Sunday, March 3, 2019

Short Reviews of RiffTrax Shorts: At Your Fingertips Collection

It's Short Reviews of RiffTrax Shorts, our new series where the title is almost as long as the actual reviews!  We are going to take a look at every RiffTrax Short in the catalog, and write a very brief review on them all.  

ACI shorts are a staple in the RiffTrax Shorts catalog, and that is mostly because of the assemblage of the At Your Fingertips shorts.  The AYF series are themed crafting ideas, usually things that can be made with household items such as sugar, empty boxes, and yard clippings.

These are some of the most popular RiffTrax Shorts of all time, and there's a good reason for that.

(Released July 22, 2011)
At Your Fingertips: Grasses

Probably most popular of the AYF series—and the first to be riffed—is Grasses.  This short premiered with RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness.  It was also given a studio riff release, and it was a part of RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion.

Because of this short, Bill will be eternally haunted by the question, "is corn grass?"  Not because he doesn't know the answer—he definitely does—because people will never stop asking him.  He might even have to have "YES, corn is grass!" on his tombstone for all of the people who will be making the pilgrimage to his grave generations from now.

(Released July 26, 2011)
At Your Fingertips: Boxes

The second release of the AYF series is my personal favorite out of the six.  It really confirms the idea of children playing with garbage.

Take all of the boxes out of your trash and build with them kids, because your parents won't shell out any money for toys.  At least you can make a tunnel out of boxes fastened together with pipe cleaners (even though they don't actually show you how to make that) or you can make a moving company truck to deliver furniture!

(Released May 19, 2014)
At Your Fingertips: Cylinders

AYF: Cylinders made its debut during RiffTrax Live: "MANOS" The Hands of Fate.  This short shows you how to make totem poles, horses(because horses are cylinders), and planetariums.

You also get to see someone make a flying robot.  No, I'm not joking.

This short was so weird, even the narrator didn't stick around for all of it.

Cylinders was also a part of Night of the Shorts: SF Sketchfest 2013.

(Released November 21, 2014)
At Your Fingertips: Play Clay

When I learned of the existence of AYF: Play Clay, it was purely luck.  It was part of some children's DVD collection I found on Amazon.  It hadn't been riffed yet, and I am the impatient type, so I ordered the DVD.  I watched the short, and I knew once RiffTrax got their hands on it that it was going to be a good time.

In this short, we learn how to make home-made Play-DohClay, and how to make animals, necklaces, and more animals.  And don't forget to cover them in plastic spray to keep them looking good!

(Released October 5, 2016)
At Your Fingertips: Play Clay

What kid wouldn't want to fill half of a small plastic football with sugar, let it dry, and then scarf it down?  That's the premise of AYF: Sugar and Spice, which premiered at RiffTrax Live: Santa Claus.

The "spices" come into play when you to decorate things like your sugar ornaments, snowmen or spoon birds.

And then, after everything is made—including a giant baking pan sugar aquarium—it's time to dig in!  Yes, they really show the kids eating big ol' hunks of sugar, or as Mike says, "just grab a slice of instant diabetes kids!"

(Released October 15, 2018)
At Your Fingertips: Floats

The sixth and final AYF short is Floats, which was shown before RiffTrax Live: The Room.

Have you ever wanted to use that styrofoam tray that your meat comes packed with to make arts and crafts?  Floats is the short for you!  This short will show you just how easy it is to use them to create barely functional boats.

This short also shows how to make floating things out of other various styrofoam things—like cups and balls—or milk cartons,paper, and walnuts.

Believe it or not, that is all true.

Each of the AYF shorts are PB&A Essentials and are rated five out of five.  I can't just choose one thing to make a gif of for the rating so you get generic numerical ratings, so instead, here's my ranking of the individual shorts.

  1. Boxes
  2. Grass
  3. Sugar and Spice
  4. Floats
  5. Cylinders
  6. Play Clay