MST3K: Volume XXXIX
Cast: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Bill Corbett, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl
Distributor: Shout! Factory
Not Rated | 480 minutes
Release Date: November 21, 2017
“Gonna go to the store! Da-na-na-na-na-nah! Gonna pick up some bread! Da-na-na-na-na-nah! Maybe stop by the post office! Da-na-na-na-na-nah! Take Dolores to lunch! Da-na-na-na-na-nah! Hope they’re serving that ham, oh yeah…”
On November 21, 2017, Shout! Factory will release the final collection of never-before-released episodes from the cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000. In MST3K: Volume XXXIX, Michael J. Nelson, Tom Servo (Kevin Murphy), and Crow T. Robot (Trace Beaulieu, Bill Corbett) endure unspeakable cinematic horrors involving Catholic school girls, transparent men, and sinister spies!
MST3K: Volume XXXIX features two episodes from the Comedy Central era and one from the SciFi Channel run, with Mike Nelson serving as host on all three experiments. This endlessly entertaining volume presents three bona fide cinematic catastrophes: Girls Town, The Amazing Transparent Man, and Diabolik, the series finale of MST3K’s original run, before this year’s Netflix revival.
A bonus fourth disc, Satellite Dishes, features the host segments of all the remaining unreleased episodes that couldn’t be acquired due to licensing fees. Continue reading for a detailed synopsis of each episode in this eclectic collection!
Favorite Line: “This is longer than In-A-Gadda-Da Vita.”
Original Air Date: July 16, 1994
Synopsis: “MGM’s 1959 film Girls Town is not a feminist follow up to MGM’s 1938 Boys Town, though to be fair, both are set in towns. B-movie siren Mamie Van Doren stars as a juvenile delinquent trying to survive in the eponymous nun-run reform school after she is wrongly accused of murder. It’s a feast of drag races, catfights, sexy dresses and Mel Tormé, who turns in a Blue Velvet Fog performance as the blackmailing troublemaker. The oddly child-of-star studded cast includes the offspring of Charlie Chaplin, Robert Mitchum, and Harold Lloyd. Paul Anka makes his feature debut, and this may be one of his regrets that does bear mentioning. Fortunately for us, those very juvenile delinquents aboard the SoL upgrade a B movie into A+ television and reform us all.”
The Amazing Transparent Man
Favorite Line: “It’s just me and the latest issue of Sassy!”
Original Air Date: March 18, 1995
Synopsis: “In The Amazing Transparent Man, an ex-military sociopath plans to raise an army of invisible soldiers, but first he needs to perfect his captive scientist’s invisibilizing device by stealing necessary nuclear materials from a government vault. He engineers the prison break of a notorious thief, leveraging his wanted status to force him to do the heist. This amazing transparent tax shelter provides no dearth of fodder for Mike, Tom and Crow, who see right through the film to the riffs that ultimately make it a joy to behold.”
Favorite Line: “George Jones tours Italy. George Jones drives a truck.”
Original Air Date: August 8, 1999
Synopsis: “The celebrated Italian filmmaker Mario Bava must have needed his bathroom redone. In the 1968 spy spoof Diabolik, he takes John Philip Law into his own hands and delivers an exploitation schlock-fest replete with super-criminals, underground lairs, and gadgets that would have Q scratching his head. It’s supposed to be a comedy, but it only turns into one after Mike and the bots riff it good. This film was, of course, the last one Mike and the bots were forced to endure. We thank them for their service!”
Favorite Segment: Joel explains the origins of Godzilla with the song “The Godzilla Genealogy Bop.”
Synopsis: “The best laid plans of mice and licensees often go astray. Despite best efforts to include the remaining unreleased episodes, the hard truth is that they may never see the legitimate light of day. So here is the next best thing: all their host segments. What these delectable dishes from the Satellite of Love lack in riffs, they make up for in irreverent, silly and delightfully nerdy sketch comedy. It’s the best we can do, so we are doing it!” This disc includes segments from:
Ep #201 Rocketship X-M
Ep #213 Godzilla Vs. The Sea Monster
Ep #309 The Amazing Colossal Man
Ep #311 It Conquered the World
Ep #416 Fire Maidens from Outer Space
Ep #418 The Eye Creatures
Ep #807 Terror from the Year 5000
Ep #809 I Was A Teenage Werewolf
Ep #905 The Deadly Bees
Ep #906 The Space Children
Ep #913 Quest of the Delta Knights
The four-disc set also includes several new bonus features, which you can read about below!
* Chuck Love and the Anatomy of a Theme
* Beyond Transparency – The Amazing Transparent Man
* Showdown In Eden Prairie: Their Final Experiment
* The Last Dance – A documentary that chronicles the final days shooting the last episode of the original run of MST3K, Diabolik.
* Behind the Scream: Daniel Griffith on Ballyhoo
* Theatrical Trailers
* Four Exclusive Mini-Posters by artist Steve Vance
MST3K: Volume XXXIX is another great release from Shout! Factory and a must-own for MST3K fans. All three episodes offer quality riffing, with the series finale, Diabolik, standing out as one of the collection’s best and most significant episodes. It’s been a great ride reviewing these MST3K releases, and I’m sad to see them go, but with the success of the Netflix revival, there’s hope that we’ll get more high-quality movie riffing from the Satellite of Love soon!
It’s a shame that outrageous licensing fees prevented Shout! Factory from acquiring the remaining, unreleased episodes, but considering MST3K’s fandom was founded on tape-trading, I’m sure MSTies will continue to share these lost episodes with others. The Satellite Dishes disc is a consolation prize though, as the segments from Godzilla Vs. The Sea Monster and I Was A Teenage Werewolf are among my favorites of the series.
MST3K: Volume XXXIX is now available at Amazon.
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