Watching RiffTrax tends to be a pretty great time, but nothing beats a good ol’ edition of RiffTrax Live. This tradition has lasted a good ten years, starting with Plan 9 From Outer Space back in 2009. Every year, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett watch some bad movies (or a bunch of bizarre shorts) in front of an audience and the whole thing is broadcast to hundreds of different movie theaters via Fathom Events.
Why, you can read more about it in my Complete History of RiffTrax Live!
The thing about these events is that they’re usually preceded with a big Kickstarter campaign to fund the shows. Originally, back in 2013, they tried to do a Kickstarter to fund a RiffTrax Live for Twilight (one of their most popular cinematic targets), but the studio refused to budge despite the popularity of the crowd-funding experiment. Instead, they did Starship Troopers and the RiffTrax Live Kickstarter became an annual thing.
This time around, we’re getting three movies: Octaman, Star Raiders, and The Giant Spider Invasion! You can check out the Kickstarter right here.
Octaman is a 1971 schlock piece by Harry Essex, the man who wrote Creature From the Black Lagoon. This other guy in a rubber aquatic monster costume is…not quite as well known. That one will be in theaters on April 18.
Next up is Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine, coming all the way from 2017. This modern hunk of cinematic junk stars Casper Van Dien and Cynthia Rothrock. Rothrock has become something of a regular in terms of RiffTrax fodder, appearing both in Honor and Glory and Santa’s Summer House. The end product seems to ride that line between “episode of Hercules” and “moderately competent fan film.”
At least Van Dien’s doing well with Alita: Battle Angel. Anyway, the Star Raiders show will be on June 6.
Finally, there’s The Giant Spider Invasion on August 15. This 1975 monster movie is more well-known than the other two due to being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. In it, a mysterious meteor lands in Wisconsin and killer spiders hatch out of it. One of which becomes so massive that the special effect is a bunch of giant pipe cleaners on a black Volkswagon. Also, the sheriff is played by Alan Hale, Jr. from Gilligan’s Island.
Unlike the MST3K version, this one will be uncut. It will also be the 30th edition of RiffTrax Live, which is a very round number!
Usually, some of the RiffTrax Live events have rights issues when it comes to home releases, but there’s no red tape this year. All three shows will be available as VOD after the fact.
They need to raise $250,000 and as of this writing, they’re almost there with a full-on month to go. So why take part in a Kickstarter that’s a sure thing? Mainly because of the crazy amount of stretch goals. As more money pours in and more people contribute, they start giving away more stuff. For instance, by the end of last year’s Kickstarter, backers unlocked ten shorts, a DVD, a riffed episode of Stranger Things, a VOD of A Talking Cat!?!, and a riff of Last Jedi.
further reading: RiffTrax: 25 On-Demand Movies You Need to Watch
You’re getting some good bang for your buck on top of the initial donation perks, is what I’m saying.
The deadline is March 23 at 10pm ET.
Gavin Jasper writes for Den of Geek and still wants a damn RiffTrax cut of No Holds Barred. What’s the freaking hold up, guys?! Read more of his articles here and follow him on Twitter @Gavin4L