Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

on April 19, 1996 by Christine James
   The comedic appeal of cable's award-winning "Mystery Science Theater 3000," also known as "MST3K" or "MiSTie" by its fans, is amplified on the big screen. The premise: Mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester (Trace Beaulieu) has trapped his former temp Mike (Mike Nelson) in a satellite orbiting earth; to break his will, he forces him to watch nothing but bad B-movies. The vessel's only other inhabitants are three robots: Tom Servo (voiced by Kevin Wagner Murphy), Crow (Trace Beaulieu) and Gypsy (Jim Mallon).
   Most of the action takes place in the satellite's theatre. A painfully cheesy movie is shown, and we see in silhouette a row of theatre seats with Mike, Servo and Crow occupying the seats to the far right. (Gypsy's busy navigating.) Mike and the 'bots are able to endure the truly horrible films only by constantly cracking jokes and improvising ludicrous dialogue. In this case, the target is the 1955 sci-fi film "This Island Earth," about large-craniumed albino aliens, a race of giant enslaved insects, and the deep-voiced hero who must defeat them while winning the heart of the female protagonist.
   There is no difference between "MST3K: The Movie" and an episode of the original "MST3K," except there's a greater effort in the scripting, resulting in more laugh-out-loud one-liners. Pop-culture references, obscure allusions and cheeky zingers abound. Seeing "MST3K" with an audience heightens the experience, inviting interaction and revelry from both hardcore fans and new wiseacres. Starring Mike Nelson and Trace Beau-lieu. Directed and produced by Jim Mal-lon. Written by Mike Nelson, Trace Beau- lieu and Kevin Wagner Murphy. A Gramercy release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for some sexual humor. Running time: 89 min
Tags: Mike Nelson, Trace Beau-lieu, Jim Mal-lon, Trace Beau- lieu, Kevin Wagner Murphy, A Gramercy release, Comedy, ludicrous, jokes, humor, earth, hero

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