Wednesday, May 9, 2012

ICWXP: Rick Wolf is Legend

Vincent Price, Chuck Heston, Will Smith...kiss my last omega legend on Earth ass! Where's your Big Bad Apocalypse now?...Commander Rick Wolf

It's been a good week for fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000: the next DVD set with the Fugitive Alien movies and TV's Frank's farewell is coming this summer, Rifftrax finally released its live DVD of Jack the Giant Killer, and now Incognito Cinema Warriors XP has its first new DVD since November.

It establishes Flux Namtani as the new bot in town, while Rick Wolf decides that battling zombies to the death is preferable to seeing cigarettes square dance..or another talky horror flick. The series is now sort of traditional MST3K on steroids. That is, we see the gang deal with their post-apocalyptic world, while also enduring lame short subjects. Hopefully, they'll go back to even lamer feature films. The production values of the host segments is getting better thanks to fans chipping in through Kickstarter.

Before they get to the short, Topsybot 5000 and Johnny Cylon slowly get Flux unstuck in the 1980's, and update him about pop culture over the past 50 years (does this mean the show is set in the 2030's?). He is horrified to learn that since the '80s, vampires sparkle in the movies and zombies date. They also find out the Count from Sesame Street has gone metal, and uses the song "Bodies" to help kids learn to count ("Let the numbers hit the floor").

So how does Rick do in the outside world? Actually, it's disappointing: he only finds a Zombie Spock. However, it has an epic battle with one of the flying Ludivico spy cams that resembles, as one YouTube fan put it, Joe Cocker trying to bowl. I thought it looked more like CC Sabathia trying to pitch a possessed baseball.

Zombies or not, there are still short subjects to be riffed. So, the gang heads back to the Cine-a-Sorrow Theater for their latest torture, Soapy the Germ Fighter. It's a disturbing little movie about a boy who claims that having to be clean will make him a sissy instead of the macho cowboy he thinks he is. Through a dream, or a heroin nightmare according to Topsybot, he's taught the error of his ways by Soapy, a disturbing cake of soap with legs but no pants. It shows him several people who like to be clean, like a cowboy who tries to wash off "all that Indian blood". Strangely, it's the first movie to show a bucking bronco while the Nutcracker Suite is heard. To prove how much of an MST3K fan I am, I recognized a couple of the kids in the film as the same ones from a Rifftrax short about good eating habits.

Before that, the gang has to sit through some of those old ads that convince you to get some popcorn or corn dogs (made from cats) before the movie starts. This is what your grandparents had to suffer through before those "First Look" theater commercials were invented. Not only that, they see the famous "VD is for everybody" PSA, which makes Cylon shout "Natalie Portman, no!". That's followed by pop-up ads that not only appear out of nowhere but start arguing. I'm not kidding. It's, as Rick puts it, "a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich for the ages".

Then there's two major confrontations. One of them involves Ludivico lackeys expecting to cart the body of Rick away after he's supposedly dead after seeing a certain movie made by a Texas fertilizer salesman (yes, that one). Rick and the bots actually handle this problem very well. The other one battle involves...well....we'll just say there's a death scene you'll never forget.

The DVD has great special features. There's an audio commentary from Rikk Wolf and Nick Evans, who discuss everything from moving their offices to Kansas City to figuring out which software is better to make their weird puppet show. Another edition of "Ask a Cinema Warrior" answers questions about The Walking Dead, the chances of being on a TV network, and which movie they'd like to riff on if given the chance. There's also a blooper reel with behind-the scenes stuff, along with an unplugged version of the ICWXP theme, and a special Fun With Shorts feature from writer Josh Way. It's about Nick, the goofy teen from "What To Do On a Date" (the short from MST's Swamp Diamonds episode), and how he learns the "Benefits of Looking Ahead." Let's just say it saves him from eating an apple while living in in a burned-out building.

The new DVD is available at There's also other stuff like DVD's, the non-motion picture in comic book form, and stickers.

Note: Nelson's Liquor Mart, which was one of the ads shown on the show, was located in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. We're not sure if it's still open for business.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rifftrax Live DVD: Jack the Giant Killer

Later this summer, The Rifftrax Gang (aka Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett) will be doing another live show and take on probably the most infamous movie in MST3K history, Manos, the Hands of Fate.

In anticipation for this, the DVD version of the last live show, Jack the Giant Killer, has just been released. It may remind people of a previous MST3K entry, The Magic Sword. The only difference is there's no actors you've heard of (including Basil Rathborne) or anyone yelling "I'm a Grimwold Warrior" (yes, that's from another movie, but still...). However, you may be using the phrase "seizing the bone" a lot.

It's a cheesy fairy tale flick about how an evil wizard tries to takeover Cornwall through magic and ridiculous clothing. He is challenged by a farmer who attract the King's attention by knocking off a giant that looks like The Incredible Colossal Man with a horn. There's a hot princess in the mix, who gets possessed by a demon and turns into Lady Gaga, and an annoying bottled leprechaun. Actually the story has a bit of intrigue but you get turned off by the lousy special effects and cheap sets. Game of Thrones this ain't, but a joke about it is part of the riffing.

You can also expect snide remarks like these:

As the princess is tucked into bed for a nap: Sleep now to the sound of the peasants gently starving to death.
After Jack kills the giant, and justifies the name of the movie: Bury me next to Gumby
The evil witches show up to steal the princess: We're looking for a fellow by the name of Pufnstuff
Pendragon, the Big Bad of the movie, makes his final assault: This movie is coming close to becoming a Meat Loaf album cover.

There's also snide remarks about Delta Airlines, Stevie Nicks, Waterworld, Keira Knightly, a callback to a previous Rifftrax short, and The Untouchables. Oh, and "seizing the bone" happens when Jack meets evil guards that move very slowly against him.

While the riffing for the main movie is pretty good, I really liked their reactions to a short called "What is Nothing?" It shows two kids to find the meaning of nothing, and we don't mean the number of viewers who watched Work It (Bosom Buddies II) on purpose. Expect riffs on Ellen DeGeneneres, David Lynch, and the "plot" to the last two seasons of Lost.

Extras include a slide show of how they prepared for the event, such as adding medieval stuff, plus lots of "fun facts" that seem accurate, such as who Amanda Seyfried's parents really are or movie lines that may or may not be fake.

You can get the new DVD, plus more, at It also has mp3s which express "opinions" about Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, just in time for The Avengers (which will be Rifftrax'ed, some how, some day).