Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Top Ten RiffTrax VoD Releases

As regular readers of this site know, I am an avid fan of RiffTrax.  In fact, I enjoy watching RiffTrax videos almost more than watching anything on TV.

This time of year is great for us RiffTrax fans, because we are right in the middle of the RiffTrax Live season.  The live riff of Sharknado was outstanding, and I am really anticipating upcoming Godzilla '98, Anaconda, and unannounced Christmas Riff (rumored to be Santa & The Ice Cream Bunny).  Couple that with the barrage of VoDs and Shorts that RiffTrax has been releasing, and you have before you a happy man (with a sad wallet).

Because of this near euphoric state I find myself in, and with some of the recent VoDs that have been absolutely bonkers, I decided it was time to make an updated list of my top favorite VoD releases.

Now, I have done some lists before of RiffTrax VoD essentials, but those have all been movies that I think every RiffTrax fan should see.  They were not necessarily in my top ten.

10. Super Mario Bros.

This is Toad. Yes, that Toad. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Toad.
Along with the upcoming live riff of Godzilla '98, this had been one of the most requested riffs for a long time.  This movie stinks on ice.  It is a giant pile of Yoshi droppings.  Mike has even stated that this was the worst movie to write riffs for, and these are the guys who have done multiple riffs of Birdemic and Manos.  Let that sink in for a minute.

9. Zindy the Swamp Boy

Probably the most lighthearted part of the movie.
Hoo-boy.  This movie.  This is the tale of Zindy, his grandfather, and a chimp.  They all live in the swamp.  Or the jungle.  Frankly, it's hard to tell.  I can't really go into too much about the movie, because it is best to approach this one blindly.  That way, it can really kick you in the teeth.  What starts out feeling like it is going to be a slightly lighthearted romp with a boy and his grandpa turns into a soul crushing... thing... that, well, crushes your soul.  I pity anyone who saw this movie without the riffing, and I almost left it off of this list.  The jokes in this one make it worth it though.

8. RiffTrax Live: "Manos" the Hands of Fate

You make me feel like dancin'.
This is one that I have brought up before in one of my must-have lists.  I can't even count the number of times I have watched this riff.  Every time I turn it on, my wife leaves the room.  She just can't take it anymore.

7. The Star Wars Holiday Special

Yes, this is the terrible special that previously could only be found on a VHS tape that someone recorded.  The special, for those who have never heard of it, is centered around Life Day, a Wookiee holiday that seems to be similar to Christmas.  Chewbacca is trying to make it home to celebrate the holiday with his family, but is being delayed by Art Carney and Bea Arthur.  The whole thing is just bad.

As an added bonus, the special has all of the commercial breaks intact.  Be on the lookout for Tobor (that's robot spelled backwards).

6. Demon Bat

This one comes to us courtesy of the National Geographic Channel's Total Riff-Off, a three hour block of riffs that aired on April Fool's Day this year.  Demon Bat is my favorite of the three, mostly because the guy in this show is a complete tool, and it's great seeing the riffers take this guy down a few pegs.  In fact, he actually gets taken down all of the pegs, until there are no more pegs.  And then he gets taken down a few more.

5.  The Guy From Harlem

When I brought this one up before, I mentioned that it was one of the best riffs the guys have ever done.  I stick to that still today.  It's another that I have re-watched countless times, and I really don't see myself ever tiring of it.  For me, this is my Pod People.

Re-reading this list, I realize the last statement might go over a few heads, so let me 'splain.  When it comes to episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I have two that I can just watch over and over and over and never tire of them.  They are Pod People and Jack Frost.  I hope this clears it up for you.

Also, it's now available on DVD!

4.  RiffTrax Live: BIRDEMIC

Slrpnls.  BIRDEMIC is a movie that has been riffed twice by RiffTrax, and thanks to the addition of the short Norman Checks In, the live version is still the way to go.  It sure beats getting murdered by flying clipart while you are trying to drop a deuce in the bushes.

3. Santa & The Ice Cream Bunny

This marks the third time that I have talked about this riff on the site.  I have nothing else to say, so I will again show you one of the greatest moments in RiffTrax history.

2. The Last Slumber Party

While selecting the riffs for this list, I knew this movie needed to be included.  It is the most recent VoD release (NOTE: Since I started working on this list, they had just released the VoD for RiffTrax Live: Santa Claus Conquers The Martians), but it is an outstanding riff.  I have already watched it five times.

This movie is a terrible little film about, well, the last slumber party for a group of girls who just got out of school for the year.  I think.  They might have graduated, but there was no ceremony.  Maybe they had to take correspondence classes over the summer in order to get their diplomas.  I don't know.  Anyway, they have a slumber party, and a patient from a nearby hospital comes to kill them all.  The house where the sleepover takes place belongs to the patient's doctor, and he wants to kill good ole' doc and his loved ones.

This movie has pathetic special effects, horrible acting, a rockin' 80's hairband soundtrack, and a double twist ending that would make M. Night's head spin.

I seriously love everything about this riff.  It is so close to taking the place of my all-time favorite VoD, but it is slightly edged out by...

1. Ghosthouse

This is my Jack Frost.  I said before that it was my new favorite VoD, and while The Last Slumber Party is a close second, this movie has a level of crazy to it that will be difficult to beat.  I actually want to own this movie without the riffing.  I don't know that I would watch it more without the riffing than with, but I just want to own it.  I don't think it would be as painful to watch sans riff as Manos (Yeah, I watched it un-riffed and while sober. Never again.), and that is the only movie on this list I would even dream of saying that about.

And there you have it.  My current top ten RiffTrax VoD list.  I think I might actually attempt to do a top ten list of RiffTrax Shorts, but that is going to take a considerably longer amount of time for me to put together.

In closing, I would like to once again stress the importance of buying these riffs.  Mike, Bill, Kevin, and the rest of the writers (like Conor, Sean, and the other Mike) work really hard to bring this level of entertainment to us all.  I mean, they are the poor souls who have to sit and watch these movies over and over again without the benefit of the riffs.  That is more than worth the extremely reasonable price tags on these movies.  And if you do get these riffs by other means, you can still throw some money their way by heading to the donations page.

Another great way to support these guys is by going to the RiffTrax Live events, like the previously mentioned upcoming Godzilla '98 riff, or the riff of Anaconda coming in October (tickets are not yet on sale for this show, unless your local theater is already selling them).

Previous Must-Have RiffTrax Lists

Five Must-Have RiffTrax Shorts
Five Must-Have RiffTrax Video on Demand Movies
Five More Must-Have RiffTrax Shorts
Son of Must-Have RiffTrax Shorts
Five Must-Have RiffTrax VoDs 2: Die (Laughing) Harder