krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
As I got around to the fancy new Blu-Ray of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie Shout! Factory has just released, I suppose I was reflecting a bit on my own little odyssey involving that little slice of the series. I started off getting my grandparents to tape it off their movie channel so I could put visuals and voices to what had been almost cryptic names attached to script-format MSTings (I gather they didn't quite get the experience, but I was glad they'd done it anyway), but after a while the videocassette went missing. Then, though, I was able to buy an "official" tape from a local video store's "collection sell-off rack" (the store is long gone, swallowed by modern trends, but I do still have the cassette), even if I might have been aware by that point I'd missed my chance to buy the original DVD for any sort of reasonable price. In any case, right after I'd finished watching every episode of the series I went back to where it had started for me. A while after that, another DVD was announced, but this time people most seemed annoyed at how it didn't have any extras included, and that right when Shout! Factory was just starting to release the show with lots of additional content in every set. At last, though, things seem better that way.

I suppose I am getting conscious of how the Best Brains point out nowadays the annoyances, compromises, and final letdown of having to work with a big studio on the movie, that much more directly than in "The Incredible Melting Man" anyway, so I might have started off with an unfortunate inclination to question the "riffs." Before the movie was over, though, I did seem caught up in the experience again, but was aware of what the additional materials might say. The documentary about the movie adds Jim Mallon back to the people talking now and includes lots of behind-the-scenes footage, but the comments about the executives and "legal" ordering changes to the script does counterpoint some of the narration in the included trailer boasting that the creators didn't have to worry about "the censor" any more. They then have to talk about cutting big chunks of the movie out at the behest of the studio, which I suppose adds insult to injury when the documentary about This Island Earth itself ends with the notable fans of the original movie who've been explaining things throughout complaining how the cutting of the Mystery Science Theater movie could have made the whole thing seem more disjointed.

This new release, though, includes some of that cut footage. As I'd known beforehand, it was taken from an old videotape and doesn't look that great, but unlike my impressions of the recordings from a convention I can hear everything. I did happen to notice an instance or two of where remaining footage coincides with the deleted scenes and the "riffs" have also been reworked, but that didn't stop me from wondering about whether it would be possible to recut the scenes with DVD-quality video (even if that feels like a bit too much for me to accomplish myself). However, as fun as it was to see the "storm shelter sequence" at last, I'm not quite sure the original closing can displace the one that's actually in the movie. I suppose my feeling is that our heroes can best the mad scientists just by emerging in good spirits.

August 2017

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