Monday, September 2, 2013

Rifftrax's Other Kickstarter Rewards, Without Riffs

After reviewing Mr. B Natural 2.0, one of the rewards Rifftrax sent to Kickstarter supporters of the Starship Troopers live riff show, I decided to check out the other two shorts they had offered.

I was warned by other fans to approach the "Norman Krasner" short carefully. We first saw him in Norman Checks In, at the live riff of Birdemic . While what happens to him seems relatable to many businessmen, we can see why he's become a new cult hero to the Rifftrax-verse. Still, who thought it was a good idea to make a six-minute film about a guy who tries to use a pay toilet? This short is the ultimate worst case scenario that likely wouldn't happen these days...we hope. Rifftrax now has it for sale to everyone, and you can expect distrurbing jokes about using a restroom. I won't list them all, but one joke does mention a certain politician who got in trouble using a restroom in a suspicious manner.

Also, why this short was called Norman Krasner, Beloved Husband of Irma. Was he found dead in the toilet by the custodian two days later? How come Irma isn't in this short? Is she invisible, like Mavis in Frasier? Does Irma prefer not to be identified as Mrs. Norman Krasner? Judging from Welcome Home, Norman (featured in the San Francisco Sketchfest and Manos Live show), and Norman Makes a Speech,  she probably prefers it. Norman is supposedly the corporate version of Chaplin, Buster Keaton or Charlie Brown, and is presented to employees the way girls were shown films on "Molly Grows Up" when they turned twelve. Still, what can anyone learn from being in a pay toilet from Hell, or an airport parking lot with no exit? Maybe that Death is preferable?

Oh, and thanks to Cinegraphic Studios for putting these shorts on YouTube.

The other short is a riffed version of the 1902 film, A Trip to the Moon, as made by Melies. Here's one of several versions on YouTube. I chose this one because apparently this was Melies' attempt to colorize his movie way before Ted Turner..or Rifftrax, since it colorized Reefer Madness:

There are some callbacks to ridiculous holiday specials, but there's some others that talk about a certain type of celebration, doing something rude on the moon, and some unlikely references to Vegas shows, movies and two famous 19th century guys. I'm keeping these riffs vague until they're available to the public. Besides, riffing silent movies are much different than regular bad movies with worse dialogue. I wonder if this will lead to riffing Chaplin, Keaton, The Great Train Robbery or even Birth of a Nation. Besides, who are the silent film equivalents to Ed Wood or Coleman Francis?

UPDATE: It's also available at the Rifftrax site.

Backers of the Rifftrax Live show on Starship Troopers should be glad to have these shorts in their cyber-libraries before anyone else. We get a new look at a classic short, a famous movie, and a guy whose life is one audible moan of resignation.

Now, when do we rip The Lone Ranger, AfterEarth, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters a new one?

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