Movie Riffing in the Internet Age

Friday, January 06, 2012


From 1988 to 1999, the TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 defined a comedic genre of making fun of bad movies in real time. But after the show went off the air, its creators found a new outlet for their "riffing," one that allowed them to expand their repertoire from old sci-fi B-movies to current Hollywood blockbusters. Their company RiffTrax offers MP3 audio files that users can download and play along with a rented DVD. Bob asks RiffTrax's Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett for some pointers in preparation for OTM's impending revival of Media Scrutiny Theater.

Comments [9]

crossword puzzle maker

I remember this show)) I liked it greatly as a kid. It's a pity our modern media lack such good products as the Mystery Science Theater) It was both teaching and amazing because of it's unusual character)

May. 10 2012 09:36 AM
Mark Joseph Kean from Port Glasgow, Scotland

Kevin is completely right there with Twilight. Having a Rifftrax over the top is the only way I have and will ever watch those movies.

Jan. 18 2012 08:44 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

It just always seemed a waste of time to me but I'd almost certainly like Brooke & Bob's product better. Wouldn't pay for it, though.

Jan. 11 2012 04:51 PM
Randysgirl1098 from PacNW, USA

Went on a cruise with Bill and Kevin in Jan2011. They are as awesome in person as they are when they are riffing on a movie.

Jan. 09 2012 08:34 PM
bob bob bob ted

The remaining original creators of MST3K are continuing to riff bad movies under the moniker Cinematic Titanic.

Jan. 09 2012 11:47 AM
tyler johnson from flyoverlandia

I had assumed that MST3K had used old films under the Fair Use copyright doctrine, so I was surprised about the discussion of prohibitively expensive fees to get the rights to riff on the Titanic, for example. Can anyone explain why Fair Use doesn't cover this clear artistic alteration of lousy films that nobody would otherwise watch?

Jan. 09 2012 07:59 AM
Lachlan from Melbourne, Australia

This is interesting - I'm surprised you didn't mention the Critical Commons project in relation to this piece

Jan. 08 2012 10:06 PM
zwilso2 from DC

These men are truly legendary. I was not able to have the foresight to watch them as dedicated in their hayday as I would today, but all of their movies are present on Youtube. I suggest Hobgoblins for those who just want the soundbyte version of their hilarity.

Jan. 07 2012 07:05 AM
BustillosME from Burbank, CA

I'm dieing. Legendary men.

Jan. 07 2012 02:02 AM

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