Well here we are with the fourteenth DVD collection of MST3K and the second release from Shout Factory. Joel, Mike, Tom Servo and Crow are all back to make fun of the worst films that can be thrown at them and make them at the very least bearable for the rest of us. This is a pretty well rounded collection. We get two starring Joel from seasons 1 and 4 and we get two starring Mike from season 10.
While most MST3K fans must be clamoring for a complete season or series for that matter, they must make due with these four episodes at a time collections. This is due to the fact that it’s really damn hard to get the rights to release these films as episodes on DVD and I’m sure quite pricey too at times. So they get the rights to the ones they can and then release a DVD whenever they’ve got four of them. At least that’s how it seems to me.
Well this is a pretty decent collection. Beyond the above stated facts you get two horror films, one which stars Joe Estevez (yes, Martin Sheen’s brother!), a sci-fi film and a western-type film starring MST3K fav Joe Don Baker.
Well, there really isn’t much else to say about the collection so I’ll just go ahead and let the episodes speak for themselves.
Mad Monster 12/12/1989
From Season 1 we get a B-horror film from 1942 about a scientist who was mocked by his colleagues and gets revenge by turning his dimwitted gardener into a ferocious wolf man. This is an okay episode, there are some pretty good laughs but there are many unfunny parts as well. The show really hadn’t hit its stride yet.
Manhunt In Space 9/19/1992
From Season 4 we get a B sci-fi film from 1956 that is actually just episodes of the show Rocky Jones, Space Ranger edited together. This is one is pretty damn funny. There are many innuendos about Rocky’s relationship with his sidekick Winky. Seriously, what kind of name is Winky anyway?
From Season 10 we get a low budget horror film from 1990 about a group of kids who die in a car accident but don’t know it. Now a creature known as the Soultaker (Joe Estevez) is out to collect their souls, but they’re not ready to give into death just yet. This episode is hilarious! Not just from Mike and the bots, but the movie itself is pretty hilarious to; Estevez is very entertaining. This a noteworthy episode, not only for Estevez’s performance but Joel shows up putting Joel and Mike in the same episode and also TV’s Frank shows up for a surprise visit.
Final Justice 6/20/1999
Also from Season 10 we get this low budget western of sorts from 1985 starring MST3K alumni Joe Don Baker (lovingly referred to as Joe Don by the crew). In this film Texas Deputy Sheriff Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III (Joe Don) is a fish out of water when he has to escort an Italian Mobster back to Italy and play by their rules in their land. After being subjected to Joe Don’s Mitchell these guys have it out for him and rip him apart once again in this film. This is easily the best episode of the collection.
The show is presented in fullscreen 1:33.1. Sound is in Stereo. The Season 1 episode one looks pretty bad, but the later episodes look pretty good. The movies themselves all look pretty bad, but then again, if they were good films they wouldn’t be here. Sound on the films isn’t the best but sound on the guys commentary is great.
Original Mad Monsters Theatrical Trailer
New Interview with Joe Estevez: (5 min.) Estevez talks about how much fun it was to work on the film itself then how much he enjoyed it being mocked by MST3K.
New Interview with Final Justice writer/producer/director Greydon Clark: (4 min.) Like the Estevez interview, he talks about making the film then being honored to have it appear on the show.
Cheap Seats Without Ron Parker: (3 min.) Cheap Seats is a show where guys make fun of videos they watch then perform sketches also poking fun. So Mike, Tom and Crow make fun of them while they are performing their sketches and ripping of their idea. This is pretty funny.
Not a perfect collection of MST3K episodes but some pretty good ones, especially Final Justice (poor Joe Don!) If you’re an MST3K fanatic you already own this. If you’re just getting into this show any of them is worth renting but there are certainly better ones out there to win you over.
Shout Factory presents Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XIV. Created by Joel Hodgson. Starring Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu and Kevin Murphy. Running time: 360 minutes on 4 discs. Not Rated. Released on DVD: February 3, 2009. Available at Amazon.com.