5 Best Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episodes of the ’90s
Mystery Science Theater 3000 lives on in 2022 on Gizmoplex, so we’re looking back at the best MST3K of the ’90s (because why not?).
After 12 seasons and over 200 episodes on Minneapolis cable access, Comedy Central, Syfy, and Netflix since 1988, Mystery Science Theater 3000 has launched Season 13 on its own crowdfunded Gizmoplex platform. New episodes are being released monthly for the rest of 2022; the next one, a riff on the 1992 creature feature Munchie, will drop on Friday, May 27.
To celebrate MST3K’s latest iteration, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite episodes, which wasn’t easy—did we mention that there’s over 200 of them?—so here’s five of the best/worst from the ’90s.
Alien from LA | Season 5 | 1993
A nerdy Los Angeles woman (supermodel Kathy Ireland in glasses = “nerdy”) travels to the underground kingdom of Atlantis in search of her missing archeologist father in 1988’s Alien from LA. Ireland (who was cast for her height, regardless of her squeaky voice) can’t act at all, which means plenty of material for Mike and the ’bots to work with, including a jaunty sea shanty imaginatively titled “The Kathy Ireland Song.”
Kitten with a Whip | Season 6 | 1994
Kitten with a Whip, Ann-Margret’s next movie after the 1964 Elvis hit Viva Las Vegas, was supposed to be her entry in serious acting—instead, she got a deeply stupid flick perfect for MST3K 30 years later. Juvenile detention escapee Jody (Ann-Margret) and two goons attempt to blackmail a politician (John Forsythe) in a plot so laughably flimsy that the Satellite of Love crew’s commentary is almost unnecessary (but still hilarious).
Laserblast | Season 7 | 1996
MST3K’s final episode for Comedy Central before moving to Syfy (known as the Sci-Fi Channel back then) is science-fiction-adjacent at best, riffing on the no-budget 1978 schlocker Laserblast. Small-town “teen” Billy (27-year-old Kim Milford) discovers an alien laserblaster in the desert and starts laserblasting everything in sight, because Laserblast. Meanwhile, Mike and the ’bots critique film critic Leonard Maltin for giving Laserblast 2 and ½ stars.
The Horror of Party Beach | Season 8 | 1997
In 1964’s The Horror of Party Beach, bikini babes and cool daddy-os are terrorized by (per the poster) “Weird atomic beasts who live off human blood!” It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie, but it at least features some rockin’ surf tunes by beach band The Del-Aires. The MST3K crew has a party of their own spotting “teenagers” who appear to be in their 30s, slipshod monster F/X, and the whitest dancing ever committed to film.
Hobgoblins | Season 9 | 1998
An MST3K writer once said that 1988’s Hobgoblins was the worst movie that the show ever riffed on, which is quite the statement. Alien hobgoblins (which are just dollar-store Gremlins) make humans’ fantasies come true, which in turn kills them—bummer. This being the ’80s, of course a shy girl dreams of becoming a stripper at—wait for it—Club Scum, a strip club that also hosts punk bands for some reason. Hobgoblins is a laugh riot even without Mike and the ’bots.