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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Science Fiction > Horror > TV > Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Touch of Satan + The Atomic Brain (Shout Factory! DVD Singles)

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Touch of Satan + The Atomic Brain (Shout Factory! DVD Singles)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: D     Episodes: B+



The long and storied history of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has produced many masterful comedy moments at the expense of some really bad movies.  The latest offerings from Rhino feature more of the same hilarity!  Although stripped down and without any extras or other frills, these “singles” provide fans who missed episodes of the show released in earlier and now rare boxed sets a chance to see them again at an affordable price.


The Atomic Brain tells the tale of a trio of unfortunate women brought to a big old house under false pretenses.  Thinking they’re to be maids, they instead become the subjects of bizarre experiments in brain transfer!  An old, rich woman seeking immortality has financed a mad scientist’s efforts to transfer living brains into dead bodies. It would be hard for someone to intentionally cram as much misogynistic and inappropriate material into one film, but director Joseph V. Mascelli manages it!  Mike Nelson and the robots eat it up, of course, and manage a few funny moments on the side, including Tom’s ultra-dangerous space-walk outside of the Satellite of Love.


The Touch of Satan just begs for the line: “Oh, I couldn’t have more, just a touch of Satan is quite enough, thanks!”  Once again Mike and the ‘bots suffer at the hands of another terrible film.  This time in color!  This 1971 epic fail of a film saw director Don Henderson looking to cash in on the “devil” craze sweeping Hollywood.  If Rosemary’s Baby can do it, why not Touch of Satan?  Well, the terrible script, poor performances, and bad directing all conspired to make this film a perfect fit for MST3K. That marks it a success of sorts.  When a young man on his way to the big city stops off at a country farm, he gets a hell of a lot more than he bargained for when he falls for a Melissa Strickland.  Some women have dark secrets, but Melissa has a dark pact with Satan himself!


Although both films feature Mike Nelson, Touch of Satan comes much later in his run and features Dr. Pearl, Bobo, and Brain Buy in the roles of the Satellite crew’s tormentors.  Left with a domineering babysitter in Pearl’s absence, Brain Guy and Bobo still manage to get themselves into trouble while the boys in the Satellite suffer The Touch of Satan!


This pair of excellent episodes each earns a solid B+, placing them high in the show’s pantheon of good/bad fun!



-   Scott Pyle


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