Release Date(s)Various (November 9, 2010)
- 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 Volume XIX 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: Robot Monster (Season 1, Episode 7), Bride of the Monster (Season 4, Episode 23), Devil Doll (Season 8, Episode 18), and Devil Fish (Season 9, Episode 19).
The episodes in these boxed sets usually feature two hosted by Joel and two hosted by Mike, which is a good balance. The quality of each episode varies, with some episodes being better than others. Robot Monster is a quintessential B monster movie that only gets better with a nice riffing, Bride of the Monster is a "classic" Ed Wood extravaganza, Devil Doll is the nightmare fuel you’ve been dreaming about, and Devil Fish is an Italian Jaws cash-in that was butchered for home video release. The latter also happens to be one of my all time favorite episodes of the show.
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 Robot Monster, you get an introduction by J. Elvis Weinstein, the Larry Blamire Geeks Out interview, and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Bride of the Monster, you get the Citizen Wood: Making the Bride, Unmaking the Legend documentary, the Inventing the Invention Exchange featurette, and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Devil Doll, you get the interview The Puppet Master: Richard Gordon on Devil Doll and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Devil Fish, you get the MST3K: Origins and Beyond at CONvergence ’09 panel discussion and the movie’s theatrical trailer. 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 and a neat Gypsy figurine in the larger boxed set form.
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