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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Science Fiction > Horror > Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996/Universal DVD)

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996/Universal DVD)


Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Film: B+



Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) enjoyed a tremendous run as a cable television show in the 1990’s, but in 1996, the show had its moment in the sun as a feature film. The subject of the MST3K movie was the 1955 classic, This Island Earth.  Mike Nelson and his robot sidekicks perform yeoman work in this send-up of the campy 1950’s classic.  Any readers unfamiliar with the MST3K phenomenon should refer to our earlier reviews of Rhino’s boxed set collections at the end of this review.


This feature-length film benefits from much higher production values than the show, including expanded sets for the Satellite of Love, additional shots of Dr. Clayton Forester’s evil lair, and several great “exterior” shots of the satellite in action (including a hilarious collision with the Hubble space telescope that results in its flaming re-entry into Earth’s orbit).  The opening of the film features a combined homage to sci-fi classics 2001: A Space Odyssey and Silent Running.


In addition to enhanced production values, MST3K The Movie features a slightly more difficult target, a sci-fi film that many regard as a quirky classic of the genre. However, Mike and the ‘bots manage to mix their good-natured jibes at This Island Earth with a healthy respect for the film’s place in the genre’s galaxy of goofy stars.  In the end, both the audience and the crew of the Satellite of Love enjoy plenty of laughs, and Mike and the ‘bots manage to once again get the better of the wickedly funny Dr. Forester.


Both sound and picture on this film are superior to what fans are used to when watching the television show.  Viewers who have not seen the movie since its theatrical release in 1996 will be taken aback by the crispness of the picture and the quality of the sound.  The disc is devoid of any extras, missing a golden opportunity for commentaries from cast and crew about the differences of working on the television version versus the bigger arena of the feature film. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie will make a nice addition to the hardcore “Mistie’s” collection, and should bring a smile to the face of any fan of the sci-fi genre.


Fans of the show have recently heard that Rhino is no longer producing DVD box sets of the show, with the rights reverting to Shout! Factory, who will issue theme sets instead of volumes.  What follows are the volumes we managed to cover:












-   Scott R. Pyle


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