After the riotous "Wild Women Of Wongo," I was eager to dig into the fourth Film Crew disc titled "The Giant Of Marathon." While it doesn't compare to "Wongo," "Marathon" is still a laugh-filled treat for all "MST3K" and "Film Crew" fans.
As with the previous three Film Crew discs, Bob Honcho orders the Crew to do a commentary track for a film. This time, the crew has to tackle "The Giant Of Marathon," which is story of an Olympic athlete named Phillipides (Steve Reeves in a non-Hercules role!) who joins the Athenian army to fight against the massive Persian army. Can the Athenians enlist the help of the Spartans? Can they win the battle?
Even though "The Giant Of Marathon" is co-directed by horror legends Jacques Tourneur ("Cat People") and Mario Bava ("Black Sabbath"), the film amounts to little more than a silly sword-and-sandal battle film with grown men running around in oversized diapers on land and underwater. Luckily, the Film Crew manage to keep us entertained by cracking jokes about the diaper wearing characters, nude states, the creepy looking pointed eye-brow lady named Karis, the goofy sweaty wrestling fight scenes, and the excessive amount of horse cruelty. As funny as the crew is, I have to say that the first 45 minutes of riffing was a bit too hit-and-miss for me. Once they come back from the "Lunch Break," they are more spot on as they quickly fire off gut busting jokes about Harry Potter, AC/DC, and Maria Shriver.
The segments are so-so. The "Lunch Break" involves Bill demonstrating the battle of Marathon with food. The end segment, which is the best bit, shows Bill, Mike, and Kevin inventing goofy hats (a tribute to the ridiculous hats seen in the movie).
Note: "The Giant Of Marathon" is the last of the planned Film Crew DVD releases. Considering the 4 Film Crew DVDs have been top sellers for SHOUT! FACTORY, I'm hoping they will hire the gang to put out more titles. A monthly series would be nice!
The widescreen picture is crisp and clear during the host segments. The quality of "The Giant Of Marathon," however, isn't even up to par with VHS. The print contains more marks, scratches, and lines per second than one can count.
The Film Crew audio is superb, but the film's audio track is atrocious. The dialogue is poorly dubbed and the audio even cuts out a few times. It makes for amusing fodder for The Film Crew, which is part of the fun.
* Trailers for all four Film Crew discs and "Zach Galifiankis: Live At The Purple Onion."
* A chuckle-worthy nearly 2 minute sketch called "An Apology From Mike Nelson." Nelson apologizes for insulting the Persians, Italians, and Norwegians.
* A 7 1/2 minute commentary by Walter S. Ferguson. Walter is a fake character voiced by Mike Nelson, who pretends to be an extra from "The Giant Of The Marathon." The first few minutes are funny, but he runs the gag into the ground.
"The Film Crew: The Giant Of Marathon" disc is amusing, but isn't the team's best work. If you don't already own them, I'd recommend buying "Wild Women Of Wongo" and "Hollywood After Dark" first. After that, pick up "The Giant Of Marathon" and "Killers From Space."
Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.