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Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIV

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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(Jul 31, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

The cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 has always welcomed immigrant films with open arms. One can almost imagine a Satellite of Liberty greeting the waves of foreign films seeking a more prosperous life in America. Its inscription might well read, Give me your tired plots, your poor acting, your muddled directors yearning to be schlock-free. It is in this spirit that Volume XXIV presents four of cinema’s transplants from Russia, Italy and two from Japan, that simply didn’t take. Thankfully, Joel, Mike and their band of robot brothers (Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot) alleviate their (and our) suffering by watching these movies with a joyously irreverent stream of higher consciousness. You will have in your hands a collection of passports to laughter. Consider them riffed and stamped by those tormented souls aboard the Satellite of Love. Titles include Fugitive Alien, Star Force: Fugitive Alien II, The Sword And The Dragon & Samson Vs. The Vampire Women.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson
  • Directors: Kevin Murphy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, 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: July 31, 2012
  • Run Time: 480 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007RMQ4F4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,651 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIV" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Valnastar VINE VOICE on April 5, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wow, Shout! Factory completes the MST3K Sandy Frank episode releases with BOTH Fugitive Alien episodes and tops that off with one of the Russo-Finnish films and a Mexican wrestling horror movie that says farewell to TV's Frank. This is a pretty eclectic mix of episodes that should please most fans.

310- FUGITIVE ALIEN
This 1987 TV "movie" is actually a 1978 Japanese TV series called Star Wolf imported and modified for the US by Sandy Frank, which tells you it's got to be good in that special way that Mighty Jack and Time Of The Apes are "good". Seriously, they don't get much funnier than this. A brutal alien "Wolf Raider" named Ken stops another "Star Wolf" from killing a human child also named Ken and becomes a fugitive from his own villainous comrades and their planet Valnastar. Ken is reluctantly taken in by the crew of the Earth ship Bacchus III commanded by the puffy-jowled Captain Joe and together they defend the Earth from further Wolf Raider attacks. There is much conflict amongst Ken and his new human companions while they learn to trust each other. Unintentional comedy ensues with the usual overwrought and breathy Sandy Frank cheap dubbing combined with the cheap production values of the original Japanese show. Wolf Raider's have superhuman abilities, but otherwise look just like humans except for the silly long-haired wigs they wear on their raids. And in one memorable scene "they tried to kill him with a forklift", which is used as a premise for one fantastically funny song and host segment with Joel and the 'Bots. There's also a fun host segment based around Syd Field's Screenplay writing guide. This is a much beloved MSTie must-have episode you'll want to watch over and over again. It's MST3K at its absolute best.
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Wow, I'm the 12th reviewer on this thing and I'm so far the first to actually post a review AFTER the products come out.

After the last volume's somewhat less than stellar set of episodes, I was really hoping this box would have some winners, and I'm happy to report that it is EXCELLENT! It even includes some interesting bonus features. Here's the show by show breakdown:

FUGITIVE ALIEN: Another Japanese TV show stapled together by Sandy Frank to make a "movie," this one involves a renegade "wolf raider" named Ken who is a fugitive from his evil planet after not killing a kid during a raid, then accidentally shooting his partner when THAT guy tries to kill the kid. He is begrudgingly accepted onto spaceship of humans, led by drunk, puffy-faced Captain Joe. That sets up the rest of the "movie" which is mostly short unrelated adventures, since this was a TV show first. The movie is goofy fun, with some of the most hilarious Cheap-Star-Wars-Rip-Off style special effects this side of StarCrash. It also includes the "They tried to kill him with a forklift" song that honestly gets funnier and funnier every time they sing it. I feel like I'm doing a terrible job explaining its appeal, so let me stop here and just say that this is a fantasic episode and one that will definitely be an easy choice for repeat viewings.

Bonus features include the always amusing MST HOUR wraps and a short introduction to the episode from August Ragone which ends in a hilarious moment of clarity for August where he admits he's kind of a dateless loser.

STAR FORCE - FUGITIVE ALIEN 2: The further adventures of Ken, Captain Joe, those other two guys, and the female crew member with the jacked up teeth!
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"The Sword and the Dragon" (Russian title: "Ilya Muromets") in it's original, uncut, widescreen form is a beautiful, incredibly well made film (you can find it on youtube). It makes me wonder what a Russian "Lord of the Rings" would have looked like if they had made it during the time "Ilya Muromets" was created. Mike and the bots however, riff the dubbed, cropped, grainy American TV version of the film.

Everything is perfect in this episode. The movie is fun to watch, the sketches are inspired, and the riffs are non-stop and hilarious. The Mads on their "date" with Bridget Jones Nelson and Mary Jo Pehl is great. The Ingmar Bergman parody is a prime example of why MST3K is the greatest sketch comedy TV program ever made. Everyone involved with the show was extremely talented and incredibly underrated and mostly ignored by mainstream Hollywood and the rest of the mainstream media (most likely because they operated outside the belly of the beast, pulled no punches, and skewered anyone and everyone including precious snowflake celebrities).

This is a fun set all around, and includes TV's Frank's farewell episode, "Samson vs. the Vampire Women", which is a masked Mexican wrestling (Lucha Libre) movie starring Santo and a bunch of hot vampire women. How can you go wrong?
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Volume XXIV of Shout! Factory's MST3K DVD sets is chock full of gems. "Fugitive Alien" and "Star Force: Fugitive Alien II" makes for a rare two-parter in MST3K history, and both are excellent Joel episodes from the Joel-era's prime. "The Sword and the Dragon" could actually be considered a good, if odd, movie; at the very least, it's productions values are extremely high, especially for MST3K-fare, as Tom Servo even remarks that the budget for the film is likely double the combined budgets of every film they've watched on the show before. Finally, a classic Mike episode rounds out the set with "Samson VS. The Vampire Women," a great Mexican action-horror film featuring luchadore legend, "The Silver Maskedman" himself, Santo! This episode has a special place in the hearts of many MSTies as Dr. F and the gang bid a tearful farewell to TV's Frank.

Special features are, typical of Shout! Factory, all very fun, including another introduction to the Japanese material from August Ragone, a surprising little documentary interview with none other than Sandy Frank himself, another documentary about El Santo and the Santo films' relationship with film importer K. Gordon Murray, some always-hilarious MST Hour wraps (though Mike sounded a little sick when playing Jack Perkins this time; maybe he had a cold?) and finally, apropos of nothing but much appreciated, two bonus MST3K shorts, including one riffed by Joel and one riffed by Mike. I believe at least one of them, "A Date with Your Family," was previously released on one of the early Rhino sets, but it's great to see it back in print via Shout! Factory.

All in all, this is a fantastic set, and I recommend it highly to any MSTie.
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