MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

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Thad
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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Sun Aug 29, 2021 1:03 pm

A Kickstarter update from a week and a half or so ago: HOW MST3K GETS MADE: Movie Selection

I always like these insights into the difference between a movie that's merely bad and a movie that's a good fit for MST3K.

Apparently a recently-rejected option was The Final Programme, which I didn't even realize was adapted as a movie; coincidentally* Nathan Rabin just reviewed it.

* or not; apparently Joel mentioned it recently on The Flop House, and I'd say there's a reasonably high probability that whoever commissioned Rabin's article listens to that podcast

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Tue Aug 31, 2021 2:57 pm

Live reading of Bill Corbett's play The Medievalists, September 18, 8 PM EDT

A once-respected history scholar crashes and burns on the set of the cheesy TV series adapted from his work. His family rides in on a quest to save the day!


Take a look at that cast:

Image

It's a fundraiser for the Vidiots Foundation:

A one-of-a-kind hub for film lovers, filmmakers, and everyone curious about cinema, Vidiots is dedicated to inspiring human interaction around film through preserving, growing, and providing access to its diverse DVD, BluRay, and rare VHS collection, showcasing the work of emerging, master, and underrepresented artists, and producing unique and affordable film events and vital education programs.

Vidiots Foundation has a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access going back to our founding in 1985. We profoundly value and strive to reflect all the communities we serve, in one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Representation, inclusivity, and equity have been at the forefront of our work for 35 years. Our Founders began the organization in order to tap the deep well of artistry from all over the world, and showcase the widest array of artists and points of view from all backgrounds in an affordable and equitable way. This passion remains our guiding light in a fierce commitment to building an equitable, inclusive, anti-racist, anti-misogynist film culture open and accessible to all.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:07 pm

More on Corbett's play (coming up Saturday): Bill Corbett of MST3K, RiffTrax goes online to debut new play, 'The Medievalists'

My favorite part is this:

"This, to me, is slightly different. This is sort of a pompous character — unlike me, not pompous at all — who has to face (the fact) that with this territory there may not be as much dignity or deference given.”


"The fact that" is a useless, null-content verbal tic that adds absolutely nothing meaningful to any sentence it's included in, and I've been trying to unlearn my own habit of using it. And some motherfucker added it to a sentence where the speaker didn't actually use it.

Nobody abuses the English language like journalists.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:00 pm


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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Sun Nov 21, 2021 2:36 pm

In case anyone missed the feel of those early days when MST3K was all ad-libbed, it looks like they'll be doing some of that at SF Sketchfest come January.



No word on whether it'll be available online, but past SF Sketchfest riffs have been.

ETA: SF Sketchfest 2022 has been postponed. They've said they still plan on holding it sometime later in the year but haven't announced a date yet. But maybe the live riffs will still happen at some point.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:01 pm

Neat making-of update with some photos of the filming of one of the theater segments.

Judging by the photos, Baron and Hampton are operating the puppets themselves now, as opposed to the Netflix seasons, where they provided the voices and remotely controlled the mouths but most of the puppet work was done by other puppeteers (Grant Baciocco, Carla Rudy, Russ Walko, and Erik Kuska).

I've got mixed feelings on the show seeing budget cuts. I think the Netflix seasons felt too slick and overproduced and lost a lot of the ramshackle homemade charm from the Eden Prairie years (though there were still some moments that retained that feel; in particular I'm thinking of the part in "Every Country Has a Monster" where one of the cardboard cutout monsters falls over and Jonah looks at the camera like he's wondering if they should cut but they keep going), and I feel like moving forward with a smaller budget might bring some of that back. On the other hand, I feel bad for anybody who's losing out on a paycheck. I hope there's still some work for those other puppeteers (who also performed Growler and M Waverly, so maybe they'll come back and do those again).

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Tue Dec 21, 2021 5:09 pm

Thad wrote:Not sure why they've decided to go with this artifical-scarcity route instead of just leaving it up to download in perpetuity, but there it is.

The Dumb Industries Store is now live. You can buy the Mads' first four streams for $15 each or $50 for the set; they've also got The Mary Jo Pehl Show for $4 an episode.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 01, 2022 7:12 pm

The MST3K season premier is coming up this Friday; the movie is Santo in Dracula's Treasure. And yes, that's El Santo, last seen on MST3K in experiment 624: Samson vs. the Vampire Women.

Those of us who contributed to the last Kickstarter should be getting instructions on how to set up our Gizmoplex accounts to watch it, but they haven't come yet. Latest update said it should hopefully be coming within the next couple of hours; that was an hour ago.

I'm not clear on whether they'll be letting anyone who didn't contribute to the Kickstarter sign up for a subscription before Friday's stream or if they'll have to catch up later; hopefully that'll be answered in the instructions they haven't sent us yet.

Somebody wrote up a release schedule for the rest of the season based on scheduled streams on the website; in addition to the new episodes there are going to be various "special events" including old episodes and new shorts. (One of the special events is presumably going to be the Rifftrax stream we heard about back during the Kickstarter.)

  • Santo in the Treasure of Dracula premieres March 4th 2022 at 8pm est, with Live Aftershow and Discussion
  • A Tribute to Manos premieres March 18th 2022 at 8pm est, with a screening of the MST3K Manos: The Hands of Fate episode, the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • Robot Wars premieres April 1st 2022 at 8pm est, with live aftershow and discussion
  • Special Event #2 premieres April 15th 2022, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • Beyond Atlantis premieres April 29th 2022, with live aftershow and discussion
  • Special Event #3 premieres May 13th 2022, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • Munchie premieres May 27th 2022, with live aftershow and discussion
  • Doctor Mordrid premieres June 10th 2022, with live aftershow and discussion
  • Demon Squad premieres June 24th 2022, with live aftershow and discussion
  • Special Event #4 premieres July 8th 2022, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • Gamera vs. Jiger premieres July 22nd 2022, with live aftershow and discussion
  • Special Event #5 premieres August 5th 2022, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • The Batwoman premieres August 19th 2022, with live aftershow and discussion
  • The Million Eyes of Sumuru premieres September 2nd 2022, with live aftershow and discussion
  • Special Event #6 premieres September 16th 2022, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • H. G. Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come premieres September 30th 2022, with live aftershow and Discussion
  • Special Event #7 premieres October 14th 2022, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • The Mask 3D premieres October 28th 2022, with live aftershow and Discussion
  • The Bubble premieres November 11th 2022, with live aftershow and Discussion
  • Special Event #8 premieres December 13th 2022, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • Special Event #9 premieres December 14th 2022, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • Special Event #10 premieres December 15th 2022, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • The Christmas Dragon premieres December 16th 2022, with live aftershow and Discussion
  • Special Event #11 premieres January 6th 2023, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • Special Event #12 premieres January 20th 2023, with the premiere of a new short and live aftershow and Discussion
  • Special Event #13 premieres February 3rd 2023, with the premiere of a new short (possibly a mistake since there are only supposed to be 12 shorts) and live aftershow and Discussion
  • Special Event #14 premieres February 17th 2023, with the premiere of a new short (possibly a mistake since there are only supposed to be 12 shorts) and live aftershow and Discussion


Meanwhile, the latest Rifftrax Kickstarter is on; they plan to riff Return of Swamp Thing.

If past Kickstarters are any indication, later on in the campaign they'll add a bundle of shorts as a reward for all backers. So even just kicking in $1 is usually a pretty good deal.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 02, 2022 12:16 am

Okay I still don't know how any of this works if you didn't contribute to the Kickstarter, but at any rate you can sign up for a Gizmoplex account and buy old episodes and...maybe sign up for the new ones? I don't know; somebody who doesn't already have an account set up can check it out maybe.

In the meantime, it looks like I also have access to a selection of episodes that rotates out every month, and I haven't seen three of the six that I've got in March, so maybe I'll go back to putting the show on in the background while I work. ...maybe I'll hook another computer up to my CRT TV and work it from there.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 02, 2022 6:43 pm

Per the latest Kickstarter update, Kickstarter backers are going to be the only people who can access the Gizmoplex (and, therefore, the new episodes) until May.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 08, 2022 12:30 am

The season premier was solid. You can really feel the cutbacks; all the host segments are really obviously shot against a greenscreen. But that's not necessarily a bad thing; it felt a little too polished during the Netflix years and this sort of feels like a return to the cheap homemade days.

The highlight, really, is that Jonah, Hampton, and Baron aren't the new guys anymore; they've settled into their rhythm and so have the writers. The riffing feels laid-back and natural instead of frenetic like it was back in season 11.

The movie's fine but I was expecting something more (IIRC the other Santo movie they did back in season 6 was better). I love the hook that Santo is also a scientist who has invented a machine that can send people back into their past lives, but from there it turns into a pretty straight adaptation of Dracula for the next half-hour and doesn't have nearly enough Santo in it. There's a line in the last host segment about how Santo's been doing this a long time and it doesn't even faze him anymore; I think that kinda captures the tone of the movie as a whole.

There was an intermission in the middle with some ads, scripted segments introduced by Pearl and Synthia with Jonah and the bots hawking products on behalf of companies that backed the Kickstarter at one of the higher levels. Not bad, I thought; they were open about them being sponsored content and they were the kind of specific product that seem like MiSTies would actually be interested in (I remember there were biographies of Bela Lugosi and Lee Van Cleef in there; I forget what all else). There's about another 50 minutes of post-show content I haven't watched yet.

So far so good; looking forward to watching the other 12 throughout the rest of the year.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 09, 2022 12:36 am

They previewed the Gizmoplex and it's about what I expected: a frontend for a video streaming/download service that looks like a '90s point-and-click adventure game. It's laid out like a multistory cineplex, with your video collection in the basement and the special streaming events up top in the dome. I kinda love it for its impracticality, though I hope quick navigation is possible or it could wind up being like one of those obnoxious DVD menus where you have to wait through an animation every time you want to do anything.

Also, I was amused to see Matt Fraction's name pop up. They were demonstrating how there's a floor where the wall's covered in plaques with the names of people who contributed to the Kickstarter and you can search them; they searched for "Matt" (as in writer-producer Matt McGinnis) and Fraction was one of the Matts whose name came up.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 15, 2022 12:45 pm


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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby beatbandito » Wed Mar 16, 2022 8:41 am

Unfortunately, unless I'm confusing it with a similar game, Silversong bought What the Dub for discord game night and it was so bad that after about an hour she was trying to get a refund.
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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby hngkong » Wed Mar 16, 2022 9:31 am

beatbandito wrote:Unfortunately, unless I'm confusing it with a similar game, Silversong bought What the Dub for discord game night and it was so bad that after about an hour she was trying to get a refund.


It also lied about how many people can play. Only half the people listed could actually play, the other half could just vote... which Jackbox doesn't limit.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 29, 2022 8:34 pm

Remember when Jonah, Baron, and Hampton started out and you couldn't always tell who was talking because their voices weren't distinct enough?

Yeah, not gonna be a problem with Emily, Conor, and Kelsey.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, and the rest

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:44 pm

This is a really solid debut. Like, the movie and writing are middling; I don't know if I'll remember anything specific about them tomorrow. But the cast really gels. Course, this is only their debut on the TV series; they've worked together on what, two, three live tours now? So it's not like they're going into this cold; they already had plenty of time to get used to the routine.

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