Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVI
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Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson. Two shows hosted by Joel and two by Mike for this 4-pack, 16th volume of hilarious sci-fi wannabees. Includes "The Corpse Vanishes" (1989), "Warrior of the Lost World" (1983), "Santa Claus" (1993) and "Night of the Blood Beast" (1996). 4 episodes on 4 DVDs. Color-b&w/6 hrs/NR/fullscreen.
Top customer reviews
Warriors of the Lost World - classic. The Paper Chase guy. Megaweapon.
Santa Claus - a very disturbing movie on multiple levels.
Night of the Blood Beast - I'll never think of Roger Corman the same after finding out about the script writer not being credited.
Enjoyable special features.
#105 - "The Corpse Vanishes." Joel Hodgson hosts this cheap and cheesy movie with Bela Lugosi. After making "Dracula," lugosi sadly declined into silly movies like this one. Before BOTOX, you had to kill young Brides to make a youth serum for vain women, like Lugosi's wife (why are only young Women always killed??) Joel and the Bots do a decent job of riffing this silly movie about a mad scientist, youthful wife and killer orchids.
#501 - "Warrior of the Lost World" - Joel hosts this movie about a dusty hero with a talking motorcycle and evil dictator. There are more explosions than you can count, with some even in slow-motion. Dummies, are thrown off buildings in an attempt to make them look like the bad humans. Stars Robert Ginty and Donald Pleasance.
#521 - "Santa Claus" - Mike Nelson and the Bots keep it alive with this dreadful movie made in Mexico in 1959. The beginning is a bunch of kids singing the longest song ever recorded in any movie...ever made. Add in the devil, Merlin the magician and Santa being in Space instead of the North Pole. The dubbing into English is also laughable.
#701 - "Night of the Blood Beast" - Mike Nelson and the Bots host this Roger Corman movie that stars Ed Nelson. The short is "Once Upon a Honeymoon." The guys always loved to riff Corman and shorts from the 50's. They do a good job on both. Don't pay too much attention to the plot about an Astronaut who is a breeder for aliens. This is NOT the one with Sigourney Weaver. That's what makes it Hilarious.
The icing on the cake is that you get your own little Tom Servo in this Limited Edition set. I must have him to keep my Crow T Robot company!
Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition [Limited Edition]
The sixteenth collection of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" DVDs was released during the Christmas gift buying season and appropriately features one of the most infamous holiday movies of all time. The other three films may not have any specific seasonal relevance, but I find most episodes of MST3k make the long winter nights seem less cold and chilling.
THE CORPSE VANISHES (1942)
(with short: an episode of the serial, COMMANDER CODY AND THE RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON)
The main feature of this episode is a very hokey story about a mad scientist (played by the one and only Bela Lugosi). Bela's shtick in this one is to kill brides on their wedding day using poisoned flowers for the express purpose of draining their life essence and injecting that essence into his wife. The film is fairly corny, extremely silly, and the plot is incredibly obvious.
Like many episodes in MST3k's first season, THE CORPSE VANISHES is a little harder to watch than experiments from later years. The riffing crew hadn't yet hit their prime, and a lot of the jokes are more obvious, less subtle and not quite as funny than they would become.
WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD (1984)
This is a rather fun film which owes one or two aspects of its production to Mad Maxx. The movie stars (in order of appearance): the PAPER CHASE guy, the bald lady from STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, and Donald Pleasance (the latter of which apparently came straight from the set of James Bond and didn't even bother changing out of his Blofeld costume). The story features a talking motorcycle and is virtually incomprehensible (both the story and the motorcycle that is). The most amusing part of this disc is the bonus interview with the writer/director (David Worth) in which he a) acknowledges that this was a cheap and hastily made production and b) gives out his email address and invites heckling and correspondence.
SANTA CLAUS (1959)
I've seen this Mexican production of the Santa Claus story twice, yet all I can remember are disparate, disconnected images of horror. There are flashes of a giant ear which can hear the entire world; scenes of horribly clichéd and stereotypical children of all nationalities helping Santa with his preparation; and disturbing mechanical laughing, demonic reindeer.
NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST (1958)
(with short: ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON)
The short film features a newlywed couple finally getting to go away on their honeymoon... until the phone rings forcing the young man to put his suitcase aside until he completes his assigned task of writing a fairly inoffensive melody for a fussy, demanding diva. The film has the strong feeling of being nothing more than a promotional advertisement (I can't imagine anyone becoming emotionally invested in a couple who do little other than whine and smoke cigarettes), yet it's hard to figure out exactly what product they are trying to sell.
The main feature stars a very young and less elusive Robert Denby. The plot is one that any viewer of other 1950s sci-fi movies will be familiar with. A rocket ship crashes back to Earth, but unknown to anyone there is a strange alien creature which returns with it. At no point is there anything interesting or remarkable about the movie. It immediately moves from the space business right to the closed set where characters get attacked and/or killed one at a time. The movie feels like literally dozens of other MST3k movies (probably because of the name Roger Corman prominently seen in the credits).
The movies in any box set of MST3k would be tough to sit through without the mocking of Joel/Mike and the bots, but that seems even more apparent in this particular case. These are really bad movies, even by the usual standards. But fortunately the MST3k writers were more than up to the task. Even the lesser episodes (for me the riffing for NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST started slow but fortunately ended fast) are entertaining.
The second DVD, show 501 is the Warrior of the Lost World. No, sadly there is no dinosaurs, but there is a Megaweapon and it was made in Italy. The basic story of a world after a nuclear holocaust, a police state, a small band of rebels, so on. Kind of Star Wars without the money, writing, well known actors. And a bookeeper. Check out the movie's credits.
The fourth DVD is show 521, Santa Claus, a Mexican made movie about Santa Claus vs. the Devil! A Snow Day! Mike's Family! Kind of. And tons of bonus features.
The fifth DVD is show 701 is the movie Night of the Blood Beast. Some bonus features but the movie is the meat and potatoes of this DVD and boy, is it bad. Two versions, The Low Fat Regular Version and Thanksgiving, the Turkey Day, Version.
I also got the Tom Servo to fight against my Black Dalek.