Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XVII (1989)

Genre(s): Comedy / Science Fiction
Shout Factory || NR - 400 minutes - $59.97 || March 16, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-03-28

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Joel Hodgson, Kevin Murphy, Michael J. Nelson (writers)
Cast: Joel Hodson, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Bill Corbett

Supplemental Material:
  • Featurettes
  • Promos
  • Theatrical Trailers

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Stereo)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

“Mystery Science Theater 3000”, now 11 years since it left the airwaves, still has a large following. I remember watching many reruns on the SciFi Channel (or the lame ass SyFy as it’s known now) and each Saturday morning they’d show a couple episodes and I was hooked. Unfortunately it’s now been completely off the air but Shout Factory has been releasing episodes in volume sets as the rights to some of the movies can be authorized (see Volume 10 when that doesn’t happen).

In this 17th Volume, we get two episodes each with Joel (JOEL HODGSON) and Mike (MIKE J. NELSON) so whomever is your favorite – I know most fans like Joel now, but I’ve always favored Mike – you get an equal helping of each.

With the complex premise out of the way, here are the episodes available in the extraordinary 17th volume:

“Blood Waters of Dr. Z” — ***½ / *****

Seeking revenge against those responsible for stripping him of his tenure and denial of human research subjects, Dr. Z mutates himself into a hideous — and murderous — half-human-half-fish-like creature!

“The Final Sacrifice” — **** / *****

With the help of a mysterious map and a truck-driving drifter names Rowsdower, young Troy McGreggor sets out on a dark adventure across Alberta in search of the answers behind the hooded cult responsible for his father’s grisly murder.

“The Beatniks” — ***¾ / *****

When a hold-up carried out by his two-bit hoodlum friends goes tragically awry, Eddie Crane’s bright future as a recording artist from the mean streets could be in jeopardy.

“The Crawling Eye” — ***½ / *****

Things start to look eerily familiar to scientists Crevett and Brooks when mountain climbers begin losing their heads in the Trollenberg Mountains. Can the two investigators finally uncover the answers they’ve been seeking since encountering similar tragic accidents in the Andes?

(Note: This is the first episode of “MST3K” following its departure from KTMA to Comedy Central)

Although throughout the years you would get a dud episode once in a while where Joel/Mike and his robot pals wouldn’t be so funny – the intermediate skits were usually pretty good –, but those were far and between. In this set we get four solid episodes with four fantastically bad movies deserving of a good ripping.


This four disc set, each disc housed in its own thinpak DVD case, also comes with four mini-posters of each film. Here are the sparse features for each disc:

Blood Waters of Dr. ZOriginal Theatrical Trailer (2:31), Original Promos (1:01) and a Photo Gallery.

The Final SacrificeInterview with Star Bruce J. Mitchell (9:29) where the Canadian man talks about how he got into this classic student film. Funnier yet is that Mitchell took his role quite seriously...

The BeatniksOriginal Theatrical Trailer (2:03), Mystery Science Theater Hour Wraps (5:10) and the lengthy and fun Main Event: Crow Vs. Crow (35:03) where the two voices of Crow (Trace Bealieu and Bill Corbett) over the years face off crowo-e-crowo talking about their experiences doing the voice and puppeteering of Crow. This was filmed at some MST3K convention years ago. This obviously is the best feature for the entire set.

The Crawling EyeOriginal Theatrical Trailer (1:24) and a Special Introduction by Joel Hodgson (6:28) where Joel explains the changeover from KTMA to Comedy Central, a wider audience and scripting the riffs rather than improvising.


As you would expect, there’s not much going for this set in the audio and video department. The show is presented in its original full frame presentation and the audio is a standard Dolby Digital 2.0 track.


“Mystery Science Theater 3000” is a fun show that never gets old. Now 17 volumes in, fans are getting the shows they love and no matter which host you prefer, you get the best of both worlds. As for the movies presented in this set, there are some slow moments here and there but I can’t help but smile and still laugh at these outrageously awful movies that makes even the dull moments great.