''The Island of Dr. Moreau'' and ''Far Out Space Nuts'' top the list

By EW Staff
Updated October 16, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

As masters of the miserable, perhaps only they can definitively discuss the (relative) merits of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. We speak of the crew from Mystery Science Theater 3000 — Tom Servo (a.k.a. Kevin Murphy), Crow T. Robot (Bill Corbett), and Mike Nelson (Mike Nelson) — who for years (the last 2 on The Sci-Fi Channel) have subjected themselves to sci-fi’s worst of the worst. The reason the genre lends itself to so many mistakes, says Murphy, ”is that people keep coming up with neat premises, but they can’t follow through.” And there’s Nelson’s theory: ”I think Roger Corman leads to most bad sci-fi.”

We asked the trio — along with MST3K writers Mary Jo Pehl and Paul Chaplin — to come up with their list of the truly execrable. Their response:

Our Top Ten All-Time Worst of Science Fiction

1 The Island of Dr. Moreau Brando with fake teeth, waxy skin, and a muumuu. Please.

2 Far Out Space Nuts Not Bob Denver’s best work.

3 Battle for the Planet of the Apes Paul Williams’ ape makeup was redundant.

4 The Prisoner Fine, if you smoke huge bowls of skunk weed.

5 Mork & Mindy Except for Mindy.

6 To Kill A Mockingbird Where’s the sci-fi?

7 Roger Corman’s (fill in the blank).

8 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome We don’t need another see-quel!

9 Dune Sting in a huge metal codpiece. That’s fun?

10 A Trip to the Moon Thin plot, archaic special effects. I mean, when was this made, like 1902?

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