This edition — four episodes on four discs, per Shout! Factory’s usual — is like a cinematic-crap tour around the globe. We venture south of the border for 1962’s Samson vs. the Vampire Women, a masked-wrestler epic that stars Santo (not Samson, no matter what the title says), the caped superhero of Mexico’s wrasslin’ ring. Then we hop a flight to chilly Russia (not Finland, no matter what our hosts say) for 1956’s The Sword and the Dragon, a farcical fantasy involving, er, at least one sword and a dragon.
Finally, we have an elongated stay in Japan for the one-two punch (to the nuts) that is Fugitive Alien and its not-needed sequel, Star Force: Fugitive Alien II. While these silly sci-fi dubfests are the gems of this set, neither is worthy of the series’ all-time best list, even if the former spawned the fan-favorite “He tried to kill me with a forklift” song lyric, still a viable meme today.
Volume XXIV is almost worth owning just for getting the reclusive Sandy Frank in front of the camera for his own featurette! Ever since MST3K made him a household name — in MST3K households, at least — it’s been rumored the man behind importing many an Asian film for American repackaging and consumption has been angry at the treatment the show gave him. This talking-head extra makes it seem as if he tolerates the ribbing, but isn’t exactly bowled over by the attention, either. At any rate, it’s nice to finally put a face to the name. He exists!
Enjoy your flight! —Rod Lott
Hey! Read This:
• MST3K vs. Gamera: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXI DVD review
• Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XX DVD review
• Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXII DVD review
• Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXIII DVD review