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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XV from Shout! Factory will include two Joel hosted episodes and two Mike hosted episodes, all from the Comedy Channel/Comedy Central period of the show.

102- THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY (with short: COMMANDO CODY AND THE RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON Pt. 1)
La Momia azteca contra el robot humano was made in Mexico and was released in the US in 1959. From the grade Z costumes, acting and special effects to the mediocre dubbing, this film is perfect fodder for MST3K. If you've always wanted to see a poorly costumed mummy battle a cardboard box style robot, this is your film. This episode also features the beginning of Radar Men From The Moon, which was one of the best things about Season One MST3K. Hilarious!

509- THE GIRL IN LOVER'S LANE
This 1959 black-and-white film features Joyce Meadows and a very young Jack Elam. The film is a hackneyed story about troubled teens from broken and problem homes, but the acting is not actually that bad and it's engaging enough to really irk you when you get to the incredibly depressing outcome of this film. Even the final sketch of the show focuses on the noxious ending of the film. Still, if you focus on the jokes from the MST3K crew then you can get through it and the mostly one-dimensional and unimaginative writing make for some amusing jokes through most of the film.

604- ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE
This terribly cheap and amateurish "horror" movie from 1986 stars Adam West. The scariest thing in this movie is the scene where the kid in his white underwear leaves a hot tub. Hilariously bad teen horror that works extremely well for MST3K. Zombie Nightmare is the only color film in this DVD set. This is a strong episode from the post-Joel era of the show.

616- RACKET GIRLS (with short: ARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE?)
This 1951 film is about a guy who runs a women's wrestling league as a front for all manner of illegal rackets. The film has a very "Ed Wood" quality to it. The movie and especially the short, Are You Ready For Marriage?, both work extremely well for the show.

Extras features include:
* Glimpses of KTMA (when the show was on a local channel in Minneapolis before it appeared on The Comedy Channel)
* The Design And Speculative Technology Of MST3K: Joel Hodgson And Trace Beaulieu Visit M.I.T.
* New Interviews with "Zombie Nightmare" stars Frank Dietz, Jon Mikl Thor and John Fasano.
* Kevin Murphy And Trace Beaulieu in a Sneak Peek of the upcoming independent feature film Hamlet A.D.D.
* Trailers/promos
* 4 limited edition mini-posters
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Shout Factory has brought us another set of MST3K episodes for their next set Volume 15. This set is as follows :
EPISODE 102 - THE ROBOT VS THE AZTEC MUMMY - this is the earliest episode to date (only 101 and KTMA episodes would be earlier). This is a K Gordon Murray low budget movie (he also gave us Santa Claus and other south of the border gems) Joel and the bots ( Tom Servo is Josh Weinstein - the only way to see him as Servo or Dr Erhardt is from Season 1) riffle through this OK, but not as good as later episodes when they mastered the technique. It is still fun to watch and interesting in a historical sense since it is an early episode. Joel & the bots big segments are with the Demon Dogs ! This has the short Commando Cody - Radar Men from the Moon Part 1 as well..
EPISODE 509 - THE GIRL IN LOVERS LANE - This is a fun, campy cult B movie with Brett Halsey (Return of the Fly) as a drifter with a young inexperienced drifter named Danny who settle into a town & stop drifting. Brett is Bix Duggan called Big Stupid by Joel and the bots. Bix falls in love but he wants to drift again. Bix also teaches Danny how to survive in the urban jungle & morals as well. Bix gets lynched too in this. Jack Elam plays a greasy bad guy in this. Jack was a great character actor & Crow does a segment to show us that he is. A very good episode and happy it is finally coming out. This is also on Alpha DVD where you can see the scenes that were cut including Joyce Meadows death scene where Jack goes after her at the end...
EPISODE 604 - ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE - Quite possibly one of the best and most popular Mike episodes (this is subject to debate but a lot of MST3K fans did rejoice on this coming out) John Mikl Thor is the zombie (until the ending)killing kids who ran him over. This has the one and only Adam West - TVs Batman. Why he got involved in this is anyone's guess...but you know it is not that awful. No it is not great, but it is a credible movie on its own.A great rock soundtrack (Motorhead's Ace of Spades is the songs intro). A few gore scenes were cut, but for those that want it uncut, toward the later part of 2009, this movie will come out on DVD from Code Red - uncut with a high def transfer.
Great episode, a personal favorite Mike episode.
EPISODE 616 - RACKET GIRLS - This is the one that contains female pro-wrestlers such as peaches. A harmless obscure fun B movie Gangster/Female wrestling movie - that really cant cause Mike and the Bots any pain. If you like WWE this ones for you.This has the short "Are you ready for marriage". I think it is a solid episode, not a popular one but I like the old black & white ones.In a way it reminded me of a cross between Violent Years, Sinister Urge and any gangster movie
This set contains the following bonus features.
Glimpses of KTMA (This was the channel MST aired on - a local Minneapolis channel before Best Brains became part of Comedy Channel)
The Design And Speculative Technology Of MST3K: Joel Hodgson And Trace Beaulieu Visit M.I.T.(NOTE - THIS FEATURE HAS SINCE BEEN AXED FOR TECHNICAL PROBLEMS)
New Interviews with "Zombie Nightmare" stars Frank Dietz, Jon Mikl Thor and John Fasano. I met Thor a few years ago and looked like Billy Idol on HGH. He is not tall, but super buffed and is a great guy - it was a honor to meet him. He played with his Thorchestra in a nightclub in my hometown
Kevin Murphy And Trace Beaulieu in a Sneak Peek of the upcoming independent feature film Hamlet A.D.D.
Trailers/promos
4 limited edition mini-posters (like you've seen in previous sets)
Overall another great set with some nice bonus features. If you own all the other MST sets, don't pass this up either. A chance to have more good episodes on DVD quality. Not every set will please everyone but overall this has some diversity with 2 Joels and 2 Mikes, and we get 2 Tom Servos as well. No Sci Fi in this set, which hasn't happened in a long time. A lot of fans came during the scifi era that did not catch all the Comedy Central episodes, this is a good opportunity for some fans to see something that they haven't seen before. Overall, personally I feel this set has solid episodes, a historical 1st season episode. I think it is well rounded & I would call this a good batch of episodes. It wont please everybody(no set does), but it should please those of us who love the show & appreciate just having more titles on DVD with superior image quality. Even if there are some episodes we like better than other,the fact is any MST3K episode released to DVD is a good release. Thank you Shout Factory, keep up the great work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
As much as I love MST3k, I have to admit that most collections feature at least one sub-par episode. Something fairly weak compared to the other three episodes. But this set was all winners in my opinion, no Swamp Diamonds or Catalina Capers to be found, just good, funny MST3k.

I should also say that, since I was born in 1987, I didn't catch a lot of early MST, so while I'm very familiar with most of the Mike years, some of the earlier stuff passed me by. I bought this volume out of interest in Zombie Nightmare, but I hadn't ACTUALLY SEEN any of these episodes before. So all 4 episodes were completely new to me.

With that in mind, here's my opinions of each episode:

THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY
You'd think with a title like that, they woulda brought the Robot in BEFORE 80 mins of the film pass you by. But you'd be wrong. All in all, its your standard incompetent 1950's horror schlock. But I enjoyed the movie's cheesiness and was pleasantly surprised by how good the riffing was. Being a 1st season episode (the 2nd episode of the 1st season, no less), I expected it to be pretty slow. The Crawling Eye had been my only previous experience with season 1 and I thought this would be much the same. But the riffs came faster and were actually pretty funny. Not the best episode ever, but very solid and I could easily see myself watching this one again. The robot alone is a riot, it very obviously has a PERSON inside it (they don't even try to hide his face!). Also comes with a Commander Cody short, which I've heard some people complain about but personally I found it very funny.

THE GIRL IN LOVERS LANE
In a word... AWESOME! This bumped POD PEOPLE out of my top 10 list and replaced EEGAH as my favorite Joel episode. Its the story of two drifters that come into a town and one falls in love with a waitress. Its actually not a terrible movie, the plot is cliched and its fairly low budget, but the acting is solid enough for you to care about the characters, which brings me to the problem some people have with this movie... the ending. Some MST fans are really bothered with the ending. And it raised an interesting question for the writers: What happens if your movie has a dark, toxic ending that's just downright depressing? Do you still riff? Joel and the Gang kept on going (how could they stop?), and the results make for one of the edgiest and most uncomfortable 4th acts in MST3k history. Because the movie's ending deals with a horrible tragedy, the riffing really borders on being tasteless, and it IS hilarious, just in a very uncomfortable way. I can totally understand why it bothered some people but I loved it. Overall a stellar episode, as long as you can stomach the ending. The best on the set by far.

ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE
Total 80's schlock in the vein of Hobgobblins. The movie is ridiculous enough on its own, but the riffing adds quite a bit (I love when the girl and her boyfriend are talking and Servo is just muttering "Shut up. Shut up." between every slight pause in their conversation). Its got Adam West and Tia Carrera in it, so you know it has plenty of potential! A good episode, but I found my particular DVD copy to be incredibly dark. I dunno if the movie itself was just very poorly lit, or if the master copy of the episode suffered some damage or something before the digital transfer, but most of the time I felt like I was watching a radio broadcast the movie was so dark. Anybody know whats going on with the darkness thing? Is it just me? Either way, very entertaining. A great Mike episode.

RACKET GIRLS
Did Ed Wood make this movie? It really really feels like an Ed Wood movie. You'd think with the endless scenes of female wrestling matches this movie would get boring, but Mike and the Bots keep it going. Very very funny, the movie also has one of the most hilariously inept endings of any MST3k film, just awesomely terrible. Also has a short about getting married which is really good. Another stellar episode.

All in all, a great set. Not the best beginning point for people new to the show (I'd start with volume 1, even with Catalina Caper the other three eps are great intros) but I can't see any fans being disappointed in the episodes on hand here. I mean, I never saw any of them before and I loved ALL FOUR!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I've been a MySTie for about 10 years now having discovered the show only after it went on the SciFi channel. For some reason Comedy Central was not available in this area until just a few years ago. I appreciate being able to catch up on the earlier episodes. This has become my all time favorite TV show. Keep 'em coming.

If you enjoy good camp and smart alack robots and don't require high tech CGI then you will probably enjoy this show as well. The only thing is that you have to watch out or you may find yourself riffing on movies, TV shows or commercials just like Joel/Mike and the bots. I have found that this makes some intolerably bad films and TV shows much more bearable. Unfortunately this is frowned on in actual movie theaters and some family members may not appreciate you spoiling a TV show they are in to. Learn to use this power sparingly and wisely.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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We're up to volume fifteen in the MST3K boxed set series, and this is one set that will make you wriggle with pain. The episodes are nicely balanced (two with Joel, two with Mike; three are black and white, one's in color) but don't represent the pinnacle of MST film selection. The riffing is generally very good, although the plodding pace of the black and white features doesn't give the crew much to work with. The only one of the bunch I really consider to be excellent (by MST's very high standards) is "Zombie Nightmare" with Adam West. I also found "The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy" to be above average; I especially loved the "horrifying" robot costume that would have clearly embarrassed Ed Wood. I found "Racket Girls" to be a bit slow at times, and found "The Girl in Lover's Lane" to be not only depressing, but tedious to watch. There are two shorts as well, "Are You Ready For Marriage", which is perfectly hilarious, and one of the endless and insufferable "Commando Cody" serials.

The set includes some great additional features, my favorite of which are the MST scrapbook features, though I also loved the interviews with some of the stars of "Zombie Nightmare". On balance this is a good set, but because the MST cast and crew sets the bar so high, I had to give it four stars as I didn't find it to be one of the most compelling collections overall. I still recommend it, but if you are new to the show, I wouldn't start here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 22, 2009
Format: DVD
Introduction

Another release of MST3k DVDs and another set of four bad movies to suffer through. In this iteration, the films break three to one on the dull dreariness vs. goofy fun scales. Fortunately, the riffing and mocking from Joel/Mike and the bots are more than up to the task of making the movies bearable and, indeed, fun.

THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY (1957)
(with short: an episode of the serial, COMMANDER CODY AND THE RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON)

A note to any budding young directors out there: just because you tell your story primarily by borrowing the flashback technique from CITIZEN KANE, it does not make you Orson Welles (although the goofiness of your film's title should also be a hint). AZTEC MUMMY is the story of a band of hapless archaeologists who happen upon and then disturb a cursed, supernatural corpse. This plot necessitates far too many badly-lit scenes in a crummy underground Aztec temple set.

As for the battle promised by the title, it comes far far too late in the proceedings to liven up the movie. The actual mummy monster is fairly well-realized for the time and combines decent makeup and good costuming. This makes for a nice contrast with the robot costume which neglects to provide the robot with knee joints.

This episode (only the second of the nationally broadcast episodes of MST3k on the Comedy Channel) marks the first time the mad sciences would place a short film before the main feature (Joel helpfully explains the concept of a weekly movie serial to Tom Servo). The short features the kind of odd logic and bizarre plot twists that make these little film snapshots so much fun. My opinion of this episode as a whole was much improved by a second viewing. I was more appreciative of the jokes which really perk up the proceedings. This is a very good thing, because this type of film molasses really needs something to liven it.

THE GIRL IN LOVERS LANE (1959)

This film features two main characters. The first is an aimless drifter. The second is his younger, dumber, richer protégé who he hopes to mentor in the ways of hobo-ness. Arriving in an absurdly typical small town, the pair are terrorized by the town's gangs, Jack Elam and romance.

THE GIRL IN LOVERS LANE is not a horrible movie; it comes across as a fairly banal and uninspired melodrama. The ending is a little distasteful, but I quite enjoyed Joel's attitude towards avoiding the unpleasantness by simply encouraging Tom and Crow to write their own concluding pieces of fanfic instead.

ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE (1986)

If you were ever to simply list all the elements that would make a film perfect for the MST3k treatment, then ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE would contain a large percentage of your list. It's set in the 1980s with a mostly teenage cast (which reminded me of the LASERBLAST AND HOBGOLBINS experiments). It stars Adam West and has Tia Carrere in one of her first film roles. And, almost as importantly, it's a really bad zombie movie that defies logic and common sense.

With a film that would be funny enough on its own, this episode becomes hilarious with the riffing -- especially in the second half once Adam West shows up. I think I laughed as much at the movie's utter ridiculousness as I did at the jokes from Mike and the bots. The host segments for this one are short, but to-the-point and great. And can anyone tell me why the crime scene investigator is doing a bizarrely inappropriate imitation of Walter Matthau?

RACKET GIRLS (1951)
(with short: ARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE?)

I wasn't a fan of early 1950s female wrestling exploitation films until my encounter with RACKET GIRLS; in fact, I wasn't aware that there was such a beast. But here it is, in all of its sweaty, boring glory.

What THE STARFIGHTERS did for endless, repetitive refueling sequences, RACKET GIRLS attempts the same for female wrestling. This would be a very hard film to watch in its original format simply because of how long and drawn out the wrestling scenes are. While the cast is made up of actual female wrestlers of the era (Peaches Page, etc), it's a shame that no one spent much time teaching them how to act outside of the ring.

Extras

The most interesting extra is a two part excerpt from the MST3k video scrapbook. Part One is a series of host segments from the KTMA days, when MST3k was just a show on a local television station. Part Two is a behind the scenes look at the writing and taping of the SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS experiment. Both sections are a lot of fun for fans. Personally, I most enjoyed watching the writers viewing the movie and coming up with gags, while asking each other for more references and clarifications. Interesting stuff.

Stinger

The fifteenth collection of MST3k DVDs (the third from Shout! Factory) leaves fans in good shape. The box set is nicely balanced between two Joel episodes and two Mike episodes; none of the selections is worse than average and the best are classics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Four great movies.
"Looks like an atomic nose hair clipper."
The first is Show #102, The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy, the second movie EVER shown on MST3K, with a Commando Cody Short, the first short! History! Robot! Aztec mummy! Golf! Bat? Demon Dogs! Check out the early gags that were tired, and died, in the early years. WONDERFUL!
"Uh...camera 3, get off the track. Camera 3...AHHHH!"
Show #509 is The Girl In Lovers Lane. Lots of trains, hobos and MURDER. And a fog horn that sounds like a train. Or a train that sounds like a fog horn. Full of references, from Land of the Lost, to Frodo and Star Trek. Not the best, but funny in some parts. Still, a depressing ending.
"Head! AHHH!"
Show #604 was famous before it was misted. A zombie. Adam West. Bad movie. What more could you want? Well, besides Tom Servo dressed up as Batman! Oh, and Tia Carrere. References to Canada and Kids In The Hall. Welcome to Zombie Nightmare! Hear Taz sing for FIST! Who is FIST? Dunno...
"Back to the dolls."
Show #616 is Racket Girls. Lots of girls wrestling. Oh, and a short about Are You Ready For Marriage? Well, are you? The Robots also try to get married after seeing the short, another famous and very funny point in MST3K history.
Lots of great skits, bad movies and great jokes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I guess if you put a gun to my head, I would have to admit that my favorite MSTs are the ones where the film is an overwrought b&w melodrama from the 1940s to the 1960s. One of my all time favorite episodes was I Accuse My Parents ("Here... stab this into your thigh!"), and The Girl In Lovers Lane is in the same ballpark. When the lead character introduced himself as "Bix Dugan", even I heard him actually say "Big Stupid", before Joel blurted it out. Classic, priceless, and my personal pick for the shining star of this collection.

I tend to appreciate the really early season 1 episodes (Robot vs. Aztec Mummy) more as a chance to see the roots of the show before it really found its muse, rather than for actual laughs. And I often find it difficult to sit through godawful horse @#$% mid-1980s tripe, even when the jokes are great (Zombie Nightmare). Haven't gotten around to watching Racket Girls yet... but apparently it's a ripe piece of b&w cheese from 1951, so I expect I'll enjoy the hell out of it.

Edit: And enjoy it I did!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
absolutely a must have for a mst3k fan.zombie nightmare is probably my favorite of all time from these guys.you can't go wrong with adam west and that tia cararra from waynes world.girls in lovers lane and raacket girls are good to flesh out the rest of this dvd.3 thumbs up!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2010
Format: DVD
While not essential MST3K, this is a nice set of mostly B&W movies featuring one stand-out episode and a good collection of the show's history.

I have to admit that I usually enjoy the color films of the 70's, 80's & 90's, but this still manages to be an enjoyable collection of episodes.

1) The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy is episode 2 of the show's run on cable and it shows. The slower-paced riffing has a certain charm and the movie is indeed poorly made, but it takes a lot of patience to sit through.

2) The Girl In Lover's Lane on the other hand is a fantastic episode from the Joel era. From the the running gag of calling the main character "Big Stupid" to Crow dressing up as creepy villain Jack Elam, the riffing is great and the movie is fascinating to observe.

3) Zombie Nightmare is goofy horror movie from the 80's that will often leave you laughing before the riffing hits. There are a few scenes in the movie that are poorly lit and go on way to long leaving the MST3K crew out of ideas, but then again Adam West plays a crooked police detective so what more to you need?

4) Racket Girls is like a poor man's Ed Wood film (and that's saying somethin!). Despite the endless length of the wrestling matches, the crew actually manages to keep the laughs coming. Plus, who doesn't love Joe the weasely, foreign henchman? The "Are You Ready For Marriage?" short is solid, with a very fun gag about a disappearing rubber band.

Overall a decent set, but I would suggest buying the 20th anniversary set first, it's definitely the best of the SHOUT! factory releases thus far.
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