RIFFTRAX LIVE SPACE MUTINY

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So it is that time of year and another Rifftrax Live is there to introduce summer. This one is the old classic Space Mutiny from the SyFy era of MST3k. First it warms up the audience with a short. This short is actually based on a story by H.G. Wells. Not your typical educational short or industrial promotion they usually do. Still the Magic Room was definitely an excellent choice. You wonder what old H.G. was smoking when he wrote this odd story. It is a man taking his son to a store called the Magic Room. In it is a strange guy who can what else perform magic. The dumpy kid is amused to no end by the magic antics as the father has a perpetual look of bored annoyance. So the proprietor takes them into the back room where all the good stuff is stored. He gives him a box with moving toy soldiers and teaches the brat how to use a magic wand. Which the kid causes all things to burst into flames. Then he performs a disappearing act which sees the little pork chop disappear. This causes the father to go nuts and while tearing up the place he is transported outside. He meet his son who is loaded down with packages. The shop is now a pizza place.

Our hero the beef cake Reb Brown.

So the movie starts after it’s hightech credits that must have been done on an old Commodore 64. We find ourselves in an episode of the old original Battlestar Galactica. But this is the Southern Sun a ship on its way to colonize some distant planet. It has been traveling for 13 generations and some are a little impatient. The chief enforcer Kalgan wants off the ship. His plan is for his fellow mutineers to take over the ship and sell the people into slavery to space pirates. So during a pirate attack by Cylon ships he blows up the launch elevator to trap everyone inside. But not before some women known as Valerians manage to land. Also the hero Ryder the beefy guy in a silver tanktop manages to beam onboard but losses his passenger some important professor.

We need more Kalgan.

Well the ship is run by a guy who looks like Santa Clause and wears a silver muumuu. He has a daughter who is way too old to go prancing around in such a short skirt. Well the beefcake and daughter manage to lead the crew to victory over the evil Kalgan. Along the way there are two golf cart chases. Valarians with Spencer gift globes that have some mystical power which isn’t really explained or for that matter what the hell their purpose was to the plot. Endless battles with masked snowmobilers before the evil Kalgan is dispatched in a fiery golf cart crash. Or his he?

Captain Santa Claus.

This movie had to have been my favorite MST3K episode so I was glad they decided to do this movie. I remember actually renting this way back when. Got it from the local Sentry and it was a fun time waster for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

skanky heroine in a eighties in space moment.

Filmed in 1988 South Africa during the Apartheid regime. Something that was frowned on but still many glorious bad movies were filmed by someone looking to make a cheap buck. The movie budget seems to have been spent on stock footage from Battlestar Galactica. John Phillip Law who played Kalgan is always going around like he wants to pop his skull out of his skin. I never seen such scene chewing in my entire life.

Hero having a screaming fit.

And the endless chases with the fearsome Enforcer golf carts in what looks like some kind of power or water treatment plant in space. This is a classic gem in the history of bad science fiction movies.

Dangerous golf carts in space.

Henchman who looks like Ed Grimley.

Crippled henchman who gets burned alive.

Coming up next the classic Krull in August.

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RIFFTRAX LIVE: THE FIVE DOCTORS

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The night started off with a short from Britain. Apparently the British also put out these goofy shorts about dumb people doing dumb things and trying to discourage such dumb things. In this case its not respecting power lines. So you have dumb kids flying kites or wheeling around their sailboats and getting electrocuted. Dumb kids throwing frisbees into power transformers then breaking in an getting electrocuted. Oh and hooligans like to throw chains into power lines causing blackouts. Luckily an animated wise old owl and his dumb robin sidekick shame everyone into behaving.

So the main feature was the classic TV special The Five Doctors or four because Tom Baker didn’t like the money or screentime in the episode. Some sinister being is plucking all the reincarnations of the doctor from the timestream and bringing them to the Deathzone. The Deathzone was an old gladiator type arena where the Time Lords brought different aliens to fight for their amusement. Thus the first, second and third and some past companions are snatched out of time and dumped there. The fourth is conveniently stuck in the system.

The four Doctors together.

The Time Lords also throw in the Master the Doctor’s arch nemesis to rescue him. And of course Cybermen, Daleks and Yeti are also tossed in. Basically the various Doctors make their way to the dark tower and confront the evil behind all this.

Cybermen meet their match.

Now I am a big fan of the old classic Doctor Who series. I actually like the Five Doctors. Sure its a bit cheezy and there are some moments that were perfect for riffing. When the Cyberman comes out and looks surprised as the Doctor and Master were talking and nobody notices him. Their riffs on how he screwed up and missed his cue got the most laughs for the night.

Cyberman looking surprised that nobody notices him.


Then there is the bearded image of Rasillon with his Genghis Khan hat.

Rassillon aka Genghis Khan.


Or the main baddie who looked like Maleficent.

Maleficent contemplating immortality.


I guess it just never really resonated with me. It was enjoyable and had some good laughs but never came close to Samurai Cop. I think they really should stick more to the really bad cheezy movies. Those are the ones that are absolutely hilarious. So until next year we bit adieu to Rifftrax live.

RIFFTRAX LIVE SUMMER SHORTS BEACH PARTY

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So another Rifftrax Live and this one was a series of shorts. In addition to Mike, Kevin and Bill the old gang from MST3K was also there.

The first done by Mike, Kevin and Bill was one of those old safety films from the seventies. Ricky the Raccoon a guy in a raccoon suit who magically appears as their parents are buying a new house. Nobody seems concerned in the least that a creepy guy in a raccoon suit appears out of thin air. Of course the real estate agent won’t make a big deal about it since he’s interested in making a sale. Anyway the raccoon proceeds to teach the real dumb kid basic safety tips that his parents were apparently too busy to teach themselves. The dumb kid annoys Ricky to no end by insisting he’s a bear. You have to love those wacky anthropomorphic animals that appear the teach the stupid basic things. Here is a funny take from two rednecks.

So we move on to Office Etiquette which was done in the fifties. A woman gets a lowly clerical job all on the recommendation of some old bat that teaches typing. She tows the line and makes it to personal manager. Wow it is depressing to work in an office back then just as much as it is now. Some things don’t really change. It had some good riffs here and there. A little too much social justice commentary.

Then we get the 300th shorts riff the guys have done. This one is Rhythmic Ball Skills. Basically they make young kids do goofy things with a rubber ball. Supposed to be exercise but looks goofy as hell.

Then Mary Jo and Bridget do the Griper. Basically some complainer who does nothing but grip and ruins everything for everyone. Some reason the message seems that those that grip will just ruin it for everyone.

Move on to Sentinels of Safety. A short that shows all the bad things that can happen to you in the 1940’s if your not careful. So we watch people step on nails, fall down the stairs, slip on the floor and blow themselves up by washing their clothes in gasoline. Amazing our grandparents survived.

A Touch of Magic was some General Motors promotional to sell their new 1961 line. A husband and wife host their invisible friends who have the new cars. Very strange.

Finally it brings us to The Baggs. Santa Claus spends his summers driving around L.A. in an old pickup picking up junk. He steals some old burlap bags that come to life and chases them all over. Definitely they saved the weirdest for last.

Well it was a fun night. The jokes were funny and the shorts were really offbeat. So next up in August The Five Doctors.

RIFFTRAX LIVE: SAMURAI COP

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Well its that time of year folks. A new Rifftrax Live to start off the Easter holiday. So it started off with a short from the fifties on manners. Some uncouth bully has to stay through recess cleaning off the chalkboard. He instead draws a stick man which then comes to live. Chalky is there to lecture him on manners. Well the brat doesn’t like that and immediately tries to erase Chalky but Chalky manages to get high enough to avoid the eraser. So he then lectures him on his rudeness. The psychotic little brat is brainwashed into being a well mannered productive citizen. Chalky then volunteers for erasure. Strange how they thought that correcting deviant behavior was through anthropomorphic characters coming to life and setting them straight. A great start to the evening.

Our hero and his sidekick.

So the movie starts right off the bat by introducing Sam Marshall aka the Samurai Cop. L.A. apparently had to import him from San Diego because they don’t have a samurai cop and needed one to fight the local Yakuza gang. So right away Joe and his trusty sidekick go after a van that was up to no good and manage to shoot everyone except the driver who is horribly burned in the crash.

Samurai cop does a lot more shooting then what you would think a samurai would do.

Well the local Japanese boss doesn’t like that one of the members didn’t have the decency to die so orders his main henchman Mr. Yamashita to bring his head for his piano. Yamashita the very un-Japanese Robert Z’Dar then goes to the hospital and takes the head.

Robert Z’dar. A man with more face then a human could ever need.

So after much various sexual innuendo at the hospital with the attractive doctor they go off to meet the Yakuza boss.

Not so subtle flirting.

So they threaten him which gets him upset and he sends out Yamashita to take care of them in the parking lot. Now a whole action sequence takes place after an interaction with a flamboyant gay waiter from Costa Rica. The thugs attack and our heroes manager to kick ass. It helps that Yamashita is better at killing his own men than the cops.

The guys at it.


He does manage to chop off someones arm. Not really sure if that’s proper police procedure.

So then we go to the romance of this as he goes after the beautiful Episcopalian restaurant owner. He spends a lot of time in a thong that didn’t need to be filmed.

Way too much time in a thong.

So anyway the movie goes on and there is a climactic fight with Yamashita. The Japanese gang is defeated and he gets the girl.

The big showdown.

Now this had to be the most funniest movie that the guys have ever done. It was absolutely perfect. It had the right mixture of cheezy story. Bad acting. Bad writing. Poorly staged fight scenes. And one goofy cast of characters.

The partner who sole function was to give his goofy expressions.

So here are the trailers.

And coming up.

The secret show is The Five Doctors.

And we will end with the gay waiter.

RIFFTRAX LIVE: CARNIVAL OF SOULS

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Well its time for another Rifftrax Live. This time they chose the horror film Carnival of Souls. A film that’s only true horror is having to actually sit through this slow pile of crap. Luckily the guys are there to crack riffs and make it hilarious.

So we start off with a short titled The Dirt Witch Cleans Up. So what is a dirt witch? Its a dirty witch that likes to cause accidents that get other people dirty. Well while up to her antics in making a group of boys playing football fall into the mud, she is confronted by a little girl. The girl convinces her to come back to her house where she gives her a soapy bath. So what kind of parents allow their kid to bring home strangers to bath? What the hell is the purpose of this? Well here’s the full short. If you know the purpose I’d be interesting in hearing what it is.

So this brings us to the second short. Masks of Grass. A great in the series of educational shorts from the ’70s about all the fun things kids can make with grass. Yes the seventies were a boring time to grow up. No internet or video games. All we could do is make stuff out of grass.

This brings us to the movie. A drag race in the country results in a car going off the bridge. One girl survives this tragedy. She later moves to Utah to take a job as an organ player for a local church. Didn’t know that you can get such a cushy job. Never heard about it on career day in high school.
car

While there she moves into a boarding house with a creepy stalker who lives next to her. She always acts weird because she has vision of a Grandpa Munster type guy who is always appearing. This is Herk Harvey the director who also gave himself a starring role in this snoozefest.
car

Well to make a long story short she goes nuts and ends up at an abandoned pavilion by the lake. It is here she confronts all the lost souls who take her back to the afterlife.
car

I can probably think of movies that were more stupid, boring and lacking any artistic merit but I’m sure this would be in the top ten. The jokes made were good and made the movie bearable. A good choice for Halloween.

RIFFTRAX LIVE: MOTHRA

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Another Rifftrax this week and it was the classic Japanese Kaiju movie Mothra. First the guys started off with a short. This short like most they do followed a visit from an anthropomorphic image that wants to force you to change your ways. In this instance a kid who thinks its sissy to wash is visited by a large bar of soap with legs and arms named Soapy. Soapy shows the little brat the importance of personal hygiene. The most important fact we learn is that women should wash their hair at least once every two weeks.

Anyway the movie then starts. Some sailors are shipwrecked on an island used for atomic tests and are found to have suffered no effects from radiation. This results in a scientific expedition launched with great fanfare. The scientists discover an island that is inhabited with a hell of a lot of natives and jungle vegetation. Obviously no one took much time to scout the place before they set off a bomb. They also find two tiny women. An unscrupulous member from the country of Rolisica a man named Nelson decides to kidnap the girls. With his henchmen he comes back and does just that. In the process shooting a few hundred natives.

Goofy scientist discover tiny women.

Goofy scientist discover tiny women.

So Nelson starts to market the tiny women to sold out shows in Tokyo. Apparently Rolisica has a lot of clout and protects his questionable enslavement of the tiny women.

Hero reporter and the tiny captive girls.

Hero reporter and the tiny captive girls.

But the girls have a protector. Mothra is hatched from a giant egg and makes his way as a giant caterpillar to Japan. (Didn’t know caterpillars could swim.)

Mothra caterpillar takes out model buildings.

Mothra caterpillar takes out model buildings.

Continuous attacks by napalm, rockets and tanks have no effect on the caterpillar. At the Tokyo tower the caterpillar forms a cocoon and bursts out as Mothra. Impervious to even death rays its wings generate hurricane force winds which devastate toy tanks and buildings.

Mothra emerges.

Mothra emerges.

It then takes off to New Kirk city in Rolisica because that is where Nelson flees with the girls. Now the government has second thoughts and decides to order the release of the girls. Apparently destruction by Mothra can do wonders on ones outlook. Nelson is killed in a shoot out and the tiny girls are released to Mothra. They happily fly off to waving smiling crowds. Thousands dead and the infrastructure of two major cities destroyed but Mothra is cute so everything is ok.

Mothra lands and everybody is happy.

Mothra lands and everybody is happy.

Wow what a movie. I remember watching this as a kid and loving it. Now watching it with its incomprehensible plot, quick cuts between scenes, slow plot I still do love it. Just a fun goofy movie. A great movie for riffing on and look forward to the next show in October Carnival of Souls.

RIFFTRAX LIVE: MST3K 25TH REUNION SHOW

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Its the twentieth Rifftrax live show and the guys decided to do something special. They got the band back together so to speak and instead of a movie did a series of shorts.
The first the three guys started with “The Talking Car”. A short that used anthropomorphic cars with animated faces. They come in the dream of a little brat who almost got run over because he didn’t look both ways. The demon cars set him in his place.
shark

The second featured Mary Jo Pehl and Bridget Nelson and they did some promotional short from the fifties. Housewives discuss how their marital problems can be fixed by modern kitchen appliances.

The Third was a real funny one with Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff. Some fifties short about some plain girl who really tried too hard to get a date.

Then Mike, Kevin and Bill came back with a classic from the seventies. A safety short put out by Caterpillar about the dangers of being a macho man and operation heavy machinery.

Joel and the new guy Jonah did another fifties goofy short on barbers and beauticians. It seems that the beauticians from the fifties were either New Jersey mobsters or Frankenstein.

And finally the gang all got together for two shorts. One a fifties Superman episode that promoted buying treasury stamps and the other a classic rifftrax short on grass.

It was an enjoyable show. Very nostalgic and nice to see everyone back together. So next up in August the guys go back to the traditional movies with the Japanese classic Mothra.