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10 RiffTrax Halloween Entries You Must See

RiffTrax‘s Halloween live show is going to be revisiting an old classic, Carnival of Souls. But before you see it live on Oct 27 or catch the encore on Halloween night, take a look at these super scary Halloween-type Rifftrax entries ready to be viewed at your own Halloween-type party!

House on Haunted Hill 

Vincent Price proves why he’s scary as hell in the 1959 classic House on Haunted Hill, and Mike, Kevin, and Bill prove that they can riff the hell out of something. This is probably Vincent Price at his most iconic and most scary. He has invited a bunch of his, cough friends to a murder party and promises them that if they survive the night that they’ll each get $10,000. Oh, and there’s an open acid pit, a skeleton marionette and a bunch of ghosts who just love to kill. What could possibly go wrong? The trio riff totally spoiler free, and you can be caught up in the movie and still laugh at all the awesome jokey-jokes. Yep, House on Haunted Hill is number one for a reason.

The Last Slumber Party

Want to know what you’re in for? Take the three most unappealing women you’ve ever met, increase whatever makes them unappealing by a factor of ten thousand, and you just MIGHT reach the level of unpleasantness of the three female leads, let alone the main girl. The filmmakers forgot that we actually have to like the victims if we’re going to fear for their safety. In The Last Slumber Party, you actually root for their demise. Mike, Kevin and Bill use this to their advantage, and to the audience’s because the movie is absolutely unwatchable without them. Otherwise, it’s just random abusive phone calls accusing friends of being Shelley Hack, and no, I didn’t make that up, that’s actually in the movie.

Night of the Living Dead 

The live version of this zombie cult classic is a standout amongst RiffTrax Live shows and gives long-time fans of the movie something new to experience in an otherwise very familiar experience. The movie’s legion of fans love this movie and have even suggested that it is sacred ground and ought not to have been riffed at all. But RiffTrax had the bravery to take it on anyway and pointed out quite a few things that lead you to conclude that maybe the Night of the Living Dead isn’t all that great after all. In fact, it’s pretty terrible! But zombie fans are a die-hard crowd (see what I did there), and most of them can appreciate what RiffTrax has done with the movie. So if you’re one of the holdouts, give this one a chance. You’ll be happy with the results. And if not, well, “that’s another one for the fire!”

Little Shop of Horrors 

This is a hidden gem in the Rifftrax library that not a whole lot of people even know exists. Little Shop of Horrors doesn’t get the fanfare that some of their larger cornerstones do like The Room or Birdemic. This is the classic version of the movie, however, and not the musical that more people are familiar with, which makes it all the more quirky and fun.

Little Shop of Horrors is yet another classic movie that, for whatever reason, had lapsed into the public domain and RiffTrax was able to pick up and riff for free early on. Any time Roger Corman makes a movie, it’s really a crapshoot on how good it’s actually going to be. This is arguably one of his better entries but it still has quite a few flaws. The movie also features the film debut of Jack Nicholson as a sadist with a dentist fetish. The colorized version, done by their former partners, Legend Films, does wonders for the movie’s watchability, and the commentary fills in a lot of dead holes where the humor tends to fall flat. This where the Rifftrax guys are able to bring a somewhat modern sensibility to a very old movie.

Ghosthouse

2012 had a ton of essential RiffTrax entries that deserve more attention than they got, and this is right on the top of that heap– er, list. Right on the top of that list. In Ghosthouse, follow the wacky exploits of Paul Rogers, his foreign girlfriend, Peppy, and all the wacky members of the Daylin family in this hilarious murder-fest of a ghost story!

If you’re a B-movie-phile, you know that there are quite a few foreign films that set their films in American cities, shoot there with American actors, and yet they still come off like it was shot 100 years ago on a different planet. Ghosthouse is probably among the worst offenders in this regard as it makes Boston in the 1980s seem like what that weird American-German-British hybrid town in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory would have been like in the year 1910. This plays very much to the skills of Mike, Kevin and Bill and gives them a lot of ammo to make their riffs quickly and effectively. Very funny stuff.

Frankenstein Island 

Right underneath Ghosthouse in that heap of great 2012 Rifftrax entries is Frankenstein Island. After a devastating hot air balloon crash, four dudes whose names you’ll never really learn bumble their way through the mysterious island. There they find Frankenstein’s descendants and the monster himself living in the water just off the beach. There is also a cult of bikini girls. Yeah, it’s weird like that. Even though the movie tries with a lot of exposition scenes, it never really lets you know just what the hell is supposed to be happening. It all ends in one of the stupidest fight scenes this side of the ’60s Batman show and The Great Race, except in those, the fights were intended to be stupid.

Having just come off some very strange entries, like Buffalo Rider, Birdemic: Shock and Terror and Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, the RiffTrax crew hones in on the pure absurdity of this confusing balloon wreck for maximum LOLage.

Psycho II

The sequel nobody was asking for finally gets made! At least it’s better than Bates Motel. Okay, that was a tad harsh. Bates Motel is alright, it’s just a bit boring. But anyway, this is the first of the unnecessary sequels to an iconic movie, and to its credit, it joins Jaws II as the only sequel in the franchise worth watching. It’s actually somewhat compelling, but it lacks the Hitchcockian tension of its predecessor. With the identity of the killer already known from the beginning, it really isn’t all that scary. But when you add Mike, Kevin, and Bill into the mix, it becomes a whole new experience.

Psycho II was among the first of their video-on-demand titles to feature a major franchise with actual A-list movie stars. When it was first released in 2013 it was a pretty big deal and it remains a personal favorite of Kevin Murphy to this day.

The Dark Power 

Lash Larue and an ancient Indian burial ground! What else do you need to know? Really, that’s kind of all that can be said about this. There are no other words for it. Add the RiffTrax guys to the mix and it’s gold.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare 

Like The Dark Power, it’s extremely difficult to put into words the weirdness that is Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare. You may not know who Jon Mikl Thor is, but you really shouldn’t hold this movie against him when you decide whether or not he’s done any good for the human race. He’s actually quite the polymath (Google it!) but acting isn’t one of the skills he innately gifted with.

This movie is better than most indie horror films of its day, it’s certainly closer to A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th than a lot of movies get, but it still falls way short of the mark. Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare leaves behind a trail of really bizarre and unfortunate scenes and performances and the puppetry and “final battle” will leave you saying “what the hell was THAT?!”

As far as the riff goes, this is probably the closest Mike, Kevin, and Bill get in choosing a movie that would have fit in the last three seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000 as well as being an organic addition to the rest of the RiffTrax library. In this regard, it is very much like Werewolf and Space Mutiny, so if you’re a fan of the sci-fi seasons of MST3K, this is the one for you.

Ruby

This was released the day after RiffTrax Live: Mothra, and it got lost in the madness of everything happening that week, but this is probably the best VOD of 2016 so far. The plot is… well, it’s a plot, that’s for sure. I’m still not entirely sure what the hell happened, but that usually makes for the best RiffTrax entries. It’s a very odd hybrid of The Exorcist, Rear Window, The Shining, House on Haunted Hill, and Twin Peaks, which is particularly impressive since that last one didn’t exist until decades after Ruby came out.

Even for RiffTrax selections, Ruby has a distinct flavor of weird that forces Mike, Kevin, and Bill to try a lot of things they probably would never have thought to do otherwise. Its uniqueness is its major selling point, and it occupies a place in the library that you would never even known could exist before.

rifftrax carnival of souls poster
Want to see the guys doing their thing live? Be sure to pick up your tickets for RiffTrax Live: Carnival of Souls at Fathom Events and catch the event in your local cinema. GO NOW and Happy Halloween!

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