Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Singles Collection
Cast: Joel Hodgson, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu
Distributor: Shout! Factory
Not Rated | 540 Minutes
Release Date: May 22, 2018
“Tonight, I’m a space pirate! Permission to come aboard!”
Featuring Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes that were among the first to be released on DVD, now long out of print, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Singles Collection showcases episodes that were only released individually and not included in the numbered Shout! Factory volumes that would collect episodes for nearly two decades.
Joel Hodgson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot endure unspeakable cinematic horrors like The Crawling Hand, The Hellcats, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Eegah, and I Accuse My Parents. Also included is Shorts Volume 3, which features the shorts Speech: Using Your Voice, Aquatic Wizards, Once Upon a Honeymoon, and many more. Shout! Factory has done a great service to MSTies and DVD completists by putting these hard-to-find episodes back in print and in one collection. Continue reading for detailed synopses for each episode in this eclectic collection!
The Crawling Hand
Original Air Date: December 16, 1989
Synopsis: Directed by Herbert L. Strock, 1963’s The Crawling Hand is, you guessed it, about the hand of an exploded astronaut that takes on a life of its own. The hand is discovered near the crash site by a young med student who takes it home as a grisly reminder of that time he found a severed hand or something.
The hand is, of course, inhabited by a murderous extraterrestrial entity that possesses the med student. Suddenly, people around town are found mysteriously strangled to death. The town’s only hope is a cat. Yes, a heroic and hungry cat comes to the aid of these poor hapless idiots. Who would’ve thought a cinematic treasure such as this would become fodder for those Gizmodo boys?
Original Air Date: December 8, 1990
Synopsis: Directed by Robert F. Slatzer, 1968’s The Hellcats, also known as Biker Babes, features a gang of fearsome female bikers smuggling Mexican drugs across the border for their crime boss, Adrian (played by the director, oddly enough). When they discover a detective (Bro Beck) hot on his tail, Adrian has loyal ladies kill the gumshoe. Unfortunately, they don’t count on the slain detective’s ex-girlfriend (Dee Duffy) and brother (Ross Hagen) teaming up to uncover their nefarious activities. To do so, the girlfriend goes undercover as a biker babe and joins the gang.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Original Air Date: December 21, 1991
Synopsis: Good grief, I don’t even know where to begin with Nicholas Webster‘s 1964 film. Mars parents Momar (Leila Martin) and Kimar (Leonard Hicks), are worried that their children Girmar (Pia Zadora) and Bomar (Chris Month) are watching too much Earth television, specifically KID-TV’s interview with Santa Claus (John Call). Yes, the real Santa Claus, live from the North Pole.
Consulting the ancient 800-year-old Martian sage Chochem (Carl Don), they are advised that the only way to help the children is to allow them their freedom and be allowed to have fun. To do this, they need their own Santa Claus. So, they decide to kidnap jolly old St. Nick and bring him to Mars. Hijinks ensue!
Original Air Date: August 28, 1993
Synopsis: Directed by Arch Hall Sr., 1962’s Eegah is sort of like King Kong if it were really, really bad. One night, Roxy Miller (Marilyn Manning) is driving through the California desert on the way to a party when she nearly crashes her car into Eegah (Richard Kiel, Jaws in the James Bond franchise), a giant caveman. She tells her boyfriend (Arch Hall Jr.) and her father (played by the director) about the giant.
Her father, a writer of adventure books, decides to go into the desert to look for the towering troglodyte and take a photograph of it. When his helicopter ride fails to show up at his designated pickup time, Tom and Roxy go looking for him. What follows is one of the most mind-boggling movies you’ll ever see.
I Accuse My Parents
Original Air Date: September 4, 1993
Synopsis: Directed by Sam Newfield, this 1944 film stars Robert Lowell as Jimmy Wilson, a mild-mannered teen who appears before a judge on charges of manslaughter. When asked to speak in his own defense, the boy stands up and says, “I accuse my parents” for not giving him the home life he should have had.
The film flashes back to a day in high school when Jimmy was given an award for an essay describing the ideal home he supposedly has. Eager to tell his parents about his accomplishment, he goes home to a house full of empty alcohol bottles and parents yelling at each other. It sure is a sad story, but not nearly as depressing as having to watch this movie without quality riffing. Thank God for Gizmodo.
This six-disc set is another fantastic release from Shout! Factory and fills some crucial gaps for collectors trying to complete their Mystery Science Theater 3000 run. Every episode and short included is filled with some great riffs and obscure references, but Eegah stands out as a highlight of not only this volume but the entire series. Definitely pick this one up before these previously out-of-print episodes disappear again!
– New episode introductions by Joel Hodgson
– Man On Poverty Row: The Films of Sam Newfield
– Don’t Knock the Strock (Portrait of the Director of The Crawling Hand)
– MST Hour Wraps
– Product Information
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Singles Collection is now available at Amazon.
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