MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition

Anniversary editions for movies and shows often include extra material, looks back, and other additional materials to celebrate.  Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition follows in this tradition by having more movies, and a terrific documentary, plus the series' usual features and extras.

As is standard for the MST3K dvd releases, the 25th Anniversary Edition has two episodes featuring Joel Hodgson (Moon Zero Two, The Day the Earth Froze) and two featuring Mike Nelson (The Leech Woman, Gorgo).  There are also extras for these episodes, such as Leonard Maltin "apologizing" for his episode, Mary Jo Pehl discussing life after MST3K, and theatrical trailers for the movies featured.  The movies are appropriately terrible, and the jokes at their expense are quite funny.

So what makes this edition different?  First, there are two extra episodes included in this set: the cop movie that looks like a TV cop show Mitchell, and the horror movie about a head in a lasagna tray The Brain that Wouldn't Die.  These episodes are not just funny, but they're also the last episode with Joel and the first starring Mike, nicely showing the transition from the first to last host.
Second is the documentary Return to Eden Prairie: 25 Years of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Spread over three discs, this documentary has interviews with the show's cast, producers, directors, and behind-the-scenes folks.  There are also lots of clips from early episodes, including the very first episode ever!  It's fascinating to see and hear how the show has evolved through the years.
While I wish the MST3K dvd collections would include full seasons, Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition is the next best thing.  More episodes!  More special features!  A documentary with lots of interviews and rare clips!  This is a wonderful collection for any MST3K fan.

Overall grade: A
Reviewed by James Lynch

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