Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Cinematic Titanic in San Francisco: It's Better Than Hippies
Well, Dave "Gruber" Allen said so, but he was probably joking.
Still, it's no joke that the Cinematic Titanic crew, one of the two major Faiths For Protesting Against Bad Movies In A Jovial Way (Rifftrax being the other), has an intense following in San Francisco. They just had their third visit to the Bay Area this past Tuesday, and second time at the Castro this year.
Some fans had CT t-shirts, but I think I saw a guy wearing a green furry jacket, as if he was Big Daddy Clayton Forrester.
And there's this guy....
He's in bliss wearing the Gizmonic uniform.
They had the basic opening act from crazy haikus from J. Elvis Weinstein and DVD's Frank Coniff's Convoluted Man, but had some interesting additions. Allen did a cool rap to introduce J. Elvis' rendition of "Year of the Cat," while DVD's Frank suggested that the movie version of Mamma Mia shouldn't have a sing-a-long version as Grease just did. What he did suggest...well, it's a bit more dark. He may repeat the joke, which is why I won't say it. Actually, what he suggested would be more appropriate for Glitter, Step Up 3-D, or even the Hannah Montana movie.
Now, the target for that night: it's called War of the Insects, but it was originally called Genocide. It's supposed to be a monster movie about how insects are killing people at a remote island. Cool, huh? Mothra-sized bees eating people?
Uh, no. Actually, it starts as a wartime drama where some Japanese guy named George cheats on his pregnant wife with a blond while the Army is looking for a missing H-bomb after one of its planes crashed. Also, a Black Air Force guy named Charlie freaks out after seeing a bee outside the plane, just before a few thousand more insects force the plane to crash. Oh, and George is charged with murder because he tries to sell a watch from one of the pilots.
After that, we get to see these characters interact aimlessly, even including the blond flirting with a Japanese doctor who's interested in the insects on the island. Suddenly, the action ramps up when we see the local insects sting two Air Force guys to death, while Charlie laughs uncontrollably while firing a pistol and molesting the pregnant wife.
Then we find out the blond has something to do with the insects attacking humans. Something about insects upset that man is destroyng itself with these H-bombs. Even the ending is creepy.
So, how does the CT crew react to a Japanese movie that makes them wish it was a Sandy Frank production? Well, they welcome the movie's first image of a bomb exploding with the words, "Sarah Palin's first day as president" (which is actually familiar if you change the name to Dan Quayle). At one point Joel Hodgson wished that Gamera suddenly came to attack anything. We get jokes about Dollhouse, Flavor Flav, Monty Python and LSD. At one point, two local hoodlums try to find the George, and Frank says "Crockett and Tubbs, Miami Rice".
Two jokes stick out in my mind. When the Doctor's nurse says "I don't understand", Trace Beaulieu says "Who likes Glee?" The other one was when the doctor carries a cross for Charlie's grave, Joel asks "there are vampires, too?"
As for the creepy and bleak ending, J. Elvis sings Tomorrow like you've never heard it before. Of course, the sell-out crowd enjoyed every minute of it. I think it was even better than the "Danger on Tiki Island" show a few months ago.
Afterward, the crew stuck around for autographs. Since I have lots of their autographs already, I just talked to them. I told Frank I noticed they were using iPads for their scripts, and he said it wasn't a big deal. He's right, since TV stations are starting to replace scripts with iPads. I asked J. Elvis about future DVD plans, and he said that was up in the air. Personally, I wished they'd go back to the time tube with War of the Insects, since its end-of-the-worlds message would be appropriate. They can also claim the live tour is paying for the shadowy group's plan. The only other "new" movie that's part of the tour is Samson and the Seven Miracles, from the old East European school of fantasy that produced The Day The Earth Froze.
And..I got a new photo with Joel...
Finally, I thanked Ron DeGroot for getting me a guest ticket for this, after I had that entry for the "what happened to Pearl?" contest on another MST site. He assured me the CT and Rifftrax groups truly support each other. That stoked my hopes that we'd have a super-riff doubleheader as the entire MSTverse takes on Eclipse and Jonah Hex..or maybe a Godzilla movie that was never released here.
For now, I'll be waiting for my next Rifftrax DVDs, and also watch Star Trek 2009, fully riffed. I'd never bother with the Twilight movies unless I got those movies at gunpoint.