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RiffTrax: May The Shorts Be With You DVD Review

RiffTrax

“RiffTrax: May The Shorts Be With You” delivers plenty of laughs.

It’s been quite awhile, but a new RiffTrax DVD has FINALLY been released. In their latest offering titled “May The Shorts Be With You,” we get 9 short films riffed by Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy. So, what all is on this set, you ask? Allow me to tell you!

“We Discover the Dictionary” involves 3 students writing a letter to a Sergeant to thank him for teaching their class about bicycle safety. Throughout their “journey” of writing the letter, the students consult the dictionary while the narrator tells a less than riveting play by play of their actions. This is a pretty standard cheesy educational short film, but the gang does a fine job cracking jokes here. Mike’s delivery of “I found the right page!” makes the whole thing worth watching in my book.

“Eggs to Market” is exactly what the title says. It’s a straight forward short and, unfortunately, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for jokes. When the best bit is “Pretty much eggs then,” you know that this one wasn’t ripe for riffing.  

“What Is Nothing?”- First seen on the live “Jack the Giant Killer” show, this bizarre, David Lynchian short has two kids debating nothing. From the caterpillar noises, stoner jokes, and the on screen philosophical ramblings, you’ll be laughing from start to finish.

“Feelings: I’m Feeling Alone” is an abrupt, but funny short about the wide range of not so happy emotions that a child can experience. On paper, it doesn’t sound like mock worthy material, but the musical short is so lousy that it turns out to be perfect material for Mike, Bill, and Kevin (who belt out some hilarious songs here).

“Jobs In Cosmetology” is a forgettable short that revolves around students at a beauty college. Despite the rather short running time, the three manage to sneak in a few laughs here involving exams, hair and Christian Bale.

“The Creeps Machine” is one of the best on this set. The machine in question is meant to represent the various fears that a person can have. Of course, you can expect there to be more humor than scares here. Highlights include the bits about Bobo the clown (who is actually rather terrifying) and the weirdo narrator.

“Boy of India” contains a boy named Rama, Rama’s father, a trusty working elephant, a faceless narrator, and tea leaves. Truth be told, there’s not a ton of laughs here, but there is one curry joke that caused a laughing fit.

“What Are Letters for?” is another amusing educational short about letters and words. Expect creepy kids, a David Lee Roth joke, and quite possibly the most revolting giraffe head ever captured on film.

“Making Sense with Sentences”- Last, but not least, we have the single best short of the lot. Set in the land of Grammeria, ‘Sense’ revolves around a kid training to be a grammarian under the tutelage of a bald man named Mr. Smith. While I don’t want to spoil too much, I can honestly say that viewers will undoubtedly be cracking up at the jokes about the background monkey and the goofy Mr. Smith.

Video/Audio:

As per usual, the video quality varies in quality. Viewers can expect to see grain, scratches, and dirt specs on each and every short. Of course, it doesn’t really matter as we’re watching these for the riffs. I don’t think anyone is expecting (or wanting) these public domain shorts to be remastered.

Like the video quality, the audio on the shorts is all over the place. The riffs are always nice and clear, but sometimes you will encounter audio cutting out (like on ‘Eggs’) or just flat out dreadful sound (like on ‘Cosmetology’). Of the 9, ‘Sentences’ probably has the best audio quality overall.

Sorry to say, but no extras have been included here.

Overall Thoughts: With the holidays fast approaching, “May the Shorts Be with You” comes at the perfect time. Not only does it make a great for yourself, but it also makes the perfect present for anyone who loves RiffTrax, “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” or comedy in general. Now, let’s hope we get some more RiffTrax DVDs sooner rather than later. I’m still hoping to see more VOD films and or Norman shorts on disc!

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November 12, 2013 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , ,

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