Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition

DVD Reviews | Nov 24th, 2008

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Starring Joel Hodgson, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Jim Mallon
Written By:
Directed By:
Studio: Shout Factory
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Its Mystery Science theater 3000;s 20th anniversary, and Shout Factory and the MST3K team are releasing a limited edition 20th anniversary DVD! This DVD set includes 4 classic episodes of the show, as well as an excellent documentary about MST3k and a featurette of Comic Con reunion of MST3k. Any fan will really appreciate this set.

For anyone who doesn’t know what Mystery Science Theater 3000 is, it’s a TV Show that aired on the Comedy Channel/Central & Sci-Fi Channel from 1988 to 1999. It featured a guy that was shot out into space and was all lonely, so he built robot friends. They would get tortured by getting forced to watch really bad movies. Joel (and later on Mike), and their robot buddies Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot would riff over entire movies and that was the basic premise of the TV show. Each episode would be another cheesy movie, with new sketches in between the movie riffing.I never cared for the sketches and always fast forward them. This set includes such awful movies like First Spaceship On Venus, Laserblast, Werewolf, and Future War. First Spaceship on Venus featured Joel and the rest of the episodes feature Mike Nelson.

This set was really funny, and it was definitely a worthy 20th anniversary edition DVD. The movie riffing for these movies was hysterical. I don’t remember seeing any of these movies when they originally aired, but glad they were included on the DVD set. These were the most requested episodes apparently. Two of them were from the 90s surprisingly, but it still doesn’t make them any good. I’m sure they aired on the sci-fi channel or something. God those are some shitty movies. I’m kind of disappointed that there was only one Joel episode since he was the heart of the show. It’s the 20th anniversary after all; he deserved to have another episode on this set. That’s not to take away from Mike of course.

Even though the movies are the selling point of this DVD set, the best things on here are the Comic Con 2008 reunion video and the 3 part documentary on the show. I watched the Comic Con featurette first and that was hosted by Patton Oswalt, who knows quite a lot about the show. It’s actually kind of creepy he knows that much. The problem I had with that video was Patton Oswalt was really loud and it was hard to hear from everyone else. Maybe Patton is just loud?

The other great thing was the documentary that was spread out on 3 discs. You learn everything about the show, how it became to be and how it ended. Most of us know when it ended and how it ended up, but I didn’t know the show started out on local TV in Minnesota. I didn’t know most of the people that worked on the show were stand-up comedians, and writers from the Minnesota area and Midwest. Joel was the creator of the show, and created a lot of the robots from scratch. You thought the robots looked corny during the heyday of the show; you should have seen what they looked like during their early days in Minnesota. Lots of glue, spare parts from toys and stuff you’d find in the dumpster. It just looked silly. I wish the documentary was just on 1 disc instead of 3; that was kind of annoying. Maybe there wasn’t room to have it on just 1 disc? But that was really my only complaint for that. It was really entertaining and informative and something you should watch if you like the show.

This DVD is worth purchasing and I’m looking forward to more releases. I don’t have too many MST3K DVDs so any release I can get would be lovely. I used to watch this show all the time on Comedy Central and Sci-Fi, so I’m a big fan of these guys. If you want to see what the original cast is up to, head over to Cinematic Titanic. Also, the second group of people that did the show are doing The Film Crew now. I wonder if they will ever break out of the straight to DVD territory and go back to TV?

– A 3-Part Look at the 20-Year History of MST3K Including Brand-New Interviews with the Creators, Cast and Crew
– 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International Reunion Panel
– Original Trailers
– Limited-Edition Tin Box
– 4 Exclusive MST3K Lobby Cards by Artist Steve Vance
– Limited-Edition “Crow” Figurine

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo

Standard 1.33:1 Color
Standard 1.33:1 B&W


Favorite Scenes: First Spaceship on Venus, Werewolf
Rating: NR
Running Time: 420 minutes
Extras Rating:
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