908. The Touch of Satan (1971)

I did enjoy this episode I agree with some of the previous posts about beez being awesome as Steffi the babysitter I could not stop laughing at those segments. And of course you have the classic this is where the fish lives and Melissa two sheds Strickland.

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It’s never said in the version we see. IDK if it was cut for time. But my assumption was that Melissa’s sister Lucinda had a child. Either with someone from out of town or after the sisters left town and went somewhere that no one knew them. And then that child got married. So, although they appear to be Melissa’s parents, she’s actually their (great?) aunt. Which is why they defer to her as a family elder.

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Looked into it a bit more.

Melissa, Lucinda, Luther, and Molly all have the last name Strickland. Melissa is 127 years old. The actor who played Luthor was in his early 60s at the time. Meaning Lucinda would have been in her 60s when he was born. 30 was on the late side to have kids even just when the film was shot. (I was born around then. Mom was around 30. But I was her third kid.) So I would guess that Lucinda had a child out of wedlock, probably with someone from out of town, and that Luthor is Lucinda’s great grandson.

Also, according to IMDB:

The film was edited down for its appearance on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1998. Among the scenes edited were a conversation between Melissa and Lucinda, more graphic images of Lucinda killing the deputy, a conversation between Luther and Molly Strickland about Melissa and Jodie’s relationship, and a scene where Melissa and Lucinda’s father denounces them after the villagers attack.

So even if there was an unseen brother, it’s unlikely that he would have acknowledged the girls as part of the family, and I don’t think any other family members would have stuck around with Melissa.

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“I actually need something meat-hooked. I’m going to go see if Grandma is up.”

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“Yep, I think he still has those shoes on, you guys. I can hear em.”

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There’s a full version of the film at the Internet Archive. I tried skipping around to the scenes where I thought they might discuss Melissa’s relationship to Luther and Molly, but I couldn’t find anything. Best of luck to people with more time/patience than me.

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Out of curiosity, what compelled you to look? A sense there was more to that story? MST3K edits to the movie? Restored footage?

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I always knew that Luther and Molly weren’t Melissa’s actual parents, but it wasn’t until the conversation upthread that I actually got curious as to who they were. Which seems to be more thought than the director ever put in.

There are some bits in the full version that were edited out for MST3k, including a 360° shot of Melissa after Grandma kills the deputy that might qualify as interesting but certainly doesn’t qualify as necessary.

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So many great riffs in this one, but the best is: “Talk quicker!”

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“Ah, this does drag, doesn’t it?”

I swear, there is more footage of pauses than dialogue. This would be unwatchable without the riffing.

Another example of the 70’s devil movies that were all the rage then. While I am not a big horror fan in the first place, the 70’s satan flick really didn’t interest me for the most part. But even worse, god this film is boring. Nothing against the talent, but some of the slowest editing and speaking ever.

And worse, more examples of people who just do what they are told so that the plot moves.
Also, Satan in this film isn’t all that…sataney. What exactly is the dark one’s plan? Rescue some girls and make them immortal? And? It’s not really supernatural horror when you only have just a touch of the devil in your film.

But the riffing really does a great job of pointing out the foibles and having fun with it. This is one where Mike and the Bot’s really save this one. I mean look at all the great quotes above.

The weird thing, the lead actress reminds me of the witch from Magical Disappearing Money. I know it’s not, but there is a similarity in line delivery.

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Well, it gets downplayed a lot, but the devil is 100% dedicated to saving you money. You get to be immortal, but you’ve gotta teach people to be thrifty.

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Avarice is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

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Satan is all about giving back. Helping souls save money, sure, but he’s also a big booster for education.

It’s not just about him and what he gets out of the deal.

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As my daughter said while watching Bedazzled (the good 1967 one) last night, “Satan kind of seems like the good guy here.”

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Roy Thinnes! From Code Name Diamond Head!

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Can’t forget: he’s also Dr. Damn Unappealing from General Hospital.

Happy Birthday GIF by Klaus Knuth Illustration

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There’s a lot of things which undo this movie: the boring-because-bored couple, the utterly illogical story, the various presumed line flubs (which our hosts mine as well as anyone could), and the 1K budget.

I agree with Mike that the score sounds incongruous from moment to moment, but at least when I focus on that, I’m less bored.

Strictly average episode for me. All kudos to “Steffi,” though. She’s got way more villainous screen presence in a couple of minutes than Grandma Kramer could manage even once over a whole film.

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One thing I wondered about also, is the film kind of glosses over the fact that Lucinda has gotten out a number of times before, and I assume has killed previously too…and yet this little community is still in the dark about almost regular murders in the area.

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Except for the guy talking about the fromichidal maniac.

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“Whoa! Hot dog, French fries, ramen noodles… Wow, look at him go!” “Um, Jody? That’s gonna take the paint off your car.” “You know, a vomit stained Maverick was hardly a rarity in those days.” “I’m here to tell you, nope.”

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