Starship Troopers Flies Once More Unto The Breach (A RiffTrax Event Review)

Starship Troopers
Good show old boy!

Ah, the wild days of youth, back when MojoFiction was a teenager and found himself presented with the weekend choice of either being social and meeting girls or hanging out with our equally girlfriend-less male friends and watching MST3K (If you don’t know what that is, too bad, we’re not explaining it). Looking back, MST3K seemed to win out a lot, which may explain certain future social abilities.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (oops!) was really just an elaborate setup to let three grown men make fun of movies while we watched and laughed ourselves silly.  Yeah, the movies were almost universally terrible, and terribly obscure to us teenagers, but a good riff is a good riff and, darn it, we were entertained! (You may now rest easy Maximus, we have been entertained.)

Obviously, several of the gents responsible for MST3K liked doing it way too much to let the end of the show, or their appearances on show, stop them from engaging in the time-honored practice of movie-riffing. So they started RiffTrax.  RiffTrax has a lot of stuff going on, but occasionally they will perform a feature-length movie trashing live(ish) as an event. This event is broadcast to theatres around the country in a “one night only” kind of deal. Last night, they premiered such an event, riffing on one of the greatest B-movies of all time, and MojoFiction guilty pleasure, Starship Troopers.

Starship Troopers is a Paul Verhoeven masterpiece, springing forth from the mind of the illustrious director like Athena from the forehead of Zeus, only Athena was a hot goddess, fully armored and ready to kick butt, and Starship Troopers was … not. Nonetheless it was an epic tour de force of brilliant movie-stuff that the critics and box office pretty much didn’t like and the movie-going public shrugged at because they had read the book already and … well, look, the MTV Movie Awards gave them some love and that has to count for something.

Naturally, we here at MojoFiction HAD to go see this glorious beacon of American cinema get ripped to shreds by our RiffTrax heroes.  So we emailed all of our friends, every last one, in an effort to get a big, fun group together. Unfortunately, both of them declined. That didn’t stop us from calling one up and calling them a jerk repeatedly until they agreed to go (hey, we sacrificed ourselves to Transformers 3 for this friend and we can never get those precious hours of life back).

The theatre at the Showplace ICON on Roosevelt here in arctic Chicago was full, and packed with just about every age group, including quite a few women-folk, who remind us that we were born way too early because more women are embracing geekiness than every before, but they sure as heck weren’t when we were a teenager and that’s just annoying. Anyway, eventually the show started and were able to relax.

MojoFiction’s big concern was that the hosts would not be able to keep up the laughs over a full two-hour movie. Needless to say, we didn’t have to worry. The riffers, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, clearly brought their A-game to the event. From the opening frames they found all the right notes to hit, poking fun at Casper Van Dien’s looks, Denise Richard’s perceived IQ, and Jake Busey’s apparent Busey-ness. They wasted no time attacking the script, the “technology of the future,” the costumes, the acting, everything. With the polish of seasoned professionals, they set up jokes and quips that they would come back to later in the show. We may have overused this word in today’s blog, but it was an epic performance by the three comedians, and worthy of a place in the hall of fame of movie riffing.

A few phrases (if we remembered the right):

“Why is the bug sucking out his brains but not hers … oh, that’s right.”

“He just beamed herpes directly into her bloodstream with his eyes.”

“How’s that thigh-vagina coming along?”

“Smile-a-tron 4000 engage.” (Trust us, it’s funny.)

The really good news about the whole event? There was enough demand for it that they are re-broadcasting it on September 12 at movie theatres around the country.  So, if you missed it, you get a second chance. We advise you to go see it.

Remember, if you don’t, the bugs win.

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