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Sampo & Erhardt

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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Dallas Film Fest Report–UPDATE

Pegasus News offers a report.

And here’s another report (warning: page contains images that might be NSFW).

Our buddy Dave (who previously reported to us from the CT appearance in Minneapolis) journeyed to Dallas this weekend for the Dallas Film Festival, and provided this report:

The “MST at 20” forum began with a presentation of clips taking us through the whole series, pretty much chronologically. The clips ran for about 25 minutes, and then Joel, Trace, Frank, Mary Jo and Josh walked onto the stage onto directors chairs. Unfortunately, Kevin took ill and was unable to attend.
The host then spent the next 30-40 minutes asking questions, going over familiar ground for most MSTies. During this entire Q and A segment, they were each riffing and mocking each others responses in the manner we are accustomed to, and it was very entertaining. Joel recounted leaving Los Angeles to return to Minneapolis, having a “monster movie show” idea in his mind. They said the four Gamera films in the KTMA library helped them greatly in cementing the idea and format for the show.
Trace discussed the motion picture, and the frustration of being told to have more broad, accessible riffs for the film, producing a product he personally felt was inferior to the TV show.
Mary Jo recounted the start of the Sci-Fi Channel years, and talked a bit about the sometimes disheartening remarks seen on online discussing her character.
Frank, in response to a question about fame, said he is only recognized in public occasionally, and then, usually very respectfully/politely by fans. He said it’s especially gratifying when he’s out to dinner with friends, is recognized, and then hears his friends say, “You’re famous? I didn’t know that!”
The audience Q&A portion followed, and went on for roughly 35-45 minutes. There were many questions we’ve heard many times before, but some relatively new and of interest. My party of four estimated that approximately 60% of the audience questions were “good,” with 40% relatively predictable or in some cases, “groan-worthy.”
Asked if CT will use more “adult” humor, Joel joked about “Skinematic Titanic” but said each of them has their own type of humor, and that they will continue to do things along those lines.
Asked if there are movies that are too “good” or “bad” to use for MST/CT, Frank said that many films they’ve screened since The Oozing Skull were actually worse than that, which was a bit surprising to him, given how bad “Oozing Skull” was.
Asked about filming of the Giant Gila Monster replacement segment, Joel never really answered the question, and instead went off onto a tangent with some backstage information. He said he had contacted Jim Mallon last summer to see if they might want to do something together for the 20th anniversary of MST3K. Joel said Jim mostly talked about the Flash animation and how he wanted to do shorts online using the bots. Joel said he was more interested in riffing on movies, and in the end the two couldn’t come to an agreement. This was the point at which he came up with the idea for Cinematic Titanic.
At the end of the forum, we all filed out of the theater and got back in line to return into the same theater with different tickets, to grab general admission seating.
When the show began, the CT cast came out on stage and sat down in chairs (no scaffolding) in front of the screen, with lighted easels holding their scripts. The film turned out to be the Roger Corman 1959 epic “The Wasp Woman.” (“The Wasp Woman” will be one of the three films that Cinematic Titanic will be filming in May for eventual release.)
In this fan’s opinion, the riffing was dead-on target. The live audience reactions were extremely positive, and the general consensus was the show was even funnier than “The Oozing Skull.”
The cast then went outside to sit at a table to meet the fans in line for autographs and comments. The only merchandise sold at their table was the Oozing Skull pre-autographed DVD cover and the 8×10 CT Cast silhouette photo.

Thanks to Dave for his report!

34 Replies to “Dallas Film Fest Report–UPDATE”

  1. Cubby says:

    Well done, Dave!

    They’re finally doing Wasp Woman. It always seemed an obvious choice. The real question is, did Frank arrange any guest stars from the Elvira show he wrote (which mocked Wasp Woman)? (Not that we’d know who any of them are anymore. Well, maybe Screech. He was on that, wasn’t he?)


  2. Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk says:

    Kevin “fell ill”? Sounds to me like there’s some bad blood between the camps. No Mike or Bill? Perhaps Joel & co. think that Rifftrax is as lame as I do.


  3. Daniel says:

    Wow! Thanks for the report Dave, and thanks for posting it Sampo!
    It’s great that they are taking on Corman again. That guy’s films are like a Freudian soul bashing! Hope to see more CT DVDs soon!


  4. Diamond Joe says:

    What I find most interesting here is that Mallon bungled a huge opportunity in being fixated on those shorts. Here was Joel, wanting to riff movies again and, as we know, happy to put on the jumpsuit again. We could have had at least a one-time full-scale MST3K revival. But noooooo…


  5. Austin says:

    I was at the event last night and had a great time . One of my favorite moments was when Roger Corman’s name first came up during the opening credits sequence. Both the CT crew and the audience let out a knowing grown of pain and despair!


  6. hookemhorns says:

    Loved it!  I was on the 4th row last night during the film and could see Joel, Mary Jo, Trace, and Josh during the performance.  It was the coolest thing I have ever done.  The only regret for the evening is that Kevin, Mike, and Bill were not there for the panel.  Joel’s story of why he left the show, as well as Josh’s and Trace’s, were quite different from what I had read previously.  Also, it was interesting that Joel said Jim Mallon was more into Flash cartoons that in reviving the riffing and that was why they went in a different direction with Cinematic Titanic.I could not believe how nice the cast were during the autograph session and down to earth.  Joel was very cool; when I told him how my aunt introduced me to the show in 1989, he said he bet my aunt was a cool aunt and thanked me for being a fan of the show.This is why I will always be a fan of any work any of these folks put out.P.S.  I noticed that none of the panel would say anything negative about anyone, other than it was clear that they did not get along with Jim Mallon at times in the past (possibly just over creative differences).  Very classy.  Mary Jo said at one point that there were difficult people to work with during the Sci Fi years.  She said she had done stuff with Rifftrax so it was not like she did not get along with them, and Joel had everyone clap for Kevin even though he was not there, so I don’t think there is any ill will towards Mike, Kevin, and Bill.  But I noticed Mike was not mentioned too much.


  7. There Will Be Blood says:

    Yes, there is “bad blood” between the fragmented MST alumni. No they will not acknowledge it publicly – it is not professional nor does it benefit them in any way to do so.

    Yes, many of them do not like Jim Mallon. Nor do they care much for his vision of the “future” of MST3K. (Online Animated Flash Cartoons???) Again, it does little good to bash their old boss. It’s just not professional.

    They would rather focus attention on Cinematic Titanic. No, it’s not MST3K, but it definitely beats the hell out of rifftrax!


  8. Brandon says:

    I am SO hoping they do a live show here in Washington! That’s be awesome!


  9. Tim says:

    You have to admit though, those flash cartoons were worth killing a great chance for a mst3k return.


  10. Charles says:

    I can’t wait to see more from CT. Wasp Woman, like Killers from Space, is one of those public domain flicks that it’s amazing MST3K never did. Finally they are rectifying the situation, although unfortunately the public domain tree has been picked pretty heavily after ten seasons of MST3K plus Film Crew and Rifftrax and there’s not a lot of good fruit left. I hope CT is able to get some good lawyers/movie rights experts who can help them get some movies.


  11. Rowsdower42 says:

    ^Killers from Space has been done by The Film Crew.

    What’s with the Rifftrax hate?


  12. Roz says:

    Oh, yay! :mrgreen: Finally their doing “The Wasp Woman!” Josh way to a lovely job with it, and we’ve had the film for years, wondering why mst3k never did it. So now it’s come, perhaps a little late, but better late then never! :smile:


  13. Roz says:

    I meant, “JOSH WAY” did a lovely job….dunk! :roll:


  14. Kenotic says:

    Let’s see:

    -Kevin’s sick and Joel wishes him the best from the stage and Frank from the CT site.

    -Bill and MaryJo seem to enjoy making each other laugh – as evidence from both CT and RT blogs mention, and MaryJo has done a Rifftrax.

    -Bill defends CT on their blog and tells people to refrain from bootlegging.

    -Mike asks Joel to do a Rifftrax, and Joel politely declines since CT was starting that day. Joel insists he’s got no problems with Mike and wishes Rifftrax the best.

    Yeah, they’re at each other’s throats :roll: :roll:

    Seriously people, enough of this crap.


  15. the2ndsuitor says:

    Even though I live on the East Coast & there was no way I was gonna be at this show, I am bummed that Kevin didn’t make it as it was a small bridge to gap between 2 of the 3 divided MST3K camps. That’s just my perception.
    May sound stupid, but everyone seems to have there interpretation of what goes on between them, even though none of us are involved.

    My opinion, a full scale revival of MST3K would of been rad. And I am not a fan of the flash cartoons.


  16. Christopher (casimar) says:

    It was an awesome show, and worth paying for gas from Houston and a hotel to be there. Meeting them afterwards was an unbelievable bonus, too. (And yes the movie was definitely funnier than Oozing Skull. They nailed it.)


  17. It was a more enjoyable experience than I could have possibly ever imagined.

    Truly top notch.


  18. The Professor says:

    Christ o’ malley, why does everyone hate on Rifftrax? People bash on Mike so much nowadays but seem to forget that the man was the HEAD FRIGGIN’ WRITER on the very show that we’re here to talk about.


  19. the2ndsuitor says:

    To The Professor:

    I love Mike. Haven’t bought any Rifftrax, but not for any specific reason. Mike rules!


  20. Christ O' Malley says:

    To The Professor:

    So what’s your point? Yes, as you so eloquently put it, Mike was the “HEAD FRIGGIN’ WRITER” on MST3K. Ergo, everyone must now bow down before his sub-par rifftrax endeavor.

    It SUCKS, Professor. (And guess what? :idea: I’m sure he’s the “HEAD FRIGGIN’ WRITER” on rifftrax too.)


  21. skullhappy says:

    I am extremely jealous that I could not make it, being on the East Coast as well. Maybe a date in Boston sometime for some live riffing?


  22. The Professor says:

    Different strokes for different folks, i guess. I would just like to say that RIFFTRAX FRIGGIN’ RULES! Eloquent enough?


  23. Rowsdower42 says:

    Rifftrax is indeed hilarious. You guys probably just love Transformers and can’t stand seeing your favorite movies slandered.


  24. BenderRodriguez says:

    The event was awesome. It was great to trade words with Joel and Trace(though I was far too nervous to talk to the rest) Hope they come back somewhere down the road. :grin:


  25. Graboidz says:


    Tim says:

    You have to admit though, those flash cartoons were worth killing a great chance for a mst3k return.

    ***LOL!! Best comment on the thread so far.
    “Filming in May”… DVD will be available in June??


  26. Mike says:

    I liked the cartoons. It does seem pretty stupid now though considering he only made 4 of them and doesn’t seem to have any more planned.


  27. I wish they’d sell that autographed DVD cover on the web site. I’m sure not going to make it to any of these shows (unless they come to the Rochester, NY area), so I’m not likely to get one that way.


  28. Dave says:

    As I understand it, it’s merely a matter of time before the merchandise link is up and running on the Cinematic Titanic website shortly. I would bet the autographed DVD cover would be one of the first things available for purchase.

    Speaking of Dallas, I’m guessing the DVD covers and cast photos were all that were available for purchase given the nature/rules of the theater venue. The black Cinematic Titanic logo t-shirts which were available for purchase at February’s Launch Party were nowhere to be seen last weekend in Dallas. With an artist owned and operated venture, they probably have their hands full at the moment, and will get to the merchandise link as soon as they can. No insider information, just an educated guess on my part.


  29. BSBrian says:

    so, Christ–how many riff-trax have you seen in order to condemn the lot ?? and if you have seen more than 1 and they do, indeed suck, then why keep buying?? my only beef with RT is my own lack of tech-savvy, and Mike and EVERYONE involved with MST3K and all of its offspring are, without a doubt, top-notch!


  30. Bryan c. says:

    I have bought a couple of Rifftrax’s (5th Element, X-Men, and 300) and the only complaint I have is that the weakest ones are when it is just Mike doing it alone, he doesn’t have anyone to work with it is very hard and at times sounds a bit forced. But, every time he is either with Kevin or Bill, or Kevin and Bill they are extremely funny.


  31. Hugh says:

    So, Kevin can’t make it and immediately that means that there’s bad blood between them? Grow up and stop trying to create drama where there is none, people. Both camps have stated that there’s no bad blood between the two series, and that’s that. Stop acting like you’re in Junior High.

    I swear, between “Joel vs. Mike”, “Rifftrax vs. CT”, and the general tight-ass, no-humor attitude of a lot of MSTies, this fandom rarely lives up to the awesomeness of the show they love so much.


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