By Gillian Flynn
October 22, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

Skepticism (would they be crappy?) was quickly crushed by pure nerd joy (of course they wouldn’t!) over the arrival of four never-released episodes of the cult TV show in which a very motley crew heckles bad movies. To speak MSTie: None reaches the heady realms of ”Manos: The Hands of Fate,” but two entries are at the next best level of, say, ”Mitchell” or the unsung ”Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders.” The set’s ”Werewolf” (with Joe Estevez and a “”gorilla with a dog mask on”) and ”Future War” (starring cyborgs, dinosaurs, and an ex-hooker nun) mark the best of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The movies are so curiously horrible as to beg an oral history, and the jeering nails their unique lameness. Warning: Joel appears in only one show, and it’s the weakest. But weak MST3K is still sterling TV. A-

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