It's anybody's guess why they're being so slow about releasing various snarky episodes of "Mystery Science Theater 3000," in which Joel, Mike, Tom Servo and Crow make fun of baaaaaaad badbadbad movies. "Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XIX" brings together four delicious episodes of this series involving alien robots, sea monsters and an evil dummy.
First there's "Robot Monster", the seventh episode of season one (the roughest of them, but you won't notice here). Joel and the bots are subjected to a horrifically cheesy sci-fi movie in which civilization is destroyed and all of humanity is killed by... a gorilla with a deep-sea helmet, aka Ro-man. Ro-man is trying to hunt the one remaining nuclear family and exterminate them, despite the fact that he literally lives next to their house. Insert random lizard attacks.
Then there's Ed Wood's "Bride of the Monster," in which Joel and the bots are subjected to Wood's B-movie horror: Bela Lugosi is a mad scientist, living in a swamp filled with inappropriate reptiles and a giant octopus that inexplicably eats people. People wander in and get eaten, and eventually a pretty girl becomes the newest victim of Lugosi's attempts to make a master race.... yeah, okay.
After that, we jump forward to the Era Of Mike with "Devil Doll." Mike and the bots decide to have a crazy "Friiiiidaaaaaay" dorm party which is hampered by a lack of beer and music, even as Pearl hobnobs with the gods. Then it's off to the movies, about a sinister ventriloquist and his surprisingly sentient dummy... it's actually rather good by MST3K standards, but still rather dull.
And finally, Mike's wallet woes get sidelined while Pearl, Bobo and Brain Guy pretend to be a cruise ship. The new movie: "Devil Fish," a horrible cash-in on "Jaws" in which many wooden Italians pretending to be Americans deal with a sort of... warty shark-octopus thing that magically appears to eat anyone who hits the high seas. Also: lots of soap opera stuff.
Any "Mystery Science Theater 3000" collection with an Ed Wood Jr. episode is bound to be an absolute delight, but this one is especially good because it has three absolutely ghastly movies and one that is only fairly bad. The movies are pretty funny even on their own merits, and having Mike, Joel and the bots mocking them is the icing on the cake ("The director's vision: lots of shots of things!").
And it's got the usual stuff: Mike, Joel and the bots have lots of silly adventures (seeing what Crow dreams about) and skits (getting turned into broad Italian stereotypes). And their mockery of the movies is just delicious ("Oh, great! The nutty bird man in Apartment 4-B is gonna give us a religious insight"), especially when they pretend to speak as the characters ("There's bird poopy on my paper!").
"Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XIX" is... well, three truly abysmal movies and one that is merely bad. Add in Joel, Mike and the bots, and you have loads of classic laughs.