By now, we’ve written enough articles about RiffTrax that our usual readers should know the drill. For those who are new, the short version is: “Mystery Science Theater 3000” for modern movies. The latest RiffTrax Live event put the riffers up against the 1998 “Godzilla” movie, and it did not disappoint.
In order to secure the rights to the movie, RiffTrax first had to run a Kickstarter to raise the funds. Not only did they succeed, but they met the stretch goal to get the rights to “Anaconda” as well. I donated to the Kickstarter, and when the movie was over, I left the theater knowing my money was put to good use.
Before the show, the audience was entertained by the usual humorous slides made by the RiffTrax crew, featuring humorous takes on pre-show trivia. This was accompanied by music from artists like Jonathan Coulton and Weird Al, as well as Mike Phirman’s “Kaiju Song,” which I immediately bought on iTunes after hearing.
Of course, the folks at RiffTrax are no stranger to kaiju films, having riffed quite a few in the days of “Mystery Science Theater.” The riffs and pre-show entertainment were filled with references to previous films that would be familiar to their viewers. For example, one of the famous “Movie Mistakes” listed was “Jet Jaguar,” and while the “Movie Anagram” “Gmaera” turned out to just be “A gamer (what, were you expecting something different?),” they still referenced Gamera during the actual live show (who MST3K fans will recall is both really neat and made of turtle meat).
Due to the length of the movie, they didn’t show any shorts before starting the main event, as Kevin Murphy mentioned would be the case in his interview with us. However, he did promise something special, which turned out to be a new animated opening, featuring music by Jonathan Coulton and animated by Harry Partridge.
Following the intro, the riffers took the stage, introduced the VIP donors from their Kickstarter, and got right into the film. Nothing was spared, from the bad jokes to the worse plot, not to mention the acting. Hank Azaria was the butt of quite a few jokes about his Simpsons career, and Matthew Broderick was spared no snappy quips from Mike, Kevin, and Bill.
“This is their best riff yet,” proclaimed the guy sitting in front of me in the theater, a sentiment shared by many. While the 1998 “Godzilla” movie may be unwelcome in the Godzilla canon, it’s a beloved addition to the history of “RiffTrax: Live.”
“RiffTrax Live: Anaconda” will be in theaters October 30th. Tickets will be on sale soon.