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 RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness 
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:46 am
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Location: Brookline, MA
 RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness
Looks like the RiffTrax guys are at it again. National Amusements theaters will be running another live riffing experience. The movie featured this time will be "Reefer Madness". I would have preferred to see the "Plan Nine from Outer Space" edition they did last year (did anyone see it who can attest to how good or bad it was?), but it wasn't playing at any theaters close to me. This one will be at my "local" theater!

The show will be held live on Thursday, August 19 at 8:30, with an encore screening on Tuesday, August 24 at 7:30. Looks like there'll be some digital goodies "given" out too that you have to redeem at their website after the show.

Here's National Amusements' page about the show:

http://www.nationalamusements.com/events/current_events.asp?page=13


Looks like it's $12.50 for the first show and $10.00 for the "repeat".

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Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:10 pm
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 Re: RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness
i'll have to see if we can make it to this. reefer madness is one funny flick.

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Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:58 am
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 Re: RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness
Well there doesn't seem to be a heck of a lot of interest in this, but I figured it was worth reminding everyone that this Rifftrax show is coming up in only one week (August 19)!

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Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:08 pm
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 Re: RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness
Tomorrow's the night! It looks like I'll be able to go. Review to follow...

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:37 pm
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 Re: RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness
Looking forward to reading your review!


Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:04 pm
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 Re: RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness
Sorry it's taken me a while to get around to this. Don't take that to mean the show wasn't any good! It was actually a very good time. I think I would have liked it better if I had been able to go with a group of like-minded friends, but it was still fun.

I got there extra early and the worst part was that they were running an ad for Fathom Events (the company putting on the show) on a loop for about 20 minutes. I don't think it was intentional, but it was very annoying. After some more Fathom Events ads they put on about 20 or 30 minutes of those "Did You Know" messages that so many theaters run before a movie. But these messages were from the Rifftrax guys and were VERY funny for the most part. In addition to the "Did You Know" bits there were also "Movie Quotes" and "Movie Mistakes". I should have written some of them down to share here. One of the "Movie Quotes" was:

"Yeah, I'd love to be in a movie called 'Furry Vengeance'"!

Brendan Fraser

At some point, presumably



One of the "Movie Mistakes" was:

Movie theaters across the country mistakenly charged people to see "Tooth Fairy"!


One of the "Did You Know?" facts was (I don't remember the actual movie, but you get the idea):

"Battlefield Earth" is classified as a "movie" on the Internet Movie Database!


Anyway, most of them were pretty amusing. As for the show itself, yes, obviously it would have been better to physically be sitting in a theater with the guys, but how often are you going to get a chance to do that? Plus, it would cost more and there'd probably be a lot of traveling to get to it. This show was at my "local" theater (the one closest to me).

The show started with the guys introducing themselves and the show from the stage of the theater they were actually doing the riffing from (I'm not sure where it was, but I'm sure the people there paid more than $12.50). During the show the screen would switch from a full-screen presentation to a screen where the film was pushed over to the left and the Rifftrax guys were shown on the right in three vertical boxes (similar to how the boys were lined up in the "Brady Bunch" opening). This gave it a real "live" feeling. Otherwise you could forget it was being done live and it could have felt like you were simply watching an episode of Rifftrax on DVD.

They started with a few "never before seen" shorts. One of them was a very boring 1970s piece on grass (no, not like the "grass" featured in "Reefer Madness", but actual grass). The best of the shorts was probably the one about the dangers of housewives cleaning dirty clothes with gasoline (yes, I'm serious--and the short was serious too!). There were also a couple new animated shorts that were made by someone that the Rifftrax guys apparently know. They were nonsensical little cartoons that were apparently based on the rambling, nonsensical stories this guy's five-year-old daughter would tell. As the father of an imaginative four-year-old I thought these were pretty amusing (if strange).

The riffing on "Reefer Madness" itself was quite amusing. I've only seen a couple Rifftrax movies and have found them to be only semi-interesting for the most part. It seems that the former MST3K guys are having a tough time trying to recapture the lightning in a bottle that they got with that show. I DO like it, and appreciate the fact that the Rifftrax guys (and Cinematic Titanic for that matter) are still doing what they do best, but it's just not the same. That said, I think the simple fact that the show was live (even if not in-person) made it seem more immediate and funny. There were quite a few people that showed up at the theater to see it, many of whom came in small groups that seemed to be of the right mind and seemed to enjoy themselves. I'd be interested in seeing another one of these shows (and still regret not being able to see "Plan 9 from Outer Space" last year).

Which brings me to the most exciting part of this review. If you had wanted to see this show then you might be interested in the announcement made at the end of the show. They are going to be doing a Halloween show on October 28th, and the movie will be "House on Haunted Hill"! Doesn't look like the theaters hosting this one have been announced yet, but here's a link to the show:

http://www.fathomevents.com/comedy/event/rifftraxlive_hohh.aspx

Oh, and by the way, I kind of felt bad for west coast Rifftrax fans. While the show was telecast live in the east and the center of the country, the west coast had to make do with a tape delay.

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Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:41 pm
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 Re: RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness
thanks for the review!

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Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:02 am
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 Re: RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness
Thanks Col!
Interesting point you brought up regarding Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic compared to the original MST3K. I have seen most of CT, but none of Rifftrax. I take it Rifftrax is just a running commentary and no accompanying silhouettes (I'm not referring to the live shows like what you attended). Which one do you think comes closest to the feel of the original?

If Rifftrax did a similar silhouette type of thing like CT, would that make it feel more like MST3K?


Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:41 pm
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 Re: RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness
You know, I've had just the opposite experience as you Beastball. I've seen a couple Rifftrax movies, but don't think I've seen an entire Cinematic titanic episode yet (just the trailers and various clips). I think we should both make an effort to see the version we haven't seen much of. Yes, Rifftrax is indeed only the voices (no silhouettes). I guess the gimmick is that they are doing a "commentary track" on a movie. Seeing how funny it seemed because I knew it was being done "live", and the fact that they'd put the guys up on screen from time to time in the live show does make me wonder if having them onscreen would make it a better experience overall. I think that CT comes closest to MST3K, mainly because of the simple fact that they're onscreen. They both certainly have their moments, but it must be kind of daunting for both shows--while they both benefit from their MST3k pasts, they also have to live up to how beloved, classic and original that show is/was.

I'll have to try to find the time to watch more of both shows. Even though I haven't seen any complete CT shows, I do have a definite preference for Joel-era MST3K, so it probably has a built-in edge...though I do enjoy hearing the bots' (Tom Servo and Crow 2.0) voices on Rifftrax!

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Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:00 pm
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