Another movie post.

Last night was a Fathom Live event, where a particular event is broadcast to certain movie theaters around the country. This particular one was done by Rifftrax, which is the modern version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (one of two – there is Cinematic Titanic) where they decided to tackle the recent Asylum film, Sharknado.

I took my brother and it was a hoot. I haven’t had a good laugh like this in quite some time.

There were a few video game jokes there too, my brother and I were about the only ones to laugh at this one : “George was kicked out of the Dave & Busters for trying to make out with the Golden Tee machine”

Arcade joke, hehehe.

Unfortunately I can’t remember a lot of the great riffs since it was so packed with jokes + WTF moments from the film itself. I mean, I get that Asylum tries to make their movies bad but holy heaven this is crap. In that regard it was a little distracting at times where you are just trying to figure out what the movie is doing. The one thing this has going for it, apart from the gimmick of a Sharknado is it doesn’t make you feel like a horrible person after watching it. So it’s not in “bad/bad” or “loathesome/bad” territory. But I would have a hard time sitting down to watch it without someone to riff with or the professional riffing that this event had. There are plenty of moments where you are trying to process what is going on, if you suspend your disbelief then that can help a little but it does follow some of the patterns that many really bad movies follow such as:

-Most of the time you are looking at close-ups to characters or shots of random things, like a sidewalk. Save that special effects budget!

– Useless characters. For the promotion of Tara Reid, she literally is worth nothing in the film, doesn’t have any memorable funny/bad lines, she doesn’t really do anything anyone remembers until the last moment of the film. So while she gets some deserved character riffing, it’s not on the level of a Rowsdower or Blast Hardcheese kind of thing (the main character also doesn’t quite reach that level but a little more than Reid) just because there isn’t much to riff on other than her blank whatsherfacefromTwilight-type expression.

– Whiplash editing (many fast, almost random cuts that throw you for a loop)

– Inconsistent shots and effects. One moment the water is up to the car windows, the next the characters can walk around outside. They did riff on one of these instances where it is raining, then not, then raining again, then its clear, then it isn’t.

-Not much pays off. It’s not completely devoid of payoffs (with a not-exactly expected character death and a result from that), but the opening scene with the impossible-to-understand boat captain was a lousy attempt to setup some sort of intrigue and subplot as it is never mentioned again (Kevin riffed near the end of the film: “That boat scene from the beginning is about to make sense any minute now!”) or the constant talk of how great a surfing champion our hero is was supposed to establish something or other, which apparently means he’s an expert bomb maker and chainsaw wielder.

So those are some of the things you get into with the movie. There are moments where no riff was needed as the stupid from the movie makes you laugh hard just fine, and like usual Mike/Kevin/Bill roll with it. Overall it was worth the price of admission + they re-riffed a short that was on MST3k. It was pretty cool to see them not re-use any jokes, as far as I can remember.

They will have another Sharknado event on Tuesday so if you missed the one last night, check it out, unless you don’t like laughter or fun.


About Shaggy

I addition to my professional work in the arcade industry which has ranged from operator to consultant, I like to write about other subjects that interest me as well...if I can find the time.

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