Release Date(s)Various (November 8, 2011)
- 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 XXI: MST3K Vs. Gamera DVD set. These boxed sets are released tri-annually 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.
I’ve gone into a good amount of detail about MST3K and my love for it in my review of the movie, so I won’t bother getting into that. We’ll keep things short and sweet and just cover the set itself. With this release, you get the following five episodes: Gamera (Season 3, Episode 2), Gamera Vs. Barugon (Season 3, Episode 4), Gamera Vs. Gaos (Season 3, Episode 8), Gamera Vs. Guiron (Season 3, Episode 12), and Gamera Vs. Zigra (Season 3, Episode 16).
Normally the episodes in these boxed sets feature two hosted by Joel and two hosted by Mike, but in this case, Shout! Factory went to a lot of trouble (and red tape) in getting the rights to all of the Gamera movies that MST3K riffed on during the Joel years. The quality of each episode varies, with some episodes being better than others, but this is a case where all of the episodes are pretty stellar. MST3K episodes were usually at their best when really inept movies, B movies, or monster movies were on their plate. So this is a really solid line-up of some funny and entertaining episodes in a set that’s considered by many to be one of the very best in Shout! Factory’s MST3K catalogue.
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, you get a few from disc to disc, most of them newly-produced just for this set. For Gamera, you get the documentary So Happy Together: A Look Back at MST3K and Gamera, a set of MST Hour Wraps, the movie’s original Japanese trailer, and an ad for a separate release of Gamera that opens the disc. For Gamera Vs. Barugon, there’s the documentary Gamera Vs. The Mighty Chiodo Brothers and the movie’s original Japanese trailer. For Gamera Vs. Gaos, there’s the documentary Gamera Obscura: A Brief History by August Ragone and the movie’s original Japanese trailer. For Gamera Vs. Guiron, there’s another set of MST Hour Wraps and the movie’s original Japanese trailer. And for Gamera Vs. Zigra you get just the movie’s original Japanese trailer. Also included (as is standard with all of the MST3K boxed sets) are 4 paper insert reproductions of the artwork from each DVD in the set. It’s also housed in a metal tin if you were able to nab it during its initial release.
All in all, this is another solid boxed set release of MST3K goodness from the fine folks at Shout! Factory. If you’re a fan, you’ll definitely want to pick it up. Now push the button, Frank.
- Tim Salmons