It’s time for “RiffTrax Live: Summer Shorts Beach Party!”
RiffTrax, in association with Fathom Events will be presenting “RiffTrax Live: Summer Shorts Beach Party” in select cinema venues from coast-to-coast coast on Thu., June 15 at 8 p.m. (local time). An encore pre-recorded screening will be shown in select theaters on Tue., June 20 at 7:30 p.m. (local time).
Veteran riffers and MST3K alums Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy performed their 20th RiffTrax Live event from the State Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the evening of Tue., June 29.
MST3K Reunion Poster (RiffTrax/Fathom Events)
Celebrating the revival of “MST3K” and the 10th anniversary of “RiffTrax”
In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the popular film riffing service and the relaunch of MST3K, the majority of cast members from the original run of MST3K appeared on stage with the RiffTrax crew, including series creator and first host Joel Hodgson, comedy writers and performers Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bridget Jones Nelson and Jonah Ray, who will be the host of the new MST3K.
RiffTrax MST3K Postcard (from L to R:) Frank Conniff (in his Svengoolie shirt), Jonah Ray, Trace Beaulieu, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, Mike Nelson, Bridget Jones Nelson and Kevin Murphy (RiffTrax/Fathom Events)
An evening of RiffTrax favorites- cheesy educational/industrial short subjects & “Super Riff-A-Palooza!”
The event showcased many cheesy educational and industrial short films that were riffed during the presentation, including “The Talking Car” (1968, Alfred Higgins Productions/AAA, riffed by Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson), “A Word to the Wives” (1955, Telamerica, featuring Darren McGavin as the angry father, riffed by Bridget Nelson and Mary Jo Pehl), “More Dates for Kay” (1952, Coronet, riffed by Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff) the Caterpillar industrial safety film, “Shake Hands with Danger” (1970, produced by Centron, riffed by the RiffTrax crew) and an AFL-CIO short on Barbers and Beauticians (1950’s, riffed by Joel Hodgson and Jonah Ray).
All performers joined together at the conclusion of the event, titled “Super Riff-A-Palooza!” The remaining riffed shorts consisted of a 1954 featurette, “Stamp Day for Superman” (produced for the U.S. Treasury Department by the producers of “The Adventures of Superman” TV series, featuring George Reeves) and a RiffTrax favorite- the 1970 ACI short subject “Grasses,” part of the short-lived educational film firm’s “At Your Fingertips” series.
Area MSTies celebrate the showing “RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show” in Germantown
“RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show” was showcased at Regal’s Germantown 14 cineplex in Germantown, Maryland. Shown inside multiplex auditorium #13,* eager MSTies and fans of RiffTrax were delighted by the presentation from start to finish, along with pre-show trivia slides and a digital goodies package for patrons of the show. Compared to the previous RiffTrax Live presentation of the 1994 Z-budget film, “Time Chasers” (which was shown at the same cinema venue back in May), the auditorium was nearly full for the special event.
Prior to the show, an unidentified man commemorated that evening’s presentation by wearing a “Castleton” t-shirt. He regretted not wearing his shirt for the previous “Time Chasers” presentation. Another spectator wore a Tommy Wiseau “Ohai” shirt in commemoration of the event (the RiffTrax crew riffed Wiseau’s 2003 low-budget drama, “The Room”).
“RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show:” A fantastic experience
“RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show” was enjoyed by fellow MSTies and fans of the RiffTrax crew when it was showcased at Regal’s Germantown cineplex. It was the perfect rib-tickling stressbuster that was enjoyed by all. Here’s to many more years of cinematic riffing.
Missed out on “RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show?” Don’t worry- RiffTrax and Fathom Events will be showing a special re-broadcast (in select cinema venues from coast-to-coast) on July 12 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
Area cinema venues that will be participating in the re-broadcast:
A “Silver Screen Reflections” Shout-Out: The writer of “Silver Screen Reflections” would like to thank the people at RiffTrax and Fathom Events for the press passes to “RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show. ” It was an enjoyable and fun experience. Thank you letting us be a part of the presentation!
A competitor to another newsreel that was reformatted for the classroom
The series premiered in 1958, and it was possibly created as a response to Warner Bros.’ “News Magazine of the Screen.” Warners’ version, which was a brief anthology of the studio’s then-current newsreel shorts (from Warners’ Pathé News unit, which was acquired by the studio in 1948- and was discontinued due to competition from television in 1956).
According to Geoff Alexander’s 2010 book, “Academic Films for the Classroom: A History.” Hearst’s classroom newsreel series was created by Jerome Foreman (who left Hearst’s newsreel division in 1960 to form Allegro Productions, a company that is known for producing the “Science Screen Report”).
“Screen News Digest:” One of the last major newsreel series
Many topics were presented throughout the series’ run, consisting of current events or historical subjects. After Hearst discontinued their newsreel unit in 1967 (the same year that rival Universal Studios discontinued their long-running newsreel series), the producers of Screen News Digest relied on past stock footage from the Hearst Metrotone/News of the Day/Telenews library, in addition to new footage filmed by Hearst’s television news bureaus.
The series migrated to color footage in the late 1960’s, and ran until Hearst discontinued the series in the early 1980’s- as videocassette recorders would replace 16mm film projectors in schools across the country.
Since 2014, the Internet Archive has uploaded 62 select versions of the Hearst “Screen News Digest” series. Perfect for archivists, fans of vintage/cult film and people who would like to learn more about newsreels. A perfect compliment to the Prelinger Archives collection.