Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996)



Critic Consensus: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie may be thin and uneven, but it's hilarious in enough of the right spots to do the show's big-screen transition justice.

Movie Info

The cult television series Mystery Science Theatre 3000 transfers its brand of science-fiction wisecracking to the big screen with relatively few changes. The concept is the same in series and film: an innocent man (Michael J. Nelson, playing Mike Nelson) is stranded in outer space by a mad scientist, who subjects the poor slob to "experiments" that involve watching the worst movies ever made. In order to survive this cinematic torture, Mike and his two companions, sarcastic robots Tom Servo and … More

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy, Special Interest
Directed By: ,
Written By: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 10, 2000
MCA Universal Home Video


as Gypsy

as Crow T. Robot, Dr. C...

as Mike Nelson

as Benkitnorf

as Tom Servo

as Benkitnorf
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

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Critic Reviews for Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (19)

For many, a little of this joking will go a long way; devoted fans, however, will wish for a double-bill. Count me closer to the latter group.

Full Review… | September 2, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

There are still enough bad makeup jobs, pretentious lines, and coy sexual situations to give the chattering puppets plenty of fodder.

Full Review… | September 2, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

If you're in the mood for some knuckleheaded comedy at the expense of -- in mad scientist Dr. Forrester's words -- "a stinky cinematic suppository called This Island Earth," then get thee to some place playing MST3K.

Full Review… | September 2, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

It's a fun enough way to pass the time. And fans of the TV version of MST3K certainly won't be disappointed. But it would be just as much -- if not more -- fun watching it in your own living room with a bunch of rowdy pals.

Full Review… | September 2, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

[MSTies] can rest assured that the movie is about as funny as a typical episode of the show that is, pretty darn funny in a sly and satirical sort of way. For others, the movie can serve as a good introduction to the whole MST3K phenomenon.

Full Review… | September 2, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

As the gags pile up remorselessly, and the viewer strains to keep up with the story line and the cutting subtext, a furious but benign apnea takes hold. You can't enjoy a good long laugh because you'll miss too much.

Full Review… | September 2, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie


From the cult TV series, a man and his two robots trapped in space mock one of the worst movies ever made--only in the one-off feature version the film is THIS ISLAND EARTH, a colorful sci-fi film that isn't close to the laughable fare the show usually covered. The feature film offers very few extras for fans, won't covert anyone new to the cause, and would have been considered an average to below average episode if it had aired on TV.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

I love Mystery Science Theater, but the movie version does not compare well with the television series. This Island Earth just doesn't offer many opportunities for humor (except for the absurd insect mutants that are supposedly similar to the insects here on earth). I can't imagine even the most hardcore MST3K fans enjoying this very much.

Lewis C.

Super Reviewer


My first exposure to the MST franchise, I had to watch it a second time around to get it better (first time was at night on tv when I was half-asleep) and I'm glad I decided to give it a second chance when I taped it. I had myself in stitches while watching this, I really did. Taking a below average film and subjecting it to ridicule was, at that point, the most original thing I had ever seen or heard and these guys made it seem so easy.

Naturally, after watching episodes of the show, I see things in the movie that could have been improved (like adding the theme song, which is now my favorite theme song to any show ever made) but considering what they had to work with and what came out, I'd say it's a great result regardless.

Despite what some call "dumbed down" commentary, there are still good laughs to be had by all. Recurring jokes such as "The Amazing Rando" and frequent outbursts of "I'm not an alien!" are always amusing. And the host segments are great, as they all relate to their plight of being stuck in space.

If science ever gets around to building robots that aren't glorified slaves, Crow and Servo should be on the top of their to-build lists. I know I want a pair of wisecracking robot buddies like those two

David S

Super Reviewer

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie Quotes

– Submitted by David G (3 years ago)
– Submitted by John E (3 years ago)
– Submitted by David G (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Wes S (3 years ago)

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