RiffTrax is still traxxing the riffs and the world is still better for it. This time we caught another of their live shows, featuring 2017’s Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine! Not only is this the newest film they’ve ever done, it was also one of the rare live shows where I haven’t seen the film beforehand. And boy I didn’t know what I was missing! Star Raiders is amazing genre pulp made on a shoestring budget and just does a bunch of crazy things that made me love the flick. That also makes it perfect RiffTrax fodder, as a movie with rubber aliens, CGI spaceships, lots of walking through a forest, and a villain who is missing a large portion of his skull means we got ourselves a target rich environment!
Before we got to the feature, we had us a short, this one that taught us an important lesson about telling the truth. At least that’s what the feature claimed, any actual lessons are accidental and you should consult your morality code. A teacher tells a group of students about three boys (why there was this weird framing device I am not certain, unless the movie company just repackaged another story) who wander around and eventually get a bunch of smooth stones from a crazed cement enthusiast and begin chucking them at random things. It’s all fun and games until one of the stones smashes a window and ends up in an old lady’s soup. One of the kids is too scared to run away and she grabs him, then the film ends and the teacher asks the audience of students to discuss telling the truth. Makes perfect sense, right? Crazy moral stories are almost as fun as when there is a creepy animated object teaching children valuable lessons, so this one was a hoot!
Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine begins in space with a confusing battle between forces we have no idea who are who, which is interrupted by Saber Raine in his custom CGI ship. He decides to defend one of his friends, who is from the species that the humans are fighting, so the humans aren’t too happy with their fellow human Saber and try to kill him, except they forgot the part where their ships were inferior and Raine Star Raiders the hell out of them. We cut to years later with the actual plot, which involves Raine being recruited by the bodyguards of the royal family to help rescue the missing children of the Emperor. This involves a lot of walking in the forest as a convenient energy net disrupts technology so they can’t fly around in their ships. The villains are lead by the guy we mentioned who was missing most of his skull, and most of his goons are dead bodies controlled by crystals and robots. What we get are a bunch of actors hamming it up, crazy costumes and makeup, and green screens up the wazoo! This leads to lots of fighting and visual insanity as the plot chugs along in brief bursts in between the wandering around scenes.
As you can imagine, the film presents a riffer’s paradise, and there were tons of jokes about Van Dien, the cgi ships, the makeup effects, the confusion on who the heroes an villains are, and the general plot. Special shout out to Gary, the name they gave one of the bug alien villains, who sadly died (multiple times thanks to the film reusing the mask as different members of the species! Poor Gary….) Some of the heroes came equipped with eyeware that was obviously sunglasses that had one of the eyecovers removed. Overall the riffing was pretty strong, the film has enough entertaining portions that fans will be pleased, and weird people like me would even enjoy the film without Mike, Kevin, and Bill cracking wise. The credits showed that writer/director Mark Steven Grove as well as actress Sara N. Salazar were in attendance. Mark Steven Grove has been making a series of genre films to showcase a lot of his talent pool at the choreography studio he runs, and he just made a fan that will be tracking down more of his filmography. Star Raiders has a big Galaxy Lords vibe, and everyone knows how much we love that one! Hopefully the rest of the batch live up to Star Raiders, and hopefully when RiffTrax Live does The Giant Spider Invasion, we will have another great show! Until then, keep raiding those stars!