The Film Crew
The Film Crew was a comedic team similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000, comprising former MST3K cast members Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy. They hosted Legend Films' colorized Three Stooges DVD release, packing in the four Stooge shorts that have fallen into the public domain: Disorder in the Court (1936), Malice in the Palace (1949), Sing a Song of Six Pants, and Brideless Groom (both 1947).
The Film Crew also maintained a website with humor columns and other content geared toward its fans, and contributed comedy segments to NPR.
In August 2005, during Encore's "Midnight Movies" schedule, The Film Crew provided introductions for the documentary on the subject Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream and for the cult classics The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Reefer Madness, Night of the Living Dead, The Harder They Come, and Pink Flamingos.
The Film Crew created a pilot for a comedic radio program called 3 Men & The Movies for NPR which was well-received but ultimately not picked up. Despite this, the troupe went on to contribute a few comedic, movie-related segments for NPR's "All Things Considered" program in the fall of 2004, including a review of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as well as an examination of film score cliches.
On the web
The Film Crew hosted a now defunct web site that featured original content including comedic essays. The tone and format was somewhat evocative of Timmy Big Hands, a short-lived "webzine" involving several of the same entertainers.
On October 19, 2006, it was announced that The Film Crew would be providing commentary tracks for a series of B-movies. To promote their announcement, the Crew offered a poll on their website asking viewers to sample clips of each film and choose which they would prefer to see released first out of the four titles announced.
The four titles, in order of votes received (and, as a result, their release order), are:
- Hollywood After Dark, starring Rue McClanahan (of The Golden Girls fame)
- Killers from Space, starring Peter Graves
- The Wild Women of Wongo
- The Giant of Marathon, starring Steve Reeves
The episodes were produced in association with Rhino Entertainment, which was to distribute the episodes on DVD. However, Jim Mallon of Best Brains approached Rhino, and threatened to pull future releases of MST3K from Rhino's distribution unless they passed on The Film Crew (Mallon claimed that it was "too similar to MST3K", forcing Rhino to choose between MST3K or Film Crew). Rhino then ended its relationship with The Film Crew. It wasn't until 2007 that arrangements were made with Shout! Factory to release the material (requiring some "looping" of lines from the original scripts – specifically, "Bob Honcho" was originally named "Bob Rhino" and this had to be changed due to Rhino no longer being the distributor).
The Film Crew, stuck in the confines of a basement at work, lays down commentary tracks to every obscure movie dished to them by their boss, Bob Honcho. As part of their job, each of the three wears a matching "working-class" uniform and an unwieldy headset while riffing on each film. Each release contained a short "Lunch Break" sketch, in which they would act out a humorous sketch.
During the delay when there was no distributor for the Film Crew DVDs, the sets were destroyed and the cast moved on to the similar project RiffTrax, complicating the issue of any possible future Film Crew episodes. Kevin Murphy has indicated that "We haven’t gotten any new orders from Shout Factory – the new home of MST by the way – and since RiffTrax is becoming so much fun, I think you may have seen the last of the Film Crew."
As of July 13, 2008, The Film Crew's former website, filmcrewonline.com, is no longer online. Shortly thereafter, Shout Factory put three Film Crew movies on Hulu.com. In April 5, 2009, all four movies became available on YouTube.
However, on February 5, 2016, Rifftrax began offering the Film Crew episodes for sale, either download or streaming, starting with Killers From Space.
- "'The Film Crew' Takes on 'Sky Captain'". NPR. September 25, 2004.
- "'The Film Crew': A Soundtrack for Life". NPR. November 21, 2004.
- Corbett, Bill (December 20, 2007). "Talk to me, peoples". RiffTrax. Archived from the original (blog) on 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
- Murphy, Kevin (February 20, 2008). "I Got Yer Twenty Questions, Right Here!". RiffTrax. Archived from the original (blog) on 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2012-11-01.