Captured in five weeks on a $250,000 budget, this Direct-To-Video release saw limited theatrical showings with eight prints circulated in the U.S. Even with bad reviews, Soultaker (1990) won the Saturn Award for “Best Genre Video Release in 1992.” A followup was even considered with Faye Dunaway and James Earl Jones. The idea turned into Quietus a novel published in 2002. Wet T-Shirt Contest, Malfunctions, TV’s Frank, Joel. “Johnny Cash… Johnny Cash…, Johnny Cash…”, “I’m Ed Bradley… I’m Steve Kroft… I’m Lesley Stahl…” “All this plus Andy Rooney” or “This is your brain on death, any questions?”
It’s not a good movie. The plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and there’s a lot of cliches and padding. BUT it’s a lot closer to being not-bad than most of what we see on this show.
I want to add that I find the hypocrisy of a lot of the riffs in Soultaker to be off the charts. Really irksome if not actually offensive. The guys leer for a whole sub-segment at the heroine in the bath scene, but then they also mock her for writing herself -what?- one or two lines where her paramour says, “You’re beautiful.” Feh.
I saw their opinion of her really bleed into the fandom, too. Someone called her a Mary Sue, and… no. The whole driver of the movie’s plot is that only her family a…
This is a case where I feel like some of the writers genuinely hated this movie, way out of proportion to how bad it actually is. The credits with them sneering at the hero make that clear. I still really enjoy the episode, though. Most of the riffs are fine, and the reunion sketches are enough to bring it well above average.
This thread is one in a series others and myself have done covering various episodes across MST3K’s run. Below are links to every episode specific topic created so far.
optiMSTie argued Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) is “the first true masterpiece of the show’s run”. Speed Racer, Jennifer Beals, Jack Nicholson, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). The nods cover so much and the level of pop culture references engulf you like the monsters. This won me as a teenager and hasn’t lost anything. Rex Dart, The Jet Jaguar Song, Orvile Redenbacher and his Grandson’s Journey Into Night. Is it as good as ever? The start of MST’s Golden Age?
A pivotal one for me. MST3K and Godzilla. 2 for 1. The seafood jokes, “Batman!”, “A planet where apes evolved from men?”, The Godzilla Genealogy Bop, Crow and Servo as the Mothra Twins, a Tippi Hedren riff. This is near and dear to my heart. Almost as much as Cave Dwellers (1984). The emergence of the Golden Era of the show is there in the episode. The replay is high and I pop it in often. First impressions? What do you recall or remember?
The show that changed my life. Lonely, depressed, a kid without friends, I gambled on a VHS named Cave Dwellers with weird silhouettes at the bottom. I went home, placed it in the player, and I was transported to another dimension I immediately fell for. “Music by The Super Mario Bros”, “a Mark VII Production”, “Warriors come out and PLAY-AY!!!” The hits just keep on coming in this opus of riffs and incompetence. Is this one of MST’s Greatest Hits? A classic?
My second MST experience. Having loved Cave Dwellers (1984), I ran back into my local On Cue and snatched this hoping for a repeat. “Daktari”, “Potatoes”, “With a name like Smuckers…” It had everything. Host Segments, running gags, aliens. “Pepperidge Farm remembers…” and I never forgot. The Wizard of Oz (1939) of Mystery Science? Does it “stink” today as it did then?
One of my favorites. Love the riffs. However, I did find the source material of the miniseries on YT.
猿の軍団 - YouTube This is episode 1. The intro song is longer here. Also the comments are little boxes with numbers. You can read my comments though. Someone should fansub this. There is a DVD set. I think it’s out of print, Amazon shows it at $500. Anyone else like this? Or the longer series, if you understand Japanese?
Corman… Roger Corman… Roger directs this saga of Viking Women searching for their men. “Call me Ishmael”, “Take Your Hands Off Her! You Damn Dirty Ape!”, “Hey look! All My Vikings!” The Mad’s Meat Re-Animator, Joel’s Waffle Iron, Willy the Waffle, the Waffle Song. “Eric’s Small Cigars” or “Brought to You by a Grant from the Mobile Corporation”?
Note: The full title is The Saga of the Viking Women and their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1958) and it hit theaters April 10th 1958 …
I ordered this on VHS and I wasn’t disappointed. John Carradine and Tor Johnson? What a pair! “Hey your car is barking, better change your barkplugs!”, “What is this, Dog on a Hot Tin Roof?”, “Avon calling!” Dr. F’s Hard Pills To Swallow, a Life-Size Flintstone Vitamin, the Jackie Mason Jar, Posture Pals, “Time for go to bed.” A stinky black and white or “Music by the Edgar Allan Poe Marching Band”?
An MST episode I hadn’t seen till a few days ago. My mind is blown. So much pain in this picture. It’s off the charts. Easily one of the worst experiments in the show’s run. If watching James Bond were going to the dentist, you’d have this. Memories of seeing Castle the first time or thoughts? Where does Fu Manchu fall in MST history?
“A cable access version of Marooned” (1969) and directed by John Sturges, Space Travelers “is star-studded isn’t it?” Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus, Gene Hackman. “Oh Gene Hackman… He’s good in anything.” Tons of money, Oscar-Winning Special Effects. Did it amount to much? Beats me. “We’re in it now… Up to our necks…”, “Ahh the One-Armed Man is chasing me… I need a drink…”, “Like Father like Son, think about it, won’t you?” Is it “the big blue marble brought to yo…
Comedy Central was my go-to on a good share of episodes. A bunch of Season 4 landed in my collection entirely because I’d videotape any MSTie listing I brushed across. Space Travelers (1969), City Limits (1984), Being from Another Planet (1982), Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959), Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964). I grabbed the lot and watched them to death. “Earth girls are easy!”, “Run, Toto, Run!”, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?” Teenagers from Outer Space (1959) easily rose to the …
Titled Time Walker (1982) and renamed owing to FVI’s repackaging, Being from Another Planet scalded me in my adolescence BIG TIME when my recording of MST3K led me into this corpse. Goofy titles, dumb university, young people waiting to die. The Boiler Room was the monster’s runway and the movie uses it over and over. Austin Stoker? Darwin Joston? Where’s John Carpenter? Tragic Moments, the Jack Palance Impersonator Kit. Petrified poodle or Dead Man Walking?
Photographed in eight days including outdoors at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) paired with A Bucket of Blood (1959) and House of Usher (1960) on American International Double Bills. Spending $70,000 and casting Playboy’s Miss July 1959 Yvette Vickers as Liz Walker, they spared no expense or did they? The Holoclowns, Patches the Leech, The Insty-Adolescence Kit, Undersea Kingdom, Weird Dreams, “A Danger to Myself and Others”, The Motives o…
Made near Dallas, Texas, The Killer Shrews (1959) and The Giant Gila Monster (1959) wrapped back-to-back on the same soundstages. Setting producers back $123,000, The Killer Shrews leaned on its director Ray Kellogg who acted as head of 20th Century Fox’s fx department for most of the 50s and supervised Shrews’ special effects. Hand puppets on close-ups and hunting dogs costumed as shrews in the wider shots, the illusion translated to a million in box office. Present Time, The Mads Drilling Into…
Once Cave Dwellers (1984) and Pod People (1983) endeared themselves to me, I began taping episodes on Comedy Central. A few came and went before “DEEP HURTING!!!” found me. “SANDSTORM!!!”, “I AM the button”, “Pizza Pizza.” I was hooked. The Amazing Booby Trap Illusion, the Bots as musclemen, Pants!. This is ever so watchable. I can’t resist it whenever it’s on. Fan favorite? One for the ages?
Aka The Eye Creatures, this Made-For-TV color remake of Invasion of the Saucer Men (1967) came to be to fill an order of AIP films meant for television. Headlined by John Ashley and produced and directed by Larry Buchanan, Eye Creatures spent half its budget on its star. When reissued, the extra the in the title was added. The Best Friends Stage, The Router Ouija Board, Funny Gag Fax, Tom’s Urges, Earl Hollimann, The Rip Taylor Trio. “It was a dull movie and Allstate was there”, “Time to end my …
A hip boring misfire reduced to yelling “ONLY KIDDING!” at the end. Missing astronaut, rising radiation, mumbo-jumbo, and dancing filter into this slow dull dud of an oops. Incoherent isn’t even descriptive enough. Two directors, a four year gap, half the cast recast, one actor gaining so much weight he’s brought back as the brother of who he was before. A Frankenpicture if ever there was one. “This has been a test. Had this been an actual movie, you would have been entertained.” Quite right. Wo…
Originally called Sampo (1959), this Soviet-Finnish production lost 24 minutes in the U.S. release known as The Day the Earth Froze. Every scene was filmed 4 times using two cameras as the picture featured either Finnish or Russian dialogue. A pastoral spectacle adapted from Finnish poetry, it is ripe for the riffing. “The Adventures of Fjord Fairlane”, “Kenny G”, “It’s a nice day for a wet wedding.” The fantasy encourages the ribbing and Day embodies what we love about the show. Fool’s Gold or …
Allegedly Ed Wood’s most costly brainchild, Bride of the Monster (1955) bounced in and out of production. Rolling in 54, stretching into 55, ballooning to $70,000, Bride was somewhat profitable but Wood oversold his shares to where he saw little of it. Lugosi collected a grand on his last speaking role and much of the making of Bride is chronicled in Ed Wood (1994). Crow’s Dreams, The Tough Love Seat, Microwave Faith Popcorn, Hired! Part I, Hired! The Musical, Tater Tots and Olive Loaf. “Bram St…
MST3K touches us as few programs can. Hilarity, irreverence, comaraderie, pain. Certain shows accomplish specific things. Cave Dwellers (1984) and Pod People (1983) were all-arounds. Good at everything, not too terrible, and great for beginners. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966), Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964). They were romps with a specific theme in this case the monsters or title character. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) stood as the torture test and holy…
A movie of many names. Il Giustiziere della terra Perduta aka Vigilante of the Lost Earth, Mad Rider, and I predatori dell’anno Omega or Raiders of the Omega Year. A Mad Max clone in an era of them. Donald Pleasence, Persis Khambatta, The Paper Chase Guy, Megaweapon. A Whole Lot of 80s. Servo’s Welcome Speech, The Square Master, Bitter Sweethearts, Hot Slot Bots, The Warrior Without A Driving Permit, Apocalypse Plans. “Music by Hawkwind or Genesis or Tangerine Dream or King Crimson or Uriah Heep…
After surviving The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969), I leapt to one of my favorite episodes. 506. Eegah (1962). Also on the shortlist of MST’s greatest offenders. Irony is this is so much a pleasure compared to Fu Manchu. Why is Eegah easier to go down compared to Manos (1966) or The Creeping Terror (1964)? Is it the genre, Richard Kiel, or the endless singing? Maybe the sitcom writing that disguises the truth? Where did you first see it and where does it rank in MST Deep Hurting?
Wavering on whether or not to include this, the affection shown by fans convinced me. Morals, juvenile delinquency, Caprcorn, I Accuse My Parents (1944) tastes the rainbow of MST3K. Inspired writing, ideal subject, flawless elevation of the formula, Joel and Best Brains pulverize the target eviscerating what’s near into powder. Cake n’ Shake, the Junk-Drawer Organizer, Nude Tom Servo. The Pinocchio Syndrome, the Bots draw their families, Jimmy’s lies. “Jules and Jim!”, A young Al Bundy!", “Liar…
A fave of mine even without the riffing. Three servants, a mad old woman, a nuclear scientist. Sounds like a sitcom. Weird narrator, brain transplants, people constantly using the stairs. “So we chaaaaaaaange partners!” “Selznick International Pictures”, “The Strange Loves of Martha Washington”, “Tonight on a very special Grandma Ironside.” Peak early Mike or a whole lot of darkness?
One of the best MST3K episodes of all time. Also, Adam West.
The music alone escorts me to the first time I saw it. “Da dada dada da da da…” Mike showing off his sound system driving the bots away, The Satellite of Love Coffee Shop, Tom and Crow crawling into Gypsy. Has a monster taking the scenic route ever felt this long? “The Unbearable Whiteness of Being” or Mike’s Manos (1966)?
The Skydivers (1963). Frank summed it as “kinda like Manos without the lucid plot.” Love Triangles, Acid in Parachutes, the FAA, Francisland is everywhere. Bleak living, pained faces, liquid comfort. Show choirs, “Uranus”, shop class. “This Is downright Hitchcockian…” “Robyn Hitchcock.” “I wet 'em!”, “They should set a place for Eraserhead.” “Let’s do the Sky Diver!!!” or “a National Geographic Special”?
I haven’t seen a thread about this episode yet, but once I saw this news, I had to create one:
Vinegar Syndrome’s partner label Deaf Crocodile is releasing THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON (a.k.a. Ilya Muromets) on Blu-ray this month???
Some pretty interesting special features on this disc, along with some really rad cover art (as is usual). The distributor also has the rights to The Day The Earth Froze (Sampo) so that’s likely heading our way as well.
Thoughts on this release? The film? …
Coleman Francis directs and stars? What more could anyone ask? John Carradine singing, Curly jokes aplenty, “Hi! I’m Cherokee Jack!” Coffee, crime, everlasting close-ups. This, Creeping Terror (1964), and Yucca Flats (1961) are neck and neck as Mike’s worst experiment. As Crow said, “I want to hurt this movie, but I could never hurt it as it hurt me.” Chemotherapy or “Sal Mineo for Viceroy”?
In my teens taping Mystery Science episodes off of Comedy Central, this one felt perfect. Two shorts (Money Talks! and Progress Island U.S.A.), one terrible movie, and that Comedy Central flavor in every bite. Choice skits like Crow’s Anti-Film Preservation Society, the wait for 11:30, and the victory and concession speeches shove this into higher territory. The riffs, energy, and pace mark Beast as the best of the Mike era. There’s very little negative I can say. This typifies why I fell for th…
Ideal for those who’ve never seen the program. Exceptionally strong and the riffs burn like steaks on the Fourth of July. Peter Lawford, Jack Palance, Jim Backus, Alan Hale Jr, Pat Buttrum, Arthur Godfrey. The familiar faces lace this with nostalgia as Charlie’s A-Team takes a bite out of crime. Rollie Fingers and Tug McGraw, Chocolate Jones and the Temple of Funk, Mike as The Fonz. “Kelly LeBrock’s Heroes!”, “Fox Force Five!”, “The Mommies: An action-packed adventure.” Season Six Greatness or …
They spent $250,000 on this movie? In 1990? Did they pay Joe Estevez $230,000?
Imagine what the
Demon Squad (budget: $15,000) folks could have done with that kind of money.
Right? The bucks aren’t there on the screen. It comes off cheaper than what they had.
I guess it got yanked off Youtube, but Joe Bob hosting it on The Movie Channel in October 1994 with Vivian Schilling being interviewed is available on Darcy Mail Girl’s Patreon page.
Perhaps there were some relevant technical innovations in the ensuing almost-three decades…?
[ETA- Say what you will about this movie. Unlike
DS, it would appear they got access to more than one floor of the mansion. lol ]
it’s not currently available in the gizmoplex, which makes me sad. this is one of my favorite episodes.
But hey. As with the other episodes that’re unavailable, at least the host segments are still there on YouTube.
I think I’ve only seen this episode twice, possibly only once, and I remember it being pretty good. It’s probably one of those episodes that would be on more people’s favorites list if it was actually available.
I believe it was a rare case of a movie being forced on them by the Sci-Fi channel and they didn’t want to do it in the first place.
lol. They did far worse than this, whether by choice or not.
It isn’t alone. A number of Sci-Fi offerings invariably failed to reach Best Brains muster. Hence Best Brains and Sci-Fi’s relations. It’s evident to me Soultaker (1990) is especially distasteful to the writers given the number of burns, slams, and putdowns found in the experiment. Servo is noticeably unkind and Kevin’s slams are reminiscent of Manosesque frustration. FlyingSquid is dead-on. The degree of dislike in evidence in this show is proportional to their having no say on whether to do it or not. This can’t be underestimated. They produced this episode under duress and against their better judgment. The questionable jokes for some were commentary on the film itself and rolling with the dreck they were forced to work with. I again think of Manos (1966) and how the riffing adapted to meet the movie. The same thing occured here. For better or worse.
This movie isn’t even close to being as terrible as
P.S. We all have preferences. Some of us are capable of stomaching different things. To them at the time, the humor they used indicated they were forced to tackle it. When one doesn’t choose something, it makes it worse. Even if to anyone else, it may not seem so bad. The hell here was subjective but I feel it whenever I watch 1001. It may not be your slice of torment. Though to the people riffing, their displeasure regardless of the movie’s merits is on par with the agitation they felt on Manos (1966). While for seperate reasons. My take.
That’s true, but a lot of that’s in FX, and Soultaker’s only real FX was the glowing ring thing. I suppose film itself and processing and editing were all more expensive then as well. But $250k in 1990 dollars is $489,000 in 2019 dollars, and I think the Demon Squad guys could have done something pretty impressive if their budget had been 3200% higher. Like rent a second floor or something.
I’d agree with you. Yet what I’m laying out is the experience of toiling away on a flick you neither wanted nor picked. Free will effects how enjoyable work is. It always does. Being forced to riff against your will could lead to Manos-like (1966) anger even on pedestrian content. Also many of us encounter purgatory in our own way and it’s not always the same.
I also feel reasonably sure that one of these had to pay Union labor, and that the other one did not…?
I don’t know. I don’t really get the unbridled love so many people are expressing for
DS. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not really a go-to genre of movie (or TV show) for me. So at least for now I’m not ga-ga over it. Like Soultaker, it’d be far more tolerable unriffed than something like Manos or Coleman Does Coffee From A Plane. That’s the about the kindest thing I can say about it.