Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a cult classic television show on the Sci-Fi channel. The minds behind it then went on to create RiffTrax, while Sci-Fi changed its name to SyFy and went on to create another cult classic, “Sharknado.” Just recently, the two reunited to create “RiffTrax Live: Sharknado,” a live event where Sharknado gets the MST3K treatment.
The show was broadcast to theaters across the United States and Canada, so even those not there in person could enjoy the show. Riffers Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy took to the stage, delivering comedic snark with their expert timing through shorts and movies.
Before the show, attendees were entertained by some slides before the show, featuring famous movie quotes such as “Wait, you mean he’s actually in this movie? I thought we were animating over him!” as famously said by a movie executive during the screening of “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” movie anagrams, and famous movie goofs. Accompanied by the sound of a laughing audience, and a soundtrack featuring Weird Al, Jonathan Coulton, and even the Riffers themselves performing songs about sharks, it set the tone for the show to follow.
The night began with the crew revisiting an old MST3K classic, “Spring Fever,” a short from decades ago where an animated spring-ish creature shows a man a world with no springs… thereby driving him to the brink of insanity and leaving him a brainwashed shell of a man who can only babble about springs and how great they are to his friends. Although it was a video they had visited before, they used new material for the entire short.
Following that, they reminded us of the upcoming Godzilla RiffTrax Live event in August, with a little preview of what’s to come. The Kickstarter to help them get the rights to the 1998 Godzilla film was so successful that they had enough to get the rights to “Anaconda” as well, so there are plenty of live events to look forward to.
Finally, just to show that SyFy was a good sport about the whole thing, they showed a preview of the upcoming “Sharknado 2: The Second One.” If anyone in the first “Sharknado” movie took it seriously, it’s unlikely anyone in the sequel did, which is just what the Internet was hoping for. All we know now is that the sequel will feature characters fighting falling sharks off with baseball bats.
Then, the event everyone was waiting for began. There was not a moment during the event that people were not laughing, whether it was at the riffs or at the film’s own failures (though usually the former, as they never failed to point out the latter). “Sharknado” was filled with bad cinematography, acting, writing, and effects, so there was plenty to riff on; everything that made it a cult classic made it a perfect target for the RiffTrax crew.
In the audience were loyal fans who had been attending RiffTrax Live events from the very start. Some of them even showed up with their own models of Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot from “Mystery Science Theater,” such as Douglas, Robert, and Tony, who are longtime fans of MST3K that never missed a RiffTrax Live event. The only way they could describe the show was, in Tony’s words, “Shark-tacular.”
“Big thanks to all of [the RiffTrax crew],” Robert said after the event. “The show is freaking awesome!”
“Watch for snakes,” Daniel added, referencing a jab the show took at “Snakes on a Plane.”
RiffTrax fans and their robots after the show
If, however, you happened to miss out on the shark-tacular event, do not despair. There will be an encore showing on July 15th, so if you missed out the first time, or liked it so much you want to see it again, you can get tickets now. There’s more live riffing on its way, with “Godzilla” and “Anaconda” in the months ahead, so the hilarity is not over yet.