Tomorrow night (Aug. 17th) at 8:00 PM, the Regal Hollywood 20 on Woodruff rd. will be hosting a Fathom Events showing of Jack the Giant Killer. What makes this screening so special are its ties to the infamous DVD commentary troupe, RiffTrax.
For nearly five years, comedians Mike Nelson (filling the role of former show host Joel Hodgson), Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy lampooned various obscure sci-fi and horror flicks on their show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Following the show’s cancellation in 1999 and the rise of the internet, Mike and company decided to take their shtick on the road; or rather on the web.
RiffTrax is a site that deals in MST3K-style commentary tracks which, when properly synced, can be played over movies to great comedic effect. The trio of riffers specialize in more modern films these days, sending up everything from The Borne Identity to Avatar, though they keep true to their roots with a series of downloadable shorts poking fun at old educational videos and after-school specials.
The process of engaging in RiffTrax may seem daunting to some, as it requires viewers to own the DVD of the specific film, download the commentary track, and then manually synchronize the two (a process which is much easier to accomplish when done on a computer). To aid viewers in this endeavor, there is the RiffTrax player, an application designed to automatically sync the commentaries with the videos with little hassle. The player is free to download, making it even easier to get started on the RiffTrax series.
The screening of Jack the Giant Killer tomorrow night is a special occasion for the RiffTrax team; it marks their annual “live show,” wherein the riffers broadcast live via satellite to movie theaters across the nation. This event allows for a greater communal atmosphere as opposed to the usual routine of watching RiffTrax in the privacy of your own home. Tickets for the show are available on Fandango for $12.50 a pop, with special online offers available after the showing. RiffTrax are typically made to appeal to most audiences, at the very least within a given film’s MPAA rating. All the same, parental discretion may be advised.