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Mystery Science Theater 3000- Season 12: The Gauntlet


Season 12 of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” is a laugh riot.

It’s bittersweet to write this review on Thanksgiving Day 2019 because as of two days ago Netflix canceled the series which last aired one year ago today on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily, there’s still hope the cult classic will find a new home (Cough Shudder Cough). While us Misties wait for that to happen, we can all watch season 12 on home video.

The format of season 12 differs from the norm in that it’s a shorter season (6 episodes) with a serialized story concept dubbed “The Gauntlet.” The idea is that in this binge culture era, Kinga Forrester and Max are subjecting Jonah, Crow, Tom (and Waverly and Growler) to 6 movies in a row as an experiment. The movies in question are “Mac and Me” (an “E.T.” knockoff with ghastly effects), “Atlantic Rim” (a “Pacific Rim” rip-off), “Lords of the Deep” (a weird underwater sci-fi-horror film), “The Day Time Ended” (a wacky sci-fi, time travel, desert flick), “Killer Fish” (part heist movie, part killer piranha movie), and “Ator The Fighting Eagle” (a Conan esque sword-and-sandals adventure which has also been goofed on by RiffTrax).

Despite being a shorter season, Jonah Ray (Jonah Heston), Hampton Yount (Crow), Baron Vaughn (Tom Servo) and the writing staff are firing on all cylinders here. While season 11 was enjoyable, the cast was still finding their footing and sometimes rushed their line deliveries. With season 12, they are clearly more comfortable as they crack wise on the 6 movies.

Speaking of the 6 movies, the two stand-outs (for me at least) are the first 2- “Mac and Me” and “Atlantic Rim.” “Mac and Me” is easily one of the best episodes of the entire series. You might even say it’s “Pretty niiiice.” Don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing from start to finish. “Atlantic Rim” is a deliriously dopey Asylum movie that is perfect fodder for Jonah and the bots.

Overall Thoughts: With “Ator The Fighting Eagle” leaving fans on a cliffhanger, I really hope that season 13 will come down the pike. This new era of MST3K has really just begun and it deserves to continue on for many years. In the meantime, fans can at least enjoy the last season (for now) over and over again on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout! Factory.


Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. Grade: B+

Audio Tracks: 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. Grade: B+

No extras.

November 28, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , ,

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