The stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 were back in select theaters nationwide last night for a hilarious never-before-seen take on the zombie movie that started it all: 'Night of the Living Dead'. Original director George Romero would be rolling around in his grave on this one if he weren't still alive. It is rumored that 73 year old Romero was at one of the screenings last night. Mystery Science Theater 3000, fondly known as MST3K, was created by Joel Hodgson.
Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett of RiffTrax.com riffed the horror classic in a live broadcast to hundreds of theaters nationwide at 8:00 p.m. and was taped delayed for west coast locations. This was a one-night event which had the audience hysterical with laughter throughout. The next time to catch the team in a live event is on December 5, 2013 when they riff 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians'.
'Night of the Living Dead' is a 1968 horror film is where the zombie craze began - though back then they called them 'gouls'. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the movie scared audiences, today the movie is ripe for riffing. Perhaps it is not until today, we realize how many occasions throughout the movie there are for comedic moments. What is riffing? Riffing, in the context, basically means overlaying comedic audio over the existing movie.
The movie begins with Barbra and her brother Johnny visiting the grave of their father at the Evans City, Pennsylvania cemetary just north of Pittsburgh. Johnny is quickly devoured by a zombie and Barbra escapes to an abandoned farm house. There she’s joined by a ragtag group of survivors who band together to wait out the apocalypse, with the occasional light descent into madness. The rest of the movie plays out like 'The Big Chill', but instead of Glenn Close sobbing naked in the shower, they board up windows using carpentry and occasionally get devoured alive. So in this respect, 'Night of the Living Dead' is the slightly less depressing movie.
Shotguns, molotov cocktails, exploding cars and head shots galore! Like one of those awesome zombie video games (except you don’t get to play it), RiffTrax Live: 'Night of the Living Dead' is far better than Brad Pitt’s beard in World War Z and funnier than the acting on 'The Walking Dead'.
Nelson is the former host and writer of the Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award-winning Mystery Science Theater 3000 and has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows, written a regular column for TV Guide, and authored many best-selling books. Murphy is perhaps best known as the man behind the show's robot Tom Servo on Mystery Science Theater 3000, is the author of the bestselling book A Year at the Movies: One Man’s Filmgoing Odyssey and has been a regular contributor to NPR’s Weekend Edition and Wits. Corbett is a former writer and performer for Mystery Science Theater 3000 and was the voice of the robot Crow (version 2.0), as well as many other strange characters including the clueless alien The Observer (a.k.a. “Brain Guy”). Corbett is also a screenwriter and an internationally-produced playwright.
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