Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Film Crew's First Release

It's been a long, long time - September 12, 1999 to be exact - since Mystery Science Theater 3000 aired its last episode. There was no going back to the halcyon days of a man trapped in space with a few wisecracking robots riffing on movies, but now we have The Film Crew (the same guys, basically) doing it again for straight - to - DVD releases that capture the same humor and silliness of MST3K.

The premise is that they are three guys hired by media mogul Bob Honcho to make commentary tracks for every movie that doesn't have one. This first release by the Film Crew is Hollywood After Dark, a seedy and depressing black and white movie starring Rue McClanahan of Golden Girls fame as a reluctant stripper that falls prey to the "dark" part of Hollywood.

As with any given episode of MST3K, the comedy content of the Film Crew releases are going to be dependent on the movie itself, and Hollywood After Dark is one ripe tomato. Greasy characters, drab sets, and bad acting give the crew lots of fodder. And of course the presence of Rue McClanahan means lots of Golden Girls references.

There are only three points during the presentation where we see the crew - an introduction, a lunch break, and at the end, which is fine. The lunch break skit, a parody of a corporate lunch meeting, is a joke MST3K fans will recognize from the old days. We get it guys, "exploiting our core competencies" and other corporate drivel is silly. I hope whatever's served at future "lunch breaks" isn't MST3K leftovers.

Still, though, this release is a dream come true for MST3K fans, and was well worth the wait. It took me over two weeks to get my copy from, because they were apparently sold out or on back order when I made my order. I hope that's a good sign and that sales of this release went well, so that the project will continue for years to come.

There's a bonus skit called "Ode To Lunch", a poetry reading by Bill Corbett about the wonders of lunch, that's worth a brief chuckle. Speaking of bonuses, the DVD came with a little Film Crew patch (I mean patch as in cloth thing that you sew onto a garment, not a downloaded thing that allows game companies to release sloppy, unfinished product and fix it later), shaped like a movie ticket. Looking at the patch, it compels me to find a blue shirt like the film crew wears. Must resist...

The next releases from The Film Crew are Killers From Space (August 7) and Wild Women of Wongo (September 11), and I can't wait. Even if you've never watched MST3K, or watched it and didn't get it (there's no such thing as not liking it - to us MSTies, there's either loving it or not getting it), you should go out and buy yourself a copy of The Film Crew : Hollywod After Dark, and not just to see Rue McClanahan stripping, but rather to help boost sales so that I get more episodes. Thanks for your support.

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