Many will remember the show Mystery Science Theater 3000 which aired (on various stations) from the late 80s to the late 90s. They used to take old, cheesy films and make them a little more entertaining by tearing them apart. But once that show got canceled, those of us who used to watch it were left without our fix. RiffTrax became the next evolution of the MST3K phenomenon.
The best thing is, RiffTrax uses a format that gets around those pesky copyright laws, so no movie is safe. Instead of directly showing the movies and tearing them apart, they make audio files which you simply play at the same time as the movie (which you have to own yourself). This means that nobody can try to sue them out of existence and that some of the most popular flicks, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter, get a treatment as well.
Sure, the movies they tear apart are not necessarily the worst of the worst, but every film has its flaws, whether it be some bad writing, atrocious acting or silly special effects. The files they sell on their site are pretty affordable too, at around three bucks per.
The line-up of “riffers” includes Mike J. Nelson (who took over for Joel Hodgson at season 5 of MST3K), Kevin Murphy (former voice of Tom Servo) and Bill Corbett (former voice of Crow T. Robot). They even pull in some guest riffers for certain movies, such as Chad Vader (internet sensation), Neil Patrick Harris and “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Instead of getting stale, this crew has gotten even better at what they do. Anyone who was a fan of MST3K should give RiffTrax a look. No doubt you’ll find more than one movie that they’ve given their unique treatment to. I particularly recommend The Empire Strikes Back, for Star Wars fans. I swear I almost wet myself several times.