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RiffTrax Live! Summer Shorts Beach Party DVD Review


“RiffTrax Live! Summer Shorts Beach Party” is better than fun in the sun.

The RiffTrax gang (Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy) returned to Nashville for a live show this past summer dubbed “RiffTrax Live! Summer Shorts Beach Party.” This time, however, they are joined by some guests (I’ll get to those guests in a bit).

Before I get to the numerous shorts that are presented throughout, I did want to mention that the trio actually engaged in some delightful banter on stage as they talked about tasty cheese balls and mysterious tape on Kevin’s head. There was even a song about shorts by Bill and Kevin along with a sort of best of short film reel at one point.

The show kicks off with “Ricky Raccoon Shows The Way.” This is yet another terrifying short in which a dumb kid is taught by his parents and a teleporting raccoon mascot to learn about walking and bike riding safety. The short is a definite easy target and Mike, Bill, and Kevin have no trouble making fun of the dopey kid and the dancing and pelvis thrusting raccoon (don’t ask).

For “Office Etiquette “ The Mads (Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu) walk on stage to mercilessly make fun of this B&W educational short about secretaries and proper office etiquette. Between the political jabs and the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” reference, this one is a hoot. I really wish The Mads would release their own VODs or shorts through the RiffTrax site. Maybe one day?

“Rhythmic Ball Skills For Perceptual-Motor Development” is as ridiculous as it sounds. The short sees a group of kids exercising with rubber balls while the narrator drones on with directions like “Toss. Catch.” It is maddening to say the least. Luckily, Mike, Bill, and Kevin get the audience through this madness with some great one-liners.

Bridget Nelson and Mary Jo Pehl tackle the aptly named “The Griper” which revolves around a teen named George who gripes about everything. He’s so negative, in fact, that he pushes away others. If you’ve seen a Bridget and Mary Jo short before, you know that they bring a refreshing change of pace with their comedic riffs. They have their own fun laidback style and it shows with “The Griper.”

“Sentinels of Safety” was easily the highlight of this live show. Mike, Bill and Kevin seem to be having a blast watching and mocking the various dangerous scenarios at home that could lead to death. It’s pure insanity and it’s yet another short that involves items being washed in gasoline!

“A Touch Of Magic” sees Paul F. Tompkins joining Mike, Bill, and Kevin on stage for this musical/car showcase. Alas, this is the only short that didn’t quite work for the show. There just wasn’t a lot of material to joke about here (especially since it was so quick).

The show concludes with Mary, Paul, Bridget, Frank, Trace, Mike, Bill, and Kevin on stage together to crack jokes about a short called “The Baggs.” This is one of those shorts that will have the viewer wondering “What am I watching?” After watching it, I still don’t know what I just witnessed. All I can say is that it involved a bearded guy and living garbage bags that eat trash. Honestly, the short is so baffling that even the riffers can’t help but laugh at the absurdity on screen which makes it even more amusing.


Presentation: Widescreen. How does it look? The shorts vary in quality as one might expect, but the show itself looks crisp.

Audio Track: Unspecified Audio Track. How does it sound? Much like the video quality, the audio quality of the shorts varies although none of them are hard to hear. The important thing here is that aside from a couple of microphone issues during the show, the riffers themselves sound clear.

The lone extra is another amusing mock trivia slideshow.

The “RiffTrax Live! Summer Shorts Beach Party” DVD is now available to purchase on RiffTrax.com here: https://www.rifftrax.com/rifftrax-live-summer-shorts-beach-party

You can also purchase the VOD through the same link.

November 30, 2017 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , ,

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