28 October 2010

Rifftrax Live Review - House on Haunted Hill

Hey again!

It's been four weeks again, and there hasn't been a whole lot to report. Real life has been taking turns patting me on the head and kicking me in the balls, thankfully more of the first than the second, but I'll be glad when everything calms down somewhat.

I don't have the blog to complain though, I have it to provide my thoughts on a variety of matters, and tonight's post is about the Rifftrax Live show that my wife and I attended tonight. Tonight's offering was "The House on Haunted Hill", the 1959 version starring Vincent Price and a cast of also-rans from the B-movie stables. The film was riffed rather well, and I found myself laughing in quite a few spots. If I were to grade the film, I'd say that the first half-hour was a low A and the second half-hour a B or so... they slowed down a bit as the movie went on, and the ending was a bit jarring if only because it didn't seem as if the movie was over.

The Rifftrax guys also came up with two shorts to round the total to two hours, though. The first one was a weird little endeavor called "Magical Disappearing Money", which was very in-your-face in a variety of ways. It was aggressively 70's-ish. Additionally, there was a strange lady, the "grocery witch", who would tsk-tsk all the shoppers' choices for food. One poor kid had to make do with yucky corn flakes instead of his favorite cereal, a poor guy with Ambrose Burnside muttonchops couldn't buy his breaded zucchini on sale, and EVERYONE needs to know how healthy and cheap powdered milk is for them!

A second short was aired, this time a study of paper called "Paper for All". In it, a paper bag is happy that a sick kid spares his life, and so he tells us everything we never wanted to know about paper from "the great Southern [U.S.] forests". The most majorly jarring imagery here was the cartoon face that they drew on the paper bag, the trees, the logs, and everything else... it really almost felt more like a descent into madness than an informational short about paper. The first short was terrific, the second short was good.

The theater itself was nowhere near full, though; there were possibly ten to fifteen paying customers in our theater including ourselves. However, I would not be surprised if there were possibly ten to fifteen other customers in the whole rest of the theater, the parking lot was amazingly empty even if this was a Thursday night. As it was a rather small town that we were able to catch this in, I think that the live Rifftrax movie performed pretty decently.

As a live offering, it has many of the same benefits as the recent live Cinematic Titanic shows, you could hear a crowd reaction and it helped to make me laugh a bit more. The downside was that there were times that they wanted to put the riffers on screen and then times that they didn't show the riffers, which was a bit distracting. Cinematic Titanic keeps all the riffers on screen for the whole movie... I don't have a preference either way, but I would rather that they stick with one method and use it.

After seeing this, I would probably be interested to watch another Rifftrax Live offering, even if I may be going by myself. Considering the movies that they would have to be able to get though, public domain movies, I already know that there is little chance that it will be a recent one; so, if one likes older movies and Rifftrax, this would probably be a good time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, not sure where your theater was located. When I went to the live event in Tulsa, the theater was packed - and we were in the largest theater in town (the one with IMAX next door, not some little one).
This was my first Rifftrax live event, and I took my teenage daughter (who usually only tolerates my love of all things MST-y). She came away from the evening wishing it was 2011 already so she could see another one.
Both of us loved the "Grocery Witch." The paper bag one was, as you said, kinda creepy ... I'm sure the kid will be taking a good look at his paper products next time he has to wipe his nose, or go number 2. Poor kid.
Mike, Bill and Kevin were in rare form as usual. I'm waiting with baited breath for this year's skewering. :)