Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Joel Hodgson, Mike Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Jim Mallon
Directed by Kevin Murphy
Distributed by Shout! Factory
For ten seasons and one feature film, fans of this television phenomenon have ridden along on the satellite of love happily and without a care in the world. Why? Because this series more than any other captured what it was like to hang out with old -- and genuinely funny -- friends while watching bad movies. To celebrate two decades of fandom, the good folks over at Shout! Factory have assembled quite a package for us! The only problem? The questionable selection of episodes.
There are four slices of weirdness from the famed show here including the following films: Laserblast, First Spaceship on Venus, Werewolf, and Future War. Of the four, the only ones really worth watching over again are the laughably bad Laserblast (which was the last episode to air on Comedy Central before Sci-Fi picked the show up) and the not-so-old Future War, in which toy dinosaurs, a Jean-Claude Van Damme look alike, and Robert Z'Dar tango to the death! How the other two were picked for inclusion here as part of this set is totally beyond me, especially with so many hours and hours of stuff to choose from. This package should have been comprised of nothing short of the best of the best. Sadly, it is not.
Yet, there is a bright side! For one thing, the packaging! Included in the metal tin are the four films, a Crow statuette, and other goodies that will surely bring a smile to your face. Better yet, unlike the other featureless DVD's that Rhino Video puts out, we actually get a bit of supplemental goodness to sink our teeth into.
First up is a three-part documentary that is broken up over three of the set's four DVD's and offers fans a look at the series' rich (and not so rich) history. Filled with current interviews and mucho insight, to say this doc is thorough is a bit of an understatement. In fact, this alone is a must-have for fans. In addition to that we'll also find the forty-minute long reunion panel that took place at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con. Throw in a few trailers, and boom -- instant chicken fried gold.
Mike, Joel, Cambot, Gypsy, Tom Servo, Crow, and company have provided us with many laughs that continue on to this day. Now that Shout! Factory is doling out their stuff, maybe we can continue getting proper DVD releases of this incredible bit of TV history. We can only hope! Rock on!
3 1/2 out of 5
3 out of 5