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Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

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Hello. Welcome. What you are about to see, is, an experiment...
  — Dr. Clayton Forrester

M01 - Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (This Island Earth)
Alternate Mystery Science Theater 3000 Movie Poster
MST3K Director Jim Mallon
Running Time 73 mins
AKA Metaluna IV antwortet nicht (West Germany)
Movie Director Fritz Bottger
Year 1955
Cast Jeff Morrow
Faith Domergue
Rex Reason
Lance Fuller
Russell Johnson

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (also known as MST3K: TM) is the feature film release version of MST3K, in which Mike and the Bots riff on This Island Earth.

The Movie-Within-The-Movie (This Island Earth)


Cal Meacham (Rex Reason), a noted scientist of some regard, and his wormy assistant, Joe Wilson (Robert Nichols) are sent a mysterious instruction manual , along with all of the required parts, for constructing a device called an Interocitor.  Upon assembling the machine and turning it on, they are greeted by the stunning, full color image of a  large-foreheaded man asking Dr. Meacham's assistance in some kind of secret think-tank of scientists.  Meacham decides to check it out and allows himself to be whisked away to a mysterious science workshop somewhere in Georgia where he learns that the large-foreheaded man, Exeter (Jeff Morrow) and his equally forehead-gifted companion, Brack (Lance Fuller) are incredibly tight lipped about their ongoing weirdness.  Unsurprisingly, Meacham and fellow scientific explorer Ruth Adams (Faith Domergue) eventually figure out that Exeter and Brack are alien-type people from another planet and had hoped to get Earth's best scientfic minds to convince the planet that a peaceful colonization by their people wouldn't be quite as bad as it sounds.  There's spaceships, mutants, trippy matte paintings, and NORMAL VIEW all making for a surprisingly bland adventure film that has gorgeous photography.


  • Mike can be seen reading an issue of Satellite News in the opening host segment.
  • TV's Frank's face appears on one of the doors in the door sequence.
  • MST3K: TM was released in a number of non-English-speaking countries, including Brazil [1], Thailand [2], the Netherlands [3], Spain, Finland, Italy [4] and Germany. The German version was translated by comedian Oliver Kalkofe, who in many cases rewrote riffs to replace American-centric cultural references with references that would be more familiar to a German audience. The Brazilian version was retitled O Filme Mais Idiota do Mundo ("The Most Idiotic Movie in the World").
  • Actor Lance Fuller (Brack) would later achieve further MST3k immortality as the emotionless, mumbly, lead character in The She-Creature.
  • Coleman Francis briefly appears as the man who delivers the Interocitor manual to Dr. Meacham's lab.

Host Segments

  • Prologue: Dr. Clayton Forrester introduces himself and his experiment to the world. He makes a strong case for the "mad" part of mad scientist, but the scientist part is up for debate.
  • Segment One: Mike Nelson is finishing his daily workout when Tom Servo runs up and presents a problem: fellow Bot Crow T. Robot has convinced himself he can tunnel through the bottom of the ship and get back to Earth, conveniently ignoring the empty vacuum of space in between. Attempts to stop Crow result in danger, laughs, and a new sensation for Servo.
  • Segment Two: Gypsy happily pilots the ship until the Bots dare Mike to try. He succeeds in crashing the Satellite of Love into the poor, abused Hubble. Trying to put things right, he uses the SOL's manipulator arms - pressing the Manos button to activate it - to free the Hubble from the SOL's hull, only to have it fall down to the earth after being released, much to the dismay of Mike. Gypsy cleans up the mess while the boys head back.
  • Segment Three: Reminded by the movie, the boys go searching through Servo's room for his misplaced Interociter. Mike and Crow learn about Tom's strange obsession with men's underpants. Finding the Interociter puts them into contact with Benkitnorf the Metalunan, who tries to help them use it to escape and ends up repeatedly shooting Servo in the head with laser beams, not knowing how to work the Interociter. The signal is cut of by Forrester (a la Wicked Witch of the West) and sends them back to the theater.
  • Segment Four: The crew holds a "Metalunan mixer" to celebrate them getting through the movie. Dr. F has an Interociter of his own which he attempts to use to make the SOL crew regret their joy. He ends up stranding himself in poor Benkitnorf's bathroom.
  • Stinger: No stinger, but Mike and the Bots do riff on the credits to their own movie!

Other Notes

The "amped-up" remix of the theme song done for the movie trailer is by popular comedian and long-time MST3k friend Dave (Gruber) Allen. Cinematography was done by Jeff Stonehouse.

Guest Stars

Deleted Scenes

The original film featured an additional host segment and a completely different ending:

  • In the cut segment, often called "The Storm Shelter Sequence", the movie is interrupted by a sudden meteor shower. The crew flees to the SOL's storm shelter, only to have the air supply damaged by one of the meteors. Mike begins to asphyxiate (Crow: "Ha ha ha! Who needs air?" Mike: (annoyed) "I do."), and the Bots panic. Servo summons up his courage to help Mike by pushing the button to restart the air by launching himself full-tilt at it with his hoverskirt. Mike is saved, the storm passes, and the gang returns to the theater at Dr. F's insistance.
  • The original ending shows Mike's plan to get back at Dr. F for This Island Earth. Dr. F appears in the Hexfield Viewscreen seeking out the crew for groveling. Only Servo is present; he distracts Dr. F with flattery while Mike, Gypsy, and Crow bring the Interociter out of Tom's room. Mike hooks Gypsy's tubing from the Interocitor to the Hexfield, Crow dumps out the last survivor of his ant farm, and the crew Interocicizes it, turning Debbie the ant into Scrotor, the alien from the movie (played by Jef Maynard). The tube sends Scrotor into Deep 13, where he vanquishes Dr. F and leaves to get a Hollywood agent. The crew celebrates their victory until they realize Crow is missing. He's back down in the bottom of the ship with the chainsaw he found earlier in Servo's room...

Obscure References

  • "Space... The FINAL frontier.... These ARE the VOYages of Babylon 5..."

Servo references both Star Trek and Babylon 5, while making fun of William Shatner's style of acting.

  • "The light from these credits originated 7,000 years ago..."

Mike is doing an impression of Carl Sagan.

  • "Oh look, Orion is bankrupt!"

Orion Pictures was a now-defunct movie studio that went bankrupt in the early 1990s.

  • "John Sununu goes for a haircut."

Tom is referring to John H. Sununu, famous for his forced resignation as White House Chief of Staff due to his inappropriate use of government aircraft for personal use. Tom says the line with a tired tone because of the joke's overuse during the series.

  • "Ow, that ringing! Now he knows what the world sounds like to Pete Townshend!"

Tom is referencing The Who guitarist Pete Townshend, who suffers from deafness from tinnitus due to his overexposure to loud music and/or Keith Moon detonating his drum set next to his ears on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

  • "Ah, Been ordering from the Adam & Eve collection again, HMMMMMMM?"

The Adam & Eve Collection is a mail-order "marital aid" catalog.

  • "Your camera will pick up nothing but smoke and fog!" "Oh, it's a GoldStar."

GoldStar was a brand of inexpensive consumer electronics manufactured in South Korea.

  • "Oh, PLEASE let us get the Sci Fi Channel! Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!"

An inside joke, as during filming, Best Brains was in negotiations with the Sci Fi Channel to pick up the series.

  • "Your in-flight movie is 'Fearless'!"

Fearless was a film about survivors of a devastating plane crash, obviously an extremely inappropriate film to show on a flight!

  • "What's this 'and the rest' crap?!"

Russell Johnson played The Professor on Gilligan's Island. The "And the rest" is a reference to the first season's closing song, which omitted The Professor and Mary Ann with the lyric "And the rest here on Gilligan's Island". Later seasons changed the lyrics to include the two characters.

  • "So Professor, you made this car entirely out of bamboo, huh?" and "His coffin will be made entirely of coconuts."

Yet more references to Russell Johnson's role as The Professor.

  • "You two are beginning a strange journey." "Mawwiage!"

Crow is imitating the lisping priest from The Princess Bride.

  • "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"

Crow is singing this song while making a hole in the spaceships hull. This is probably a reference to the movie Das Boot where this song is sung by the crew. The U96 is sunk by to a torpedo hit ("hole in the hull").

  • "Oh they're flying into a Roger Dean album cover."
  • "Yeah they're really into 'Yes' on this planet."

Roger Dean is a British-born artist whose work consists of both surreal and organic imagery with heavy sci-fi/fantasy elements. Yes is one of the many bands he illustrated album covers for.


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