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Review by Kate Davis
“Welcome to Tara-dise, bitches!” 

If you haven’t been to a live Rifftrax event yet, you’re hardcore missing out.

There’s an electricity that buzzes in the audience while waiting, with baited breath, for Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett to come out on stage.

Unfamiliar with Rifftrax?

Do these names sound familiar?

That’s because these three guys are known for their work on the cult-show Mystery Science Theater 3000.

These days, they’ve manifested themselves as Rifftrax, a trio of grown-ass men making jokes over (mostly) bad movies.

They tend to riff flicks like Twilight and Wicker Man (of the Nic Cage variety, of course) as well as B-Movies most of us have never heard of.

You can buy them, stream them, and in this case, watch them live.

Sharknado, a Syfy flick directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, is a self aware film about… a tornado full of… yeah, you know.

In addition to Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills: 90210 fame, it also stars the, eh, hm, “actress” Tara Reid.

Honestly, the Rifftrax guys couldn’t have chosen a better, more topical movie. It’s clear that although the movie is supposed to be bad, it goes above and beyond what’s expected of it.

However, I feel as though the real star of the movie is the editing.

It’s just. so. bad.

So bad.

But, the only thing that can make this train wreck even more enjoyable is the quippy prose of Mike, Kevin, and Bill.

I especially enjoyed the fun fact slideshow they had before the show. “Did You Know?”, movie mistakes, and movie quotes to name a handful. But, it’s the Rifftrax guys, so you know they’re not going to be your run of the mill facts…

“Movie Quotes: “I bet the fans would really love another American Pie movie!” -Voice from the bushes outside a Universal executive’s office that sounds suspiciously like Tara Reid’s”

“Did You Know? Sharknado has an 82% fresh rate on Rotten Tomatoes so why don’t we just burn everything and salt the earth right now.”

“Movie Mistakes: The Asylum has never produced an unprofitable film.”

Once the guys come out on stage, the crowd goes wild! They begin by showing an MST3K classic, an 1940 industrial short about the wonders of springs called “A Case of Spring Fever.”

A man, while fixing a couch, curses those darn, squeaky springs and wishes they were gone. Foolhardy mistake! A hellish little cartoon pops up and grants his wish. Every time he tries to open a car door or use the pedals in his car, they won’t work! All the while Coily (the springy imp) yells “Nooo springs! Heh-heh-heh!”

The man wishes the glorious life-sustaining springs back and while on a golf outing, he regales all of his friends about the many wonders of springs. I feel like I’m describing an insane fever dream I had.

The Rifftrax guys joke “This is worse than when he quit eating gluten and wouldn’t shut up!” and “Springs. They’ll make your friends hate you!”
After showing the trailer for Sharknado 2: The Second One, Mike, Kevin, and Bill show a teaser clip from their upcoming Rifftrax event, the 1998 Godzilla, which I must say I am profoundly pumped for.

Even with the only technical difficulty during the night (no audio for the clip), they manage to steal a laugh from the audience, “Little known fact, the 1998 Godzilla version was a silent film!”

Finally after all their intro bits, the meat of the program, Sharknado! I know I’m wildly biased as a lifelong MSTie, but these guys definitely still got it.

John Heard’s super drunk, barstool-wielding character, vapid Tara Reid, and the supposedly hunky Ian Ziering aren’t safe from their witicisms…

(Tara Reid answers the phone) “Hello, whatevermovieitisI’lldoit!!!”

(Someone throws a scuba tank into a shark agape mouth) “Oh, great idea! Plagiarize the shark to death!”

“The lack of L.A. traffic is the most implausible thing about this movie.”

…and my personal favorite…

“If I don’t make it, tell my real doll I loved her!”

Overall, the show was a huge success, save for the superbly minor technical difficulties.

And even then they managed to turn it around to their benefit. Only the Midwest could birth such sarcastic brilliance. My throat actually hurt from giggling; I was hoarse the next day. If you’re a fan of humor and laughing yourself stupid, it’s a must watch!

And as for Rifftrax’s upcoming take on Godzilla? I can’t wait.

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