Combustible Celluloid
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With: Richard Travis, Cathy Downs, K.T. Stevens, Tommy Cook, Nina Bara, Gary Clarke, Michael Whalen, Laurie Mitchell, Marjorie Hellen, Henry Hunter, Lee Roberts, Sandra Wirth, Pat Mowry, Tania Velia, Sanita Pelkey
Written by: H.E. Barrie, Vincent Fotre
Directed by: Richard E. Cunha
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 77
Date: 03/18/2013

Rifftrax: Missile to the Moon (2009)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Lido Dreck

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Following the demise of the beloved "Mystery Science Theater 3000" TV show, its stars Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett continued on by creating "Rifftrax," which were downloadable audio files that could be played along with your favorite movies. Now the crew has assembled a series of ten new "Rifftrax" DVDs, released by Legend Films and including funny audio commentary tracks (no silhouettes or robot heads) as well as an option to view the movie with its original audio track. The downside is that all of these titles are in the public domain, are widely available elsewhere, and are not in the best of quality. In the case of Missile to the Moon, Legend Films has already released a restored DVD, and we can assume that this is the same transfer. Both discs carry the same price tag, so it's up to the viewer if he or she wants the funny commentary track or the alternate, colorized version. I'd take the commentary. It's a perfect movie for the Rifftrax team; the movie deserves some serious ribbing, and the track here is pretty funny. The following is my review of the film itself:

When people talk about cheesy old sci-fi movies, it conjures up images of cheap-looking monsters, cardboard robots and fake studio sets filled with craters. But the sad truth is that most bad sci-fi movies mainly feature people sitting around in rooms and talking; they're more boring than they are amusing. That's exactly what happens for roughly the first half of Richard E. Cunha's cheapie Missile to the Moon. When two escaped convicts Gary (Tommy Cook) and Lon (Gary Clarke) hide aboard a rocket ship, a scientist Dirk Green (Michael Whalen) forces them to be his crew on an impromptu trip to the moon. Dirk's partner Steve Dayton (Richard Travis) and his fiancée June (Cathy Downs) also wind up on board. On the moon (actually a canyon in California), our crew discovers a dying race of beautiful women, led by "The Lido" (K.T. Stevens), some clunky rock monsters, a giant pipe-cleaner spider, a cache of diamonds, and more talking. The acting is uniformly wooden, though it appears that Clarke was a "method" actor since he mumbles his way through his dialogue (though I'm not sure if this is better or worse). Most of this stuff was already used five years earlier in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953), though at least that film was a comedy.

The ten Rifftrax DVDs are: RiffTrax: Night of the Living Dead, RiffTrax: The Little Shop of Horrors, RiffTrax: Reefer Madness, RiffTrax: Carnival of Souls, RiffTrax: House on Haunted Hill, RiffTrax: Missile to the Moon, RiffTrax: Plan 9 from Outer Space, RiffTrax: Swing Parade, RiffTrax: The Best Of RiffTrax Shorts, Vol. 1 andRiffTrax: The Best Of RiffTrax Shorts, Vol. 2.

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