly establishes during the flashback that Lucinda is Melissa’s SISTER, and yet Mike and the Bots continue with the premise that she’s her grandmother until the end of the film. Were the Brains not even paying attention to these things?

       1 likes

  • 30
    Sitting Duck says:

    Stan recently made a couple of acquisitions.

    In the very strange role-playing game setting Low Life (once described as post-post-post-post-apocalypse where players take on the roles of surviving life-forms such as cockroaches and snack cakes), one of the religions is Stanism. In the description, “Stan is the granddaddy of lies and deceit. He’s the great granddaddy of greed and averice and the second cousin twice removed of apathy, gluttony, and villainy. His brother is anger and his daughter is lust.”

       0 likes

  • 31
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    Who are Luther and Molly ? My thoughts in descending order of plausibility.

    They are Melissa’s descendants. You think Jodie was the first young stud to wander by and get trapped in the Strickland web ? They could be her children or her grandchildren. I do get kind of a “grown children of elderly parents” vibe from them. Jodie will father some kids with Melissa, who will grow up and replace Luther and Molly someday.

    They are Melissa’s victims… You think Jodie was the first young stud to wander by and get trapped in the Strickland web ? They could be earlier unfortunate passers by ( either separately or as a couple ) that got drawn in and trapped and more or less forced to do her bidding. They are supportive of Melissa, but not unquestionably so, they don’t seem to be in her thrall, they still have some vestige of free will.

    They are themselves demons, either provided by Satan, or brought forth by Endora’s I mean Melissa’s own powers. Seems unlikely, but I can’t really put my reasons into words.

    As for Lucinda, I’ll say that she was indeed a witch ( the dirt stupid town folk got it right ). Melissa saves her witch sister and herself becomes a witch. And in Jodie we have the bookend to the story, where he, to save his witch, must in turn become one himself.

    Finally, I assume that there must be some elaborate cover story to explain why Melissa has been hanging around for the past century or so and hasn’t aged a day. The modern-day town folk are right to be suspicious.

       2 likes

  • 32
    kismetgirl88 says:

    I love the “This where the fish lives” line and all joke made because of it. Also who knew walnut ranching wad such hard work.

       1 likes

  • 33
    Gummo says:

    Yup, gotta love the banal 70s looks-like-a-TV-movie-but-isn’t school of filmmaking where absolutely nothing happens (well, except for the occasional fromikidal maniac running around) but it doesn’t happen reaaaaalllly slowly and portentously.

    A feast for Mike & the bots, and for all of us watching. Steffi the Babysitter is one of the great host bit themes ever, and Beez, Bill & Kevin play it for all it’s worth.

    “This is where the fish lives,” pops up in conversation around the Gummo household at the most inappropriate times. Then again, when would that sentence ever be appropriate?

    Unlike some other commenters, I found Melissa the irresistable siren to be as plain as flat seltzer, which of course only makes the whole thing funnier.

    In conclusion just let me say, “No! No chew!!”

       0 likes

  • 34
    Jamie says:

    Damn! The fish moved and didnt leave a fowarding address!
    Now, I’m gonna puke on the Maverick!

       1 likes

  • 35
    Kyle S says:

    This is one of my all-time favorite episodes. Funny host segments and strong riffing throughout.

    “Yep, pretty much a shutout for Satan.”

       0 likes

  • 36
    Steve Vil says:

    This is my favorite episode EVER. I watch it again and again and it always makes me laugh. It’s the first episode (after the movie) that I show newbies. “This is where my TONGUE lives” always kills me!

       1 likes

  • 37
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    Infinite love for this episode. At least 15 viewings, and it never gets old. The seventies horror films are probably my favorite fodder for the sci-fi era Brains. This one especially has that made-for-tv feel about it. So does It Lives by Night, and to a lesser extent, Track of the Moon Beast. This episode has one of my favorite riffs that I like to make when I or someone else mispronounces a word.

    “Is that right? I should check my dictionotomy.”

    Zaa everyone!

       0 likes

  • 38
    Insect Man #47 says:

    This is one of my favorites, and the big reason is it was filmed in my Home Town of Santa Ynez, California. The scene in the grocery store was filmed at the little rip-off mart in “downtown” Santa Ynez, about three blocks from my parent’s house. Many of the roads Jodie drives on in the opening of the movie are roads I travelled many many times as a teenager. It doesn’t change the fact that the movie is a dud, but it makes it fun to watch!

       1 likes

  • 39
    norgavue says:

    This episode makes me want some CARNATION ICE CREAM. It’s a movie that is bad and boring but in that seventies bad and boring that makes it funny on its own. Add mike and the bots and you get a good episode. The host segements contain one of my favorite rants when brain guy questions the whole green eggs and ham conflict. Favorite riff “I love the yelling channel”

       0 likes

  • 40
    Ator In Flight says:

    I love this episode,one of the best SciFi era.

    Stop it.

    Some funny riffs on the deputy. “Andy there was a demon in the car.”
    “Will he even fit in the iron maiden?”

    Stop it.

       1 likes

  • 41
    Timber says:

    This one did not leave a great impression on me in my first viewing, but on later viewings it’s grown on me. It has that ’70′s Drive In Theater’ quality to it that lends itself to riffing pretty well. Not a classic episode, but still very good.

       0 likes

  • 42
    Brandon says:

    Yes, Beez is very pretty, but I think she’s married, so I guess she’s hands-off. Sad

    “I sure hope he said peanuts.” That one gets me too.

    “She’s an old person!”
    Crow: “They don’t know what they’re doing half the time.

    *grandma breaks down front door*
    Servo: “It was open!”

    “This is where my tongue lives.”

    “Okay, kids. This is where we’ll picnic– whathe? AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!”

       1 likes

  • 43
    ZombiManos says:

    i concur…there is just something about this episode that makes it one of my absolute favorites…

    a line that literally made me laugh so hard i double over in pain…

    the grandmother/sister is looking in the mirror and smiling..and mike yells out “who’s got it going on?? ME!! that’s who!”

    this or girl in gold boots definately gets a spin for any newbies

       2 likes

  • 44
    JCC says:

    “You know with Mitchum you can skip a week” had me rolling, just the way Mike says it. “Maverick driving Clootie” has been running through my mind for the past wwek or so. Not one of my faves when it was originally released, but I enjoy it a lot more know.

       0 likes

  • 45
    Scott says:

    Favorite riff ” Lucinda, guess who we saw in town”.

       0 likes

  • 46
    Kevin says:

    Insect Man # 47:
    Do you stay well- stocked with CARNATION ICE CREAM? Grin

    “This song is in
    The public domain,
    That’s why we used it TWICE.”

       0 likes

  • 47
    Edge10 says:

    In a call-back to last weekend, I put this in to the highly overrated category.

    The movie is a snoozefest of ugly people doing very little in boring ways.

       0 likes

  • 48
    MiqelDotCom says:

    So-so episode. 3 stars.

    Funny, but not as side-splittingly funny as some of the other 1970′s films they riffed.
    The movie is bad(and dull) but isn’t outstandingly bad, when compared with other low budget horror flicks of that era. The scariest part is at the end credits when the scrolling overlay jumps the track.

    The riffing is okay, but it doesn’t produce many loud laughs and the host segments are not too memorable (though it’s nice to see Beez in a speaking role & her interactions with Observer are pretty funny).

    “Hallmark Hall of Fame presents: The Touch of Satan”
    “This is where my tongue lives”

       1 likes

  • 49
    Creeping Terror says:

    Love this episode. I think “This is where the fish lives,” is such a wonderful rare bad movie line. A similarly bad movie line is John Malkovich’s first line in “Eragon.” With no context whatsoever in the very first line in his very first appearance in the movie is, “I suffer without my stone.” Hehe.

    Jody and Melissa are just another in an endless parade of MST3K screen couples who don’t seem to have any chemistry whatsoever between them. Just like Derek and Betty in “Teenagers from Outer Space,” Mike and Margaret in “Manos,” or any couple from a Coleman Francis movie, I can’t imagine any sort of parallel universe where Jody and Melissa would actually get together. His only appealing quality is his car and her only appealing quality is the fact that she’ll talk to him. How did these two get cast?

    Emby Mellay never appeared in any other movies. I wonder what ever happened to her…

    The theology of this movie is confusing. As I pointed out in last weekend’s discussion, Satan’s voice changes gender, it’s never clear why Melissa’s grandma-sister is so long-lived when it was Melissa was the witch. (Or were the townspeople right and the sister was a witch?) Why did doing the nasty with Melissa cause her to show her true age?

    I get a kick out of the long pauses. They’re the perfect setup for a riff.

       1 likes

  • 50
    mikek says:

    Sampo: “In segment 2, Mike climbs a ladder and we can see that he is wearing some pretty fruity sandals, if you ask me.”

    I think so too. Those sandals were an unfortunate trend in men’s footwear during the late ’90s.

       0 likes

  • 51

    Who is Beez and how come everyone seems to know who she is but me? Mad

       0 likes

  • 52
    MiqelDotCom says:

    Beth “Beez” McKeever – she was Magic Voice & “prop diva” in the Sci-fi seasons.

       1 likes

  • 53
    Colossus Prime says:

    “The theology of this movie is confusing. As I pointed out in last weekend’s discussion, Satan’s voice changes gender, it’s never clear why Melissa’s grandma-sister is so long-lived when it was Melissa was the witch. (Or were the townspeople right and the sister was a witch?) Why did doing the nasty with Melissa cause her to show her true age?”

    The Satan’s voice changing thing is one of the better aspects of the movie. The voice is that of the actor/actress talking to him adding a very creepy aspect to it.

    And the true age showing at that point, I assumed, was because she killed her sister. The timing of it was to coincide with giving Jodie a reason to sell his soul.

       1 likes

  • 54
    Fred P says:

    I’m with Sampo on this one. The first time I watched it on tv I caught after it started and it didn’t catch my attention. I watched it again later and was immediately hooked with the “sight see on your own time beelezebub” and “get off the road mangoat” but I did an actual spit take when crow says “I sure hope he said peanuts”. Horrid movie excellent episode. LOL

       0 likes

  • 55
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    I think Melissa aged-up because she had given herself to Jodie in an act of true love, breaking her commitment to Satan. The old fairy tell bit of true love breaking the spell. At that point Satan is no longer held to his end of the bargain and she goes all elderly on us.

       1 likes

  • 56

    Oh, cool, thanks. She’s a cutie!

       0 likes

  • 57
    rcfagnan says:

    Boy, now I’m hungry for some CARNATION ICE CREAM! This is one of those eps that I wouldn’t count as one of my favorites, then I watch it and I laugh out loud. For some reason, it just doesn’t stick in my memory, though that may be a self-defense mechanism at work trying to get the imagery of our two leads going at it at the end of the movie. Love how Observer continues to be stripped of all dignity even though he is arguably the most intelligent character on the show. The delivery on “not because I have to, but because I WANT to” kills me every time.

       0 likes

  • 58

    I actually saw this movie on Shock Theater as a kid. The part where the farmer is killed was terrifying! I don’t remember much more so maybe I was too scared to watch the rest.

       0 likes

  • 59
    Roman Martel says:

    This is an enjoyable episode for me. I’ve grown to like it more with each viewing, but the slow pace of the movie keeps it from really hitting the highest marks. Still the pauses seem tailor made for riffing and Mike and bots do a great job with it. Slow movies take a lot of energy in the riffing to keep them interesting and I think they did a great job with it. I give it four fish out of five.

    Check out my full review here by clicking on my name.

       0 likes

  • 60
    monoceros4 says:

    “One of the episodes that makes me think the Brains are of the school of thought that confuses witchcraft and related pagan religions with Satanic beliefs and practices. Blah blah blah…”

    They’re not taking my watered-down Crowleyism seriously! They must be fundie Bible-thumpers! Uh-huh.

    This episode peaks early for me. I’m a Rush fan so the squeaky rendition of “The Trees” cracked me up but I don’t remember many laughs afterward. I don’t remember even finishing this one, actually.

       3 likes

  • 61
    ck says:

    What’s a “prop diva”? Confused

       1 likes

  • 62
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I agree with #54 about the opening scene where the farmer is killed. Really frightening and very effective. The unseen killer, the hand that lunges in to grab the doll (MAMA!), it all works really well…except they really could have held the suspense a bit longer instead of having Gramma Kramer falling through the screen door immediately after. Sort of just whizzes the creepiness down the film’s leg, for me anyway. I do also find the scene with the cop getting killed IMMENSELY creepy. I didn’t notice the first few viewings just how long Gramma is there lurking behind the tree…

    I had always understood that Tom Laughlin of Billy Jack fame directed this movie under an alias. That is right, isn’t it?

       1 likes

  • 63
    CG says:

    “This is where MY TONGUE lives!”

    If I may be so bold, Sampo, I have a suggestion for a weekend topic. MST3K did so many “horror” movies that were anything but. However, was there ever a movie that actually creeped you out a bit? Maybe not full-throttle horrified you, but definitely gave you the shivers at some parts?

    This was one of those movies for me. As hilarious as it is, certain scenes from this movie gave me the heebie-jeebies, and I don’t even scare that easily. Lucinda the Grandma is seriously freaky. (“I haven’t been this upset since McKinley went down!”) The “Satanic credits” at the end that rewound themselves kinda creeped me out; I don’t blame Mike and the Bots a bit for running out of there. But the REALLY scary part for me was when the cop is on his CB, and the grandma sneaks up behind him and kills him. What’s unsettling is that you can actually see her in the distance over his shoulder when he’s making his call, and she sneaks up on him and asdfdsafdsfads it creeped me out. Even the opening theme on the DVD is sort of foreboding.

    Servo’s grandma, on the other hand, is ADORABLE. (“Isn’t she spry?”)

    Oh, and random trivia: .za is the Internet country code domain name for South Africa. (Kind of like .uk for the United Kingdom and .fr for France.) And as I learned from my friend’s Scrabble-addicted mom, “za” is also a word that you can use in Scrabble; it means “pizza.” So remember that, the next time you’re deadlocked in Scrabble!

    Other good lines: a bunch mentioned here, especially “I love the yelling channel!”, “I sure hope he said peanuts,” and “What do you get when you fall from grace…”, not to mention the rest of the opening drive. I also liked “Kramer Grandma!” and another line from the opening credits, “Well he must be Satan, he didn’t signal his left turn!”

       3 likes

  • 64
    H says:

    Although The Touch of Satan is a ‘bad touch’, it’s a pretty decent episode. The movie, what the hell? That’s all I have to say about that. The host segments were good, lots of fun stuff going on there, especially with Beez as Steffi. She’s always a lot of fun.

       1 likes

  • 65
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “Touch Conners of Satan.” How’d they miss that one?

    Zaa!

    Boing!

    Adjka!

    Staaaaaaaaaaay!

    Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

    And it just goes on like that.

       1 likes

  • 66
    Trilaan says:

    monoceros4 says:
    March 11, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    “They’re not taking my watered-down Crowleyism seriously! They must be fundie Bible-thumpers! Uh-huh.”

    + 10 points for having an idea who Aleister Crowley was.
    - 5 points for not quite understanding my previous post.

    Look, MST3K Mantra aside, there are multiple episodes featuring what can be construed as a fundamentalist attitude towards this subject on their parts. However, my intention was not to accuse the Brains of being such or put them down for it; but to express my hopes that they really are not and let it go. Afterall, despite the initial annoyance I feel when the subject is brought up in an episode it in no way detracts from my love for them and all that they have done. All I’m looking for in them and others(thanks touches no one’s life, then leaves: Post #19) is a better understanding.

    Explanation ends.

       2 likes

  • 67
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    Oh, just remembered possibly my favorite part of the movie!

    Melissa: “Would you like to come and see it?”
    Jodie: ” …the ranch? Why?”
    Mike, quietly: “Smooth.”

       1 likes

  • 68
    creepygirl says:

    I also really enjoy this episode and gave it 4 stars up top. Many of the great riffs have already been mentioned, but the one that always floors me is:

    “Walnut ranch?…How many head?”

    This is the first time in weeks I didn’t rewatch the episode before our disscussions, so the quote may be paraphrased.

       1 likes

  • 69
    NormalView82 says:

    I’ve always been thankful that this was a Rhino release so that we get easy to navigate chapter selections, because this episode contains my favorite host segments (not counting the perplexing wassail nonsense).

    Brain Guy and Bobo’s reactions to Beez as Steffi are hilarious. “Brian”, “Cow” and “No chew!” are just classic bits. I never realized until that other poster mentioned it, but the absence of Pearl really upped the comedy levels (no disrespect to Mary Jo). Bobo and Brain Guy sending films might have been much more enjoyable.

    But truly it is Servo’s Grandma that sends me into hysterics. The weak pokes with the pitchfork, the incoherent mumbling, her designation as the “Grandma that kills people”. The portrayal of her behavior as a minor nuisance just puts it over the top.

    So much fun.

       0 likes

  • 70
    fish eye no miko says:

    I’m glad you mentioned the intro, cuz, yeah, that bugs me, too. I think it’s the only one of these little intros I always skip. But that’s a minor quibble. I really love this episode. The riffing, the host segs; heck I even kinda like the movie itself.
    Fave riff:
    > “What brings you out here?”
    “And if you say, ‘My squad car’, I’ll chainsaw you in half.”

       0 likes

  • 71

    The host segments are hilarious, and Beez is terrific. The movie is almost impossible to get through, and this is another one where I’m assuming people fawn over it because it’s a relatively newer movie, and they haven’t seen the CC episodes for comparison.

       1 likes

  • 72

    I LOVE this ep!

    For me, the is the “Manos” of the Sci-Fi years. I watch it over and over, head falling off every time.

    The movie is icky and evil in a “Manos”-y way, and the riffing hits the bullseye again and again.

    Flies high on the MST freak flag.

       2 likes

  • 73
    kt says:

    #34 Melissa and the fish became lovers and he sold his soul to the devil. When they broke up he moved to Florida, changed his name to Devil Fish and was hunted down by Europeans pretending to be Americans.

       4 likes

  • 74
    Leslie says:

    Ah, The Touch of Satan…one of the first episodes I ever remember seeing as a kid, and it’s still, usually, the first one I show to my friends who are new to MST (and it always wins them over. I had one friend who went around the rest of the day Zaaa!ing everybody). I’d probably rank it in my top 5 favorite episodes.

    The movie is dull and poorly acted with a baffling plot, but for whatever reason, it’s not that hard to watch. I always appreciate it when the audio, film print, etc. is clear. This makes it a lot less of a chore trying to follow the movie. Note- at the end, I’m a little confused as to why Mellisa turns old. I know the Devil tricked her, she says he cheated her (prompting Mike’s “Man, if you can’t trust the devil!…”) She thought if she could find someone to love her…meh, never mind, I don’t feel like figuring out this plot.

    But it’s not really the movie that I’m interested in, of course. The riffing in this episode is top notch.

    The last days of Edgar Winter.

    Odd, disturbing score co-written by Mike Post and Igor Stravinsky.

    I think it’s Tony Musante as a kind of hip Satan that solves crimes.

    Well, the plot isn’t gonna unfold itself!

    Oh, bosh!
    Oh, Hieronymous!

    And the host segments are pretty good too! I am not the biggest fan of sci-fi era host segments, but the wassail bit killed me. Mainly because my friends and I already had some in jokes about wassail.

    Oddly, I don’t remember the other host segments in this episode that well. I don’t know if that means they weren’t memorable because I didn’t like them, or what. But now I really want to go watch this one again – it’s been a while!

    All in all – like I said – this is one of my favorites.

       2 likes

  • 75
    Wampa Joe says:

    I made Wassail this past Christmas in tribute to the episode. It was in no means skunky.

    I’ll agree that this is an episode that kind of sneaks into your favorites list. It’s kind of odd how this has held up and gotten stronger with repeat viewings, while Puma Man has gone down in my rankings. It’s the quiet, less obvious films that stand the test of time.

    As I understand it, the Stricklands are the grandchildren of Jodi or an unseen sibling of Jodi. It’s never explained, but that’s the only reason I can think of that they’d play this role. It’s the dirty little family secret that they house two witches.

       2 likes

  • 76
    fathermushroom says:

    “No madam, I am not cranky; I am overtired.”

       3 likes

  • 77
    Dr. Batch says:

    The “Green Eggs & Ham” bit is one of the funniest host segments I can think of. Cracks me up every time. Brain Guy’s best moment.

       0 likes

  • 78
    Clint says:

    I love this episode. “This is where my TONGUE lives.”

    And I also always appreciated the wassail song, with the legalese lyrics.

       1 likes

  • 79
    daltysmilth says:

    Semi-obscure Monty Python reference: “Melissa ‘Two Sheds’ Strickland” and “I guess now she’s Melissa ‘No Sheds’ Strickland”.

    One of my favorite riffs:

    “Uh… uh… we was just uh… burnin’ the uh… uh… YOU tell him!”

       0 likes

  • 80
    Chief?McCloud! says:

    @ #6 (fellow car-nut, I presume?) …the ‘Grabber’ edition Maverick was pretty cool in the 70′s, prices are climbing on that car now.

    I may be a poor judge of ‘cool’. I’m posting online to a cancelled ‘puppet show’.

    I do know I love the Screwtape & Wormwood reference early on during the opening credits. I always laugh at something new on this ep.

       0 likes

  • 81
    This Guy says:

    So, how many head o’ walnut do you have?

    My prize walnut died today.

    If you’re lucky, you can help calve a walnut!

    Great episode. One thing that really struck me was how really terrible the print they had was. There’s dirt and scratches all over it, and of course the bit during the aborted end credits where it suddenly runs backwards for a second. Satan’s evil must have been causing the film to deteriorate.
    Our male lead here was in desperate need of Chinderwear. He could probably get crumbs caught in his chin-cleft.
    When Jodie is looking at the bookshelf, Servo says “there’s a copy of the NecroMONicon,” mispronouncing NecroNOMicon. It isn’t a real book anyway, but still. Ah, well.
    Melissa is actually kind of cute, sort of a rarity in MSTed movies, but far better is The Deadly Beez as Steffi. Saaay!
    Robert Easton shows his facility with dialects and accents again. There were a lot of movies in the MST canon that could have used his input as a coach (The Atomic Brain leaps to mind.) He was memorable as the Klingon judge in Star Trek VI. When that guy sentences you, he damn well means it (even if you get out of prison because you’re the heroes.)

       0 likes

  • 82
    duckpin says:

    I, too, loved this episode. I actually didn’t think this movie was all that bad, even though Servo thought someone dropped a grape Nehi on it. And Emby Mellay is cute!

    I also liked that Jody drove a Maverick. I was born in ’76, and one of our cars was a blue four-door 1974 Maverick.

       1 likes

  • 83
    MonkeyPatrol:InColor says:

    Really really really love this episode. Up to now I haven’t shared a “grew on me” experience with the MSTies on this site, but THE TOUCH OF SATAN did just that with me. One of the great Sci Fi-era episodes. Though I tend to prefer the CC era over the SciFi era, this episode is part of the most solid all-around MST box set.

    So many great riffs in this one, but my favorites are those involving “Grandma Kramer” Lucinda:

    “Good day today; took a walk, got that dress sewn. Killed.”

    “I suppose you’re gonna blame this on me!”

    “I prefer the left side of the bed.”

    Usually the movie itself doesn’t make much of a difference to me as long as the riffing is good, but there is something really watchable about this horrid piece of crap film. The story, while preposterous and full of holes, is oddly compelling.

    And what happened to Emby Mellay? She obviously didn’t have a lick of acting skill, but you’d think with her looks and a handle like that she’d at least have a few hits on Google that weren’t related to TTOS/MST3K.

       0 likes

  • 84
    snowdog says:

    Great ep!

    Fave riff: “Man, the walnuts are tearing through the hay!” In fact, I loved all the walnut ranch jokes. “How many head of walnut do you have?” “Look out! Walnut stampede!”

       3 likes

  • 85
    Cornjob says:

    My parents were both philosophy majors and my dad taught philosophy for 2 years at Fullerton. This background gives me a keen apreciation for absurd logic (anything I don’t believe exists doesn’t) and goofy theology, like in Soultaker, Pumaman, and this movie. I got the impression that this was intended to be a pagan movie and someone in marketing slapped satan on the title either because they didn’t understand the difference between paganism and satanism, or they figured the audiance would be more likely to go see a satan movie than a pagan one.

    Gorgo Mormo 1000 faced moon is a pagan thing. But the christians often took pagan gods ands recast them as demons (Ishtar to Astaroth, Pan into a cloven hoofed devil), so maybe the filmaker was himself continuing a previous confusion/conflation of dieties. Gorgo Mormo is never identified directly as satan, and I’m not sure the name satan is ever even mentioned outside of the title.

    I always was unclear what Gorgo even wanted from the bargain. “Recognize me”? What? In a line up? Diplomaticly? Why the brunette and her parents(?) didn’t age but her sister did never made sense. Or why she killed her sister after saving her and making her live as a horribly burned rotting homicidal prune for more than a century. I think this movie was made by one of a breed of passionate ignorant monotheists who don’t understand their own religeon let alone others.

       3 likes

  • 86
    GonzoRedux says:

    #72 I agree. This is way up there on the icky scale. I’ve found that I can’t eat certain foods while watching certain episodes of MST3K just because movies like this make my stomach crawl. Manos is probably the only ickier one in my book ( I can’t drink soda crackers and Sprite during Manos)

       0 likes

  • 87
    bad wolf says:

    I really enjoy this movie+episode, but i didn’t see it until it came out on DVD. After a while i realized the Brain Guy/Steffi interaction really reminded me of Stewie on ‘Family Guy’; and was several years ahead of its time! Very good.

       0 likes

  • 88
    Finnias Jones says:

    Another question I have about the deal-with-the-devil is why was Lucinda killing people? Were they more blood sacrifices to keep the sisters alive? Or are they random acts of madness? The cop killing seemed to be to keep the authorities off her trail, but it really only raises more attention to the ranch. She repeatedly says “No” to Melissa, as if she wants to prevent Jodie from becoming ensnared in the curse, but her craziness makes things worse for him. Lucinda was scarred by the witch-burning but is kept alive, in an aging body. Melissa got to keep her looks, and though cursed, seems OK with it.

    Maybe Lucinda has been “acting out” in order to force Melissa to finally free her from the deal that she got the bad end of.

    I agree with Medium’s theory @ #31: the “parents” were actually offspring of Melissa. Or victims, like Jodie.

    And I disagree with Mike’s theory @ #71: I have watched every episode of this show, start to finish, a number of times, and my love for this episode has only increased over the years.

       1 likes

  • 89
    Insect Man #47 says:

    Kevin – No one I knew ever bought anything there because the mark up was something like 50 percent higher than the supermarket in Solvang. The little store in the movie was actually run by two Native American Lesbians, believe it or not.

       0 likes

  • 90
    KJB says:

    “Pretty car.”
    “Mind if I skip rocks across it?”

    Maybe I just have a soft spot for this early-Seventies badness, but this episode is definitely one of my favorites. Nice to know that I’m not the only one who thinks that 1) Melissa is pretty dang cute (Probably one of the hotter MST babes, in my book) and 2) Granny is genuinely creepy (The deputy-killing scene that CG mentions back at #63 still gives me the willies.) Given how thoroughly most MSTed movies fail, one that succeeds in any way (no matter how small) deserves some credit. Speed up the pace and recast Jody and they may have had something.

       1 likes

  • 91
    Lucas D. says:

    Trilaan: If you want understanding, try a little bit harder not to flatly insult the beliefs of roughly 85% of the US and over half the world population next time. It makes people not really care what you choose to believe when you call their deeply-held beliefs “outdated.”

       1 likes

  • 92
    Jose Chung says:

    “If there’s just a touch of satan in your heart.”

    One of the many lines I repeat to this day.

       0 likes

  • 93
    kt says:

    #91- It’s 24.54% of the world population. You’re giving Christianity WAY too much credit.

       7 likes

  • 94
    Trilaan says:

    Time to face facts, nobody can say anything about another person’s religion and not be insulted, that’s just how ridiculously sensitive we are about it. and like major religions of the past most likely even the widespread Christianity will one day all but disappear just like the ancient Greek or Egyptian religions.

       4 likes

  • 95
    Finnias Jones says:

    Amen.

       3 likes

  • 96
    Mac says:

    Since MST3K poked fun at just about everything, why wouldn’t religion be one of them. Hell, I was raised a Catholic and I didn’t get offended by the jokes. I thought they were funny. In fact, I think the show has always been very nice towards religion, especially Christianity. If you watch the early seasons, Joel had the bots praying at times. And in Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, they had a manger set, with Jesus, in Gypsy’s mouth. About the only show in the last 20 years that made the religious connection to the Christmas celebration. One of the great things about the show was that they understood different ways of thinking and told jokes from different perspectives. How many other shows would actually care about ALL their viewers?

    As for The Touch Of Satan, not bad, but not one of my favorites. Beez the babysitter is my favorite moment.

       1 likes

  • 97
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    I had a totally opposite reaction than Sampo (and everybody else, apparently) upon rewatching this. I remember watching this back a few years ago and thinking it was great funny stuff, but on the re-watch, it kinda fell flat for me. Damn, I don’t want to piss in everyone’s lunch pail here, so I will admit there are some chucklers within the riffing (Get off the road, mangoat!) and the Wassailing is good, but the Host Segments are really only 1 out of 3 funny (Servo Grandma is fairly funny) and the Steffi babysitter stuff is only half good. I love Beez, she’s a cutie, and I love her chemistry with Brian, uh Brain Guy, oh Observer, and think they’re great. But the stuff with Bobo being treated like a dog. . . .ugh. Not funny. As far as the movie, damn, you’d think it’d be right up my alley. I love 70′s films, I was born in 1980 so I love color movies, and I totally dig horror movies, and this was a 70′s color horror movie, so hell, I should been all for it, but I found the movie frustratingly bad, sorta annoying, and the riffing was only hitting for me half the time. I guess the speed of (or lack thereof) the film is what did me in. That and the vapid, bland stupidity of all the characters. Don’t totally vilify me, this episode is still better than both British movies this season and The Space Children (maybe) so it’s not like I hate this one or anything. I think it’s just overrated.

    There. I said it. Sorry.

       2 likes

  • 98
    WhereTheFishLives says:

    What can I say.. probably my favorite episode. SOOO many classic riffs. One of the most consistent episodes in the shows history. Starts a little slow and then never looks back. This is where my tongue lives!

       0 likes

  • 99
    Pixiesnix says:

    For me, Hell’s Granny is the glue that holds this movie together. Without her, it’s just a boring story about two bland people hooking up. And I agree with #69, the Nana Servo segment is pure gold, what with her pitchfork poking, elderly mumbling and darling nightgown. And am I mistaken, or is that rubber cement all over Nana Servo’s face?

    And Cornjob, I believe Satan (Or the Devil) is mentioned pretty explicitly. Melissa says she has the Devil inside her, Jodie says he doesn’t believe in the Devil, etc. It’s hard to get a pagan interpretation out of that.

       0 likes

  • 100
    I'm Evil says:

    On this viewing, I definitely enjoyed the episode more than I had in previous viewings (or at least more than I recalled enjoying it). This one is a very good example of the Brains doing something with nothing as this film just takes forever to get going.

    In that vein, I really enjoyed the jokes related to pauses–Servo’s impression of a train driving through the pause, and Crow actually counting seconds in between were aces. I don’t think anyone actually said it during this film, but my inner monologue definitely said “Take your time, movie” a few times.

    On the host segments, just the way Observer said “Steffi” kills me. I was also pretty amused by Grandma Servo and the way you could tell her voice was Kevin making high-pitched psycho granny babble.

    On a separate note, this episode is a good example of why I hated the Rhino packaging, as most of my disks from this volume won’t stay in the case (the prongs popped out of the center). Not exclusive to MST sets, as a couple of my Rhino sets from other shows had this problem (I totally lost an SCTV disc that fell out).

    Well, keep on truckin’, you do your thing, I’ll do mine, Whip Inflation Now.

       0 likes

  • 101
    Warren says:

    If I ever get a cat and a dog, and name them Robert and Andrew respectively, blame this movie. The way Mike says ‘Robert the cat’ just kills me. This is a good episode, not really a favorite but definitely worth rewatching sometimes.

    CANNED wassail?!

       3 likes

  • 102
    DamonD says:

    I’ve given this one a couple of goes before and both times came away feeling pretty neutral about it all. Judging from most of the comments here, perhaps third time will be the charm.

       0 likes

  • 103
    bad wolf says:

    As far as the Brain’s POV goes, i just think of them as always coming from a “midwestern sensibility.” So that may strike some as a little conservative but that doesn’t really fit them at all. They were always willing to take shots at the NY/LA cultural scene as well as Republicans, for instance.

       0 likes

  • 104
    Spector says:

    This episode’s a weird one for me. It has plenty of funny moments from Mike and the ‘Bots, and the sketches with Beez as the babysitter are hilarious, but some of the host segments fall flat (the wassail sketch in particular) and this movie just gives off a creepy vibe that has never gone away after multiple viewings. Unlike truly awful movies like Monster-a-Go-Go or Manos, which are so bad they’re ripe fodder for the Brains to riff upon, I don’t think this one qualifies as a bad movie. With better acting it could’ve been a decent horror movie. Overall it’s a good episode but I don’t consider it amongst the best. 3.5 stars out of five.

       0 likes

  • 105
    Trilaan says:

    Yes, I agree with you on that, bad wolf. That’s another reason why it irks me but I get over it quickly since you can’t blame someone for growing up the only way they knew how, even if the sensibility in question appears to be based in bigotry to you. Aside from that, they DO make fun of everybody with equal aplomb.

       0 likes

  • 106
    Insect Man #47 says:

    As far as I can tell from interviews and such, the guys (and gals) at BB were pretty much standard Minnesota-style liberals. But they were smart enough and sensitive enough to realize that if they said something really offensive about the political right or Christianity or any other religion, they would be alienating a huge chunk of their fan base. I’m a born-again Christian and very proud of it, but I have never been offended by anything the guys or ‘bots said. I think they played it right down the middle, as any really smart entertainer would.

       3 likes

  • 107
    JJK says:

    According to IMDB one of the alternate titles for The Touch of Satan was The Touch of Melissa which sounds like a lot better movie than the one they showed on MST3K.

       1 likes

  • 108
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    And “The Touch of Melissa” sounds like a much better movie than “The Touch of Lucinda”.

       2 likes

  • 109
    DON3k says:

    BTW. I don’t know if any of you have ever had a Walnut tree, but they are a mess. They are not like pecans. Pecans are in a thin husk that self-splits and falls away with no mess, leaving a dry nut to deal with.

    Walnuts form inside a yellowish-green ball of a husk, that’s about the size of an orange.

    http://fastgrowtheweeds.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/img_6934.jpg
    http://z.about.com/d/forestry/1/0/G/l/bwalnut3.jpg

    It’s full of this awful pulp that stains your hands, or anything else it touches, a yellowish green. As a matter of fact, it’s used to create a fabric dye. As they fall to the ground and dry, they turn into these dessicated black balls that, again, stain anything they touch. Running over them with a mower and having them hit something, or stepping on them will stain. Basically, yeah, they’re messy. Still doesn’t explain the need for so much hay.

       3 likes

  • 110
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    hmm… Lucinda… Lucifer… think about it, won’t you ?

       0 likes

  • 111
    Mark D says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmm, Steffi babysitter……… Wink

    Now why could NONE of the babysitters I had growing up, look anything like her !!!!!!!! Rolls Eyes

       0 likes

  • 112
    Mark D says:

    Uh, sorry……………that should have been Steffi “the” babysitter. Oops!

       0 likes

  • 113
    Smoothie of Great Power says:

    I can’t think of any kind of intro today so I’ll just say “Zaa!”

    And it might help that I actually Submit my comments on the day I start typing them (had this ready Thursday morning, just now actually submitting it).

    Movie:
    * This is one I never got the chance to show my friends on college. I went to a fairly religious school and who knows what would have happened if word got out that I was showing devil movies.
    * This is indeed one of those movies that would be hard to watch on its own, but the riffing makes it very worthwhile every time. Not in my Top 3 for this season, but definitely in the Top 5.
    * I find it interesting that in the opening scenes the family really does sound like they’re talking about what just happened to the farmer.
    * My theory is that Luther and Molly are other members of the Strickland family who were entrusted with taking care of Melissa and Lucinda, but aren’t direct descendants of David Strickland.
    * Like Paul says, I look forward to seeing Robert Easton again each time I watch this.
    * Called riff: “S’me.” – “Is Captain Hook there?”
    * Favorite riffs:
    “Well now Andy I think there was a demon in the car!” – Mike
    “Talk. Quicker!” – Crow
    “I sure love the yelling channel.” – Servo

    Host Segments:
    * At this point, nothing to say that hasn’t already been said.
    * Favorite line: “Enjoy the great taste of wassail. In cans!”

    Things I Learned from this Episode:
    * Sweat yourself thin with walnut ranching!
    * David Spade as Satan really is a good casting choice.
    * The fish can indeed tell you where it lives.
    * The Warrior of the Lost World’s victory fist is also the sign to summon the devil.

       1 likes

  • 114
    The Toblerone Effect says:

    This is one of those eps that grew on me after repeat viewings. It’s also one of those films that could be better if re-written at certain points; even with its incompetence, there is a certain creepiness that is conveyed, and I assume that’s what the director was going for. Mike and the ‘bots also do a great job riffing, and the host segments are good for afew laughs.

    Final thought: “ZAAAA!” is right up there with “Otchka!” (from Incredible Melting Man) as the funniest nonsensical lines in any MST movie.

       2 likes

  • 115
    Roland Warner says:

    It’s my understanding that the books Mike and the bots read on the SoL are intended to be part of the experiment in awfulness. Dr. F and Pearl sent them the awful books that they read on the show. At least that’s how I’ve always understood it.

       0 likes

  • 116

    Wow! The IMDB says that Robert Easton was a “quiz kid” back in the 1940′s and that he’s an expert in dialects and trains other actors how to speak with foreign accents. I knew that I’d heard him speaking with an English accent is some movies. And he was born in Wisconsin but I guess he mostly grew up in Texas.

       1 likes

  • 117
    Josh B. Taylor says:

    This one makes me laugh, I think my favorite joke is right in the beginning of the titles when Tom says “The Touch of Satan softens your hands while you do the dishes.” Always makes me laugh. LOL

       1 likes

  • 118
    mikek says:

    “ZA!” would have made a good stinger had there been the, “This is where the fish lives,” line.

       0 likes

  • 119
    me says:

    “had there not been the,………”

       0 likes

  • 120

    “I’m not going back, Jim!”

    Honestly, who wrote the dialogue in this movie? There are so many lines that are so completely ridiculous that even George Lucas would have to step back and say, “Maybe I should rephrase.” “I bet you have nine boyfriends” and “This is where the fish lives” seem like the sort of thing someone with very limited command of the English language would say, and even that’s only because English isn’t their first language. And how did we make it this far without anyone mentioning “fromikidal maniacs?”

    The episode as a whole is pretty good. It almost seems to be tailor-made for riffing, what with the long pauses and aforementioned ludicrous dialogue. Plenty of good lines from the guys (agreed with #101 that Mike’s “Robert the cat” kills me every time), but this one seems almost too easy for them.

    Host segments are solid. The wassailing sketch is great, and only gets better the closer you listen to Crow’s phone order as part of Mike “severe financial penalties” (what does he need a porcelain cat for?). The dynamic between Observer and Steffi is great, though I too found the “Bobo treated like dog” bit to be a little grating. The others are decent to excellent, and I always enjoy references to Crow being made of molybdenum. While this is probably the episode from Volume 5 I watch the least, that’s mostly because the others are all personal favorites; I’ll still watch this any time over any episode from Volume 3.

       1 likes

  • 121
    MonkeyPatrol:InColor says:

    Fromikidal! I always forget about that bit until I’m actually watching this episode. The mark of a bad movie–they take a little piece of quaint character development and hammer it to death within 30 seconds.

       0 likes

  • 122
    Tim S. Turner says:

    Add me to the list of Steffi lovers. Damn, but she’s cute! “NO BARK!”

       1 likes

  • 123
    daltysmilth says:

    Insect Man, while most of the brains might call themselves liberals, Mike has said in interviews that he considers himself a conservative. For whatever that’s worth.

       0 likes

  • 124
    William B. says:

    “Who’s got it going on? ME, that’s WHO!” *Shudder* Old granny-sis mummy scares the beejeebers outta me. Ugh, lol.

    I always insert my own riff at the beginning as they enter the theater. The “Dundee Productions” tag seemed like a missed opportunity to me. In hackneyed Paul Hogan voice: “That’s not a production – THIS is a production!”

       0 likes

  • 125
    mikek says:

    Old Lucinda is really creepy. I’m glad I never found this movie on TV when I was a kid in the ’80s. I’m sure that I would have been scared of the old lady.

    I like the part of the movie when she’s having her freak out.

    “They turned me down for the policy! They said it couldn’t happen!”

    Then she charges out of the room with that chair and knocks down Luther and his wife.

    “I knew I could take ya! I could take the whole family!”

       2 likes

  • 126
    JeremyR says:

    The Gorgo-Mormo thing was also used in one of HP Lovecraft’s stories (The Horror at Red Hook). So that actually might have been the inspiration for its use in this, since he is kind of a famous horror author…

       1 likes

  • 127
    fathermushroom says:

    I seem to be the only human alive who thinks the guy actually said, “ZAP!” in the grocery store. That would be more like a witch’s whammy, wouldn’t it?

    I just think the soundtrack didn’t catch it very well. Zap.

       0 likes

  • 128
    Kilroy says:

    This episode has one of my favorite host segment bits, where Steffi calls Crow by the name of “Cow” and he subconsciously rolls with it.

    Tom: I’m Servo.

    Crow: And I’m Cow!

    Mike: Crow.

    Crow: What?

    Mike: No, you’re Crow.

    Crow: Yeah, I know. Of course I’m Crow. I just said I’m Crow, you great feeb!

    It’s just such a great interaction between them. The whole movie is great, but that is probably my top moment of the episode.

       1 likes

  • 129

    LOL at the “fruity sandals” comment by Sampo. I always notice when he’s wearing those too, being a long time Chuckers wearer.

       0 likes

  • 130
    losingmydignity says:

    One of the great ones…just on the cusp of my top twenty. I’ve watched this so many times I was a little afraid I’d worn it out. But after watching it last night, I can say doubling over with laughter, and laughing so hard I hurt myself is not hyperbole.

    Grandma is comic gold. She may not get as much lovin’ as Torgo and Ortego and such, but she is one of my favorite MST characters as far as riffing goes. “Who’s got it goin’ on. Me. I do!” is in my top five ever riffs. Also great: “I like to sleep on the left side.”

    Has anyone mentioned Tom Laughlin yet? He’s such a weird director. Both this and his Billy Jack films have an “arty” feeling in terms of pacing and even occasional shots (the camera spinning around Melissa Two Shed’s David Cassid-y hair). Did Tom think “This is where the fish lives” was Bergman-y profound? Really the pacing is sooo odd in this film…not just 70′s slow but down right weird…maybe Tom had seen La Adventura or Zabriskie Point before filming this.

    And…even if that were “peanuts” in Luther’s liquor…I mean, peanut liquor? I’ve had homemade vodka made with walnuts before (I’m not kidding) and it’s really quite good though I prefer one I had made from pine. But peanuts?

    Luther obviously has some powers because he so easily handcuffs our hero in the barn. But then again our Cali-dude is so easily distracted. But who the hell is he (Luther) if not her father?

    A

       0 likes

  • 131
    mikek says:

    It’s not peanut liquor. It’s hard apple cider and Luther put some peanuts in the liquor. Maybe they add something to the flavor of the cider or do something for acidity?

    Luther and his wife are either related to Melissa or they are part of a long tradition of people who ran the farm for Melissa and know about her pact with Satan. Considering how sweaty Luther gets, I don’t think Satan is helping him out by making life easy on the farm.

       1 likes

  • 132
    Mark D. says:

    “I seem to be the only human alive who thinks the guy actually said, “ZAP!” in the grocery store. That would be more like a witch’s whammy, wouldn’t it?

    I just think the soundtrack didn’t catch it very well. Zap.”

    NO, “fathermushroom”, you are NOT alone……………every time I hear someone reference the “Za” line, I always find myself thinking, “NO, that makes absolutely NO sense…….he HAD to have said “ZAP” !!!!”

    And I completely agree with your assessment………I think it was just poor audio recording equipment (along with the actor’s “over-enthusiastic” delivery of the word) that failed to satisfactorily pick-up that piece of dialogue. Kind of makes sense for a production that didn’t seem to be exactly “flush with cash”……….. Wink

       0 likes

  • 133
    losingmydignity says:

    Peanuts in apple cider? You’re probably right but I’m going to have to do some research on this one. Evil

       0 likes

  • 134

    Hi, we found this here when i did a fast yahoo search. Fine post you got here! Keep it up!

       0 likes

  • 135
    The Bolem says:

    I didn’t get around to reading all the posts until now, and I don’t want one of the last entries to be a downer, but as good as this one was, it just always felt like it could’ve been a lot better if Mary Jo hadn’t been absent. Not that there was anything in particular missing, but they were such a well-oiled riffing machine by this point that they paid the price when a gear was removed. And though the host segs were all played well, the concept of a babysitter forcing two intelligent characters into a condescending situation always struck me as a bit phoned-in.

    Not that I dislike 908; rather, this is my only “background noise” ep. If a show is on that I like, I’ve a compulsion to give it my undivided attention that prevents me from sleeping or doing anything else, but this one was just as enjoyable if doing something around the house, or even running out to the store, and just checking back in on it occasionally.

    Maybe it’s also that I’ve seen it so many times, as it’s one they never lost the rights to, and came out in the 2nd SciFi box set. Makes it ironic that MJP was absent to film the segments for Gorgo, whose airings you can count on one hand, and isn’t likely to get Shout!ed anytime soon.

    And even stranger is “Gorgo” getting mentioned here, an ep before his MST debut! And someone pointed out the fish moving to Florida, possibly to star in Devilfish…and that guy phoned the devil in Space Children…man, this was the only season I saw in order from start to finish, and I somehow never noticed the great continuity! Who needs a season-8-style story arc?

    Also, does Carnation still make ice cream? I remember seeing ads for their instant breakfasts when I was younger, (“…you’re gonna’ love it in an in-stant!”), but that’s all.

    And I can’t believe I missed a near-flame-war about our feelings on religion. Makes me appreciate the peace of mind I get from knowing which comic-book writer created the god I pray to every night.

    And I’ve used “ZA” in Scrabble for years. Did Carnation ever do frozen pizzas? Maybe that’s what Jodie was hungry for?

       4 likes

  • 136
    SAVE FERRIS says:

    What’s a “prop diva”? (#61)

    Since no one (I don’t believe) answered you “ck”, I’ll take a shot………..although the detailed background information can actually be found right here:

    http://www.mst3kinfo.com/satnews/brains/beez1.html

    “Prop Diva” refers specifically to Beth “Beez” McKeever, which evolved from her official title as “Prop Assistant” on the show, and basically meant that she was involved in all aspects of prop use (procurement of, construction of, use of, etc., etc.).

    If you’ve seen this episode (TOS), you’ve already witnessed her finest hour as ( sigh!!! ) “Steffi” the babysitter, in another of her many duties, that of occasional performer…..

       0 likes

  • 137

    I love following heroes episodes, it started from boring into a fine tv series now. After watching first few eps, Thought, its another xmen . Now its really thrilling, I really hope the new season will be released soon.

       0 likes

  • 138
    htom sirveaux says:

    “There’s tons of varnished bread laying around in there. Just push it out of the way.”

       0 likes

  • 139
    Dan in WI says:

    This is a weird episode for me. You’ll notice below I have a fair list of favorite riffs yet on the whole it is a blah episode for me. I guess the whole is somehow less than the sum of its parts.

    The Rhino DVD menu has the Shadowrama outline of Joel instead of Mike as it should be for this episode.

    I have a farming background. (dairy/beef not walnut) So I really loved the first host segment. There are many days I looked and smelled like Mike at the end of the day. You’ll also notice many of my favorite riffs were surrounding the concept of applying livestock farming to walnut farming.

    Anyway I think Mike summed it up best: “Man, if you can’t trust the devil…”

    Favorite Riffs:
    Jodie questions why Melissa doesn’t have a boyfriend. Melissa “We live on a farm.” Crow “We don’t raise boyfriends.”

    Jodie “I’ve never been on a walnut ranch.” Tom “How many head of walnut do you have?”

    Mike “Man, if she doesn’t love him after riding in his Maverick she’s a total ice princess.”

    Molly “She’s a pretty girl isn’t she.”
    Jodie “Yes she is”
    Mike “Yeah I can’t imagine where she got it.”

    Luther is moving hay bales. Tom “These walnuts are tearing through the hay.”

    Jodie and Melissa share a kiss shortly after she shows him where the fish live. Crow as Jodie “This is where my tongue lives.”

    Tom as Jodie “Nice door. I’d like to see it crumpled up next to my bed… oh wait.”

    Jodie sees Lucinda for the first time in his room. Crow as Lucinda to Jodie “I usually like the left side of the bed if that is okay.”

    Melissa “They say in this town I’m a witch.”
    Jodie “a witch?”
    Crow as background store patron “It only rhymes with witch.”

    An establishing shot of Melissa’s witchcraft shack in the prairie. Mike “Cabin 5 is not on the lake per se.”

    Jodie is doubled over throwing up:
    Crow as Luthor “Hot dog, French fries, ramen noodles… look at him go.”
    Tom “Ya know a vomit stained Maverick was hardly a rarity in those days.”

       1 likes

  • 140
    Sitting Duck says:

    The Bechdel Test results for The Touch of Satan are rather ambiguous. While the conversation between Melissa and Lucinda appears to be male-free, it’s not certain as the latter is impossible to understand. There’s also the possibility of when Melissa pledges her soul to the Devil, as Satan had a female voice in that scene. But again, it’s inconclusive.

    The witchburners seemed to be rather apathetic in their chanting.

    Personally, I think Green Eggs and Ham is one of Dr. Seuss’ more overrated works.

    This Guy #81: When Jodie is looking at the bookshelf, Servo says “there’s a copy of the NecroMONicon,” mispronouncing NecroNOMicon. It isn’t a real book anyway, but still.

    Unless you want to count all those trade paperback versions.

    @ #85: I would say it’s just that Hollywood screenwriters as a group generally have as firm a grasp of theology as they do of science.

    @ #109: Must be why walnut ranching got Mike all sweaty while Servo was able to take it easy with the pecan farming.

    Favorite riffs:

    You know he’s Satan because he didn’t signal his turn.

    “They catch the guy yet?”
    Nope, I’m still at large.

    “Because I wanted to see what was at the other end.”
    And your end was at the other end.

    This is where my tongue lives.

    Signed copy of the Necronomicon there.

    Ah! It’s a hideous thing made of skin! Oh, it’s just me.

    Look out! Walnut stampede!

    “Well, hello John. What brings you out this way?”
    And if you say, “My squad car,” I’ll chainsaw you in half.

    I like this place because they have bulk eye of newt.

    After the movie, remember to pick up some CARNATION ICE CREAM!

    A killer grandma, locked in a barn. Something’s not right here.

    Ha! Look at them go, you yellowbelly. oh, you’re not.

    Caleb, what kind of charcoal did you use?

    Mike, what were you guys doing during the Seventies? Making witch movies and inhaling huge clouds of marijuana with bug ugly flared pants on.
    We had to do something.

    May the Dark One hold your soul in his clutch– Uh, I mean, safe trip.

    [As the camera closes in on Jodie and Melissa humping]
    Okay kids, the picnic is this way. AAAAAHHHH!!!!!

       2 likes

  • 141
    MSTie says:

    This is a good-but-not-great episode for me too. The first time I saw it I didn’t care for it much but the next time it grew on me a little. Since I spent all my (thankfully Satan-free) teenage years in the ’70s, I really like seeing all the terrible clothes, hairstyles, and home dec. Overall it’s typical of the made-for-TV movies of the time, washed out and not as exciting as you’d hoped from the title. I think the movie needed more than just a touch of Satan. Maybe “A Fistful of Satan” would have been better.

       2 likes

  • 142
    Of no Account says:

    Eh. Just a so-so episode for me. I liked the opening credits stuff, and the riffs related to the current domicile of a certain ichthyoid.
    As for the host segments, I loved the wassail bit, and Servo’s murderous grandma was also funny. However, I just don’t get all the hype over the babysitter stuff. Nothing against Beez, but I never found any of it all that funny. Then again, I don’t remember ever having a babysitter as a child, so maybe that’s it (unless you count my older sister).

       1 likes

  • 143
    ghlbtsk says:

    Haven’t seen this mentioned, but the Director of Photography on The Touch Of Satan is Jordan Cronenweth, who went on to be Ridley Scott’s DP in the incredible visual feast that is Blade Runner. Well, I guess you gotta start somewhere.

    P.S. ??? I love you Steffi! ???

       2 likes

  • 144
    Depressing Aunt says:

    I’ve decided to finish Tom’s song, with apologies to Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

    What do you get when you fall from grace?
    You only get cast into perdition
    That’s what you get, it’s a tradition
    I’ll never save a witch again,
    I’ll never save a witch again

    Don’t tell me what it’s all about
    ‘Cause I’ve been cursed and I can’t get out
    Out of these chains, these chains that bind me
    Walnuts and fish are here to remind me

    Oh, what do you get when you lure a guy?
    You only get Zaa! and toil and trouble
    A sister who kills to burst your bubble
    I’ll never save a witch again,
    Don’t you know I’ll never save a witch again

       3 likes

  • 145
    JPB1 says:

    You gotta love Grandma Dried Apple Head!! “Oh, good day. Took a walk, got that dress sewn, killed.”

       3 likes

  • 146
    pondoscp says:

    what will we watch in 19 weeks, I wonder

       0 likes

  • 147
    Yipe Striper says:

    softens your hands- while you do the dishes…

       0 likes

  • 148
    trickymutha says:

    This is where my tongue lives.

       2 likes

  • 149
    trickymutha says:

    @ #1- I always thought Mike was referring to another Fritz Crisler:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Crisler

       1 likes

  • 150
    Cornjob says:

    My old post circa #85 is a little botched since there are explicit references to the devil in the movie, but the whole thing really does seem to be theologically confused. I like this one. 2nd tier but solid. Have a Swayzie Christmas and a Happy Holiday all. If that’s OK with you.

       1 likes

  • 151
    Wetzelcoatl says:

    I really love this episode. The movie is pretty standard stuff, but the horrible dialog leads to some great riffing, and this has probably my favorite opening credits scene riffs which were sometimes problematic for the writers.

       0 likes

  • 152

    I pretty much agree with what I said about The Touch of Satan last time around 3+ years ago up at post #97. My feelings haven’t changed.

    @ ghlbtsk #143: Well, I was gonna mention it, but you beat me to it. So let me expound: As said, the director of photography for the Touch of Satan is Jordan Cronenweth and he would go on to do an incredible job with Blade Runner. He also shot Stop Making Sense (one of the greatest concert films ever), Altered States, Rolling Thunder, and his first feature film (pre-Touch of Satan even!) was Robert Altman’s follow-up to M*A*S*H, Brewster McCloud, which is a very odd film that bombed big when released in 1970 (for the record, I dig it) and might account for why Cronenweth spent the rest of the 70s in the B-movie market..

    Also, his son Jeff Cronenweth is a cinematographer, shooting Fight Club, One Hour Photo, and The Social Network, amongst others.

    But enough about that,

    Here’s some
    RIFFS:

    Mike: “Robert the cat.”

    in regards to the title possibilities of The Touch of Satan,
    Crow: “I think it’s Tony Musante as a kind of hip Satan who solves crimes.” —I took note of this as Musante passed away just a few weeks ago.

    Servo: “Emby Mellay? That’s not a name, that’s a bad scrabble hand.” ———Also, she’s got a rather large forehead area; surprised M&tB’s didn’t riff on that.

    Crow: “Get off the road, man-goat!”

    Crow: “I sure hope he said peanuts.”

    Mike (in Don Knotts voice): “Well now Andy, I think there was a demon in the car.”

    Crow: “Talk quicker.”

    Crow: “Mike, what were you guys doing during the 70s. . .making witch movies. . .inhaling huge clouds of marijuana. . .big ugly flared pants on. . .?”
    Mike: “We had to do something.”

    -

    The Touch of ZAAAA!

    -
    I give it 3 out of 5 fishes living there.

       3 likes

  • 153
    littleaimishboy says:

    Another outstanding Season 9 episode.

    It’s made a little better for me because I know there’s a “romantic comedy” from the early sixties called “That Touch of Mink”, which I haven’t actually seen but like to imagine various scenarios where it melds with this …

    It’s a movie so goofy it could stand up to repeated riff versions, way more so that SCCTM.

    Walnut ranching … sigh … you think herding CATS is tough …

       1 likes

  • 154
    Sampo says:

    Thomas K. Dye–I did mention it in my comments and that he was in no way connected with this movie.

       3 likes

  • 155
    ServoTron3000 says:

    Good episode made great by Beez!

       1 likes

  • 156
    BIG61AL says:

    Beez…she’s good in everything, just like Gene Hackman…

       3 likes

  • 157
    Cornjob says:

    Is it irony that we’re discussing a devil movie Christmas week? Not that I mind, since I’m the sort of person that likes eating Life cereal while listening to death metal.

       3 likes

  • 158
    Sitting Duck says:

    Since one of the movies featured on the show was a Christmas movie that had the Devil in it, probably not.

       4 likes

  • 159
    bad wolf says:

    This still feels like a made-for-TV movie to me, although perhaps some real gore got edited out. That’s the budget, at least, which is low but not the “got my friends to do it” budget last week. While its theology is a bit confused it does seem to me to be a better written movie than most; Jodie and Melissa have real character arcs, Lucinda is saved from burning then burned in the end, etc.

    Beez is a blessing, and i can once again only wonder at the Brains’ giving Mary Jo the regular character, while Beez, Bridget and Paul all get a guest shot once or twice a season. Perhaps if the Sci-Fi channel had starting giving more notes like “make more use of the funny, attractive people…”

    I really enjoy it but perhaps this is influenced by having it on DVD for a long time–if it came out from Shout today, would i still give it as many watchings? Dunno.

       0 likes

  • 160
    70's run on car says:

    Steffi opened me up to the erotic possibilities of being threatened with a tick bath.

       1 likes

  • 161
    Cornjob says:

    I usually don’t find mean girls attractive, but there is something strangely alluring about Steffi.

    The Bechdel test results may be ambiguous for this film, but it does feature a strong female lead with a genuine grievance driving the plot.

    I could relate a bit to Melissa and her sister. I was never a satanist, but I was a suicidally depressed heavy metal fan in high school, and halfway through my sophomore year Geraldo did a special about Satanism that convinced about half of my classmates that I was some kind of baby-eating devil-worshiping warlock that killed people in their dreams like Freddy Krueger. I’m glad they never lynched me now, though it was a disappointment at the time. After that every day at school at least one person looked away from me to avoid eye contact. I’ve had a little glimpse of the kind of crazy and stupid that leads to witch crazes and satanic panics. When those 3 Goth kids got blamed for a murder because they wore Metallica T-shirts my heart went out to them. Merry Christmas all.

       5 likes

  • 162
    JC says:

    “Well, you’ve met Mrs. Wilma Failed Genetic Experiment, right?”

    “Oh, and there’s a huge insane scabby gorilla wandering around too.”

       2 likes

  • 163
    Creepygirl says:

    “This is where the fish lives” is a classic.

       2 likes

  • 164
    Savvy says:

    Man, I forgot to comment on “Werewolf”! Oh, well.

    Movie Notes!

    -Beez is absolutely adorable as Steffi. “Which one of you is Servo, and which one of you is Cow?”
    -Jody really does look sort of like a young David Spade. An early SNL days’ David Spade, of course.
    -That’s Mike, of course, channeling his inner Geddy Lee in Rush’s “The Trees”. A nice attempt, I must say.
    -Dig that ’70′s horror film music!
    -I think Mr. Strickland looks like what every dad looks like after a hard-day’s work.
    -Crow: “Mike, could you back off? You smell like canned tamales.”
    -”This is where the fish lives.” What a strange line for a movie. Crazy writing team, I guess.
    -Tom: “Stop it!”
    -Tom: “Say, nice door! I’d like to see it crumpled up next to my bed- Oh, wait.”
    -How would you feel if Grandma Dried-Apple-Head came into your room at night? Food for thought.
    -Crow: “Tell you what. I’ll flip on her left turn signal and she’ll go right back to sleep!”
    -Mike: “A WRINKLE!”
    -If “This is where the fish lives” wasn’t the stinger, “ZAH!” would be great!
    -I’ve always wondered: Did the director want long pauses between Jody and Melissa simply to pad out the film? The world may never know.
    -Y’know, If I knew Lucinda “Killer Grandma” Strickland was a serial killer, I would’ve gotten rid of her a lot quicker than them!
    -”Pay attention to the word of God.”
    Tom: “For He loves you and He may KILL you if you don’t.”
    “Yay-”
    Crow: “Team!”
    -Kevin Murphy is brilliant with Tom’s Grandma’s mumbling.
    -Mike: “Caleb, what kind of charcoal did you use?”
    -Crow: “If you could just hang on a sec, I’m about to say something…”
    -So, I guess when Melissa became possessed by the devil, Lucinda somehow became possessed, as well. Either that, or she’s just EXTREMELY bitter about her whole “Burn the Witch” incident. And who are Mr. and Mrs. Strickland if they aren’t REALLY Melissa’s parents?
    -Mike: “May the dark one hold your soul in his clutches- I mean, safe trip!”
    -”Don’t let her die, I love her!”
    Tom: “Whoa, boy! No I don’t! Hoo!”
    -Steffi hitting Bobo with a rolled-up newspaper was a very solid ending.

       1 likes