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Joel Spills the Beans on the “Unnamed Christmas Movie”

In a podcast last week, Trace said the movie they would be riffing in St. Louis Saturday night would be “an unnamed Christmas movie.” He also said that the Titans were considering the notion of re-riffing movies that had been MSTed on MST3K. But who would have guessed he was talking about the same movie?

Turns out he was: Joel announced today that the movie to be riffed in the St. Louis show will be non other than “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” riffed by Joel and the team in season 3! Sez Joel:

This edition has completely different riffs from our MST3K version and also features several bonus minutes of the original movie that weren’t featured in the MST version. We thought it would be a cool experiment to see what revisiting a movie after all these years would produce. Not to brag, but it’s likely to be the riff-jam of the year!

A DVD version of this new take on SCCTM will be released Thursday, Nov. 20. They’ll also be selling holiday e-cards.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph in Illinois previews the upcoming Cinematic Titanic show.

49 Replies to “Joel Spills the Beans on the “Unnamed Christmas Movie””

  1. majorjoe23 says:

    I just ordered the Essentials set so I can see the original. Looks like I’ll be watching it twice now.


  2. Chris Waters says:

    I wonder if this opens the possibilities of Joel riffing on some movies that were Mike-era movies…


  3. Mac says:

    I can hardly wait. This should be awesome.


  4. I hope its a better print this time.


  5. outmywindow says:

    Hmm, Droppo single-handedly kills SCCTM for me (despite all the wonderful riffing), so if I were going to the St. Louis show I’d be a little mixed.

    …Of course, that wouldn’t stop me from attending and being thrilled to be in the presence of CT!


  6. big61al says:

    So will the dvd be of the live show or in studio??


  7. MeMyselfandI says:

    NICE!! This will be bought the moment it comes out. :grin:


  8. Steve K says:

    It will be interesting to compare the two.

    Joel also mentioned that it’s now been 1 year since they started CT. Counting BOTV and SCCTM as done, that means they’ve done 6 movies in one year. By my calculations, they’ll have to continue for 83 more years to get all 500 done. :shock:

    Here’s hoping medical science makes that possible… :mrgreen:


  9. Preston P says:

    This is interesting, and it honestly could be funnier than the original, but it just won’t be the same without “Patrick Swayze Christmas”.


  10. Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk says:

    “By my calculations, they’ll have to continue for 83 more years to get all 500 done.”

    If they were greedy, they could go the Rifftrax route and reach that number in 10 years. Of course the humor level wouldn’t be as high, but who cares when the fanboys eat it up?


  11. H says:

    Very excited. And I think they’d at least be open to a verse of Patrick Swayze Christmas, so have to see what happens.


  12. MikeK says:

    It might be funny, but it’s not going to be the same without the host segments.


  13. Bob says:

    And is there a DVD release date for Blood of the Vampires? The live show was so great, I’m anxious to see it again on DVD.


  14. The Mouka says:

    This seems pretty weak to me– as in Joel and co. go “back to the well” instead of working to find new material. This may be the one CT release I bail on.


  15. Jason says:

    Hey, Jesus Thinks You’re A Jerk — do I need to patrol all of the comment threads to call you out on your trolling? DUDE, YOU ARE A LAME TROLL. YOU CONTRIBUTE NOTHING TO THE BOARDS.


  16. losingmydignity says:

    My first reaction is disappointment. I can’t think of a case of someone “remaking” their own material that worked. Okay, maybe Hitchcock doing “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Maybe there have been a few cases…hmmm. But this doesn’t excite me at all. There are so many other films to riff on and the first Santa is just an okay ep in my book…nah, I wanted Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny….


  17. Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk says:

    Hey Jason, get a clue — RIFFTRAX SUX!


  18. mdwileygrl says:

    I think this will be fab! SCCTM is such a truly horrific film that it should be a riffing gold mine no matter how many times it’s been done before. Plus, to me, Joel and Trace et al. can do no wrong…there’s always something funny to be found somewhere! And I look forward to hearing Mary Jo’s take on some of this dreck – she’s just hilarious, her delivery just slays me.


  19. Bri says:

    I always thought they should retro-riff some of the “lost” KTMA era episodes that were not already redone in later MST3K seasons i.e. The Green Slime(in toto), Phase IV, Su-Maru, etc. That way it would be sort of like ….getting the the originals only better , if you know what I mean.


  20. MSTJon says:

    #13, I’m pretty sure I read that Blood of the Vampires will be released early ’09.
    I’ve mixed feelings about SCCTM. I think another pass should end up with a better product, but there really has to be another Christmas film to do. This an example of public domain calling the shots?


  21. Captain Cab says:

    Man, as awesome as the Minneapolis show was, I am very envious of the St. Louis fans now! Very interesting decision and I look forward to hearing reviews on the new riffs. Wonder if they’d be willing to subject themselves to Manos again? ;)

    Oh, and JesusTYAJ, just wondering. Are you by any chance a joylous, humorless cretin who hates life?


  22. losingmydignity says:

    Re Bri # 19

    I agree…there’s nothing I would like to see more than a full version of Green Slime (one of my fav movies of all time) but it is unlikely. MGM owns the rights and they haven’t even been able to release any MSTed MGM titles yet. So…


  23. TheUnabeefer says:

    My request for a redo is SST Death Flight.


  24. Teenage Cavegirl says:

    Awesome!!! I’m so jealous of everyone going to St. Louis. I cannot wait to see this!


  25. John Seavey says:

    I recall asking about whether they’d go back and re-riff old films at DragonCon a few months back; I didn’t think they’d do it this quick, though. :)

    On the one hand, it’s going to be hard to top the MST3K version. That’s a genuine classic of the series (I watch it every Christmas.) On the other hand, different times and different riffers should produce an interesting take on a movie so bad that there are probably a dozen ways to go with any given moment. :)


  26. Torgover says:

    I know I’m putting my hopes up or whatever, but I would love it if Kevin Murphy came to join in on this if its the “actual original Season 3 crew” Come on Guys!!! Get together and do this stuff! But I guess its a conflict of interest…


  27. Queen Shadowrama says:

    @ Torgover:

    That would be really cool, but unfortunately this episode has already been filmed as it’s set to come out in November. So there’s nothing that they could do at this point even if they were willing to add a guest riffer…

    Ah well. Maybe later down the road. :grin:


  28. crowschmo says:

    Oh, I am SO getting this! I loved SCCM the first time around, and it will be very interesting to see what new stuff they come up with, and if they do any call backs to the original just for fun. :mrgreen:

    (Maybe Rifftrax should redo Santa Claus?) :wink:


  29. countrybat says:

    If they’re redoing Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, now they need to redo Manos, and I’d love to hear Joel and the rest riff on some Mike films, especially seasons 8-10.


  30. MattG says:

    As tempting as it may be to start a list of “Ooh, do this one! And that one!” when it comes to MSTed movies, maybe the Titans could go after sequels to MSTed movies that weren’t on MST3K. Aren’t there sequels to Time Chasers and Hobgoblins supposedly in the works? There are at least two other Deathstalker movies out there (since Warriors From Hell was #3 in the series). There have to be others.


  31. The Professor says:

    I just don’t know what to think of this. In theory, it’s a nice idea to re-visit movies they’ve already done but why mess with a classic episode? It’s like re-makes of older films. If the original version is a highly regarded, why do it again? They need to dig into the KTMA and Season 1 episodes. Robot Monster, Phase IV, and City on Fire could certainly use re-dos. Heck, why not go back The Crawling Eye?

    Honestly, i don’t really think they are ready to try and out-do MST3K episodes yet. Take it slow, guys. Plenty of movies in the public domain.


  32. Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk says:

    “(Maybe Rifftrax should redo Santa Claus?)”

    The only thing Rifftrax should redo is their decision to **** out low-quality “entertainment”. If they just honed their craft and worked on one movie a month, I think their output would be so much better. Honestly, it surprises me that so many people support Rifftrax after their price increased twice even though the quality remained so low.


  33. majorjoe23 says:

    Hmm, never heard that before.


  34. Professor Gunther says:

    This professor agrees with The Professor (#32). There’s something about revisiting older material that isn’t sitting right with me (except for maybe KTMA and Season 1 episodes). Just my opinion, though.


  35. MikeK says:

    I wonder what else they can glean from this movie that can still be funny? The only thing new about this is that Josh Weinstein is contributing to the riffing of SCCTM.


  36. Bobo "BuckDat" Briggs says:

    I had my doubts but Santa Conquers is exactly what came to my mind when Trace made the “Or Have I?” comment in the podcast. He made it so obvious but it seemed too good to be true.


  37. Matty-O says:

    Hmmmm :???: I don’t know about this one. I want to be supportive of the CT crew, but going over ground that’s been covered before? It just seems wrong and kind of cheesy to me. Especially given how well known the MST3K riffing of SCCTM is, (I’m guessing that at least 80% of us here already own the Essentials DVD, and 99%+ of all Misties have seen it at least once). Personally I think Bri (#19) is on the right track in thinking that if they’re going to re-do older movies, it should be from their lesser know material, from the KTMA days.


  38. Steve Vil says:

    Well, think about it. In the interview with the gang on the new dvd’s they say that they make hundreds and hundreds of jokes per writing session but only about 10% actually make it into the episode. This means that they could probably do 3 or 4 versions of the same movie all with different jokes. I don’t see any reason why anyone should think revisiting MST movies is a bad idea at all. Actually, it seems like a shrewd move- get the MSTies who were on the fence about CT interested by doing an old MST movie in a new way. My curiosity is piqued!

    And hey, “Jesus Thinks You’re A Jerk”- didn’t your mother ever teach you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all? You know, unless you’re riffing movies…


  39. pablum says:

    Re-riffing a movie? I’m not sold on the idea since I would suspect the cave of riffs had been thoroughly mined the first time. Perhaps if it was a Mike-era movie like 521 Santa Claus it would be more interesting, but I guess I’ll wait and see like everybody else.

    I’d be far more interested in the CT group riffing sequels/prequels to MST3K movies like the rest of the Ator (Cave Dwellers to MSTies) flicks. Or even the rest of Master Ninja.


  40. Captain Cab says:

    What pablum and others have said. SCCtM redo is interesting but it’d be even better if they did treatments to sequels within MST’ied series such as Ator/Cave Dwellers, Master Ninja eps (were there more than 4?) more Deathstalker flicks, ect. But I assume many MST’ied series aren’t public domain which is CT’s main focus.


  41. R.A. Roth says:

    #24: Exactly! If they are going to retread old ground, pick the early MST3Ks that didn’t exactly work, like most of Season One. Damn, if those aren’t just raw and unwatchable. For example, the seven hundred “smoking” comments in “The Crawling Hand”. It’s like they were thinking up time killers vs. jokes. But SCCTM? That one works as is and needn’t be revisited.



  42. Smog Monster says:

    Re-riffing????? Was the movie THAT hilarious??? I mean really …


  43. Smog Monster says:

    Hey! A second chance to riff on that weird pink-roomed senior martian … they were too nice to him the first time ’round …


  44. Joseph Nebus says:

    A friend attended the Cinematic Titanic live show last night and reported they did Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. He reported that “I think it was still good” (it must be understood my friend is very reluctant to admit to liking anything, so this should be read as closer to “it was incredibly fantastic”), and that they did the full-length movie rather than the TV cut.

    The previously unriffed footage, as he recalled, was primarily more of the “terrible model of the Martian spacecraft”, which was made fun of, and some scenes of the Air Force attempting to intercept the Martians, which offered a pretext for some John McCain jokes.

    I told him he should write up a fuller trip report, but he hasn’t yet, and probably he won’t, but I tried.


  45. Graboidz says:

    SCCTM might be a neat one-time experiment, but I hope CT avoids re-riffing MST3K flix. God knows the film vaults are stuffed with lousy movies they could pick apart. Why not go after that lousy Dudley Moore “Santa Claus The Movie” or “Jingle All The Way” if they’re jonesing to do a holiday flick?


  46. Kitty Reed says:

    CT is pushing the envelope here. I can’t speak for all fans, but this one will buy it. I am a total sucker for this stuff.

    But a little backlash may be forthcoming from re-issuing very successful episodes. Is there a better riff than ‘Lentils!’ ?

    I agree with some posts above, a re-do of KTMA episodes is differently a good idea.


  47. andrewj says:

    Cinematic Titanic is re-riffing SCCTM.

    Does that mean I can pay them with a Xerox of my last check to them?


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