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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

RIFFTRAX LIVE: TIME CHASERS

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Well its time for another Rifftrax live. This one was Time Chasers a classic from the Sci-fi (before it was spelled with a y) era. The show started off with a short from the 1920’s or ’30s. It was about a chimp who was a mascot at a fire station. The chimp does what a chimp would do with his funny antics and threatening to tear off peoples faces. Thankfully he’s there to distract from the house burning down.

Our hero folks.

Our hero folks.

So on to the movie. A big chinned guy who wears a Castleton t-shirt has invented a way to travel through time using his Cessna and a Commodore 64 computer. Now all he needs is money. While watching the late movie an ad comes on with a commercial from GenCorp. The CEO obviously is a caring man. Why we know that? Because he says so. Well big chinned guy decides that’s the place to get funding. But he has to deceive an executive with a bogus claim of a fuel system to get him to come and see his plane I mean time machine. Oh he wants some press coverage so he makes up a story about his grandmother skydiving.
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So a little guy in a pink suit and his old high school flame who is a reporter comes and are initially disappointed at the lie. But they do take a ride and get to see the Socialist paradise of 2041 Vermont. A future with everyone in spandex, bicycles, recycled buildings and food courts that look unchanged from the twentieth century.

Food courts of the future.

Food courts of the future.


Well the caring CEO loves the time machine and agrees to take care of everything. So our big chinned hero goes on to date his old girlfriend without a care in the world. Then on a date through time the two go back to 2041 only now everything has changed. Everything is in ruins and people dressed as ads for Old Navy run around with guns. Something bad has happened.
The future.

The future.


Well they confront the CEO and guess what? He’s actually evil. Wow!! What a shock. They barely escape from his atrium/office in the mall to catch a taxi by a guy from New York, New York. Driven by a New Yorker with the worst accent I ever heard.
The powerful CEO's office in the mall atrium.

The powerful CEO’s office in the mall atrium.


So its off on a chase through time. A time that sees them eventually end up in 1777 with warring colonials and redcoats.
Evil CEO and his lackey.

Evil CEO and his lackey.


Thankfully the evil CEO is defeated in battle and the time line is saved.
Evil CEO vs. big chinned guy.

Evil CEO vs. big chinned guy.


So this is a classic from the old MST3K days. I enjoyed this movie. I mean its obviously bad but it does have good production values and a story I could follow and found interesting. Made by a small company in Vermont it has that charm of a small production made in Vermont. The guys had some good riffs and this an enjoyable evening.
Our hero perplexed about the movie.

Our hero perplexed about the movie.


The rifftrax trailer.

And the official trailer for Time Chasers.

RIFFTRAX LIVE: SANTA AND THE ICE CREAM BUNNY

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The final movie in the Crappening and it is a doozy. The guys start off with three very weird shorts that vaguely have a Christmas theme but get progressively weirder. The first some a real old one titled “Santa Claus Story.” Its about a boy and girl who wake up and find Santa. Santa then tells them a story about monkeys and how they celebrate Christmas. This is over a montage of monkeys. WTF??? Monkeys???

Well it gets weirder. The next “Custard the Dragon” has some kids in animal costumes. One in the dragon costume is Custard. Suddenly a pirate that looks like Osama Bin Laden dressed as a football referee comes to steal the presents. Luckily he didn’t count on Custard who proceeds to eat him.

Of course these two are still not the weirdest. The final “Santa’s Village” was a promo short for some Santa village theme parks in California and Illinois that were founded by K. Gordon Murrey the creator of last years Rifftrax gift Santa Claus. The village is populated by Merlin, Stinky the Skunk, and Rapacious Wolf who make accordion sounds every time he walks.

Then we get to the movie. It starts out with Santa on a beach in Florida. His sleigh got stuck in the sand and the reindeer bailed on him. Now he sits in the sun with his soiled pants lamenting the fact that its hot and he’s stuck.
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He then uses his powers to summon all the boys and girls in the area for help. Unfortunately the boys and girls prove to be pretty worthless. They brings pigs, goats, horses and a guy in a gorilla suit. None of these can pull Santa’s sleigh free.
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So Santa going nowhere gathers the kids and decides to tell them the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. What a traditional Christmas story. Jack’s world seems to consist of mat paintings and polyester clothing. And there’s a lot of groovy singing.(I’m kidding the singing is awful.)Jack of course steals the magic goose and harp.

Look at all this really realistic stuff.

Look at all this really realistic stuff.


Finally the movies gets back to Santa. Just when you think there’s no hope what comes driving along but The Ice Cream Bunny in his jalopy. Yeah Santa’s saved the end.
pirate
Wow was this movie weird. It had the most threadbare plot I’ve ever seen. It was a perfect choice for riffing on. I have to say that combined with the weird shorts this had to have been the funniest Rifftrax I have ever seen. I can’t remember hearing such laughter as I did last night. This was great way to end their year. You can still catch an encore performance on Tuesday.
So here is a song that sums up the experience.

Ice Cream Bunny says bye in a really creepy way.

Ice Cream Bunny says bye in a really creepy way.