Release Date(s)Various (September 25, 2018)
- 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 The Lost and Found Collection DVD set. These boxed sets are released semi-regularly 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.
In the case of The Lost and Found Collection, two previously-released MST3K boxed sets, Volumes XIV and XVII, have gone out of print due to Shout! Factory losing the rights to episodes featuring the movies Soultaker and The Final Sacrifice. Rather than sitting on the rest of the episodes in those sets, they’ve decided to repackage and re-release them. Better to keep them in print as long as possible, right?
I’ve gone into a good amount of detail about MST3K and my love for it in the past, so I won’t bother getting into that. Instead, we’ll keep things short and sweet and just cover the set itself. With this release, you get the following six episodes: The Crawling Eye (Season 1, Episode 1), Mad Monster (Season 1, Episode 3), Manhunt in Space (Season 4, Episode 13), The Beatniks (Season 4, Episode 15), Blood Waters of Dr. Z (Season 10, Episode 5), and Final Justice (Season 10, Episode 8). For those keeping track, that’s 4 episodes hosted by Joel Hodgson and 2 episodes hosted by Mike Nelson.
The episodes in these sets usually vary when it comes to their quality with some episodes being better than others. The Crawling Eye is the first episode of the show on a major cable network, and is fitting since it’s a B grade monster movie; Mad Monster features a crazy mad scientist and his werewolf creation running amok; the sci-fi stinker Manhunt in Space features reworked episodes of the 1950s TV show Rocky Jones, Space Ranger; The Beatniks is another one of those troubled teen movies, but this time it’s about a young rock star gone bad; Blood Waters of Dr. Z (otherwise known as Zaat) tells the story of a mad scientist who turns himself into a walking killer catfish; and last, but not least, Joe Don Baker returns to MST3K in suitably sleazy form as a Texas Deputy Sheriff out to get his man who is on the run in Italy in Final Justice.
As far as image and sound quality, everything is sourced from the original master tapes, which were on standard definition video. The episodes generally look 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 or YouTube videos of the show.
As for the extras, you get a few from disc to disc, all of them the same as before. For The Crawling Eye, you get an introduction by Joel Hodgson and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Mad Monster, you get the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Manhunt in Space, there are no extras. For The Beatniks, you get The Main Event: Crow Vs. Crow panel discussion, a set of MST Hour Wraps, and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Blood Waters of Dr. Z, you get two of the movie’s TV promos, the movie’s theatrical trailer, and a stills gallery. And for Final Justice, you get an interview entitled Greydon Clark on MST3K, as well as a segment of Mike and the Bots riffing on an episode of the ESPN show Cheap Seats Without Ron Parker.
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 and you didn’t have any of the previously-released boxed sets that are now out of print, you’ll definitely want to get this one. Now push the button, Frank.
- Tim Salmons