MST3K does Ed Wood's The Sinister Urge – DVD Review


Studio: Rhino
Release Date: May 16, 2006
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 4
Running Time: 375 Minutes
MSRP: $59.95


Joel Hodgson

Cast (for the show):

Michael J. Nelson….Mike Nelson
Trace Beaulieu….Crow T. Robot/Dr. Clayton Forrester
Kevin Murphy….Tom Servo
Jim Mallon….Gypsy
Frank Conniff….TV’s Frank

Cast (for the film):

Kenne Duncan….Lt. Matt Carson
Duke Moore….Sgt. Randy Stone
Jean Fontaine….Gloria Henderson
Carl Anthony….Johnny Ryde
Dino Fantini….Dirk Williams
Fred Mason….Officer Kline
Conrad Brooks….Connie

The show:

Mike, Tom Servo, and Crow are at it again, this time with the infamous Edward D. Wood, Jr.’s The Sinister Urge. This film has been, up until this point, unavailable on DVD and what better way to watch this it than with these three comedians by your side.

The Sinister Urge is classic Wood. The acting is more wooden than a tree, the dialogue is terrible, and the shots are boring and poorly framed. Not to mention Ed’s ability to film things that are completely unimportant like people walking to and from their car all the time. Half the scenes in this film are two people sitting in a room talking. Be it the cops talking about how to solve the crime or the pornographers talking about how to get more money out of porn.

And the story screams Wood. A girl is murdered. It’s the third in recent weeks. The cops, Wood regulars Kenne Duncan and Duke Moore, believe it’s tied to a local porn operation (often referred to as smut) that they want to put a stop to. Meanwhile the pornographers are trying to out smart the cops and keep their bosses “The Syndicate” happy. For some reason porn seems to be sold at both the local pizza parlor and ice cream parlor. Wood himself even makes a rare (his first since Glen or Glenda) on screen appearance in a fight at the pizza parlor!

We learn that the women are murdered because they’ve found out too much about “The Syndicate.” However their hit man goes beyond his call of duty and kills one of the women, just cause he likes to kill. In a very Wood moment the cops send one of their men out to the park, where all the murders have been happening, in drag to try and call out the murder.

Actor Conrad Brooks says it best in the intro: “If you love Ed Wood, you’ll love this movie.”

The funny thing is: This is a film about how terrible the porn industry is, after this film that’s all Wood did.

Mike, Tom and Crow are in top form in this episode of “MST3K”, but then again, Wood gives them lots to work with. With bad acting, dialogue and cinematography (“And This is why Ed Wood gets final cut.”) these three are never left without wise cracks. Officer Kline gets the brunt of the jokes. “No, Kline, don’t take off your clothes!”

Like with all “MST3K” episodes there is drama going on outside the film they are viewing. TV’s Frank has gone insane and plans on blowing up Deep 13. If this happens then Mike will be trapped in space forever, so they have to help Dr. Clayton stop TV’s Frank. These side stories are always the weakest part of this show, the jokes never being half as funny as when they are making fun of the film.

We also get a short film before the feature called Keeping Neat And Clean, a hilarious short on it’s own right about good hygiene that is VERY dated.

The other films included in The “Mystery Science Theater 3000” Collection Vol. 9 include: The Incredibly Strange Creature: Or Why I Stopped Living and Became a Mixed-Up Zombie, Women of the Prehistoric Planet, & Wild Rebels.

From Left To Right: Tom, Mike & Crow, yucking it up.

The DVD:

VIDEO: How does it look?
(Presented with a 4.3:1 full screen aspect ratio)
This is an old film and has tons of scratches on it. Frankly I think that just adds to its character. I’m pretty sure the shots of the driving cop cars is the same footage used in Plan 9 From Outer Space.The new portions of the show look just fine.

Score: 5/10

AUDIO: How does it sound?
(Mono Surround)

This in an old film with flat, mono sound. And the new portions sound fine.

Score: 5/10


Special Intro by Conrad Brooks: Conrad starred in every Ed Wood film. He talks about how after making Glen or Glenda in 1953, Ed Wood started production on a film called Rock N Roll Hell. The film never got finished but a scene was shot where Conrad and Ed fight in a pizza parlor. This scene was later used in The Sinister Urge. He then says that the film was made in 1952 and released in 1956. However, there’s a scene where three of Wood’s posters appear in the background, Jail Bait (1954), Bride Of The Monster (1955), and The Violent Years (1956). How could it have been filmed in 1952 if these posters are in the film? And lists the films release date as 1961. hmmm…….. He also claims he was the one jumping out of the moving car as it went over the hill, but the character in that scene was the hit man, Dirk, played by Dino Fantini. Maybe Conrad was the stunt double.

Not a lot of special features but if you’re an Ed Wood fan, this little bit with Conrad is pretty sweet.

Score: 3/10

InsidePulse’s Ratings for Mystery Science Theater 3000 does The Sisters Urge
(OUT OF 10)