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Friday, November 30 12:00 AM ET

DVD Review: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection Volume 12

By Brian Briggs



The Rebel Set

Secret Agent Super Dragon

The Starfighter

Parts: The Clonus Horor

This is the part of the site where I compromise my principles and accept DVDs from marketing firms then write a review.  Who can blame me though?  It's Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Any self-respecting geek would do that.  Doing a humor site has to have some perks, doesn't it?

Like the previous eleven sets, this is a four DVD set covering four episodes from various seasons.  I sure wish they would've released these in order.  It'd be nice to have "MST3k Complete Season 1" instead of a hodgepodge of seasons in each set.  I know it's to extract the most dollars out of the fans, but it's still frustrating.

The first disk contains "The Rebel Set" from season four with Joel.  The movie follows a group of misfit losers who are brought together to pull off a complicated heist by the actor who played The Chief in "Get Smart."   The plot provides plenty of fodder for Joel and the bots and they hit it out of the park.  The extras on this DVD are a current interview with one of the stars of the movie and the original trailer for the movie.  The interview is much more interesting than I expected.  The guy takes being lampooned by MST3k in good stride, and shares some old Hollywood stories from the time. This disk also contains the short "Johnny at the Fair" which I have on another collection of shorts, but it's a good one.  I always felt the shorts were some of the funniest stuff on the show.

Cover ArtThe second movie lampooned is "Secret Agent Super Dragon."  It comes from season five when Joel was still around.  This one is a wannabe James Bond spy movie.  The actor who plays Super Dragon is about as annoying as it gets.  His acting switch is locked permanently in the "smug asshole" setting.  The extras on this disk are the original movie trailer and the Jack Perkins interludes with Mike Nelson as Jack Perkins.   The Jack Perkins stuff is funny.

The third disk is the movie "The Starfighters" from season six with Mike, which holds the record for most Air Force stock footage ever used in a movie.  It has no plot.  None, I tell you.  How does crap like this get turned into a movie?  For most of the time I thought it was a promotional film  by the Air Force or Lockheed.  The extra on this disk is the MST3K Video Jukebox Volume 3 which includes musical numbers from host segments from different episodes including the haunting "Creepy Girl" from "Catalina Caper."

The last disk is "Parts: The Clonus Horror."  This movie unfortunately comes from the Pearl days, so the host segments are highly annoying though not as annoying as some from that era that I've endured.  Recently the movie "The Island" had a very similar plot to Clonus, and the creators sued and settled.  This movie stars Darrin Stevens and Peter Graves, so plenty of Bewitched and Biography jokes.  The plot is interesting, but the execution is poor.  The extras include the original trailer and an interview with the director of the film.  He talks about the lawsuit and how MiSTies inspired him to go through with it.  He also talks about the flaws in the movie, and how he was just a young guy trying to get a movie made.  It's a very interesting interview.

Overall this collection is pretty good.  I wouldn't say it contains any classic episodes, but nothing unworthy.  The extras are good and enhance enjoyment. It'd be great someday to get some additional commentary tracks from the guys about the jokes they were making.  I think that would be highly interesting especially for the comedy writer in me. 

I think my favorite of the four would be "Secret Agent Super Dragon" with "The Rebel Set" coming in second.  It makes a good stocking stuffer for any MST3k fan who wants to keep their collection growing.  Of course, you can use my Amazon affiliate link to buy it for yourself, and thus ends the portion of the site where my principles are compromised.
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