Tonight I had the opportunity to attend something I missed a couple of months ago:
An encore presentation of RiffTrax's Plan 9 From Outer Space. RiffTrax is composed of Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett - who used to be part of Mystery Science Theater. I have to admit that I have just a leetle more love in my heart for Joel Hodgson as host of MST3K - although I do very much enjoy the Mike years. Would it be on par with the old MST?
I'm very happy to report that my friend and I thought it was HYSTERICAL. Granted, Plan 9 is a movie that's funny without any additional commentary - but the guys made it even funnier. I also liked that they didn't especially target Ed Wood or disparage him - that's also very easy to do- but the great thing about Ed Wood films is that they are so innocent in their 'badness'.
The presentation consisted of not just the movie but a short called Flying Stewardess (link here) which was on par with the other great shorts that MST 3K used to feature. Other things included a couple of fake ads from 'sponsors' (courtesy of the Something Awful website) and a couple of songs from Johnathan Coulton - the best one being a song sung from a zombie's perspective called 'We Just Want to Eat Your Brains). All of the extra things didn't take away from the show - I suppose they probably wanted to flesh out the show since Plan 9 is only 79 minutes - but given that our friendly neighborhood theater managed to start the movie 20 minutes late - I was kind of anxious for the singing and ads to get over and get the actual movie started.
I've checked out the Riff Trax website before but I've never bought anything. Now I'd be much more likely to buy something and I'd like to get the download for Plan 9 so I can share it with my MST lovin' friends. At 1.99, it's a hell of a deal. Also as part of the show we were given a code to be able to download some extras, one of which was the Stewardess short. I might also be more likely to download riffs on movies that are more along the lines of what MSK3K used to do - even though RiffTrax has downloads for more current movies. I have a hard time getting into a MST treatment of movies like Harry Potter or Iron Man. Also - if you do order from the site, make sure you look carefully - some of the downloads aren't Mike and the fellas - so check out the previews and look to see who's doing the commentary.
Alternatively - if you share the Joel Love - you can also check out Cinematic Titanic.
Joel and other friends from MST 3K have also put together their own new version. They have fewer offerings but from the clips I've seen, they're really good. They include Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Forrester) and Frank (TV's Frank! I ask you, who doesn't love TV's Frank? I still find myself saying 'Push the button, Frank' in situations that call for button pushing. Every once in a blue moon someone actually gets it. Sigh).
Anyway, Cinematic Titanic sells DVDs - as opposed to just the commentary track - and they only have about a half dozen. But I watched every preview and they all made me laugh. They also do live shows throughout the country. Sadly, not in Milwaukee - yet. (I'm waiting, TV's Frank!)
Here's a clip:
Pushing the Button,