This edition — four episodes on four discs, per Shout! Factory's usual — is like a cinematic-crap tour around the globe. We venture south of the border for 1962's Samson vs. the Vampire Women, a masked-wrestler epic that stars Santo (not Samson, no matter what the title says), the caped superhero of Mexico's wrasslin' ring. Then we hop a flight to chilly Russia (not Finland, no matter what our hosts say) for 1956's The Sword and the Dragon, a farcical fantasy involving, er, at least one sword and a dragon.
Finally, we have an elongated stay in Japan for the one-two punch (to the nuts) that is Fugitive Alien and its not-needed sequel, Star Force: Fugitive Alien II. While these silly sci-fi dubfests are the gems of this set, neither is worthy of the series’ all-time best list, even if the former spawned the fan-favorite “He tried to kill me with a forklift” song lyric, still a viable meme today.
As mentioned in past MST3K set reviews, however, there is no such thing as a bad episode. Ergo, buy.
Volume XXIV is almost worth owning just for getting the reclusive Sandy Frank in front of the camera for his own featurette! Ever since MST3K made him a household name — in MST3K households, at least — it’s been rumored the man behind importing many an Asian film for American repackaging and consumption has been angry at the treatment the show gave him. This talking-head extra makes it seem as if he tolerates the ribbing, but isn’t exactly bowled over by the attention, either. At any rate, it’s nice to finally put a face to the name. He exists!
Enjoy your flight! —Rod Lott
Hey! Read This:
• MST3K vs. Gamera: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXI DVD review
• Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XX DVD review
• Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXII DVD review
• Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXIII DVD review