Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Volume XVIII: (Lost Continent / Crash of the Moons / The Beast of Yucca Flats / Jack Frost)
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The Mads of Deep 13 and the loyal yet helpless crew of the Satellite of Love, including Joel, Mike, Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot and Gypsy, cordially invite you to join them as they pay tribute to some of the finest-quality cheesefests this side of Gouda! This 18th laugh-filled edition of Mystery Science Theater 3000 promises to keep you as entertained as ever with four episodes never before available on DVD! Films Include: Lost Continent, Crash Of The Moons, The Beast Of Yucca Flats & Jack Frost
* Special Introductions by Frank Conniff and Kevin Murphy
* Original Mystery Science Theater Hour Wraps
* A Look Back at The Beast Of Yucca Flats
* Original Trailers & Promos
* 4 Exclusive MST3K Mini-Posters by Artist Steve Vance
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- Episode 208- LOST CONTINENT ("Rock climbing, Joel.")
This 1951 black-and-white Robert Lippert production is directed by Sam Newfield and stars Cesar Romero, Hillary Brooke, Sid Melton, Acquanetta, Whit Bissel and Hugh Beaumont. The main cast comprises a scientific team charged with recovering an off course test rocket. The cast of fairly well-known actors does little to stem the pain of the film's padding accomplished through endless rock climbing sequences, but those elements did elevate this episode to a kind of cult status both within the show and among the MST3K fan base early on. References to rock climbing and other elements of this film abound throughout later episodes of MST3K for years to come. Every fan of the show should see this episode for that reason alone, but don't let me forget to mention that it's absolutely hilarious. Stop motion dinosaurs and lizards posing as monsters make occasional appearances in the film. And did I mention rock climbing?
- Episode 417- CRASH OF THE MOONS with short, "General Hospital"-Segment 3
Rocky Jones (Richard Crane) and his crew comprising Winky (Scotty Beckett of Our Gang/Little Rascals shorts), Bobby, Vena and Professor Newton are back for another adventure from this short-lived 1954 TV show. So is the evil dictator, Cleolanta (Patsy Parsons), who in this episode is scheming to destroy another inhabited "moon" before it collides with her own planet. The wayward moon is ruled by the affable Bavarro, played by John Banner, later of Hogan's Heroes fame. As with the previous Manhunt In Space, this episode of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger features a rather silly, low-budget, but earnestly presented view of mankind's space-faring future. The Rocky Jones episode itself is entertaining fun and this episode is really funny. Regarding the General Hospital short, once again MST3K turns dreary and dull footage into comedy well worth watching.
- Episode 621- THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS with shorts: "Money Talks!" & "Progress Island, U.S.A."
This 1961 turkey from Coleman Francis stars none other than Tor Johnson of Plan 9 From Outer Space fame. Tor also appeared in other movies used on MST3K, including Bride Of The Monster and The Unearthly. This movie often makes lists of worst movies ever made and rightly so, the story and dialogue are at times nonsensical and mind-boggling even for a low-budget science fiction movie. A Russian scientist played by Tor defects to the US and is turned into an atomic mutant by a nuclear blast. As is often the case in Coleman Francis films you can find Tony Cardoza among the cast delivering his usual level of performance. This episode also features two shorts that will please any MST3K fan. Another must-see movie and episode.
- Episode 813- JACK FROST
This 1964 color film was originally titled "Morozko" by the Soviet film makers, but was retitled "Jack Frost" for US release. As with the other Russo-Finnish movies used on MST3K, this film is both beautiful and goofy at the same time and that makes for a strong episode and a fan favorite. The lush color, decent production values and incredibly bizarre fantasy nature of the film rendered even more bizarre by the editing and dubbing for English make a wonderful blend of quality and weirdness that provided great comedic fuel for MST3K. Many classic Slavic fairy tale elements combine in this story of two children who have strange adventures as they encounter a sorcerous Mushroom Pixie, the evil witch Baba Yaga, and other mythical weirdness. Jack Frost himself eventually appears somewhat late in the film.
The actual DVD quality of previous Shout! Factory releases has been generally terrific with good picture and sound and few anomalies. Extra features just announced by Shout! Factory include special introductions by Frank Conniff and Kevin Murphy, original Mystery Science Theater Hour wraps, a look back at The Beast of Yucca Flats featurettes, original trailers & promos and more.
EPISODE 208 # THE LOST CONTINENT - This was a great surprise as most of us thought Robert Lippert movies ( this one, Rocketship XM, Jungle Goddess,etc) seemed like they would not be attainable. For those that have seen it - this was exciting. For those who havent this is a great episode in the 2nd season. The Lost Continent stars Cesar Romero ( The Joker on the Batman TV series with Adam West), Hugh Beaumont ( Ward Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver)& a sold 50s B movie cast including Sid Melton, John Hoyt, Whit Bissell all looking for a downed atomic rocket. They track it up a mountain on a plateau. They need to climb a mountain to get to the rocket. We get to see every second of what is called by MST3K fans & well as Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank as 'Rock Climbing'.
This was the theme of the show as told by Dr Clayton Forrester & TV's Frank - "Rock Climbing Joel" . They harp on it so much that Joel doesn't get to do his invention exchange. This invention would turn up in the next episode Hellcats actually.
Rock Climbing is actually worse than the sandstorm theme in Hercules vs the Moon Men as the Rock Climbing scenes last for a long while during the movie. When the cast reaches the top they find the 'Lost Continent' with some pretty cool Dinosaurs. The black & white film turns to a nice greenish color when the dinosaurs appear. The 2 female characters are hardly in it - Acquanetta & Hillary Burke. It is all about male bonding climbing the mountain.
This episode also contained the "Cool Thing" which wouldn't be revealed until the 3rd Season. I personally love this episode and is my favorite from this set...I own the Wade Williams DVD of this.
The introduction by Frank Conniff is very insightful and the DVD quality of it isnt great, but it will do..apparently this was one title that wasnt taken care of . Shout was upfront about this however.
EPISODE # 416 CRASH OF THE MOONS - This is a follow up to Manhunt in Space starring Richard Crane as Rocky Jones as he and his crew (including the wonderful Winky) need to save the universe from the crashing of the moons..he has to save his friends and his arch enemy Cleolanta. This is ultra cheap but it was for kiddies back in the 1950s to watch on Saturday mornings. Watch for John Banner as Bavarro as he winds up on the Satellite of Love. How ? Watch and see :)
At this point in the show - MST was on cruise control - it was in the middle of a lucrative deal with Comedy Central - great creative segments, songs (The Gypsy Moons) and just an outstanding episode.
And the General Hospital short too is pretty funny
EPISODE # 621 THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS WITH SHORTS MONEY TALKS AND PROGRESS ISLAND. This contained TWO shorts because the movie itself is barely and hour long. It is another Coleman Francis wonder (now all 3 of his films have made it to MST3K DVD) with Tor Johnson as a Russian scientist who gets chased into a nuclear testing site and a bomb just happens to go off, turning Tor into yet another brainless hulking creature. The only difference between his character here and when he was Lobo in Bride of the Monster and the Unearthly was that he had zero dialog in this film. This is mostly narrated by Coleman Francis was some really absurd lines , such as " Flag on the Moon, how did it get there ? " & other senseless dribble. Mike and the bots tackle this as best they could & the results are fantastic. This was the episode that was compared to the Brain that Wouldn't Die as being a cakewalk. Beast is a much worse than Brain by far. This film makes Plan Nine from Outer Space look like Casablanca. Tor chases people for about 45 minutes being tracked down by 2 unattractive sheriffs. One is married to a babe who our director keeps telling to bend down so we can see her chestular region. Watch for the scene with the rabbit (if you havent seen this)
The quality has been reported around the forums as being subpar with glitches throughout the movie and the bonus materials..we all should inform shout about it to see what can be done
EPISODE # 813 JACK FROST - the last Russo Rinnish title is the first Russian Fairy Tale to make it on an MST3K box set DVD - can this be the start of getting the others on future sets such as Day the Earth Froze , Magic Voyage of Sinbad, & the Sword & the Dragon ? Time will tell. This movie is the one most MST3K fans have seen and it was # 3 on the Rhino Poll ( all the movies in this set are pretty high for the most part. Crash of the Moons was the lowest and it wasn't that low on the Poll) ..it is an oddity with a boy & girl going through some pretty bizarre stuff such as the boy transforming into a bear. Jack doesn't come until late in the movie but its fun to watch anyway. A boy turns into a bear and needs to do a good deed to become "handsome" again. This has good cinematography and a lot of people like this movie as an MST or stand alone title
Fans have wanted this forever. Between this and the Final Sacrifice in Volume 17 MST fans like us have grown to love what Shout has done. This set gives us 4 episodes that are popular. 4 solid episodes. The fans who dislike Season 1 get a break this time around. We get the 2 Joel, 2 Mike , and a shocker or 2 this time yet again. I think Shout has done a tremendous job overall with this set as their other efforts (including the Season 1 episodes )
I am at the point where the only episodes that Shout may not get are the AIP & Gamera / Sandy Frank movies from Season 3, and the Universal movies from Season 8...otherwise I think every title is on notice to get plunked. I would expect more sets with popular titles blending with a surprise or 2 or 3. I think we will see the Russo Finnish movies and more from Lippert & Wade Williams titles down the road too. This set seems to indicate that. The future looks really bright for MST3K fans :)
Bonus features include a Coleman Francis tribute type of thing (this should be funny) intros by Frank Conniff & Kevin Murphy and Im sure some other goodies that Shout can come up with
Thanks again Shout Factory