Movie: "MST3K XXIX"
Directed by: Various
Writing credits: Michael Nelson,
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Plot: Untamed Youth:
A pair of teenagers are sentenced to work off their debt to society at a work farm run by a corrupt cotton baron.
Hercules and the Captive Women:
After saving her daughter, Hercules must match wits with the queen of Atlantis, lest she kill her own daughter to prolong her rule.
The Thing that Wouldn't Die:
While dowsing for water, young Jessica unearths the still-living head of a medieval devil worshipper, which wreaks havoc on her family's ranch in search of its body.
Professor Tony Farms is the Pumaman, a superhero with all the powers of a puma, and he must stop the villainous Kobras from using an ancient mask to control the leaders of the world.
Review: It's always good news to hear about another release of MST3K episodes. This latest batch includes episodes reaching as far back as the first season and as far forward as the ninth. Truth be told: I would have called this release a success for Pumaman alone, but you can't go wrong with the inclusion of one of the many Hercules movies either.
I don't know if I have it in me to be overly critical of any part of my beloved series, but I think that Untamed Youth was the weakest part of the whole package. For the most part, MST3K saw a steady increase in quality as the seasons went by, and you can tell that Untamed Youth was a much earlier episode from the quality of the riffs. No disrespect to the people who caught this one the first time around, but seeing it after some of the later seasons, it just doesn't measure up to the competition.
In contrast, the most notable aspect of this set is the much-anticipated release of one of my favorite episodes: The Pumaman. Lord knows why it's taken this long for a DVD release of the film that first introduced us to the eponymous slacks-wearing superhero. It was with great relief that I was finally able to put aside my crummy burned DVD. Even better, it includes an interview with star Walter George Allen, in which he reveals that the goofy costume in the film was actually an improvement made after he insisted that the original costume was even worse! What's more: the infamous scenes of him flying around while flailing his limbs where the fault of the director, who insisted he move his arms and legs to give the impression he was swimming through the air. You know, like a puma.
Also included in the release is the full, unriffed version of The Pumaman. Presumably, it's so you can watch it and appreciate the director's vision, but in all likelihood, it was included so you and your friends can riff on it yourselves. Wear some khakis and a cape and pretend you're Pumaman! Put on a Hefty bag and a bald cap and pretend you're Donald Pleasance! Sing along to Pumaman's weirdly upbeat theme song with your own lyrics! You can't put a price on entertainment like that.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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