RiffTrax: Hand-Crafted Artisanal Shorts DVD Review
“Hand-Crafted Artisanal Shorts” is arguably the best RiffTrax shorts collections yet.
Here’s a breakdown of each of the ten shorts:
“At Your Fingertips- Grasses”- After first being shown in the fantastic “RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness” event (available on Blu-ray and DVD), ‘Grasses’ has quickly become a fan favorite riffed short. The short essentially shows the various ways you can use grass to make bizarre crafts while also addressing (but never answering) the burning question, “Is corn grass?” While still hilarious in its own right, the studio version simply doesn’t compare to the energy present in the live version.
“At Your Fingertips: Boxes”- In case you didn’t get enough craft tips with “At Your Fingertips: Grasses,” now you can discover more ways to create useless junk using boxes! Whether it be nightmarish toys or a box car, there’s plenty of ridiculously goofy stuff here that Mike, Bill, and Kevin have no problem riffing. Keep an ear out for the hilarious Buckwheat joke.
“Tooth Truth With Harv And Marv”- Just when you thought shorts couldn’t get any worse, ‘Harv and Marv’ comes along. The short follows two tiny cartoon hippies (Harv and Marv) as they learn about teeth cleaning. Oh, and a sort of “Xanadu” esque Tooth Fairy shows up as well. The sheer oddity of the short is enough to make you laugh but the laughing Marv gag and the “Inception” joke make it even more amusing.
“1 Turkey, 2 Turkey”- Do you like Donovan esque songs? Do you like kazoo playing? Do you like counting turkeys on a farm? Then this short is for you as that’s all that happens here!
“The Red Hen”- The adventures of an egg laying Red Hen may not sound exciting, but the RiffTrax gang makes this short incredibly funny. From the rabbit pellets and snail to the duck urine and dust bath jokes, there’s nary a moment here that won’t have you laughing.
“Courtesy: A Good Example”- In this stop motion animated short set in an egg city (yes, you read that right), an uncourteous and rude student named Benedict learns a few lessons from fellow egg pal Eggbert. Expect lots of good “cracks” here about the short, ferrets, and a flag salute.
“The Calendar- How To Use It” revolves around a young girl who learns how to use a calendar from two people in shiney yellow and blue clothing and a horrid singer/guitarist. The RiffTrax gang’s riffs about the the out of tune singer and hideous clothing items alone make this one a must see.
“County Fair”- Via footage and hippy songs, “County Fair”shows you the various, games, rides, and foods that you can find at a fair. This is a truly great effort from Mike, Bill, and Kevin as they make their own grin-inducing songs, bust out a few well-timed barf jokes, and poke fun at the “biking” events.
“Walking To School” sounds completely and utterly boring on paper, but this short is surprisingly one of the real gems on this disc. The short shows the various obstacles that 2 kids encounter on their seemingly endless walk to school as well as the “rules” they must follow. Between the various transportation modes to school images and the actual voice over dialogue about how children should never ride with strangers as they might be poor drivers (that’s the ONLY reason given), the RiffTrax trio gleefully go to town on this one.
“Paper And I”- Like “Grasses,” this short was first seen in a live show (“RiffTrax Live: House On Haunted Hill” to be exact). The dopey short involves a cartoon talking paper bag telling a creepy kid named Willy about paper products and where they crome from. Essentially, it’s a preachy short about how much the world relies on paper products. Unlike the studio version of ‘Grasses,’ I actually prefer this studio version to the live version as it seems more polished. Mike’s hilarious paper bag voice also really stood out to me here.
Summary: If you don’t have several fits of laughter while watching “Hand-Crafted Artisanal Shorts,” I don’t know what you will laugh at. A must buy.
Video wise, the quality of the shorts are all over the place. Expect to see scratches, dirt specs, and faded colors on most of the shorts. Of all the shorts, the stop motion animation is ‘Eggsample’ looks the best here by a mile.
On the audio front, the riffs all sound crystal clear, but the actual dialogue of the shorts tends to be rather low. ‘Fair’ has the best sound quality here as the songs blare forth through the speakers.
No extras have been included.
RiffTrax: Hand-Crafted Artisanal Shorts is available to purchase here for $9.95:
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