We’ve been gleefully watching Mystery Science Theater 3000, Vol. XX, released on DVD March 8, 2011. This 4-disc set features some pretty funny stuff, and if you’re an MST3K fan, you should definitely add it to your collection.
All four episodes are from the Comedy Central era and feature show creator and original host Joel Hodgson. Here’s a rundown, then hop over and [amazon_link id=”B004G7XCS0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]buy it on Amazon[/amazon_link]:
‘MASTER NINJA I’ and ‘MASTER NINJA II’ – “These seems like TV episodes,” someone said, and after some investigating, it was revealed that yes, they WERE TV episodes. Back in 1984, someone came up with the brilliant *cough* idea to turn Lee Van Cleef into a ‘Master Ninja,’ and thus, “The Master’ TV series was born. By some divine intervention, the series actually made it through a whole season, but how that happened, I’ll never know. If it premiered in this day and age, it’d be yanked off the air after half an episode.
Van Cleef plays a Korean War veteran who becomes a master ninja while living in Japan after the war. He comes to the U.S. and pairs up with studly young sidekick Timothy Van Patten, and the two travel about the country righting wrongs.
Throw in young Demi Moore, real-life martial arts guy Sho Kosugi, a stupid-looking van, and the requisite animal mascot (a hamster), and you’ve got the makings of, well, a really lame show. But plenty of laughs for Joel and the bots and, of course, us.
‘PROJECT MOONBASE’ – Co-written by famed science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who also penned ‘Red Planet’ and ‘Starship Troopers,’ this 1953 movie is set in 1970 when the U.S. supposedly wants to build a moon base. Two men and a woman are sent to explore the moon, but one of the guys turns out to be a spy.
All is resolved by the end and — wheee! — the remaining man and woman are married in space! Did NOT see that coming. There’s also some really awkward scenes where a higher-up (Hayden Rorke, a.k.a. Dr. Bellows from ‘I Dream of Jeannie’) says he wants to spank the woman, or something to that effect. It’s just bizarre. This disc also features two ‘Radar Men from the Moon’ shorts with Commando Cody, which are always a blast.
‘MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD’ – Oy,what to say about this one… Let’s start with the fact that it’s a 1962 Americanized, dubbed version of a 1953 Russian folktale titled ‘Sadko.’ The hero is re-named Sinbad, and all you really need to know is there’s a water princess, some magical fish, the Bluebird of Happiness, a wild sea voyage, some underwater escapades, and a lot of people scurrying to and fro. It’s really very funny, and you get to see Joel and the bots dress up like jesters from the movie.
- A featurette on the look of MST3K with DP Jeff Stonehouse
- An intro to Magic Voyage of Sinbad by Trace Beaulieu
- Mystery Science Theater Hour Wraps
- A look back at Master Ninja with guest star Bill McKinney
- Servo vs. Servo at Dragon*Con
- Original Trailers
- Mini-posters by Steve Vance