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DVD Review: MST3K: Volume XXXVIII
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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DVD Review: MST3K: Volume XXXVIII

MST3K: Volume XXXVIII
DVD
Cast: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu
Distributor: Shout! Factory
Not Rated | 480 Minutes
Release Date: March 28, 2016

“They’ve imprisoned Michael McDonald!”

In the 38th collection of episodes from the cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000, Michael J. Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot endure unspeakable cinematic horrors. This endlessly entertaining volume includes lizard-human hybrids, communists, juvenile delinquents, and Italian headhunters.

Just in time for the new MST3K series, which premieres on Netflix in the not-too distant future (April 14th, 2017 AD), Shout! Factory presents four cinematic catastrophes with Invasion U.S.A, Colossus and the Headhunters, High School Big Shot, and Track of the Moon Beast. MST3K: Volume XXXVIII features three episodes from the Comedy Central era and one from the SciFi Channel run, with Mike Nelson serving as host on all four episodes. Continue reading for detailed synopses for each episode in this eclectic collection!

Invasion, U.S.A.

Original Air Date: July 23, 1994

Synopsis: Based on a story by Robert Smith and Franz Spencer, and directed by Alfred E. Green, 1952’s Invasion, U.S.A is, sadly, unrelated to the 1985 Chuck Norris film of the same name. The film stars Dan O’Herlihy (RoboCop, Halloween III: Season of the Witch) as Mr. Ohman, a hypnotist who sends a few New Yorkers into a panic when he suggests those no-good Ruskies are comin’ for Lady Liberty. Interesting fact: two of the film’s actresses, Noel Neill and Phyllis Coates, played Lois Lane in the TV series Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves.

This episode also includes the 1950 educational short A Date With Your Family, which illustrates the do’s and don’ts of having dinner with your family. The short emphasizes being pleasant at all times during dinner, which Mike and the bots have a field day with. Also important, never ever show emotion during dinner with your family.

Colossus and the Headhunters

Original Air Date: August 20, 1994

Synopsis: Also in its original Italian title as Maciste contro i cacciatori di teste (Maciste Against the Head-Hunters), Colossus and the Headhunters is a 1960 sword and sandal movie starring Kirk “Kirky” Morris as Maciste, Italian cinema’s Herculean hero. Maciste has appeared in over 50 movies and is one of the oldest recurring characters in cinema.

In this adventure, Maciste and his people arrive on an uncharted island and get captured by a tribe of savage headhunters led by the beautiful Queen Amoa (Laura Brown). Imagine Ringo Starr’s Caveman (1981) but worse, and you’ve got an idea for what awaits you in Guido Malatesta‘s misguided movie.

High School Big Shot

Original Air Date: December 10, 1994

Synopsis: Written and directed by Joel Rapp, 1959’s High School Big Shot is sort of like Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing if it were produced by Roger Corman and lensed by cinematographer John Nicholaus Jr., who worked on Attack of the Giant Leeches and Night of the Blood Beast. The film stars Tom Pittman (Gunsmoke) as Marv Grant, a high school kid whose plans for college are jeopardized by his employed drunk of a father (Malcolm Atterbury).

This episode also includes the short Out of This World, which involves bread delivery truck drivers and the eternal battle between good and evil. Yes, you read that right, this 1954 educational film depicts an angel and a devil as they try to persuade a wholesale bakery salesman to their side. Fascinating.

Track of the Moon Beast

Original Air Date: June 13, 1999

Synopsis: Directed by Richard Ashe and written by Charles Sinclair and Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman, Track of the Moon Beast follows a mineralogist (Chase Cordell) who gets a fragment of moon rock embedded in his brain during a meteor shower. As a result, he transforms into a seven-foot-tall lizard-man and starts eating people when the moon is full. You know, that old chestnut!

MST3K: Volume XXXVIII is another fantastic release from Shout! Factory and a must-own for MST3K fans. All four episodes offer some grade-A riffing, with High School Big Shot standing out as one of this collection’s best episodes. And then there’s Track of the Moon Beast, which includes some classic lines including, “I borrowed my outfit from Doc Sevrinsen” and “It’s his Indian name. His tribal one. Like Wahoo McDaniel!”

The four-disc set also includes several new bonus features, which you can read about below!

Bonus Features

– Zugsmith Confidential Featurette
– High School Big Shot (Original Feature Film)
– Mike, By Joel Interview
– Tracking A Moon Beast With Actress Leigh Drake
– Theatrical Trailers
– Four Exclusive Mini-Posters By Artist Steve Vance

MST3K: Volume XXXVIII is now available at Amazon.

Cover Art

MST3K: Volume XXXVIII DVD Cover Art

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