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RiffTrax roars again with Godzilla

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the movies … RiffTrax is back in action!

Having just savaged Sharknado earlier this month, the indefatigable RiffTrax trio’s on a roll – and the next target is director Roland Emmerich’s widely-derided 1998 version of Godzilla.

On Thursday, Aug. 14, RiffTrax Live: Godzilla be broadcast to more than 650 theaters nationwide, including the Brassfield Cinema 10 and the Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 in Greensboro, and The Grand  18 Winston-Salem IMAX. There will be a second showing Tuesday, Aug. 19 at Greensboro Grande and The Grand 18 only.

Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett have reunited to provide outrageous, ongoing commentary on this muddled monster movie, which didn’t much please the worldwide legion of Godzilla fans. Emmerich’s monster wasn’t the Godzilla they knew and loved (it sure wasn’t!).

Fans longed for Godzilla to get the RiffTrax treatment, and thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign they were able to license the big-budget, big-studio title.

“Thanks to our many Kickstarter contributors we’re happy to be able to do the best giant lizard movie of the late ‘90s,” boasted Nelson in an official statement. “Because everything about it is big we plan to super-size the laughs as well.”

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 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.

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 lives on in syndication – as well as in the hearts and minds of its fervent fans.

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); Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 sci-fi blowout Starship Troopers; and, of course, the Syfy cable sensation Sharknado mere weeks ago.

The human cast of Godzilla includes Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Hank Azaria, Maria Pitillo, Kevin Dunn, Michael Lerner and, yes … the Taco Bell Chihuahua.

WANNA go?

RiffTrax Live: Godzilla will be screened 7:30 pm Thursday, Aug. 14 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). Tickets at Greensboro Grande are $12.50 (general admission). Tickets at Brassfield are $11.50 (general admission), $10.50 (senior citizens) and $9.50 (children under 12). Tickets at The Grand 18 are $12.50 (general admission). The presentation will be rebroadcast Tuesday, Aug. 19 at Brassfield and The Grand 18 only. Ticket prices are the same. For advance tickets or more information, check out www.FathomEvents.com.

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