Rifftrax: Godzilla (1998/2014)

From Rifftrax

Decades before somebody had the revolutionary idea to do a Godzilla remake that was “good” or “cool”, Hollywood hired the director of 2012to make one that would be neither of those things but would instead have an ad campaign co-starring the Taco Bell chihuahua. Matthew Broderick stars as Dr. Niko Tatopoulos, because obviously when you have a character named Niko Tatopoulos, you get Matthew Broderick to play him. Co-starring is the hit Puff Daddy single “Almost Certainly the Low Point of Jimmy Page’s Career” (Sample lyrics: Uh-huh, Yeah, uuh / Uh-huh, Yeah, uuh.) And in all the commercials they showed that part where the guy gets stomped on. Somehow this is a two and a half hour long movie.

About as scary as the Tamagotchi you had back in 1998 and about as loud and obnoxious as the Prodigy CD you were listening to that summer,Godzillawas one of the biggest RiffTrax Live titles we’ve ever done. Join Mike, Kevin, Bill, and roughly 82% of the cast of The Simpsons for this studio MP3 version ofGodzilla!

Being a fan of Godzilla films, I never actually watched this when it came out, or at any time in the 16 years since. I now feel perfectly vindicated, and if I thought anybody would care, I would strut around with my fists on my hips doing a vindication dance. Being such a putrid, lazy, hollow cynical exercise in blockbusterism, however, it makes for excellent riff fodder, and despite the long running time the riffs keep everything whizzing along merrily, unlike in that last Harry Potter film where I just felt like I was trapped with Mike, Kevin and Bill in a dark room having the life gradually drained out of me, possibly by the scary ginger doctor in Dune. 

You too can witness Sarah Jessica Parker’s husband and the girl from the not-promptly-enough-cancelled Tate Donovan sitcom Partners prevent the near-destruction of the most overrated city on Earth by a slightly Godzilla-like monster by getting hold of a copy of Godzilla (you’ll want the version that runs 2:18:43, that’s the one that synced up perfectly for me) and getting your riff mp3 from Rifftrax, by clicking on any instance of the word Rifftrax in this post, including that last one.


Rifftrax: Wonder Women (1973/2013)

Ross Hagen takes a long weekend break from his hectic sidehacking schedule to fly to the Philippines and take on Dr. Moreau-style megalomaniac Nancy Kwan’s kung-fu go-go dancers because Lloyd’s of London something something jai alai something something. Chase scene! Then he talks to some people and has a drink at a bar. Chase scene! Then he goes to this island and shoots a young lady in the face. Chase scene! Fans of brightly-decorated jeepneys, flashing coloured lights, bewildering edits and tormented poultry who very much enjoy the aesthetic sensibilities of Robert Vincent O'Neill, the director of the uniquely unpleasant teenage hooker/serial killer sleazeburger Angel (1984) are in for a big, big treat. 

Ross Hagen had so much fun lollygagging around Manila with Nancy Kwan that they both returned for 1975’s infamous Supercock from dancer/director Gus Trikonis, which features even more casual animal cruelty than Wonder Women and the repeated joke “Have you seen my cock?” In an interview with Shock Cinema magazine, Trikonis called the film ‘unreleasable’. 

And no, I’m not making a gif of the slithering, scuttling manifestation of pure evil that makes a brief, memorable cameo because I don’t want to see it ever again. 

Fill that pesky hole in your Vic Diaz filmography now by going to Rifftrax and downloading or streaming (it’s really up to you, I don’t mind) what will almost definitely be your second-favourite Ross Hagen-Nancy Kwan teamup ever, Wonder Women.


Rifftrax: Zlateh the Goat (1973/2014)

Zlateh the Goat is a delightful holiday film about a young boy and his sad, old family who decide to sell their goat Zlateh to a butcher who apparently lives several hundred thousand miles away. For a painfully long time, very little happens other than slow, grimly determined trudging accompanied by oppressive cello music and the something happens and it shouldn’t and I just no I can’t it’s too soon I’m sorry I just

Available now from Rifftrax


Rifftrax: The Dark Power (1985/2015)

Roused by the clumsily hurled tool of an obese handyman, ancient Toltec warriors rise from their slumber and attack a small gang of obnoxious morons and some young(ish) ladies in various states of undress. Fortunately, a local ranger (or something) has a magic whip with magic Toltec things woven into it, and he comes, eventually, to the rescue. 

I’ve seen a couple of Lash LaRue westerns, and quite liked them, despite, you know, everything. He does have a strange accent for a cowboy, and he talks as though his dentures are loose, not entirely unlike Humphrey Bogart (the Rifftrax chaps interpret this as drunkenness - they could be right). One of them, as I recall, has Lash going undercover as a bandit on the run from Lash LaRue (try to keep up) despite his going around the entire film with a whip in his belt and, I believe, a belt-buckle emblazoned with the word ‘LASH’. I just read in John Tuska’s The Filming of the West (that’s right, I do research) that LaRue’s career ended abruptly when he was literally caught stealing candy from a baby, after which he went on to produce smut. So if anyone ever tells you that The Dark Power is Lash LaRue at his lowest ebb, feel free to correct them.

It’s possible, though, that it is the nadir of Cynthia Bailey’s career, unless you consider being a star of Real Housewives of Atlanta and being married to a very old man more conspicuously embarrassing than running away from semi-professional dancers in Halloween masks and being subjected to scripted racist epithets. Judgement call, probably.

Fans of bargain-bin horror who have already subjected themselves to The Dark Power will probably notice, as I did, that there are a few cuts. For one thing, Lynn’s racist tirade at about 00:27:00 has been mercifully trimmed, as has Susan’s naked workout partner (does she even have a name?) at about 00:38:00 during that whole interminable flossing/showering/ogling sequence. You can probably imagine how much artistic and dramatic value has been lost.

Complete your education in Toltec civilisation by going to Rifftrax, where you can stream it immediately or wait for it to download while you practice tomahawk-twirling.


Riiftrax: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014/2015)

I’ve had a few thoughts about how to explain what this film is, but the only way I can describe it is that it is the visual equivalent of dubstep. So if you enjoy an obnoxious, aggressively loud, jangling cacophony of whizzing noises that change abruptly in pitch and speed, then Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the film for you. It’s not that Michael Bay, in his unfathomable malevolence, has taken a cultural treasure and smeared his personal secretions of terrible awfulness all over it so much as he’s revealed to its full extent the inherent stupidity in an inherently stupid franchise and thrown in his usual window-dressing of CGI, giant trucks, and rooftops.

Mercifully, you can turn the experience into something less painful by going to Rifftrax and allowing Mike, Bill and Kevin to alleviate the deep hurting. I don’t know if there are too many alternative cuts out there (I doubt the demand for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Redux is exactly overwhelming right now), the one I watched ran 01:41:18, and synced up perfectly with the NTSC Rifftrax mp3.

*Callback to  Batman and Robin’s beloved third-banana goon.

**Callback to Birdemic: Shock and Terror.