Before They Were Stars: Tom Hanks in “Mazes and Monsters”

A few years ago, Gill and I recorded our very own Mystery Science Theater 3000 Rifftrax for Mazes and Monsters, the infamous 1982 made-for-TV propaganda film about the horrible dangers of role-playing games. It was made during the period when massive controversy was surrounding “Dungeons & Dragons” and people were convinced that it promoted Satanism and that playing it too much would cause you to go insane or commit suicide. This movie has attained a lot of notoreity becauses it stars a young, unknown Tom Hanks as a college student who becomes so obsessed with an RPG named “Mazes and Monsters” that he completely loses his grip on reality and starts going insane, which climaxes with him nearly taking a leap off the top of the World Trade Center! Of course, the whole film is completely ridiculous and absurd and, not surprisingly, Tom Hanks refuses to talk about it whenever he’s asked about it today. This clip (complete with our smart-ass Rifftrax commentary playing over it) features Tom having a complete mental breakdown inside a phone booth and if there’s a more badly acted Tom Hanks scene in existence, I’ve never seen it.

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