The Masked Reviewer


Some Members of the Cast

of Mystery Science Theater


and Interviews Them

Part II

Welcome back to Part II of the Masked Reviewer's interview with Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson, "Mystery Science Theater 3000" alumni and authors.  Click here for Part I.   The Masked Reviewer presents this interview in audio/slide format (click here for Part 1, click here for Part 2).  For some interesting tidbits and their thoughts on upcoming movies, click here.

Kevin Murphy not knowing what to say or do   Mike Nelson, he's da man

The gang from MST3K

  1. How do you feel about the trend of breaking films into multiple parts, like MATRIX, LORD OF THE RINGS, or KILL BILL?

Mike Nelson:  Well LORD OF THE RINGS, it makes a lot of sense.

Kevin Murphy: Self evident.

MN: But otherwise I haven’t seen the others so I can’t comment.

KM: I think it’s quite in the interests of marketing.  The whole idea of having franchise films, it has nothing to do with content, it has everything to do with marketing.  And it doesn’t necessarily improve the film, busting it into multiple parts.

MN: THE CAT IN THE HAT PART I, I think they’re going to do that in seven parts, it just doesn’t seem necessary.

Shouldn't this interview be over by now?

  1. Have you ever walked out on a movie, and if so, what was the thing that put you on the final…track…to…

MN: I walked out on PULP FICTION.  I had young children, I went out with my wife, we go to see a movie, suddenly there’s ball’s like, we’re done, we’re outta here.  We’re gonna go have a nice martini.

MR: With the children?

KM:  I haven’t walked on a film since…a very long time.  I walked out on a film called THE FORMULA with Marlon Brando and..oh, what’s his name?  I’m just losing it with the names…George C. Scott!

MN: [despairingly] Oh, that’s right…

KM: It was a really stupid pot-boiler about the oil industry.  And it was so poor.  And it was so boring and tedious.  And so canned and corny.  I just gave up on it.

MN: You ran out screaming from BILLY MADISON, ‘cause I was with you.

KM: No that was Trace.  That was afterward.  Right after the film ended.  He actually ran screaming from the theater.

MR: Wow. Literally?

MN: Literally.

It just gets funnier and funnier.

  1. What’s the lamest interview question you’ve ever been asked?

KM: The one you just asked.

[condescending snicker]

Kevin Murphy telling us how it i


  1. And funniest movie…yours would be…?

KM: DR. STRANGELOVE is right up there on my list.

MN: Not all of it, but ANIMAL CRACKERS can sometimes make me laugh more than anything.  The ingénue parts you just fast forward…

KM: Right!

MN: But the art thriller is just…still.  When he’s brought in on the…

KM: The litter.

MN: Yes.  That whole beginning scene where he insults Margaret Dumont it’s just so lovely.

KM: The first thing he does is ask her to pick a card, is that the same film or Rufus Firefly?  Here, pick a card.

Mike Nelson, always the weisenheimer.

  1. What movie would you like to see the most number of times, or what’s the most number of times you’ve seen any one movie, roughly?

KM: JAWS is one of those.  If it’s on television and I switch the channel, I put down the remote control and I watch it to the end, no matter where it is in the film.

MN: I do that with ROADHOUSE with Patrick Swayze.  I’m serious.  You can’t not watch it.  It’s so damn funny.

KM: There’s something sublime about that film.

MR: And you’ve seen that…ten times?  A hundred times?

MN: Oh, I’ve seen it easily thirty times.

MR: And you with…

KM: JAWS, and THE GODFATHER, when that’s on.  I’m getting to the point where I know the lines.

MN: There are others, but that’s the one…it’s on so often, you know.

MR: And is that with or without the nudity?

MN: Well since it’s usually TNT…

MR: So that’s even without the nudity?

MN: Without the nudity.

ROADHOUSE un film de Rowdy Herrington


KM: “Moby Dick”.

MN: I agree.

MR: Safe.  You don’t consider either of those books the same caliber as “Moby Dick”…in some way?

MN: Maybe the title.

KM: Yeah.  Wasn’t…”the whale”, wasn’t that the subtitle on “Moby Dick”?  I believe it was “the whale”.

MN: “Moby Dick: the Whale?”

KM: I think it was “Moby Dick, or The Whale”, because “or” used to be used a lot in titles and it’s not, so maybe that’s a trend that’ll come next, is that we’ll start seeing “or” put in the titles again.

MN: Agatha Christie used to do that, constantly.

KM: So did “Rocky and Bullwinkle”.

Kevin Murphy about to say something profound and deep.

  1. What do you think is a quality that makes a film “great” or “terrible”?

MN: Terrible would be…Keanu Reeves.  Great would be, you know…Michael Curtiz or something like that.

MR: Or ROADHOUSE star, Patrick Swayze.

MN: Yes.  Or what’s his name…Rowdy Herrington.   Anything by director Rowdy Herrington.

KM: I think when you get Michael Bay involved, you’re guaranteed of a certain level of banality.  Although I’ve come around on…who’s that fellow we just despised who did the BATMAN film.

MN: Joel Schumacher.

KM: Joel Schumacher.  He’s come around and he’s actually made some pretty darn good films.  TIGERLAND, did you ever see TIGERLAND?

MN: No.

KM: Quite a good film.  You never know.

MR: Is that the only one you can think of?

KM: He has a recent film and I can’t think of the name...


KM: Did he do…Joel Schumacher?

MN: That’s his.

KM: Wow!

MN: Yeah.  Uh-huh.

Mike Nelson, wondering if his watch has stopped.

  1. What’s the funniest movie that was not trying to be funny that you recall seeing?

MN:  Well, ROADHOUSE…but the other one, which I’m not sure of, it’s hard to tell, they ride the line is WILD THINGS.

KM: Yes!

MN: With Robert Wagner as the heavy and…

KM: Well, we’ve got Bill Murray in the neck brace in that film and it’s definitely a benign winking sort of film.  And that’s Kevin Bacon…

MN: Yes.  In which you get to see his thick cut peppered bacon in all its glory.

KM: [shudders]

Thick cut peppered bacon.

[If you want to know more about Kevin Bacon, check your local library.  To play the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Game on-line, visit the Oracle of Bacon.] 

  1. Now in your long tenures at Mystery Science Theater, presumably you have a different eye when you’re watching certain movies.  Do you recall seeing a movie and thinking they missed a great chance for a joke?

MN: Well, I remember one.  There is a moment – and I swear they were dead serious – in the Bert I. Gordon film about the tall, the “Incredible Gigantic Man”, or whatever..


MN: THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN.  It’s the sequel to it, he’s already turned into the amazing colossal man.  His sister goes to look for him and gets this guy.  And they find a huge footprint in the desert. And the guy measures it and goes ‘why, the man who made this footprint must have been 40 feet tall.’  And she goes ‘Glen was 40 feet tall!’  Well, maybe it’s Glen!  But they did it dead serious.  Nothing followed it, it was beautiful.

A scene from THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN on MST3K in which he deals with constipation on the 40 ft scale.

  1. Can you describe a little bit about the process you went through in writing, how this went?  You watched a movie several times?

MN: The assignment of who said what was the very last thing that happened and often changed on the fly.  There were very few that were either, ‘that’s a Crow joke, that’s a Servo joke, that’s a Mike joke.’

KM: It was written and the script was edited and then rehearsed all in a group.  It was always a group function.

MN: Then we watched the movie through twice, it took at least 8 hours each time to get the original comments.  And then we would slap them down, and go through and cut them out, and that was a very long process.

Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson try to pass the blame.

  1. Well, let’s see..if you had to spend your life either as an orange, a baseball bat, or a felt-tip pen, which would you choose and why?

MN: A felt-tip pen, because I could get high on my own fumes at all times.

KM: I was thinking that an orange felt-tip pen in the shape of a baseball bat would be the way to go.

MR: Non-commital, I like that.

KM: Always and eternally.

A hard choice, indeed.            Compromise is the mother of indecisiveness.


  1. Who is your favorite internet film reviewer?

MN: There’s that one with the really stupid name…the Masked Reviewer or something like that?

KM: The painted reviewer.  The Masked and…naked reviewer?

MN: The naked and tattooed reviewer.

MR: Thank you both so much for doing that…

MN: Our pleasure.

KM: Thank you Mr. Masked.

The Masked Reviewer in almost all of his glory.

More of their wacky thoughts can be found here.

Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson have both written amazingly funny books about movies.  You can buy them and find out more here:

Kevin Murphy's homepage:

Mike Nelson's homepage:

To buy the DVDs of "Mystery Science Theater 3000", try here:

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 1

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 2

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 3



Copyright 2003, Michael D. Lynn