Created by Joel Hodgson
Featuring Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy
I am a huge MST3K fan. Nuff said. So you know how happy this new boxset makes me, right. Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition has been released by Shout! Factory and I tore into it like a kid on Christmas morning.
The four movies skewered by the MST3K gang have never been released in any other set, so that is going to make a lot of fans happy to add this to their collection. Just for the record, there are 3 Mike Nelson episodes in this boxset and 1 Joel Hodgson. Even though I consider myself a bigger Joel fan, I still enjoy Mike in his episodes.
Anyway, here are the films:
Laserblast (1978) is the story of Billy (Kim Milford), a teenage outcast that finds an alien laser blast arm in the desert. Soon, it has had monstrous effects on him and his girlfriend And, he is being chased by two idiotic cops and a scientist played by Roddy McDowell and yes, you read that right.
Werewolf (1996) directed by Tony Zarindast, the man that brought you the cinematic delights Hardcase and Fist and Death Flash, brings this story out of the deserts of Arizona. Archeologists have found the skeleton of something that looks like a werewolf. Soon, they are covered up in werewolves and they only have Joe Estevez, brother of Martin Sheen, to give them a hand.
Future War (1997) has to be seen to be believed. Daniel Bernhardt plays an escaped alien slave that has a former prostitute that wants to be a nun now as a traveling companion. The two find themselves in present day Los Angeles fighting drug dealers, dinosaurs and cyborgs.
First Spaceship on Venus (1960) is set in the future (1985!) as 8 astronauts investigate Venus after a weird spool is found. How are they going to complete this difficult assignment when one of the astronauts has some lingering feelings, both good and bad, with another team member and can’t seem to keep business and pleasure separated?
If you are a fan of the show, this collection is going to tickle you in all the right places. I thought the Joel episode and the Mike episodes were all funny. The skits with the robots Crow, Tom Servo, Gypsy and more on each movie were all funny.
So, this is a no brainer. Add it to the collection.
The movies all look low budget with some wear and faded colors. The “studio” segments are vibrant and presented in full frame. So, it doesn’t look like a Blu Ray, but fans of the show understand its limitations
The movies and “studio” segments are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. Dialogue is clear but not the most dynamic.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition is presented in 4 slim amaray cases encased in a cardboard slipcover.
The big bonus feature offered in this release is the 81 minute documentary entitled The History of MST3K. There are new interviews with Joel Hodgson, Mike Nelson, J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Trace Beaulieu and Bill Corbitt. There are also interviews with Paul Chaplin, Bridget Nelson and fan site webmasters Brian Henry and Chris Cornell. This documentary covers everything from the early Minnesota days to the Sci Fi Channel days. Everything a fan could want discussed is included in this release. There is even footage from live shows and fan conventions.
There are also trailers for each film presented. Variations of a Theme Song are the different versions of the theme song.
MST3K at Comic Con is offered. Hosted by Patton Oswalt, the cast and crew take questions and talk about the shows popularity.
A nice collection of bonus features.
Overall ( Not an Average) 8/10
The Boxset 8/10
The Video 5/10
The Audio 6/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 7.5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10