Release Date(s)Various (March 16, 2010)
- Film/Program Grade: B+
- Video Grade: B-
- Audio Grade: B-
- Extras Grade: B+
- Overall Grade: B+
WE’VE GOT MOVIE SIGN!!!
Here we are again with Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Shout! Factory’s Volume XVII DVD set. These boxed sets are released tri-annually with some nice extras and better quality episodes than what you might find floating around online or on bootlegs. The price is kind of steep, but if you’re a fan of the show, you know that these sets are definitely worth picking up.
I’ve gone into a good amount of detail about MST3K and my love for it in my review of the movie, so I won’t bother getting into that. We’ll keep things short and sweet and just cover the set itself. With this release, you get the following four episodes: The Crawling Eye (Season 1, Episode 1), The Beatniks (Season 4, Episode 15), The Final Sacrifice (Season 9, Episode 10), and Blood Waters of Dr. Z (Season 10, Episode 5).
The episodes in these boxed sets usually feature two hosted by Joel and two hosted by Mike, which is a good balance. The quality of each episode varies, with some episodes being better than others. The Crawling Eye is the first episode of the show on a major cable network, and is fitting since it’s a B monster movie. The Beatniks is another one of those 50’s troubled teen movies, but this time it’s about a young rock star gone bad. The Final Sacrifice, a fan favorite (as well as one my all-time favorites), is a Canadian thrill... sorry, I couldn’t finish typing that out without laughing. Last but not least, Blood Waters of Dr. Z (known as Zaat to bad movie fans), tells the story of a mad scientist that turns himself into a walking catfish. So it’s a great line-up of episodes, to be sure.
As far as image and sound quality, everything is sourced from the original master tapes, which were on video. The episodes look generally good, especially in the latter years of the show, with an occasional minor green band or video-source anomaly here or there. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles. Short of Shout! Factory putting some extra money into producing these sets in high definition, these are definitely a major step up from circulating bootlegs of the show.
As for the extras, you get a few from disc to disc, most of them newly-produced just for this set. For The Crawling Eye, you get an introduction by Joel Robinson and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For The Beatniks, you get The Main Event: Crow Vs. Crow panel discussion, a set of MST Hour Wraps, and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For The Final Sacrifice, you get an interview with Bruce J. Mitchell (Rowsdower). For Blood Waters of Dr. Z, you get two of the movie’s TV promos, the movie’s theatrical trailer, and a stills gallery. Also included (as is standard with all of the MST3K boxed sets) are 4 paper insert reproductions of the artwork from each DVD in the set.
All in all, this is another solid boxed set release of MST3K goodness from the fine folks at Shout! Factory. If you’re a fan, you’ll definitely want to pick it up. Now push the button, Frank.
- Tim Salmons