Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection Vol 5 |
Boggy Creek II / Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders / Time Chasers / The Touch of Satan
Actors: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy, Matthew Bruch
Directors: Charles B. Pierce, David Giancola, Don Henderson, Kenneth J. Berton
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Horror, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Wea-des Moines Video Release Date: 03/09/2004 Run time: 450 minutes Rating: Nr
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Another great set, especially TIME CHASER
Ryan Harvey | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This fifth collection of episodes from the TV comedy, "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (the program where a silhouette of a man and two robots in theater seats provide comedic commentary for rotten movies), contains four episodes from the Sci-Fi Channel seasons. Mike Nelson is the host, Billy Corbett does Crow's voice, and Pearl Forrester is the evil scientist holding the crew of the Satellite of Love hostage. Some fans aren't fond of the host segments in these later seasons, but there are some occasional funny ones. The riffing, however, is good as ever, and has changed to an angry, sarcastic style different from the Joel years.(This is the second collection in a row of Sci-Fi Channel episodes. Although some of these episodes are hilarious, I hope Rhino turns to some of the early seasons in later collections to keep balance.)Disc 2 has a great extra: a half-hour interview with Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy (who wrote for the show for all ten seasons, and played Tom Servo for nine). The interview covers the show's origin, history, and the process of making an episode. Both men are incredibly funny and have a great time reliving memories. For fans, this interview makes the collection a must-have on its own. (As with the last collection, Mike Nelson also does a brief intro to each episode.)The episodes all good, and one is fantastic:BOGGY CREEK II: AND THE LEGEND CONTINUES. Episode #1006. This 1983 movie is actually the third Boggy Creek flick. Since the producer of the first film had no involvement in the first sequel, he ignored it an declared this "Boggy Creek II." Based on a legend of a Bigfoot-like beast in Arkansas called the Fouke Creature, "Boggy Creek II" isn't much of a horror movie; it's more like a PBS nature film with some gross backwoods characters and some mild tension. Mostly we watch a bland college professor (writer/director Pierce) and his students, two semi-hot chicks and a scrawny guy who never has his shirt on (and happens to be Pierce's son) stare at equipment and get their vehicles stuck in the mud. Crenshaw, a forest hermit, is one of the most disgusting characters to appear in an MST3K movie. It's a decent episode. The highlights are the ludicrous series of flashbacks -- one of which is so gross that Mike and `Bots can't believe it -- and the sickening character of Crenshaw. There's also a funny sketch that makes fun of the flashbacks.MERLIN'S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS. Episode #1003. Sounds like a cute kids' film, right? Eee-yikes, what a nasty surprise! More like an episode of "Tales from the Darkside"! In this 1996 film, Grandfather (Ernest Borgnine) tells Grandson stories about Merlin setting up a shop in modern times, to `spread wonder.' But what happens instead? An obnoxious reviewer ("My reviews can destroy cities!") gets hold of Merlin's spell book, demonizes his cat, ages, meets the devil, breathes fire, and tries to bleed his wife to death. The next story is an edited version of an earlier film from the same director called "The Devil's Gift" (the source is obvious, since Merlin never interacts with these characters). In this stinker, a demon-possessed monkey toy from Merlin's shop tries to slaughter a family. The flick is nasty, but once Mike and the `Bots get into the inappropriate rhythm of it, the episode has tons of laughs.TIME CHASERS. Episode #821. The best episode in this collection ironically contains one the better movies that MST3K took on! Late in season eight was when the Sci-Fi Channel shows were at their best, and with"Time Chasers" they create a masterpiece. "Time Chasers" was shot in Vermont by David Giancola during the summer of 1990 on a budget of $150,000. Giancola shows genuine talent, and the script is a clever story of time paradoxes, where the inventor of the first time machine tries to undo the mistake he made when he sold the invention to an ambitious company. But the budget kills the movie: the actors are awful (the villain is played by a dairy farmer), the "good" future is a mall, the "bad" future is a slightly trashy alley, and the villain's corporate headquarters are in a branch library! (Actually, the Rutland Opera House.) It's impossible to take it seriously, and the MST3K boys have a blast with it. This episode also has one of the better set of host segments: a time screw-up causes Mike to be replaced by his tough-talking brother Eddie (his comments in the theater are REALLY mean). A great episode!THE TOUCH OF SATAN. Episode #908. Director `Don Henderson' is a pseudonym for Tom Laughlin, who a year after this 1970 horror picture had a major hit as the star and director of "Billy Jack." Laughlin was an awful director even before "Billy Jack," and here's the proof. As a director, his major technique is making his actors put huge pauses in their dialogue, and the MST3K boys rip this apart: "They're just pausing out of spite now!" The plot has a wandering scrawny guy fall for a girl on a farm, but she turns out to be a witch. There's also a cranky grandma who enjoys pitch-forking folks. It's less interesting than it sounds, and there isn't much witchcraft, magic, or Satan, but this is a funny episode because Mike and `Bots really nail down the film's tone. In an interesting change, the character of Pearl Forrester is absent; she's replaced by a baby-sitter (long-time prop mistress Beez McKeever) who's looking out for Brain Guy and Prof. Bobo.This isn't as strong as some of the earlier Rhino collections of MST3K, but it's on the level of the previous volume of Sci-Fi Channel episodes. "Time Chasers" and the interview are worth it on their own, but you get three pretty darn good episodes along with them."
Andrew McCaffrey | Satellite of Love, Maryland | 03/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Four more episodes from the Sci-Fi Channel era of "Mystery Science Theater 3000". Four more really lousy movies. From my point of view, the only bad thing about picking movies from these later seasons is that I've already seen them. I'd prefer more films from the earlier years, although I can't complain about having these episodes on DVD. (Personally, I can't wait for the release of RIDING WITH DEATH.)In addition to Mike Nelson's all-new introductions that run before each episode, this DVD set also includes an interview with Nelson and Kevin "Tom Servo" Murphy (it's on the second disc, but you wouldn't know that from looking on the box). There probably isn't anything here that fans don't already know about, but it's fun to hear those two discussing everything from taping the opening-door sequences to what they've been up to since the series ended. After name-checking rec.arts.tv.mst3k.misc, they offer some stories about the network executives who just didn't "get" the series. I've heard them complain before, but I still laughed when they talked about the suit who suggested that they run complicated multi-story-spanning plot-arcs in an attempt to bring in and retain viewers. Yeah, that's exactly why people watched the show.Here are some comments on each of the four episodes:BOGGY CREEK II: AND THE LEGEND CONTINUES. I'm a little ashamed to say, but I kind of liked this movie. Well, pieces of it anyway. Certainly not the poop flashback. Or the skinny, shirtless, son-of-the-director-getting-a-movie-role guy. Well, anyway, this is the movie that did for Arkansas what GIANT SPIDER INVASION did for Wisconsin. As Mike Nelson points out in the DVD-bonus intro, this is actually the third, not the second, film in the Boggy Creek saga -- figure that one out. A great big monster with nothing better to do terrorizes some huge, filthy Arkansas character (in a weird alternative universe, this frightening man at the end would be played by Orson Welles). MERLIN'S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS. Somehow Ernest Borgnine got roped into... this. He plays a kindly old man telling his grandson some bedtime stories. (Does this remind you of the linking elements in THE PRINCESS BRIDE? The comparison ends here.) Apparently Borgnine's character was a TV writer and during the course of this movie he tells his son of two rejected scripts involving Merlin the sorcerer running a magic shop in the USA of the 1970s. The first story involves an evil guy who writes reviews for a living (Amazon Top 100: beware) accidentally learning magic and lighting his cat on fire. The second is about an evil monkey toy that kills all the pets in a small suburban household. Oh boy, this movie was just awful. Apparently I wasn't the only one to think so; most of the riffs just involve the cast blatantly insulting the film rather than coming up with amusing quips. I can't say I blame them, but this ends up being a lesser episode.TIME CHASERS. The film that does for Vermont what BOGGY CREEK II did for Arkansas. Here lies a goofy science-fiction movie (that's not all that bad actually) about a computer geek who builds a time machine out of a charter airplane and a Commodore Disk Drive (I, too, once owned a Commodore 1541, but I never thought of hooking it up to a airplane -- this is why I'll never be a time-traveler). This is quite a lot of fun, although the time-travel logic doesn't quite seem to make sense. It looks like what would happen if a film crew shot a film in locations where they didn't have to pay any money. So, a public library becomes a corporate office building. A mall food court becomes a mall food court... of the future. And a rather modern-looking group of Revolutionary War re-enactors becomes, well, you can probably guess.In the DVD introduction for TIME CHASERS, Mike Nelson informs us that the producers of the film found out about their film's imminent featuring on MST3k and threw a big party on the night of the premier. While they said they were fans of the show, they didn't quite seem to expect the "savaging" that the film received. Apparently, the party ended up being a bit of a depressing event. But the party should be lots of fun for everyone else; the mocking that this movie gets is hysterical. Crow starts out refusing to accept Mr. Hockey-Hair as the film's star, and things just get funnier from there.THE TOUCH OF SATAN. This movie would be about a half an hour long if they cut out all the awkward pauses. The film's protagonist (who looks quite a bit like a young Gen. Wesley Clark with 70s hair) wanders into a nice country walnut farm that happens to be where Satan lives. Or maybe it's just Satan's bride. Or his daughter. Or something. I just finished watching it, and have no desire to say anything else about it. The sarcastic comments directed at it are well aimed and well deserved.The release of these MST3k DVD sets serves to remind me of how much I miss this show being in production. By a strange quirk of fate involving rights issues, MERLIN'S SHOP, although the third episode produced in the show's tenth and final season, ended up being broadcast about a month after the final episode aired. "The movies," Mary Jo Pehl coyly predicts during what would end up being the last host segment, "are only going to get worse." Well, the years since MST3k went off the airways have proved the evil Mrs. Forrester correct. And how can we expect to survive the awful films that the future will throw at us without our three friends in the bottom right corner easing our pain?"
Merlin Chases Satan Thru Time; Sets Up Shop In Boggy Creek
Mike King | Taunton, MA United States | 06/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rhino has seen fit to release more MST3K movies from the Sci-Fi era which, considering that the Sci-Fi Channel has stopped broadcasting reruns, couldn't have come at a better time."BOGGY CREEK II: AND THE LEGEND CONTINUES" turns Bigfoot into a good old boy from the Arkansas swamps. My favorite character is played by Jimmy Clem, a 400 plus pound hillbilly who wears bib overalls but doesn't wear a shirt. "I'm immodest, tee-hee," Crow intones in a Southern accent. He contrasts nicely with the main character's son Chuck Pierce, a scrawny kid who goes shirtless for most of the movie. When Chuck knocks on the door of a house, Crow asks, "Can I borrow a cup of shirt?" The best actor in the movie is the Boggy Creek creature."MERLIN'S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS" is a horror movie disguised as a family friendly film. In the first of two stories, a meddlesome cat is roasted by a fire-breathing, wanna-be wizard. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of casting spells is dragon breath! In the second story, an evil toy monkey is stolen from Merlin's shop. Some dumb kid ends up getting it for a birthday present. The evil monkey starts a fire in the garage, which kills the kid's dog. This film was not endorsed by PETA! As the monkey gets stronger, the kid almost gets hit by a car while riding his bike, and his father almost gets killed when he buries the monkey. Merlin provides much needed comic relief, as he spends most of this story asking people if they've seen his monkey!"TIME CHASERS" is the funniest film of the four. Filmed on a shoestring budget in beautiful Rutland, Vermont, the no-name cast makes a valiant attempt to convince the audience that they're traveling through time. Stare in disbelief at the Corporate Executive, whose office is a desk at the top of a stairway in a public library! See the food court of the future! Avert your eyes from the horror of a future apocalypse, as our intrepid heroes walk around garbage in an alley! The main character has a receding hairline. The funniest remark is made by Tom Servo, when the hero turns on his computer. "You've got mail.....pattern baldness!""THE TOUCH OF SATAN" leaves your hands smooth as you wash dishes, and is presented by the Hallmark Hall Of Fame, at least according to the gang aboard the Satellite Of Love. This lame horror movie is so slow paced and has so many pauses, Mike and the 'bots have more dialog than the actors! After the closing MST3K credits, a snippet of the movie is played. The heroine walks by a pond and says, "This is where the fishes live." This movie would be sleeping with the fishes, were it not for Mystery Science Theater 3000. I hope Rhino releases a Volume 6 Collection of more movies soon."
Another Sci-Fi Channel Only Release
Bobby Brady | Georgia, USA | 02/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This will be another set of Sci-Fi Channel episodes: 851 Time Chasers, 908 Touch Of Satan, 1003 Merlin's Mystical Shop Of Wonders and 1006 Boggy Creek II. Rhino has made a statement that this doesn't mean they will no longer be releasing episodes from the Comedy Central years. Don't worry fans, more are coming. But hold on to your vhs ep tapes for now.You must admit this is 4 of the best MST3Ks, Sci-Fi Channel years or otherwise. Oddly, none of these films even touch the worst that Mike & The Bots (or Joel & The Bots) had to ordeal on the SOL. Sure, they're bad, but not Manos bad or Hobgoblins bad. Time Chasers and Merlin could be considered decent fare if you happened to be up late, bowl of popcorn in your lap because you couldn't sleep. They are made much better thanks to the guys and gals at Best Brains (the studio behind Mystery Science Theater 3000). I must say that if you've never watched the show before (which is now off the air, probably for all times) this set would be a great place to get to know the show. I've seen each of these more times than I remember and they never disappoint. Mike Nelson (co-host of MST3K) recorded new intros for these (much longer than the ones he did for Vol 4). Kevin Murphy also did some material for this release. I'm relieved to know that Rhino is dedicated to releasing Mystery Science Theater 3000. I'm a huge fan and would hate to see this show disappear. Finding episodes is difficult without these releases."