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Case Number 20781: Small Claims Court

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Mystery Science Theater 3000: Beginning Of The End

Shout! Factory // 1993 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge James A. Stewart (Retired) // February 25th, 2011

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All Rise...

Giant locusts ate Appellate Judge James A. Stewart's deep dish pizza.

The Charge

"The Beginning of the End already? It just started!"

The Case

By Season Five of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mike Nelson was stuck in the Satellite of Love, "watching cheesy movies, the worst we could find" with puppet robot buddies. Mystery Science Theater 3000: Beginning of the End finds them watching Peter Graves in a Bert I. Gordon sci-fi flick. Graves plays a scientist whose radiation experiment unleashes giant locusts which destroy a small town before heading for the big city of Chicago.

There are sketches, including a good bit at the end about cheesy special effects, and two okay bits in which Crow T. Robot writes a movie about Peter Graves' college life at the University of Minnesota (MST3K was done in Minneapolis) and Tom Servo does a standup routine about locusts and grasshoppers.

The main draw, of course, is the riffs on the movie by Mike, Crow, and Tom. At best, they stress the inherent silliness of the movie:

• On a scene that shows a ghostlike—and Anne Jeffries-like—lady reporter taking photos over a montage of said photos: "Suddenly it's turned into Topper."

• On a scene that shows the same lady reporter not taking photos as she and Peter Graves run away from the giant locusts: "Diane Arbus, why don't you take a picture?"

• On the obvious lack of Midwest location shooting: "That's one of my favorite mountains in Illinois."

• On a battle scene: "All Quiet in the Western Suburbs."

Watching at home, I noticed that Mike and the Bots actually do shut up once in a while so you can actually watch the movie. I also noticed consistent characters and voices for the mock locust dialogue, a nice touch. That's about as much of a critical eye as the show got from me.

The movie has a few flecks (Mike and the Bots probably would have liked more).

There are no extras.

This Shout! Select single disc release is a typical MST3K outing with enough gags to suit just about anyone, and a movie that would be silly enough on its own.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 90

Perp Profile

Studio: Shout! Factory
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 1993
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Cult
• Science Fiction
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb: Beginning of the End

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