MST3K movies tend to be one of the following, with some examples:
Nice idea, shame that the budget wasn’t up to it (Demon Squad)
Nice idea, but you hired the wrong actors (Alien from L.A.)
This could have been a decent movie if you’d made a couple of different decisions (Devil Doll)
This is a good movie, but it’s a bizarre one too (The Sword and the Dragon)
You clearly don’t have the talent or the resources for this, but had a go anyway (Manos)
This is just bizarre (Pod People)
Well-executed, but you make some very questionable writing choices (Mitchell)
The inherent premise is bad in the first place and nothing can redeem it, but you didn’t even try (Castle of Fu Manchu, apparently, I’ve not watched it)
I doubt you’d want to subject Emily and her bots to RollerGator, which is what Rifftrax seems to consider the worst they’ve done. To quote the page on their website:
Shot on video without any fancy pants “microphones” or “lights” or “permits to record here”, Rollergator is truly something to behold. We’re not saying this is the worst movie we’ve ever done here at RiffTrax, but that’s only because we aren’t being asked to do so under penalty of perjury. Please join Mike, Kevin, and Bill for Rollergator .
[shrug] I think Soultaker made for a very good episode. Its badness is mostly due to budgetary constraints and its need to stretch a thin story to fill a whole move instead of a short or one-hour TV pilot. If it feels less “real” somehow than a Wood work, at least some of that is due to its age.
I think it wins points mainly for earnestness and just how weird it’s whole in-movie mythology is. Compared to a lot of other low budget horror shot around the same time, it’s practically competent. It falls flat in the execution, but mainly because it’s so formulaic and they didn’t quite have the money or talent to do better. (There’s only so far Joe Estevez can take you.) I agree that if you threw enough Hollywood money at it, it basically would have become Final Destination.
As an interesting aside, Soultaker was actually the second film that Vivian Schilling wrote and starred in. The previous year, she did a movie called Terror Eyes, which I haven’t seen yet, but judging by Soultaker and VHS box cover, I’m just going to assume that it’s quite bad:
She actually co-wrote that one with producer Eric Parkinson, who appears to be the common thread linking all these movies together, since he also produced Soultaker, Project Eliminator, Legend of Wolf Mountain, Future Shock, and basically every other movie that she and the rest of the Soultaker gang have been in. The dude was CEO of Hemdale films and made his money as a video distributor, so it all starts to make sense now… because while you’re marketing major studio hits like Terminator and Platoon, you can slip in your own low budget films on the cheap.
Actually, this is pretty much exactly how the record label I used to work for operated, which was run as a side hustle/passion project by a Sony Music distributor. He knew everybody in the biz, and was able to use those connections to get our local bands into stores, magazines, playing The Viper Room and opening for huge acts like the White Stripes, and all sorts of other places that would have normally been totally off limits to some local guys from “the bay area” (which actually meant Sacramento.)
I can pretty much guarantee that if Rifftrax did this, there’s a 100% chance we’d get a “Golden Corral’s New Slogan!” after the kid beans up in the back of the car and announces “I can make myself throw up whenever I want. It’s like a super power or something.”