Shout! Factory’s prolific schedule of Mystery Science Theater 3000 releases will be added to once again in August with a new pair of disc. This time, the episodes being issued are The Unearthly and Red Zone Cuba. The Unearthly is a Joel-era episode while Red Zone Cuba is a Mike-era episode. These are direct-sales releases so you must go to the Shout! Factory online store to find them – but they are currently on sale for $15 and purchasers will receive a special bonus MST3K gift to further sweeten the deal. Read on for all the celluloid-heckling details…
InMystery Science Theater 3000: Red Zone Cuba, Director Coleman Francis cements his status as unofficial MST3K muse with this 1966 film about escaped convicts who volunteer to fight in the Bay of Pigs . Needless to say, the movie was about as successful as the invasion. On the bright side, the riffs do destroy their target — although, as Crow T. Robot says, “I want to hurt this movie but I can never hurt it the way it hurt me.” Includes the 1949 short film “Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance.”
In Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Unearthly, MSTie favorite actor Tor Johnson costars as MSTie favorite character Lobo in this 1957 horror flick about a mad scientist (John Carradine) whose experiments with immortality accidentally produce mutants. As Dr. Forrester says: “It’s hard to keep down.” But Joel, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot prove once again that laughter is the best anti-nausea medicine. Includes the shorts “Posture Pals” and “Appreciating Our Parents.”
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.