Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition [Limited Edition]
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(Oct 28, 2008)
20th Anniversary Limited Edition
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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.
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
- 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
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Top customer reviews
I think the history of MST featurette (split over the first 3 discs since its at least an hour) is worth the price of admission alone and have been throughly enjoying that.
But, the real selling point for me for this collection is Werewolf (or as the closing copyright calls it Arizona Werewolf) this is my 2nd all time favorite Ep. (behind The Final Sacrifice and ahead of Manos: Hands of Fate). I have been waiting for this release since Rhino started releaseing the collection. I even wrote to them and suggested releasing it along with Track of the Moon Beast, the Bats one and the Brain that Wouldn't Die with a theme of people transforming into creatures... they didn't go for it though.
Anyway, so far the Joel Ep (First Spaceship to Venus) was nyeh... nothing great, but not terrible for a Joel Ep. The story is so astronimically bad, and the actors such a hodgepodge of different nationalities its tough to really get into.
The 2nd Ep. (Laserblast) was the final Comedy Central Ep. so I think it is a good choice for sort of a "history of" release... They could have gone with Mitchell since it was Joel's last Ep. but I think Rhino has the rights to that one. Again, story bad enough, acting bad enough and the MST treatment just right. I especially like the Host Segments sicne they did a good job sorta wrapping up what could have been the last episode.
The 3rd Ep is Werewolf.... What can I say about that one except I can watch it a million times and not get sick of it. I mean the security guard contoinues to drive his car while transforming into a Werewolf... don't you think he would pull over at some point????? classic.
The final Ep is Future War which is from Season 10 (I think) and based on my prior statement of thinking the show got funnier as it went along, I really enjoyed this one too. THe JCVD rip off guy does his best, but holding rubber dinosaurs in front of the camera for forced perspective special effects is too much to overcome, unless you are wathicng it with Mike and the Bots. Which you are, so enjoy.
This Limited Edition has already been discontinued by Shout Factory, so I'm not sure how useful my review would be except if you can get if off e-bay or something. I mean the crow robot in the box is o.k., the "movie posters" are decent but the tin box is too big and the CONTENT of the movies is the true selling point. No matter what version you get this edition in, just get it.
First Spaceship on Venus (show 211) - well according to the Amazing Colossal Movie Guide written by the MST3K crew say this wasn't their best work. And they're right, its not that good, but you know what, this isn't really that bad either. The segments with the robot who speaks in foam is good & Tom acting really sarcastic was something to behold. I personally felt this wasn't the best episode to use for people wanting to see Joel for the first time or for a Joel representation of a 20th Anniversary set. The movie is a little tough to get through if you watch it at the wrong time. You really need to be in the mood to watch a lower budget science fiction episode. Joel has a great line "a million pounds of doodie" during a fun scene where the astronauts are being chased by something gooey. Tom has a great T shirt line with a man with a T shirt "Hes wearing a Tshirt" .It might be a weaker Joel show, but its still worth seeing and you might want to watch it when the mood to watch this movie strikes you. Some movies you really have to be in the mood to watch first, this is one of them. it was made as a serious scifi movie with a multi cultural cast..
Laserblast (show 706) was the last episode to hit the Comedy Central era. This is one of those Charles Band low budget movies. The jokes and segments are really good especially the 2001 spoof ending. This is the end of an era as Trace B (Crow and Dr F) left the show after this never to return. Pearl Forrester's character underwent a huge change for the better after this. This is a very good key episode. Mike dressed as a woman is always a sight to behold. The movie itself isn't that good (hence its an MST3K episode) but the creatures that were created by Dave Allen are neat, if nothing else. It can drag at time. If you haven't seen this, here is a chance to see one of a handful of eventful/key episodes that changed the course of history of MST3K. Somewhat hard to get through the movie, but its a key episode, and very enjoyable for the most part. Not to be missed for fans of the show.
Werewolf (show 904) This is a great scifi channel episode. Bad Werewolf movie (gore and other violence were cut for the show) but really a fun bad movie to watch, it has some good/decent horror elements, but not great werewolves, pretty much considered lame looking.The acting is horrible especially the blond lady who can not pronounce 'werewolf'. The riffling on this movie is great, and the segments on this are superb too. Mike as a girl again (2 of the episodes in this set has Mike as a girl) singing a 1950s style song is so very disturbing. A very popular Mike on the scifi channel episode and it will not disappoint. One of my favorites from the scifi era, as well as a favorite from many MST3K fans around the world. Watch it and see why it is a popular episode on this set.
Future War (show 1004)- a Jean Claude Van Dam wannabe fighting 6 ft tall dinosaurs and a terrible script. Bad effects bad acting, great riffling - this is a very popular episode. I liked the dinos but why they were man sized is beyond me..still it is fun to get through and was one of their most modern B movies they ever did.
This set with the crow robot/tin/lobby cards is out of print, so if you still want to get this, hurry up or its going to cost you 100.00 or more online
I cant wait for the next Volume - V. 14 with Mad Monster,Manhunt in Space,Soultaker and Final Justice - coming in Feb 09
Most recent customer reviews
This review is of the MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: 20th ANNIVERSARY compilation. The four movies up for heckling vary widely in quality and theme:
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