MST3000's Mike Nelson reviews

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996)

The cheese rolls on

This feature version of the irreverent TV series about a man on a spaceship who's forced to watch bad movies with his robot pals skewers the would-be 1950s classic This Island Earth. As usual, while admiring the film's content (or lack thereof), the earthling and his robot-puppet pals make various funny comments throughout. "Every year Hollywood makes hundreds of movies. This is one of them!" -- marketing line. This film follows the same premise of the cable TV series it's based on: a man named Mike Nelson (no relation to Lloyd Bridges), along with two witty robots, is held captive in outer space by mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester. As an experiment, Forrester subjects them to a barrage of horrible, "cheesy movies." Nelson and the bots proceed to make fun and crack wise at virtually everything that happens in the film, from the opening to closing credits.
In this big-screen version, the film lampooned by the gang is 1955's This Island Earth, a campy, no-budget film about earthlings who are kidnapped by aliens. But will Mike and his metallic buddies ever find a way to escape from the demented Forrester?
Released theatrically in America on April 19, 1996, A Best Brains production, in Stereo Surround Sound (you wouldn't want comedy this good in Mono).
See the page for This Island Earth for credits & more info on that film.

The television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 was created in Minneapolis in 1988 by its original star, Joel Hodgson to fill the need for "plastic puppet-based entertainment." The low-budget show was later picked up after 1 year by neophyte cable network Comedy Central, where it developed a strong cult following, called "Misties." At the height of its popularity, Hodgson left the show, and was replaced by Michael Nelson, a writer and sometime actor on the series. A few years later, however, viewership declined, and the show became less and less prominent on Comedy Central. Weeks before the film version opened, the channel cancelled "MST3K". However, it was soon picked up for 3 new seasons of shows by the Sci-Fi Channel.
Full Movie Credits:
Director: Jim Mallon
Stars: Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy, Jim Mallon (see This Island Earth page for that movie's credits)
Here is Mike Nelson's Megacheese unbiased review of Mystery Science Theater 3000 starring Mike Nelson:

"In 1996, I was involved in making Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie. In the spirit of fairness, it was suggested that I critique it as I would any other film. I tried to forget the fact that I had anything to do with its making, and just watch it as another viewer. The method I used was to drink 8 Black & Tans in just under 24-minutes...Here's my review.

"Miyitry sInce THETTTRE 3000, the mvoe? Wths Robot all abut? Ths kind of funny. Whos that guy?

"And then there are 423 pages of Ts, because I fell on the keyboard. I abandoned that method and just went ahead with my review.

"Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie is the big-screen version of the tv show...created in 1988 for a small station in Minneapolis...
"The concept was the result of extensive market research and in its 1st incarnation featured an old Swiss woman, a fir tree, and a smoked ham making fun of Lyle Waggoner infomercials. Test audiences were enthusiastic and especially loved the fir tree, but felt that the smoked ham was "too southern." Seizing on this, the producers ditched the smoked ham, replacing it with McMillan & Wife's John Schuck. The fir tree's part was beefed up and given to Buck Rogers' Erin Gray in her 1st role as a tree. The show tanked and was retooled again to include a guy and 2 robots making fun of B-movies...

"The film follows the same basic formula as the tv show, except that you have to pay for it. Dr. Clayton Forrester, a mad scientist, has trapped a man in space and forces him to watch the Rex Reason film This Island Earth, the story of an alien invasion by supertan aliens with large foreheads who look like Charlie Rich. It's funny enough, if you like that sort of thing...

"It should be noted that the film is only 73-minutes long, shorter than the tv show, which ran 2 hours with Jolly Rancher commercials, 95-minutes without. As far as movie value goes, you'd be better off with Reds, Lawrence of Arabia, or even "Gremlins 2: The New Batch", which runs 107 minutes. At $7 a ticket, that amounts to 6.5 cents a minute, a substantial savings over the pricier MST's 9.6 cents a minute. For a real value, try the uncut version of Greed. It's 8-hours long, which is under a penny and a half per minute. You may have to fly to Germany to see it, however, so you should figure airfare, lodging, and sausage into that price.

"As a movie that relies heavily on puppets, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie isn't too bad, although I'd rank it behind Puppet Master and perhaps Puppet Master 2. Now that I think of it, Puppet Master 3: Toulon's Revenge has a bit more going for it. Puppet Master 4 kept the series alive pretty well, and you know what, Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter comes out on top as well. Rent MST3K:TM only if those and The Thunderbirds series are all checked out."

2000 Michael J. Nelson. All rights reserved, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles & reviews.

Mike Nelson, has also written books including an MST3000 Episode Guide and Megacheese. The best book for looking up movie titles and descriptions is the Movie / Video Guide by Leonard Maltin (and he loves Megacheese). If you also like Monstervision, there are half a dozen books for sale by Joe Bob Briggs on the last time I checked this link.

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Important notice!!!! There are absolutely no twisters in MST-3000 the Movie. Mike says all the movie twisters in Hollywood were used up in Twister. For maximum fun, he suggests that you watch Twister on July 4th, Independence Day

Crow T. Robot's relatives are working in a bowling alley on

Animated image copyright (c) 2002 by The Animation Factory and may not be sold or plagerized without getting in trouble with a whole lot of animated lawyers!

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"Providing that the motion is under a constant force, the kinematics of the situation dictate that, as molecular friction resists the momentum of the sheer component, intolerable vectors develop in a semi-rigid medium. And that's how the cookie crumbles."