DVD Review ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume Two’

I’m not sure if out-of-print copies of Rhino’s original Mystery Science Theater 3000 sets “cost as much as a used car,” as box notes said on Shout! Factory’s reissue of Volume One. But it’s still good to see Volume Two also back in print as of May 24, even with far fewer extras than Shout delivered the first time.

Jack Perkins

Mike Nelson as Jack Perkins, host of the “Mystery Science Theater Hour.”

“Take that, third party sellers!” the box notes say this time, as four MST3K programs get new digital life: Cave Dwellers, Pod People, Angels Revenge and Shorts Vol. 1.

While I love shorts compilations (which I often buy from the MST crew now at RiffTrax), Pod People is my twisted favorite of these discs.

Our friends at Satellite News found the flick sleep-inducing, but this low-rent E.T. rip-off (sorry: homage) is oh-so-’80s, my favorite decade to revisit with wry amusement. And what better time to brandish an absurd hatched alien called “Trumpy”?

As for bonus features, the discs for Cave Dwellers and Pod People add Mystery Science Theater Hour “wraps” (intros and outros) for those episodes, running a grand total of 10 1/2 minutes. And that’s it. (The new menus are bare-bones.)

Though that’s not a lot, I’ll take it — especially since these wraps feature MST Hour host Mike Nelson as goofy, toothy, weirdly enthusiastic Jack Perkins (a parody of a real-life TV journalist), a regular in Deep 13.

Here, he fondles electric guitars and giant snakes while he sets up and rehashes episodes, then dazedly roams the set in near-darkness as the credits roll.

By the way, has anyone catalogued how many such wraps have been featured so far on DVD? Thirty MST3K episodes — thus, 60 two-part shows — were made for the reissue series, all from seasons three-five.

These were done to appease TV stations reluctant to air a two-hour episode but open to showing them divided in half as two-part, one-hour episodes.

Hey, anything that gets MST shown is fine with me — along with reissuing OOP  episodes ASAP (welcome to Acronym Theater).

As Lawgiver would say, “Keep ’em coming.”

— Bruce Westbrook



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