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Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition'

Dennis King Published: November 25, 2013

This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:

“Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition”

Perhaps this week’s pick isn’t so much flying “under the radar” as camped out comfortably on the fringes. Commemorating a series that poked fun at and slyly celebrated the most obscure and inept low-budget efforts the movies have to offer, “Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition” is due out on DVD Tuesday.

The aggressively cheeky comedy series – combining Saturday afternoon monster movies with kiddy puppet antics and spicing things up with lots of snarky, sharp wisecracks – “MST3K” became the gold standard for the sport of mocking terrible movies, in the process giving substantial new meaning to the term “so bad it’s good.”

The Peabody Award-winning cable TV series, which premiered in 1988 and ran for 11 seasons, grew from a humble public access program to a national cult favorite, celebrated by fans and critics alike for its cutting-edge humor and pop-culture incisiveness.

The 25th Anniversary Edition comes in a limited-edition boxed tin and features five discs with six of the series’ most memorable “experiments” (four of which have never been released on home video) and loads of behind-the-scenes extras, cast interviews and “making-of” featurettes.

The movies include “The Day the Earth Froze,” the gleefully bad Russian Finnish production from season four; “Moon Zero Two,” the Hammer sci-fi epic from the debut season; “The Leach Woman,” a black-and-white monster thriller; “Gorgo,” the British giant monster adventure (both from the series’ final season); “Mitchell,” a Joe Don Baker private eye tale which denoted the end of creator Joel Hodgson’s time on the show, and the deliriously sleazy “Brain That Wouldn’t Die,” which kicked off the Mike Nelson reign on the show.

“Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition” is not rated and runs 660 minutes on five discs. It’s being released by Shout! Factory.

- Dennis King


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