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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 30%
Average: 13.75%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

4 reviews, 56 user ratings

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Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
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by PyThomas

"It's MST-riffic!"
4 stars

If you've never seen the wacky and hilarious TV show "Mystery Science Theater 3000", then ... well... that's not surprising.

The show is one of those rare TV commodities... an innovative, original idea. It just has a very limited audience. Crafted by Minneapolis funnyman Joel Hodgson, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (hereinafter referred to as "MST3K") started out as a UHF-station low-rent midnight movie showcase in 1988, gained a huge cult following during its 1989-96 run on Comedy Central, and moved to the Sci-Fi Channel in 1997. Though the series ceased production in 1999, it can still be seen periodically on Sci-Fi, hopefully for years to come. Despite the low profile on cable channels that aren't carried by half the cable companies out there, MST3K's followers have spawned fan clubs, numerous web sites (including one that was run by yours truly), and high attendance at the show's very own convention, put on by their production company (Best Brains, Inc.) whenever they feel like it.

The premise of MST3K is this... the mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester (Trace Beaulieu) runs an ongoing experiment involving grade-Z movies. Mike Nelson (Michael J. Nelson) is his hapless "guinea pig" forced to watch these movies in the theater room of a spaceship orbiting planet Earth. Mike's only companions are the robots left behind by Joel (Dr. Forrester's first test subject)... Gypsy (voiced by Jim Mallon), the one-eyed purple big mouth; Tom Servo (voice by Kevin Murphy), a walking, talking gumball machine; and Crow T. Robot (voice by Beaulieu), a gold-painted amalgamation of sports equipment and Tupperware.

Of course, the premise here is just minor details... its only purpose is to get you into their orbiting screening room where the very heart of the show exists. You're watching a crappy movie, and listening to the three silhouetted characters in the corner make wisecracks about it. Many don't see the humor in this (probably those who take movie-watching too seriously), but it got to me back in 1994 and I've been a fan of the show ever since.

The film-within-a-film here is Universal's classic "This Island Earth", featuring Russell "The Professor" Johnson among other 50s film has-beens. Yes, the "Earth" film sucks to high heaven, but that's the whole point. Listening to the hilarious zingers that Mike & Co. toss at the movie, you almost forget how bad the movie is and laugh your ass off. Hardcore MST fans will have a ball spotting all the in-jokes and obscure references. Another nice touch: Mike and the 'bots riff on their own closing credits.

My only complaint against this film is... it's TOO DAMN SHORT. 75 minutes??? Any TV episode of MST3K is about half an hour longer than that, after cutting out all the commercials. Hopefully we can get a director's cut or something in the not-too-distant future.

MST3K The Movie got the shaft marketing-wise from Gramercy, thus, despite good reviews (including two thumbs up from Sisk & Eeb), this film had a limited run and flopped at the box office. If somebody can give MST3K a second shot at the big screen, with better marketing and all, it could possibly do decent cinemaplex business. Believe me, those folks in Minnesota knew how to make crappy movies entertaining.

If you're ever in Austin on a Friday night, there's an outfit called Mr. Sinus Theater that's keeping the MST3K legacy alive by doing live shows at the Alamo Drafthouse, trashing films like "Xanadu" and "Crossroads" and doing everything that Best Brains used to do with their signature series. If not... well, this film serves as a decent introduction to the MST3K universe, but you're better off hunting down VHS or DVD copies of the television series itself.

Push the button, Frank.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 08/25/98 08:02:52
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User Comments

4/29/09 Dr.Lao Nothing more than a high budget version of the TV show, and This Island Earth is not bad! 3 stars
4/29/07 William Goss Funniest when seated, and yet not as hilarious as certain episodes. 4 stars
8/26/05 ES "there goes a stupid, stupid man' = wish I had seen more of the tv show 4 stars
7/21/05 Kenny I left the iron plugged in when i watched it. And I didn't care!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/30/05 DM Funny, but too short and "This Island Earth" really isn't that bad. 4 stars
3/23/05 indrid cold Just an average MST3K episode, meaning it's funnier than most other comedies. 4 stars
2/06/05 Pants Weenieman away! 5 stars
6/16/04 franknutz too bad its shorter than a regular episode and near impossible to get on dvd anymore 5 stars
3/27/04 blue A-FUCKING-MAZING!!! 5 stars
1/21/03 Matt Thiel There are deleted scenes that Universal *ordered* to be cut. We deserve an SE DVD release! 4 stars
1/15/03 mans0n its just like an episode, nothing new here! and "crowes" voice is different which sucks! 3 stars
1/10/03 Ange Faitore The end credits are the BEST! Amazing Rando, that Rando stuff *kills* me! 5 stars
1/08/03 y2mckay "WHOOP DE SHIT" - funniest line. 4 stars
1/07/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" lyrik *dies laughing* 5 stars
1/07/03 Skeeboarder This is absolutely THE funniest movie ever made! Go see it or get a life! 5 stars
10/15/02 Charles Tatum Honestly, the funniest movie ever made 5 stars
6/19/02 Film Dude Yeah, Mike sucks ass... but the movie is still fucking funny! 5 stars
6/09/02 Kyle I never thought I'd be saying this, but... I agree with Andrew Carden. *Shudders* 5 stars
4/25/02 Mister Char hilarious material, there are too many funny one liners to list .... 5 stars
1/26/02 Seth Berg THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH 5 stars
12/10/01 The Bomb 69 laughed from beginning to end!!! 5 stars
11/23/01 Andrew Carden I Just Love How This Shows All Of These Stupid Movies, It's Great! 5 stars
9/05/01 Butterbean They had funnier TV episodes than this movie. Mike Nelson looks even hotter on big screens 3 stars
8/18/01 Dakamus It's alright, but nothing can stand up to the original episodes with Joel. Mike sucks ass. 3 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk This is a genuinely funny-ass film. MST3K is so well-written and thought out...I loved it. 5 stars
7/10/01 kegs Snazzy!!!!! 5 stars
6/09/01 cinkcool Very Funny. Too bad the series is gone. 5 stars
5/05/01 buck futter buck my futter! 5 stars
4/28/01 Hawkeye "Calling Doctor Jemima...." Rent this movie! You'll laugh yourself silly. 5 stars
4/25/01 J THE cult classic of 1996! 5 stars
2/28/01 Soggy Bottom Boy Didn't stand out from the TV version. 3 stars
2/26/01 jonny bravo weiner man! 5 stars
2/14/01 Karen Of course MST3K's fucking awesome! Brains are optional for most shows -- you need one here! 5 stars
2/14/01 TomServo its way too good 5 stars
2/07/01 Macarthur Student The greatest and saddest victim of bad marketing hacks. 5 stars
2/05/01 Diego Romero That´s not funny Ruth,I was a slave 5 stars
1/31/01 Nellie's mother sucks cocks in hell! great! 5 stars
1/31/01 Big Isil Good fun, different comedy riffing that we all do at home. Too short, though. 4 stars
12/27/00 TomServo too funny 5 stars
3/10/00 David Rogers MST3K ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/23/99 Physh You can still taste it weeks after seeing. 5 stars
7/05/99 Thanos6 The only thing funnier than the movie is the TV series. 5 stars
5/21/99 J. Random Hacker I drove hundreds of miles to see this, and it was worth it! You'll laugh your ass off! 5 stars
3/31/99 TIE Girl Hmm...suddenly I have this refreshing mint flavour 5 stars
1/25/99 Scion of Sailor Jupiter If there is a God, there will be a sequle sometime in my life. 5 stars
11/16/98 Lord Of The Dunce Genius. 5 stars
9/28/98 Heather Holder A cult classic! Even if you've never seen the show, you'll like this one! 5 stars
9/26/98 Michael Grote It rocked 5 stars
9/26/98 Pat Flanagan Would have been even better if Gramercy didn't fuck it up. Viva MST3K!! 5 stars
9/25/98 angevines C'mon, bite me, I'm a toaster strudel! But caution, my filling might be hot! 5 stars
9/25/98 ShadowStar Glad I saw it... more gald I didn't travel to Manhattan to see it in a theater. 4 stars
9/23/98 Jason Rosenbaum If you love the show, you'll love the movie. It's pretty much the same. 4 stars
9/21/98 Johny Not in the mood for plot driven films and need some wise ass humor? This is good stuff. 4 stars
9/05/98 bizzy is that a poptart? hahahahhahahhhahahah 4 stars
8/25/98 Mister Whoopee I've never had a girlfriend that didn't hate this thing. Big stars for that, I say! 4 stars
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  19-Apr-1996 (PG-13)
  DVD: 27-May-1998

  N/A (PG)

  03-Oct-1996 (PG)

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