The mirth-making bad-movie showcase remains for me at least the greatest thing ever to grace the airwaves. If laughter is the best medicine, youll OD.
This 20th collection of four episodes culled from seasons both high and low contains two of the long-running series Holy Grail episodes for fans: Master Ninja I and Master Ninja II. Neither is technically a movie; each is two episodes of NBCs short-lived 80s action hour The Master repackaged as a would-be feature, starring ol Lee Van Cleef as a ninja and the ever-nasally Timothy Van Patten as his mush-mouthed protégé. Together, they travel the country in a van, fighting crime and picking up a hitchhiker who happens to be the young Demi Moore.
Since their debut, Ive seen the Master Ninja episodes roughly four times each, and the jokes hurled at the screen by silhouetted hosts Joel Hodgson and his robot friends never, ever get old. That could be because as the years go by, Van Pattens acting actually gets worse. Too bad they couldnt get him to appear on the discs extra features, but youll happily settle for stuntman/bit player Bill McKinney, a gracious guy who recalls his time on The Master.
Although both featuring films from 1953, the other two MST eps featured couldnt be more different: the black-and-white sci-fi cheapie Project Moonbase and the extravagant color spectacle of Russias The Magic Voyage of Sinbad. As Trace Beaulieu (aka Crow T. Robot) notes in a new interview on the Sinbad disc, the flick is actually a pretty solid fantasy its just the American dubbing that did it in, making it perfect fodder for the Satellite of Love. The Moonbase disc includes Mike Nelsons hysterical host wraps for its Mystery Science Theater Hour repeats, as well as a look behind the scenes with longtime DP Jeff Stonehouse.
A must-buy for MSTies everywhere (duh). Rod Lott