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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 1001- Soultaker

Movie: (1990) After they are killed in a car wreck, the spirits of some teens try to elude the “soultaker” sent to collect them.

First shown: April 11, 1999
Opening: The bots are confused about why their “wet T-shirt contest” is so dull; commercial sign malfunctions
Intro: The malfunctions on the SOL get worse; nobody in Castle Forrester cares
Host segment 1: With Gypsy malfunctioning, Mike tries to take command, with the expected results
Host segment 2: Everything goes wrong on the SOL; in Castle Forrester a soultaker has appeared–and it’s TV’S FRANK!
Host segment 3: The mysterious visitor who saved the ship appears on the bridge–and it’s JOEL! He fills in the bots on what he’s been up to, and he and Mike share a tender moment
End: Joel’s completes repairs on the SOL, says hi to Frank, and departs with some uplifting words to M&tB; in Castle Forrester, Bobo and Frank hit it off
Stinger: Mom ogles her daughter (ew!).
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (292 votes, average: 4.70 out of 5)

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• Season 10 begins with a big episode, and it was especially big for Erhardt and me because, well, we were there. More on that in a minute. Personal stuff aside, I have to say this ep is a pretty good one. Legendary host segments, of course, but also a watchable but supremely dumb (and somewhat creepy — and not in a good way) movie and very strong riffing.
• The stretch between the end of season 9 and the beginning of season 10 was 197 days, the fourth-longest amount of time MSTies had to wait between seasons.
• Paul offers his thoughts here.
• References are here. One small mistake is “Frank Booth cam!” which they mishear as “Frank Booth camp.”
• This episode was included in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XIV.
• This season got a new set of theme song lyrics that incorporate the whole Castle Forrester premise.
• Okay, so here’s the story. BBI invited us to attend the taping and, despite that fact that I couldn’t afford it and couldn’t really take time away from work, I dropped everything and got on a plane. Brian was able to get there ahead of me and witnessed the Castle Forrester scenes being taped. I got there after the taping was over. The next day we both got to watch (and then contribute to) the SOL scenes being taped (the theater scenes had already been done).
• It was my first face-to-face meeting with Joel (we’d exchanged emails, but had never actually met) and he did not disappoint. Brian and I sat down with him in a conference room for a little while and began to pepper him with some really obscure MSTie-level questions about the show, stuff I’d knew only Joel could answer. I was a little worried he would find this stuff tedious, but he seemed delighted to delve into it. He then went off to read lines with Paul and, as he notes in his ACEG entry, immediately began rewriting his dialog. I never saw a script, so I don’t know what changed, but he later said he was just making the dialog more comfortable for him to say.
• They were getting ready to shoot the first scene, but there was some sort of delay. Apparently somebody hadn’t shown up. Brian and I were milling about on the set when Jeff Stonehouse turned around and looked at us and asked: “Hey would you want to help us out, here?” It was thus that we became “guest interns,” as you can see if you check out the credits at the end of the show. I was given the job of pulling open and pushing closed the right side door at the back of the set (through which Joel entered). Brian was given the job of controlling a studio light and, later, the left side door. I wrote my name on the back of the door (many others already had).
• There seems to be more stuff sitting around in Castle Forrester. To send Mike the movie, Observer puts the movie can into what appears to be the same projector used by Dr. F in “MST3K: The Movie.” He never needed to do this before. And in segment two, Bobo dashes away from Frank, only to bonk his head on the same object Dr. F gets bonked with in “MST3K: The Movie.”
• As the first movie sign goes off, Mike heads straight through the doors and is run over by Cambot. My memory is that this was not planned—it seemed to be ad-lib, though I suspect it was a little acknowledgment of Joel being there, since he did something very similar in a couple of episodes.
• Callbacks: The appearance of Joe Estevez prompts several callbacks to “Werewolf,” including the use of the word “yannaglachi.” Also: “Aren’t you due on the set of ‘Werewolf’?”
• At one point Mike takes Servo to task for reading in the theater. What was Servo reading?
• Here’s a rare opportunity: A chance to argue about which take they used. They did five or six or more takes of each sketch, and the performers made a point of varying their performances and doing their lines a little differently each time, hoping to get something special. Later on, of course, somebody had to choose which of the takes to use. While I agree with the choices for all the other host segments in this episode, I have to say that I would not have used the take of segment 1 they chose. I think they—specifically Mike—did it funnier in a different take. Just my opinion.
• Joel does a terrific job in his segments and seems completely at home, though he and Mike sort of have to crowd in on that little platform. I’ve stood there, and it’s really not a space for two sets of feet.
• Joel gives props to the band Man or Astroman, which have been playing the MST3K theme song as part of their set for a long time.
• A lot of fans (including me) wished this episode could have featured Joel in the theater. And it was talked about. But ultimately Joel wanted to be part of the writing process if he was going to do that, and he just didn’t have the time to devote to that. It’s too bad.
• When Joel said: “I…don’t really want to…” I was standing about 15 feet away in back of the set and his delivery was so perfect I wanted to bust out laughing. Instead I had to walk quickly away to the far end of the room and chortle into my hands as quietly as possible. It’s lucky I didn’t trip over something in the dark!
• Classic line: “Don’t compare yourself, man. It ain’t healthy.”
• Another St. Blaise mention.
• Movie comment: The laws of physics in this movie are really confusing. Even the riffers begin to notice toward the end. The ghost characters seem to be able to manipulate some things but not others. As Servo says, “A 7-iron knocks him cold but a gun does nothing.” Later they’re capable of pressing an elevator button. They appear to be subject to some sort of gravity, but not enough to get hurt in a fall. It’s confusing.
• Remember gorditas? I was in a Taco Bell not long ago (don’t ask) and they still have them!
• At one point, a little dog appears and Servo says: “Humphrey!”
• Classic theater moment about midway through the show as Crow gets something in his eye just as nudity appears about to break out. During that bit, Gypsy makes a comment to Crow, which we can hear in the theater. That’s something that’s never happened before.
• Yet another great “talking over the closing credits bit in which the bots take Mike to task for assuming that a rosy future lies ahead for our heroes.
• Cast and crew roundup: Special effects guy Jerry Kitz also worked on “Space Mutiny.” In front of the camera, Joe Estevez was also in “Werewolf” and Robert Z’Dar will be back in “Future War.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. After taking the last two eps of season 9 off, Mary Jo is back on the writing staff for the entire 10th season. Interns Erin F. Erskine and Josh Huschke begin their run of episodes.
• Fave riff: “I’ve just got to write mom out of this story.” Honorable mention: “The movie’s story arc.”

173 Replies to “Episode guide: 1001- Soultaker”

  1. Yipe Striper says:

    the exchange between crow and gypsy when crow gets something in his eye… classic.

       2 likes

  2. Given what we know now, the lack of Joel and Mike together in the theater remains something that’s hard for me to overlook when I watch this episode (but I do love it — it’s so supremely bad and goofy and the riffs are terrific).

    This lost opportunity (which now seems more remote than ever) to see the two main guys of MST3K working riffing together is just very very painful. I even suspect that now that Joel has had some distance and regained a love for the show even he regrets not making the time needed for him to participate in the writing.

       0 likes

  3. JJK says:

    #20 I wanted to say SOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULtaker!! but you beat me to it.

       0 likes

  4. kismetgirl88 says:

    #50 that was my fav also. Though Joel and mike interaction was kinda weird I do know more reference or inside joke so I have re watch it. I kinda thought Joel excuse for Mike stay up there “to be man” was kinda stupid when just say “Hey look over there” and run off and it woudl been funnier. But all in all nice see the Mike and Joel together. Now if Joel would only do riff trax or Mike would do CT.

       0 likes

  5. Grognarrd says:

    Thanks Gummo, I accuse you of putting “California Laaaaaady” in my brains musical rotation! Thaaaank you!

       0 likes

  6. Grognarrd says:

    Oh yeah is Brad still on the “Young and the Restless”? God I use to love that blonde chick, I think her character name was Sharon,maybe? Dunno, been a long time since i’ve seen the show.

       0 likes

  7. mikek says:

    If Mike and Joel had riffed the movie together, then it should have just been the two humans. Crow and Servo would not be there, kind of like Trace and Frank riffing Last of the Wild Horses.

       1 likes

  8. whosaid7 says:

    What were the questions you ask that only Joel couls answer, and what were the answers?

    Don’t leave us hanging man.

       0 likes

  9. M "I Take My Corn Black" Sipher says:

    I think my favorite part of this episode might be the way Bobo steals a $500 Monopoly bill from Pearl’s horribly messy pile while she’s introducing the movie, and surreptitiously hides it under his solitary $1. Much like watching Mike’s reactions to other things happening on-screen, it’s stuff like that that isn’t being focused on that really amuses me.

    Second-favorite is actually from the same bit. “Hang on, let me see if I care. Hmm. Uh… (looks around, pats pockets) uuhhhhh no, no, looks like I don’t.”

    I use that fairly often.

       2 likes

  10. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    Soultaking is much more efficient since they developed the multi-purpose soul-ring.

    In the old days you had a seperate soul receptacle ( the soul-bottle ), and there were 3 different soul tranfer devices: one for removing the soul from its body, one for collecting souls that had been displaced from their bodies, and one for putting souls back INTO their bodies. It was a mess. Sure, you had a neat little carrying case, but even experienced STs would end up fumbling with all the gear, putting the wrong ring on the soul-bottle, or trying to use a soul-bottle that was already full, or just dropping everything on the floor, and the whole coolness thing was shot to heck.

    Now you have the receptacle combined with the universal transfer device and its hip to take souls again.

       4 likes

  11. Steve K says:

    Sampo,

    The Episode Guide Is Your Friend. It lists the Joel getting run over by Cambot as part of episode 105- The Corpse Vanishes. I can’t believe I’m the first to respond to that…

    #37 Johnny Ryde: “If the show had continued, how many more seasons would it be until they removed the “I’m different” from his Roll Call?”

    Forever, I’d hope. Although it may have been written as a note to Bill Corbett taking over the role, I think it works very well as a general statement: Crow is Different.

    This is one of my favorite episodes, mostly because I was blissfully unaware of the impending end when I watched it.

       2 likes

  12. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>I wonder if they suspected that not only would the show not last another ten

    I doubt any TV show cast thinks their show will be still be airing new episodes ten years into the future. The industry simply isn’t that dependable. How many shows last as long as a decade to begin with? Not many.

       2 likes

  13. OnenuttyTanuki says:

    #45: I always thought the line was “Enjoy the Balloon, heh heh.” I was in High School when this aired and the weird thing is that one of the janitors at my school was the stero-typical creepy looking janitor (Think the prevert grounds keeper from “Terror from the Year 5000”). Sometimes I see him in hall and say that as I walked by.

    I’m going to go on record and say Robert Z,Dar is even more creepy in person. I meet him once at a Collectors show. And the fact that he seemd to be getting over a cold didn’t help much.

       1 likes

  14. Akcoll99 says:

    #5- Dark Grandma

    “The opening song (“Rock the Nation”?) is decent.”

    I liked that song too and looked it up. It’s called “What A Lovely Way To Go” from a singer named Karen Lawrence, off her 1986 album, “Rip And Tear.” Sadly not available on CD anywhere, I managed to find a blog where you could download the whole album. It’s your standard mid-80’s rock, but it’s not bad overall. Worth it just for getting the full length version of this song.

       2 likes

  15. MiqelDotCom says:

    Love the host segments on this episode! The SOL falling apart theme is well played, with the commercial sign malfunction, Tom’s seat being stuck, the “Wessel malfunction”, running down the hallway and all the other little details .. leading up to a double-surprise appearance from a BEER-BELLY Joel and Tv’s Frank!

    Anyhow, this is a historic moment in the Sci-fi run to have both hosts at the helm of the SOL at the same time (though they were often together in CC era sketches before Mike became host).
    But the movie, wow! These low budget 1980’s flicks are perfect fodder for riffing and the writers are fully tuned-in to the essence of why the 80’s wre so lame and goofy.

    Crow -“Let me wake up the rest of Menudo, hang on”
    “You’re dead Nancy Keiregan”
    “Bus Taker”
    “a guy running through a hospital, that’s new”

    “I call it GasTaker”
    Natalie is in the hospital with a respirator tube and Mike says in vocoder-style “I wanna thank you -do you feel like i do”
    Frank: “This Gordita is delicious!”
    Gypsy: “Jump up my tube white boy”

    The (meta)physics in this movie is confusing … the ghosts can open doors, watch tv, take baths, drop coke/pepsi bottles and even jump off buildings and get knocked out, but they are invisible except to pets & they never try to touch anyone? And hospital elevators to purgatory?
    Crow: “So a seven-iron knocks him cold but a shotgun does nothing?”

    I wonder what brought this dual-cameo about? Was Joel in town with Frank and the Brains spontaneously wrote in a cameo? Did it have something to do with the impending demise of the show – maybe to give Joel a final on-screen moment?

       1 likes

  16. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I do like the fact that they just use a glow in the dark condom to suck up souls with (ew!)
    “If you can’t be careful, name it after me, man!”

       0 likes

  17. darthlazy says:

    Did anyone else have a weird feeling about Joel’s posture during his segments? He looked very stiff, almost like he was in a back brace or something. The jumpsuit shoulders looked very squared off too, maybe that was the reason.

       0 likes

  18. This Guy says:

    This episode rocks.

    First, I’d like to say a few words about Led Zeppelin. Clearly, neither Ms. Schilling nor anyone else involved ever actually listened to “Stairway to Heaven,” because although the lyrics are somewhat cryptic, it’s pretty obvious that the main point is exactly the same as Brad’s harsh reality check: there is no such stairway, and you can’t buy your way into heaven. Hell, just look at the first line: “There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold.” She’s wrong about that and is clearly wrong about the rest of it. So Zeppelin was actually right, and Brad’s an idiot (no surprise there.)

    If this movie had been made and released after the World Wide Web really took off, Vivian Schilling would have been the envy of teenage-girl fanfic writers the world over. Her Mary Sue story got made into a movie featuring a guy related to a famous actor!

    I was perplexed on first seeing this episode about the notion of straining rubbing alcohol through burnt toast. I’m still not sure, but I think it has to do with the fact that carbon is often used in filtration systems, so maybe some back-alley drunks thought it would work to make rubbing alcohol or wood alcohol non-toxic. Not sure why Mike says “grain alcohol,” though.

    I love how Frank holds the soul ring riiiiight up to the camera so we can see that it’s one of those glow laces, complete with the requisite air bubble. When I was a kid, and we would go to see the laser show at Stone Mountain, we would always get glow laces. Endless fun when you’re easily amused.

    I’m not certain, but I have a feeling the characters weren’t wearing seatbelts in the car. If they had been, they probably would have survived with much-reduced injuries (based on the state of the car post-crash,) and there would’ve been no need for the movie.

    I have a problem with these soultaker fellows, and it’s that they’re basically just murderers. I mean, it makes sense for people in their line of work to have foreknowledge of upcoming deaths, and you’d expect them to hang around when someone is just about to die so they can get the soul ASAP.
    But in every case, the people don’t die until after their souls get sucked out. The guy in the opening seems perfectly stable until Joe does his thing and the poor bastard starts convulsing and his heartbeat becomes irregular.

    I’m still baffled by Natalie’s dad in the scene when her soul gets replaced. Why the hell IS he moving his eyes all about as if following a fast-moving object around the room? How does that make any sense? Did the director tell him to do that? “She’s darting about like mad!”

    Finally, the idea that those who kill others in life are punished after death by having to work as psychopomps is a pretty good germ of a story. Too bad absolutely everything else in the movie had to come along and ruin it.

       4 likes

  19. MiqelDotCom says:

    In the froo-froo land of bunnies, where magical faries blow kisses to the stars, and polka dotted toadstools sing ‘good-ship lollypop’ to the tiny mice in their feety pajamas.

    LOL!!!!

       1 likes

  20. CG says:

    The entire movie was filmed in Mobile, AL, which is in my home state. I’ve visited or been near the vicinity of town several times, as it’s near the beach, and I thought my fellow Mysties might appreciate some of this:

    – The hospital scenes were filmed at the Mobile Infirmary Medical Center (MIMC). They have a picture of the hospital on their website’s home page, and as you can tell, the exterior looks exactly the same as in the movie. Mobile Infirmary: Home of the Entrance to Heaven!
    http://www.mimc.com/

    -Mobile has a TON of gorgeous antebellum houses like Natalie’s. I highly recommend driving around there to look at them, or better yet, taking a tour of one.

    -Not a tip, just an observation: To the best of my memory, M&TB didn’t really comment on the Southern accents of several of the characters (Natalie’s friend, Natalie’s creepy mom, the guy at the quik-mart.) I guess there was too much else to riff on.

       1 likes

  21. “There. I’ve broken the hexfield. I’ll be in my Ready Room.”

       3 likes

  22. Johnny Ryde says:

    @This Guy, #68

    Grain alcohol is not toxic the way rubbing alcohol is. They actually sell it in liquor stores as the strongest form of ingestible alcohol. I don’t really recommend it though (and I don’t know either why you would want to strain it through toast).

    About the movie’s (meta)physics, I suddenly realized that it’s not a million miles away from the way that the angels are portrayed in Wings Of Desire. You just never ask those questions about a really good movie.

       0 likes

  23. Dark Grandma of Death says:

    Akcoll99 (#64), thanks for the music info…I will make a point of checking out Rip & Tear.

    And, Gummo (#15&16), California Lady would be a great song to play at a party, maybe at the end when you wanted people to go home, or if you were ticked off at the guest of honor; it’s the perfect earworm!

       0 likes

  24. whosaid7 says:

    Here is one that nobody seemed to mention I was always under the impression that when movie sign that the oxygen was shut off on the rest of the ship hence forcing them to remain the theater to watch the bad films and not being able to leave. I think I remember Joel saying in an interview if the just stayed in the theater complaining about the movie when they could leave anytime they wouldn’t that would make them kind of like asses.

    So why Joel wasn’t forced to go into the theater anyway?

    Maybe he was already dead and therefore did not need to breathe oxygen that might explain why Frank was trying to take his soul or something.

       1 likes

  25. This Guy says:

    A point I forgot to mention: why doesn’t Z’Dar have to wear the heavy eye-makeup like Joe and Brad? Is it because he’s a supervisor? Is the eye makeup the equivalent of a “trainee” badge?

    And also on the murder front: Even though the driver was high on coke, the immediate cause of the car crash was Joe standing in the middle of the road. He wasn’t just standing around until they died. He killed them.

    #72: I know. That’s why Mike’s remark seemed a little off, since they were still talking about desperate alcoholics trying to make toxic alcohols safe. It’s a very minor point, of course. The whole bit is hilarious.

       2 likes

  26. Gorn Captain says:

    Didn’t Joel get run over by Cambot in a couple KTMA episodes as well?

       0 likes

  27. crowschmo says:

    Don’t miss the terrifying water-turning-offing.

       1 likes

  28. H says:

    This is a classic for sure, especially considering Joel and Frank visiting. Movie’s good, lots to riff on. Host segments are good too, feels good to see Joel and Frank doing so well.

       1 likes

  29. big61al says:

    Great episode! Ahhhh that giant face dude is creeeeeeeepy weird. :sad:

       1 likes

  30. Justin says:

    I second post #71. One of favorite Mike lines ever.

       0 likes

  31. mikek says:

    Robert Z’Dar was not only in MST3K movies Soultaker and Future War, but he was also in Tango & Cash, which also had Jack Palance, who was in the MST3K movie Outlaw. Robert Z’Dar also has a very small role in the movie Cherry 2000, a movie that Servo and Crow reference in their prayers for their fellow screen robots.

       1 likes

  32. rcfagnan says:

    LEAK TAKER! @#68 This Guy: I can see that you, like me, grew up in the great state of Georgia! I’m from Lawrenceville, very near Stone Mountain…but I digress. This episode, what can be said that hasn’t already been said. Dynamite riffing, dynamite host segments, but lacking two things to make this a fanboy’s delusion-come-true: reappearence by Dr. F and no Joel in theater. I understand the reasons why, it’s just a sad to think what could have been. But enjoy it while we can folks, only twelve more of these bad boys left!

       1 likes

  33. bartcow says:

    My favorite bit is probably when Crow gets something in his eye. “Did you say she’s turning around?” “No, I said she’s spurning a clown.” “Oh, I like that, too!”

    My quotes may not be exact, but they’re close enough without me having to get out of my seat.

       3 likes

  34. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #74
    Well, remember, Joel, unlike Mike, is an inventive type. He probably knew how to get around it by now. It WAS outdated technology, after all. Notice that he figured out why Crow’s voice was different within seconds. ;-)

    Maybe Joel was on the verge of figuring out how to hack into the SOL’s system when Gypsy sent him off the ship, and he had those intervening years to think about it. Maybe he knew he was the only one the SOL would “allow” to leave, and that’s the real reason he didn’t take Mike and the Bots with him.

    Then again, maybe there just wasn’t room on his ship. “Well, it’s really just a two-seater and, well, I’ve been living out of it for a while, all my stuff’s in there, so…”

       2 likes

  35. Chief?McCloud! says:

    I instantly thought of MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE of BRIAN & Terry Gilliam’s jailer character when the slouchy, stringy-haired carnie sells ‘Brad’ the balloon & they riffed the *enjoy the balloon & laughter* riff.

    Anyone else agree? I think it is fairly obvious, if you’re familiar with the character from Life of Brian.

       1 likes

  36. Chief?McCloud! says:

    So many good lines already mentioned. 60 Minutes riffs, seven Tonya Harding riffs.

    Personal faves:

    TS – “Yea, crank that Sansui.”
    Tom singing Surrey With the Fringe on Top.
    “Interior bedroom…me…draped across the bed…towseled but tawny…”
    “Cause I’m Griffin Dunne.”

    Mike – “Sorry, love is lifting me up where I belong.”
    “Just hit her in the leg with a pipe.”

    Crow – “The lead singer of Mr. Mister is concerned.”
    “Man, I love that chord.”
    “Guess Estevez can become a member of DeBarge at any moment.”

    I could go on & on. I do love this one!

       1 likes

  37. monoceros4 says:

    In the comparison between Joe Estevez star episodes, Werewolf and this one, I prefer this one. The movie maintains about the right level of goofiness and, while there are individual moments of superlative comedy throughout the Werewolf episode, I prefer the steady humor of Soultaker. As for Robert Z’Dar star vehicles…eh, I prefer this one too to Future War.

    I wonder where the movie stands in relation to Ghost which is really almost as terrible but a hundredfold more respected. They came out about the same year, it seems, which makes me think Soultaker was some kind of rush job meant to cash in on the fad at the right moment–or even before the right moment, the way that Antz was pushed forward to beat A Bug’s Life into theaters.

    Let me speculate that the somewhat incorrect “grain alcohol” riff came from some confusion between grain alcohol and wood alcohol.

       1 likes

  38. Warren says:

    I didn’t know much about Joel or Frank when I first saw this, so I guess my appreciation has increased over the years. There’s a degree of nostalgia for the late ’80s-early ’90s look, I think I was still a happy person then. Good host segments, I really liked Frank’s line (paraphrased) ‘I need your soul–you know, when you get a minute.’ On the off-chance that anyone else played Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, or its sequel, I think Soma Cruz can be described as a ‘soultaker’ of sorts. “You’ll never get the smell of Hardee’s out of that car.”

       1 likes

  39. I'm Evil says:

    @#63–Robert Z’Dar getting over a cold: That is one sinus cavity you do not want to run afoul of.

    As far as comparing Joe Estevez’s performances in this and “Werewolf,” I think he handles this one a bit better. Definitely a less over the top performance here…but that could just as easily be attributed to script or directing issues as it could any conscious decision by Joe.

    @#87: As far as this being an attempt to cash in on “Ghost,” the producers likely wanted to…and they did reference it on the movie poster:
    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm951884800/tt0100665

       0 likes

  40. Sitting Duck says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves says #62: How many shows last as long as a decade to begin with? Not many.

    If you don’t count soap operas, there’s Doctor Who, Jack Benny, Gunsmoke, and The Simpsons. There are probably others which I can’t recall right off. But you’re right that most shows don’t last that long. Seven appears to be regarded as a respectable run.

       1 likes

  41. Moon W. Trash says:

    Does anything really “star” Joe Estevez, isn’t that kind of an oxymoron?

       0 likes

  42. Jimmy says:

    “NATALIE, DONT TONGUE THE REAPER!!”

       1 likes

  43. John Seavey says:

    Great episode. A probable favorite even without Joel, and a classic with him. Five stars.

    Fave riffs:
    “Jeff Gilooly did it!” (delivered in just the right tone of guilty panic, too)
    “Heaven’s tired of the crap, man.”
    “You still haven’t figured it out, have you?” “We have, can we go?”
    “AAAH! That took my soul, right there!”

       0 likes

  44. Tattri says:

    The Soooooooooooultakerrrr!

       0 likes

  45. The “I…don’t really want to…” line was classic. I love how Joel is such an ass and poor dopey Mike falls for the whole “and just maybe…t’ll make a man outta you too!” bit. Too funny.

    This is one of those episodes I practically know by heart.I actually found a dvdrip of the movie onlinea a year or 2 ago. Definitely way more comprehensible UnMSTed without the cut.

       2 likes

  46. Zee says:

    I’m gonna write my comment and then go back and read everyone elses, so forgive me if I repeat any covered ground.

    The Frank segments? Perfect. His interaction with each Castle Forrester dweller was funny, in character, and sweet. Having Frank and Joel but not Trace back was weird, but I guess Trace had left more recently and the wounds were still fresh. Trace’s departure is the one I know the least about, behind the scenes wise. If he HAD returned, I would’ve had Dr. Forrester been Frank’s apprentice Soultaker (since Frank got there first he had seniority). If they wanted to have Trace’s Crow return, they could have done a call back to “Magic Voyage of Sinbad” and have Crow return to the SOL after a Sinbad-like voyage of discovery, revealing he built the Corbett Crow to watch the ship in his stead. This would’ve been a nice “back-door” farewell episode that Trace never got.

    The Joel Segments? Errr…. Joel just seemed out of character and grouchy, and his whole appearance felt smaller than it should’ve been (although I liked what Joel had been doing while on Earth). And having Joel just leave everybody on the SOL seemed wrong, I would’ve had him agree to rescue them, go to prep his ship for their boarding, and then have him sucked into a wormhole or something. The episode could’ve ended with Joel in some alternate universe. Also, not having Joel in the theater left a sour taste. The “not having written the theater parts” excuse rings false, it’s not like Joel wrote every joke he said when he was host. If that was an issue, he did “rewrite” his lines in the host segments, he could’ve taken some time to look at a *half an hour* of the movie to make up some riffs. Weird.

    Also, I know continuity isn’t the show’s strong spot, but having the SOL be over 500 years old in season 8 and 10 years old in season 10 always bugged me. I know they were using the ship as a metaphor for the show, but it irked me.

    As for the movie parts, I love “Soultaker” so much I kind of wish they saved it for another episode where they could’ve had more movie-centric host segments and used a blander movie for this episode (like a “Deadly Bees”/”Space Children” caliber movie). But the combination of the great movie segments and the momentous host segments makes this one of my most-viewed episodes.

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  47. Richard the Lion Footed says:

    Like others, I was glad to see Joel and Frank.
    I always laughed at the “Flam wars” that filled the internet when Joel left.
    I always liked Joel, but Mike was different. What was wrong with that.
    Not better, not worse, just different. Like Carson & Leno, or Diane & Rebeca, it is how the show goes on that matters.
    I liked the way that MST3K went on.

    It is also interesting, reading the comments, to see over and over again, “I did not like episode X when it first aired but now I do.”
    I have several episodes like this myself.

    Why is this? What is it about this type of comedy that grows on us?
    I have a few movies I did not care for when they first came out, but like now, however, most movies I do not like at first I stick with.

    What is it about MST3K that even the bad ones get better with age (except Wild Wild World of Batwoman – sorry this is bad)?

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  48. Zee says:

    Holy crap, so jealous of the guy who got to see SOULTAKER and THE SPOOKIES at the drive-in!!!

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  49. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    Zee #96. i like your Forrester as Frank’s after-life assistant, I could see Trace as Forrester as the Batwoman Mad Scientist that trades places with his assistant / financier at the end.

       1 likes

  50. JJK says:

    IMBD has that Robert Z’Dar briefly worked as a Chippendale’s dancer. That’s an image I will never be able to get out of my mind.

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