Besides, fans of MST3K only need know that another collection exists, and they’re sold. The latest, Volume XXVI (aka 26, if you don’t like maths), may not have any classics among its four-ep offering, but any episode is worth owning.
Among this batch, my favorite is the most recent: 1988’s Alien from L.A., a sci-fi “comedy” that marked swimsuit model Kathy Ireland’s first and final lead role on the big screen. And there’s a good reason for that: her squeaky voice, which our hosts chalk up to a “helium addiction” and compare to “squeeze toys.”
In the disc’s bonus interview with Alien from L.A.’s director, Albert Pyun (1990’s Captain America), he calls Ireland’s voice “kind of shocking” and “a challenge to work with.” (Then again, he also thinks if he made the film today with the benefit of CGI, it “would be spectacular.” Now, now, Al, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)
To continue playing favored nations, running a close second is Danger!! Death Ray, a 1967 spy film so inept, it earns those two exclamation marks. While not quite as hysterical as the gang’s treatment of Neil Connery in Operation Kid Brother on the previous DVD set, the 007 rip-off is a real slice of Italian bologna. And one of its butchers, MST second host Mike Nelson, is profiled in the latest “Life After MST3K” segments; true fans already know what he’s been up to.
From 1962, The Magic Sword is one of those colorful matinee fantasy epics that often made their way aboard the Satellite of Love, but this one has the distinction of being directed by frequent MST target Bert I. Gordon, who had seven other films (by my count) receive similar treatment. Apparently a good sport, Gordon is interviewed in the extras.
Finally, there’s The Mole People, a fairly beloved film because it came from Universal Studios’ atomic-age wave. While certainly better on its own than this series’ usual fare, it’s still pretty silly. Perhaps speaking to its higher esteem, Shout! Factory has included a thorough, half-hour featurette on the 1956 film’s production. —Rod Lott
Hey! Read This:
• Captain America (1990) DVD review
• Mike Nelson interview
• 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
• Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXIV DVD review
• Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXV DVD review