86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
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MST3K Volume 12 contains four more episodes of the beloved cow-town puppet show, two with Joel Hodgson as host and two with Mike Nelson in the jumpsuit. Three are from the Comedy Central years while one is from the first season at the Sci-Fi Channel. This is a load of fun that may not be in print for long if issues with the rights over the films used in the show crop up, so order now before it's too late!
Episode 419- THE REBEL SET (with short: JOHNNY AT THE FAIR)
In this amusing episode from season 4, Edward Platt (The Chief on Get Smart!) is a criminal mastermind who concocts a heist using some desperate young men from his local pool of beatniks in this 1959 caper film. His scheme also involves eliminating his help after the job so that he can keep all the loot for himself. Don Sullivan, who played Chase Winstead in Giant Gila Monster ("I sing whenever I sing", an MST3K fan favorite) also stars. The short, Johnny At The Fair is hilarious! The short and the main feature in this episode are both black and white. All the other episodes in this set use color films.
Episode 504- SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON
MST3K has a fine day making fun of this film, a crummy James Bond wannabe made in Italy in 1966. The original title is "New York chiama Superdrago". The beautiful Marisa Mell who was also in Diabolik (MST3K's final episode!) is in this film. Watch out for the poisoned chewing gum and other "clever" spy gimmicks.
Episode 612- THE STARFIGHTERS
Nothing actually happens in this 1964 film that looks more like a dull documentary than an actual piece of cinema. There's not much of a story, not much action and no great scenes of F-104 Starfighters doing anything spectacular in the way of aviation moves. The only reason to watch this film is to see Mike and the `Bots riff away at it. You may, however, learn some agricultural terms you hadn't heard before, like "corn detasseler". Future Congressman Robert Dornan stars. He was later banned from the US Capitol and the House of Representatives in 1997 for a loud verbal attack on another House Member while Congress was in session. Get your "poopie suit" on for this one and jump in!
Episode 811- PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR
This weird, somewhat clever, but low-budget and depressing film from 1979 actually has some name actors in it: Keenan Wynn, Peter Graves (he was in several MST3K films and apparently attended the University of Minnesota), and Dick Sargent. It was remade without permission as the "The Island" in 2005, sparking a well-deserved lawsuit by the original filmmaker. The story involves a bunch of selfish rich guys using a secret cloning program to produce spare parts to improve the length and quality of their own lives. The clones are treated as disposable organ banks. The story is really, really dark! Never fear, the crew at MST3K lighten it up quite a bit. Movie sign!
Extra features on this set include:
Original Movie Theatrical Trailers
MST3K Video Jukebox, Vol. 3
An interview with The Rebel Set star Don Sullivan
MST Hour "Jack Perkins" bumpers for The Rebel Set
An interview with director Robert Fiveson, director of Parts: The Clonus Horror
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
After releasing a set of public domain episodes, it seems that Rhino has gone back to purchasing licenses to copyrighted MST episodes. The purchased episode in this set is PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR, a Sci-Fi Channel effort which incidentally is the reason to pick up this set. Along with that we get two lesser-known Joel offerings and a Mike/CC era episode as well.
"The Rebel Set" is a poorly done crime film turned to a good-but-not-great episode from the fourth season. It's mostly chuckle-worthy, but the real laugh-out-loud moments come from the chase towards the end of the film ("The heist is ended. Go in peace.") 7.5/10
Much better is "Secret Agent Super Dragon" a James Bond knock-off that adds great fodder for Joel and the Bots. I love the so-called action sequences ("Oh good, an action sequence...and it's over.") 9/10
What can one say about "The Starfighters"? A flight film where nothing ever happens. It's the weakest episode in this set, but still pretty good, overall. I like the host segments where Crow is trying to call tech support. 7/10
Finally, we get to "Parts: The Clonus Horror", easily one of the strongest episodes of the Sci-Fi channel era. The jokes are really funny and the fact that this movie isn't too bad makes it more worth watching. Yes, it's plagued by a horrendous amount of Biography references, but there are still some great jokes scattered throughout, running at a pretty constant rate 9.5/10
In addition, there's some solid bonus material. For starters, we get theatrical trailers and another compilation of musical host segments. Also, there's a 15-minute interview with "Rebel Set" star Don Sullivan, which incidentally didn't catch my interest. Much better is the 10-minute interview with "Parts" director Robert Fiveson, my favorite extra. Here he talks about his influence with the film, his lawsuit with Dreaworks's "The Island", and his reaction to when the movie appeared on MST3K. Oh, and he also gives a small promotion about where to find the uncut theatrical version of "Parts" on DVD.
23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
S. L. Delong
- Published on Amazon.com
I am so glad to see them put out a new set of movies. I have not seen some of these since they first aired. This is a set that I would buy because like with all of Rhinos' MST3K releases, you never know when they will be pulled off of the market. I would make it an early Christmas present for any Mstie out there. I also think that if anything buy it for Parts: The Clonus Horror because it is one of the most awesome ones. A little note to Rhino: please,please try to put out some more lost gems like Attack of the Eye Creatures, Outlaw, The Magic Sword, The Day the Earth Froze and Jack Frost.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Opening Credits (Beginning Remarks):
This apparently is the final box set of MST3k DVDs from Rhino (not counting the re-release of Volume 10) before they hand over the reigns to "Shout! Factory". And for their last offering, they've given us a very solid set, splitting its four episodes evenly between Joel-hosted episodes and Mike-hosted episodes.
THE REBEL SET
This film is about Edward Platt (Maxwell Smart's Chief) as the head of a gang of thieves. With his superior intelligence, he has concocted a brilliant heist and has assembled a bunch of bad guys to enact his bidding. His bidding involves a fairly convoluted plan with multiple train journeys, fake police disguises, armored car hold-ups, etc.
For me, one of the funniest running gags was the in-theater argument over whether one of the characters is portrayed by Merritt Stone (by the way, Tom Servo is right: the conductor is played by Gene Roth of ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES fame, not Merritt Stone). The discussion spills out into the final moments where the episode ends with a stupefied TV's Frank franticly flipping back and forth through multiple stacks of film guides trying to figure out which B-movie actor is which. Ah, how difficult it was in those days before the Internet Movie Database.
SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON
SASD is one of those kinds of films that was made for MST3k. It's an Italian spy film that's not totally unlike a cheaply made James Bond rip-off. It's the story of a secret government agent who's pulled out of retirement for one final mission. Not only has one of his former colleagues been murdered by an international crime ring, but there's a plot to poison untold millions with tainted chewing gum. By the time the final reel has finished the evil schemes have expanded to include a smuggling operation which features Ming vases and mind-altering drugs. I've seen this film multiple times, and I'm still not sure what all the different plot-threads have to do with each other.
As I indicated, this is the style of film that MST3k handles very well. The story is ludicrous, the dubbing poor and the dialog silly. The jokes from Joel and the bots make a funny situation even better.
This has to be one of the most boring films the MST3k gang ever did. I'd be willing to wager that a good third of the movie is simply made up of US Air Force stock footage (almost entirely long passages of planes refueling in mid-flight). And what isn't actual stock footage is as tedious as stock footage: dull-speaking talking heads intoning boring dialog at each other.
Usually extremely drab and dreary films like this are my least favorite MST3k episodes. However, this time the jokes were energetic enough that I never actually got fed up with the movie. What also helped was the mental leaps I had to go through to figure out how the producers possibly thought that an audience would be interested in extremely minor plot-points. For example, the most exciting thing that happens in the film is a storm that blows several fighter planes off course. That's it for excitement. And it all happens off-camera anyway.
I hadn't seen this episode before, so I finally learned that the piece of music that the bots would hum in later episodes during extremely boring sections was actually some of the incidental music from this film. (Well, I think that's a fun thing to know, even if no one else does.)
PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR
PARTS is an interesting film. One gets the impression that underneath the bad acting from the leads and the low production values there was a decent movie to be made. (Apparently I'm not alone in that thought; the producers of PARTS sued and settled with the makers of THE ISLAND, which starred Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson.) There are also some good and accomplished actors in secondary roles: Dick Sargent, Peter Graves and Keenan Wynn. But despite the film's strengths, the overall production is just too silly for words.
I hadn't seen PARTS since the initial broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel and I had completely forgotten how funny this episode is. I got a little tired with all the Peter Graves and Biography jokes, but everything else was absolutely spot on. (The MST3k people had done a lot of Peter Graves movies over the years and I think they finally ran out of jokes.)
Stinger (closing thoughts):
Rhino's DVD collections of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 episodes is going out on a high note. This is a great cross-section of genres and styles which I'll be happy rewatching.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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This is a rather lukewarm collection. Two of the episodes are average, one of them is painful, and the final one is stellar. If you're a fan, you can't go wrong by buying this set, but this should probably be one of the final ones you get.
The Rebel Set is all right. It's certainly not the first episode I leap to when I need my MST3k high, but it's serviceable. It's a tale of three downtrodden individuals taking place in a bank robbery for a criminal mastermind... and of course, things don't go as they should. For the most part, it's a torpid turd, trudging along until the final third of the movie. It's also one of those movies that ALMOST works, and you'll find yourself watching it and forgetting to listen to the boys every now and then. Because it has its own presence and almost functions properly, it shadows the riffing and is almost impossible for the guys to lift. That said, check out the short, "Johnny Goes to the Fair." It's a fabulous short, definitely one of my favorites. I laugh until I cry every time I watch it.
Secret Agent Super Dragon is average as far as eps go. It's a James Bond ripoff, which is all you need to know. Although the premise sounds hilarious, the movie itself is just not very engaging. Yeah, it's super lame; that's the problem. It fails at being a humorously poor film in and of itself -- a quality that always makes for the best episodes. That said, the constant jabs at the "white-trash Q" and rude protagonist make for a pretty good time. Just don't expect too much from this one.
The Starfighters is horribly, horribly boring. This is basically airforce propaganda masquerading as a documentary masquerading as a movie. Refueling scenes take up roughly a fourth of the movie, and there's only so much Mike and the bots can say before you're taking a nap. Furthermore, here's a case of poor product; I popped this pristine, brand-spanking-new DVD into my player and the darn thing skipped a total of 5-6 times. Really, shame on you, Rhino!
Parts: The Clonus Horror is my favorite in this set. The premise is that humans are cloned as organ donors for the wealthy. It's downright hilarious! The movie is just interesting enough to keep you engaged while the guys pop out one-line wonders. This episode is a must-have!
All in all, I can only really recommend this set to the hardcore fan. New MSTies are better off with Volume 2.