Even after a decade since it’s been taken off the air, the concept for “Mystery Science Theater 3000” is still an ingenious one: A man is stuck in space with several robots who is forced to watch the worst films ever made. Essentially a comedy commentary over some poorly made oddities of cinema, volume XV of the series on DVD highlights some of the best moments of the series.
While the show had two equally great hosts, Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson, the four-disc set includes two episodes of each, allowing for a Whitman’s sampler of the series. But all episodes include Tom Servo and Crow, the funniest robots (puppets, actually) in space.
First up, “The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy,” which is the second episode of the series after their run on the KTMA network. This early episode proves to be very funny despite the fact the mummy and “human” robot to don’t fight until the last 10 minutes. The film is actually a series of incoherent boring conversations that are ripe for their brand of humor.
Second is “The Girl In Lovers Lane,” which is an hysterical movie about two guys that decide to become drifters together. Of course they fall in love along the way and get into some really dumb 1950s adventures in their new town. Hodgson, Crow and Tom Servo are the main reason why this journey is worth taking.
The third one, “Zombie Nightmare,” is the best in the series featuring Nelson. “Zombie Nightmare” is maybe the only film that could be watched without the Satellite of Love commentary. It was made in the late ‘80s and features Adam West (or, according to “Family Guy,” Mayor Adam We). A young man is murdered by a group of rebellious punks, and that young man’s mother happens to know a Voodoo priestess. That zombie of a young man wants revenge, and it is up to West to stop him before it is too late.
This disc features interviews with stars Frank Dietz and Jon Mikl Thor, who prove to be good sports about being featured on “MST3K.” Oddly enough, the DVD company Code Red is planning a release of this movie making one wonder, if there is any reason for a double dip?
And finally, there is “Racket Girls,” which is an awful excursion about female wrestlers. This movie would be unwatchable if it wasn’t for the commentary, and they riff it pretty well.
Other extras in the set include KTMA: Scrapbook Scraps in two parts, some promos and a sneak peak from the upcoming “Hamlet A.D.D.”
The next installment in this series will include the Robert Ginty (“The Exterminator”) and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson debacle “Warrior of the Lost World,” which was one of their best episodes. Maybe the episode of “City Limits” with Robby Benson and James Earl Jones will soon be featured in a set soon as well.
All things considered, this set is well worth your time, and saves you the beer money needed to view these movies on your own.