Terrific fun, non-stop laughs in four excellent episodes!
Valnastar | Deep 13, USA | 03/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MST3K Volume 7 has some truly terrific and hilarious episodes that are among some of my personal favorites. The movies themselves are some of the more entertaining ones used on the show. Each one is described in turn below. The first three are from the Comedy Central years and the last is from the Sci-Fi Channel episodes:
Episode 407- THE KILLER SHREWS (with short: JUNIOR RODEO DAREDEVILS)
Killer Shrews is a classic B-grade b/w SF film from 1959 with James Best (Dukes of Hazard) and Ken Curtis (Gunsmoke). The melodrama and the endless drinking and standing around punctuated by panic as the main characters are preyed upon by small dogs dressed up as "killer shrews" is hysterically funny all on it's own. Then, the MST3K crew raises the level of humor several notches more. The short, Junior Rodeo Daredevils, is a classic MST3K bit that is referred to in many later episodes of the show (e.g., "old timer Billy Slater" is mentioned for years after this episode was made). Don't miss this!
Episode 408- HERCULES UNCHAINED
The 1959 Italian classic sequel to Hercules, also with Steve Reeves, the first and in some ways best muscleman-turned-actor, opened the door for endless "sword and sandal" epics with his two Hercules films. This sequel is slower and inferior to the first Reeves film, but the crew of the SOL makes it a special treat. The host segment where the 'Bots try and get Joel to explain what Hercules and the "nice lady" do all day as if they were kids asking a parent about a sexual situation is drop-dead hilarious, yet as always it is handled so that kids can watch the show, enjoy it, and yet have no idea what they've missed in the way of adult-level jokes.
Episode 410- HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN
This is one of the funniest episodes ever ("sandstorm!"). Comments like, "This movie is equipped with airbags." at the sight of a voluptuous woman in a low-cut dress will have you howling with laughter. "I hate movies where the men wear shorter skirts than the women." says Crow. "Sandstorm, saaannnndstoooorrrrmm..." say the Mad Scientists. This film is actually a "Maciste" movie, but like most of the Italian films starring that character, the name was changed to one more marketable in the USA.
This episode has always been an absolute favorite for me. The sheer goofiness of the story, the costumes, and the fun action in the first part of the film, which is inexplicably followed by an endless scene of people struggling through a sandstorm near what should be the big climax, render this film a bit messy but loads of fun to watch. Wait till you see "Woodsy Owl." "Why is he wearing oven mitts?" asks Crow. You won't care; you'll be laughing too hard.
Episode 816- PRINCE OF SPACE
This show from the Sci-Fi Channel years is a 1959 b/w Japanese children's story about a guy in tights who runs around saving the world from some really terrible actors, whoops I mean aliens, who are clad in equally silly outfits. The film, also known as Starman, is absolutely dreadful even if judged strictly as children's fare. It's slow, nonsensical, poorly dubbed, and offers little suspense even for junior members of the audience. Of course, these qualities make it great fodder for MST3K. You will "like it very much!"
One bonus feature in the set is the inclusion of a shorts collection previously only available on VHS directly from the MST3K Info Club. The most notable short in the collection is ASSIGNMENT: VENEZUELA, originally "MSTed" for a CD-ROM project that was never completed; it was never shown on television and until the tape was released, was never seen except at the second MST3K convention put on the by show's creators back in 1996. The collection also includes the shorts CENTURY 21 CALLING and A CASE OF SPRING FEVER.
Be sure to buy this set as soon as possible. You won't be disappointed. Everything in this set is worth watching many times over as the comedy is very dense and unending till the credits finish rolling. Rhino Video, thank you for this set and please keep them coming! How about Rocketship X-M, King Dinosaur, Lost Continent, Wild Rebels and Monster A-Go-Go for starters! Publish it and we'll buy it!
Your weapons have no effect on ME!
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 07/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a perfect collection. Joel, Mike, the Bots, with songs about pants and host segments about how to make a Killer Shrew, a drink. The movies, Hercules Unchained and Hercules Against the Moon Men, are both great examples on why MST3K has such a huge following. Truly great bad movies, with hunky Heros, sexy evil Queens, lots of short skirts and lots of napping. And Deep Hurting. You thought rocking climbing was bad - Sand storm! Sand storm!
Prince of Space is a good example of a bad Japanese movie, which even the kids can watch. Giants, spaceships, lasers that don't seem to hurt anybody (but do clean your teeth)and bad guys who seem as threatening as my nephews.
Then there is Killer Skrews, also known as doggies in puppet outfits. This movie has lots of people drinking and talking and fighting each other - which seems weird when you remember that death is waiting outside the house with long pointy teeth.
Along with this last movie is 3 bonus shorts: Assignment Venezuela, Century 21 Calling...,A Case Of Spring Fever. This makes the last disc over 135 minutes of MST3K goodness! This shorts were only available on VHS via the MST3K website.
None of the movies were available before (at least not in this MST3K version) so the collection is a great gift for a friend or for yourself."
"Put on your upsetting shorts!"
Andrew McCaffrey | Satellite of Love, Maryland | 07/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Was it just me, or were the movies in the seventh Mystery Science Theater 3000 box set even worse than usual? Maybe it was the fact that the two Hercules movies were particularly loathsome and tedious, but I found this to be one of the most painful 4-set releases that we've seen so far.
Of course, to quote William Shatner in the fifth Star Trek movie, "I want my pain! I need my pain!" Half of the fun of watching MST3K is enduring the horrible films, and after finishing this set, you may emerge a stronger, wiser, but sadder figure.
Here are some quick comments on each of the episodes:
HERCULES UNCHAINED. A Joel episode. The mocking is good in this one, but, wow, this was a painful flick. I can't say that the Hercules genre of filmmaking ever appealed to me, so this one was never going to become my favorite. The plot of this one involves Hercules being a big dope, drinking the "Waters of Forgetfulness" (making him dumber than usual), and therefore not noticing that the strange woman trying to seduce him is his ex-wife. Or something. It's not very good. Oh, and even though the filmmakers declined to include a vial of "Waters of Forgetfulness", I find this such an unmemorable movie, the exact details of the story needed no help exiting my brain.
HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN. A Joel episode. No, this isn't some hidden, undiscovered classic; this is just as hideous as that awful title would suggest. And, no, this isn't Hercules versus the Unification Church (Servo destroys that hope during the opening credits). This was originally aired two episodes after the previous HERCULES movie, but I actually think this contains stronger jokes. Perhaps it took the MST3K writers some time to get into the flow of bad Hercules movies. This movie consists entirely of people riding horses, bad monsters and a horrifically long scene where extras try walking through a sandstorm. This viewing experience truly is Deep Hurting.
PRINCE OF SPACE. A Mike episode. After the sheer horror of sitting through two bad Hercules movies, this one was a joy. It's a bad Japanese, sci-fi, children's movie where some goof-ball superhero jumps around like an idiot and saves the Earth from an evil villain named Krankor ("Crank-whore?!" exclaims Crow T. Robot) who dresses like a chicken and has a particularly annoying laugh. This is one of my favorite episodes from the later years of the show. The movie is hilarious by itself and the riffing is right on the mark. I can watch it again and again (and I will).
THE KILLER SHREWS. A Joel episode. This is your typical bad monster movie, with one aspect making it a little unusual. Instead of the cast being menaced by a man in an ill-fitting, unconvincing costume, the cast is instead menaced by dogs in ill-fitting, unconvincing costumes. Now, MST3K did a variety of films, and this movie is in pretty bad shape physically. I had a lot of trouble just hearing the soundtrack, which made the experience a little difficult. Still, the jokes (especially the jokes about how much alcohol the characters put away) are quite amusing in this one.
Also included on THE KILLER SHREWS disc are four short features -- one of which was included with the original episode, and three available as bonus features. In fact, PROJECT: VENEZUELA has never been seen by the general public before; it was filmed for a CD-ROM project back in the '90s that never materialized.
JUNIOR RODEO DAREDEVILS (Joel) involves a documentary-style insight into what rodeos are like for young folk. Looks pretty dull. The jokes at the expense of the lack of excitement in small-town America are hilarious.
As I mentioned, ASSIGNMENT: VENEZUELA (Mike) has never been seen before, and, in fact, the copy on the DVD still retains the time code stamp on it. The short features a boring oil company employee forced to relocate to Venezuela. He learns that culture shock is no big deal. Mike and the bots give this little oddity the contempt it deserves.
CENTURY 21 CALLING... (Mike) features an utterly bland couple of extremely white teenagers roaming around the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. Mike and the bots have the advantage of living closer to the actual 21st Century than the producers of the short, and can therefore poke fun at the predictions of the future as well as the goofy attempts to make science look fun and exciting. As Crow shouts, "I'm glad to know the future has constant organ music!"
A CASE OF SPRING FEVER (Mike). I'd been eagerly waiting for this one. A guy fixing his couch angrily wishes that he would never see another spring again. A feisty anthropomorphic cartoon spring appears and grants his wish, rendering all of his modern devices inoperable. "So, one clod says one thing and the whole world pays?" Naturally the loaf learns his lesson, turns himself into a spring zealot and proceeds to annoy the living hell out of his friends with his constant spring evangelizing. This one is hilarious from start to finish.
This is quite a good set. I would have preferred an even balance between Joel and Mike, but Mike's appearance on the bonus short features helps make up the difference. More than recommended.
(One additional note. The first printing of the KILLER SHREWS disc accidentally omitted the opening narration on the main feature. If you have one of these copies, check out mst3kinfo dot com or rhino dot com for information on getting a free replacement.)"
Don't hold your breath for seasons, enjoy the sets.
Stephan Manchir | 01/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These are all good episodes, and the additions of shorts always pleases (it's a pity they moved away from shorts in the later seasons).
However, those waiting for seasonal sets are most likely bound for dissappointment, and not just because the 90 minute runtimes make it something best-left to the newer DVD format standard capacities, to save weighing in at several dozen disks.
As far as I know, MST3k only managed rights for the films featured in their episodes under very limited terms; in most cases they need to re-negotiate the rights to make DVDs; and in more than a few cases they managed to, well, slightly annoy the creators (and rightsholders) with their antics. In fact, the rights to show some of the films expired while the show was still on the air! The exceptions are the public domain films, many of which have been released. It's also why you'll see shorts without their 'parent movies'... though I certainly wish they'd make a habit of including the 'host segments' that framed each short; many are more hilarious than the shorts themselves.
So don't deny yourself the treat of MST3k on DVD because you're waiting for the 'complete' set, such a thing is unlikely due to the unique nature of the show. I think Rhino's on the right track mixing it up like this, it gives those who never witnessed the show until its Sci-Fi days, or who left after Joel's departure, to sample the delights (and stumbles) of each of the various eras of the show.
Watch out for snakes.