Film Review: RiffTrax Live: Summer Shorts Beach Party (2017)

Release Date: June 15th, 2017
Written by: Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, Bridget Nelson, Mary Jo Pehl, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Paul F. Tompkins
Cast: Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, Bridget Nelson, Mary Jo Pehl, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Paul F. Tompkins

RiffTrax, 120 Minutes


While this isn’t a typical movie in a movie format, I did see it theatrically, as it was intended, and I had a damn fine time.

Unlike most of the RiffTrax Live events, this one wasn’t about featuring a single motion picture. This event showcased a series of educational shorts.

For fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, riffing on educational shorts is a long and celebrated tradition by these guys. Back then, shorts were used to fill up the two-hour time slot if the featured movie wasn’t long enough. MST3K often times used low budget B-movies from yesteryear. Usually those movies have much shorter running times so the space on the show had to be filled. This RiffTrax special honored that part of their legacy.

This show also was a MST3K reunion of sorts, as it didn’t just feature Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett but it included Trace Beaulieu, Frank Contiff, Mary Jo Pehl and Bridget Nelson. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins also showed up for this riffing extravaganza.

The shorts Ricky Raccoon Shows the Way and Rhythmic Ball Skills were riffed by the normal team of Mr. Nelson, Murphy and Corbett. Office Etiquette was handled by Beaulieu and Contiff while The Griper was riffed by Pehl and Mrs. Nelson. A Touch of Magic was presented by Paul F. Tompkins, as well as Mr. Nelson, Murphy and Corbett. The final and most bizarre short of the seven featured was The Baggs, which was riffed by the entire cast.

Before the big finale, which was The Baggs, they showed a cool clip reel of the best of the 300-plus other shorts they have riffed over the years.

I really enjoyed this style of RiffTrax event, even more so than them just riffing on a movie. The two hours flew by and I found myself laughing a lot more than I do with typical theatrical comedies. The theater I was at wasn’t packed but the people there were really enjoying themselves and letting loose. It was the best theatergoing experience I have had in years.

Ultimately, I hope they do more events like this. It was a blast and I’m even considering going back to catch the encore in a few days.

Film Review: Kung Fury (2015)

Release Date: May 22nd, 2015 (Cannes)
Directed by: David Sandberg
Written by: David Sandberg
Music by: Mitch Murder, Lost Years
Cast: David Sandberg, Jorma Taccone, Leopold Nilsson, Eleni Young, Helene Ahlson, Andreas Cahling, Per-Henrik Arvidius, Steven Chew, Magnus Betnér, Björn Gustafsson, David Hasselhoff

Lampray, Laser Unicorns, Moving Sweden, 31 Minutes


Kung Fury is a pretty interesting film and the result of an awesome Kickstarter campaign.

It is hard to explain what exactly this is but essentially, it is a hyper-stylisitic and ultraviolent homage to 1980s martial arts films and over-the-top police action flicks. It has fighting, video games, dinosaurs, time travel, Nazis, urban punk gangs, Lambos, hacking, robots, Norse gods, talking cars, big guns and the Nintendo Power Glove. It also features a title track sung by David Hasselhoff.

The film is a short 31 minutes but every second of those 31 minutes is action-packed and like a shot of heroin in the arm for fans of gratuitous 80s action insanity and a thirst for true nostalgia.

Is it well-acted? No. But that’s kind of the point. What was well-acted that this film is an homage to? It is just pure 100 percent motherfucking bad ass motherfucker shit!

This film needs to be 31 minutes because anything more would just be overload. I felt as if my brain was going to explode when the credits rolled and the majestic voice of David Hasselhoff bellowed out the lyrics to his magical song True Survivor.

This film also leaves it open for a sequel. Too much may be overkill but I do eagerly anticipate the next chapter, assuming it is coming.

But for now, THE HOFF!!!

And the full movie!