Release Date(s)Various (July 23, 2013)
- 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 XXVII 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: The Slime People (Season 1, Episode 8), Rocket Attack U.S.A. (Season 2, Episode 5), Village of the Giants (Season 5, Episode 23), and The Deadly Mantis (Season 8, Episode 4).
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. The Slime People is ripe for uproarious riffing as it’s a B monster movie with no budget but loads of unintentional laughs; Rocket Attack U.S.A. is freezing from being left out in cold war during the height of the Red Scare; Village of the Giants looks up the noses of its stars, literally, as the behemoth teens terrorize and attempt to take over the community that they live in; and The Deadly Mantis answers the mating call of the giant bug genre that was all the rage during the 50s and rubs its mandibles together with terror. A fine set of episodes, when all is said and done.
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 The Slime People, you get an interview with actress Judith (Morton) Fraser and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Rocket Attack U.S.A., you get the featurette Life After MST3K: Trace Beaulieu. For Village of the Giants, you get an interview with actress Joy Harmon and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For The Deadly Mantis, you get an introduction by Mary Jo Pehl, the Chasing Rosebud: The Cinematic Life of William Alland featurette, 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.
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