RiffTrax: The Crater Lake Monster and The Galaxy Invader DVD Reviews
The RiffTrax gang is at the top of their game with “The Crater Lake Monster” and “The Galaxy Invader.”
After first being released as online video on demand titles on RiffTrax.com, “The Crater Lake Monster” and “The Galaxy Invader” have at long last been released on DVD for physical media lovers. So, were these two releases worth the wait? Absolutely.
“The Crater Lake Monster” is the type of movie that truly harkens back to “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” It’s a cheesy, cheap “Jaws” cash-in involving a stop-motion animated dinosaur feasting on Crater Lake locals/vistiors night and day (and day for night). You’d figure the dopey looking monster would provide the best riff material, but the human characters prove to be much better riff fodder (especially the goofball hicks Arnie and Mitch, the moustached folks, and the easily led Doc). The film’s pointless zooms and puzzling music cues (see the severed head bit for reference) also offer a bundle of laugh filled riffs as well.
When they’re not mocking on screen imagery, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy also crank out the usually clever pop culture references about everything from Arby’s (naturally) and Toonces to Rush Limbaugh and Craig Ferguson.
“The Galaxy Invader” is another sci-fi stinker in which a green, gun toting, suspender wearing alien crashlands on Earth via a cartoon fireball. The alien doesn’t get a warm welcome, however, when a group of drunken unkempt rednecks want to capture him for profit.
Like ‘Crater,’ ‘Invader’ features some truly hilarious “bad” characters such as J.J. the 40 year old son, Thompson, a drooling cigar smoker, a hyper teacher, and, of course, the torn shirt wearing drunken father who threatens his daughter with a shotgun. As you can imagine, the RiffTrax gang has no problem whatsoever coming up with humorous cracks about these characters.
While there are plenty of great pop culture references about such topics as Kickstarter and Walt Disney here, I was more interested in the fact that we got to see some extended comedic bits in this particular release. While the Sheriff bit goes on a bit too long, I did love the Bunky Hart gag in the credits as well as a couple of the clever songs that are scattered throughout.
Summary: Do yourself a favor and head to www.rifftrax.com/dvd and pick up “The Crater Lake Monster” and “The Galaxy Invader.” Both titles are well worth the $9.95 price tag. Let’s hope we get to see more video on demand releases on DVD soon.
“The Crater Lake Monster,” which is presented in widescreen, looks shockingly stunning (especially if it’s upconverted). While there are a few dirt specs here and there, this is far and away the best looking RiffTrax release to date. As for “The Galaxy Invader,” it basically looks like a VHS transfer. Don’t be surprised if the image is too dark at times.
As for the audio tracks to both films, the RiffTrax gang sounds great as per usual, but the film’s dialogue tracks aren’t exactly 5.1 esque. The dialogue is audible enough on both films, but it’s low quality to be sure.
The only extras here are the options to play both of the feature films without RiffTrax commentary.
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