Over the 90+ minute run of the upbeat show, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 alums steered seemingly innocent holiday-themed shorts and clunky toy advertisements from bygone eras into dark, pitiful entries into irony complete with sexual innuendos and memories of failed Christmas' passed.
Weird Al Yankovic showed up to join in on mocking a delightful, but bizarre look at pork. But the high point of the show was a closing shot at a Max Fleischer directed version of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" -- including Santa visiting the heroic mammal in his bedroom with the disturbing words: "Rudolph...I need you tonight."
Now the laziest human beings on the planet can enjoy the classic MST3K series on the web, that is if they don't consider moving a mouse and a minimal amount of typing too much physical activity for one day.
Hulu has picked up five episodes of the series from the fourth, fifth and sixth season including such famous episodes as Super Agent Secret Dragon, Monster-a-Go-Go and (my personal favorite both on and off the Satellite of Love's screen) The Giant Gila Monster. Watch it, then get some exercise, please.
Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett will team up again with partner and live event specialist Fathom to bring a collection of old-school Christmas shorts to theaters across the country in a live big screen broadcast.
That's kind of the effect you get from watching a new pair of laugh-out-loud Shorts DVDs from Rifftrax -- Wide World of Shorts and Shorts-Tacular Shorts-Stravaganza.
The commentary of Mystery Science Theater 3000 alums Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy can usually make any movie funny. But, the riffs you buy off their website for major feature films can sometimes come with a cost.
For example, the problem with buying the riffs for Twilight or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is you then have to sit there and watch Twilight or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. That's a razor's edge trade-off for a few laughs.
Barbara Walters will air the actor's final television interview in a one hour special titled Last Dance tonight at 10 PM eastern/9 PM central on ABC.
He's probably best known for his work on the big screen in movies like Ghost, Dirty Dancing and (of course) the timeless Road House, a movie that became a cult sensation for all the wrong reasons and helped birth the sense of humor of MST3K and Rifftrax's Michael J. Nelson. But like all Hollywood actors, he made his presence known on the small screen, and his reach goes much further than his recent venture into cable drama glory with A&E's The Beast.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumni Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett have joined forces with Fathom Events to present Rifftrax Live: Plan 9 from Outer Space. On Aug. 20, Rifftrax will present an evening of live riffing, originating from Nashville, Tenn. and beaming into movie theaters nationwide at 8 PM ET, 7 PM CT, 6 PM MT, and a tape delayed 8 PM PT.
The trio will take on what some say is the worst film of all time, Plan 9. Of course, only people who haven't seen Manos: The Hands of Fate or anything directed by Coleman Francis would give Ed Wood's anti-classic that honor. But, Plan 9 offers the Rifftrax guys more than enough ammunition.
In a move sure to draw desperate MST3K fans from out of their parents' basements (this reporter among them -- though my folks' old house only has a washer/dryer downstairs), Fathom Events will present the Rifftrax trio live in theaters via vid-cast up on the big screen.
They'll take on Ed Wood's classically inept Plan 9 from Outer Space, a movie they've wrestled with on DVD and in past live shows.
The star of The Soup and the upcoming NBC sitcom Community has joined forces with Michael J. Nelson's Rifftrax.com to provide a running comedy commentary for the perennial craptastic 80s classic Red Dawn. Nelson announced the guest commentary on the Rifftrax site and his Twitter blog earlier this week.
Rifftrax, for those who may not be familiar with the site and are therefore in no way cool, is the comedy website that provides downloadable MP3s of funny movie commentaries featuring the voices and talents of the minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 including Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy. It is the only reason I still own all three Matrix films, that and the fact that my desk is missing part of a leg.
Murphy, RiffTrax writer/commentator and forever Tom Servo on the Satellite of Love of the original movie-mocking show famous for tackling B-movies, regularly joins fellow MST3K alums Bill Corbett and Michael J. Nelson to record a series of commentaries on classic and significantly less than classic flicks. Their targets range from The Happening and Twilight to Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars - all available for $4.
The site just released perhaps the most challenging riff, deliberately taking on what many people consider the greatest film of all time, Casablanca.
Many movie fans -- even those who enjoy Rifftrax -- object to mockery of such iconic work, but Murphy points to the sites' motto: "We don't make movies. We make them funny."
For the entire month of February, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 host/head writer is going to eat nothing but bacon. That's right, nothing but bacon for an four weeks. Make sure you have your best suit dry cleaned for the inevitable funeral in March.
OK, maybe he'll survive like Morgan Spurlock did, though Spurlock's whole experiment was rather lame and misleading, in my opinion. But eating nothing but one of the most incredibly unhealthy foods (the fat! the grease! the salt!) for an entire month? I'm not too sure about that. He'll be drinking liquids, but most of them are alcohol (and water). No veggies or fruits for an entire month. Wow, even if you ate nothing but pizza for an entire month you'd at least get dairy and fiber and maybe some veggies. Mike will be keeping track of his progress (with bacon photos!) at Rifftrax.
Godspeed Mike. Godspeed.
Consider this your way-too-far-in-advance sneak preview at a future DVD extra for a Mystery Science Theater 3000 set for Shout! Factory. On January 17, MST3K creator Joel Hodgson and original cast member and writer Trace Beaulieu gave a crowd at M.I.T. a peek behind the scenes of the venerable sci-fi comedy show with their lecture, "The Design and Speculative Technology of MST3K," which they filmed to use as a future DVD extra.
For the uninitiated, Joel was the original host, was shot into space by evil scientists (Dr. Forrester was played by Beaulieu) and forced to watch (sing it with me, MSTies) "cheesy movies, the worst we can find." To help him handle the torture, Joel built four robot friends, two of which, Crow (also originated by Beaulieu) and Servo, watched the movies and made fun of them with Joel. Together, Joel, Crow, and Servo cut the best silhouette in show business (at least to comedy and movie geeks like myself).
But then, if you're reading this, you probably know all of that.
At 9pm ET (6pm PT), there will be a live, free Rifftrax performed by the guys for everyone to see and hear on their computer. Probably the very same computer you're reading this one, unless you're at work. And if you're at work you shouldn't be spending all of your time on a TV site. Get back to work.
What they'll be riffing is Self-Conscious Guy, a short film from 1951 I'm assuming is about a guy who is self-conscious. I've never heard of it, but the shorts that MST3K used to do were some of the funniest stuff they did, so this should be good. I'm going to watch this instead of Grissom leaving CSI.
Fa la la!
We told you last month about the new 20th anniversary DVD set for Mystery Science Theater 3000 that is going to be released later this year. The gang announced the details and the release date for the set yesterday at Comic-Con.
The 4 DVD set from Shout! Factory will be released on October 28 and will include four never-before-released movies: Laserblast, First Space on Venus, Werewolf, and Future War. Along with the movies will be tons of new interviews with everyone ever involved in the show, a documentary about the history of MST3K, footage of the Comic-Con Reunion panel, lobby cards, and even a collectible Crow T. Robot figurine! The set will come in a special 20th anniversary tin box (see pic above).
Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 like myself (or "Misties" as we're sometimes called) remember a half-hour special dedicated to the show that aired on Comedy Central back in the early '90s called This is MST3k. The special was hosted by comedian/musician Penn Jillette and featured a handful of celebrities praising a series that folks like myself fell in love with the very first time we saw it.
One of those celebrities was Neil Patrick Harris, so it should come as no surprise that Harris will be joining former Mystery Science Theater 3000 host Michael J. Nelson on the RiffTrax recording for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. RiffTrax are downloadable audio commentaries you play in sync with your DVD. Nelson, and sometimes his former mates from MST3k, provide a hilarious commentary much like they did back on the Satellite of Love.
Ah, great news for fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume 11 of the popular DVD series will be released in February!
No word yet on which movies will be covered. Fans can keep checking Satellite News, the official Mystery Science Theater 3000 web site for updates.
In the meantime, Mike Nelson has added a bunch of new movies to RiffTrax, his downloadable commentaries. The list of movies available now includes Plan 9 From Outer Space, Cocktail (hey, I voted for that one!), Star Trek V, Road House, The Fifth Element, and Night of the Living Dead (the original). MST3K cohort Kevin Murphy joins Mike on the commentary for Star Trek V.
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