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October 22, 2014

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'Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XVII' - DVD Review

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 1st 2010 1:03PM
The cover for Shout Factory's! MST3K XVIIOne of TV's greatest saving graces came for a show that has racked up more grace saves than, well, 'Saving Grace'.

Rhino released the first set of tapes and DVDs for 'Mystery Science Theater 3000,' just as they entered their final days on Comedy Central and they did a good job of filling the void before it found its footing again on the Sci-Fi Channel.

But they still left something to be desired. The episodes were fun, crisp and clear, but it left you wanting more when the credits rolled. Enter Shout! Factory. They brought a fresher and livelier approach to one of television's fresher and livelier shows, from the special features down to the cover art for the box sets. And they have continued that tradition with 'MST3K: XVII,' the latest in what's sure to be a long line of box sets for a show that hasn't even gotten through half of its decade-long line-up of episodes.

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New TV on DVD Releases This Week

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 15th 2010 6:06PM
South ParkHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

At first I thought 'C.O.P.S' was the long-running FOX show, but then I saw that it was only Vol. 2 and it was spelled, well, 'C.O.P.S' and realized it was another show, an 80s show about cyborg cops in the future. I barely remember it (in fact, I think I remember the logo and the toys that came from it, but that's it).

But there's a new 'MST3K!'

  • 'The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog' - Vol. 3
  • 'Breaking Bad' - Season 1 (Blu-Ray) and Season 2
  • 'C.O.P.S.' - Vol. 2

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 30th 2009 6:01PM
MST3K DVDHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

It's funny how there are some weeks where there's 20 or so different DVD sets released but I won't see any sets that I want. And then there are weeks like this when there are only a handful of DVDs being released but I somehow want two or three of them.

The new Mystery Science Theater 3000 set (with The Corpse Vanishes, Warrior of the Lost World, Night of the Blood Beast, Santa Claus, two shorts, four lobby cards, and a collectible Tom Servo figurine) is a definite, and I might get Better Off Ted too, though I want to watch a few more episodes before I make up my mind.

  • Ben 10: Alien Swarm
  • Better Off Ted - Season 1
  • The Donna Reed Show - Season 3
  • Mental - Season 1
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Vol. XVI (Limited Edition)
  • Saturday Night Live - Season 5

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MST3K turns 21 years young today, huzzah!

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 24th 2009 9:02PM
MST3KYou may not have gotten the day off for this momentous day in American history (damn you, socialist government!), but today marks a very special anniversary: the first ever episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The show officially hit the airwaves on a local Minneapolis station, KTMA, on Thanksgiving Day in 1988 by a young, fresh-faced Joel Hodgson. The rest, as people who rely on cheap cliches to heighten the dramatic effect with their weak words, is history. You can read the rest at the Satellite News site, the most exhaustive and interesting MST3K site on the Internet.

Every fan of the show and even occasional glancers remembers where they were when they first discovered this kind of cult comedy classics. For me, I discovered it with my old man who hates it when I call him my old man during the hilarious Pod People episode, arguably the funniest episode for the show and the worst movie the show has ever skewered.

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RiffTrax offers chance to win a trip to San Diego live show

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Nov 24th 2009 11:02AM
A new sweepstakes could send you to San Diego for Rifftrax Live.The Mystery Science Theater 3000 alums at Rifftrax are taking Christmas down a notch in a nationwide event next month, and you can win a trip to sunny San Diego to watch in person.

Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett will team up again with partner and live event specialist Fathom to bring a collection of old-school Christmas shorts to theaters across the country in a live big screen broadcast.

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MST3K goes bite size with Rifftrax Shorts DVDs

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Oct 23rd 2009 10:02AM
Rifftrax Shorts DVD take pot shots at horrible education films of eras passed.Somehow, those little bite-sized Snickers and Milky Ways you got as Halloween Trick or Treat candy always seemed to taste better than the bigger ones you can snag in any store.

That's kind of the effect you get from watching a new pair of laugh-out-loud Shorts DVDs from Rifftrax -- Wide World of Shorts and Shorts-Tacular Shorts-Stravaganza.

The commentary of Mystery Science Theater 3000 alums Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy can usually make any movie funny. But, the riffs you buy off their website for major feature films can sometimes come with a cost.

For example, the problem with buying the riffs for Twilight or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is you then have to sit there and watch Twilight or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. That's a razor's edge trade-off for a few laughs.

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Patrick Swayze succumbs to pancreatic cancer at 57

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 15th 2009 2:04AM
Patrick SwayzeSome more sad news from Tinseltown. Movie star and recent television star Patrick Swayze has lost his 20 month battle with pancreatic cancer at his ranch in Los Angeles. He was 57 years old.

Barbara Walters will air the actor's final television interview in a one hour special titled Last Dance tonight at 10 PM eastern/9 PM central on ABC.

He's probably best known for his work on the big screen in movies like Ghost, Dirty Dancing and (of course) the timeless Road House, a movie that became a cult sensation for all the wrong reasons and helped birth the sense of humor of MST3K and Rifftrax's Michael J. Nelson. But like all Hollywood actors, he made his presence known on the small screen, and his reach goes much further than his recent venture into cable drama glory with A&E's The Beast.

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Io9's sci-fi chart: possibly the geekiest post ever

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 2nd 2009 7:29PM
The 100 Lives of Blackjack SavageThe science fiction blog Io9 has a chart up at their site that tracks the themes that have been used on sci-fi TV shows since 1970. How many shows have been about time travel, robots, aliens, space travel, and/or mutants? Is there a trend to the themes of sci-fi shows over the years? (Here's the complete list of shows they looked at to create the chart.)

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Rifftrax: The TV Squad Interview

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 15th 2009 10:02AM
Rifftrax goes live in theaters coast to coast on Aug. 20.The Rifftrax crew is about to embark on a massive effort to perform a live show in more than 400 theaters across the country. And, they'll do it all in one night.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumni Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett have joined forces with Fathom Events to present Rifftrax Live: Plan 9 from Outer Space. On Aug. 20, Rifftrax will present an evening of live riffing, originating from Nashville, Tenn. and beaming into movie theaters nationwide at 8 PM ET, 7 PM CT, 6 PM MT, and a tape delayed 8 PM PT.

The trio will take on what some say is the worst film of all time, Plan 9. Of course, only people who haven't seen Manos: The Hands of Fate or anything directed by Coleman Francis would give Ed Wood's anti-classic that honor. But, Plan 9 offers the Rifftrax guys more than enough ammunition.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 6th 2009 6:01PM
MST3K XVHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

Finally, a DVD release that I'm definitely, definitely going to buy: the new MST3K set! I'm also looking at the new Peanuts set because I don't have a complete collection of their holiday specials, but there have been a few of these collections released, so I'll have to figure out which one is the best one.

  • Callan - Set 1
  • Doctor Who - The Rescue/The Romans and Attack of the Cybermen
  • Kath and Kim - Season 1

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Kevin Murphy sings the praises of MST3K, Rifftrax and mocking classics

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jun 3rd 2009 2:02PM
The cast of MST3K returns to mock the classic at Rifftrax.It seems no movie is safe from Kevin Murphy and his former Mystery Science Theater 3000 comrades as they mock flicks full-time for Rifftrax.

Murphy, RiffTrax writer/commentator and forever Tom Servo on the Satellite of Love of the original movie-mocking show famous for tackling B-movies, regularly joins fellow MST3K alums Bill Corbett and Michael J. Nelson to record a series of commentaries on classic and significantly less than classic flicks. Their targets range from The Happening and Twilight to Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars - all available for $4.

The site just released perhaps the most challenging riff, deliberately taking on what many people consider the greatest film of all time, Casablanca.

Many movie fans -- even those who enjoy Rifftrax -- object to mockery of such iconic work, but Murphy points to the sites' motto: "We don't make movies. We make them funny."

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And so begins the Mike Nelson Bacon Deathwatch 2009

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 5th 2009 6:36PM
Mike NelsonMike Nelson is a good guy. And he has always seemed like a reasonable guy to me. But now I think he's lost it a little.

For the entire month of February, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 host/head writer is going to eat nothing but bacon. That's right, nothing but bacon for an four weeks. Make sure you have your best suit dry cleaned for the inevitable funeral in March.

OK, maybe he'll survive like Morgan Spurlock did, though Spurlock's whole experiment was rather lame and misleading, in my opinion. But eating nothing but one of the most incredibly unhealthy foods (the fat! the grease! the salt!) for an entire month? I'm not too sure about that. He'll be drinking liquids, but most of them are alcohol (and water). No veggies or fruits for an entire month. Wow, even if you ate nothing but pizza for an entire month you'd at least get dairy and fiber and maybe some veggies. Mike will be keeping track of his progress (with bacon photos!) at Rifftrax.

Godspeed Mike. Godspeed.

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Mystery Science Theater 3000 XIV -- DVD review

by Nick Zaino, posted Feb 3rd 2009 2:02PM
Mike and the BotsHere are a couple of names that should make MST3K fans excited - Joe Don Baker and Joe Estevez. Yes, those two names guarantee a certain amount of cinematic terribleness, a feast for Joel, Mike, and the Bots, especially Baker, whose bumbling, making-love-to-banjo-music cop movie Mitchell is one of the best.

MST3K XIV includes four episodes from three different seasons, including two from the final season, Season Ten:

The Mad Monster from Season One: With the old cheesy set that Joel and Trace revealed at an M.I.T. lecture they accidentally delivered two weeks early. If they'd known they had two more weeks, they'd have put more work into the concept. When it was originally released, The Mad Monster was probably fairly advanced and stylish from a technical standpoint. But it's still poorly acted, and MST3K seems to have a special place in its collective hearts for bad werewolves. Also includes the short Commando Cody & The Radar Men from the Moon. A fiery Invention Exchange: Joel's "Hell in a Hand Bag" anti-theft device and Forrester's monster role playing game with a fire-breathing Godzilla. Tom Servo also hits on a blender.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 2nd 2009 6:00PM
BewitchedHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

I don't know why I haven't bought any of the Bewitched sets yet. It's one of my favorite sitcoms, but I think it has gotten so far into the releases (this week it's season 7) that I've convinced myself that there will be a complete series set and that I should wait for it. But I'm tempted to buy this set because it features an entire episode set and filmed in my hometown!

As for the Columbo movie set, well, I have to buy that now because I just bought the entire series on DVD.

  • Afro Samurai - Resurrection (regular set and special editions)
  • Becker - Season 2
  • Bewitched - Season 7
  • Columbo - Mystery Movie Collection: 1990
  • Dave's World - Season 2
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Vol. 14
  • Night Court - Season 2
  • The Partridge Family - Season 4
  • Tom and Jerry Tales - Vol. 6

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Rifftrax goes live tonight with a free short

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 15th 2009 3:01PM
RifftraxIt's sad that we don't have Mystery Science Theater 3000 anymore, but it's great that we have two spinoffs/reunions to entertain us. Joel, Trace, Frank, Mary Jo, and J. Elvis have Cinematic Titanic, and Mike, Bill, and Kevin have Rifftrax. I'll leave it to you to discuss which one you like the best. I'm partial to Rifftrax. And if you've never heard what the guys do, tonight might be a good time to check it out.

At 9pm ET (6pm PT), there will be a live, free Rifftrax performed by the guys for everyone to see and hear on their computer. Probably the very same computer you're reading this one, unless you're at work. And if you're at work you shouldn't be spending all of your time on a TV site. Get back to work.

What they'll be riffing is Self-Conscious Guy, a short film from 1951 I'm assuming is about a guy who is self-conscious. I've never heard of it, but the shorts that MST3K used to do were some of the funniest stuff they did, so this should be good. I'm going to watch this instead of Grissom leaving CSI.

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