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Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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How Was the Show?

An open thread for reports from tonight’s Cinematic Titanic show.

10 comments to How Was the Show?

  • 1
    Captn Ross Hagen says:

    I was really looking forward to seeing about the show last night. I guess nobody went, or as I’ve said in the past no one knows about this site.
    Whenever people go to shows they should tell people about this site. At all the CT shows I went to I saw people taking pictures and standing in line for the meet and greet I’d tell people to post there stuff on here to help promote these talented folks that give so much to their fans.
    I hope to see stuff later today, please any pictures would be great. Also how do we get them to come to BOSTON, N.H., R.I. area again?? I saw four shows and hope they come back soon.

       2 likes

  • 2
    Captn Ross Hagen says:

    HELLO! IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?
    ?????????????????

       1 likes

  • 3
    Dropo221 says:

    Cinematic Titanic returned to the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO (St. Louis) for the first time in two years with a Ted V. Mikels offering “The Doll Squad.” Mikels, who also directed and produced the MST classic “The Girl in Gold Boots,” was described by Joel before the show as “Russ Meyer without the substance.”

    The pre-show was handled wonderfully by Dave “Gruber” Allen, which included Gruber own version of CT. With the help of Mary Jo and Trace, he performed a riffed version of Henrik Ibsen’s “The Doll House.” Mary Jo and Trace read from the Ibsen classic and Gruber would drop in his own riffs.

    Also, before the show Frank paid tribute to the departing Hostess snack cakes and Josh (J. Elvis) paid tribute to Elvis Costello and himself. He performed the Love Theme from MST3K, in the Costello style.

    “The Doll Squad” movie seemed very similar to another MST classic, “Angel’s Revenge.” After a US space mission is blown up, a security man, played by Anthony (Fred) Eisley (who you may remember from the CT classic “The Wasp Woman”) enlists a group of beautiful women to find and kill the terrorist responsible.

    The riffs came fast and furious, in fact there were a least a couple of places where the riffs got ahead of the action in the movie. But that can be expected in a live show.

    All in all a great show from CT and I hope you are able to see it live in your town soon.

       5 likes

  • 4
    Captn Ross Hagen says:

    DROPO you may be the laziest man on Mars but you did get the first post about last nights show. Glad you had a good time.
    Thanks Captn Ross Hagen

       3 likes

  • 5
    DRHoet says:

    This trip to St. Charles, Missouri actually crossed something off of my bucket list (it did for Joel, too!).

    The riffing on “Doll Squad” was fast and furious – these guys are smoother and more relentless than ever. At one point, the Cinematic Titanic crew hit the screen with five perfectly timed riffs at once – made me wish I had a rewind button. But I can wait for the DVD for that.

    This brings me to a request to any fan who can get to a Cinematic Titanic event – GO! SUPPORT THIS LIVE EXPERIENCE. SUPPORT CINEMATIC TITANIC. Spread the word. The only thing that distracted from this night was that the arena was only about half full.

    Other thoughts –

    “Doll Squad” is a perfect movie for riffing. A twirling, swirling, occasionally underlit mess of an action picture begging for commentary. I shed a tear for Michael Ansara – definitely between jobs when he got snagged to play the schlub of a bad guy he does in this movie.

    J. Elvis Weinstein deserves his Shermans. His heart rending guitar rendition of the MST3K opening theme lead to several rounds of audience fa la las.

    Frank Conniff is one wicked fast wit – his bit on the death of Twinkies before the movie was hilarious, but the impromptu audience interaction (interruption?) before the bit was almost as good (it was good to hear that Frank’s mom loves him).

    Best repeated interjection during the movie – “Sleeep!” (Frank Conniff)

    To David “Gruber” Allen, Trace Beaulieu, and Mary Jo Pehl – Henrik Ibsen done right! Bravo!

    A man suffering from excess gas explodes in a fiery flash in “Doll Squad”. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

       4 likes

  • 6
    noordledoordle says:

    My first live CT experience and what a good time it was! They have a new full-fledged groupie in me now, that’s for sure. I would have written a comment earlier, but I had to drive a few hundred miles home first! I bet everyone else did, too. It seemed like everyone I talked to was from out of town. Do people even live in St. Louis? Smile

    Honestly, I think this one’s their best so far. More straight-up naughty jokes than I’m accustomed to from them – which I heartily approve of because I’m a terribly impolite person. My favorite bit was near the end, although I’m not sure I can describe it without being spoiler-y. Let’s just say it was a multiple-riffer effort that elicited a hearty round of applause. Lots of what I assume were last-minute topical riffs, too. I passed about 2390840239 Todd Akin lawn signs on the way into town, so I felt I deserved at least one good Akin riff as well. I did not leave empty-handed.

    (Did that “five riffs in quick succession moment” come during the club scene near the beginning? Because they were going rapid-fire on that scene and my sides were hurting.)

    From my POV, the usable space in the arena seemed a LOT more than half-full, although I guess that was only a third of the entire rink. It was REALLY cozy down on the floor.

       3 likes

  • 7
    DRHoet says:

    noordledoordle – The “multi-riff” moment was near the beginning of movie (and, as you point out, the riffs were in split-second succession, not all at once). I was laughing and sitting in amazement at the same time, so I honestly do not remember the exact scene.

    I also have to backtrack about the size of the audience. The area in the section of the arena directly in front of the movie screen was almost completely filled. I will add that the audience was spirited and laughing all night long (it was a good crowd to be a part of).

    Not knowing exactly what the seating setup for the night was (mea culpa) I think I will just stick with SUPPORT CINEMATIC TITANIC LIVE. Because, selfishly, I want to see them again next year at St. Charles or someplace close to Carbondale, Illinois (my neck of the woods).

    One more thing, my thanks to the Titanic crew – putting this night together required substantial comic lifting. Please return soon (and yes, I will be contacting the friendly folks at the Family Arena to see if they can make it so).

       2 likes

  • 8

    Great to read about the show, and about how well it went. Jeezus, am I jealous. Joel, Trace, Frank, et. al. — if by some chance you’re reading this, please come to Washington DC!

    It’s also great to hear that the MST alums have done up another old Ted V. Mikels stinkburger. Nelson, Murphy & Corbett really shredded on Girl In Gold Boots in MST3K Season 10.

    There’s another Ted V. Mikels classic that somehow managed to escape the MST3K treatment, a big ol’ turd titled Astro-Zombies (1968) which starred Tura Satana (va va voom), Tom Pace (from Girl In Gold Boots), the dependably slurred Wendell Corey, and the redoubtable John Carradine as, of course, a mad scientist. I had this one in my “Fantasy Season 11″ on the discussion boards over at Club MST3K and the Satellite News/MST3K Review. Would anyone here know if CT (or RiffTrax) have gotten around to doing this one? I first saw it on the old Count Gore DeVol’s Saturday Chiller here in DC as a teenager in the mid ’70s. It’s so totally begging for it; there’s a scene toward the end which is arguably one of the most unintentionally funny scenes in any “B” sci-fi flick I’ve ever seen.

       4 likes

  • 9
    skytwo says:

    I was there, I just forgot to check in with the site for a few days. I was stoked to know they were doing Doll Squad– a ‘classic’ that I’d never seen. The chairs were packed a bit close on the floor, but there was an excellent turnout and the sense of community you’d expect. The pre-movie entertainment was good. They’ve really stepped up Gruber’s role and had him doing his own bits (the “Sing Along with Ace of Bass” was much funnier than it had any right to be, and riffing Henrik Ibsen was a nice twist on an old theme). The movie really was perfect fodder for them, and heightened by some real surprises. First, the audience audibly gasped at an unexpected bit of violence in the opening scenes, which was also the only scene in the movie that anyone could accuse of being the least bit artistic in its staging or presentation. Second, they never gave any particular acknowledgment to Tura Satana, aside from Weinstein’s cruel-but-hilarious comment on her looking ‘like Divine after Slim-Fast.’ (That also marked the only time I was even remotely tempted to chime in, since they seemed to miss an obvious reference to Tura Santana when she crawled out of a chimney.) I suppose that’s something like never noting Battlestar Galactica in ‘Space Mutiny,’ though given Joel’s introductory notes on ‘Corpse Grinders’ and such, they clearly aren’t working under the assumption that everyone in attendance is a connoisseur.* Third was the swearing. Presumably this was absolutely hysterical not only because they never did it on the show, but because they also seemed to be actively avoiding it in the first few years of CT. But a few well-placed swears (especially one in the climactic scenes) really got huge laughs, and deservedly so.

    To be honest, it’s tough to compare for me, because my first show was a matter of hopping on a subway and my second involved a six-hour round trip. Worth it? Yeah, I think so. Doll Squad was new to me, and they did a solid job of riffing it. But another ten or fifteen minutes of material wouldn’t have hurt, given their slow release schedule, and I got the impression that they’re getting a bit more restrictive about the “meet the cast” aspect of the show. Though I haven’t taken them up on it either time. It still sort of stings that I don’t know the origin of the “Harriet, the cattle are smoking again” line from ‘Eegah!’ (Anyone? Please?) but I didn’t want to deal with the lines or the conditions being laid out for those willing to wait.

    All in all, it was worthwhile. I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of the crowd both times– very white, but also a very broad range of age, class, and BMI. And there wasn’t much to suggest that they were just going through the motions for a quick infusion of cash. There was some, like the crowd-pleasing(?) run-through of the MST theme song, and they even referenced the fact that they were playing venues that typically host tribute bands, but I suppose it felt more like that line from Joel back in the heyday on the Comedy Central years– that ‘the right people’ were getting it, and that was sufficient. The simple fact of being around a group of like-minded people taking pleasure in a communal experience is a pretty appealing thing, really.

    *On the other hand, Joel made a reference to a description of Mikels as “Russ Meyer without the substance,” which got a good crowd reaction, so I guess they’re just trying to walk the line between entertaining neophytes and throwing red meat to addicts.

       0 likes

  • 10
    porp0ise says:

    We drove from Atlanta to see the show because we love Ted V. Mikels (and the riffers). Took a newbie with us and she laughed all the way thru and the next day I heard her tell at least three people that is was hilarious and the funniest thing she’s ever seen.
    I hope everyone got to see the Tom Servo and Crow T. the guy from Kansas City brought. They were made entirely of balloons.
    Although I don’t remember the set-up for these riffs I wrote down, they are stand-alone funny to me.
    “Welcome to the inside of Frank Conniff’s head.”
    “Doll Squad is kinda like his (Ted V’s) home movies.”
    ‘The Last Supper, performed entirely by Tom Jones impersonators.”
    Mary Jo: “This is like every shopping trip I ever took with my mother.”
    Mary Jo: “We forgot to put a driver inSIDE the car.”
    Frank: “There was a gun here the whole time?!”

       0 likes