Release Date(s)Various (July 13, 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 XVIII 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: Lost Continent (Season 2, Episode 8), Crash of the Moons (Season 4, Episode 17), The Beast of Yucca Flats (Season 6, Episode 21), and Jack Frost (Season 8, Episode 13).
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. Lost Continent is probably one of the more tedious movies in the MST3K catalogue, which is saying a lot, but it’s also a fan favorite. The B movie fest Crash of the Moons is prime territory for Joel and the Bots to dwell in. The Beast of Yucca Flats, another fan favorite, is a Coleman Francis crap masterpiece, one that even the S.O.L. crew can’t abide easily. Jack Frost, a personal favorite, is a Russian fairy tale movie originally titled Morozko, but later redubbed and dumped onto American soil.
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 Lost Continent, you get an introduction by Frank Conniff and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Crash of the Moon, the sole extra is a set of MST Hour Wraps. For The Beast of Yucca Flats, you get the documentary No Dialogue Necessary: Making an “Off Camera Masterpiece”, the featurette Coleman Francis: The Cinematic Poet of Parking, the movie’s theatrical trailer, and a stills gallery. For Jack Frost, you get an introduction by Kevin Murphy. 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.
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