Disc News: MST3K Volume 22 descends in December

The TV series that perfected the art of talking during movies returns. Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXII packs four films including Time of the Apes and Mighty Jack. Those two films were thought doomed to never make it to DVD since they were distributed by Sandy Frank. But here they are. Time of the Apes supposedly angered the mogul when Joel and the Bots sang the “Sandy Frank Song.” Here’s the exciting press release from Shout! Factory:

Our long cultural nightmare is over. On December 6, Shout! Factory, in association with Best Brains, Inc., will release Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXII, a 4-DVD set that includes Time Of The Apes, Mighty Jack, The Violent Years, The Brute Man and a cornucopia of extras worthy of the holiday season. All four episodes are previously unreleased on DVD, and Time Of The Apes and Mighty Jack are two of the most beloved and most requested episodes of the comedy phenomenon!

Disc 1 of Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXII features Time Of The Apes, which enjoys a mythical cult status among MSTies. Adapted (i.e., shredded and stitched into incoherence) from the 1974 Japanese series Saru No Gundan, Time Of The Apes follows the travails of a scientist and two small children who are accidentally frozen and thaw into a future ruled by apes. The plot may sound familiar, but the riffs are absolutely unique.

Over on Disc 2 we have the long-awaited Mighty Jack, one of the funniest episodes of one of the funniest TV series ever made. The Japanese apparently had a license to kill television when they handed this prized Tsuburaya production to Sandy Frank. Long before “junk bond” joined the English lexicon, the 007-ish exploits of Mighty Jack — a government organization created to defeat the notorious crime syndicate known as “Q” — took everything that was bad about cool and thrilling espionage movies and threw the rest out. Fortunately for us, Joel and the ‘bots had a license to riff. And fortunately for you, Shout! Factory has a license to release it on DVD.

Next up, The Violent Years is a tale from 1956 of girls gone wild. Mike and the ‘bots take on this low-budget black-and-white potboiler about a neglected rich girl and her hardened gang of babes who, thanks to inside information from her unwitting father, always manage to stay one step ahead of the police. In this delirious episode, we find the Mads “softening to reach a wider audience,” which includes performing their new theme song, “Living In Deep 13.” The DVD also includes the 1952 short film A Young Man’s Fancy, wherein a visiting young man prefers the household electrical appliances to the teenage daughter.

Last but not least, Mystery Science Theater 3000 presents The Brute Man. Rondo Hatton plays a disfigured man, a/k/a “The Creeper,” who hunts down and kills the people responsible for his deformity. During his downtime, he falls for a blind woman and engages in some light felony by stealing to pay for an operation to restore her sight. She may regret that. The DVD includes the 1948 short film The Chicken Of Tomorrow. Remember the stylish sequence in Casino that takes us through the mechanics of the operation? It’s like that, except with chicken farming and without the style.

Bonus Features Include:

* New Introduction By Mary Jo Pehl
* Origin Of The Creeper: Birth Of A B-Movie Icon
* Introductions By August Ragone, author of Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters
* The Making Of MST3K (1997)
* Mystery Science Theater Hour Wraps
* Ed-ucation: Archival Interviews with Delores Fuller & Kathy Wood
* The DVD Menus of MST3K
* 4 Exclusive Mini-Posters By Artist Steve Vance

Available at Amazon.com.

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