The Film Crew: The Giant of Marathon

The Film Crew: The Giant of Marathon

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is, arguably, the greatest document of the late 20th century. The premature end of the series in 1999 was bittersweet — while the show would never render itself irrelevant, its loss has led to a void that nothing else has been able to fill. At least until recently when Mystery Science Theatre 3000 alumni began to revive the concept. In 2006, Mike J. Nelson began RiffTrax — which delivers downloadable audio commentaries for terrible films you’d have to rent or buy yourself (definitely rent, in the case of Battlefield Earth) — but things have come full circle with The Film Crew, which reunites the cast of late period MST3K (Mike J. Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy) as three bozos forced by an external power to watch bad movies, add commentary and perform skits, exactly as in MST3K. If you’ve had no idea what I was talking about in the last paragraph, the fourth Film Crew release, The Giant of Marathon, isn’t going to be the best introduction to the concept. As a swords and sandals epic starring 1950 Mr. Universe Steve Reeves that’s pretty lacking in the "epic” department, The Giant of Marathon is simply too sparse and boring for the crew to say anything particularly funny about. As part of a weekly TV show, the few moments that will raise a smile would repay your investment, but as a DVD release this offers very little bang for your buck. The special features also amount to little more than two (mildly amusing) extra skits. If you’re a devoted fan you’ll already be getting this, but anyone else interested in hearing Mike J. Nelson and his film crew commenting on the affairs of ancient Greeks is better off picking up the RiffTrax for 300. (Shout! Factory)