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1001 - Soultaker
Air Date April 11, 1999
MST3K Director Kevin Murphy
Running Time 90 Min
Movie Director Michael Rissi
Year 1990
Cast Joe Estevez
Vivian Schilling
Gregg Thomsen
Robert Z'Dar
Preceded by 913 - Quest of the Delta Knights
Followed by 1002 - Girl in Gold Boots
  — Crow

The Movie


The Angel of Death / (aka "The Chin Reaper") (Z'Dar) materializes at Summerfest and points out five teens (Brad, Candice, Natalie, Tommy, and Zack) whose time on Earth is up. His "soul trainee" assistant (Soultaker - Joe Estevez), a mysterious pedestrian outiftted in a snazzy black ensemble complete with long coat, is charged with collecting their souls by midnight; if he fails, he must "pay the penalty". Along the way, though, he "must obey the laws of time and space" (quantum field theory and general relativity?).

What, exactly, is the "penalty" Soultaker will pay if he fails? Will Natalie accept the "special offer" Soultaker has for her? Will Zack and Natalie overcome their class differences and get back together?


  • Soultakermovie

    Joe Estevez in Soultaker

    Vivian Schilling who appears as Natalie in the film, wrote some of the story. This is referenced, and probably exaggerated, by some of the riffing.
  • The P.A. announcements in the opening scene are also used in Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime album and in Naughty By Nature's Everything's Gonna Be Alright.
  • Won a Saturn Award in 1992 for Best Genre Video Release.

The Episode

Host Segments

  • 10 joelmike

    Joel returns to the SOL

    Prologue: The bots are confused about why their "wet T-shirt contest" is so dull; commercial sign malfunctions.
  • Segment One: The malfunctions on the SOL get worse, as a certain figure can barely be seen and heard behind the transmission of an image of Martin Van Buren; Pearl doesn't care.
  • Segment Two: With Gypsy malfunctioning, Mike tries to take command, with the expected results.
  • Segment Four: The mysterious visitor who saved the SOL appears on the bridge--and it's JOEL! He fills in the bots on what he's been up to, and he and Mike share a tender moment.

    TV's Frank returns!

  • Segment Five: Joel completes repairs on the SOL, says hi to Frank, and departs with some uplifting words to Mike & the Bots; in Castle Forrester, Bobo and Frank hit it off.
  • Stinger: Mom ogles her daughter.[1]

Quotes and References

  • "Welcome... to the Satellite of Love!"

Mike is imitating Richard Attenborough's delivery of a similar line he said as John Hammond in Jurassic Park.

  • "Pearl! Pearl! Hello? Our wessel is malfunctioning!"

Mike is imitating Walter Koenig's faux-Russian accented Pavel Chekov, in particular one memorable scene from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

  • "Johnny Cash! Johnny Cash! Johnny Cash! Johnny Cash!"

The country-western singer Johnny Cash wore similar black overcoats to the Soultakers in the film.

  • "Because you're mine, I walk to the intensive care unit..."

This is a play on the lyrics of Johnny Cash's 1956 song, "I Walk the Line."

  • "The death of Helmut Kohl!"

Helmut Kohl was the chancellor of Germany (originally West Germany) from 1982 to 1998.

  • "Yamiglanchi!" "Yamiglanchi! ""Yamiglanchi!"

Tom is a referencing Werewolf, a film starring Joe Estevez and that was previously riffed by the crew on the show.

  • "The Sooooooooooooooouuuuultaker!"

Tom Servo's yell during the opening credits is a reference to the opening announcement of the show Soul Train.

  • "Where's David Byrne's head?"

Crow's referencing the Talking Heads music video of "Burning Down the House".

  • "David Byrne was right. Heaven is a place WHERE NOTHING EVER HAPPENS!"

Mike's frustrated cry is a reference to Talking Heads song "Heaven".

  • "Hey, Jim McMahon!"

Jim McMahon played for the Chicago Bears during the 1980s.

  • "Hey by the way, do you wear your sunglasses at night, so you can, so you can, keep track of the visions in your dreams?'"

A reference to the lyrics of the hit 1984 song by Canadian singer Corey Hart, "Sunglasses at Night."

  • "Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry..."

Quoted from "Surrey with the Fringe on Top", a song from the musical Oklahoma!.

  • "Hey - I really do walk the line!"

Another reference to the fact that Estevez's outfit makes him look like Johnny Cash, and to Cash's song, "I Walk the Line." (See above.)

  • "They are, in fact, traveling down the road, and they are, in fact, flirting with disaster!"

A reference to the Molly Hatchet song "Flirtin' with Disaster".

  • "Hey, it's Hamilton Jordan!"

Hamilton Jordan was the White House Chief of Staff during the Carter administration, and was accused of cocaine use in a minor scandal.

  • "Now I'll never win that set of steak knives"

A reference to the second place award in the Pultizer-winning David Mamet play and the movie Glengarry Glen Ross . First place was a Cadillac Eldorado, third place was being fired.

  • "Frank Booth-cam!"

Frank Booth was the name of Dennis Hopper's character in Blue Velvet.

  • "Why, it's Harvey! Hi, Harvey!"

A reference by Mike to the 1950 movie Harvey, in which Jimmy Stewart plays a man with a six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey for an imaginary friend.

  • Mother (in a tiny voice)

Signature line of Daffy Duck when confronting immediate catastrophe

  • "Ennio Morricone!"

Ennio Morricone is a prolific film composer best known for his spaghetti Western scores.

  • "I wanna thank you..." and "Do you feel like we do?"

Lines from the song "Do You Feel Like We Do?" by Peter Frampton, which is best known for his use of a "talk box" during it, a device attached to a guitar, with a tube that you put in your mouth to alter the sound of your voice as you sing.  

  • "Zack is dead!" "That's what I said!"

A reference to "Freddie's Dead", a song by Curtis Mayfield from the Superfly soundtrack.

  • "...the band Man or Astro-man?..."

Man or Astro-man? is a surf-rock band that recorded a cover of the MST3K Love Theme, which Joel Hodgson joined them on stage to sing at a mid-1990s concert.

  • Tom Servo's advising Mike to not compare himself to Joel is a reference to the heated internet flame wars that occurred between fans, back when Mike replaced Joel as host. The debates often got vicious and ugly, though they have since faded within the community.
  • "Prudential signs!"

Crow is commenting on the resemblance of the heart monitor's pattern to the logo of the Prudential insurance company.

  • "Wheeling Captain Pike down the hall!"

A reference to the Star Trek episode "The Menagerie", in which Christopher Pike, the former captain of the Enterprise, was shown confined to a futuristic wheelchair.

  • "The Other Side of the Mountain...of Crap!"

The Other Side of the Mountain was a 1975 film about paralyzed skier Jill Kinmont.

  • "Unfortunately, it's Christine!"

Christine is a Stephen King novel about a possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury.

  • "My nephew was in the Mighty Ducks!"

The Mighty Ducks was a 1992 movie starring Emilio Estevez. Crow said this because Joe Estevez is Martin Sheen's brother, and hence, Emilio's uncle.

  • The Man: "It's closing time" | Tom Servo: "Does that mean every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end?"

This is reference to the song Closing Time by Semisonic.



  1. Satellite News

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