As much as I love Mystery Science Theater 3000, somehow I've resisted buying any of the Cinematic Titanic releases...until now. Yes, they broke me down with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Not only do I love this movie (it's sooo bad,) I found this a surprising and gutsy choice for the CT crew, considering this movie was riffed on MST3K back in the day.
Well, I'm happy to report this disc is a winner. Amazingly enough, despite the fact that most of these folks worked on the MST3K episode, the riffing is all new. And it's really funny stuff here. Check the trailer:
So, as I'm sure a million other MST3K fans have done, I have to contrast this to Rifftrax. It's not entirely fair, as I have more Rifftrax stuff than Cinematic Titanic, but here goes anyway:
Rifftrax was first, so they have that going for them. Since most of what they do is just an mp3 commentary track to be played along with a commercial DVD, their releases are cheaper and quicker to download. They have also done shorts, like MST3K used to, which are the whole deal.
However, most of the Rifftrax are for modern movies that I really don't care about. Since they're just mp3s, I'd have to acquire the movies as well. Aside from the shorts, I haven't really been interested in any Rifftrax in a while, though bringing guest riffers (like Fred Willard) on board has made me interested in checking out some of them eventually.
And speaking of the riffers, here's the big difference: the CT crew, is not only greater in number, but it's pretty much all my favorite people from MST3K. While I have nothing against the Rifftrax crew, there's just something about Joel, Trace and Frank (and the underrated J. Elvis, his riffing was the highlight of MST3K Season 1) that I find funnier.
So that's my two cents. I look forward to checking out some more Cinematic Titanic in the future. And I'll enjoy firing up the Rifftrax take on the Star Wars Christmas Special again this year and hope that they'll do more shorts in the next year.