Mystery Science Theater 3000 – Volume XIX (Shout! Factory DVD)
B- Sound: B- Extras: B- Episodes: B
We have a
variety of reviewers on this site take a look at the many Mystery Science Theater 3000 releases over the years; but the general
consensus has always been that the series is without a doubt amazing. Now on its 19th Volume release the series (always a cult following)
has seemed to pick up steam with the DVD audience after becoming a Shout!
Factory release. Whereas previous volumes
distributed by Rhino were absurdly pricey, general audiences can scoop up these
classics for a reasonable price early and take part in the B-movie insanity.
volume contains four episodes of the classic series; including Robot Monster and Radar Men from the Moon –
Chapters 4 & 5, Bride of the
Monster and Hired – Part 1, The
Devil Doll, and Devil Fish.
Robot Monster and Radar Men from
the Moon – Chapters 4 & 5:
an early episode from the series (Episode 107), so it doesn’t hold the spot on humor
or charm of the later episodes, but it is fun nevertheless. The episode is mainly a success because the
film itself is incredibly horrid. The
acting, script and costume design (diving helmet + gorilla suit??) are all
equally horrible as an alien attempting to destroy humanity comes to a
crossroads as he begins to feel the forbidden emotion of love. Joel and the boys rip the film a new one with
hilarious one liner after another.
Bride of the Monster and Hired –
further down the line with this Season Four episode (Episode 423), so the crew
has honed in on their comedic stylings.
The film stars the (at this point) deteriorating Bela Lugosi as a mad
scientist whose activities include creating a giant octopus; on top of
kidnapping a sexy reporter. It is hard
to express just how good the MST3K crew
is because their commentary comes so fast, but let’s just say it is as
fantastic as ever.
The Devil Doll
A Season 8 episode (Episode 818) is slow
to the punch as the boys attempt to rip on a ventriloquist whose puppet has
“come to life.” There are many instances
of dead air and the boys aren’t given enough to work with. The film is still hilariously bad on its own,
but this is not a shining example of what the series has to offer.
favorite on the set Devil Fish is a
later series episode that has Mike and his robotic companions at their
finest. The “newer” film has all the
elements that make it perfect for mocking with a trifecta of bad acting, poor
special effects, and horrid plot.
To view our
previous reviews of the older volumes, please follow the links below:
technical features on this 19th Volume are much like the previous
releases as the presentation bounces between adequate and tolerable, but like I
said previously it is more about the experience than the technicals on this
set. The picture remains your standard definition type and appears to
have a very rough VHS quality about them with bits of debris flying by.
Production issues are still apparent, less so in later episodes. The
sound is a Dolby 2.0 Stereo is pretty bad with me again finding myself blasting
my speakers to hear everything loud and clear enough. I reiterate that
all the MST3K sets definitely need some restoration work, but I won’t
hold my breath and instead will just enjoy some great episodes.
extras include the following:
Plastic Figurine (found in the Limited Collector’s Edition only); completing
the set trio along with Tom Servo and Crow
Posters; on stiff cardboard and great art
with Joel; informative and fun
2009 featurette; has the cast/crew (Joel, Frank and Mary Jo) on stage for an
hour long discussion of the ins and outs of MST3K
also several featurettes discussing the making of the four films mocked in this
- Michael P. Dougherty II