Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXV
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Since the dawn of recorded history, sacred texts have inspired intellectuals to enlighten the rest of us through their commentaries. To a certain, special kind of person (and if youre buying this 25th collection of MST3K, pal, youre one of them) cheesy movies are sacred texts. And who better to help us navigate the occult meanings of B-movies holiest scriptures than space captives Joel, Mike and their robot companions Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot? Their running commentaries allow us to laugh at inscrutable plots, painful performances and felonious filmmaking. Here, for the funniest study session youll ever have, are four more movies unearthed from the ancient caves of Hollywood as interpreted by the long-suffering scholars aboard the Satellite of Love. Titles include Robot Holocaust, Operation Kid Brother, Kitten With A Whip & Revenge Of The Creature.
The Satellite of Love rides again with Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXV, a four-DVD set featuring a quartet of previously unreleased experiments from the critically acclaimed cult comedy series' lengthy small-screen run. The episodes included here offer an overview of the show's history, from its first season on cable (Robot Holocaust) to the end of creator Joel Hodgson's tenure as host in season five (Operation Kid Brother) and its transitional period with head writer Mike Nelson as the new human on board (Kitten with a Whip) in season six and its occasionally awkward merger with the Sci-Fi Channel (Revenge of the Creature). The episodes vary in terms of consistency--the Euro-spy adventure Kid Brother, with Sean Connery's brother Neil as an ersatz 007, is probably the best of the lot, while Revenge struggles to balance the riffing and a new recurring storyline (imposed by the network) with Mary Jo Pehl as Pearl Forrester and Kevin Murphy in elaborate ape makeup as sidekick Dr. Bobo. But the show's calling cards--its smart, eclectic humor and barrage of pop culture references--remain razor sharp and lightning fast in all four episodes, underscoring Mystery Science Theater 3000's enduring popularity.
Extras on the four-disc set, all produced by genre documentary specialists Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, echo the top-notch supplemental features found on most of Shout! Factory's MST3K releases: Jack Arnold at Universal is a serious and scholarly overview of the director's efforts for the studio, which included not only Revenge of the Creature but also such classics as The Incredible Shrinking Man and It Came from Outer Space. J. Elvis Weinstein (Dr. Larry Erhardt) and Bill Corbett, who voiced Crow T. Robot in seasons 8 to 10 while also playing the Observer/"Brain Guy," are showcased in two lengthy Life After MST3K retrospectives, while Hodgson and Nelson introduce two episodes apiece. The introductions also provide a wealth of behind-the-scenes information, from Hodgson's recollection of the show's chaotic early days and his fondness for his final season on the show to Nelson discussing the show's move to the Sci-Fi Channel and the format changes imposed on the series by the network. --Paul Gaita
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I have traveled the several roads of the ancient Mayans to transverse the veil of time to impart this message unto you. My place is in the future...the NOT TOO DISTANT future...when this item is actually available for purchase at a retailer near you. You CANNOT know the SHOCKING facts about this DVD set. Only those of us IN THE FUTURE, who have survived to tell the tale, know all of the facts, all of the truths about...MST3K Volume XXV.
This is no ordinary DVD release. It comes...from THE FUTURE. A future mere mortals can only guess at, but I, who am from THE FUTURE, can know with utmost certainty.
Lest ye try to seek forward to a time BEYOND YOUR OWN! For that way lies madness. Men of THE FUTURE, such as I, can freely look back to the past, but even we dare not attempt to cross over into OUR OWN future...
But fear not.
Know that one day, you too will be in THE FUTURE and can experience the facts (THE FACTS, DO YOU HEAR?) of these DVDs and speak your mind...review this set...without a guilty conscience...
"PumaMan" is one of my favorite MST eps and truly a unique entry in the cannon. There have been plenty of terrible super hero movies released over the years but I don't think MST has ever gotten to do any of them besides this gloriously inept feature!
How gloriously inept is PumaMan? Well, you know how in Superman: The Movie they used backwards projection, cables, and good camera angles to convincingly make Christopher Reeves look like he's flying? They try the same thing in PumaMan except the filmmakers don't try to match ANY backwards projection shots and apparently use only one cable attached to the back of the actors belt so the effect isn't the actor flying so much as randomly tumbling through the air, flailing wildly with his butt in the air. Or sometimes they don't use a cable at all and just have him *walk* accross the backwards projection screen. Once you see how PumaMan flies you will *never ever* forget it!
PumaMan's superhero outfit is just tan slacks, penny loafers, a black shirt with a gold sparkly mask on it and a cape the size of a medium towel tied around his neck. He wears no mask or disquise on his face whatsoever. His theme music sounds like a supermarket jingle and the soundtrack primarily plays this rousing theme on a harpsichord!
The Aztec high priest who helped PumaMan discover his powers did so by randomly throwing him out a three story window (good thing the priest didn't have too many false leads before he found this guy!). The high priest also does most of the good guy work, as PumaMan spends a good deal of his fight time goofily jumping around and not fighting the bad guys.
I could go on, but needless to say this film desperately screams for Mike and the Bots and they do an *incredible* job! One of my favorite episodes and worth the price of the box by itself. I'm so looking forward to having this one on great looking DVD transfer.
110- ROBOT HOLOCAUST with short: COMMANDO CODY PT 9 (partial)
This Italian/USA 1986 color science fiction film shot in New York stars absolutely no one you have ever heard of, but you'll remember Angelika Jager as Valaria long after you see it. For every latter day MSTie who has ever wondered why all the "you and your daughter are doomed" comments in episodes post season one of the show this will solve the mystery for you. A hero named "Neo" (a few years before The Matrix was made) tries to help a scientist's daughter free him and other slaves from the clutches of the evil Dark One ("da-gwan" the way Valaria pronounces it). They "have to get to the power station" (another oft used MST call-back line) to do it. Comedy ensues with only a little bit of it being intentional. There are goofy robots that are supposed to be goofy and evil robots that are even goofier. The acting is some of the worst in any MSTed movie. The commentary and host segments in this late season one episode are hilarious as MST3K really begins to find what works best at this point. And since the movie is a bit short we're also treated to another hilarious episode of Radar Men From The Moon. I'd buy this set for this episode alone, but there's more greatness to be had here.
508- OPERATION KID BROTHER (aka OPERATION DOUBLE 007 and OK CONNERY)
This 1967 Italian film is the ultimate James Bond knock-off. Originally titled "OK Connery" as well as sometimes "Operation Double 007" the film makers decided to hire many of the key actors from the actual James Bond films including Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny), Bernard Lee (M), Adolfo Celli (Thunderball) and Daniela Bianci (From Russia With Love). Of course they (B. Lee and L. Maxwell) don't have the same character names as in the actual Bond films, but the attempt to make this look like an actual Bond film by hiring certain key actors is blatant. Any similarity between the original wonderful Bond films and this tripe ends there. This movie has none of the flare, wit or atmosphere of a Goldfinger or Dr. No, what it does have is Sean Connery's non-actor brother in the lead role! This allows the screenplay to refer to the main character of the film as the brother of a much better known secret agent throughout the film. The only thing that compares favorably with an actual Bond film is the soundtrack which was composed by Ennio Morricone. It's the best part of the film. If you're a fan of the original Bond films you'll enjoy seeing this oddity and what MST3K did with it, it's hilarious. There's a fantastic host segment where Joel and the 'Bots compare the careers of Sean and Neil Connery and another where Torgo (Manos Hands Of Fate) returns to Deep 13.
615- KITTEN WITH A WHIP
This 1967 black-and-white film stars Ann Margret as Jody, a femme fatale and John Forsythe as David Stratton, the dumbest politician ever. Jody is a vicious and violent juvenile delinquent who escapes from reform school and seeks refuge at the home of David. When bad things happen David is held captive literally and figuratively by Jody and her gang and his fear that he will lose his ability to hold public office. The movie can be pretty painful to watch as David becomes the victim of Jody and his own fears repeatedly throughout the film. Unfortunately, the film is well made and engrossing enough such that it does not make for a great episode of the show, but repeat viewings will reveal some good comedy after you know what to expect from the film and can focus on the MST3K jokes. One highlight is a host segment in which Kevin Murphy appears quite literally as a "kitten with a whip", a part he would reprise occasionally in later episodes and Turkey Day segments.
801- REVENGE OF THE CREATURE
This 1955 black-and-white inferior sequel to the classic Creature From The Black Lagoon stars John Agar, Lori Nelson and Nestor Paiva. It also features a little known new (at the time) actor named Clint Eastwood in a bit part as a lab technician. The Creature is captured and taken to an aquarium in Florida where of course, tragedy ensues when he kidnaps the female scientist with which he's inexplicably become smitten. It's classic 1950s era sci-fi when the monster carries off the beautiful girl. What's notable about this episode is that MST3K not only got a fairly well known old sci-fi movie, but it's the premiere episode of the newly relaunched MST3K on the Sci-Fi Channel! Bill Corbett makes his first appearance as Crow T. Robot after the departure of Trace Beaulieu from the show. The Sci-Fi Channel episodes feature the newly revamped Satellite of Love sets post MST3K The Movie and eventually the introduction of new characters to "send them the movie" like Brain Guy and Bobo operating under the direction of Pearl Forrester. Of course the lyrics to the opening theme song have been changed once again to reflect the changes to the show. In spite of all the changes forced on the show and the audience by the departure of many key cast members as well as the show's cancellation and rebirth on the Sci-Fi Channel it's a pretty funny episode making fun of the core film genre of the show, low budget science fiction. Don't miss it!
Overall, this is another eclectic mix of episodes representing a wide range of eras of the show. Shout! Factory has done an amazing job yet again of securing key episodes in the history of MST3K and no MSTie will want to be without this set. I can't wait to get to the power station for the Robot Holocaust!
Extra features include:
- Introductions by Mike Nelson and Joel Hodgson
- Life After MST3K with J. Elvis Weinstein
- Jack Arnold at Universal
- Life After MST3K with Bill Corbett
- As usual, four exclusive Mini-Posters by artist Steve Vance.
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A cheap-looking work of 1980s science fiction, a 1960s Eurospy send-up, a...Read more