Monday, March 27, 2017
Well, they almost made it, but George Bailey is still safe.
The annual Kickstarter campaign by Rifftrax collected $430, 620 from more than 8600 backers. That's a new record for both, but some fans were hoping to hit nine thousand backers to get the next Star Wars movie riffed and ten thousand to finally take on It's A Wonderful Life. Considering the holiday movie has been a steady source of riffs from MST3K and Rifftrax over the years, people were really hoping the holiday classic will finally get the treatment. The Last Jedi may wind up being riffed anyway next year if Rogue One is still on the list of possible future riffs, but It's A Wonderful Life will stay a dream target for now.
Still, backers, even those who paid a buck, will get a nice bargain. Everyone will get ten shorts, and riffs on Batman V. Superman (just in time for Wonder Woman), Mothra, and the first episode of Westworld. The BvS riff will involve everyone who has ever riffed, kind of like a 40x4000 meter relay race. Considering how tragically bad this movie is as a missed opportunity (except you, Diana), it could be too much for three people anyway.
Others who gave 75 bucks will get "The Rains of Castamere" from Game of Thrones (now THAT is a challenge to riff) and Final Justice Redux (or the first time a SyFy-era episode of MST3K is re-riffed), while 100 dollar backers will get DVDs of the June live show and the best of the Riffing Housewives, Bridget Nelson and Mary Jo Pehl.
The only question is what will be the "target" for the August 17th show. Some Facebook fans have unearthed the name thanks to a movie theater and Fandango jumping the gun. In the special countdown show, the gang hinted it could be Ice Castles and La-La-Land (the latter very unlikely).
Actually, the movie will be.....
Remember when this was once considered a major PBS event? The TARDIS upgrade? Tegan's new look after a year in a stewardess uniform? Seeing a new guy be the original Doctor, #2 in color, and some companions we've never even met?
Well, somehow Rifftrax used its connections with Fathom Events and BBC America to pull off this miracle after riffing on the two Peter Cushing movies, where the TARDIS looks like the basement of a Hewlett Packard building.
Not here, though. This must have been in the works for some time, because look where they make the big announcement....
For those who don't remember the story, "The Five Doctors" involves someone on Gallifrey grabbing the Doctor in all of his incarnations. They're all guided into something called "The Death Zone", where they figure out the main bad guy wants something very special from there. Thing is, the Master is not behind this for once, because the Time Lord Council asks for his help.
If you clicked the link, you'd know they had to rewrite the plot because Tom Baker, #4, decided not to be part of it. Technically, he is, thanks to use of footage of the famous unfinished episode, "Shada". The story is actually the first time people have seen certain characters from the show. Back in 1983, the Doctor had been a staple of PBS programming for ten years or so. Showing the episodes before Baker became #4 was still a rare treat for some stations. It was the first time for many to see Jamie and Zoe from the late 1960's or Liz Shaw, the Companion before Jo Grant. It was also a rare chance to see #2, Patrick Troughton, in color. That hadn't happened since "The Three Doctors".
When it was shown, this was considered to be a big deal, and was used as a pledge break feature. It's available on DVD, but in an interesting way. The 2008 DVD version has the original cut plus an upgraded version. As for me, I have the "special edition" and the broadcast version back when KTEH in San Jose was Who Central for me. (Update: After that KTEH DVD no longer worked because of age, I got a newer version of "Five Doctors" which has lots more extras).
Now, it's going to be mocked by three old fans.
Couldn't they have mocked "The Gunfughters"? Now THAT episode stunk on ice.
Well, it should be interesting to get Peter Davison's response to all this.
All we can do is quote the Doctor's farewell message to Susan in "Dalek Invasion of Earth" that was used to start the show: "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all you beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine."
If that's the First Doctor's message to what Rifftrax will do this summer, it's a lot better to what he thinks about his next two forms ("a dandy and a clown").
If nothing else, pulling this off proves Rifftrax has more than earned the right to go after sparkly vampires someday.