A man and his puppets in space watching cheesy movies…sounds crazy, no? But here on the Satellite of Love, you might say each one of us is a captive audience, watching gifted writers and performers try to make sense of it all without losing their minds. Why do we continue to treasure this oddball TV series? That can be answered in one word: funny!
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beloved Mystery Science Theater 3000, you are invited to enjoy four never-before-released episodes as well as two long-out-of-print bonus episodes that marked the seismic transition that occurred when Joel passed the torch on to Mike. A new look back at the history of the show helps us blow out the candles on a cake that only gets sweeter with time.
Titles Include: Moon Zero Two, The Day The Earth Froze, The Leech Woman & Gorgo. Plus a bonus disc with a double feature of classic episodes: Mitchell and The Brain That Wouldnt Die!
Has it really been a quarter century since Mystery Science Theater 3000
made its debut on television? The quirky comedy series--one part kids' puppet show, one part Saturday afternoon creature feature, and a whole lot of smart, razor-sharp comedy--not only helped to validate the undeniable pleasure of poking fun at lousy movies, but also brought a fresh, pop culture-driven perspective that has been adopted and adapted by dozens of subsequent programs, comedy troupes, websites, and even series creator Joel Hodgson's Cinematic Titanic and head writer/host Mike Nelson's Rifftrax. The 25th Anniversary Edition set, which arrives in a five-disc, limited-edition tin, presents five of the Peabody Award-winning series' most memorable episodes, as well as several substantive retrospective featurettes that trace MST3K
's progress from humble public access programming to a cult favorite for viewers and critics alike. Six experiments in all are featured on the set, four of which have never been released on home video, including one of the show's best, the delirious Russian/Finnish fantasy The Day the Earth Froze
from season four, which made the word Sampo
a household term among MiSTies. The rest of the set comprises the Hammer sci-fi feature Moon Zero Two
, from MST3K
's debut season, as well as the black-and-white monster chiller The Leech Woman
and the UK giant monster rally Gorgo
, both culled from the show's final seasons on air. As a bonus, two long-out-of-print episodes--Mitchell
, which marked the end of Hodgson's tenure on the show, and the creepy-sleazy Brain That Wouldn't Die
, which kicked off the Mike Nelson era--are presented as a double feature on the fifth disc.
For completists, the return of these two fan favorites to the home video fold is a genuine treat, but the extensive featurettes are equally valuable in terms of presenting a glimpse of the series as a whole. The genre documentary company Ballyhoo Motion Pictures does a typically stellar job with the three-part Return to Eden Prairie, which traces the history of MST3K from Hodgson's early concepts through its early execution on Minneapolis-St. Paul's KTMA and transition to the Comedy Channel and later Comedy Central. Most of the main writer-performers, including Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, and Kevin Murphy, as well as producer Jim Mallon and prop designers Jef Maynard, Patrick Brantseg, and Beez McKeever, provide their own perspective, which is buttressed by extensive on-camera and behind-the-scenes footage from the KTMA era. Ballyhoo is also behind the short but sweet Last Ride of Joel Robinson, which details the various ideas behind and final execution of Hodgson's last episode, and the Ninth Wonder of the World, a fairly lengthy and laugh-free look at the making of Gorgo that details, among other facts, director Eugene Lourie's work on Chaplin's Limelight and the fast-and-loose careers of the King Brothers, who produced the film. Writer Mary Jo Pehl--the once-and-future Pearl Forrester--is profiled in a new Life After MST3K interview, while historian Constantine Nasr does his best to explain the curious, genre-bending Moon Zero Two and the influence of Stanley Kubrick upon the final product. Mike Nelson's wrap-arounds for The MST Hour's broadcast of Day the Earth Froze, a brief but amusing tribute from Leonard Maltin, and a high-camp interview with Brain actress Marilyn Neilson round out the major featurettes, which are accompanied by theatrical trailers for four of the six pictures. --Paul Gaita