The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 1 (Bloodlust / Catalina Caper / The Creeping Terror / Skydivers)
DVD | Box Set
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This four-disc set, bundled together in an appropriately cheesy but charming package that sports pop-up-book-styled artwork, compiles four episodes of the Peabody Award-winning comedy series. The "experiments" in question (Bloodlust, Catalina Caper, The Creeping Terror, and The Skydivers) aren't necessarily MST3K's finest hours--they don't hold a candle to the show's takes on The Magic Sword, The Atomic Brain, and The Brain That Wouldn't Die. But the barrage of verbal zingers and pop-culture references slung by hosts Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson and their puppet pals Crow and Tom Servo are still quite funny, and should please both longtime fans and science fiction aficionados who don't take too much umbrage at having their beloved movies heckled.
The Collection is decidedly Mike-centric, with The Creeping Terror, Bloodlust, and The Skydivers all culled from his reign during the sixth season. Series creator Joel Hodgson's participation is relegated to season 2's Catalina Caper, a fan favorite that at one time was pulled from circulation over rights issues. As with most of Rhino's MST3K DVDs, each disc is dual-sided, with one side devoted to the original, uncut version of each film, and the other given over to the "MSTied" version. Theatrical trailers for each movie round out the remainder of the supplemental features. Given the size of this presentation, it might have been interesting to include some interviews with the show's writers and performers (Comedy Central once ran a passable special about the series), but fans will still appreciate having these four episodes together, each providing a wealth of laugh-out-loud moments. --Paul Gaita
From the Back Cover
It's Mystery Science Theater 3000, America's only show that makes fun of really bad B movies from the comfort of a spaceship floating above Earth. Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson, along with their mechanical companions, wisecracking Crow and well-read chick magnet Tom Servo, make suffering through Hollywood's worst films a breeze. Adding their own dialogue, barrage of witty remarks, and an occasional colorful skit, the next hour and a half will fly by like it were only 90 minutes. There's no ushers with flashlights, crying babies, or women with big hair to spoil the fun!
Included in Volume 1: Bloodlust--Pirates, cannibals, and "Mr. Brady"... oh my! Starring Robert Reed, Wilton Graff, and Lylyan Chauvin; Show #607. Catalina Caper--Bikini-clad nymphs swing their hips while Little Richard flaps his lips. Starring Tommy Kirk, Del Moore, Peter Duryea, and Robert Donner; Show #204. The Creeping Terror--An alien is eating couples in mid-bliss. Starring Vic Savage, Shannon O'Neil, and William Thourlby; show #606. The Skydivers--a skydiving film without the skydivers. Starring Kevin Casey, Eric Tomlin, Tony Cardoza, and Marcia Knight; show #109.
- Includes Bloodlust, Catalina Caper, The Creeping Terror, and Skydivers
- Also includes the uncut version of each film
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"The Skydivers" (1963), the second film in the infamous Coleman Francis trilogy, is a bizarre melodrama about an extramarital affair that leads to murder, without anything actually happening onscreen. Like "The Creeping Terror," it's a Mike-era masterpiece of savage riffing, but "Skydivers" reminds me more of a Daniel Clowes fever dream than of anything else in the history of cinema. It's unwatchable, but unmissable.
After that, the Joel-era episode "Catalina Caper" (1967) and season six's "Bloodlust!" (1959) are disappointing by comparison. "Catalina Caper" is a beach party crime comedy with the anodyne Tommy Kirk, a musical number by the high-as-a-kite Little Richard, and the unfunny pratfalls of Robert Donner and Jim Begg. "Bloodlust!" is Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma in a ridiculous version of "The Most Dangerous Game" that substitutes shock effects (boiled heads, etc.) for suspense.
*Catalina Caper-a 1967 beach party comedy murder mystery movie starring Tommy Kirk.
*The Creeping Terror-the 1964 science fiction narrated film featuring a shag carpet as a monster and is often considered to be one of the worst films of all time.
*Bloodlust!-a 1961 thriller starring Robert Reed. This episode also features the educational short film Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm
*The Skydivers-a 1963 Coleman Francis film which was once the lowest-rated film of all time on the Internet Movie Database. This episode also features the educational short film Why Study Industrial Arts?
The satire is biting, the jokes are quick are sometimes subtle and all episodes are worth multiple viewings to get all the jokes. Classic stuff!