MST3K: Volume XXXI, The Turkey Day Collection
Director: Lewis Collins, Alex Nicol, Jeff Lieberman, Harold Kress
Writer: Jo Pagano, John Kneubuhl, Jeff Lieberman, True Boardman
Cast: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot
Not Rated | 480 Minutes
Release Date: November 25, 2014
In the not-too-distant future…
The latest collection of episodes from Mystery Science Theater 3000 celebrates the cult television series’ Turkey Day tradition. First held in 1991 to commemorate the show’s third anniversary, the MST3K Turkey Day marathon aired on Comedy Central from midnight, November 28, to 6:00 a.m. on November 29.
The annual Turkey Day marathon aired on Comedy Central until 1995, and the Sci-Fi Channel ran a Thanksgiving MST3K marathon in 1997, unofficially known as Turkey Day ’97. Last year, Shout! Factory produced an online six-episode marathon of MST3K episodes, hosted by Joel Hodgson to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary.
Now Shout! Factory is bringing the tradition home with MST3K: Volume XXXI, The Turkey Day Collection. This collector’s edition set includes four turkeys: Jungle Goddess, The Painted Hills, The Screaming Skull, and Squirm.
Original Air Date: October 6, 1990
Synopsis: “Joel, Tom and Crow take on Superman and Dick Tracy – or at least the actors who played them, George Reeves and Ralph Byrd â€“ in this tale of two pilots in search of a missing heiress and her father’s reward money. They track her down in the African jungle where she is doing just fine, thank you. As for the movie itself â€“ the horror, the horror.”
Jungle Goddess includes The Phantom Creeps â€“ Chapter 1: The Menacing Power. Not to be confused with Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, this serial features Bela Lugosi as a mad scientist who fakes his own death and sabotages a plane carrying his enemies. Riveting stuff.
The Painted Hills
Original Air Date: September 26, 1993
Synopsis: “This 1951 film based on the novel Shep of the Painted Hills was turned into a Lassie vehicle, but it’s not exactly a shaggy dog story. When a kindly prospector is murdered, his faithful pup takes on the unfaithful perp. Our heroes aboard the Satellite of Love really bring the riffs to the ruffs, earning Lassie “best in comedy show.” Everyone will be howling.”
The Painted Hills includes the short film, Body Care & Grooming â€“ an educational short where mangy college students learn that personal hygiene is crucial in attracting the opposite sex for mating purposes.
The Screaming Skull
Original Air Date: August 29, 1998
Synopsis: “If the Oscar-winning film Rebecca had a deranged, low-budget cousin living in the attic, it might be The Screaming Skull. A neurotic woman is driven to distraction â€“ if not destruction â€“ by the ghost of her new husband’s previous wife. If not for our fearless jesters aboard the Satellite of Love, our own skulls might be screaming.”
The Screaming Skull also features the Gumby short Robot Rumpus, wherein the robots Gumby builds to do his chores malfunction and run amok.
Original Air Date: August 1, 1999
Synopsis: “As all MST’ies know, there are only three basic themes in storytelling: man vs. man, man vs. himself, and man vs. worm. The 1976 cult horror film Squirm employs all three in this low-budget tale of a southern town beset by electrified, carnivorous worms.”
Squirm includes the short film A Case of Spring Fever, where a frustrated, spring-hating man is visited by Coily the Spring Sprite â€“ a hellish little monster that teaches us all about the benefits of metal springs. Fascinating.
MST3K: Volume XXXI, The Turkey Day Collection is another fantastic collector’s edition release from Shout! Factory and a must-own for MST3K fans. All four episodes offer some grade-A riffing, with Squirm standing out as one of the series’ best episodes.
Thanksgiving isn’t complete until you’ve stuffed yourself with turkey and green been casserole and watched Lassie fight greedy miners in the Old West. The limited edition collector’s tin is now available on Amazon.
* New and Exclusive Turkey Day Intros By Joel Hodgson
* Inside The Turkey Day Marathon
* Interview with Squirm Star Don Scardino
* This Film May Kill You: Making The Screaming Skull
* Gumby and Clokey
* Bumper To Bumper: Turkey Day Through the Years
* 4 Exclusive Mini-Posters By Artist Steve Vance
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