I had just moved to Orlando and was living in my very first apartment (a one room studio in a really crappy area of town. I remember one Christmas, I put a small Christmas tree inside near the door, and while I was sleeping on the couch, I heard a crinkle on the tree. Thinking it was Santa coming to rape me in my sleep (hey, when you live in the hood, you gotta worry about shit like that), I turned on the lights and saw no one, but I continued to hear that weird ass crinkle sound right around the tree (and it wasn’t an electrical sound…it was more like someone squeezing each of the branches of the tree).
So I moved over to look at it and as sure as Santa shit, I saw the surface of the tree moving…
One of the great experiences of living in Florida (and really all points in the deep south) is this wonderful thing of co-living with other living organisms, specifically that variety that has more than four leg’s… As an example there was nothing like coming home from work at night, opening the door to my apartment, turning on the lights and seeing 10 roaches, scurry, crawl, scatter AND fly off to the dark parts of the apartment. YES FLY…no shit…
Of course, the reason why my Christmas tree was moving was because for some unknown reason, a colony of roaches had moved into it and they were all climbing up and down the tree, for who knows what?? I never saw that tree again. Stuck it outside and one of my neighbors grabbed it. Suckers. So yeah, in addition to living in this wonderful, nasty place, I was also pretty much just going to school, with absolutely no cash, studying, working for the Mouse, and that was pretty much it. My life at the time SUCKED. And to be honest, I spent a lot of time in my roach infested apartment…
But one thing that got me through the time between work, school, and the occasional trips to the beach was this little show called Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K for the uninitiated). Basically a show where the cast (utilizing that famous movie theater silhouette) watched really shitty (cheesy!) movies and then made fun of them. Pretty much like all of us have done in the past with your families and buds, except these guys were actually funny.
Over the years there were a many different incarnations of the show either led by Joel Hodgson or Mike Nelson and I pretty much watched them all. To be honest, my favorite was the Tom Servo and Crow T Robot ones voiced by Kevin Murphy and Trace Beaulieu but I also enjoyed the later Bill Corbett and Josh Weinstein versions. At any rate, at some point, in 1999, the show got canceled, and even though I was bummed, I moved on.
Sometime at the beginning of this year, I was trying to find some old MST3K vids on YouTube and I stumbled on a little vid created by a group called Cinematic Titanic, which, I would later find out, was the new project from Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Josh Weinstein, Frank Conniff, and Mary Jo Pehl (former MST3K cast members), and that still followed the tradition of MST3K riffing bad “B” movies. And then just for shits and grins I looked up Mike Nelson, and found out he was doing something similar with RiffTrax starring Mike, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, and these guys pretty much riffed everything, good movies, bad movies…anything! Holy freakin shit! It was just completely awesome to see that these guys never stopped!
You know at some point in our pathetic little lives, we realize that good things, even if they are not in your every day consciousness, still live on. So of course, I’ve been peeking at both websites for any new updates and searching through YouTube for any new videos from both sides.
If you didn’t know it already, RiffTrax just so happened to “riff” the original Star Wars Holiday Special and if you didn’t see it, here is about 40 minutes of it below (including all of the lousy commercials that aired during the airing. Even though there are more of these than the actual show, it’s still funny shit). Although the legions of former MST3K philes are still going strong, there are still too many people out there that have not experienced these guys…Enjoy!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLKlex1vyMY[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck6Lv4NGa6Q[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93v_xEPsFWY[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSoySaRPgvs[/youtube]