DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » ''Mystery Science Theater 3000'': Beginning of the End
''Mystery Science Theater 3000'': Beginning of the End
Shout Factory // Unrated // February 15, 2011
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Shoutfactorystore]
Review by Tyler Foster | posted March 12, 2011 | E-mail the Author
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
Although both the Joel and Mike "crews" have gone onto form their respective successful riffing enterprises (Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax, respectively), the glory years were and will always be the original run: the ten seasons of "Mystery Science Theater 3000". The silhouettes, the goofy sketches, the vaguely terrible performance of the show's theme song...the whole of the show transcends the repeatable concept to form a singularly iconic bit of pop culture. Thankfully, Shout! Factory has picked up where Rhino Video left off in trying (perhaps in vain) to get every episode of the show on DVD.

Beginning of the End (episode 517) is a silly black-and-white Peter Graves/Bert I. Gordon vehicle that thinks locusts/grasshoppers will strike more fear into the 1950s-era filmgoer than the ants of Them!. The film takes far too long to kick into high gear, and the reaction by the people to giant, man-killing bugs is perhaps a bit understated -- when Graves and a reporter played by Peggie Castle head to Washington DC, the government seems to hope ignoring the problem will work. (It doesn't.) Soon, stock footage of crowds is flooding the streets and military men are dying left and right, while Graves takes his sweet time deducting the slowest world-saving solution recorded on film.

Like the film, the episode struggles to get going before Graves makes his appearance, and only really takes off when the terrible, hilarious locust effects finally grace the screen, which provides no end of opportunities for Mike and the bots to give voice to the menace ("I have my rights, I have my rights!"), mock the military's efforts ("They've broken our code, and the general was a grasshopper undercover!"), and poke fun at the incompetence of Graves' character, who is responsible for the bug invasion ("Hmmm, what else can I do wrong here?"). Bumper segments are livened by Trace Beaulieu's impression of Graves (through Crow), and efforts on behalf of Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank to prove their manliness. On the whole, a slightly below-average episode: funny, but dispensible.

The DVD
As one of the DVDs available through Shout! Factory's new Shout! Selects line of products, the artwork is standardized: the MST3K globe, the silhouettes, and a poster/logo treatment of the film in question, with a starfield background. The inside front cover looks basically the same, featuring another vintage poster for the movie. There is no insert, and the disc comes in a transparent Amaray case.

The Video and Audio
Nothing spectacular to report: "MST3K" looks about as good as you expect it to look, and sounds about the same. I detected no video compression errors in the 1.33:1 video presentation and did not hear any audio glitches in the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, but the episode does not necessarily leap off the screen or out of the speakers with vivid colors or enthralling fidelity. As always, I appreciate the inclusion of subtitles or closed captioning, but sadly, neither is present.

Extras
None. The internet tells me Beginning of the End was released previously through Rhino, with the un-riffed movie and some episode trailers as extras. If you have that disc, then this is obviously a downgrade.

Conclusion
It's hard to recommend any one episode of a TV show. It's harder to recommend a so-so episode. It's harder still to recommend a disc that, for whatever reason, is inferior to an out of print edition. The challenge reaches its peak when the disc in question is priced at a steep $19.99, a tag that will scare away even some of the harder "MSTies". If you're not a completist hoping to get every episode on DVD, rent it and decide if you need it in your collection.


Please check out my other DVDTalk DVD, Blu-Ray and theatrical reviews and/or follow me on Twitter.
Find the lowest price for '''Mystery Science Theater 3000'': Beginning of the End'
Popular Reviews
1. Criminal Minds: Season 9
2. Batman The Complete TV Series Limited Edition Blu-ray
3. The Expendables 3
4. L'avventura: Criterion Collection
5. It Happened One Night - The Criterion Collection
6. Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show: The Complete Series
7. The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind: Criterion Collection
8. Corky (Warner Archive Collection)
9. 22 Jump Street
10. The Jeffersons - The Complete Series: The Dee-Luxe Edition


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use