Reefer Madness/Plan 9 From Outer Space/House of Haunted Hill (Legend
Picture: B Sound: B Extras: B Episodes: A
The Rifftrax phenomena has
grown out of the now television classic Mystery
Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) and
the short-lived, but still entertaining Film
Crew. Both of these shows featured
feature wise-cracking mid-westerners tearing up bad movies and shorts with a
mix of cynicism and comedy that’s developed a rabid following over the years. This unique brand of movie mayhem continues
with Rifftrax, and Legend Films
keeps them comng. This time we’ll take a
look at three Blu-rays of live Rifftrax events where the lads send up Reefer Madness, Plan 9 From Outer Space, and the original House on Haunted Hill.
Reefer Madness (riffed in 2011)
is the classic anti-marijuana documentary, sounding the alarm bell on the
scourge of the “demon weed,” and riffers Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill
Corbett take the alarmists and their wild claims about pot’s negative effects
to the next hilarious level.
House on Haunted
(riffed in 2010) tries hard to be scary, and in it Mr. price stars as a wealthy
man who offers five people the chance to win $10,000 if they can survive a
night in his haunted mansion. Ten grand
was still a lot more money in 1958! Both
guests and host get more than they bargained for in this schlocky fright-fest,
and the boys chew it up in front of a live Halloween-eve audience. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins joins the guys for
even more laughs.
Plan 9 From Outer
Space (riffed in 2009) must seem like a slow-pitch softball to Mr. Nelson
and his crew, and this proves true both in the Rifftrax live event in
Nashiville and during Mike’s solo commentary on Legend’s special solo release
of Ed Wood’s classic schlock film.
Available in both colorized and original black and white versions, you
can choose to watch the film with or without the hilarious commentary. It might be best to watch it without the
commentary first, give yourself a week or so to recover, then come back and
watch the color version with Mike Nelson’s able assistance.
Although sadly gone, the spirit of MST3K lives on in Rifftrax and whatever other film projects the
lads from old Deep 13 choose to lend their talents to. The live events possess a special kind of
comic energy that adds another dimension of fun and spontaneity to the
proceedings. Fans of bad film and the
men who make fun of it should seek these Blu-rays out immediately!
- Scott Pyle