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Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 5 July, 2010 9:22 PM

Cinematic Titanic entertains fans for two shows at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Cinematic Titanic performed on Friday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. at the Michigan Theatre.
by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

ANN 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.

The movie-mocking 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.”

The preludes 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.”

In additional 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.

According to Frank, “We were pulled over by a cop, but he just gave us a warning: ‘Don’t see The Last Airbender!’”

The first 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).

Other thematic 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.

Next up was The Oozing Skull, making its first appearance in front of a live audience despite being the first feature released on DVD by Cinematic Titanic.
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.

Several 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.”

The advantage 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).

With this 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.

For more information on Cinematic Titanic, visit www.cinematictitanic.com.

Related Story: Cinematic Titanic soars by bench-pressing celluloid eyesore

 

Photo credit: Joshua Targownik

Cast members of the Cinematic Titanic

 

Stay tuned for continuing coverage of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival on AmericaJR.com!

 

Related Story: Patty Griffin kicks off the 2010 Ann Arbor Summer Festival

Related Story: The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is now underway and runs through July 11

WATCH: Interview with Ann Arbor Summer Festival Executive Director Robb Woulfe and attendees

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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