I know some things shouldn’t be taken seriously, movies especially. That’s why I’ve been a fan of MST3K for over a decade now, and of the new ventures by crew from the now defunct show, The Film Crew, and Rifftracks. Rifftracks are especially fun, since it’s big Hollywood movies getting the MST3K treatment, often deservedly. But, I have to admit, the latest edition to our library was a little hard to swallow. Which movie am I talking about? That classic of action/adventure cinema, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the movie that increased archeology and anthropology class attendance in the 80’s.
Not only is this movie filled with iconic scenes and lines, but it’s a precious memory from my childhood. As we were watching it, I could hear the audience gasping and “ewwww”ing at the beginning, when Indy’s guide turns around in the cave, and his back is covered in tarantulas. And every time Indy fired his gun, I could hear the echo of every shot just like it was in the old Fox movie theater that I saw it in back in the early eighties. These are impressions that have survived and stayed with me for over twenty years. So, listening to three wisecracking guys dissect and make fun of this movie (they even diss the theme! Sacrelige!), I could feel the indigation welling up in me. Several times I had to mentally tell myself that is was just a movie and it was all in good fun. Mike, Kevin and Bill didn’t really hate the movie, or the music, or Harrison Ford. How could they? This was a classic (in the true sense of the word)! They did have some good riffs that make me laugh out loud, but I still felt dirty at the end. This was still a treasured memory, and it will always remain so.
ID4,on the other hand, (which we watched the next night), that deserved most (not all) of the riffing it got. It’s a bonehead movie (to quote the great Harlan Ellison), but it’s a fun bonehead movie, with just as many memorable lines and scenes as Indy, but will never become a classic on the same level. It’s a cow that can easily handle the pokes.