September 6th, 2009
02:45 PM ET

'Mystery Science' alums return to what they do best

When some members of the cast of the 1990s cult basic cable show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" got back together to replay their characters for a DVD special feature, this was more than just a reunion. They wanted to show that they could bring the series back in some form.

Unfortunately, that was not to be, but that didn't stop them from bringing back the one thing they have become the foremost experts on over the past 20 years: poking fun of bad, cheesy movies.

Five of the "MST3K" crew got together to create a new DVD series, "Cinematic Titanic," which offers more witty second-by-second reactions to some of the worst Hollywood has had to offer.

"Titanic's" Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff and Mary Jo Pehl shared the story of the beginnings of "Titanic" and took questions from an audience of devoted fans at Atlanta, Georgia's Dragon*Con Saturday. Beaulieu and Conniff, as well as series creator Joel Hodgson contacted Pehl and original "MST3K" cast member J. Elvis Weinstein to join them in this new effort.

"We were anxious to get back to the stuff we used to do," said Conniff.

Now, nearly two years later, they've released seven episodes of the show on DVD and according to their website, done over 20 live movie-riffing performances in ten cities this year alone.

How have they come up with so many jokes for so many full-length movies? It helps that the group have been able to retain an almost-encyclopedic knowledge of movies, books and television, an ability Bealieu described as "pop cultural flypaper."

Of the many movies, good and bad, they've seen, which ones are their favorites? Beaulieu and Conniff said they admire "Citizen Kane" the most, though Beaulieu admitted an affection for 2003's "Dreamcatcher," a movie he was most recently told was actually bad.

Pehl said that Tim Burton's 1994 film "Ed Wood" held a special place in her heart, as it was a loving portrayal of a director of infamously bad movies. However, "The Sound of Music" and "Gone With the Wind" were Pehl's two all-time favorites. In fact, when a fan mentioned that a "Gone With the Wind"-themed museum was located in a nearby town, Pehl asked if he would drive her there later.


Filed under: Dragon-Con

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Wild Dan

    David, we have to VOTE? Who says?

    LOVE Rifftrax, and these guys too. I vote all of the above (if I have to).

    September 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Beautiful Mind

    David C. – Rifftrax does both current movies and moldy oldies. They are both great riffing experiences!

    September 7, 2009 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. DAVID C.

    Umm, RiffTrax is the other MST3K guys (Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett) who choose to riff on mostly famous popular films. Cinematic Titanic keeps to the original idea of riffing on really cheesy movies, the worst they can find! And that's why I cast my vote for CT.

    September 6, 2009 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kim

    I love MST3K....went to the movies for their big RiffTrax live show, thought it was great...It blew my mind to be able to hear their voices again, ripping on horrible movies, not simply relegated to reruns of the show when it was on-air. I LOVE YOU BILL CORBETT!!! And Mike, and Kevin, and the rest–you guys are the best!

    September 6, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |

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