These may not be the best Mystery Science
Theater 3000 (the now defunct TV show that mocked really bad movies)
where is Prince of Space, damn it? However, this
particular DVD box set rates along with Volume 4 as one of one of my
favourites when it comes to the various sets released by Rhino.
And that's not just because it is the only DVD box set which also feature
the original movies being lampooned (the joke-free movies can be found
on the other side of these double-sided discs). Nope, unlike some fans of
this show I'm not that masochistic. The fact is that the episodes in
Volume 1 are pretty funny and as good as any place for the newcomers to
the show to start. For complete newbies I still recommend checking out
Mystery Science Theater 3000 -
Some notables: only one of the episodes here is actually science fiction
(The Creeping Terror) and all the episodes are hosted by Mike Nelson
except for one (Catalina Caper,
which is hosted by the show's creator Joel Hodgson).
One of the silliest in-fights in fandom is the one between MSTies, as fans
of the show are called, as to whether Hodgson (who hosted the show during
the show's early years on the Comedy Channel) or Mike Nelson (who took
over later during the show's run on the Sci-Fi Channel) were the best or
The whole issue is a bit like geeks arguing over whether Captain Picard or
Kirk rocked the most.
I enjoy both but must admit that at times I found some of the pop cultural
references in some of Hodgson's episodes just a tad too obscure. However,
Hodgson can be more caustic than Nelson, especially when it comes to the
famed shorts -
usually short educational films dating from the 1950s -
which makes for brilliantly funny viewing.
As you might have gathered the so-called shorts (collected on volumes 2
and 3) are highly recommended.
The episodes collected in this collection are:
A B&W version of The Deadliest Game short story as a group
are stranded on an island lorded over by a megalomaniacal big
game hunter, who predictably hunts them for sports.
CATALINA CAPER -
An early 'Sixties caper story whose attempts at humour is
achingly embarrassing to watch.
THE CREEPING TERROR -
An alien resembling a cardboard dragon from a
Chinese New Year street parade chomps up loads of victims. Astoundingly
bad, yet hilariously funny. My fave episode on this set.
"They forgot to make something happen,"
one of bots remark on
this movie, which consists of endless skydiving footage and no plot
sandwiched in-between. And I mean, no plot. Somehow also one of my
favourite episodes on this set.
THE DISCS: Double-sided (don't ya hate them?) and Region 1 encoded.
I won't complain about the regional encoding on these discs. Some
trailers. If you think is a bare-bone set, then wait till you the later
episodes. Like I said previously: I am sure that two episodes can be
fitted on a disc. Then again, I'm probably just being greedy -
ever have enough Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes . . .
WORTH IT? Like I said, one can't have enough Mystery Science
Theater 3000 episodes . . .
RECOMMENDATION: Fans of and relative newcomers to this hilarious
show should buy it if they haven't done so already. Complete newbies
should check out some of the other material I've mentioned here.