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Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Turkey Day Collection (XXXI) [Limited-Edition Collector's Tin]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Turkey Day Collection (XXXI) [Limited-Edition Collector's Tin]
DVD ~ Joel Hodgson
Price: $38.89
18 used & new from $35.63

5.0 out of 5 stars "You're Gonna' Be The Worm Face!", September 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Turkey Day Collection" is another set of MST3K episodes from both the Joel and Mike eras in a nice collector's tin. The riffing is universally excellent in the collection, though the underlying movies are not on my MST3K A-List. "Jungle Goddess" is a turgidly paced George Reeves vehicle about two pilots searching for an heiress in an African jungle. Adventure abounds (not really) as does stock footage as the deadly but formulaic love story plays out. This is an early installation that also features a short from the ultra-slow "Phantom Creeps" serial with Bela Lugosi: to say this isn't among Lugosi's better work is something of an understatement. I found this to be one of the less enjoyable episodes overall as despite the excellent work from Joel and the Bots the film just creeps along.

Ascending slowly up the boring meter brings us to "The Painted Hills", starring Lassie who is on the trail of a murderer. I'm no fan of westerns, but Joel and the guys do well with this occasionally emotionally-manipulative tear-jerking canine action adventure full of double-crosses and a dog-poisoning evildoer, as well as a child as determined and resourceful as the dog. The host segments are strong, and the riffing is great even though the movie is fairly slow: the accompanying short "Body Care and Grooming" perhaps inspires the best segment, when there is a fierce debate about which version of the girl is hotter, the sloppy or neat version: Crow is especially insightful, as always. I enjoyed this episode in spite of itself.

"The Screaming Skull" is a rehash of other movies done better elsewhere with much bigger budgets, better actors, and more talented directors (including Hitchcock). Let's just say that the second wife of a man is driven crazy after the mysterious death of the first wife. I bet nobody can see the common element there. Despite it being a cheesy imitator of other films, it has some memorable points and makes an ideal canvas for Mike and the Bots to paint on. Served with a disturbing Gumby short, "Robot Rumpus", "The Screaming Skull" is a very satisfying dose of MST3K.

Last, and in my opinion, best in this collection is "Squirm", a killer worm movie filmed in Georgia. I had seen "Squirm" years before MST3K got around to doing it, and had always thought it would be a natural fit for the show. So it turned out to be: Mike and the Bots absolutely skewer the production and its eccentric cast. ("A pencil with hair! Oh, no, it’s her.") This film is actually a bit gross in spots, but pays off with big laughs. Of all the episodes in this collection, "Squirm" is my easy favorite, not only because of the central film but because of one of the greatest shorts in the history of MST3K, the otherworldly "A Case of Spring Fever" (with Coily, the Spring Sprite!) I have never understood this short, why it was made, or who made it. The Spring Council? The Society For the Advancement of Springs? Who? Whatever the motivation of the producers, this short is worth the price of the set by itself as our hero, Gilbert, learns why springs are important and then can't stop talking about it for the rest of his life. This is a great short subject and is sublimely handled by the MST3K crew. Absolutely magical.

Though the set doesn't have my favorite assortment of episodes, Shout Factory added a lot of great features including Turkey Day introductions with Joel Hodgson, trailers, and perhaps my favorite, an interview with "Squirm" star Don Scardino. If you like cheesy movies this is a good set.


Zombeavers
Zombeavers
DVD ~ Rachel Melvin
Price: $9.19
23 used & new from $7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "There Is No Way I'm Drunk Enough For This!", September 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zombeavers (DVD)
"Zombeavers" deserves three stars just for the insanely ridiculous premise of zombie beavers. What's not to love about that? Well, it turns out that this is a mixed bag. Opening with cameos of John Mayer (!) and Bill Burr as rednecks in a pickup truck transporting drums of toxic waste, texting and driving emerges as an early theme, and the result is a 55-gallon drum labeled "Biohazard" in a lake, springing a leak on a beaver's dam. This is obviously a spoof and succeeds as parody on many levels including the common plot setup.

Needless to say, there are three horrible sorority sisters (Cortney Palm, Rachel Melvin, and Lexi Atkins) going out to weekend at a cabin on a lake where they will party and heal a broken heart in one case. I was amused by the extra-atrocious music in the car, which was so awful even the dog hated it. Quickly the girls end up swimming in the lake (Guess how this got its "R" rating.) They see the beaver's dam and call out "Here beaver, beaver, beaver." No beavers appear, but a bear does, which makes Zoe (Palm) suddenly modest. There is a chance encounter with Smyth, who frightens the bear away with a gun before the horrible and flatulent boyfriends (Hutch Dano, Jake Weary, and Peter Gilroy) show up and take the film down a notch while attempting to max out the offense-o-meter.

We end up with six perfectly awful adolescents in the lake house and I just couldn't wait for something to start killing them off. Fortunately there is a zombie beaver in the tub. The worst of the guys, Buck (Gilroy), is the first targeted by the beavers, and not a moment too soon. Through a ferocious beaver battle they all end up on a raft in the lake, where there is not only beaver mayhem, but an alligator rampage. They can't phone for help because the phone lines have been cut by beavers (an especially wonderful plot twist), and their cellphones don't have signal (how could they expect to last the weekend?) An especially poignant fate awaits the dog which merely foreshadows the fate of the annoying youths. I wondered why after the first sign of beaver-related injuries they didn't get in their fully functioning cars and leave, but this being a horror-comedy called "Zombeavers" means that they are legally required to wait till nightfall when they would have to endure a beaver gauntlet. After giardia ("Beaver Fever") is discussed ("Any of you guys got diarrhea?") the zombie beaver possessions start in earnest. This is a process that's comically gross, earning zombie transmogrification bonus points for the filmmakers. Since the cabin is made of wood, and beavers habitually chew wood, you can probably predict where this is all going: yes, the cast gets to engage in a game of "Whack-A-Beaver", much like the childhood game "Whack-A-Mole", but with mutant zombie beavers. Kudos to "Zombeavers" for this totally predictable but hilariously executed scene in particular; it was probably my favorite in the movie.

Of course even in the throes of a deadly zombie beaver attack, there's time for romance, but that screeches to a halt with a suicidal beaver electrocution and resultant structural fire. The film finishes with far fewer cast members than it started with (I trust I'm not spoiling anything with that revelation), and I was especially amused by the way the film lapped itself at the end proving that it's not over till it's over. If there was one thing I especially loved about this movie it was the closing credit theme song crooned in the style of Mel Tormé ("Say goodbye to your golden retriever...Zombeaver!") This song was worth the wait till the very end, and was an especially funny skewering of the horror genre: what musical style could be more placid, after all?

The DVD has a lot of great extras, many of which are better than the actual film. By far my favorite is Stephen Merchant interviewing Bill Burr and John Mayer in the most straight-laced way possible: Mayer in particular is hilarious as he discusses paying $30,000 for acting lessons just to get the part. This interview segment is a brilliant addition to the package and is absolutely essential viewing. There is a cast and crew commentary which has a few amusing diversions (note in particular the discussion of a very specific type of rash), a short behind the scenes segment, "Building a Beaver", which was far more interesting than expected for a film of this budget, a makeup segment ("Man Becomes Monster"), audition videos (that gets a bit tedious), an entertaining storyboard segment, and three variations of the trailer for the film, all of which were well done.

"Zombeavers" was hard to rate: there are moments and concepts that elevate the horror parody almost to high art, but those are sometimes offset by pointlessly annoying situations of dubious crassness that tend to get old quickly. The film does feature some gore and effects that are decent for the budget, and is definitely deserving of its "R" rating. If you like parodies, schlock, or the horror-comedy genre and aren't easily offended, "Zombeavers" is the best movie about undead semiaquatic rodents that I know of.


Bobo's Oat Bars Gluten Free Bites - Apple Pie - 1.3 OZ - 5 ct
Bobo's Oat Bars Gluten Free Bites - Apple Pie - 1.3 OZ - 5 ct
Offered by OxKom
Price: $8.33
12 used & new from $6.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dense And Delicious, September 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bobo's Oat Bars "Apple Pie" Bites taste delicious, and as you would expect are quite dense, relatively moist, and are gluten free. Understand that this is for a package of five 1.3-ounce single serving bites, which means they are not large but are still calorically dense at 150 calories per bar, but what else could you possibly expect with the first two ingredients being organic gluten free rolled oats and brown rice syrup?

If you want a small snack and have a 150 calorie hole in your diet, these taste good and are filling for their size. They are expensive but are made of quality ingredients, and I would buy them again.


Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXIII
Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXIII
DVD ~ Joel Hodgson
Price: $42.77
13 used & new from $37.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Juvenile Delinquents to Giant Arachnids, MST3K Has Got You Covered!, August 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIII" is another great collection from Shout Factory. While it isn't my favorite collection, it's still a winner with diverse episodes from both Joel and Mike. I have to admit that the black and white Juvenile Delinquent (JD) movies aren't my favorites, and here the JD intersection with low budget mobsters in "Daddy-O" is my least favorite of the set. The riffs are good, but the underlying material is boring: starring famous accordionist Dick "Lady of Spain" Contino (who doesn't play his accordion, but does sing) as a hero truck driver turned drug runner turned police informant, the film delivers some great laughs (particularly noteworthy is the examination of how amazingly high Contino wears his pants). "Teen-Age Crime Wave" is a more straightforward JD film that I actually enjoyed more; Tommy Cook and Molly McCart are the delinquents in question, and they are over-the-top with jumpy teenage angst. The film ends in tears, of course, with Cook really chewing the scenery in one of the most depressingly overblown conclusions of any film of the genre. The film is fast paced and I found it to be a more interesting underlying film than "Daddy-O".

"Earth vs. The Spider" is typical Bert I. Gordon giant monster fare with some really old teenagers in love set against a ridiculous huge arachnid. I always love when MST3K takes on big dumb monsters, and here the results are fantastic. It's equal parts entertaining and ridiculous, which makes for a perfectly balanced episode. "Agent For H.A.R.M." is a science fiction meets cold war spy thriller that was clearly influenced by the Bond films, though it is hilariously off the mark. Where any James Bond film would have a well-defined supervillain and an amazing master plan, here a lunatic is threatening the US food supply with alien spores. The film has less action than "Daddy-O", a couple of clunky uncool gadgets, and a hero with a gray strip down his hair giving the impression more of an impassioned skunk than a debonair ladies' man. Highlighted are ridiculous plot twists and some severely bad acting, making it a favorite of the set. And don’t dare ask what "H.A.R.M." stands for!

Much like other offerings, Shout has added a lot of valuable extras for each of the films, like the "MST Hour" wraps, and a mini-documentary on some aspect of each movie: "Film it Again Sam: The Katzman Chronicles" was my favorite, particularly the references to "The Giant Claw" a film that should have been an MST3K episode if any movie ever deserved it. This is a great set and I have no reservations about giving it five stars!


Nature's Way Cayenne Extra Hot, Capsules 100ea
Nature's Way Cayenne Extra Hot, Capsules 100ea
Price: $4.50
21 used & new from $4.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Cayenne Supplement, But Approach With Caution, August 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have taken cayenne for several years primarily for its anti-inflammatory properties. I had always used a lower dose product, and was surprised to see this "Extra Hot" formulation from Nature's Way. Even though I love spicy food and frequently cook with very hot peppers, I had a bit of a struggle initially adjusting to this dosage. If you have a sensitive stomach or are new to using cayenne or capsaicin supplements start with a lower dose and work your way up to this. It is absolutely vital to take this supplement with food. Taking it on its own is a recipe for gastric upset of the highest magnitude.

If you are used to a lower dose of cayenne and tolerate it well, this is definitely more powerful option, but even cayenne veterans need to be mindful to take it with food. As for me, when I finish this bottle I'm going to return to a lower dosage and, if necessary, take it more often.


Condiment Nation Good Eats with Alton Brown Includes Chile's Angels, Spice Capades, Eat This Rock (Takeout Collection, Food Network)
Condiment Nation Good Eats with Alton Brown Includes Chile's Angels, Spice Capades, Eat This Rock (Takeout Collection, Food Network)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alton Spices It Up!, August 28, 2015
"Good Eats" is always educational and fun, and while I love every episode, this collection is special as it largely deals with how to use spices. Spicing food is one of the most essential skills on the road to becoming a good cook, with learning to use salt the biggest key there is to tasty fare. The first two episodes presented here are "Chile's Angels" and "Spice Capades" and several sample recipes are demonstrated using a variety of spices (at a variety of heat levels). Particularly recommended are the preparations for "Broiled Salmon with AB's Spice Pomade" and "Vegetable Curry".

The third episode in this collection is the most essential: "Eat This Rock!" discusses salt, from mining, to evaporation, to crystalline structure and chemistry, Alton discusses this most necessary of all spices in great detail in a one hour special which is profusely illustrated with relevant recipes. Though I personally would never go through the effort to make sauerkraut, I would highly recommend "Beef Tenderloin in Salt Crust". This isn't the easiest way to prepare beef, but it is an extremely useful application that gets fabulous results.

"Condiment Nation" is one of the very best "Good Eats" collections and I highly recommend it.


Food Network Takeout Collection DVD - Good Eats With Alton Brown - Condiment Nation - Includes BONUS FOOTAGE Plus Chile's Angels / Spice Capades / Eat This Rock!
Food Network Takeout Collection DVD - Good Eats With Alton Brown - Condiment Nation - Includes BONUS FOOTAGE Plus Chile's Angels / Spice Capades / Eat This Rock!
Offered by gdyer49359
Price: $16.99
5 used & new from $8.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alton Spices It Up!, August 28, 2015
"Good Eats" is always educational and fun, and while I love every episode, this collection is special as it largely deals with how to use spices. Spicing food is one of the most essential skills on the road to becoming a good cook, with learning to use salt the biggest key there is to tasty fare. The first two episodes presented here are "Chile's Angels" and "Spice Capades" and several sample recipes are demonstrated using a variety of spices (at a variety of heat levels). Particularly recommended are the preparations for "Broiled Salmon with AB's Spice Pomade" and "Vegetable Curry".

The third episode in this collection is the most essential: "Eat This Rock!" discusses salt, from mining, to evaporation, to crystalline structure and chemistry, Alton discusses this most necessary of all spices in great detail in a one hour special which is profusely illustrated with relevant recipes. Though I personally would never go through the effort to make sauerkraut, I would highly recommend "Beef Tenderloin in Salt Crust". This isn't the easiest way to prepare beef, but it is an extremely useful application that gets fabulous results.

"Condiment Nation" is one of the very best "Good Eats" collections and I highly recommend it.


Zarkorr the Invader
Zarkorr the Invader
DVD ~ Zarkorr! The Invader
Price: $9.95
16 used & new from $1.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is Zarkorr Protected Under the Endangered Species Act?, August 28, 2015
This review is from: Zarkorr the Invader (DVD)
"Zarkorr The Invader" is an amusing hyper-campy rubber-suited monster from space movie with a twist. The film opens with Zarkorr emerging from a California mountainside and frightening the locals. In a piece of editing that about breaks your neck, the action shifts to the Newark apartment of postal worker Tommy Ward (Rees Christian Pugh) who is greeted by a holographic "teenage mall tramp" materializing next to his cereal bowl, Proctor (Torie Lynch), who informs him that the monster is a test from an advanced civilization and that he is the sole human who can defeat him as they have identified him as the most average human on Earth. She warns him (while speaking directly to his cerebral cortex!) that Zarkorr is a 180-foot tall horned fire-breathing dinosaur who will home in on him, so he can't simply flee. While speaking in riddles she gives one key hint: "Zarkorr contains the key to his own destruction".

Tommy's initial instincts seem poor, as they involve a ridiculous kidnapping of a cryptozoologist, Stephanie (DePrise Grossman), although this does pay off in a hilarious three-way police standoff that firms up the storyline a bit. The protagonists flee to the lair of "cybernaut" Arthur, one of the most antisocial characters in memory (for a good guy), and lots of boredom ensues. Indeed, the biggest negative of the film is that there is precious little Zarkorr on display, and a lot of scenery-chewing distractions. I particularly commend the filmmakers for the bit of social commentary in which they have a pro-Zarkorr lawyer arguing that we can't harm him under the Endangered Species Act. Sadly, this bit of satire is even more relevant today than it was when this was made in 1996.

If you do not wish to know the big secret Proctor alluded to in Tommy's Newark apartment, this would be a good time for you to stop reading this review: there's a costume change and a road trip to Arizona to find Zarkorr's off switch (I swear this is a plotpoint). There's intermittent lame city trampling, and the climactic scene in which Tommy must face Zarkorr one on one.

Will Tommy save the world? Will he run for President? Will he ask Stephanie out? I won't answer those questions, but I will say that "Zarkorr The Invader" is an amusing parody of the famous Japanese kaiju movies that may have some tedious patches, but is an amusing and unusual departure from the normal Full Moon catalog.


Zarkorr: Invader [VHS]
Zarkorr: Invader [VHS]
VHS
Offered by vsource
Price: $6.95
15 used & new from $0.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Plan: Kidnap A Cryptozoologist, August 28, 2015
This review is from: Zarkorr: Invader [VHS] (VHS Tape)
"Zarkorr The Invader" is an amusing hyper-campy rubber-suited monster from space movie with a twist. The film opens with Zarkorr emerging from a California mountainside and frightening the locals. In a piece of editing that about breaks your neck, the action shifts to the Newark apartment of postal worker Tommy Ward (Rees Christian Pugh) who is greeted by a holographic "teenage mall tramp" materializing next to his cereal bowl, Proctor (Torie Lynch), who informs him that the monster is a test from an advanced civilization and that he is the sole human who can defeat him as they have identified him as the most average human on Earth. She warns him (while speaking directly to his cerebral cortex!) that Zarkorr is a 180-foot tall horned fire-breathing dinosaur who will home in on him, so he can't simply flee. While speaking in riddles she gives one key hint: "Zarkorr contains the key to his own destruction".

Tommy's initial instincts seem poor, as they involve a ridiculous kidnapping of a cryptozoologist, Stephanie (DePrise Grossman), although this does pay off in a hilarious three-way police standoff that firms up the storyline a bit. The protagonists flee to the lair of "cybernaut" Arthur, one of the most antisocial characters in memory (for a good guy), and lots of boredom ensues. Indeed, the biggest negative of the film is that there is precious little Zarkorr on display, and a lot of scenery-chewing distractions. I particularly commend the filmmakers for the bit of social commentary in which they have a pro-Zarkorr lawyer arguing that we can't harm him under the Endangered Species Act. Sadly, this bit of satire is even more relevant today than it was when this was made in 1996.

If you do not wish to know the big secret Proctor alluded to in Tommy's Newark apartment, this would be a good time for you to stop reading this review: there's a costume change and a road trip to Arizona to find Zarkorr's off switch (I swear this is a plotpoint). There's intermittent lame city trampling, and the climactic scene in which Tommy must face Zarkorr one on one.

Will Tommy save the world? Will he run for President? Will he ask Stephanie out? I won't answer those questions, but I will say that "Zarkorr The Invader" is an amusing parody of the famous Japanese kaiju movies that may have some tedious patches, but is an amusing and unusual departure from the normal Full Moon catalog.


Zarkorr! the Invader
Zarkorr! the Invader
DVD ~ Franklin A. Vallette
Offered by treasurehunter55
Price: $6.50
11 used & new from $3.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is Zarkorr Protected Under the Endangered Species Act?, August 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zarkorr! the Invader (DVD)
"Zarkorr The Invader" is an amusing hyper-campy rubber-suited monster-from-space movie with a twist. The film opens with Zarkorr emerging from a California mountainside and frightening the locals. In a piece of editing that about breaks your neck, the action shifts to the Newark apartment of postal worker Tommy Ward (Rees Christian Pugh) who is greeted by a holographic "teenage mall tramp" materializing next to his cereal bowl, Proctor (Torie Lynch), who informs him that the monster is a test from an advanced civilization and that he is the sole human who can defeat him as they have identified him as the most average human on Earth. She warns him (while speaking directly to his cerebral cortex!) that Zarkorr is a 180-foot tall horned fire-breathing dinosaur who will home in on him, so he can't simply flee. While speaking in riddles she gives one key hint: "Zarkorr contains the key to his own destruction".

Tommy's initial instincts seem poor, as they involve a ridiculous kidnapping of a cryptozoologist, Stephanie (DePrise Grossman), although this does pay off in a hilarious three-way police standoff that firms up the storyline a bit. The protagonists flee to the lair of "cybernaut" Arthur, one of the most antisocial characters in memory (for a good guy), and lots of boredom ensues. Indeed, the biggest negative of the film is that there is precious little Zarkorr on display, and a lot of scenery-chewing distractions. I particularly commend the filmmakers for the bit of social commentary in which they have a pro-Zarkorr lawyer arguing that we can't harm him under the Endangered Species Act. Sadly, this bit of satire is even more relevant today than it was when this was made in 1996.

If you do not wish to know the big secret Proctor alluded to in Tommy's Newark apartment, this would be a good time for you to stop reading this review: there's a costume change and a road trip to Arizona to find Zarkorr's off switch (I swear this is a plotpoint). There's intermittent lame city trampling, and the climactic scene in which Tommy must face Zarkorr one on one.

Will Tommy save the world? Will he run for President? Will he ask Stephanie out? I won't answer those questions, but I will say that "Zarkorr The Invader" is an amusing parody of the famous Japanese kaiju movies that may have some tedious patches, but is an amusing and unusual departure from the normal Full Moon catalog.


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