Rifftrax Live’s Sharknado: Second To None!   Leave a comment

So.  Guess what movie I saw tonight?

Rifftrax has a habit of persuading me to see movies that I would otherwise never see.  Twilight, for instance, was a film that I never once considered viewing until Rifftrax released a riffing of it.  Lines like “Their relationship is based on him not killing her,” and “Badgercam!” hold special places in my heart.  Meanwhile, Sharknado was something of a media spectacle when it came out.  It was almost like no one wanted to watch it seriously.  Everyone wanted to watch it for the sake of being able to say that they couldn’t believe they watched it.  This was probably intentional on the part of the creators, as more than one character in the movie commented on just how unbelievable the situation was.  A friend of mine watched it and declared it to be the staple by which all future cinema would be judged.  “On a scale of one to five sharknados” was, I believe, what he said.

I arrived, regrettably, right on time.  This might not make sense to some viewers, but Rifftrax Live events have a habit of beginning about half an hour before the actual show starts up.  There’s usually a fake “trivia reel” filled with things that resemble riffs relating more to the state of movie making in general than to any specific film.  Attributing the line “Release the Kraken!” to Ian McKellen in the movie Schindler’s List, for instance.  However, while I missed the pre-movie festivities, I didn’t miss any of the actual content.

As was the case for most of their Rifftrax Live events, they opened with a short.  This one was a classic that fans of MST3K were already familiar with: A Case Of Spring Fever!

Coily the Spring Sprite returned in all his animated glory.  It was fun watching this short again; while part of my brain kept reciting all the lines from when the short was on MST3K, it as refreshing to see some of the new lines.  In some ways, I even enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the Rifftrax Live version of Manos: The Hands Of Fate.  (Though, to be fair, I preferred A Case Of Spring Fever to Manos on MST3K as well.  Maybe the material just lends itself more to my humor preferences?)

After the short, we were treated to two treats (such is the way of treating, after all.)  We were shown a preview of August’s upcoming riff of Godzilla, the movie that they turned to Kickstarter to fund (very successfully, I might add.)

The first of the two clips was, sadly, lacking sound (after a few moments of tense darkness.)  It’s possible they had some minor technical problems, but that didn’t stop them from Riffing, proving that we’re there more for their jokes than for the movies themselves.  I don’t know if the lines they used tonight will be used in the final showing, but it was fun.  In addition to the Godzilla preview, we also caught a glimpse of a special, never before seen trailer for Sharknado 2!  I won’t ruin what little we caught of the plot, but I WILL confirm the presence of a tornado conveying a large amount of sharks.

Ultimately, the real fun of the night came from Sharknado itself.  Before going to see this, I’d been warned that Sharknado was almost a comedy in itself and, as such, the riffing might suffer (see also: Catalina Caper.)  Fortunately, the movie took itself seriously enough that it wasn’t a problem at all.  The riffing was stellar.  While I’ve seen other Rifftrax Live’s that I’ve preferred, I feel it’s appropriate to say that this was… second to none.  …okay, that’ll make a lot more sense if you watch Sharknado.  Or the Rifftrax of it.

However, literal interpretations of statements aside, I maintain that the spirit of the comment is true.  Mike, Kevin and Bill brought their A-game to this performance.  If you were on the fence about going, I strongly suggest going to the secondary showing on July 15th (next Tuesday.)  Apart from that, it’s time to start looking forward to Rifftrax’s rendition of Godzilla in August.

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Posted July 11, 2014 by John Little in Review

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