Saturday, March 23, 2019

Short Reviews of RiffTrax Shorts: RiffTrax Live 2019 Kickstarter Final Hours Mega Special

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.  

This year's Kickstarter is wrapping up in just a few hours!  There are still plenty of stretch goals to unlock, and we need your help!

Current stretch goals left as of 5 PM EST.
The remaining goals are all based on the number of backers, so even if you just donate $1, you can help unlock these goals.  Oh, and you will also get ten RiffTrax Shorts!

Today, we are going to be taking a look at those ten Shorts, and since this is a special occasion, I've enlisted the help of fellow RiffTrax Superfans Kevin Smith and Dave Chadwick to help!

(Released November 7, 2014)

Warty the Toad is a Coronet Short that is all about the ugliest toad ever.  No, seriously.  They use footage of animals in terrariums and a presumably real pond(it looks real enough to me anyway) to show off this stubby-legged, wart-encrusted toad.  

The titular toad Warty spends his time being happy about being super ugly, feeling sorry for the other animals—a butterfly, an earthworm, and a grasshopper to name a few—and staring at himself in the pond.

This one is really weird, and really funny.

(Released September 26, 2014)

Do you love puppets?  Of COURSE, you love puppets!  Who DOESN’T love puppets?!

But when was the last time that you played with a puppet?  When was the last time that you got to sit down and MAKE your own puppet to play with?

Well…that’s just too long; it's time for Rediscovery: Puppets!

This film sets out to show you all the different and “easy” ways that you can make your very own puppet at home using common(ish?) household items like straws, styrofoam, cloth, paper, tongue depressors, sawdust and…souls. Seriously.

The narrator of this short is so noticeably bland that you actually start to become willing to trade your immortal soul to one of the many false idols that these kids create throughout the film.

You could really tell that the guys were having fun riffing this one and I think that what makes certain riffs stand out from others.  This was short was hilarious from start to finish and truly showcases what the guys do best!

Getting Redisovery: Puppets (along with nine other amazing shorts) for just $1.00 is an absolute deal!
I give this a Five Star Nightmare Fuel rating.

-submitted by Kevin Smith.  Check out his Facebook page MST3K Motivations.

(Released September 13, 2011)

Join Hands, Let Go is complete insanity.  It isn't just weird, it is actual insanity.

There is a group of kids, running around, holding hands and singing.  Everywhere they pass by, something goes awry.  A man saws a 2x4 in half, and the saw horses collapse.  Someone is trimming a hedge, and he hits a metal pole with the shears.  

Or probably the most known scene:

Yeah, Join Hands, Let Go makes absolute zero sense, and with the riffs, this is one of my all-time favorite Shorts.  If I were doing this on its own, it would be five out of five and a PB&A Essential.

(Released July 7, 2014)

This is the second of two Harv and Marv Shorts RiffTrax had released(the first being Tooth Truth With Hard And Marv).

This is yet another short about the importance of personal hygene.  I guess parents weren't teaching their children the importance of washing.  That's the only reason I can think of that they made so many of these kinds of shorts.  

Anyway, Harv and Marv are cartoons, and they are trying to learn what it means to be human.  They are watching kids playing football with an adult in his backyard.  I don't know if any of the kids there are his.  I mean, the way he is talking to all of the kids there, it doesn't seem to be that way.

Harv and Marv then teleport into someone's bathroom where they watch a boy taking a shower and drying off.  Then, they're in a different bathroom and watching a girl brushing her teeth.  

This riff also gives us the term "flesh syrup" for talking about sweat.

(Released April 29, 2014)

Do you slouch?  Me too!  In fact, almost everyone I know is a sloucher.  Health: Your Posture tells us why this is bad.  

In fact, it makes it out to be very bad.  Kids laugh at the girl in this short because of it.  She even gets yelled at by her mirror.  

Then, she gets lectured about it by her science teacher in school.  He tells them to get a good mattress, good shoes, and to eat good foods.

As the guys point out in their riffs, there are plenty of things that are more important to kids af this age.

(Released July 23, 2013)

Two high school girls, Faith and Sally, are planning a party so Bill and Frank will come over.  The only problem is that the two guys would rather go bowling.  

They argue a bit, and make a bet where the two girls and guys end up planning on a cook off.  They learn from their mom that they need CRISCO shortening, because that's what the recipe called for.  They couldn't just substitute oil for it.  

The guys use oil and not CRISCO.  And then they make the biscuit dough and pie crust at the same time... can you see where this is going?  (Here's a hint: you don't.)

You also need enough CRISCO for the fried chicken.

The most important thing here is you need CRISCO.



(Released April 22, 2014)

This one is very special to me because it was the second thing I ever riffed on my own to see if I could live up to my riffing heroes at RiffTrax.  I thought I did a good job back in 2011!

Then they did their own riff of it and I was like “...crap. This is better.”

The story revolves around four(well, really only three, you'll pick that up almost instantly) 50's greasers going over why you should dedicate your entire existence to a go-nowhere job with no thought at all for yourself or your happiness.

Although I will say, it's a refreshing departure from the standard “I'm a freaky ghost, everything you do is wrong and you're gonna die because you're too stupid to handle common aspects of human existence.”

It's told in flashback form and doesn't try to scare the crap out of you. No, it only berates you for being a selfish, lazy bastard that wastes your employer's time and you DESERVE to be fired, it doesn't throw your fragile mortality at you the entire time.

As always, riffing is excellent.

-submitted by Dave Chadwick.  Check him out at SugarRayDodge.com.

(Released February 28, 2013)

This one starts out with Bill Corbett delivering one of the best jokes in the history of RiffTrax! Writers, if you're reading this and my opinion means anything, the joke that concludes with “two minutes” is one of the best in history of RiffTrax Shorts.

The “hero” in this short is a ridiculously predictable pile of garbage that needs to be taught some kind of bullcrap lesson about... bald tires?! Really?

This is an issue that requires us watching this random-name-generated doofus neurotically hanging around a pay phone for ten minutes?! You couldn't just say “hey, change and/or rotate your tires once in a while, why not?”

Go to hell, Ten Long Minutes! ...but the riffing is excellent.

-submitted by Dave Chadwick.

(Released April 12, 2013)

This one is very Carnival of Souls-y, what with a long car ride with accompanying annoying music that makes you want to split your ear drums for the sweet relief of deafness.

Its another one of these “hey, lets try to scare the kids into doing life right by showing them how they will die horribly if they do anything even slightly wrong ever!”

Only this time, instead of having the lesson dictated to them by a supernatural entity like Guardiana or Soapy, they actually kill the guy for having the audacity to go have a good time at the beach after buying a car with the earnings of his soul crushing, go-nowhere job at the super market! Happy Summer Vacation, jerks!


AND THEN they force him to stay in his body and listen to everybody say “well, gorsh, this guy sure was an idiot for dying!”

 I mean what the hell even! Serves him right for burying that girl in the sand and having a moderate amount of alcohol! ...well, okay, he DID try to drive home drunk, but it worked out great for Steve Prefontaine, right?

-submitted by Dave Chadwick.

(Released March 5, 2013)

No, not that Ghost Rider.

This one is about Kevin, the new kid at school.  He has to ride a school bus for the first time ever (even though he looks like he's in high school).  On the way home, he talks to a girl.

In a twist only foreshadowed by the title, the girl was a ghost.  She died in a bus accident.

She visits him the next day on the bus, and gives him a pamphlet on school bus evacuation procedures.  Pamphlet is maybe too generous.  It's one sheet of paper folded in half.  Maybe a leaflet?

This Short goes exactly where you think it is going to.  The bus crashes and is hanging over a cliff.  It sure is good that Kevin got that ghost handout!

Honestly though, they dropped a bus off of a cliff, and that was kind of neat.

You only have a few hours left to back the Kickstarter and get, at a minimum, ten awesome Shorts!  Don't miss out on some of the best backer rewards for any Kickstarter!