Summer Shorts Beach Party – RiffTrax Live Trip Report!

RiffTrax is back in theaters again for the 25thish time, but this time has nothing but shorts, which are always the best times! Summer Shorts Beach Party also has some special guests and even live show flubs with bad mics and Kevin accidentally getting a sticker on his forehead! The special was actually pretty long, so please forgive me if I get the order slightly out of sync, I didn’t take notes (What a monster I am!)

The beach party theme was the name of the game except for the part that it was just the set decoration that was following the theme, none of the shorts took place at the beach. Though you got the feeling that weird raccoon did hang out at the beach a lot perving on the girls! Ricky Raccoon was his name, star of Ricky Raccoon Shows the Way, and he materialized from this air to explain to what must be the dumbest kid alive how to cross the street without being murdered by a car. The kid’s family was along for the ride, and Ricky demonstrated his magical powers of creating and destroying matter, becoming authority figures, displaying random charts about how he isn’t a bear, and having a terrible beard. It is implied that Ricky lives in the house the family just bought, so they’ve basically doomed themselves to a forever haunting until Ricky kills them and waits for the next family.

The Mads from MST3K Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff bring us Office Etiquette, where we learn about just how much power a local high school typing teacher has to get her students jobs, and also how to behave at work. And thanks to Trace and Frank, lots of jokes pointing out how ridiculous things are! The short contained what is my favorite riff of the night, but I’m not going to spoil it!

We also learn about the exciting world of Rhythmic Ball Skills. No, not playing with your testicles, this was having kids roll a ball around in gym class, or briefly toss it in the air and catch it. So we got a 10 minute long video explaining this concept with children who appear to have never used balls before. So many shots of multiple kids where one loses the ball and has to chase it and then go back to the choreography, all conveniently left in the film. The whole thing is ridiculous on its own, and even better with Mike, Kevin, and Bill commentary.

Bridget Nelson and Mary Jo Pehl take on The Griper, who doesn’t gripe your windows, he’s just a kid who complains about everything, and even torpedoes his chances with the only girl who actually likes him for some reason. The Griper’s conscious explains to us, the audience, what a moron he is. The conscious is played by the Griper except transparent, which implies lots of awful things if you try to break down the mythology.

With Sentinels of Safety, we get a lot of shots of children horribly injuring themselves, because that is educational, somehow. (I can’t remember if Paul F. Tompkins riffs this short or A Touch of Magic, I think it was A Touch of Magic but I could be wrong)

A Touch of Magic is a companion short to Design for Dreaming, both sponsored by General Motors and A Touch of Magic also features dancer/actress Tad Tadlock , who was dubbed Nuveena, the Woman of the Future in MST3K and even played by Bridget Nelson. We witness a party full of imaginary guests that in no way implies our leads have some sort of weird mental condition, and also fantasy knights and dragons and Jared Letos.

The highlight of the night was The Baggs, the weirdest intersection crash of “Things come to life” and “1970s grant money wasting” to ever hit the silver screen. Two sacks of trash come to life and run around, chased by a determined hoarder hobo that just must add those bags to his collection in the back of his truck. It features bags devouring bags, bags vomiting up said bag, bags eating lots of trash and getting drunk, a gang of children, and Geoffrey Lewis (!!!) as a cop!

Overall, this was an amazing show with all sorts of ridiculous fun, well worth your time to get it on replay or when the VOD/DVD drops!

RiffTrax Summer Shorts beach party

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