In the not to distant past, 2015 A.D., a bunch of nerdy fans brought back a show from TV...
Last December, the fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000
rose up in droves and donated what they could to bring the show back from oblivion (and YouTube clip circulation), helping fund the new cast and crew for 14 episodes that will premiere later this year for a yet-to-be-announce online distribution. It was a magnificent benchmark in crowdfunding, as it outperformed the then-highest grossing campaign, Veronica Mars
, and marked the second time the fans of the show helped bring it back. (The first being in 1996 with a letter-writing campaign that saw it go from Comedy Central to the Sci-Fi Network.)
Behold, the only thing greater than yourself.
While the show is currently in pre-production, the awesome people at Shout! Factory are
here to remind fans what it is they actually helped bring back. Today, we see the release of Volume 35 to the iconic riffing series, presenting four new movies never before available on DVD, which have only seen the light of day through tape circulation: Teenage Cave Man
(1958); Being From Another Planet
(AKA: Time Walker
, 1982); 12 To The Moon
(1960); and Deathstalker and the Warriors From Hell
(AKA: Deathstalker III
, 1988). Every episode has been cleaned up and restored to its original cut, some including production slates that were only seen by those in production rooms and broadcast houses.
As with any MST3K volume, they deliver the best of both worlds by giving you two episodes with Joel Hodgson and two with Mike Nelson. The fanbase may forever be torn in half between the two former hosts, but either way, this set will make either type of supporter happy. The jokes on many of them, however, are hit-and-miss. With any kind of riffing show, pop-culture references are key, and because we're now delving into episodes that are 20-25 years old, there's a lot of stuff that's likely to be lost on a younger generation. But the argument can always be made that not everyone got every joke even when episodes were brand-new, so it can feel like you're dealing with the same issue in a different decade.
What is it? It's gruesome worms of hate! ...Feels like spaghetti, though.
Of course, no MST3K set would be complete without special features presented by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, which in this set has provided a little something for every film. Three of the features include brief documentaries about how they came to be created and eventually filmed. The one for 12 To The Moon
is particularly interesting, discussing how a sci-fi film with optimism came to be in 1960. Another notable addition is composer Richard Band remembering his thoughts on Time Walker
, reflecting on the care taken to add an orchestral score to the film. The additional bonus with every set is the four collector posters inside from each custom DVD cover
If you're a super-fan of the series, it is totally worth your cash. Yes, there have been 34 previous volumes of the show, and that argument could be made for every single one of them. However, you're not just buying four half-hour comedies; you're getting over eight hours of content between four films from a beloved series. And it's a series that's set to become notable again in a short frame of time. So for casual fans, or those wanting to know what this is all about, this might make for
a good starting point.