· Cinematic Titanic Live: Danger On Tiki Island (2010) (EZTakes/Cinema Titan, LLC)
The Short Version: Eddie Romero finally gets riffed.
The Slightly-Elongated Version: There were several DVD releases of Cinematic Titanic fare before they started issuing live performances such as East Meets Watts (a favorite) and The Alien Factor. Here, Joel Hodgson teams up once more with his regular riffers Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl and J. Elvis Weinstein to treat a live audience to a well-deserved skewering of Eddie Romero’s laughably-bad Brides Of Blood from 1968 (titled Danger On Tiki Island for this release). The truly bizarre Filipino horror oddity features a man-eating tree-critter type of thing as one of its main antagonists, and a mad scientist as the other. Two embarrassed American leads — Kent Taylor and John Ashley (who would go on to make several more films with Romero) star alongside an actress billed as “Beverly Hills.” There are also a bunch of vertically-challenged people on-hand to open up the floodgates for midget jokes (because, honestly, we can never get enough of those). The experienced crew of jokesters certainly dish out the goods here; delivering a memorable performance to their live crew as well as their viewers back at home. Unlike previous Cinematic Titanic releases, this one includes an 18-minute long behind-the-scenes featurette with the crew.
· RiffTrax: Santa And The Ice Cream Bunny (2011) (Legend Films)
The Short Version: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Slightly-Elongated Version: A god-awful ode to incompetence, 1972’s Santa And The Ice Cream Bunny finds Santa Claus stranded on a beach in Florida. Instead of trying to help himself, the singing, soiled-suited Kringle enlists the local kids to help him while he sits in his rinky-dink sleigh. In lieu of any actual token of gratitude for their assistance, Santa tells the kids a tale (which is actually a short movie by Barry Mahon that was spliced in) before the Ice Cream Bunny (!) shows up to save the day (too bad he couldn’t save the souls of those who watch this movie as well). Throughout the excursion through extreme anguish, Mike Nelson and his fellow RiffTrax buddies Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy unleash their humorous vehemence at the movie, tearing it enough new assholes to start up a large government. How bad is the movie? Well, not only does poor Kevin scream at the movie for a good solid minute at one point, but my PlayStation 3 died shortly after I watched it because it just couldn’t take it anymore, either (seriously, it did). The DVD also contains the original un-riffed version of the movie — just in case you decide life is no longer worth living (or your relatives show up unannounced), as well as a disturbing bonus short: Santa Claus’s Punch And Judy from 1948, also with an anjoyable RiffTrax commentary.