The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 6
Join Joel, Mike, and their "robot friends" as they endure the worst movies ever made, all for the pleasure of an evil scientist. To survive and maintain their sanity, these crazy captives make stinging quips and hilarious jokes at the expense of these torturous cinematic stinkers.
It's business as usual for Mystery Science Theater 3000 in this sixth volume of episodes taken from the archives of the long-running television show, which is nothing but good news for MST3K's many adherents--and with four discs and six hours of content, neither longtime fans nor newcomers to the series will be shortchanged. The formula is the same as ever: having been sentenced by mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester to watch unspeakably bad movies (all part of the doc's wacky plan for world domination), janitor Joel Robinson (portrayed by series creator Joel Hodgson, who would later write for Jimmy Kimmel's variety show) and his robot buddies Crow and Tom Servo sit aboard their spaceship, the Satellite of Love, and do exactly that. Their own skits and interstitial shtick are mildly diverting, but as always it's the wisecracks our heroes direct at the screen that dominate the proceedings far more than the movies themselves. By turns genuinely witty and groan-inducing, their nonstop riffing, laden with puns, sarcasm, and cultural references (from poet Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" to atrocious pop songs like Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods' "Billy Don't Be a Hero," all in the space of a couple of breaths), usually drowns out the dialogue in the films. That's not a bad thing, of course, when the movies are turkeys on the order of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 6 lineup, which comes from episodes first aired between 1990 and 1994. They include Attack of the Giant Leeches (boasting perhaps the least convincing movie monsters ever created), Gunslinger (a Western that drags on interminably), and the self-explanatory Teenagers from Outer Space. Disc 3 contains six shorter films, and may be the best of the lot for that reason alone.
With Mystery Science Theater 3000 having departed the airwaves in 1999 (it began in '88), the show lives on primarily by way of these DVD releases. And while some would argue that a little of this stuff goes a fairly long way, Rhino's typically fine packaging and presentation (even without any bonus features) make this and the other MST3K sets a collector's treat. --Sam Graham
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Top Customer Reviews
The first episode on the set is easily the weakest. "Attack of the Giant Leeches," executive produced by Roger Corman, is a rather dull low-budget horror flick. Though the leech monsters look pretty goofy, it's mostly slow paced, and a surprising number of the peanut gallery's riffs fall flat. On the lighter side, the short, "Undersea Kingdom Chapter 1," is quite funny.
"The Gunslinger" (directed by Corman) was one of the few Westerns on the show. It's about a woman whose husband has died, and then she becomes the sheriff. While also a lifeless movie, the riffing is hilarious in this episode (which was host Joel Hodgeson's second last).
"Teenagers from Outer Space" is without a doubt the funniest in the box. Some startingly old teenage aliens come to earth, but one of them escapes and gets a girlfriend, all while being chased by one of his alien superiors. This movie has everything - bad acting, a strangely structured story, poor dialogue, and arguably the worst-looking giant monster ever to grace the silver screen. The jokes are excellent in this episode, and the host segments are amusing (and quite surreal).
Finally, "Mr. B's Lost Shorts" is a collection of some of the educational shorts that were tackled on the show. The best of them is "Mr. B Natural," which is probably the "Manos: Hands of Fate" of MST3K shorts. Other shorts are "Design for Living," "Hired!Read more ›
Ultimately, this movie can either be totally disregarded, or taken as unintentional humor. I usually have a weakness for movies that are "so-bad-they're-good," hence the 2 stars rating. Others beware.
The setting is the swamps of the southeastern United States and many of the main characters are clad in bib overalls and talk like local country folk. As a recent political commercial demonstrated, there is nothing more phony sounding than professional actors trying to portray simple local folk. Their dialogue sounds artificial and some of the situations are right out of the book of clichés to be avoided. There is a young southern woman that is straying from her overweight husband and she shows as much female skin as was tolerated when the movie was made. The hero of the story is the local game warden, a man of honor that upholds the law, even when it is contrary to his love interests. He also shows as much skin as the law allowed at the time.
For reasons that are logically challenged, the giant leeches are suddenly hungry for human blood and begin attacking humans. However, they are also clever enough to capture some so that they can engage in regular mealtimes. With the help of dogs and volunteers, the game warden is able to track the leeches to their local swamp and rescue the last remaining prisoner of the leeches, quite naturally the voluptuous woman.
As is expected in movies like this, the acting is poor and the quality of the story even worse. However, back when they were made the entertainment expectations were much lower, so they were suitable for the late-night “watched in bed” movie on television. Now, these movies are largely watched for nostalgia and to hoot at when the monster makes an appearance. That type of fun is timeless.
Joel's next-to-last episode before leaving the show, and MST3K's second western in a row (after THE PAINTED HILLS), GUNSLINGER (1956) is Roger Corman's version of Johnny Guitar. The difference is that JOHNNY's director, Nicholas Ray, was an artist who often directed hackwork; Corman was a hack. Thus, while both films are centered on epic duels between two powerful women, one is a sexually ambiguous mashup of the western and the gothic romance, while the other is the very silly story of a love triangle between a cold-blooded lady marshal, the town's saloon keeper/crime boss, and a sentimental hitman in love with them both.
Shot in seven days, an unusually long time for a Corman film, GUNSLINGER is ripe for mockery, but the riffing can't quite overcome the movie's sheer tedium: endless exposition, multiple subplots, murky sound, sets (and editing) that have characters warping time and space, and one-dimensional characters too blank to care about. The SoL crew did the best they could with westerns, but after LAST OF THE WILD HORSES, they never tried another one. Is the genre just inherently unfunny?
More Corman, this time as co-producer of 1959's ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, memorable for scantily-clad swamp trollop Yvette Vickers, and nothing else. It's one of the funniest creature features from the Joel era.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The story takes place in a Florida swamp near Cape Canaveral where those atomic payloads keep falling. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2013 by Bernie
This particular DVD is movie only, but it's one of my favorites. Starring the very sexy Yvette Vickers (who was also in "Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman) the combination of... Read morePublished on Dec 28 2013 by Daran Paige
The story takes place in a Florida swamp near Cape Canaveral where those atomic payloads keep falling. Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2010 by Bernie
Fans of fifties creature features should enjoy this smarmy swamp saga about vampirish predators that keep captives in caves to suffer lingering, sucked-dry deaths. Read morePublished on July 23 2003 by Carolyn Paetow
This "Killer B " DVD Double Feature released by Marengo Fims brings back the classic Creature Double Features I remember so well as a kid. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2002
These two films are from the Corman production mill. Roger directed A Bucket of Blood, which is a very entertaining (and brief) satire on coffeehouse/beatnik art pretensions. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2001 by H.R. Sauertieg
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