The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 8

Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Wea Corp
DVD Release Date:
November 8, 2005

DVD Features:

  • Episode 907 - HOBGOBLINS
  • Episode 902 - THE PHANTOM PLANET
  • Episode 421 - MONSTER A-GO GO (plus short CIRCUS ON ICE)
  • Episode 603 - THE DEAD TALK BACK (plus short THE SELLING WIZARD)

Number of discs: 4



Four discs for the price of four, the cover blurb exclaims. Indeed. Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection Volume 8 is packaged and priced similarly to the previous volumes in the series, which is a good thing even though you might probably prefer complete season box sets like I would.  

But DVD collectors prefer consistency to progress, and the Mystery Science Theater 3000 series has been a lesson in consistency so far that Fox Home Entertainment for instance should do well to emulate: the latest two volumes in Fox's Simpsons DVD box sets are so completely different to previous ones that fans raised quite an outcry and rightly so: just how are the latest box sets supposed to look nestled to the previous ones on my DVD shelf?

Volume 8 on the other hand will fit in perfectly with your volumes in the series. Also, it is one of the better selections in the series and even though it doesn't have as many so-called shorts as Volume 7, this latest volume contains some truly good episodes.

To recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 is the now defunct TV series that spoofed particularly bad movies. It had its origins on Comedy Central in the early/mid 1990s before migrating to the Sci-Fi Channel towards the end of the decade. Long-time fans often bicker over which era was the best and while I like both even though I must admit that the jokes during the Sci-Fi Channel era were usually funnier and the pop cultural references not always as obscure. Maybe it's because I first caught the show in its Sci-Fi Channel incarnation - who knows? But it's an argument as pointless as the ones trekkies have over Picard vs. Kirk.

Anyway, Volume 8 contains two episodes from the Comedy Central years and two from the Sci-Fi Channel years. One stars Joel Hodgson and three star Mike Nelson as host.

Episode 421- MONSTER A-GO GO (with short: CIRCUS ON ICE)
Probably the worst episode in the collection because the movie, a Black & White 1965 sci-fi horror movie, being spoofed is so bad. The jokes are funny and spot on, but Monster A-Go Go is so dreary and dull that there is little that even the Mystery Science Theater crew can do to alleviate one's boredom towards the end.

Episode 603- THE DEAD TALK BACK (with short: THE SELLING WIZARD)
This B&W movie dating from 1957 fortunately isn't as soul-deadeningly bad as Monster A-Go Go. It's still bad and the movie's mid-section drags. Still pretty funny though.

Stars Richard Kiel ? ?Jaws? in the Roger Moore-era Bond movies. Here he plays a large alien monster. This B&W 1950s sci-fi flick about an Earth astronaut marooned on a planet of tiny people is bad, sure, but fans of the era will like the costume and hardware designs. I know I did.

Episode 907- HOBGOBLINS
This 1987 Gremlins rip-off is the funniest and most accessible episode in the collection. The Mystery Science crew's jokes and pop cultural references (most of them dating from the 1980s) are hilariously funny, even though the movie is pretty fun by itself. One of my favourite episodes along with Eegah, Space Mutiny and Prince of Space. Volume 8 is worth buying just for this episode!

THE DISCS: No extras and the original movies aren't bundled with the Mystery Science versions. But that isn't a complaint really: I can't imagine anyone wanting to sit through the dreary Monster A-Go Go without the jokes.

WORTH IT? Definitely one of the better volumes in this DVD collection thus far.

RECOMMENDATION: Volume 8 is recommended both for fans of the show as well as those who want to find out what it's all about . . . check it out.


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