Shout Factory has been pretty diligent about their MST3K disc series, regularly releasing box sets of this material since picking up the license. They’ve also done some stand-alone discs and have another two set for release at the end of this month, both from early box sets: Hamlet and Gunslinger. The first dates from the Mike Nelson years and features the crew taking on a t.v. production of the Shakespeare classic featuring Maximilian Schell and the second is a Joel-era episode that applies the Satellite Of Love’s talents to a Roger Corman-directed western. Read on for all the schlock-satire details, plus some deals from the Shout Factory store…
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000:
HAMLET AND GUNSLINGER
THE NEWEST MST3K DVDS AVAILABLE JUNE 21
FROM SHOUT! FACTORY
Climb aboard the Satellite of Love, as Shout! Factory, in association with Best Brains, Inc. proudly presents Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hamlet and Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gunslinger, available on June 21, 2011 from http://www.shoutfactorystore.com/prod.aspx?pfid=5257446.
Customers who purchase Gunslinger and Hamlet together from ShoutFactoryStore.com will receive free shipping and an MST3K stress ball, and customers who purchase all four of the MST3K single-disc titles Gunslinger, Hamlet, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies, Beginning Of The End will also receive free shipping and and MST3K stress ball.
Conceived as popular entertainment, but blessed with an artistic depth and beauty that reveal new layers of genius with each viewing, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Hamlet have a lot in common. It’s the old “boy meets ghost of dead father, boy loses hot mother to dead father’s rival, boy drives girlfriend to suicide and then everyone dies” story. But, as presented in a 1961 German TV movie starring Maximilian Schell, this one takes tragedy to a whole new level. Join Mike, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot for a little Satellite-Upon-Avon and watch the slings and arrows fly. To riff or not to riff? Is it even a question?
In Gunslinger, saddle up for high noon at the SoL Corral, where Joel and his robot posse — Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot — take on the Roger Corman gang. It’s going to be a bloodbath of laughter as the riffs start flying and justice is finally done to this 1956 low-budget Western. When the marshal of Oracle, Texas, is killed by a hired gunman, his quick-shooting widow, Rose (Beverly Garland), straps on his gun and star, puts on some pants and aims to find out who did the hiring.
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 series was created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Jim Mallon. After a year on KTMA TV in Minneapolis , its national broadcast life began in 1989 on the Comedy Channel (later to become Comedy Central), where it ran for seven seasons. The show’s final three seasons aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. The premise of the series features a hapless man who is trapped by mad scientists on a satellite in space and forced to watch old B-movies of questionable worth. To keep sane, he’s built two robot sidekicks, and together they do a running commentary on the films, affectionately mocking their flaws with inspired wisecracks and acting as a demented movie theater peanut gallery. Series creator Hodgson originally played the stranded man, Joel Robinson. When he left in 1993, series head writer Mike Nelson replaced him as the new B-movie victim Mike Nelson, and continued in the role for the rest of the show’s run. The format proved to be popular and remarkably durable. During its 11-year run and 198 episodes (including one feature film), MST3K attained a loyal fan base and critical acclaim. The series won a Peabody Award in 1993, and was nominated for writing Emmys® in 1994 and 1995.