MST3K
Advertisement

(Townspeople are singing "Amazing Grace", the second time it's been used in the film)

This song is in the public domain. That's why we used it twice.

  — Tom Servo


The Movie

Main article: The Touch of Satan (film)

Synopsis

A young man traveling through a secluded small town begins a romance with a farm family's daughter. He soon discovers that the family has a dark secret.

The Episode

Host Segments

"Here we come a-wassailing!"

Prologue: Tom and Crow are out caroling for Wassail, with severe financial penalties if Mike is unable to deliver said Wassail.

Segment One: Mike finds a loophole in the song in that it doesn't specify the condition of the Wassail, but their antics are interrupted when they learn that Pearl has gone on vacation and hired Steffi the babysitter to look after things. She's not quite prepared for the strangeness and treats everybody like small children much to torment of Bobo and Brian.

Segment Two: A very sweaty Mike learns that walnut ranching is harder than one would expect, while Tom has taken up pecan farming with much better results.

Beez McKeever as Steffi

Segment Three: Yet again, Crow is influenced by the movie and believes he is a witch, a fact borne out of his ability to survive the test of being buried under rocks. Acting as a voice of reason, Mike points out his survival is due to his nature as a robot, but ends up making things worse when he suggests that Crow could just as easily be a frog.

Segment Four: Tom's Grandma attempts to pitchfork Mike. Tom points out that he can distinguish between his grandmothers by their desire to commit murder.

Mike tries walnut farming

Closing (Segment Five): Crow believes that he has sold his soul to Satan and will soon gain unworldly powers, but Mike discovers a typo - Crow has instead sold his soul to "Stan", a CPA (or Certified Public Accountant). Down in Castle Forrester, Steffi attempts to read Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, but Brian is a little overtired and Bobo still insists on being a bad dog.

Stinger: Melissa advises Jody that "This is where the fish lives".

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast

Trivia

  • Like all the R-rated films shown on the show, it was edited for time and for content, including the scene where Lucinda stabs the policeman in the neck and the end sequence where "Grandma" goes partially topless.
  • Mary Jo Pehl was absent from this episode as she was traveling to L.A. to shoot segments featuring film critic Leonard Maltin for the next episode of MST3K.

Callbacks

Goofs

  • Crow cracks a joke as the shack burns in the movie, and his mouth continues to move for a moment after he finishes talking.

Unusual Credits

  • Steffi can be heard repeatedly hitting Bobo with a newspaper while he tries to explain he wasn't barking.

Running Jokes

  • The many allusions to Satan/The Devil; including other entities, symbols and titles representing him.
    • Mike: "There he goes. So long, foul deceiver."
    • Crow: "Bon voyage, odious spinner of lies!"
    • Tom: "Hasta luego, Maverick-driving Kludde!"
  • Various jokes about Jody's car being a Maverick, which was fairly new around the time this movie was made.
  • Melissa and her family growing walnuts on their farm, which is referred to as a ranch in-film, and how it's played up like running a livestock ranch.
  • Fish-related riffs made in response to Melissa's quizzical line, "This is where the fish lives!"
  • Many references to the 1970's.
    • Mike: "Oh-ho, what with all these gas crises and Watergates I needed a good laugh."
    • Tom: "This looks like a nice private place to practice streaking."
    • Tom: "Dum dee dum dee dum... You know I was just thinking... that Gerald Ford is rather clumsy."
    • Crow: "Well, keep on trucking, I guess! Guess you'll do your thing, and I'll do mine. Yep, Whip Inflation Now!"
    • Mike: "You catch Kotter last night?"

Quotes & References

  • Wassail
Wassailis a beverage made from hot mulled cider and spices, drunk traditionally as an integral part of wassailing, a medieval Yuletide English drinking ritual and salutation.
  • "Grandma Kramer!"
Kramer is a character on the TV show Seinfeld who has a propensity for bursting into his neighbor's apartment unannounced.
  • "The last days of Edgar Winter."
Edgar Winter is a rock musician known for his pale complexion and long platinum-blond hair.
  • "With Screwtape on kettle drum! Wormwood on harpsichord!"
Screwtape and Wormwood are two fictional demons from The Screwtape Letters, a Christian apologetic novel by C. S. Lewis. First published in February 1942, the story takes the form of a series of letters from Screwtape, a Senior Tempter, to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter.
  • "Okay, Crow, I'm putting you on Clu Gulager alert."
Clu Gulager is an actor whose career reached its peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Mike's joke is derived from the film's period-specific look. He also plays Mr. Christensen in Master Ninja I (Experiment #322) and Bob Hatten in San Francisco International (Experiment #614).
  • "The vineyards of Ernest and Julio Satan."
E & J Gallo Winery is a winery and distributor headquartered in Modesto, California. It was founded in 1933 by Ernest Gallo and Julio Gallo, and is the largest exporter of California wines. E & J Gallo Winery is the largest family-owned winery in the United States.
  • "What do you get when you fall from grace? You only get cast into perdition!"
Tom is parodying "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", a 1968 song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David which was covered by various artists including Dionne Warwick and Bobbie Gentry. In Christian theology, perdition is a state of eternal punishment and damnation into which a sinful and impenitent person passes after death.
  • "Hasta luego, Maverick-driving Kludde!" "Yeah... uh... Kludde?" "Yeah! It's Scottish... I looked it up."
A Kludde is a mythical creature that has a wolf-like appearance and often attacks children. While it is sometimes used as an allusion to the Devil, the myth originated from Belgian and Dutch folklore rather than Scottish.
  • "Wait a minute, the gas station guy forgot to give me my Roman Gabriel cocktail glass!"
Roman Gabriel was an NFL quarterback from 1962–1977. He is notable for being the first NFL quarterback of Filipino-American descent.
  • "Thank you, Lurch!"
The overture being played is somewhat similar to the theme of The Addams Family adaptations. Lurch is the family's imposing butler who plays the harpsichord.
  • "I'm gonna get out my guitar and practice 'Sister Golden Hair.'"
"Sister Golden Hair" is a 1975 song by the band America.
  • "Wow, I'm the first one at the Rainbow Gathering."
The Rainbow Gathering is a gathering of "hippies" in an outdoor environment. It is similar to the Burning Man festival, does not have fees or a desert locale.
  • "But the trees can't help their feeling, if they like the way they're made..."
"But the oaks can't help their feelings/If they like the way they're made" is from the 1978 song "The Trees" by Rush.
  • "I'd like to see Christpher Atkins skip a stone like that."
Christopher Atkins is an American actor. He came to fame for his role as a youth stranded on a desert island in the film The Blue Lagoon. He is known for his curly blond hair.
  • “I'm not going back, Jim.”
This is a reference to the Star Trek episode "This Side of Paradise" wherein Captain Kirk and his crew arrive at a planet that removes people's inhibitions to the degree that the highly-disciplined Mr. Spock displays emotions without restraint. Spock does not say this exact line in the episode.
  • "You're pretty, you know that?" "In a frumpy, Rhoda sort of way."
Rhoda Morgenstern is the frumpy best friend of the lead character, Mary, on the popular 1970s TV show The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda.
  • "Hello, Jodie." "Or should I call you Buffy?" "How's Uncle Bill?"
Buffy Davis and her Uncle Bill are characters from the 60s–70s TV sitcom Family Affair. Jody is the name of Buffy's twin brother.
  • "Herbert von Karajan is not pleased with that."
Herbert von Karajan was an Austrian conductor who was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 34 years until his death in 1989.
  • "You like me too, don't you?" "In a Ron Palillo sort of way, sure."
Ron Palillo portrays Arnold Horshack on the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter.
  • "Hey! Beelzebub, Kali, and Lucifer!"
Three separate entities alluding to Satan. Beelzebub was originally a deity under the name Ba'al whose name meant "Lord of the Flies." Lucifer is another such deity with his name meaning "the morning star." Both names are used to describe the Devil. Kali on the other hand is separate from all this, as she is a Hindu deity representing death and destruction.
  • "They've got a signed copy of the Necromonicon [sic]!"
The Necronomicon, also referred to as the Book of the Dead, is a fictional grimoire (textbook of magic) appearing in stories by the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft and his followers.
  • "Excuse me, I think I left a Sustacal back in the corner there."
Sustacal is a supplementary drink for people who need extra nutritional support, especially the elderly.
  • "Who is it?" "S'me!" "Is Captain Hook there?"
The way Jodie quickly says, "It's me" sounds similar to that of Mr. Smee, who was a high-ranking member of Captain Hook's crew in the various versions of Peter Pan.
  • "I haven't understood anything since McKinley went down."
William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States from 1897 until his assassination in 1901.
  • "Aw, now a withered old Billy Zane is gonna come in and give her a withered old Coeur de la Mer."
Referring to the scene from the 1997 James Cameron film Titanic wherein Caledon Hockley (played by Billy Zane) puts the necklace with the jewel Coeur de La Mer around the neck of his fiancée Rose DeWitt Bukater (played by Kate Winslet. The shot of Lucinda sitting at a mirror bears some resemblance to the shot of Rose receiving the necklace.
  • "She turned into Cecilia Bartoli."
Cecilia Bartoli is an Italian coloratura mezzo-soprano opera singer and recitalist with an unusual timbre.
  • "Back to being Swifty Lazar."
Irving Paul "Swifty" Lazar was an American talent agent and dealmaker, representing both movie stars and authors. He died in 1993, aged 86.
  • "Uh, hi! You see any other Village People?"
Village People is an American disco group known for its on-stage costumes, catchy tunes, and suggestive lyrics. Their most popular songs were released in 1978 and 1979. Those hit singles include "Y.M.C.A.", "Macho Man", "In the Navy", and "Go West".
  • "She's going to buy a whole bunch of Proctor and Gamble products."
P&G was the subject of an urban legend alleging promotion of Satanism.
  • "She gives him $15.55 just so she can get $6.66 back in change!" "Hey! The odometer is all 6's!"
In modern popular culture, 666, also known as the number of the beast, has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the Antichrist or, alternatively, the Devil.
  • "You know, if she had another one of these, she could be Melissa 'Two-Sheds' Strickland." "Aw, now she's Melissa 'No-Sheds' Strickland."
A reference to a skit from the Monty Python's Flying Circus episode "Whither Canada?" in which an interviewer obsesses over whether or not a famous composer nicknamed "Arthur 'Two-Sheds' Jackson" actually owns two sheds.
  • "Lesson: Never ask Kelsey Grammer to get your clothes out of your car."
Kelsey Grammer is a TV actor who got into a car accident while intoxicated in 1996. He had previously been charged with drunk driving in 1987.
  • "You been hittin' the booze?"
Mr. Keitel, leader of the lynch mob which attempts to kill Lucilla, is played by Robert Easton, who starred in The Giant Spider Invasion and uttered that line to his wife at one point in the film.
  • "I am a friend and companion of the night..."
This speech is a paraphrased version of an excerpt from H. P. Lovecraft's short story "The Horror at Red Hook", which can be read here. “O friend and companion of night, thou who rejoicest in the baying of dogs and spilt blood, who wanderest in the midst of shades among the tombs, who longest for blood and bringest terror to mortals, Gorgo, Mormo, thousand-faced moon, look favourably on our sacrifices!”
  • "Hold on, I'm getting a call from Margot Adler."
Margot Adler was an American author, journalist, lecturer, Wiccan priestess, and New York correspondent for NPR. Adler wrote Drawing Down the Moon, a 1979 book about Neopaganism. Her second book, Heretic's Heart: A Journey Through Spirit and Revolution, was published in 1997.
  • "It's that witchcraft, wicked witchcraft."
"'Cause it's witchcraft, wicked witchcraft" is from the 1957 song "Witchcraft", popularized by Frank Sinatra and written by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh.
  • "Poopdeck Pappy gettin' all upset here."
Poopdeck Pappy is a character featured in the Popeye comic strip and animated cartoon spinoffs. Created by E. C. Segar in 1936, the character is Popeye's grizzled elderly father.
  • "Man, never let Edie Sedgwick borrow your lake cabin."
Edie Sedgwick, who appeared in several films directed by Andy Warhol, was severely burned in 1966 after falling asleep with a lit cigarette.
  • "Oh, and uh... don't join Al Pacino's law firm."
In the 1997 thriller The Devil's Advocate, Al Pacino plays the Devil as the head of a New York law firm.
  • "We're back at the beginning; this film is a Möbius strip!"
In mathematics, a Möbius strip, band, or loop, is a surface with only one side (when embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space) and only one boundary curve. An example of a Möbius strip can be created by taking a strip of paper and giving one end a half-twist, then joining the ends to form a loop; its boundary is a simple closed curve which can be traced by a single unknotted string.

Memorable Quotes

[A farmer is walking his cow into a barn.]
Farmer: Mercy, if... if you'd come in like the rest of them...
Servo: Mercy?
Farmer: ...there wouldn't be all this… this chasing.
Mike [as Mercy]: Yeah, milk me.
[The farmer is repeatedly stabbed with a pitchfork.]
Mike: The American Gothic people take revenge.
. . .
[Fade to table of people laughing]
Crow[as if one of them were telling the last scene like a story] And then he died!
[all laugh]
[A very ancient, wrinkled woman with long hair (Lucinda) barges through the kitchen door and falls to the floor.]
Servo: Grandma Kramer!
Mike: A kabuki actor's been hit!
. . .
Luther: What happened? What have you done?
Servo [as Lucinda]: I stayed in the tanning booth for a whole decade!
Servo: Emby Mellay? That's not a name, it's a bad Scrabble hand.
[Jody chats with a gas station attendant, a small-town oddball cliché on two feet.]
 Attendant: That'll be six dollars, even.
Crow [as Attendant]: Oh, and an extra dollar for the aliens in my head.
. . .
Attendant: See, the way I got it figured, this job was done by one of them fromokaidal maniacs, and we ain't got none of them around here.
. . .
Jody: Yeah, well, nobody needs a fromokaidal maniac hanging around.
[Jody drives off.]
Servo [as Attendant]: Is that right? I should check my dictionotomy.
[Over a shot of the forest]
Mike[singing] But the trees can't hide their feelings if they like the way they're made...
Crow[stern] Mike, stop it now.
Mike: ...Sorry.
Jody: This your pond?
[Lengthy pause]
Crow [as Jody]: You can take your time, it's a tough question.
Melissa: It belongs to my father.
Jody: Oh, does your father mind if people skip rocks across his pond?
Servo [as Melissa]: As long as you don't hit his favorite frog.
[Another pause]
Melissa: I don't think he's mentioned it before. That your car?
Jody: Yeah.
Servo [as Melissa]: Mind if I skip rocks across it?
[Jody catches up to Melissa, who stares out over the creek.]
Melissa: This is where the fish lives.
[Mike and the Bots snicker loudly]
Jody: Why did you run?
Servo [as Melissa]: 'Cuz this is where the fish lives.
Melissa: I felt like it. I really wanted to fly, but I couldn't do that, so I ran.
[A pause.]
Mike [as Jody]: You're kind of an idiot, aren't you?
[Jody and Melissa draw together in a serious kiss.]
Crow [as Jody]: This is where my tongue lives.
[A police car passes the car Jody is driving]
Mike [as Barney Fife]: I'm telling you, Andy, there was a demon in the car!
[At the general store, Melissa's total comes to $8.89]
Crow: She gives him $15.55 just so she can get $6.66 back in change.
[In Jody's 19th-century dream, a mob of townspeople gathers with torches and pitchforks, chanting "Burn the witch!"]
Mike [as townsfolk]: Oh, and "go Packers" too, but mostly burn the witch.
. . .
[Father Strickland is reading from the Bible (Job) to his family.]
Strickland: "The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days..."
Servo [as Strickland]: ...said Madeleine.
Strickland: "...and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor..."
Crow [as Strickland]: Tsch. Bunch of crap.
Strickland: "A dreadful sound is in his ears."
Mike [as Strickland]: It's Paula Cole, I think.
Strickland: "In prosperity, the destroyer shall come upon him."
[Strickland sees Lucinda fidgeting.]
Strickland: What is it, child?
Young Lucinda: I thought I heard something.
Strickland: Pay attention to the word of God.
Servo [as Strickland]: For He loves you, and He may KILL you if you don't.
Strickland: "Yeah..."
Crow [as Strickland]: "...team!"
Strickland: "...the light of the wicked shall be put out..."
Mike [as Strickland]: "...by ten-thirty…"
Strickland: "...and the spark of his fire shall not shine."
Servo [as Daughter]: Just take the old-fashioned photo, Dad!
. . .
[The mob of townspeople approaches the house, still chanting "Burn the witch!"]
Mrs. Strickland: What is it, David?
Crow: It's people saying "Burn the witch". Are you deaf?
Young Melissa: Papa, what is it?
 Crow[irritated] People saying "Burn the witch"! Do you have any deductive powers at all?
[Townspeople are singing "Amazing Grace", the second time it's been used in the film.]
Servo[singing along] "This song is in/ the public domain/ that's why we used it twice."
[Lucinda has just murdered a police officer with a hay hook, while Melissa tries to comfort her.]
Servo [as Lucinda]: I meant to ask him in for pie; I don't know what happened!

Video Release


Advertisement