It’s time to blast off and laugh your heads off yet again, everyone. Mike, Joel, and their robot pals are back yet again on board the Satellite of Love with loads more fun for fans of the classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the series’ 33rd (yes, 33rd) volume of episodes. Late this summer, Shout! Factory released MST3K Volume XXXIII much to the joy of its legions of fans. The latest collection (and according to new information not the last. Volume XXXIV is due out in December) brings four more best of the worst from Hollywood’s hidden vaults to audiences in the form of Daddy-O (1958), Earth vs. The Spider (1958), Teen-Age Crime Wave (1955) and Agent For H.A.R.M. (1966). The movies are themselves so bad that yet again they are great. They serve both to show how far movies have come in so many avenues. Classic movie buffs will love seeing these once-forgotten flicks and using them to see how much Hollywood fare has changed since their day both for the good and for the bad. The less initiated will appreciate them just as much for their historical importance as for the stingers and zingers thrown in their direction courtesy of Mike, Joel, and their robot pals. Speaking of the crew of the Satellite of Love, the writing for the show’s live-action segments and the cast’s interpretation of said scripts is yet another reason that this new collection proves to be so funny. The collective work of the show’s writers and its cast make for so many laughs throughout each of the set’s episodes. Last but hardly least of all to the show’s positives is the bonus material included with each episode. There are behind-the scenes extras as well as retrospectives and more to keep true fans entertained for hours (or even days). Even for the more casual viewer the bonus material incorporated into the set offers its own share of insight and entertainment. All three elements combined together make MST3K Volume XXXIII yet another great addition to any MST3K fan’s own home DVD library and yet another example of why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment.
Shout! Factory’s latest collection of classic MST3K episodes is yet another great addition to any MST3K fan’s own home DVD library and yet another example of why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment. The main reason for this is the selection of episodes and movies chosen for the collection. There is plenty of action and drama presented in this offering of the best of Hollywood’s worst beginning with a former truck driver getting unwittingly swept up in a drug-running operation in 1958’s Daddy-O. The second of the set’s featured movies Earth vs. The Spider (1958) sees a small town community having to band together in order to stop a giant, mutant spider. This movie was just the latest at the time in Hollywood’s fascination with giant pests. Them! debuted four years prior in 1954 while The Deadly Mantis followed that one three years later in 1957. Another arachnid-based flick simply titled Tarantula three years prior to Earth vs. The Spider. It, too centered on a giant, mutant spider. Only in the case of that movie, the spider mutated as a result of human interference. Considering the number of creature features that came before this one, it doesn’t lessen the enjoyment of Earth vs. The Spider by any means. But it does make analysis easier. Teen-Age Crime Wave is just as enjoyable in its camp with its story centered on tow young teen criminals who go on a crime spree and get an innocent friend caught up in the whole thing, leading the girl to have to make a tough choice along the way. Considering such a plot, if a movie like that were made today, it would be a perfect fit on Lifetime and its digital “sister station” Lifetime Movie Network. And Agent For H.A.R.M. is just as much fun with its campy classic secret agent story centered on a flesh-eating bacteria. While most of the movies presented in this set have been largely forgotten save perhaps for Earth vs. The Spider, the fact that they have been dug up and presented once again is in itself is a great thing. That is because they serve as yet another lesson on Hollywood’s truly rich history. They really serve to show just how far Hollywood has come both to the positive and negative. To that end, the movies featured in this latest collection show once again why Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of the most under appreciated series of the 90s.
The movies chosen for MST3K Volume XXXIII are in themselves more than enough reason for fans of the cult favorite series to add this latest collection of its episodes to their own home DVD libraries. Of course they are just a fraction of what makes this collection just as enjoyable as every one of the series’ previous installments. The live action segments incorporated into the show are once again just as hilarious as ever. In some cases they are in direct relation to the featured flicks as with Daddy-O while in others such as in Agent Of H.A.R.M. they are their own standalone segments. Regardless every segment will have viewers in stitches. In Daddy-O viewers are treated to Joel and company spoofing the club scene from the movie early on in the episode. Audiences will roll on the floor with laughter seeing Joel with his pants pulled almost up to his chest, singing about it while Crow and Tom Servo join in. This is an absolutely hilarious moment. And it is obvious that Hodges and company had a blast filming the segment. In Agent of H.A.R.M. Mike is thrown into a court case after being accused of destroying an entire planet. Pearl (Mary Jo Pehl) just happens to become the prosecutor in the case while Professor Bobo (Kevin Murphy) plays Mike’s defense attorney. Crow and Tom Servo both serve as character witnesses for Mike. The cast’s acting ability in these segments is wonderful. It is so wonderful that one can’t help but wonder how much of the cast’s work was improve and how much was scripted. The live action segments included in Teen-Age Crime Wave and Earth vs. The Spider are just as funny in their own right. Audiences will discover that for themselves when they add this box set to their own home DVD libraries.
The live action segments incorporated into the set’s featured episodes and the movies that were chosen for each episode are collectively plenty of reason for any MTS3K fan to add this collection to his or her own home DVD library. They are not the only aspects of the collection that make it another must have for fans of the cult favorite series either. The bonus material included in the collection seals the deal for viewers. Whereas the movies featured in this collection serve as their own virtual film history lesson once again, the bonus material provided with each of the movies enriches that lesson even more. Audiences learn lots of equally interesting history in the bonus material that they might not have otherwise known. For example, it is revealed in Daddy-O’s bonus material that this movie was actually now legendary film composer/director John Williams’ first job as a film composer. Equally interesting to learn here is that director Lou Place originally worked with B-movie legend Roger Corman on his movies before taking on the directorial role in this film. The bonus material included in Earth vs. The Spider reveals that one member of the movie’s cast was in fact a WWII veteran who had been shot down over France and held in the very P.O.W. camp that was the inspiration behind the famed WWII movie The Great Escape. And many of the backdrops used in the movie’s filming were rather familiar. That is because they were also used in the likes of The Munsters, Gremlins, and Tarantula. Just as interesting (and funny) to learn is that another of the movie’s “young” actors wasn’t so young. He was in fact 35-years old despite playing a high school student. Teen-Age Crime Wave comes complete with an in-depth history lesson on producer Sam Katzman. Viewers learn in watching this “bio” that Katzman was the man behind Columbia’s first major 3D flick Fort Ti. That movie would go on to be just the first of a number of huge hits for Columbia in the 3D realm. There is also mention of Katzman being one of the big names behind Elvis’ movie career and so much more. His bio is so rich that there is not enough time or space to cover his full career. Tue movie buffs will appreciate such depth both here and in the set’s other bonus material just as much as that provided by Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz before and after the classics run on Turner Classic Movies. The very depth of information provided by this set’s bonus material coupled with the movies themselves and the episodes’ live action segments makes for four more episodes that collectively are another must have for any MST3K fan.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXIII is one more must have for any real classic movie buff and for any true MST3K fan. Thankfully it is not the last of the series’ collections as at least one more is planned for release in December. While audiences wait for that collection’s release this installment will make the wait quite easy. That is thanks to its selection of classic forgotten flicks and their companion bonus history lessons. The stingers and zingers thrown out over the course of each movie add even more enjoyment to each presentation. The live action segments incorporated into each episode make for even more enjoyment for viewers. All things considered, MST3K Volume XXXIII is another must have for classic movie buffs and MST3K fans alike. It is available now in stores and online, and can be ordered online via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-crime/mst3k-volume-xxxiii. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:
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