Mystery Science Theater 3000, Vol. 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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Top customer reviews
Sorry, didn't mean to rant. I love MST3k very very much, and I'm happy someone is taking the time to preserve this show on DVD. If the master tapes of the material took some damage, then that's the best we're gonna get, end of story. In this particular collection, there is a few flickers on the episodes, but nothing that actually interrupts the average person's enjoyment of the episode (i.e. nothing that obscures a visual to the point of missing a joke about it, etc.). Honestly, there's very little damage here, even on LOST CONTINENT, where they tell you there's gonna be a lot of tape damage.
Anyway, on the actual content: THIS IS A GREAT COLLECTION! It has something from every era of the show, and all the episodes are very enjoyable.
LOST CONTINENT: The first episode is about a team of scientist explorer type people who climb a mountain in search of a lost rocket. Instead they find... well.. look at the title of the movie. A fun episode, as it combines old TV stars, endless rock climbing footage, and surprisingly gory clay-mation dinosaur fights. The riffs are fast and solid, you'll laugh. Not exactly one of my top 10 Joel episodes, but still a very fine entry into the MST3k canon.
CRASH OF THE MOONS: Another Joel episode, though a few years later when the show was running a bit smoother. This is the second Rocky Jones TV-show-turned-into-a-movie that they did, the first being MANHUNT IN SPACE. Like MANHUNT, this is very low budget, very earnest, and also fairly goofy. Two moons inhabited with people are about to crash. One ruler doesn't wanna evacuate. Conflict ensues. I'd say this is about as good as MANHUNT was. Plenty of fun moments to riff on, and the movie is kinda fun to watch in its own right, its silly and fast moving enough to be entertaining. Again, nothing that's gonna make my top 10 list, but MST3k did tons of old Sci-fi movies like this, with some ending up better than others, and this is definitely an above average entry.
THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS: A famous episode for fans as it combines B-movie legend Tor Johnson with Z-movie director Coleman Francis. This was actually the last Coleman Francis movie the MST3k guys did, even though it was the first movie Coleman Francis directed. So you, the viewer, get plenty of references to SKYDIVERS and RED ZONE CUBA, along with the satisfaction of seeing the earliest examples of wonderful Coleman Francis trademarks like: cars pulling into places, shots of people watching someone off camera talking, discussions involving coffee, women being brutalized, people in the desert being shot by people in light aircraft, the list goes on and on. As it is, it is not quite as good as SKYDIVERS and RED ZONE CUBA, but its still a Coleman Francis film, and there's just nothing else quite like a Coleman Francis film. Highly recommended, but only after you've seen the other two Coleman Francis episodes. Also, the two shorts preceding the movie are both spectacular, especially PROGRESS ISLAND USA. Excellent stuff.
JACK FROST: A Russo-Finnish fairytale movie. It is colorful, zany, and has surprisingly good special effects. But, given the average American's unfamiliarity with Russo-Finnish folklore combined with the oddly dubbed dialog makes things fairly insane for the folks in the Western Hemisphere. That being the case, its a riotously funny episode. I could try to explain it, but half the fun is the random, crazy stuff that happens, so I won't spoil any of the surprises. If you haven't seen this episode, you're in for a real treat. One of my very favorites.
4 solid to excellent episodes, and an easy addition to any Misties collection. Highly recommended.
This MST3k box set of four episodes has the balance I most like to see when the episode titles are first announced. Two Joel episodes, one Mike episode from the Comedy Central days and one Mike episode from the Sci-Fi Channel era. Further more, the movies themselves illustrate the grand variety of bad film-making tackled by MST3k: the impenetrably dull, the silly, the mind-bogglingly strange and the over-the-top goofy.
LOST CONTINENT (1951)
This film is infamous among MST3k fans for its seemingly endless scenes of characters slowly ascending the side of a mountain. Rock climbing, Joel, rock climbing. On the surface, this looks like it would be a fun B-movie to watch. It's got Cesar Romero, Hugh Beaumont and John Hoyt (the ship's doctor in the first Star Trek pilot). It has a fairly typical plot of scientists and military personnel on a mission to retrieve a lost rocket on an uncharted island.
But LOST CONTINENT is not a lot of fun. Some MST3k episodes feel like a crazy adventure. A goofy movie with a fast and witty riffing track can make the hour and a half fly past in no time. But then there are other episodes. Episodes where - even with the distracting and entertaining soundtrack - you feel like you're stuck in the writing room of Best Brains, unable to leave the movie and resume your normal and happy life. LOST CONTINENT is such an episode - an episode that's a test of endurance.
As bad as the movie is, every MST3k fan should enduring it at least once. Joel and the bots will manage to get you through to the other side without your brain melting too badly by the time the closing credits run. Special mention must be made of the host segment featuring Mike Nelson as a pleasantly vengeful Hugh Beaumont preparing to rain death and destruction upon the Earth. It's one of the funniest skits they did.
CRASH OF THE MOONS (1954)
This is actually several episodes of a 1950s era TV sci-fi show edited together into a movie length feature. It contains the stock components you'd expect: the brave (if bland) hero, the goofy side-kick, the incredibly annoying kid, the mini-skirted love interest, et cetera. The plot involves a space United Nations trying to save two moons which are - you guessed it - crashing into each other.
The riffing in this episode is light, but good enough to keep the movie bouncing along. I do wish the producers of the film had found something for Queen Cleolanta to do other than fume in her every scene.
THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS (1961)
This film was the first of the infamous Coleman Francis trilogy to be made, but the last one to be heckled by the MST3k crew (and the last one to be released on an MST3k DVD). Watching this one last is actually the most fun way to do it. You can recognize some actors here in cameo appearances who would later have substantial roles to play in the Coleman Francis universe (i.e. the "I like coffee" guy and "Cherokee Jack").
While the title may make this sound like a standard, run-of-the-mill bad monster movie, there is something so wholly bizarre about the entire experience that I don't think I've ever seen another movie quite like this one. From the incomprehensible ramblings of the narrator, to the strangeness of the plot, I can't think of any other film that is so peculiar in so many different ways as this one.
The feature is actually not a very long film, so this episode features two shorts "Money Talks!" (starring Ben Franklin's shadow) and "Progress Island U.S.A."
JACK FROST (1964)
If you came across a story from Grimm's Fairy Tales for the first time as an adult, with no background you'd probably find the whole experience slightly baffling. That's sort of what you get from JACK FROST which is a Finnish/Russian co-production with bits and pieces from different folk stories thrown together in a large cauldron of crazy.
This demonstrates one of my favorite kinds of MST3k episodes, where the movie itself is entertainingly outrageous on its own; the commentary merely adds an extra layer of hilarity. Another fun host segment to watch for is the opening where Mike Nelson does an eerily good impersonation of Michael Flatley, Lord of the dance.
This great collection of episodes only leaves me hungry and eager for the next box set.