Mystery Science Theater 3000 – Volume XVII (Shout Factory DVD Set)
B- Sound: C+ Extras: B- Episodes: A
just recently viewed Mystery Science
Theater 3000 – Volume XVI it was almost a seamless transition when jumping
into the new Volume XVII release. The newest volume once again features four
new to DVD films/episodes. The films are
- The Crawling Eye (1958) Season One; Episode 1
- The Beatniks Season Four; Episode 15
- The Final Sacrifice Season Nine; Episode 10
- Blood Waters of Dr. Z Season 10; Episode 5
For a bit
of background on Mystery Science Theater
3000 before jumping into the review please refer to one of the number of
many previous volume reviews on this site.
right along, the first film in this volume is in fact the first episode (on
Comedy Central) of the series ever. The Crawling Eye (1958) is directed by
Quentin Lawrence follows a journalist as he investigates unusual accidents that
are occurring at a Swiss resort. This
episode is probably one of my least favorite, because as with many of the early
episodes the crew did not have their best timing yet and certain elements were
lacking. I do, however, enjoy how epic
this episode is in how it got the MST3K crews’
foot in the door with audiences around the world. We got a taste of what they had to offer and
demanded more, more, more! On a side
note, I remember this film the most as an episode of Freakazoid! Also spoofed The Crawling Eye, but instead the
victims are turned into clowns…classic.
continue with Beatniks (1960) a film
by Paul Frees that is plain horrible!
Joel is still around as this is only Season 4 and gives the crew a perfect opportunity to lay into a
film that features a bunch of idiotic punks (rather than actual beatniks) and
hilarity ensues. Season 4 is probably one of this reviewer's favorite seasons as the
crew got a stronghold on their innovative movie mocking premise and went all
out, full blast.
Next is The Final Sacrifice (1990) is a
Canadian film about the take over of earth.
The low budget film was directed by Tjardus Greidanus and the film that
centers on a beer drinking drifter simply sets the MST3K crew off the deep end.
This is a Season 9 episode
and whereas I do love Joel, this Mike episode is downright hilarious. It would be in my top episodes of all time
list and has jokes that extend well beyond just this single episode.
Finally, Blood Waters of Dr. Z (1975) which is
another great later episode. The film is
pretty much all over the place as it involves a mad scientist swearing revenge
and then there are some fish and long monologues and so on and so forth. As you can imagine it establishes a perfect
launching point for an array of jokes and the controlled chaos that is MST3K.
The episode is great, but no the best as the crew doesn’t seem on
their best game.
again the technical features on this new set (like the prior) are far from
great, but once again I am happy to view the episodes and don’t care as much
about the technicals. 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
extras include The Crawling Eye Special
Introduction by Joel Hodgson; Mystery Science Theater Hour Wraps On The Beatniks; Brand-New Interview with The Final Sacrifice’s Bruce J.
Mitchell; The Main Event: Crow vs. Crow at Dragon * Con ’09; Blood Waters of Doctor Z Photo Gallery;
Original Trailers and Promos. The
standout extras are definitely the Bruce Mitchell Interview and Crow vs. Crow
as both are refreshingly interesting and add a new layer to an already
thought is, buy this set!
- Michael P. Dougherty II