Sunday, October 9, 2011

Summah Sum-up (5 of 8): MST/RT/CT

I started watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 2002, a couple years after it was cancelled but when Comedy Central was still airing repeats. Since then I bought all the box sets, downloaded the entire series, and began posting at fan sites devoted to the show. These were the first internet forums and message boards I'd ever contributed to. As a grown man in his forties, I was seriously "late to the party" – both to the show and to the art of online discussions.

When I started this blog I figured I'd be posting a lot about MST and it's offshoots, but I stopped putting up posts here linking to the episode guide series going on at Satellite News because I got burnt out on the show (and that site). Analyzing the series for the meaning of every joke over the last couple of years finally took its toll on me. What I used to enjoy had become a chore, and no matter how much I immersed myself in the show's history, I would never be as much of a  fanatic as some other commenters there. As I got into listening to more current comedians and podcasts, I grew weary of those folks, often getting into arguments over what we find funny or not, which is always a useless conversation. 

But thankfully the veterans of MST have been active online and onstage, keeping movie-riffing alive and fresh for new audiences.

Cinematic Titanic

Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World / Rattlers @ The Castro - 5/6/11

(originally posted by me at Satellite News here)


Now I've seen five live shows from these folks and they just keep getting better. The intros bits by the cast and Gruber were all new from last time I saw them (thankfully Frank retired "Convoluted Man") and each presented different material between the 7 & 9:30 performances, keeping it fresh for us return customers. It seems the crew have embraced both their standup comedy pasts and their MST3K legacy as they constantly referred to it (for example, Josh introduced himself as the "Tom Servo no one likes"). Another difference from a year ago is they are dropping a lot more F & S bombs, making it more a PG-13 affair. They seem to enjoy being more crude with their language and I loved every expletive-laced moment of it.

Samson is very high energy and loud, and is likely the best CT effort yet, highly reminiscent of the Hercules flicks, but with even stronger  (and bluer) riffing than MST.  As happened the last time I saw them at the Castro Theater, some lines got lost in the large room (especially Mary Jo's), but I still giggled like an idiot throughout.

Rattlers is more of a sleeper, and filled with sequences so silly the crew hardly say a thing, knowing the crowd will find the funny in the film itself. It's a bit like Alien Factor in its low-budget ineptitude. Another winner, with more conversational and character-based humor. Frank calling the heroine "Buffy Sainte-Marie, Vampire Slayer" got a loud laugh from me.

No mention of any upcoming DVD's, but I can't fault them as long as I get to see them live on a regular basis. They clearly enjoy touring and for that I am grateful.


Crater Lake Monster
The Devil's Hand
X-Men 3: Last Stand
Rifftrax Live: Jack the Giant Killer (Fathom event) - 8/17
Rifftrax Presents - Night of the Shorts II: Electric Riffaloo - 8/20 (my review from the previous post)
Galaxy Invader
Setting Up A Room (short)
The Wicker Man
Karate Kid 3


Just to prove how over the show I am right now, I have not even removed the shrink-wrap from the last two Shout Factory box sets XX (released in March) & XXI (Vs. Gamera - August, which came with this cool set of postcards from the original movies, shown below). Not that they don't contain great episodes, but I've seen them all multiple times before and am more concerned these days with catching up (and staying current) with other things.

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