In TEEN-AGE STRANGLER, aka TERROR IN THE NIGHT (1964), a serial killer stalks the streets of Huntington, West Virginia, while the kids at the malt shop rock out to an Esmeralda-like waitress singing "Yipes Stripes." Strange as this is, it's followed by the appearance of the even stranger Mikey -- a whining hermaphrodite with thick glasses and an exaggerated southern drawl, and one of the most grotesque characters in MST3K history. (Luckily, you can watch this season five episode on YouTube, as opposed to buying the collector's item box set.) It was only Mike Nelson's second show as host, but he, Trace and Kevin deliver a great set of jokes with aplomb. An indispensable episode.
THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION, one of the fifty top grossing films of 1975 (believe it or not), is an orgy of nonstop drunken hick jokes, but they're genuinely funny drunken hick jokes. The "giant spider" is a repurposed Volkswagen, the stars are alumni of STAR TREK, PERRY MASON, and GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, and the movie is a health hazard for people with chest colds, as they'll be laughing so hard that breathing may become problematic.
A prison break movie about four scantily clad, escaped female convicts fighting their way through a swamp? How can this possibly be boring?!? Oh wait, it's a Roger Corman picture. Never mind.
That's why SWAMP DIAMONDS, aka SWAMP WOMEN (1955) falls so flat -- a sleazy exploitation film is thoroughly Cormanized, that is, shot on the cheap in record time, without a trace of interest on the part of the director, who was lining up his next project in his head rather than thinking about the one he was working on now.Read more ›
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123 of 125 people found the following review helpful
More classics from seasons 2, 5 and 8. "Seatopia! Seatopia run!"July 2 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
The latest MST3K 4-disc set contains a good variety of episodes from seasons 2, 5 and 8. Two episodes feature Joel Hodgson as host and two have Mike Nelson as host. Three episodes are from the Comedy Central years while one is from the first season on the Sci-Fi Channel. Here is a synopsis of each episode:
212- GODZILLA VS. MEGALON
This extremely silly Toho picture from 1973 is a blast whether you love or loathe Godzilla movies. Its original Japanese title is Gojira tai Megaro. It is simply goofy beyond belief! The people of Seatopia, who live under the ocean, decide that it's time they controlled the surface world as well, launching an all out assault on surface dwelling humans. Their main instrument of destruction is Megalon, a large monster with big spike-like arms and a star-shaped projection on his head. Godzilla comes to the rescue, assisted by a man-made robot named Jet Jaguar that can change its size to become gigantic. Together, Godzilla and Jet Jaguar teach Megalon and the Seatopians a lesson they'll not soon forget.
This is a GREAT episode and includes some of the BEST host segments ever, including the "Rex Dart, Eskimo Spy" sketch, the `Bots get new arms sketch, the `Bots argue over whose monster is the "coolest" sketch, and the HILARIOUS translation of the Jet Jaguar fight song during the final host segment. The scene of Godzilla dropkicking as if flying through the air during the opening titles in later seasons of the show comes from this episode. This is a must-see episode!
503- SWAMP DIAMONDS (plus short: WHAT TO DO ON A DATE)
This is a 1955 Roger Corman "classic" starring Beverly Garland and Mike "Touch" Connors before his fame with Mannix. Beverly Garland leads a gang of escaped female convicts to a cache of diamonds and they kidnap the innocent Mr. Connors and his girlfriend along the way. A policewoman goes undercover inside the gang hoping to recover the stolen diamonds. Beverly Garland turns in the usual good performance and looks great doing it in spite of the mediocre film quality.
Host segments in this episode focus on the dating short as Servo tries to get up the nerve to ask Gypsy for a date. There's also a hilarious bit based on the "This Side of Paradise" episode of the original Star Trek series.
514- TEEN-AGE STRANGLER (plus short: IS THIS LOVE?)
This is the second episode of MST3K to be hosted by Mike Nelson after the departure of show creator Joel Hodgson. The main feature is a small independent film made in 1968 West Virginia about a serial killer in a small town and it looks every bit the amateur film. Highlights in this episode include Mike Nelson transforming into Mikey from the movie and the hilarious "The Janitor Song." The short is also a winner with some of the oldest looking "young people" you're likely to see on film; this is really funny stuff!
810- THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION
This movie is a 1975 monster flick from Bill Rebane, the same man who brought you Monster A-Go Go! This film is ever so slightly more competently made than Monster A-Go Go and actually features a couple of well-known actors: Barbara Hale of Perry Mason fame and Alan Hale, Jr. who was The Skipper on Gilligan's Island and also the sheriff in the film The Crawling Hand which was featured in MST3K episode # 106. The movie is really goofy fun, with large spiders everywhere, sleazy and gross yokel-type characters less appealing than the spiders, and a small car dressed up as the biggest and cheesiest looking spider of them all. The scene where Barbara Hale's character does an odd tumble down a hill is worth seeing all by itself and there's plenty of other good material here as well for the MST3K writers. This is certainly one of the more fun episodes done after the show moved to the Sci-Fi Channel. The amusing host segments are based loosely on the classic SF film Invasion of the Body Snatchers rather than on the film featured in the episode.
This DVD set also contains the following extra features:
-MST3K Video Jukebox with 15 songs from the series
-Outtakes consisting of about 15 minutes of the best moments from "Poopie 2"
This is a great set any MST3K fan, film buff or comedy aficionado would enjoy, with a wide variety of film genres and seasons of the show represented here. Join Us! Movie Sign!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Bad movies, great setJan. 7 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Once there was a time when bad movies didn't necessarily disappear but found a new life. That new life was called Mystery Science Theater 3000, and it refined to an art what many had done for years: make fun of bottom-of-the-barrel films.
For those unfamiliar with MST3K, the premise is that an innocent man, Joel Robinson, has been shot into space by a mad scientist, whose sadistic experiment is to subject Joel to bad movies and see how long it takes for him to snap. Joel is smart enough to construct some robot friends, in particular Tom Servo (who looks something like a living gumball machine) and Crow T. Robot (who looks something like a robotic crow). This trio watches the movies together and maintain Joel's sanity by mocking the films. Later, Joel would be replaced by Mike Nelson, but the concept remained the same.
The four movies in the tenth collection are another set of really rotten films:
Godzilla vs. Megalon is pretty awful, even by Godzilla movie standards. When nuclear tests disrupt the undersea kingdom of Seatopia, it retaliates by sending oversized cockroach Megalon to destroy the surface world. When opposed by robot Jet Jaguar (at least that's what it sounds like), another monster joins Megalon, while Jet Jaguar is allied with Godzilla. What follows is a tag-team wrestling match with four monsters. At least Godzilla vs. Megalon has the excuse of being an obvious kids' movie. The others in the set have no such justification.
Swamp Diamonds is an early Roger Corman film. I'm willing to admit that Corman is not as bad a moviemaker as some say (his Poe movies are typically good), but this is one of the movies that cemented his "bad" reputation. A pre-Mannix Mike Connors is kidnapped by escaped female convicts (one of whom is actually an undercover cop) and they go into a swamp seeking some stolen diamonds. Done correctly, it could be good, but it isn't, so it makes good MST3K fare.
The truly shoddiest in the bunch (which makes it the best in the set) is Teen-Age Strangler. Sure, you expect the writing, direction and acting to be lousy, but even the title doesn't really make sense (watch and you'll understand). At least the Giant Spider Invasion deals with a giant spider, or at least a VW Beetle dressed as a spider.
In addition to the movies, we have a couple of short educational films, What To Do on a Date (part of the Swamp Diamonds episode) and Is This Love? (accompanying Teen-Age Strangler). We also get a Video Jukebox and a photo gallery. All in all, this is another fun-to-watch set Joel, Mike and the `bots once again attack these movies with great wit, and gets a full five-star rating.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5 stars and it ain't even out yetAug. 8 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
This MST3K collection is already primed to be one of the best yet, primarily for the inclusion of one of my all-time-favorite episodes (Godzilla v. Megalon, aka Jet Jaguar) and one of the top 10 MST3Ks ever: Season Eight's Giant Spider Invasion.
The latter is one of the most tragically awful things ever slapped onto celluloid, and Mike-n-bots are in PHENOMENAL form on this one. The presence of Alan "the Skipper from Gilligan" Hale, Jr., his sister Barbara "Della Street from Perry Mason" Hale, and Steve "Lucky from The Wizard of Speed and Time" Brodie as main protagonists provides a wealth of ridicule fodder, due primarily to their utterly generic handling of utterly generic dialogue in utterly generic scenes.
Add to the above the aggressively repulsive hick characters that populate the "diamond-n-spider-meteorite" storyline, and a wildly lame titular monster, and you have all the ingredients for some of the most inspired heckling ever to issue forth from the First Row.
The riffs on this one are classic, from "Packers???" to "Johnny Crappleseed" to "PUDDING!!!!" to "Don't act with your tongue, Alan...". Giant Spider Invasion lives in the same lofty environment that houses Mitchell, The Clonus Horror, Wild World of Batwoman, Manhunt in Space, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Attack of the Eye Creatures, Hamlet, The Screaming Skull, Pod People, It Conquered the World, and Manos: Hands of Fate. Grab this one with confidence... it's one of the MST3K keepers.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
More MST3K! What could be better???July 14 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
These 4 eps:Godzilla vs.Megalon,Swamp Diamonds,Teenage Strangler and Giant Spider Invasion are some of the best from different seasons,so I'm excited when it comes out!Glad to know there are extras on this set and I hope in future volumes there will be more extras in each one...Thanks Rhino! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Get it while you can!!!Nov. 30 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
Due to some kind of hush-hush recall of some kind, for reasons as of yet unspecified by Rhino, this Volume 10 is not going to be available for much longer! Consequently this title is going to get progressively harder to get the longer you wait. Personally I had to get my copy off of e-Bay because Amazon couldn't fill my initial order, (though they may have some in stock now so they're always worth a try). So if you're a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan and want Vol. 10, don't hesitate another nanosecond and start shopping immediately.