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Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition [Limited Edition]

4.7 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Mystery Science Theater 3000 celebrates its 20th anniversary with a specially packaged DVD set housed in a limited-edition tin box featuring4 custom lobby cards and a figurine of Crow T. Robot! Features four of the show's most-requested episodes--First Spaceship on Venus (1960), Laserblast (1978), Werewolf (1996), and Future War (1997).

The Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 became a pop culture landmark in the '90s by poking fun at horrible movies of every genre and time period, and letting us listen in. They made the unwatchable essential viewing.


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It's hard to believe that two decades have passed since Mystery Science Theater 3000 made it not only safe but hip to poke fun at cornball science fiction movies, but the episodes contained in this limited-edition set prove that the Peabody Award-winning program has lost none of its irreverent edge over the passage of time. The majority of the four episodes featured in the set come from the show's later incarnation; series creator Joel Hodgson is featured in an early effort, First Spaceship to Venus from Season 2, while head writer turned host Mike Nelson commands the Satellite of Love for Season 7's Laserblast (which brought MST3K's tenure on Comedy Central to an end) as well as Werewolf and Future War from its ninth and tenth season, respectively. Fans will undoubtedly debate the merits of this quartet as opposed to other episodes, but the pop culture references and machine-gun quips still feel fresh, and the low-tech charm of the skits (Joel's junk drawer in Venus; Mike in atrocious drag leading the 'bots in a girl-group tune inspired by Werewolf) remain inspired and even radical compared to most TV sitcoms. It's a rarity to find a comedy program that hasn't lost a few touches since its departure from the airwaves, but MST3K retains virtually all of the elements that made it a favorite for comedy and cult movie fans alike. In addition to the four complete episodes, the chief appeal of the 20th Anniversary edition--aside from the fun, lunchbox-style metal case--is a four-part history of the show told by its key players. Everyone from Hodgson and Nelson to J. Elvis Weinstein (Dr. Forrester's early sidekick and composer of the show's theme song) contributes their recollections of the show's inception, its tenures with Comedy Central and The Sci-Fi Channel, and the debacle surrounding its big-screen effort. Rare clips from its earliest days as a late-night cable offering in Minnesota, as well as behind-the-scenes footage, make this a must-have for series devotees, though one wonders why no mention of the participants' subsequent, MST3K-like projects (Nelson with Rifftrax and The Film Crew, and Hodgson with most of the core creative team on Cinematic Titanic) is included. A short featurette devoted to all six versions of the theme song is a fun touch, as are colorful new lobby cards for each feature, and even a Crow T. Robot figurine, suitable for riffing duty on your next bad movie night. --Paul Gaita

Special Features


  • Includes First Spaceship on Venus, Laserblast, Werewolf, Future War
  • A 3-part look at the 20-year history of MST3K
  • 2008 San Diego Comic-Con international reunion panel
  • Original trailers
  • 4 exclusive MST3K lobby cards by artist steve vance
  • Limited edition "Crow" figurine

Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Hodgson, Mike Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Jim Mallon
  • Directors: Kevin Murphy
  • Format: Box set, Color, Full Screen, Limited Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 420 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B73PPS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition [Limited Edition]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Valnastar VINE VOICE on November 24, 2008
Format: DVD
This set is apparently the DVD-only version of the 20th Anniversary set from Shout Factory. That means that it does not include the tin case, plastic Crow figurine or episode lobby cards. It does contain four great episodes of everyone's favorite cow-town puppet show.

This set features one episode with Joel Hodgson as host and three with Mike Nelson hosting. Two episodes are from the Comedy Central years while two are from the Sci-Fi Channel shows.

211- First Spaceship on Venus
Originally called Der Schweigende Stern and made in 1960, this international cast film about the first astronauts to land on Venus is a hoot. Filled with wonderful ideas about international cooperation, yet strangely dated in its science even for when it was made, this movie's vision of the future is fun, action-filled and nearly breaks the goofy meter! The jokes are endless, non-stop and really top-notch from the MST3K crew. "What's a herring weigh? Oh, about a pound." "Everything's better in the crawler copter." Just the endless jokes about the robot in the film, Omega, will keep you laughing throughout. The host segments are just awesomely funny. When the planet has it's "brown explosion" near the end you'll be rolling with laughter and the jokes fly really fast at that point. This is a sometimes overlooked, underrated classic that is too funny to describe. I love it and never get tired of watching it no matter how many times I see it.

706- Laserblast
This 1978 feature comprises the final episode from Comedy Central and is an odd little feature that received 2.5 stars from Leonard Maltin, a fact that is the source of endless wonderful wisecracks as the credits roll. Hilarious throughout in spite of the fact that everyone working on the show knew it might be their last one ever.
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Format: DVD
This set features one episode with Joel Hodgson as host and three with Mike Nelson hosting. Two episodes are from the Comedy Central years while two are from the Sci-Fi Channel shows.

211- First Spaceship on Venus
Originally called Der Schweigende Stern and made in 1960, this international cast film about the first astronauts to land on Venus is a hoot. Filled with wonderful ideas about international cooperation, yet strangely dated in its science even for when it was made, this movie's vision of the future is fun, action-filled and nearly breaks the goofy meter! The jokes are endless, non-stop and really top-notch from the MST3K crew. "What's a herring weigh? Oh, about a pound." "Everything's better in the crawler copter." Just the endless jokes about the robot in the film, Omega, will keep you laughing throughout. The host segments are just awesomely funny. When the planet has it's "brown explosion" near the end you'll be rolling with laughter and the jokes fly really fast at that point. This is a sometimes overlooked, underrated classic that is too funny to describe. I love it and never get tired of watching it no matter how many times I see it.

706- Laserblast
This 1978 feature comprises the final episode from Comedy Central and is an odd little feature that received 2.5 stars from Leonard Maltin, a fact that is the source of endless wonderful wisecracks as the credits roll. Hilarious throughout in spite of the fact that everyone working on the show knew it might be their last one ever. The host segment wrap-up with great 2001: A Space Odyssey references is terrific.

904- Werewolf
This 1996 feature with Richard Lynch is even more ridiculous than most stories based on lycanthropy.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This review is for the episodes in this set, not the set itself (although the artwork looks spiffy!)

211- First Spaceship on Venus A controversial add among fans, but this episode unnecessarily gets a bad rap. The basic movie is about a multinational space expedition to Venus (a theme in a least of couple of later MST3K experiments). Goofy of course, and funny, but the host segments are fun (others disagree, but who cares?) The Brain's own "Amazing Colossal Episode Guide" The Mystery Science Theater 3000 : Amazing Colossal Episode Guide indicate that this wasn't one of their favorites, but they have said that about lots of MST3K episodes that others enjoy. Your mileage, of course, may vary but any early MST3K is worth a look.

706- Laserblast This was the final experiment of Season 7, and indeed the era of hours upon hours of MST3K as filler on Comedy Central. It's the Cadillac of this set, and almost worth the price of admission. The movie is priceless - an androgynous, hopelessly attractive loner finds an arm-sleeve laser gun in the desert, and is quickly seduced by its power. Seduced? No, he's turned into an alien. After tasting the fruits of his forbidden power, our hero goes on a rampage. He doesn't rob banks or blast bad guys, he goes after Eddie Deezen, cast out of type as a annoying geek (and kind of a bully, too.) The host segments involve the end of the SOL's funding, with Pearl pulling the literal plug. Our heroes go off to the void, and Dr. Forrester finds a 2001-esqu fate. A keeper, and I'm delighted to find this more or less permanently preserved on DVD at last!

904- Werewolf (aka "Wahr-wilf").
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