Rifftrax Live – Trip Report
Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, now known as the Film Crew, were set for two appearances in the SF Sketchfest, performing riffing live of an actual movie. I eagerly bought my ticket and prepared for a two hour drive up to San Rafael to catch the first performance on january 16th. The movie was TBA, and could be anything, from the black and white B-movies the Film Crew are preparing to release with commentary on DVD, to the movies trashed by Mike and the gang at rifftrax.com, to an entirely new movie. Arriving in time to get a good seat (and catch a glimpse of the trio before the show started, I was all set for hilarity.
And Hilarity came! After a brief skit in the beginning (where Kevin and Bill pretended to not know they were watching a film and had prepared other performances) the movie was revealed: Daredevil!!! Ben Affleck’s disasterpiece about the blind superhero. Unfortunately, the first attempt at starting the DVD resulted in it beginning in the middle of the film, but the boys recovered as the DVD guy restarted. Much hilarity ensued as Affleck became a favorite target of the riffers’ jokes. The movie, if you have seen it (and I unfortunately had) is a complete mess; with editing problems, terrible dialog, worse overacting, and total disregard for the laws of physics. Some of the best lines involved mentioning “little Ben” and speaking in a deep voice whenever the Kingpin was on screen. Also, there was a mention of Bettendorf, Iowa, and as a former Quad Citian (Rock Island) I enjoyed it very much. The best part was during a fight near some laundry lines outside, and Mike started doing a whole commercial in an announcer voice for Daredevil Brand Laundry Detergent, that kept going and going, putting the audience and the other two riffers in stitches.
After the show, there was a question and answer portion, which was informative. The audience was surprisingly more normal than one would expect for an event like this, with only two notable exceptions. They revealed that the DVD the fans have voted for the most at filmcrewonline.com was Hollywood After Dark, with Rue McClanahan stripping. Also, Kevin said one of the upcoming Rifftrax films almost killed him with how bad it was, and I can’t wait. The group said Battlefield Earth was overexposed, and wouldn’t get riffed on anytime soon, something I agree with, as it is hit as a target far too often to make it interesting at the moment. In addition, they will not be riffing Blood Hook, despite an annoying fan not being quiet about it (MST3Kers Kevin Murphy and Jim Mallon worked on it.)
After the show, the group signed autographs, so I got to meet the trio, albeit briefly, and got all their autographs (Mike and Kevin in the MST3K book, and Bill on the Volume 7 DVD set) which I will treasure always. In all, the experience was very enjoyable, and well worth the $25 ticket price, plus gas and driving time. A stop off in San Francisco to see my girlfriend was also an added bonus. The group performed again the next day in San Francisco proper, and as Mike has expressed that he is working on a tour of Rifftrax, they may soon be coming to an area near you, maybe with another movie or Daredevil itself.
Pictures will be added if I can get the cable for my cell phone to connect to the computer.