I feel I have been remiss in my geek duty by not informing everyone I know about RiffTrax. Some of you, of course, are alread familiar with this magnificent project, but for the rest of you, let me explain.
You remember Mystery Science Theater 3000? You know, the show where the guy and two robots make fun of really terrible movies while trapped in a spaceship? RiffTrax is the continuation of that tradition, only instead of B-movies, they riff on the best of the worst of modern blockbusters. You provide the DVD of the movie and sync their MP3 download with it to watch (don't worry, the syncing is very easy, and for you PC users they have a RiffTrax Player that does it automagically). There are some B-movies and shorts as well, including a DiVX On-Demand commentary on the perennial worst movie ever, Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space.
RiffTrax is spearheaded by Mike Nelson who played, appropriately, Mike on MST3K. He does several solo riffs that are quite hilarious. But when he really shines is when he's joined by fellow MST3K-ers Bill Corbett (the latter-day Crow T. Robot) and Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) for some good-old movie-bashing. Really, it's almost like having MST3K back, just without the silhouettes. As if that weren't enough, they have celebrity guest-riffers for some tracks such as Fred Willard for the 1950s turkey Missile to the Moon, or Neil Patrick Harris on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the créme de la créme, "Weird Al" Yankovic joining Mike for Jurassic Park. Because of its nature as an MP3 track there are no host segments or other skits as on MST3K.
Just in case you miss the silhouettes at the bottom of the screen you might want to check out Cinematic Titanic which combines the talents of MST founders Joel Hodgson (Joel), Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Clayton Forrestor and Crow T. Robot), J. Elvis Weinstein (Dr. Laurence Erhardt and Tom Servo) as well as MST3K alums Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester) and Frank Coniff (TV's Frank) as silhouettes, you guessed it, riffing films. The interesting bit is Frank has access to a crane lift to bring props down from above in front of the screen. Their first release is out and can be shipped on DVD. It will be available for download in April. Like MST3K this show includes host segments with the riffers.
Finally, we have an older project called The Film Crew starring Mike, Bill and Kevin as guys whose boss tells them to put a commentary track on every movie that does not have one (B-movies, of course). Naturally, it's rifftastic. There are skits included on the four available DVDs. Because it has been superseded by RiffTrax. there is doubt as to the future of this project. Nonetheless it is worth checking out.
So that's it for this post. If you're into this kind of humor, all three projects are worth checking out. Just try not to get involved in the Cinematic Titanic vs. RiffTrax debate. There's no reason for it and it's just as stupid as the old vitriolic Mike vs. Joel debates among the MST3K fandom. Just enjoy the riffing.
Oh, and GET OFF MY PLANE!