Tuesday, 18 November 2008

RiffTrax - Mystery Science Theatre Update

I have been a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 ever since I was introduced to it by an ex-girlfriend back in 2005. For those that have never seen it, the premise of the show was basically to play some awful old B-movies (that had an expired copyright or really cheap licences!) and then have various characters add their own hilarious commentary over the top. This usually involved taking the piss out of either the acting, action or dialogue. There have been some absolutely classic moments. So much so, that it is hard to even consider starting a "Best Of" list here.

Then earlier today, in the most recent update from the guys behind "Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager", they mentioned having created their own audio commentary that can be played over the top of Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope. See the following clip for yourself:


Chad Vader - Star Wars Episode IV - Audio Commentary


This premise obviously reminded me of Mystery Science Theater and by following the provided link to the download site, I came across the website "RiffTrax". Wonderfully, it turns out that RiffTrax is a website run by Michael J. Nelson, the previous writer and, later, host of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

On RiffTrax, you can download these audio commentaries that recreate the magic of MST3K and then can automatically sync the track to play alongside your copy of the movie on DVD. This has enabled Mike Nelson to extend the MST3K premise onto virtually any movie (A-List Movies, B-List Movies and "Manos: Hands of Fate") as it would not violate any form of copyright or licence agreements. Now you can enjoy listening to his commentary to a huge array of more modern classics such as "The Matrix", "Jurassic Park" and "Casino Royale".

The only small apprehension I have with this project is that the allure of Mystery Science Theater 3000 was the fact that the movies were SO DREADFUL that the commentary track was the only draw to watch the show. If you then try to do the same over films that are actually quite good then the audio commentary might get in the way. However, I would imagine this would only be the case with the most recent of movies and by the time the movie is old enough for me to have seen the film multiple times , I would appreciate such a commentary.

Personally, I would love to hear a commentary to "Open Water", as that actually comes close to "Manos: Hands of Fate" as the worst movie I have ever seen!

To finish, I thought I would share MST3K's commentary to the car "chase" seen from the movie "Mitchell":


Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Mitchell Car Chase Scene

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