Mystery Science Theater 3000: SOULTAKER
February 14, 2018 3:48 AM - Season 10, Episode 1 - Subscribe

"There is no stairway to heaven." Because it turns out to be an elevator. Some dumb teens cross the Maximum Allowable Dumb line and are punished via a car crash that kills them. But wait, maybe they aren't dead? Because it turns out the Grim Reaper (Joe Estevez) is incompetent and can't leave personal issues at home. His boss (Robert Z'dar) is so going to write him up. This is a great episode, not just because the movie is goofy and the riffing excellent. This is the episode where "TVs" Frank Conniff and show creator and first host Joel Hodgson come back to visit! This is the first episode of the 10th season of MST3K, the final classic season of the show. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered June 27, 1998. 12 episodes left.

Episode 1001 SOULHTAKER

Satellite News - Mighty Jack's Episode Review - War of the Colossal Fan Guide - Annotated MST3K - TVTropes

Pauk Chaplin reports in 1001's entry in the ACEG:
A major show, to say the least. Obviously I should explain a little about the "Hot Fish Shop." The only Hot Fish Shop I know of was, until very recently, located along Highway 61 in Winona, Minnesota, on the Mississippi. A local landmark, it closed just weeks ago, in fact possibly on the very day this show aired for the first time. I wonder.
Having Joel and Frank around for a few days was cool. I got to sit with Joel just like the old days and run lines with him. We actually did some rewriting as he was getting his makeup done. I like Joel. He's weird, which results in his being funny.
Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt
Rotten Tomatoes (Critics 0%!, Viewers 28%) - Wikipedia - TVTropes
IMDB (1990, 2.3 stars)
"Four teenagers are killed in a car accident. Two of the teenagers refuse to go with 'The Grim Reaper' and a race between life and death ensues!"
Directed by Michael Rissi. Written by Vivian Schilling and Eric Parkinson. Starring Joe Estevez, Vivian Schilling and Gregg Thomsen, with David "Shark" Fralick (as "David Shark") and Robert Z'Dar as the Angel of Death.

This is of course the famous episode where Frank and Joel came back to be in a few host segments. They're great moments!

AV Club considers this one of the 10 most-essential MST episodes.

This is one of a few episodes that used to be up on YouTube in annotated form from Shout Factory, but isn't anymore because the lost the rights. It's also not currently available new on DVD, but-shh!--As this writing they have four copies used. There's a Reddit post on the MST3K board that the director of Soultaker posted an IMDB review of his own movie, and in the process complained about how the guys treated his film.

Here's the lyrics to the theme song for the 10th season.

Speaking of theme songs, Joel's shout-out to Man or Astroman? is because the band has been known to perform the Love Theme to MST3K on stage. Here it is live (but kind of confusingly filmed), and a studio recording.
posted by JHarris (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Fun episode, but that scene with the girl and her mom in the bathroom is deeply creepy.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:00 AM on February 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Coked-up balding loser friend was played by David "Shark" Fralick, a regular on some soap opera back in the day.

Re: the collective assessment of the IMDb comments… I mean, it's a bad movie, but for its genre/budget category it's not as bad as many. I might even go so far as to say "it has its moments," but I will not go so far as to assert which moments those might be. (Except to say that Mom's Peepshow is certainly not one of them.)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:10 AM on February 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was thinking the other day, the only way MST3k club could be any better is if JHarris bought a van and we all cruised around solving mysteries and having adventures and stuff.

Just wanted to say.
posted by valkane at 9:23 AM on February 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Mystery Science Theater Machine? Ruh roh. (Dibs on Shaggy; I've been growing a bad beard for just such an occasion)
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:29 AM on February 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Aaah I got the release date wrong! There's so many little things to remember in the format... it was first shown April 11, 1999.
posted by JHarris at 4:20 PM on February 14, 2018

Soultaker is maybe not the best episode, but I think it's my favorite.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:48 PM on February 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Your film has set my soul on fire, burnin' out of control
You taught me the ways of desire, now it's takin' its toll
You're the right kind of sinner, to release my inner fantasy
The invincible winner, and you know that you were born to be...

You're a Soultaker
Ghost maker, a Sheen faker
Don't you mess around with me
You're a Soultaker
Ghost maker, a Sheen faker
Don't you mess around, no no no!
posted by valkane at 4:45 AM on February 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

It's time for MST Club!

MST Club is our weekly internet watching party for that
week's episode (plus one) of Mystery Science Theater 3000!
These take place Thursday evening starting at 7 PM Eastern
time (that's 4 PM Pacific) and lasting to about 10:40. We also
put in other things and generally have a lot of fun!
No one says you have to show up at the beginnning, either.
Come at whenever time, stay for however long!

This week's show is at

THIS WEEK we're watching:
| 9 PM| 6 PM|1001 SOULTAKER     |

posted by JHarris at 8:09 AM on February 15, 2018

Was a fun evening, even though the stretched out ending to Soultaker kind of dragged on.

I do have a policy change to announce. Imagine my surprise when the episode I linked on YouTube in the post had been taken down by the time we got to the showing! While we were able to find an alternate, the timing of the takedown was suspicious. This is like this third time, in the history of our trip through the series, that an episode has been taken down in the one or two days between posting and showing.

I am considering no longer linking YouTube videos in the post. You can usually find the episode pretty easily through a YouTube search if it exists (which I would still report). This is as an effort to not give automated link-finding, takedown spiders (assuming they exist) something to work with. What do you guy think?
posted by JHarris at 4:52 AM on February 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yes, please. Let’s not endanger the circulation of the tapes.
posted by valkane at 7:14 AM on February 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was thinking the other day, the only way MST3k club could be any better is if JHarris bought a van and we all cruised around solving mysteries and having adventures and stuff.

Does that make me Velma? Or TV's_Velma, as the case may be?

Not being able to see without my glasses could only have helped this movie experience.
posted by ilana at 4:48 PM on February 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

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