Mystery Science Theater 3000

DVD_Mystery Sci

Abbreviated by its cult fans as MST3K, this long-running comic sci-fi television series follows the adventures of a man sent into space by a mad, evil scientist. The unlucky space traveller—named Joel in the first few seasons, Mike thereafter—and his robot companions are trapped aboard the Satellite of Love, and are forced to watch Z-grade sci-fi movies. With nothing much else to do, they heckle the characters on screen and comment on the obviously completely awful quality of the acting, sets, effects, music and, most of all, the terrible writing.

Watching First Spaceship on Venus, Laserblast, Werewolf or the horrendously bad Future War with Joel, Mike, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot riffing along makes for oddly fascinating and hilarious viewing. A 20th anniversary collection with those four feature-length episodes—spanning the series’ entire run from the late-’80s to 1999—is available from vendettafilms.co.nz, and includes an extensive three-part documentary on the series as well as 2008 San Diego Comic-Con panel material and trailers.

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