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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 09 E 08 Touch Of Satan

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Softens your hands while you do the dishes

Film watched: Touch of Satan


  • Crow and Servo come a-wassailing, even though it's the middle of July and they have no idea what "wassail" is, which doesn't stop them from bugging Mike for some.

Segment 1

  • Mike manages to mollify the Bots with canned wassail, and discovers Pearl has gone on vacation and left an extremely condescending babysitter named Steffi in charge of Bobo, Brain Guy, and today's experiment.

Segment 2

  • Mike tries to start a walnut farm, but somehow wears himself out looking through a farm catalog. Meanwhile, Servo claims to have gotten into the pecan business.

Segment 3

  • Mike tries to see if Crow is a witch by piling rocks on him, but it doesn't seem to have any effect, to Crow's concern.

Segment 4

  • Mike discovers Servo has a homicidal grandma when she threatens him with a pitchfork.

Segment 5

  • Crow accidentally sells his soul to Stan, and gets tied up in red tape trying to get it back. Steffi manages to get Brain Guy to bed, but Bobo proves to be more stubborn.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:

  • The '70s: It's very much a '70s movie, so there are many, but one blatant reference:
    Crow: Mike, what were you guys doing there in the 70s, making witch movies, inhaling huge clouds of marijuana, big ugly flared pants on...
    Mike: Well, we had to do something.
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Steffi calls Brain Guy "Brian."
      Observer: No, it's Brain! I mean, Brain Guy! I mean, Observer! Oh, never mind.
    • Steffi also calls Crow "Cow." After which Crow calls himself "Cow."
      Crow: And I'm Cow.
      Mike: Crow.
      Crow: What?
      Mike: You're Crow.
      Crow: Yeah, I know. Of course, I'm Crow. I just said I'm Crow, ya great feeb.
    • Advertisement:
    • In real life, Mike Nelson accidentally called this episode A Touch of Satan instead of The Touch of Satan in the episode intro on the DVD.
    • Servo accidently calls the Necronomicon "Necromonicon".
  • Accidental Murder: Lucinda killing the cop is made to be this.
    Servo: [as Lucinda] I suppose you're gonna blame me for this.
    Crow: [also as Lucinda] I meant to ask him in for pie. I don't know what happened.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Steffi treats Bobo like a dog, who eventually gives up and does as he's told... until the end, when he keeps talking over the credits as Steffi hits him with a rolled-up newspaper. "No bark!"
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Invoked. According to Brain Guy, Sam I Am from Green Eggs and Ham is a Jerkass trying to force others to like what he likes.
  • Amazing Freaking Grace: "Public domain, we don't have to pay anyone! Hahahaha!"
    Crow: You can't use "Amazing Grace" in a devil movie!
  • Awesome Mc Coolname
    Jody: Who are you?
    Mike: My name is Margaret Rawhide Chew.
  • Call-Back:
    • As early as the opening credits, the movie has enough of a '70s vibe that Mike puts Crow on "Clu Gulager alert". Gulager was previously riffed on in the late '70s series-turned-TV movies Master Ninja I and San Francisco International. During the credits for fellow made-for-TV Compilation Movie Riding With Death, Tom says "Oh, if Clu Gulager isn't in this,note  it'll be very wrong."
    • Upon realizing the leader of the Angry Mob is played by Robert "Man of A Thousand Voices" Easton (who played the back brace-wearing Dan Kester in The Giant Spider Invasion) Servo lets out an enthusiastic, "You've been hittin' the BOOZE again!"
    • When Mike climbs up the ladder to add more rocks to the pile, he's wearing socks and sandals, which was apparently just something Mike (the actor) did around the set. Servo was right, he was in violation of the dress code. Makes you wonder about the sheer camisoles.
    • When Melissa talks Jodie into staying at the farm after aforementioned murder:
      Melissa: Then stay. Just one more day.
      Mike: Oh, you mean STAY!!!
  • Deal with the Devil: Subverted. Crow attempted to sell his soul to Satan for unworldly power, but he accidentally sold it to someone named Stan instead. Stan proceeded to sell it to Citigroup, meaning that Crow is gonna have to go through a lot of annoying paperwork and phone calls to get it back.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Kevin Murphy wrote and directed the host segments. invoked
  • Dissonant Serenity: Mike accuses the Angry Mob of this, calling it a "Lake Wobegon witch-burning."
  • Downer Ending: In the film.
    Tom: So in the end, Satan wins, I guess?
    Mike: Yep, pretty much a shut-out for Satan.
  • Dumb Blonde: Steffi, who somehow fails to notice anything unusual about a talking gorilla (she seems to be under the impression he's a dog) and an "omnipotent" alien who carries his own brain around in a bowl. On the other hand, she's very good at browbeating them into submission.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Angry Mob quite clearly keeps chanting "Burn the witch," but Melissa and her mother are stunningly oblivious.
    Mother: What is it, David?
    Crow: It's people saying, "Burn the witch." You deaf?
    Melissa: Papa, what is it?
    Crow: People saying, "Burn the witch!" Do you have any deductive powers at all?!
  • Generation Xerox: "So, this family has been pausing for centuries. It's a tradition."
  • Here We Go Again!: A variation on the usual gag toward the end of the movie — footage very similar to the beginning appears, prompting Mike and the bots to lament that the movie's starting over.
    Mike: We're back at the beginning! This film is a Möbius strip!
  • Hypocritical Humor: Bobo resents being treated like a pet, only to then get yelled at for chewing up Steffi's shoe, and shedding, and needing another tick bath.
  • I am a Humanitarian: "Honey, I found the Deputy's badge in my stew."
  • It Tastes Like Feet: Mike tells the bots they probably wouldn't like the canned wassail, as it tastes "kinda skunky". Given the expiration date is 1547, that's probably a valid reason.
  • Made of Explodium: When Great-Grandma's shack violently combusts.
    Servo: You know, when you're at that age, you're just ready to go right up, the slightest spark can get it going, let me tell ya.
    (shortly after)
    Servo: Grandma must have exploded or something!
    Mike: Grandma's flash-paper bathrobe turned out to be a mistake.
  • Malaproper: Referenced in the film, after the gas station attendant's repeated use of the phrase "fromachidal maniacs".
    Servo: Is that right? Maybe I should check my dictionotomy.
  • Manchild: Brain Guy becomes this due to Steffi's browbeating. At the end of the show he goes to bed but only after making sure to get his Security Blanket ("his blanky"), pacifier ("his nook"), and teddy bear ("his friend" — actually a Cookie Monster doll).
  • Mistaken Identity: Crow accidentally sells his soul to a guy named Stan.
  • No Indoor Voice: "I sure love the yelling channel."
  • Number of the Beast: A joke that Melissa deliberately arranges her purchases at the market so she gets $6.66 in change.
    • Near the end of the movie:
      Mike: [as Jodie] Hey, the odometer's all 6's!
  • Police Are Useless: As Lucinda is killing the cop:
    Crow: "Where's my bike?! I reported it stolen 80 years ago!"
  • Product Placement: In the film.
    Crow: Why do I suddenly feel hungry for Carnation Ice Cream?
  • Refuge in Audacity: Making fun of the elderly in this episode are what mocking Joe Don Baker for being fat is to Final Justice.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Servo's killer Grandma.
  • Running Gag:
    • Jokes about walnuts(specifically the concept of a walnut ranchnote ), pauses and Jodie's Maverick. And rednecks.
    • "Stop it!"
    • "This is where the fish lives."
    • Crow suggesting Secret Santa gifts for Mike to get the family in the movie.
    • Jokes about the frequent pauses in conversations.
    • Jokes about old people vis-à-vis Lucinda.
  • Scenery Censor: Melissa's topless scene is still in the MST3K cut, her breasts are just conveniently hidden by the seats. Though there is a split second glimpse of her nipples that remains in the episode.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When the end credits suddenly go nuts, Mike and the Bots quickly vacate the theater in terror.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Lucinda kills the police officer, there's a joke about calling Harvey Keitel in to "fix" things, a la his character Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe in Pulp Fiction.
    • Some demonic characters from The Screwtape Letters are referenced during the opening credits.
      Crow: "With Screwtape on kettledrum, Wormwood on harpsichord."
    • To Monty Python's Flying Circus, when the character Melissa shows a new friend her shed:
      Crow: If she had another one of those, she could be Melissa Two-Sheds Strickland.
      (later, when the shed is burning down)
      Crow: Aw, now she's Melissa No-Sheds Strickland.
    • Brain Guy's "friend" at bedtime is a little stuffed Cookie Monster.
  • Something Completely Different: This is the only Sci-Fi era episode where Pearl doesn't appear.
  • Take That!:
  • Temporary Substitute: Steffi the babysitter.
  • Unfortunate Names:
    Servo: Emby Mellay? That's not a name, it's a bad Scrabble hand.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Bobo may be a talking ape, but Steffi's more focused on him chewing up her shoe... again.
  • Visual Pun: After Jodie leaves Ellen's Café, Crow asks, "What was Anne Heche doin' in there?" That riff got funnier after Ellen and Anne split up.
  • Way Past the Expiration Date: Mike's canned wassail for the bots turns out to have expired in the Year of Our Lord 1547.
    Crow: "Yeah, that's a pretty old born-on date."
  • With Lyrics: To Amazing Freaking Grace no less: "This song is in / The public domain / That's why we used it twiiice~"
    • Servo also creates lyrics to the background music many times in the film.
    Servo: (singing) ...When there's just a touch of Satan in your heart!


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