Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Sixty - MST3K: The Touch of Satan, "ZAA!"

When they say a "Touch of Satan" they really mean just a light dusting... as there isn't so much as a goat hoof or pentagram to be found in this seventies love story about a witch, her would be hipster lover, and her apple granny doll grandma/sister. Still, that doesn't stop Mike and the Bots from riffing the hell out of this cheese-fest and its random murders, stake burnings, and fish ponds.

Set in what I can only assume is rural California (due to the constant San Francisco reminders) where Jodie Lee Thompson (Michael Berry), who IS a guy... don't let the name fool you... is on a road trip across the state on a journey of self-discovery. Jodie randomly turns down a country road (after belittling a local hillbilly's vocabulary) and meets a mousy, farm girl type who strikes his fancy. Her name happens to be Melissa (Emby Mellay) and her family are the local outcasts as everyone thinks that she's been trafficking with the Devil... even her.

Of course, its obvious by the murder plot and all the religious superstition that she actually IS a witch, but Jodie will hear none of it, no matter how many bodies pile up.

The movie is silly dreck, which is just perfect for Mike and the Bots... and Touch of Satan has quite a few of my favorite inbetweeners, such as Tom Servo's crazy, homicidal grandmother (I didn't even know he had a grandmother) and Beth "Beez" McKeever, the propmaster of MST3K, showing up as Brain Guy and Bobo's babysitter, treating the grown man and ape as a child and dog respectively.

Joke standouts revolve around the pond "where the fish lives," the public domain hymnal usage of Amazing Grace, and Mike and the Bots being constantly on 70's alert for bit actors and stereotypes of the era.

I can't really say that The Touch of Satan is the best episode of MST3K available right now, that title (of course) belongs to Soultaker, but it's definitely better than Pod People, and you'd be hard pressed to actually find a bad episode of MST3K... just saying.

The series has and always will make me laugh, I'm just sad that this is the last one for a while, though I hear several more episodes will be available in the next few months. Here's hoping they come right quick as watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of the best uses of Netflix that I can think of!

Quick shoutout to Robert Easton, who plays the mob leader during the flashback sequence. Did you know he played the Klingon judge in Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country? I sure didn't. Kudos to him!

Oh, and "ZAA" everybody... "ZAA, indeed!"

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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