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RiffTrax Live!- Plan 9 From Outer Space Blu-ray Review

“RiffTrax Live!- Plan 9 From Outer Space” hits the Blu-ray format, but is it worth the upgrade from the DVD version?

It’s been a few years now since RiffTrax’s first live show was released on DVD and now it has been released on Blu-ray. Looking back at this event (which is hosted by the lovely Veronica Belmont), I still think the prize giveaway, the lame fruit and flour/grain expo commercials by Rich Kyanka and musician Jonathan Coulton’s overlong set were nothing more than filler, but they don’t ruin an otherwise great show. To me, the live shows have more energy and the RiffTrax gang seem to be at the top of their game here.

The show kicks off with the gang riffing on a silly 50’s short film called “Flying Stewardess.”  The gang makes this stinker a winner as they crack jokes about everything from passengers and snakes to planes and Fort Worth (which is a running joke throughout the show).

The main event of the show is, of course, “Plan 9 From Outer Space”. By now everyone knows of Ed Wood’s infamously bad alien flick. It’s an ultra low-budget sci-fi cult classic that is perfect material for the RiffTrax gang. Naturally, they do a bang-up job of ripping into the cheap sets, the multiple Bela Lugosis’, the night and day shots, the continuity errors, pillow touching, and careless gun waving. They also provide their usual clever jokes about everything from Anne Coulter to the Hulk.

Also noteworthy in this show is a performance by the comedic music group RiffTones which consists of Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett and Mike Nelson. Jonathan Coulton also joins them in performing a “Plan 9” song. It’s a fun, clever song about the 8 previous plans the aliens had.


The first live event doesn’t really benefit from being in hi-def. The crowd shots and the ‘Stewardess’ short look fuzzier here and there is some noticeable dirt specs that pop up throughout. On the plus side, the close-ups of the performers on stage and via the box on the side of the screen definitely look sharper. Their faces are much clearer in hi-def. The colorized version of ‘Plan 9’ also looks noticeably better despite the fact that the print flaws are more apparent.

I will admit that the audio is stronger here. The riffs and the dialogue in ‘Stewardess’ and ‘Plan 9’ is an improvement over the DVD audio to be sure.

Extras include the uncut versions of the 2 commercials seen in the show, a 2 ½ minute behind the scenes slideshow of the live event in Nashville, and the Rifftones Plan 9 song on the DVD menu.

So the big question is, is this disc worth buying if you already own the DVD? I don’t think so. The video and audio quality is better, but it’s not enough to need to upgrade to Blu-ray.  To be honest, I’m not quite sure why this was released during the holidays. I think fans would have preferred seeing some of the VOD releases on DVD or Blu-ray, new shorts collections, and or RiffTrax Live!- Jack The Giant Killer instead. Still, if you don’t own this on DVD yet and want to break in the new Blu-ray player you got for Christmas, I recommend picking this title up.

RiffTrax Live: Plan 9 From Outer Space Blu-ray is now available to purchase at www.rifftrax.com.

December 26, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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