Saturday, February 14, 2015
We Took A Bite of Rifftrax Live's Riff of Sharknado..and It's Delicious
Next Sunday, America will honor the best movies of the year with the Academy Awards.
Before that, Rifftrax fans will get a second chance to honor one of the most bizarre movies ever made.
Last July, the Rifftrax crew (Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett) did a live riff of Sharknado, one of those incredibly-mixed-up movies made by the SyFyChannel. It's best known for such classics as Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, Mega Python vs Gateroid (actually a proxy war between '80s singing stars Debbie Gibson and Tiffany), and Frankenfish. Sharknado got a lot of buzz from Twitter users in the summer of 2013, and even was shown in theaters.
Now, fans can buy their own copies of the gang's riff of this movie starting Wednesday, February 18th. We got a sneak preview of this movie, and it is worth every penny. It's one thing when Rifftrax takes on B-movies like ROTOR, Wonder Women and The Dark Power, but it's another when it's an incredibly cheesy made-for-cable movie featuring two former teen stars.
What's also great is that the show takes place at the State Theater in Minneapolis, where they presented This Island Earth in the first MST3K convention in 1994. There were a lot of Minnesota jokes, especially about meat raffles.
The plot? Barely exists, but it's basically nature gone amok creating a situation that's a cross between Jaws and Twister. Between the bad editing that causes weather that makes no sense, and the really strange special effects, there's a lot to riff about.
It starts at a fishing boat where there's a dispute over paying for some shark, which is described by Mike as "a dark, gritty reboot of Gilligan's Island". Then, a storm brews, and for some reason it helps some sharks get on board and start eating the crew.
Later, we meet Fin Shepherd (Ian Zierling), former surfing champ and owner of a restaurant on the Santa Monica pier. He's often mistaken for Luke Perry or Jason Priestley. When the storm brews, some people in the water get eaten while the people on the shore don't notice. Then the waves get bigger, allowing the sharks to burst through the windows, causing what Kevin calls "Road House with sharks."
Tara "if this doesn't work, I'm leaking a sex tape" Reid plays April, Fin's ex-wife. He tells her to get to higher ground, but she refuses. So, he goes to her house, and the sharks get there through the sewers. They literally burst through the manholes, and chomp on her new boyfriend. Anyway, it all culminates with an attempt to stop the twisters by dropping bombs into them. The plan includes Nova, a trigger-happy waitress who hates sharks. The final battle is too bizarre to be described. After you see it, you will think maybe we owe Hal Warren an apology...and if you don't know who Warren is, the Master would not approve.
Now some riffs to expect:
The opening shot is a bunch of sharks trying to out-swim an oncoming tornado
Bill: You guys want story? Go read Judy Blume or something.
April won't let Fin take their daughter to higher ground
Kevin: There's a hurricane, you nitwit substitute for apple pie.
They get set to use a helicopter to toss bombs into the twisters
Mike: If Auntie Em has one of these, the Wizard of Oz would have been a much better movie.
The best riff, though, was this response:
Fin responding to the road rage: I just can't sit back and watch this
Kevin: Yeah, I feel the same way.
There's also riffs on The Shining, Johnny Depp, The Little Mermaid, Uwe Boll, Semisonic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, FEMA, Russian traffic, Burning Man and Def Leppard.
Before the movie, the gang presented a short called A Case of Spring Fever. It's about a guy who wishes springs never existed, and a demon named Coily grants that wish. It takes about five minutes for the guy to realize what a bad wish he made. It's reversed, and he spends the rest of the short telling his golf buddies how humanity would be doomed without springs. The short was shown before in the next-to-last MST3K episode, Squirm, The Rifftrax version has riffs on Jenny McCarthy, Christopher Walken and gluten-free diets.
That was followed by a preview of Sharknado 2, which features sharks somehow attacking fans at a Mets game. The fans are ready, attacking the sharks with baseball bats.
That movie, by the way, was also shown in theaters for one night shortly after it aired on SyFy last year. Of course, there will be a third Sharknado, and let's hope Rifftrax riffs the complete trilogy.
Sharknado is available for pre-order at the Rifftrax website for $12.95, or $14.95 for the HD version.
Also, the mp3 riff of Anaconda, which was made possible through last year's Kickstarter campaign, will be available next month.