There seems to be a split on whether the Cinematic Titanic crew should stick to live shows, or go back to the traditional route where they have to riff on movies for future generations because of some electron scaffolding or other. For all we know, some ex-Gizmonic employees are trapping Joel and the gang because they feel threatened by a group who they think will destroy life as we know if....RIFFTRAX!!
I just dare them to come out and say that.
That being said, the latest live DVD, Danger on Tiki Island, is now available. Once again, this is from their Largo Theater performances in Los Angeles. We'll try to describe the plot while tossing out a few choice riffs from the show:
A handsome Peace Corps volunteer is joined by Dr. Henderson and her undersexed wife on a trip to a tropic isle. While the natives look at their new visitors ("Native #2, he's got an Igloo cooler"), the doc wants to examine how nearby atomic bomb testing has affected the area ("This guy's like Bob Goulet after a Grand Slam Breakfast"). She wishes the doc would examine her in fairly obscene ways, The Peace Corps guy just wants to help the natives.
Anyway, they soon find out the natives have reverted to primitive ways. They have a Shirley Jackson lottery to choose who will be sacrificed to the forest monster who is now their god ("Sigmund the Sea Monster, NOOOO!"). Peace Corps guy falls for one of the natives named Alla, and we see a mysterious rich guy called Estaban ("Juan Stamos?"), complete with mysterious accent. He lives in a mansion run by very small natives who care often compared to Oompa-Loompas.
There's plenty of walking scenes, with the only excitement coming from the trees who sometimes attack passers-by with their branches ("I'm sorry I forgot Arbor Day")...then turn back into normal trees suddenly. Once one of the trees get violent, the tribe decides more sacrifices, and this time Alla's chosen. Peace Corps guy objects, and he takes her away. He goes to Esteban's mansion, where the doc and horny wife are staying.
Later that night, the doc's wife is unable to arouse him ("Is he playing dead or playing gay?"). She tries to seduce Esteban while he's sleeping, but his manservant Goro interrupts her. She tries again the next night, but gets lost in the violent forest. She then meets the monster, who's basically a pickle mascot gone horribly wrong. Let's just say her wishes do come true but in a horrible way ("Oh, she's thinking about it").
The doc gets Peace Corps guy to help him find his wife, but Goro battles the doc in a terrible fight scene that's more like Tom DeLay's performance in Dancing With the Stars.
This, of course, leads to the final battle, and the slightly shocking truth about the monster. Joel, of course, gives the perfect description of this movie: Roger Corman's South Pacific.
There are flubs, especially from Frank, but having the CT crew riff live makes it more real. We wish these guys would be included in showings of lousy movies, with them giving their comments from the wings. Imagine what they could do to the Twilight movies or Jonah Hex....or 99.999999999999 percent of romantic movies. While we may have another studio DVD in the future, having these guys live would be great, too. The Rifftrax guys are already seeing how live shows can work, thanks to their special theater shows in the past year which are also available on DVD (especially the Christmas show from 2009).
The DVD also has interviews with the crew, who say nice things about each other, and why they're back in the movie riffing game. We learn TV's Frank is quite a show biz expert, and has an interesting fan base. Of course, we also hear from the fans who can't get enough of watching bad movies get humiliated...and we never will.
A couple of years ago, everyone from MST3K got together for a special panel on the show at Comic-Con. We should have it again. We could have a riffing rumble, but I'm not sure if the CT crew would be the Sharks or the Jets. Then again, we could have a rumble where the CT's are the Torgos and the Rifftrax guys be the Krankors or Brain Guys. Now THAT should be shown in theaters across the country.
Until then, the CT live tour continues with shows in Ann Arbor, San Francisco and Los Angeles..and even more stops well into next Spring. I think the next target is a Japanese movie called War of the Insects. At least Sandy Frank didn't give us this movie.