From the stars of cult hit Mystery Science Theater 3000 comes RiffTrax, audio commentaries you can play along with your favorite, or least favorite, blockbuster films. As RiffTrax claims: “We don’t make movies, we make movies funny.” In this weekly series, we will be reviewing their Geek Speak-friendly offerings, in order of publication. This week:
“The bittersweet sequel to Star Treks I, II, III and IV was indeed the “Final Frontier”, one last voyage for our heroic Captain Kirk and the brave crew of the Enterprise – except for another one to follow.
And then of course the several dozen spin-offs and spin-off sequels to follow.
The Final Frontier sees a special guest appearance by the one character fit to take equal billing with William Shatner: God.”
This is the first time Mike, founder of RiffTrax, is joined in the booth by one of his old MST3K cohorts, and it’s immediately obvious that their interplay is what was missing from Mike’s solo work. Disembaudio’s presence is blessedly kept to a minimum, too, as the two old friends just have a lot of fun here, mostly at William Shatner’s expense.
[McCoy watches Kirk climb a cliff face]
MCCOY: You’ll have a great time Bones, you’ll enjoy your shore leave, you’ll be able to relax.
RIFF: [as McCoy] You’ll be able to wear your camping ascot.
[Paradise City is overrun]
RIFF: And so the lamest city in the galaxy falls to the lamest attackers in the universe in what would come to be known as the Three-and-a-Half Minutes War.
KIRK: Well, gentlemen, it appears shore leave has been cancelled. Pack out your trash.
RIFF: But we didn’t bring a copy of the script with us.
[Sybok comes on screen]
RIFF: Ah, a goatee. The Star Trek universal symbol for evil.
KIRK: [to Sybok] I’ll take you to the Bridge.
RIFF: [as Sybok] I was hoping the horn section would take us to the bridge.
UHURA: We’re on approach of the Great Barrier.
RIFF: Pah. It’s not that great.
[Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Sybok stare at the center of the galaxy]
RIFF: Fully half of science fiction is just looking at things.
KIRK: [to Spock and McCoy] Cosmic thoughts, gentlemen?
RIFF: Nope, just a trite wrap-up.
William Shatner’s ego.
The musical catalog of Shatner and Nimoy.
Chekov’s “w”s and “v”s.
Shatner’s pronunciation of “Spock.”
The Three Stooges.
William Shatner is portly.
James Doohan is portlier.
Just general fat jokes.
REALLY high. There were beans consumed.
KIRK: Enterprise, lower shields.
SCOTT: Lowering shields, sir.
RIFF: Though panty shields remain in place.
RIFF: You’re as Russian as my Irish grandma, you hack!
Large Marge, played by Alice Nunn, was a kindly trucker in the 1985 movie Peewee’s Big Adventure.
[A felinioid attacks Kirk]
RIFF: It’s the Jellakill cat.
Grizabella and the Jellicle cat are both from T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939), the poetry that forms the basis for the musical Cats (1981).
Timothy Leary (1920 – 1996) was a psychologist who advocated the use of mind-altering drugs for use in psychotherapy.
KIRK: What makes you think I won’t turn us around?
SYBOK: Because, you too must know.
RIFF: Lidsville is right out there.
Lidsville is a 1971 children’s show from the makers of H. R. PufnStuf, which saw a teenage boy transported into a world inhabited by, well, talking hats. Surprisingly, it only lasted for seventeen episodes.
Jake Cardigan is the unlikely name given to the hero of William Shatner’s TekWar, a series of eight dystopian science fiction novels published between 1989 and 1996. A television adaptation (also starring Shatner) aired for two seasons, and there are also comics based on the series.
Did you know? The TekWar series was ghost-written by Ron Goulart.
OBLIGATORY STAR TREK AND/OR WARS REFERENCES
Well, obviously original Star Trek references abound, but there’s also this:
[Kirk, Spock and McCoy climb a turboshaft]
RIFF: They’re gonna run into Jonathan Frakes coming down.
And then this, from that galaxy far, far away:
[Farmers in hessian descend on the capital]
RIFF: Those aren’t just tall Ewoks, are they?
BONUS! LORD OF THE RINGS REFERENCES
Sybok = “Cut-rate Elrond.” Heh.
A solid B effort on this, the hands down worst Star Trek instalment of all time. (Yes, including Enterprise.)
Worst Star Trek movies in order, according to Kevin: “This one, followed by bald chick with the legs, followed by Kim Cattrall.”
NEXT WEEK: X-Men!