Saturday, August 20, 2016

Review: Mothra Doesn't Soar High Enough in Rifftrax Live Event

After last June's historic MST3K reunion, it would be tough for the Rifftrax Three (Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett) to produce another classic riff event.

They did their best with the 1961 kaiju classic Mothra, but the riffing didn't soar as it should. Much of the fault should be in the movie itself. While it's about a big moth, most of the movie shows an evil guy named Nelson from Rolisica (a heavily biased version of the US) stealing a couple of tiny singers known as Shobijn (Secret Fairies) to make money. He doesn't care that their god, Mothra, will kick serious kaiju butt unless he brings them back. It's also strange he seems to have control of Rolisican military to keep the girls although he's just a shady businessman. You might call this movie "Mothra: Not Without My Shobijin".
It's also interesting that instead of some pesky kid trying to defend the main monster, it's the press hoping to appease Mothra by getting the girls back. They really don't encounter Mothra until the end, when the reporters hope Mothra will be back soon to devastate the OTHER half of New Kirk City (not New York City, because it's not in Rolisica).

Some of the riffs were pretty weird, too. When Nelson sees the two girls, we hear this riff...
Do you know what Woody Allen would pay for these two?
That was a bit too edgy for some, but you should have heard the riff that followed a sign that says "The Secret Fairies Show". Let's just say it refers to two familiar leading men.

Other riffs...

Mothra as a larvae about to spin a cocoon
You call that a cocoon movie? Where the Hell is Wilford Brimley?

When they arrive in Infant Island, they're surprised to see a big forest.
It's a Bob Ross painting. So many happy trees.

A pesky fat kid finds the twins
The moon is wearing a hat.

Mothra finally shows up, fully formed
Its adorableness will destroy us all. 

There's also riffs on Pink Lady and Jeff (way too old of a reference), Hello Kitty, the Twilight books (damn vampire plants) Johnny Cash, Branson, and the Cowboy Junkies.

Before the movie, the crew took on a strange short about the importance of soap, Soapy the Germ Fighter. It involves a kid who hates to wash being visited by a bar of soap with legs but no pants. The crew was a bit disappointed Soapy didn't show the kid a world without soap, like Coily the Demon Spring showed "no springs, cuckoo" to some guy.
This is also the second time the Rifftrax crew took on a short that was also riffed by Incognito Cinema Warriors XP. Here's the link to how Rikk Wolf and his crew dealt with Soapy (at the 26-minute mark).

Although Mothra was funny, it wasn't as good as MST3K's take on Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, which also features the Shobijin trying to wake Mothra up after her tough battle with Ghidorah, and get her to help Godzilla stop some evil army or something. That was strange.

Next up for Rifftrax will be Carnival of Souls, about a girl who survives a car crash and encounters a spooky carnival. It's believed to be have influenced the films of George Romero and David Lynch, and has the most annoying organ music. Despite the fact its DVD has some impressive extras, it's also one of the first movies Rifftrax has targeted. The DVD used to be offered, but Yahoo View has it for your enjoyment. They're expected to present a restored and colorized 80-minute version when the show airs October 27th. The only question whether a color version will make the movie, or at least the organ music, spookier,

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