Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|RiffTrax Shorts Volume 2 - 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 »
Similarly Requested DVDs
"Are you a Mr. Bungle?"
Andrew McCaffrey | Satellite of Love, Maryland | 06/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rifftrax is a spin-off or sequel to "Mystery Science Theater 3000" where three of the writers/performers from that show sell both mp3 files of movie mocking commentaries (which you sync up manually with the big studio's DVD release) and straight-to-DVD features where the commentary has already been synchronised up with a movie (usually a low-budget, public domain film) . I have found the feature length Rifftraxs to be hit-or-miss; some of them are great, but others leave me a little cold.
However, this is the second release they have made of commentaries over old industrial training shorts. These short films are a hold-over from the old MST3k days, and the shorts they tackled oftentimes resulted in producing some of their funniest material. Where would MST3k history be without Mr. B. Natural, Coily the Spring Sprite or a Date With Your Family?
And like Rifftrax's first volume of short films, the riffers do a great job of selecting nutty, bizarre material and interspersing quips, puns and observations into the already full sea of non sequiturs and nonsense.
Due to a variety of circumstances, I had actually previously viewed some of these short features in their original unmolested form before Rifftrax had added their commentary. So not only was I looking forward to watching their take on these, I also knew exactly how goofy, confusing and strange some of their starting material was.
This single DVD collection puts together nine short films which had previously been for sale via the Rifftrax website.
1) ONE GOT FAT. A bicycle safety film in which the protagonists are small children wearing disturbing, distorted ape masks. Charmingly, all but one of the kids are horribly killed or maimed by ignoring simple safety precautions while bicycling to a picnic. The precocious child then eats the lunches of his fallen peers in lieu of mourning.
2) LUNCHROOM MANNERS. School children watch a rude and clumsy puppet (Mr. Bungle). This short and lightweight demonstration causes all the children to radically alter their entire behavior for the rest of their lives.
3) EACH CHILD IS DIFFERENT. An instructional film intended for elementary school teachers. If not for the merciless mocking, this would be an incredibly depressing experience. Adults are taught that individual children may have horrifically dark, bleak and disturbing home lives.
4) WHY DOESN'T CATHY EAT BREAKFAST? A film which asks a question and then refuses to answer it. An absolutely pointless film as far as I could tell. This short is paired with PETALUMA CHICKEN which is equally confusing, featuring a chef attempting to make the world's largest omelette with help from an oversized spoon and women who do aerobics in a giant bowl. Two utterly incomprehensible movies.
5) ACT YOUR AGE. A high schooler caught defacing a desk decides to chart his way towards maturity with the help of statistics and focused polling of his family and peers.
6) HARM HIDES AT HOME. A normal suburban crossing guard is tracked by a U.F.O and given strange alien powers. She becomes Safety Woman, whose abilities are limited to providing her neighborhood children with lessons about fire safety coupled with instant teleportation. Given the description, you'd think the producers were trying to use humor to provide kids with a valuable lesson. But for some reason, the film takes its alien-enhanced heroine very seriously.
7) COFFEE HOUSE RENDEZVOUS. I'm not exactly clear on who this film is aimed at, but its message is that coffee houses of the '60s are a great place for young people to hang out. Features frequent close-ups of coffee and also a lot of sounds coming out of some kind of musical instruments.
8) ARE YOU POPULAR? I've watched this short two times now, and I still don't see how it answers the title question. Instead, it solemnly informs teenage boys that if they wish to date teenage girls, they must schedule their encounter some time before the evening in question. I wouldn't have thought it would take ten minutes to make that basic point.
9) GOOD HEALTH PRACTICES. The distillation of every food health film you've ever seen. Disturbingly, this must contain the most references to urination and defecation than any other film of its era.
Usually, the more outrageous or ridiculous the short, the more fun was to be had from MST3k/Rifftrax. The films here are certainly absurd and Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett get in a lot of excellent jokes. They aren't merely rehashing the jokes from their MST3k days, but it certainly has a very familiar flavor.
(One thing to note is that unlike some of the other straight-to-DVD Rifftrax, here there is no option to view the material without the riffing commentary. Given that most of these films are available freely on-line that probably won't be a problem for anyone dying to hear every available line of dialog in its original unscathed condition.)"
Rifftrax give George some more beans...
McGillicutty | The Sooner Nation | 09/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rifftrax Shorts Vol. 2
Another collection of 9 riff-tastic shorts from former MST3K and current Rifftrax performers Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. Most deal with improving the manners of American youth and health practices and like the first volume is very entertaining for the riff lover in all of us.
Highlights start with "Lunchroom Manners", a short featured on Pee-Wee Herman's HBO special back in the '80's. It's very funny stuff but I was surprised that Mike, Kevin, & Bill missed some obvious targets, listen for the narrator's line "...and he knew what else he wanted." and see just what the boys overlooked. "Each Child is Different", which shows children with different problems at home gets a prime blasting from the Rifftrax trio. The line "Give George some more beans" is right up there with MST3K classic phrase "Watch out for Snakes!" from "Eegah". Few shorts are more weird than "Coffee House Rendezvous", which promotes establishing "coffee clubs" on college campuses for the betterment of the students. Coffee, bad music, and lots of smoking probably didn't convince a lot of university presidents of the idea, but it is funny stuff.
"One Got Fat", narrated by Everett Edward Horton, famous for the "Fractured Fairy Tales" on the Rocky 'n Bullwinkle Show is a pretty tough one to sit through despite some decent riffing. I guess seeing children in disturbing monkey masks will do that. "Are You Popular" has the strobed look of a Youtube video on dial-up. And "Safety: Harm Hides at Home" is pure 70's pain, seemingly influenced by that Saturday morning fave "Isis".
My favorite riff happens at the end of the "Cathy" short from Bill, "Stop the projector? Why didn't we do that four minutes ago?"
The DVD itself is pretty bare bones with no extras, but should be expected for the 10 buck price tag. Let us hope that the Rifftrax trio keeps putting out more winners like this."
But I Don't WEAR a Belt!
JennMars | NJ | 06/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just bought Rifftrax Shorts #1 and laughed so hard I started choking at the lake scene in "Drugs are Like that." I turned off the DVD player and got on the computer and ordered Volume 2. The boys have still got it!"