Release Date(s)Various (March 24, 2015)
- 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 XXXII 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: Space Travelers (Season 4, Episode 1), Hercules (Season 5, Episode 2), Radar Secret Service (Season 5, Episode 20), and San Francisco International (Season 6, Episode 14).
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. I’ve always felt that Space Travelers was one of oddest of the show. While the film isn’t very good, I wouldn’t necessarily consider it MST3K material. Hercules is much better by comparison, more in the vein of what the show needs in order to work. Radar Secret Service is one of the better Mike episodes, and San Francisco International is actually one of my favorite episodes of the show. How can you go wrong with Pernell Roberts and Clu Gulager trying to stop a terrorist incident at an airport? Well... they did go wrong, technically, but bad TV movie fans appreciate it.
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 Space Travelers, there’s an introduction to the episode by Frank Conniff, the featurette Marooned: A Forgotten Odyssey, and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Hercules, there’s also an introduction to the episode by Frank Conniff, the featurette Barnum of Baltimore: The Early Films of Joseph E. Levine, and the movie’s theatrical trailer. For Radar Secret Service, again there’s an introduction to the episode by Frank Conniff and the MST-UK With Trace & Frank segment. And on San Francisco International, there’s the Sampo Speaks!: A Brief History of Satellite News segment, but no Frank intro. 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 box 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