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Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition [Limited Edition]
Mystery Science Theater 3000 20th Anniversary Edition
Limited Edition
Actors: Joel Hodgson, Mike Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Jim Mallon
Director: Kevin Murphy
Genres: Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
UR     2008     7hr 0min

Mystery Science Theater 3000 celebrates its 20th anniversary with a specially packaged DVD set housed in a limited-edition tin box featuring4 custom lobby cards and a figurine of Crow T. Robot! Features four of the show's ...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Joel Hodgson, Mike Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Jim Mallon
Director: Kevin Murphy
Genres: Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy, Science Fiction
Studio: Shout! Factory
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 10/28/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 7hr 0min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 32
Edition: Box set,Limited Edition
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
See Also:

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Movie Reviews

Terrific first MST3K set from Shout Factory
Valnastar | Deep 13, USA | 07/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This set features one episode with Joel Hodgson as host and three with Mike Nelson hosting. Two episodes are from the Comedy Central years while two are from the Sci-Fi Channel shows.

211- First Spaceship on Venus
Originally called Der Schweigende Stern and made in 1960, this international cast film about the first astronauts to land on Venus is a hoot. Filled with wonderful ideas about international cooperation, yet strangely dated in its science even for when it was made, this movie's vision of the future is fun, action-filled and nearly breaks the goofy meter! The jokes are endless, non-stop and really top-notch from the MST3K crew. "What's a herring weigh? Oh, about a pound." "Everything's better in the crawler copter." Just the endless jokes about the robot in the film, Omega, will keep you laughing throughout. The host segments are just awesomely funny. When the planet has it's "brown explosion" near the end you'll be rolling with laughter and the jokes fly really fast at that point. This is a sometimes overlooked, underrated classic that is too funny to describe. I love it and never get tired of watching it no matter how many times I see it.

706- Laserblast
This 1978 feature comprises the final episode from Comedy Central and is an odd little feature that received 2.5 stars from Leonard Maltin, a fact that is the source of endless wonderful wisecracks as the credits roll. Hilarious throughout in spite of the fact that everyone working on the show knew it might be their last one ever. The host segment wrap-up with great 2001: A Space Odyssey references is terrific.

904- Werewolf
This 1996 feature with Richard Lynch is even more ridiculous than most stories based on lycanthropy. The goofy meter breaks in the first reel of this film and never gets repaired. An archaeologist gets cut by the skeleton of a werewolf and so, predictably, becomes one. The acting, bad foreign accents, and other low-budget silliness in this film are hammered mercilessly by MST3K. The host segment where Mike and the 'Bots are a girl group singing a teen tragedy song, a sort of like "Leader of the Pack" type number, is absolutely killer funny.

1004- Future War
This 1997 video feature is so bad it is beyond words. The huge headed Robert Zdar appears in his second film done on MST3K (the other was Soultaker) and his acting is just as stiff as in the other movie. The film features terrible looking rubber dinosaurs, mediocre martial arts-style action sequences, a hackneyed formulaic plot and acting so bland that calling it wooden would be a compliment! Fortunately, it has enough movement and scene changes to at least fuel a barrage of great jokes from MST3K. It's fun, but only thanks to the MST3K treatment. By itself, this film would be unwatchable.

This set will have a Crow figurine, collector cards, a video segment showing the MST3K reunion panel at Comic-Con from July 2008 and possibly more as yet unannounced features. Highly recommended!"
Four great episodes from MST3K!
Valnastar | Deep 13, USA | 11/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This set is apparently the DVD-only version of the 20th Anniversary set from Shout Factory. That means that it does not include the tin case, plastic Crow figurine or episode lobby cards. It does contain four great episodes of everyone's favorite cow-town puppet show.

This set features one episode with Joel Hodgson as host and three with Mike Nelson hosting. Two episodes are from the Comedy Central years while two are from the Sci-Fi Channel shows.

211- First Spaceship on Venus
Originally called Der Schweigende Stern and made in 1960, this international cast film about the first astronauts to land on Venus is a hoot. Filled with wonderful ideas about international cooperation, yet strangely dated in its science even for when it was made, this movie's vision of the future is fun, action-filled and nearly breaks the goofy meter! The jokes are endless, non-stop and really top-notch from the MST3K crew. "What's a herring weigh? Oh, about a pound." "Everything's better in the crawler copter." Just the endless jokes about the robot in the film, Omega, will keep you laughing throughout. The host segments are just awesomely funny. When the planet has it's "brown explosion" near the end you'll be rolling with laughter and the jokes fly really fast at that point. This is a sometimes overlooked, underrated classic that is too funny to describe. I love it and never get tired of watching it no matter how many times I see it.

706- Laserblast
This 1978 feature comprises the final episode from Comedy Central and is an odd little feature that received 2.5 stars from Leonard Maltin, a fact that is the source of endless wonderful wisecracks as the credits roll. Hilarious throughout in spite of the fact that everyone working on the show knew it might be their last one ever. The host segment wrap-up with great 2001: A Space Odyssey references is terrific.

904- Werewolf
This 1996 feature with Richard Lynch is even more ridiculous than most stories based on lycanthropy. The goofy meter breaks in the first reel of this film and never gets repaired. An archaeologist gets cut by the skeleton of a werewolf and so, predictably, becomes one. The acting, bad foreign accents, and other low-budget silliness in this film are hammered mercilessly by MST3K. The host segment where Mike and the 'Bots are a girl group singing a teen tragedy song, a sort of like "Leader of the Pack" type number, is absolutely killer funny.

1004- Future War
This 1997 video feature is so bad it is beyond words. The huge headed Robert Zdar appears in his second film done on MST3K (the other was Soultaker) and his acting is just as stiff as in the other movie. The film features terrible looking rubber dinosaurs, mediocre martial arts-style action sequences, a hackneyed formulaic plot and acting so bland that calling it wooden would be a compliment! Fortunately, it has enough movement and scene changes to at least fuel a barrage of great jokes from MST3K. It's fun, but only thanks to the MST3K treatment. By itself, this film would be unwatchable.

The extra features on the DVD discs include the 3-part history of MST3K and a video of the reunion panel from Comic-Con 2008. These are very informative and entertaining, even for long-time fans. Great stuff all around."
More MST3K? Oh yes, I'll have some of that....
Echo | Western Hemisphere | 07/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This review is for the episodes in this set, not the set itself (although the artwork looks spiffy!)

211- First Spaceship on Venus A controversial add among fans, but this episode unnecessarily gets a bad rap. The basic movie is about a multinational space expedition to Venus (a theme in a least of couple of later MST3K experiments). Goofy of course, and funny, but the host segments are fun (others disagree, but who cares?) The Brain's own "Amazing Colossal Episode Guide" The Mystery Science Theater 3000 : Amazing Colossal Episode Guide indicate that this wasn't one of their favorites, but they have said that about lots of MST3K episodes that others enjoy. Your mileage, of course, may vary but any early MST3K is worth a look.

706- Laserblast This was the final experiment of Season 7, and indeed the era of hours upon hours of MST3K as filler on Comedy Central. It's the Cadillac of this set, and almost worth the price of admission. The movie is priceless - an androgynous, hopelessly attractive loner finds an arm-sleeve laser gun in the desert, and is quickly seduced by its power. Seduced? No, he's turned into an alien. After tasting the fruits of his forbidden power, our hero goes on a rampage. He doesn't rob banks or blast bad guys, he goes after Eddie Deezen, cast out of type as a annoying geek (and kind of a bully, too.) The host segments involve the end of the SOL's funding, with Pearl pulling the literal plug. Our heroes go off to the void, and Dr. Forrester finds a 2001-esqu fate. A keeper, and I'm delighted to find this more or less permanently preserved on DVD at last!

904- Werewolf (aka "Wahr-wilf"). One of the better episodes from the unfortunately truncated Season 9 - it stars, well someone, with an unfortunate encounter with the teeth of a wolf skull involving stitches. It also stars perennial B-movie villain Richard Lynch, with a low-rent cameo from Joe Estevez as a sun-addled native archaeologist day laborer. Check out the impossibly predictable twist ending. The host segments are about as good as MST3K has ever generated - Mike attempts escape (and is quickly detected by the otherwise incompetent Pearl, Professor Bobo, and Brain Guy). There's even a nifty song, "Where O Werewolf".

1004- Future War By this time the show was on the way out the door, but in the last couple of years MST3K featured some really cheesy bad 1990s-era monster movies. This one is actually not as bad as many, if you can get past the rubber dinosaurs. (Plot? Oh yeah, a man from the future visits a la Terminator, quickly followed by man-eating dinosaurs - or something). The host segments are serviceable, involving dropping LSD, kick boxing, and making fun of someone's facial-deforming illness (never said MST3K was a great family show).

I had the pleasure of interviewing the cinematographer of "Future War", and his attitude towards the MST3K treatment of his film was delightful. The crew of "Future War understand MST3K, and they have a terrific sense of humor. This is a better episode than most, and it's great to have it on immortal DVD.

On balance, there are some unusual choices for this box set, but it sounds like Shout Factory is on the right track. Looking forward to many future box sets.
"
"Oh Z'No!"
Andrew McCaffrey | Satellite of Love, Maryland | 01/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Introduction

As timing would have it, Shout! Factory's first release of Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs after obtaining the rights away from Rhino Records coincided with the twentieth anniversary of MST3k's premiere. They decided to pull out several stops for their first release (although they kept the same number -- 4 -- of actual episodes per box set as Rhino had); besides the episodes themselves, the non-Limited Edition version contains a new documentary detailing the rise and fall of MST3k and a recording of the twentieth anniversary reunion of the core cast/crew from the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con.

While extras are always welcome, it's the episodes that really matter. Here I believe Shout! Factory has done a good job. While the split between Joel and Mike hosted episodes is 3 to 1 in favor of Mike, the quality of joke telling is great and highlights MST3k at its best.


FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS

After the discovery of a message from the inhabitants of the second planet in our solar system, an international group of astronauts is sent to Venus to determine if intelligent life has evolved. In typical 1960s sci-fi movie fashion, much time is spent showing the viewer how the space program of the future works and how space travel really would seem to the astronauts. This makes the middle third of the movie extremely arduous as we are treated to long sequences of weightless (with the aid of harnesses) people and elderly scientists playing chess against robots.

I'd never seen this episode before, but I had seen the original film (although I'm not sure I was ever able to stay awake during the whole thing). I found the joking from Joel and the bots to be average at best. One factor which started to annoy me after some time was a sub-plot wherein Servo's sarcasm sequencer was set to a higher level causing him to make increasingly repetitive sarcastic remarks about the film. I found this to be a rare mis-fire from the Best Brains.


LASERBLAST

This is the story of a young man so low on the social ladder that he is actually the recipient of Eddie Deezen's bullying. However, something working in his favor is that he stumbled upon a neat piece of alien technology which attaches to his arm and allows him to fire lasers at his tormentors. On the downside, the claymation dinosaur aliens are now hunting him to retrieve their lost ray gun.

LASERBLAST was the final episode made for Comedy Central, and while the crew had hopes of the show being picked up by another channel (it eventually was) they were aware that this was potentially the last movie they would have the dubious pleasure of mocking. It seems appropriate therefore that there is a greater than average number of hilarious call-back jokes to earlier experiments. The fact that there are a fair number of recognizable faces in the cast (Eddie Deezen, Roddy McDowell, Keenan Wynn) gives the crew many additional avenues for jokes, which they duly capitalize on.


WEREWOLF

Joe "younger brother of Martin Sheen" Estevez is infected by an unknown werewolf virus. The screenplay initially makes a big deal that this is not the standard werewolf story of legend; transformations can occur between any two species. The film promptly turns into the classic cliché of actors getting fur glued to their faces and then having them howl for hours at the moon.

This film (along with FUTURE WAR) is one of the most recent films that MST3k tackled and there are several very 1990s directorial touches. It's not the worst movie ever, but it is silly, goofy and totally illogical (thus becoming an instant classic episode). The crew gets a lot of amusement over the fact that the full moon appears to last for a week, and the bad guy infects people with the werewolf virus for no reason other than that he is Evil.


FUTURE WAR

This was an episode that I hadn't watched -- despite having a VHS recording of it -- since its original broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel. The reason for avoidance was my memory of the film was so dire that I simply couldn't handle another viewing. My sole memory was a scene of the Jean-Claude Van Damme looking guy kickboxing Robert Z'Dar in a warehouse of empty cardboard boxes.

So watching this episode brought me two surprises. One, the riffing from the crew was much better than I had remembered (my theory is that in the ensuing years I've become much more strengthened against bad films and am therefore now able to pay more attention to the jokes). Two, the only memory I had of the film was wrong, because that scene never occurs in quite that way I had recalled.

I had completely forgotten about the terrible special effect dinosaurs, the mini-skirted nun, and the two huge guys in the halfway house. You can really smell the 1990s odor coming off of this one, right down to its flannel. Another case where a movie pitches up softballs to the crew and they hit home run after home run.

Extras

The new documentary is an interesting look at the history of the show, although I doubt there is too much new information that devoted fans don't already know. However, I did find it informative in its telling of the program's very early days at KTMA.

The panel from the San Diego Comic-Con was hosted by Patton Oswalt (for what reason, I am not privy) and I found it to be slightly disappointing in that the moderator talks too much and the sound quality is not always great. Still, its nice to see them all together again and I really got a kick out of Frank Conniff asking whether the urban legend about Joe Don Baker wanting to beat up the writers of MST3k was actually true.


Stinger

So I would judge Shout! Factory's first release as a success. Even ignoring the extras, they've given us one solid and three great episodes. They've already announced the next release and I can't wait."