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Rifftrax Live: Anaconda

Fathom Events // Unrated // October 30, 2014
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Fathomevents]

Review by John Sinnott | posted November 5, 2014 | E-mail the Author
The Rifftrax crew, in conjunction with Fathom Events, invaded
theaters once again on October 30th (with a replay on November 4th,
the screening I attended) for their send up of the cheesy 1997
horror film Anaconda. It was a good choice for a
pre-Halloween broadcast and a lot of fun was had by all who
attended.



For those who haven't run across Rifftrax before, the group
consists of Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy (all alumni
of Mystery Science Theater 3000). They create commentary tracks to
movies, both big-budget Hollywood specials and B-grade schlock that
are available for purchase through their web site, href="http://www.rifftrax.com/">Rifftrax.com. The running
discussion at our house is which is better, classic MST3K or
Rifftrax, and the latter is a slight favorite.



As with all Rifftrax Live events, this one started off with
some great pre-show slides accompanied by some humorous songs (think
Weird Al). The slides poked fun at upcoming films ("Movie Mistakes:
Optimism for Ghostbusters 3"), threw in some highbrow
references ("Little Known Fact: Poet T. S. Eliot's full name is
Taylor Swift Eliot"), and tied in pop culture ("Movie Quotes:
'Snakes... why did it have to be snakes?' - The Anaconda special
effects team"). One slide in particular really got my area of the
theater laughing with an obscure Rifftrax reference: "The
new TV series Gotham explores the childhood of that city's most
beloved hero - Gabe." (If you don't get it, to download Rifftrax's
version the first chapter of the 1949 serial Batman and Robin. You really should, it's the best
thing they've done, and that's saying a lot.)



The show started promptly with the three stars taking the stage and
bantering a little. This actually created one of the funniest
moments of the evening, when Bill Corbett, while naming the stars of
the film, accidentally listed Jennifer Lawrence instead of Jennifer
Lopez. The other two tease him mercilessly. It was unscripted and
hilarious.



Before the main film there were a couple of shorts, an Encyclopedia
Britannica film entitled Halloween Party, and a sample for
their upcoming National Geographic Channel special Man Vs.
Monster
. The first was an odd duck, involving a family that
created a last minute costume for the son... he went as a "Lady
Scarecrow." It was amusing. The second short didn't leave me as
impresses as I was hoping. It involved a man talking to a lady in a
third world country who had been bitten by an unknown creature while
fishing in a muddy river. They mainly made fun of the purple prose
the host was spouting, but didn't really come up with great lines.



That changed when the main event started. They skewer Anaconda this
time, a 1997 flick that has some solid credentials. It was
co-written by Jim Cash (who also penned Top Gun, Legal Eagles,
and Dick Tracy) and Hans Bauer (who helped with the script to
Titan A.E.) and featured an all-star cast including Jennifer
Lopez, rapper Ice Cube, Academy Award winner Jon Voight, Eric
Stoltz, and Owen Wilson. It also had a $45 Million budget with some
state of the art (at the time) special effects, so you can't blame
the results on not having enough resources.



The guys started in with some great jokes right away. "Oh no,
somehow taking a boat load of MTV rejects down the Amazon turned out
terribly bad." They poked fun at the cast ("Say what you will about
Jon Voight, but he produced a top-notch daughter"), and threw out
some good jokes that you had to think about for a second to get,
which is always appealing. One of my favorites happened while the
screen was filled with lush jungle growth: "Upton Sinclair, you out
there?"



It was mainly the cast that the brunt of the jokes though. They
described Vincent Castellanos' character Mateo as "Gilligan's methy
cousin" and when one of the cast picks up a gun and tries to be
menacing "oh cute, they're trying to make Owen Wilson look tough!"
can be heard.



There were a lot of other great riffs (one more that I want to get
in: when they decide against using the route that Jon Voight
suggests, someone says "Good call, not taking river advice from the
guy who was in Deliverance.") Watching Mike, Bill, and Kevin
mercilessly riff on a bad film like this is great, but watching it
with an appreciative crowd is much better. If you've never attended
a Rifftrax:Live event, you should really make a point of
doing so... they're all great. Highly Recommended.



Make sure you mark your calendar for the next Rifftrax: Live
event. The 1959s film href="http://www.rifftrax.com/event/rifftrax-live-santa-claus">Santa
Claus
(the one made in Mexico and dubbed by K. Gordon
Murray) will be showing at selected theaters on December 4th. Based
on the short preview they gave, it promises to be a hilarious
evening.

C O N T E N T

R E P L A Y

A D V I C E
Highly Recommended

E - M A I L
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