Saw it last night. Didn't have access to a computer till now, sadly (any month now...)
I really enjoyed it. I'd never seen NotLD before, so I was partly enjoying the movie because it was new to me. And I really enjoyed my time there. It wasn't the best movie I'd ever seen them do, but it was a lot of fun.
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Loved the show. The pre-show slides were pretty good this time. They got a lot of laughs and groans from the audience in my theater. It was great that they had a riffing contest, but I thought the 2nd place finisher "Subway, eat flesh" should have won.
I really enjoyed the Norman short. I think the film makers in the Norman series were trying to make inspirational films with the theme of "Hey, no matter how badly your life sucks, at least you're not THIS guy." Mike teased a forthcoming new short in which Norman uses a public toilet. I saw this one at my last Rifftrax Meetup (I have no idea how the meetup organizer got it before it was officially released), and it is utterly cringeworthy. Just the thought of seeing Norman on the toilet is enough to make me break out in a cold sweat.
The movie itself was fun. I think my favorite riffs had to do with the Coopers, especially Harry. All of the muttering and "go to hell" type riffs just seemed to fit the jittery, irritable mannerisms of the actor. The "beating off zombies" riffs got a huge laugh in my theater. All in all, it was a great night.
On to Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!
If you donated a certain level for the Kickstarter then you got the shorts early.
Post by Who Let Servo Drive on Feb 10, 2014 12:02:18 GMT -5
I thought the show was very funny. Two things about it had an adverse effect though. First of all, let's admit it, NOTLD is a great movie. It might be a little dated, but it still really holds up as a horror movie. If anything, it may seem a bit old hat to viewers today, but that's only because they've been exposed to so much material that is derivative of NOTLD. (Like young people today watching Black Christmas and thinking it's cliched when in fact the movie originated many of those horror standards.) I can laugh at even a great movie, but sometimes it can be jarring to be watching a great scene in a movie and then hear someone making fun on it.
The second thing I almost am reluctant to mention, but I may as well. I am a little uncomfortable at the frequency of jokes built around race both in Rifftrax and on MST. One of the most notable things about NOTLD was that, despite the real divide in race relations in the late 1960s, there is absolutely no mention of Ben's race in the movie. Even the rednecks who kill him in the end just refer to him as "one of those things." That was a really remarkable step in 1968, so I squirmed in my seat a little every time Ben's race was made the subject of a joke in 2013, when we've supposedly come so far. If there is a black person in a Rifftrax movie, a joke about his race is usually right around the corner.
Post by zombiewhacker on Feb 11, 2014 21:24:12 GMT -5
Well, as far as Night of the Living Dead goes, interestingly the character of Ben was originally written as a white guy.
The actor chosen by George Romero to play Ben was a fellow named Rudy Ricci (aka R.J. Ricci). Ricci was white, as was the rest of the cast. But at the last minute Duane Jones, a local drama professor, upon hearing that Romero was shooting a movie, asked if Romero would let him audition for a part. Romero said yes, certainly. Jones nailed the audition and was awarded the lead role.
(Ricci ended up with a bit part in the film anyway and would later play a motorcycle gang member in Dawn of the Dead.)
Once Jones was cast, Romero made a conscious decision not to rewrite the part to reflect the change in ethnicity. That was a daring decision in 1960s cinema.
Post by Who Let Servo Drive on Feb 19, 2014 12:22:59 GMT -5
I agree, and for me it's something that makes the movie great. There's an African-American in the movie and they are not always referring to him as such, there are no "race issues," and he's not reduced to a Hollywood "issue stereotype." How ironic then to hear repeated references to Ben's race in the Rifftrax show.
I downloaded this one the day it came out on VOD. I have to say I was disappointed. I thought it was a completely new riff script, where as it was more like 50% new and some recycled. I'll admit the jokes that stayed definitely fit, but I was just expecting it to be all new jokes.
One thing that occured to me about the movie when I was in the middle, was that the hero fights Mr. Cooper throughout the whole movie about not going into the cellar, but then is forced into the cellar when the zombies break in, therefore proving Mr. Cooper right. Then when that part of the movie came along, someone made a comment in the neighborhood of "I'm dreading going into the cellar only to hear Cooper's I told you so." I found it funny that this is the first time I had that thought, and then this riff comes up.