About twenty years ago a satellite was launched into space for a very important experiment. The subject was one Joel Hodgson who, in an attempt to stem the on set of cabin fever, built several robots to keep him company. The experiments: Sending him cheesy movies, the worst they could find. They had to sit and watch them all while they monitored his mind. It’s a really catchy theme song:
Joel would sit in the theater with two robots, Crow and Servo, and they would watch the cheesiest of the cheese when it came to movies, all the while riffing on the absurdity of some of these classic Sci-fi B movies. The most notable is “Manos: The hands of Fate.”
All this was documented and aired for ten seasons on Comedy Central and SyFy in a show called Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). Part way through Joel “escaped” and one of the show’s writers, a former waiter at T.G.I. Fridays, took over. His name; Michael J. Nelson.
Personally I found the show funnier when he took over, he seemed more invested and delivered a lot of the jokes better. His interaction with the two bots, Crow and Tom Servo was much more natural. The show was a good one, winning a Peabody, and being nominated for a few Emmys. It’s a wonder what the big guys up top were thinking giving this show the boot.
Well, Michael, Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo), and Bill Corbett (Crow T. Robot) weren’t ready to give up on what they did so they started Rifftrax. It couldn’t be better. Without having to buy rights to the movies in order to air them they can put the ol’ MST3K spin on any film they choose, not just the bad ones.
To date they have done several movies; from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Harry Potter, and the Marvel films. They even do old (think 50s) short films about hygiene and fire safety. It’s all hilarious.
Currently they are on tour, THE CRAPPENING, and they will be doing a live show featuring Sharknado 2 (This will be the theatrical release. The show was filmed July 09) . The tour will be going on through summer, and if you’re lucky and live in Nashville you can go to the Belcourt and see them live when they film. The rest of us will have to wait for it to be broadcast via Fathom Events. The other movies to be included are:
- Miami Connection
- Santa & the Ice Cream Bunny
There is a link to a list of participating venues below, along with ways to purchase tickets. I advise you to go to their site and see what all they have. They make some of Hollywood’s dumb decisions worth a watch, and your favorite films worth a re-watch.
Hell, these guys made Twilight watchable.
For that, I believe they are capable of anything.
Are you going? Let us know in the comments what you think of Rifftrax or MST3k.