This set contains two episodes with show creator Joel Hodgson as host and two with head-writer Mike Nelson as host. The former are from the Comedy Central era of the show while the latter are from the Sci-Fi Channel era. These are four solid episodes that fans thought might never be on DVD, so Shout! Factory has again done an excellent job of securing the rights to the films to ensure fans can add these to their collection.
MOON ZERO TWO, Episode 111
James Olson and Catherine Von Schell star in this 1969 UK color science fiction film that is really just an old western about miners set in outer space. A group of criminals want to salvage a valuable asteroid by crashing it into the moon and the only place to do it unobserved is on another miner's claim, so they dispose of the miner. They hire a salvage team (headed by Olson) to get them the asteroid, but unknown to them the missing miner's sister (Schell) hires the same salvage team to help her find her brother. It's kind of a fun and lively movie with great sixties style music. Years later Catherine Schell would drop the "Von" from her stage name. Host segments include a moon landing pageant and Crow and Tom fight over the women in the movie in zero gravity. This is a rather enjoyable episode with a quite watchable movie.
THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE (with short: HERE COMES THE CIRCUS), Episode 422
This 1959 color Russian-Finnish movie is based on the Finnish folk tales set down in the Kalevala by Elias Lonrot and the original title was "Sampo". A sampo is a magic forge that produces salt, flour and gold. Apparently editors in the 1960s thought the Finnish folk tale was confusing to Western audiences so they chopped so much out of the film that it makes virtually no sense at all. This is similar to the hatchet job they did on the tale of "Sadko" by turning it into The Magic Voyage Of Sinbad. Anyway, the story revolves around the hero Lemminkäinen battling the evil witch Louhi to rescue the kidnapped maiden Annikki. This American dubbed version of the movie is goofy fantasy fun and worked extremely well for MST3K. The short is also not to be missed as every short about circuses made fun of on MST3K turned out really funny. Interestingly, Joel and the 'Bots talk over the explanation of what a sampo is during the film, then make hilarious speculation about what it is for the rest of the episode. Both the movie and the short get related host segments. This is a must-see and must-own episode of the show.
THE LEECH WOMAN, Episode 802
This black and white sci-fi horror film from 1960 concerns an endocrinologist seeking to keep his wife forever young by taking serum from the pineal gland of younger women to do so, a process that is fatal for the victims. This movie was a staple of UHF weekend "creature feature" programming back in the 1960s and 1970s. This was only the second episode to air of the new Sci-Fi Channel version of MST3K so Bill Corbett is still settling in with his portrayal of Crow. It's an entertaining episode using a fairly well-known low-budget Universal Studios film. The movie can be a little tedious in parts, but Mike and the 'Bots make it fun.
GORGO, Episode 909
Some UK film makers created their own Godzilla-like color film in 1961 and called it Gorgo. Eugène Lourié directs this decent "kaiju" type monster film about a large dinosaur-like creature captured and put on display in the UK under the name, Gorgo. When an even larger parent monster comes looking for the baby Gorgo she gives London the same treatment that Godzilla gives to Tokyo. Gorgo is a pretty good movie of its type for the time which makes for an enjoyable episode of MST3K. Like the Leech Woman, Gorgo used to be on UHF TV a lot back in the 1960s and 1970s and its nice to see what MST3K does with another relatively well-known film. This episode aired only twice on Sci-Fi Channel before an apparent rights dispute forced them to stop showing it, so it's fantastic good news for MSTies that Shout! Factory was able to get the rights to release this episode. Don't miss it!
Extra features include:
- The box of DVDs comes in a 25th Anniversary Collector's Tin
- Bonus double-feature DVD with MST3K episodes Mitchell and The Brain That Wouldn't Die (which have been out of print for a while)
· Last Flight Of Joel Robinson
· Life After MST3K: Mary Jo Pehl
- MST Hour wraps for The Day The Earth Froze
· 3-Part Documentary Return To Eden Prairie: 25 Years Of Mystery Science Theater 3000
· Ninth Wonder Of The World: The Making Of Gorgo (MST3K Edition)
· Leonard Maltin Explains Something
· Original Trailers
· 4 Exclusive Mini-Posters By Artist Steve Vance
on August 29, 2013
Of all the movies given the MST3K treatment, "The Day the Earth Froze" was hands down my absolute favorite, so I was frustrated that it hadn't turned up on any of the DVD releases...until now. And how appropriate that it's being included on the 25th Anniversary Limited Edition. Long before I discovered the fascination of Finland and Finnish culture, I was laughing until my sides ached while watching Joel and the 'bots skewer this movie. I can't wait to hear them singing "He's a loser" about Lemminkainen while using bad Scandinavian accents for much of the commentary. Do I remember the other three movies on this collection? Yeah, vaguely, and they'll be worth viewing. But the day I can pop "The Day the Earth Froze" in my disc player and blissfully join in the commentary a la Rocky Horror Picture Show will be a very good day, frozen or not!
on September 6, 2004
The popular TV show that revolves around a man and his two robots heckling horrible movies in space has found its way on film (very hard to find, but it's there!). "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie" gives you the rare opportunity of enjoying a bad movie as Mike and the robots are there to help you through it with their wisecracking and flawless delivery. It's true that anyone can heckle a bad movie... but very few can do it as good as these guys can.
The mad and evil scientist, Dr. Clayton Forrester, has created an evil little scheme that is bound to give him world domination... but first thing's first. He plans to torment Mike Nelson and the robots by sending them a real stinker of a film to watch called, "This Island Earth." He is convinced that this movie will drive them insane. And since the guys cannot control when the movie begins or ends, they are forced to witness the true horror that is this awful movie that has a lobster creature dressed in slacks. Will this be the ultimate cheese that breaks the boys' spirits? You'll find out once you begin this hilarious movie.
The movie isn't all that different from the regular show, which is a major plus. Sure, there is a little bit of a plot going on that concerns Dr. Forrester's plan for global domination, but there's always a side story like that going on in each of the episodes. The movie may look a little more professional than the show, but that's the only difference. We still see the three silhouettes wisecrack and mock their way through the awful movie. Their delivery is always constant and right on target. In fact, you're bound to catch something new that you didn't catch the first time around when you watch it again. "This Island Earth" was a good choice for the movie, although they have been through much worse than this (see the episodes "Space Mutiny" or "Manos: Hands of Fate," and you'll see what I'm saying). The DVD has no extras whatsoever. Not only that, but it is EXTREMELY hard to find these days, so good luck trying to find it (it's out there somewhere).
"Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie" doesn't disappoint in any way. It's always funny, always fresh and always clever. Fans of the show will most likely love the movie. It can even be enjoyed by those who are experiencing MST3K for the very first time. If you're lucky enough to stumble upon this little gem, then I highly recommend checking it out. And remember kids, these guys are professionals; do NOT attempt this at home! -Michael Crane
on November 13, 2013
First off please don't be swayed by non informative reviews based on price alone and personal opinion about said price. If you go to the shout-factory site you will see that the suggested retail price of this release is the same as previously released limited editions, $64.99. You alone can decide if the cost is worth the product you get, I will say that if you order from Amazon you will be spared the $8 shipping charges and that bonus content in included in the tin and not "available only" from Shout-factory like the last 2 bonus discs.
So with only 2 weeks till the 25th Anniversary limited edition tin ships, with 5 dvd's 4 previously unreleased episodes and 2 bonus episodes, Joel's last episode 512 "Mitchel" and Mike's first episode 513 "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" long, long time out of print from Rhino/Best Brains and the four episodes, "Moon Zero Two", "The Day The Earth Froze", "The Leech Woman" and "Gorgo", "Gorgo" which was pulled after the second showing due to copy-write infringement but somehow Shout-Factory was able to get the rights to release it. It's an English Godzilla and it is an incredible episode. I have the best quality fan copies out there of all the unreleased episodes and all the volumes that have been released 1-27 and all the single dvd releases including 512 "Mitchel" and 513 "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" and I can tell you from experience that the Shout-Factory releases are of amazing quality that far exceeds even the best fan copies. For me the price is very much worth it, I'm not that big on the bonus material but you get a ton, if you are, I'm far more into the episodes themselves and with this set you get 6 of them and 2 of them are on my top ten list of all time best episodes, "Gorgo" and "The Leech Woman" are a cut above, the opening 5 minutes of "The Leech Woman" are some of the best riffs the guy's have done to me, always makes me laugh.
I for one am so glad that Shout-Factory is continuing to release what for me are some of the most enjoyable TV shows ever created and hope that Shout-Factory continues till all the episodes are released. I hope this review helps you make a more informed decision and thanks for reading.
on August 30, 2013
I currently own EVERY box set MST3K has put out and I'll never complain about the price of these things. Growing up in Minneapolis MST3K was a very large part of my childhood and these box sets take me back to those days. Im very happy to see them celebrating 25 years by bringing some classic episodes to DVD. Gorgo and Earth Froze are worth the price alone but we also get Mitchell! Either one of the Joe Don Baker films that are riffed are classics and it actually created a beef with Joe Don and the Mistie crew where Joe wanted to beat their A$$es.
I wont go too much more into depth but think about it...Wont you?
on August 23, 2005
In spite of all it's misgivings, MST3K: The Movie is pretty funny, and if you are a MSTie who has always wanted to hear Tom Servo swear, well this is your movie. A few downsides to the film is that the folks at Universal told the MST3K boys that they had to pick one of their movies (obviously) but it couldn't have been a "bad" movie (What the hell? That's the whole point. Movie execs.. I'll never get them.) and while it is shorter than your average MST3K episode (And runs shorter the original version of "This Island Earth" which is the movie the boys riff) it's still an entertaining watch.
Be farwarned though, the movie has been out of print for quite some time and there are certain people out there in internet land who will try and gouge you 100 bucks and upwards for it (as of the time of this writing some knuckle knob is charging 415 bucks for a USED copy.. OBSURD!) I recomend you check EVERYWHERE before you finally open up your wallet.
I managed to find it online for a fairly decent price. Keep your eye out, and if all else fails and your not picky about VHS, get it on VHS as most dealers and getting rid of VHS like the plague.
on October 9, 1999
I remember seeing advertisements for MST3k: The Movie when it came out on video and wondering what the hell they were talking about. When I read the movie summary I was even more confused. I didn't actually see MST3k until a year later when it came on cable. I thought it was going to be stupid when it started , but when Mike and the bots started watching "This Island Earth" I laughed my butt off! Then my aunt came in the room, said it was stupid, and changed the channel. But I was still hooked. I had to have more of Mike , Crow , and Tom. I didn't see the rest of this until about a year ago , and by that time I had already been a fan of it on the Sci-Fi channel for a year. I just realized I've only said one thing about this movie so far , and the rest is crap you could care less about! Great movie! Funny as hell! Shorter , but still better than an actual episode! I'm just mad at the Sci-Fi Channel for canceling the show. Bunch of idiots!
on November 29, 2013
Since there are plenty of reviews that describe the movies in this set I am going to write a different type of review. Most people that would purchase these sets are already devoted fans of the show and don’t need to hear any show-related info from me.
I will say that this set is diverse and covers major milestones of the show. It includes an experiment from the first season along with two experiments from the Sci-Fi Channel days, but, it also includes the transition episodes that show how Joel escaped from the Satellite of Love and the first experiment to feature Mike in the theatre.
One great thing for the purists out there like me is the fact that Shout Factory includes the introductory scenes before the actual opening credits. Rhino did not include these with their DVD releases.
What I am referring to is the black backdrop with the caption, Turn Down Your Lights (where applicable) for Seasons 2 and 3, and the “Reel Inserts” for Seasons 4 and 5 where they show a still from the movie and you hear a voice-over say something like, Show 501 Reel One Take One. In this set, The Day The Earth Froze, Mitchell and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, all have the Reel Inserts before the opening credits.
Now for the bad news…. I am hoping others will chime in and relate similar findings so that this issue can be addressed as soon as possible before other great experiments get released:
I noticed, that, soon after the Gamera Set, some of the experiments on later sets have digital
artifacts in the master prints. I have noticed this in sets XXV and XXVI, as well as in this 25th Anniversary set.
It is hard to describe in words but it typically manifests itself as a quick white cloudy or dark bar at the top edge of the screen although it has appeared lower as well.
Sometimes, it looks like a pattern of vertical lines (almost like the old Thriller show).
These things disappear as quickly as they appear but there are usually between 8 and 12 of
them throughout an experiment, sometimes, even more. They look like ghost frames that somehow got superimposed on the screen.
These things occur due to buffer problems with the software that is performing the conversion/transfer to disc.
They could be caused due to electrical current fluctuations during the burn process, or,
the computer environment suddenly and unexpectedly engaging in a background process.
Like I mentioned earlier, they may be simple flow-control problems during the burn process.
On this particular set, The Day The Earth Froze, The Leech Woman, Mitchell and The Brain That Wouldn't Die, all contained these artifacts throughout the run of the shows.
Moon Zero Two and Gorgo were fine.
I am not getting confused with problems in the masterprint of the movie itself because I am using my own experiences with transfers to DVD and I watch the silhouettes when I am troubleshooting to see if an anomaly affects the entire screen or just the movie part.
Like so many other MST3K fans I invested a lot of time and effort in to recording the shows on VHS tape back when they were being aired on T.V.
These Box Sets enable me to get rid of old tapes to make more room in the house (so I can buy more MST3K DVD Box Sets!); however, I had to wind up keeping tapes because my copies on tape are more perfect than the official DVD releases!
That is not good.
There are experiments yet to be released that I am dying to purchase like, Human Duplicators, High School Big Shot, Girlstown and the remaining Hercules movies that have not yet been released.
I would like to have perfect copies of these great experiments when they are finally released.
I hope Best Brains and Shout can refine the transfer process and eliminate these errors.
on June 17, 2005
DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT spend all your money on these bloodsucking bottom feeders who think making someone purchase a DVD is honest business. This DVD is easily found in most major stores like Walmart/Target/Kmart and if you're on the west coast Fred Meyer! Case in point, I found a bunch of these in a bin at Fred Meyer for $5.99. I only bought 1 but heck this movie isn't worth $100+! Studios know that when a movie is overinflated like this, it's only a matter of time before they release "a newly" released version. It's quite simple for them to do actually and they make A LOT of money instead of seeing these "bottom feeders" try to swindle unsuspecting customers and studios! Word of advice on DVD's OOP, no DVD is worth more than the initial suggested price. If it's too expensive, wait until the DVD is affordable again. A lot of DVD's that were released between 1996 and 2000 will be getting a re-release simply because the marketing audience of DVD's has literally changed 100-fold since the technology has become so available. The 30th Anniversary Edition DVD of Jaws is a good example. Save that money and use it for a new sound system for your current player and skip the bottom feeder!
on January 14, 2014
Many of these episodes I have never seen before so for me it's a real treasure to find these and experience them for the first time.
Moon Zero Two is a blast, if you have missed this episode it's a must see. There are many worthwhile extras like the gorgeous tin, the mini posters and my personal favorite, a three-part documentary called Return to Eden Prairie that examines the history of the show, the characters and the the people behind it. This is brand new material made for this Anniversary Edition and it's a true love letter to the many fans of the show. But I have to admit that there is a certain melancholy that sets in when watching these specials. It is so rare that the right chemistry comes together to create something as unique as MST3K. All of the various talents of the people involved had to mix in just the right way. These comedians, writers, actors, puppeteers caught lightning in a bottle. They were still pretty young when success hit them and you get the sense through the many recent interviews that now that they are older they can reflect back and realize just how precious and special it was. Cinematic Titanic and Riff Trax have had some hits and misses but they usually lack the spark found in the best MST3K episodes.
On a personal level, I'm an Atlanta native but I happened to be living in Minneapolis back when the show was being produced and lived in an area called Uptown. One of my favorite haunts was a restaurant/bar called the Green Mill. It was three blocks down from my apartment and being a single guy living in the city, I ate a lot of meals there and saw the bottom of a lot of pitchers of beer. When Trace mentions that they were frequently at the Green Mill to discuss show ideas I about fell out of my chair. There is a very good chance that on some random night I was in the very next booth and had no idea. I wish I could go back in time and tell these guys Thank You and let them know how important the show would be for so many people. Everyone has rainy days in their lives and this show is a 100% reliable weapon against the darkness. It should be prescribed for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. It has a Monty Python-like ability to remind us that life is really pretty silly and we shouldn't take it all so darn seriously.
One last comment about this collection: Mitchell and The Brain That Wouldn't Die are on a single DVD and there is an animated Top Menu that has Mitchell trying to talk the disembodied woman into taking her clothes off. It's the sort of inspired nonsense that makes this collection unique and is pitch-perfect in tone for the series.