Hello. Welcome. What you are about to see experiment.
- Dr. Clayton Forrester

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie is the feature film version of Mystery Science Theater 3000, in which Mike Nelson and the 'Bots riff on This Island Earth.

The Movie[]

Main article: This Island Earth (film)

A scientist is recruited by a think-tank, only to learn it is part of a wide-ranging scheme to relocate a doomed alien race to Earth.

MST3K: The Movie[]

Host segments[]


Dr. F introduces himself

  • Prologue: Dr. Clayton Forrester introduces himself and his experiment to the world. He tells the audience that they are now a part of that experiment and that they will join his test subject, Mike Nelson to watch the "Universal classic This Island Earth", his "maddest madness yet".

"I think that was more of a curtsey than a bow"

  • Segment One: Mike finishes his daily workout, gets a news update from Gypsy and settles in to read a copy of Satellite News when Tom Servo arrives and, after some verbal pleasantries, announces that he observed fellow Bot Crow T. Robot heading to the basement with a pickaxe. Crow has convinced himself that he can tunnel through the bottom of the ship and get back to Earth, conveniently ignoring the empty vacuum of space in between. When Crow inevitably breaches the hull of the ship, Mike and Tom must cling to the ship to prevent themselves from being sucked out. Tom loses his grip and plugs the hole with his hoverskirt, resulting in a "sensation all-together new" to him. Mike replaces Tom with Crow's helmet to plug the hole while admonishing Crow as a call comes in from Dr. Forrester, who tells the crew they will be watching This Island Earth. followed by Movie sign.

Mike breaks the Hubble!

  • Segment Two: When the film breaks, Mike and the Bots discuss Dr. Meacham's handling of his jet fighter, with Mike claiming to be "fully instrument rated for Microsoft Flight Simulator". After the Bots mock him for not being able to fly The Satellite of Love, they all head to the bridge, where Gypsy is piloting the ship while singing "Drunken Sailor". Mike kicks her out and takes over. All goes well for a moment, until Mike hits the Hubble Space Telescope. 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.

A brief look into Servo's room

  • Segment Three: While watching the film, Tom mentions that he has an Interociter, which Mike hopes they can use to get back to Earth. Searching Tom's room, they learn about Tom's strange obsession with men's underpants, but eventually uncover the device, which Tom has been using to make hot chocolate. They turn it on and manage to contact the Metalunan Benkitnorf, who reflexively shoots Servo in the head with a laser beam. He attempts to help the SOL crew, but only manages to shoot Servo a few more times. The signal is cut off by Dr. Forrester (a la the Wicked Witch of the West) via his own Interociter and he sends them back to the theater.

SOL's "Metalunan mixer"

  • Segment Four: Dr. Forrester notes the completion of the experiment and checks in on the Satellite of Love to see its effects, only to find the crew holding a "Metaluna mixer" to celebrate them getting through the movie. Gypsy is dressed as Ruth Adams, Tom is wearing a Mutant mask, Mike puts on a Metalunan helmet and Crow is freaking out in a conditioning tube. Dr. Forrester attempts to use his own Interociter to punish the crew, but is transported to Benkitnorf's shower, leaving the SOL crew no way to ever get back to Earth.
Mst3k the movie credits

The SOL crew riff their own credits

  • Closing: Mike and the Bots return to the Mystery Science Theater and riff on the credits to Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.

Obscure References[]

  • Crow sings "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" while digging a hole in the SOL's hull.
This may be a reference to the movie Das Boot where this song is sung by the crew. The U96 is sunk by a torpedo hit ("hole in the hull").
  • "This Island Earth can be yours if the price is right!"
A reference to the game show The Price Is Right and one of the catchphrases, "This prize can be yours if the price is right!"
  • "Space... The FINAL frontier... These ARE the VOYages of Babylon 5..."
Servo references both Star Trek and Babylon 5, while doing an impersonation of William Shatner's acting style.
  • "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 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 alleged inappropriate use of government aircraft for personal use.
  • "Oh jeez, there's soccer teams laying all over the place!"
Tom's referencing the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which crashed into the Andes mountains, causing the survivors (which included a rugby team) to reluctantly resort to eating the flesh of the passengers who died. The incident was dramatized in the 1993 survival drama film Alive.
  • "Look out President Clinton!"
On September 12, 1994, Frank Eugene Corder flew a stolen civilian airplane to the White House, intending to hit the building, but crashed to his death on the South Lawn. President Clinton and his family were not in the building at the time, as they were staying in a guest house across the street due to repairs being made in the White House.
  • "MAVERICK!!!"
Referring to hot shot Navy aviator Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell from the movie Top Gun who performed a fly-by near the control tower (much like Cal in the film), angering his superior officers.
  • [As Cal and his fighter glow green] Early LSD tests in the Air Force.
A reference to a series of experiments conducted by the United States Department of Defense from 1848 to 1975.
  • "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 tinnitus due to his overexposure to loud music. Bandmate Keith Moon detonating his drum set next to Townshend's ears during a performance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour may also have been a contributing factor.
  • "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 is a now-defunct brand of inexpensive consumer electronics manufactured in South Korea.
  • "Oh, PLEASE let us get the Sci-Fi Channel! Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!"
An inside joke inspired by Best Brains' negotiations with The Sci-Fi Channel to pick up the series during production of the movie.
  • "I'm your pilot, Claude Rains. Your co-pilot, Harvey the Rabbit."
Servo references both the 1933 film The Invisible Man, where actor Claude Rains played the titular character, and the 1950 film Harvey (based on the 1944 stage play) involving a giant, invisible rabbit.
  • "You're being kidnapped by the Lite FM."
Radio station WLTE (now KMNB) billed itself as the "Lite FM" at the time and had TV ads featuring a glowing triangle similar in appearance to the Interocitor screen. Mike also mimics the voice in these ads.
  • "Your in-flight movie is Fearless!"
Fearless is a film about traumatized survivors of a commercial plane crash.
  • "So the aliens live in "Hooterville?"
The rural setting is reminiscent of Hooterville, a fictional town shared by the "Hooterville Trilogy", sitcoms The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.
  • "Oh, there's gonna be a Mary Kay convention too, so it's gonna be kind of weird."
The hotel that hosted ConventioCon ExpoFest-A-Rama (the first MST3K convention) in 1994 was also hosting a convention for Mary Kay Cosmetics at the same time, which resulted in some odd interactions between attendees of the two conventions.
  • "What's this 'and the rest' crap?!"
Russell Johnson played The Professor on Gilligan's Island. The first season's opening song referred The Professor and Mary Ann not by name, but with the phrase "And the rest...". Later seasons changed the lyrics to include the names of the two characters.
  • "Ness and his men speed towards Capone's hideout!"
A reference to the television show The Untouchables featuring a fictionalized version of prohibition agent Eliot Ness.
  • "So Professor, you made this car entirely out of bamboo, huh?" and "His coffin will be made entirely of coconuts."
More references to Russell Johnson's role as The Professor and his ability to construct unlikely gadgets from locally-available materials.
  • "You two are beginning a strange journey." "Mawwiage!"
Crow is imitating Peter Cook as a priest with a speech impediment from The Princess Bride.
  • "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 for which he has illustrated album covers.
  • "Ow, I fell on my keys!"
One of Gene Wilder's memorable lines from the 1967 Mel Brooks comedy The Producers.
  • "Remember, we're parked in the Denebian slime devil lot!"
A Denebian slime devil is a fictional alien creature mentioned in "The Trouble with Tribbles", a fan-favorite episode of the original Star Trek series where a Klingon insults James T. Kirk by calling him one. Using the creature as a name for a parking lot is a nod to various theme parks, such as Disneyland, which use characters to denote parking lots.
  • [As the injured mutant staggers towards Ruth] "You gotta cut me Mick... cut me!"
A reference to the final fight from the boxing film Rocky.
  • Mike: All rights are reserved, Callahan! / Crow: Oh yeah? Well, what about the rights of that little girl?
A reference to the film Dirty Harry, in which Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) bemoans his chief's focus on the rights of the criminals vs those of the victims.
  • [the name "Julie Walker" appears in the credits] Julie Walker: Texas Ranger."
Reference to the TV show Walker, Texas Ranger


  • "You're not my real father!" (Episode #303)
  • In the scene in Tom Servo's bedroom, to the left of the interocitor, is Tom Servo's portrait of his "Ideal family" (Haley Mills, Peggy Cass and Gigantor) from Episode #507.
  • The control panel for the robotic arms that Mike uses to grab the Hubble is marked "Manos." Manos, along with being Spanish for "hands," is also a reference to the movie "Manos" The Hands of Fate. During the sequence, the musical score includes a refrain from Torgo's theme.

Behind the scenes[]

MST3K cast[]

John BradyasBenkitnorf

John Brady as Benkitnorf

MST3K Crew[]

  • Associate Producers - Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy
  • Production Manager - Julie Hartley
  • First Assistant Director - Marie Domingo
  • Second Assistant Director - Bix Skahill
  • Set Decorator - Blakesley Clapp
  • Storyboard Artist - Rich Larson
  • Prop Master - Patrick Brantseg
  • Puppet Wranglers - Patrick Brantseg, Helena Espinosa
  • Prop Builders - Crist Ballas, Helena Espinosa, Dale Mather, Dean Trisko
  • Puppet Builder - Robert Lane
  • Model Builders - Trace Beaulieu, Randy H. Herget
  • First Assistant Camera - Slater Crosby
  • Loader - Christopher Engstrom
  • Production Sound Mixer - Thomas A. Naunas
  • Video Assist - Bradley J. Keely
  • Boom Operator - Carrie Rand Bennett
  • Gaffer - David Doyle
  • Best Boy Electric - Joseph Slagerman
  • Electricians - Paul B. Johnson, Tim Ryan
  • Key Grip - Nick Lethert
  • Best Boy Grip - L. Marie Ford
  • Dolly Grip - David S. Pope
  • Grip - Chad F. Foehringer
  • Special Effects - PM Effects, Paul Murphy, Eric Howell
  • Costume Designer - Linda Froiland
  • Makeup Artist / Hair Stylist - Andrea Jackson DuCane
  • Special Makeup Effects - Robert I. Phillips, Glen Griffin
  • Script Supervisor - Linda J. Kuusisto
  • Production Accountant - Tim Johnson
  • Production Coordinator - Jann Lynn Johnson
  • Asst. Production Coordinator - Chrysa Freeman
  • Unit Publicists - Julie Walker, Nancy Willen
  • Still Photographer - Michael Kienitz
  • Assistant to Mr. Mallon - A. M. Zopfi
  • Key Production Assistant - Wendell Jon Andersson
  • Production Assistants - Adam Rueben, Sean Hartley Francis, Barb Tebben
  • Prop Assistants - Leah M. Otto, Danica King
  • Construction Coordinator - Rando Schmook
  • Construction Foreman - Mark E. Raymond
  • Carpenters - John A. Champion, Sam Dodge, Tim Hanson, Jim Kindt, Steven J. Pratt, John Sjogren, Stephen Sudbeck, Wayne Wendland
  • Lead Scenic - Nance Derby
  • Painters - Norine Joy Francis, Christian Neilsen
  • Craft Service - Michelle LeDoux
  • First Aid - Rescue Resources, Inc., Kurt Gensmer, Dan Dustin, Jim Robinson
  • Silhouette, Blue Screen and Wire Removal Optical and Digital Effects Produced by V.C.E./Pete Kuran
  • Optical Supervisor - David Emerson
  • Digital Supervisor - Brian Griffin
  • Optical - Todd Hall, William Conner
  • Digital - Kevin Kutchaver
  • Editorial - Jo Martin
  • Production Coordinator - Marilyn Nave
  • Production Assistants - Kimberly Terhorst, Avelino Deleon
  • Administration - Jaquilin Zietlow
  • Assistant Editor - David Keffer
  • Supervising Sound Editor - Fred Street/Postaudio
  • Sound Editor - Joseph Just
  • Re-recording Mixer - Ken Hahn
  • Re-recorded at Sync Sound
  • Titles & Opticals - Title House
  • Negative Cutter - Magic Film & Video
  • Color Timer - Phil Hetos
  • Video Crew - Tom Adir, Mark Skoglund
  • Projectionist - Bill Schwab
  • Catering - Duck Soup Reel Catering Inc., Dan Runyon, Hank Hanten, Ellen Hanten, Katy Searles
  • Additional Grip/Electric - Michael "Paco" Handley, William Hobson, Tim McCusker, Mike Mehsikomer, Dean Von Bank, Ramy M. Selim
  • Camera Interns - Danielle Barr, Eric Rosenbluth, Tamera Bloomberg-Winn
  • Art Department Interns - Todd Billings, Justin Heglund, Gravis Stand, Michael Charles Tousey
  • Hexfield and Interociter Special Visual Effects - Cinema Research Corp.
  • "Love Theme from Mystery Science Theater 3000" - Music by Charles Erickson and Joel Hodgson, Arranged and Performed by David Alvin
  • Filmed at Energy Park Studios, St. Paul. Minnesota
  • Special Thanks to: Astro Lab, Joe Boxer, Cinequipt, Inc., Film Corps, Inc., Grafitti Art & Design, Lighthouse, Spectacle Shoppe, Stanley Tools, Sureway Air Express, Tigre Designs, UW-Stout and Bill Porter

MST3K Connections[]

  • Digital effects technician Kevin Kutchaver also did effects animation for Munchie and was effects animation supervisor for Doctor Mordrid.



The new SOL model

  • A new door sequence into the Mystery Science Theater was created for the film. It includes TV's Frank's face on one of the doors.
  • A new, larger model for The Satellite of Love of created due to the higher visual demands of a theatrical film.
  • The TV show's usual density of gags was reduced for theatrical audiences, so that a larger number of people laughing wouldn't cause too much dialogue to be missed.
  • Most of the puppeteering for Gypsy was done by Patrick Brantseg (who would later take over both the puppeteering and voice partway through season 8 of the TV series) and the voice was dubbed in later by Jim Mallon. This was so Mallon could focus on directing the scene rather than operating the puppet.
  • At 73 minutes, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie is shorter than any episode of the show, which average about 90 minutes each.
  • Dr. Forrester has no sidekick in this film. Thus, it is apparently set between Seasons 6 and 7, as TV's Frank left Deep 13 at the end of the former and Pearl took his place at the beginning of the latter.

By many accounts, making the movie was not a happy experience for the Best Brains cat and crew, due to frequent studio interference.

  • They later parodied the experience on the TV series. In Episode 704 - The Incredible Melting Man, the host segments are about Crow's screenplay being purchased by a studio then ruined by the executives (Dr. Forrester and Pearl) as they vainly try to shoot it and screen it for audiences. Series writer and star Mary Jo Pehl would later call the episode an "exercise in healing" after the ordeal of MST3K: The Movie.
  • Years later, at a cast reunion appearance in New York City, Trace Beaulieu was asked what the worst movie featured on MST3K was. His reply was, "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie".

Deleted Scenes[]


A production still of one of the 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: "So what? 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 insistence.

    Deleted Scene

  • 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...
  • In 2020, Trace Beaulieu and Kevin Murphy talked about their experience making the film on an episode of Jonah Ray's podcast Let Me Watch Your Movie with You. They referred to some scenes that had been planned but were not filmed due to budgetary contraints. These included an elaborate musical sequence featuring Tom Servo, and an homage to the film The Great Escape that would have paired Crow with Kim Cattrall.


Universal originally gave the movie a limited theatrical release, somewhat mimicking a "roadshow" release, playing in a select group of "college towns" (where they believed MST3K was most appreciated) over a longer period of time, anticipating that this would lead to success at the box office as well avoiding competition with the early summer blockbusters like Twister and Mission: Impossible. Because of this unorthodoax strategy, few fans of the show were aware that the movie had been released and it languished in relative obscurity throughout the spring and early summer. This was the only time that Universal attempted such a plan.

The website existed for a brief time in 1996 as a promotional site for this film. Launched by Universal Studios, the site's address appeared in the movie's print ads in newspapers and magazines.[1] Designed by Digital Café, was the first "official" MST3K website and featured a downloadable screensaver and a Quicktime VR file of Crow T. Robot which were later reused on the Sci-Fi Channel's years later. The site also featured downloadable clips and trailers in the small video formats which existed at the time. The site fell offline as the promotional efforts for the film wound down, and the domain was later acquired by the Sci-Fi Channel redirecting to their MST3K content. It currently redirects to

MST3K: TM was theatrically released in a number of countries Internationally, including Brazil (as O Filme Mais Idiota do Mundo, "The Most Idiotic Movie in the World"), the United Kingdom, Australia, Hungary, Japan and France.[2] Home video releases include Thailand [3] and Germany.

German dub[]

In 1997, the film was dubbed into German, with a script by Oliver Kalkofe, Oliver Welke & Heike Kospach. In many cases, they rewrote riffs to replace American-centric cultural references with references that would be more familiar to a German audience.

  • Tom Servo - Oliver Kalkofe
  • Mike Nelson - Andreas Liebold
  • Crow T. Robot - Oliver Welke
  • Gypsy - Sabine Bulthaup
  • Dr. Clayton Forrester - Asso Richter
  • Ben Kitnors - Oliver Kalkofe

Video Releases[]

The film has been released several times on video:

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie was released on VHS by MCA/Universal Home Video to rental outlets on October 1, 1996.
  • The film was released for retail sales on April 8, 1997 on both VHS and Laserdisc formats.
  • The film was released on DVD in 1998 by Image Entertainment as a discount title with an MSRP of $14.99.
  • The German dub was released on DVD on April 6, 2006 with several extras including:
    • Wie Alles Begann, a making-of feature from 1997
    • 8 Jahre Später, a look back on the production
    • The original German trailer for The Movie
    • A second disc with This Island Earth, under its German title, Metaluna 4 Antwortwt Nicht ("Metaluna 4 Doesn't Respond")
    • Audio tracks for both films in English and German
  • Universal re-released the film on DVD on May 6, 2008 in anamorphic widescreen with an upgraded Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and English subtitles, a first for an MST3K DVD.
  • Mediumrare Entertainment released The Movie on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK in 2012 with the following extras:
    • Original Theatrical Trailer
    • Behind the Scenes Featurette
    • Stills Gallery
  • On September 3, 2013 Shout! Factory released a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack Collector's Edition of the film with the following extras:
    • New animated menus by Dave Long[4]
    • The Making of Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie
    • Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie: The Motion Picture Odyssey *
    • This Island Earth: 2 1/2 Years in the Making *
    • Deleted scenes
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Double-sided cover (side A done in the style of the box set slim cases, side B in the style of the single disc re-releases)

* A Ballyhoo Motion Pictures documentary


External links[]