Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXX

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Aug 03, 2015
  • Format: DVD
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Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXX

Director

Various

Release Date(s)

Various (July 29, 2014)

Studio(s)

Shout! Factory
  • Film/Program Grade: B+
  • Video Grade: B-
  • Audio Grade: B-
  • Extras Grade: B+
  • Overall Grade: B+

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXX (DVD)

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Review

WE’VE GOT MOVIE SIGN!!!

Here we are again with Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Shout! Factory’s Volume XXX 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 Black Scorpion (Season 1, Episode 13), Outlaw of Gor (Season 5, Episode 19), The Projected Man (Season 9, Episode 1), and It Lives By Night (Season 10, Episode 10).

The episodes in these boxed sets usually feature two hosted by Joel and two hosted by Mike, which is a good balance, but in this case, there’s only a single Joel episode. The quality of each episode varies, with some episodes being better than others. The Black Scorpion is your typical monster B movie with the S.O.L. crew along for the ride. Outlaw of Gor is a fan favorite episode, featuring Jack Palance in a terrible and forgotten movie. The Projected Man is another one of those episodes with a lot what makes MST3K what it is, including evil scientists and experiments gone wrong. And last but not least, there’s It Lives By Night, which is another fan favorite (however, not one of mine). It features a guy who is slowly turning into a vampire bat.

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 Black Scorpion, there’s the documentary Stinger of Death: Making The Black Scorpion, as well as the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Outlaw of Gor, you get a trio of featurettes: Writer of Gor: The Novels of John NormanDirector of Gor: On Set with John “Bud” Cardos, and Producer of Gor: Adventures with Harry Alan Towers. For The Projected Man, there’s the Shock to the System: Creating The Projected Man featurette and the movie’s theatrical trailer. And for It Lives By Night, there’s the trailer for the MST3K-related movie The Frank. 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

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