Sure it's been years since Mystery Science Theater 3000 went off the air, but Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy keep the fun going with their commentaries about bad movies with their Rifftrax project. Even better, every few months a Rifftrax special is shown "live" (actually taped live, then broadcast later) in the movie theater. Last night I got to see the comedy trio take on what many consider to be the worst movie ever with Rifftrax: Manos, the Hands of Fate.

For those (fortunate enough) not to be familiar with Manos: The Hands of Fate, it's a horror movie that includes: a Satanist with giant hands on his robe; a "monster" with fat legs (Torgo!) who can barely walk; a forgettable family of victims; useless cops; a bizarre catfight between women in unrevealing gowns; and plenty of random camera cuts and terrible theme music. It's no wonder that this movie supplies plenty of material for the Rifftrax folks; and rather than simply redo the jokes done when Manos was shown on MST3K, Rifftrax: Manos the Hands of Fate provides new material, from referencing 50 Shades of Grey to "complimenting" the director who's also the father in the film.

The evening opened with the Rifftrax take on several three shorts: a bleak 1970s "comedy" called Welcome Back, Norman; an uninformative educational film about cylinders; and a commercial for prune juice. These were just as fun as the Manos jokes, and while the "live" tag for the movie may have been misleading, there was a festive feeling through the theater.

Around Halloween, Rifftrax will be returning to the big screen with a showing of the cgi bird attack film Birdemic. I can't wait!

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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