Friday, August 16, 2013

Rifftrax Live: Best Big Bug Hunt Ever

I was a huge fan of MST3K. It is an honor - I hope I still feel that way after!
--Casper Van Dien in an interview from Miami New Times.

We were all hoping that nearly 265 thousand dollars to Kickstarter would be enough for Rifftrax to achieve its ultimate triumph: riffing Twilight within an inch of its after-life

Instead, we wound up with Starship Troopers, the cheesiest outer space war film ever. Where else will you see Neil Patrick Harris packing heat, Gary Busey's son as a six-foot golf tee with a big gun, Casper Van Dien as a leader of men, or Denise Richards showing less than one percent more credibility as a fighter pilot than as a nuclear scientist in The World Is Not Enough?

Recounting the plot isn't important, but the fact the Riffers Three--Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy--packed in two hours of snide remarks for fans in Nashville, and thousands more in theaters in North America. Getting a A-level science fiction movie to riff for a live show was a milestone for the series. Although some still wish that sparkly vampires and hunky werewolves were the target rather than jingoism and killing big bugs with way too many bullets, this was still a big success.

They wanted to somehow keep the show at PG-13 despite that infamous shower scene full of male and female flesh. So, Kevin chose that time to bring in Gorilla Grams to keep the cameras off the R-rated screen. He did this again when Van Dien had his love scene with Dina Meyer (yes, from Birds of Prey and the Saw series), but we still got a quick peek at her chest. This was a real buzzkill that reminded some of that pesky flying blimp that covered up the best parts of Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks (namely topless babes), as done by Cinematic Titanic.
On the other hand, this may make the mp3 riff of the movie more popular, since it's bound to include play-by-play of the shower scene.

Let's get to some examples:

The logo of the "Federal Network" is shown
PBS finally got too much power

Dizzy (Dina) meets Zander (Patrick Muldoon) at a high school prom, before they fight the bugs
Hi, I'm discount Rob Lowe

Rico makes a big mistake at training that kills a soldier, and is sentenced to ten lashes
Gymnastics got dark in the future

Rico rides a very big tanker bug, and some icky orange stuff oozes out
Partially digested Chester Cheetah

The soldiers retreat after the bugs surround them
David Cronenberg presents A Bug's Life

and this classic line, given by Lt. Pasczak (Michael Ironside), when he appoints Rico Corporal:
"I need a corporal. You're it, until you're dead or I find someone better."

Mike calls this line his wedding vows, and Jay Leno's motto.

They also packed in riffs on Weekend at Bernie's, Beverly Hills 90210, Raid, voting in Chicago, Grown-Ups II, Transformers III, Arena Football, Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp, Doctor Who, AT&T cell phone service, Kafka, Cougar Town, the TSA, Robert Byrd, Ted Nugent, Ricky Gervais, and political debate shows like "Ugly Guy and Old Broad".
Some may have noticed that Dean Norris was also in this movie. Naturally, they included riffs on his two shows, Breaking Bad and Under the Dome.

At least Meyer isn't mad. From her Twitter (@DinaMeyer):

It's too bad this will never be available for digital download, but watching the DVD while hearing the mp3 Rifftrax will be more than worth it, especially for the shower scene. Some did complain they couldn't see the movie because of work or other reasons, and were hoping to get that digital version. That's why announcing that it'll be shown again September 12th was a good idea. It gives people a second chance, while others will want to see this again.

Afterwards, Rifftrax will riff on the original Night of the Living Dead on October 24th. A DVD of the black and white version is already available, but the preview shows a clip that is colorized. Rifftrax did tweet me back that they'll show a better black and white print, not colorized. Of course, they'll have to deal with a brief shot of a naked female zombie. Hope they still have the phone number for Gorilla Grams.

One more thing: the pre-show slides were funny as usual. They're much better than the "First Look" infomercials that run before the movie.  Who else would have this anagram...REFTA TRAHE...and rearrange it to spell out "Hollywood Nepotism"? You also learn Troop Beverly Hills could be renamed Starship Troopers if you replaced Shelley Long with a bunch of spaceships (or maybe have Craig T. Nelson fill Michael Ironside's role). They also got in a few digs on Man of Steel, Game of Thrones, how Breaking Bad will end, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, and the fact that movies that make more cash overseas than in the US are more important these days. It also proposed combining rock and roll with zombies and create...World War ZZ Top.
And no one thought of this sooner?

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