Release Date(s)Various (March 26, 2013)
- 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 XXVI 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 Magic Sword (Season 4, Episode 11), Alien From L.A. (Season 5, Episode 16), Danger!! Death Ray (Season 6, Episode 20), and The Mole People (Season 8, Episode 3).
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. Bert I. Gordon returns with the medieval mess of a movie The Magic Sword; Kathy Ireland strikes dirt (minus the pay) with her annoying and nasally performance in Alien From L.A.; Danger!! Death Ray takes the super secret spy who’s out to stop a terrorist outfit from using the aforementioned device for their own evil purposes to the lowest depths imaginable; and last but not least, The Mole People serves up a perfectly rotten dish of B movie monsters and madness that MST3K fans are plenty accustomed to.
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 Magic Sword, you get the Bert I. Gordon: The Amazing Colossal Filmmaker featurette, a set of MST Hour Wraps, and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Alien From L.A., you get an interview with director Albert Pyun and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Danger!! Death Ray, you get the movie’s theatrical trailer and the featurette Life After MST3K: Mike Nelson. For The Mole People, you get the documentary Of Mushrooms and Madmen: Making The Mole People and the movie’s theatrical trailer. 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