DVD review from The Movie Snob.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XIX. They have been releasing new volumes of the MST3K collection faster than I can keep up with them lately. This is a pretty good collection.
Robot Monster (C-). This first-season offering is clearly the weak link in this set. It starts with two weak episodes from an old TV show called “Commando Cody: Radar Men From the Moon.” The main event is a little better, a post-apocalyptic movie in which a tiny handful of human survivors are menaced by the alien being responsible for the catastrophe. Apparently the earth was conquered by a single guy wearing a diver’s helmet and a super-padded gorilla suit. The gang hadn’t yet hit its stride on its riffing technique, but the movie was sufficiently bizarre as to sort of make up for it, plus the heroine was pretty cute. There’s also an entertaining bonus feature, an interview about Robot Monster with a film director named Larry Blamire.
Bride of the Monster (B). This disc starts with an entertaining short called “Hired”, brought to you by Chevrolet. Apparently selling cars door to door was pretty hard back in the old days! The feature film was directed by the notorious Ed Wood (Plan 9 From Outer Space) and starred a fading Bela Lugosi (Dracula) as a mad scientist trying to create a race of atomic supermen. It’s a pretty funny episode, and there’s an entertaining bonus feature about Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi, and the making of this awful film.
Devil Doll (B). This is a better-than-average episode about a creepy ventriloquist and his spooky dummy Hugo. And as a bonus there’s an interview with the now very elderly producer of the movie. I guess he took it in stride that the MST3K crew ridiculed his movie mercilessly. He’s very mellow throughout the interview, and he insists it was a financially successful movie despite (or perhaps because of) its small budget.
Devil Fish (B). Another good episode, this one is a 1980’s era Italian production in which a bunch of random Europeans are supposed to be Floridians facing off against a prehistoric half-shark/half-octopus creature that is terrorizing the coast. The Satellite of Love crew has a good time riffing on the horrible editing, heavily synthesized soundtrack, and of course the lovably European actors and actresses.