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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 (323 votes, average: 4.71 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 (not counting the time between season 10 and season 11).
• 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 for that day. The next day we both got to watch (and then contribute to) the SOL scenes being taped (the theater scenes had also 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 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) and that little scrawl appears in “The Last Dance — Raw.”
• 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 from being on the set 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 Joel did this in several 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 also 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 the 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.”

207 Replies to “Episode guide: 1001- Soultaker”

  1. Depressing Aunt says:

    This is one of my most-watched of the Sci-Fi era. Good thing it’s on DVD. I have a terrible memory for stuff like this, but I suspect my pleasure in seeing Joel and Frank turn up in the episode was muted by my certainty that this *had* to mean MST3K was coming to an end, sooner than I thought. (But then, I thought that from the beginning–“How is it possible no one has canceled my most favorite show ever yet?”)

    That gordita looked tasty! Frank’s performance was splendid.

    Tom’s line “touseled but tawny” has been mentioned. Why tawny, though? Doesn’t that word basically mean a light brown color? Natalie is a fair-skinned strawberry blonde, so I’ve always wondered. Anyway…

    Zeppelin’s NEVER wrong, man! Five Stars.

       2 likes

  2. Cornjob says:

    I hope we loop back to the KTMA episodes and go up through season four or so at least. I really wouldn’t mind pushing beyond that and just keeping looping through to see what new people or just four years time passing brings to the mix. Personally I kinda like seeing what I posted four years ago, and having the opportunity to add anything I didn’t have the time or energy to share the last time it was current.

       3 likes

  3. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #146: Huh. Well you learn something new every day.

       1 likes

  4. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #148: Coily is clearly a minion of Satan, or at least Stan.

       2 likes

  5. schippers says:

    The guy who plays Brad, David Fralick, can be seen looking REALLY ripped and doing some martial arts in the live-action version of Fist of the North Star. It’s not really a good movie, and is probably worse if you love the animated movie from 1985 (like I do), but it’s not a complete waste of time.

       0 likes

  6. schippers says:

    Okay, so when Joel came out to Tucson to do his Riffing Myself show (great show, BTW), and we got to the Q&A part, I asked him about his experience coming back to film his segments for Soultaker. Specifically, I asked him to confirm what I had read (somewhere) that the reason why he did not participate in the theater riffing was that he had not had time to write riffs, and he did not want to deliver riffs he had not had a hand in writing. He clarified that he HAD been interested in riffing in the theater along with Mike, but that when he showed up at BB, he was given the cold shoulder by Jim. So (I guess?) he contented himself with just the host segments. I admit, the cause and effect chain here doesn’t make 100% sense to me, but then again he was answering a question some anonymous loser asked him in a semidarkened theater.

    Anyway, just wanted to pass that along.

       8 likes

  7. ck says:

    One bothersome point in this movie: didn’t the Soultaker cause
    the accident by standing in front of the car. The drugs, drinking,
    fast driving didn’t seem to directly cause it. So shouldn’t one of
    the Estevez’s have soultaken himself? :)

       2 likes

  8. unsung zero says:

    The actress who played Amy (Paige Sullivan) in Hobgoblins sure looks a hell of a lot like the chick who silently turns down Tommy in Soultaker (at 17 minutes into the episode).

       2 likes

  9. Season 10 gets off to a great start.
    New theme song (better late than never).
    The return of Frank!
    The return of JOEL!!
    And a pretty enjoyable bad movie in SOULTAKER.
    Yup.
    Season 10 is probably my favorite of the Sci-Fi years (almost every episode is great, in my opinion).

    Let’s talk Souuuuullltaker!

    Like I said, it’s great, a classic even. The return of Frank and Joel is what puts this one over the top for me. The Host Segments (including the opening wet T-shirt contest) all work really well together, with Mike’s “I broke the hexfield” in HS#1 leading to Joel’s handyman appearance in HS#3 really nicely. Frank’s appearance in HS#2 is silly and fun, just like a Frank appearance should be. My favorite lines in that segment though are from Gypsy when she tells Mike the he “didn’t do jack” and that he should “Jump up my tube, white boy.”

    Back to Joel’s return… I like the slow lead up, first with the strange ship spotted outside the Satellite of Love, then the staticy transmission from Joel (or was it Martin Van Buren?), followed by the return of gordita loving Frank, all in service of Joel reappearing to fix the ship and offer some kind words (not a ride home though; for that you’re on your own, Nelson [it’ll make a man outta ya!]). It was (and still is) very nice to see Joel and Mike together on the SOL. It’s like a MSTies dream (not wait, that would be Joel and Mike riffing together). Joel with the bots, though, is the best (“oh you changed your bowling pin!”).

    Reading through the comments I see some debate and talk over how old the Satellite of Love is (ten or a hundred time-travelly years) but I don’t think anyone’s mentioned this “it’s really just a show, relax” continuity problem: what about the Nanites? Why couldn’t they fix the ship? It’s what they do. Right? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t like any of the Nanite sketches of Season 8/9 and I’m glad they didn’t factor into this episode (or this season), but it’s still a continuity error (which will happen when you write a dues-ex-machina type of characters like the Nanites).


    Anyway, SOULTAKER is a really funny episode.
    Here’s some
    RIFFS:

    Crow: “Does anything really STAR Joe Estevez?”

    Crow: “Bet you can never get the smell of Hardee’s out of that car.”

    Mike: “This must be the all-Whitesnake station.”

    Natalie looks in the mirror,
    Crow: “You’re dead, Nancy Kerrigan!”

    Crow: “That took my soul, right there.”

    Crow: “Yum, half a mushroom-swiss burger just waiting for me under the floormat, man.”

    Crow: “The lead singer of Mr. Mister is concerned.”

    about Robert Z’Dar,
    Crow: “God, he’s a catcher’s mitt with eyes!”

    Crow: “He’s flashing back to other people’s memories.”

    Crow: “No messy soul residue!”

    Servo: “Bus-taker.”

    movie: “Where are you taking me?”
    Mike: “Administration and Billing.”

    Mike: “That bites. Wanna get baked?”

    movie: “Natalie?”
    Mike: “Chick harshes my buzz, man.”

    Servo: “Can I still have butter if I’m a soul?”


    Soultaker is a fun bad movie; if I hadn’t seen it on MST there’s a good chance I might of rented this one if given the chance. Robert Z’Dar’s face is reason enough to rent almost anything (I recommend Samurai Cop to all the MSTies out there). Like I said up at the beginning, this is a great start to Season 10.

    I give it 5 out of 5 little green glowy rings

       6 likes

  10. Captain Cab says:

    schippers, #156:

    “He clarified that he HAD been interested in riffing in the theater along with Mike, but that when he showed up at BB, he was given the cold shoulder by Jim.”

    Wow….

       3 likes

  11. Brandon says:

    Joel had said in another interview that he wanted to try and patch things up with Jim during production, but Jim didn’t bother showing up to the studio, which is likely what Joel meant by Jim giving him the cold shoulder.

    Mike confirmed once though (I forgot where), that by Season 10, Jim rarely, if ever, showed up at BBI.

       2 likes

  12. thequietman says:

    I can’t deny it, this is one of my all-time favorites. Once when I was deployed, one of my co-workers turned out to be a die-hard MSTie (albeit a bigger fan of Joel than of Mike). One day we were in the exchange and he held up a DVD of some cheapjack movie with Joe Estevez’ name on the cover. Without missing a beat I said “Does anything really STAR Joe Estevez? Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron?”

    Anyway, as a Looney Tunes fan I also got a kick out of Mike calling “Belvedeah! Come heah, boy!” when we first see Natalie’s antebellum (or is it anti-Bellamy Brothers?) home. For a person who had only seen the cartoon they were referencing (“Dog Gone South” from 1950) once or twice before the short went AWOL for a long time on Cartoon Network, I always liked the fact that someone on the writing staff could be just as much of a LT nerd as I am.

       4 likes

  13. itsspideyman says:

    # 156

    And a GREAT possible moment is lost to history!

    If true, Mallon, you a$$…….

       4 likes

  14. Cornjob says:

    First off a shout out to Joe Estevez for being a good sport in the DVD interview. And 2nd what the heck was riff near the beginning about the name Lucile being pronounced oddly and loudly like “Leew-seeel”. And third, are we gonna rock?

    I read a review of this movie by Joe Bob Briggs when it was released, and years later, but pre-MST, I watched it and thought it was hilarious. There were several points where my own riff on the movie was the same or identical to what MST did later. In particular the “Look, you wrote this crap” riff when Rob Lowe is getting frustrated with Natalie’s inability to comprehend that they’re dead; the “that door is ragging on me like my idiot friend used to” moment, though my riff was more like “my a$$h0le friend got re-incarnated as a door”; and finally when Joe Estevez runs out of time and Robert Z’Dar pops up and tells him that if they were taken now they would be lost forever, and a riffer wonders, “from who, where, why, and is that good or bad.

    My Father taught Philosophy for two years at Fullerton and taught me to spot metaphysical nonsense. And this movie is a treasure trove of metaphysical nonsense which the last riff I referenced above sums up nicely. This aside from the whole vision of the afterlife being run by middle managers that couldn’t hold down a job in their Father’s business, human consciousnesses being stuck in glowing carnival rings, dislocated souls that can’t be seen or heard but can open doors and ride in elevators, shape shifting teleporting soultakers that can’t be touched by bullets but are vulnerable to golf clubs (maybe they had been blessed like the golf clubs in Dogma), Heaven being a utility room on top of a hospital, not to mention the high level of paranormal activity relulting in a distortion of the space/time continuum that resulted in a 5 minute span of time lasting half an hour.

    This film had me cracking up without any riffing, so I knew I was in for a treat when I heard that this movie was slated for the MST treatment. Joel and Frank were extra cherries on the ice cream Sundae. Joel in the theater would have been nice, but you can’t have everything. Where would you put it. One of MST’s best.

       4 likes

  15. Cornjob says:

    All the above was stuff I wanted to share last time through and didn’t have time or energy to, so I really don’t mind cycling through all the episodes to discuss here again.

       2 likes

  16. schippers says:

    Most of Soultaker’s hokum metaphysics I can let pass without caring too much about, but the bit where Natalie’s BF revives with the glow ring containing Natalie’s soul in hand goes a bit too far. Why would the little glow ring-thingy have any tangible existence in the “real” world? Is it like Freddy, pulled from the stuff of dreams and suddenly given mass? That Vivian Schilling wrote herself into that predicament is probably evidence of why her scriptwriting career did not propel her into the upper stratosphere.

       0 likes

  17. thequietman says:

    @164: I think “Lew-cille” is a reference to Mr. Mayor’s resemblance to Gale Gordon of Lucille Ball’s post “I Love Lucy” sitcoms.

       4 likes

  18. Sitting Duck says:

    Cornjob #164: This aside from the whole vision of the afterlife being run by middle managers…

    If there’s one thing C.S. Lewis taught us, it’s that the only afterlife which would be run like a bureaucracy is Hell. Add in the sinister demeanor of the Soultakers and I think it can be safely assumed that they’re collectors of damned souls.

       4 likes

  19. jaybird3rd says:

    Stories of this kind always have to take some liberties with the laws of physics. Star Trek fans might remember an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” called “The Next Phase”, in which two of the characters are altered by an alien weapon which renders them invisible and able to pass through solid objects. They’re shown on the Enterprise walking through walls and closed doors, and yet they can ride on elevators and walk on solid floors like anyone else. If the script were fully consistent, they would have fallen right through the ship and died in the void of space, which wouldn’t have made much of a story.

    If I were in the mood for a “life after death” story, I’d still pick “Soultaker” over “Ghost” any day.

       4 likes

  20. Dan in WI says:

    #169> I have to disagree a bit with you. If a “ghost” (for lack of a better term) is not subject at all to physical forces then they would also not be subject to gravity or the like either. So in the Star Trek example the characters couldn’t “fall” into the void of space either. But since most ghost type beings do have the ability to “float” there is no reason they couldn’t float “in place” in a moving elevator. :-))

    Not criticizing. That is just the way I’ve reconciled selective physical phenomon like that. A sentient floating ghost should be able to pick and choose when it wants to give the appearance of conforming to phyics for appearance purposes. It’s the “gun doesn’t hurt him but a nine iron knocks him out cold moments” that I have a problem with.

       3 likes

  21. jaybird3rd says:

    #169: That’s a good point. The characters in the Trek episode weren’t actually ghosts; they were supposedly “altered” in such a way that they had no substance. Assuming that were actually possible, the laws of gravity wouldn’t apply to them; if their mass is zero, then the force of gravity acting on them ( G(m1*m2)/(d^2) ) would also be zero. That wouldn’t give them the powers of levitation, though, so to show them walking on floors or riding elevators at will is still a bit of storytelling license (in my opinion, anyway). Whether that’s relevant to “Soultaker” depends on whether you believe ghosts or souls have any mass.

    In the Trek episode, the characters could be killed by phasers that had also been zapped by this alien weapon, so that’s how they avoided a “nine iron” moment in that story. “Soultaker” was indeed a bit lazy in that respect; they should have come up with a more internally consistent way for the characters to get away from Joe Estevez.

       3 likes

  22. Savvy says:

    I’ve only seen this movie a few times, but it’s a good one!

    – I love how they just stare as commercial sign malfunctions.
    – Gypsy is an adorably vicious malfunctioner.
    – Pearl, Brain Guy, and Boba are playing monopoly. Bobo moves backwards, has only $1, then steals $500 from Pearl as she presents the movie.
    – Crow: “That’s not Natalie, that’s Tonya Harding!”
    – What’s with the blond-dude’s hair? He’s balding!
    – Crow: “I just gotta hang around and be John Stamos for a while, sorry.”
    – What is the big hurry?! Don’t speed! I wish this blond-guy was real so I could beat him up! Sorry, I hate reckless drivers.
    – Mike: “Please let my Billy Squier tape still be here!” Yeah, Billy Squier’s cool.
    – I like how Pearl tries to protect Bobo from the soultaker until she realizes it’s Frank. “Get your stinkin’ paws off my monkey!”
    – Hey I thought the John Stamos guy was LEAVING!
    – I like the ‘bots’ reactions as Natalie takes off her clothes.
    – “Our bodies are being kept alive by machines at the hospital.”
    Mike: “My body’s hooked up to a snowblower!”
    -Art Garfunkel!

       2 likes

  23. thequietman says:

    Here’s my take on the “Soultakers are murderers” conceit. I’m thinking it’s more that the Soultakers become visible to their victims at something like a ‘point of no return’ where there’s no avoiding death. Note that Father Dude didn’t take Art Garfunkel’s soul until she entered what could be argued were her ‘death throes.’ As far as Joe Estevez causing the car crash, I notice that Joe’s standing in front of a “road closed” sign so if Brad hadn’t swerved and hit the tree he would probably ended up wrecking when the paved road ended anyway.

    But it’s just a show, I should really just relax…

       3 likes

  24. docskippy says:

    I’ve probably mentioned this before, but the guy who plays the hero’s drug-dealing friend is a martial artist of some ability who has a small fight scene in the truly awful live action American film adaptation of Fist of the North Star.

       1 likes

  25. thequietman says:

    Ahoy, darling!

    And we’re back to what is still one of my all-time favorites. It’s still as funny as ever, and there’s something oddly appropriate having this episode, with its wondrous returns of Joel and Frank, in the rotation the same week Season 11 is announced for home video release. Great host segments, flawless riffing, a terrific start to what we thought was the final season.

    I would like to see this one straight someday though, since it seems there is a fair amount missing from the TV print used here (I didn’t spot until years later the Closed Captioned symbol that appears at the start) and the film does have some good(ish) moments.

    Now quit running or I’ll hitcha in the head with a ruler!

    Fave riffs
    “If I don’t see you again Zach…”
    … it’ll be too soon!

    Is there a slower-mo available??

       3 likes

  26. Sitting Duck says:

    Brandon:
    I’m pretty sure I mentioned this already, I can’t remember, but I remember when I watched this with my dad back when it first came out on DVD, my dad was REALLY repelled by the movie, even more so than most of the films shown on MST3K, calling it the creepiest and most unsettling film they did on MST3K.

    Have you ever shown him The Brain that Wouldn’t Die?

    docskippy:
    I’ve probably mentioned this before, but the guy who plays the hero’s drug-dealing friend is a martial artist of some ability who has a small fight scene in the truly awful live action American film adaptation of Fist of the North Star.

    A fellow named schippers did, just up the page. I don’t suppose that happens to be you?

       0 likes

  27. littleaimishboy says:

    Cornjob:
    what the heck was riff near the beginning about the name Lucile being pronounced oddly and loudly like “Leew-seeel”. And third, are we gonna rock?

    Tribute to Mr. Penniman.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jmNe77vces

    so, rock, yes.

       2 likes

  28. docskippy says:

    Sitting Duck: A fellow named schippers did, just up the page. I don’t suppose that happens to be you?

    Yep, that’s me. Ah well, that’s what I get for being lazy and not having original thoughts.

       0 likes

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

    docskippy:
    I’ve probably mentioned this before, but the guy who plays the hero’s drug-dealing friend is a martial artist of some ability who has a small fight scene in the truly awful live action American film adaptation of Fist of the North Star.

    I just thought he was a drug user, not a drug dealer. C’est la.

       2 likes

  30. Johnny Drama says:

    I’ve always loved this episode. It’s the perfect gap filler between the eras. And it also serves to show the fanbase that all is well with the performers. They get along. They might not hang out, but they like each other.
    Episode itself is prime. Season 10, for me, is far and away the best of the Sci-Fi era. The boardroom had lessened it’s grip, and so the show gets to flow back into what it does best. Yeah, a little bitterness still abounds here and there, but they knew they were cancelled at this point, so I get it. Rifftrax only improved on the Mike, Kevin and Bill team. Actually, it perfected it. Rifftrax, for the most part, is way better than the Sci-Fi era. But that’s to be expected. Sci-Fi was the training ground for Rifftrax.
    Over the last year, I’ve become friends with Chuck Williams, who played Tommy in Soultaker. He lives here in Tucson. He’s a great guy, very larger than life, and full of Hollywood stories. The guy has been around. Being a film maker as well, it’s always fun to talk with him. He says MSTies are the best fans of all!

       8 likes

  31. GareChicago says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: I just thought he was a drug user, not a drug dealer. C’est la.

    Well there’s music and riffs over his lines, but he’s trying to (apparently again) convince our ‘hero’ to start selling for him. The ‘hero’ was commenting on how he wanted to buy stuff to work on his car and Imitation Jim McMahon makes his offer.

    “You’re beautiful.”
    – “Yup, she definitely wrote this.”

    Gare.Chicago

       2 likes

  32. Mr. Krasker says:

    Speaking of the drug user/seller, I’ve always wondered about his reaction to using cocaine. I’m no expert, but isn’t coke a stimulant? Why does it make him soooo mellow?

    Also, that seemed like a LOT of cocaine. Wouldn’t it be several hundred thousand dollars’ worth?

       1 likes

  33. What a coincidence. I listened to Movie Sign With the Mads today and it was about the movie I, Tonya, about Tonya Harding. In the podcast Frank talks about how they were tempted to put in a Tonya Harding joke in an episode of MST3K. Now here we are with Soultaker, a MST3K episode with several references to that incident.

       0 likes

  34. Michael Kuzmanovski:
    What a coincidence. I listened to Movie Sign With the Mads today and it was about the movie I, Tonya, about Tonya Harding. In the podcast Frank talks about how they were tempted to put in a Tonya Harding joke in an episode of MST3K. Now here we are with Soultaker, a MST3K episode with several references to that incident.

    And ABC is airing a special on Tonya Harding tonight!

    And, for those who have always said they wanted to see Joel and Mike riff something together, well we got that at the MST3K/Rifftrax reunion a couple years ago.

       1 likes

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

    Mr. Krasker:
    Speaking of the drug user/seller, I’ve always wondered about his reaction to using cocaine. I’m no expert, but isn’t coke a stimulant? Why does it make him soooo mellow?

    At a guess, because low-budget films are notorious for misrepresenting the effects of drugs, at least as far back as “Reefer Madness” (as riffed by Rifftrax), where a mellower was represented as a super-stimulant. Besides, cocaine is easily imitated by flour, sugar, or some other white substance. How many people know what heroin looks like?
    ;-)

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  36. Mr. Krasker says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: At a guess, because low-budget films are notorious for misrepresenting the effects of drugs, at least as far back as “Reefer Madness” (as riffed by Rifftrax), where a mellower was represented as a super-stimulant. Besides, cocaine is easily imitated by flour, sugar, or some other white substance. How many people know what heroin looks like?
    ;-)

    Fair enough. If pot can make a creepy guy play piano manically, I guess coke can make a guy mellow out while killing his friends in a car accident.

    Perhaps I should really just relax? (Does that mean I should snort a line?)

       1 likes

  37. Ray Dunakin says:

    This is another episode that is high on my list of favorites! The movie is watchable and reasonably well-shot, has a goofy premise, lots of inconsistencies, a couple of infamous B movie actors, and the riffing is all top-notch. I also enjoyed the “talking over the end credits” skit, as well as the chance to see Frank and Joel on the show once again.

       4 likes

  38. SaveFerris says:



    What a low budget, cheesy ‘Summerfest’. Here in Milwaukee our Summerfest is billed as The World’s Largest Outdoor Music Festival and worth the price of admission. Sorry, just a small plug.




    I too live in the Milwaukee area, and have been to Summerfest MANY times in its 50 year history (even worked there over two summers during my college days (Marquette U.) back in the early 80’s!), but think many of us may have become a bit ‘brainwashed’ with the idea that this REALLY is the “World’s Largest Music Festival”, and maybe just assume that it’s well known nationally.


    However, when I’ve asked people from other parts of the country (who’ve been to Milwaukee) if they’ve ever attended Summerfest, they almost always look at me with what has now become an overly-familiar, quizzical look, before asking, “What’s Summerfest?” (other than people from Illinois, who not only know about it, but usually attend it……….in droves!).


    It IS big, and always great, I just think it may be a little more of a “well kept secret” than many of us realize.


    Not, of course, that anybody really asked…….. ;-)

       1 likes

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

    I just presumed “Summerfest” was an artificial pseudo-holiday invented to give the citizens of Whatever-town-the-film’s-set-in an excuse to, you know, FEST. Mea culpa.

       4 likes

  40. Colossus Prime says:

    Yay fellow Milwaukee-ans! Yes, our Summerfest is very large and does tend to pull in a lot of great, big name acts. As cited on Wikipedia, “‘The World’s Largest Music Festival’, a title certified by the Guinness World Records since 1999.” I like to watch that part of the movie with an eye of them trying to recreate Milwaukee’s Summerfest just on a low budget.

       2 likes

  41. jjk50 says:

    As someone already posted, The Souuuuuuuuuultaker!
    It’s still funny after all these years, unfortunately the movie isn’t as good as the riff.

       2 likes

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

    schippers:
    Most of Soultaker’s hokum metaphysics I can let pass without caring too much about, but the bit where Natalie’s BF revives with the glow ring containing Natalie’s soul in hand goes a bit too far. Why would the little glow ring-thingy have any tangible existence in the “real” world? Is it like Freddy, pulled from the stuff of dreams and suddenly given mass? That Vivian Schilling wrote herself into that predicament is probably evidence of why her scriptwriting career did not propel her into the upper stratosphere.

    It’s magic. I mean, it’s obviously not science, so it must be magic, and nothing as penny-ante as dream-magic. It’s afterlife-magic, angel-of-death-magic, grim-reaper-magic, divine-magic, it’s GOD-magic and, like religion itself, God-magic is under no obligation whatsoever to make sense. ;-)

    What we see of it is naught but the closest approximation of it that our limited mortal minds can comprehend…and we don’t even understand that

    “If I appeared to you just as God — how I really am, what really am — your mind couldn’t grasp it.” — from “Oh, God” (1977)

       4 likes

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

    SAMPO: 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’?”

    Yet no one does anything with the fact that both films have a Natalie…

    SAMPO: “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.”

    Yet it was Servo who brought it up in the first place, not Mike. Odd.

    In case anyone was wondering, Robert Z’Dar rather distinctive face is apparently the result of a genetic disorder called cherubism. Obviously, not nearly as distinctive as Rondo Hatton, who owed his looks to acromegaly, but I suppose there might be a parallel or two. The credits identify Z’Dar’s role as The Angel of Death himself. I’m not sure what it means that he’s walking Joe Soultaker through what should be a basic run.

    Z’Dar also appeared in Rifftrax’s “Samurai Cop” (which as noted elsewhere I recently acquired), where he’s a white guy with a Japanese name, Yama **** a, so obviously his character had one “ethnically Japanese” paternal ancestor, Mr. Yama **** a, and the name was retained throughout later generations where increasingly caucasian-looking Yama **** as married more caucasians. Simple. ;-)

    EDIT (the system wouldn’t depict the fifth and sixth and seventh and eighth letters of the name (because they spell excrement) so that’s why I spaced them out like that)

    2nd EDIT (and even THAT didn’t work; teh)

    In fact, Z’Dar appeared in, as John Carradine might say, “a lot of crap” over the years and probably deserves to have a stronger MST3K/Rifftrax presence than he does. So it goes.

    I realized that, almost certainly without realizing it, the makers of “Samurai Cop” kind of subverted a classic martial arts film theme: It’s noted that Joe “Samurai Cop” Marshall trained in martial arts in Japan but at no point does anyone say that he turned out to be any good at it. So finally there’s a white protagonist who DIDN’T equal or surpass the skills of all “native” practitioners of a “foreign” combat technique.

       2 likes

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

    MiqelDotCom:
    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!!!!

    Little Rabbit Froo Froo
    Hopping through the forest
    Scooping up the field mice
    And banging them on the head…

       1 likes

  45. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    Mela: And for some reason, I got a kick out of surly, insulting malfunctioning Gypsy (“Jump up my tube, white boy!”).

    Love this episode — the host segments, the awfulness of the movie, the riffing. Since Gypsy is my favorite ‘bot it was great to see what happens when she goes off the rails.

    As an aside, I loved Gypsy’s old falsetto voice, and her new voice in Season 11 was terrible. I like her being smart yet socially clueless and dippy, in a sweet way, not edgy and sarcastic.

       4 likes

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

    Shouldn’t there have been some riff to the effect of Joooeeeeltaker!?
    ;-)

    I’m Evil:
    The hero in “Soultaker” was Zack Taylor.Zachary Taylor ran against (and beat) Van Buren in 1848…that’s all I got. Anyone else?

    Zachary Taylor is also the name of a character in Hal “Give me an abandoned warehouse and a Camero and I’ll give you drama” Needham’s “Megaforce” (1982). Coincidence? Yeah, one would have to think. ;-)

    “Megaforce” was virtually branded into the psyche of comic book fans in the eighties via this ad that was, for a time, almost omnipresent on the back covers of comic books:

    http://www.allaboutduncan.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/megaforce_ad.jpg

    Gummo:
    “Interior:me, tousled but tawny.”

    “Interior me”? I beg your pardon?!
    ;-)

    Spector:
    Wonderful moment but also bittersweet given that this was the “beginning of the end” for the series.

    But, as demonstrated by Film Crew, Cinematic Titanic, and Rifftrax, Season Ten was the end of the beginning…

    variation on a theme: “Oh, I wish I could [help], but I don’t want to.” — Phoebe on “Friends”

       1 likes

  47. Jason says:

    A top ten episode for me. A shame that Shout! was unable to renew the license. To the rights holders of Soultaker: Can’t we just rock?

       0 likes

  48. Lisa H. says:

    Yeti of Great Danger: As an aside, I loved Gypsy’s old falsetto voice, and her new voice in Season 11 was terrible. I like her being smart yet socially clueless and dippy, in a sweet way, not edgy and sarcastic.

    I agree. I can live with the new voice, but she doesn’t really do it for me as a character.

       4 likes

  49. Johnny Drama says:

    Yeah, they basically turned Gypsy into Magic Voice in Season 11

       2 likes

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

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

    Minimal credit where minimal credit is due, Servo at least didn’t gloat over the fact that he himself will never have the problem of getting something in his eye inasmuch as, in a strictly literal sense, Servo HAS no eyes. ;-)

    Big McLargeHuge:
    #100–Oh my God, are you serious?A Chippendale’s dancer?So did he have to wear a thong on this chin, too?:shock:

    Sounds like a job for Chinderwear.

    The topic of course begs the question of whether or not Mr. Z’Dar’s face is in direct proportion to his…

    Chantal Lupino:
    I am not sure why alexa sent me here but I should probably I have been pretty entertained by the comments you have sourced together.How many years did it take to begin to get so many people showing up to your blog?I am rather new to this blog thing.

    Huh. Wonder what she wanted.

       1 likes

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