Jack the Giant Killer – RiffTrax Trip Report

The latest of the RiffTrax Live events took place this week, with a theatrical showing of Jack the Giant Killer. And what a RiffTrax Live event it was! Probably the best of the three I have seen in theaters (House on Haunted Hill and Reefer Madness were the other two), Jack the Giant Killer is also the first all-original full length film RiffTrax Live event. And good things come in all-new packages.

Before the main event, we only have one short, the mystical What is Nothing?, where two boys mumble and ponder the meaning of nothing while looking high as a kite. Or two kites. Or NO kites….. This ponderous film strip (when would this EVER be shown in classrooms???) is beyond weird, among the strangest things I’ve seen riffed. Those creepy 1970s shorts they got a hold of after getting to RiffTrax have been non-stop gold.

There were also two shorts from Richard Kyanka (Lowtax), narrated by his daughter and animated by the SomethingAwful team, which were entertaining (about Doorknob Man and Monster House) in an Axe Cob vibe.

There were a few technical glitches, namely some visual dropouts during the second Lowtax short, and the camera lingering on a sweaty Bill for some reason while Kevin talked for 30 seconds. But all was well as we moved on to the main event…
Jack the Giant Killer
Jack the Giant Killer

A treasury of awesome awfulness, Jack the Giant Killer features many stop-motion monsters, dubious special effects, and many actors in “witches” costumes that make them look like folks out of the Star Wars cantina. All of which is awesome to folks like me. Jack himself is pushing 40, but sold to us as a young hero who lucks into slaying the giant sent to kidnap the Princess Elaine. But the evil Pendragon won’t stop scheming, and ends up kidnapping Elaine at a later date, causing Jack to go on a rescue mission. Goofy things happen along the way, a kid tags along, a viking is there, and also a leprechaun in a bottle. Sadly, the non-murderous kind. But we did learn that when a leprechaun tells you to “seize the bone”, you don’t say no!

Several golden moments include the chimp in a thong and Phil being happy. The climactic conclusion involves a sea monster, another giant, and a huge bird dragon thing. There were so many targets on the screen each moment, the Riffers must have felt like kids in a candy store. But Mike, Bill, and Kevin pulled it off marvelously, and in the end, the $12.50 was worth it. I enjoyed the film well enough it has been added to the review queue, at which time I’ll get more than the random screenshots I ganked from another site.

Before the film were the usual RiffTrax gag movie facts slides, which were funny (except the dig at Cool Dog! Cool Dog is the greatest movie featuring a cool dog, EVER!) I would be remiss if I did not mention I went to see this with Todd at FourDK, because that’s what awesome movie bloggers do: go to movies!

Be right there!

One thought on “Jack the Giant Killer – RiffTrax Trip Report

  1. I saw the RiffTrax live show at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles and I concur, it was hilarious! That “What is Nothing” short was just flat out weird, as you say. Unless elementary schools were teaching basic philosophy courses back then I don’t know why it would ever have been shown to kids.

    “Jack” was great. Their description of Pendragon as “a chubbier version of Ming the Merciless” was priceless. My favorite line was Mike’s “Lighting from the ‘127 Hours’ collection” which of course drew groans. Overall it was wonderful.

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