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Just when you thought it was safe to stop laughing…

Fathom Events goes 20,000 leagues into laughs this Thursday, as the ubiquitous “RiffTrax” team takes aim at the Syfy camp cult classic Sharknado 2: The Second One in over 650 theaters nationwide this Thursday.

Last year, RiffTrax Live: Sharknado saw the dynamic trio of Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett put their distinctive, irreverent spin on the original Syfy shocker, which became an instant media sensation when it premiered in 2013 – so much so that Fathom Events presented special screenings of it and Sharknado 2: The Second One.

RiffTrax Live: Sharknado 2: The Second One will be screened locally in Greensboro at the Brassfield Cinema 10 (2101 New Garden Rd.) and Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 (3205 Northline Ave.), and in Winston-Salem at The Grand 18 Winston-Salem IMAX (5601 University Parkway). The show begins at 8 pm.

Last time, it was the City of Angels (Los Angeles). This time, it’s the Big Apple (New York City). And, rest assured, the onslaught of fierce fish will be taking plenty of bites of the Apple and its inhabitants. Ian Ziering and Tara Reid (sans one hand) are back for more … as a Category 7 hurricane rocks the East Coast and deposits hungry sharks of all shapes and sizes upon unsuspecting denizens.

A star-studded cast of cameo performers includes Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Kari Wuhrer, Mark McGrath, Judah Friedlander, Robert Hays, Richard Kind, Kurt Angle, Kelly Ripa, Kelly Osbourne, Billy Ray Cyrus, Perez Hilton, Andy Dick, Al Roker, Matt Lauer, Tiffany Shepis, Michael Strahan, Rachel True, and Robert Klein as the beleaguered mayor of New York City.

For 11 years, Nelson, Murphy and Corbett were part of the core team of the cult series “Mystery Science Theatre 3000,” in which the crew of the Satellite of Love – stranded in outer space – was forced to watch transmissions of the worst movies ever made on Earth, which they commented upon with ribald wit and addle-brained insight.

Not only did “MST3K” amass a sizable worldwide following, but it also drew attention to scores of movies best forgotten and in some cases revived interest in them as potential cult classics. During its lengthy run, the series earned two Emmy nominations (both times for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing for a Variety or Music Program), and in 1993 received the prestigious Peabody Award.

With the cancellation of “MST3K” in 1999, after 197 episodes and even a feature film released in 1995, the series continues to live on in syndication and on home-video – as well as in the hearts and minds of its fervent fans worldwide.

But in 2006, Nelson reunited with Murphy and Corbett to continue the tradition with “RiffTrax,” a series of downloads presented in the same style as the earlier series, with running commentary.

These were followed by a series of live events that proved so popular that the “RiffTrax” screenings were born. Previous offerings have included Ed Wood’s infamous Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), the indescribable Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966), George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), the giant-snake saga Anaconda, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) and the original Sharknado (2013).

A special encore screening of RiffTrax Live: Sharknado 2: The Second One will be presented 7:30 pm Thursday, July 16. Greensboro Grande has the encore screening listed on its website as scheduled for that evening, but Carmike Brassfield and The Grand 18 do not have it listed on their calendar.

For those who can’t make the RiffTrax screenings or want to provide (off-)color commentary of their own in the comfort of their own screening room at home, Sharknado 2: The Second One is available on DVD ($14.93 retail) and Blu-ray ($19.93 retail) from Cinedigm, replete with such special features as deleted scenes, gag reel, and audio commentary featuring Ferrante, Ziering and Reid.

Oh yeah … rest assured, and be afraid – be very afraid – that Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! premieres July 22 on Syfy, with Ferrante back at the helm and Ziering and Reid back in the soup, as it were. !

WANNA

go?

Showtime is 8 pm Thursday. Tickets at Brassfield Cinema 10 are $11.50 (general admission), $10.50 (senior citizens) and $9.50 (children under 12). Tickets at Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 are $13.34.

Tickets at The Grand 18 Winston-Salem IMAX are $12.50. Showtime for the encore presentation is 7:30 pm, July 16. Tickets at Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 are $13.34. For advance tickets or more information, check out www.FathomEvents.com. The official RiffTrax website is www.rifftrax.com.

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