Friday, October 31, 2014

A Green Halloween: Rifftrax vs. Anaconda

Two years ago, Rifftrax decided that monsters weren't scary enough for Halloween, and turned to insane birds with Birdemic, a low-budget knock-off of The Birds.

This year, it decided again that Mother Nature is more terrifying than the Wolfman, zombies and that creepy doll from The Conjuring combined. On Halloween Eve, it took on the 1997 movie Anaconda, with Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Kari Wuhrer, Eric Stoltz (sort of), Owen Wilson and Jon Voight. A film crew hoping to find an Amazon tribe meets a captain who claims he'll bring them to the tribe. What he really wants to do is hunt a large, man-swallowing Anaconda for big bucks. It's interesting one of the riffs refers to some of the cast as "MTV rejects", although Cube and J-Lo have done all right since this movie. Still, does Ice Cube always have that "today is a good day" catchphrase in all of his movies, including Ride Along?

Anyway, I saw the show at the Century Riverside 12 in downtown Reno, dressed in a Gizmonic-style jumpsuit and helmet. The movie was much more entertaining than the Godzilla show a couple of months back. It may be due to the length, only 90 minutes, but the Rifftrax crew were sharper with the jokes. While a few people may have liked Anaconda, even Roger Ebert, it was prime '90s cheese, back when movie studios hoped to make big bucks with CGI monsters.  The mp3 for this movie will be a best seller when it's available in 60 days or so. Hopefully by that time, I'll actually find the DVD for this movie. (Update: I did find it at WalMart in one of those four-movie discs).

Here's just a few of the riffs...

Eric Stoltz's character tells J-Lo's character they'd make a great team
Mike Nelson:  Your smugness, my great ass

The crew see fireflies in the jungle glowing, showing that they're ready to make
Bill Corbett:  Speaking of manly flashes... (that's only half of the joke)

Owen Wilson and Kari Wuhrer are about to make out
Kevin Murphy:  Being stalked by Jason Vor-hiss

The anaconda is caught in Voight's trap
Kevin:  A snake that screams like Jamie Lee Curtis. That is truly horrifying

And remember the clip that fans were asked to make a riff? This is the winning entry, as the snake bites Wilson and twirls around:

I'm very sorry. I was trying to swim up you urethra.  

The movie also includes riffs on Sir Mix-A-Lot, Voight's face, Jimmy Carter, Ken Burns, Roy Orbison, Grumpy Cat, Jimmy Walker, and Nick Nolte. It also comments on how cute it was to make Wilson look tough by holding a rifle. 

Before that, the crew had a short called Halloween Party, with a family that's a bit eager to celebrate the holiday. The story centered around the family dog eating the son's cat mask just before a costume contest. Mom saves the day by coming up with another costume, but her choice may have been worse. Here's the link to the unriffed version. 

That was followed by a preview of the second Total Riff-Off on the National Geographic Channel on December 16th. As expected, the gang will take on Man v Monster with Richard Terry again. They'll look at the "Mekong Man-Eater" episode where Terry investigates why farmers in Thailand are being attacked in shallow water. Here's a clip from that episode, and it looks like he's trying to make his own version of Anaconda without a mostly unconscious Eric Stoltz.

Also, remember when Mike mentioned he'd have a Thankgiving offering called Fun in Balloonland?
You can pre-order it now through this link. It will be released on November 24th, and looks like the next Turkey Day classic, As I said before, this movie about a kid interacting with balloon people from holiday parades makes "A Visit to Santa" look like The Empire Strikes Back. It's available for $9.99, and it is worth it. 

For more info on this and other Rifftrax offerings, plus a link to the next live show, Santa Claus on December fourth, go to

No comments: