Rifftrax razzes ‘Krull’
Fresh from its big-screen takedown of Space Mutiny (1988) in May, “RiffTrax Live” returns with an even bigger-budgeted space opera ripe for razzing – Columbia Pictures’ big-budget 1983 bomb Krull, which critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert called “one of the most boring, nonsensical, illogical fantasies in a long time” on their television series.
Krull was clearly an attempt to emulate the success of Star Wars (1977), replete with its own (albeit muddled) mythos. Costing a whopping $40 million, big bucks in those days, the film grossed less than $20 million. In 1983, Columbia’s other attempts to hop aboard the science-fiction bandwagon, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (in 3-D, no less) and Yor: The Hunter of the Future didn’t fare much better, despite subsequent cult followings.
These days, Krull is probably best remembered for its admittedly grand visual effects, early roles for Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane, and – at least to this cineaste – that director Peter Yates, who initially turned down the film, got to make his splendid adaptation of The Dresser, at Columbia. (OK, that film didn’t make a whole lot of money, either, but it earned Yates an Oscar nomination as Best Director, and it’s better than Krull!)
For almost 10 years, “RiffTrax Live” has been roasting the bad, the worse, and the ugly during its series of big-screen presentations. Film lives forever – whether it deserves to or not – and the RiffTrax team has selected some of the biggest, boldest, baddest cinematic atrocities in irreverent and irrepressible fashion.
Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy – those beloved, battle-scarred veterans of “Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MST3K)” – are back on the big screen, prepared to do battle with the inter-stellar inanity of Krull armed with wisecracks, witticisms, quips, and puns. Yes, indeed, the “Farce” is with them.
The Fathom Events presentation of Rifftrax Live: Krull will be screened Aug. 23, with an encore screening Aug. 25, at more than 600 theaters nationwide, including three here in the Piedmont Triad: The Grand 12 – Four Seasons Station (2700 Vanstory St.) and Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 (3205 Northline Ave.) in Greensboro, and the Grand 18 Theatre (5601 University Pkwy.) in Winston-Salem.
“Mike, Kevin, and Bill continue to bring the laughs, and we’ll continue bringing them back to the big screen,” vowed Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom Events. “We’re proud to announce their return this August with another sci-fi cult classic that is sure to have audiences entertained.”
During its small-screen run, not only did “MST3K” amass a sizable worldwide following – becoming a cult phenomenon in its own right – but 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 series canceled in 1999 after 197 episodes, and following a 1995 feature film, 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.
“I’m a card-carrying member of the American Glaive Appreciator Society, so I’m very excited to get to riff Krull,” Nelson said in an official “RiffTrax” statement. “Who knew that Liam Neeson’s particular set of skills also included ‘wearing a filthy jerkin’ and appearing unconvinced by the special effects.”
This event marks the 27th “RiffTrax Live” event since first partnering with Fathom Events. 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), Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003), Samurai Cop (1991), Syfy’s campy Sharknado extravaganzas, and more. So long as there are bad movies to be ridiculed and mocked, there’s no end in sight! Rest assured, “RiffTrax Live” will be back.
See Mark Burger’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2018, Mark Burger.