Friday, March 07, 2008

Friendly Advice for Cinematic Titanic

This isn't exactly a review of the first release for Cinematic Titanic, the new venture from the people who once upon a time brought you 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'. (Not to be confused with "Rifftrax" or The Film Crew, two other new ventures brought to you by the other people who brought you 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'. The Film Crew is Kevin, Mike, and Bill. CT is Joel, Frank, Trace, Mary Jo, and Josh.) But as I say, this isn't a review of 'The Oozing Skull', per se, because by this point I think everyone knows what to expect from a release of this nature, a good-natured (and sometimes not-so good natured) "commentary track" to a B-movie of questionable quality, featuring rapid-fire jokes at the film's expense. As always seems to be the case with these films, the volume of jokes is so high that even if you hit a bad one or two, there's always more coming along in a minute or so. So as I say, this isn't a review. Just a little advice for future releases.

1) Have a framing sequence. It doesn't necessarily have to be something new every episode, like MST3K or The Film Crew had. You could just do a credits sequence before each film. But something to ground the audience, introduce yourselves and let us know who you are before you're just silhouettes in a dark room, making fun of a movie would really help. (There is a premise to CT, as with the other shows, but it doesn't get mentioned on the disc itself. It probably should, as flimsy as it is.)

2) Slightly fewer sketches. I like the innovation of "freezing" the movie for the sketches and doing them in the theater in silhouette, and I like that there are sketches. But it felt like there were perhaps one or two too many. MST3K stuck with three breaks for sketches, and I think more than that tends to make the film drag a bit...and trust me when I say 'The Oozing Skull' drags quite enough without your help.

3) Have just a bit more faith in your material. A few times over the course of the film, someone would deliver a joke in a tone that suggested that the source of the comedy was that they were telling a bad joke, not whatever they were making fun of on-screen. This really kills any chance of making the joke funny, because the delivery undercuts the humor of the joke. If you don't think it's funny, leave it out. If you do, give it a chance to make someone laugh.

4) Hire me to write for you. I'm local!

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I suspect they'd prefer to remain in silhouette, largely because of how much time has passed since the MST3K days. Have you seen any photos of Joel Hodgson lately? He looks old--actually rather older than he should at his age.