Fan-Favorite Collection is Back in Print May 24th, 2016
from Shout! Factory
It’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” America’s only television show that makes fun of really bad B-movies from the comfort of a spaceship floating above Earth. On May 24th, 2016, Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume Two is back in print and better than ever! In addition to the episodes Cave Dwellers, Pod People, Angels Revenge and the Shorts Collection Volume 1, Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume Two also includes the MST Hour wraps for Cave Dwellers and Pod People. Fans can pre-order their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume Two brings us Cave Dwellers, in which an evil overlord seeking knowledge of a powerful weapon imprisons a wise man, and Ator the barbarian and his pals come to the rescue; Pod People, the tale of a little boy, his pet alien Trumpy, and the alien mother who will stop at nothing to reclaim her son; Angels Revenge, the story of seven beauties who form a paramilitary vigilante squad to shut down a gang that is selling drugs to teens; and Shorts Collection Volume 1, featuring The Home Economics Story, Junior Rodeo Daredevils, Body Care & Grooming, Cheating, A Date With Your Family, Why Study Industrial Arts? and Chicken of Tomorrow.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume II Bonus Feature
· MST Hour Wraps for Cave Dwellers and Pod People
Movie: (1957) Hercules helps Jason, the true king, wrest the throne away from pretender Pelias and his son Iphitus, while wooing the lovely Iole.
First shown: 7/17/93
Opening: J&tB “wing it” with the intro
Invention exchange: The Mads demonstrate the cellular desk, J&tB demonstrate Instant Karma
Host segment 1: Tom has updated the constellations for the ’90s; Crow disapproves
Host segment 2: Crow and Tom want to know about Hamilton Joe Frank and Reynolds
Host segment 3: Crow valiantly performs a solo version if the ‘Match Game’
End: The bots discuss Amazons, then some visit on the Hexfield; Frank is now at the desk
Stinger: “It’s like something out of a bad dream!”
• Pardon if it seems like I’m channeling Leonard Maltin, but I’d give this one two-and-a-half stars. The host segments are fair at best, and the movie is so cut up that it’s almost impossible to follow. It has its moments, but the episode is a bit frustrating.
• This episode was included in Shout!Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XXXII.”
• It’s clear that the Brains chose to make most of their cuts at the commercial breaks, but the result is that half the time the characters are in the midst of one plot development before the commercial, and by the time we get back they’re somewhere else entirely. Important plot information was apparently cut as well. Why does the floor make a sound when Jason crosses it? We’re never told, but it seems an important point to everyone in the movie. How does Herc go from retrieving a discus to fighting a lion? No idea. How do Herc and his pals escape the Amazons? One minute they’re being fed sleeping potions and watching dancers, after the commercial break they’re back on the ship. You almost have to treat each of the eight movie segments separately. The riffing is good, and they have plenty of weird stuff to work with, but I’m afraid this episode is less than the sum of its parts.
• This was a widescreen movie, but in this print we see about half of the screen at any moment. It’s not even pan-and-scan. It just sits in the same spot no matter what’s happening on the screen.
• Callbacks: “Where is the sampo??!” (Day the Earth Froze) “Hey, its’ Commando Cody!”
• As noted in the previous writeup, despite being episode 502, this was the first episode shown in season 5. In the previous writeup, I offered a guess as to why.
• During the invention exchange, the third “instant karma” bag leaks. They keep going.
• Many of the riffs in this episode were used in that MST3K program for Windows 3.1 somebody created. For those who weren’t computing then, it put shadowrama at the bottom of your screen and played one of only about 15 quick sound bites every so often. It got very old very fast and, worse, it turned out to be a very invasive program that was hard to remove. Anybody remember that?
• The first host segment is clever but creating modern constellations that make about as much sense as the old ones do is really not an original idea. That said, they put a great spin on it.
• Arcane reference: something is said to resemble a Jim Dine sculpture.
• Tom Servo channels every naughty third-grader with: “Claude Balls, ladies and gentlemen…”
• Note the completely unremarked-upon box of Capt’n Ron cereal sitting on the desk in the second segment.
• If you’re wondering, they were a trio, Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, composed of Dan Hamilton, Joe Frank Carollo and Tommy Reynolds.
• One I don’t get: When the Amazons surround our heroes and raise their arrows, Crow says, in a very stilted voice, “even the archers are beautiful!” What the heck?
• The Match Game bit, while funny, is another one of those “huh?” sketches.
• One of the cleverest bits comes right at the end, as they sit through the closing credits and Tom explains what happened to the characters after the story. Pretty funny stuff, but why do they sit through the credits when large chunks of the film were excised?
• Mary Jo makes her first physical appearance on the show, and Bridget makes her first appearance since season three, as the Minnesota amazons.
• Cast and crew roundup: Many of the same people also worked on the sequel “Hercules Unchained,” including American executive producer Joseph E. Levine (who also brought you “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”), director Mario Bava (who also directed “Diabolik”), director/screenwriter Pietro Francisci, screenwriters Ennio De Concini and Gaio Frattini, editor Mario Serandrei and score composer Enzo Masetti. Executive assistant Massimo DeRita also worked on “Puma Man” and art director/set designer Flavio Mogherini was the art director on “Diabolik.”
Similarly in front of the camera, Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, Fabrizio Mioni, Mimmo Palmara (who also appears in “Hercules and the Captive Women), Gabriele Antonini, Andrea Fantasia, Aldo Fiorelli, Gino Mattera, Willy Colombini, Fulvio Carrara and Aldo Pini were all in “Hercules Unchained.” In addition, Ivo Garrani was also in Hercules and the Captive Women and Luciana Paoluzzi was also in “The Green Slime.”
• Creditswatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Hair and makeup by Clayton James (one of only two times this season).
• Fave riff: “Stay away from their powerful hind legs!” Honorable mention: “It’s the Andrea Dworkin memorial cemetery!” “Do you have a reservation for Hercules? It might be under Heracles…”
The first 1,000 copies ordered of the upcoming Vol. XXXVI DVD will include a bonus gift containing the 1997 & 1998 Summer Blockbuster Review specials. Act fast: a similar deal on their upcoming “Return of the Living Dead” Blu-ray sold out in 24 hours.
More info here.
(Thanks to Paul for the heads up.)
Joel just sent out an update to the Kickstarter backers
, which has some more information about the Rifftrax/MST3K reunion and their Kickstarter, and also encourages fans to support a Kickstarter related to the great Frank Zappa
by Julie Seabaugh at the AV Club looks at the creation and evolution of Comedy Central, with comments from Joel and many others who were there.
…including a “Force Awakens” and /or “Game of Thrones episode 1” riff. Oh my
MST3k episodes 909- GORGO
and 822- OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK
have recently been added to the Shout Factory TV website.
Thanks to Paul for the heads up.
Another edition of Frank’s “Cartoon Dump” will be presented Monday, April 4, at 8:30 p.m. at QED, 27-16 23rd Ave. in Astoria, New York. More info here
As an example, name the only host segment ever shot outdoors. (Answer: the “sylvan glen” moment from episode 816- PRINCE OF SPACE. Every single one of you knew that, didn’t you?)
The stumper I used to use, which I have more recently discovered most MSTies have no problem with, it turns out, was: What was the name of the cocker spaniel (sadly, he has since “gone to live at a big farm”) featured in episode 904- WEREWOLF, and who also appears in the ACEG?
You all know that one, don’t you? See? The hard ones aren’t that hard anymore.
Do you have one like that? And can you think of REAL hard ones?
Get all the news, including info on the meat raffle (we have those around here too) here.
And before anybody asks, Josh tweeted today that he has politely declined to take part.