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It's a green Christmas as RiffTrax Live does 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians'

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While others may be dreaming about a white Christmas or having a blue Christmas, it was all about a green Christmas at Nashville's Belcourt Theatre on Dec. 5 as Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumni behind RiffTrax, brought another edition of RiffTrax Live to town. The show was also cinecast across North America via Fathom Events.

Their target this time around is one of the most belovedly bad holiday offerings in history, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians." Long a favorite movie in the MST3k library, the RiffTrax Live show followed the pattern of their previous take on an MST3k favorite, "Manos: The Hands of Fate", with completely new riffs. Before the movie began, each man discussed his impressions of a movie they've now seen "at least a million times." Bill pointed out the massive star power on display in "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" including Pia Zadora, Uncle Wally from Sesame Street, and The Jeffersons' doorman. Mike wondered about Martian anatomy and whether the headgear was a hat or some sort of biological feature. Kevin proved he was, as Bill so tactfully put it, "older than the Grand Canyon", by correctly identifying the Martians' weapons as Whammo Air Blasters.

While the riffing on "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" was good and some of the more topical lines, especially about Santa's recent "twerking incident" got huge laughs, the real gem of the night was in the short film shown before the feature. "Santa Claus and the Fairy Snow Queen" was, according to the guys, "found in a dumpster outside of a Piggly Wiggly" and it may very well end up being one of the most beloved RiffTrax shorts in history.

The plot of "Santa Claus and the Fairy Snow Queen" is incomprehensible but it contains some of the most mind boggling characters in RiffTrax history. The short starts with Snoopy. Not the dog, but a "brownie" who works for Santa Claus. For anyone who ever saw MST3k's iconic short "Mr. B Natural", Snoopy makes Mr. B seem downright dignified and serene. From there you throw in a giant Santa who looked like he'd been slipped a roofie, a Fairy Queen with an accent so thick most of her dialogue was unintelligible, a jack in the box that took creepy to 11, and a toy lion that did nothing the entire short except yell out "I can eat candy!" in one random shot, and you have the makings of a RiffTrax classic.

Fans at the sold out Belcourt seemed to love the show, with a lot of belly laughs throughout. Fans on the Mystery Science Theater fansite Satellite News had very positive reviews as well. Did you go? If so, let us know what you thought in the comments section.


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