RiffTrax Live Night of the Shorts – RiffTrax Trip Report
The show consisted of 6 shorts, most of which have been made available previously as digital downloads on RiffTrax.com. I had seen three of them previously, but seeing things in a crowded theater done live is far superior to watching them on a laptop at 1:30 am because insomnia is striking again.
We started off with a RiffTrax Highlight Reel that was awesome but also made me wish they had done a feature film. Oh, well, there is always next year!
How to Buy Food – Do you know how to buy food? Well, now you will! Just remember not to by impulse items like 3 packs of fresh oysters, or lima beans, lima beans, lima beans. Someone likes lima beans.
Mr. Bungle – You might remember the Mr. Bungle short on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Basically, an awful-looking puppet teaches young children what not to do, then a very blonde young boy obsesses on not being a Mr. Bungle for the next 15 minutes. Almost every character has blonde hair, which is sort of disturbing. Bill and Kevin were joined by special guest Maria Bamford, who I had never heard of. She’s a comedienne and popular from the audience applause, but I could barely hear anything she said and she left no impression on me.
Drugs are Like That – This awful 1970’s anti-drug short (narrated by Anita Bryant, vocal anti-gay rights crusader whose career was destroyed by backlash to her hate-filled views) features two kids who must have been on drugs putting together a fucked up Lego creation while explaining all the things that drugs are like. They include: babies, the don’t-step-on-a-crack game, swinging on a rope, a lake, playing baseball, and getting into the cookie jar. Kevin and Bill were joined by Cole Stratton and Janet Varney – 2/3rd of the SFSketchfest co-founders (the other guy was the host), who also are featured RiffTrax Presents performers.
Drawing for Beginners: The Rectangle – Kevin and Bill did another solo joint for this film that teaches you how to draw a rectangle. I guess this was before Kennedy told the schools to shape up so we can get people on the moon. Amazingly, you can use rectangles to draw rectangle-like objects. Who knew?
Shake Hands With Danger – Mythbuster’s Adam Savage joined Kevin and Bill for this industrial safety short that was rather gruesome at times. If you see one industrial short where people lose arms, get fingers grinded off, and fall to their deaths this year, then it may be this one.
At Your Fingertips: Grass – The final short was the fabled Grass short that was used on the Reefer Madness theater special. The always funny Paul F. Tompkins was there to help learn all sorts of wonderful, creepy, horrid things you can make with grass.
And we never find out if corn is grass!
Overall, it was fun times, and it is good to see people live again. Cinematic Titanic is coming back in May for a double show, so I’ll be there as well since I won’t be broke like I was the last time they came to town.
Most of these shorts are on RiffTrax.com already, so see them if you want, don’t if you don’t, yada yada yada.