Sigh. Why would anyone want to listen to people telling jokes over a classic movie like Night of the Living Dead? Once again Rifftrax misses the point of Mystery Science Theater 3000…
I dunno, as someone who watches MST3K for the bad movies rather than the jokes, I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. I’ve seen the film so many times that another “serious” rewatch isn’t really going to do anything for me, so for once it was kind of fun to have them poke holes in the production/acting/premise and just generally be silly about it.
Is that a thing with Rifftrax? I noticed they did the same thing with Carnival of Souls, one of the best horror films of that era.
Then again, MST itself isn’t entirely blameless. This Island Earth is very good space opera for it’s time, and certainly doesn’t deserve the treatment it received in the MST movie
To me, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a unique combination of affection and ridicule. They made fun of bad movies because they loved bad movies. As someone who watches and enjoys a lot of bad movies myself, that always resonated with me. But Rifftrax is all ridicule without the affection. If MST was nerds in love with the subject matter, Rifftrax is a bunch of hooting and jeering jocks wanting to get in on the action.
In other words, #TeamJoel. :)
A friend and I have been working our way through the entire run of MST3k with a randomly selected episode each week, and we’ve both noticed that tonal shift between Joel and Mike; and it becomes especially noticeable in the later Mike seasons. In some cases (Diabolik, Time Chasers, and Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders all spring to mind) it really works, but other times it just feels like punching down.
One thing I’ve begun to realize is that I think the biggest tonal shift for me was when Trace Beaulieu left.
Yeah I won’t be checking this out, I don’t feel the need to mock Night of the Living Dead but hey, whatever works for folks.
Mike is good at making jokes about the many failings of low-budget movies. Joel clearly has actual affection for them.
I know which approach I prefer, but mileage varies.
Mike was the head writer for almost all of Joel’s run, so his voice was in there nearly from the start.
Yep. For me, the voice of MST is Joel and Trace. Mike and Kevin Murphy were fine in supporting roles, but once they became the voice of the show – and especially once they started Rifftrax’ing classic movies – something was lost.
And the less said about Mary Jo Pehl, the better.
And I’m with you 100%. But again, This Island Earth is anything but a bad movie, so it’s inclusion remains a head scratcher. OTOH, the movie stems from the Mike era, doesn’t it?
Very much agree with this.
It’s not bad in the usual MST3K mold, but it is rather silly. And the MSTing of it is quite funny.
I think Frank Coniff is also a very underrated contributing factor to the first half of the run. Not for his onscreen presence, but as a writer.
I think the same. Rifftrax of classic movies are just an extra layer on top of one of many viewings. They don’t ruin it, it’s just something extra.
I’m on Team Joel, and Also Mike! though. Just give me more of a great comedy and film appreciation format, whoever’s doing it.
I miss the space stuff with puppets,
Seriously, this is just pure fucking shit. People in the audience laughing along while these three idiot doofuses crack jokes through the absolutely shattering ending…
Honk if you miss Gypsy!
I really enjoyed the Mike years in MST3K, but I can’t stand Rifftrax. Every joke is just so long and labored, the dialog between them so forced, any appreciation you have for the movie is just buried in this sea of noise. In classic MST, if a joke didn’t land, it didn’t matter, because they just made three more jokes while you were reading this. Rifftrax is just constant babbling.
On a similar note, Mike’s got a “bad books” podcast that can be pretty fun–as long as you fast forward through the “bits” where he and the co-host act out cut scenes and fictional radio dramas from the text, which go over about as well as an overlong mid-episode SNL skit.
I don’t understand what all this talk about enjoying bad movies or mocking them has to do with Night of the Living Dead, which is a very good movie. Even if they liked the movie, I don’t get it.
I didn’t bother watching the video.