Rifftrax Live: Time Chasers (May 17 Re-Broadcast)

| May 8, 2016

Rifftrax Live and Fathom Events’ nationwide broadcast of Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy’s riffing of Time Chasers (1994) returns to theaters on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 for an encore presentation—an event I highly recommend you catch in theaters if you missed it the first time around. Those familiar with the work of the gang over at Rifftrax likely already know Time Chasers, a film about a sharp-chinned, Castleton-t-shirt-wearing wearing scientist who turns a tiny airplane into a “time transport,” from its appearance on episode 821 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 back in 1997. That episode remains, to my mind, one of the tightest in all of MST3K to date. In fact, it was one of the few episodes that I, being then in 8th grade and a kid of limited means, was able to tape off TV when it premiered. So the mere thought of Time Chasers brings with it a host of positive associations and memories of my teenage years rewatching the handful of MST episodes I’d taped with friends.

For most folks you hear whining on the internet, then, the announcement that something they loved from their youth was being redone (or re-riffed as the case may be here) would whip them into a frenzy. Look at all the backlash over the Ghostbusters remake! But I know that not only can Paul Feig not ruin the original Ghostbusters, but the fellas at Rifftrax aren’t going to ruin my memory of Time Chasers either. In fact, being the three guys who riffed the film onscreen in the first place (with an incredible staff of writers supporting them of course), chances were, going into this, that it was going to be pretty good. After all, Rifftrax Live: Manos the Hands of Fate before it had been a huge success comedically.

And Rifftrax Live: Time Chasers lived up to the precedent set before it by Rifftrax Live: Manos. The Time Chasers live event opens with the traditional riffing of a short film, this time “Chimp the Fireman,” which is exactly what it sounds like, so long as you think it sounds like a movie about a fireman that is also a chimpanzee. While I don’t know if I’ve laughed harder at the riffing of a short than I did “Welcome Back, Norman” during the Manos show, the guys’ riffing of “Chimp the Fireman” earns its fair share of guttural laughs. This part of the show more than any other, I should also mention, amused my 4-year-old son who’d tagged along for the screening.

After that, the guys dive straight into Time Chasers, which also closes the event–no musical guests or skits this time around, just pure, unadulterated riffing! What’s great about seeing Time Chasers in this format, apart from the infusion of a host of more timely references and some swearing that would not fly on mid-90s basic cable, is that the version of the film here is unedited. And there was some absolute gold missing from the version of the film that had been cut for inclusion on MST3K! There is in fact an entire sequence left out of the original broadcast featuring a racist cab driver who later interacts with an odd-voiced security guard that had me literally crying with laughter. As such, although the MST3K episode is itself near perfect, Rifftrax Live: Time Chasers offers a whole new and equally hilarious way to experience this cinematic oddity.

So don’t miss it when it returns to theaters on May 17. You can find tickets to the event at a theater near you here: http://www.fathomevents.com/event/rifftrax-live-time-chasers/buy

About the Author:

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.