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Cinematic Titanic

 

Cinematic Titanic

Cinematic Titanic
File:Cinematictitanic.png
Cinematic Titanic logo
Written by Joel Hodgson
Trace Beaulieu
Frank Conniff
Mary Jo Pehl
J. Elvis Weinstein
Starring Joel Hodgson
Trace Beaulieu
Frank Conniff
Mary Jo Pehl
J. Elvis Weinstein
Distributed by Cinematic Titanic
Release date(s) December 22, 2007
Running time Approx. 90 min.
Country United States
Language English

Cinematic Titanic is a project by Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) creator and original host, Joel Hodgson.[1] The project involves "riffing" B-movies, in a manner similar to that of MST3K.[2] Joining Hodgson are many of the original MST3K cast, as well as some cast members who joined later in the show's run.[3] These include Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff and Mary Jo Pehl.[4] It was first performed live on December 7, 2007 and first aired on December 22, 2007.

On February 16, 2013, it was announced that the touring portion of Cinematic Titanic was going on an indefinite hiatus. According to an email sent out to members of the site, due to "5 people living in 5 different cities with different lives and projects, it has become increasingly difficult to coordinate our schedules and give Cinematic Titanic the attention it requires to keep growing as a creative enterprise and a business."[5] The final tour began on September 23, 2013.[6]

Description

Like Mystery Science Theater 3000, the series uses black silhouettes of the riffers placed over the films, but in the case of Cinematic Titanic they sit on both sides of the screen rather than just on the lower right.[7] Visual gags are frequent (such as Beaulieu's use of a cherry picker in The Oozing Skull), and there are two or three host segments per episode, all performed in silhouette.

Plot

The actors essentially play themselves as they participate in an experiment for some unknown (possibly shadowy) corporation or military force. The story currently provided to the cast is that there is a tear in the "electron scaffolding" that threatens all digital media in the world.[8] Their experience doing MST3K is key to the organization's plans. The riffing for each film is recorded to a "nanotated disc" and inserted into a "Time Tube" by Hodgson that descends into the frame at the end of every episode. The unknown organization is very firm on keeping the cast focused on their duties, providing no time frame for completion and requiring them to stay within the facilities at all times. They apparently have massive resources and an autonomous military force, which they use to keep the cast in line. As of now, the cast is inquisitive of the true purpose of the experiments but have no major problems as, aside from having to watch bad movies, they are well-treated.

Relation to RiffTrax

Michael J. Nelson, who took over as the star of MST3K upon Hodgson's departure from the show, has his own movie-riff series, titled RiffTrax. Nelson's project produces riffs for a wide variety of films, including many current and well-known movies, such as Twilight, The Matrix and Lord of the Rings.[3] He then posts the audio for sale on the RiffTrax website.

The fact that Cinematic Titanic involves almost every MST3K writer and performer aside from Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, who happen to be the regular cast of RiffTrax, has prompted fan speculation about a rivalry between Hodgson and Nelson surrounding the two projects, but the pair have consistently denied that such a rift exists and expressed praise for each other's projects, pointing out that they fill different niches and there is more than enough room for both of them. Speaking with Associated Content in 2009, Mary Jo Pehl, who has worked in both projects, denied knowledge of any animosity between the Cinematic Titanic and RiffTrax groups. "I have no idea if there's some sort of family feud between the Joel vs. Mike factions. If there is, people ought to find better things to do with their time, like debating which way the toilet paper should hang on the spindle, or if the opening of pillow cases should face the outside of the bed or the inside when placed. RT does their thing, and Cinematic Titanic does theirs."

When asked about potential collaborations with those involved in RiffTrax, Hodgson told New York magazine, "I don’t know. I think those guys — Bill, Kevin and Mike — are really talented, obviously. I think anything’s possible, but I thought it might get confusing to try to merge them together or do crossover projects. I would never rule it out because it’s all kind of the same universe. But RiffTrax, the idea of riffing on topical movies, is a different thing. And I like that the movie-riffing universe got bigger when they decided to do that, but we just do weird movies you’ve never seen before."[9]

Studio / "Live" DVDs

In a question and answer session at the Tivoli Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri, it was announced that Cinematic Titanic would begin to release recordings from their live shows as "Live" DVDs in an effort to bring the energy of their on stage antics into people's living rooms and further promote the stage show. When asked if this meant the demise of the studio produced DVDs, J. Elvis Weinstein said, "No, studio releases will return at some point in the future." The first of these "Live" DVDs to be released was East Meets Watts, which was recorded in front of a live audience during one of the group's performances in Los Angeles.

Releases

Release history

The first live performance was a private show for employees of Industrial Light & Magic on December 7, 2007.[4] After the live show, the cast reworked some jokes, delaying the original December 10 release date. The first episode of Cinematic Titanic was released on DVD to the public at midnight on December 21, via the download-to-burn company EZTakes. According to the Cinematic Titanic website, due to rights issues, the episode was not available for download until April 2, 2008.

Both the private show and the first release feature the B-movie Brain of Blood.[7] One of the original film's producers, concerned that creating multiple versions of the film could create marketplace confusion, requested that Cinematic Titanic's version have a different name. To alleviate his concerns, Cinematic Titanic retitled their release The Oozing Skull.[10]

In June 2012, the first ten DVDs were made available for free viewing on Hulu.

In March 2013, Cinematic Titanic sold the last of their on-hand DVD stock and ceased pressing their own discs. From then on all releases were either in digital format, or through Amazon.com's print-on-demand service.[11]

Release list

Releases have been available to purchase as a physical DVD, and also as a download and burned DVD version.

Movie CT Released Original Release Notes
The Oozing Skull Original release called Internet Movie Database, changed per producer's request.
The Doomsday Machine [12]
The Wasp Woman A film by the "B-Movie King" Roger Corman[13]
Legacy of Blood Original release called Internet Movie Database.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians The film had previously appeared on an episode of MST3K.
Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks
Blood of the Vampires Original release called Internet Movie Database.
East Meets Watts First DVD featuring a live performance rather than a studio version.[14] The film was titled The Dynamite Brothers at the live shows.
The Alien Factor Second DVD to feature a live performance.[15]
Danger on Tiki Island [16] Third live DVD; originally titled Internet Movie Database.
War of the Insects Also known as
Rattlers Riffed under its original title,
Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World N/A Original release called Internet Movie Database.
The Astral Factor N/A Riffed under its original title,
The Doll Squad N/A Riffed under its original title, Internet Movie Database.

List of live shows

The following is an incomplete list of live performances by Cinematic Titanic.

Date Movie City State Notes
The Oozing Skull San Francisco CA Private show for Industrial Light & Magic employees.[4]
The Wasp Woman Dallas TX Public show (sold out) as part of the 2008 The Wasp Woman. The crew, sitting in the front row of the theater, with microphones and scripts, announced that the performance was being recorded for an upcoming DVD release. They signed autographs for the enthusiastic crowd after the show.
The Doomsday Machine Hollywood CA Public show (sold out) as part of the 2008 LA Film Festival in Hollywood, California, at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. Movie shown was scheduled to beThe Wasp Woman, but changed without prior announcement to The Doomsday Machine. No screen interaction, the team sat onstage with their scripts.
Blood of the Vampires Minneapolis MN Public show at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The movie Blood of the Vampires was shown for the first time. Dave (Gruber) Allen was the warm-up act.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians St. Charles MO Public show at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians was the film shown, and Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians Chicago IL Public three-night series in Chicago, IL at the Lakeshore Theater. The December 18 show at 7:30pm featured Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, the December 19 shows at 7:30pm and 10:30pm featured Blood of the Vampires, and the December 20 shows at 7:30pm and 10:30pm featured Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks. The latter two movies were promoted as 'Unreleased Titles' until a few days before their Chicago appearance. All five shows were reportedly sold out, according to J. Elvis Weinstein through the Cinematic Titanic email Newsletter. Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act. As this appearance marked the first anniversary of Cinematic Titanic, a "Best of" reel was shown after each performance.
Blood of the Vampires Chicago IL 7:30 pm show
Blood of the Vampires Chicago IL 10:30 pm show
Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks Chicago IL 7:30 pm show
Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks Chicago IL 10:30 pm show
Blood of the Vampires San Francisco CA Two public shows at the Marine's Memorial Auditorium in San Francisco, CA. The February 14 show featured Dynamite Brothers. Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act, the "Best of" reel was shown.
East Meets Watts San Francisco CA
War of the Insects Royal Oak MI Two public shows at the Detroit's expense). Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act.
Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World Royal Oak MI
Blood of the Vampires Somerville MA Two public shows at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA. The February 20 show featured Blood of the Vampires. The February 21 show featured Dynamite Brothers. Both shows were sold out, according to an on-stage announcement. Dave (Gruber) Allen] performed as the warm-up act, the "Best of" reel was shown.
East Meets Watts Somerville MA
Blood of the Vampires Cleveland OH The Hanna Theatre
East Meets Watts Cleveland OH The Hanna Theatre
East Meets Watts Austin TX The Paramount
Blood of the Vampires Seattle WA King Cat Theater
East Meets Watts Seattle WA King Cat Theater
East Meets Watts Mesa AZ Two public shows at the Mesa Arts Center, Dynamite Brothers billed as East Meets Watts, and Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, with Dave (Gruber) Allen and the "Best of" reel.
Danger on Tiki Island Mesa AZ
The Alien Factor Philadelphia PA Two public shows at the Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia, PA, with The Alien Factor and Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, with Dave (Gruber) Allen and the "Best of" reel.
Danger on Tiki Island Philadelphia PA
East Meets Watts Chicago IL Three public shows at the Lakeshore Theater in Chicago, IL, with East Meets Watts (movie title of Dynamite Brothers), The Alien Factor, and Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, with Dave (Gruber) Allen and the "Best of" reel.
The Alien Factor Chicago IL
Danger on Tiki Island Chicago IL
War of the Insects/Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World/Legacy of Blood Glenside PA A 3 movie marathon performed in Glenside, PA at the Keswick Theatre. Performed on New Year's Eve, the first two movies were performed before midnight, and the third after midnight. Dave (Gruver) Allen opened.
War of the Insects Milwaukee WI Two public shows in Milwaukee, WI at Turner Hall. The 7:00pm show featured Genocide [3]. Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act, with a special appearance at the 10:30pm show by actor/comedian Patton Oswalt, who had just finished performing in town, and was recommended to come see the performance. Oswalt gave a short opener prior to the start of the film. Cast members were on hand to sign autographs after both shows.
Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World Milwaukee WI
Danger on Tiki Island Northampton MA One public show at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA with Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act.
War of the Insects Princeton NJ One sold-out public shows at the [4] billed as War of the Insects.
Danger on Tiki Island Manhattan, New York City NY One sold out public show at the Nokia Theater in Manhattan, NY, with Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, with Dave (Gruber).
Rattlers Boston MA One public show at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA, where they premiered their treatment of the movie Rattlers.
Rattlers St. Charles MO One public show at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO.
The Alien Factor Concord NH Two public shows at the Mary Jo Pehl, in that order, all performed warmup material.
War of the Insects Concord NH
Rattlers Milwaukee WI One public show at the Pabst Theater
Blood of the Vampires Newark NJ One public show at the Victoria Theatre.
The Doomsday Machine Newark NJ Two public shows at the Victoria Theatre.
The Astral Factor Newark NJ
The Alien Factor Princeton NJ One public show at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ with The Alien Factor and warmup material from the cast, including a live performance of the Mystery Science Theater theme song.
Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World San Francisco CA Two public shows at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, CA. The early show was Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World; the late show was Rattlers. Warmup material by Mary Jo Pehl & Dave Gruber, Frank Conniff, and Trace Beaulieu & J. Elvis Weinstein, finishing up with a performance of the MST theme song by Hodgson and Weinstein.
Rattlers San Francisco CA
Rattlers Washington DC Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University
Rattlers York PA One public show at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Theater in York, PA. Warmup material by Mary Jo Pehl, Dave Gruber, Frank Conniff, Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein and Joel Hodgson, finishing up with a performance of the MST theme song by Weinstein. Meet & Greet followed the performance.
Rattlers Ann Arbor MI
The Doll Squad Ann Arbor MI 100th Cinematic Titanic Performance and World Premiere of 'The Doll Squad.'
The Doll Squad St. Charles MO Public show at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO. The Doll Squad was the film shown, and Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act.

See also

References

External links

  • Official Youtube
  • MST3K.info for Cinematic Titanic
  • Interview with Joel Hodgson at IFC.com
  • Interview at StarWars.com
  • Review of Cinematic Titanic and its first episode
  • episode
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