Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
DVD + Blu-ray
Frequently bought together
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After six seasons of sublime, nerdy fun on television, the cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 took to the big screen in 1996 for its deliriously funny takedown of the 1955 alien invasion epic This Island Earth.
Evil scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester explains the premise at the start: in his quest for world domination, he devises a scheme to subject the human race to the worst movies ever made. He tests his plan on Mike Nelson, the sole human aboard an Earth-orbiting space station known as the Satellite of Love. But our hero and his two robot sidekicks turn a lemon into a much funnier lemon by showering This Island Earth with wisecracks, ridicule and general silliness. The human race may never be rid of cheesy movies, but when the critics are this nutty, who cares?
• Deleted scenes including the removed sequences from the riffed motion picture and the alternate ending.
• Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie: The Motion Picture Odyssey (including new interviews with cast and crew and never-before-seen behind the scenes footage)
• This Island Earth: 2 1/2 Years In the Making
• Original trailer
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But MSTies, as they are called, are always welcoming to those new to the club and are happy to explain that complex rights issues prevent coherent releases. Rhino, and later Shout Factory, collect 4 episodes (called "experiments") and release them about twice a year. Grab 'em if you want them sooner rather than later, because things happen and you never know if/when these will go out of print.
They come with slimline cases, posters, and many experiments have nice extras including cast interviews and sometimes comments from the filmmakers themselves (those that are good sports, anyway.)
So some words about the particular experiments:
113 - The Black Scorpion. No TV's Frank, we have the most excellent J. Elvis Weinstiein as Dr. Eckhardt and a surprisingly deep-voiced Tom Servo. The shadow-rama (silhouettes) have an odd green tinge we don't see in later years, but the writing and execution foreshadow the excellent seasons that were to follow. This experiment has to do with maneating ginormous scorpions released by volcanic activity (!!!).
519 - Outlaws is a Jack Palance vehicle of the John Norman "Gor" series. It's awful, so let's focus on what is unusual about this experiment. It is an early Mike episode, and there is a rare invention exchange. The opus "Tubular Boobular Joy" is in this experiment. And "buffalo shots" (don't ask, you probably don't want to know).
901- Projected Man - this is about a matter-transfer experiment that leaves a scientist with a lethal touch. It is the first of season 9, and the first featuring Pearl in Castle Forrester. When this experiment was first broadcast, the soundtrack was damaged or bad in some way, leaving Mike and the 'Bots with an "echoey" sound during their riffing. This was cleaned up in later broadcasts, and this DVD has the corrected sound. Sadly, season 9 was rather short with only 13 episodes, but this was one of the better ones.
1010- What lives by night? Bats of course, and we got a guy turning into one. Host segments are very funny as Mike and the 'Bots take ill-fated steps towards business ownership and entrepreneurism. They fail of course. This episode was one of the last, and was repeated several times by the Sci Fi Channel. One of the better experiments.
Jungle Goddess is horrible. The Painted Hills is horrible. The Screaming Skull is horrible. Squirm is horrible. Together, with the SOL crew, this set is great. Hilarious riffs. Good extras - especially the Gumby one. Nice packaging. Well done, SHOUT Factory, well done!
Anyone who likes MST3K will have this in their collection.
I look forward to every new MST3K boxed set release - they are sure to bring, at the minimum, a smile or guffaw. The show, even though it has been off the air for years, is STILL better than 99.99% of the dreck that clogs the airwaves now.
If you are new to the MST3K family, or wondering if these are worth getting; welcome - and YES, the boxed sets are very much worth getting. If you like to laugh, and your sense of humor runs to the sarcastic side, then you are in the right place.
P.S. we didn't see the "wraps" on the original broadcasts so they were all new giggles for us.
Pros: They finally re-released this on DVD, eBay prices instantly dropped from $150/ea back to about a more reasonable $15-$20 or less for he old and new release.
Cons: Thsi is still basically only a barebones release. Ya' get the movie. That about sums it up.
Personally I'd still like to see a "special edition" or "collector's edition" with actual special features on it, such as a commentary track from the creators.
Personally, my suggestion (which might just rock everyone's socks off) would be to do an MST3K of MST3K: The Movie. Bring back Joel, and have him, Gypsy and Cambot rag on both the movie AND on Mike, Crow and Tom Servo's commentary. Nobody would see that coming! Well, they will now! Of course they should have just the regular version available too. Double the pleasure, double the fun!
Technically, the DVD looks good, and it's nice to be able to enjoy so many classic MST3K moments. Such as "Should we be seeing this?" and "Shattner, Shattner, nope, he's not in this one, we're safe!" or the ever-amusing "Self-cleaning mu-tant, leaves only the fresh scent of pine!"
So, rush out, stock up on this fine cinematic suppository before Dr. Forrester eradicates it onc eagain and drives us all mad in his attempt to take over the world. He is a naughty boy! Naughty, naughty, naughty... *Ahem!* Well...
And now for this commercial message from our sponsor!
*Throws the lever*
Well, you know what you have to do...
"Turn up the Flash Gordon noise and put more science stuff around!"
Then put this movie on repeat until you're sick of it and know every line by heart!
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