A DVD Review
?Mystery Science Theater 3000? (known among fans as MST3K) featured a man (at first Joel Hodgson, later Mike Nelson) forced to orbit the earth aboard the Satellite of Love with his two robot pals, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot. Each week, in a bizarre attempt to rule the world, the evil Dr. Forrester and his bumbling assistant would force them to watch some of the worst movies ever made. in a bizarre attempt to rule the world. The result was one of the funniest and cleverest shows on American television.
Deliverance meets The Creature from the Black Lagoon in this Corman quickie. In a small southern town, leeches are enlarged by (what else?) nuclear radiation and soon commence their obligatory attacks against the townsfolk. They are destroyed by the local squared-jawed Game Warden. The film is, of course, abysmal (it’s a sad state of affairs when the opening credits are the most original and riveting part of a film); featuring “monsters” that are quite obviously men wearing trash bags dogpaddling in a swamp. It is preceded by a painfully dated serial starring “Crash” Corrigan entitled “Undersea Kingdom: Part 1,” which is ostensibly about Atlantis, yet features killer robots and tanks. Both feature and short are ripped to shreds by Joel and the Bots; making this episode one of the high points of season four.
A group of middle-aged “teenage” aliens try to turn the earth into a pasture for their Gargon herds to graze, at the expense of its current inhabitants. They are stopped by one of their own, a revolutionary named Derrick. Combining a giant shadow-puppet lobster, duct-tape clothing, an awkward romance, communist undertones, and a vaguely creepy old man, Teenagers from Outer Space is one of the strangest pulp Sci-Fi’s of the 1950s. Add to that mix the Satellite of Love, and you have classic MST3K. Not to be missed.
The first of two westerns shown on MST3K features a female sheriff seeking revenge on the men that killed her husband. Featuring absurdly bad editing, references to the “moon and stars” in daylight scenes, a bedroom in a hallway, and a tendency for characters to appear in two places at once, it’s no surprise that this one was a Corman.
Mr. B’s Lost Shorts: A compilation of short films from various MST3K episodes, including:
Mr. B Natural:
Easily the most disturbing short they’ve every played. The androgynous “Spirit of Music” teaches a young boy about how music can make him popular. Mr. B Natural is an infamous figure, referred back to time and again during the show’s run.X Marks the Spot:
A man killed in a car accident is put on trial for reckless driving. Sort of a proto-Defending Your Life. Worth a look.Hired! Part 1:
Joel and the Bots show no mercy towards this expos? on the trials and tribulations of a door-to-door car salesman.Design for Dreaming:
A woman dances her way through a General Motors commercial in what is probably the lowest point of the entire series. An absolute waste of time.Johnny at the Fair:
Negligent parents lose their toddler at the Canadian National Exhibition. Thankfully, hilarity (and Joe Louis) ensues.Are You Ready for Marriage:
A young couple is educated on the meaning of marriage, resulting in a cringe-inducing look at the mentality of the ’50s. A classic, not to mention Mike Nelson’s only appearance in the set.
No extras are included on the disc and the episodes are not the greatest in the series, but this set is a good deal on a bunch of very good episodes that you may not have purchased otherwise. Available at Amazon.com for $44.96