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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXII DVD Review

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXII DVD

Volume XXXII is one of the least memorable MST3K sets.

As I poured over the latest “Mystery Science Theater 3000” boxed set (number 32 to be exact), I was a little disheartened by the fact that this set was rather underwhelming. Granted, the extra features are (as always) worth plunking down cash for, but the episodes themselves are some of the most forgettable of the show’s entire run. So, what all is in this set, you ask? Read on to find out. Radar, san Herc, space

The set kicks off with the tedious “Radar Secret Service.” This spy drama about G-Men using giant radar technology to find stolen uranium is an utter snoozefest. Despite some amusing jokes about the radar and the stiff acting, this is a tough one to get through. Thankfully, the driving safety short that accompanies it (“Last Clear Chance”) is completely hilarious and is far and away the best part of these 4 episodes.

Following that is the TV movie/pilot episode about the employees and the various incidents that take place at the San Francisco airport. I am, of course, talking about the hokey 70’s “San Francisco International.” The episode itself is rather passable, but there are some laugh out loud jokes about the Davey character and a welcome appearance by Mike Nelson’s Torgo.

The third episode included here is “Hercules.” To me, the “Hercules” entries were all a bore and this one is no different. The slow paced fantasy spectacle/love story/murder mystery involving the Golden Fleece has very little to offer, but there are amusing bits about the visual action (and a “Gymkata” joke to boot!).

Lastly there is the 1969 film “Space Travelers”AKA “Marooned.” The film is known known as one of the best (if not the best) films featured on MST3K mainly due to the level of talent involved (namely actors Gene Hackman and Gregory Peck and acclaimed director John Sturges). Granted, the movie is a sluggish tale of 3 astronauts stranded in space, but I often found myself more interested in the movie than the riffs. In my opinion, this feels like an out of place movie for MST3K and it shows in the so-so riffing.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Fullscreen. How do the films look? The prints range from faded to ok, but we all know the picture quality is irrelevant for MST3K. It’s the content (not the quality) that matters most.

Audio Track: Unspecified Audio Track. How does it sound ? As usual, I wouldn’t expect greatness here. The audios from the 4 films are hit-and-miss, but thankfully, the riffs are always clear to hear.

Extras:
* 4 mini-posters.
* Theatrical trailers for “Hercules” and “Space Travelers.”
* “Sampo Speaks! A Brief History Of Satellite News”- A wonderful interview with Satellite News website owner Chris “Sampo” Cornell. For MST3K fans, this is the go to website and they have graciously linked DVDCorner’s MST3K centric reviews before.
* Introductions to “Hercules,” “Space Travelers,” and “Radar Secret Service” by Frank Conniff.
* “Barnum Of Baltimore: The Early Films Of Joseph E. Levine”- A featurette on the fascinating life of film distributor/producer Joseph E. Levine.
* “MST-UK With Trace and Frank”- A delightful video travelogue of sorts documenting Trace and Frank’s adventures to the Sci-Fi London festival.
* “Marooned: A Forgotten Odyssey”- A featurette on “Marooned” AKA “Space Travelers.”

Overall Thoughts: Completists and collectors were will want to snag this latest set, but I would recommend seeking out Volumes XIV or the 20th Anniversary Edition if you don’t already own them.

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June 13, 2015 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , , , ,

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