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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Visit mst3k.com, the official site of Best Brains, Inc. and Mystery Science Theater 3000.

And be sure to visit Cinematic Titanic by Joel Hodgson and other original MST3K cast members.

And don't forget about rifftrax.com, the place to download DVD commentaries by Michael J. Nelson.

And check out the official web site of Joel Hodgson.

And also be sure to visit the official web site of Mary Jo Pehl.

Also also be sure to visit the official web site of Kevin Murphy.

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Update: Now available from RiffTrax…

TWOO2

Download it or see a sample here.

61 comments to Update: Now available from RiffTrax…

  • 1
    Remmie Barrow says:

    Is she asking him if corn is grass, or is he asking her?

       2 likes

  • 2
    Ralph C says:

    My Riff:

    Scarecrow: I was kicked out of the Knights Who Say Ni.

       6 likes

  • 3
    cityofvoltz says:

    How about a little fire scarecrow? This would make an EXCELLENT LIVE SHOW!

       2 likes

  • 4
    mst3ktemple says:

    I love this movie, but I have also riffed this with friends many times. It should be fantastic when done by the masters.

       5 likes

  • 5
    KidFlash25 says:

    @2: WB would either tell Rifftrax to stick it or make the cost of the rights so prohibitively high that it’s not worth it.

    They’re still making gobs of money off of the movie, as the 75th Anniversary promotions last fall proved.

       0 likes

  • 6

    As A kid, I don’t remember being as enthralled by The Wizard of Oz as so many obviously were. The flying monkeys must have gotten my attention, but if only the whole movie was that dark and urgent as that part of it. I remember viscerally disliking the cowardly lion and not being able to relate to the rest of them at all. So The Wizard of Oz is not sacred to me and I’d enjoy seeing it riffed. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

    cityofvoltz: Yeah, it would be cool if they could somehow make that happen. Doesn’t seem likely, but if they can get the rights to riff Twiligh- oh wait….

       5 likes

  • 7
    KidFlash25 says:

    Oops, I meant @3, obviously.

       1 likes

  • 8
    pondoscp says:

    Maybe they’re just getting ready to riff the new Oz?

       1 likes

  • 9
    SOLDaria says:

    @8 On the Facebook page they said it was a classic they were doing.

       1 likes

  • 10
    hortense says:

    Good! I hate, hate, hate this movie, I hope the riffing is enough for me to stand it again. (I do agree that the flying monkeys were pretty cool though)

       2 likes

  • 11
    EricJ says:

    @1 – And I’m not quite understanding the question either, but wondering what kind of “grass” they’re joking about.
    There’s been more and more fallback on what they think is their “reliable” new base audience as the core-MSTies grow older, and I didn’t think anything could be beneath RT, but this’s starting to be.

    As for TWOO–I’m sorry, you just can’t Oz-bash without officially sounding like an Oz-obsessed Friend of Judy. Even the standard jokes are too old by now, and officially taken over by John Waters on the Warner DVD documentaries. The joke, like It’s a Wonderful Life, used to be that we were danged sick of seeing it on TV, and now…they don’t show it on TV so much anymore, so only the film buffs watch it on disk. Frown
    This is more in the category of “Windmills we can tilt at because we think we can!”, like when it was October and they tried to heckle the Carpenter Halloween.

       1 likes

  • 12
    mst3ktemple says:

    I still wish they would riff Zardoz.

       3 likes

  • 13
    Goshzilla says:

    Honestly, why would you even comment on this post if you don’t recognize “Is corn grass?” It’s like commenting on an article about today’s Broncos/Chargers game and asking “This is basketball, right?”

       9 likes

  • 14
    ck says:

    Alright, I’ll ask. What does “Is corn grass?” refer to?
    A movie, marijuana? I don’t recall any quote from the great
    classic movie The Wizard of Oz where someone says that.

       2 likes

  • 15
    JeremyR says:

    I’ve never actually seen the whole thing. I tried watching it as a kid and the flying monkeys scared the heck out of me and I couldn’t watch it any more.

    And never watched it again.

       1 likes

  • 16
    Creepygirl says:

    @ck #14

    It is from the AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: GRASSES short. It was played before the REEFER MADNESS Rifftrax Live.

    I guess you didn’t go.

       12 likes

  • 17
    Basil says:

    Mike and Kevin and Bill. Oh my!

       6 likes

  • 18
    wylliam says:

    Sampo, we’ve never met but you can add me to that list – I’ve never seen the movie. (Strangely enough, I’ll gladly watch crap like Jaws 3 over and over.)

       1 likes

  • 19
    Of No Account says:

    As someone from Kansas, this movie has always irked me. Everywhere I go, they see the Kansas license plates & start making all these WoO references. Believe it or not, there’s more to Kansas than WoO (like the world’s largest prairie dog!).
    So, RIFF AWAY!! Normally, I’m not a fan of the more venomous riffing, but I’ll make an exception for this. The only marginally likeable character is the dog…

    @14 & 16 – The short is also available by itself. I highly recommend it, and it’s companion At Your Fingertips: Boxes.

       3 likes

  • 20
    GornCaptain says:

    @19 Shouldn’t you be blaming the very late Mister L. Frank Baum for that? After all, the book came first. Wink

    The movie is a classic of course, but the ending has always bugged me since I was a kid. Especially since the novel does not cop out, and make Dorothy’s adventures the result of severe concussion. Not to mention the whole plot point that put Toto in jeopardy to begin with is unresolved at the end of the film! Now I often imagine Ms. Gulch showing up with the sheriff in tow after the credits roll. Poor Toto!

    Once you’ve seen what the Scarecrow is carrying when they’re off to kill the witch, (they didn’t debate much about going through with it, did they?) you realize what a dark twisted movie it really is under the surface. Forget the hanging munchkin myth. Wink

       4 likes

  • 21
    Dan in WI says:

    I’m not much of a Wizard of Oz type but I do see the potential for this riffing. My question to the Ozfiles: How many cuts exist at this point? Are we going to have to struggle to makes sure we rent the proper version so there are no syncing problems?

       2 likes

  • 22
    ck says:

    #20 Totally agree. The movie is a classic, and the part with the guards marching and
    singing around the castle and the flying monkeys was really scary as a child, but making
    it be a dream was absurd, and made baum’s sequels silly (did Dorothy keep having
    concussions?). Of course, it could be seen as some sort of bizarre forecast of the
    Dallas tv Bobby Ewing “it was all a dream” of an entire season when the star came
    back to the show. Then again, there’s the neat ending of the second Bob Newhart Show (the
    one set in a B&B in new England.

    Was the Hayes code a cause of the ending of Oz (it being a dream?). have to keep our
    boys and girls minds pure! It’s not like they had Jane and Tarzan swimming
    freely underwater.

       2 likes

  • 23
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    I haven’t seen this movie in years, so this’ll be interesting.

    And I still think they should try “Gone with the Wind” and/or “Citizen Kane”. Classics, yes, but the riffing potential is certainly there.

       3 likes

  • 24
    MattK says:

    I heard if you play the RiffTrax while watching Wizard of Oz…they TOTALLY match up!

    I wonder if they will say “start the track after the lion’s third roar. Would work both as instructions and a nod to the “Dark Side of the Rainbow” phenomenon.

       13 likes

  • 25
    snowdog says:

    @24, the challenge is going to be getting “Dark Side” AND Rifftrax synced to the movie. Looking forward to Friday.

       4 likes

  • 26
    EricJ says:

    @16 – Er….guess not.

    @20 – Yes, forget it–Thanks to the miracle of Warner’s astounding Blu restoration, you can not only see the “hangee” is actually an African crowned crane, if you pay attention, you can even see the attention-struck feathered ham try to steal scenes in the background and show off its wings just before the Tin Man’s song. Never worked for MGM again.

    @24 – Dark Side is already on YouTube, and FWIW, when done correctly, Floyd and Oz do synch up rather scarily. (Particularly in the twister scene and end of the Munchkin scene):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gXvVUg-VAE

       1 likes

  • 27
    pondoscp says:

    @9 I meant riffing the original in preparation for riffing the new one eventually

       1 likes

  • 28
    mst3ktemple says:

    I grew up watching the Wizard of Oz every year on TV. It was a real family event. Dad made popcorn and the three kids sat in an arc in front of the TV. The funny thing looking back is that we didn’t have a color TV until I was about 9 or 10. That really added a lot to the experience.

       3 likes

  • 29
    Garza says:

    Oz never did give nothin’ to the tin man that he didn’t, didn’t already have

       10 likes

  • 30
    pondoscp says:

    They could just take all the sound bites from all of the MST3K episodes where an Oz reference was made and attach them to the movie, and viola, instant Rifftrax (with guest stars)!

       2 likes

  • 31
    Really Deep Man says:

    @29. You’re a great AMERICAn…

       0 likes

  • 32
    Gummo says:

    EricJ at #11:

    Yes, how dare they move on! They should stay stuck in the 90s with you!

    You may not like it, but Mike, Kevin & Bill have built a wonderful body of work as Rifftrax and yes, that even includes some running gags (which I’m sure you loved when they used’em at MST).

    And yes, they take chances sometimes, even try new things (riffing Casablanca, fer instance). They don’t always work but at least they’re trying to stretch their creative muscles and keep it fresh.

    I have no patience for Misties like you, who I think would be happier if everyone involved with the show just disappeared when it went off the air. Instead, you’re here complaining about a product NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO BUY.

    Geez, what’s the point?

       24 likes

  • 33
    Luther Heggs aka Number 6 says:

    Some films can be successfully riffed. Others, simply cannot be used as the appropriate raw material. Sadly, film is the latter.

    I cannot imagine any possible world or outcome in which riffing “Night Of The Scarecrow” is a wise move for RiffTrax.

    They’ve gotten a little too big for their britches this time.

    So sad. So very sad.

       2 likes

  • 34
    Luther Heggs aka Number 6 says:

    correction: Sadly, THIS film is the latter.

       2 likes

  • 35
    Dan in WI says:

    I for one enjoyed the Casablanca riff. As they explained many times about that one, it becomes more of a celebrity roast than a snarky riff and there is nothing wrong with that.
    So in conclusion your mileage may vary when good movies are riffed but like Gummo says no one is forcing to buy this. So if it isn’t your thing then live and let live.

       10 likes

  • 36
    radioman970 says:

    Oz? no no no… Frown

    Like Lord of the Rings, I couldn’t see me wasting a viewing of Oz or a very long list of some of my other favs of all time with the RT gang. With that said, the Jurassic Park w/ Mike & Weird Al was hysterical. They should bring Al back for the sequels.

    Anyway, passing… but I will watch a clip when they post it just to see what they’ve done. Ultimately, I’d like them to kick up the bad movies more. There are huge huge huge huge HUGE stacks they haven’t touched.

    Terror in the Jungle. (1968) Look that one up! I have a long history with it… couldn’t remember the title, looked forever, and a month ago I finally found it.
    Warriors of the Wasteland. (1983) pre-Escape 2000. A blast and a half! All that’s missing is Toblerone!

    If I had the time…. the list would be longer.

    No Oz… cancel it. thumbs down booooOOOOooooooo…! hisssSSSSeee hiSSSSSssSSSS hisss hisssssss….!

       2 likes

  • 37
    Patrick says:

    “Is Corn Grass” is a popular joke from a previous Rifftrax live event. I think it was the Reefer Madness live telecast. There was a short called “At your fingertips – Grass”, which asked the question, “Is corn grass” and then never answered the question. This caused Mike, Keven and Bill much consternation.

    It’s always funny when you explain a joke in great detail.

       9 likes

  • 38
    radioman970 says:

    I remember that short! Great one. I think my fav of the shorts of theirs I bought.

       2 likes

  • 39
    mstgator says:

    @21: As far as I know, all official DVD and Blu-Ray copies are the same cut. So as long as you don’t try to sync up with, say, a copy taped off CBS in 1980 you should be fine.

       2 likes

  • 40
    ben says:

    Makes sense… it seems like Joel quoted from this movie almost every mst3k episode he ever did…

       2 likes

  • 41
    crudbonemeal says:

    @36 They have in fact riffed “Warriors of the Wasteland” and it was really well done.

       6 likes

  • 42
    Creeping-Death says:

    @36: The Casablanca, LOTR and original Star Wars movies are all more geeky fanboyish riffs than snarky ones about the movie being terrible. Some or all of them have acknowledged those movies as being good and they liked those. I bet this one will be like them, also.

       3 likes

  • 43
    Gummo says:

    My only problem when RT riffs good movies is that the movies pull me in and I end up wanting the guys to shut up so I can watch the movie! So I haven’t watched many of the “good movie” riffs.

    But I did give Casablanca a try and will probably check Oz out as well, just to see what they do with a film that EVERYONE knows, down to the last detail.

       3 likes

  • 44
    little winged potatoes says:

    Why do these threads bring out the contrarians?

    I can’t wait to see this.

    Courage!

       19 likes

  • 45
    Luther Heggs aka Number 6 says:

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t stop thinking about this.

    It’s a decent horror film. It was low budget, but interesting. If you play Buck Owens’ second album when the film credits begin, there are several coinciding pitchfork stabbing deaths with the music.

    I need an UNLIKE button.

    Leave Night of the Scarecrow alone!

       3 likes

  • 46
    crowschmo says:

    Hah – even as a kid, I knew that thing in the tree was a bird.

       1 likes

  • 47
    pondoscp says:

    I can’t come back, I don’t know how it works! Good night, folks!

       5 likes

  • 48
    radioman970 says:

    2 cents.

    Oz turns me into an 8 yr old in 1970 something, snuggling with momma in a warm comfy chair watching my favorite Scarecrow being pulled apart by ****-my-pants scary flying monkeys, etc… and it’s a few weeks before Christmas and we’re watching it together by a warm fire and I’m safe and the world is safe outside and Dad is at the factory working for the man and… oh wait… forget that last part. It’s all great give me a time machine NOW! The point is, Oz is very close to my heart and I absolutely cannot watch Oz without weeping out chunks of nostalgia.

    MST3K isn’t quite on that level but it has its own nostalgia for me that can bring elation on even the worse days. The show means a lot to me. Just like I wouldn’t want to sit there and watch people **** all over me and momma’s moment above, I wouldn’t want that thing for MST3K. Imagine somebody rubbing you the wrong way with pokes and jibes at MST3K…?

    I’m in the group that has Oz above this sort of thing. I’d like to be the one who could watch the gang do their thing, (and I even sat here a bit to consider it…) but it just isn’t right for me. As I said before, how am I going to use a periodic viewing of #2 in my Top 2 most beloved films list watching a group of guys I love and respect poke fun? Like someone else said, some of us get tired of hearing them talk during the movie! Sounding like those silly kids before MST3K became popular, “you guys talk too much during the movie!!” But those were bad movies, and Oz is not. It’s a beloved classic. Even if RT is going to ease up on the mocking low blows for this… it means too much. I won’t watch.

    But…others can carry on… I’ll sit this one out outside of a single clip for curiosity. If that clip can sell me it’ll have to be beyond any thing I’ve seen done by the RT gang.

       2 likes

  • 49
    radioman970 says:

    Well, the clip is up. No denying, there are some funnies there for those who want it. But I’ll pass.

       0 likes

  • 50
    bad wolf says:

    Well, they’ve done it before, but it is weird to riff a movie that is itself the source of many movie riffs.

       2 likes

  • 51
    Dr. Frankenkeister says:

    I will give anything the Rifftrax crew does a whirl and see if I like it or not. Just like there are certain episodes of MST that I like more than others or some Bond movies that I like better than others or some kinds of Jolly Ranchers I like more than others, but I digress.

    Now like an above poster already mentioned, if Rifftrax is looking for another venerated Hollywood classic, then they should most certainly sharpen their verbal machetes and take down Gone With The Wind. If a film begs and pleads to be riffed, it would be this one. An overblown, overpraised, overlong epic without a protagonist character arc. The character actors are great and Olivia DeHaviland would have been a preferred heroine. Scarlett is one of the worst characters one has to endure. I’ve never felt as sorry for Gable for being stuck in this dreck.

    Ah venting over. What were we talking about? Something about Dr. Oz joining the Wizards or something?

       3 likes

  • 52
    Depressing Aunt says:

    #44 Are you Dan Rather? Wink

    I remember having nightmares about that wicked green witch, and my mom told me, “Margaret Hamilton is a nice lady. She played the witch, and you don’t have to be afraid of her.” I was so young, I took it to mean that my mom had, at one point, been good friends with the actress.

    This whole thing has made me a little bit curious. And I would love the option to watch this–along with VODs I’ve already bought–on my Kindle Fire, but for some reason I can no longer watch VODs on it. Rifftrax made a change awhile back, and it’s not compatible with my gizmo now. So I think the only option left is to pour strawberry wine coolers on my trusty old desktop computer until it dies, then buy a laptop.

       3 likes

  • 53
    David Mello says:

    I took the plunge this morning, and it’s surprising how much material the Rifftrax gang generated from this movie. Here’s my review: http://impalergeneral.blogspot.com/2014/01/were-off-to-riff-wizard-riffable-wizard.html

       1 likes

  • 54
    littleaimishboy says:

    Carol Burnett took care of “Gone with the Wind” a long time ago.
    Here’s hoping RT won’t embarrass themselves by trying to do it better.

       3 likes

  • 55
    Duane Zykov says:

    It appears that Munchkin Ruth Robinson Duccini died yesterday at 95. This means there’s only one surviving Munchkin left, and that’s Jerry Maren. (He was also in “Terror of Tiny Town”, the infamous 1938 midget western directed by Sam “Mad Monster/Rock Climbing/he accuses his parents/RADAR” Newfield.)

       0 likes

  • 56
    radioman970 says:

    @54. I agree… . The “I saw it in the window” line left us rolling back in the day. Grin

       2 likes

  • 57
    Green Switch says:

    They did an awesome job with the Oz RiffTrax.

    People who are actively looking very hard for something to complain about will undoubtedly find something to complain about here.

    For everyone else, this is pure fun. Keep doing what you do, RiffTrax!

       9 likes

  • 58
    pondoscp says:

    Someone is going to watch the Rifftrax version of “The Wizard Of Oz” having never seen the movie before. What an odd experience that must be. I wonder if it’s happened yet.

       1 likes

  • 59
    Ptomreeves says:

    The wizard of who?

       0 likes

  • 60
    Derek says:

    @58, I had caught bits and pieces of it on TV, and basically knew the whole thing from MST3k references, but I probably would have gone my entire life without sitting down and watching the whole thing if it hadn’t been for Rifftrax. That being said, I see it quickly becoming one of my favorite trax that I’m sure I’ll revisit multiple times.

       2 likes

  • 61
    Gummo says:

    I can’t believe what a great job they did with this. At points I was laughing so hard I couldn’t see.

    I really don’t know how they managed it. It shouldn’t have been possible!

       1 likes