Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIV
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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.Read more ›
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!Read more ›
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?
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The ever necessary MST3K. Hilarious commentaries, awesome bonus features.Published 1 month ago by Sydney D.
Have all 33 available sets so far. Loved it when it was on.Published 8 months ago by Kimberly P. Hall
Have to admit that I purchased this a second time because I lost the Vampire Women disc, which is one of my all-time favorite riff-fests.Published 9 months ago by bpdc
Great entertainment. Classics. If you enjoy snarky comments during a horrible movie you will enjoy these. Love to watch them late nights.Published 18 months ago by noraa
I'm an avid collector, so I have nothing bad to say EVER about MST3K. as long as my credit cards hold out, I will be a collector...Published on April 20, 2014 by kristen meazell
DVD's arrived earlier than expected. My husband loves them and has watched them several times already. He has been a fan of Mystery Science Theater for years.Published on April 13, 2014 by mayo
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