Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|RiffTrax Shorts Volume 1 - from the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000|
Actors: Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett
Remember the instructional films your teachers used to show you whenever they wanted to sneak out for a smoke, or just nap in the back of the classroom? They're back! Only this time, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Mur... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Jorge S. (jorgito2001) from WESLEY CHAPEL, FL
Reviewed on 8/3/2011...
I've tried Joel and his crew in Cinematic Titanic & they were great in MST3K, but gotta say Mike, Kevin & Bill is where its at! These guys never cease to crack me up! These collection of shorts are hilarious & I often wish they were longer. The first short, 'Down & Out' had me laughing til I cried & had to pause it to catch my breath...this isn't the 1st time Mike & Co. have made me do this. Whenver I need a GUARANTEED laugh I pop in a Rifftrax. A newbie might find it "odd" to watch a movie or short with a commentary poking fun at it, but if you "get it" you surely won't be dissapointed.
Are you ready for Rifftrax?
Andrew McCaffrey | Satellite of Love, Maryland | 04/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and the Film Crew DVDs, for Rifftrax there is no fictional premise. Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett have not been shot into space; they are not minimum wage workers at a DVD authoring factory. Instead they're just doing what they did for years on MST3k, sitting around watching movies and making fun of them.
This single DVD collection puts together eight short films which had previously been for sale via the Rifftrax website plus one bonus short.
1) Down and Out -- A typical factory worker safety training film. The multiple slapstick accidents are mostly fodder for encouraging workers to use their common sense. And if common sense was a commodity that could be easily transferred upon people using television, this film probably would have been very successful.
2) Patriotism -- This early 1970s film, narrated by Bob Crane, teaches children about how to be patriotic in their everyday lives. Fortunately, it turns out that virtually everything you would ever dream of doing is a form of patriotism.
3) Buying Food -- This short film is exactly what it sounds like from its title: rather trite, silly explanations about how one should and shouldn't purchase foodstuffs.
4) Right or Wrong? -- One part choose-your-own-adventure story and one part introductory ethics course.
5) Drugs are Like That -- This REEFER MADNESS type film is aimed at teenagers and children. As you may expect, it's a rather heavy-handed screed pinning all human suffering and unhappiness at the foot of drug abuse.
6) Skipper Learns a Lesson -- In this short about teaching children to embrace diversity, Skipper the dog is an incredible misanthrope who hates all those around him.
7) The Trouble With Women -- This 1947 instructional film isn't quite as awful as its title would suggest. It's not a pure rant against the female gender; instead, it's a guide for male bosses about how to handle the influx of women into the workplace in a post-WWII America.
8) It Must Be the Neighbors -- Every problem in a neighborhood can be blamed on someone else. Usually the guy who has a load of filth and junk in his yard.
9) Shake Hands With Danger -- Another safety instructional film where those unfortunately workers who ignore common precautionary measures end up dead or mutilated in various gory ways. This Rifftrax features an animated Mike Nelson, and Bill Corbett in the form of a cartoon inflatable parrot with Kevin Murphy as an anthropomorphic box of popcorn (I'm not making that up). The jokes are funny, but I didn't quite see the purpose of the animation. I suspect this was an experimental attempt to recreate something like the old shadowrama effect, but for me it was just more of a distraction which subtracted the size of the viewable image without really adding anything.
The jokes and riffs are quite funny. The big question I suspect most fans are interested in is whether these Rifftrax releases match up to what we remember from "Mystery Science Theater 3000". One thing I've missed (which I think is also applicable to The Film Crew and -- to a lesser extent -- Joel Hodgson's Cinematic Titanic DVDs) is the sheer breadth of material which the writers drew on for inspiration on the old show. With fewer writers, it seems that the jokes are taken from a smaller pool of references.
So, I'd place this release at about the level of an average episode of MST3k. While this may sound like hollow praise, I'd put an average episode of MST3k well above the comedy output we see from most sitcoms. I'd recommend this to any fan of MST3k or even to anyone who never caught the show when it was running. It's great to hear Mike, Kevin and Bill once again making fun of incomprehensible and dated old short films."
Riffs plus short films equals comedy gold.
Roman Martel | California USA | 05/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I know many fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 enjoyed when the crew tackled short films. From the immortal "Mr. B Natural" to the bizarre "Out of This World", MST3K has provided some of their best humor in short subjects.
The trend continues with Rifftrax first volume of shorts. Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett slide right into these short films with relish and keep the laughs coming fast and furious.
Here are my descriptions and ratings out of 5.
Down and Out - is a simple safety film. If you've ever suffered through these before, then you'll find plenty to enjoy including how to avoid stepping on sidewalk chalk, how to use giant prop tools and of course how to wander around the work place completely oblivious to your surroundings. The poor dope in this video probably ended up in traction by the end.
4 out of 5
Patriotism - A 1970's film that explains to you, the child, how to be patriotic. Luckily all you have to do is clean up the neighbor's yard, write to your local city or state representative about traffic hazards or just keep off the grass when the sign says keep off the grass. Yeah, I don't know how it's patriotic either, but Bob Crane says it is, so he must be right... right?
3 out of 5
Buying Food - Bill explodes into a panic when he forgets how to buy food, but this movie saves his bacon with helpful hints like don't buy a metric ton of oysters for dinner, or read the labels of cans to find out what's inside them. A very helpful film for anyone who is out witted by one celled animals. A highlight of the disc.
5 out of 5
Right or Wrong - A warehouse is vandalized. Suddenly we are thrown in a moral quandary: will the night watchman turn in the delinquent kids? Will the owner press charges? Will the one child who is caught turn in his friends? Will you really care? Not really. One of the few weak shorts on this set.
2 out of 5
Skipper Learns a Lesson - Skipper the dog hates other dogs that don't look, sound or smell like him. Well guess what Mr. Racist Dog, you're going to get yours! Not only is the whole short film exceedingly goofy, but the Rifftrax team has a field day with this one.
5 out of 5
The Trouble With Women - It seems that a nebbish man has a problem working with women. Well he goes to his boss and complains. We get examples of how women just aren't as good as men, and how his boss tries to change his mind. Oddly enough this seems too short to really milk laughs out of. Has some really funny moments but they are too few.
2 out of 5
Drugs are Like That - Two kids with hearing problems discuss how drugs can screw up your life. All the while a disembodied voice points out strange facts and Legos are used as a visual aid. This short gets funnier and funnier as it goes along and the riffing team is in top form. My favorite of the disc.
5 out of 5
It Must Be the Neighbors - Is disease spreading around your suburb? Then blame the neighbors! Ignore the fact that you have mosquito breeding grounds in your back yard and your trash cans are falling apart. It's up the neighborhood kids to get things back into shape.
3 out of 5
Shake Hands with Danger - This time we get a safety film from the 1970's revolving around construction equipment. There is musical voice over by a guy trying really hard to be Johnny Cash, and lots of maiming and death. Seriously you get bloody chunks in this film. The song "Shake Hands with Danger" is worth it alone, but the rest of the short is pretty funny as well. This is the episode that contains the computer animated avatars for Mike, Kevin and Bill. Kinda odd, but not too distracting.
4 out of 5
Total grade: 4 out of 5
Now I know that when it comes to MST3K, my five star episode can be someone's one star episode. I do think that if you enjoyed the work of these three gentlemen (especially their more recent and more snarky work), you will enjoy this disc. It's a solid 100 minutes of entertainment and makes for great viewing with friends. It's also a great place to start for anyone new to Rifftrax - there is enough variety here to keep everyone laughing."
Shake Hands with Rifftrax...we hope you like the Shorts
McGillicutty | The Sooner Nation | 07/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first of hopefully many DVDs on the subject, "The Best of Rifftrax Shorts, Volume One" features nine hilarious short films riffed to perfection from former MST3K standouts Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, & Bill Corbett. While none of the shorts featured reach the heights attained by "Mr. B Natural" or "A Date with your Family", they are certainly very funny and well worth the ten dollar price tag.
At the head of the class is "Patriotism", narrated by Bob Crane of "Hogan's Heroes" fame and pioneer of the celebrity home sex video craze perfected by Pam Anderson. Just the sight of Bob Crane smiling at children planting a tree is hysterical enough, but Nelson, Murphy and Corbett shoot it into the stratosphere. Another can't miss subject is "The Trouble with Women", where an uptight supervisor can't seem to stand women...at least in the workplace and raises his rather minor concerns with his big-nosed boss. And "Buying Food" is flat out ridiculous for it's obvious subject matter (it's good to buy food that you will like and in the proper size...duh!) and very poor acting.
Sadly, "Down 'n Out" grows tiresome quickly after the jump-suited lead falls 20 times in the first two minutes, showing the life-threatening dangers of sidewalk chalk and well-placed stairs. "It Must Be the Neighbors" doesn't live up to it's title, yet is still somewhat entertaining as a lesson in group think.
The extra "short" with Mike, Kevin, & Bill appearing in "3-D" animated form to blow apart the credulity straining, gut-busting, "Shake Hands with Danger" featuring a 3rd rate Hoyt Axton-ish title theme strumming over really stupid workers getting dismembered right 'n left.
Also listen for the DVD Menu theme sung by "The Rifftones" and titled "Do the Ball Point"."