Most of the time, talking during a movie is one of the most annoying things a person can do in a theatre – unless, of course, you’re really good at it.
If you’re really good at it, you can coordinate 400 theatres nationwide to play the same atrocious movie while you make fun of the film. And everyone will want to listen in on your whispers. This is precisely what Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett (better known as those dudes from Mystery Science Theater 3000) did for MST3K-hybrid RiffTrax Live’s presentation of the 1959 film Plan 9 from Outer Space.
The Ed Wood masterpiece has been idolized forever as the Citizen Kane of bad movies, prompting Tim Burton to create the biopic Ed Wood in 1994. The low-budget Plan 9 – complete with wobbly tombstones, non-sequitur shots filmed during completely different times of the day and an obvious Bela Lugosi body double (after the real Lugosi died before completing the film) – is almost too easy to make fun of.
Still, the RiffTrax crew provided laugh after laugh, proving their riffing skills didn’t die with MST3K in 1999. For the modest crowd that showed up to Regal Colonnade 14 (one of six Vegas theatres that participated in the event), it was a refreshing reminder that sometimes the best kind of humor is the kind where you just sit back and make fun of other people.
OK. Maybe nobody’s really forgotten that. Here are three other things you would have learned during the film.
(1) Ironically, the people who pay money to see people talk while they watch a movie are surprisingly quiet audience members. I guess they, unlike those annoying jackasses behind you during Transformers 2 chatting about Megan Fox’s ass, understand that they aren’t funny enough to interrupt a movie properly.
(2) One of the loudest laughs of the night occurred after a joke about how bad Transformers 2 was. When a group of people paying to see Plan 9 from Outer Space laugh at your movie, that’s saying something. Sorry, Shia LaBeouf.
(3) The obvious: MST3K isn’t completely dead! The outline of the robots in the corner of your screen is, but the humor is alive and well at rifftrax.com.
So, if you missed Plan 9 in theaters this week, you can still purchase audio tracks to play in conjunction with movies. Most of them aren’t the B-movies you remember watching on television, either.
Don’t forget the popcorn.