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Sunday, July 7, 2013

MXC VOLUME THREE -- DVD review by porfle

(NOTE: This review originally appeared online at in 2007.)

I haven't had cable TV for almost three years, and I don't really miss it--with a few notable exceptions. One of these would have to be Spike TV's irresistibly amusing and often downright delightful "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" (or "MXC"), which debuted in 2003. It's so watchable and funny, you'd have to be an inflamed zit on Andy Rooney's left buttock not to enjoy it.

That's why I was so pleased to receive a screener for the DVD release of MXC VOLUME THREE. While the actual DVD will be a 2-disc set containing 13 half-hour episodes, the screener only came with two of them. But let's face it, if watching just five minutes of MXC doesn't tell you whether or not this is your cup of warm sake, then you should probably go to a proctologist and have your head examined.

Originally a silly, but genuine, Japanese game show from the 80s called "Takeshi's Castle", these episodes have been redubbed to transform them into the most surrealistic and frequently hilarious fake game show imaginable. The two lovable play-by-play announcers are now named Vic Romano and Kenny Blankenship--Kenny's the featherbrained cut-up, while Vic is the straight man who is so serenely unfazed by Kenny's ridiculous antics that his usual response is an earnest "Right you are, Ken" or a simple "Indeeed!"

Other characters include contestant wrangler Captain Tenneal, who gets the players whipped into a semi-frenzy before unleashing them upon the field of battle with the words "Let's get it on!", and field announcer Guy LaDouche, a cackling pervert whose contestant interviews are gleefully lecherous.

The competition always involves two opposing teams of reckless idiots--one of whom invariably sports the last name of "Babaganoosh"--partaking in ludicrous games that often result in them either being attacked from the sidelines by wild men or dunked in various kinds of "fluid" such as trucker man-gravy or toxic biological waste.

The two episodes I got to review featured the following teams squaring off against each other: Organized Crime vs. Weight Loss, and the Novelty/Gift Industry vs. the Death Industry. Needless to say, Organized Crime has the edge over their competition as they resort to the use of snipers, death threats, and other creative tactics. And as always, each episode ends with a recap of the most cringe-inducing spills known as "Kenny Blankenship's Most Painful Eliminations of the Day."

As the box copy aptly states, MXC is like a cross between Woody Allen's redubbed Japanese comedy WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY? and "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Each cleverly-scripted episode is total giddy fun all the way--low-brow humor and non-stop sexual innuendos fly fast and furious, while the new dialogue fits hilariously with the images of smarmy announcers, hokey costumed characters, and wildly enthusiastic contestants throwing themselves into each challenge with little regard for their dignity or physical well-being.

Rarely does a live-action TV show get this cartoonish and totally silly, and if that's the kind of thing that makes your inner disturbed child do double backflips, then you should run headlong through a wacky-but-dangerous obstacle course over a vat of rich, trucker man gravy to get your mitts on a copy of MXC VOLUME THREE.

And remember: "DON'T...GET...ELIMINATED!"

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