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MST3K skewers turkeys, 5 vintage titles debut on DVD, Blu-ray
Steve Reeves stars as "Hercules" (1958), which is one of four films skewered on the new DVD release, "Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXXII." - photo by Chris Hicks
The latest collection of turkeys being roasted by Mystery Science Theater 3000 is in release this week, along with five vintage films making their debuts on DVD and Blu-ray.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXII (Shout!/DVD, 1992-94/1950-70, four discs, four episodes/movies, new introductions, featurettes, trailers; four mini-posters). Those MST3K guys are back, offering snarky commentary over four vintage flicks, ranging from a sci-fi thriller to a G-men yarn to a made-for-TV melodrama to the granddaddy of all Hercules pictures.

The latter, titled simply Hercules (1958), is the Italian production that made Steve Reeves an international star in the 1960s and spawned a muscle man swords-and-sandals genre. San Francisco International (1970), with Pernell Roberts, Van Johnson and Tab Hunter, is a TV movie (a pilot for a short-lived series) in the style of the Airport theatrical blockbuster of the same year.

Radar Secret Service (1950, b/w) has government agents tracking stolen uranium (while using specious science). And Space Travelers (1969, aka Marooned) is about astronauts stranded in space, a major movie that boasts an A-list cast (Gregory Peck, Gene Hackman) and won an Oscar for special effects.

Not that this mound of trivia is anything other than fodder for Joel, Mike, Tom, Servo and Crow as they inflate every flaw and deflate every pretension.

All at Sea (aka Barnacle Bill, Warner Archive/DVD, 1957, b/w, trailer). Before Star Wars, before Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, before The Bridge on the River Kwai, Alec Guinness cut his teeth (cinematically speaking) on a string of droll comedies for Great Britains Ealing Studios, including such hilarious films as The Ladykillers, The Lavender Hill Mob and Kind Hearts and Coronets. This one (the final Ealing production) isnt quite up to those, but it is funny as Guinness plays a retired Royal Navy captain plagued by seasickness, despite coming from a long line of sailors (he also plays his progenitors). (Available at

Where the Spies Are (Warner Archive/DVD, 1966, trailer). Uncountable spy spoofs trailed the huge success of the early James Bond movies, and this is one of the better ones. David Niven is appealing as a country doctor recruited by the English secret service after their other spies are lost. But hes a rank amateur and bumbles his way through assignments, thanks to loads of gimmicky weapons (in a nod to Goldfinger). Based on Passport to Oblivion, the first of a series of Jason Love novels. (The next year Niven played 007 in the all-star spoof Casino Royale.) (Available at

The Alphabet Murders (aka The ABC Murders, Warner Archive/DVD, 1966, b/w, trailer). Before David Suchet made the character his own on British television, Agatha Christies Belgian detective Hercule Poirot was played in movies by Austin Trevor, Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov, and was spoofed in this slapstick farce by Tony Randall. The film is uneven but has its moments, and the supporting cast includes Anita Ekberg and Robert Morley, with a cameo by Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple, whom she played in four films during this period. (Available at

The Roommates/A Woman For All Men (Gorgon/Blu-ray/DVD, 1973/1975; R for violence, sex, nudity, language; featurette, trailer, TV spots). These 1970s exploitation films cant decide whether to be killer thrillers or sexy melodramas, resulting in bumpy and unsatisfying rides. The Roommates has a group of young women heading out for summer fun by a lake until a serial killer begins picking them off one by one. A Woman for All Men has aging Keenan Wynn marrying a hot young thing, which ignites jealousy in his sons.