Nate's DVD Collection: Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume 3
There is a special level of hell for people who talk in the theater, Shepard Book of Firefly
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (known on-line as MST3K)is one of those shows that anyone can relate to. If you've ever made a comment at the TV screen, reacted to something a character said in a movie, or made a running commentary of anything at anytime whether anyone asked for your opinion or not, you can relate to this show.
MST3K is about a janitor named Joel who is kidnapped by his boss, the mad scientist Doctor Clayton Forester and his assistant TV's Frank, and trapped on a the Satellite of Love and forced to watch bad movies, educational videos and old cartoons referred to as “shorts”. Series creator Joel Hodgson, is later replaced by mild mannered temp agent Mike Nelson.
In order to cope with the movies Joel invents Tom Servo, Crow. T. Robot, who accompany him into the theater where we watch the movie with them and listen to their endless running commentaries all the while trying to keep the couch dry as we bust a gut laughing.
The other two robots are Cambot, whom we only see in the opening credits because, well, he's filming them and Gypsy, the house keeper and maintenance bot who we get to see during the opening and closing segments and in the breaks.
Volume 3 includes The Atomic Brain, The Earthly, Sidehackers, and Shorts Volume 2.
Tom Servo is voiced by Kevin Murphy
Crow T. Robot is voiced by Trace Beaulieu who also plays Doctor Forrester
Mary Joe Pehl, who in later seasons plays Pearl Forrester, is the voice of Magic Voice
On each disc there is a “gag reel” that focuses on the between movie segments. A little extra face time with Joel, the bots, Mike and the other actors who contribute to the show.
What the Cast and Crew Are Up To These Days
What I Like About It
I was introduced to MST3K in a high school film class and it inspired me, like it has so many others, to riff every single movie and TV show I have ever watched, much to the annoyance of anyone unlucky enough to get stuck watching it with me.
If you do a search on line with the goal of discovering the show that has had the biggest impact in shaping Internet culture, you're bound to come up with thousands of websites by clever and aspiring writers who have written their own “MSTs” of lousy stories, fanfiction, and other writings using the MST3K formula.
I mean, when you think about it, these guys practically invented movie commentaries.
But all right this isn't about “What I like about the show in general”, it's What I like About The DVD.
And to be honest my reaction is the same every time. I nearly piss myself laughing at every crack made by Crow, Tom and Joel. I love the little segments with Gypsy, Doctor Forrester and TV's Frank and I find myself wishing I was up on that satellite with them. (Me and about thirty million other people)
The Unearthly features an established early 60's film actor John Carradine. It's definitely one of the best movies on this collection, along with the shorts about good posture and appreciating your parents, followed by Sidehackers. Sidehackers is proof that these guys can riff any movie, not just science fiction and low budget horror.
Shorts Volume 2 is relentlessly hilarious as Joel, Mike and the bots rip into Union Pacific Safety videos and others 50's public service announcements designed to turn America's youth into The Cleavers.
What I Don't Like About It
The Atomic Brain was not the best episode in my opinion. Out of the hundreds I've watched and laughed at there was bound to be one I didn't like and this is it. I just think they let a lot of “quiet time” pass between riffs and they missed a lot of comments that I would have made given the chance.
Should You Buy This DVD?
One thing I'm all about with these DVD hubs is trying to help people get entertained without having to shell out fifty or sixty bucks for a box set. If you can get the same thing on Netflix go for it. If you can watch it for free online I'll recommend a good spot.
But MST3K, while you can in fact get it on Netflix, or watch it on Hulu.com, is one of those shows I strongly recommend buying if for no other reason than the fact that you are supporting one of the most creative and iconic efforts in the history of TV.
MST3K started out as a locally produced TV show with all the cut and paste features but it grew to to something big with the effort of a great team of people and the loving and adoring fans who wrote fan mail and supported it. I'm sad that I was too late to be one of those who wrote fanmail but the crew, Joel, Mike, Kevin Murphy and the rest are still plugging away and keeping MST3K alive.
Buy the DVD's. Show them you love them.
The Original KTMA Intro from 1988
The Theme From when the Show Went National
Can My Kids Watch This
There is some minor cussing in certain episodes and in the movies, but for the most part it's very PG. Some of the movies might contain a mildly graphic or scene or two but this is early 60's, 70's style graphics. Very tame by today's standards.
Kids will love the antics of the bots during the mini segments but if the show is generally about 45 minutes to two hours long so only those with a good attention span will stick around for the whole thing.