Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why Doesn't Cathy Eat Her Breakfast?

Mystery Science Theater 3000 lives!

Here is one of those educational films from the 70's that I might've watched on a movie projector in elementary school in the 80's. We know the heroine - let's just call her "Cathy" - is supposed to eat her breakfast, but the narrator just can't get it out of her why she won't!

Fast forward about thirty-odd years to the former hosts of MST3K:, the Best Brains - Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, just a few of the men and women involved in that great series who are now (in various separate projects) putting computers and downloaded movies together to riff once more.* One visit to Archive.org and the aforementioned public domain gem is an MST3K-style "short"! I can't show the whole thing but the folks involved in Rifftrax (see below for information) have a snippet of their take on it on their site.

Last night my sister - a Cathy who eats her breakfast - and I found this same movie in full on YouTube. Thinking it had been illegally uploaded, as some of Rifftrax's efforts have been, we sat and watched, only realizing halfway that it was, in fact, a perfectly legal amateur effort from "The VHS-Hole" project, and quite a funny one to boot (warning: some potty humor):

If you want to see the much-less exciting original film, go here.

While we're on the subject of "msting" public domain food-related movies from the 50's, 60's and 70's, I have to mention the YouTube-based efforts of Matthew Sanderson and the folks at Deep Ape. Sanderson's "Interweb 5000" videos, which are funnier riffs than most I have seen on YouTube. Too bad he only did six of them and his last one was done over a year ago. This one shows young girls in the 50's how to make a tasty rarebit for the boys - yum!


* If you want to see brand new "msting" (intentionally spelled like that) from the original masters of the art, go to both of the following, each run by former Best Brainers:

  • Rifftrax, which is run by Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, with some commentaries by fellow Brainers Bridget Nelson and Mary Jo Pehl, and guest stars like Neil Patrick Harris, among others. The riffs are all downloadable (99¢ to $3.99 a pop) and are mostly on classic films (Night of the Living Dead, Alien, Terminator) and recent blockbusters (Cloverfield, Matrix). You usually have to rent or own the DVD yourself ($9.99 for the rare movie you can download), and play the smart-ass commentary along with it. Can't sync the two up? Mostly no problem - they have a special "Rifftrax" player and bundled MP3 files that work specifically with the player. Open the DVD in the special player, then open the bundled MP3 commentary and voila! It's auto-sync'd. There are still some movies that are not automatically sync'd but they're working on those. A few public domain movies, like the short above, can be purchased with commentary already added.
  • Also cruise over to Cinematic Titanic, run by other former Brainers like Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu and - again - MJ Pehl. These are movies with commentary and silhouettes overlain. You pay $10 for the download, which you can keep on your computer or (I think) burn onto a DVD. So far they've only done two movies, Brain of Blood/The Oozing Skull, and The Doomsday Machine. Love those titles!


Pete said...

This is months late, I know, but I just found this mention of The VHS Hole. I'm Pete Lane, the creator of the "show", and I appreciate the kind words. Thanks! :)