We can’t expect Shout Factory to deliver the kind of bonus features they put in their 20th anniversary edition of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” last year, but it would be nice to have more than a couple interviews, a trailer, and a crossover bit with ESPN’s “Cheap Seats Without Ron Parker.” Personally, I would love to see each disc include a featurette covering why the film in question was chosen, anecdotes from the making of the episode, and so forth.
I know, it’s great to simply have “MST3K” on DVD, and Shout Factory doesn’t have the kind of budgets at its disposal as, say, Paramount, but a DVD reviewer/”MST3K” fan can dream, can’t he?
This latest volume of “MST3K” episodes is evenly split between the Joel and Mike years, featuring season 10’s “Final Justice” and “Soultaker” (both with Mike, but with cameos by Joel and Frank Coniff in “Soultaker”), “The Mad Monster” from the first season (Joel, obviously), and “Manhunt in Space” from season four (Joel). There are still plenty of episodes waiting to be released, though, so Shout Factory will be busy for the next few years trying to complete what Rhino started. And then they’ll be just in time to start putting everything out on Blu-ray, although I don’t know if we really need the show in high-def.
And then there’s the bonus stuff. “Manhunt” has nothing, while “Mad Monster” has its trailer. On “Soultaker” and “Final Justice,” we have interviews with star Joe Estevez and writer/producer/director Greydon Clark, respectively. Both can be summed up thus: “I think this was a really good movie, and I’m honored ‘Mystery Science Theater’ made fun of it. Any attention is good attention, right? Having the movie on that show was good for it, and good for my career. Yes, I really think I was involved with a good movie, and that ‘MST3K’ was all in good fun.”
The “Cheap Seats” crossover was from an episode of that short-lived series in which Mike and the ‘bots came back to riff on the Sklar brothers as they mocked a bad sporting event. While “Cheap Seats” was not as consistently funny as “MST3K,” when it was on, it was hysterical. But, no, I don’t really care if the series comes to DVD.