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Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIV

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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(Jul 31, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

The cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 has always welcomed immigrant films with open arms. One can almost imagine a Satellite of Liberty greeting the waves of foreign films seeking a more prosperous life in America. Its inscription might well read, Give me your tired plots, your poor acting, your muddled directors yearning to be schlock-free. It is in this spirit that Volume XXIV presents four of cinema’s transplants from Russia, Italy and two from Japan, that simply didn’t take. Thankfully, Joel, Mike and their band of robot brothers (Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot) alleviate their (and our) suffering by watching these movies with a joyously irreverent stream of higher consciousness. You will have in your hands a collection of passports to laughter. Consider them riffed and stamped by those tormented souls aboard the Satellite of Love. Titles include Fugitive Alien, Star Force: Fugitive Alien II, The Sword And The Dragon & Samson Vs. The Vampire Women.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson
  • Directors: Kevin Murphy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2012
  • Run Time: 480 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007RMQ4F4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,993 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIV" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wow, Shout! Factory completes the MST3K Sandy Frank episode releases with BOTH Fugitive Alien episodes and tops that off with one of the Russo-Finnish films and a Mexican wrestling horror movie that says farewell to TV's Frank. This is a pretty eclectic mix of episodes that should please most fans.

This 1987 TV "movie" is actually a 1978 Japanese TV series called Star Wolf imported and modified for the US by Sandy Frank, which tells you it's got to be good in that special way that Mighty Jack and Time Of The Apes are "good". Seriously, they don't get much funnier than this. A brutal alien "Wolf Raider" named Ken stops another "Star Wolf" from killing a human child also named Ken and becomes a fugitive from his own villainous comrades and their planet Valnastar. Ken is reluctantly taken in by the crew of the Earth ship Bacchus III commanded by the puffy-jowled Captain Joe and together they defend the Earth from further Wolf Raider attacks. There is much conflict amongst Ken and his new human companions while they learn to trust each other. Unintentional comedy ensues with the usual overwrought and breathy Sandy Frank cheap dubbing combined with the cheap production values of the original Japanese show. Wolf Raider's have superhuman abilities, but otherwise look just like humans except for the silly long-haired wigs they wear on their raids. And in one memorable scene "they tried to kill him with a forklift", which is used as a premise for one fantastically funny song and host segment with Joel and the 'Bots. There's also a fun host segment based around Syd Field's Screenplay writing guide. This is a much beloved MSTie must-have episode you'll want to watch over and over again. It's MST3K at its absolute best.
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Wow, I'm the 12th reviewer on this thing and I'm so far the first to actually post a review AFTER the products come out.

After the last volume's somewhat less than stellar set of episodes, I was really hoping this box would have some winners, and I'm happy to report that it is EXCELLENT! It even includes some interesting bonus features. Here's the show by show breakdown:

FUGITIVE ALIEN: Another Japanese TV show stapled together by Sandy Frank to make a "movie," this one involves a renegade "wolf raider" named Ken who is a fugitive from his evil planet after not killing a kid during a raid, then accidentally shooting his partner when THAT guy tries to kill the kid. He is begrudgingly accepted onto spaceship of humans, led by drunk, puffy-faced Captain Joe. That sets up the rest of the "movie" which is mostly short unrelated adventures, since this was a TV show first. The movie is goofy fun, with some of the most hilarious Cheap-Star-Wars-Rip-Off style special effects this side of StarCrash. It also includes the "They tried to kill him with a forklift" song that honestly gets funnier and funnier every time they sing it. I feel like I'm doing a terrible job explaining its appeal, so let me stop here and just say that this is a fantasic episode and one that will definitely be an easy choice for repeat viewings.

Bonus features include the always amusing MST HOUR wraps and a short introduction to the episode from August Ragone which ends in a hilarious moment of clarity for August where he admits he's kind of a dateless loser.

STAR FORCE - FUGITIVE ALIEN 2: The further adventures of Ken, Captain Joe, those other two guys, and the female crew member with the jacked up teeth!
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Format: DVD
Here we have another 4 disc set from everyone's favorite stranded in space trio, the MST3K crew, featuring 2 Joel and 2 Mike episodes, we fans are treated to 2 of the best from Joel's era and 2 good ones from Mike's run.

Episode 310, "Fugitive Alien": Sandy Frank once again chops up some Japanese stuff and turns it into a badly dubbed and even worsely edited flick, which is footage from a 1978 Japanese TV show called "Star Wolf", where some invading alien race called Wolf Raiders are attacking Earth. When one of the raiders kills one of his own he goes on the run and ends up with a crew on Bacchus III, a ship that is fighting the Wolf Raiders, it's quite a mess from the get-go with all the quick edits, close-ups and bad dialogue, not to mention the choppy plot that's hard to follow. Joel and the bots do a great job with this as they were on fire throughout this episode.

Episode 318, "Star Force-Fugitive Alien II: And we are back to follow the exploits of Bacchus III as they need to stop the Wolf Raiders from using a Doomsday Device on Earth and Ken (the alien from the first one) has issues with an ex (the one from the end of the first flick) and Ken really wants to get back at the leader of the Raiders for trying to kill him. There's not much more coherency to this one in comparison to the last flick, more footage from "Star Wolf" episodes is used by Sandy Frank, but it's little more than fodder for Joel and the crew. They again do quite well with the astounding amount of goofiness and everything else especially the bad acting.

Episode 617, "The Sword and The Dragon": So we have this flick with lots of fights, cool visuals, expensive sets, a pretty nice dragon (for the '60's at least), bad dubbing, some silliness and an overall fun time.
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Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIV
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