Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cinematic Titanic:The Alien Factor

As we were preparing this week of MST3K related posts the one thing that became apparent is that if you wanted to give the duel review of a film and the show it was on you were going to have a difficult time doing so with MST3K because the films are chopped up. That’s not the case with the Riff Trax and Cinematic Titanic programs. They are the films in their painful entirety (though I know in some cases they are using the TV prints and not the full uncensored versions)

With Cinematic Titanic’s assault on The Alien Factor seeing the movie in its uncut form is a mixed blessing. No, its not a particularly good film, but at the same time the film is full of opportunities for riffing

The plot of the film has an alien spaceship crashing to earth and the occupants get out and go on a killing spree. The local towns people don't know this of course but an official from the Federal Government who shows up seems to know more than he's letting on.

As I said this film isn't very good, however it ends up being one of the funniest films in the entire canon of MST3K style programs. I started laughing from the instant the film began when the crew makes fun of the film company logo and I didn't stop laughing until the final credits rolled. I don't think the DVD has any dead spots anywhere in it. This is just joke after joke after joke. Some are random and some are tied to reoccurring themes. For example this film is full of long static shots that just fill time.Think shots of an empty field where nothing is going on held on screen for what seems like two or three minutes at a time.(First example during the opening murder sequence) There are also numerous occasions when we see long car trips or people walking from place to place and we get the entire trip on screen. Its something that the riffers demolish and will make any thing similar in any film you see after it impossible to watch.

This last bit I talked about in my piece on Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void. That film is largely sequences where we watch as the spirit of our dead hero travels from place to place for almost three hours.

Watching this DVD again in order to write up this piece I found that I was laughing harder at the nonsense on screen this second time through. I think part of it is that the jokes hold up with repeated viewing, but I also think it's that there is so much material that I was picking up more this time through. I can't say that about some of the other shows, for example Danger on Tiki Island, which I saw live and then again right after I got the DVD. Seeing the show again on DVD I found it flat and not really funny. Its one of my least favorite Cinematic Titanics.

What you need to do is to go to the Cinematic Titanic website and buy yourself a copy of this show. It's hysterical. Not only will you laugh you'll feel good afterwards...and if you're like me it will change how you see films since you'll never be able to watch long walks/rides/ static shots with out thinking of this show.

A must see.

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