Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Turkey Day Collection (XXXI) [Limited-Edition Collector's Tin]
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MSTies and bowlers share an enduring love of turkeys. This latest collection of episodes from the cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 bowls a perfect game(four turkeys) as comic kingpins Joel, Mike and their robot teammates Tom Servo and Crow riff strike after strike. Not a single instance of bad acting, bad writing or bad filmmaking is spared. This promises to be a Thanksgiving match for the ages and, needless to say, you will have a ball. Whether its ten frames or 24 per second, the snarky anarchy of MST3K will be right up your alley. Oh and as an added bonus this set contains new and exclusive Turkey Day intros by Joel Hodgson. Happy Turkey Day!
The Painted Hills
The Screaming Skull
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXI is yet another great set from Shout! Factory, who have gone out of their way over and again to provide well-produced bonus materials. This volume comes in festive, Thanksgiving-themed tin packaging, making it a particularly nice holiday gift for the MSTie in your life. --Under the Radar Magazine, November 2014
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113- The Black Scorpion
This fun little 1957 black-and-white monster film features the stop motion animation of King Kong creator Willis O'Brien. An earthquake releases monstrous sized scorpions on New Mexico and it's up to a heroic few to stop them. The main character, Hank Scott, is played by Richard Denning who went on to play "Governor" on Hawaii Five-0. The story is a bit dull, but the monster sequences are entertaining. Host segments feature one where the 'Bots put on a puppet show and another where Gypsy is a giant scorpion. The 'Bots also discuss stop motion animation with Joel. This is the final episode of MST3K season one and with this all of season one will have been released on DVD. This was also Josh Weinstein's last episode.
519- Outlaw (Of Gor)
This 1988 sequel to Gor stars no one of note except inexplicably, Jack Palance. The movie is based on the series of Gor sword-and-sorcery novels by John Norman which one could say are inspired in their main concept by the John Carter of Mars novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs to say the least. An Earth man finds him transported to another planet where he becomes a sword wielding hero that must rescue a princess and such. If it sounds familiar it definitely is and this Gor book film adaptation is not nearly as good as the sadly overlooked adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter from 2012. Nevertheless the Gor series of books have a huge following so it's no surprise that a movie or two got made from them, though not particularly good ones. A huge amount of the dialog in Outlaw Of Gor seems to involve people shouting the name of the hero, Cabot, dozens of times. The film is surprisingly entertaining though because it is at least not slow and the poor script quality, mostly mediocre acting, colorful sets, and numerous action scenes do add up to amusing fare. Costumes are exceedingly scanty for both male and female actors which inspired one of the funniest MST3K host segments ever, the musical number "Toobular Boobular Joy". This really is a must-see and must-have episode for all MST3K fans.
901-The Projected Man
This 1966 British color film is about a scientist who tests a matter transmitter on himself. The experiment goes horribly wrong and turns him into a mutant that can kill with a touch. The movie is relatively dry and unexciting and there's certainly nothing new even at the time about the premise of a scientist experimenting on himself and accidentally becoming a lethal monster in the process. The film is passably entertaining, but nothing more. This episode introduces Castle Forrester in the host segments. In another host segment Crow acquires a death touch like the guy in the movie.
1010- It Lives By Night
This 1974 color film also goes by the title, The Bat People. A doctor gets bitten by a bat in a cave and slowly transforms into a bat creature. This turns out to be bad for his marriage and other aspects of his life. The only noteworthy cast member is Michael Pataki, who played J.C. in another MST3K film, Sidehackers (Five The Hard Way). Pataki was also in The Trouble With Tribbles episode of the original Star Trek and in one episode of the Star Trek: The Next Generation. He's one of those talented actors fans find in both really good productions and in some terribly bad ones, which brings us back to It Lives By Night. It's a slightly different twist on the the endlessly remade vampire and werewolf premises and it seems to be an odd mix of the two. Why does being bitten by a bat turn a man into one? People do get bitten by bats occasionally and that does not happen! The movie is short on explanations and it's hampered by its low budget. Host segments include MIke and the 'Bots testing out new mustaches.
Extra features include:
- Stinger Of Death: Making The Black Scorpion
- Writer Of Gor: The Novels Of John Norman
- Director Of Gor: On Set With John "Bud" Cardos
- Producer Of Gor: Adventures With Harry Alan Towers
- Shock To The System: Creating The Projected Man
- Extended Trailer For "The Frank"
- Theatrical Trailers
· Four Exclusive Mini-Posters by Artist Steve Vance
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.
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