As per usual, the preshow featured funny trivia cards and word jumbles (My favorite being the Magneto/Cerebro jumble!) The show began on the Starship Troopers-themed set, and unlike the usual shows, we jump right into the movie without shorts (the film is long enough there probably wasn’t any time)
Mike, Kevin, and Bill also thanked the cast of Starship Troopers that have been helping promote the event (and a few watching in theaters), including Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, and Clancy Brown, along with please for them not to be mad or want to murder them later. As of yet, no member of RiffTrax has been found dead.
We all know the classic story of Starship Troopers – in a crazy fascist future, teenage models battle killer bugs and blood and guts fly everywhere. Verhoeven is a big fan of the blood and guts, and also of extremely ridiculous violence (one only has to look at his filmography to catch this!)
The ridiculous violence no one seemed to have a problem with. However, there is the famous coed nude shower sequence, which seemed like sort of a weird thing to be riffing over. Thus, it got hit with a skit for a Gorilla-gram! Which was weird and didn’t work that well. Maybe next time there is a RiffTrax film with lots of gonzo nudity we’ll get a different way to deal with it. Like just showing it, as they showed some of the nudity later. Or bring back the two Gorilla-grams, that seemed to work!
Quips were usually on point, with lots of references to past and future output from the cast. There was even a The Dog Who Save Christmas Vacation joke, showing a strong ability to look at IMDB links. Among the great bits was a sequence with the ferret, the pointing out how often the movie’s dialogue is just “Move!”, the Airplane! reference, and the very true slam on AT&T. I would rate Starship Troopers as among the best of the RiffTrax Live shows, maybe bested only by Manos (and the Daredevil one I saw actually live, which always win for me meeting Bill, Mike, and Kevin!)
There was minor controversy among a few disgruntled sourpusses who thought that doing a RiffTrax of a film that had satirical elements was somehow the worst thing that happened in the entire universe. This view was shocking, even as a big fan of Starship Troopers. Do people not know the movie is still ridiculous? I hold the view that you can RiffTrax anything (and there is a RiffTrax audio for Casablanca!), and Starship Troopers lends itself easily to that role. It’s not like you have to be a rocket surgeon to detect the satirical elements in a film where characters are literally wearing Nazi uniforms.
This RiffTrax Live will not be released as a separate digital download/DVD, so I was glad I was able to see it. There will be an audio file released eventually that will be able to synch with a copy of Starship Troopers, for a similar but not quite the same experience at your home.
Next up on RiffTrax Live is the original Night of the Living Dead.