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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Science Fiction > Horror > TV > Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXIII (Shout! Factory DVD Box Set)

Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXIII (Shout! Factory DVD Box Set)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B+     Episodes: A



The arrival of any new Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) boxed set marks a joyous occasion for any fan of the show. The show ran so long and racked up so many episodes that Shout! could release a four-disc boxed set every week for a year and still have plenty left in the back catalog.  All told this boxed set features more than eight hours of content, and much of it is hideous dreck, but MST3K fans would not have it any other way! Featured in this box are:


King Dinosaur -- This 1955 schlock-fest involves a rogue planet entering our solar system and the near-incompetent astronauts sent to investigate it.   Appearing very early in MST3K’s run (Season 2), Joel and the Robots on the Satellite of Love are none too impressed with these “intrepid” adventurers either.  They mainly blunder about killing stuff, and then come to the brilliant conclusion that the world needs to be blown up.  So they nuke it.  From space. Could this rogue planet have been a metaphor for the then Soviet Union?  Could King Dinosaur have been Nikita Kruschev?  Nahh.  It’s just a bad movie, and the fellas tear it a new one!


The Castle of Fu Manchu -- Don’t get me wrong, I love Christopher Lee, but this movie might mark his worst ever career decision.  Whatever he was paid to make this film could never make up for the karmic backlash its inherent evil must have caused him.  Nothing says racial understanding like a 6’2” British guy playing a Chinese super-villain, which he did in a small series of these films.  At least it wasn’t black face.  This one rivals Manos The Hands of Fate for sheer awfulness.  Joel and the ‘Bots break down, and then in a classic table-turning move, they force their captor Mad Scientists to watch and they too succumb to the film’s badness.


Code Name: Diamond Head -- You have to figure that a decent budget, a great location like Hawaii, the acting skills of Roy Thinnes, and Quinn Martin producing would make a dynamite spy flick.  Well, if this were Major League Baseball, 2 for 4 would make a pretty good line, but in this film the budget and Hawaii could not save the audience from Messrs Thinnes and Martin.  This time it’ Mike and the Bots who must suffer, but they manage to quip their way through this one with aplomb.  In the ends the lads possess enough spirit to mount a luau to celebrate the movie’s end.  Good show!


Last of the Wild Horses -- Audiences have endured a lot of bad Westerns over the years.  You can rest assured that for every Unforgiven there’s three or four Last of the Wild Horses.  Really, the less said about this horrible movie the better.  Indeed, the movie is merely a vehicle for the genius of the “Mirror, Mirror” segments that occur between breaks.  Yes, in a brilliant parody of that classic parallel universe Star Trek episode, Tom Servo and Gypsy find themselves transported to mirror universe where Mike and the ‘Bots torture the Mad Scientists with bad films.  The segments provide non-stop laughs, and this disc alone makes this box a must own for fans and collectors.


Fortunately, we also get four new mini-posters by artist Steve Vance, trailers, several featurettes, vintage promos and new Frank Conniff intro.



-   Scott Pyle


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