The Film Crew was a film-commenting-and-riffing project featuring MST3K alums Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy that was active from 2004 to 2006/2007. It began with a web site, filmcrewonline.com and expanded to radio and television appearances, DVD bonus content and, eventually, the production of four straight-to-DVD episodes of a MST3K-like show.
The early activity of The Film Crew centered on their web site and content created for various outlets, such as National Public Radio (for which they also created a show pilot, 3 Men & The Movies), American Movie Classics, and the Sundance Channel. They worked regularly for Starz/Encore, hosting marathons and the like.
In 2006, The Film Crew announced that they would be producing episodes of an eponymous series for Rhino Home Video.
In the series, Mike, Kevin and Bill play fictionalized versions of themselves, hired to provide commentary tracks to movies that don't have them. Unlike Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Film Crew does not have any silhouettes over the movie. The riffing is purely voice-over.
As the concept seemed all-too-similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000, Jim Mallon (via Best Brains, Inc., the then-rights holder for MST3K), threatened to stop licensing episodes of the original show to Rhino if they decided to produce The Film Crew DVDs. Rhino opted to cancel the DVDs, but not before a total of four episodes had been produced.
The episodes were eventually picked up by future MST3K distributor Shout! Factory and released in 2007. The move from Rhino necessitated a few changes through overdubs. The guys' boss, originally "Mr. Rhino", was renamed "Mr. Honcho" and all references to Rhino were changed to Shout! Factory.
End of the project
With the delay in releasing the DVDs, Mike took a position with Legend Films, for whom he had been providing humorous DVD commentary even before Legend's work with The Film Crew. At Legend, Mike developed RiffTrax, a movie-riffing site dedicated, initially, to providing commentary to major Hollywood films. Both Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett joined Mike at RiffTrax, eventually buying the operation from Legend. They continue to work primarily with RiffTrax to this day. The success of RiffTrax spelled the de facto end of The Film Crew.
List of The Film Crew episodes
|#||Ep.||Movie||Original Release Date||Cover|
|1||FC001||Hollywood After Dark||July 7, 2007|
|Rue McLanahan plays a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood who discovers the city's seamy underbelly first-hand.|
|2||FC002||Killers from Space||August 7, 2007|
|Peter Graves is a scientist who must single-handedly stop an alien plot to conquer the Earth.|
|3||FC003||The Wild Women of Wongo||September 11, 2007|
|A race of jungle-dwelling women are surprised to find that all men are not ape-like beasts.|
|4||FC004||The Giant of Marathon||October 9, 2007|
|Steve Reeves stars as Phillipides in this film depicting a battle between Greeks and Persians that isn't 300.|