Monday, 5 July, 2010 9:22 PM
Titanic entertains fans for two shows at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
Titanic performed on Friday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00
p.m. at the Michigan Theatre.
ARBOR, Mich. -- Friday night became
a riff delight as Cinematic Titanic arrived at Ann Arbor’s
Michigan Theater for a double feature of films one would never want
to reach for.
troupe, made up of former Mystery Science Theater 3000
cast members, treated a packed auditorium to two films representing
the synoptic and visual nausea that partially made up 1970s cinema.
One riff on a scene’s interior furnishing (perhaps one of
the night’s best) summed up such Me Decade cheese perfectly:
“The Viagra testing lab hasn’t seen this much wood.”
for each show featured the still hilarious routine from Dave “Gruber”
Allen and “guests,” seen earlier in Royal Oak months
ago during which he invited J. Elvis Weinstein to play bass for
the “Nobody likes a Clown when He’s Crying” song
and the rap rendition of Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat.”
speeches before the lights went down, the likes of Joel Hodgson
and “TV’s” Frank Conniff voiced their impression
with the Main Auditorium interior, as well as select mishaps during
their return journey.
to Frank, “We were pulled over by a cop, but he just gave
us a warning: ‘Don’t see The Last Airbender!’”
riffing target of the night was the Kung-sploitation hybrid East
Meets Watts, a tale of slow vengeance and slower walking sequences
during which two heroes would be united against racial prejudice
and James Hong’s presence in almost all the good scenes.
In the meantime,
the crew would cover grounds ranging from more familiar MST3K phrases
(such as “Watch out for snakes!”) to retro television
(including Good Times and the “My Pen” sketch from Kids
in the Hall).
elements in the first film, one of which caused Elvis to spew his
water everywhere, enabled the five-some to take some up-to-date
shots at a certain Apocalypto director.
As the blatantly
racist cop played by Aldo Ray asks “What do you want?”
in one stunner sequence, this reply came: “For you to stop
talking like Mel Gibson.” They would later take it further
with a quip on his marital issues.
was The Oozing Skull, making its first appearance in front of a
live audience despite being the first feature released on DVD by
Here, the cast would jump on the more surreal nature of its brain-swapping
plot, which involved a dwarf-sized assistant, a wrinkly-masked mutant,
rotten meat, and a women with a hair-span that could rival any afro.
riffs would repeatedly be aimed at the likes of again Gibson, Lindsey
Lohan, British Petroleum, and interestingly enough, John Sebastian.
There were also intervals, however, where they would provide local
shout-outs as another screen/stage exchange proved: “I’m
dying…” “…for Zingerman’s Pastrami.”
of performing during the summer gave both Cinematic Titanic and
more of its fans a chance to take part in a show more accessible
thanks to a more appropriate venue and easier weather/route conditions
unlike those during the Royal Oak (perhaps explaining the smaller
crowd during that show’s second feature).
double feature, Cinematic Titanic again attracted fans old and new
by turning what would otherwise be Torcha on its own into a verbal
fireworks display of chaos and somewhat old-school delight.
more information on Cinematic Titanic, visit www.cinematictitanic.com.
Titanic soars by bench-pressing celluloid eyesore
credit: Joshua Targownik