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#12 in Mighty Jack's Top 41
Release Date: October 29, 2009
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

“The whole ship has become a poop deck” - Bill
    One of the most requested movies finally finds its way onto Rifftrax, MK&B did a hilarious bit of this film on one of their Sci-Fi Network specials. This version is just as memorable, though there are a couple of dead zone (which is what I expected with a film this long) it's primarily a win. The opening 30 minutes or so were some of the funniest in riff history and Kevin tops off the first half hour with the classic, "I'm gonna sink this bitch" – Yay, thank you Kev for that one!
    Leonardo’s youthful appearance is often mentioned, old Rose receives her fair share of attention and there is at least one MST call back. Mike playing the spoons etc was a funny bit - there are head-cakes and of course there are sinking ship and underwater quips aplenty… ”Aquaman’s flash parties are hard to find” – Mike. Overall this was a steady good time.

Release Date: November 25, 2009
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Hire the insane, for your next movie" – Mike
    Baffling and bad – this chaotic slice of sick (made in 1934) starts off weird and ends up distressing. It’s difficult to give a proper synopsis because it’s such a scattershot mess. Though not their best work, Mike, Kevin and Bill dispense some funny quips here and there. And yet this film -with its animal abuse and misogynistic bearing- is about the most unpleasant thing I’ve watched in a riff project since MST3Ks “Incredibly Strange Creatures”. It’s not that it is the most disturbing or graphic film, but tonally, as with Creatures, “Maniac” puts out an icky vibe. It’s the kind of movie that gives me a headache. It doesn’t happened to me a lot, but good jokes or not, this is one example where the movie murders my fun.

Drag Me to Hell
Release Date: December 1, 2009
Riffers: Mike Nelson & Bill Corbett

"So, damn it foreword" - Bill
Hopeless crappy stupid pointless movie. I’m not much of a fan of this type of horror (I'm more old school, Psycho, 1944s Uninvited), and watching this girl get picked on for daring to want a career and ultimately be cursed by some idiot, is a one reason why. It's simply an excuse for Sam Raimi to humiliate and spew nasty fluids all over this womans face and mouth - yeah, real cute Sam. Mike and Bill make a go of it, gave me a couple of laughs but the work doesn’t gain steam until the séance scene. Overall I can't muster up much enthusiasm for this lackluster affair, so - on to the next ‘trax.

Terminator Salvation
Release Date: February 4, 2010
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"So that’s what death tastes like" -- "I thought it would taste more like Courtney Love" – Bill
    A tedious entry in the Terminator franchise: I'm pretty much sick and tired of this series and only Rifftrax could have gotten me to sit through this turkey to the end. Joke wise there are a few good laughs interspersed between far too many dead spots. The best section (for both the film and the quips) was when the giant robot shows up. I got a big laugh when Bill expressed thanks for the character that calls out the type of Terminators, because it'll make it easier on him when he buys the toys later.
    Expected jokes about Avatar and Christian Bale's tantrum on the set are tossed out often, and I liked the pop culture references -- but when someone talks about 'Pushing the button' I was surprised there was no mention of those 2 mad scientists we all know and love. As the movie went on the laughs came infrequently – This then is merely a fair release.

Paranormal Activity
Release Date: February 11, 2010
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"They’ve officially taken the activity out of Paranormal Activity" - Kevin
    If you have seen this film -about a couple haunted by a demon- before hand, it will be easy to guess the direction the riffing will take. It's all about pondering the mundane (and there's a lot of the mundane in this flick) as well as dissing the unlikable leads, the weak haunting and wondering if such and such a blah scene is delivering on the promise of 'shocking horror'.
    The movie achieved some measure of popularity. I guess its success hinges on whether you buy into it or not. I didn't and was bored to tears. It's pretty much a film about watching people sleep. You hear a bump and they jump and go investigate and spout inspired dialog like, "What the hell was that?" The couple is Micah, a douche bag who enjoys taunting the demon. And Katie, who mostly screeches and looks sour --- and that's your movie in a nutshell.
    MK&B do the best they can with this minimal material, but they are stretched pretty thin. They manage some clever quips. As when a ghostbuster guy comes over and asks several questions about the camera in Micah and Katie's bedroom - Bill riffs... "What are you, Bob Crane?" Or when Mike mentions reading a comic while the movie plays (and not missing a thing). It's a tough movie to slog through, thankfully Mike, Kevin and Bill are there as our own personal Father Merrin's.;   And with that I'll leave you with one more memorable quote, it's Mike giving voice to the scared psychic.... "I'm an expert at wetting myself and fleeing!”

Release Date: April 22, 2010
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

    James Cameron makes event films for the theater. I enjoyed the movie more on the big screen with the 3D than I did on DVD, and hoped the Riffraxers would offer something fresh - have a field day with the blueness, the clunky dialog and mysticism. First 40 minutes in? I wasn't impressed. Wang jokes, the Amway bit... none of it was funny. Then Mike says, "You just smacked the Mayor of Pandora" and I got my first big laugh and the trax finally started to show a pulse of life.
    That pulse is uneven. The incessant knocks on Sam Worthington's accent never work and a lot of the comedy was run of the mill. I felt it was stronger at the end: Down the stretch I enjoyed the references (an extra evil episode of "Ax Men", Terry from Pee Wees Playhouse, Tug McGraw), callbacks (Gregory the skunk and "PACKERS!") and a handful of lines that target the film, ala the one about Sigourney's avatar waking up with her pants around its head was a larf.
    Truthfully though, more of it failed than succeeded. Material such as the 'dropping a log' jokes and their like are past tired. As is the Disembaudio singing shtick at the end – which was only mildly amusing at best, the first time he did it. It seems to me that the rifftrax tank is running low on gas of late. Only 2 of the last 8 downloads showed MK&B at the top of their game (Titanic & New Moon). Avatar is another inconsistent effort with a handful of highlights.

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble
#21 in Mighty Jack's Top 41
Release Date: July 30, 2010
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"I’m sorry; I was just thinking of a joke, the sick one God played on me" – Mike as Bubble Boy
    I can recall making an effort to catch this made for TV feature when it first aired, for the sole reason that the younger teenage me thought Glynnis O'Connor was cute (though she does have 'crazy eyes'). It was interesting to revisit, and made better for the guys spot on commentary. The movie -oft referenced for riffs over years- is sappy, overwrought and includes a disturbing scene of Travolta's Todd and a geeky guy with a tumor, bonding over masturbation (I’ll never feel clean again)
    To get my (minor) complaints out of the way: The scientology lines have reached their expiration date and have become stale. The bluer material doesn't click with me (the guys are little too interested with the male member for my taste. Jokes like that hurt the last Potter as well). Fortunately what is offered aside from that is had in greater quantity and works brilliantly.
    Mike and Kevin get another shot at Robert Reed (Bloodlust) and this time are freer with the Brady Bunch references (though not to excess). When they do add references, they draw from many sources – as when Bill spots Charleton Heston and Nova, or in the line that earned a huge laugh from me, "They captured a baby Ramone!"
    The observational riffing is playfully warped. I loved the bit when a little girl brings over a gift and Mike says -"It's a cake with a file in it, she made it herself"-. I also got a kick over the sequence where Travolta breathlessly orders his horse-riding girlfriend to “Go faster! Faster!” and later, jump his bubble - during which Kevin adds one more dark and hilarious instruction. (Overall, Todd’s preoccupation with the horse was a hoot). Twisted quips like these brought forth gales of laughter.
    This was a Rifftrax release that I had high expectations for and Mike, Kevin, Bill (and whoever else might have written on this trax) did not disappoint. Funny work gentlemen - though I’m still left pondering one ageless question (not addressed in the release) – Flare pants in the 70s, why did we ever think they were even remotely cool?

High School Musical
#37 in Mighty Jack's Top 41
Release Date: September 25th, 2010
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Yeah but I'm cute, could you find any role models for me who couldn’t double as Dick Tracy villains?" - Mike
    Cheesy musical about peer pressure and basketball and possible incest and other topical subjects -It stars Zac Efron as Troy, who has an odd, bendy Wallace (of Gromit fame) mouth, and –as is pointed out a few times- is pretty, in a girlish sort of way. Riff-wise there wasn't a whole lot that failed (though I could nitpick a few small items) and it boasts several big rib ticklers.
    I think my favorite joke was Bill noticing John Mayer and Avril Lavigne in a rare duet. After that I thought the "Short People" musical mash up was cute, and reminiscent of MST3Ks "Tusk" skit. The riffing in general pops off on the movie's many stupidities, while offering hilarious twists here and there: From the bait and switch of the "Say Anything" reference (and no, Troy's song of choice wasn’t recorded by Peter Gabriel), to having these kids get all a twitterpater over Werner Herzog ("Woo-Hoo! Life is a meaningless nightmare" – Kevin). Overall a first rate release.

Clash of the Titans
Release Date: October 22nd, 2010
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"I actually wanted Mr. Drummond to adopt you, but it didn’t work out" – Bill as Io to Perseus
    This remake tells the tale of whiney Gods and a band of men who go on a quest in hopes of preventing the releasing of something called a Kraken. While the Trax didn't reach the Godlike levels of my all time favorites (Missile to the Moon, The Happening), it had this mere mortal chortling on more than a few occasions. The cheesy film helps with the fun: The gang expertly locks on the story - teasing the conflicting accents, the colorful characters -like the Djinn– "Come on he’s made of charcoal, just push him into the fire and grill steaks on him" – Bill- and other particulars. I enjoyed the spot on references (Fleet Foxes, the Jaws theme and Arthur Brown) and Mike's song was a classic. While there is blue material, for the most part, MK&B stick with the cutting and clever comedy I prefer from my Rifftrax releases.

The Last Airbender
Release Date: November 16th, 2010
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Run! M. Night's making his cameo back there!" - Kevin
    A film with a lot of explaining in it, which prompts our riffers to say, "sounds good, too bad they didn’t show that", and that sums up the problem with the film in a nutshell. (Still, while bad, it's not the worst thing I’ve ever seen - and the "Happening" remains Night's most laughably crappy film).
    Riffwise – okay folks, this is where y'all get to call me a curmudgeon because sadly, as much as I enjoyed the previous M. Night trax, this one tilts on the weak side of things - it often felt like a halfhearted effort, what with all the stock jokes they toss in there. Instead of engaging the film with pinpoint darts, they give us filler in the manner of lazy callbacks, and cheap and predictable gay, trans, fart and poop jokes -"YAWN".
    To be fair, there were goodies (as when it's pointed out that BP is using witchcraft to clean up the ocean - or when one character's destiny involves sacrificing her life for a goldfish), hey, it's not like I don't appreciate the laughs when I get 'em. Unfortunately this release is weighed down by an abundance of m'eh. The 3 riff win streak is over, I only hope they are back on their game for the much anticipated "Eclipse" download.

Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny
Release Date: December 17th, 2010
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Thumbelina, you've never heard of Roman Polanski, have you?" - Mike as Mr. Digger
    Santa gets stuck in the sand and sits around whining about the heat while a group of kids do all the heavy lifting. In the middle section he tells a story about Thumbalenia (a short, random piece directed by Barry Mahon, the man behind MST3Ks "Rocket Attack USA"), Then it's back to hot, sandy Santa and a rescue by the psychotic looking Ice Cream Bunny. The film is a drag, I mean it literally drags. Nothing much happens, there's a ton of padding, and that makes for some uneven riffing. The guys toil to find something fresh to say, long after a scene has gone stale. This leaves room for a handful of moments where all they do is comment on how weird the movie is, or wonder if they took a hallucinogenic and are seeing what they are seeing (and at times they simply flat out scream). Fortunately, interspersed among these unfunny statements of fact, are some genuinely uproarious lines.
    I preferred the Thumbelina section. I personally enjoy references (like the great Norwegian Wood line, or the mention of Spinal Tap), And I dig it when they expertly engage character and story, and the Thumbelina sequence offered up more opportunities for that (simply because there's some semblance of a story here). The Mr. Digger material in particular put me in hysterics. The jokes about Thumbelina wanting to date the bird, or the scenes with the flower people and their history books - all of that was golden and fit my sense of humor to T. (Note: They also borrow an idea from their work on Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders, when they remind us that Santa is telling this story to the children)
    The Santa sections on the other hand is so one note and repetitive it was overwhelming. Still, there are some bright lights – as when Mike lets the movie do the work and invites Bill and Kevin to close their eyes and simply listen to Santa's dialog (I tried it too and it was hilarious).

Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Meanwhile on an unrelated episode of Myth Busters..." - Bill
    The Rifftrax crew's 3rd foray into Christopher Nolan-land is an improvement on their work on the Dark Knight, about on par with Memento. Overall a decent -middle grove- thought not a classic effort (I felt that it sagged in the middle). The riffing is often silly, they mishear dialog and talk about naughty nurses and such, and much of this was a hoot. Esoteric references are thrown in here and there (as when they quote from "To Have and Have Not"). They tease the actor's careers ("My Indie cred!” – Kevin as Ellen Page waking from a dream) but smartly, don't over play that hand. And while they have fun with plot lines, they don't spit on the flick too much, and I appreciate that because I respect and enjoy this movie. As with Casablanca, I found myself drawn to the story rather than the jokes, and because I'd rather watch the movie than hear jokes about the movie, it's likely this will be a one and done.

Birdemic: Shock and Terror
#27 in Mighty Jack's Top 41
Release Date: February 22nd, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Is she mouthing lines to her meatloaf?" – Kevin
    While I personally would have enjoyed a few more esoteric nods to Hitchcock (for example: no jokes mentioning that the music during the credits sounds like bush-league Bernard Hermann), I was never the less frequently doubled over with laughter. The flick itself is completely ridiculous, and not only for the cheap bird FX. You name it –sound, performance, dialog, direction- this movie does it poorly. A few of my favorite moments: The bit with the wig wearing tree hugger and the tidy forest fires was uproarious, for the riffing as well as the absurdity of the sequence. This is also true with Bill's reaction to the bird juice, or the teasing of the lead actor mumbling his way through the words "solar panel". I also got a kick out of hearing our riffer's chuckling during scenes; they seemed to be having a good time with this silly train wreck. Despite a few laugh droughts (maybe the movie struck me dumbfounded into silence), I enjoyed myself. The riffing on Birdemic is lightweight fun with some references that went over my head (had to google the green pigs riff. Ha, ha)

Release Date: March 15th, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Woa, another under the Kilt shot, there should be only one!" - Bill
    I'm not sure how a weak flick like this inspired all those sequels and TV shows? The best thing about it was the Queen music... but even Queen wasn't immune to MK&Bs satirical barbs (all in good fun). Though not as spot on as their next release (I watched this and Karate Kid 3 on the same night) I still found plenty to laugh at. The opening sword fight in the parking garage is an early example of the well-placed jokes to be had -- whether it's Kevin mentioning that he now knows what to do if his auto needs a jump - or Bill's car stampede line... "Moooo!"
    Cocker spaniel hair, a dig at Adrian Paul, a screwy May/December thingy and Mike's brilliant line -"So your invincible, wanna kill Hitler?"- are all high points of the Highlander experience. I have to add that there was one missed opportunity for a prime riff? When the little girl tells Connor, "Everybody's dead" - I added a "Dave". You Red Dwarf fans know what I'm talking about!

Karate Kid 3
#13 in Mighty Jack's Top 41
Release Date: March 22nd, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"And that's how you win children's karate matches" – Bill, after Terry Silver shows Daniel a rib cracking move.
    Sometimes I get frustrated with Rifftrax (see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) and then they pull something like this out of their hat and my faith is restored. This is sharp, character based humor. Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-san fueled the funny and inspired Mike, Kev and Bill to snarky but upbeat highs (mocking Macchio's yammering, old lady jeans and other ticks provide the biggest laughs). The silliness of Terry Silver's scheme is also picked to pieces (as well it should). Heck, even the fart noises at the end were a gas (er, sorry). Oh and they name-drop one of my favorite authors, Evelyn Waugh – bravo!

Crater Lake Monster
Release Date: May 25th, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

Woman: "Look at all the stars." – Kevin: "What the hell are they doing out in the middle of the day?"
    Crater Lake was a film I’d seen years ago, and after that viewing I felt the silly thing was MST3K worthy (and the stop motion dino FX were done by the same guy who did the aliens in "Laserblast"). I was looking forward to the Rifftrax gang taking on this farce. I couldn't wait to hear what they’d have to say about the movies starry, starry… days, the blood that somehow jumped into a boat, or the slack jawed yokels that populated the flick. Were expectations met? For the most part, yes. While I wouldn’t rank it top 10 material, it kept me chuckling pretty steady and I had a good time. Comments about cows and Gray Garden headscarves and Forrest Gump were cute.

The Devil's Hand
Release Date: June 1st, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"You don't mess with a weak middle aged man who plays with dolls!" - Mike
    DH is an old black and white B movie classic about an evil cult (whose members do evil stuff, like sit around swaying to bongo music). Chief among the dark arts they practice, is beguiling Alan Alda’s dad. While not as mad a movie as Crater Lake, I thought the riffing was tighter. Dolls, and dream girls and Batman's Neil Hamilton all earn laughs... as do cardigans and tiny beds. Oh great Gamba, this is another enjoyable VOD release.

X-Men Last Stand
Release Date: June 21st, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"For the last time, I don’t want a damn cracker!" – Bill, as Angel unfurls his wings
    An excess of wang and masturbation riffs (mostly in the first half hour) and unfunny gay jokes, keep this from classic status -- and that's too bad because much of this is a blast. Overall X-3s not a real cerebr--al joke fest. It's light and silly. It teases the clichéd dialog and, more successfully, the mutants and their powers. In addition to the quote at the top of this review, Kevin's line about Jean looking for more bald paraplegics to explode had me in stitches. I laughed at the references to Gilligan and Willy Wonka, I howled at the Dylan debate and the car seat line directed at Kitty (Ellen Page). The riffing on the final battle was especially strong and steady. So despite the flaws, the frequent highs kept it afloat.

Galaxy Invader
Release Date: August 5th, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"It's like someone took Bill the Cat and made him human" – Bill on disheveled drunk dad
    Don Dohler certainly directed some riff-worthy creature features. The monsters are clever, though cheaply constructed. You get a colorful cast of weirdos and a plethora of stupid/funny situations. And the Rifftrax crew takes advantage of this with some strong riffing early on. The references are cute (Iron Man costume - Al Gore as the green man) and Mike (and sometimes Bill's) "Joe as James Stewart" impressions are spot on. There are also sharp observational bits (ala the quote above, or when Bill notices a smart looking guy at a bar).
    Conversely though, Dohler piles on the padding. There are long dull, repetitive stretches of film that the guys attempt to fill by piling on padding of their own. Chestnuts are hauled out - such as singing the title over and over, or the extended argument gag, which end up with one riffer threatening another with violence (here, it's the 'gun routine'). Neither of which was funny - and the laughs overall, dry up as it goes.
    In the finally tally: Great start, fair finish. (Of note: Scenes from this film are shown during the credits of the MSTed Pod People)

Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe
Release Date: August 30th, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Eh you taste like libertarianism and cigars" – Kevin, during kiss with Jessie Ventura
    Jessie Ventura stars as an alien "finder" who fails to stop the birth of some space/Earth baby. The baby grows up with the strange powers to make folks pee themselves. Aspects of the plot remind me of Jack Kirby's "New Gods/Fourth World" comics (ala the boom tubes). The riffing is sound: Jessie takes the expected shots (I loved the bedtime story sequence for example). The 2 aliens are fish out of water, and the riffing plays off that, but I got a kick out of those times when they turn that around and have them referencing something they couldn’t know (like ordering a Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity at a diner). The guys also toss in some "Schwarzenegger" bits for good measure. The manner in which the baby was conceived was amusing, thought I was getting uncomfortable hearing the word "rape" bandied about so casually (they do drop this after a while).

Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"You have the keys to the sampo!" – Bill
    Much of the riffing was simply the guys saying (in one way or the other) that the movie was stupid. While some of this was deserved (as with the slapsticky "Thor gets knocked out" scenes that happen one after the other), other times MK&B come off sounding like grouchy dickweeds (at one point Kevin addresses comic book fans outright, and does so with an irritated tone in his voice). Even when they veer off this tact, the humor was frequently limp (ala, the 'guy with metal detector' quip).
    I did chuckle over the film and TV references (Star Trek, Lars von Trier, Gilligan's Island), as well as some of the movie mocking (the Odinsleep). And I appreciated the nod to a famous MST ep. But on the whole this offering lacked the whip-smart elements that separate "hilarious quipping" from "garden variety complaining".

Laser Mission
Release Date: October 9th, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Wait a second, this script is terrible!" – Kevin as Ernest Borgnine
    This is a sad, low budget Brandon Lee action flick with delusions of comedy. The real humor though, comes not from the movie but from our riffers. The quipping is a goof-fest and seriously perks up whenever Ernest Borgnine enters a scene. The guys have some fun with the title (what is a laser mission anyway?) the theme song and the confuse-o-vision action scenes -- the remedial Spanish and, well, this whole dumb movie is one long riff just waiting to happen. The material is primarily light and fun – Kevin gets off 2 silly lines that exemplify this: When he gives the answer to what Rice said before he died, and the retort about playing Helter Skelter with your feet.

The Sons of Hercules: Land of Darkness
#10 in Mighty Jack's Top 41
Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Yes, nothing says seeking adventure like a powder blue mini skirt fluttering in the breeze." – Kevin
    The movie presented here was originally part of a syndicated series from the 60s (Sons of Herc wiki). This particular son had me thinking, "If Ryan Reynolds and Willem Dafoe had a baby..." Anyway, I found myself laughing pretty steady throughout. For the most part the riffing was down right silly – good mood humor if you will. For example: Mike's mention of "Grizzly Man", when a bear pops up on screen, got a big guffaw out of me. It was just so, well, silly (that's the word of the day boys and girls). Herc's son comes complete with his own comedic relief and a love interest who swings her arms madly when she runs; both characters and their traits are hilariously riffed upon. I hope we get more from this series because this was a great 'trax.

Warriors of the Wasteland
Release Date: November 15th, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"This really is just a less incoherent version of Hanna Barbera's wacky races" - Kevin
    This Italian post apocalyptic adventure features several recognizable faces from MST. Fred Williamson from Warrior of the Lost World, the gal who played Sandra in Devil Fish, Strike from Escape 2000 and Palermo from Final Justice is seen as a Holy man. (The movie was also directed by the guy who did MSTs Escape 200).
    The trax starts off funny as hell, there's a kid mechanic to tease, bubble domes and Hallmark card messages to laugh at. I felt it slipped as it went on. There was some of that lowbrow material I'm not so fond of, and the clammy hands thing at the end got real stupid. To sum up: Wasteland was a mixed bag. Regardless, the musician in me really dug Kevin's line... "I think this guy helped me last time I went to Guitar Center".

Buffalo Rider
#5 in Mighty Jack's Top 41
Release Date: November 22nd, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"That's very thoughtful Jake, but you really didn't have to drive crosses through their chest, they're not prairie vampires." – Mike
    Our movie chronicles the life and legend of western hero, and friend of bison - CJ "Buffalo" Jones (Here referred to as Jake). The riffing hit all the right notes - I was doubled over from laughter as I bore witness to several "adventures of a lifetime" and the quips that accompanied them. The poor animals didn't fare very well; (the ASPCA was obviously nowhere in sight) and that was a bummer, but they wrung some humor out of it (especially through a Raccoon named Bandit). The best part though, was watching a man sit uncomfortably astride a Buffalo.
    Perfect movie, great riffing - - though I was disappointed that neither Kevin or Disembaudio sang a variation on the classic "Basketball Jones", and let lose with some, "Buffalo Jones, Gotta Buffalo Jones, Gotta Buffalo Jones..." (I seriously had that bouncing in my skull throughout the entire movie). They did however, reference the tune so I gotta give 'em props for that.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Release Date: November 29th, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"But she has the brain the size of a crunch berry, so it's not like you really matter" - Bill on the leading ladies affection for Shia
    I didn't think Michael Bay could sink any lower than he did with the 2nd film in this franchise, but he manages to do just that with this 3rd installment. The characters are waaaaay over the top and Shia, is frequently reduced to screaming fits. Thankfully the final act in Chicago looks impressive (hey I'll latch on to any positive at this point). As for the comedy: There are a few tired old gags, but there was smart stuff as well (Kevin's line about doo-wop groups from the 50s, Michael Bay's eulogy). The trouble I had was that the film is waaaaay too long. Rifftrax has made comedy gold from long films (Titanic) but this one doesn’t have the same volume of knock out quips, and the movie is such an excruciating chore that I was pretty worn out - even in watching it over 2 nights. A mid range offering then.

Christmas With Rifftrax: Magic Christmas Tree
Release Date: December 20th, 2011
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Look, I'm trying not to be creeped out but you keep making it difficult!" – Kevin as kid, to talking Tree, after it says something suggestive.
    This time we celebrate Christmas at home (rather than live). As with last season’s event there’s a funny gift exchange. Mike got a big laugh at one point, echoing a skit from MST3Ks "Soultaker". After this Bill shares a bits of the Joe DiMaggio show" (Corbett's enthusiasm cracks me up). Next up a short, "The Shanty where Santy Claus Lives", which leads us to the main event - a low budget horror about a grouchy magic tree, a bratty kid and a Halloween... witch?
    It's fun to have Mike, Kevin and Bill there as host, and while the opening bits had me chuckling - the riffing on the short was okay at best, and the feature took its time getting going. Once in a while I'd get a guffaw out of it (as when the film Harold and Maud is referenced) but there are a few 'no longer funny' standbys (noting the incongruity of the title) and predictable fat jokes. Thankfully the work improves once the talking tree shows up. To sum it up: Christmas has a good start, a flabby midsection and a strong finish.

Captain America
Release Date: January 9th, 2012
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

    Most costume crime fighters have a weakness; Superman has kryptonite, for Green Lantern it was the color yellow (fear). After enduring Thor and now Captain America, it appears super-flicks have become the ‘traxers Achilles heel. They reach on jokes (comparing Caps mask to a mixing bowl) and offer retreads (With TVs Outsourced gone, they have turned to picking on Whitney) – and for lack of fresh material, continue riffing on Thor. When that fails, they take anemic jabs at the characters names. And guys -"Hogan's Homos"- Seriously? Come on, your made of better stuff than that. Was there anything I did like: Kevin mentioning "Shaft" during the Cap song and dance sequence.

Ghost House
#38 in Mighty Jack's Top 41
Release Date: January 20th, 2012
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Household glass, Satan’s pal" – Bill
    Rifftrax springs from the ashes of Captain America to deliver this beauty. The movie offers several treats: The creepy kid with clown doll, accompanied by their own evil carnival theme music, would be enough to mark this as a Z-level classic. But we also get marble mouthed ham radio operator, Jim Dalen, as well as the best female performance by an oddly accented gal who says "Paul" since Natalie in Werewolf. It's a smorgasbord of stupid, just waiting for MK&B to tear into it. The guys are in good form, and engage the movie smartly (plus they don’t shy away from the great Kim Bassinger/Kelly Lebrock flamewar that divided the citizens of Denver). Some of the jokes were a bit dark (Kevin whistling the Kung Fu theme as a body swings from a rope), but I enjoyed the release, through and through.

Frankenstein Island
Release Date: March 30th, 2012
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"This just became Quentin Taratino's favorite film" – Kevin as guy hauls out machine gun.
    From the mind of Jerry Warren -the man who brought us Wild World of Batwoman- comes another bit of random images –like the ghostly head of John Carradine, who pops in every now and again to speak about ‘the power’. The film is more a slog than Batwoman and the riffing weaker -- it was a real slow starter, picked up a bit in its final half hour. But all told I didn't have much fun with this one.

Mesa of Lost Women
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Put him in with the teensy man who dresses like Marlon Brando" – Mike
    This was a movie I thought was unriffable because it was all just discordant guitar playing and people who stand in the void... and stare. The movie gave me a headache, but for the most part, Mike, Kev and Bill pull it off. They do well making fun of the 'big nuthin' that is this movie - as well knocking that terrible music, the taunting narrator and the oddball characters (especially Dr. Masterson). At times the movie wears them down, but they always bounce back. Despite the pain, there's laughs a plenty.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Release Date: April 14th, 2012
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"Don't you know food when you see it?" – "Golden Coral's new slogan" – Kevin in response to guy handing out slop to the Apes.
    Okay 'trax, some good chuckles but not many gut busters. As expected, they draw from every simian-based film and book (from mentioning the protagonists need for a yellow hat, to a knock on Tim Burton), as well as the animal's habits (yeah, there are poo flinging quips), but they still manage to squeeze laughs from the material. Course they branch out into other areas: they pick on Netflix, quote from the Godfather and make observations about the characters and the actors who play them.

Curse of Bigfoot
Release Date: April 17th, 2012
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"A film so bad its own characters decided to shut it off" - Kevin
    Despite the title, the real star of this one is a guy named Norman. There's a lot of Norman aggression in this movie -- which is actually more a lecture. The story centers around a classroom, where we are told Bigfoot stories by non-actors who act poorly. While there are some old riffs that have worn out their welcome (like making fun of the storyteller, telling a mundane story) - overall I thought it was a fun one. Riffs where Mike mentions a favorite movie (Citizen Kane) and does an impression of one of my favorite actors (Jack Nicholson) helped ease the hurt of the tedious movie.

Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Riffers: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett

"The movie that dares to make suspense, boring" - Bill
    This flick stars Wings Hauser (no relation to Doogie) who does battle against mutant... uh blue zombie, redneck things. Mike describes it as Dukes of Hazard fan fiction, and it's on the receiving end of some nice riffing early on. Making fun of the local color and the variable degrees of shirtlessness... and pantlessness was a hoot, as were the cute pop culture references (i.e. Say Anything) and I even liked the puns (ala Kevin's line about the Police). It does lose momentum about the halfway point (things like, repeating the lead actors name and pointing out his sweat stains wasn't cutting it), though there are still chuckles to be had now and again. And the scene where the teacher attempts to save young Billy was funny all on its own. I'd give the first half an A grade, the second part a C.

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