STARRING: Trace Beaulieu, Michael J. Nelson, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, John Brady

1996, 73 Minutes, Directed by: Jim Mallon

Description: Have you ever seen a movie so bad that you had to shout back at the screen? So have the ingenious creators of "Mystery Science Theater 3000." The award-winning series is now a major motion picture, complete with all the hip wisecracks and explosively funny barbs that fans have come to expect. Your movie today: 1955's "This Island Earth."

If you live outside the States or have never even heard of Mystery Science Theater 3000, then here is the rundown: a mad scientist (is there any other sort?) subjugates a Mr. Average sort of guy and his two robot sidekicks to the worst movies ever made in order to drive them mad. (And they are indeed the worst movies made - usually incredibly crappy 1950s science fiction movies.) He then plans to use the movie that does the trick on Earth to take it over. But the plot is incidental: what we get is three figures silhouetted against a large cinema screen making wise cracks about whatever piece of celluloid excrement they have to endure.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K as fans refer to it) is a regular show on the Sci-Fi channel and has a huge fan base on the Internet. It is obvious why: this movie, which is a full-length version of the television show, is one of the funniest movies I have seen in quite a while. Wise cracks and jokes fly at lightening speed and while some of them may work for you and some won't, they come in such a barrage that sooner or later something will hit home. The weakest points of the movie are when Mr. Average and his sidekicks stop watching the movie and snoop around the spaceship they're held captive in. Then things degenerate into a juvenile mode. But stick with this movie - it's silly fun and you'll no doubt be wanting more when it's all over.

If you're a fan then you've no doubt already seen the movie. If you're not, then dash out and rent it now! You'll probably become one . . .

(The movie lambasted in Mystery Science Theater 3000 - the Movie is This Island Earth, which I have thankfully never seen before.)


Sci-Fi Movie Page Pick: This extremely funny spin-off of the "cult" television show may start off unpromisingly, but soon you'll find yourself rewinding the tape and watching it again because you couldn't hear all the dialogue because everybody watching it were laughing so loud.




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