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DVD Review: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
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Mystery Science Theater 3000: The MovieMystery Science Theater 3000:
The Movie

Directed by Jim Mallon
Starring John Brady, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Jim Mallon, Michael J. Nelson
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 6, 2008

Every year Hollywood makes hundreds of movies. This is one of them.

So says the tagline to the movie version of a television show that skewered countless sub-B movies (are they C-movies? Z-movies?), Mystery Science Theater 3000.

For those of you that don’t know, MST3K was a show where a human and two robots were forced to sit in a theater up in space and watch bad movies in some sort of weird scientific experiment by a comical mad scientist. Instead, they made the most of it and lambasted each movie with hilarious commentary that ranged from the sublime, to the ridiculous, to insider lingo on production techniques.

Toward the end of their run on Comedy Central, and before the show was picked up by the Sci-Fi Channel, the powers that be at Best Brains Productions decided to make an actual movie out of poking fun at bad movies. They chose a classic moment in bad sci-fi cinema, This Island Earth, and let the jokes fly.

Sadly, it didn’t translate to the big screen very well. The movie bombed.

However, it remained popular with the MST3K cult following, and was shown a lot on cable and released on DVD. The television show is growing in popularity on DVD (with as many episodes as possible. Due to movie rights issues, some of the best episodes are still waiting for DVD release), but the movie went out of print. Finally, they have re-released this film on DVD.

While it is refreshing to see this movie released again, upon viewing it one can see why the movie didn’t really have the impact it could have, and how this DVD release falls short.

First, the length of the movie is very short. Normally, for the TV show, they have to cut some scenes from the movie to add in their bits, but you would think for the actual movie version they’d lampoon the entire film. This was not the case. The entire movie, including the set up and the comedy bits between scenes, was very short for a Hollywood movie.

This Island Earth had plenty to make fun of, and some of the funniest scenes were not in the MST3K movie cut.

Second, the material wasn’t among the best work of the MST3K franchise. If you have seen the show you know that there are times when you can’t stop laughing at the bits. That’s not the case here. It’s a good MST3K effort, but not among the best. Frankly, they could have released their skewering of The Beast of Yucca Flats and the two shorts associated with it as a movie and been more successful.

To me, some of the best jokes were said over the closing credits of the movie.

Thirdly, on this DVD release, there are no extras. None. No interviews with Mike Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, and Kevin Murphy, who were the main writers and performers of the show. No talk with Jim Mallon, the producer and brains behind Best Brains. No full length version of This Island Earth.

That’s a shame. So much more could have been done with the DVD.

All in all, it’s good to have this back on DVD. However, it could have been so much better. Perhaps if they release it again, they’ll include extras including how to build your own interocitor and a free expense paid trip to Metaluna. Just watch out for the mutants.

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