It’s Time for Rifftrax: Top Ten Rifftrax Riffs

Posted: March 15, 2016 by Micah in Randomnicity
Tags: , , , , ,

Well hey Internet, and welcome to a very special additional edition of Thoughts We Might Have Had. So about a year ago… in fact almost exactly a year ago, in an odd and unplanned bit of consistency, I wrote about Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K as we cool kids call it.) Well, today I thought I’d sit down and write about the spiritual, physical, and tentacle successor: RiffTrax.

So Rifftrax was started in 2006 by Mike Nelson, the head writer and head… head of MST3K. Over the years since then he’s been joined by Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbet two of the main writers/characters from said Mysteries and Sciences. But enough of these borings facts and fact like soy substitutes. Let’s make with the listings.

Top Ten Rifftrax Riffs

For the uninitiated, Rifftrax (like MST3K before it) specializes in the commentating and humorfication of bad movies. Think of it like watching movies with your weird friend who talks during movies, except you hate him less and he’s really funny and doesn’t mysteriously smell like your grandmother’s perfume. Why are you friends with that guy anyway?? The jerk. That may not have been the best mental image ever, huh?

Weird and potentially harmful comparisons aside, here is a list of the ten best rifftrax features! It’s worth noting that they do have a great collection of shorts the highlights of which are the “At your Fingertips” series and the occasional guest appearance by Mary Jo Pehl and Bridget Nelson (also MST3K alumni.) But enough of this ado about nothing,  let’s start doing what we do best, namely, arbitrarily judging things based on personal opinions and minimal amounts of research!!

10. Sharknado (watchable on Amazon Prime and


If aliens are ever looking for an excuse to destroy the Earth, these movies will more than justify that.


Sliding in at number 10 is Sharknado, a movie so bad that it somehow broke the space-time continuum and created (against all odds) two significantly worse movies.  This gives us a chance to talk about something I like to call (in a not made up sort of way) The Inverse Law of Suckitization. Now, according to the law (which I did not make up in any way) there is a fine line between an entertainingly bad movie (Sharknado) and a movie that’s so bad it’s nigh on irredeemable (Sharknado 2.) This isn’t to say that Sharknado 2 is a rifftrax but that movies Suckitization is so strong that it hurts the humor of the riff.  It has nothing to do with the riff, and everything to do with (the now internationally recognized) Inverse Law of Suckitization.

9. Plan 9 From Outer Space (watchable on Hulu and


Cause nothing says Alien like a battle axe emblem.


It’s worth mentioning here that it’s almost always worth getting the Live version of a Rifftrax as opposed to the studio version, purely because the Live versions generally have a couple shorter videos included and it’s just generally more fun to hear these things done with an audience.  For those of you who don’t know, Plan 9 is a spectacularly terrible Ed Wood movie, featuring one of the most poorly planned alien invasions ever. The plan is literally “resurrect three people, wear shiny purple suits, and umm… domination????”

8. Star Wars (mp3 only, downloadable from Rifftrax AND using the Rifftrax app)

This is one of two mp3 onlys on this list. Slightly less convenient than the other movies where the audio is built in, with these you have to sync up a separate mp3 (though the App does it for you if you get that.) Never the less the MP3’s for the prequel movies (which are terrible) is fantastic and well worth all that complicated thumb work.

7. Buffalo Rider (watchable on Hule and


Buffalo Riding: Cause it’s the 1800’s and nothing else is happening.


Buffalo Rider is a great commentary on the whole but  the first twenty minutes in particular are hilarious featuring a battle between two competing narrators and an unfortunate amount of graphic “buffalo tongue” imagery.

6. Twilight (mp3 only, downloadable from

The only drawback to the hilarious mp3 commentaries on Twilight is that you have to own Twilight, which (in some more sophisticated countries) is a criminal offense. The commentaries are hilarious, but the thought of anyone making even a little bit of money off Twilight is one of the strongest ipecacs known to man.

5. Kingdom of the Spiders (watchable on Hulu and


It helps if you think of this as just a really long episode of Star Trek.


If you’ve ever thought “Man, I’d like to see William Shatner be bitten by a lot of spiders” (and really, who hasn’t) than this is the movie for you. This movie also could have been called “unnapealing people nailing wood against windows” but that is (admittedly) less catchy. The riff here is great and all of these top 5 movies hit the sweetspot of my now world famous Inverse Law of Suckitization.

4. Manos: The Hands of Fate (watchable on Hulu and

Ah, Manos the godfather of bad movies.  There is actually a great MST3K version of this as well but the Rifftrax Live edition is fantastic. Featuring a man who is mostly I guess killed by having his hand somehow lit on fire?? And a little girl so terrifyingly dubbed that she makes the girl from the Ring look downright huggable by comparison.

3. The Room (Mp3 only from


The star of The Room: An actual living slab of Pork Butt.


This was actually the first Riff I ever went to a theater to see (they hold live events in theaters broadcast across the country) and I was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed the experience of seeing this with a group. It just made it better to be laughing at all the horrible things that happen in The Room (a LOT of horrible things.) I’m very much sold on seeing these in the theater whenever possible now though, and the Riff on The Room is awesome.

2. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (watchable on


The number of kids packed into that car is nothing compared to the amount of crazy packed into this movie.


One of the more recent Live shows  (and my most recent purchase from ye olde rifftrax) Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny answers that age old question: I wonder what it would sound like if two accordions desperately tried to murder each other with rusty spoons. It also features some of the most horrifyingly uneven dubbing ever, and (for some reason) the story of Jack and the Beanstalk as told by an obviously sun stroked Santa. It’s amazing.

1. Birdemic (watchable on


The star of this movie is either a very good robot or a VERY bad human… I honestly do not know which.


If Manos is the godfather of bad movies, than Birdemic is the godchild. A movie so shockingly nonsensical and wonderfully badly made it’s pretty much the Mona Lisa of terrible. The Riff (especially the Live one) is fantastic and you will never ever look at Solar Panels (Solrpanls) the same way ever again. A movie that brazenly deals in only round numbers, constantly tells an incredibly successful model that she should have a backup plan, and features a main character so mind numbingly stupid he’s seemingly incapable of walking like a human. It’s a perfect storm of terrible movie, great commentary. It is everything a Riff could ever dream of being, and it’s here to  help us all “think peace.”

So there you go guys! If you’re a fan of MST3K or just of humor and bad movies in general, you should definitely head over to and check out these movies! It’s also worth mentioning that they are currently running a kickstarter for another round of live shows (LINK) and that the radius of a circle is the distance from the center of the circle to any point on the circle… Admittedly that last part was probably less relevant, though if you’re reading this list right before a Math test, how lucky are you?

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