During the late 1980s and the 1990s, Mystery Science Theatre 3000, a spoof comedy show on Comedy Central and Syfy saw 198 ‘bad’ movies riffed, rubbished and ridiculed by a man and his robot sidekicks – who appeared in silhouette at the bottom of the TV screen.
On the spurious pretext of being held captive on a spaceship by a mad scientist, this wisecracking peanut gallery made fun of some of the worst films ever put to celluloid, as well as cult favourites like the 1950s space opera, This Island Earth – the target of the comic gang’s jibes in this movie spin-off.
Mystery Science Theatre 3000 – The Movie was actually made between series in 1996, but this is the first time it has been released in the UK and so, it’s essentially a chance to see an edited version of This Island Earth on Blu-ray.
At war with a race known as the Zagons, aliens from the planet Metaluna kidnap Earth scientists (Rex Reason and Faith Domergue) and force them to help repair the failing shield that protects their planet. But, before they can do this, the Zagons disintegrate the shield. The scientists, with the help of a Metalunian (Jeff Morrow), then escape just in time.
With its Technicolor sheen, glowing cinematography, elaborate special effects, out-of-this-world sets, and a bug-eyed monster that has since become legendary, This Island Earth, is a classic slice of 1950s sci-fi – let down only by some lame direction that favours talk over action. This only serves as ammunition for the MST crew’s comic taunts – which is actually a matter of taste. But fans of classic sci-fi will lap this up.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD through MediumRare Entertainment