Welcome to another edition of DVD Tuesday, NerdBastards, where we give you the best bets at your local video store this week. We begin, as always, with the best of the best, and this time it’s a doozy.
MST3K vs. Gamera: Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume 21
Mystery Science Theater 3000’s verbal brawls with the much-maligned Japanese monster Gamera–you know, the flying turtle–are included in this limited-edition boxed set, which buffets the riffing with some impressive and informative extras. The Gamera films were a staple of MST3K from its humble beginnings as Minneapolis UHF programming, and when the Satellite of Love moved to Comedy Central in the early ’90s, the American re-edits released by distributor Sandy Frank were among the show’s most popular episodes. All five of theMST3K Gamera episodes, culled from the show’s third season in 1991 and featuring series creator Joel Hodgson alongside robots Tom Servo and Crow, are included in the set, as are some of the show’s most memorable skits: in Gamera, Tom croons a heartfelt tribute to the film’s lost pet, Tibby the Turtle, and head writer/future host Mike Nelson turns up as the giant monster himself to reveal the true nature of his relationship with boy hero Kenny, while Gamera vs. Gaos features the cast’s aborted presentation of their opera “Gameradammerung,” and Gamera vs. Guiron and Gamera vs. Zigra offer the SOL’s rousing “Gamera Song” and several berserk variations. None of the MST3K Gamera experiments have been available on home video prior to this release, so longtime fans can finally retire their worn pre-records and enjoy the episodes in glorious, uncut form.
When you find another kindred spirit who has discovered the wonder of Mystery Science Theater 3000, it’s often a moment where a friendship is born. This collection of episodes from the third season brings together the series’ first host, Joel Hodgson, and the legendary robots Tom Servo and Crow as they toss verbal harpoons at giant Japanese monsters. If you still have a friend who isn’t aware of how awesome this show is, now’s the time to introduce them.
Wayne’s World 1 & 2 Blu-Ray Two Pack
Yup, both Wayne’s World flicks on one Blu-Ray box set for your viewing pleasure. If you’re not sure about this, keep something in mind: you can now see the immortal “Bohemian Rhapsody” sequence in glorious high definition. Sold? Me too.
Marvel Knights Blu-Ray Two Pack: Iron Man: Extremis and Spider-Woman: Agent of SWORD
The famed Marvel Comics superhero continues his epic animated adventures in the 21st century by taking on his old foe Mallen, who’s gotten his hands on a nanotechnology serum called Extremis that transforms humans into deadly super-soldiers.
After an incident in her childhood, Jessica Drew is fated to become a full-blown superhero in this animated action series. Allied with the S.W.O.R.D. counterintelligence agency, the female Spidey defends Earth from multiple alien threats.
Two of the most recent installments in Marvel’s acclaimed Marvel Knights line arrive in a double pack in high definition. For serious comic book fans, this pair of “motion comics” is a must-add to your collection. For the rest of you, it’s probably something to check out on Netflix before dropping more cash.
Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer, Blu-Ray
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in the original action-packed epic adventure Conan the Barbarian. Following his parents’ savage murder young Conan (Schwarzenegger) is captured by the cold-blooded Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and spends the next fifteen years in agony first chained to the Wheel of Pain and then enslaved as a Pit Fighter. Rather than allowing this brutal fate to conquer him Conan builds an incomparable body and an indomitable spirit—both of which he needs when he suddenly finds himself a free man. Aided by his companions Subotai the Mongol (Gerry Lopez) and Valeria Queen of Thieves (Sandahl Bergman) Conan sets out to solve the “riddle of steel ,” seize ultimate power and finally take revenge on the warlord who killed his family.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns with a vengeance in the sword and sorcery adventure Conan the Destroyer. The powerful hero Conan (Schwarzenegger) has been commissioned by evil Queen Taramis (Sarah Douglas) to safely escort a teen princess (Olivia D’Abo) and her bodyguard (Wilt Chamberlain) to the magic Horn of Dagon. Conan soon discovers however that the queen plans to sacrifice the princess when she returns and inherit her kingdom. Now he and an unusual group of allies—including the eccentric wizard Akiro (Mako) and the wild woman Zula (Grace Jones)—must defeat both mortal and supernatural foes in an epic sword-wielding battle with the fate of the entire world at stake.
Just in time for comparisons with the remake, both of Arnold’s Conan films have made it to Blu-Ray, so you can watches his pecs ripple in high definition. It might not really be worth owning these films in a more expensive format, but if you’re really into seeing every bead of sweat on Conan’s heaving biceps, go for it, I guess.
The Final Destination 3D Blu-Ray
Young Nick O’Bannon (Bobby Campo) thinks he’s cheated death when he keeps a grisly premonition from becoming reality, saving his friends and himself from being crushed in a catastrophic accident — but the survivors soon realize that fate has other plans. Shantel VanSanten, Haley Webb and Nick Zano also star in this fourth installment of the Final Destination franchise, the first film in the series to be lensed in 3D.
Oh joy, another one of these flicks…in high def…and with 3D. I almost can’t contain my excitement.