Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New on Video: Skydivers, Manhunters, and Skindivers in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume I

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 11:00 AM

sc_46_mst3k-i.jpg

Back in July, Shout! Factory released Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXIII on DVD. Therefore, it goes without saying that next up on their MST3K slate, they're releasing Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume I — featuring the movies Catalina Caper, The Creeping Terror, Bloodlust, and The Skydivers, all from different eras of the show — on September 1. Math is power! Also, huh?


Here's why Volume 1 is following Volume 33: Rhino started releasing these MST3K DVD box sets back in to 2002, starting with (wait for it) Volume 1. They made it up through Volume 12 (or technically Volume 10.2, but that's a whole 'nother mess). Shout! Factory, which had been formed by two of Rhino's co-founders, took things over, and they've been releasing them since 2008. The upshot is that Volume 1 is now long out of print, so they're re-releasing it at retail prices rather than eBay prices. In fact, and this is totally true, up until recently the only copies available were the rips I made several years ago:

sc_46_mst3k-i_burneddvds.jpg

Notice that I got a whole two DVDs in before I decided to stop being a purist and abbreviate the title! By my standards, that's pretty fast.

One of the nice things about Shout! Factory's MST3K releases has been that their covers are far less terrible than Rhino's. An argument could be made that Shout! Factory's are a bit too far on the utilitarian side, but they're minimalist artworks compared to Rhino's attempts to be clever. Hence, the original artwork for Volume 1:

sc_46_mst3k-i_rhinocover.jpg

And they just got worse from there. Granted, they were never quite as horrible as Rhino's VHS covers, in which people who had no business trying to write riffs attempted to be funny. It was not successful, and they screwed up the Manos: The Hands of Fate cover something fierce.

sc_46_mst3k-i_manos.jpg

What? No. Ugh. Stop doing that! Thankfully, they did stop doing that, but holy cow. Nothing about that cover would make someone unfamiliar with the show want to give it a try, and for those of us who are already fans (and probably know the episode by heart), it's a kick in the urethra.

In any event, it's good to have these episodes available f'reals again, and the always-reliable Ballyhoo Motion Pictures has included a documentary on Crown International Pictures, the company that originally released these four films to the theaters. None of them rank among my favorite episodes, but they all have their charms, especially The Creeping Terror; in addition to being a stunningly incompetent film, it, Bloodlust, and The Skydivers all hail from the period when MST3K was experimenting with longer, almost Dada-esque host segments where very little happens. I'm not sure if they were ever very funny to anyone else, but they always cracked me up.


Indeed, "I'm not sure if they were ever very funny to anyone else, but they always cracked me up" pretty much describes being a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan. Join us.


  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

 

Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"