Release Date(s)Various (May 16, 2017)
- 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 V DVD set. Shout Factory’s boxed sets of the show are normally released three to four times a year 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.
In this instance, this release is an update of an out-of-print boxed set from Rhino Entertainment. After Rhino’s release of Volume 12, Shout! Factory took over the home video distribution rights and they have been re-releasing these volumes, which have become very expensive to pick up. With this release, you get the following four episodes: Time Chasers (Season 8, Episode 21), The Touch of Satan (Season 9, Episode 8), Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders (Season 10, Episode 3), and Boggy Creek II (Season 10, Episode 6).
The episodes in these sets usually feature two hosted by Joel and two hosted by Mike, but in this case, all of these feature Mike as the host. The quality of each episode varies, with some episodes being better than others. For this set, you get four of the finest episodes that MST3K has to offer. Things begin with Time Chasers, a title so popular with fans that Rifftrax did their own live riff of it as well. It features a very unlikely leading man playing a scientist who develops a way to time travel with a computer that’s built into an airplane, but before he can reap the fame and fortune, an evil corporate muscle tries to steal it away from him. Time travel hijinks ensue. Next up is The Touch of Satan, a movie with an almost made-for-1970s-TV quality to it. When a random stranger happens upon a small farm, he finds it to be inhabited by a young girl who claims to be a witch. Murder, mayhem, and ancient grannies ensue. Next is Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders, a bizarre and awful amalgam of two movies, one featuring Ernest Borgnine telling his grandson a bizarre story about a barren lady and her maniacal boyfriend, and the other about a family who receives a cymbal monkey with evil powers. Dirty deeds ensue. Oh, and Merlin the Magician is in it too. Last, but not least, is Boggy Creek II, Charles B. Pierce’s sequel, which is actually the third technically, involving a professor and his students looking for the infamous Bigfoot in the woods. Again, more ensuing.
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, they’re very light. Carried over from the previous Rhino boxed set is an intro to each episode by Mike Nelson, and for Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders, a terrific half hour interview with Mike and Kevin Murphy can be found.
All in all, this is another solid release of MST3K goodness from the fine folks at Shout! Factory, and I for one am incredibly thankful to have an out of print release of the show back into print with new extras (few though they may be). If you’re a fan, you’ll definitely want to pick this up. Now push the button, Frank.
- Tim Salmons