Now that “Mystery Science Theater” has a future, “Vol. XXXIV” looks to the past


“Oh, come on! How can it be American and International?” — Joel Robinson

The seeming geographical contradiction at the heart of the B-movie kingpin studio known as American International Pictures seems only a minor flaw, especially comparing it against the studio’s long and rich history of getting teenage audiences in the ’50s and ’60s to part with their money by any means necessary. In other words, movies like “Earth Vs. The Spider” and “The Beginning of the End” were perfect fodder for Joel and the ‘bots to riff on on “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

So, it’s only fair that AIP gets its due on the latest DVD boxed set from Shout! Factory, “Vol. XXXIV.” Not only are all four movies in the set all black-and-white cheesy classics from American International — “Viking Women Vs. The Sea Serpent,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “The Undead” and “The Sea Creature” — but the primary bonus feature on the set is a full-length 90-minute documentary on the studio called “It Was A Colossal Teenage Movie Machine!”

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