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Cinematic Titanic, live in Minneapolis: Hurts So Good

[Queen Shadowrama is back, offering her recap of Cinematic Titanic’s recent live show in Minneapolis, on October 25th. She is awesome. READ ON! -Hugh]

After a long day of flying the turbulent skies, I have finally arrived home from a whirlwind weekend in Minneapolis. What on Earth would cause me to skip school on Friday and travel to a city I have never been to? Why, Cinematic Titanic Live, of course!

I spent most of the day on Saturday excitedly anticipating the evening’s show, but of course, I couldn’t just sit in my hotel room bouncing off the walls like a jittery fangirl! So, along with my partners in crime Robyn and Anchan, we decided to do some sightseeing. Of course, we headed to the one place all tourists gather:The Mall. Of course, I’m talking about the infamous Mall of America, our country’s largest tourist trap. And boy, did we get sucked in. From the amusement park to the aquarium, to the ten billion stores calling to my credit card, we were in absolute awe.

What made it especially fun is the fact that, while browsing a Minnesota-themed store (which, of course, only people not from Minnesota would ever set foot inside), we stumbled upon our first real sign that today was going to be a good day. We found a T-shirt that said, “I live in my own little world, but it’s okay… they know me here!” Those of you familiar with Joel’s early stand-up routine know that this was something that he would say often. Obviously, I had to make that shirt mine. Mall of America 1, Queen Shadowrama 0. Now, on to the riffing festivities…

Anyway, once we got done being assaulted by the world of rampant consumerism, we went back to the hotel and got ready for the show that night. After a lovely dinner with some members of the Rifftrax board, we headed to the theater. The State Theater is an absolutely beautiful space – the entire place is covered in paintings made to look like 18th century art. Artwork of cupids and beautiful women lounging amidst lovely landscapes could be found everywhere, and much was decorated with intricate gold borders and sculptures. When you walk in, you feel like you’re going to a fancy to-do at the theater, rather than see a horrible, badly dubbed vampire movie!

Prior to the Titans coming out, the audience was warmed up by Dave “Gruber” Allen. Not much of his act was particularly funny to me, but the best parts were when he brought out Josh to play the guitar while he recited amusing haikus, and when he had Frank sing his song about the superhero “Convoluted Man”. Some West Coast MSTies might be familiar with Convoluted Man from Frank’s Cartoon Dump shows in L.A. One of Dave’s running jokes was when he would ask how much longer he had to do his act, and always getting the answer “About 10 more minutes”. Well, he did that about five or six times, and it got old very quickly. Honestly, I think the warm-up portion lasted too long – I mean, do MSTies really need warming up when they’re here to see their heroes? Once that was finished, the lights in the theater went up and we actually had an intermission! It was a little frustrating to have to sit there for another ten minutes, after I’d just spent 15 waiting for the show, but eventually the lights dimmed and the real show began!

I don’t want to spoil too much for those of you who couldn’t make it, but Blood of the Vampires hurts. It hurts on a real Manos level. I know everybody says that about every Cinematic Titanic release, but it is absolutely true this time! It’s got atrocious acting, awful sound (and the bad dubbing makes it even harder to follow, as you can’t rely on reading the actors’ lips), creepy vampire incest, and topped off with ridiculous racism – Seriously, think Filipino actors playing Mexicans, with some in blackface. Thankfully, the Titans were there to hold our hand through the painful labor that was this movie.

True to form, the riffing was top notch. It was a real treat to see the Titans having a great time on stage. They would interact with each other and laugh at each other’s jokes, which was really nice because, even though I’m a diehard CT fan, their chemistry on the DVDs has left something to be desired. I really hope that they continue to build upon that, in future releases. The riffing ranged from laugh-out-loud funny to the kind that would make you groan. One joke was so groanworthy, it actually made Trace start to walk off the stage in shame. There were no host segments in the show, which I can understand, as it might be difficult to do in a live setting, but as the movie dragged on, I was starting to wish that they had. Anything to break the monotony of the film would have been welcome, even if it did only last thirty seconds or so. So, to all the fans that thought the host segments for CT have been somewhat lacking (and I count myself amongst you), realize that the Titans are doing it for your own good. Silly they may be, but they’re absolutely necessary, if you want to survive the film!

One disappointment for me was the fact that the audience seemed a little… subdued. The show wasn’t sold out, so that might have had an effect on audience participation, but I didn’t feel like a lot of the room had the same energy that I saw at the Rifftrax show. In fact, there was a group of people in the row in front of us that actually got up and left before the movie was over, which is just beyond my comprehension. Obviously, there’s a difference between geeky Comic-Con audiences and, I don’t know, regular people, but it did feel a bit odd to me. That’s not to say that there weren’t a lot of hardcore MSTies in the audience. There were quite a few riffs that catered specifically to us, which of course garnered cheers and applause from the fans in the room. One of my favorites was toward the end of the movie, when we see the hero and his girlfriend in silhouette. Josh quips, “They film their actors entirely in silhouette? That is just lame.” Of course, the MSTies in the room went nuts for that!

After the show, the Titans stayed back to meet fans and sign autographs. They were all very kind and very funny. I had a very cool moment with Trace, because he recognized me from Comic-Con — despite the fact that we never actually met at Comic-Con. I guess he just saw me walking around after the MST3K panel, and I must have stood out enough for him to notice! So, I was definitely flattered by Trace’s excellent memory! I also got to hang out a bit with the honorary 6th Titan, the famous “RAD,” husband of Mary Jo. Everyone who has ever talked to him knows that he is the most kind, gentlemanly person you could ever meet (Confirmed! -Hugh), and I really can’t stress that enough. RAD is the bee’s knees! It was very cool to chat with him for a while, and I got him to tell me the story about how he wooed Mary Jo!

After the show, we went to grab a drink with Tom, of Tom’s Temple of MST3K Stuff, and ended up getting an appetizer known as the “Titan Platter,” or something along those lines. After such an amazing show, that was a cool way to top off the evening.

After I settled into bed, I found myself reflecting back to when I first stepped off of my plane in Minneapolis. I felt like I was on hallowed ground – after all, Minnesota is the birthplace of MST3K, and just knowing that I was going to see the Titans in their natural habitat was very special indeed. I had a blast at the show, and what made the weekend more special is that I got an opportunity to connect with quite a few hardcore MSTies that I’ve interacted with on the various message boards. When you’re the kind of person who doesn’t really have people to talk about the show with in real life, finding those who speak your language feels like coming home. It was a magical weekend for me, and I hope I have the opportunity to “go home” many more times in the future, no matter what city it is!


3 Responses

  1. great write up! I loved the show as well. I hope they come back soon! I sure wish i would have met more fans. I would have loved to head out after the show for the titan platter and meet Tom of Tom’s Temple.

    I sure hope they come back soon!

  2. Great write up!!! It sure was a groovy show-wasn’t it! I thought the same thing about the audience as well. Everyone seemed pretty mellow-but it was still fun!!

  3. Nice write up. It was great seeing you and the other’s in Minneapolis.

    Mmmm…Titan Toothpicks.

    During the show I was always torn between laughing out loud and missing the next line and trying to hold in my laughter. Maybe thats the way a lot of the crowd felt. Any way, I thought it was great.

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