DVD Review: Mystery Science Theater 3000 (XXXV)

Can you smell the fresh quips roasting in the sky? That’s because they’re making the fresh Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Next Generation. But if your tummy is grumbling, why not indulge in the classic taste of Joel and Mike with the Bots? Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXV reheats the goodness with the distinct flavors of Roger Corman, mummies and moon men. All three of these cinematic ingredients are perfect flavoring for the crew of the Satellite of Love to devour.

Teenage Cave Man (Season Three) is a classic Roger Corman production with the sets being the woods and the costumes being animal skins. The stripped down budget made for a lean, mean Robert Vaughn (Man From U.N.C.L.E.) machine. The film is so short that Joel and the Bots had to endure two short films first. “Aquatic Wizards” is about water skiing fun. “Catching Trouble” is pure old gold that gets torn apart. Why? Because it’s about a guy catching animals in the wilderness and treating the locals rather bad. There’s a sketch about catching the hunter for equal time. Teenage Cave Man has Vaughn going into a forbidden space and discovering a strange monster roaming the land. He brings others to track down the beast and learn the truth about their prehistoric culture. Joel and the Bots are stuck inside the SoL on a rainy day. Nothing they do alleviates the boredom. Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank start fighting and keep it up until the end of the show.

Being From Another Planet (Season Four) is best known as Time Walker. But someone changed the title and redid the credits for a TV reissue. All that matter is that it stars Ben Murphy (The Gemini Man) in a tale of what happens when you find an extra mummy in King Tut’s tomb. Murphy doesn’t seem to care about being too controlling when it comes to examining the mummy in the middle of a classroom. Turns out an X-ray being done by a student causes a lot of trouble. A majority of the film features people being chased around hallways that they keep making Mod Squad references. The invention exchange has the Mad Scientists showing off little figurines that are the part of their Tragic Moments collections. The genius of Billy Mumy is explored by robots covered in toilet paper. The holoclowns arrive to bring some happiness to the beleaguered crew. Tom Servo swears this is the worst movie they ever watched.

12 to the Moon (Season Five) starts off with the short film “Design for Dreaming.” A singing and dancing women takes us into the future according to General Motors This is important since the woman magically appears on the SoL and promises to take Mike and the Bots to a wonderful place. The mads are having fun with Dr. Forrester getting roasted by TV’s Frank. 12 to the Moon takes place in the distance future where the Earth is messed up and scientists must go to the Moon to save humanity. This leads to plenty of jokes about the depiction of life in space from Mike and the Bots since they are experts on orbiting. Things get bad on the ship when the woman adapts the Bots to her needs. Can Mike handle a woman who wants a little change in his life.

Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell (Season Seven) is more sword and sorcery action from Roger Corman’s production company. This is the third of the four of the Deathstalker films as Corman did his best to keep reusing the castle sets that were built down in Mexico. If you haven’t seen the first two, don’t worry since nobody in the movie seems to have seen them either. Deathstalker (John Allen Nelson) has to go South to find a magic gem that matches the one he received from a princess in disguise. The trouble is that an evil wizard (Thom Christopher) has it. He’s not ready to give it up without an old fashion magic and metal beatdown. The sketches include Crow getting a toupee to look more manly with hair instead of a cage on his head. Dr. Forrester is tied up with his mother bedridden from a parasite. Naturally there’s a big joke on how you can get ripped off at a Ren Fair.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXV brings out the best in Mike, Joel and the Bots with dreadful movies. Like great French chefs, they make a feast out of the nasty bits.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The show was shot on video, but you can see the badness on the screen at the lower resolution. The audio is Dolby Digital stereo. The mix allows you to see hear the quips and the bad dialogue.

I Was a Teenage Caveman (12:56) lets Roger Corman talk about his making the film.

You Are There: Launching 12 to the Moon (9:18) let historian Jeff Burr discuss how the film was about making the world cooperate to survive. He gives a lot of context to the production.

Time Walker: Original Version (85:41) is the better cut of the movie. You’ll see Ben Murphy’s hair in a better resolution. The original credits are much better.

Richard Band Remembers (5:12) is the composer’s memory of the score. He scored the gig because him and the music supervisor spoke Italian.

Theatrical Trailer (2:03) makes Time Walker explore the mystery of space and time found in King Tut’s tomb.

Medieval Boogaloo: The Legend of Deathstalker III (11:54) has Thom Christopher discuss his magical role in the film. He is best known for playing Hawk on the second season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. He explains that the sword fighting scene works because he and John Allen Nelson practiced the fight much longer than expected in a Corman production.

Shout! Factory presents Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXV. Starring: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy. Boxset Contents: 4 movies on 4 DVDs. Released: March 29, 2016.

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