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Rifftrax: What did you think?

An open thread to discuss tonight’s live show. Let us know about turnout, response and about any technical glitches.

24 Replies to “Rifftrax: What did you think?”

  1. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Greg!!!

       3 likes

  2. Ern Darnpath says:

    GARY

       6 likes

  3. My brother and I went to the screening (our first RiffTrax Live event) at the AMC Promenade in Woodland Hills, CA. In an auditorium with a marked capacity of 97, there were maybe about fifteen of us in the screening. There were a couple of minor glitches near the beginning, but nothing that really interfered with the movie.

    As for the movie (and riff) itself, well…

    “Star Raiders” marks the only time I’ve seriously considered walking out of a movie. it wasn’t horrendously bad so much as deathly dull. For a movie that clocks in at less than an hour and twenty minutes, it takes way too long to get going. The riffing seemed to reflect this, as it seemed like maybe half the jokes really landed. Once the action starts really picking up, more than an hour in, the jokes were getting better and coming faster.

    My brother has remarked to the effect that some movies tend to offer more and better material for riffing than others. When it comes to “Star Raiders”, there were moments when it felt like they were trying to find something funny to say as if just to fill the time.

    I should say the short, “Values: Telling the Truth”, was okay and had what I thought were the two best lines; interestingly, they were lines of dialogue and not riffs. Our story-teller says both “Boys usually enjoy stones” and “Look at their bulging pockets”, both of which got bigger laughs than the riffs on them.

       4 likes

  4. CaptainSpam says:

    GARY!!!!!

    One look at the opening space fight and I was distracted the rest of the movie trying to find artifacts of greenscreening actors onto CGI. At least, I’m using that as my excuse why I couldn’t for the life of me figure out just what the evil plan was here. Like, I know it’s ultimately “take over universe”, but there’s some power… thing? That Calliope and prince what’s-his-name have? Can do? Can sing? I guess the prince needs to be a part of this in some way, but so does the princess? And was she brainwashed or just a betrayer of her people? That explanation must’ve gotten lost between the swordfighting, the Evil Dark Scarycastle™ in the middle of nowhere, the villain’s monster henchmen, the wisecracking hero and his ragtag team of… of…

    Hey, wait! We just watched Krull again, didn’t we? Only without quite so much charm.

    Anyway, a fine show. I still don’t know what that short was supposed to teach us about telling the truth. Decent crowd at the Mountain View Century Cinemas, too. Even had that one person in the audience carrying a Tom Servo.

       6 likes

  5. The Bolem says:

    Well, Octoman was the first RT live show that left me thankful I’d never seen the feature unriffed before; Star Raiders just left me impressed that 2 audience members shown in line at the end had actually seen it far enough in advance to do accurate cosplay.

    But while OM’s boredom came of starting with a high-concept/low-budget monster suit and then added 90% more padding until it was feature-length, the boredom of SR came from a bland formulaic-ness that afflicts so many D-grade movies today. Sure, it had an opening battle and pivotal betrayal that both failed to make much sense because too little had been established beforehand, and an ending that made you realize, “Oh, okay, THAT fight we just saw was the climactic final battle, gotcha,” but no Hitler-Buildings or “Suddenly…there was no monster” moments to give MK&B true insanity and inexplicable weirdness to play off of. And even if there were, I fear the genericness? genericitude? of the proceedings might have just smothered any potentially iconic moments anyway.

    It was still a fun night and all, solid enough riffing with no technical snafus so far this year (except for 1 or 2 riffs drowned out by sound from the movie), but I just can’t shake this feeling that they need to tweak their approach to these recent movies just a bit going forward to squeeze out all the potential hilarity. Still, the only specific spot I can say needed an absent riff would be a Masters Of The Universe movie reference when the still-masked overlord fellow was introducing those 3 minor villains.

    My favorite riff was probably the Civil War letter bit when we first see our hero planetside: “I fear mah career has taken a most tragic turn…” The half-sunglasses also made for the best string of riffs in recent memory.

    The short worked well enough too, but the open ending for grade-school class discussion couldn’t help but remind me of “Why Doesn’t Cathy Eat Breakfast?” which for my money will likely never be topped as the greatest educational short I’ve ever seen riffed.

    So in summary, another funny-enough live show with an old college friend I only seem to see at these events, that left us both hoping this leads to more genuine hilarity in years to come.

       5 likes

  6. I just discovered thanks to IMDb that our director, Mark Steven Grove, also played our erstwhile transport pilot.

       3 likes

  7. noplot says:

    Nearly full theater in Cedar Hills, Oregon, outside Portland. Good response to the slides as well as the films. The short fell into that in-between type between the ones teaching you only one way to do things (think “A Date with Your Family”) from the 1950s and ones from the 1970s (think “Join Hands, Let Go”) that didn’t teach anything much at all. Learned almost as much about cement mixing than about telling the truth, though.

    Oh boy, the film…even at barely 80 minutes it seemed rather long with a plot that never really came together. Add in a cast of unknowns (except for Casper van Dien, who needs a better agent) and special effects that might have passed muster during the Bush administration (no, the earlier one) and it was ripe for some good riffing. I’ve enjoyed some others more, but this was pretty good. Looking forward to August and the Giant Spider Invasion.

       2 likes

  8. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Back to the Regal Commerce in New Brunswick, NJ for this one. There was an OK turnout, and I didn’t have to go remind the theater manager about the pre-show. No technical problems, either.
    The pre-show title cards were funny, as always, and I thought the riffing was good. The short was OK, and I was glad the cat was smart enough to get away from the rock-obsessed kids. As for the movie, I think it wasn’t so much a “movie” as it was a simultaneous set-up for both a “Star Raiders: The Beginning” prequel and “Star Raiders II” sequel. I really had no idea of what the heck was going on. The only good thing I can say is that I hope the actors enjoyed the filming and put their paychecks to good use.

    By the way, it is just me or did Raine’s ship look kind of like the Liberator from “Blake’s 7”? The recent passing of Paul Darrow put me in that mindset.

       2 likes

  9. bartcow says:

    About half full theater in Durham, more than some others I’ve attended, which was nice to see (I want the theater to keep showing them). As previously stated, the short and movie were fine. Several good laughs and chuckles throughout (the boys weighing themselves down with stones so the cement guy would have an easier time hunting them later; GARY!). The end credits theme song by Kevin was also a hit (we walked out humming it). All in all a good time, and so much better with more people in the room.

    Side note: I’ve begun to realize that the best movies for riffing are the ones that would be ridiculous and laughable on their own (a sort of WTF-ness, if you will). Birdemic, Manos, The Wild Wild World of Batwoman, and The Room are all good examples. Movies that are just sort of goofy or plot heavy or with SyFy-grade special effects are just OK. Star Raiders exemplifies this, as it was just sort of dull and confusing on its own. Until the GARY! riffs started coming, my 13 year old was getting restless. I still liked it, though. Not sure how many times I would rewatch, though.

       2 likes

  10. Colossus Prime says:

    6 maybe 7 here in Menomonee Falls, WI, usual turn out since I moved to the area has been around 18-20, so weird dip in attendance. Still really enjoyed the show. Casper Van Dien is one of those actors I am shocked isn’t a bigger thing. Not necessarily top tier, but certainly shouldn’t be slumming it. There’s another recent crap movie he’s in called Grimm Avengers (shock, it’s an Asylum film) and he is acting circles around everyone.

    Did anyone else feel like most of the pre-show cards were laser focused (in a good way)? As in the joke was so specific you either 100% get it or absolutely do not. Example: Jonah Hill is in talks to star as “Midvale School for the Gifted” Kid in the big screen The Far Side adaptation.
    Which then had the follow up of: (Andy Serkis will play the Four Cow Tools)

       1 likes

  11. Didn’t mention this in my previous post, but there were a couple of moments where I almost fell asleep in the theater. Hate to say, but I think it’s kind of soured me a little on RiffTrax Live events. i don’t regret going, but I don’t know if I’d do it again.

       1 likes

  12. Sitting Duck says:

    Poor Gary. He gets killed at least twice, maybe three times. At least that woman from Space Mutiny only had to die once.

    I was rather surprised that the main feature was so short, especially since they started a half hour earlier than they usually do. it was like the screenwriter forgot to write the third act.

    Thomas Mossman:
    I just discovered thanks to IMDb that our director, Mark Steven Grove, also played our erstwhile transport pilot.

    Might explain why character really didn’t serve much of a purpose.

    Kenneth Morgan:
    By the way, it is just me or did Raine’s ship look kind of like the Liberator from “Blake’s 7”?The recent passing of Paul Darrow put me in that mindset.

    Now that you mention it, it does kind of.

       1 likes

  13. Joseph Klemm says:

    CaptainSpam:
    GARY!!!!!

    I guess the prince needs to be a part of this in some way, but so does the princess?And was she brainwashed or just a betrayer of her people?

    More than likely Calliope’s the latter. After she learned the truth about her race, she more than likely sided with Sinjin and, taking advantage of her father’s impending death due to illness, probably helped set up the kidnapping of his brother in hopes that he would either join their cause as well or at least ensure that Sinjin has the means to control the weapon that can be used in his plot for revenge.

    Sitting Duck:

    I was rather surprised that the main feature was so short, especially since they started a half hour earlier than they usually do. it was like the screenwriter forgot to write the third act.

    Might explain why character really didn’t serve much of a purpose.

    On the short film time and it ending so soon: There’s a lot of things I wonder about the plans for this film, with one likely theory being that this was likely a pilot movie for a TV series that never got off the ground (with a lot of the unanswered elements being explained in later episodes).

    As for the transport pilot, I believe his purpose of the film was to the serve as the one pretty much wrecks Sinjin’s plan to ensure that Calliope to take the throne once her father dies, as he, while going through the first step of the process of how Sinjin creates his mooks, he manages to get a key to the cell containing him and the Prince, thus allowing him to escape, which in turn would allow Fade and her uncle to follow his orders rather than Calliope.

       0 likes

  14. mst3kme says:

    Speaking of Rifftrax Live shows, the short “Play Safe (Live Edition)” from “RiffTrax Live: The Five Doctors” is now available at Rifftrax.

    It’s a shocking experience. :-)

    https://www.rifftrax.com/play-safe-live-edition

    Keep circulating the MST3K vibes.

       8 likes

  15. sundaedriver says:

    Colossus Prime:
    6 maybe 7 here in Menomonee Falls, WI, usual turn out since I moved to the area has been around 18-20, so weird dip in attendance.Still really enjoyed the show. Casper Van Dien is one of those actors I am shocked isn’t a bigger thing. Not necessarily top tier, but certainly shouldn’t be slumming it. There’s another recent crap movie he’s in called Grimm Avengers (shock, it’s an Asylum film) and he is acting circles around everyone.

    Did anyone else feel like most of the pre-show cards were laser focused (in a good way)? As in the joke was so specific you either 100% get it or absolutely do not. Example: Jonah Hill is in talks to star as “Midvale School for the Gifted” Kid in the big screen The Far Side adaptation.
    Which then had the follow up of: (Andy Serkis will play the Four Cow Tools)

    Sadly, Marcus Theatres has a long history of technical problems with RiffTrax broadcasts. Every one I have attended in the last couple of years has been troubled. No sound, no picture, lights on full blast in the theater, etc.

    I love Rifftrax, but I cannot attend until Marcus fixes their problems.

       1 likes

  16. CaptainSpam says:

    Colossus Prime:
    Casper Van Dien is one of those actors I am shocked isn’t a bigger thing. Not necessarily top tier, but certainly shouldn’t be slumming it.

    Y’know, I honestly agree. The guy’s got some talent, definitely, and I’ll admit he’s got some on-screen charm. Just… better films for him, please. Might be interesting to see.

       3 likes

  17. IR5 says:

    Lansing, MI- about 125 folks. After time to reflect, I’d say this may have been one of Rifftrax’s finest hours. A perfect film for riffing. Granted, I’m a sucker for Space operas (frequent Fugitive Alien, Starcrash, Space Mutiny viewings). A great experience. I hope they rush the VOD to market so I can watch it again.

       2 likes

  18. Colossus Prime says:

    sundaedriver: Sadly, Marcus Theatres has a long history of technical problems with RiffTrax broadcasts.Every one I have attended in the last couple of years has been troubled.No sound, no picture, lights on full blast in the theater, etc.

    I love Rifftrax, but I cannot attend until Marcus fixes their problems.

    Luckily I have never had any problems at any of the 3 Marcus theaters I’ve gone to regularly (North Shore, Ridge, Menomonee Falls) and I’ve gone to every RiffTrax live since Birdemic. Except once when they started late because the movie before it let out a little late, but all on their own they rewound the feed the two minutes or so to the start of the program.

       0 likes

  19. Kenneth Morgan says:

    mst3kme:
    Speaking of Rifftrax Live shows, the short “Play Safe (Live Edition)” from “RiffTrax Live: The Five Doctors” is now available at Rifftrax.

    It’s a shocking experience. :-)

    https://www.rifftrax.com/play-safe-live-edition

    Keep circulating the MST3K vibes.

    Still waiting for the “Five Doctors” riff in some form.

    Nice to see you posting here again!

       3 likes

  20. Warren says:

    First, the short was okay but not nearly as strange or bizarre as some others, which tend to make those funnier. Star Raiders was sort of like a SyFy original production, so it’s definitely a good riffing choice even though it doesn’t have the same type of silliness that a much older movie might have. I didn’t get bored, partly thanks to Fade. Hello, Fade! This AMC theater didn’t show any slides, the screen was blank and silent until M, K, & B abruptly appeared and introduced the short, so a minute or two might have been lost. I’m like Crow, in that I DOn’t like to complain, but the theater that I usually go to stopped showing Rifftrax events, which means having to drive about 55 miles to this other theater. I’m glad I went, but there are some idiots on the interstate between here and there. I saw Octaman in April, but may have forgotten to post anything about it.
    “Ask your doctor if Crotalus is right for you.” I’ll never forget Gary.

       2 likes

  21. Kenneth Morgan says:

    A couple of things I noticed in the credits for the short. The narrator was Vic Perrin, who did loads of radio programs and is best-known as the Control Voice on “Outer Limits”. And one of the people credited for the music was Basil Poledouris, who did the music for “Conan the Barbarian” and “Robocop”. And they both appeared on “Star Trek TOS”.

    Just some interesting trivia…

       7 likes

  22. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Oh, and this one gave me an idea for a pre-show card before “Giant Spider Invasion”…

    SPOILER ALERT:
    “Star Wars” fans will be horrified when “Rise of Skywalker” reveals that Rey’s real parents are Saber Raine and Caliope.

       4 likes

  23. Numanoid says:

    IR5:
    I hope they rush the VOD to market so I can watch it again.

    It comes out on August 9th.

       1 likes

  24. The Grim Specter of Food says:

    I thought it was one of the weaker Rifftrax Live, but it was still a good time. The movie felt like a lost pilot for a 90s era Sci-Fi Channel original: I could see Star Raiders fitting in between Farscape and Lexx in a schedule.

       2 likes

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