Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIV

Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIV
Unlike other box set packages of random (it's a rights thing) MST3K episodes bundled together in numbered DVD box set releases for hardcore collectors, this 24th instalment is actually heavy on supplemental material, also featuring mini-posters representing each episode. For younger audiences and the many people that don't have an abundant cinematic lexicon, the tidbits of info included provide context for the films being mocked by Joel/Mike and their sarcastic robot friends. For example, the Fugitive Alien information supplement features August Ragone discussing the source material for the incomprehensible Sandy Frank films, Fugitive Alien and Star Force: Fugitive Alien II. It details the history of the source Japanese series, Star Wolf, from which the footage was borrowed, mashed together, re-edited and presented as a film unto itself ― about conquering a blue planet. Similarly, the supplements included with Samson vs. the Vampire Women expand on the film's star, El Santo (Rodolfo Guzman Huerta), giving a brief history of the Mexican wrestler and pop icon. It doesn't add much to the overall hilarity of the film, nor the few bon mots tossed out by Crow and Frank throughout, seeing as there isn't much to say about a movie that features a Mexican wrestler protecting a girl from ancient vampire women. Less informative and more "nice to have" are the extras included with the Sword and the Dragon disc. The two shorts ― Snow Thrills and A Date with your Family ― are actually attached to other MST3K episodes currently unavailable on DVD, which makes their inclusion somewhat peculiar. Fortunately, the film itself, which features a Russian knight battling rogue barbarians to prove his masculinity, or something of the ilk, is hilariously bad as intended. Worse, the original Russian film was bought and re-edited by Corman, complete with a terrible English dub, making the experience that much more excruciating, and unintentionally funny, for Tom Servo, Joel and, resultantly, us. (Shout! Factory)