Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XVII
DVD | Box Set
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Welcome to the Satellite of Love, the orbiting home of legendary hosts Joel Robinson and Mike Nelson, along with their robotic companions: Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo and Gypsy. Join them as they embark on their 17th, and perhaps most impressive, volume of gut-busting riffs on the classic cinematic missteps of yesteryear! With the shocking inclusion of not one, but two, of the episodes most requested by MSTies around the globe, Mystery Science Theater: XVII promises to be a comedic tour de force to be reckoned with! Films Include: The Crawling Eye, The Beatniks, The Final Sacrifice & Blood Waters Of Dr. Z
* The Crawling Eye Special Introduction By Joel Hodgson
* Mystery Science Theater Hours Wraps On The Beatniks
* Brand-New Interview With star of The Final Sacrifice Bruce J. Mitchell
* The Main Event: Crow Vs. Crow At Dragon Con 09
* Blood Waters Of Dr. Z Photo Gallery
* Original Trailers & Promos
* And More!
Original Mystery Science Theater Hour Wraps
A Look Back at The Beast Of Yucca Flats
Original Trailers & Promos
4 Exclusive MST3K Mini-Posters By Artist Steve Vance
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Then, when the video for Cave Dwellers came out (like 1998 or so), I bought it, remembering that incident in high school, and laughed my fool head off for an hour and a half. I totally, finally, got it. Now I can't get enough. The only problem I've ever had with them is the price. I just always had bills and stuff.
Well, right now, I figured the best thing to do was to get the ones I could, used if I had to, new if I could afford it, a little at a time, until I get the ones that are cheaper, and then maybe save up for the others when I'm better able. (Let's hope that's soon).
If you enjoy laughing, or like to poke fun at movies while you watch them, this stuff is for you. In fact, this is probably one of the better sets. Worth the price of admission simply for "Final Sacrifice", but the others aren't too bad - except maybe the Beatniks, but even it has it's bright spots.
So, by all means get this and every other set. Life is too short to not laugh a lot.
When the twentieth anniversary box set of MST3k DVDs was announced, there were two omissions in particular which seemed to irk a vocal minority of fans. MST3k's first episode seemed to be an obvious inclusion and fans had long wanted to see THE FINAL SACRIFICE. That box set did not contain those episodes, but this one does. As they say, better late than never.
THE CRAWLING EYE (1958)
Here it is, at last. The first national episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Until now I had never actually watched this one. I was looking forward to seeing how they explain the premise of the series, but it turns out that most of the information is intended to be conveyed only in the opening theme song. I did like that they never bother explaining why they do the invention exchange. And I couldn't help but chuckle when Joel says "This is the last time," when carrying Tom Servo into the theater. Joel and Mike would carry Tom into the theater for the next ten years.
As Joel points out in the (newly filmed) introduction, the riffing is slower than what MST3k would do in later seasons, but it seemed to be a little quicker and livelier compared to other first season episodes (THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY or THE CORPSE VANISHES). Still, a lot of opportunities for jokes are missed. For example, characters in the movie repeatedly say "Just like..." and then pause; I kept waiting for a "Sister Ray says..." The MST3k characters themselves aren't fully developed yet (despite having one season at a local Minneapolis station under their belts). Dr. Forrester seems to be the only fully complete character.
Truthfully, I wouldn't mind seeing this one tackled by Joel Hodgson's current Cinematic Titanic. The quick gag they do based on Forrest Tucker's name in the final episode of MST3k ten years later (where they briefly watch this movie again) is probably as funny as any riff delivered here.
The film itself is a fairly typical 1950s sci-fi B-movie. It felt to me like a Patrick Troughton era episode of Doctor Who minus the character of the Doctor. It features the absolutely ludicrous shot of a gigantic eyeball speeding around a mountainside which would enter into MST3k's opening credits and (as Joel points out) give an instant visual shorthand as to the types of movies Joel and the bots would be subjected to.
THE BEATNIKS (1960)
I had not seen this episode of MST3k before getting the DVD, but I had previously seen the original movie itself and been outraged by the lack of beatniks in a movie called THE BEATNIKS. The movie is fairly dull and unoriginal. Most of the plot points are signposted well in advance so there really isn't anything to get overly excited about. I honestly wouldn't describe the riffing and gags as anything more than an average outing for Best Brains, but it's a solid, fun episode.
An episode of "General Hospital" is included for your convenience.
THE FINAL SACRIFICE (1990)
A fan favorite for years, it's great to finally get this one on DVD (especially after a representative from Shout! Factory had once declared in a fan interview that it was unlikely that this movie would ever see the light of day because of legal/rights issues). This is really a fun episode to watch because the underlying film is a wonderful combination of fresh-faced enthusiasm mixed with utter ineptitude resulting in enjoyable ridiculousness.
BLOOD WATERS OF DR. Z (1975)
I watched this episode when the Sci-Fi channel first aired it. I hated it. I know I recorded the episode on VHS, but I'm not sure I ever watched it again. I thought the movie itself was so bad, so slow, and so painful that the jokes and the riffing couldn't manage to make it watchable. Literally my only memory of this was a guy dressed as a human-sized catfish walking up and down the same flight of basement stairs seemingly hundreds of times.
So I'm as shocked as anyone to find that this episode turned out (over ten years later) to be my favorite disc in the set. Sure the whole movie is populated with a parade of characters who have no last names (or in some cases no first name either), and, yes, the main character's evil scheme is the most illogical, implausible attempt at villainy that the movies have ever seen. But somehow now I am able to laugh at the sheer madness of it all rather than being overwhelmed and depressed by it. The riffs from Mike and the bots are an example of the cast and crew really at the top of their game, mixing pop culture references and observations, managing to puncture the film's attempted pretentiousness seemingly without breaking a sweat.
Another strong effort from Shout! Factory. Can't wait for the next one.
Most recent customer reviews
The Crawling Eye - I have to think this was the first one I saw, as I saw it once and not...Read more