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Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

3 Ratings: 4.3
A movie

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Director: Jim Mallon
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: April 19, 1996
MPAA Rating: PG-13
1 review about Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

Universal DVD review

  • Jun 25, 2011
  • by
MiSTies rejoice! For the days of seeking out absurdly expensive copies of the long-OOP VHS and DVD editions of this neglected and ignored theatrical adaptation of the cult TV phenomenon are over! At long last, Universal has seen fit to finally profit from the thoroughly bootlegged MST3K feature film. At least they did it right.

It's still an unusual experience to watch host segments shot on film, and in-theater riffing performed in theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Besides providing a suitable format for the targeted classic schlock This Island Earth (first presented in weirdo 2:1), it affords us a view of more in-theater seats! That's about all. Unlike any of the Rhino discs of the TV series that I've watched, this DVD also includes very good English subtitles and a French dubbed audio track! The former render the dialogue of the movie in italicized text, specify who's saying what in the audience and are surprisingly easy to read. Both the movie and riffing dialogue of the French dub are also impressive; the voice actors really nailed the unique irreverence and personalities of Mike, Servo and Crow. Universal has made a big deal of this edition's remastered picture, and for good reason: it really does look great, as good as anyone could expect on DVD. It sounds fine in either language, too.

As good as this is, it really can't compare to the fan-made special and 10th Anniversary Hamdinger editions, the special features of which included the film's original ending, deleted host segment, theatrical trailer, TV spots and various homemade featurettes. The overall quality of Universal's disc is higher, but the studio couldn't be bothered to include cut and promotional footage. Even though it's unnecessary, this disc doesn't even feature a scene selection menu.

The MST3K movie is a good example of how ham-fisted execs can limit the potential of what could have been a more successful project. As an amusing host segment and quite a lot of the riffed movie were cut at the behest of Gramercy Pictures, the resulting film runs a scant 74 minutes - about fifteen minutes less than that of the usual MST3K episode. Poorly and carelessly promoted, the film barely grossed $1M and was in and out of theaters in less than a week. Nonetheless, it's quite good: Best Brains functioned well with a larger budget at their disposal, and the riffing is every bit as funny as that of the best episodes. Naturally, this belongs in the collection of any MiSTie, but it's as good an introduction for the uninitiated as any of the first-season episodes.

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October 11, 2012
I haven't seen this one since 2003, and I gotta see it again!!
October 17, 2012
It's especially apt for double-bill viewing when paired with any episode of seasons two through four in which ill-conceived sci-fi of the immediate postwar variety were ridently dissected.
June 25, 2011
I LOVE MST3K and was a bit shocked as well that it didn't do better in the theatres. Then, I think of all my friends who "just don't get it" and blamed it on that. Great review, thanks for sharing :)
June 25, 2011
Thank you! Near my former residence, Fear and Loathing's extravagant three-day screening enabled two viewings, as did Glengarry Glen Ross's indulgent week; Army of Darkness was granted an unprecedented fortnight.

The MST3K movie was withdrawn from projection during the last second when I viewed a TV spot in promotion of it, in time elapsed as I stood in surprise. Only those possessing the ability to manipulate time and space ever actually saw it in a theater; obviously, Gramercy was catering to a very limited demographic.
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3 Ratings: +4.3
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Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
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